You Don't Need Talent to Succeed: But Everything Else Counts152
You Don't Need Talent to Succeed: But Everything Else Counts152
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YOU DON'T NEED TALENT TO SUCCEEDBUT EVERYTHING ELSE COUNTS
By Hector R. Hernandez
iUniverseCopyright © 2010 Hector R. Hernandez
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe First Solution: Reaching Your Higher Self
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Reportedly, this advice is written on the walls of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, India. Many other "instructions" were displayed along with these two.
When you do out-of-the-ordinary things and obtain outstanding results, you're putting your higher self to work. (I discussed higher self in this book's introduction. If you bypassed this and started here, why not take a moment and read the introduction now.)
Every one of the chapters in this book is peppered with stories that spotlight ordinary people doing out-of-the-ordinary things and obtaining outstanding results. I invite you now, as you explore chapter one, to:
Read the stories. Mimic, copy, steal ideas and actions you can use! Use what you can now. Come back again, anytime, to read and review.
Story: A grandma was recently mentioned in a local newspaper. It took her fifty-two years to earn her college degree. She always had the ability to attend classes, complete assignments, and satisfy all requirements for graduation, but she didn't do it. One day, she gave the whole thing a lot of thought and came up with the reason she "couldn't" do it: "I'm afraid. What will people say about a grandma in college? They'll think I'm a foolish woman and talk about me behind my back. They'll want to tell me to act my age. I'm not a strong person, and that will hurt me." She went on and on with all the reasons why she couldn't ... shouldn't ... didn't. One day, she realized she had courage. Everyone does. Courage was already inside of her and all she had to do was open the spigot and let it flow! We know she did because we know she earned her college degree. This college graduate used her noggin ... her head ... her cabeza! She was reaching higher, stepping away from ordinary thinking and operating with what I-and many others-call higher self.
As a child, I didn't think about higher self, but there were a few people in my "world" who were-knowingly or unknowingly-preparing me to find it. One was my Aunt Aña. Another was my dad's Uncle Raul. Of course, my mom and dad (Nerilda and Jose) influenced my young life too. They set high standards and were our partners and friends. (I still speak to my mom every day!)
When I was five or six years old, my parents didn't have their own home so we lived with my aunt and uncle in Havana. Aunt Aña was always teaching my two brothers and me something valuable. She put a heavy emphasis on respect and taught us good manners. All we had to do was to follow her lead. I remember a hundred little scenarios about that time of my life; one was me watching her facial expressions as we were leaving Cuba.
When we arrived in America, my dad's Uncle Raul received us. He sponsored us coming to this country and welcomed us to his home. He gave my parents his bedroom. He, too, did innumerable gracious things to make us feel comfortable and make sure we were on the right track as we settled into our new lives. I stay in touch with Raul and would do anything I could for him because I know what he did for us when we moved here. My aunt passed away, but I sense that she is with me daily. It's fair to say that my aunt and uncle operated at higher self. They were excellent role models. My family and I appreciated everything they did. I still do today.
Story: When I was eleven years old I said, "Yes" to a man in our neighborhood who was hiring boys to deliver newspapers. I didn't know what this meant. I didn't know you had to wake up at 5:00 AM. I was eleven years old and I wanted to make money. In a movie, I had seen a stack of money wrapped in a rubber band. I began to think about having my own stack of money and knew this man was offering me a job, and a job meant money. I needed my parents' permission and didn't think they would give it to me. I realized this was something I really wanted to do. I kept seeing myself sorting money and putting it into stacks. So, I convinced my older brothers to deliver papers with me, and my parents agreed to let us work together.
Now I know that I was rehearsing victory (see chapter two) when I "saw myself" sorting money and putting it into stacks. The prize could have been blue marbles and not money. I focused on the stack of dollars because-at age eleven-I thought that was neat.
I was reaching my higher self when I didn't settle for the ordinary. I knew my parents wouldn't give me permission. I asked myself, "Why can't you do it?" I knew that I could ... I just had to find a realistic way to fulfill my desire.
I depended on my thought processor to lead me to the realization that my brothers could be enlisted to help me get the desired result ... my parents' permission. (You have a thought processor too! See chapter three for details.)
Billboards on the Roadside
Story: When I was a child, my parents traveled to Miami every other Saturday to see family members-Hector my uncle and his family. We had lived in Miami when we left Cuba and arrived in America in 1966. While we were still there, my Dad got a job 200 miles away from Miami. After awhile, the commute became tiresome so my parents settled in West Palm Beach, Florida-just thirty-five or forty miles from Dad's work. So, every other Saturday, we "hit the road." On these trips, I began to think about my abilities when I discovered I was able to memorize the advertisements featured on every single billboard as we traveled north and every single billboard as we traveled south. "The next billboard is going to say ..." "The next one is going to say ..." I tested myself and discovered I was a winner! (Try this with your children. It's fantastic.)
Now I know that I was learning what it felt like to be successful! When I remembered the upcoming billboard before I saw it, I was victorious. I spent those trips celebrating victory ... one hour and one-half there and one hour and one-half back. I was a little kid but realized I could memorize, rehearse, realize a desire (to know what was advertised on the next billboard) and fulfill that desire. I had learned how to set a goal ... a very specific goal.
Today, when I appear in front of audiences, I'm able to say with conviction, "Plant your goal. Fix it in your thoughts." A common phrase heard in business circles is, "Nothing happens until somebody sells something!" If you're sold on what you want, something will happen!
Use the S-M-A-R-T Factor
S = Solver
You're a problem solver. You look for solutions. There are problems to be solved everywhere-in business, at home, at school, and in the community. Problem solvers are in demand! Your solution could be something as simple as taking out the trash bins for a neighbor because that neighbor must be at the airport at 6:00 am. She doesn't want to take out those bins in the wee hours of the morning when it's dark and You Don't Need Talent to Succeed But Everything Else Counts when noise is bound to disturb neighbors. She thinks of you. "Hector, would you please put our trash bins curbside in the morning?" Done! Problem solved.
M = Measure
Can you tell where you are today? I go back in my thoughts to a picture of a scoreboard and ask myself, Where am I from a scoreboard perspective? Where was I? When you measure progress, you sometimes "see" the reward. Other times, a reward won't show up for years and years. So, for purposes of measurement, forget about rewards. Where was I then? Where am I now? A simple habit of asking and answering these questions will tell you something about yourself. If you are passionate about fulfilling goals ... chasing desires ... you've got to get started! Keep moving forward even if progress is slow. Where am I? The answer tends to motivate us to keep moving to get to where we want to go.
A = Action
Are you really a problem solver? You don't have to wait until you earn an advanced degree, you've already got what it takes, and the fact is that you are solving problems all the time. Here's something to think about ... If a man steals a loaf of bread to solve the problem of feeding hungry children, he's setting himself up for trouble. If this same man borrows money to buy bread and feed the children, he must repay the loan, but he hasn't invited trouble. The children eat. The man may get a part-time job or sell his ring to raise money. He may enroll in a training program that will lead him to a job with higher wages. Actions can vary and results vary too. The smart person acts wisely. That person is "realistic."
R = Realistic
One student in the college classroom where I teach a night class left his book home the night I was discussing the smart factor with the class. Another student said, "Hector, just for tonight why can't we make a copy of this chapter and give it to Jay? Next time, he'll have his book with him, but for tonight we've solved the problem." This was a realistic solution.
T = Thoughts
You must shift your thoughts to focus on what you want. Your thoughts are actions in rehearsal. So, if your thoughts are in the right place, you're going to take the right action. Norman Vincent Peale (American clergyman and author, 1898-1993) once said, "We are what we think about all day long." A friend told me she is going to the gym to lose weight. She asked me what I thought about exercise. "I think exercise is important, and that's what you do when you go to the gym. You exercise." Since she's a good friend, I was able to add, "If you think you're losing weight, your thoughts aren't in the right place. You may lose weight as a result of the exercise, but, when you go to the gym, you should focus entirely on the exercise. Otherwise, you may be inclined to sit in the lounge and chit-chat too long instead of being on the treadmill. In short, shift your thoughts so they align with your desire."
S-M-A-R-T can be broken down in many ways. I've just given you one perspective, but, at the end of the day, I like to say that S-M-A-R-T also means sincere motivation and action required today/tomorrow. If you want to stay ahead of the pack, try adding E-R, which gives you S-M-A-R-T-E-R. The E stands for every day. And the R stands for reap the reward.
Story: I was twenty-one years old and (finally, after seven attempts) hired by IBM as a computer operator. I thought everyone who worked there must be a genius. Well, there are intelligent people and there are people who don't fit that description! They happened to be hired because they had a particular degree, or an opportunity opened because the company was growing. They were in an environment where they could be successful, but that didn't mean success was automatic. I started by smelling the environment-showing up a little early to inhale what I could see ... what I could hear. I was sniffing around to pick up a scent! I didn't have a degree. I had enrolled in a couple of junior college courses, and I started thinking, The company has a tuition plan. I starting asking other employees, "Hey, are you doing this thing called a tuition plan?" I got negative answers: "No." "I don't have time for that." "I have a job." I asked, "Well, are you taking advantage of some of the classes when our shift is over?" (We worked from midnight until nine in the morning.) Co-workers told me they were tired. "I've got to go home and sleep and get ready for the next night." I asked myself, What if I ask for tuition and go back to school? The opportunity is there. It's part of the environment. I was tuning in to higher self ... thinking of ways that Hector could do better. I eventually earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, and IBM paid my tuition. When I started to work for IBM in 1980, I was earning $2.15 an hour. Before long, I was asking if there was something more I could do. I was doing my normal job with time to spare. The supervisor said, "Don't make others feel like they're slower. Don't do that." I agreed, but I needed more to do. He told me to read some books. "What books should I read?" He gave me the procedures manual to read, and it didn't take long to realize that a lot of answers to the questions we'd been struggling with on the night shift were in that manual. Nobody had read it. Well, I could read! I asked this supervisor if I could make a copy of the manual. "Nobody makes a copy ... it's just a procedures manual!" After I got permission, I copied the first procedure. I took it home and I read it. I copied the next procedure. I read it. And so on-until I was very familiar with everything in that 130-page procedures manual. One night, we walked into the office and there was a huge problem. Systems were down. I looked over someone's shoulder at his computer screen and noticed that lights were all red where they should be green. I stepped back. I didn't say anything. I'd only been working at IBM for about six months. I could be wrong. I didn't want to embarrass myself. Then, too, there could be a way for me to be a hero. Maybe I could get a promotion out of this. Clearly, I was operating at my lower self! My manager walked over to me. "You know what's wrong, don't you?" "Yeah. I think I know what's wrong." He asked me to come into his office with him and he explained, "In this company, we share as much as we can. Holding things close to the vest will not get you what you want. This may work in other companies, but it doesn't work here. The more you share, the more you're going to have. I've been here for twenty-five years ... I know what I'm talking about. Now, what's the problem?" "It's controller 3725. You've got a bottleneck in this router." "Let's go out there right now, and you can tell Ray what you just told me." (Ray was the supervisor.) Ray realized that what I told him made sense. He followed through, and we were back in business! From that point on I shared with everybody!
As I write this book, I've been with IBM for thirty years. This experience probably influenced the kickoff to my exciting and rewarding career more than anything else. I'm forever indebted to that very astute manager who "saw" me hesitate and quickly guided me to do better-to reach my higher self!
My chief want in life is someone who shall make me do what I can. - Ralph Waldo Emerson American essayist, philosopher, and poet
I've had many mentors. Everybody around you matters-everybody. Don't just pick certain people. I think it's a great idea to go to lunch with different people as much as possible. Introduce yourself to someone you don't yet know. In this way, you create a network that can transform you from the "as is Hector" to the "to be Hector."
I'm a guy who likes to get other people excited about life ... you know ... always sharing ideas about how to better yourself. So, I am a mentor. And, as I'm fond of saying ... you don't need talent to attract a mentor or to be a mentor, but everything else counts.
Story: I was at the airport in Cincinnati and running late. I had just passed through security and had about thirty-five minutes to catch my flight. But, as I was coming out of security, someone called to me, "Hey, man, you want your shoes shined?" I looked at my watch and thought, I don't have enough time. But then I kicked into my higher self. This individual makes his living shining shoes, I reminded myself. I'm going to make time. So I said, "Sure." I sat down in the chair and asked, "How are you doing today?" "Today has been a great day. Jesus has been good to me." "That's wonderful. How was yesterday?" "Terrible. Not a good day. And ... hey, man, you want a $5.50 or you want a $6.50 spit shine?" "What's the difference?" "One is shinier than the other." "You know what? Give me the $6.50 shine. So, yesterday was not so good?" He nodded. "Why don't you do this," I offered. "Why don't you charge everyone $5.50 today because today has been a good day? You can do it from this point on." He looked at me and asked, "Who are you?" "I'm just a guy who has got to get to his flight." We laughed. "You know," I continued, "if you charge $5.50, people are probably going to give you a $2 tip. If you charge $6.50, they may only give you one dollar."
Excerpted from YOU DON'T NEED TALENT TO SUCCEED by Hector R. Hernandez Copyright © 2010 by Hector R. Hernandez. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
About the Author....................vii
Chapter One The First Solution: Reaching Your Higher Self....................1
Chapter Two The Second Solution: Rehearsing Victory - Prepare, Practice, Prepare, Practice, and Just Go with the Flow....................14
Chapter Three The Third Solution: Feeding Your Thought Processor....................23
Chapter Four The Fourth Solution: Shifting Your Thinking....................31
Chapter Five The Fifth Solution: Buoyed by the Source....................41
Chapter Six The Sixth Solution: Number One and Number Two-Do Not Disturb....................49
Chapter Seven The Seventh Solution: Welcome New Experiences (Reaching out ... Staying connected)....................55
Chapter Eight The Eighth Solution: Understanding Have vs. Get....................66
Letters from Students....................115