NEXCUE Imagination Leadership

Embrace Your Hurdles, Work Like an Ant and Sharpen Your Focus

Embrace Your Hurdles, Work Like an Ant and Sharpen Your Focus

Great performers know all the strategies and techniques to get over hurdles and produce awesome results. Follow today’s three cues to leverage your hurdles and enhance your work ethic to achieve your goals.

Use the Constraints to be Creative

Harry Houdini, the great illusionist and stunt performer, captivated the world with his ability to escape from jails and police handcuffs. Sometimes he performed his acts submerged in water with his entire body chained. Harry’s greatest act was not breaking from the chains and escaping jails, it was using the constraints to be creative. While the attention of his audience focused on what appeared to be Houdini’s demise, he channeled his energy into creating an escape.

There are two types of creative minds: a negative-thought constructor and a positive producer. The negative-thought constructor only sees obstacles in every situation and then thinks of all the reasons why failure will be the end result. On the contrary, the positive producer sees every problem as an invitation to explore the unlimited power of their imagination and then seek ways to create possibilities. When dealing with the problems in your life, try putting less emphasis on the challenges and more on producing a creative outcome.

Don’t be a Beast, Work like an Ant

My grandmother’s work ethic was impeccable! She made her own clothes, cooked all her meals from scratch (with no written recipes!), did her own carpentry, worked outside the home, and planted a garden, just to name a few of her many talents. She was well organized, a team player, and her house was immaculate and stylishly decorated. There was no lazy bone in her body. Some would call her a beast, but I think she was better than that. She was an ant. Why an ant? Well, ants have no ruler or overseer, yet they faithfully work all summer to gather food for the winter. They are tireless, systematic, and orderly.

You must develop a work ethic like an ant if you want to achieve much in the summer of your lifetime. Here is what I mean. Ants don’t complain. Ants are team players. Most important, ants don’t wait around to be managed, but possess a high level of initiative. How much do you complain instead of evaluating and then executing a plan? Are you a team player? Or are you waiting for some event or someone to prompt you to do something? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider the ways of the ant and start living your purpose and giftedness.

Keep Your Eyes on Your Muscles

John C. Maxwell states in his book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, “effective leaders who reach their potential spend more time focusing on what they do well than on what they do wrong.”

Nobody cares about your weaknesses more than you do. It is your strengths that provide the most value. It is human nature to be so self-critical that we render ourselves ineffective in the area where we are actually strong. This is so sad and I have seen this happen time and time again. Place the bulk of your energy on improving your strengths. The more time you spend on your weaknesses, the less time you have on developing your strengths. The way you compensate for your weaknesses is by delegating those activities that are not in your wheelhouse. This will free your time and allow you to focus your attention on building your strengths.