Rabbit always thought he was clever and dashed around all the time. Somehow Winnie the Pooh, who just relied on his instincts and plodded along, always seemed to get better outcomes! At work it is not necessarily those who put the most effort in who get promoted, but the people who get the results. Trying harder doesn’t seem to matter.
Let’s look at the word “Trying”.
“Trying” implies maximum effort for minimum results. When you think about it, you will realise that when we use the word “try” we often imply failure. Just look at the following sentences:
I tried to climb to the top of the hill.
I tried to finish it on time.
I tried to be friendly.
Do you think I was successful?
In any of them?
So let’s stop “trying” and start getting results!
If you are putting in a lot of effort, but not getting the results here are some ways to change that:
- Put first things first – Often most of our effort is spent on doing activities that are not important. Stephen Covey’s Habit 3 of his book 7 Habits of highly Effective People is about focussing your attention on the things that are most important. Be clear on the things that are important for you to do and do them first. Be honest with yourself about where you are putting your effort and how you are spending your time.
- If something you are doing isn’t working, do something different- We get better by adjusting the way we do things. Often we spend a lot of time repeating actions that don’t work over and over again. If you ever feel as though you are hitting your head against the wall, stop! Look at what you are doing! Learn from what doesn’t work! When things don’t work, ask yourself what can you do better next time?
- Forget perfection- It is easy to let the need for perfection stop you from doing things. The need for perfection is often an excuse for procrastination. It is more important to get things done, than not do them because they aren’t perfect, yet! Aim to be outstanding instead! Are the hours you spend perfecting your marketing going to give you better results than getting your marketing out there? You don’t have to things right the first time, but by doing things; you can evaluate how things went and improve the next time.
- Don’t underestimate what you are achieving – Sometimes it feels as though we are putting a lot of effort into things, but we are getting nowhere. Never underestimated the skills you are acquiring along the way. People often give up just at the point of success because they can’t see what they have already achieved.
- Trust your instincts - Learn to trust your instincts. Successful business people trust their gut feel. Anyone watching The Apprentice will hear Sir Alan Sugar talk about his gut feel about candidates. Winnie the Pooh was lead home when he was lost because the honey-pots were calling to his tummy. He hadn’t been able to hear them because Rabbit was talking so much!
If you want to be a little more like Winnie the Pooh and a bit less like Rabbit, stop trying so hard!
Please add your comments and let me know what your thoughts are!