I believe you can achieve it - if you really
want it. It's true that most of us will never
achieve worldwide renown, nor will we receive
an Olympic gold medal, an Academy Award or be
listed in Who's Who in North America. But that
doesn't mean we can't be successful, or won't
be successful. Life is too short to squander
it by just existing. How many women do you know
who just take life as it comes? Are they successful?
Are they fulfilled?
woman has a strong sense of purpose. She knows what she
wants, why she wants it and how she plans to achieve it.
Successful women also have the habit of doing things they
don't like to do so they can accomplish the purpose they
have defined. Successful women also have a passion for excellence.
is the opposite of mediocrity! To excel means to surpass,
transcend, exceed. In his book, A Passion for Excellence
(Random House: 1985), Tom Peters says that doing better
than average takes tenacious preparation. When you have
a true passion for excellence and when you act on it, you
will see things happen.
that each of us possesses the ability to grow far beyond
our present self-imposed limitations. And unfortunately,
there is not one of us who will get through life without
any conflicts or storms. But we must remember that there
are no victories without conflicts and no rainbows without
I reflect on my own life, I thank God for how far I have
come. I was sexually violated from the tender age of 3 to
age 8 by an alcoholic father I loved and trusted. One of
my brothers was killed on my birthday in an auto accident
in 1982. He had been drinking and driving. My father passed
away two years later. In 1988, my other brother died of
even though my home life was a classic example of dysfunction,
my mother was an extreme optimist. She never stopped loving,
believing, and dreaming. She always saw a bright side to
any dark situation or circumstance. She passed away in 1992,
but she left me an inheritance of belief in myself. She
always told me, "There is absolutely nothing you cannot
do or achieve." And I believed her.
I was 19 years old, I set out to be and do my very best
with the new opportunity of working for a company that was
a conglomerate. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect
to attain the position of general manager for six of their
companies a year later. And I was the director of the Arizona
Counselling Association at the same time.
you set out to do your best in whatever, you do, you can
and will attain and achieve excellence in your life. That
sets you apart from mediocrity. Success rarely arises out
of the mediocre.
success that will last, you need to start right where you
are. Take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses.
Where are you right now in every area of your life? Personally.
Professionally. Spiritually. This is a moment of truth.
Be honest with yourself about who you really are.
with the physical. Rate yourself on appearance, exercise,
weight control, and nutrition. How many of us have three
different wardrobes in the closet? Small, medium and large.
about your relationships? How well do you listen? Are you
a good role model? Do you spend enough time with family
and friends? How are your self-esteem and self-confidence?
Do you have a positive attitude? Do you know how to laugh
at yourself and at circumstances? Are you still learning
or sharpening your skills?
about your profession or career? Do you understand your
position, your purpose? Are you competent in what you do?
Are you effective?
finally, where are you spiritually? Look beyond your activities
to the reasons you do everything and the purpose they fulfill.
What do you consider worthwhile in life? If you're not sure,
just look at where you invest your time, energy and money.
Is your goal in life to search for meaning or to search
for God who gives you meaning?
take an honest look at the various areas of your life, it's
vital that you know what you want in life.
are your dreams? What do you, in the next year or in five
years, want to contribute? achieve? experience? enjoy? Or
possess? Make a list. Do you want to become an expert in
your field? Travel internationally every three years? Transform
a hobby into a home business? Run a marathon?
your objective might be, itemize only those
things that you truly want to achieve. Be careful
that you aren't aiming for something others
expect you to do or to be. Be yourself!
Making It Happen
necessary to set goals that will bring you to your objective.
One goal might be to eliminate that 'large' wardrobe in
your closet and keep your weight between small and medium.
Or, enroll in a course related to your job skills. If your
axe is dull, sharpen it!
to set a date when you expect to reach your goals. Know
in detail what you need to know or do to reach your objective.
Make sure your short-range goals are consistent with your
long-term goals and that you can still lead a balanced and
flexible life. In other words, don't commit yourself to
more than you can handle. You also need to know in detail
what might keep you from your objective. Identify those
obstacles. An obstacle is anything you see when you take
your eyes off the goal.
of failure is one of the reasons most people don't even
attempt to reach their goals. The only thing worse than
a quitter is someone who is afraid to begin. Force yourself
to try. And to try again. Failure is the ignition to all
greatness. If we were successful at everything we tried,
our lives would be shallow. We'd never have the opportunity
to develop resiliency, perseverance, and character and experience
the deep satisfaction that comes through the constant effort
develop a plan of action and list the benefits you will
have by attaining each goal. With a goal in mind, reaching
your potential isn't so ominous and as you fulfill each
goal, you're sure to achieve success-lasting success.
Roosevelt understood the importance of maximizing her potential
to influence the world around her. The wife of American
president Franklin D. Roosevelt, she exercised her influence
as a determined and relentless fighter for fairness and
equality in human rights. Mrs. Roosevelt was a shy introvert,
but she did not allow this to stop her from pursuing her
purpose and mission in life.
have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things
if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most
people don't. Don't treat life here on earth as if it goes
on forever. And remember, your limitations are most likely
not the things you want to do but can't. They are things
you ought to do but don't.
who maximize their potential stand out from the crowd. They
possess the uncanny ability to make the most of themselves.
We couldn't try to become something we are not.
of the qualities people admire in former First Lady Barbara
Bush is her acceptance of herself. Comparing herself to
her predecessor, Mrs. Bush said: "Nancy Reagan adores
her husband; I adore mine. She fights drugs; I fight illiteracy.
She wears a size 3; so's my leg." That healthy, unapologetic
attitude has allowed Mrs. Bush to make the most of who she
is. She doesn't spend her time trying to be like someone
else or acting in a manner inconsistent with the way she
do you want to be successful? Do you want to achieve your
potential and live a full life?
are the key to your own success. You have potential. But
you must choose. You can choose to live day by day and see
what happens. Or you can think and dream about what you
want to do with your life, and where you want to go with
it. And then make a plan to get there.
YOU START thinking about your life at present and what you'd
like it to be, imagine that today is your 100th birthday.
The local newspaper plans to print an extensive story outlining
your personal and professional achievements.
your story as you would like to have it printed. How would
you want them to describe what you had achieved? What would
you want people to say about you? What would you tell the
reporter was your primary purpose in life? What was really
important in your life? In other words, what gave meaning
to your daily activities? Turn that mental exercise into
a statement expressing your supreme aim in life-your purpose.
make it complicated or theoretical. Purpose describes the
business our life is in and what we are living for. A meaningful
purpose communicates what you want to accomplish and the
contributions you want to make. In addition, your purpose
will describe what you want to become-the person you desire
to be and the character you desire to have.
Ryan is the owner and president of Commercial
Ventures, a business brokerage company.
She has over 20 years experience in marketing,
public relations and selling businesses.
Visit her website at: www.commercialventures.com
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