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Plan for Turbulence
By Brian Tracy

On a flight, when your plane takes off, the pilot tells all the passengers to stay in their seats with their seatbelts buckled. In many cases, the pilot will say, “We expect a certain amount of turbulence for the first part of the flight, so please stay buckled up.” When you start any new business or job, you will experience turbulence as well.

Control Your Responses

Strong people expect to experience problems on their journey toward their goals and destinations. Weak people are surprised and dismayed when things don't work out the way they had expected. They become angry and lash out. They blame other people for their problems. Often they become depressed or irrational. Your success is largely determined by your ability to respond effectively to problems as they come up. Fortunately, you can learn a number of effective strategies practiced by successful people to deal with problems.

Problems Go with the Territory

First of all, expect to have problems, disappointments, and temporary failures. Don't be shocked, surprised, or angry when they occur. Instead, take a deep breath, relax, and say, “Solving problems is my job; problems are what I do.” Each time you solve a problem, you will become even more capable of solving even greater problems. The major reward you get for solving problems is the opportunity to solve even bigger problems.
Think in Terms of Solutions

Superior people are intensely solution oriented. They think about solutions and what can be done rather than the problems and who is to blame. They are future oriented and continually think in terms of the actions that they can take immediately to control the damage, minimize the problem, and move ahead. One of the best strategies you can use is to practice mental preparation with regard to problems. Resolve in advance that no matter what happens, you will remain calm and relaxed.

Ask Questions

When you deal with unexpected turbulence in your business or personal life, you can keep yourself calm, clear, and focused by asking questions rather than reacting or overreacting. First of all, get the facts. What exactly is the problem? How did it occur? Sometimes, the solution to the problem is contained within the problem itself. The very act of asking questions keep you calm and in control. Focus on the solution.

Accept Responsibility and Take Charge

Once you have clearly defined the problem (and confirmed that it actually is a problem) and you have thought about the various actions you can take to solve or minimize it, the next step is the either take responsibility for taking action or assign specific responsibility for taking action to someone else. Think always in terms of actions you can take. Just as a pilot facing unexpected turbulence keeps both hands on the wheel and his or her eyes on the gauges, when you experience problems, you must take command of your situation and ensure that you are flying in the right direction.

Action Exercise

You become a superb pilot of your own destiny by dealing effectively with the inevitable storms that occur in your work and personal life. Next time a situation occurs take a deep breath, and then begin to think of solutions to that situation.

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