I enjoy speaking with teenagers about their ideas of career and success. In this sluggish economy where it is difficult for young people to find work, I often hear teenagers complain that success is a product of circumstance or luck. These young people perceive acceptance to a top school or an exciting job requires a “parting of the Heavens and the appearance of a guiding light.” Adults associate these attitudes with teenagers who have yet to discover their worth and take responsibility for their lives. Adults, however, are not immune to resigning to circumstances at times and can pay dearly for the relapse. These are my three warning signs that you might be in danger of missing the next turn on your road to success.
Mid-life complacency: When starting out in life or business, the key goals are starkly obvious and centered on survival. But once you get to the point where you can cover the car payment and mortgage and have a little left over, setting new goals can be trickier. Climbing Masloff’s Hierarchy of Needs requires us to clearly understand what will bring us satisfaction and fulfillment while setting goals. And, more important, to believe we are worthy of such success. When people avoid introspection and hope that life will continue just the way it is, they often get a surprise.
Ignoring our environment: Whether considering business, family, or ecology, it all changes daily. We can either accept change or change. Staying connected to the people and customers around you and understanding their evolving needs is critical to mastering change. By actively negotiating how to serve others’ needs and your own, you lower the risk of encountering new circumstances. The key word is “actively.” It is a delusion that people can solve this complex problem in their head. Only clear communication, deliberation and writing down identified goals will clearly guide successful change.
Yielding to unreal obstacles: There are two types of obstacles: real and unreal. When people think about being hindered by circumstances, they usually think of real obstacles like money, education, and discrimination. However, the more crippling obstacles are the unreal obstacles rooted in habits of thought. Self-defeating attitudes and unwillingness to explore new possibilities are far more limiting. Simply put, you have to play to win.
A good coach can help clients discover possibilities and overcome circumstances. Please reply if you want to learn more or argue about circumstances.