The Secret to Success

Another busy and fun week this week with a trip down south to speak to a group of Sales Managers from the Pharmaceutical Sales Managers Group, plus Coaching in Rotherham, running a workshop for 10 directors for the Academy for Chief Executive Group in Sheffield and more coaching in Sheffield.

On top of all this I have managed to keep on top of my book writing schedule where I need to have my book finished and all chapters to my book coach by 31st July which is less than 2 weeks away. It still astounds me that I am writing a book because as I mention in my talks and workshops English was my worst subject by far in school and I received the lowest possible grade in my O’level exam.

Speed touch typing

I have never studied English at any time in my life since that time and all I have done is to read books over the past few years so I must have picked up some skills in writing because of that. I now type at 40 words a minute and it’s getting faster and faster having taught myself to type about 10 years ago. Once I had learnt which keys to put my fingers on, I threw away the CD I was working from, and since that time I have just watched my typing speed increase.

Over the past few months I have seen a dramatic increase in my typing speed because of the amount of writing I am doing for my book and this intrigues me. It reminds me of the time I spent as a young boy of about 12 years of age learning to spin the basketball on my finger. To start with it was impossible and for weeks and weeks I tried without any success. Then someone showed me how to do it and using their advice I changed what I was doing and began to see some progress.

Practice Practice Practice

It took me nearly 2 years to get really good at spinning that ball and the progress was slow but I was improving. As the weeks and months went by I would be able to spin it for one second, then two, then three, and so on until I could keep that ball on my finger for over 10 seconds without touching it. I learned to hit the ball with my other hand to keep it spinning for a long time and this gave me great satisfaction.

As a young boy I had no friends and very little confidence and was the worst in my class in sport. Then a chance meeting with my uncle in Poland changed my life. He was 6ft 9in tall and played basketball for the Polish army basketball team. He showed me some skills and lit a fire in my heart. Because of that chance meeting (or was it?) I was playing for England under19 team within 5 years, and then the full England team including playing in the Commonwealth games.

Harlem Globetrotters

It was a trip to see the Harlem globetrotters play in London when I was 12 years of age which gave me the inspiration to spin a ball on my finger. I believed that if I could spin a ball on my finger I would have at least one friend because at the time I had no friends. It was a bit shallow at the time but for me it gave me hope so I practiced and practiced. I did manage to spin the ball eventually and I did become more popular with the other boys in the school so it did work.

Now I see the same parallel with my typing as the more I practice the faster I get. I remember someone once saying that they had a secretary who could type as fast as he could speak and he we amazed by that. I never forgot that all those years ago and now that I am getting faster it makes me wonder if I could get as fast as that. I’ll keep practicing and maybe that speed will be achieved.

The result of hard work

The massive benefit of typing fast is that I can get e-mails out in a very short time as well as writing this blog in a fraction of the time it would take if I was typing using two fingers. This means I can get much more done in a day which should mean more business coming in. I guess it’s pretty clear that both these skills take time and practice to improve and that is one of the biggest lessons I have learned recently regarding success. You cannot be successful without a lot of hard work!

You may win the lottery and that is a different issue with its own specific challenges but apart from coming into a large amount of money the way to success is good old fashioned hard work. All the high achievers in life including sport, business, music etc have many things in common including sheer hard work. Of course it’s about putting smart hours in with good time management, prioritising the important things to do first etc but we need to understand that there is a price to pay for success and that is hard work – but the benefits of the life you create are so worth it!

This week’s Action 

  1. Have a think if there are any areas of your life where you are avoiding putting the hours in even though you know you should be. It could be work, a hobby, a relationship
  2. To help you with motivation Visualise yourself having achieved the thing you know you should be working on. Do this in detail and see yourself having succeeded with this thing, feel the feelings you would feel and use all your senses as you visualise this success
  3. When you have this vision of success in your mind the more you visualise this the more you will be drawn to completing this picture and you will eventually start doing something towards it, sometimes subconsciously
  4. Write out a  very simple plan of action of the steps you need to take to move towards completing this
  5. Share this with someone to keep you accountable

That’s it for this week – next week I start writing the chapters for my book which give me more opportunity to increase my typing speed.

Have a great weekend and stay positive

Warm regards


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