Change the Game

The rules of the game are pretty simple. You work hard at getting what you want, and you get what you want. At least that is what we are told. But how many of us consider ourselves hard workers? Just about everyone does. How often does your hard work lead to getting exactly what you want and exactly what you deserve? The answer: it’s usually hit or miss. But why? If we are told hard work is all we need to achieve our goals, then why doesn’t that always hold true? Let’s consider the parable about the man, the boat, and the hole. As a man is about to board his rowing boat he spots a hole in it. He determines that if he brings a bucket onto the boat with him, as the water enters his boat from the hole, he can fill the bucket with the water and then dump it back in the lake, thus staying afloat. The man determines all he has to do is work harder at dumping the water out of the boat than the water does at working towards getting into the boat. Once the man gets to the middle of the lake he begins to sink. The man is working as hard as he can, but it is still not enough to achieve his goal of staying afloat. I feel we can all relate to this man in one way or another. What should the man have done? The answer is easy, just fix the hole. We all know working smart is better than working hard. Unfortunately, for the man and his boat, no one told him that.

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The man should have changed the game he was playing and working smart is the best way he could have changed it. Most people play a game where the rules state hard work and determination alone will lead to achievement. Though hard work is essential to accomplishing anything, it alone does not guarantee success. You need to play a different game. A game where the rules say working smart, as well as working hard, leads to getting what you desire.  In this game, strategically planning your decisions, laying a good foundation for goal achievement, and consistently refining and perfecting your methods are rewarded. The key word is PLAN. The better you plan, the more likely you are to succeed. In the planning process, you should examine all possible avenues in hopes of developing the best possible plan. Keep your plan general enough to be flexible, but specific enough to guide your direction. And most importantly, once you’ve establish your plan, stick to it. The next time you find yourself sinking, ask yourself: Are you just like the man in the boat, hoping your hard work will lead to you staying afloat? Or are you playing a different game? A game where you made the rules and the odds are stacked in your favor?

What game are you struggling to win?