Editor’s note: Paul Huff is president of President of Paul Huff International, which specializes in delivering keynotes, seminars and educational programs.
_______________________________________________________________________________________It’s safe to say that every individual or every organization wants to “raise the bar” in some aspect of their life or business.

The “just-work-harder” mentality pervades our culture today, but it’s not necessarily the way to raise the bar. Many people have worked hard their entire lives and have little to show for it. Many businesses run by people who promote this “just-work-harder” mentality keep fighting to keep their heads above water; other business owners stand in front of bankruptcy judges begging for relief. While hard work, persistence, and determination are important, they’re not the only keys to success.

If you want to raise the bar, focus on Beliefs, Actions, and Results:

Beliefs

Several years ago, as a 27-year-old adult, I ran out of a tent at a county carnival, believing the woman on stage had just turned into an angry, man-eating gorilla. I was screaming like a two year old who’d just seen the boogieman as I ran out of that tent. Of course, it was just an illusion, but I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Everyone, including my wife and child, was laughing. An hour or so later, I began to see the tiniest bit of humor in the ruse myself. I had run out of that tent because I “believed” that that woman had turned into a gorilla. That belief, as ridiculous as it was, determined my behavior, which caused me to act in an illogical manner.

Actions

All of our actions, individually and collectively, are determined by our beliefs. Therefore, a belief that we are capable of extraordinary feats causes us to take extraordinary action. Conversely, when we don’t believe we are capable of something, we don’t take the needed action and stop short.

The actions of an entire organization are based on the collective beliefs of those in that organization. When people have something powerful to believe in, they take action that reflects that belief. However, when they view their work as “just another job,” their behavior (or actions) reflects that belief, which manifests in whining and complaining, plus lower productivity.

Many years ago, I lost my first wife to cancer. For a while, I held the disenabling belief that I was destined to be alone for the rest of my life. That belief kept me from taking any action toward meeting a special someone. I “hoped” I would someday meet another terrific lady, but hope and belief are not the same. So I took action. As I flooded my mind with positive thoughts and affirmations that I’d written on index cards, I began to develop the “belief” that I would meet someone.

Then one day, I had a brief conversation with a wonderful lady who was a complete stranger to me. Because we were both late for our separate appointments, I didn’t even find out her name. Later, when I went looking for her, all I could find was her coat that she’d left on a hallway bench. I scribbled a short note on one of my business cards and asked her to give me a call. I have never done anything remotely close to this in my life.

My belief that I was going to meet someone special caused me to take action, a kind of action that was foreign to me. The great news is that this wonderful lady did call me and we got to know each other. Today I’m delighted to say we’ve been happily married for more than 15 years.

Results

The results we get in life are a direct reflection of our beliefs, manifested in action. It’s virtually impossible to change the results we get by simply changing our actions (no matter how hard we work) without a corresponding change in our beliefs. Working harder won’t cut it. It’s what you think (believe) that makes the difference.

Our Beliefs cause our Actions and our Actions cause our Results…a simple cause-and-effect relationship. The key to getting what we want in life begins with exploring our own belief machine.

What do you believe is possible? What results do you deserve to have? What do you honestly believe about success?

My grandpa used to say, “If the fish ain’t biting, son, you better change the bait.” If your life is not the way you want it to be, change your beliefs. That change will create a corresponding change in your actions. And your actions will change your results.

Want to raise the B.A.R. in your life? Change your beliefs and actions so you can realize better results!
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Paul Huff is president of President of Paul Huff International, which specializes in delivering powerful keynotes, seminars and educational programs. He can be reached at 704-944-6070 or visit www.paulhuff.com