#1 Luck be a lady: Thomas Jefferson said something interesting regarding luck and I really think he was on to something. Here is what he said (paraphrased, but only slightly), “Sure I believe in luck, the harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.” The people who succeed are the ones to put the work into it. Those who are touted for being tremendous innovators and geniuses all used their intellect, passion, personality and all the resources they had to achieve their goal. The key here is to have purpose. Purpose clarifies our thoughts and actions so we can harness our being to accomplish great things. Some have no true purpose, and that’s not a good place to be. Others have purpose but it’s not clear and will not produce clear results. Those who have a well-defined purpose are the ones who rise to the top in life.
#2 Crystallize: If you want desired results in your life, you must be crystal clear on where you want to be. It won’t matter how self-assured you appear on the surface, if you lack the clear vision for who you are and what you want, you will reap second rate results. Do this by focusing on where you want to be in 10 years, 5 years and so on. Then consider what would need to happen in order for that to become a reality. Forget things falling into your lap. It just doesn’t work that way. You MUST clearly plan what you want and what you don’t want in your life and then immediately begin acting accordingly. Behave as if your vision is a present tense reality.
# 3 Keep your friends close, your enemies closer: There are people who annoy you. And for various reasons. Don’t just ignore those people, as there is much that can be learned from them. For example, if someone has an abrasive personality, determine what characteristics account for that attribute and become aware of it so you avoid coming across that way. Another example is a bad habit that an individual manifests. Note that and don’t let it become a habit for you. And don’t hate the person. It’s the attribute that annoys you so don’t confuse the two. The truth is, you can learn from anyone, so be open to it.
#4 There is no “I” in team: Human tendency is to focus on what you can get out of a situation. Survival instinct tells us to protect ourselves at all cost. However, unless a bear is chasing you through the woods, you have to consider how your actions impact others around you. The success of any team is contingent each individual acting as one. If one misses the mark, the team will fail. A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. So rather than focus on what’s in it for you, ask the question, “What can I do for others around me?” When the focus is not on yourself, you will be able to go beyond the self-serving motives and make the world around you a better place.
#5 You’ll fail before you succeed: Col. Harlan Sanders famous chicken recipe was turned down 1009 times before someone said “YES” to his chicken recipe. He traveled around the country, sometimes sleeping in his car but never allowed rejection to stop him from realizing his goal. He believed in his recipe and was convinced that someone would partner with him. When we allow our focus to be on failure, we will reap more of the same and our motivation will be negatively affected. Learn from failures and refuge to make the same mistakes in the future. Do you think that the Colonel questioned whether he would find someone willing to utilize and profit from hi fired chicken recipe? I’m sure he did, but he didn’t allow it to stop him or even slow him down. So don’t allow failure to cloud your vision. Learn from it and move on.
#6 Enjoy the now, be present: We all use electronic devices that supposedly make us more efficient and more productive. A few years ago during a conversation a friend told me, “why don’t you put your phone down and be present.” I’ll never forget that because what these devices do is distract us from whats happening in the present. Connecting with someone somewhere else, collaborating for a meeting tomorrow, making notes, answering emails or whatever is so darn important – can usually wait. The other thing it does is train us to not 100% focus on what we’re doing at the moment. Yes, maybe were engaged in a conversation, but also, listening for that sound of an email we have been waiting for all day. When you are talking with someone, family, friends, co-workers, give them undivided attention. You will be amazed how much more you contribute and get out of a conversation.
Enjoy living every day to the fullest.
Respect the torch!