"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Monday, August 27, 2007

Paradoxical Progress & Failing Forward

All individual desires, goals, and dreams use the currency of problems. Problems are the answer, in a paradoxical kind of way. The entrepreneur will usually find an unmet need, and provide the service or product. The unmet need is a problem, and by assimilating this problem into the mind and using creativity you produce a result or answer. In this instance a person (entrepreneur) actively seeks problems (unmet needs) and the result of fixing this problem is a new business, service, or profitable idea.

Once a problem is experienced, the usual subconscious response is fear, worry, or doubt. The reason we experience this emotion is because we don't have the adequate information, knowledge, or experience, to confidently solve the problem. If you've ever been in sales think about the first time you had the responsibility of closing a deal. You probably were nervous, fearful, or doubted your abilities. How you handled this experience, whether you succeeded initially or not, either sparked growth and development opportunities; or caused you to quit and dislike selling.

But, what the problem does is bring you face-to-face with your limit, the edge of your personal ability. If you solve the problem you grow beyond your past limits, if you don't solve it you get information to better deal with the issue next time. The key to open your potential resides in you. You can embrace problems as calls to action and grow rapidly, or better yet the self-motivated individual artificially creates problems. The artificial problem is nothing other than the distance between your current limits and/or abilities, and your wants/desires.

When you, for example, have the desire to become a millionaire; that creates an artificial problem. If the desire is intense enough you will do practically anything to achieve it. This intensity to overcome the artificial problem to arrive at you goal is motivation, and by acquiring loads of information via books, seminars, experience, etc., you grow your current limit to bridge the gap between your current state towards the goal you have in mind. The speed at which you will reach this new personal pinnacle is directly proportional to the amount of experience, information, and knowledge you are able to assimilate.

So to speed up the results you would voraciously seek an abundance of information/experience per unit of time. If one salesman makes 100 phone calls to prospective clients daily; and another salesman makes 300 phone calls to prospective clients and reads one sales book a week, who do you think has a better chance of succeeding faster. Obviously innate abilities have an effect, but so what...everyone can improve anything.

If I have a raspy unruly voice, I can educate myself on how to change it, or hire a professional to help me (again a problem creates an opportunity). If I'm lazy I can learn how to motivate myself. If I'm fat, I can learn how to be lean. If I'm not articulate I can learn to be so...and on...and on. Everyone, including yourself, has reached his/her current level of development by choice.

As if by nature's thrust problems arise at times unexpectedly, this implores you to summon your faculties to find a solution, and if one isn't immediately available it forces you to adopt novelty and gather information to devise strategy and remedy the problem. Thus, our creator's way of gently kicking our behind to keep us growing and to manifest the glory of treasures that are within.

The key is to establish enough references to see, feel, hear, and realize that we can re-interpret or as some psychologists would say re-frame, these seemingly painful experiences, and associate pleasure to them. To associate pleasure to problems that present themselves, and pro-actively create artificial problems (goals), that will induce a willful evolutionary process and empower us. I'm not saying to be masochistic, just simply learn to establish detachment and interpret them in a manner where you can zoom out and "see," and experience the possibilities and hidden treasures that problems present.

Angel Armendariz

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"We are all in Sales. Period." - Tom Peters