Little Laws 4 BIG SUCCESS
Bill Cottringer

“We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.” ~Anais Nin.

A long time ago an MIT Math professor friend introduced me to a very intriguing engineering term called perturbation point. These are the few key stress points in a building where small explosive devices can be strategically placed to cause a quick, easy and effective implosion of the whole building. At the time, I had no idea of how this little principle would open my eyes to much bigger ones.

Over the years I have widened the net in keeping these “P” Points in mind as little ways to bring about big success—well-timed and well-placed little interventions that reap huge results in their return on investment . Here are ten little “P” Point laws to help you enjoy more success in anything you are doing from being a champion athlete or improving your marriage, to losing weight or getting a desired promotion at work:

1. Seeing the Way Life Works:

Earlier Psychologist B.F. Skinner was absolutely correct with his behavior modification theory; it just wasn’t applied as widely as it deserves. Life follows this single behavior modification law: When you do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons you get the right results; when you don’t you get everything else but what you really want.

There are three good reasons why we don’t get the “rights” right in this simple equation to be able to benefit from the abundance this little law brings:

• The connection between our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, expectations, behavior and consequences often don’t happen quick enough to see the connection.
• We are naturally resistive to accepting ownership of any of these connections, especially when they have failed outcomes from not making a sports team, divorce, overweightness, or not getting promoted at work.
• Most thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behavior is unconscious and beyond our awareness, at least until we become more aware of that reality.

Follow this little law and you get to where you want to be in time; don’t and just watch the gap widen between where you are and where you want to be, by the moment.

2. Going for the Olympic Gold:

The long and difficult winding road of human growth and development is mirrored in the process of becoming successful. You crawl, walk, run, jump and then fly, usually in that order unless you are one of the Wright Brothers. Before going for the Olympic Gold, you have to first make the team and before you make the team you have to train very hard. In this sense, inch by inch life is a synch, but yard by yard it is very hard and year by year it is something to fear.

Persistence and perseverance are what help talent, effort and luck come together to get results. Most of us give up and quit before we are willing to do or die in struggling, sacrificing and fighting to get to the last corner around which great success awaits to be found. It is too easily to get worn-out making this required long and difficult success quest full of bleeding, bruises and broken bones and there are often too many distractions diverting our attention along the way.

3. Understanding Who is In Control:

Things continually happen to us from day one every moment—we have thoughts and feelings about these things and we behave in certain ways in reaction to our thoughts and feelings, which have consequences that start the perpetual interactions all over again. These individual perceptions, beliefs and expectations eventually start bonding together to form a collective perspective or viewpoint. This viewpoint starts teaching us to expect certain things to happen in the present based on the past that will likely continue into the future.

Without realizing it, we have established a mindset of reality that controls us and becomes nearly impervious to change. At this point Anais Nin is spot on: “We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.” Understanding and dealing with this vicious circle of failure is essential to being successful. The key is in realizing we have always been our own worst enemy.

4. Making Paradigm Shifts:

Major paradigm shifts are hard to come by, but they produce the biggest gains in success. When we are able to see though half-truths and either reverse them upside-down or inside-out or combine them, then success doubles. A good example is the prevalent win-lose competitive model of today. Seeing the other half of this half-truth—the possibility of a win-win cooperative model—opens the floodgates to success.

Another good shift to master is to realize that the quality of the question you ask far exceeds the quality of any clever answer someone else can come up with. Good questions have always changed the world for the better. You can start this paradigm-shifting process by noticing that what you generally see is mostly related to where you are looking from in time and location. Then, if you don’t like what you see, just move.

5. Noticing What You Are Not Noticing:

It is quite normal to fail to notice things needing to be noticed in the ADHD nanosecond world of total overload we all live in today. There is too little time to pay attention to all the information that we are trying to pay attention to. However, stopping to notice when you finally start noticing that you are doing this, is a very good thing.

You can start by noticing the connections in the way life works—within the constant interaction between your mind, heart and hands and the consequences you get. Starting to notice what you haven’t been noticing all along, is a major change in your approach which will help you notice the little things in the way of big success, which you can do something about.

6. Avoiding the Main Temptation:

Some say life is mainly a character-building challenge—having to face adversity to learn how to overcome it to be better for the next time. In these never-ending series of challenges, that get harder and harder to deal with, there is one main temptation that keeps coming back. This is the temptation to give into quick and easy short term results and not wanting to invest the pain necessary for lasting long term success. Mohammed Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” Every single person who has ever achieved significant enduring success knows this little law very well because it has to be practiced every day to keep getting results.

7. Focusing On Change Rather than Results:

Keeping your goals in focus is important, but when you over-focus on the “forest” of your goals and the results you are or aren’t getting, you will be bumping into too many “trees.” And. A very large tree that often blends into the forest away from sight, is your approach to achieving the goals and results you are focusing on.

This is especially true when you aren’t getting the desired results from your efforts to excel in sports, improve your marriage, achieve the ideal weight or get the job promotion. That is the point at which you should be embracing failure to notice the approach you are using isn’t getting results and realizing if you change something, you are more likely to get those results. In weight loss it may be in eating times or refrigerator contents, in sports it may be listening closer to the coach or reading an inspiring story in another field and in relationships it may be talking less and listening more.

8. Creating Tipping Points:

Abraham Lincoln maintained that life always gave us second chances with the important things and so it was probably a good idea to know when the first one has already come and gone. It takes great sensitivity to notice second chance tipping points between failure and success, but this effort can get better results by changing focus on being more fully present in what is going on right now, and a little less on what has happened in the past or what is likely to happen in the future. In this sense, Lao Tzu was right in saying “In anything, timing is everything.” And it is good timing that enables our sensitivity in noticing tipping points now, to creating them later.

9. Learning the Art of Art:

The process of being successful is like sculpting. You de-sculpt away everything that isn’t the final image you want in your mind’s eye, until what is left is the winning image alone. This is the reason why the magic of the “Law of Attraction” in the “Secret” doesn’t work quite as easily and quickly as promised. You have to clarify the image of what you want to attract by first putting some distance between yourself and what you don’t want to attract. Most often success is what remains after you have removed all the failures in the way. Thomas Edison’s light bulb is a prime example and so is the digital clock that doesn’t confuse you with eleven other numbers in the way of seeing the one you need most.

10. Our Equal opportunity:

There is one belief that completely changes all the games in life. This belief is in the potential of our capabilities being infinite. The truth is this: At any given moment we all have the same equal opportunity to explode into our infinite possibilities. The stronger this belief is held, the more success we experience.

Consider adopting any of these little laws and watch your success grow beyond measurement.

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice-President for Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security, Inc. in Bellevue, WA, along with his hobbies in being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the peaceful but invigorating mountains and rivers of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, “You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too” (Executive Excellence), “The Bow-Wow Secrets” (Wisdom Tree), “Do What Matters Most” and “P” Point Management” (Atlantic Book Publishers), “Reality Repair” (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Authorsden), and “If Pictures Could Talk,” coming soon. Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or