I am a huge believer in taking a proactive approach to life, everywhere! I remember listening to Jimmy Johnson, the former super-bowl winning coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the 90’s, talk about another team running up the score on the loser. His perspective, which may seem a little harsh, was that the loosing team had no business complaining, instead they should get better so that running up the score never happens to them again. The essence of this perspective is to never ever blame another but to take total responsibility for your life and the outcomes in it. From a Spiritual perspective, everything in our reality is created by each of us, though not necessarily consciously.
Learning to live life proactively is a fantastic way to create your destiny as opposed to waiting for life to happen. Far too many people take a passive approach to life or at best their approach is mixed. In other words, many of us are proactive in one area, such as business, and then passive in another area such as intimacy. Sometimes, the reverse is true. Very few people are proactive across the board. And yet, if we peer into the life of an amazing person, such as Oprah, we see a very proactive approach everywhere!
I recently read an article in the Westport News by Mark Mathias on the years of hard work, dedication, decisions, and obstacles involved in the successful landing of the Mars rover, Curiosity. “While we all learn from our mistakes,” he said, “it’s fair to say that the successes are a whole lot more fun.”
Yesterday, I was on the golf course with my twin brother and he asked me how to overcome the all the mistakes he’s made in his life, especially those regarding his trading account. “As you are know,” I said, “We can’t take back the past. The best we can do to overcome the past, is to focus on two things; creativity and presence. By being more present and creative, we will build new neuropathways to replace the old one’s that are running regret, shame, anger, negativity, and a host of other negative thoughts and emotions that are counterproductive to success in life and business.” He nodded several times and said, “It’s not easy.”
In the world of insurance and financial planning the basic game-plan to build a successful business is to meet at least ten new prospective clients each week by scheduling at least fifteen appointments every week. The idea is that two of these meetings will turn into sales and another three may continue to be prospects. Notice that on average only two out of ten actual appointments become sales. In order to schedule all those meetings, it may take hundreds of phone calls and emails as well. In other words, there is a lot of potential and actual rejection involved.
Over the years I’ve coached quite a few people in professions where networking and prospecting is fundamental to success. Salespeople, marketers, network marketers, small business and medical practice owners all come to mind. One theme that consistently emerges is fear of success, which often manifests as avoidance. Not surprisingly, this theme tends to reoccur as people reach different levels of success.