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“The RHINO Principle”: Bust Through Any Obstacle and Reach Your Goal

DISCIPLINE STRATEGY® Blog by Timothy L. Coomer, PhD

Lessons on applying scientific research to solve real life challenges within a framework called DISCIPLINE: [Decide] [Investigate] [Sort] [Conceive] [Implement] [Loop] [Intensify] [Notice] [Enjoy]

What animal inspires you the most? For me, it is the rhinoceros, that large and unattractive beast found in the grasslands of Africa and in the rainforests of India. I find rhinos so motivating that I have a large canvas print of one hanging in my office.

Scientists have difficulty explaining why the rhino exists today. It is the only creature of its size with body armor. Theoretically, it should have been extinct centuries ago, but the rhino has persevered.

The explanation, scientists believe, is the rhino’s intense reaction when threatened. When a predator appears, it will turn toward it and charge until the threat retreats or is destroyed.

Here are the steps to applying “The Rhino Principle.”

Step 1) Make a decision to pursue a goal or overcome an obstacle.

Step 2) Focus every ounce of energy in a single-minded charge to reach the goal or defeat the obstacle. This focus is so intense that you may have to temporarily suspend everything else in your life.

When do you use “The Rhino Principle?”

Employ “The Rhino Principle” when you face a difficult project or an obstacle that prevents you from reaching your goal. This challenge may arise in your business, career, health, or relationships. Within each of us is the capacity to focus with a level of intensity that far exceeds what we believe is possible. When something absolutely has to be done, turn toward that threat, take a deep breath, set your gaze, and charge like your life depends on it.

Look at the picture of the rhino below.

Photo Credit: Justus Vermaak

All four feet are off the ground. This 2-ton rhino is charging with full strength and determination. Reaching a goal often requires this level of all-out effort.

Notice how the rhino’s ears look torn and scarred. It’s not the first time the rhino has charged. The scars, sweat, and dirt are obvious. When you give 100% effort, it shows. Also, the ears are up and alert. Once you charge, you have to be keenly aware of how the situation is shifting and changing during the charge. Listen and observe so you can correct mid-course.

Now look at the eyes – steely focus! There is no uncertainty in the rhino’s mind. You will need this level of determination to reach your goal.

Look at the other rhinos in the picture and notice that they are not following. You don’t need followers when you’ve made a decision. The charging rhino did not waste time convincing others that their support and agreement was needed.

Could your life benefit from “The Rhino Principle?”

Stop and think. Are you stuck, blocked, frustrated, or need a strategy to overcome an obstacle? To improve the odds of success, turn toward the threat, take a deep breath, set your gaze, and charge like your life depends on it.

Want to take it further? Resources to consider:

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