Everyone wants to succeed, but where does success start? We all have a deep desire to move forward and see our dream become reality, but how do we make it happen? The venerable “Dean of Personal Development,” Earl Nightingale, put it in these terms: “Success can be defined as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” In other words, you become what you think about.
Nightingale compares the human mind to fertile land. The land doesn’t care what types of seeds the farmer plants, it will return what it’s given. The mind, in much the same way, will return either success or failure depending on what we have planted. The key is to set specific goals for what we want to achieve (plant the seed) and then work hard and nurture those goals. Believe in your ability to achieve them.
The people at Simple Truths put together an excellent three-minute video that describes the seeds of success. If you were a fan Nightingale’s Our Changing World radio program you’ll be delighted to hear his voice again. If (like me) you have no recollection of that program, you’ll still benefit from the great message. Take a few minutes and watch this video.
Decide what you want and “plant” the goal in your mind.
The Product Management Perspective: Product success usually starts the same way as personal success: someone has an idea. The rules that apply to personal success also apply to product success (with some adaptations): discover the value of ideas for new products by doing market research; understand the personas, the potential users and buyers of the products; then “plant the seeds” of the product by writing clear requirements and designs. The process takes time and multiple iterations; it requires vision and hard work. Be the leader in discovering and cultivating great ideas.
An important aspect to success is the ability to envision the outcome. People who accomplish great things see themselves winning the game, closing the deal, getting the standing ovation, long before it ever happens. For some this concept seems weird and for many others it seems downright irrational. However, many people have proven it to be true and have given evidence to back their claims.
In the midst of an economic downturn people are looking for hope and evidence that things will turn out right. The tendency is to hunker down and act conservatively until things pick back up. In a recent post, Dr. Paul addresses this topic with a succinct (and famous) quote by Earl Nightingale: “You become what you think about.” Obviously your thinking cannot magically change the economy or make customers start buying more, yet the act of focusing on the intended outcome causes you to look at things differently. You begin to see opportunities in ways you had not seen before. Seeing the positive outcome is especially important for leaders. They must focus on doing the right things for their employees and customers, and foresee their organizations making it through the downturn and rising to new heights on the other side.
A note to those who are looking for employment, struggling to get new business or otherwise anxious about your current (personal) situation: take the time to map out what you want to achieve and then see yourself achieving it. David Meerman Scott wrote a recent post on how the old rules of finding a job do not work in today’s market. He wrote a post two days later with specific examples of how using the New Rules are working to help people land new jobs in a tough economy. I HIGHLY recommend these posts for anyone looking for work. Study what he writes, take action and see yourself succeeding.
The Product Management Perspective: Product managers have to churn out products with resources from teams they do not control. Their ability to inspire team members to do their work effectively is key. Look ahead with optimism and work hard to help others catch the vision.