Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Test of Time

After seeing some of the most successful people in the world today speak at conventions, reading their books, applying their principles, taking courses, surrounding myself with better people, and even coming up with a few good innovations of my own (I hope)... it has become more clear what separates a winner or a real success from the rest of the crowd. Quitting.

It never ceases to amaze me that every time I would attend one of the above speakers' key note addresses, the same question gets asked, "what's the secret of your success?"

Sometimes the answers vary, as I feel the speakers truly want to give something of a take-away to their audience. The fact is, the most common answer is not impressive, the action behind it is.

Those people we celebrate in terms of real career or philanthropic merit (not the one hit wonder popstars out there) are celebrated because they lasted beyond their 15 minute window, and they did not go out of style. Know why? Because they met every challenge head on and overcame them.

Those people who have a story worth telling- they all had adversity in one shape or form. In fact, even when we look at our swim upstream team, we have collectively been through;
- abuse
- fire destroying a business one contributor owns
- the forced closure of one business location for another owner
- addiction or parental addiction
- overwhelming debt
- relationship issues
- near fatal motor vehicle accidents
- being stabbed
- being mugged
- overcoming weight management issues
- having to start over in a new city
- run ins with the law
- being threatened with a lawsuit
- deaths of those we love
- countless physical injuries taking us away from pursuits we are passionate about
- getting over ourselves

The above list is surprising to look at even after writing it. What is not surprising, however, is that the choice to quit was presented at several times to each individual in the group and, in most cases- ignored.

We've all quit at something at one point or another (be it a job, a course in school, a relationship, etc); but we have also all persevered through some real adversity when we cared enough about the outcome to do so.

Why not write your own list of what you've endured... you're still alive today aren't you? Guarantee there is more capability within yourself than you think is possible. What obstacle have you been dodging that you really want to overcome? Is there a rewarding achievement that is still on the 'to do list' because it's too much work to get there?

Time to wrap your mind around what you've already done, and how much more you can; than to spend one more instant on reasons why you can't.

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