Happy New Year!
Life's peaks are achieved by those who strive harder and push longer. It's how you choose to face your challenges that matter. We often think we are limited, trying, failing, and then concluding we've bumped our heads against the ceiling of possibility, never venturing as far as we might have if we had continued on course.
When you devote your endeavors to activities that give you joy and purpose the strength to continue comes naturally. The secret is to hold fast to purposeful goals. It's the best approach to life. Put aside what you think you know about getting ahead. Details may be important, but they are only details. Keep the big picture in mind. There are only a handful of key actions that are critical, and focus is crucial.
Luck and talent play a part, but those who stay focused and keep going are the ultimate winners. Some of us are great when things are going well, but not so great when things fall apart. We all have responsibilities we fulfill out of obligation or necessity. Those externally motivated goals rarely fulfill in the same way that internally interesting and purposeful goals do. Follow your passion. The strongest predictor of success is the degree to which you are committed.
Here's the formula...
Show Up! "Eighty percent of success is showing up" (Woody Allen). Showing up means doing your homework and believing nothing is impossible (rearrange that to: 'I'm possible'). Remember an plane takes off against the wind, not with it, and the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. The highly accomplished are paragons of perseverance. Focus on the joy of your work. Here's a quote from Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers: When do I dream? "It's those times when I get up early and work hard, those times I stay up late and work hard, those times when I don't feel like working and don't want to push myself, but do it anyway."
Talent William James, a Harvard psychologist studied how people differ in their pursuit of goals. He wrote an article titled 'The Energies of Men' observing: 'Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.' James asserted the human individual usually lives far within his limits, possessing powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use. Where you end up in the long run depends on...
Effort To 'compete' comes from the Latin word meaning 'striving together'. Charles Darwin once wrote a letter to his cousin: 'I've always maintained that, excepting fools, men do not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I think this is an eminently important difference". Push beyond what you did today so that tomorrow, you'll be just a little bit better. Focus on doing your absolute best at every task, every moment. If you have an unexpected outcome you haven't failed, you've just produced a result. Try again!
Interest Will Shortz, a long-time editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, told students at Indiana University: 'My advice for you is to figure out what you enjoy doing most in life, and then try to do it full-time. Life is too short.' Jeff Bezos left a high-salary, high-status finance job to start Amazon. He observed: 'After much consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion.' Research shows you are enormously more satisfied when doing something that fits your interests and desires. Start now!
Practice Some people get twenty years of experience, while others get one year of experience, twenty times. A Japanese term for resisting the plateau of arrested development is 'Kaizen'. Successful individuals demonstrate a remarkable desire to continually improve, excelling beyond their current level of expertise. They have a persistent desire to do better. It's a positive, forward looking state of mind; wanting to grow, not looking backward.
Purpose ripens with the conviction your work matters. For most of us, interest without purpose is nearly impossible to sustain over a lifetime. It is imperative your work is both personally interesting and, at the same time, integrally connected to the well-being of others.
Hope There is a wonderful short poem by Portia Nelson called 'There's a Hole in My Sidewalk.' "I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place. But, it isn't my fault. It still takes me a long time to get out. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in. It's a habit. My eyes are open, I know where I am, it is my fault. I get out immediately. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. I walk down another street."
Start with what you are surest of and build from there. Challenge yourself to connect your work to a purpose. If you get knocked down, get up. You may never fully reach your ambition's goals but purpose will carry you past the practical realities of life's daily distractions. Vision, focus, action; make it your version of 'Lights, camera, action'.
For the New Year? The way to predict next year is to create it. Experience has shown real leaders are simply ordinary people who have extraordinary determination. Happy New Year!
About Our Law Firm
We provide peace of mind by creating and managing structures that allow you to grow and protect your business, legacy, and personal wealth. "Where you'll be tomorrow, depends on what you do today."
Lechner Law Office, P.C.
Law and Professional Center
Orland Hills, Illinois 60487-4623
Paul Lechner Esq., CPA
The Lechner Group, Ltd.
Business Advisory Services
The Lechner Group, Ltd. is a public accounting and business consulting firm focused on business counsel, transactional diligence, and tax advisory services. We add value to your business strategies by providing a combination of financial, audit, and tax expertise. Combined with legal services (which are provided separately by the Lechner Law Office, P.C.) we offer privately held business owners an attractive package of comprehensive services.
Find out more by calling Paul Lechner at 708.460.6686.