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Design a personal operating system and you can design success

Without an operating system, a computer is just a bunch of hardware, nuts and bolts taking up space on your desk. Add an operating system, like Unix, OS2 or Windows and that pile of junk becomes a gateway to the world. With an operating system, the computer works. You too can design an operating system that will allow you to work successfully in every area of your life.

Have you ever thought about what makes you successful? Are you aware of the fundamental elements that consistently lead to your success? Did you know that you have the key to your success? And that you may even be taking your ability to succeed for granted?

One of the first places to look when designing a personal operating system is to focus on your strengths. Our strengths come easily to us. In fact, we tend to overlook them because we do them so naturally. Are you curious? Sensitive? Nurturing? Good with details? Do you love to learn and absorb new information? Are you a great problem solver? Are you a great communicator? Are you a "people" person? These are all strengths and can become the foundation for your personal operating system. The great part about focusing on your strengths is that they already come easily to you.

Here's an example of operating in this way: Let's say you are great with people. You enjoy communicating. Listening to others comes easily to you. And people find this quality attractive in you. Because of this quality, your relationships are effortless. Let's apply these strengths to marketing. Rather than focusing on writing letters as a way to market yourself, your company or project, why not focus on ways and places to meet others? You sparkle when you are in direct contact with others. It is a strength and it's fun. Why do it any other way? Focus on what works easily for you and do it.

Observing your behavior is another way to design your operating system. As an experiment, observe your behavior for a week. Watch yourself and see what works for you and what doesn't. Use this week to learn how you naturally operate.

For example, are you linear or non-linear? Most non-linear people work in a free form style. Non-linear people tend to reach their destinations via the least direct route. So, if this is how you operate, give yourself time to explore and be indirect as you work through a project or challenge. Here's another example of incorporating how you naturally operate, let's look at people who like to "think out loud". Some people thrive when they have the opportunity to work things out verbally or to bounce their ideas off others.

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by Lea Tolub Brandenburg