“A man who never makes a mistake never makes anything.”
– Herr Hunt, my third-grade German teacher
When I was in third grade, my teacher invited a guest instructor, Herr Hunt, to come in for a few weeks and teach us a bit about Germany and the German language. While I’ve forgotten most everything from that experience, save how to count to twenty in German, there was one comment made by our instructor which has never left me.
Whenever Herr Hunt would see that we were afraid to answer a question, he would say, A man who never makes a mistake never makes anything.
A friend recently forwarded me a post from Bud Caddell’s What Consumes Me blog. If you are in business and you are committed to BOTH your business success AND your personal satisfaction you owe it to yourself to take a look at this brief post.
In it, Bud shares a simple, but very insightful Venn diagram that shows the overlaps between your business strengths (What We Do Well), satisfaction (What We Want To Do) and ability to earn (What We Can Be Paid To Do). From the diagram, we can infer that if you hit the trifecta (meet all three criteria) – Hooray! You’ve found the formula for business happiness – getting paid to do what you are both passionate about and excel at.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau
After reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we realize that most challenges and opportunities can be viewed in terms of alignment. So, how can we take advantage of this realization?
“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”
– Jack Kinder
In Part 1 of this series, we started to explore the idea that many of our challenges and opportunities could be viewed in terms of alignment, or a lack thereof. In this article, we’ll delve in a little more and introduce the concept of an alignment framework.
“It can be really off-putting when you lose your way somehow.”
– Winnie the Pooh
Not to get too philosophical but most of our difficulties, in businesses and, more broadly, in life are firmly rooted in one thing — misalignment. This is not a new idea. In fact, many philosophies and belief systems explore this concept under one guise or another. You may have encountered phrases like true seeing, being awake and, even, in the zone. Ultimately, these revolve around aligning ourselves with the realities of our environment. When we do, we are not guaranteed success but we can increase our effectiveness and, maybe, more importantly, our peace of mind.