Recently I read an article by Jim Rohn that gave an interesting account on judging results and how that relates to your success. I would like to share some of the things I learned from this article as well as some of my own thoughts regarding this subject.
When looking at measuring success, the only tangible way to measure it is through the results you see. When looking at results, there are three key words to remember: weigh, count, and measure. Why weigh, count, and measure you may ask? The answer is so that you can see what the results are from your activity, your attitude, and your philosophy. If you find that the results are not to your liking, there are only three places that you need to look to. Your disciplines need extra skill, development,or attention, your attitude needs to be strengthened or changed all together, or your philosophy needs to be fine-tuned. But that’s it. Activity, attitude, and philosophy are what create results.
When it comes to results, life expects you to make measurable progress in a reasonable time frame. Now you can’t say to someone every 5 minutes, How are you doing? That is too soon to ask for a count. The person has not had any time to really get anything done yet. Now you also can’t wait 5 years because that is way too long. Too many things can go wrong when you wait too long for a count to see how you are doing.
So what is a good time frame? According to Jim Rohn, there are two different time frames to use when measuring results:
End of the day: You should never let more than a day go by without looking at some things and making some form of progress. People say that we should never let the sun go down being angry at someone. That we should not carry our anger for another day. It may be too heavy of a burden to carry. If you try to carry the burden for a week, it may drop you to your knees. The same idea applies here. We need to make some sort of progress each and every day. That does not mean that it has to be monumental progress, but some form of forward progress. Working on it each day, keeps it fresh in your mind and a whole bunch of days making very small progress on something, leads to a bunch of progress over time.
End of the week: In business, it is common to keep an accounting of the hours worked over the period of a week so that the pay can be issued. It would not make any sense to pay someone each day. In business there are two things to check in the course of the week: your activity count and your productivity count. The activity count is the amount of time that you spend working on certain tasks. The productivity count is the amount of progress made on certain tasks. Because activity leads to productivity, it is important to count both to see how we are really doing.
Jim Rohn talked about how his mentor taught him that success is a numbers game and that very early in his career, Jim’s mentor asked him for his numbers. He asked, “How many books have you read in the last 90 days?” Jim said, “Zero.” He said, “Not a good number.” He said, “How many classes have you attended in the last six months to improve your skills?” And Jim said, “Zero.” He said, “Not a good number.” Then he said, “In the last six years that you’ve been working, how much money have you saved and invested?” Jim said, “Zero,” and he said, “Not a good number.” Then here is what he said to Jim, “Mr. Rohn, if these numbers don’t change, your life won’t change. But if you’ll start improving these numbers, then perhaps you’ll start to see everything change for you.”
I think that is a very interesting dialogue. How many times do we look at our lives and wonder why things do not seem to be improving in our lives? Yet, if we take the time to really look within ourselves and actually measure the amount of activity that we have put into improving our life situation, we will often find that the numbers don’t really add up to near as much as we thought they did. If we look at those numbers objectively, it might not be hard to understand why no real change has taken place in our lives.
Success and results are a numbers game. It all equates to the following formula:
Activity + Attitude + Philosophy = Results = Success
We have already determined that success is equal to results.
If there are no numbers being plugged into the formula, nothing is going to happen. No progress will be made at all. It is important to remember that the numbers you plug into the formula can be positive or negative numbers. These can either add to or take away from the progress you make.
When it comes to activity, this is things that we are actively doing to reach results and thus success. We can’t really plug any negative numbers into this part of the formula because you can’t undo activity. You either do it or you don’t do it. So you either put in a positive number meaning you are spending time performing activities to reach success or a zero if you are doing nothing.
When you look at attitude you are either putting in a positive number or a negative number. You are not putting a zero here because your attitude is either positive or negative. If you attitude is positive, you are adding positive numbers here. If your attitude is negative, you are adding negative numbers here.
When you look at philosophy, it is very similar to attitude, but not exactly. Our attitude is defined as the manner, disposition, feeling, or position of a person. Philosophy is a system of principles a person uses for guidance. There is no doubt that our attitude can affect our philosophy, but they can’t be treated as the same thing. When it comes to philosophy, you can only input a positive or negative number based on whether your philosophy adds to (positive number) the results you are seeking or takes away from (negative number) the results you are seeking. There is no zeros that can be added here.
When you add up all the numbers (positive, negative, or zero) you enter into this formula, you will see a net result that will have a bearing on your results and your success as well. If your numbers add up to zero, you are making no progress at all and obviously, you will not see any results of any kind. If you end up with a negative number, it is because you are actually working against and getting farther away from the results you are seeking. If you get a positive number, you are getting results and are working towards the success that you are seeking. The higher the positive number, the more progress you are making at getting the results you are looking for.
If you are like me, math can really make your head hurt. Obviously, it is hard to come up with finite numbers for that equation, but the exercise lays out the idea that all of these components go into our ability to make progress. Hard work with a really bad attitude is not going to get you the results you want. A great attitude with no real work being put in is also going to leave you very short in the results category. The philosophy that we have regarding things in life also has a great effect.
The most important accounting you will ever do in this life is the accounting you do of yourself. Don’t wait for the government to do it. Don’t wait for the company you work for to do it. You’ve got to add up some of your own numbers and ask yourself, “Am I making the progress I want and will it take me where I want to go now and in the future?” Only you can be the real judge of that.