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  • Peter Attwood

What Stops You?

How resilient are you in the face of no results?


If you have struggled with setting and achieving your goals in the past… read on.

At what point do you give up? I have met people who no matter what keep going, dealing with whatever they need to deal with to achieve their goals. I have met others who give up at the first obstacle. That then is the continuum; where do you place yourself on it?


There is a concept employed by the poker machine industry called intermittent reinforcement. The algorithms are designed to take your money but every now and then you win a bit. This spurns you on in the hope of winning the jackpot.

Intermittent reinforcement causes a positive response in the brain and all of us like this feeling which reaffirms we are on the right track (maybe). It is evident in all spheres of life whether you are learning a new skill (musical instrument), starting a business or working on a project.


Stay with me as I develop this theme….

In a quiet moment you decide what you want, set your goal and put your plan in place. Now comes the hard part, putting it into action…on your journey and not seeming to get anywhere, at what point do you throw the towel in?


Consider this; are you prepared to allow the circumstances to dictate your behaviour? – or do you persevere with positive expectancy?


For instance:


Retired and at the age of 65 and penniless a guy was on a mission. He travelled the USA, living in his car trying to sell his recipe. He was rejected 1009 times before getting his first YES.


Colonel Harland Sanders believed so much in what he had that nothing was going to put him off.

It begs the question; what if he had given up on the 1008 attempt?


Self- belief is a powerful motivator. 

Alan Bond – yes,  the very one, but love or loath him you got to admire his tenacity. He had four attempts at winning the Americas Cup, which the Americans had held for 132 years, the longest running streak in history. In the face of continual losses he kept going and learnt important lessons from each failure.


What can you learn from these examples?How do you stay with your dream and see it through to the finish?


It has got a lot to do with self-talk which we will go into in part 2.

I would like to leave you with the parable of the Stone Masons:


An old story tells of three stonecutters who were asked what they were doing. The first replied, ‘I am making a living.’The second kept on hammering while he said, ‘I am doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire country.’The third one looked up with a visionary gleam in his eyes and said, ‘I am building a cathedral.’

“Self-Respect is the Fruit of Discipline”. Abraham Herchel.

Peter Attwood

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