Thursday December 10, 2015 #779
“Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.”
On some sort of regular basis, it is an important part of sustained life satisfaction to pause and reflect on your state of being. Is your journey bringing you happiness and joy? Think about your work and social activities, your personal and family interactions, and your personal growth – spiritually and/or intellectually. Then answer Mrs. Roosevelt’s questions relating to your personal honesty, your level of effort, and how you demonstrate love. I suspect you will find, as I do, that in this moment of reflection you will find opportunities to strengthen your honesty, effort, and love. Do this regularly and take action on your findings, and you will likely improve upon your level of happiness.
Tuesday December 8, 2015 #778
“Go all the way with it. Do not back off. For once, go all the goddamn way with what matters.”
Whether completing an important project, strengthening a relationship, or achieving a personal goal, our success depends on commitment, courage and perseverance. Mediocrity abounds and exists due to otherwise talented people approaching projects, relationships, and goals with less than their full ability and effort. Things “get done”, but not in an optimum way. Too much competes for our attention, and we are too easily distracted from what matters. Take some time to reflect on what is really important to you and those you care about. Are you giving your best effort? What would it take for you to remove yourself from the distractions and focus, really focus on going all the way, with everything you have to create the best projects, build and nurture the most amazing relationships, and achieve your personal goals with excellence?
Thursday December 3, 2015 #777
“When you have much success, two things happen. The first is that we begin to take success for granted. The second is that we forget how we got here – namely, by exceptionally hard work and in spite of intense competition.”
~Jack Mack Carter
History is replete with examples of “successful” people or enterprises who failed to see the changing world around them, refused to alter their approach, and ultimately became unsuccessful. It also shows up in failed relationships that began as “the perfect match”. There is nothing like success to create complacency which leads to failure. The key is to know this and keep it top of mind. Never stop working at seducing your partner. Never stop challenging to improve your company’s practices. Never stop taking risks and innovating. When we think we are successful is the moment we begin to fail. Do celebrate wins and successful achievements – often! Just don’t ever assume that tomorrow the same effort or activity will produce the same results.
Tuesday December 1, 2015 #776
“Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work, body and soul.”
~Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton
While it is important to know what capabilities are needed for a particular pursuit, and to match your talents appropriately, talent alone never wins the day. And if you are a leader and responsible for placing talent where it is required, again talent alone will not produce excellence. The key ingredient to ensure success is zeal or grit. These are far more difficult to see and can usually be found only through observation and experience. We must try to understand what creates gritty behavior and zeal for a project or outcome. It is only when we find this in ourselves and the people we lead that we will achieve sustained success. What is grit?
As stated by Angela Lee Duckworth on a recent TED Talk, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Find your grit, your zeal – and look for it in others. It is the “secret sauce” to success.
Thursday November 26, 2015 #775
“The only people you should want to get even with are those who have helped you.”
~John E. Southard
So much time is wasted by so many people focusing on “getting even” with people they believe have wronged them in some way. It is abundantly clear that this effort neither alters the other person’s behavior as desired, nor leads to any kind of positive result. And even if we succeed in “getting even”, we always feel negatively afterwards. If we would instead use this energy to reflect with gratitude on what people have done for us and seek to return that favor to them or to another person, tremendous good would be done. This effort always makes you feel positive about both the person you’ve helped and leads to your own joy and happiness. Focus on gratitude and let go of anger, and act accordingly.
Tuesday November 24, 2015 #774
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would solve most the world’s problems.”
You know you can do so much more than you are currently doing to improve your health, the quality of your relationships, and your contributions to work and community. However, we are all held back by our doubts of what we are capable of, perception of external forces working against us, and/or occasional or frequent laziness. While we are unlikely to operate at peak performance all the time or even the majority of the time, imagine what you could accomplish if we would live to our capability even one hour more each day? What one thing could you do right now to demonstrate this?
Thursday November 19, 2015 #773
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason so few engage in it.”
Most people spend far too little time in quiet reflection, thinking about their past and current experiences, and their aspirations and strategies for the future. Instead, they dwell on their present circumstances and problems, fixated on putting out the fires of the moment. It takes intention and a bit of courage to put today’s worries aside for a few minutes to think deeply, and take the time to assess and reorient your focus and actions based on what you have learned about yourself and about external forces. Do the hard work of pausing to think on a regular basis and you’ll find both your effectiveness and your happiness will increase.
Tuesday November 17, 2015 #772
“Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work.”
It is a myth that happiness is found through relaxation and leisure activities. Most people find that happiness and joy are the result of achievement and extra effort. There is something in our human psychology and physiology that rewards our hard work with a feeling of well-being. So, if you are looking for happiness, realize you will feel the best when you work at your highest capacity to achieve something truly important to you.
Thursday November 12, 2015 #771
“There are two ways to look at life and the world. We can see the good or the bad, the beautiful or the ugly. Both are there, and what we focus on and choose to see is what brings us feelings of joy or feelings of despair.”
I firmly believe in our ability to choose. Our lives are ours. No one but you can dictate how you perceive the world around you and your reaction to what life throws at you. The choice is always yours. Don’t hide behind the opinions of others. Have the courage and strength of character to determine your own perceptions. I hope you choose to see the good and the beautiful vs. the bad and the ugly.
Tuesday November 10, 2015 #770
“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to possess it.”
Sustainable success as well as enjoyment of life requires a purpose. Without one or more worthy purposes to energize us, focus our energy, and help us overcome obstacles, we are likely to at best muddle along. What is your purpose? In your personal life, in your professional life? Take the time to determine what is important to you and commit to win!
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