Archive for September 2009
Why copy when you could innovate?
The world is a funny place. You come up with a good idea and work at it and do the research and hone it and make mistakes and work some more and get things working and then someone comes along and sees what you’ve done and decides they’ll just copy it.
I’m not against competition and have always taken the view that there is enough work out there for everyone. When people are open and honest there is often a chance to co-operate rather than compete and to create new opportunities.
However when someone just copies your business model, pricing structure and pretty much everything else it’s a bit galling. When they set out to compete in an area where you’re already operating you have to wonder about their motives.
I started wondering if I’d been too open and shared too much and if I should be more cautious in future but then I found this and realised its not me that needs to change.
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.
Be honest and transparent anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People who really want help may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt.
Give the world your best anyway.
Mother Teresa hung this quote on her wall and if it was good enough for her, its good enough for me.
Don’t imitate – innovate!
What do you think?
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin D Roosevelt
You don’t have to look far to find something to be afraid of – the internet is full of dire warnings and also, strangely enough, its also full of people who’d like to sell you the things that can protect you from the very things of which they tried to make you afraid.
Newspapers TV and radio are no better except that they often seem to peddle fear just for the hell of it, under the guise of ‘news’.
Everyone must, at some time in their lives, have experienced the gut wrenching, heart stopping sensation that we call fear and yet, for all the scary stuff that is manufactured by others we are the main culprit when it comes to creating our own fears.
It is the thing that most people acknowledge is the major factor that holds them back from achieving their full potential and they give it all sorts of names: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of losing what they’ve got, fear of the unknown, etc., etc., etc.
What are most people afraid of?
Writing at the end of the Great Depression in 1937, Napoleon Hill suggests that most people have six basic fears. They are: fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age and death.
When questioned if these are still relevant today, it was fear of poverty that caused the most dissent amongst a group of business owners. There was a strong argument that in our modern Western world, poverty is a relative term, even when we have lost all our material possessions. However, there was an equally strong argument that it is this fear of losing everything that is the biggest driver in our society, especially for people in business who seek to create a sense of security by being in control of their own means of earning a living.
Looking at Hill’s list again, all those fears related to losing something: our material possessions, pride, independence, status, love, connection, and of course, life itself.
What became clear is that almost every feeling of fear we experience is the result of an IMAGINED situation, not a real one.
Moreover, in almost every case, the imagined situation that we most fear never happens.
When a situation that we had feared actually materialised, most of us dealt with it without any real consequences.
Beyond the survival instincts that keep us safe, there appears to be only one real fear and that is the fear that we won’t be able to handle whatever happens to us. The fact that most people do handle even the most horrendous occurrences indicates that most fear, which usually concerns a future event that never happens, is completely unnecessary.
Bob Newhart had his own suggestion for how to deal with this:
In all the suggestions that proliferate in how to deal with the physical symptoms of fear (usually manifested as stress) no one mentions, booze, sex, drugs or rock ‘n’ roll but I’m guessing that at some point, most people will use at least one of these in an attempt to banish fears and anxiety.
The thing that everyone agreed on was what doesn’t work is trying to ignore it, suppress it or pretending the fear doesn’t exist. This can often result in real physical damage – perhaps that’s why booze, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll weren’t offered as serious means of coping!
Strategies to cope with fear usually involved taking action to arrive at a point where the fear is no longer felt as a physical sensation. This involved a whole range of activities from talking and sharing the fear – being talked off the ledge, as one person described it, to strenuous exercise to deal with the excess adrenaline. Some people are able to use relaxation techniques or meditation to calm themselves while others seek the help of a range of physical therapies that often results in them being able to talk about their fears.
Why do we need strategies to cope with IMAGINATION?
Having established that most fears are about thing we only imagine MIGHT happen or how we imagine we’ll cope if our worst fears are realised it seems a little strange that we need external coping mechanisms.
If we create the fear in our heads, surely we can get rid of it the same way? The six ghosts of fear (or however many we allow ourselves to have) are just that – GHOSTS. They aren’t real, they only exist in our heads.
Human beings have control over only one thing – our thoughts. Whatever we allow into our heads creates emotions and physical reactions and so the person who is able to discipline their thoughts has a huge advantage in controlling how they deal with both real and imagined situations.
This is not the same as the parroted phrase that has become popular with fans of The Law of Attraction – the one that says “Thoughts Become Things”. If that were true, teenage boys would get lucky several times a day, no-one would be sick and everyone would have as much money as they wanted.
Many unexpected and unwanted things happen to us in a lifetime and they are not the result of what we think. It is the way we choose to deal with them that is in our control and this means we need to exercise discipline over our thoughts. To catch a thought as it is formed and ask, “Is this useful to me or not?” and develop it or reject it accordingly means that the time wasted on fearful thoughts that paralyze and impoverish us can be freed to use on creating new ideas and enriching our lives.
When we believe and prove to ourselves that by controlling out thoughts we will cope with whatever life throws at us we truly have nothing to fear.