Monday, August 31, 2009

How to be successful in an uncertain world.

Post 315 - We live in a “VUCA” world, characterized by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. If you want to transform the anxieties and fears this generates into growth, progress and achievement, here are some ideas about moving your life in that direction.

• Focus on others.
Fear and uncertainty can make you feel isolated and helpless. So, go the other way, expand your connections and help others transform their negatives into positives. The more you do this, the more you become a source of confidence for everyone else, and the less you’ll worry about your own situation. You'll get everything you want out of life when you help enough other people get what they want.

• Become an attractor.
People always want someone or something that will add value to their lives - offerings that eliminate their dangers, capture their opportunities, and reinforce their strengths. When you focus on providing these kinds of offerings, your attractiveness naturally follows.

• Look for new opportunities.
Things you took for granted in the past may be disappearing. If so, get over it, stop replaying those old tapes and move on. Explore an entirely new direction instead – one that exposes you to new ideas, new energies, new tools, and new resources. Treat your current situation as an opportunity to achieve far more than you ever could have before.

• Turn challenges into progress.
New difficulties will either defeat you or uncover new strengths. Your muscles always get stronger from working against resistance. The same is true for your mind, your spirit, and your character. Treat this whole period of challenge as a time when you can make the greatest progress as a person.

• Plan for the present.
The future for most of us is just an abstraction. The only future with reality is the one you create for yourself through each day’s contributions, achievements and results. So focus your energies on what you can get done over the next 24 hours and repeat this every single day of your life.

• Forget your past glories.
Many people define themselves by external events. When these change abruptly, they don’t know who they are, and they keep trying to be who they used to be. Instead, take your cues from your own dreams, ideals, values, and principles. These never need to change, regardless of the circumstances. Take advantage of the external confusion to become more self-directed, self-managed, and self-motivated.

• Learn to see the glass as half full.
When things change for the worse, many desirable resources are missing - information, knowledge, tools, systems, personnel, and capabilities. These deficiencies will paralyze people who believe they can’t make decisions and take action without them. Instead, take advantage of every resource that’s immediately available to achieve as many small results and to make as much daily progress as possible. Work to use every resource and opportunity at hand, and your confidence will continually grow.

• Give thanks for what you have.
Complaining only attracts negative thoughts and negative people. Gratitude creates opportunities for the best thinking, actions and results to emerge. Focus on everything that you have to be grateful for. Share this with others and you’ll open yourself up each day to the best possible consequences.

• Grow your responsiveness.
When things are going well, many people think they’re in control of what’s happening, and so they feel defeated and depressed when things start to go badly. They think they’ve lost some fundamental ability. The most consistently successful people know they can’t control events - but continually work towards developing greater control over their creative responses to events. When times are uncertain, focus all of your attention and energies on finding creative responses.

A final thought: "When we’re no longer able to change a situation, we’re challenged to change ourselves." - Viktor Frankl

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