Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Top Ten Ways People Get in Their Own Way

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success

In Chapter 13 of John Maxwell's Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success he discusses "Avoiding the Top Ten Reasons People Fail".  Here are some fabulous quotes and excerpts from this chapter.

"I think that usually things go well or not so well for people based on their actions.  I believe that for the most part you create your own luck by working hard, practicing self-discipline, remaining persistent, and making personal growth a daily priority.  Add to that the blessings of a loving God, and you don't need to think about luck."
"Most of the time the trouble we face is the result of our negative actions.  It's our own fault."

The Top Ten Ways People Get in Their Own Way

1.  Poor People Skills
"A while back the Wall Street Journal printed an article on the reasons that executives fail.  At the top of the list was a person's inability to effectively relate to others."
"Most careers involve other people.  You can have great academic intelligence and still lack social intelligence-the ability to be a good listener, to be sensitive towards others, to give and take criticism well. -Carole Hyatt and Linda Gottlieb"
"Making people skills a strength will take you farther than any other skill you develop."

2. A Negative Attitude
"If your circumstances constantly get you down, then maybe it's time for a change--not in your situation, but in your attitude.  If you can learn to make the best of any situation, you can remove a formidable obstacle that stands between you and your dreams."

3.  A Bad Fit
"Sometimes a case of mismatched abilities, interests, personality, or values can be a major contributor to chronic failure."

4.  Lack of Focus
"Anybody can make an honest mistake when things are hectic.  But people lacking focus have trouble not because they're too busy, but because their priorities are out of whack.  And that wastes their time and resources.  If you go from task to task to task without making progress, or you can't seem to reach a goal no matter how much effort you give it, examine your focus.  No one can move forward without it."

5.  A Weak Commitment
"Johann Wolfgang von Goethe addressed the importance of commitment: 'Until one is committed, there is hesitance, the chance to draw back, and always ineffectiveness... The moment one definitely commits oneself... a whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way."
"Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals."

6.  An Unwillingness to Change
"You don't have to love change to be successful, but you need to be willing to accept it.  Change is a catalyst for personal growth.  It gets you out of a rut, it gives you a fresh start, and it affords you an opportunity to reevaluate your direction.  If you resist change, you're really resisting success.  Learn flexibility, or learn to like living with your failures."

7.  A Shortcut Mind-Set
"Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline."
"If you continually give in to your moods or impulses, then you need to change your approach to doing things.  The best method is to set standards for yourself that require accountability.  Suffering a consequence for not following through helps you to stay on track.  Once you have your new standards in place, work according to them, not your moods."
"Truly successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally.  Real success lies in experiencing fear or aversion and acting in spite of it. -Joseph Mancusi"

8.  Relying on Talent Alone
"Adding a strong work ethic to talent is like pouring gasoline on a fire.  It's explosive!"
"The greater your talent, the more likely you are to lean heavily on it and skip the hard day-to-day work of improving it."

9.  A Response to Poor Information
"Successful executives have in common the ability to make weighty decisions based on limited amounts of information.  But they also have in common the ability to gather reliable information to use as they evaluate issues."

10.  No Goals
"A goal is nothing more than a dream with a time limit. - Joe L. Griffith"
"Many people don't have goals because they haven't allowed themselves to dream.  As a result, they don't possess a desire."

"Work on the weakness that weakens you, and there's no telling how far you will go."

Wow!  Powerful stuff!  They should use this book for freshmen college students.  I've shared several ideas and quotes from this book.  If you've missed them click on the post titles below:

The Fear Cycle
Quotes From Failing Forward
Ch 9: Get Over Yourself--Everyone Else Has

My discussions, the quotes, and excerpts are merely glimpses into this amazing book.  You must read it yourself.  It isn't just about business, it will improve all aspects of your life!