Are You a Success?

Let’s begin with my personal definition of success, or rather, what success is not.

Success is not only about money. If fact, money is a very poor measure of success. It measures monetary wealth, no more, no less. Many wealthy people are not successful people; they may have succeeded in one part of life but in other parts they are nearly complete failures.

Money doesn’t make you rich either, at least not in the way that I define “rich”. To be rich you must have true friends. Not work acquaintances, not guys from the bowling team, not people you see at church on Sunday, real friends. The kind you can count on no matter what. When have have two or three friends who will never let you down, who will always be there for you, well then you are truly rich.

My actual definition of success is pretty easy. Success is having a choice; the more choices you have the more successful you are. The choice of where you work, and who you work with. The choice of where you live, what kind of car you drive and who you spend your time with.

With that definition there are a whole lot of successful people walking around who have no idea just how successful they are. They may “want” to drive a BMW but can’t afford it, still they have the choice of dozens of car models to choose from. There are many people without that choice.

A lot of people would say they have no choice but to work where they do. The fact is they were looking for a job when they found the one they have. To work somewhere else they simply need to make the choice to look again, it may be a long search but the sooner it begins the sooner it ends.

Have I made it sound easy to succeed? Well it’s not! It’s hard work to manufacture the ability to choose. Successful people don’t just work harder than less successful people, they work much, much, much harder. They also have goals and a written plan on how they will achieve them.

Successful people have made the effort to earn themselves extra choices.

I say “extra” because everyone, yes everyone, begins with the same choices. We begin life with so many choices I couldn’t mention them all. As we grow and can actually begin to start making choices some people seem to forget they ever had a choice. But even today you still have choices. The choice to learn, the choice to try, or not, the choice to decide how much worry something is worth. The choice to forgive, the choice to see the good in other people and most importantly, the choice of a positive attitude.

No matter what is happening around you no one can steal from you the precious gift of a positive attitude ….. unless you let them. You have a choice to make each day, you can choose to be negative or you can choose to be positive. By and large, the most successful people choose positive.

You can too. When you make the choice each day to have a positive attitude you’ll suddenly find yourself with a whole lot of other choices you didn’t realize you had.

So, what’s your choice?

Your Most Important Decision of the Day

If you’re like me, if you’re human, if you have a pulse, then you make lots of decisions everyday. Most of them are tiny decisions, made with barely a conscious thought. Brand of gum to chew, water with lemon or lime, which color of socks should I wear today. Those are easy (I hope) decisions and they have little or no lasting impact on your future.

Some are more consequential, they shape your future and you likely give them a fair amount of thought.

Some are downright huge! The have long-range of even life long impact on your life. You do research, fact check, ask others for advice and struggle to be sure of your decision.

But one, one decision is the biggest of all. It is positively monumental!

It’s a decision you should be making everyday. In fact, it might be wise to make it several times a day. Yet most people never make it at all. Many people don’t even realize it’s a decision that is available for them to make. You may be one of them.

So, what is this monumental decision. It’s the decision on whether or not you’ll have a positive attitude.

YOU get to decide that.

EVERYDAY!

ALL DAY!

If you’re like most people you probably never even give that decision a thought. You just allow your attitude to be determined by the people around you and the events of your day.

If you’re like most people your attitude “reflects.” The attitude of successful people “radiates.”

The most successful people decide that they, and they alone, will control their attitude. Nothing and no one will rob them of the incredible strength, focus, and energy provided by a positive attitude. Sometimes they have to make that choice more than once a day, sometimes many times a day. But make it they do!

Attitude is contagious. It seems as if a negative attitude is the most contagious of all. The best antidote to a negative attitude is a decision. It’s a decision to choose, and choose positive.

It’s a decision that is yours and yours alone. All you have to do is make it!

You’ve Chosen Your Life

You’ve chosen your way to the life you have.

To those who would say they have not chosen their life, that their circumstances and events outside of their control have chosen their life I say to you: excuses, excuses, excuses.

The more you allow circumstances to control your life the less control of your life you have. If you’re allowing circumstances to control your life you’ve undoubtedly forgotten about the incredible power of you. You, like every other person on the planet can have more control over your life just by taking it.

Successful people control the circumstances of their life, they put themselves in a position to succeed. They use the circumstances of their life to their benefit, regardless of what those circumstances happen to be.

You make choices every day, and every choice has a consequence. It could be a positive consequence or it could be a negative consequence but no choice in life goes unnoticed.

Perhaps the most important choice you make every day is the choice of a positive attitude. A positive attitude makes everything in life easier. Some days you’ll need to make that choice more than once but never allow others to make that choice for you.

You choose the friends and people that you allow into your life and these friends and people have a major impact on the direction of your life. If you choose to spend your life with negative people, chances are you’ll be a negative person. If you choose to spend your time with unmotivated people it’s likely you won’t be motivated either. 

The people in your life are there because you allow them to be there, you may not realize this is a choice you’ve made but it is one of the most important choices you can make in life. Choose very carefully!

Victor Frankl, author of the life changing book, “Man’s Search for Meaning, ” says “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” When you accept that challenge to change yourself then you begin to control your life through better choices. 

I believe that we all are born with a purpose in mind. Something that makes our life worth living, something that makes our life matter. It’s something important. Once you have determined that important thing in your life you can live your life on purpose for a purpose. You no longer live your life just for today and take what comes, instead you make what comes.

You may not like where you are in life, but it’s your choices that have put you there. If you desire to be someplace else in life then make different choices because you choose your way to the life you have.

It may seem to you that others can force their choices on you but when you begin each day with the choice of a positive attitude you’ll have more choices than you could have ever imagined. No one, absolutely no one, can force their attitude on you. Frankl says that the choice of our attitude in the last of human freedoms, meaning “they” can take everything else from you but they can never take away your choice of a positive attitude.

Wherever you are in life today, your first step to being someplace else is to acknowledge that you put yourself exactly where you are. Acknowledge that you’ve done that, your choices have done that, the decisions you’ve made have done that. When you acknowledge that your choices in life have consequences, then you begin to control your life and it’s then that you begin to make your success.

Some days I’m happier than others and on the days when I can force myself to be honest about it I realize that it’s my choices that have determined my level of happiness. Successful people find a way to force that honesty upon themselves more days than not.

When you’re willing to accept 100% responsibility for who you are, what you are, and where you are then you’ll discover the power to change any part of your life that you desire.

You’ll also discover that you’ve had the power all along. Don’t waste another day of it! 

How to Change Your Life

You have many choices to make each day. What you eat. Who you spend your time with. What you wear. What time you go to bed. Where you work. What route you drive to work. What kind of car you drive that route in. The list is truly endless. 

Some people will dispute even the items on that very short list above. They will say “I have no choice but to work where I do, there are no others jobs available.” They will complain that they “have so much to do” that their bedtime is NOT their choice, they are often up later than they want to be.

Most of the examples that people would use to dispute even my short list above are just excuses. They are the excuses that people make in order to avoid taking charge of their life. 

I am constantly amazed at how easily people surrender the right to make choices that have a profound impact on their lives. They simply fail to realize that when they give up their right to choose they give up the opportunity to choose their life.

All of the choices that people give up, none is more devastating than giving up the choice of their attitude. Everyday people let other people and events determine whether they are in a “good mood” or not. Where folks, that “mood” as you call it looks a lot like an attitude to the people around you.

You’re kidding only yourself when you say you have a great attitude but you’re just moody. There is very little difference between the two.

You cannot control the attitude of everyone you come into contact with. You cannot always control the events that make up your day. What you can and must control is how you respond to them. THAT will determine your attitude. 

Here’s your choice, and it’s one you get to make everyday and multiple times everyday. Will your attitude be a thermostat that sets it’s own “temperature” or will it be a thermometer that simply reflects the temperature of those around it?

The most successful people understand this profound fact: No one and nothing can take your positive attitude away from you unless YOU let it happen. 

It’s your choice. 

The choice to maintain a positive attitude in the face of difficult people and difficult challenges will do more to improve the quality of your life than any other single thing you can do. 

Some days it will be a fight to maintain that attitude. Some days it may seem like a war. It’s a fight worth fighting for anyone who truly wants to control their life. Do You?

Choose Your Destiny

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One of my favorite stories is the one about the hot dog vendor. Maybe it’s because I love hot dogs, or maybe it’s because it is such an insightful story.

Perhaps you have heard it before. There’s this guy who runs a hot dog stand in the city and he does pretty good with it. Good enough in fact that he can afford to send his son off to college. While his son is off to college the dad continues to grow his business, by the time his son graduates from college his dad has 10 hot dogs stands around the city and no less than 15 employees. His business is booming!

Well, his son is shocked by all this growth. He tells his dad that times are bad, he shouldn’t be growing like this in “down” times, and he certainly shouldn’t be adding employees. He needs to be careful; he should consider cutting back until the “economy” picks up again.

The dad was surprised by all this because he thought he was doing just fine but he decided to listen to his son because he was after all a newly minted college grad. So he began to cut back, he let most of his employees go and cut back to just 2 stands. Sure enough, just as his son had predicted the bottom fell out of his business. In what seemed like no time at all his business was down 80%. He was very grateful for his son’s advice and thanked him for saving him from a sure disaster.

Can you imagine what might have happened to that guy if he had never found out that times were bad, that business was slow and that he had better cut back on his efforts? Really? Can you imagine?

Perhaps you’ve heard we’re in the same boat as the hot dog guy. We had best hunker down for more tough times and just head into survival mode.

Well, that’s one idea. We could just do what the hot dog vendor did.
But….consider this for a moment. Fight or flight? That is really the question anytime successful people are faced with a challenge. Will they fight their way to success or run from the challenge?

I remember the late 1980’s when the economy really was a mess, I was selling training then and it was tough going. I was convinced I was going to have a tough year. I heard a lot of “no” but I lost most sales to a simple “no decision”. Then I made a call on a company and met a very unique individual. As I was preparing to commiserate with him on the sad state of business he told me that his company had made a decision to not participate in the poor economy. They were just moving forward as usual (I guess there was no newly minted college grad there to advise them) and in the process they were killing their competition. Apparently the competition had bought into the bad economy notion.

So, what about you? Fight or flight? No matter what anyone says, that choice is yours and yours alone. No outside influence can take that decision away from you.

Will you control your success or become a victim of circumstance? Will you step up your activity and prove your commitment to success or just follow the masses?
Don’t get left behind, don’t just do what you’ve always done, do a little more and then just a little more.

Can you imagine the hot dog vendor’s success if he hadn’t listened to his son? Can you imagine your own success if you never listen to the naysayer who keeps telling you that it’s not the time to take a risk. They are the same people who don’t want you to succeed because they don’t believe they can succeed.

You can control your destiny if only you’ll decide to make it so. It’s your life, it’s your success and it is most certainly your decision.

Choose success, it absolutely beats every other alternative.

Your Most Important Decision of the Day

If you’re like me, if you’re human, if you have a pulse, then you make lots of decisions everyday. Most of them are tiny decisions, made with barely a conscious thought. Brand of gum to chew, water with lemon or lime, which color of socks should I wear today. Those are easy (I hope) decisions and they have little or no lasting impact on your future.

Some are more consequential, they shape your future and you likely give them a fair amount of thought.

Some are downright huge! The have long-range of even life long impact on your life. You do research, fact check, ask others for advice and struggle to be sure of your decision.

But one, one decision is the biggest of all. It is positively monumental! 

It’s a decision you should be making everyday. In fact, it might be wise to make it several times a day. Yet most people never make it at all. Many people don’t even realize it’s a decision that is available for them to make. You may be one of them.

So, what is this monumental decision. It’s the decision on whether or not you’ll have a positive attitude. 

YOU get to decide that. 

EVERYDAY! 

ALL DAY!     

If you’re like most people you probably never even give that decision a thought. You just allow your attitude to be determined by the people around you and the events of your day. 

If you’re like most people your attitude “reflects.” The attitude of successful people “radiates.” 

The most successful people decide that they, and they alone, will control their attitude. Nothing and no one will rob them of the incredible strength, focus, and energy provided by a positive attitude.  Sometimes they have to make that choice more than once a day, sometimes many times a day. But make it they do!

Attitude is contagious. It seems as if a negative attitude is the most contagious of all. The best antidote to a negative attitude is a decision. It’s a decision to choose, and choose positive. 

It’s a decision that is yours and yours alone. All you have to do is make it!