One of the top selling book categories is how to be successful. The best advice I received on being successful- ‘Just Show Up’.
Maggie was always there when I needed her. After a long day at work, she was waiting at the door to greet me. If I was working in the yard, and someone came on our property, she was right at my side to protect me. She remembered neighbors daily walk times, and was always at the fence waiting to say hello & maybe get a treat. Day or night, I could always count on Maggie to show up.
We live in a world that changes quicker than any other time in our past. People are constantly trying to make themselves marketable, employable or the most valuable on the team. I’ve learned the most important quality to have is to just be there. When I need help on a task, the quality I look for in the person to ask is not the smartest or strongest person. It’s the person who is going to show up- and be there until the job is done.
Maybe being successful is 1% Luck and 99% Dedication.
People love to talk. Sometimes words are used to be helpful. Sometimes words are used to be mean. How do you know when it’s okay to talk?
Maggie never spoke a word. Looking back on her life, I sometimes forget the fact that she could not talk. How could this be? I knew when she wanted to be alone, and I knew when she wanted to visit her dog friends in the neighborhood. She communicated very clearly about wanting to eat the lamb chops cooking on the stove, or her dislike when company stayed past nine o’clock in the evening.
People with highly effective communication skills usually are very successful in life. They are able to articulate their thoughts and purpose clearly, while portraying a sense of intellect and confidence. However, what about when words are hurtful or attempt to destroy others? Do we match these words with words? In the story ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the fox receives this advice-‘Don’t say anything. Words are the source of misunderstandings.’
Can you say more, without saying anything at all?
Last week, I heard a quote from Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant- ‘It’s not the will to win that matters- everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters’.
What a great lesson to teach our children and remind ourselves as adults. We all have a struggle in our life, a mountain to climb, or an obstacle to overcome. So often, we concentrate on how much we want to conquer our battles or receive that promotion. How much time do we actually spend preparing to win? When life becomes difficult, do we will ourselves to give up? Do we provide encouragement to others to keep preparing, or do we comfort them into accepting their present situation is their destiny?
Preparation is difficult, stressful, exhausting and sometimes extremely slow to show results. It also develops a strong work ethic, confidence, perseverance and gratitude. The person who continues to prepare when the odds are against them is the person I want on my team. A strong person isn’t the person who always wins. The strong person is the one who has the will to continue to prepare to win, even when the odds say they won’t.
It is human nature to complain and become complacent in our present situations. Fortunately, we were all given the will to overcome our life struggles. The willingness to use it is a choice. How will you choose to live today?
‘We all have unfair situations and things we don’t like. You can get bitter, discouraged and sour, or you can see it as fertilizer and say, ‘This difficulty is not going to defeat me, it’s going to promote me. It’s not going to hinder me, it’s going to help me. Don’t just go through it, grow through it.’ Joel Osteen
‘If only I had more money. Nothing at work will get better until my co-worker leaves. My family doesn’t think I can, so why should I.’ Do these excuses sound familiar? We often spend too much time & energy blaming others for our lack of accomplishments.
Maggie came to me as a puppy. Anyone who has had a puppy knows they are a lot of work. She was constant care our first summer together. My schedule revolved around her needs. During her first few years, I adjusted my schedules for work & recreation to be with her. During her last two years, when she became ill, I changed my priorities to be with her & insure her comfort.
Maggie taught me that changing yourself is the only way to make things happen. Your enjoyable moments, greatest accomplishments and peace of mind is only created by your determination to choose what matters most & the commitment to achieve it. Lucky are the ones who stand beside you & cheer you on! Lucky are you for witnessing those who aren’t supportive; they serve as reminders to what fear of change can create in a person.
Trying new things and taking chances are very scary. Lucky for me I had a good teacher. 🙂