If it could be hard or easy, which would you choose?
Maybe not since most of us end up choosing to do things the hard way.
We continue to mash our head against the wall wishing it were a door and complaining about the headaches and the blood running down our face.
I recently saw the movie Way of the Peaceful Warrior from a favorite book of mine by Dan Millman. Of all the good messages intertwined in the story, I found one particularly compelling as it is not often how we assess our approach to life and situations.
The scene is where Socrates (ironically and perplexingly played by Nick Nolte. Who hasn't seen this mug shot after his drunk driving arrest? Not exactly the shining example of a personally developed Zen-like guru – what was the casting director thinking??)
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This is the money line: "The wisdom of life is learning to apply the right leverage in the right place at the right time"
Here are a few ways to think about how to leverage the law of leverage:
1. Don't respond to force with force.
I know I am the poster child of this mistake. I tend to meet force with force. If I run into barriers, blocks or resistance, I fight harder. Sound familiar? This has been the cause of some of my biggest foibles and heartaches.
I am wiser now (most of the time! :-)) I am a believer in persistence and determination, but I have found there is a balance between healthy persistence and bludgeoning your head against a dead end.
I see many goal obsessed people also make this mistake. They become too fixed on obtaining their arbitrary goal... many times at sacrifices far too great.
Decide what is important to you, what your core values are and what direction you want your life to go in, then be flexible and pay attention to what shows up.
I have seen people miss out on bigger opportunities and richer experiences in life because they were too fixed on their original goals.
Set your intentions, move in that direction and pay attention to what shows up and find ways to leverage it and propel you into achievements and happiness you never even imagined during your goal writing session.
2. Find and use your internal leverage.
What are your unique talents? What is easy for you to do that is typically difficult for others? What knowledge or insight do you have that others don't? Are you using that leverage? Are you in a business or profession that is utilizing your personal gift (your leverage)?
You have an advantage in life. There is something you do better than most people. That is your unique leverage. Problem is most people are in jobs or businesses that aren't centered around or focus on that particular strength.
This is a really important point. It is easy to mixed up in all sorts of tantalizing ventures or investments that you should probably not be wasting your time or money in.
Once you get clear on what your unique talents are, what your personal leverage is, don't bother unless you get leverage – your personal leverage.
If it is hard for you, it is probably not for you. Start focusing on what is easy for you - that is where your leverage lives.
3. Use external leverage.
We have all heard the principles OPM (Other People's Money), OPT (Other People's Time), OPE (Other People's Effort), but there are sorts of external forces that can give you unique leverage in your business or personal life. Pay attention and leverage them when they show up:
Government regulation/policy changes
Social trends, shifts in attention
Competitive, capital market changes
There are hundreds of examples of people and companies that get called "lucky" being "at the right place at the right time". Well, there were hundreds or thousands of others who were also there at that time, but weren't paying attention and did not act on this new found leverage. Constantly be looking for leverage.
The magic is paying attention and finding your leverage in life. Then knowing how to apply it to the right places at the right times.
That is the path to making great achievement and grand happiness easy, rather than hard - leverage.
See more Success Lessons from the Movies
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