What's the secret of success? What do we need most to accomplish our goals, to fulfill our intentions, or to realize our dreams? Some might say intelligence, others may say money, patience, or the right connections. While all of these ingredients are important, the true secret of success is an often overlooked and critical skill - resourcefulness. Let me give you a simple example of what I mean.
Recently I spent some time with my good friend Nancy checking out a possible new location for future retreats. One morning, as Nancy and I were sitting in our room having coffee, I took out some tissue paper from my suitcase to wrap a birthday gift for a friend I planned to see later in the day. As I began to fold the paper around the gift, I realized I had no tape or ribbon to secure the wrapping. So, rather than walk to the gift store, I decided to challenge myself to find a way to get the gift wrapped without having the right tools. I saw this as an opportunity to stretch my resourcefulness muscles - something I enjoy doing.
I took a large, pink piece of tissue paper and carefully wrapped it around the gift. Then, I took a pink and white piece, folded it into a thin strip, and used it to keep the ends of the pink paper closed. But, I still needed something to secure the strip. So, I went out into the garden to look for a long piece of grass, or a thin branch from a nearby bush. No luck. I went back inside to keep searching.
By now, Nancy was fully on board and we were both having fun trying to find a solution. Nancy is one of the most resourceful people I know, and I knew it was a matter of time before we came up with an idea. Just then, I walked into my bathroom and immediately found the answer: dental floss. I pulled a long piece from the container, tied it around the gift, and stepped back to admire my creation. The gift looked like it had been professionally wrapped (and it smelled minty-fresh, too!).
Our successful attempt to wrap the gift prompted a discussion about the importance of being resourceful. Nancy is the Events Director for more than 85 Hay House programs every year, and she's challenged to find solutions to problems every day. As a result she's a lightening-quick thinker, a bulldog when it comes to follow through, and a master at finding solutions to what appear to be insurmountable problems. If a goal or dream is meant to be realized, then these are the skills you'll want to make it happen.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines resourceful as: The ability to act effectively or imaginatively, especially in difficult situations. If you develop this ability, you're sure to succeed at the things that matter most. So, think about it. How resourceful are you? To find out, choose a goal or intention that's important to you, one that also presents a challenge. Then, take the following three steps.
Step 1 - Decide in your mind that there is a solution to the problem or challenge - period, end of discussion. Don't take no for an answer.
Step 2 - Commit to doing whatever it takes to find that solution (this is why the goal better be important).
Step 3 - Start searching for your next step and be open to unexpected ideas. Then take action.
Whether you need to find a new job in a hurry, money to pay this month's rent, an idea to help take your business to the next level, or a way to turn a mistake into an opportunity, resourcefulness is your ticket to a successful outcome. Just stay open-minded and be sure to keep your feet moving :).
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When you develop your resourcefulness muscles, you'll stop being afraid of failure. And you'll start influencing the lives of others in a powerful way. For further proof, I invite you to check out this beautiful commencement speech delivered by J.K. Rowling at Harvard University. It's called, "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination." Check it out here.