I like the story of the woodcutter, who wanted to chop down a huge tree – the tree was so huge, the task felt overwhelming –when he used his axe to chop at the tree, it appeared to make no impact on the tree. But the woodcutter was determined. Every day he chopped the tree 5 times with his axe. After sometime, he started to notice the indent into the tree, which inspired his determination even more, until eventually after a very long time and a lot of practise, he felled the tree.
Let’s apply the woodcutter analogy to life. To success at life we have to be determined and resilient, know what we want and set to, with small steps to achieve our goals and aspirations. Those people who succeed don’t give up, they keep going, even when the going gets tough…
James Dyson, went through more than 5,000 failed prototypes, learning with every mistake, before coming up with the revolutionary vacuum cleaner design.
Michael Jordan claimed to miss 9000 shots, lost 300 games and was trusted with the game winning shot 26 times…and missed. He learned from each experience and had the resilience to grow stronger.
There are many examples where individuals and organisations have dedicated themselves to continuous improvement to achieve success. They are not deterred by difficulties and weaknesses, but actively seek them out, and learn from them.
As humans we are often competing for the similar resources – companies compete for the same clients, applicants for the same job, athletes for the same gold medal. There might only be 1/100th of a second between the winner and second place, but the winner gets all the gold medals. Twenty companies pitch for the same client, but only one will win the project. Two hundred people apply for the same job, but only one person will be appointed.
In situations like these, being just a little bit better than the competition can lead to massive rewards. The margin between good and great is narrower than you might imagine. Small difference in performance can lead to very unequal distribution when repeated over time. This is one reason why creating habits are so important. You only need to be slightly better than the competition but if you are able to maintain a slight edge then your performance and success will give greater success.
The 1 percent rule states you don’t need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You just need to be slightly better. It is merely a reference to the fact that small differences accumulate into significant advantages.
Back to the Woodcutter analogy…many people will say they just don’t achieve their goals. What if it’s in part to do with ‘moving trees’, they give up and move on too early.
If you’d like more information on Resilience Coaching or you know someone who would benefit from this form of personal development, please do get in touch.
Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. Jim Rohn
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