You Can Succeed

Have you ever noticed that it can take only one person to “ruin” your good mood or good day?   A disapproving comment from a parent, a critical statement from a spouse or significant other, a brush off from the guy in processing division that you’ve had a crush on, an insult from one of the popular girls in school; they can cause you to go from on top of the world to wanting to be six feet under in a heartbeat.

Why is that?  Do we really want to give that much power to one individual?  Why should we take such things to heart? They go on their merry way probably never giving us a second thought while we allow it to affect us in such a way that it stops us dead in our tracks.

I’ll admit, I’ve fallen for it numerous times. There are times when I even set myself up for the fall, expecting one thing from a person, then feeling let down or disappointed because they didn’t come through the way I thought they should. I have a tendency to want to help people, then allow myself to get disappointed because they don’t realize my goals for them.  That’s neither fair to them or me.

Instead of giving one person power over me in the form of their disapproval or negativity, or failure to meet my expectations, I should instead focus on overcoming my own obstacles to success.   John Maxwell, Jonathon Rosenberg, Will Smith, Steve Jobs, and many others have spoken at motivational meetings.  A Nationwide seminar series called Get Motivated!  allows attenders to hear from ten different individuals in the day long program to help business men and women succeed.

Taking a day off from the usual routine to attend one of these seminars was one of the best things I ever did.  It really turned my mindset around and opened my eyes to the possibilities that lay before me.  I listened to Colin Powell, Laura Busch, Kurt Warner, Stephen Pierce, and others.  I took notes while those around me watched and listened.  I didn’t care that some were looking at me with strange looks.  I didn’t mind the comments that a coworker said that I needed to relax and just enjoy the day out of the office.

They didn’t realize I think through the pen in my hand.  They didn’t know how much of an impact it made, or that I was “that” close to giving up and accepting defeat.  they didn’t understand how fragile our financial situation was or that we wereclose to losing everything after a long period of unemployment.  At the end of the seminar our boss said that we should share our booklets.  I flipped through mine, noting the notes written on practically every page, in the margins and the occasional doodle.  I made the executive decision to ignore his instruction, the booklet was mine.

One of the things that Colin Powell stated was that we have to persevere through the CRAP:

  • Criticism
  • Rejection
  • Adversity
  • Prejudice

I wrote that little acronym on an index card that is taped to my desk.  It’s amazing how often I look at it and it takes me back to that day again.  Then I am energized and feel that I can brush off the dirt and mire, and tackle things again.

My favorite presentation was from Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He had six simple rules to success.  These aren’t deep, yet they are.  They are basic things that we tend to forget when life gets hard.  They are so simple that anyone can apply them, yet few do.

RULE 1: Trust Yourself

You have to dig deep down inside yourself and decided ‘who  you want to be’. What makes you happy?  What are your personal dreams?  Then trust yourself enough to exert the energy to pursue them despite the CRAP you are going to get from everyone around you.

RULE 2: Break The Rules

You have to think outside the box.  Bend the rules, break them even.  You’re not a Leming, so quit following the crowd.  You’ve got to stand up for yourself and your pursuits even if it means breaking the rules.

RULE 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

You can’t always win but you can’t be afraid to fail.  Fear of failure will immobilize you and keep you from acting on anything.  It will drain your energy and leave you depressed. If you don’t try you will never win.  John Maxwell spends a lot of time on this topic in a book called Failing Forward.

RULE 4: Don’t Listen to the Naysayers

There will always be those that say ‘you can’t”, “it’s never been done before” , “that’s impossible”.  Again you have to ignore the CRAP that people throw your way, and learn to see the underlying code of what they are saying.  “you can’t” means they won’t, and if you do, it will make them look bad. “it’s never been done before” simply means someone will be first, why not you? “that’s impossible” means it’s going to take a lot of work and they aren’t willing to try.

RULE 5:  Work Your Butt Off!

There’s no getting around work.  You should leave no stone unturned.

Mohammed Ali was once asked in an interview how many situps he did.  He responded by saying he never counts his situps. He only starts counting when it starts hurting.  It’s only the ones after you feel the pain that count.

This is the main rules that separates the truly successful from the rest.  While others are partying, spending their time in leisure, the focused, determined person is knuckling down and working hard. There is no short cut out of working hard.

RULE 6: Give Back

Always find a way to give back .  Helping others is the greatest satisfaction.  When you reach your goals and your success, remember the ones that helped you to achieve.  Just as they gave to you, you need to give to others.

There were a lot of great speakers that day, but these are the things that made the greatest impact on me.  I hope  they make an impression on you as well.  These are not my original thoughts, I had to be brought up from a place of despair. By positioning myself to hear from positive people, I have turned my mindset around from accepting the CRAP, to recognizing it and rejecting it from my life.

That one person this morning that I could have allowed to ruin my day? I wish them well.  I’ve got goals to achieve and I don’t really need their approval anymore.

What about you?  Are you handing your power, your focus off to others?  Don’t you think it’s about time to stop?

Write on my friends, write on!