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Qualities That Make A Person Successful


True success is measured by the feeling of knowing you have done a job well and have
achieved your objective.
Success is not measured by our position in life but by the obstacles we overcame to get there.
Success in life is not determined by how we are doing compared with others, but by how we are doing compared with what we are capable of doing. Successful people compete against themselves. They better their own record and keep improving constantly.
Success is not measured by how high we go up in life but by how many times we bounce back when we fall down. It is this bounce back ability that determines success.


Failure is the highway to success. Tom Watson Sr. said, "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate."
If you study history, you will find that all stories of success are also stories of great failures. But people don't see the failures. They only see one side of the picture and they say that person got lucky: "He must have been at the right place at the right time."

Let me share someone's life history with you. This was a man who failed in business at the age of 21 ; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at age 24; overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a nervous breakdown at age 27; lost a congressional race at age 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected president of the United States at age 52.  This man was Abraham Lincoln. Would you call him a failure? He could have quit. But to Lincoln, defeat was a detour and not a dead end.

In 1913, Lee De Forest, inventor of the triodes tube, was charged by the district attorney for using fraudulent means to mislead the public into buying stocks of his company by claiming that he could transmit the human voice across the Atlantic. He was publicly humiliated. Can you imagine where we would be without his invention?

A New York Times editorial on December 10, 1903, questioned the wisdom of the Wright Brothers who were trying to invent a machine, heavier than air, that would fly. One week later, at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers took their famous flight.

Colonel Sanders, at age 65, with a beat-up car and a $100 check from Social Security, realized he had to do something. He remembered his mother's recipe and went out selling. How many doors did he have to knock on before he got his first order? It is estimated that he had knocked on more than a thousand doors before he got his first order. How many of us quit after three tries, ten tries, a hundred tries, and then we say we tried as hard as we could?

As a young cartoonist, Walt Disney faced many rejections from newspaper editors, who said he had no talent. One day a minister at a church hired him to draw some cartoons. Disney was working out of a small mouse infested shed near the church. After seeing a small mouse, he was inspired. That was the start of Mickey Mouse.

Successful people don't do great things, they only do small things in a great way. One day a partially deaf four year old kid came home with a note in his pocket from his teacher, "Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of the school." His mother read the note and answered, "My Tommy is not stupid to learn, I will teach him myself." And that Tommy grew up to be the great Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison had only three months of formal schooling and he was partially deaf.

Henry Ford forgot to put the reverse gear in the first car he made.

Do you consider these people failures? They succeeded in spite of problems, not in the absence of them. But to the outside world, it appears as though they just got lucky. All success stories are stories of great failures. The only difference is that every time they failed, they bounced back. This is called failing forward, rather than backward. You learn and move forward. Learn from your failure and keep moving.

In 1914, Thomas Edison, at age 67, lost his factory, which was worth a few million dollars, to fire. It had very little insurance. No longer a young man, Edison watched his
lifetime effort go up in smoke and said, "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burnt up. Thank God we can start a new." In spite of disaster, three weeks later, he invented the phonograph. What an attitude

Below are more examples of the failures of successful people:

  1. Thomas Edison failed approximately 10,000 times while he was working on the light bulb.
  2. Henry Ford was broke at the age of 40.
  3. Lee Iacocca was fired by Henry Ford II at the age of 54.
  4. Young Beethoven was told that he had no talent for music, but he gave some of the best music to the world.

Setbacks are inevitable in life. A setback can act as a driving force and also teach us
humility. In grief you will find courage and faith to overcome the setback. We need to
learn to become victors, not victims. Fear and doubt short-circuit the mind. Ask yourself after every setback: What did I learn from this experience? Only then will
you be able to turn a stumbling block into a stepping stone.


If you think you are beaten, you are.


If you think you dare not, you don't!

If you like to win, but think you can't,

It's almost a cinch you won't.


You think you'll lose, you're lost;

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow's will;

It's all in the state of mind.


If you think you are outclassed, you are,

You've got to think high to rise,

You've got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.


Life's battles don't always go

To the stronger and faster man,

But sooner or later the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can.


Man, of all creatures, is physically the most ill equipped in this world. He cannot fly like a bird, can be killed by a tiny insect, cannot outrun a leopard, cannot swim like an alligator, cannot climb the tree like a monkey, doesn't have the eye of an eagle, nor does he have the claws and teeth of a wild cat. Physically, man is helpless and defenseless. But nature is reasonable and kind. Nature's greatest gift to man is the ability to think. He can create his own environment, whereas animals adapt to their environment. Sadly, very few people use the greatest gift the ability to think to its full potential.

Failures are of two kinds: those who did and never thought and those who thought and never did. Going through life without using our ability to think is like shooting without aiming.

Life is like a cafeteria. You take' your tray, select your food and pay at the other end. You can get anything you want as long as you are willing to pay the price. In a cafeteria, if you wait for people to serve you, you will wait forever. Life is like that too. You make choices and pay the price.


There is a contradiction here. If life is full of choices, where is the question of compromises? Remember, even a compromise is a choice. Let's evaluate this.

How is Life Full of Choices?

When we eat too much, we make a choice to be overweight. When we drink too much, we make a choice to have a headache the next day. If you drink and drive, you make a choice to risk being killed or killing someone in an accident. When we ill treat people, we make a choice to be ill treated in return. When we don't care about other people, we make a choice not to be cared for by other people

Choices have consequences. We are free to make our choice but after we have chosen, the choice controls us. We have equal opportunity to be unequal. The choice is ours. Life  can be compared to a pottery maker who shapes clay in any form he wants. Similarly, we can mold our lives into any shape we want.

How is Life Full of Compromises?

Life is not just party and pleasure; it is also pain and despair. Unthinkable things happen. Sometimes everything turns upside down. Bad things happen to good people. Some things are beyond control, such as physical disability and birth defects. We cannot choose our parents or the circumstances of our birth. So if the ball bounced that way, sorry. But what do we do from here; cry or take the ball and run? That is a choice we have to make.

On a clear day, there are hundreds of boats sailing in all different directions in a lake. How come? Even though the wind is blowing in one direction, the sailboats are going in different directions. What is the difference? It depends on the way the sail is set, and that is determined by the sailor. The same is true of our lives. We can't choose the direction of the wind, but we can choose how we set the sail.

We can choose our attitude even though we cannot always choose our circumstances. The choice is either to act like a victor or a victim. It is not our position but our disposition that determines our destiny.

It takes both rain and sunshine to create a rainbow. Our lives are no different. There is
happiness and sorrow. There is the good and the bad ; dark and bright spots. If we can
handle adversity, it only strengthens us. We cannot control all the events that happen in our lives, but we can control how we deal with them.

Richard Blechnyden wanted to promote Indian tea at the St. Louis World fair in 1904. It was very hot and no one wanted to sample his tea. Blechnyden saw that all the other iced drinks were doing flourishing business. It dawned on him to make his tea into an iced drink, mix in sugar and sell it. He did and people loved it. That was the introduction of iced tea to the world.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, we can react responsibly or resentfully. Human beings are not like an action which has no choice. An action cannot decide whether to become a giant tree or to become food for the squirrels. Human beings have choices. If nature gives us a lemon, we have a choice: either cry or make lemonade.


1. Desire

The motivation to succeed comes from the burning desire to achieve a purpose. Napoleon Hill wrote, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

A young man asked Socrates the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to
meet him near the river the next morning. They met. Socrates asked the young man to
walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the
young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air. Socrates asked, 'What did you want the most when you were there?" The boy replied, "Air." Socrates said, "That is the secret to success. When you  want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it." There is no other secret. A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results.

2. Commitment

Integrity and wisdom are the two pillars on which to build and keep commitments. This
point is best illustrated by the manager, who told one of his staff members, "Integrity is keeping your commitment even if you lose money and wisdom is not to make such
foolish commitments."

Prosperity and success are the result of our thoughts and decisions. It is our decision
what thoughts will dominate our lives. Success is not an accident. It is the result of our attitude.

Playing to Win Requires Commitment
There is a big difference between playing to win and playing not to lose. When we play to win, we play with enthusiasm and commitment; whereas when we play not to lose, we are playing from a position of weakness. When we play not to lose, we are playing to avoid failure. We all want to win, but very few are prepared to pay the price to prepare to win. Winners condition and commit themselves to winning. Playing to win comes out of inspiration, whereas playing not to lose comes out of desperation.

There are no ideal circumstances. There will never be. To reach anywhere we cannot
just drift nor lie at anchor. We need to sometimes sail with the wind and sometimes
against it, but sail we must.

Ask any coach or athlete what the difference between the best and the worst team is.
There would be very little difference in their physique, talent and ability. The biggest difference you will find is emotional difference. The winning team has dedication and they make the extra effort.
To a winner, the tougher the competition
¨ the greater the incentive
¨ the more motivated he is
¨ the better the performance
¨ the sweeter the victory

New challenges develop new potential. Most athletes' best performances have come
when the odds are slightly against them. That is when they dig deeper into their reservoir.

When I'd get tired and want to stop, I'd wonder what my next opponent was doing. When I could see him still working, I'd start pushing myself. When I see him in the shower, I'd push myself harder.
--Dan Gable, Olympic gold medalist in wrestling--

Success is not in the achievement but in the achieving. Some people never try because they are afraid to lose. At the same time, they don't want to stay where they are because  they are afraid to be left behind. There is a risk either way. Ships that go out into the open water face risk from a storm. But if they sit in the harbor, they would rust and that is not what they were built for. That is the difference between playing to win and playing not to lose. One cannot be committed and not take risks. People who play to win thrive on pressure and those who play not to lose don't know how to succeed.

Pressure makes people who play to win, prepare harder. For those who play not to lose, the pressure saps the energy. They want to win but they are so afraid to lose that they can't reach their full potential. They lose energy worrying about losing instead
concentrating their efforts on winning.

Losers want security, winners seek opportunity. Losers are more afraid of life than death. 

Failing is not a crime but lack of effort is.

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence,
regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
--Vince Lombardi--

Conviction Leads to Commitment

There is a difference between preferences and conviction. Preferences are negotiable;
convictions are not. Preferences give way under pressure; convictions become stronger. hat is why it is important to have a good value system so that our convictions are worthy because convictions in turn lead to commitment.

3. Responsibility

A duty which becomes a desire will ultimately become a delight.
--George Gritter--

People with character accept responsibilities. They make decisions and determine their own destiny in life. Accepting responsibilities involves taking risks and being accountable which is sometimes uncomfortable. Most people would rather stay in their comfort zone and live passive lives without accepting responsibilities. They drift through life waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen. Accepting responsibilities involves taking calculated, not foolish, risks. It means evaluating all the pros and cons, then taking the most appropriate decision or action. Responsible people don't think that the world owes them a living.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot enrich the poor by impoverishing the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage pay or .
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

--Abraham Lincoln--

The retiring president of a company after a standard farewell, gave two envelopes marked No. 1 and No. 2 to the incoming president, and said, "Whenever you run into a
management crisis you cannot handle by yourself , open envelope No. 1. At the next
crisis, open the second one."

A few years later, a major crisis came. The president went into the safe and pulled out
the first envelope. It said, "Blame it on your predecessor." A few years later a second
crisis came. The president went for the second envelope, and it said, "Prepare two
envelopes for your successor."

Responsible people accept and learn from their mistakes. Some people never learn.
We can do three things about mistakes:
¨ Ignore them
¨ Deny them
¨ Accept and learn from them

The third alternative takes courage; it is risky but rewarding. If, instead, we defend our
weaknesses, we actually start building our lives around them, making them a center point, rather than overcoming them.

4. Hard Work

Success is not something that you run into by accident. It takes a lot of preparation and character. Everyone likes to win but how many are willing to put in the effort and time to prepare to win? It takes sacrifice and self-discipline. There is no substitute for hard work.

Henry Ford said, "The harder you work, the luckier you get."

The world is full of willing workers, some willing to work and the others willing to let them.

I like to work half a day. I don't care if it is the first 12 hours or the second 12 hours.
--Kammons Wilson, CEO of Holiday Inn--

One cannot develop a capacity to do anything without hard work, just as a person cannot learn how to spell by sitting on a dictionary. Professionals make things look easy because they have mastered the fundamentals of whatever they do.

If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all.

An executive called a company to check on a potential candidate. He asked the candidate's supervisor, "How long has he worked for you?" The man replied, "Three days." The executive said. "But he told me he was with you for three years." The man
replied, "That is right, but he worked three days."

The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.
--Andrew Carnegie--

Success is the result of believing in asking how much work and not how little work, how many hours not how few hours. The best musicians practice every day. Winners don't need to apologize for winning because they work hard and long. It didn't come easy. Everything that we enjoy is a result of someone's hard work. Some work is visible and other work goes unseen, but both are equally important. Some people stop working as soon as they find a job. Regardless of the unemployment statistics, it is hard to find good people to work. Many people don't understand the difference between idle time and leisure time. Idle time amounts to wasting or stealing time; leisure time is earned. Procrastinating amounts to not working. Excellence is not luck; it is the result of a lot of hard work and practice. Hard work and practice make a person better at whatever he is doing.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
--Abraham Lincoln--

Hard work is both a beginning and an end in itself. The harder a person works, the better he feels; and the better he feels, the harder he works. The best ideas will not work unless you work the ideas. Great talent without will power and hard work is a waste.

We need to learn from nature. The duck keeps paddling relentlessly underneath but
appears smooth and calm on top.

Once when Fritz Kreisler, the great violinist, finished a concert, someone came up to the stage and said, "I'd give my life to play the way YOU do." Kreisler replied, "I did!" There is no magic wand for success. In the real world, success comes to doers, not observers. A horse that pulls cannot kick; a horse that kicks cannot pull. Let's pull and stop kicking.

Without hard work there is no success.

Nature gives birds their food but does not put it in their nest. They have to work hard for it. Nothing comes easy. Milton rose every morning at 4 a.m. to write Paradise Lost. It took Noah Webster 36 years to compile Webster's Dictionary.

Even small accomplishments require hard work and are better than big talk.

5. Character

Character is the sum total of a person's values, beliefs and personality. It is reflected in our behavior, in our actions. It needs to be preserved more than the richest jewel in the world. To be a winner takes character. George Washington said, "I hope I shall always spossess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most valuable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

It is not the polls or public opinions but the character of the leader that determines the
course of history. There is no twilight zone in integrity. The road to success has many
pitfalls. It takes a lot of character and effort not to fall into them. It also takes character
not to be disheartened by critics.

How come most people love success but hate successful people? Whenever a person
rises above average, there will always be someone trying to rip him apart. Chances are
pretty good when you see a person on top of a hill, that he just didn't get there, but had to endure a tough climb. It's no different in life. In any profession, a successful person wil be envied by those who are not. Don't let criticism distract you from reaching your goal.

Average people play it safe to avoid criticism, which can be easily avoided by saying,
doing or being nothing. The more you accomplish, the more you risk being criticized. It
seems there is a relationship between success and criticism. The greater the success the more the criticism.

Critics have always been sitting at the sidelines. They are underachievers who shout at doers, telling them how to do it right. But remember critics are not the leaders or doers and it is worthwhile asking them to come down to where the action is.

The critic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
--Oscar Wilde--

There is another breed of people who are willing to help others until the others are able to help themselves. But as soon as they are able to help themselves, this group of people make life as miserable and as uncomfortable as possible. This is part of life and if we have to succeed, we have to do it in spite of them. This kind of behavior is the result of jealousy.

Character is a Combination

Character is a combination of integrity, unselfishness, understanding, conviction, courage, loyalty and respect. What is a pleasant personality with character?

¨ It is a class by itself.

¨ It is composure.

¨ It is poise.

¨ It is surefootedness and confidence without arrogance.

¨ It is being considerate.

¨ It is never making excuses.

¨ It is knowing that courtesy and good manners take many small sacrifices.

¨ It is learning from past mistakes.

¨ It has nothing to do with money or blue blood.

¨ It never builds itself by destroying others.

¨ It is substance, not just form.

¨ It can walk with the elite and yet maintain the common touch.

¨ It is a gentle word, a kind look and a good-natured smile.

¨ It is the secret pride that stands against tyranny.

¨ It is comfortable with itself and others.

¨ It is the classic touch that gives the winning edge.

¨ It works wonders.

¨ It accomplishes miracles.

¨ It is easy to recognize, hard to define.

¨ It is accepting responsibility.

¨ It is humility.

¨ It is graciousness in victory and defeat.

¨ It is not fame and fortune.

¨ It is not a plaque.

¨ It is permanent.

¨ It is intangible.

¨ It is being courteous and polite without being subservient.

¨ It is being classy without being corky.

¨ It is self-discipline and knowledge.

¨ It is self-contained.

¨ It is a gracious winner and an understanding loser.

More difficult than success itself is; how we handle success. Many people know how to become successful but after they become successful, they don't know how to handle it. That is why ability and character go hand in hand. Ability will get you success, character will keep you successful.

We don't unfold or discover ourselves , we create and build ourselves into the kind of
person we want to be.

Character building starts from infancy and goes on until death. Character does not need success. It is success. Just like a gardener has to keep weeding to prevent weeds from eating the life of the garden, we need to keep building and developing our character by weeding out our faults.

Adversity Builds and/or Reveals Character

Under adverse circumstances, some people break records and others break down. A
gem cannot be polished without friction, nor can you get the finest steel without putting it through fire. Similarly, adversity reveals a person's character and introduces it to himself.

There is a saying that came from Russia: "A hammer shatters glass but forges steel." There is a lot of truth in it. Are we made of glass or steel? It is the same hammer. Just like carbon determines the quality of steel, character determines the quality of man.

6. Positive Believing

What is the difference between positive thinking and positive believing? What if you could actually listen to your thoughts? Are they positive or negative? How are you programming your mind, for success or failure? How you think has a profound effect on your performance.

Having a positive attitude and being motivated is a choice we make every morning. Living a positive life is not easy; but then neither is negative living. Given a choice, I
would go for positive living.

Positive thinking is better than negative thinking and it will help us use our abilities to the fullest.

Positive believing is a lot more than positive thinking. It is having a reason to believe that positive thinking will work. Positive believing is an attitude of confidence that comes with preparation. Having a positive attitude without making the effort is nothing more than having a wishful dream. The following illustrates positive believing.

Does Lockheed organization have a reason to believe positively?

You bet. Several years ago Lockheed introduced the L-1011 Tristar plane. In order to ensure safety and test the strength of the jetliner, Lockheed exposed the plane to the roughest treatment for 18 months, costing $1.5 billion. Hydraulic jacks, electronic sensors and a computer put the airplane through its paces for more than 36,000 simulated flights, amounting to 100 years of airline service, without one single malfunction. Finally after hundreds of tests the aircraft was given the seal of approval. *
There is every reason to believe that this plane would be safe to fly, because of all the
effort put into preparation.

7. Give More Than You Get

It is easy to succeed today. We have no competition. If you want to get ahead in life, go the extra mile. There is no competition on the extra mile. Are you willing to do a little more than you get paid for ? How many people you know are willing to do a little bit more than what they get paid for? Hardly any. Most people don't want to do what they get paid for and there is a second category of people who only want to do what they can get by with. They fulfill their quota just to keep their jobs. There is a small fraction who are willing to do a little bit more than what they get paid for. Why do they do more? If you fall into the last category, then where is your competition?

The advantages of doing more than you get paid for are :
¨ You make yourself more valuable, regardless of what you do and where you work.
¨ It gives you more confidence.
¨ People start looking at you as a leader.
¨ Others start trusting you.
¨ Superiors start respecting you.
¨ It breeds loyalty from both your subordinates and your superiors.
¨ It generates cooperation.

If you work for a man for heaven's sake work for him.
--Kim Hubbard--

These people are always wanted everywhere regardless of age, experience or academic qualifications: hardworking people who can work without supervision; people who are punctual and considerate; people who listen carefully and carry out instructions accurately; people who tell the truth; people who don't sulk when called upon to pitch in at the time of an emergency; people who are result rather than task oriented; people who are cheerful and courteous.

Always think in terms of giving value added whether to customers, friends, your spouse, parents or children. Whenever you do anything, ask yourself, "How can I add value to what I am doing?" or "How can I give added value to others?"

The key to success can be summed up in four words: "and then some more."

Winners do what they are supposed to and then some more. Winners do their duty and then some more. Winners are courteous and generous and then some more. Winners can be counted on and then some more. Winners put in 100% and then some more. Ability without dependability, responsibility and flexibility is a liability.
(Adapted from Daily Motivations for African American Success by Dennis Kimbro,
June 29,1993, Fawcett Press, New York.)

Why are some highly intelligent people, with impressive academic qualifications living
failures, or at best practicing mediocrity? Because they become experts at why things
won't work and build a reserve of negative energy. They don't want to do what they get paid for or they only want to do what they can get by with. No wonder they are living failures. When we give or do more than what we get paid for, we eliminate our competition. In fact, we become the competition. This attitude is much more important
than intelligence or a degree.

8. The Power of Persistence

Nothing will take the place of persistence. Talent will not : Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent . Genius will not : Unrewarded genius is a proverb. Education will not: The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
--Calvin Coolidge--

The journey to being your best is not easy. It is full of setbacks. Winners have the ability to overcome and bounce back with even greater resolve.

When things go wrong,
As they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far ;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Fritz Kreisler, the great violinist, was once asked, "How do you play so well? Are you
lucky?" He replied, "It is practice. If I don't practice for a month, the audience can tell the difference. If I don't practice for a week, my wife can tell the difference. If I don't practice for a day, I can tell the difference."

Persistence means commitment and determination. There is pleasure in endurance.Commitment and persistence is a decision. Athletes put in years of practice for a few seconds or minutes of performance. Persistence is a decision. It is a commitment to finish what you start. When we are exhausted, quitting looks good. But winners endure. Ask a winning athlete. He endures pain and finishes what he started. Lots of failures have begun well but have not concluded anything. Persistence comes from purpose. Life without purpose is drifting. A person who has no purpose will never persevere and will never be fulfilled.

9. Pride of Performance

In today's world, pride in performance has fallen by the wayside because it requires effort and hard work. However, nothing happens unless it is made to happen. When one is discouraged, it is easy to look for shortcuts. However these should be avoided no matter how great the temptation. Pride comes from within, which is what gives the winning edge.

Pride of performance does not represent ego. It represents pleasure with humility. The
quality of the work and the quality of the worker are inseparable. Half-hearted effort does not produce half results; it produces no results.

Three people were laying bricks and a passerby asked them what they were doing. The first one replied, "Don't you see I am making a living?" The second one said, "Don't you see I am laying bricks?" The third one said, "I am building a beautiful monument." Three people doing the same thing gave totally different replies. The question is : did they have different attitudes? And would their attitude affect their performance? The answer is a clear yes.

Excellence comes when the performer takes pride in doing his best. Every job is a selfportrait of the person who does it, regardless of what the job is, whether washing cars, sweeping the floor or painting a house. Do it right the first time, every time. The best insurance for tomorrow is a job well done today.

Michelangelo was working on a statue for several days and he was taking a long time to retouch every small detail which seemed rather insignificant to a bystander. When asked why he did it, Michelangelo replied, "Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle." Most people forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well it was done.

If a man is called to be street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
--Martin Luger King, Jr.--

One cannot compromise on quality and service. It is said that Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's, found a fly during one of his visits at a franchise. Two weeks later the franchisee lost his franchise. Ray Kroc said, "You should work for pride and accomplishment. I was brought up to understand that reward will come later." The feeling of a job well done is a reward in itself. It is better to do small things well than do many things poorly.

10. Be Willing to Be a Student--Get a Mentor

If God and the teacher (guru) are standing together, who does the student salute first?According to Indian culture, the answer is the teacher, because without his direction and help, the student could not have met God.

A mentor or a teacher is a person whose hindsight can become your foresight. Look  for someone who can accept you as a mentee or a student. Choose your mentor carefully. A good one will guide and give direction; a bad one will misguide. Show respect. Be an interested student. Teachers like interested students. The best teachers will not give you something to drink, they will make you thirsty. They will put you on a path to seek answers.

There is a story about a king in ancient times who wanted to honor a person that made the greatest contribution to society. All kinds of people came, including doctors and entrepreneurs, and they all presented their case for receiving the honor. The king wasn't impressed. Finally an elderly person with a glow on his face walked in and said he was a teacher. The king came down from his throne and bowed to honor the teacher. It is the teacher who makes the highest contribution in shaping the future of society.


Do all of us have the qualities for success? Some people feel they don't. They stay
mediocre and fail. But it doesn't have to be that way. All of us have all of these qualities.

They may not be developed to the level that we want them but they are there. We may
not know that they are there, but when we find out, our performance changes. This is like having a million dollars buried in your backyard and not knowing about it. You wouldn't be able to use it. But the moment you find out, your thinking and behavior will change.

The same thing is true with people. We all have hidden treasures. All we need to do is
bring them to the surface and use them.


What would happen if we drove our car with the brakes on? It wouldn't be smart, would
it? What would happen to our car? It will never go full speed because the brakes offer resistance. The car will overheat and break down. If it doesn't break down, the resistance will strain the engine. You have two choices. You can either press the accelerator harder and risk damage, or release the brakes to make the car go faster. This is a good parallel to life, because we go through life with our emotional brakes on. What are the brakes? They are the factors that prevent us from achieving success. The way to release our emotional brakes is by building a positive attitude, high self-esteem and by accepting responsibility.

Source : Shiv Khera


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