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The Parrot Says You Can’t Do That

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Creative Commons License photo credit: jsgphoto

Obama made reference to it Tuesday during his Inaugural Address, acknowledging that many say he can’t do all the things he’s got on his agenda.

Maybe so, maybe not.

Admittedly, his obstacles are substantial.

Some might assume they are insurmountable, specifically those 500 or so people in the Capitol building.

The thing is, that’s  just the kind of situation that often makes people succeed well beyond their own expectations, much less the expectations of others who have counted them out.

Ask Joe Namath, Roger Staubach or John Elway about being counted out.

On second thought, do that later. I’m not here to talk to you about those 4 guys – I’m here to talk to you about you.

Got obstacles?

Who’s counted YOU out? Neighbors? Friends? Family? That little parrot on your shoulder?

Your obstacles probably shrink in comparison to the ones faced by Presidents, but they still might be daunting for you.

So what? Act in parallel and make em all wrong.

What exactly do I mean by parallel?

Most people act sequentially. They think “I’ll do this project, then this project, then that project.” We’ve been taught that way, at least most of us. Learning anything different is often something you stumble across. A failed project acted on sequentially is like a losing season.

Most really successful people tend to act in parallel. They often have a dozen or more projects going on at once. If one of them sticks to the wall, fine. If not, those other 11 projects will pick up the slack. A failed project is just one of the many things they’re counting on, rather than an entire losing season, it’s more like an incomplete pass.

Sure, you’re wondering how they get it all done. How do they juggle a dozen projects when one is enough to drive you crazy?

I promise you one thing: it sure doesn’t happen by accident.

How do they get parallel without going postal?

  • They have a mentor. Even *billionaires* have mentors, coaches, confidants or mastermind groups. Don’t imagine for a minute that Bill Gates plays bridge with Warren Buffett just for fun, nor that Buffett does because he can’t find anyone else to play cards with him. Look Tiger Woods can spank any golfer on the planet, yet he still has a coach to help him keep improving. Who do you have?
  • They have systems in place to relieve themselves of tedious crap. I’m talking about the same stuff that bogs down your day, interrupts you during productive stretches (you DO have those, don’t you?) and create piles of minimum wage labor on your desk – work that you end up doing yourself.
  • They’ve surrounded themselves with people as smart or smarter than themselves. Their ego isn’t driving the bus. Quite often, they do this to relieve themselves of time-consuming manual labor – often technical skills like copywriting and web design.

Acknowledging the theme of the day, Abe Lincoln is quoted as saying that if he had 8 hours to cut down a tree, he’d first spend 6 hours sharpening his saw. What sharpens your saw?

Jim Rohn says that “You become the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with.” No, that doesn’t mean you should go stand in a circle of supermodels<g>. Seriously…Who have you surrounded yourself with?

Get Parallel. Show the parrot who’s in charge.