“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein.
What Einstein said in the last century has become a fundamental pillar for Hansen Beck’s high-impact Leadership and Sales training programmes. Participants praise our training for showing how our imagination, our visions determine our behaviour and thus our success. In this article, we learn how proactively taking action is the key ingredient to positively influencing ourselves and the people around us, helping us to become more successful. After all, success attracts success.
What inspired me to write this?
Why is it so true that self-development is a result of self-awareness?
Here a short story about what happened to me during the UK lockdown caused by COVID-19 in April 2020 in London. Whilst having planned to go out every second day to the park and run between 5 and 7 kilometres every time, accomplishing around 20km per week, I probably left the house for this purpose only once a week. Therefore I would only reach a third of my coronavirus resolution. It’s already bad enough not doing what I promised myself, but I loudly announced my proud plans to my family and failed miserably. Saying that, now a few weeks later, I am fully on track with my original plans and feeling the positive energy coming from healthy exercise. What happened? Why now and not a few weeks earlier? Read on.
It was a sunny Saturday morning in April and my wife and I went out for a walk together with our little son. As it happens, on a Saturday and despite the lockdown, the park was busy and buzzing. It was full of people, full of runners. Being a curious person, there’s no doubt I observed how other people run, how fast they are, their posture, their footwork, just to mention a few things. I would happily comment on it with my wife. No bad intention, just commenting. At that time, I didn’t realise that the syntax of my sentences was rather pejorative and probably more annoying to the listener. I used to say sentences like “I wanted to run 10km this morning.”, “Next time when I go out, I will run faster.” or “I think I can do that too.”.
It must have been one of those moments when suddenly my wife turned to me with a very serious expression on her face: “The only thing you are doing is procrastinating.” she said. “You do not do what you want to do. Instead you announce your plans to other people – and still don’t take action. That is NOT attractive!”, she said. That was a slap in my face. How could she say that? Me, not attractive? I GO running. Well, from time to time… Ever since, I have reflected on this conversation with my wife and it has fundamentally changed my approach to work, sport and life in general. For the better of course. Better late than never.
Regardless of our profession or hobbies, education or religion, we all have blind spots. Those behaviours in ourselves that we are not aware of, but others clearly see. Recognising our blind spots and taking action makes us more reliable, positively predictable and ultimately more attractive to the outside world. By this, we increase our positive influence on others and create more opportunities for success for ourselves. Isn’t that what many of us envisage and want?
My learning from this little episode in the park has been that often we might express wishes and plans and at the same time we self-justify for not taking action. Carl G. Jung said, “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”. Therefore, my call to action for you is to be aware of what we say, do not self-justify but instead take action. It makes us more attractive. Simple.