One of the most important aspects of creating success involves a delicate balance between two somewhat opposing forces – REFLECTION and ACTION. This balance is very similar to the balance of Yin and Yang in the Tao philosophy.
Most successful leaders in business or elsewhere are seasoned veterans at creating an ongoing balance between the reflection of where they are now and the action of pushing toward where they need to go.
Consider the variety of personalities that exist and how they can be represented by the analogy of Ready, Aim and Fire. There are those can be described as Ready, Ready, Aim. They are always planning and never moving to the action. Then, there is the opposite who could be described as the Fire, Ready, Fire. They are always acting but never reflecting on where they are or where they need to go. This means that they are often spending effort that becomes wasted effort or at least effort that is inefficient.
No matter what our personality style, true success comes when you can initiate a balanced cycle of Ready, Aim, Fire, Ready, Aim, Fire, Ready… You don’t spend too much time in either the state of Reflection or of Action.
It should also be mentioned that in teams, individuals may play different roles in the Ready, Aim & Fire analogy. Some focus on the reflection roles and others on the action roles. This is valid as everyone has different strengths. When it comes to leadership (and we all have leadership roles) and our personal lives, we must take control and be active in both parts.
Stumbling blocks to success and specifically to creating the Tao of Success include acting too often without any sense of direction or spending too much time reflecting without creating outcomes. Do either of these descriptions sound like you?
So, what can you do to create more of the Tao of Success in your life. The first thing would be to understand that both components of the Tao of Success are active verbs. You are either actively reflecting or actively doing something. SUCCESS is NOT about INACTION.
The next thing to consider is whether you can spend time reflecting and acting at the same time? The short answer is… sort of. Your mind can only hold one thought at a time. This is an important point for us to remember when we are considering focus and balance in our lives. It is also important in the Tao of Success. You can be going through periods of reflection and action at the same time but the truth is that at any specific moment in time we are only spending energy in one of the two areas. We may switch between yin and yang quickly enough that we "appear" to be supporting both at the same. The reality is not true.
The wonderful thing about the Tao of Success is that it applies to our personal lives, our extracurricular lives and our business lives. Whether you are goal setting, working on your motivation, working on personal development or working on your professional development, you can implement the concept of the Tao of Success.
A good way to remember the power of the balance of Reflection and Action is to consider a child swinging. When a child swings, they put energy into the swing during the motion part of the swing. Then, they have a moment where they are completely motionless where they still have a great deal of potential energy. Then, instantaneously, this energy is released in a new direction.
Then, the cycle continues over and over again creating REAL RESULTS.
To find out what is the most important skill required with regard to the Tao of Success, please subscribe to Food for Thought, our newsletter that will make you stop and think.