Friday, February 21, 2014

Axiom 47: Work in Reverse

"The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true - action precedes motivation." -Robert J. Mckain

"Begin with the end in mind." -Stephen Covey

When Setting Goals

When you're trying to accomplish something always start with the goal in mind and work backwards. 

Here's an example: Let's say you want to write a book. First, visualize what a successful final product will look like.Then write down everything that it will take to complete the book. In this example: brainstorming, research, writing, editing, book design, publishing, and marketing. Come up with a realistic timeline on how long it will take to complete all of these. Then plot on your calendar the date you want to complete your book and the dates you need to finish each individual part.

You should always work in reverse once you set goals. It is the only way to hold yourself accountable and make sure you know what is needed to finish.

When You Get Stuck

When you get stuck on a project work it in reverse.

A few years ago I was doing my family genealogy. Once I traced back my family to my great-great grandfather I was stuck. After weeks of being stuck I was about to give up. Then I had the idea to work in reverse. I started with the older generations and tried to work my way forward to my great-great grandfather. It worked. I was able to complete my family tree from working the problem from the reverse direction.

When You Really Want to Understand

If you need a different perspective on something work in reverse. You can never truly understand something unless you look at it from all the angles. Looking at things at a different angles causes breakthroughs and explosive growth. Think of something you do everyday and think of a way to do it totally different tomorrow.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Axiom 46: Keeping Appearances - The Good & Bad

"Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you.
-Erma Bombeck

Every morning when people passed by Benjamin Franklin's print shop on their way to work they would see Ben through the window hard at work. When they walked past his shop again on their way home at night they still saw him in there working away. Quickly word spread that Franklin was an extremely hard worker. People trusted him with their print jobs because they knew he would work hard for them.

The reality of it all was that Franklin new how important keeping appearances was. He knew he had to appear to be a hard worker to grow his business. The truth is, however, Franklin wasn't always hard at work from from sunup to sundown. During the day he frequently shut his windows and took naps. He was probably no more or less productive than most other hard working people.

If you were truly successful at what you wanted to be in life, what would that look like?

Stop and picture what true success for you would look like. Don't wait until you're successful to start changing your appearance. Instead change your appearance now and let success follow. Sometimes you just have to fake it until you become it.

Don't fall down that slippery slope...

There's a difference between "keeping an appearance" and "keeping up with the Joneses". The goal is for you to give the appearance of success so that success will follow, not to get caught up in a materialistic trap for which you can never win. If you're caught up in having to buy expensive things just to keep up an appearance then maybe you should rethink what appearance are you really trying to keep?