Some say that distraction is the tool of the devil or that which gets us off track from doing great things in our lives not only for ourselves but for others. Now some may not believe in the devil and some may believe that they are happy and don’t need change. Not believing in the devil is fine, but not believing one needs to change is not good, or healthy, for that matter. And if you think you’re happy where you are, think again.
“There’s always room for improvement, you know–it’s the biggest room in the house.”– Louise Heath Leber
Everyone has to overcome shortcomings or weaknesses to achieve greater happiness. Maybe you’re too easily angered; an excessive procrastinator; you don’t follow through on commitments; are socially inept or can’t relate to people well enough to maintain relationships, a job, or family; can’t commit; can’t finish what you started; you have addictions to alcohol, drugs, video games, collecting, sports, pornography, or any avoidance behavior, on and on and on.
But to overcome weaknesses is difficult. It’s much easier to ignore them or say “Well, that’s just me. That’s who I am.” You can overcome the majority of your major weaknesses or character flaws, but it takes a lot of work and honesty.
“How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.”– Edward White Benson
“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.”- Aristotle
“Everyone needs to twelve-step their lives. Don’t simply wait until you’ve got an addiction.” Anonymous
“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.”– Denis Waitley
It is too easy to stay with the status quo. Too easy to put off for tomorrow what will never happen today or ever. But weaknesses must be addressed, for many if not all of these weaknesses are life killers. Life killers in the sense that you deny yourself a greater happiness and joy by not fixing or working on them enough to make significant inroads. Life killers in the sense that you are not only denying yourself but others the benefit of what you have to offer. Bottom line, the more you fix you weaknesses the greater happiness, confidence, and peace of mind you achieve. The greater you achieve in these areas the greater you will achieve in the areas of financial gain, personal satisfaction, and desire to reach out to others. But there is a lot of sacrifice and effort involved. No fast-food, get-rich, learn-it-in-one-day schemes here.
“In order to live free and happily you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.”– Richard Bach
“Self-esteem must be earned! When you dare to dream, dare to follow that dream, dare to suffer through the pain, sacrifice, self-doubts, and friction from the world, you will genuinely impress yourself.”– Dr. Laura Schlessinger
But growth requires getting out of one’s comfort zone and to not only do the difficult but to do the unimaginable. If you are poor of spirit, poor of mind, poor of soul, poor of influence, poor in pocket and poor of experience, you are the only one to blame. Time and time and time and time again I have heard directly and indirectly of the uber-successful their failures: Tony Robbins eating once a day and washing his dishes in the bathtub; Og Mandino, the greatest salesman on earth, losing his family, turning to drink and living on the streets; Dr. Joe Vital living in poverty for over a decade in Dallas, Texas. The many billionaires, millionaires, and lesser-aires all coming from less-than-nothing to rise through the refining fire of dire straits and circumstance having their mortal coil of clay shaped, strengthened and sanctified to not only the betterment of self but to the betterment of the hundreds, thousands, millions they’ve touched.
How many do you want to touch?
If you think you can’t touch many, think again, for in desiring a lesser life, you snuff out the God-given potential to rise and affect the masses, the many, the always and many who need you to overcome yourself for their betterment, a hand lent, a hand reaching down to lift up, only up.
“Great minds have purposes; little minds have wishes. Little minds are subdued by misfortunes; great minds rise above them.”– Washington Irving
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”– The Buddha
“As you grow older, you’ll discover that you have two hands: One for helping yourself, the second for helping others.”- Unknown
But you need to address fear, overcome the self, the self-limiting desire to be comfortable and remain. Only in the remaining do we find despair and lack of hope. It is in the quick not the dead that we find purpose, hope, joy, and desire to touch the masses. The dynamic is in action, growth, it is where life is sanctified and made of great purpose, indeed.
“Only when you’ve worked on yourself long enough can you be of great worth to others. Don’t be selfish by doing nothing, build yourself to the benefit of others.”– Jeffrey P. Brown
“Our lives improve only when we take chances — and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”– Walter Anderson
“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.”– Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
“It all comes down to one very simple choice… Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.”– Andy Dufrain, “The Shawshank Redemption”
“Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat.”– Theodore Roosevelt
“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”– Mary Tyler Moore
“Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?”– Frank Scully
“A ship in harbor is safe, But that is not what ships are built for.”- unknown
“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”– James B. Conant
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”– Mario Andretti
But in order to do well, in order to find your dream, lock your hands about its neck so it doesn’t slip away, focus and dedication is required. You need to be ruthless in taking massive action on a consistent, persistent basis, with your eyes on the prize which resides above the horizon within the great heights of the stars. Work, sacrifice, and boldness of action are not only those things that success are made of but happiness, greatest fulfillment, and joy. Do this and leave mediocrity and your half-empty life behind for those of a lesser heart. You, my friend, have great things to do.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”– Harold Whitman
“Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to what they want to do.”– Kathleen Winsor
“You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you are doing is work or play.”– Warren Beatty
“Lack of will power has caused more failure than lack of intelligence or ability.”– Flower A. Newhouse
“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.”– Charles Dickens
“We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.”– Martha Grimes
“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”– Maureen Dowd
You need to build yourself, build your character by not only overcoming weaknesses but finding you strength. For in the monetized world, business coaches speak to building one’s strengths for greater success. Michael Jordan succeeded in basketball and failed at baseball. Einstein succeeded as a theoretical physicist not as a salesman, which he almost became. Certainly to monetize one needs to focus on strengths. But the underlying weaknesses-the many I mentioned above and more-will tear at the foundation of one’s being, and ultimately success, faster than anything else.
“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.”– Rene Descartes
“How do you know when you’ve built great character? When you can no longer be offended.” Jeffrey P. Brown
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”– African proverb
“With confidence you can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments are beyond your grasp.”– Jim Loehr
“Talk to yourself every morning. By looking into those eyes, she or he will tell you everything you need to know. That is, if you’re brave enough to go there.” Jeffrey P. Brown
“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.”– Joan Didion
“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person we become.”– Jim Rohn
This is the age of the entrepreneur, not only for the sake of independence but out of economic necessity. The standard job (just beyond broke) no longer provides for the American dream. Many are losing their homes and their lives along with it. With the death of pensions, social security, and job security (experts estimate employees entering the job market will have upwards of ten career changes before retirement), people as never before are reliant upon themselves to not only provide for the here and now but the retirement of later. And the majority are woefully ill-prepared for the after-job life, most not waking to the calamity of the lack of preparation well into retirement when it is way too late.
Therefore, since so much is reliant upon the individual, it has never been more important to make that individual strong-and that’s YOU. You must overcome your fear of failure, procrastination, being embarrassed, hurt, risk, of even happiness-yes, the fear of success itself-to obtain your ultimate goal. The you you will discover and become as you chip away at the old you to find the wonder, purpose, and potential that lives deep within us all.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”– Herman Cain
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”– Joseph Chilton Pearce
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”– Woody Allen
“However well organized the foundations of life may be, life must always be full of risks.”– Havelock Ellis
“If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not taking risks, and that means you’re not going anywhere. The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more changes to learn and win.”– John W. Holt, Jr.
“If you are never scared, embarrassed, or hurt, it means you never take chances.”– Julia Soul
“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”– Frederick Wilcox
“A failure is like fertilizer; it stinks to be sure, but it makes things grow faster in the future.”– Dennis Waitley