Will Rogers was an American author, actor, and commentator from the 1920’s and ‘30’s. He was known for his witty, but insightful thoughts on life, success, and surviving during tough times (e.g., the Great Depression). Some of his sayings can be applied very well to us today:
- “You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” — We cannot live in a ‘zero-risk’ world. Every day we take numerous risks – driving a car, eating food prepared by someone else, making decisions. Though we should never take undue risks, we often need to be more aware of the risks and balance them against the possible rewards. In other words, sometimes we cannot get to the 95 – 100% confidence point for a key decision. Sometimes we have to make a decision based on being at the 75% confident point. In these cases, be aware of the risks, mitigate what you can, and move forward. We might not get that apple unless we stretch ourselves a bit.
- “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” — The reason older individuals seem wiser sometimes is that they have a lot more experience to draw upon. And, unfortunately, some of that experience was painful. We need to understand that mistakes will occur. When they do, we need to use them to learn. Several years ago, I was told a story about an individual that made a mistake that resulted in a loss of $2MM worth of product. The head of manufacturing asked the department manager to bring the individual involved in the mistake to his office. The department manager said, “OK, I understand. You plan to fire this person, right?” The head of manufacturing responded, “No, of course not. I just want this person to know that I trust that such a mistake will never happen again. This individual, my friend, will turn out to be the best employee we have, if he learns from this.” Of course, that individual did become a star performer at that company.
- “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” — When I think about this quote, I am trying to think of anyone I know that is successful that did not know, love, and believe in what they were doing. There may be examples, but they would be rare. So, what does this say about you? Are you destined for success or do you need to be thinking about next steps?
- “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” — Complacency is an enemy. I’m reminded that “if you think you are humble, you are not.” Once we think we have accomplished it all, we are doomed. Let’s adopt the mindset that anything we do can be improved.
- “Never let yesterday use up too much of today.” — Today is the only day we have or can count on. Though things may have not gone well yesterday, lingering there can ruin today. If the past is keeping you from doing your best work today, it is time to move past it. Early in the new year of 2016 is a great time to focus on the future, not the past.
I believe that if we are successful and happy in our personal lives, we will be successful and happy in our work life. And, if we are, we’ll be able to focus and do our very best in every aspect of our lives.
Have a terrific day! There is still that chance that it might be a Top 10 day.