Sometimes success is found through the things that you don’t do. Here are some ideas for what we shouldn’t do.
Don’t say “I can’t.” There are two words that we don’t allow in the Widener household – I can’t. The fact is that most of what we say that we can’t do can actually be done, if only we put our mind to it. My mother taught me from an early age that if someone else had already done it, I could too. And if no one else had already done it, I could certainly be the first! Good advice!
Practical application: When you are up against a problem, and you are tempted to say “I can’t,” begin to think of all of those who have already done it. When you see how many already have, you’ll be encouraged. For instance, if you want to write a book but think, “I can’t get this published,” you should take a trip to the local Barnes and Noble. Walk through and ask yourself if your book wouldn’t be better than even just one of the books that is already been published and stocked. You will find yourself saying, “Surely I can!”
Don’t give up. If you are going to achieve anything in life, you are going to get knocked down along the way. Those who succeed are those who get back up and forge ahead. My oldest child is in gymnastics and the other day on the way to practice we were talking about determination. I am convinced that more often than not, success lies on the other side of the river hardship. Determination, and a “don’t give up” attitude will see us through the hard times and onto victory!
Practical application: The next time you feel like the wind has gone from your sails, and you feel like quitting, take awhile to rethink the situation. Remind yourself again why you started out in the first place. Remind yourself of you will feel when you get there. Then, reassert yourself and set a goal of another month (or whatever time frame is needed). In one of my ventures, early on I was weary and felt like giving up. Instead, I kept telling myself, just show up for one more week. Good news – it worked!
Don’t get discouraged. Discouragement is an attitude. Instead of going to the depths of the dumps, tell yourself you are going to do great. Choose to be courageous! One of the greatest powers we have been given as humans is the ability to choose our attitude. All people experience hard circumstances. Yet some say to themselves that they will learn from them and forge ahead a better person. These people, who do not allow themselves to get discouraged, are those who become successful.
Practical application: Find the most positive person you can and take them to lunch. Make sure they are someone who believes in you already. If nobody else, get your mother – she will always believe in you! When you get them out to lunch, tell them that you are discouraged and in need of some encouragement. If you have picked the right
person, they will do the rest. Chances are, they will even do some follow-up calls with you. And by all means, pick up the tab for lunch.
Don’t be a lone ranger. Anybody who has achieved greatness has done it with the help of many others who bought into the vision and pushed the cart. The most famous and accomplished achievers in the world all had a cast of others who helped them along. You may not be able to name A.J. Foyt’s pit crew, but they were there. Joe Montana had an awesome front line to protect him, but I can’t name one of them. If the greats need others, then so do we. The sooner we realize that we need others, the quicker we will achieve our dreams.
Practical application: Sit down and write down the answers to the following questions: What partners do I already have? What ways are they already helping me? What ways could they help me? Who are potential partners who would make me better? What workers do I already have? What ways are they already helping me? What ways could they help me? How many more workers will I need to achieve my dreams? How will I go about gaining them?
Don’t accept anything less than excellence. Good gets along, excellence succeeds. Have you ever heard anyone say of the greats “Yeah, they were pretty good.” No! They were excellent! We should never, under any circumstances, accept less than excellence. We should constantly be striving to better ourselves, our situations, our relationships, and the people around us, helping them to become excellent. Practical application: First, evaluate. Is ______________ excellent? Second, determine what would qualify as excellent. It would be excellent when ____________ is true. Third, set a course, step-by-step, toward excellence. Remember, when it comes to the above – Just don’t do it!