“The only thing that stands between a person and what they want from life is merely the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible.”
– Richard M. DeVos
1969 – I was a dejected and awkward second grade student without friends who suffered constant ridicule. I thought I was less than other people.
1979/80 – My poor self-esteem continued to grow as I often felt used by boys I thought loved me.
1981 – I got married.
1988 – I came to the realization that I was not less than anyone else, that every person has unique gifts and talents meant to add value to the lives of others. I discovered that God wanted me to have a great life. I started to dream.
1989 – I took a course on management and setting life goals …. And when it was over I actually started doing what they taught.
1993 – Together with my husband I failed in a business.
1998 – Another business dream didn’t pan out.
2000 – My husband had an affair, and all my dreams were shattered. There seemed to be no hope at all for my life.
2005 – I’m living my best life, realizing my dreams and couldn’t be happier.
What are the keys to success?
I am not smarter, more talented or luckier than anyone else. I didn’t grow up with the right contacts or the right anything else (well okay I lived in some of the best countries in the world – that was my lucky break), but I have learned some principles of success. Since 1981 I have been actively working on improving my life. And since 1989, I have been studying success principles. I’m telling you the stuff they write in those books works. There are many great success books out there. The bottom line is you can live the life you want to live. You can live your life by design. You can live out your God-given destiny.
Here are some keys to moving from failure to success:
1. Dream. You cannot reach a destination you don’t have. You need to develop the skill of dreaming. Think outside the box. Start to think of possibilities instead of thinking about what won’t work. And don’t believe the masses, unless the masses are living the life you want. I’ve spent the last 15 years accomplishing what others have told me was impossible. I did it anyway.
True Story: Once, quite a long time ago, a man took his best friend to some barren fields in California and told him, “You need to buy this land, because one day soon it’s going to be worth a lot of money.” His friend couldn’t really see it and declined. That land today is the land directly across from Disneyland where the most expensive hotels are situated. The man was Walt Disney. His friend was Art Linkletter. You see before the plans were drawn up, before any construction began, Walt could see all of Disneyland in his head. Walt Disney said “If you can dream it, you can do it – don’t forget this whole thing started with a mouse!”
2. Believe. Once you have dreamed the life you want, you have to believe in it. You have to believe it is possible. You have to believe it is right for you to achieve it. It has to be congruent with your values.
I remember thinking once, if I had the mind of a millionaire, I would become one in a very short time. Take someone extremely wealthy like Donald Trump. What if some catastrophe happened in his finances and he lost everything? It’s actually possible. Don’t make the mistake of believing wealth and riches are automatically security. Even the mightiest have fallen … at times. But if Donald did lose everything, I’d give him 2 years if not a lot less and he would be right back at the top. Why? Because he thinks differently about money.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” – The Bible
“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – The Bible
If we change or “inner life” (our thinking), our “outer life” (our circumstances) will begin to change also. This also applies to our relationships. We think we need to change our spouse, but the secret is we need to change ourselves.
In order to change our lives we have to first learn how to renew our thinking.
3. Other people – a team. – In order to be successful you need other people to help you. No person is a Lone Ranger. We all need others. The world is designed this way.
Think of a Hollywood movie. Have you ever stopped to watch the credits scrolling along the screen after it’s over? They go on and on and on. It’s unbelievable how many people have to do their jobs excellently in order to create 90 minutes of breathtaking entertainment. Imagine someone saying, “I’m going to make a great Hollywood picture alone!” It ain’t gonna happen!
It’s human nature to want to go it alone. This was one of the biggest obstacles, I had to personally overcome. Because of the way I was raised, I had learned to do things by myself. In my early years when I wanted to accomplish something, I always did it alone. I can do it myself, I thought. And I accomplished quite a bit this way. What I didn’t realize though was that I was cutting myself off from 95% of my potential success by not working with others, by not networking and telling people about what I was doing.
“Two working together can accomplish more than twice as much as one working alone, and a three stranded cord is not easily broken.” – The Bible
When we pool our talents with the talents of others there is a synergy that takes place, and everyone wins.
4. Ask. “You have not because you ask not, ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full.” – The Bible again (there’s a lot of good stuff in that book – no wonder it’s the worlds all time bestseller!)
There are lots of people and organizations who will gladly help us if we are willing to give up our pride and our fear and just ask. Come on. Take a risk!
I’ve many times been afraid to ask someone for help, but 9 times out of 10 I get a yes, when I just ask. If you start moving ahead in positive directions people want to help you. So what about the “no’s”!
5. Understand that failure is part of success. (Even in relationships.) Don’t be afraid to fail. Look at my story. It’s part of the journey. In fact your failures can provide you with invaluable learning experiences.
There once was a man who held a senior position in a major corporation, who made a decision and took action that ended up costing the company millions of dollars. He (and everyone else) assumed he would be fired for this HUGE failure. Instead the company president said “no way, I’m not going to lose this man now. He’ll be invaluable to me. I just spent x million dollars educating him! He’ll never make a mistake like that again.”
The only real failure is failing to take any action, because you are afraid you might fail!
6. Give. Giving is part of success. Give 10% of your finances to charities you believe in, but don’t stop there. Give of your time and your talents also. Successful people know that the more you give away, the more you have. I dare you to test this principle. However slight warning. This is not the lottery. The universe will reward you in due time in the most unexpected ways, but here’s the catch, if you give expecting the reward it doesn’t work. Just give, because you want to. It’s an attitude.
A lot of the current success I’m having I believe comes from helping a woman through infidelity whose situation was so dire, most people would’ve just walked by. Instead of judging her, I just spent some time with her and did my best. Later (astonishingly), this woman who had next to nothing, linked me to my first significant media contact. There is a real lesson here.
7. Don’t judge others. You’ve have not walked in their shoes. You don’t know the whole story. If you judge others, others will judge you. Be careful if you think you are better than everyone else. You’d be surprised who your blessings might come through, and when the shoe might be on the other foot.
8. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power. What you don’t know does hurt you!
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6 – The Bible again!
Leaders are readers. The difference between the person you are today, and the person you will be 5 years from now depends largely on the books you read and the people you associate with. Even if you don’t have a university education, you can always learn by reading and attending seminars and workshops on an ongoing basis. Never stop learning. (This is also a key to longevity – keeping your mind active.)
My father is in his 80’s and he’s sharp as a whip, but then he hasn’t stopped working as a scientist. His research and learning continues. (People have stopped paying him, but he doesn’t seem to notice.) Now there’s a man who lives his destiny and his passion. You know your living your passion when you keep doing the same stuff, even when no one pays you.
©Copyright 2005 Anne and Brian Bercht. All rights reserved.
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