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Are You a Maker or Taker?

read-volleyballHumbly, I’ve received a few compliments on my blog writings from people I have much respect and admiration. I’m not fishing for compliments, but I did score a whopping 380 on the English portion of my SAT (yes, a few of my friends joked that you earn 380 points just for writing your name on the SAT!). I also had to take a remedial English class at Arizona State University (thank goodness for an almost perfect SAT math score – thus my affection of statistics).

I’ve never enjoyed reading. It’s always been a chore and I’m a SLOW reader (I daydream more about ideas and concepts when I read something than focus on the story). And quite frankly, I really don’t enjoy writing. I’m not good with the process of writing. The amount of time it takes for me to get my ideas on “paper” and the amount of time I spend proof-reading each post to “translate” it to literate English is ridiculous. It’s a strange irony that I have such a popular blog. Isn’t irony supposed to be strange? Strange is to Irony as Elephant is to ?????  <—- this is where I failed the English portion of the SATs!

I mention all of this because I do not believe I did a good job expressing myself in my Givers vs Takers post, but the following Maker or Taker post in a recent Inc. Magazine article better describes my initial thoughts. Apparently, Maker or Taker originated from politics, and I appreciate how this author “translated” the concept into success and failure.

Are You a Maker or a Taker?

These 12 characteristics determine whether you’ll be a success or a failure.

There’s been a lot of talk over the past few years about the difference between “makers” and “takers.”  While I don’t agree with the standard political definition of the two groups, I do think that there’s some validity to the basic idea.

Here’s how I see the difference:

1. Confidence. Makers know they’ll succeed and don’t care whether others believe in them or not.  Takers draw upon others for their motivation and constantly worry what others will think.

2. Commitment.  Makers find the resources within themselves to run the race and turn roadblocks into speed bumps.  Takers look to their institutions and their families to protect them from the risks of failure.

3. Sacrifice. Makers choose to do things that they’d rather avoid if they’re necessary to achieve a goal. Takers have a multitude of excuses why they sat on their duffs when something needed doing.

4. Selectivity. Makers constantly assess what they see and experience, focusing on what’s useful and filtering out what’s useless. Takers immerse themselves in the mindless distraction of broadcast media.

5. Awareness.  Makers focus upon their own behavior and how it impacts the behavior of others. Takers waste endless hours speculating about what other people are doing and why they’re doing it.

6. Courage. Makers have the courage to make changes in the world around them, even when everything seems okay.  Takers crave the security of knowing that things won’t change and do everything they can to keep the status quo.

7. Mastery. Makers work on essential skills and techniques until they’ve completely mastered them. Takers try out new skills or techniques and give up when they don’t immediately get the desired result.

8. Control.  Makers see themselves as captains of their own destiny rather than pawns of fate.  Recievers believe that their success is a matter of luck, fate or divine intervention, none of which is within their control.

9. Responsibility.  Makers see problems and think “Great!  How can I help change this for the better?”  Takers see problems and think “Damn! I wish somebody would come fix these problems.”

10. Gratitude. Makers deeply appreciate the help they’ve gotten and never take it for granted.  Takers wonder why everyone else isn’t doing a whole lot more to help them get what they want.

11. Generosity.  Makers step up and give of their own when they see others in need. Takers complain when they think some people might be getting something that they don’t really deserve.

12. Perspective. Makers realize that they’re successful because they’re “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Takers think that they’re successful because they’ve built everything themselves.

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