Monday, May 4, 2009

Defining The Principles of Greatness

A note from for Tuesday May 5 2009

Hello there all and welcome to this very fine Tuesday.

All I can say is "wow"! Some very courageous subscribers shared with me that they saw themselves exhibiting one, two, three, or even more of the behaviors mentioned in yesterday's reader. They are courageous for "fessing" up, and for doing so, they have the awareness with which to make the necessary changes. Isn't personal growth an amazing thing?

To establish a counter-balance to yesterday's list we turn to a very favorite contributor, and true to form, he delivers an outstanding perspective. You'll very clearly see why it's important to spend time....

Defining The Principles of Greatness
by Philip Humbert

This past week I read another little book listing the "principles of success," in this case they had twelve of them and I thought they were excellent. But more importantly, it got me thinking that a great life really is built on a remarkably short list of key principles.

You may have your own list--in fact, I strongly believe you SHOULD have your personal list! Every high achiever I've met knew what they believed, where they were going and how they were going to get there. Winners don't win by accident. They have a personal set of "Basics" or "Fundamentals" or "Principles" that guide them.

Unfortunately, I am convinced that most people never decide what they stand for. They never choose their basic beliefs or the central focus of their lives and so, not surprisingly, they are doomed to wander through life, never quite reaching their desired destination.

Remember the old saying that "no wind blows in favor of a ship without a destination?" It's true.

Author Cherie Carter-Scott has a series of books around the theme of "the rules" and in one of them she boils success down to "ten rules for a fulfilling life." In "The Richest Man in Babylon" (one of the best books on financial independence ever written), George Clason boiled financial success down to seven principles that are high-lighted in a box near the front of the book.

In one of his early and most famous presentations, Jim Rohn talked about "the four things" that make all the difference.

We live in such a fast-paced world that it can be difficult to slow down and stay focused, but success requires discipline. Many people have observed that while "success is not easy, it is remarkably simple!"

High achievers know the value of honesty, integrity, and persistence. High achievers have the courage to set goals and make real commitments to completing them. How often do we "commit" to something, only to change our minds when it becomes difficult or inconvenient? The winners in life make commitments that last!

Successful people know the value of time and stay "on task." They stay focused. They are patient and determined.

And successful people work HARD! Yes, they are efficient and use effective strategies, but they also get up early, stay late, and work hard all day long. They know what they want and they WORK to achieve it.

They avoid distractions. I am continually impressed by how relatively simple, even Spartan, the lives of highly successful people can be. They have a small number of priorities, and NOTHING is allowed to distract or interrupt them.

Finally, I would add that unusually effective people have high levels of "Positive Self-Awareness." They know who they are, and are comfortable with themselves. They can stand alone, if necessary, because they like and trust themselves. They are confident because they know their values, their goals, and the principles they live by.

In the busy-ness of life, it is inevitable that we will be "blown off-course." Things happen, we get confused or stressed or distracted and, from time to time, we end up working very hard on meaningless projects. From time to time, we all "major in minor things" and when that happens, it is absolutely critical that we have a clear set of principles to guide us back to the important things in life.

Determine your "basics" and write them down. List your values and your priorities. Keep it simple, and post your list where you will see it every day. Keep it handy, like a life-jacket, and the when storms of life start tossing you around, you'll know where to go for safety and guidance to get back on track.

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