24 November 2013
What’s the best way to become successful? Is there a secret to it? Just how successful can you become?
Wherever you are on life’s long ladder, imagine that there is a key to unlocking all of the next stages.
So what is the key? Where is it, you might ask yourself?
Well, whilst almost every person across the globe chases dreams and rainbows. Many people die trying but very few seldom arrive at their desired destination.
Yet I believe the answer is a lot closer to home than you realise. If I were to tell you the answer was inside of you and the only person who has the key is yourself, would you be interested in locating it and unlocking your potential? Are you interested in taking on the challenges that you have dreamt of and talked about for years, but this time win, every time?
Are you hungry to learn? Are you ready for the challenge?
I have been interested in working out why some things work for some people and not for others. Whilst I have asked many questions to many people from the greatest living entrepreneurs and athletes, to the greatest mums and dads, they all give me different answers, I struggled to understand how to articulate what I was learning.
I was interviewed by the infamous Chris Maguire this week at a breakfast event in Manchester. I listened to the speakers before me who talked about becoming successful and who all gave advice like, “get your business plan in shape!” and “understand your accounts and balance sheet.”
These might help some people, but they are not things I have ever aimed at or aspired to follow. Where is the dreaming? Where is the passion? These are the things you need in the fire that burns inside of you.
When it was my turn, I did my best to explain that it’s not difficult to become successful. I explained that to bridge the gap between small and large you have to find a formula that works for you and get organised.
But that sounds easy, yet you can do all of that and still wind up back at the start. Whilst this might give you a slight gain on your competitor, winning is an attitude, not a set of lessons. There is one lesson though.
It has to be the greatest lesson in my opinion, because it is focussed on how you tackle everything ahead of you. So this one piece of understanding can be thought and applied to everything you do in the future. It has to be the biggest single piece of understanding that has helped us create UKFast and everything we work towards.
And until today, I didn’t know how best to explain it.
I have spent years explaining to people about the two sides of the brain and how they both act in conflict with each other, but what does that mean?
Purely by chance I went for a coffee with a great friend today. It was an off the cuff remark, knowing how interested I am in the subject, she said “Oh, I saw something today and thought of you.”
It read, An old Cherokee Indian talking with his son, said,
“Son there’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is EVIL
It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is GOOD
It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.”
The boy thought about it and asked,
“Father, which one wins?”
The old man replied,
“The one you feed.”
I love this story as it explains something that I have been trying to interpret and teach for years.
If you look at every event in life, every comment, every crossroad, you can approach it in one of two ways; embrace it or fight against it. Love it or hate it. Bitch about it or accept and congratulate it.
It’s at this junction, success and failure is poised in the balance and sadly we so often take the wrong road.
We have all wronged, ourselves, others, we have all fed the wrong wolf when we have been low. You could even create a good argument that society as a whole is encouraging us to feed the wrong wolf. Looking at the entrepreneur shows, Dragons Den, and entrepreneurs like Mr. You’re Fired! (Alan Sugar) and quickly you see they are setting such a terrible example of what business is really like.
The greatest entrepreneurs I have met; Tom Bloxham, James Timpson, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, and yes! In that order, are all incredibly kind. They are the very best listeners, they are extraordinarily patient. They have met their wolves head on and have them firmly at bay. There’s a time to feed the ferocious side of your personality, but you need to tame it first. To tame something you need to understand it.
This poetic story teaches us something so valuable that is far too easy to miss.
And why is it our kids are taught Maths, English, Woodwork and so on, yet nobody is explaining the life lessons that are the difference between success and failure. Why am I learning this now?
So whilst this isn’t a piece of “get rich quick” advice on the outside, if you ignore and starve the evil wolf and nurture and feed the good inside of you, mark my words, you will be riding on the back of the fastest growing wave of your life.
Recognising that there are two sides to the brain and that they are in conflict is the single biggest life lesson I learnt when I was around 31 years old. I have been trying to understand why and how to organise my life and business around this concept ever since and whilst we’ve done ok, we have so much more to learn and so much more we can do to contribute towards other people’s success and wellbeing. I see a world where one day everyone understands this and knowledge like this is common place. It will be in my lifetime.
None of us have any idea of what lies in store. However, if you have a set of tools that help to give you a genuinely positive outcome at every stage of your life, that is all you can do. Life is not about “you”, it’s about how you make others feel. It’s being able to revisit and being welcomed back. If you live completely for the moment and feed the “here and now” in you, if you disadvantage others along the way, those wolves that live in you, live in others too. Be mindful that wolves hunt in packs and they are quick to turn on you.