Posts Tagged ‘success



10
Aug
12

I lived life and all I got was this lousy T Shirt! Or, Failure Is an Option

If no one is responsible for the consequences of their mistakes or can claim victory for their successes, what’s the point of living? We may as well be drones, our lives flown pilotless as we live off the labors of others.

We no longer have high expectations. We give medals for participation. Eighty percent of the work is still done by twenty percent of the workforce. There are industries that penalize workers who complete tasks too efficiently. More people go on disability than payroll. We are told that debt will strangle us into servitude yet students are allowed to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars of academic debt, and our country keeps printing money it can’t afford to spend.

Whether you agree with it or not, the man who does what needs to be done without being told draws the most wages, unless he’s on the government dole where his pay is guaranteed. Now, however, we are having a national discussion about whether or not the man who draws the most wages needs to give those wages back to those who haven’t earned them.

We are failing to continuously inspire the work ethic that instills greatness in others. Initiative has become a dirty word. Life should be lived tremendously as one triumphant pageant after another, not as a spectator sport. Yet everything now being taught seems to focus on patting oneself on the back for just existing while waiting for your next check to come.

As the Good Book says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  You can’t be a leader if you don’t have vision. The very price of leadership is vision, which is simply seeing what needs to be done and doing it, without having to be told and without the expectation of reward or accolade. Just doing what needs to be done, period.

Over two hundred years ago, Alexander Fraser Tytler is said to have described the cycle of democracy which typically spanned 200 years: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again to bondage.”

So where are we? When the dependents outnumber the independents, dictatorship is not far behind.

 

18
Apr
12

mind the gap

“Mind the gap” is a warning to train passengers of the London Underground to take caution while crossing the gap between the station platform and the train door. But no matter what side of the Atlantic we find ourselves on, the real gaps we have to be wary of are the ones located within ourselves. The gap between knowing the right thing and doing the right thing; between knowing how to do something and knowing why you do it; the skill to do a good job and the will to do a good job; between wishing for something and actually doing something to achieve it.

Thankfully there are many tremendous things that can aid us in taking the leap across the chasm that lies within all of us to become the best version of ourselves. Mentors, teachers, coaches, parents, role models, books, music, and even animals can all have a positive impact in helping us not only mind but bridge the gap. But we alone are the only ones who can forge the great divide so that we, of our own volition, may stand on the other side. Galileo Galilei said it best: “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”

There’s a Japanese proverb that says, “Fall seven times, get up eight.” Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and I’ve had quite a few myself. At least Mr. Dumpty had a traumatic event where he lost it all. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “any action is better than no action at all.” Many people sit at the edge of the abyss wondering what’s on the other side without ever putting one toe into the deep. But even all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. The only person or thing that can piece together the fragile bits of our innermost being is us.

Sometimes we ignore the gaps in ourselves so successfully that we never even think about them. Our lives are what they are and there is nothing we are going to do about it. Other times we are clawing to the sides of the gaps fighting for our lives, determined to succeed and hoist ourselves to the other side no matter the cost. Whatever the case, we all face the same gaps in our lives. It is an integral part of the human condition. And the sooner we mind them, the more habitually driven we can be in navigating them as many times in life as we need or desire.

22
Feb
11

i fought the law and the law won

Failure brings greater notoriety and legacy than success ever could. General Robert E. Lee led a failed revolt and yet is held as one of America’s greatest icons. We honor soldiers with the Medal of Honor in some cases posthumously, for their ultimate sacrifice, despite the fact that it is every parent’s dream they return home alive.

I’ve locked horns with the best of them and gotten whooped time and time again. I’ve dealt with character assassination, insubordination, corrupt individuals promoted above me, and HR directors that refused to enforce standards. But they are still talking about me despite the fact I left the organization years ago.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself”. And that’s why they remember me, because I brought joy. Whatever the end result was, everyone knew that we had done our best, that we had pushed the envelope, and had no regrets.

Poor judgment born from human frailties is what leads us to good judgment. I can’t say that all the times I fought the “law” I was right in my assumptions. Sometimes I let my emotions get in the way, sometimes I expected things to change too rapidly, but until you do it the “wrong” way, you’ll never know how to do it the “right” way.

So be thankful for the times you get kicked to the curb. If your actions were motivated by a sense of increasing the value of the people in the organization, you should wear your battle scars with pride. If you’re one of the few who fights for what’s right, you’ll be the stuff of water cooler talk long after you’re gone.

16
Feb
11

you are your own worst enemy

Last week I had breakfast with a friend who shared his life’s journey with me. Like all of us he found himself at yet another crossroad and described his lane changes in a very interesting way.  He said, “You spend all those years helping people to become as successful as they could be, but in the end, I wanted their success more than they did.” The real-world translation of this is: “time to find a new job”.

Ariel Dorfman stated, “The greatest sin of all is satisfaction.” Enabling organizational or individual status quo is unacceptable. If today is as good as you’re ever going to be, why continue consuming the earth’s limited resources? Make room for somebody who wants to breathe deeply and drink unceasingly from the pool of life.

I think one of the most difficult questions in the universe isn’t “what am I going to live my life doing?”, but “how committed am I to continuously excel in my current occupation?” After all, that’s the reality that each of us faces every day the alarm clock sounds. A visionary isn’t somebody that has some kind of clairvoyant ability to see the future; it’s the person who acknowledges the tasks at hand and then does them to the best of their ability.

Any time I state a problem but not a solution, I am broadcasting to the universe that I don’t care enough to be successful. If I truly did, solutions, and not excuses, would be bubbling out of my head and flowing from my lips. As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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