Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.


We all have different ways of accomplishing things. Some people deliberate for a long time and then move quickly. Some people make a quick decision and then take a long time to act on it. Sometimes the results are exactly the same. The old saying “to each his own” is right; there is no right way or wrong way.

In one of my books, I wrote about a copywriter who would spend most of his time looking like he wasn’t doing anything. He would gaze out the window for hours, sit at his desk doing nothing, and make no attempt to look busy. This drove his co-workers up the wall. Finally, they complained to the boss. The boss asked them how long this behavior had been going on, and then told them to see if they could get the copywriter coffee, lunch, anything, to make sure his day wasn’t interrupted. The co-workers became irate over this preferential treatment. Then, the boss told them, “The last time he acted like this and the time before and the time before that, he came up with ideas worth millions of dollars. Whatever you do, don’t disturb him!” To each his own. We all have our own processes. The results are what matter.

If someone wanted to review my work process, they might say, “Well, he spends a lot of time on the telephone.” That’s true. I’m on the phone and talking a lot. That’s how I do business. It’s not that I’m just chatting on the phone all day. It all depends on the way you want to see something or someone. You can color the situation or behavior in a favorable or unfavorable light. But the bottom line is that I get a lot accomplished. That’s my style. If you want to say that all I do is have daily chat fests and still manage to rake in the big bucks, that’s fine with me. My achievements still point towards effectiveness.

Find out your most effective way of working for yourself. I don’t mind working hard, but I see no merit in working stupidly. Looking like you’re working hard is a waste of everyone’s time and talent. What’s the best way to accomplish your goals for that day? Some people work very hard for several hours and accomplish more than other people do in two days. It’s all a matter of focus.

After awhile, people will know you by your habits or your habitual behavior. These habits can be qualities, as Aristotle points out. If your behavior is consistently of a high standard, your particular quality may be integrity. That’s a good way to go. So review your habits and make sure they are leading you in the right direction. In other words, make sure you are working towards the results you want to see, and know that your way of achieving them will be distinctly your way. It’s also a great way to define your own boundaries without being influenced negatively by anyone else.

Someone once told me that the clearest way to see people and events was to be non-judgmental--to just see and record the facts without coloring them with “this is right” or “this is wrong” or telegraphing the desired reaction to other people. It’s a journalistic approach--journalism in its purest sense. In other words, it's news without a slant. This approach requires a little more thinking, but we need to do a little bit more of that these days.

We should never think our way is the only way, whether we’re talking about work ethics or politics. We should be grateful for the diversity we have in our lives, and take the time to hone our own natural talents. Sometimes we don’t know how hard someone has worked to achieve something. There are very few “overnight success” stories. Just because someone is suddenly famous one morning doesn’t mean they haven’t been working for ten, twenty, or fifty years already. Unless we know the full story, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

Results are what matter. The bottom line is the bottom line. Thomas Edison once remarked that he knew a lot about results because he found several thousand things that didn’t work on his way to finding something that did. So, it’s not always a straight line to achieving the results we are looking for, but a series of efforts that will add up to experience and achievement. Set your pattern now for achievement of the highest quality. That’s your task for the long term.

Author's Bio: 

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