Success Advice is All Around — You Just Have to Pay Attention

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

Outstanding performers share three things in common.

  1. Outstanding performers are technically competent.  They are lifelong learners.
  2. Outstanding performers set and achieve goals.
  3. Outstanding performers are organized.  They manage their time, stress and lifestyle well.

I look for common sense advice everywhere I can find it.  The other day, we bought a bag of Goldfish snack crackers.  The back of the bag said:

“Achieve Your Goals…Sometimes it’s hard to achieve what you want.  Try this.  First identify your goal.  Then try different strategies that can help you get there.  Using what you’ve learned from similar situations can help you succeed.”

I can’t argue with this advice.  As a matter of fact, I think it is basic common sense. 

Let’s break it down.  First, “identify your goal.”  I always tell people to set S.M.A.R.T. goals.  S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Oriented and Time Bound.  S.M.A.R.T. goals are very clear.  They give you a complete idea of what you are trying to achieve.  Stuart Wilde, a self help author and lecturer says, “Sometimes we just don’t know enough about what we are trying to achieve.”  S.M.A.R.T. goals will help you learn everything you need to know about what you are trying to achieve.

Second, “try different strategies that can help you get there.”  If you’re lucky, you’ll reach your goal the first time you try.  (If this happens all the time, you probably aren’t setting goals that challenge you enough.)  Most of the time, you’ll encounter some set backs along the way.  When you do, don’t get discouraged; try something different.  I always look at it this way.  When something I try doesn’t work, at least I now know one thing that I can cross off my list of strategies.

Third, “use what you’ve learned from similar experiences.”  This may be the best advice of all.  Experience is a great teacher.  I always begin something new by asking myself when I have been in a similar situation.  Then, I reflect on what happened in those situations to jump start my thinking on how to approach the new situation.  Experience is only valuable if you use it to help you learn or accomplish something new.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, common sense advice is all around us – even on a bag of Goldfish snack crackers.  If you pay attention to what you see in your world, you’ll be well on your way to outstanding performance — and success.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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