Here they are.
1. The Rule of 5 by John C. Maxwell
One of the best pieces of advice came from John Maxwell. And I’m sure this is unjust to hundreds or even thousands of great advice this man has to offer you. But if there’s one I will always keep close to me, it is the power of Momentum – The Rule of 5.
Mr. John Maxwell starts by asking you the following questions – slightly adapted version from what I recall.
“If you have an ax and your goal is to cut a tree, can you be sure that by the end of the day, that tree will fall?”
Nope. Especially if it is a big tree, it might take years to cut. You cannot do it in one day.
“What if every single day you pick up your ax and you hit five times the tree? What do you think will eventually happen?”
The tree will fall.
The difference between the forever-wannabes (or as Brian Tracy says “The Someday Island”) and those who actually achieve things is created through consistency and momentum and does not rely on ephemeral impetus.
2. Locus of control
There are two types of people: those who have an internal locus of control and those who have an external locus of control.
By itself, the locus of control stands for the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control.
The big chunk of society will always find an excuse for anything that happens to them. If they aren’t promoted, it is certainly because of the supervisor’s shortsightedness. If their son has a terrible attitude at school, undoubtedly it is because of the teachers’ poor education standards. If they don’t feel as accomplished as they should be, it is because of external forces that limit their time and choices.
If they don’t feel as accomplished as they should be, it is because of external forces that limit their time and choices.
You can easily identify this tendency in a normal chat with someone, by paying close attention to the way they speak. Even if they aren’t excusing themselves, you will see that people with external locus of control tend to externalize the responsibility, even in what concerns to other people.
If you’re speaking about someone who is really “successful” – whatever that means – the person with lack of internal control can easily find a reason to the other’s success: it can be richness, abnormal lifestyle conditions, or luck, but the reason is always related to something that this person cannot have. Because if he had the same conditions, obviously, he would do exactly the same or even better.
The entrepreneurs see the world differently.
They pull toward themselves the responsibility for everything that happens in their life. From the good to the bad stuff, everything is on us. Even if ultimately there’s an outcome that doesn’t have a direct correlation to this kind of person, an individual with an internal locus of control will quickly think on what he could have done better.
You see, the biggest story that any entrepreneur will ever tell to himself is that he can achieve anything, but it will mostly depend on his own capability to make things happen, and not on external and unpredictable events.
3. Reap what you sow
This is an old one.
Many times related to “God’s Justice”, the ‘reap what you sow’ principle illustrates an astonishing truth about how why ‘what goes around comes around’” exist.
Some say “You can’t litter negativity everywhere and then wonder why you’ve got a trashy life”.
Others say “Life is an ECHO. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you will reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others exist in you.”
Now, even though I’m aware this principle can easily sound cliché, the fact is that it has really changed my perspective toward life, as I think it can also change yours.
It is a principle that not only provides the basis for delaying gratification and developing long-term perspective, but it also relates to the Law of Attraction – what you see is what you get.
If I may tell you my personal experience, prior to 2014 I used to be quite negative and critical. I used to think that I could spend all my day expressing my criticism for everything around me, from people’s behaviors to the politics corruption, to the type of conversations we have, etc.
However, what I didn’t know is that as long as I had that angle, that was what I was planting. So, “life” – if there’s such thing – was only bringing me more of the things I was constantly looking for: more things to criticize, dumber behaviors around me to comment, more corruption news to piss me off, and so on.
So, from the moment I started studying these concepts, namely the reap what you sow principle, everything changed in my life. I am suddenly capable of achieving my goals – and I started failing a lot more often too.
I’m a much more confident and positive person, which naturally reflects on the way other people treat and offer to help me. Obviously, this is a mere consequence of my initial predisposition to create a better world and to solve some of the problems people have.
I’ve changed my perspective from a “smart yet salty guy” to a wannabe leader who does not embrace and resign with the current status quo, and who wants to inspire people and drive change in the world.
If you are turned toward failures, concerns, and excuses, it is only natural that you won’t see the opportunities passing by on your back.
But if you turn around and become receptive to those opportunities, then, my friend, great things will happen to you.
Do you feel inspired with these three hacks I introduced? There is one more, I will reveal it in the last part of the article. Meanwhile, let me know how do you like these ones in the comment section below.