Do or Do Not – There Is No Try – Mastering Your Success Mindset

I love Star Wars.  Not only for the story, but for the ideas about beliefs and mindsets.  One of my favorite scenes was when Yoda was coaching Luke in the use of The Force in the swamp.  While levitating rocks and other exercises, the X Wing fighter sinks into the bog causing Luke to become distracted, dropping the rocks and Yoda abruptly onto the ground. The scene went as follows:

Luke Skywalker: “We will never get it out now.”

Yoda: Yoda: “So certain are you?  <sigh>  Always with you, it cannot be done.  Hear you nothing that I say?”

Luke Skywalker: “Master, Moving stones around is one thing, this is totally different!”

Yoda: “No!  No different!  Only different in your mind.  You must Unlearn what you have learned.”

Luke Skywalker: “Alright, I’ll give it a try.”

Yoda: “NO! Try not!  Do!  Or do not.  There is no try.”

Part of mastering a success mindset is to have awareness of your beliefs.  Sometimes this can be difficult to ascertain on your own.  A coach is trained to help you become aware of your own beliefs – whether they are supporting or hampering your progress toward your goals.  Greater awareness usually leads to better decisions.

I think that Yoda was a master coach.  What belief did he uncover that Luke Skywalker had about his own ability to use the force?

He uncovered Luke’s belief that his ability to successfully use The Force to move objects was related to their size.  Hence, he believed that the size of the X Wing fighter was too great a match for his current mastery of The Force to extract it from the bog.  Therefore, because he believed it, it become true for him.

This also reminds me of a book by Richard Bach –  Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.  In the book, one of the messages was “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”  What limitations was Luke arguing for?  Yoda pointed out that the difference between moving stones and moving something bigger was only in his mind.  Yoda wanted him to choose a new belief…one that supported his goal of mastery.

Luke says something that I have heard many times before (including from myself!), “Alright, I’ll give it a try.”  Pay attention to this language.  What is Luke committed to?  What is the language of commitment: “I’ll Try” or “I will do it”?    When you say “I’ll try,” what do you really mean?  Yoda points this out when he says “NO! Try not! Do! Or do not.  There is no try.”

Luke makes a failed attempt at raising the X-Wing fighter out of the bog.  “I can’t! It’s too big” he says exhausted.  Yoda gives him a pep talk.  Luke says “You want the impossible.”  Then, as a demonstration to Luke, Yoda successfully raises the X Wing fighter out of the bog, to Luke’s utter amazement.

Luke Skywalker:  “I don’t believe it!”

Yoda: “That <pause> is why you failed.”

Ah ha!  There’s that belief again.  Yoda makes Luke aware that the very reason he failed was because he didn’t believe it could be done.

What do you believe cannot be done?  Think about your own life, career and business goals.  What limitations are you arguing for?  Could it be that you don’t have time?  You don’t have the right degree?  You don’t have enough money?  What is it?

Is there something you want to do, but haven’t, in your life career or business?  What kind of belief do you have that is hindering your movement towards what you want?  How will you examine these beliefs?

The more awareness you have about what you want in life and the intertwined beliefs that are supporting you or limiting you, the faster the path toward them is cleared. A coach can help you reach those ‘ah ha’ moments that shine light on the path to your next best step, and in mastering your success mindset!

Mia Turpel is life, career and business coach.  She takes you from stressed out to STREAMLINED in your life, career or business so that you can spend more time on the things you love.  Interested in more?  Be sure to sign up for STREAMLINED ezine atwww.performancesupportpartners.com for news and information on these topics and more!  Interested in coaching? Click here to sign up for a complimentary 30 exploratory session – you will be sure to go away with insights about your big game in life.

It’s Policy, Committed Sardines, and Small Groups That Make Big Change

Does it burn you as much as it burns me when you hear the words “It’s policy” when it is an obstacle to progress, improvement, efficiency and more? Come on! Even if it is BAD policy? Even if it is counterproductive to everything you know? Even if it doesn’t support your current business direction?

Here is what I know about policy: People make policy.

It is possible that the person that made the policy made it for a very good reason at the time. It is possible that business processes, directives, and the business climate has changed since that person made the policy. It is possible that the reason that policy is still in place is because nobody challenged it. Nobody asked, “who made the policy?” Does anyone regularly ask, “how is this policy serving us now?” Is it possible that the reason why it is still policy is because there is a lot of sheepwalking (a term I adopted from Seth Godin) going on? Perhaps people have been conditioned to just accept the status quo when they are told “it’s policy.”

TTWWADI – The Big Rut

Ever heard of TTWWADI? It’s an acronym for “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” TTWWADI is a big rut. Policy that serves as an obstacle to achieving business goals very often is a TTWADI rut. It is easy to get stuck in the rut because most of us want to do the right thing, and follow the policy we have been taught. Questioning policy can often put us on a radar screen that we weren’t on before, shining a very uncomfortable light. However, if we don’t question policy, what is it costing us?

One of my favorite quotes is from General Eric Shinseki, retired Chief of Staff, U. S. Army. He said, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” So, you think change is hard? What about being left in the dust? What happens when your most talented people constantly bump up against ‘policy’ that doesn’t allow them to use their greatest talents on the job? It tends to become motivation to leave.

Policy is meant to be a guideline for streamlining, not an obstacle. Guidelines by their very nature have variations and exceptions. I recently watched an episode of a television hospital drama series where a patient had been bitten by a raccoon that was discovered to have rabies. No worries. Yes, rabies causes certain death. But, there is a vaccine – if administered before symptoms appeared!

The bad news was that the hospital was out of the vaccine, and had to find another source. While they found a source, ‘They’ had a “policy” to not release the vaccine without written permission from the patient. Knowing that the patient in her current condition could not be present to give that permission, the nurse, in exasperation cried, “Of course the patient gives her permission because she will DIE without it!” Yet, they still insisted that it was policy to have written permission from the patient and would not release the vaccine.

While this was fiction (at least I hope!), I can say I have experienced corporate ‘policy’ that was just as much an obstacle to achieving the stated goals of the business. And what astonishes me even more, is how many people followed that policy, agreed that it was an obstacle, and yet still followed it without question.

Does it remind you of the Authority song by John Mellencamp? ( I know you have danced to it!) Does this ring a bell? “I fight authority, authority always wins.” Maybe you need to be a committed sardine.

Pause for effect.

“A committed sardine?” you question. Okay, let me explain. I recently found a website dedicated to excellence in education whose domain name is “The Committed Sardine.” I liked it, so I adopted the term as part of my vernacular. That’s how I roll. Anyway, it references the fact that blue whales being one of the largest mammals on earth can sometimes take two to three minutes to make a 180 degree turn, while schools of fish – sardines for instance, that are just as large as a Blue Whale if not larger, can make a 180 degree turn almost instantaneously (or so it seems).

How do they do this? If you look close, you’ll notice that although the fish all appear to be swimming in the same direction, in reality at any time there will be a small group of sardines swimming in a different direction, against the flow, against conventional wisdom. It rattles the cage a bit and causes discomfort for the rest of the school.

But finally, when a critical mass of truly committed sardines is reached – not as large as what you might think, only 15 to 20 percent who are truly committed to a new direction, the rest of the school suddenly turns and goes with them – almost instantaneously!

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a committed sardine. Are you compelled to question policy when it is an obstacle to doing More Great Work? People make policy. You could be one of those People that also change policy. Or, at least, you could be a catalyst for change.

I close with this quote widely attributed to Margaret Mead. It is a reminder of how powerful one or a small group of people can be: “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world -indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

I, for one, believe this is true.

Mia Turpel is life, career and business coach.  She takes you from stressed out to STREAMLINED in your life, career or business so that you can spend more time on the things you love.  Interested in more?  Be sure to sign up for STREAMLINED ezine atwww.performancesupportpartners.com for news and information on these topics and more!  Interested in coaching? Click here to sign up for a complimentary 30 minute exploratory session – you will be sure to go away with insights about your big game in life.

Coaching Women in Business – Making It Easy

“Business is easy,” she said.

I once worked at a satellite location of a large privately-owned printing company.  The owner was a wonderful business woman.  I was just starting out in the business world, and I admired her accomplishments.

She said, “Business is easy: You meet the customer, quote the price, print the job, and invoice them.  They pay the invoice, and the cycle starts again.”

I wondered how it was that she could have described it as easy.  Now that I have been in business for quite some time, it is apparent to me there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes.

But I loved her perspective.  I wonder how much having that perspective could change the lives of women in business today?

Just what is it that makes business seem easy?  One way to answer that question is by asking another question: “What makes life easy?”  Since business and life are intermingled, the principles that make business easy are the same ones that make life easy.

Life becomes easy when you:

  • use your inborn strengths and talents every day.
  • enjoy relationships with friends and family that are fun and energizing.
  • have a network of supportive people around you.
  • feel healthy, well and strong.
  • connect regularly with nature by spending time enjoying a pet, walking on a beach, or just getting outside on a beautiful day.
  • sustain a sense of spirituality and oneness with the world and consciously choose beliefs that support your goals.
  • have a living space and office that you enjoy.
  • can easily pay your bills and still have financial reserves.
  • focus on moving toward something you want as opposed to moving away from something you don’t want.

Do you want to find out how you can change your life by changing your perspective?  You can learn how to apply these principles –and more – and finally be able to say, “Business is easy.”

This blog is about how to help you go from stressed out to STREAMLINED in your business so that you can spend more time on the things you love.  Interested in more?  Be sure to sign up for STREAMLINED ezine at www.performancesupportpartners.com for news and information on these topics and more!  Interested in coaching? Click here to sign up for a complimentary 30 minute exploratory sample session.