All Is Going WellAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer
The wisdom from George S. Patton contain thoughts to inspire:
"I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom."
The beginning of Patton's quote poses a good question - how do you measure success? Some people consider success as:
- Financial, having enough money to do what you want, or having enough money to help others, or having enough to retire and not have to worry about an income.
- time, having time to pursue the activities they enjoy; not being tied down to a 9 - 5 job; having the time to help others or do volunteer work.
- family, raising your family to be active members of the community; be there and encouraging your children; being able to afford a good education for your child.
- knowledge, learning all you can about as much as you can; or becoming an expert in your field.
- peace, contributing to the peace of the world - it may be by having the time to get involved in an organization that you believe in, or, by being able to support causes that you believe will help, or being in a position that could influence
- power, being in a position of control; being in a leadership role, or, running your own business, or being involved with government.
The list could go on and on. For many people it is not just one thing that will make them successful in their mind. It is a combination of many things. But is this true success?
A True Test
The true test in life does not occur when all is going well, when life is good, and you are sailing along with very few worries. The true test takes place when we are faced with challenges. And, we all have them, no matter what our definition of success is. When we face that challenge how do we react, what do we do, what do we say?
Some people have a positive attitude towards life only when all is well. It is very easy to be positive and upbeat when everything in our life is going smoothly. However, when the going gets tough, you see some people's attitude change instantly, and they become very negative or are consumed with self pity. Then, you find others who just give up, they throw in the towel and say forget it, it is not worth it. But, then there are some, who become more determined to overcome the challenges they are facing; they are like a dog after a bone. What all of these people have in common is attitude, but they do not all have the same outlook on challenges and difficulties.
So going back to Patton's quote, no matter what your definition of success is, your success can and will be determined by your attitude. Whether you succeed or not is related to the way you perceive any challenge and your attitude toward it. It changes the whole definition of what success is - can our definition of success be one of how you handle the curve balls that life throws at you? Do you bounce back? If so, you are successful no matter what your end goal is. The ability to keep going, the determination, the passion that you have determines your attitude. And, attitude determines your success.
We all have a choice in deciding what our attitude will be. It is totally in your control. We can choose to be positive or to be negative. We can choose to see the good or see the bad. We can choose defeat or accomplishment.
There are many examples of people who have hit bottom, who are presented with issues that seem insurmountable. Christopher Reeve is an example of someone who had faced such challenges. He was a person who was very successful in his acting career, and he lead a very active life. However, he had a riding accident, and that accident left him paralyzed. He could have felt sorry for himself, he could have had a poor me attitude. Instead, since the accident he changed his focus and has raised money for research on paralysis, directed a film, and has written his autobiography Still Me. He is an excellent example of someone who bounced back. Just imagine, for one moment, you became paralyzed, what would your attitude be? Christopher Reeve is a person we should keep in our minds we were are faced with challenges. Many of our challenges are small compared to what he was faced with. He is truly, an example for us all.
I recently talked with someone who was having difficulties; part of the problem was they were sitting around just feeling sorry for themselves. They feel into that "poor me" attitude. They couldn't see beyond the problem, they had no solutions, they actually just sat around and moaned to anyone who would listen to them. My advice to them was "do something productive" rather than sit and think!
Your problems seem larger when all you do is sit around and think about them. When you are active and doing something productive you will find that your mind is no longer focusing on your issues and in fact you may find yourself feeling better. And, you may come up with a solution to your problem because you are not soley focusing on it. Sometime, just stepping away from the problem can result in an idea. But sitting around focusing on your own hardships and feeling sorry for yourself, resolves nothing. You just feel worse and you bring down the people around you - so in the end, you are influencing many people in a very negative way.
Watch Your Attitude
Be conscious of your attitude. Work extra hard at keeping your attitude positive in all kinds of weather, through all the challenges of life. I know this is very easy to say and at times, can be difficult to put into practice. But you almost have to force your mind to stay focused on the positive things in your life when you are faced with challenges that life throws at us.
I will leave you with wise words from Norman Vincent Peale:
"Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude towards it, for that determines our success or our failure."
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"It's interesting to see that some people have less than others, but have a better attitude and go through life with peace of mind and a happy mood more often." Rita Chester
"You tend to mimic what you see and young children usually copy the attitudes and ways of the older members of the family. Your experiences during your childhood days greatly affect your self-esteem." Ben Robinson
"Regardless of the challenges you face, you have within you what it takes to get through any challenge." Kelly Stone
"I've studied successful people for forty years, and though the diversity you find among them is astounding, I've found that they are all alike in one way: how they think." John C. Maxwell
"Willingness to get going, concentrated effort, persistence and resilience in the face of obstacles – all are crucial to success in achieving life goals." George Harris
"People who are successful always talk about what they want and what they will do to achieve it. People who aren't talk about circumstances that don't let them live the life they want." Andrii Sedniev
"The greatness comes not when things go always good for you. But the greatness comes when you're really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." Richard M. Nixon
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