Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘perseverance’

How Do You Define Success?

What if your life at this exact moment is trying to teach you a lesson about genuine success and happiness. What do you think that lesson would be? What would you defined as success in your life? Is it highly individualistic or amazingly similar to others?

Early on in life we may hear people defining success as achieving the dream job, acquiring wealth, a multitude of friends and being able to call their own shots? In my decades of living this list sounds like a work of fiction rather than real life. We hear a similar type of thinking when someone says, ‘If I could only win the lottery I would buy…go…and do… and then I would be happy.’ Not really, the research is quite clear, most people who win the lottery end up worse off both financially and emotionally later in life. They do not deem their lives to have been happy or successful even with the windfall of money. Why is that? Maybe success in life is simpler than we think.

The people I know who are successful have worked hard, very hard in fact, to achieve something. They understand the need to delay their own gratification while working toward a longer term goal. Friends? They do not have a multitude of friends but a few very close friends and family that care deeply about them. They didn’t win the lottery but won something even better – confidence and pride in themselves. For them, success was not bought or sold but earned. There is no quick fix to success. They can see with pride the impact they have been able to make on others through their hard work. They have remained humble regardless of their accomplishments. Untouched by triumph and untroubled my failure. Challenges are viewed by them as opportunities from which to grow and learn. They realize that everyone has issues throughout their lives and that they did not draw the short straw. There is simply no inoculation available that allows immunity from life challenges or tragedies. We all receive exactly what we signed up for in this life – no more no less. Blaming others? Never…they accept responsibility for things that happen and realize that by blaming others they will never mature into adulthood. Age is a given, growing up is optional.

Research verifies these observations. When successful people have been interviewed in an attempt to understand how they achieved their success the answers were surprisingly simple. Hard work, integrity, caring for others, and working toward a vision and goals that they had set and reset became their mantra throughout their lives. There was no magic bullet, no Santa Claus, no winning lottery number but rather the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly work it takes to make a difference and achieve happiness and success.

Have a great few days!

Divine Virtues (Part 2 of 2)

In my last blog I talked about a speaker, Robert Schwartz, and his topic of life virtures, at a recent international conference I attended.  I listed the first 14 virtues on Wednesday and will complete the set today with the remaining 13 (and my interpretation of the definitions as needed).   After you have all 27 virtues I will explain an exercise he gave us that was quite enlightening in the search for our own, individual life plan or purpose.

15.  Sharing

16.  Reverence for Life (honoring the life energy in all living things)

17.  Cooperation

18.  Harmony

19.  Balance

20.  Open-heartedness (drop the armor from around your heart from previous hurts)

21.  Humility

22.  Spirituality

23.  Forgiveness

24.  Gentleness

25.  Self Control

26.  Perseverance

27.  Coming Into a Greater Knowing of Your Strength and Power (you may feel powerless or unworthy of what you really desire)

Write all 27 life virtues along the left hand side of a page of paper.  Then think about the greatest life challenges you have had and list them in chronological order from birth/childhood forward (illness, loss of siblings, moving from place to place, separations, divorces, deaths, basically anything that has been quite difficult to overcome).  Make a list of these (maybe 10-15) on a  separate sheet of paper.  Now, for each difficult challenge in your life using a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) think about EACH virtue of the 27. For instance, if one of your life challenges has been loss, rate  on a scale of 1-10 the difficulty encountered in loss in reference to faith, trust, acceptance, compassion, etc. for all 27 virtues.  This will take at least 30 minutes to complete as you really consider the challenges, rankings and divine virtues.  You might want to work on it a little and set it aside to let the ideas sort of incubate in your mind.  Ultimately, you will come up with 2-5 divine virtues that surface in your life that you have built big life challenges around to help you learn them. This can be a very humbling and enlightening experience if you take the time needed to go deep into your mind and pull out the ones that still seem to be a challenge, an irritant in your life.

One the next blog I will talk about the importance of recognizing your life challenges and accompanying divine virtues for you life. Have a great few days!