Monday, August 27, 2012

Every failure brings forth a result

Ever since man first attempted to build fire he has encountered many obstacles, hindrance and delays in his effort to accomplish something new.   Imagine that conversation if you were able to decipher grunts.

“What you doin’?” asked the big ugly dude wearing a bear-skin loin cloth.
“Tryin’ to make fire.”  The little dude answered kneeling beside some dry twigs holding a rock in each hand.
“What is fire?”
“I don’t know.”
“How you learn of fire?”
“I heard the women folk speaking.  They say if they had fire they can make skunk taste like chicken.”
“Hurry up and make fire.”

One can only surmise that it took many attempts and many failures before an ember sparked into a flame.  It was through man’s steadfast continuance in doing something despite difficulty he achieved success.  Fire was born of man’s perseverance.  Not to mention some finger licking good skunk meat.

We will all encounter situations and times in our lives where we may feel as if we’re holding on by our fingertips.  In those times you just have to hold on.  Don’t let go and don’t give up. Keep applying the firmest grip possible to the edge.  Glory is at hand.

Three steps to perseverance:

1.    Be committed:  
Have an “all in” mentality.  Go for it so you can make it happen.  Take a shot on yourself. The late Senator Robert Kennedy once said, “Only those that dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.”

2.    Be steadfast:
Be firm in your belief and determination.  Did you know that Van Gogh only sold one painting during his life, but that didn’t stop him from completing over 800 paintings?  In 1990 one of his paintings sold for $82.5 million.

3.    Stay focused:  
Keep your eye on the prize.  No matter the number of setbacks, chalk it up as a result. Remember Thomas Edison claimed failure 1000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb.

Oftentimes we may turn back in the darkness when light is merely steps ahead.  After not winning a golf tournament in two years Ernie Els could have simply rested on past glory, but the Big E proved that he was a true champion of perseverance when he won the British Open on July 22, 2012.  He wasn’t merely an underdog; he wasn’t even considered a contender.  Not only did he show up, he showed out and beat some of the best golfers in the world.

Be like Ernie.  Don’t allow the losses of the past to prevent you from winning in the future. Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.  Victory is at hand; all you must do is—persevere.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three simple steps to resolution

With a collective “Amen” how many of us made a resolution at the beginning of the year that we have yet to accomplish? Well don’t get discouraged; ever since the Gregorian calendar was created folks get so excited about the possibilities associated with a fresh start. Then something happens. Life tends to get in the way of living. All of a sudden those resolutions don’t seem as important and the possibilities have morphed into improbabilities.

Now another year fast approaches as the new one has become old. Still waters may run deep but uncertainty merely floats on the surface. Days continue to shoot by as if shot from a cannon and all in all they blend together and share one commonality - they all end in ‘y’. This raises a question some may have, “Why am I in the same place, doing the same thing and wishing for change and it all stays the same?”

Here’s a tool to apply that might just fix that stagnation problem. It may not be anything new and it’s certainly not mystical or magical. It’s called, “Examination of Determination.” This is a way of examining ones’ life and determining where you are and where you desire to be. To benefit from the utilization of this tool, complete and utmost honesty is required.

How to proceed:

First Step:
Write down whatever date you decide to do this exercise. Example: August 9, 2012.
Under the date write down where you are at this time in your life. Write whatever comes to mind, such as lifestyle, habits (good and bad), living conditions, job, income, etc. The purpose is to fully examine your life.

Second Step:
Write down the same month and date but change the year to the previous one. 

Example: August 9, 2011.

Under the date write down where you saw yourself at that time. The purpose is to illustrate how far you may have come or if you are indeed in a stagnant state. You want to see what
changes or growth have occurred over the year.

Third Step:
Under the date write the same month and date, with the year being five years ahead of the first date. Example: August 9, 2017.

Under the date write down how you envision your life to be at that time. The purpose is to visualize yourself living the life you truly desire.

This simple exercise enables one to focus on what’s important as well as illuminating the fact there’s always work to do in order to get better, be better and live better.

Simplistic as this may be, keep in mind; the first step on the ladder of success starts with a step up.