In my first post for TSBB I gave a definition of Resourcefulness as:-
The ability to find ways of dealing with the unknown, the uncertain, the unfamiliar, the unexpected and the obstacles that get in the way of your objectives.
I also said that I wouldn’t be writing about “The 7 things that resourceful people do”. I know that these types of lists can be very helpful and they are increasingly being used by individuals and organisations as way of demonstrating expertise in a particular subject and of giving value to potential customers. They work because they chunk down complex ideas into bite size pieces that are easy to understand. However when it comes to resourcefulness, to me, it is counter-intuitive to try and capture this quality in an easy to follow 7 step process.
If resourcefulness is really about dealing with the unknown, the uncertain, the unfamiliar and, the unexpected it would be impossible to predict all the ways that they could manifest in our lives.
Nevertheless, there is a way to think about resourcefulness that does chunk it down into a manageable set of principles.
Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Richard Reed are examples of very different people who have demonstrated resourcefulness in abundance. What links them is not what they do but the way they react to the circumstances in which they find themselves. They have a mindset that allows them to deal with the vagaries of life and I will attempt to identify this mindset in 8 easy to read parts.
1. Life is change: Thomas International, the leading provider of DISC profiling in the UK, have shown that approximately 65% of the UK population see change as a threat. Yet change is the only certainty that we have. Every area of life is changing rapidly as new technologies are introduced and old ones fade away. The ability to deal with, welcome and initiate change is fundamental to resourcefulness.
2. Live from the heart: Alan Sugar doesn’t have a heart I hear you cry. Not true. His success came from his belief that the world wanted cheap and accessible electronics and AMSTRAD was born. However his final success was not achieved just through this heartfelt belief.
3. The brain is programmed to protect you: We all have times when we doubt ourselves or feel that we can’t take that next step. This is our brain trying to protect us from what we perceive to be danger. But what is dangerous for you is exciting for someone else and even tedious for another. The limitations that you feel sit inside of YOU nowhere else.
4. Nobody can do it for you, you can’t do it all on your own: Your ambitions are yours nobody else’s but this doesn’t mean that you can do it all on your own. Realising that you need help, support and the challenge of an outside perspective is another part of resourcefulness.
5. It’s probably happened before: You might find yourself in a situation that you have never encountered before. It is extremely unlikely that it is a new experience in the context of human experience and that means that you can find the help to deal with it.
6. Relaxed awareness is the key: When we get stressed our physical and mental processes are changed. Stress is a precursor to our instinctive fight or flight reaction. Maintaining relaxed awareness in stressful situations allows for the best solutions to be found.
7. We live in an abundant world: Your ideas will never come to fruition if you don’t believe the world wants or needs what you have to offer. The idea of abundance has its roots in many different areas of philosophy and spiritualism and this can be difficult for some people. In simple terms it’s about believing there is a place for you and your thoughts and ideas.
8. You have to be able to say “I want…”: To be resourceful you have to be able to say “I want” and the irony is that our culture tells us that it is selfish to say “I want”. If your “I Want” is at the expense of someone else, then yes it quite possible is a selfish desire. If your “I want” is to bring something better to the world, how can that be selfish? It is your “I Want” that is the most powerful motivating force on earth.
Well there you go, I have contradicted myself, I have just presented the 8 qualities that resourceful people demonstrate. Life is change, deal with it! Are they easy to follow steps? No, but if you can bring these mindsets to bear you have a much better chance of achieving what you want in life.