What does success look like?

Not long ago I attended a conference focused on envisioning success.  We talked about the common language used today to refer to changing your circumstances. “Out of the Box” is a phrase often used to describe the thought process that needs to change before your circumstances can change. If you picture yourself inside a box desiring to be outside of the box, there are two ways to accomplish your goal.

The first way has a low probability of success, but is the most chosen method; I call this, “All by myself.”  In it, you push yourself to just try harder doing what you have always done in an effort to bring about change.  This is much like a fly on the inside of a house that flies faster to bang harder against the window in an attempt to break through to the other side.  When your efforts are not successful, you and others around you start to believe that you must have not tried hard enough.  So the cycle continues with everyone banging their head against the window even harder the next time.

The second, more successful, method is called “Read the Directions.”  The one major hurdle to this method can be identified if you once again picture yourself inside the box – the directions on how to open the box are printed on the outside.  Therefore for this method to work, you will need to ask someone who is already on the outside of the box to read the directions to you.  Here is where the envisioning part comes in.  Now that you know the directions for getting out of the box, you envision yourself following those directions to success.

I first followed the “Read the Directions” method when I was in my twenty’s and sought to bring my golf game to a more successful level.  I studied the great Jack Nicklaus and wrote down one quote that really changed the way I played the game.  He said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. First I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I see the ball going there; its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there is a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”

In leadership, long term success will come when you learn the way of success from those already on the outside of the box and envision yourself achieving that same success.

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