More ways to achieve extraordinary success

Yesterday, The Porch reviewed the first half of a list I recently ran across an article in (an on-line magazine – the full link is here titled, “24 Ways Ordinary People Can Achieve Extraordinary Success.”  Today, we look at the remaining 12 of the 24 items highlighted.  I hope you find the combination of the Inc. article and the views below helpful to you.  Here is the list:

  1. Don’t forget where you came from – I was raised in a small Illinois town with small town values.  People there worked hard, supported their community, had high ideals for their children, and knew everything we did.  It was there I learned that life isn’t necessarily fair, but our attitude and intestinal fortitude make the difference.  It was there I learned the value of hard work and integrity.  It was there I first learned the importance of caring for others.  It was there I first learned that our life span is limited and you may say good-bye to a friend/teammate one night and never see him again.  I can honestly say that I hardly go a day without thinking of my parents, my hometown, and how my role in life now is, to a large extent, to pay back what so many have done for me.  Where did you come from?  Do you remember?
  2. Value education – Education is important.  But, it is equally important that we continue learning even years after our class final exam.  When you continue to purse learning, you demonstrate to your children, your coworkers, and everyone around you that it is important.
  3. Stay positive – Who needs a negative person?  Really?  There is so much in life to enjoy!  Despite your circumstances are today, they will change.  Cherish the good times and lean on others during the tough times.  As you’ve seen in QQQ before, a good day is not measured by what happened to you, but by how you responded to what happened.
  4. Know what real success is – Real success is that feeling that you did your best, that you gave everything you had, and that you made a positive difference for someone else.
  5. Fame, money and title mean nothing – If you spend your life chasing fame, money, or a title, you will be disappointed.  Though nice, these mean nothing in the long-term cycle of life.  Your life should not be measured by those tangible things you collect, but by the memories you create and by the difference you make in the lives of others.  In the end, all the gold in the world will mean less to you than the presence of loved ones in your life and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  6. Ask for help – “Don’t be bull-headed!”  Have you heard that before?  It is an honor for others to help you, so give them that satisfaction.  Don’t withhold it from them.
  7. Know what you want – It is important to know where you are headed.  When you identify what you want, you can investigate the alternatives to get there.  Without direction in your life, you may waste valuable time and effort in the journey.
  8. Be yourself – People care about us for who we are, not who we pretend to be.  Let others see the real you.  Don’t try to be someone you are not.
  9. Take risks – Life is too short to not occasional step outside our comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to see how high you can jump or how far you can run.  If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
  10. Failure is not a sin – Mistakes merely represent a chance to learn and improve.  Failure comes when you fail to learn from our mistakes.  And, if you lead people, remember this when the next issue arises.
  11. There is no such thing as luck – Luck is not a strategy upon which we should build our life or our career.  Intentional, consistent, and concerted effort pay off many times more than a reliance upon luck.
  12. Stop feeling sorry for yourself – It might be OK to feel sorry for yourself for one day — but then, pick yourself up and move on!  We have individuals depending upon us, so we need to quickly get beyond our disappointments, when they occur, and resume our role.

If I could add one thing to this list or emphasize it even more, “Don’t neglect your existing friendships and, if needed, add individuals to your life that will share the good times and bad times with you – I can tell you first hand that having these individuals in your life can make all the difference!”

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