as published in the Blytheville Courier News on Thursday, December 3, 2015
By TOM HENRY
Each and every one of us do a daily job of walking a fine tightrope between being a presumptuous, lazy dreamer and a hopeless, excuse-filled, bitter quitter. Both ends of the spectrum are folly and can cause us to crash in life. Both ends bring a harvest of nothing but broken hearts and worthless excuses for never amounting to much of anything.
On the one hand there is the person that believes the world owes them everything and that hard work is only for other suckers. It is the person that is too undisciplined to follow the required rules of life to achieve success. It is the person that does not read the instructions, hit the deadlines, do the homework or pay the price. It is the 40-year old still living with their parents, yet believing that they have not succeeded in life, through no fault of their own, because the world simply does not recognize their unmerited and undemonstrated genius. “Don’t they know how much I want to be a (fill in the blank)…I don’t know why they won’t hire me.”
This comes to those that have never been held accountable or have had to earn their keep. They have always been bailed out through the sweat of someone else’s brow. Friends, family and teachers have not been brutally honest with them about their shortcomings and they were always rewarded, even when they didn’t deserve it. They just assume that they are owed the privileged position. There life has been a buffet of excuses, not by them, but by those around them.
The other end of the spectrum is comprised of people that are so bitter and scared, that they aren’t willing to take any risks because they already defeat themselves before they even get started. “There is no need in my (fill in the blank) because nothing ever works out for me.”
This comes to those that do not believe in themselves and/or those that do not have the grit to fight through until they see the results they want. These people are simply looking for an excuse for failure. In fact, their lives have also been a buffet of excuses, but not by people around them, but rather by themselves.
Those that succeed stay perfectly between these two extremes. Successful people play by the rules, work doubly hard, and do not quit…but they do take the occasional calculated risks. They do work from the position that “their gift will make room for them.” They are not presumptuous. They know that success only comes before hard work in the dictionary. They also are hopeful that tomorrow will be better than yesterday.
It matters not where we are today, it only matters where we are willing to set up camp and live. Therefore, if a successful person does not possess the skills needed to become what their heart desires, they don’t give up at the unfairness that life dealt them…they go out, dig it out, do the work and learn the skills. They don’t pout because they have to take the test and jump through the hoops proving they know the skill…they simply “git ‘er done.”
It really is true that quitters never win and winners never quit. Successful people also aren’t concerned with being better than everyone else. They concentrate on being better than they were yesterday and on becoming the solution to someone else’s problem.
Successful people measure success differently. They know there is no one-size-fits-all measuring stick that can be used on all people equally. Success is not limited to he or she with the most degrees or the most money. Success is more about maximization of potential and is about being the solution to someone else’s huge problem.
What solutions can you solve that someone else is willing to pay you for? What natural gift is within you that is screaming to get out and make way for you and your success? What single thing are you most passionate about in life? What “stinkin’ thinkin'” do you have within your two ears that is holding you back?
You can never be what you were created to be until you think like, walk like, talk like, act like, look like, dress like and be like [that which you hope to be]. . .then you can become [that which you hope to become]. Success is not just about doing, it’s also about being. Be that which you hope to become long enough and eventually the whole world will see it also and eventually pay you for it. Never become too complacent and accept mediocrity. And worst of all, do not be boxed in or have your future determined by anyone other than yourself.
For example, I am not really what you see today, I am something much greater than that and one day the entire world will see what is already there inside of me now. The world sees me as an acorn, small, unimpressive and seemingly with little potential. But one day the world will see me as the large, majestic, strong, mighty Live Oak giving shade to many. How do I know? Because inside every acorn is everything needed to become that Live Oak, except faith and persistence. When I add those two things, look out!