What is your life motto?
Why is it important to have a life motto? Well, let’s first think about companies. Do they have vision statements? Yes. Do they have mission statements? Yes. Do they have strategic plans, operational plans, tactical plans? Yes. And why is this? Because they need a plan of attack and a way to keep themselves on track. Every time they think about a new product, service, or advertisement they have to ask if it lines up with who they are and where they are going.
The same holds true for your personal life. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? This can all be answered in a personal life motto that you live out every day. It keeps you on track and thinking along the right lines.
My life motto is “Love to Live and Learn to Laugh”
That statement has 7 different meanings to me. Can you find them? Well, if not let me briefly point them out.
1. Love – The New Oxford American Dictionary defines it, “an intense feeling of deep affection”
2. Live – Do the vital requirements to stay alive
3. Learn – That same dictionary defines it, “gain or acquire knowledge of a skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught; commit to memory.”
4. Laugh – Let life be enjoyable and laugh about it
5. Love to Live – Which means to really be excited about your life and what you get to do with it. You never know when the ride stops
6. Learn to Laugh – Life can be embarrassing sometimes and you have to laugh it off or laugh at yourself. Others will appreciate you for it
7. Live and Learn – Realize that your failure is a chance to do better the next time
Those are extremely short definitions of each one of those words and phrases. Each one of those has so much meaning behind them, that I could go on all day about each. That is what you have to do with a life motto. It needs to be simple, memorable, and point you to what you want in life.
By coming up with a life motto (and it may change) you are taking the first step in creating the life you always wanted. Wake up every day and recite it. Put yourself in the right frame of mind, at the beginning of the day, and you will be amazed at your success. So, let me ask you again…What is your life motto?
Today I received the call from my father that my grandmother (Mamaw) had passed away. Dad let me know that they would be in touch and keep me posted as to what was going to happen next. We said our good byes and the call was over in just over a minute. It took a minute to sink in, but after reaching the top of the stairs I crawled into bed and cried.
I realized that part of my past was forever gone, on this Earth. I remembered the times of going over to my grandparents’ home and running down stairs to play pool, ping pong, or find some floor game to pull out. Some of the best memories are of the holidays. The Christmas tree would be in the living room, with candy canes hanging all over it. There would be a football game on in the family room and everyone would be busy talking and laughing. At the dinner table I would end up by my Mamaw most of the time and we would tease each other through the whole meal. I miss those laughs.
My Mamaw was always one to sit down at the breakfast table and find out what was going on in your life. There were always snacks, sandwiches, or a not so secret drawer with cookies in it. My two brothers and I loved running to that drawer to find out what kind of cookies were in there this time.
Mamaw had her own little spot in the basement where she could work on her genealogy. It was there that I found out that I was related to George Washington. And like every grandparents’ home, it had an unforgettable smell that instantly reminded you of memories past. Many times my grandparents would come back from a vacation overseas and bring a gift for everyone in the family. Looking back, it was the idea that the gift came from outside the country that made it so cool.
As I got older I came to understand responsibility when sometimes I would go over to their house to help rake the yard or clean leaves out of the gutter. My grandfather helped me buy my first car (a blue ’87 Ford Mustang). I also got to witness love at it’s best when my Papaw was there at every turn of Alzheimer’s my Mamaw experienced. There were days that I could see the old Mamaw come to life, but as time went on she would slowly fade from reality into a state of confusion and eventually silence. Today, she escaped that silence and is living in the most vibrant and beautiful place ever. She is waiting for all of her family to meet her there and pick up where we left off. I am looking forward to that reunion, and hoping to have those same memories with my wife and children.
To my Mamaw, a most wonderful woman!
If you are in a place of torment, frustration, or monotony, then you are right where you need to be at this particular time. It sucks…I know. After successfully moving to a new state and getting a promotion, I thought life was on the up and up. Wow, was I ever wrong!
After taking the job I, as a brand new manager, was put in a brand new store, with brand new employees. On top of that, the bonus structure that I thought was good, didn’t work for this store. Even if I would have bonused, which I didn’t, it was pennies. The money wasn’t there and the hours were the worst ever. I was working 70+ hours a week and not getting home till 5 and 6 AM in the morning. That is not even counting drive time. I also went from a fit black belt to a soft and heavier zombie. My wife and boys never saw me and our money situation was getting worse by the month. There were days when I would start crying and I couldn’t even stop. I was exhausted to say the least. My family and the thought of knowing I was a black belt kept me going.
I said all of that to help you realize that life is hard and sometimes you have to reach deep down inside or to a place in the past, to keep you moving forward. There is always something, no matter how small, that we have done that brought joy to us. If that is all you have, then grab that thought and don’t let go! Climbing the mountain is harder than standing at the top. But every once in a while you have to stop and take a minute to see how far you have come.
Maybe you are at a really low point and can’t see how this is helping you. For me, I took the lessons I learned and told myself that I would never let one of my employees go through what I did. I saw how the company treated me and others and knew there was a better way. There is always something to be learned…Always. Let the thought of knowing you have made it this far keep you going.
I know it is hard, but let your darkest hours be your trail up the mountain. Take your lessons and pass them on to others. Use them to make you stronger. Use them to make you better. Use them to make you successful!
Where did we get the idea that failing is bad? Organized education…that’s where. Every time you chose the wrong answer it was marked wrong. If you misspelled a word or wrote a sentence wrong it was marked off. With every try there is a chance that you will get the wrong answer. That doesn’t mean you are stupid. It means you now know what doesn’t work.
I am not against education by any means. The problem with our education system is that it trains you for twelve years to not mess up…or else. We leave high school feeling like that is what the world expects too, but it doesn’t. The people I follow, listen to and take advice from are successful because they failed. They tried and tried and tried until…until they got it right.
So many are not willing to fail, because of an old mindset that has been pounded into them from childhood. You are now free to release that mentality. I know it’s hard, but go ahead and let it go. The world needs people like you who are willing to fail in order to find the answer. If an enemy is standing outside your door, but you do nothing to stop them from breaking in, then your hope may be your demise. BUT if you stand up and try different ways to stop them and finally succeed…then you have Failed in order to Succeed. It may take different paths and multiple tries, but in the end you will succeed. It is the man or woman who never gives up that I will follow, respect and honor.
If you are looking into the mirror everyday and wondering when your time will come, then begin today to change. Do something, anything to change where you are into where you want to be. Maybe it is doing five minutes of exercise to get the body you want next year. Maybe it is writing a sentence today in order to publish a book next year. Maybe it is making that one extra phone call each day to make more money in a year. It can also be as simple as reading one motivational quote each day to change your perspective a week, month or year from now.
If you have already made these changes in your life, then please inspire someone else with that same motivation. Success is what you make it. So, go and Fail…to Succeed!
Two amazing motivators who are not, physically, with us anymore are Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn. Both of these giants made a huge impact on my life…and still do. If you know either one of these two people, then you know the impact they have had on millions of others. They were the mix of pure passion and philosopher (Zig and Rohn respectfully). And those two words don’t even begin to scratch the surface.
You would walk away from one of their seminars, CD’s, or books and feel like you could conquer the world. The obstacles that were there before were now opportunities. With every breath, they would hack away at your old self and cause you to rise up into this magnificent warrior of a person.
Zig had this saying that went, “You can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough other people get what they want.” Simply put…become everyone else’s biggest fan. Another saying goes like this…”No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Sacrifice a little bit of your time to help others and you will be rewarded more than you know.
There isn’t a year that goes by that I don’t listen to one of their CD’s or open one of their books. If you have never experienced either one of these two personalities, then I encourage you to do so. I will leave you with this, “Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.” – Jim Rohn
Success starts with you. If you have a major goal that you are wanting to tackle, then you need to start off small. Sometimes we get so caught up in the final outcome that we miss the journey it takes to get us there. Maybe you are having trouble knowing where to start or doubting that you can even achieve your dream. If this is you, then take a minute to digest these next few lines. In order to feel a sense of accomplishment you have to start achieving something…anything. Maybe you have a dream of owning your own business, running a marathon, or writing a book. The only thing is that it seems too daunting. Then pick something entirely different to achieve. You might be thinking…”Where is he going with this?” But let me explain. In order to muster the courage to start something big, you have to believe in yourself. Sometimes it takes a sense of accomplishment in another part of your life, in order to begin a new goal. This might be as simple as remembering back to a time when you did achieve or accomplish something great. It might also mean starting something new. Those who have succeeded recently have the confidence to do it again. The more you achieve the more you try. So, if you need a winning track record before you jump into this new dream feet first, then by all means pick something small and keep moving forward until that day comes when you are ready to step out and say “I’m ready”. Success starts with you!