John starts off Chapter 8 of No Limits by asking …How can we increase our production capacity immensely and immediately? By being intentional about it! Many of us desire to be more productive but are we making the choices that allow this increase in productivity to occur? Are we making choices that keep us on an uphill climb rather than a downhill slide?
When we talk about capacities, talent and natural ability are involved at varying levels. However, we can increase our production capacity by being intentional with our choices. On page 133 of No Limits, John shares – everything you want, everything you desire to achieve and receive – is uphill. The problem is that most of us have uphill dreams and downhill habits. And, that’s why we have a cap on our production capacity.
Early in my (Cindy) childhood, I remember my parents reminding my brothers and I that everything worthwhile is uphill. Everything! The most vivid uphill’s growing up on a farm were early mornings taking care of young livestock, hot days working in the garden and the nearly 100 degree days of July and August picking peaches. However, the uphill reward was a significant amount of cash! The older I became, the more I realized the uphill decisions gave me more than a financial reward. It gave me confidence, increased my self-respect, was purposeful, fulfilling, and gave me wins. When I made downhill decisions and opted out of doing the work, it decreased my self-esteem, I was not making a difference, I had low morale and nothing was improving.
In John Maxwell’s book NO Limits: Blow the Cap Off Your Capacity he shares 9 Principles of Highly Productive People. As I share three of them with you here, I encourage you to think into your WHY. If you don’t do it for yourself, will you do it for your family or friends?
- Visualize the Perfect Outcome
Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People reminds us that we should always begin with the end in mind. Paul Martinelli, President of the John Maxwell Team, calls this ‘creating a mental model of perfection.’ My father who has owned peach and apple orchards most of my life says he keeps this ‘perfect image’ in mind when he goes to work pruning his trees. You can see this same result as landscapers sculpt shrubs into various forms of art. Do you have a vision for what you want to accomplish? Will it be perfect? No, but your idea of perfection is a starting point.
- Start Working Before You Know How to Achieve the Outcome
Be willing to take action and adjust along the way. Remember that base hits will achieve the victory as well as the home runs. Paul Martinelli says, “Whatever you have – or don’t have- be willing to start, regardless of how little you know about how you’re going to get to where you want to go.”
- Fail Fast, Fail First, and Fail Often
Be willing to try new things and just keep moving. This is a mindset issue. A quote from John Maxwell’s Failing Forward helps keep my mindset in check, “If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward. … Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success.” The willingness to fail and learn from what didn’t work will move you forward!
Remember, this is only three of the nine Principles of Highly Productive People John shares in this chapter. If you would like to blow the cap off your production capacity, I encourage you to read the book and to watch for my Virtual Mastermind Study coming soon based on No Limits: Blow the Cap Off Your Capacity, by John Maxwell!