Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Seventh Power 'P' of Enduring Success

By Preston Squire


"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and THAT AINT YOU. You're better than that!" - Rocky's speech to son Robert from the movie Rocky Balboa

I've talked countless time on this site about how life is no bed of roses. There's a reason that only a select few truly live the life of their dreams while everyone else lives the lives they'll settle for. Life is designed to separate the wheat from the chaff. But the difference between those who shape life and those that allow themselves to be shaped by life isn't intelligence or willpower or money. The difference is about who has enough burning passion, a strong enough purpose, and a patient persistence covered in prayer, always keeping things in a positive perspective, knowing that they are promised success as long as they are willing to bear the price.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

In order to break through you need to understand, accept and EMBRACE this one simple concept. It's a concept most of you will not like. Some will reject it entirely.  A few may be so turned off they'll never return to this site again. Fine, go. In time though, you will have to accept this fundamental truth.

Failure IS Progress

Not only is failure a part of life, it's an essential part. Knowledge, wisdom and maturity are the end results of failure. You don't learn anything playing it safe. If you take a risk and it pays off, great, you've learned what works. But if you take a risk and it doesn't work, if you're smart and maintain proper perspective, you've learned what doesn't work - and that puts you one step closer to discovering what does.

"I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work." ~ Thomas Alva Edison in response to a question about his failure to produce a (cost efficient) light bulb.

Reasonable people do not take many chances. They stick to what they can see and what they know. They follow what society deems as acceptable and expectable. But the masses very rarely ever affect any change in the world. Virtually all progress is made by a few people who are considered unreasonable when they begin. People who do not follow the beaten path but strike out on their own, cutting their way through the bush for others to follow. You must become unreasonable.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him... The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself... All progress depends on the unreasonable man." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Unreasonable people keep on, keeping on long after 'reasonable' people would have said it was time to throw in the towel. Why? Because they are not in the slightest intimidated by failure. In their minds, there is no such thing. There are only positive results and results that didn't produce the desired outcome. They learn from the results they get, either way, and progress.

It goes without saying that without progress you simply cannot get to where you are going. Once you have set your goal and made a definite commitment to it, you need to maintain your progress. It doesn't matter how fast you go. It might be cautious baby steps or the weary steps of the exhausted marathon runner, it might be bold leaps or a sure and steady pace but only by continuing to ever move towards your goal will it ever be reached.

The problem is, most people when faced with failure; stop. Heck, most stop even before they face failure. They are halted in their tracks by the mere sight of failure. They refuse to take the risk, instead the stay within their comfort zone.

I hate to tell you this folks but there are only two states of being in the universe, creation or decay. Everything, every tree, blade of grass, rock, drop of water, comet, molecule or galactic cluster is currently in a state of growth or decay. Scientist carbon date fossils based on the amount of molecular decay in the base material and can tell the age of trees by the growth lines (rings) in the trunk. The same goes for your soul. If it is not in a state of growth, if you are not progressing forward, then your life is in a state of slow decay.

Embrace the challenges that life gives you. They are not there to stop you. They are there to help you grow so that you will be ready, willing and able to achieve your God given destiny. There are times when life will beat you down, which is why it's so important to have that fire in your belly, that burning desire that simply will not be quieted. Your Purpose drives your Passion, which in turn fuels your Persistence. Purpose and Promise also allows for the graceful Patience to wait out the difficult times knowing you will and must succeed. But you will not succeed unless you maintain your Progress.

When life knocks you down, take note of why, how and what happened. Then get back up.

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit." Napoleon Hill

Maintain your Positive Perspective and always find the good in every situation. Learn the lessons - THEN IMMEDIATELY PUT THEM INTO PRACTISE!

One of the great failings of the Canadian school system is our French Language programs. Kids learn the words they are being taught long enough to pass the test and then immediately forget them. They do not retain the French they are being taught because most children, outside of Quebec or other francophone communities, never have the opportunity to put their new found skills into practice. Without speaking French regularly they simply cannot retain it.

The best way to learn French, is to go into a French Immersion program, where the teachers only speak to you in French, or even better, take a French Immersion course in Quebec. Then the instant you learn a new word or phrase it is being put into immediate and regular use.

In the same way, if we do not take the lessons learned in life and put them into immediate and regular use, you will lose them and have to repeat the same mistakes. Which is why progress is so important. If you hit a roadblock and stop, wait ten years before you decide to give it another go, then you will have lost many of the key distinctions that could have helped your progress in the first place.

Progress also builds momentum. If you've ever decided to go to the gym, you know that hardest part is getting yourself into a set routine. If you don't get yourself into a habit of going, you probably won't last a month. Gyms know this and always give amazing discounts in January to capture all those people making New Year's resolutions to lose weight. The gyms know that ninety percent of those new customers will not be disciplined enough to make the gym a regular part of their routine and will be gone in a couple weeks to a month even though they have paid for an entire year.

If you stick to it though long enough for the gym to become a regular part of the life, it's easy. You start to see results and that motivates you to continue. People start to notice and compliment you and that really boosts your determination to stick with it. The longer you continue your progress the more momentum you build and the easier the journey becomes. That is until something, like a three week vacation or a long business trip comes around to derail it. If you're smart you'll stay at a hotel with a gym and keep going to maintain progress, otherwise you have to go through a period of forcing yourself back into the routine.

The same goes with life. Once you get going, and the best time to start is always this instant, and maintain steady progress it will become easier and easier to continue but life will always through curve balls at you. Expect it. Embrace it. Eventually you'll be able to hit them out of the park. In the meantime, as difficult as it may seem at times, just keep moving forward. Remember the Power 'P's. I think one reason God has been giving me these lessons' in the form of 'P' words is because it make them easy to remember. So when you're feeling like you're about to quit you can start going through the 'P's in your head. You may not remember them all off hand but with some thought, they'll all come back to you. Some may not help much at that time but I'm certain one or more of these Power 'P's will reinvigorate you and help you to maintain your progress.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." ~ Barack Obama