Saturday, October 4, 2014

The ABC's of Success The ABC's of Success A Achievement Achievement is the crown on the head of effort. Every single one of us should have achievement as our goal. But achievement in what? Achievement in that which would fulfill our purpose, utilize our strengths, and make a difference in those around us. Set your sights high! After your hard work and dedication, you will experience the thrill of achievement! Adversaries Adversaries sharpen us like the whetstone sharpens the knife. “I love a good adversary. An adversary makes me better because I am challenged to rise to the highest level that I possibly can. It causes me to force myself to deliver in the clutch. I do not see them as people or obstacles to be feared but to be conquered!” Adversity Adversity should not be pursued but when she comes she should be embraced like an old foe who always makes you better through her challenge. The end of our lives will bring the joy of reflection upon the ways we overcame adversity, not simple the times where we had it easy. Dig in, dedicate yourself, pursue solutions and excellence, believe and hope that a better time is coming – because it is. Ambition Are you ambitious? You should be. Not selfishly ambitious, but ambitious to achieve so that you can help others. The reward of success will come with this. You will be able to have the things you desire, but they should not be the focus. People should be the focus. Help others and the rest of it will take care of itself. B Blessings Take time to regularly reflect upon your blessings. It will help you to realize the success you have already achieved, making you grateful, as well as put your heart at rest. You will find that life is a lot better than it may feel at times. Books Those who are successful are those who devour books, looking to learn from the wisdom, strategies, and the successes and failures of those who have gone before them. Take some time today to read and learn, to grow and to set your course for success. C Character To be successful in life is to be one who is strong in character, who does what is right even when it is not personally expedient. All of the rest will take care of itself, and in the end you will rise to the top. Circumstances Circumstances change regularly, so they should never be allowed to overwhelm you and change your course. View them in good times as something to be enjoyed and in bad times as an obstacle to overcome. Class Money doesn’t give you class. The right family doesn’t give you class. Treating people right makes you classy. Let others play the class game, they achieve only their own self-congratulation. Pursue instead true class. Courage Courage is the action that comes from the deeply held belief that something good will happen if we persevere in doing what is right. Look your problem in the face, stare it down, tell yourself the positive, muster up your courage, and ride to victory! Criticism Don’t believe the bad words people say about you. They are about as true as the good things people say about you. All that matters is not what people think of you but what you know to be true about yourself. Critics Do you have critics? Ask yourself in a time of quiet reflection if what they are saying is true. If so, change for yourself, not for them. If it isn’t true, ignore them. Take even what others mean to hurt you with and turn it into your own positive force for improvement. D Desire Desire is like fire. It should be built, stoked and fanned into raging flames. Let yourself dream a little today. What is it that gets your juices flowing? What is it that you desire? How can you pursue that with all of the energy that you have within you? Destiny Do you believe you have one? Do you believe it will be good? Therein lies the secret. Realize and believe that your destiny will be good. Find what your destiny will be, then align yourself in every way with that plan to facilitate the bringing about of your destiny. Doubt Doubt is not to be avoided, just met head on and conquered. Be realistic about the facts, understand what you are up against, then plan your way to victory. It isn’t bad to doubt, just bad to continue to doubt. Dreams Dreams are the seeds of greatness. No dream is too big if it comes from your heart, will utilize your gifts, and make the world a better place. Let them continually grow within your heart. E Excellence Without a continual showing of excellence in whatever you do, say, and think, there will be no long-lasting success in your life. Pursue excellence with all of the passion you have. Excellence will set you apart and carry you to the place of accomplishment. Excitement Excitement is good in its place. It will carry you for a short time. But cause excitement to grow into a long-term passion to pursue your dreams. This is the better way. Enjoy your excitement but realize it is a short-term guest. Excuses Make none. Accept the blame and do better next time. Experience If you will be the student, experience will be the greatest teacher. Learn every lesson you can from every day that you live and every situation you live through. Your wisdom and accomplishment will grow exponentially if you do. Extravagance Along the way, from time to time, get extravagant! Do something utterly celebratory. Blow some time and money to reward yourself and those around you. Life needs a good extravagant celebration every now and then. F Failure Failure is never failure unless you fail to learn from it. If you will learn from a situation that went awry, it wasn’t a failure, it was a lesson. Begin to see it this way and all of your life experiences will become ones that you can embrace, regardless of what they are because you will be better for them. Fear Fear, properly understood, will act as a catalyst to overcome. Face your fears, then choose to beat them. This will raise you to another level altogether. Tell yourself what it will take to overcome your fear. Tell yourself that you can do so. But then act. Nothing drives out fear like actually performing that which you were afraid of. Friendship Everybody needs friends. Take whatever time you need to develop relationships with those who will love you for who you are, who will walk along life’s path with you, who will challenge and encourage you, and allow you to do the same for them. G Generosity Write checks on a regular basis to those who you want to bless, not those who you owe. Be generous. If you are thinking of one amount, raise it a bit. They’ll be glad now. You’ll be glad now and later. Greatness Don’t measure greatness in power, money, fame or title. Measure greatness in how much you have helped others, and in how well you have measured up to your own potential. True greatness is doing your best. H Happiness At the end of your life, you will most likely see that happiness was fleeting, coming and going with the ebb and flow of circumstances, but joy was firmly rooted in your heart because you tended to the inner issues of the heart. Hesitation Hesitate only long enough to calculate the risk – then jump! I Imagination If only we would let our imagination run wild a little more often. Think of all of the creative plans and solutions we would come up with if only we regularly eliminated the word "impossible" from our imaginations. Influence If you want influence do these things: Grow personally to a place where you are beyond most, then continually reach back with a spirit of humility to help others along. In this you will reap the reward of influence. Inspiration Look inwardly for your inspirational foundation, accept any other inspiration you can get from others, and regularly hand out as much as you can. With all of the bad stuff that goes on in the world, we need every dispenser of inspiration we can get. J Jocularity Fun. Humor. Make sure you instill a little, no, a lot, into your life on a daily basis. It isn’t that serious you know. Just get up and leave all that serious stuff and get to having some fun. The serious stuff will be there when you get back, and you will have a little more energy to attack it. Joy One of the greatest gifts we humans can live with. Know yourself, do what is right, help others, be grateful. This is the recipe for joy. Get into the kitchen we call life and cook up a little joy for you and the others seated around your table. K Kindness You have a choice in every situation: Be kind, or be otherwise. Be kind. It is the right thing to do regardless of what a cad the other person is. Others will see it and reward you with respect. You will know it and be at peace. The cad will experience it and hopefully be changed by it. Knowledge Get as much as you can, but be sure to apply it. Knowledge without action is worthless. Knowledge with action will change the world. The beauty of knowledge is that anybody can get it, anybody can apply it, and anybody can reap the reward from it. L Legacy You will leave one you know. What will it be? You can choose to live your life in such a way that your legacy will cause those who remain to be blessed by it and esteem you for years to come. Choose today to build a legacy that your heirs will remember, enjoy, and be refreshed by. Leadership Everybody is a leader. We all lead people in some fashion. Where are we leading them, that is the question. When you think of where people will be a year from now because of your leadership, are you satisfied? Do everything you can to increase the capacity you have for leadership. M Mission Do you have a mission in life? Everyone needs that mission that is greater than themselves, the mission that will consume them, drive them, and ultimately reward them. That which they can look back upon and know that they strove for greatness and changed the world around them. Motives Guard your heart and motives. Actions can be right or wrong, motives can be good or evil. Don’t do anything out of bad motives. Work on yourself inwardly until you can say with assurance that your motives are right. N Narrative What you say to yourself all day long is your narrative. Have you given much thought about what you think about and say all day long? Be sure that you choose to make your narrative a positive one, one that builds you up and sets you on the course for success. Natural Be natural. Don’t try to be someone else. Act in such a way that who you are shines through, because when you are yourself is when others will be built up by you, not when you are trying to be someone else. It is only painful to watch someone try to act like someone else. Network Live your life in a network of friends and people in like circumstances who can become your strong support. Life can get rocky at times and it is so very important to have a group of people around you, your network, to help you in hard times and rejoice with you in good times. O Obstacles I love obstacles and so should you. There is no better way to see what kind of person I am. If I lose, I know what to change the next time. If I win, I rest in the fact that all of my work has paid off. I have grown personally. Then I get ready for a bigger obstacle. Optimism You don’t know how things are going to turn out. You can be an optimist or a pessimist. Being an optimist will give you a better chance of great results, not to mention you will be in a much better mood! Choose to believe the best. P Passion Everyone should have some passions. Passions are those things that consume you and set your vision and mission for life. What five things consume you? Wherein lie your passions? These will determine your life. Choose them wisely. Principles Principles are those things that we hold to be true, ways that we believe that don’t change. They transcend time and circumstances. Write down the top ten principles you hold to. Now memorize them. Now live them by applying them to everything you do and say. Progress It isn’t the level at which you have arrived that you should care about, but the direction you are going in. Are you making progress? Then be glad because you are in the top five percent who are. If not, break out of the pack – get going! Q Quality Of the few things others will judge you by, quality is among them. What is the quality of your life, your relationships, your work, your words? Make it your goal to constantly be increasing the overall quality of what you produce and you will raise the overall quality of your life. Quietness You will always be given the chance to be loud, to share your opinion, or listen to someone else’s. Rarely will you be given the chance to spend some time being quiet. You have to make those times happen yourself. And you will be wise if you do so at least once a week if not once per day. R Reconciliation Is there any greater success than the reconciliation of a relationship that once was one of beauty and is now broken? Spend your life as one who reconciles with others and help them to do the same. Take some time this week, today if you can, to make peace. Responsibility We are not islands. We live for the betterment of others. First for our families, then for our communities. Everything we do should be run through the grid of responsibility. Is this good for my family? Is this good for society? If so, then do it. If not, refrain no matter what the temptation of short-term reward. Risk Will you accomplish much in this life? Then you will risk much. No matter what area of our lives we are talking about, greatness lies on the other side of risk. Finances, love, health, whatever. To be successful, you must risk. S Sacrifice Think of the great successes that have come through sacrifice. Sacrifice leads to success. Just make sure you are sacrificing the right things. It is a great sense of reflection to know that you were willing to give something up in order to gain something better. Self-discipline Ultimately it comes down to you and your choice. No one else can make you do the right thing. The decision to succeed will be when you choose to discipline yourself. We become the sum of our choices all added together, so discipline your self to make the choices that will add up to your success. T Thanksgiving Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a holiday, it should be a constant state of our hearts. Yes we have worked hard but what we have, our life, our very breath, has been given to us. Take some time today to be thankful – and eat some turkey if you want! Trust I would rather trust and get burned than to not trust and live as a fearful soul, cynical and afraid of what others may do and of what life may deal me. Think about some ways you have not been trusting, then make a conscious decision to trust again. U Underpromise Talk is cheap. Anybody can say they will deliver the stars but very few actually will. Instead, tell people you will do your very best. Then deliver. Don’t make promises you have no intention of keeping, or that you will be unable to keep. Underpromise then overdeliver. Uniqueness Each one of us is unique. It is hard to believe with billions of people in the world, but we each have something that no one else does. We each have unique gifts, talents, personalities and ideas. We can each provide for others something of value that no one else can. So take some time to share your uniqueness with someone else. V Vision Vision is the spectacular that drives us to carry out the mundane. Set your sights high and then commit to do what it takes to lead yourself and others to the pinnacle! Whatever you see as the vision for your life is exactly what you will achieve. If you have a vision for success, a success you will be, no matter what it takes. Vocation Make sure you are in the right vocation. What we do for work consumes so much of our lives that we owe it to ourselves and those around us to be doing that which we love, not that which we tolerate. Get into a line of work that you will enjoy and that will bring life to you. No matter what it takes, make the change. W Wealth True wealth is to a great degree intangible. It may not be green and have pictures of great leaders, but true wealth will bring you peace beyond tangible assets. Have you given thought lately to what kind of non-financial wealth you have? You probably have more than you would initially think. Wonder We are all born with a sense of wonder. Just see how children react. Pity the one who loses their sense of wonder and awe. Can you still look at a mountain and have to catch your breath at the beauty? A sense of wonder is a great gauge of a person’s emotional health. X Xerox Make copies of everything important. X-ray Examine everything with radar vision. Y Yearn Yearn is such a great word. It implies longing and desire. What do you yearn for? What does your heart think of often? Have you set your sights to yearn for something good and beneficial this week? If not, dream, believe, and yearn for something more! Z Zero Here are some things we should have zero of in our lives: Mediocrity, hate, broken relationships, apathy, sadness. Can you think of others? What are you tolerating in your life right now that you should have none of? Zero it out then. Zip it That’s right, zip it. The older I get, the more I realize I don’t have to talk all of the time. If people want your opinion, they will ask for it. Most of the great achievers I have met in my life have been rather quiet people.