Monday, March 16, 2009

The Most Powerful Person in the World

A note from for Tuesday March 17 2009

Hello folks and welcome to this very fine, and warmer, Tuesday.

My thanks to all who responded to my note yesterday. It warms me that so many folks are committed to taking full advantage of all of the opportunities that the "new economy" is unfolding.

Today we continue to support the proposition in yesterday's note by turning to an offering by our friend Philip Humbert. You'll clearly see that you certainly can be....

The Most Powerful Person in the World
by Philip Humbert

Most of the world's truly great people will remain forever unknown. You and I will not hear of them and no one will write their biographies.

Sure, I love reading about Oprah Winfrey and being inspired by her life story. It's fun to follow Donald Trump's financial ups and downs, or marvel at the movies of a Steven Spielberg. But most of us will never be famous, and that has little to do with greatness.

I prefer the greatness Thomas Stanley and William Danko described in The Millionaire Next Door. I love the fact that even after the financial storms of recent months, there are millions of millionaires in world! Even better, I love that most of them started with nothing and created wealth with their own hands. Perhaps even more than that, I admire the great parents, teachers, artists, farmers and builders who have inspired me. The fascinating thing is that it's not hard to live a great life!

Recently, we watched Walk the Line, the biography of Johnny Cash, and how close he came to wasting his talent. It made me think of Elvis Presley, John Belushi, Howard Hughes and the thousands of others who made small decisions that led them tragically astray. What's the difference between the sadness of Marilyn Monroe and the greatness of Mother Theresa?

We all have greatness within us. Every one of us is born to make a difference, to play our part, and transform our corner of the world. We may not become famous, but we can live with joy and gusto and greatness. Why do so many of us settle for small problems, and small lives?

I think too many of us fail to seize and use our personal power.

Because we are not "powerful" on the world stage, we forget that we have tremendous power in our choices. We may not be rich or famous, but we have the power to smile, and to persist. We have the power to live with dignity and integrity and ambition. We have the power to be loving, to be kind, to be generous. We have the power to create and live our own lives.

My sense is that it helps to have a big dream. My father always told us that if we were going to dream, we might as well dream BIG dreams. I am convinced that what we expect in life really does matter. I think it helps to expect the best and focus our thoughts, our attention and our intention on big dreams.

But I also think it's vital that we not be distracted or get lost in our own dreams. It's nice to aim high, so long as we realize that even the biggest dreams happen one step at a time. Donald Trump's fancy skyscrapers are build one rivet at a time. Oprah built her empire one meeting, one interview, one decision at a time. "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."

Use your power! Hug someone, or call a friend. Spend an hour reading a good book or getting some exercise with your kids. Do it today, not tomorrow or "someday." Take action and use your power to skip desert or to make one more sales call. Take some action to move your life in the direction you want to go, and do it today.

Both Nelson Mandela and Marianne Williamson have been credited with the insight that our greatest fear is not that we are powerless, but that (in fact!) we are powerful beyond measure. Whoever said it first, I think it's true.

You are powerful beyond measure! You have the power to change your world any time you wish. Use your power! Give a smile to someone who needs one. Get up a bit earlier, or work a bit longer.

Put legs under your dreams and make them happen.

Begin today, one step at a time.

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