How can we create better results in less time and with less money? Today’s Freedthinker lights the way to creating better results with less resources. Please leave your comments at the end and let us know what you think.
A contractor once told me that he could produce results that were fast, cheap or excellent, and that I could pick two of the three; fast and cheap (but not excellent), fast and excellent (but not cheap), or cheap and excellent (but not fast; it would take a long time).
There is a third way; how to produce results that are fast, excellent and inexpensive. Let’s call it The Way of Abraham.
The Biblical patriarch Abraham is the world’s first recorded negotiator. He masterfully negotiated with God about saving the lives of the people of Sodom and although the deal didn’t work out, his technique was sound. However, when offered a free gift of land as a burial site in Hebron for his late wife Sarah, Abraham refused the offering and insisted on publicly paying the full price of 400 shekels(1).
Furthermore, when sending the servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac, Abraham refused to take the easy option and get someone from a nearby tribe or neighbouring Egypt but insisted that Eliezer make the journey to Abraham’s birthplace(2).
Abraham’s eventual accomplishments were extraordinary as he influenced three major world religions, and there are three key lessons that can teach us how to get outstanding results;
1. Invest in yourself. On a surface level, the 400 shekels paid for the parcel of land, but the sages explain that Abraham was actually paying for his reputation. By turning it into a publicly-recorded transaction, there could be no accusations that he stole the land. How many times have you accepted a free lunch or favour and ended up paying for it in other ways?
2. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve. Abraham needed a suitable wife for his son who matched the values he was upholding, so recruited accordingly. Although it would have been faster and cheaper to find someone locally, he was interested in excellent results that were in line with his vision and values.
3. Trust your inner guidance. We usually have the answer within as to whether we should be cutting corners or spending our resources. When we are asking the question, “Should I really be doing this?”, we always have the answer inside.
From a yogic perspective, if somebody takes shortcuts when getting into a position, they can cause injuries more easily. If they take time to get a firm foundation in the posture, making sure that their feet are in the correct position and that their legs are strong, then it increases the chances that the rest of the body will follow suit. This is of course true with standing up, e.g. it amazing how many people can fix back problems by ensuring that they are standing straight in the first place.
We are all within reach of achieving excellence and over time we can reproduce outstanding results on a regular basis. If a builder cuts corners with the foundation of building, the entire edifice is at risk, but when we ensure that the basis is strong, there is endless potential to flourish.
Marcus J Freed
Click here to find out about Marcus’s forthcoming book.
How to use this in the boardroom: Identify one area where you would like to create better results in your work. Ask the question; where can I do things differently? Where am I currently taking shortcuts and where could I invest more now so that I’ll create better results in the future?
How to use this on the yoga mat: Really cultivate a space for silence. Hold the question; ‘How can I change my current behaviour to create more success?’. Do not try to answer the question with your mind – just hold the silence and allow the answer to emerge over time.
1) Genesis, Chapter 24. Based on teachings of Rashi on Parshat Chayei Sarah.
2) Interestingly, this is the reverse of the Lech-Lecha process when Abraham is being told to leave his country, birthplace, and father’s house (Genesis 12:1).