ExperThis blog is featured in Khaleej Times – Sept. 2, 2011 – Page – 19

“Rome was not built in a day” neither is the success of any individual.  But every successful person owes his or her success to a few principals absorbed in their life.   And in this article I would like to share “7” fundamental practices that are so fundamental that they are excluded from the repertoire when sharing secrets to success.

Learn the art of Question: Einstein once said that if you gave him an hour to solve a problem and his life depended on getting the right answer, he would spend fifty five minutes on figuring out what QUESTIONS to ask.

In a study few professionals were asked “have you considered a different number of alternatives?”  They simply said “yes” and then went on with their work.  But when they were asked “what are the TWO other alternatives you could use in this situation?” They discovered NEW possibilities.  This is the power of Questions because people in power ask questions.

Disagree: People who are disagreeable earn more than people who are agreeable, and the gap is biggest among men, according to an analysis of four surveys spanning almost 20 years. Men who are significantly less agreeable than average earn 18.3% more than men who are significantly more agreeable, while the comparable figure for women is 5.47%, says the study, led by Beth A. Livingston of Cornell and presented at a recent meeting of the Academy of Management.

Disagreement helps in finding new ideas, disagreement helps in mitigating risks and disagreements help in exploring new areas that would have been left unexplored. Hence when you are a part of a discussion or a meeting; disagree.

Read books: If you eat three times a day you will be fed.  But if you read three times a day you will be WISE…….these words came out during a conversation held between Shimon Peres, Nobel Prize winner and Robin Sharma – motivational speaker, when asked “Sir when do you read?”   And Shimon replied “Robin, when do I not read?  And proceeded to say, “Books are my constant companion.”

Leaders are readers.  Abraham Lincoln was a self-educated and a self-confessed avid reader, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela being voracious readers themselves encouraged others to improve themselves educationally.  In the world of business – leaders like Jack Welch, Bill Gates, have all been voracious readers.   And the ancient Chinese wisdom corroborates………. Books are a Pot of Gold”.  So go ahead pick up a book that aligns with your vision.

Spend time with people who have been there: and the Chinese wisdom corroborates to itTo know the road ahead, ask those coming back”.   Helen Keller who became blind and deaf at the age of 19 months was guided by Anne Sullivan herself a visually challenged to overcome the physical challenges and emerged more powerful than any able bodied person. So spend time with people who have been there “Learn all you can from the mistakes of others because you won’t have time to make them yourself”

Find a mentor: Leaders have mentors and coaches. Jim Rohn (author, motivational speaker) was mentor to Anthony Robbins (author, motivational speaker).  Benioff founder/CEO of www.Salesforec.com and a former employee of Apple said in 2003 he and Steve Jobs had a discussion on how Salesforce.com ran its business.  Jobs advised Benioff to dream bigger and to think about the bigger “ecosystem.”  Benioff took Jobs’ advice and soon, Salesforce.com introduced an successful app store called  App Exchange.  So find yourself a mentor.

Stretch: Imagine how an unused, unchallenged, un-stretched mind feels?  Rotten!  Some people make the mistake of thinking that they get enough of a mental workout within their typical day.  What they fail to realize is that no matter what we do for a living, our brain gets pretty much used to the routine.  Hence continue to stretch.

Stretching does not apply to mind but in every sphere of your life including health.  Stretch, set yourself stretch goals because success happens when you add that little extra to the ordinary to create EXTRAORDINARY.

Compound Effect: The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices.  Whether you’re using this strategy for improving your health, relationships, finances, or anything else for that matter, the changes are so subtle, they’re almost imperceptible.
We have to keep working away taking baby steps, consistently and efficiently, before we can begin to see the payoff.

Don’t try to fool yourself into believing that a mega-successful athlete didn’t live through regular bone-crushing drills and thousands of hours of practice. He got up early to practice—and kept practicing long after all others had stopped. He faced the sheer agony and frustration of the failure, loneliness, hard work and disappointment it took to become No. 1.   The life and the lifestyle of your dreams can be yours when you put the Compound Effect to work for you. (Adapted from Darren Hardy’s Blog and the book, The Compound Effect)

“Rome was not built in a day”  neither is the  success of every individual.  So go ahead practice the above principal and give me your feedback @ vinod.mehra@gmail.com

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