Do it the wrong way

The world has become a hazardous place.

Companies and jobs vanish in the air like every day and no one seems to be safe from the transformational forces in power.

Coaching and training are being sought like the miraculous remedy and safety net and yet they don’t always do the trick. Not even close.

Politicians, business gurus, personal growth experts and renowned motivational speakers and best selling authors are breaking their backs issuing recipes, guidelines, 7 or 12 steps for success, ‘wisdomous’ quotes, blasts from the past.. Countries get into warfare redistributing territories and influence..And yet .. things are still in labour. Our lives are not changing, small and middle-size businesses are crumbling down, people are going bankrupt, economies are crushing.. And nobody seems to be getting ahead.

Surfing the internet and the social networks gave me a strange idea that there might be three pillars that hold us back. And by ‘us’ I mean all people – leaders and followers, politicians and artists, business people and public sector people, rich and poor.. everyone.


1. We let ambition for success kill our happiness

Strive for ‘success’ has become the mantra of the western world. Few people associate success with anything else but riches, public recognition and feeling like a winner. So many people are talking about “Strategies for success’, ‘7 steps to success’ or ‘The habits of successful people’ that you can easily become convinced that 1) you are not doing well enough and 2) success is something of vital importance.. and you’ll be stupid not to want it.

Moreover, success is turning into a measure of how valuable you are as a being. If you are not doing what successful people are doing – why the hell are you alive?

So, we are suggested that we want to be successful – wealthy, powerful and invincible.

And we all buy that and line up for the race. Running up the corporate ladder, battling up the career path, paying for higher education and qualification ( or for diplomas that verify that), we fall into the pattern of working hours and defining ourselves through the eyes of others. We cannot be successful if we are not recognized as such. And we sweat and run. because we believe that the more successful we get, the more valuable we become – for our employers, for our friends and for our families. We go to work to up the enties and win big. We come home beat and buy those vacations to exotic places, feeling relieved we can afford them and consoling ourselves that we do it for our loved ones. Although we spend half the vacation time on the e-mail or the phone, solving work problems. because that’s how we keep the life standard that we believe our sacrifices are worth.

Some of the popular motivational speakers sell us the idea that success is to make millions of dollars and work less. Enjoy yourself and be happy. You don’t have to work 24/7. Just be yourself And you’ll be successful. And you say to yourself “WTF?” How can i have been so stupid to work like a dog and worry so much? So, if I work like a dog I am stupid because i don’t see  millions in my bank account. And all the feeling of being a winner is gone with the wind. And you subject once again to somebody else’d idea of what your value is.

So, I say, do it the wrong way! Don’t stop there at the miraculous idea that somebody else is selling you. Define what you want out of YOUR life. Is your idea of success associated with riches, winning and recognition? What if your idea of your own value is not associated with the popular concept of success? What if it is not success that you need? What makes you feel fulfilled and full of vital energy? What brings you most satisfaction than anything else? What and who make you fall in love with the person that you are? What would you be doing if you had enough money? What would you like to have in your life to feel free? What brings up your creative juices? What fills your heart with joy?

And make your own idea of success.


2. We hold on to what has been good before as a safety net

Business leaders are familiar with business analysis and calculated risk. All areas of human experience create patterns of behaviour that bring the feeling that if you follow the process steps, you’ll get to your goal. You want examples? Take your pick: “The habbits of the successful people”, “The steps to the successful sale”, “The rules for a happy life”, “The stages of handling grief”.. And they are all valid. They have been extracted from millions of situations when things have happened in that way. So, there’s a good chance that they work for you too.

Many professionals are looking for “the good practices’, “the proven methods”, “the winning strategies”. I often meet with clients who like to say “that’s how it is in this business”. But all these are only saying how it “has been” so far. Now, when we live in these turbulent times, when everything is changing and the turmoil is causing so much resistance, acting like it used to work before may not be your crucial success factor.

We need these as a form of defense system – a guarantee that bad things are more unlikely to happen and we will win the battle.

So I say, do it the wrong way! Leave the safety net! Take a leap of faith and listen to your guts. That’s, of course, if you have the guts. Take a risk and do something that you have never done before. The world is not what it used to be. And failure is not as bad as it used to be. Nowadays failure is accepted as a proof that you’ve had a chance to grow. To rise and fall, then rise again. This is how it has always been.

Now, you might say, wait, you just said it is better to leave what has been behind. And you’d be right. Don’t trust me.. or any other person. Trust yourself. Make sure you trust your guts and not your fears. Get out of your comfort zone and the safety net. You might fall and it might hurt. So what? How did you learn to ride a bike? How did you become the champion in that competition you won? How did you learn how to walk? How did you learn how to speak? Not through conforming to your fears, right?

Get out there and do it wrong!


3. We wait for someone else to bring us the solution.. and the ‘salvation’

We wait for the strategies and goals set by those above us in the company of family hierarchy. We look for guidance from people who say smart things and write clever books. We look up to those who seem to have grasped the essence of wisdom and have achieved what they see as valuable. Whether it is a business, spiritual or physical venture, we look for someone who has walked the path before us. And tell us, hey, it’s great here, you’ll be happy and prosperous, come over, it’s safe.

And that’s all right. As long as you are not waiting. For a person like that to show us, kick your ass and make you move. There’s one driving force for all we achieve in life and that’s what we WANT. Not want we need, or what we have to do. Not our fears – they are there to hold us back, to balance our desires and make sure we don’t commit suicide accidentally. The leaders and gurus are there to shed light where it is dark. We may be grown-ups but we are still afraid of the dark. The unknown. Where noone has been before.

And when we hear the voice of those who have been brave enough to step out in the light and say “Hey, trust me, I know”, we are likely to follow. Because they stepped ou and showed more courage than us. Or are better spoken than us. Or have read more than us. And then we get  the impression that what they can say is of higher value than what we know and have been through ourselves. You will hear them say “Only you can do this”.. and you may even nod in agreement.. But will you act on it?

So I say, do it the wrong way!

Take control of your life instead of waiting for someone else to control it for you. All those external ideas may be as wonderful as can be but unless you make them YOURS, they will not make you act and achieve. When was the last time you stepped into the unknown without somebody else’s advice or permission? What would you do if there was no one there to steer or guide your actions? What is it that you really want to do? What are you afraid of? Do you need that fear? What can you do with it? How you can overcome it? What will you aim at if you jump?

Staying where we are may give the feeling of safety. And it may be the best choice. Or not.






Leave a Reply