Raise Your Standards

“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do” (Andrew Carnegie). We must raise the bar high and do what we should do on a daily consistent basis whether we feel like it or not. Positive character development and reformation is absolutely possible and within your control. Decide to be, do, and give your best.

Friendship

Imagine exchanging $10 for $500. That would be a good deal. How much more important is your own life or another’s, than money? Authentic relationships with wonderful loving family members and loyal friends are truly priceless.

“Friendship is like money, easier made than kept” (Samuel Butler). Friends are who we become like in thought, attitudes, behavior, success, character, principles, life philosophy, and moral code, therefore be choosy who you become friends with. Treasure friendships more than any material, monetary or replaceable items because few real friends whom are truly dependable, honest, and morally upright in character may cross your path during this life.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out” (Walter Winchell). This type of friendship is rare and to be cherished. We can all help each other, but true friends are few. Possessing an abundance of money is a wonderful desire and blessing as long as a noble purpose exists for that currency.

Law of Replacement

How likely or unlikely are you to you swap a bad habit for a good habit in the next month? Stop saying “I can’t… (fill in the blank), stop smoking” because that is linking your identity with that deadly ritual and preventing victory over the long term. Giving something bad or of lesser value for something good, great, exceptional, lifesaving and invaluable is a deal worth creating and doing. Best of all, there is enormous upside with minimal if any downside, while becoming a winner. Never short change yourself by sacrificing a thing now, for a much worthier and greater purpose that reaps impressive returns and results later.

Quality People are Valuable

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.

Embracing Dreams

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” (Henry David Thoreau). Don’t let that be you! People act out of desperation, pain, anger, fear, greed, desire, envy, necessity, inspiration and pleasure. Let’s raise our standards by taking initiative to dream big and do bigger, while tolerating nothing less than the best from ourselves. Be filled with hope, meaning, and purpose by embracing your vision, mission, why and how, in order to get your greatness out into the world, today.

Managing

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?

Plan, Share, Create, Grow

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” (Mike Tyson). Troubles and set-backs can and do happen, but without a plan in place, failing is the plan. Knowing God’s plan trumps mine grants me peace to keep on keeping on.

“It’s better to have a bruised ego, than a lifetime of regret” (Author unknown). Going against the grain, breaking the mold, creating a path when none exists, offering possible life-giving services, is courage at its best. Go for it—help others. Live out your dreams!

Sharing messages of hope only takes willingness. Being bold and brave entails showing up and doing something to help others, despite possible criticism or embarrassment. Why not share a story of direct or indirect triumph to encourage and inspire others through challenging times? Lighten the burden of others via your personal story of victory. Transformation occurs from the inside out, which can be activated by an inspiring true experience and a spark of encouragement. Stay humble, letting go of an over-sized ego. Don’t waste hurt, trials, and burdens overcome. Share them with the world so others can benefit, knowing they are not alone in their pain and heartache. Strive to be a better person.