Friday, July 30, 2004

When politicians become "statesmen", scientists, discoverers.

Following the Democratic National Convention, it reinforced for me that while one can become a successful politician by following the polls and the focus groups, the man or woman who does this in our "first past the post" system has to minimize real conviction. The people who have made the biggest impact on the political world have not compromised on their convictions even though it may have meant for Lincoln or Churchill that for a long time failure followed failure. Whether you are Ghandi or Margaret Thatcher, the singleminded pursuit of your ideals is the way to reshape the world. It is important to differentiate betwen popularity and success. Focus groups cannot tell you how to believe. Whether in life, politics, science or business, conviction is critical. On July 28th, Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, died. Now, like most of the scientific greats, "experts" kept telling him and Watson that they were wrong. However, convinced of the truth of their convictions, they went on and were ultimatley proved right.

For the rest of us mortals also, we do ourselves a disservice by allowing ourselves to do or think that which is popular. If we do not challenge conventional wisdom, we can make no progress.

Pass it on...

I have always wondered why more people do not help each other. It surprises me that evenwhen someone has the opportunity to help another, and can do so without effort, time or cost, so many do nothing. I have come to the conclusion that subconsciously, at least, most of us think ot life a s "zero-sum" game and therefore, if someone else has good fortune, somehow there is the potential that bad luck will come the Good Samaritan's way. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Good fortune grows as it spreads. You get more control by being considerate than by being unhelpful.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yes, you can take Control

Many people see themselves as passive victims. Sometimes it certainly feels like we are. However, I have been constantly struck by how many people have taken control of their lives or their businesses and shaped them around a vision. While there often does not seem to be a common thread connecting these people, there is. These people share a belief that they can have an impact on the world. Doubting oneself is a handicap. Belief and visualization only of success is empowering. Seeing this over many years of my career, I wrote a book: How to Get What You Most Want in Life, and decided to spread the word on my website: I will be posting further thoughts which go beyond my book and observations on life and business over times to come.