Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Are You Overlooking These Fifteen Success Essentials?

It only takes one missing ingredient to ruin the whole batch.

This goes for cookies, pancakes or any other baked goods you might enjoy.

But what about life? What about work? What about love?

These things have ingredients too.

But sometimes we forget to include certain essentials. For example:
1. Art without risk, isn’t. Safe work is rarely celebrated. Let go of the fear that your work is too revealing of your inner world. Be bloody or be broke. What system can you put in place to remove the restriction of your creative expression?

2. Courage without fear, isn’t. Self-doubt is highly underrated. Let go of need to hide the fact that you’re completely terrified and have no idea what you’re doing. Be scared or be screwed. When was the last time you doubted yourself?

3. Creativity without community, isn’t. It’s hard to be creative alone. Let go of the myth that self-expression is a solo act. Be surrounded by creative people or be suffocated by creative drought. Are you still trying to play basketball without a backboard?

4. Friendship without forgiveness, isn’t. Love wasn’t designed to be fair. Let go of the insistence on treating people equally. Be unfair or be unpaired. Whom do you need to give a lifetime pass to?

5. Happiness without circulation, isn’t. Some things shouldn’t be kept to yourself. Let go of the misconception that you need to keep your joy bottled up. Be public about what you love or be pitied. When something amazing happens to you, how many people do you tell?

6. Humor without humanity, isn’t. If people are laughing, people are listening. Let go of the lie that you have to make jokes to be funny. Be yourself or be faced with crickets. Are you artificially injecting laughs or speaking the universal language of human absurdity?

7. Life without witness, isn’t. Everyone needs a good mirror. Let go of the belief that you don’t need an audience to thrive. Be visible or be winking in the dark. Who bears witness to your story?

8. Love without ache, isn’t. If everything’s perfect, somebody isn’t being honesty. Let go of the fairytale that relationships should never have problems. Be struggling or be single. When was the last time your lover annoyed the hell out of you?

9. Marketing without permission, isn’t. Interaction trumps interruption. Let go of the illusion that you can bother people into buying from you. Be respectful or be ignored. Do you feel entitled to yell at people, or have you earned the right to whisper to them?

10. Opportunity without leverage isn’t. There’s always time to kill two stones with one bird. Let go of the lie that luck is real. Be listening for the knock or be left behind. Now that you have this, what else does this make possible?

11. Revolution without ridicule, isn’t. Brace yourself for the waves of antagonism. Let go of the assumption that everybody has to love you. Be a little hated or be a lot forgotten. Will you accept the bullets as the price of winning?

12. Selling without solving, isn’t. When you’re the answer, you can name your price. Let go of the fantasy that your customers are stupid. Be the answer or be the adversary. What pervasive, expensive, relevant and urgent problem do you solve?

13. Service without soul, isn’t. True power comes from personhood. Let go of the desire to outsource the human function. Be a real person or be picked last. How does your brand bring its humanity to the moment?

14. Success without significance, isn’t. Contribution trumps currency. Let go of the dogma that making money is what matters most. Be contributing or be consigned to oblivion. Are you making sales, making a point, making a mark, making a difference or making history?

15. Work without play, isn’t. It’s nothing but drudgery. Let go of the delusion that there’s a separation between professionalism and playfulness. Be a kid or be kicked to the curb. Are your growing younger?

REMEMBER: When you skip key ingredients, something is going to taste off.

In work, in life and in love, make sure you’re not overlooking what matters most.

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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