How to Get Tougher
"How many times in your life have you decided: ‘Well let's see, I couldn't handle so and so. I guess I'd better handle just a little bit less.' And then the first thing you knew you couldn't even handle that.
"What if you had said, ‘All right. Now let's see. I don't seem to be able to do this. Well, where's two of them?'
"I recommend it to you very thoroughly. You can't handle something, you say. Find a couple of tougher ones.
"The point is that you go in reverse." -- L. Ron Hubbard
When you think you can't handle something, take on two problems. Make the challenge bigger!
1. You don't have enough money this month to pay your apartment rent. At first, you decide to move to a cheaper place. But then you reverse your idea.
Your neighbor also can't pay the rent. You decide to solve both problems. You meet with your neighbor and help him figure out how he can pay his rent. Bang! You suddenly see how to increase your income well above the amount you need for your rent.
2. It's hard for you to drive a car with a manual transmission (stick shifter and clutch pedal). You've always driven an automatic, but need to drive a stick-shift car for your job. But every time you try to drive it, you grind the gears or shift to the wrong gear and stall the car. You decide to get a bigger problem.
You ask your truck-driver friend to show you how to drive a big truck with 18 gears. You learn how to shift, how to use the clutch and accelerator together, and how to control the speed with the gears. You soon have fun driving a 10-foot high truck. Of course, when you return to the manual-transmission car at work, it's very easy to drive.
3. You just got divorced and feel horrible. You can't stop crying. You consider taking drugs, seeing a shrink or worse. But then you decide to take on a bigger challenge.
You find two people who cry whenever you bring up their divorces. You help them get over their grief with fun activities. Immediately afterwards, you feel great!
4. Your new t-shirt business is dying. Even though you have a great location in a shopping mall, you can't get enough customers to come in. All of your new marketing ideas have failed.
You are losing money and can't pay your rent. You talk to a lawyer about going bankrupt.
But then you decide to get tough. You walk through the mall and find a hat shop that also has no customers. The owner is also thinking about quitting, so you make a deal to take over the hat shop.
Now, you have to get customers into TWO stores.
Now that you have more to risk, you stop reinventing the wheel. Instead of trying more new ideas, you visit three of the most successful t-shirt or hat shops in town to observe how they attract customers.
You copy these proven ideas and customers start to show up. Soon, both of your stores are making a profit. You are on the road to business success.
5. You need to lose weight, but you just can't stop eating junk food. You can't seem to turn off the TV and go exercise. You look around for some tougher problems.
You notice your chubby spouse and plump daughter are also sitting on the couch, eating junk food. You jump up and say, "We're all getting healthy, starting right now!"
You turn off the TV and make everyone go for a walk. You get them to eat more vegetables and less sugar. You convince them to change bad habits into good habits.
Over the next several months, you stay in charge of all three bodies. Everyone loses weight and becomes healthy. You feel tough!
How can you use this principle to handle your most difficult problems?
Give it a try!
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