One Trait of All Successful People

Dell, Gates, & Jordan
Do You Share This Trait
From the entrepreneur to the neurosurgeon, to the professional athlete, there is one common thread found in every successful person. That common thread is the ability to believe. Why waste your time attempting something you do not believe that you can achieve? Many people make frail attempts at doing things that they truly do not believe they can accomplish. Michael Jordan was not great because he could play basketball; many people have the ability to play basketball. Michael Jordan is great because he believed so much in his ability to accomplish his goal in the sport of professional basketball that his strong belief made us believe that he could.

Thomas Edison was relentless in his approach toward inventing the light bulb so much that he failed over 700 times working to achieve his objective. His belief was so powerful that he overcame failure over 700 times to accomplish his goal. The average inventor would have given up; but Thomas Edison was no common inventor. The powerful lesson learned from those who believe in themselves is that there are no failures, only quitters. When I see people such as Kyle Maynard, author of the book, “No Excuses,” who was born without knees or elbows (who is also considered a world-class wrestler) overcome physical disadvantages to accomplish his goal, as opposed to those without any disadvantages who accomplish nothing, I have to ask, why? While most people have only fear to overcome, these people have physical disadvantages along with fear to overcome.

These are some of the famous people who overcame extreme obstacles to live their dreams and refused to take the quitters route:

  • German composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827), was deaf and also psychologically disabled
  • American inventor, Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), popularly called the “Father of Electricity,” was deaf and had learning disabilities, possibly ADHD. This marked his description of his early education
  • American author and lecturer, Helen Keller (1880-1968), was deaf and blind
  • British statesman, soldier, and author, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), had a learning disability and bipolar disorder. He was Prime Minister of Great Britain during WWII and received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953;
  • German-American theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein (1879-1955), had a learning disability
  • African-American comic and actress, Whoopi Goldberg (1949-), has a learning disability. She received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1990
  • The thirty-second president of the United States from 1933-1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), contracted polio in 1921. As a result he used a wheelchair and wore leg braces
  • African-American track and field sprinter, Wilma Rudolph (1940-1995), was the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympic game. At age four she was stricken with scarlet fever, double pneumonia, and polio, and experienced partial paralysis
  • American actor, James Earl Jones (1931-), who overcame a bad stutter in college is now famous for his voice, e.g., Darth Vader
  • Country and Western singer, Mel Tillis (1932-), stuttered all his life
  • American singer, pianist, arranger and songwriter, Ray Charles (1930-2004), contracted glaucoma at an early age and was blind within a year
  • African-American actor, singer and dancer, Sammy Davis, Jr. (1923-1990), lost his left eye in an auto accident in 1954
  • African-American singer and songwriter, Stevie Wonder (1950-) is blind NY Yankee pitcher, Jim Abbott (1967-), was born with only one hand. He pitched a no-hitter on September 4, 1993.

Understanding Yourself

How honest are you with yourself? Are you the kind of person who can see no wrong in the things you do, but can see all the wrong in others? If you were stranded on an Island with just one other person, would you want that other person to be you? The last question can be applied to more than just yourself; it can be applied to your spouse, a friend, or even a pet. We all have our preferences about the kind of people we would like to be around, but how honest are we in answering these questions regarding ourselves. A person can learn a lot about themselves if they were honest.

Are you prepared to take a brief journey into your knowledge of self, your skills, lovability, courage and or leadership? Understanding yourself is the first step in the process of determining what kind of person you are vs. what kind of person you think you are. It is critical that you are confident and comfortable talking about yourself. In sales, advancing to the next step translates to progress. The more progress you make in the process, the closer you come to landing the sale. The same is true for the search process in determining what you are really like. The better you are at being honest about yourself, the more progress you’ll make in finding out what you are actually like, so that you can become the person you want to be. You are the product and how well you know yourself is the key to having a better relationship with God, yourself and others. Jesus said that the second of the two greatest commandments is to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Should this verse not stir up some concern about you getting to know yourself better?

As a willing participant of going through the process to know yourself better, you must be prepared to answer the following:

  • What are you looking for? Why?
  • Why should I like you?
  • What do you not like about yourself?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?

These questions represent a small sample of what to expect during this process. The answers will be different for each person. Being prepared with concise, honest action oriented answers with examples to demonstrate your value will separate you from all other willing participants. To address these questions you must know yourself to some degree. How well do you know yourself?

Take the brief survey below to complete the following assessments and blog me on the results:

Controlling your mental attitude

What strategy do you use to control your mental attitude when life seems to function erratically or behave oddly?

Have you learned to maintain an optimistic outlook at your future instead of capitulating to your present situations?

Whether you believe this or not, your mental attitude is always at a fork in the pathway of life. The one thing that can help bring us success or failure, bless us with peace of mind or curse us with misery while experiencing the challenges of life, is the simple privilege of taking possession of our own minds, and guiding them to whatever ends we choose. Napoleon Hill said,

Mental attitude is a determining factor—perhaps the most important one—of what results one gets from prayer. Only prayers that are backed by a mental attitude of profound faith can be expected to bring positive results.

Oftentimes, what people do is allow situations take control of their mental attitude instead of learning to master it themselves. As people give up control, control must come from someone or something; and this is why people panic, fear, and confusion occurs because of some unfortunate circumstance. You may not be able to control every situation you confront, but you can take possession of your mind to ensure the best possible outcome for you. A person experiences three stages with problem situations.

  1. How you view yourself going in. (Past)
  2. How you view yourself while in it. (Present)
  3. How you view yourself coming out. (Future)

In truth, you are the only one who actually determines the state of your mental attitude. You can blame situations and you can even blame others for how you react. But, at the end of the day, you are still the owner of your mind. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself this question, “Would I want to be in a life and death situation with the power of choice in your hands?” How you truly respond with hesitation or certainty will determine what areas of your character you must work on. Confidence is vital to a healthy mental attitude; and without it, all you have is the shell called mental attitude.

Navigational principles in a bad economy

The present administration is using a lot of scary verbiage to frighten the American public into believing that the Stimulus Bill of $787 billion is necessary in order to jumpstart the American economy. Although they are not certain that the attempt will jumpstart our economy, one thing is is that they realize that is only a wild guess.

Everywhere I go, the average Joe knew nothing about the Stimulus Bill, but they wanted it signed immediately. Now that the Stimulus Bill has passed unanimously through Congress and the President signed it into law, the next scary agenda is health care. With the billions needed for this new proposed Health Care Bill, no one is truly answering the question of where America is getting this money.

The real frightening concern is a socialist government is being formed. America once prided itself in being the most successful capitalistic society, but now our government has engaged in privatization by owning at least forty percent of Citibank and controlling Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this.

Controlling your world should not be left in the hands of the government nor should it be left in the hands of special interest groups. You are not a creature of circumstances; you are a creator of them. I refuse to leave my life up to fate, especially knowing that I am full of God’s creative and explosive power.

Seven things are necessary for you to do in order to navigate your way through these uncertain times. Others have already applied these tactics to control their future economy and the results were exhilarating for them, to say the least. Rehearse these seven navigational principles and they are:

  • Trust God and ask for directions. (Each individual’s problem is unique)
  • Balance Your Bank Account(s). (This will help start you at zero)
  • Negotiate with Creditors. (Even though you are not behind in your payments)
  • Work on getting rid of high interest and long-term financing. (Exchange for short-term)
  • Look for new ways to reduce your debt. (Abandon companies before they abandon you)
  • Increase your giving towards God’s work. (When you take care of God’s business, He will take care of yours)
  • Have faith in God’s ability in you to conquer and dominate your world.

Do not allow problems to control your life; continue to control your life while walking through problems.