Copy of Networking: Section 5 - Getting it Done - Part 2

Dare to dream 

Walt Disney’s Cinderella sings: “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” Would it have been better for Cinderella to have never seen the castle? Would she have been happier never knowing anything but the cinders? 

 Most times, we are so limited by what we think is practical that we don’t see what is possible. Look up for a moment from the ground directly in front of you and see the world of possibilities all around you! You don’t have to be daring to dream of improving your situation. In fact, if you never visualize a desired future, you cannot start to make it happen. Our dreams, hopes and aspirations are acts of faith. Faith moves mountains. 

“… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 
Hebrews 11:1, King James Version 

Some people actually do live happily ever after. Why shouldn’t you? Dare to dream. Exercise faith. Make it happen. 

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.” 
— Joseph Campbell 

 Set outrageous goals 

If you are going to dream, why not dream big? Miracles happen. Outrageous challenges have a special mystique and have the potential to generate unusual success. 

  • Impress yourself with dramatic results. 

  • Amaze your friends. 

  • Pump up your determination to do the unusual. 

  • Focus on a single goal. 

  • Keep that goal constantly in front of you. 

  • Put up signs and stickers everywhere to remind yourself. 

  • Infect everyone with your enthusiasm. 

“Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.” 
— Helen Keller 

 “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” 
— Goethe 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 
— Margaret Mead

 Preparation + Opportunity = Advancement 
(make your own luck) 

Some people always seem to have the worst luck. Sometimes, refrigerators really do fall out of the sky. But, most of the time, not being ready means that people don’t even notice opportunities when they happen. Or, they go charging blindly into every quick-gratification scheme they see, getting disillusioned, and abandoning their investment. 

Other people seem to have the knack for making their own good luck. It helps to have already thought about what you stand for and where you want to go next. Then, when the right door opens to you, you won’t need to hesitate to step through. Preparation seems to have a way of attracting opportunities. Without preparation, you are not in a position to take advantage of opportunities even if you recognize them.  

Opportunities ARE available. Some just seem to fall out of the sky. Others will wander by when you least expect them. But, they may not wait around for you. You may have to already have your resources (and willingness to commit them) ready. Then, when the right opportunity comes, just reach out and grasp it.  

Or, you may have to just start digging and create your own opportunities. In any event, this boldness to advance seems to create a momentum toward success. Some people will just envy your good luck. 

“Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.” 
 — W.H. Murray, Member of the Second Himalayan Expedition 

Keep on keeping on 

Some people just seem to have trouble with everything they try. When things don’t seem to be working out fast enough, they give up and try something else. The problem is that by not sticking persistently to any one thing, they consistently discard their efforts by moving on too soon. 

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 
— Calvin Coolidge

 Jonas, a National Manager, explained his formula for success. “Keep on keeping on. The world will make room for the man who knows where he is going.” He explained: “If I could give the reason for our success, I could do it with just a couple of words: consistent persistence. Line upon line. Precept upon precept. There’s no formula to guarantee success in a few months’ time. You have to keep with it. We’re very excited about our business, and that helps others get excited.” 

 “There’s no substitute for hard work.” 
— Thomas Edison

 “Do not turn back when you are just at the goal.” 
— Syrus 

 Doing the right thing before 

I am, at core, a talented problem-solver. Let me offer a couple of pieces of my best advice: 

  1. Before setting out to answer a question, be sure that this is, in fact, the right question. 

  2. Before setting out to solve a problem, be sure that this is, in fact, the right problem. 

No amount of faith, hard work, commitment, or persistence serves for good unless you are moving in the right direction. Have you engaged both your heart and your head? Did you do your due diligence and make sure that this was a good idea? 

Fixing mistakes 

 “Everything we enjoy in society is a direct result of the accumulated learning derived from millions of mistakes. No mistakes, no progress. Yet we still look at making a mistake as embarrassing, wrong, an act bordering on sin. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re doing new things, taking risks, stretching yourself. You’re growing, learning.” 
— Robert White 

When you make a mistake, fix it and move on. And, be kind to others when they make mistakes. I remember a story about the head of a major corporation being urged to fire a vice-president for failing to make a profit on a $150 million investment. A factory had to be closed and the employees there had to be let go. The president responded, “Why should I fire him? I just invested $150 million in his education.” 

Some stubborn, self-referential people can’t learn from mistakes. You may have to drop them as friends or business associates. Lord help them. If you’re one of those thoughtful, introspective people who can actually learn from the mistakes of others, you are already enjoying many blessings. 

“The first time you make a mistake, it’s just a mistake. The second time, it’s carelessness. After the third time, I assume that it’s your philosophy.” 
— Ronan Graybear 

 Doing the right thing after 

There will come times when you realize that what you are doing no longer seems to make sense; it no longer has meaning or value to you. Change happens. It can be a good thing. 

When you discover that you are doing the wrong thing, just stop. Sometimes it will be a real struggle to understand what the right thing is, but don’t give up and don’t just go carelessly back to the old known-and-familiar. You want to be doing the right thing, don’t you? Even if it requires change? 

Sometimes you just need to make a tactical change; like choosing to ride a different horse. This is called lateral movement or translation. These choices may be important and difficult, but they are relatively easy to get past. 

On the other hand, personal growth demands that you will run into situations that are not explained by your present worldview. Personal development calls on you to make strategic changes that transcend your previous way of thinking; they move you vertically. Transcending your present limits and discovering your next level of worldview is a real challenge.  

When you have successfully completed your struggle you will have a larger, more detailed understanding of what’s happening and why. Your life will never be the same, but that’s probably a good thing. Congratulations.