Taking Personal Responsibility

When things are not going as planned, it is easy to try to blame everything around us. Whether it's our circumstances, the specific situation or the actions of someone else, we tend to want to look to something that is beyond ourselves. However, if you wish to continue to build toward higher achievement, it is a non-negotiable to take responsibility for yourself and your own circumstances. I don't care if someone else played a part in it or not, or if you have a difficult situation you are dealing with. The bottom line is that, when it's all said and done, at the end of the day you are ultimately responsible where you end up.

A big part of this is realizing that it's not what happens to you that has the final say in where you end up; it's what you do with it, or how you respond to it, that makes all the difference. Jack Canfield calls this "E+R=O", which stands for Event + Response = Outcome. Notice that it's not just Event = Outcome, it's the event plus your response to that event which yields the eventual outcome. Don't blame what happens to you for your lack of success or for the problems in your life. There are an incredible number of stories of people overcoming huge adversities to become successful. The difference between these people and those that never accomplish anything is that instead of using those events as an excuse like so many do, they use it to build their character and to mold them into better people. They use it as a spring board to success rather than a reason for not achieving it.

Wherever you are in your life journey right now, own up to the decisions you've made that got you to where you are. Also realize that it is never to late to make new decisions and get back on track to where you want to go. And always remember that life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride.

Encouraging Others - The Power of Words

I had an interaction at the end of the day today that really opened up my eyes to the power of encouragement. I work in a sales environment, and there is a group of newer sales agents that have been on the phones for only a couple of weeks. They are going through the normal learning curve you'd expect for anyone new on the phones or to a certain type of sales. About a week or so ago I started talking to them more and just throwing out statements to them to like "you'll get one today, I can feel it" or complementing them on a particular thing they said well. Keep in mind also I'm not their trainer or anyone "above" them. I'm one of them; a fellow sales agent. I was talking to one of them at the end of the day today, and over the last several days he had gotten a sale every day after having a period of not getting any. I was giving him congrats, and he made a comment back to me giving me credit for them. I was thrown off a bit and asked him how so. He brought it back to the encouragement he had heard from me, that it had helped him to be able to make those sales. Now, I'm not taking any credit for the sales that he made; and I'm not saying he gave me all the credit. He was the one on the phone that closed the sale. But somehow my words of encouragement, my consistent reminder that he had what it took to make it happen, had had an effect on him and, as he saw it, was at least part of the reason he has had a streak of sales.

Encouraging words go a long way in building people up. It's easy to get down, especially in a sales position where you face constant rejection. Whether you are a leader by title or a fellow co-worker, be encouraging to those around you. You never know what kind of an impact you may have.

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

WSJ.com: Commercial Real Estate