At the beginning of a new year, everyone is looking for ways to improve their life and enhance their success. The fundamental principles for happiness and success are universal, it is always up to us. The only people who are truly successful are the people who believe they are successful. Here are the principles that can help you feel successful no matter what your circumstances.
Never Quit Before the Miracle Happens. We often snatch failure out of the jaws of victory because we don’t give ourselves enough credit to get to the payoff. We have to be our own best cheerleader, primarily because if we don’t believe in ourselves, it is difficult to get anyone else to believe in ourselves. Faith and trust that we are who and where we are supposed to be is critical to believing in ourselves. Oftentimes we think that life is unfair, that we can’t get a break, or that we can’t do anything right. That kind of thinking is self-defeating and counter-productive. Simply never, ever, give up.
Live Your Life in a Way that Makes Sense to You. We get into trouble trying to live our lives to impress other people or to make other people happy. I spent thirty years practicing law trying to impress my parents and fulfill their dream that I be a lawyer. The problem was I didn’t want to be a lawyer, so basically, I was living a lie. While I was successful as a lawyer, I found no happiness from it no matter how hard I tried. Probably one of the hardest life situations to endure is a career that does not make sense. Find what you love to do and do it with love.
Pain is the Sign of Change. There are two kinds of pain, physical and emotional. Physical pain can be a result of the body ravaged by disease or trauma, or it can be the result of the body healing itself. It signals the body to slow down or stop using the part of the body which is injured to allow the body to heal itself. Pain is either entering the body or leaving the body. Emotional pain is something else entirely. Emotional pain is suffering brought on by wishing our life was different. Something happens in our past that causes emotional trauma, and our psyche is damaged, bruised or even split depending on the severity of the trauma. This pain can only be relieved by accepting the past and not regretting it. A good example of the difference between physical pain and emotional pain is sexual abuse. The physical pain of sexual abuse is temporary, the body will eventually heal of any physical wounds. Emotional pain can be permanent through painful, often debilitating, memories. We have to approach emotional pain differently than physical pain because physical pain usually heals but emotional pain can be permanent.
Life is limited only by your imagination. Actually, life is limited not only by our imagination but also by our lack of discipline and focus. If we have a dream, it will always be just a dream if we do not have the discipline to make it happen. You can’t win the lottery if you never buy a ticket. You can’t get that raise or make a company profitable if you don’t show up to work fully prepared to give it your best effort. Dreaming won’t make it so, Joe, and inspiration is worthless without perspiration. It is certainly true that dreaming gives you the framework, but effort and discipline will fill in the blanks and turn the framework into a work of art.
Just Take the Next Step. Many times, we start with a goal and forget to take the first step. Our minds will come up with a million reasons why something won’t work, but it is up to us to take the journey anyway. History is full of stories of inventions that were created when the inventor was trying to invent something else. Life is a journey, but we have to follow the path, one step at a time I tell people just follow their nose, they will always end up where they need to be. When you commit to something, do it will all of your heart, do not try to skip steps or avoid the experiences that life’s journey gives you. To be inspirational, you have to follow your intuition which is always changing.
Change Yourself and Change the World. Whatever you are looking for will usually be found. If you believe life is hard and unfair, you will find life to be that way. If you believe life is an exciting, shifting drama and you are the main character, you will find you are not only the actor, director and producer, but you are also the author of your experience. If you change from being negative and ungrateful to positive and grateful, your reality will ultimately change from a tragedy to a romantic comedy. There are two kinds of teachers in the world, those who teach us how to be and those who teach us how not to be. We choose which kind of teacher we are. Be an example to others of how to weather the storm, to shine in dark times, and to lead people from the darkness into light.
Silence is Priceless. I am sure that most people regret what they have said far more than when they didn’t say anything. Abraham Lincoln advised that it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and prove it. A smile is a powerful tool that speaks louder than words. My most useful mantra is “if you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything.” This also applies to volume as well as content. You can’t make someone understand what you are saying if you say it louder. Speak humbly and thoughtfully and if someone doesn’t understand you, use better words, not louder ones.
You are not Your Thoughts. I often find myself a prisoner in the jail of my mind. My thoughts used to keep me from enjoying life to its fullest because I was always comparing myself to others and wishing my life was different. I have found that this was a useless attempt by my ego to control my life and I learned that ninety percent of what I worried about never happened. I excused the anxiety and stress as a necessary fact of life. I discovered that this was totally untrue and my psyche was the source of my suffering, not what was happening in it. When we detach from the drama of our thinking mind, and simply accept what is happening with gratitude, all stress and anxiety float away and we are left with a calm and relaxed approach to life.
Resolutions are commitments with a half-life. The length of the half-life depends on the strength of the commitment and the discipline you are willing to practice in order to achieve your desired outcome. When we aspire to inspire, remember these suggestions to having the best year ever.