We all know the quickest route to our destination is a straight line, ‘as the crow flies’ some might say, but the reality is rarely so straightforward!  In actual fact the path is likely to zigzag, undulate and periodically even U-turn back towards the start, however this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Even Einstein, the Wright Brothers and Newton didn’t get things right first time, but you can be sure that they tried, and tried again, until they got the outcome they desired.  Success can teach us a lot, but failure can teach us more!

How many times have you left a difficult meeting, or any challenging work situation and thought, I wish had said this or that? Why didn’t I do this? Every situation like this is actually an opportunity to learn, so that you can get it right the next time! You just need to recognise it for what it is rather than letting a negative perception stand in your way.  Indeed Google even claims* to have an entire department set up and paid purely to fail. Why? Because they believe you cannot truly deliver innovation without trying, failing, consequently learning from your mistakes and continually seeking to improve.

Thomas Edison one of history’s greatest innovators, famously said, ‘there is always a better way to do it, you have just got to find it’.  The absolute key to success is to maintain your motivation and remain focused on your desired outcome.  In last week’s blog I identified two key questions when tackling any task: why? and what? With a clear sense of why and a clear view of what, then the how becomes that much easier to build. Set your long term goals and then break them down into a series of manageable, short term steps. Every action you take and every milestone you reach needs to be aligned to your why and, most importantly, your what.  It will certainly entail some hard decisions, and even some failures (we are expecting those) not to mention a lot of hard work, but it will ultimately be worth it.  Not simply in terms of the satisfaction achieved when you reach your goal, but also in the volume of knowledge and experience you will inevitably accrue along the way.

Indeed, in order to gain this knowledge and experience, there is one last important point to remember as you progress - don’t be scared to ask for help. Everyone has their own skill set, attributes that come easily and areas where they excel, just as everyone has their limitations, whatever they may be.  By sharing in our successes and sharing equally in our failures, we can all learn more, re-group, re-focus and move together towards our goals.  Asking for help is not a weakness; it is actually a key strength and an admirable quality seen in all great leaders and pioneers.  So this is the single, last powerful word we need to use as we march forwards to achieve our goals…HELP.

Don’t be left wanting next time you are faced with a daunting challenge. Simply remember those four little words that can make all the difference. Why? What? How? And don’t forget…Help!

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