To be successful requires shedding the negative thoughts that get carried over from childhood and replacing them with a positive self-image.
Why don’t people live up to their full potential? I believe it is because they had no road map to guide them along with instructions on how to best use those resources. The result is that so many men and women end up disappointing themselves because they don’t find their way. And it isn’t just themselves that they disappoint: add in their friends and family and the society in which they live.
I believe that people can achieve their true potential, if they realize what is holding them back and then learn how to forge ahead. They must take the initiative. It will not come without efforts or beliefs.
These lessons have been reinforced in my life, over and over again. I started earning money by selling pecans when I was six years old. By the time I was 12, I had a paper route in addition to working in grocery stores and a bowling alley. When my dream of becoming a major league baseball catcher ended, I knew I had to focus on other goals. And that is what I did, challenging myself to overcome shyness and knock on doors until I became the highest-grossing divisional book salesperson for the Southwestern Company. After that I started, developed, and eventually sold my own book company.
My career had its ups and downs. Yet, despite setbacks, I never gave up. Starting a new career in my 40s, I was hired at Merrill Lynch where I became a successful money manager who earned accolades – and substantial income for myself and my clients –through trust in innovation, and myself.
But as I’ve discovered, in my various jobs, in many conversations with students and employees, and more recently as a speaker, many people don’t get the instructions they need. And that is more than a shame; it’s a gap that is very likely holding them back from the success they long to achieve.
My experiences weren’t in one industry. From selling books door-to-door, to buying and selling real estate, to managing futures in the financial markets, I’ve observed all kinds of people with one connecting trait: the ones who did not succeed gave up when things got tough. And times do get tough, which is why a map of instruction on how to survive and thrive is so important.
Zig Ziglar, a great motivation speaker, said: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Talent isn’t the most important requirement for success. What’s important is to replace the negative thoughts that get implanted from childhood experience, and replace them with positive thoughts.
Be inspired by the insights of people who never gave up. History is full of people who took risks and failed, usually more than once. We are all familiar with the amazing accomplishments of Walt Disney. However, Disney not only started different ventures that didn’t amount to anything; he eventually was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Albert Einstein rejected authority, and was expelled from school. He was rejected for a teaching position at Zurich Polytechnic Institute, so he took a job at the government patent office and started tinkering with mathematical formulas. No one would have predicted that he would change the course of history with his discovery of the theory of relativity.
Remember that the only chains and shackles that hold any of us back from any goal in life are those that we ourselves forge in the fires of doubt and hammer out on the anvils of lack of belief.
Take the lessons about attitude that these people, and so many others, learned and apply them to your life. I guarantee that many people you admire and regard as winners felt wrenching disappointment in their lives. Yet one theme appears in all their stories: They never gave up, no matter what anyone else told them. They saw themselves as successful long before it became so. Their image of the achieving person they were to be came before reality and the evidence thereof.
Many people ask me how to be successful. The answer I give is that there is no secret formula. Success requires a lot of effort, mental, physical, and emotional. And while there is never a guarantee that you will achieve the degree of success you crave, with an unwavering commitment you stand an excellent chance of realizing any of your goals.
Raymond Houser is the author of THE WINNING ADVANTAGE: Tap Into Your Richest Resources (CLICK HERE to get your copy). He is a sought-after speaker who offers his experience and perspective on managing a career and, most of all, a life. He divides his time between Dallas and San Diego.
For more information please visit, www.thewinningadvantagebook.com
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