Thinking about the late, great Jim Rohn, I remember him once saying that a person’s life often changes on the day that they say “I’ve had it”; when they reach a point where they just cannot tolerate the status quo any longer.
It wasn’t long before I started thinking about the seven things that successful people might decide they’d had enough of. It made me realise that I am not quite over with this little series just yet.
So here we go; fasten your seat belt for the 7 Hadits of Highly Effective People.
Hadit #1 – I am NOT Going to React that Way Ever Again!
When I attended an Enneagram weekend one time, I remember someone asking me what makes me angry. At the time, I couldn’t really think of anything specific. But since then, I have come to realise that unjust criticism is something that tends to do it. I don’t mean criticism – I really don’t mind criticism too much; especially, constructive criticism. But unjust criticism is when there is no substance to the matter at all.
It has a tendency to bring out the worst in me. But, you know, as Stephen Covey said, you may not be able to control what people do or say to you, but you can control your reaction. That is the essence of being proactive, of course. So, as I know this is a particular weakness of mine, I am working on it. I expect that many successful people have, at some time, had to resolve to change their programmed reactions in some way.
Hadit #2 – I am NOT Going Back to that Job!
Recently, I heard millionaire blogger John Chow, talking about his first job, flipping burgers in McDonalds– he said he lasted about four hours. Of course, it may not be a smart thing to just walk out especially when you have family responsibilities. But many successful people have come to the point where they just could not stand their jobs any longer and they did, indeed, just walk out. At such moments we are standing at a fork in the road and we cannot know which way will lead to the best outcome for us.
Though, in a parallel universe, there may be another version of ourselves who made the opposite choice, we will only ever inhabit this one universe and we cannot know whether or not the other choice might have been better. But, there is something that drives successful people to understand that life has a tendency to remain the same. If you stay doing the same things, you are probably going to continue getting the same results. So if you have a vision (An End in Mind) and you want to make better progress toward it, you probably have to do something different and that’s why many successful people have experienced this particular moment in their lives.
Hadit #3 – I am NOT Going Back to That Place!
A number of years back, we used to go to the Comedy Club in the town where we lived. It was before the days of smoking bans in public places. We saw some great comedians and had some very enjoyable nights there. But every time I got home, I would feel dirty. I could actually feel the smoke in my hair (despite having so little of it) and smell it on my clothes. I would immediately shower and change.
Then one day, I said to my wife, “I am not going back to that place!” And we never did – not even after the smoking ban was lifted; it just goes to illustrate the power of habit. We had got out of the habit of going and always seemed to forget that the club had become smoke-free and was still producing great comedy. Certain places are just bad for us, in some way, and the smart thing to do is stop going as soon as we realise it. Your own health is one of the most important considerations for you and looking after it is an aspect of getting your priorities straight i.e. putting First Things First.
Hadit #4 – I’m NOT Going to Think that Way Anymore!
Back in the days when I taught professional development, at my old place of work, we would regularly get people asking for a ‘negotiation skills course’. There was just one occasion, when I taught the seven habits, that I actually serviced the requirement. What I discovered was that people do not generally think that trying to construct win-win solutions is what negotiation is about.
Your attitude affects so many things in your life. You can be positive and optimistic or you can choose to be an old misery guts – it’s up to you. But whichever choice you make, it will certainly affect your life. To Think Win-Win is fundamentally to acquire a particular attitude of mind. It is the right attitude to take into any kind of negotiation situation because it will help you to achieve the best possible result and you can certainly acquire that attitude as soon as you are ready to flip that switch.
Hadit #5 – I am NOT Going to Say That Ever Again!
The essence of communicating better is learning to listen better, not speaking better. We all think, of course, that we can listen perfectly well as it is. But many people actually confuse hearing with listening. Hearing is passive but listening is active – that’s the essential difference. When we think we are listening, we are often only hearing: hearing what we want; hearing what we think; hearing what we already know.
To really listen is to take-on the viewpoint of the other person so completely that you can even feel the same feelings as that person – that is the hallmark of true empathy. So when you feel yourself about to contradict the person who is speaking, try to stop yourself. Try to understand that you may have actually misunderstood and, even if you haven’t, there is always room for another person’s opinion on the matter. Try to detach yourself from your own viewpoint and really try to understand the other person’s position. If you do this, you will get on with people a whole lot better.
Hadit #6 – I am NOT Going to Compromise Anymore!
To settle for a compromise seems like such a reasonable outcome that we are almost pre-programmed to accept it. But my own definition of compromise – of which I am very proud – is that compromise is when both parties get what they don’t want. It is when they decide to settle for less. I bet you are compromising in some way, in your life – right now.
Do you remember the story that Zig Ziglar once told about the guy who would fish for tiddlers? If he caught a big fish he would always throw it back. He was choosing to settle for less than life was prepared to offer him. Do you want to know the reason why? It was because, he only had a small frying pan. You almost certainly need to get a bigger pan too – a bigger pan means, you need to have bigger expectations, of course!
Hadit #7 – I’m NOT Going to Be that Person Anymore!
Perhaps, like me, you might periodically look at your belly beginning to bulge over your trousers or, if you are female, the excess baggage you may be carrying at the rear. You think to yourself that it’s time you started eating a bit better or exercising a bit more. You change for a while and then you forget about it until the next time. Of course, weight is just an example; there might be other things you don’t like about yourself.
But then one day, you make a decision – a real decision – to stop being that person. You consequently make some changes but you decide that they will be permanent. You begin to exercise regularly – it becomes a habit – and you begin to eat better. Consequently you change your life for good. And you really do have the power to be the person you want to be. Remember that it all begins with a decision – it begins when you are ready to say, “You know what? I’ve had it!”
Watch Jim Rohn’s I’ve Had it Video