On June 25, 1876, General George Armstrong Custer received information that a significant number of Indians were gathering at Little Big Horn. Knowing that he and his men could handle it, he mounted his stead and confidently rode out with two hundred fifty men to surround three thousand Indians. As the history books reflect, this was a hugely unsuccessful and serious mistake; it proved disastrous for him and his men.
Like General Custer, sometimes we run into our future with the attitude that we know all we need to know, and we kill our chances for success. If you are serious about applying self help strategies and having more success, you may need to adopt the following positive attitude:
Throw what you know out the window!
That may sound reckless, but sometimes it is the # 1 formula for success. Here’;s another great example that demonstrates this success principle …
Every year in Australia, there is a long-distance footrace from Melbourne to Sidney, a distance of 600 kilometers. The race’;s participants are mostly world-class runners from around the globe.
In the early 1990s, an Australian farmer named Cliff Young entered the race with no prior experience. His training consist of chasing cows around on his farm. His "running gear" consist of obstacles and a pair of galoshes.
From the outside looking in, Cliff had no chance for success. Lasting one day would be a phenomenal feat. Successfully finishing the race would be a miracle. Who could have known? Not only did Cliff last a day, he finished the race. Not only did he finish the race – he won the race. Not only did he win the race, he won the race by a day and a half!
Cliff’;s incredible success was explained during post-race interviews. The world-class runners, when asked how to win a 600k race, all answered, "You run eighteen hours and sleep six … then do the same thing … every day." When Cliff was asked the same question, he stated that his positive attitude going into the race was, "When everyone else stops to sleep, I’;ll keep going."
For the world-class "experts" who thought they knew the "truth" about the best success strategy for winning a 600 K race, it was difficult to accept that Cliff won the race, simply because he "did not know any better. " The world-class experts had knowledge that turned out to be untrue, which severely limited their chances for success.
Do you ever operate as "the expert" in your life? Sometimes, like General Custer and the world-class runners, you will likely operate based on your "truth", which is not necessarily at your highest potential. Sometimes the key to more success is to throw what you know out the window.
Mark Twain said it best when he said, "It’;s not what I do not know that limits me.
Take a look at the sentence below.
1. What does the sentence say?
2. If your answer is A BIRD IN THE HAND, read the sentence again because that is not what it says. As you read this time, point at each word in the sentence.
3. Now, what does the sentence say?
Do you notice the sentence reads "a birdin the hand"? Sometimes we operate in life the same way we operate in the above exercise. We have automatic "truths" on how to be more successful in our life, work, and relationships. These automatic "truths" run rampant, then we react accordingly, and never consider what we might be missing.
The ten-million-dollar question is, "If you miss the second" the "in the above exercise, what else are you missing?" What are you missing in life that would lead to more success? What if you started seeing some things you’;ve been missing? Would you get more or less out of life?
The answers are obvious. Therefore, check your life for areas you know could improve, and do what General Custer and the world-class runners never did; change your attitude and approach; have a success breakthrough by throwing what you know out the window.
In doing so, you’;ll be your own Christopher Columbus; you’;ll shatter limiting "truth", discover a new world for yourself, have more success, and pull off more memorable achievements … just like Cliff Young.