Can you name five people, right now, out loud, that have taught you a valuable principle to live by? Do you remember times when you have used those principles and succeeded; and times when you forgot those nuggets of truth and failed? How are you passing on those timeless truths to others?
Since I plan on living until I’m 110, I need to have some long-term commitments that will guide my life and relationships with others. I’m in the process of writing a fourth book which I have entitled, “Don’t Die Until You’re Dead!” I plan to give my best speech on my death bed, surrounded by my family and friends laughing and reminiscing about all the crazy things we did and the life we enjoyed. Because I want to be a “good one”, I’ve gathered some guidelines/principles over the years from life itself, books and materials I have read, lessons I’ve learned from others and the insights I’ve been taught.
Take them, use them, teach them and model them. They won’t make life fair, or easy, or normal, but you will rise above most people because you are living in anticipation, not anxiety. And you’ve decided to be a “good one”.
Successful people do things unsuccessful people don’t do. That means you get up earlier, stay up later and have a “whatever it takes” attitude. A whatever it takes attitude generates energy, increases creativity, builds optimism and it empowers you to reach goals. You will find that a “whatever it takes” attitude almost always gives you more energy. Our mind tends to live up to expectations and this attitude raises both expectations and energy. It means that interruptions are embraced. It means you talk until you understand each other; talk until you understand the problem; and talk until you understand the solution.
When you’re through changing, you’re though. You have a choice. You either lead change or you manage change. I have no desire to manage it. Change carries with it a price tag and change is a lifestyle. As John Maxwell says, “Change creates many different responses: A leader can retreat from change and deny it; resist change and delay it; rebel against change and fight it; run from change and avoid it; or a leader can receive change and grow from it.” Your response to change will influence the response of others!
Do everything with enthusiasm and passion. Develop your passion or passions. One person with passion is worth more than 99 who only have an interest. Don’t lose your enthusiasm. Stay positive. It is a choice. 95% of what you see, hear, and read is negative. Be the positive in a negative world that people need.
Life is too short to live the same day twice. Where are things accomplished? Yesterday? Tomorrow? Or today? When can you make a difference in the lives of others? When is change the most effective and lasting? Yesterday? Tomorrow? Or Today? People fully alive aren’t waiting for the right time, the right moment, or the right day. They know today is the greatest day of their lives.
If today wasn’t great, give tomorrow the chance to be! What great projects are you undertaking in your business? In your life? In your family? In your community? Many people go through life driving with their dome lights on instead of their headlights. What you have become is important, but not nearly as important as what you can be.
Tomorrow has new opportunities, new mercies and new hope. Don’t lose your perspective. Losers make tombstones. Winners make stepping stones. Excuses don't teach you anything and they keep you from making needed changes. Understanding why you failed will give you insights for needed change. The greatest failure is failure without purpose. Few things turn out as well as we had hoped or as badly as we had feared. You learn a little from small mistakes. You learn a lot from big ones. You learn nothing at all from mediocrity. Innovation occurs when you take your failures and mistakes and turn them into steppingstones, instead of tombstones.
It’s the small things no one sees that lead to the big results everyone wants! Every person reading this article is a leader. I believe everyone is a leader. We just have different responsibilities. Leadership is defined from my perspective as “positive
influence.” Every one of us can bring positive influence to anything we are a part of.
When a person focuses on the small things, it will lead to big results. I’ve spent my life and my leadership focusing on the small things. What gets rewarded, gets done. What gets appreciated, gets done. There is nothing too small for me to do and when you do the small things with great enthusiasm and passion, there are big results that follow. In my mentoring of beginning leaders over the years, I have always encouraged them to focus on the small things. It’s been amazing how many times they have reported back how “right” that advice was. It was a big difference-maker in their leadership.
Live your life giving it away. Mark Twain said it best. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Don’t ever allow people to become an interruption.
The majority of the time, when they walk into your life, there is a need to be met in their lives. There is an opportunity for you to share what you have learned or learn from what they share. Fill every moment with a full tank of unconditional love, steady growth, learning moments, intentional play, and lifelong memories.
Whatever you are, be a good one, is an attitude that gives you the strength to finish what you started and reach your objectives. When I practice a “whatever it takes” attitude, I find my creativity flows. I made a commitment years ago that I was going to finish well. Will you join me?
Steve Siemens, CSP, Des Moines, IA, has delighted hundreds of audiences in over 20 countries and in every State in the United States. He has become known as “THE PEOPLE BUILDER”. People love his messages filled with useful skills and tools, wrapped in humor because they find nuggets that can be used in every area of their lives, both professional and personal. Steve has been awarded the CSP, Certified Speaking Professional, from the National Speakers Association. Only ten percent of the speakers worldwide have passed the rigorous criteria to attain the CSP. For keynotes, training and coaching, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.