Mike’s Dump

March 30, 2005

‘Robert, they can’t eat you!’ Rules for survival.

Filed under: Work — mikesdump @ 9:55 am

I really liked this article. How can you not with a title like that!

Here are the 16 rules I try to live by:

1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone. I
believe that not much happens of any significance when we’re in our
comfort zone. I hear people say, “But I’m concerned about security.” My
response to that is simple: “Security is for cadavers.”

2. Never give up. Almost nothing works the
first time it’s attempted. Just because what you’re doing does not seem
to be working, doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means that it might
not work the way you’re doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be
doing it, and you wouldn’t have an opportunity.

3. When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think.
There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so
true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just
before you are about to succeed.”

4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept
the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what
the worst thing could be.
Very seldom will the worst
consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of “undefined
consequences.” My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling
and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, “Well, Robert, if it doesn’t work, they can’t eat you.”

5. Focus on what you want to have happen. Remember that old saying, “As you think, so shall you be.”

6. Take things a day at a time. No matter how
difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don’t look
too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get
through anything one day at a time.

7. Always be moving forward. Never stop
investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The
moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it
your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember
the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually
result in huge advantages.

8. Be quick to decide. Remember what the Union
Civil War general, Tecumseh Sherman said: “A good plan violently
executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

9. Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

10. Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.
If you want to uncover problems you don’t know about, take a few
moments and look closely at the areas you haven’t examined for a while.
I guarantee you problems will be there.

11. Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you’re doing.
When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks
perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough
into space, looks like a peaceful place.

12. Never let anybody push you around. In our
society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much
right to what you’re doing as anyone else, provided that what you’re
doing is legal.

13. Never expect life to be fair. Life isn’t
fair. You make your own breaks. You’ll be doing good if the only
meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a
bus (i.e., fare).

14. Solve your own problems. You’ll find that
by coming up with your own solutions, you’ll develop a competitive
edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: “You never
succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others.”
There’s also an old Asian saying that I remind myself of frequently. It
goes like this: “A wise man keeps his own counsel.”

15. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten
up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of
us are in control as much as we like to think we are.

16. There’s always a reason to smile. Find it.
After all, you’re really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More
and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: “We’re
not here for a long time; we’re here for a good time.”

The full article is here.

The above rules for survival�are included with the permission of Bob Parsons (http://www.bobparsons.com).
Copyright 2005 by Bob Parsons. All rights reserved.

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