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INDIRECT EFFORT - 85% of Joy in Life Comes from Relationships

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Dec 8, 2014

In 1984 I received the opportunity to lead as general manager the construction and startup of a 100,000 watt FM radio station in Wausau, Wisconsin.  It was a very challenging time for a number of reasons, including attempting to appease and satisfy the brother-in-law of the owner who thought he should have been given the opportunity. 

I’ve always been a big believer in education and self-development.  The Psychology of Achievement resized 600Brian Tracy’s Psychology of Achievement turned into daily listening for me, taking notes and then working to apply the principles.  This past week I rediscovered my written notes from my immersion in the principles.  It is surprising to discover how closely related they are to Aubrey Daniels approach to human performance as outlined in his exceptional book Bringing Out the Best in People.  Highly recommend it.

In the next several blogs I would like to offer some of the insights from Tracy’s Superior Human Relationship chapters to help remind myself and my readers the critical nature of relationships to success in any endeavor. 

As the blog headline notes 85% of the joy we experience in life comes from our interactions with human beings.  Only 15% can be attributed to other sources such as earned success. 

Want to get more joy and satisfaction out of life?  Increasing our ability to get along with others, developing superior human relations can achieve this.

Tracy had several laws and since this was the last section of his series this was his final law:  Law of Indirect Effort

In our activities with other people we get almost everything that we want and that desire in an indirect way rather than in a direct way.

Aristotle noted that happiness is not a destination.  Happiness is a process or condition.  A person is only happy when they are engaging in activities that give them a sense of personal growth and fulfillment. 

Therefore we never achieve happiness by going out and trying to become happy directly, we only achieve our happiness by engaging in activities on a day to day basis which we find valuable and worthwhile.

The unhappiest people in society are those that are engaging in things they find lacking in meaning, lacking in purpose, and relevance.  Perhaps you can see the value in having a Core Purpose, Core Values, and meaningful engaging work in this statement.

You want to impress others?  The hardest way is by trying to impress them. 

The finest way to be impressed by others is to be impressed by them.

Again this is the Law of Indirect Effort.  The more we are impressed by others qualities and abilities the more they are impressed by our qualities and ability to discern.

Do you want other people to be interested in you?  The surest way is to be interested in them.  Want people to believe in us, simplest way is to have faith, confidence, and trust in them.

When we concentrate all our efforts on being a friend and in liking and trusting others, then we find we have no difficulty at all getting people to like and trust us and be our friends.

The corollary is: If we want people to like us, best way is to like them.  Want to be a friend; you must first be a friend.

Let me finish this blog by offering Tracy’s insights on how to have a healthy personality. 

  1. Emerson noted that the individual who has the healthiest personality is to the exact degree that they have the propensity to look for the good in every situation.  The tendency to look for the good in every situation is a direct measure of how healthy your personality is.  Unhealthy people look for the bad in every situation.  The reverse is true.  The healthiest people we know and most fulfilled look for the good.
  2. Individuals has a healthy personality to the exact degree to which they can get along with the greatest number of other different types of people.  Individuals who can get along with the greatest number of people; from the most introverted to the most extroverted is the one who has the healthiest personality of all.  Individuals who can only get along with a few people, people who are bland, or no personality is the individual who is unhealthiest personality.

Tracy notes that our mental institutions have people who are unable to get along with anyone. 

self esteem resized 600What’s the most important thing we can do to improve the quality of our relationships? If you take the scale of a healthy personality and superimpose it on another scale, our self-esteem you’d find they are very similar. 

We’ll explore the degree to which we like ourselves as being the biggest determinate to the quality of our relationships next blog.  

Topics: employee engagement, employee performance, Relationship Drivers, human behavior performance, superior human relations, Psychology of Achievement, Brian Tracy

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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