Many years ago I read a book by one of the great thinkers of our time. So much time has passed since then that I can remember neither the name of the author nor the title of the book but I vividly recall the lessons contained within the pages of that book.
The author spoke at length about achieving greatness and reaching pillars of success that eluded the masses.
He spoke of the need for planning and the importance of persistence. He wrote about the power of attitude, the magic of resilience, the gift of determination and the necessity of passion.
And then he spoke of the four rules. He explained that these rules form the non-negotiable, non-transferable and non-tradable foundation upon which all success must be built if it is to be sustained and from which all failure emanates when these rules are short-circuited.
On the surface they appear to be the essence of simplicity and yet upon deeper examination their role in acquiring greatness becomes indisputable.
The four rules are:
Be on time.
Finish what you start.
Keep your word.
The author spent a great deal of time explaining the importance of each of these rules and as I recall it was abundantly clear why they are all equally important, necessary and essential if one truly wants to reach the full greatness of one’s potential
1.Be on time:
The first rule on the pathway to success lies with the unmistakable and yet unconscious message that honouring the value of punctuality brings to those with whom we interact on our journey to greatness.
When we are on time we convey a message that tells others how important they are to us. It confirms that despite all the other events and circumstances in our lives vying our time, we have pushed aside everything in order to be on time and that we respect their time by not keeping them waiting.
Being on time is character revealing. It tells the world that we are respectful of others and when we agree to be at a certain place at a certain time we make sure this happens because we have far too much respect for others to believe it is okay to not honour our commitment to being on time.
It was not too long ago that a friend told me of a financial planner who had made an appointment to meet with him. The salesperson arrived 35 minutes after the appointed time and without even acknowledging or apologizing for his tardiness, went straight into his sales pitch.
My friend interrupted him and told him that if he – my friend – was not important enough for the salesperson to be on time to meet then clearly he was not important enough to be a client and therefore there was no point in the salesperson continuing his presentation.
Being on time is not suggested, it is not optional, it’s the only way to be.
Politeness; you know, saying please, thank you, holding the door open for another person, being respectful speaks volumes about you just as powerfully as does impoliteness.
The author expounded at length on the value and importance of politeness. In order to achieve greatness we will need the help of others and that help will more forthcoming from those to whom we have displayed great politeness and shown much respect.
This rule is called the rapport builder. Politeness suggests caring and trustworthiness and sends a strong message that we care.
It is interesting to consider how expensive rudeness can be when compared to the returns earned by politeness which costs absolutely nothing to deliver.
The four rules mentioned above are the prerequisites for The Habit of the Four Rules of Greatness and according to those practitioners of this habit, without The Habit of the Four Rules of Greatness , greatness itself remains an elusive ideal.
Over the next week focus as much of your available energy as you can on these first two rules and as you do so you will quickly realize the immense value of adopting The Habit of the Four Rules of Greatness.
The Habit of the Four Rules of Greatness will begin to work for you right away and as it does, imagine how much more it will do so once we have fully discussed Habits three and four which we will do one week from today.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.