I found this extract by luck and wanted to share. How true it is:
From Jeffrey Mayer’s book: “Success is a Journey: 7 Steps to Achieving Success in the Business of Life”
“Life and work have become hectic and complicated. There’s too much to do and not enough time. We rush from one meeting to another to another to another. And when we return to the office there are five, ten, fifteen, twenty, or more voice mail messages that need to be returned, and scores of e-mail messages to reply to-and we’ve only been gone for a few hours.
On our desks are piles of papers that we’ve got to do something with. There are letters to write, proposals to prepare, things to follow up on, and lots of other miscellaneous stuff that’s been hanging around for days, weeks, or months.
On the computer monitor we’ve attached yellow, blue, and green sticky notes as reminders of things to-do or people to call. Our in- and out-boxes have become hold boxes filled with unopened mail, faxes, express delivery letters, and who knows what else. And we spend most of our days putting out one fire after another.
When we leave the office we take our laptop computer-so we can check our e-mail and search the Internet-our mobile phone, and our beeper. We’re afraid to be out of touch for even a few moments.
In order to try to stay on top of things we come in early, stay late, work weekends-and never seem to catch up.
Where Are We Going with Our Lives?
Something’s getting lost in all of this chaos and mayhem.
We’re so busy, and working so hard, that we’ve lost track of what we really want to be doing with our lives. What we really want to do for ourselves. What we really want to do for our families.
Yes, we’ve got a job.
Yes, we’re making a living and paying the bills.
But we’ve forgotten the goals, dreams, and desires of our youth. We’re putting in a lot of hard work and effort, but it isn’t giving us the inner feelings of satisfaction and fulfilment we need or the success we once dreamed of achieving.
We’re so busy we don’t have time to think about, let alone answer, the age-old question: “What do I want to do when I grow up?”
Success is a Journey will show you how to make your dreams come true. It will give you the tools you need so you can discover what you were born to do. It will help you develop a Master Plan of ACTion and then implement that plan. And, most importantly, it will get you to start thinking about who you are, what means the most to you, and what you want to do with your life.
What Is Success?
For years I have been fascinated with the subject of success.
How do you define it? What does it mean? Is it temporary? Is it permanent?
As I’ve pondered these questions in my mind and watched the performance of others, I have come to the realization that success is not an end result. It is an ongoing process. It’s a journey.
However, there’s an ebb and flow to success. It’s not linear. It comes and goes. There are ups and downs. One day you have a great day, the next day is so-so, and the third is absolutely rotten. But on the fourth day, something good happens, and you’re back on top of the world again. Or you may have a great morning and a rotten afternoon, or vice versa. Or, maybe you have a bad year or season, but the next one is much better.
Successful people never quit.
When they suffer a setback, they just pick themselves up and keep going.
To be successful in the business of life you build upon your successes. You set goals-achievable goals-for yourself, and accomplish them. Then you set slightly more difficult goals, and go out and accomplish them.
Follow this process over and over throughout your life and you’ll accomplish more than you ever dreamed.
The ultimate goal in life isn’t just to succeed, it’s to continue to succeed. To continue to improve. To continue to be the best that you can be. The best in your business, profession, or chosen career. The best husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, and friend.
You only have one life, and you have the opportunity to make it a great one. The future is yours, and it’s unlimited. You can make it into anything you want.
Success Depends upon Your Expectations.
Life isn’t lived in a vacuum, and whether or not any of us is successful in any endeavour is determined by our expectations before we started. We’ve got to know the criteria on which we’re going to judge ourselves or be judged by others.
Most of us are never 100 percent successful in any of the things that we do. But the goal is to try our best, learn from our experiences, and take the knowledge we gain along with us so we can do the task even better the next time.
Write your goals and objectives on paper before you embark upon any task. This enables you to compare your results or accomplishments with your expectations.
What Were Your Expectations?
I find the whole subject of whether or not a person is successful to be very complex. It’s usually not black or white. The results are very dependent upon a person’s long- and short-term expectations-in addition to his or her skills, talents, and training and a host of other factors that may or may not be within the person’s control.
Here are some examples of how difficult it can be to try to determine a person’s degree of success.
How Did You Do on the Test?
When you were going to school I’m sure you had to take lots of tests.
(I know I sure did.)
Did you ever spend a lot of time studying and preparing for a test, yet not do as well as you had hoped?
How did you feel?
Disappointed, I’ll bet.
On the other hand, how did you feel when you did very well on a test that you hadn’t spent much time studying for?
What were your feelings when you got the grade that was representative of the work and effort you put into your studies?
For myself, deep down inside I always knew I had gotten what I deserved.
And what happened when you showed your parents your report card?
Did it measure up to their expectations?
You see, success depends upon your expectations.
I had a friend who studied every day and went through four years of college and may have gotten a single B. He got an A in every other class he took. His expectations were so high that if he had gotten anything less than an A, in his mind he would have failed.
I didn’t have the same expectations or work ethic. I was pleased when I got a B and was on cloud nine when I got my occasional – very occasional – A.
Did You Solve the Problem?
Every day you’ve got problems to solve. Things need to be done for your boss or supervisor, customers call with problems or questions, and you’ve got lots of tasks that need to be completed.
You probably haven’t looked at it this way, but you should consider yourself successful when you solve the problem, answer the question, complete the task, and get the work done.
Now the completion of these tasks may not be what you would consider to be a big success, but it’s one more thing you’ve learned that you can take with you on your journey through life. And it’s one more thing you can cross off your list of things to-do.
But what if you work very hard to accomplish a specific task and aren’t 100 percent successful in completing the endeavor?
Or what if it took longer than expected?
Or what if you found that you weren’t able to solve the problem (but learned something new because of the experience)?
Are you a success or a failure?
Did You Close the Sale?
If you’re in sales, you may feel that you’re a success when you close a really big sale. But when you were just getting started in your career, you probably felt like you were on cloud nine when you closed your first sale, no matter what the size. And if you’re a seasoned pro, but you’ve been in a slump, that next sale may make you feel like you’re on top of the world.
Let’s take another example. A salesperson leads her company in sales one year, but doesn’t do it the next. What if she did in fact sell more the second year, but was still outsold by someone else? What if she closed more sales, but made less money? Or closed fewer sales, but made more money?
Did she have a successful year?
Was she a success or a failure?
One day a young man was making a life insurance presentation. After a long period of discussion, the prospect finally said, “I’ll buy it.” As the salesman was completing the forms the new customer started telling the young man how he should have conducted the sale. After a few moments, the young man looked up and said: “I made the sale, didn’t I?”
Was the Company Successful?
How do you determine whether a company is successful? That depends once again upon your position and your expectations.
For example, the board of directors of a corporation may look at whether or not management is successful and doing a good job from the perspective of how much money the company made from one quarter or fiscal year to the next.
However, if the company is a public corporation, the board, its stockholders, and the analysts that follow the stock may look at the value of the company’s stock, its earnings per share, or its earnings as compared to those of its competitors as an indicator of whether or not it has been successful.
And though each group of people is looking at the same financial information, each will probably come up with different conclusions and opinions.
If, on the other hand, the company is a small start-up and is brand new, success may be determined by whether or not there’s enough cash to pay the bills at the end of the month.
There’s a scene in the James Stewart classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” where there is a run on the family bank.
George Bailey, played by Mr. Stewart, is ecstatic when the bank is able to close its doors at 6:00 p.m. and still has two dollars – yes, TWO DOLLARS – left. They’ve made it through the day and are still in business.
The expectations of an established company may be quarter-to-quarter, or year-to-year, while for the new company, success may be measured on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis.
How Did the Team Do?
In sports, a team that wins a championship is considered to be a success. But what about the runner-up? Were the members of that team really losers? Once again it depends upon expectations. If the runner-up was expected to win the whole thing, then maybe that team had a bad year.
But what if they were picked to finish dead last, made it to the finals, and then lost? Were they losers or did they have a great year because they got to the championship?
And what if the star on the championship team played poorly and didn’t contribute at the level that was expected of him? Does he feel like a success? What if the star of the losing team had a great series, but the team still lost?
And what about the person who has an MVP year, but never performs at that level again?
I remember reading about a runner who finished second in one of the sprint races at a recent Olympics. He was disappointed that he didn’t win, but he had still run faster than he ever had before. He just wasn’t fast enough to win the race that afternoon. He couldn’t decide if he was a winner or a loser.
So how do you look at success? You have two criteria:
1. You have to look at success within certain time frames: moment-to-moment, day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year, or over an entire lifetime.
2. You have to consider what your expectations were before you started.
Sidebar: DID TIGER HAVE A GOOD YEAR?
For most golfers, any of these achievements would constitute a good year: winning the Masters by a record-setting 12 strokes. Winning more tournaments (four) than any other player on the tour. Becoming the first golfer on the tour to win more than $2 million in a single season.
Tiger Woods did all of the above in the first half of his first full season on tour, at the ripe old age of 22. But Tiger didn’t perform very well during the second half of the 1997 tour. He played in eight tournaments, had no victories and only two top 10 finishes, and earned just 300,000 dollars of his year’s total of 2 million dollars.
Tiger Woods lives in a world that is different from yours and mine. He is expected to win every tournament he enters. And when he doesn’t it’s big news. So let me ask you: Was Tiger a success or a failure?
Success Comes from Participation
You see, everything in life depends upon your frame of reference: where you are, where you came from, and where you want to go.
You should feel that you are a success when you try, when you participate, when you go out there and put your butt on the line.
Success is the act of trying to improve upon the things you’re already doing. It’s growing and developing. It’s accepting bigger and greater challenges. It’s not being afraid of making a mistake, suffering a setback, or failing. It’s trying to do your very best.
And if, in the end, your very best wasn’t quite good enough, you just have to go back to work and prepare a bit harder for the next time.
It is through the act of participating, as you try to achieve your goals, that you succeed. Nobody succeeds 100 percent in anything they do. When you’re able to recognize and accept this fact of life, you realize that failure and losing are as much a part of the game of life as are success and winning.
So embrace your goals, dreams, and desires. Pour your energy into completing those daily tasks. Go out and play your game, and play it to win! But don’t think only of winning games, think of winning championships!
The Thirteen Characteristics of Successful People
I’ve spent many years studying successful people and have identified the skills, talents, and characteristics that enable them to succeed.
As you look at and study these skills, talents, and characteristics, you’ll realize that you possess many of them yourself.
Some of these skills and talents are more dominant than others and will play a greater part in your being, or becoming, a success in the business of life. These are the things you do well. The things you do easily and effortlessly. These are your strengths.
When you find you need a skill or talent you don’t have, just go out and look for a person or group of people with the skills, talents, and training you need. Skills and talents that complement your own.
These people will become your teammates, colleagues, co-workers, professional advisors, and friends. With these combined skills and talents organizations grow, prosper, and become successful.
These are the five things you’ll find every successful person has in common:
1. They have a dream.
2. They have a plan.
3. They have specific knowledge or training.
4. They’re willing to work hard.
5. They don’t take no for an answer.
Success begins with a state of mind. You must believe you’ll be successful in order to become a success.
The following is a list of the skills, talents, and characteristics you’ll find in successful people:
1. Successful People Have a Dream. They have a well-defined purpose. They have a definite goal. They know what they want. They aren’t easily influenced by the thoughts and opinions of others. They have willpower. They have ideas. Their strong desire brings strong results. They go out and do things that others say can’t be done.
It only takes one sound idea to achieve success.
l. People who excel in life are those who produce results, not excuses.
Anybody can come up with excuses and explanations for why he hasn’t made it. Those who want to succeed badly enough don’t make excuses.
2. Successful People Have Ambition.
They want to accomplish something. They have enthusiasm, commitment, and pride. They have self-discipline. They’re willing to work hard and to go the extra mile. They have a burning desire to succeed. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
With hard work come results. The joy in life comes with working for and achieving something.
3. Successful People Are Strongly Motivated Toward Achievement.
They take great satisfaction in accomplishing a task.
4. Successful People Are Focused.
They concentrate on their main goals and objectives. They don’t get sidetracked. They don’t procrastinate. They work on the projects that are important, and don’t allow those projects to sit until the last minute. They’re productive, not just busy.
5. Successful People Learn How to Get Things Done.
They use their skills, talents, energies, and knowledge to the fullest extent possible. They do the things that need to be done, not just the things they like to do. They are willing to work hard and to commit themselves to getting the job done.
Happiness is found in doing and accomplishing, not in owning and possessing.
Many years ago I was asked the question: “Jeff, do you like pleasing habits or pleasing results?” As I pondered that probing question, and squirmed in my chair like a worm at the end of a hook, I felt as if I had painted myself into a corner.
A few moments later I answered: “I like pleasing results.” From that moment on my life changed. I began to do the things that were difficult, because that would enable me to achieve my goals.
6. Successful People Take Responsibility for Their Actions.
They don’t make excuses. They don’t blame others. They don’t whine and complain.
7. Successful People Look for Solutions to Problems.
They’re opportunity-minded. When they see opportunities they take advantage of them.
8. Successful People Make Decisions.
They think about the issues and relevant facts, give them adequate deliberation and consideration, and make a decision. Decisions aren’t put off or delayed, they’re made now!
Spend more time thinking and planning before you make your decision, and you’ll make better decisions.
When you don’t get the expected results from the decision you’ve made, change your course of action. Decisions should never be carved in stone.
9. Successful People Have the Courage to Admit They’ve Made a Mistake.
When you make a mistake, admit it, fix it, and move on. Don’t waste a lot of time, energy, money, and/or other resources trying to defend a mistake or a bad decision.
When people are wrong, they may admit it to themselves. If they are handled gently and tactfully, they may admit it to others and even take pride in their frankness and broad-mindedness. But people become very defensive and angry when others try to cram their mistakes down their throats.
10. Successful People Are Self-Reliant.
They have the skills, talents, and training that are needed in order to be successful.
11. Successful People Have Specific Knowledge, Training, and/or Skills and Talents.
They know the things they need to know to be successful. And when they need information, knowledge, or skills and talents that they don’t possess, they find someone who does possess them.
12. Successful People Work with and Cooperate with Other People.
They have positive, outgoing personalities. They surround themselves with people who offer them help, support, and encouragement. They are leaders.
13. Successful People Are Enthusiastic.
They’re excited by what they’re doing, and that excitement is contagious. They draw people to them because these people want to work with them, do business with them, and be with them.
Principle #1: Successful People Have a Dream
To be successful you’ve got to have a dream, a vision, a burning passion, a magnificent obsession. You’ve got to want something, and you’ve got to want it bad. This dream/goal/obsession has to become your prime motivator.
It takes enthusiasm, commitment, pride, a willingness to work hard, a willingness to go the extra mile, a willingness to do whatever has to be done in order to get the job done. To get the things you want in life you need motivation, drive, and energy.
Keith Reinhard, the chairman and CEO of DDB Needham, was obsessed with a single goal: to win back the McDonald’s advertising account he had lost in 1981.
Over the next 15 years Reinhard showered McDonald’s with unsolicited ad campaigns. He traveled around the world to land morsels of McDonald’s overseas advertising business.
He even peppered his conversations with quotes from McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. He kept in touch with the McDonald’s marketing people, and in 1991 began to meet regularly with Paul Schrage, the company’s chief marketing officer. Five years later McDonald’s began to rethink its advertising strategy and ultimately awarded the business to DDB Needham.
THE RETURN OF JOHN GLENN
On February 20, 1962, John Glenn orbited Earth three times aboard his Mercury capsule, Friendship 7, and became a national hero. But he always felt frustrated because he never had the opportunity to get back into space.
In 1996 he proposed to Daniel S. Goldin, NASA’s administrator, that he be allowed to return to space as a “guinea pig” to show that space research might benefit the elderly.
Glenn discussed this idea with NASA officials about 50 times over the next two years. In January 1998, NASA announced that Glenn, at the age of 76, would be allowed to journey again into space and “show that senior citizens have the right stuff.”
The deeper your passion, the deeper your commitment, the greater the likelihood you’ll become the success you dream of becoming. And when you have this deep passion and commitment, you’re no longer working. You no longer have a job. You’re doing something you love, and surprisingly someone’s willing to pay you to do it. You’re having fun.
Fix firmly in your mind what it is you want to do; then go out and do it!
The challenge comes in finding the thing in life that is your burning passion, your burning desire.
So let me ask you:
What is your burning passion?
What is your burning desire?
What do you dream of doing?
What do you dream of accomplishing?
What were you born to do?
If you don’t yet know what your burning passion is, it’s OK. Don’t give it a second thought. Just keep reading, thinking, and dreaming. Throughout this book I’ll be giving you more tools you can use to discover what you were born to do.
Don’t be in a hurry: It’s unlikely you’ll make this discovery overnight. And once you do, it may take several years, or even a lifetime, for you to fulfill your dream. That’s the thrill of life.
It is the search to discover what you were born to do that makes living so meaningful, interesting, and challenging.
Some people reach their peak when others would consider them way beyond their prime. Here are two examples:
Winston Churchill was 66 years old in the spring of 1940 when he became Great Britain’s wartime prime minister. His political career was presumed to have ended in January 1932.
Ray Kroc was 55 years old when he purchased the McDonald brother’s small chain of hamburger stands. He turned the chain into the McDonald’s Corporation.
Become a Dreamer
Become a dreamer. Dream about the things you want to do. The things you want to accomplish. The things you want to have. The bigger your dreams, the bigger your successes.
First, you’ve got to dream it. Then you’ve got to work your butt off to make your dream come true.
Share your dreams with your friends, your family, your co-workers, and your colleagues. Find people who want to become your teammates. Search for people who can provide you with support, advice, and encouragement. People who will help you turn your dream into reality. People who are as excited about your dreams as you are.
Get rid of the naysayers. You can’t allow yourself to be surrounded by people who aren’t supportive and enthusiastic. These people will do nothing but pull you down, sap you of your energy and enthusiasm, and force you to spend lots of time convincing them that you can do the things you dream of doing.
Strive for excellence and greatness in everything you do.
In order to make your dream come true you must first create a plan of action-a Master Plan-and then you must execute the plan. (This is discussed in Step 2.)
Principle #2: Successful People Have Fun
Whatever you do in life, you’ve got to have fun doing it. You’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing. You’ve got to enjoy spending time with the people with whom you’re working. You’ve got to like the people who are your customers and/or suppliers. The people with whom you interact every day.
If for some reason you aren’t having fun, you aren’t happy, you aren’t achieving the pleasure, satisfaction, and/or enjoyment you feel you should have, then it’s time to start planning your next career move.
That’s what I find great about life. Everything’s done by the process of elimination. Give yourself the opportunity to do, try, and experience many different things. Discover the things you don’t like to do, and then try something else.
When things feel good, and you’re getting whatever it is you need and want, then you should stay put. When strains, pressures, and/or tensions begin to develop, these are the warning signals that something’s wrong. If they persist, then maybe it’s time to make a change.
It’s not a disaster to take a job and discover that you don’t like it. It only becomes a disaster when you choose to stay.
When you don’t enjoy your work, or the environment in which you’re working, it’s impossible to be successful.
TWO POWERFUL THOUGHTS
Always keep these two powerful thoughts in mind: Make your work play, and your play work.
Find a job you love to do, and you’ll never work another day in your life.
Think for a few moments about what you just read. Read these thoughts a second and a third time. These are simple, but very important, concepts.
People rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it. You must receive a feeling of satisfaction from your work. It must be rewarding for you. If it’s not, all you’ve got is a job you must go to every day.
When you love something it has value to you. When something is of value you spend time doing it, you spend time enjoying it, and you take care of it.
What are five things that you love to do so much that you would do them for free?
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Harry Caray grew up with a passion for baseball and a desire to be a broadcaster. He got his first job as an announcer with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1945, and spent the next 54 years broadcasting games for the Cardinals, the Chicago White Sox, and the Chicago Cubs.
Caray made dull teams sound exciting and urged fans to come out to the old-never new-ball park. He loved baseball with all the trimmings. Throw the ball. Hit the ball. Catch the ball. Have a Bud.
During the seventh-inning stretch Harry always sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Then one day Bill Veeck, the owner of the White Sox, noticed that the fans right below the booth were listening to Harry through the flooring and singing along. For years, Veeck had been waiting for the right guy to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
The next night, Veeck decided to hide a public address microphone in the booth. When the organist began playing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Harry began singing and Veeck threw the switch. All of a sudden Harry heard about 10,000 voices booming back at him.
Veeck had correctly predicted that once you heard Harry sing you would join in because you knew you could sing better than him, and a tradition was born.
In 1989 Harry Caray was awarded entry into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He said: “I always tried, in each and every broadcast, to serve the fans to the best of my ability. In my mind, they are the unsung heroes of our great game.”
He loved life. He loved people. He loved baseball. There was nothing in the world he enjoyed more.
Your challenge is to go out and find someone who would like to hire you and pay you to do something you would gladly do for free. Or, maybe you should be in business for yourself.
Principle #3: Successful People Have Desire
To be successful in life you’ve got to have desire. You’ve got to want something. You’ve got to crave something. You’ve got to long for something. You’ve got to have a burning passion. You’ve got to be able to answer the question: “How badly do I want it?”
But desire is only a feeling. It’s of no value until you’ve turned your desire into action. You must make the decision to go out and do something. A burning desire to be, and to do, is the starting point from which you take off with your dream!
When you desire something so deeply that you won’t take no for an answer, you’re sure to succeed. The people who are most successful are those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done!
When you know what you want, you’ll move heaven and earth to get it. When something is important enough to you, you won’t stop until you’ve gotten it. Go out and turn your desire into an all-consuming passion. Learn what the power of desire feels like when it becomes an obsession.
You can’t see the size of a person’s heart from the outside.
When you have a burning desire, a complete and total obsession, you have more strength and power than you ever imagined. With this strength you’re able to survive disappointment, discouragement, temporary defeat, criticism, and all the comments from the naysayers who will tell you you’re wasting your time.
You’ve got to believe! If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
To succeed, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. You must convert your talk into action!
Things that are acquired without effort and without cost aren’t appreciated. We tend to value things that come with a price. If everything in life were easy, we wouldn’t have any challenges, we wouldn’t experience growth, and we would all be the same. Boring!
Principle #4: Successful People Have Faith
In addition to having a dream and desire, you’ve got to have faith. You’ve got to believe that you can do it. This is what faith does for you:
Faith gives you life.
Faith gives you power.
Faith is the starting point to being successful.
Faith removes limitations.
Faith is listening to that still small voice that speaks from deep within that tells you who you are and what you want to be.
Success is a Journey. Faith and hard work bring success.
1. Desire success with a state of mind that becomes an obsession. You must want it so badly that nothing will stop you.
2. Create a step-by-step plan that lays out in minute detail the things you must do to become successful.
3. Execute your plan with patience, persistence, and perseverance. Achieving success takes time. You’ve got to stick with your plan. You can’t allow yourself to be distracted or change directions.
4. Don’t accept failure!
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not! Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent.
Genius will not! Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not! The world is full of educated failures.
Persistence prevails. Determination alone makes you omnipotent.
Principle #5: Successful People Make Their Own Luck
You may think successful people became successful because they were lucky. But if you think that, you’re dead wrong! Luck plays no part in being successful.
Successful people don’t go through life hoping for a favourable break. They make their breaks themselves. They make their own luck. And that’s what you should do!
Work hard to put yourself in a position to capitalize on the opportunities that come your way. Go out and seek situations that can provide you with the opportunities that will make you appear to be lucky to those who are watching from the sidelines.
When I think about luck I always visualize a baseball player patiently waiting for his pitch. He doesn’t waste his swing on pitches that are outside the strike zone. He fouls off the ones that are strikes as he waits for that fastball up the middle that looks as if it’s the size of a grapefruit.
And when he sees that pitch coming, he takes a big swing with all his might and smacks the hell out of it.
And if that right opportunity doesn’t come along today, just keep doing the things you do best, and continue to move forward.
For myself, I’ve found that when I continue to do all the right things, something unexpected always comes out of nowhere. And when I’m sitting around waiting for something to happen, it never does.
The only break you can afford to rely upon is the one you make yourself.
There is a difference between wishing for something and being willing to go out and get it. You must believe that you can do it!
Principle #6: Successful People Aren’t Afraid of Failure
Successful people know that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. And no matter how hard you work, sooner or later you must face the reality that you failed. You tried to do something and weren’t successful. You didn’t get the result you wanted.
You didn’t get the job you hoped for. You didn’t get the raise you deserved. You didn’t close the big order. Your largest account just walked out the door. You struck out with the bases loaded. You missed the winning shot at the buzzer. There was a fly in the ointment. There was a glitch somewhere. You failed. SO WHAT!
You don’t close every sale. You don’t win every game. You aren’t going to hit a home run every time you’re up to bat. You don’t always get what you want. Failure is OK. It’s part of life. It should be expected.
The bigger question is:
What do you do next?
What do you do after you’ve failed?
As Frank Sinatra said: “You pick yourself up and get back in the race. That’s life…”
You don’t feel sorry for yourself. You don’t mope around. You pick yourself up and do it again and again and again until you get it right!
Failure is as much a part of life as success. Losing is as much a part of life as winning. The most important thing to think about is how can you ensure that you won’t fail in the same way a second time.
Life is a series of trial-and-error experiences. We are taught something by a teacher, and then we try to do it ourselves. The first time we do it we probably don’t get the results we want. So we try again, and again, and again.
With practice we get better. Then we push ourselves as we try to do something that’s a little bit more difficult. As we succeed, our expectations increase, and so does the satisfaction that comes from the feeling of a job well done.
So we set our sights a bit higher-to improve our results as compared to what we’ve done before and in relation to the results of those with whom we are competing-and we try again. We continue to push ourselves to new heights.
When we succeed, we once again raise the bar. And when we don’t, we go back to work to improve our skills and talents, and try again.
That is why I feel that the subjects of success and failure are so intertwined: because it is through failure that we grow and develop as individuals. We learn through our failures. Failures show us our flaws, our imperfections, the areas in which we need improvement.
In order to achieve your goals, to fulfill your desires, to make your dreams come true, you’re going to have to work. It is hard work that makes you better at what you do, and failing from time to time is just a part of life.
If you’re not experiencing failure, you’re not working hard enough.
Overcome the Fear of Failure
Failure is trying to do something and not getting the desired results. Fear of failure is something else. Fear of failure causes paralysis.
It’s unfortunate, but many people go through life with a fear of failure. They’re so afraid that they’re going to make a mistake, that they won’t do something right, that it won’t be perfect, that they don’t try to do anything at all.
So what happens to them? They become paralyzed and don’t do anything. And with this paralysis they lose the ability to have a rewarding, meaningful, and enjoyable life.
It’s just physically impossible for someone who has a fear of failure to achieve anything, because that person has never tried. He never gave himself the opportunity to succeed.
It is in doing, trying, and experiencing things you never did before that you grow and develop. Through practice you get better and better at the things you do.
Principle #7: Successful People Don’t Quit!
So far we’ve discussed dreams, desire, faith, and luck. Now I want to address the subject of quitting. Yes, we all have bad days. Yes, things don’t always go your way. Yes, you may feel that the whole world is ganging up on you as everything appears to be going down the tubes.
But it is in these times of adversity that you draw on the strength deep inside of you and force yourself to continue moving forward. Other people have lost major accounts, have lost their jobs, have lost a loved one, have had a spouse decide it was time to leave, and a whole lot more.
However, through it all they find the stamina, willpower, energy, and courage to go on. And go on they do. For it is in facing adversity that we grow. We’re forced to do things we never did before. And we do them.
During your lifetime you are sure to have setbacks, meet with temporary defeat, and perhaps experience some failure, if you haven’t already. The question is: What do you do when that happens?
Quit? No way!
Just because you experienced a failure doesn’t mean you should quit. What fun would life be if you did? Quitting is the easy way out. And besides, even if you do quit, where are you going to go? What are you going to do? More importantly, think about what has happened.
If you never experienced failure, how would you ever learn from your mistakes? When you experience failure, this is what you should do:
Analyze your mistakes.
Determine what went wrong and why.
Identify what you can do differently next time.
Learn from your failure.
When defeat overtakes you, the easiest and seemingly most logical thing to do is quit. Instead, you should be determined to come back stronger next time. You should never accept defeat.
Failure, or a temporary defeat, creates opportunity.
The only way you can fail is if you quit. So you just can’t fail the last time you try.
“There is only one answer to defeat, and that is victory.” – Winston Churchill
Principle #8: Successful People Don’t Take No for an Answer
Successful people are persistent. They don’t quit. When they begin working on a task or project, they stick with it until its conclusion. They don’t take NO for an answer. The basis of their persistence is Will Power. Their attitude is:
“I Will Get It Done!”
In life, everything is possible. But to succeed you’ve got to have a dream, you’ve got to have a plan, and you can’t take no for an answer.”
Interesting isn’t it? ^____^