Set On the Pathway To Success

Volume 9, Issue #15, #25th July 2010
Publisher Irena Whitfield

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Today's Feature Article

Overcoming Resistance
The biggest lesson from working at Microsoft
Garret LoPorto Garret LoPorto

One of the most powerful forms of self-sabotage is resistance. We all know the feeling. It's like when you try to yell in a nightmare and no sound comes out; or when you' re trying to think of a name and your mind just won't let you. Resistance to healing and success comes in many forms. Freud wrote volumes about it because he saw it as the single biggest obstacle to his patients' recovery.

Just about everything you set out to do in your life you can do easily and brilliantly - except when you allow resistance - then you will struggle, because you are fighting yourself. When you allow resistance, your mind, heart and soul disengage from what you're working on and you just feel lost, overwhelmed, inadequate - and then that' s how you show up.

Bill Gates understands how to avoid and overcome mental resistance and used that understanding to build an empire. When I interviewed and worked for Microsoft Research I was screened to make sure I had little or no mental resistance. They used interview questions like, "How many gas stations are there in Washington state?" This separated the wheat from the chaff. Even someone who trudged their way through a Harvard MBA, if they had mental resistance, would probably answer that question with "I don't know." and just leave it at that, because they self-righteously figure "How can they expect me to know that?!" instead of responding with the more humble and helpful "Let me see if I can figure this out..." Bill Gates knew that people who so easily throw up their hands and say "I don't know," or "I can't do it," would just be a burden on his thriving empire of programmers with a "can do" attitude.

Working at a place like Microsoft Research is unforgiving in some ways and incredibly rewarding in others. When no one accepts the "I can't." or the "I don't know." excuse in the organization, your resistance to really helping solve problems in the organization is totally exposed. That's the "unforgiving" part. But the beautiful healing part of this kind of culture was that people did not give up on each other, even when someone totally failed at something. We were all pushed to the brink of our capacity and abilities and as long as we were totaly "showing up" and giving 100% to solve the tough problems, we were rewarded. Even when we went down in flames - as long as that disaster was the result of us "going all the way" with something - it was okay.

The only thing that was not okay was self-pity and giving up. Bill Gates would routinely scream at an employee presenting something he'd worked on for months, "That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" And usually he was right that the underlying principles were flawed. But the cool thing was that employee would be bummed for about two seconds and then get right back in there looking for a better solution. This was an organization full of champions.

Learning to overcome resistance is probably one of the most important first steps in unleashing the power of your personality. If you want to unlock the genius behind your personality and quite possibly join the ranks of the world's most successful business entrepreneurs, then check out this radical new book, The DaVinci Method. Click here.

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