These 15 life lessons are from quotations by Orison Swett Marden, the founder of Success Magazine.
1. All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. This is something I often repeat, however I cannot stress highly enough the need to know what you want, and to define a singular, overriding goal for your life. We do not need to know how we will accomplish that, we just need to be mindful that the things we do, move forward this singular purpose.
2. Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action. In taking action toward my large goal, it never astounds me how many times seeming accidents and various events fall into place or cross my path. When you are in action with a huge goal, then the resources, personal power and people you need, at the times you need them, just seem to show up. When I digress and take my eyes off the goal, not much seems to go right.
3. If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place. I really do get lost in time and live in the moments, when I am doing what you are meant to be doing. You often hear of people operating in The Zone. I also find myself learning the life and experience lessons to which I need exposure for the next phase of the accomplishment of a goal. I often experience personal breakthroughs that prepare me for further growth.
4. It is like the seed put in the soil – the more one sows, the greater the harvest. An example is the number of readers who subscribe at a member site. The more value is provided, the larger a list of subscribers grows. As the list grows in number of people, it attracts a higher calibre of offers and people who contact the site owner for participating in joint ventures. In turn, this increases the abundance of resources that become available to the site owner too, including financial reward.
5. Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them. We have all heard that ninety percent of a task is the starting of it. When you are confronted and gripped by fear or doubt, it is always a best remedy to simply take an action toward your desired outcome. Just decide, and then keep walking. If we are facing in the right direction, all we need to do is to keep walking.
6. Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight. Our imagination is a wonderful tool, yet it can also be your greatest enemy in the face of large goals. Remember to use the pictures in your mind to greatest advantage. Avoid allowing your mind to create mountains from molehills.
7. There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake. Our greatest work is creating personal and self-belief, in trusting that what is happening today is meant to be happening for eventual greatest good. You may have heard the tale of the man who clipped the cocoon of a butterfly, as it struggled to emerge.
8. Unless you have prepared yourself to profit by your chance, the opportunity will only make you ridiculous. A great occasion is valuable to you just in proportion as you have educated yourself to make use of it. This quote reminds me of the saying – when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I am sure we have all personally experienced this in our own lives at some time. Allow spaces for gestation, and develop patience, learn to relax a little!
9. We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are confident and believe we are going to win out. Collect evidence of success as you move forward in your journey. Develop self-belief by noticing all the large and small victories along the way. It is useful to measure progress and know how far you have come, to boost confidence for the remaining part of the journey. For example, when mountain climbing, peak bagging is often used as a motivation to keep reaching new summits.
10. You cannot measure a man by his failures. You must know what use he makes of them. What did they mean to him. What did he get out of them. I love the Japanese saying, fall down seven times, and get up eight. Trust that every time you brush off the dust after a fall, and take action on what is next instead of giving in to temporary setbacks, you will grow. The most inspiring biographies include stories of personal challenges that were overcome and moved through.
11. You will never succeed while smarting under the drudgery of your occupation, if you are constantly haunted with the idea that you could succeed better in something else. You must not split your focus. As long as you are living with an idea that the grass is greener on the other side, you will not be able to see that you can create what you want with what you currently have. Instead, you might continually wait for right conditions. I recommend reading the story, Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell.
12. Your expectations opens or closes the doors of your supply, If you expect grand things, and work honestly for them, they will come to you, your supply will correspond with your expectation. Raise your expectations. What the mind dwells upon, the body acts upon. If you find yourself stuck on a plateau, increase the size of your goal to one that will inspire greater action from you. The hands can’t have what the mind can’t see.
13. Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day. Look around you and notice to what you are committed. You created everything that surrounds you. Spend time to arrange things in your environment to enhance your experience of life and to support the things to which you say you are committed. Mix with people who have set their sights high, remove yourself from drama, complaint and gossip. If you find it difficult to do that physically, then at least remove your thoughts from those conversation and have an alternate mind picture on which you can focus in the midst of such situations. Learn and practise strategies to change conversations to be more constructive.
14. When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. In the words of Martin Luther King, we cannot take more than one step at a time. You do not have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. He did not see the end of the work he began, yet it came to fruition.
15. This is the test of your manhood [humanity]: How much is there left in you after you have lost everything outside of yourself? So many of us are now accustomed and programmed, to measuring ourselves, and each other, by tangible possessions. Remember the intangibles too, and start to see your true value. Know who you are when you stand apart from that job, house or car. If you possessed none of those, then what gift(s) do you bring to the table?
Thea Westra publishes a wealth of material for increased life power, self improvement, inspiration and personal success. Adding wings to our unique journey of life. See her many personal development resources at www.forwardsteps.com.au