Monday, April 25, 2011

Keys to Success: Wall Literacy

In this six week series, each Monday, we'll be exploring what it takes to succeed.

You know the wall. It's the one that has all the writing on it. In order to be successful, you have to know how to read it.

Reading the writing on the wall involves seeing a situation as it is and not how you want it to be. Living in denial and burying your head in the sand show a stunning level of wall illiteracy.

I've seen it happen time and time again where people refuse to see what is happening right before their eyes. Let me give you some examples.
  • A company was in the midst of some serious layoffs. Although coworkers in his department had been let go, Edward refused to even look for another job. He thought his tenure and his work ethic would be enough. It wasn't.
  • Elisa's husband has been working late, although his paycheck didn't show any overtime. He got strange texts and calls in the middle of the night and he seemed to be picking fights just so he can storm out of the house and come back late. She was genuinely surprised when she caught her husband with another woman.
  • Erica ignored her persistent stomach cramps. She blamed it on stress and just kept going. As it got worse, she just took more painkillers to numb the pain. That is until one night when, with a fever and in excruciating pain, she was rushed to the hospital with several peptic ulcers.

The writing on the wall might not be pleasant, in fact, it might be downright painful. Yet reading that writing can empower you. It gives you the information you need (and maybe even the motivation) to do something ... and doing something is the first step to any solution.

And if fear is stopping you from reading the writing on the wall, consider this: As bad as the writing might be, it could be that much worse, if you ignore it. Ignorance isn't always bliss.

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