The difference maker

I just finished reading Andy Andrews’ latest book The Bottom of the Pool: Thinking Beyond Your Boundaries to Achieve Extraordinary Results. If you are not familiar with the name, you should be. He is a popular speaker and consultant for some of the world’s largest corporations and organizations. He is also the author of The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective which is one of my all-time favorite books on personal success.

In the Bottom of the Pool Andrews challenges the reader to forget what you think you already know in order to achieve better results. He correctly observes that most people are satisfied to do what they know, especially if they are seeing good results. However, it is possible to improve those results but not by doing what you’ve been doing or what everyone else is doing. In order to get those results we have to change the way we think about what we are doing. Andrews asks, “Does a mind have wings? Absolutely. Unfortunately, a mind also possesses an anchor. And either can be deployed at the drop of a thought.”

The book stresses that even if we are at the top of our fields there is much more we can accomplish beyond our current successes. Furthermore, it might not be that difficult because the way to do that is found within ourselves. It’s found in the way we think about ourselves, the way we present ourselves, the way we connect with others, and the way those thoughts and attitudes are lived out in our lives.

I enjoyed the example the author gave of Michael Jordan when he was playing in the NBA. Opposing coaches and announcers often pointed out that Jordan didn’t get fouls called against him the way other players did. He sometimes got away with taking an extra step or two without dribbling the basketball. Andrews believes one reason for this was that, unlike some other players, Jordan didn’t often get upset when he was called for a foul. He didn’t try to make the referees look bad. He knew them by name and their families and would often talk with them during warm-ups about things going on in their families. Conducting himself professionally, connecting personally with the referees and being the best basketball player of his time all may have led him to getting an occasional break that other players didn’t get. This is just one example found in the book.

You and I may not be Michael Jordan, but the same opportunities are available to us that he enjoyed. When we think positively about ourselves, act professional in whatever we do, connect well with others, and exhibit a high level of skill in what we do we will advance to another level not available to those who do not do those things.

I encourage you to read the book.

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