Success is often the result of preparation, experimentation and favourable conditions. Preparation and practice produce results. Experimentation takes courage so that we can fail and learn as we go. However, those who enjoy highly favourable conditions attain greater success more frequently. At the age of 23, my heavyweight rowing team won a national title. At that time I had been rowing for 10 years, trained in excess of 50,000 km on water and taken over 6 million strokes. If we prepare and practice, success is the result.
At the age of 37, I began experimenting with different forms of meditation and spiritual practice to reach enlightenment. I experimented with techniques from Sufism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen, Tantra and many others. My sincere search and experimentation resulted in the loss of my marriage and for a time all worldly possessions. My journey took courage in the face of judgments and opinions from others around me. I failed time and time again. Eventually, I learnt that looking for enlightenment did not work. One day, in an innocent moment, my world as I knew it finally ended. Seeking was over. The one that had been seeking became aware of itself as everything.
Today I work as a conference speaker. I also mentor businesses. When I speak to audiences filled with leaders and business owners, I enjoy favourable conditions for both parts of my business. Usually, when I speak, one or two people come up to me after my speech and invite me to speak to their organisation. If I share my business mentoring service as part of my speech, I create a tailwind effect, especially if my speech went well. People who hear me speak engage me as a mentor on the spot.
On the blank page opposite, write three headings: Practice; Experimentation; and Tailwind. Under the Practice heading, write down the skills and activities that you or your business need to practice over and over to be successful. Consider the road ahead for your business. Where does the most uncertainty lie? What are some external factors in your business environment that you can’t change? Which future events are hardest to predict? Under the Experimentation heading, write down some brave, risky and courageous steps you could take to learn, adapt and successfully evolve more quickly. Under the Tailwind heading, list some new industries your business could migrate to where you can enjoy more favourable winds. e.g. If your business is focussed on servicing and repairing petrol engines or DVD players, strengthening headwind conditions are ahead. If your business is focussed on servicing and repairing mobile phones or robots, you will enjoy tailwind conditions.