Are You Pushing or Being Pulled?

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Are You Pushing or Being Pulled?

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There are a lot of people working really hard. There is a good chance you are one of them. There are also a lot of cliché’ phrases, idiom’s, and meme’s floating around social media channels about working smarter and not harder or how if you love what you do you’ll never work another day in your life. There is certainly some value to those, but have you considered the aspect of push or pull? Marketers will quickly associate with the concept of push versus pull marketing, but we’re not talking about marketing here, at least not specifically.


Some time ago, and unfortunately I cannot recall who to credit with this idea, I heard an analogy that really stuck with me related to push or pull.

Imagine a twelve inch long piece of string on a flat open space such as a desktop or table. Now imagine that you want to move that piece of string across this space. If you place your index finger on one end of the string and attempt to push it across the string will likely bunch up, twist up, or otherwise not cooperate. Instead imagine if you place your index finger on one end of the string and pull the string across, the string would likely straighten out and follow the path of your finger pulling it. So what is better, push or pull?

I believe in hard work, I believe it is a testament to achieving something greater, something worthwhile, and something you can be proud to have accomplished. While not everyone agrees with this philosophically, I’m a believer. If you’re with me on this, you’re working hard too, but what about this push or pull concept?

It’s really exciting and quite simple. We may often push so hard that we become frustrated, burnt out, or worse, we start to disengage. We may begin to focus on the short-comings and develop self-limiting beliefs that stifle our opportunities and short change our success. Push often makes you feel tired, worn out, and unexcited. That is why I believe pull is so much better. When you become so compelled, energized, and excited about achieving your next goal, it draws you in and pulls you to your destination.

Both approaches have some value, but most likely one of them has more advantages.

Which approach will you use?


See also: 3 Tips to Pull You Towards Your Goal

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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