In the book, Good to Great, Jim Collins writes about findings from many years of research which vitally conclude that what matters most in great companies are having the right people on the bus. The bus can go anywhere and the people will succeed because they have unified goals and beliefs toward a specific mission.⁹ Our personal lives are not much different. By surrounding ourselves with morally superb, intelligent, and creative people enthusiastically sharing our visions, we, in turn, have wonderful potential and probability to become great too. Let’s choose only quality individuals to associate with most of the time.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV). For change to occur a person with a shopping problem should stay out of the mall. A drinker should stay out of the bar. A gambler should stay out of the casino. A person trying to lose weight should stay away from a buffet. It is easier to avoid temptation than it is trying to beat temptation. Acknowledging that we possess a self-created problem within ourselves allows the ability to let solutions work through and for us. That permits us to change our ways by living in a positive, progressive, forward moving, massively growing manner. As Tony Robbins advocates, “Raise your standards. Change your shoulds into musts. Stop shoulding all over yourself.”
“The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn’t” (Joseph L. Mankiewicz). Don’t follow or succumb to characters in fictitious movies, which are not true representations of actual joy-filled lives. Life is real and takes hard work all around that is not depicted in most movies and novels. The excessively bolstered esteem characters portray might very well be animated fabricated facades and illusions, not to be trusted. Don’t be misled by mirages not based in reality. Learn from inspirational and wholesome movies. Stop allowing vices toward violence, disrespect, anger, profanity, and lax standards sway the goodness that truthfully resonates in the core of your soul.
“I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up wrinkles the soul” (Douglas MacArthur). Through proper exercise, combined with embracing dreams, attitudes, principles, moral codes, life philosophies, and ideals we can feel young at any age. Doing the most challenging exercises in any work-out regimen first, allows the body to expend more glycogen (stored usable energy), while optimally completing each exercise routine. The same principle applies toward performing the most energy-consuming tasks prior to doing less strenuous responsibilities throughout the day.
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us” (Charles Bukowski). Continual growth and progress are pivotal keys toward living fully, therefore dying full, yet spent. You can’t spend your way to monetary wealth, only long-term joy fulfilling wealth. Remember to start where you are with what you have. No excuses, blaming, complaining, self-pity, regret, shame, or procrastination allowed. Get intentionally busy filling yourself up with greatness so you can spend yourself in an extravagant, yet selfless manner.
“When people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong” (Oscar Wilde). Legacies, principles, moral codes, and life philosophies can be passed down for individuals to adopt or dismiss according to personal discretion and personality. The vast greatness of legacies is in doing, struggling, being, and becoming a person of ethically upright character that can impregnate the minds, hearts, bodies, spirits, and souls of anyone whom chooses. Our privileged opportunity deciding who we are to be each day by giving and taking seeds of fruitful success is an advantageous privilege for us all. Don’t stop trying, learning, and relentlessly pursuing becoming the greatest version of yourself in order to serve and give the universe what she may otherwise lack. Not trying because of fear is unacceptable.
The art of managing focuses on time, money and quality, while one typically takes precedence, others are neglected. The right people must operate in the correct positions to optimize a team or business. Do not try to manage people because people are not meant to be managed, only lead. Optimally, skillful individuals independently think for themselves, efficiently getting important tasks or projects done first prior to moving on to smaller objectives, are prepared for emergencies, and have relentless work ethic infused with loyalty toward unified goals, missions, visions, and causes. They don’t let inflated egos hinder humility to obtain objective inputs from others about what may be unknown to them, hence hindering growth, progress, and fruitful success. Being humble enough to acknowledge our blind spots from objective feedback allows deep reflection to personally change or find individuals to complement places where we may be weak. We can all be leaders by influencing and inspiring people around us by our radically honest and genuinely upright principled example. Make sure you give yourself strong reasons for passing through this life without living in fear or regret. How are you doing with managing and leading yourself?
“Choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong” (Author unknown). Transition from dark to light. Stay standing strong, shining bright. Change environments and habits, being it’s easier to avoid temptation, than it is trying to beat temptation. Self-control only lasts so long in the midst of enticement. Cues create propensities toward behaving, acting, speaking, exercising, and eating in certain ways. Knowing what we desire and why, allows for clarity towards planning different measurable choices to implement at specific times, therefore manifesting a brand-new life. Frequent and consistent measurable goals set for specific times makes implementation likely and perpetual, eventually habitual. How we begin life is irrelevant and over, yet the rest of our story can be anything we choose.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand” (Native American proverb). Developing our ability to effectively think by infusing our mind with positive applicable knowledge allows us to respond from our automatic subconscious mind when inquired. We must not think about what to say when we ought to be fully engaged in listening and observing another person express him or herself. Take full advantage of opportunities to completely engage yourself in understanding other people, while restraining from giving feedback, unless asked.
Motive matters when we speak. People are substantially influenced by the reason why we do something, much more than strictly what we do or say. Let’s be genuinely interested in what other people want by focusing on their desires equally, if not more so, than our own. Be a leader, knowing leaders are meant to serve, enhancing greatness and abilities in individuals. Remember the global golden rule to do unto others what you would like done to you. Daily, practice asking yourself, “What would I like others to say and do for me?” Take initiative to say and do that for them.
Remember, people have different wants and needs at varying times, therefore, be mindful toward those fluxing desires and necessities. Quality, value, caring, love, acceptance, empathy, gratitude, forgiveness, consideration, kindness, helpfulness, adaptability, and appreciation never go out of style. Inculcate these attributes into your character. Tattoo them in your mind.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21 NLT). Don’t steal from your future just to make today easier. Discipline yourself to invest in health, wealth, and relationships, while choosing to love, learn, grow, and live your purpose. Focus on living out your principles. Bumps in the road will come, although principles remain unchanging, thus impenetrable to enemy forces. Keep on doing the right thing, despite others’ opinions and small judgmental minds. This way of living leads to personal significance and fulfillment. Raise your standards. Be you, not someone else. Don’t chase after someone else’s worldly dreams, fixated on fame, power, or excessive possessions. What gives you peace and makes you happy? You owe yourself the best of you—all of you. Be unapologetically you.