Sunday, March 30, 2008

Copying the Success of Theodore Roosevelt

A note from:

Good day to you as we get this first week of April kicked off.

I’m feeling particularly terrific today after reading some of the feedback about Friday’s video. I have to say that we have some incredible subscribers who now clearly know what the power of “decision” really means.

To get us up and running for the week we turn to one of our regular contributors. Like me, Philip is a voracious reader and has a library that is set as a model for each of us.

Let’s get into what he has to say.

Copying the Success of TR
By Philip Humbert

About 30 years ago, a giant of a man and someone I greatly admired, Bruce Thieleman, told me that to keep growing, to serve my clients well, and to stay at the top of my game, I would need to read at least two books a week. For the rest of my life! Fortunately, it's not difficult.

I love reading and I particularly enjoy biographies of notable people.

This week, I read the first volume of Edmund Morris' biography of Theodore Roosevelt. It's fairly massive, about 750 pages, but it's delightful reading. TR's trips to the badlands are as exciting as any western, and in this election year, his time in the New York legislature, his run for Mayor of New York and his years as Governor are particularly intriguing. If you love biographies, this is a superb work.

Most important for The Wealthy Attitude Daily Reader subscribers, however, are the lessons we learn from the most influential people in history.

As Tony Robbins and others have said, success is not an accident! It leaves clues. We can learn the tools and skills, the tactics and traits of high achievers, and if we apply them to our own lives, good things happen! There's no mystery about this.

If we copy the habits and patterns of "average" people, we get average results. Almost everyone knows someone (in your family, a neighbor or friend) who refuses to develop their natural talents. This type of failure (what else would you call it?) is all around us. Everyday, we see talented people who permit one or more unfortunate habits to hold them back. Here's a hint: Don't copy them!

Fortunately, we also have models of people who passionately pursue every ounce of talent, opportunity and potential they have. They do things differently. They have habits and attitudes and behaviors that create the results they desire. Here's a hint: Copy THESE people!

So, what have I observed about TR? Obviously, many, many things--enough to fill a massive biography! But here are just a few:

1. Enormous self-discipline. As a skinny, sickly child who nearly died many times, when his father told him he must build his body, he launched himself into an exercise routine that would shame most Olympic athletes. Later, his work and writing schedule amazed even his publishers. His ability to master the intricacies of politics confounded his adversaries. The man knew how to focus.

2. Applied energy. Whether he was herding cattle, running for election, or playing with his children, people marveled at his ability to get things done. He may have had more energy than most of us, but what struck me was his ability to solve problems. He got up early, he worked hard, he loved what he was doing and his passion drove him forward. Winners have the same 24-hour day, but they use their time and energy differently. The get more and better results.

3. Quick, practical intelligence. TR had the ability to see through the confusion of daily life and find real solutions. When faced with family challenges or political opponents, or the thousands of details that confuse and confound most of us, he would pause, consider his primary objective, and cut through the clutter. To use a modern cliché, he "kept his eyes on the prize." For him, there was always a solution and he was determined to find it.

4. Gusto and love of life. Call it what you will, TR's sheer enthusiasm often carried the day. His most common expression was a rollicking, hugely exaggerated shout of "DEEEElighted!" He loved people. He loved challenges and problems. He loved to laugh and he loved his work. He loved life and was not shy about it. People enjoyed being around him (even when they opposed him) and his passion and joy opened doors that would not have been available to others.

Obviously, we shouldn't try to be anyone but ourselves. Each of us is unique and our highest and best is to be precisely and fully who we are. But we can and do learn from others. Unfortunately too often we learn "accidentally" and bad habits too easily find room in our lives. But we can also learn intentionally from the most successful and inspiring people we can find.

Choose your models wisely. Your life depends on it.

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