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The Courage to Succeed
Every Day - March 2003
Courage to Succeed - Part 1 of 2
No matter what your dream is, whether itís to be the best Dad or the best
Mom, the best husband or the best wife, the best employee or the best boss,
the best salesperson or the best student you can be, to make it a reality, you
will have to have the courage to act in spite of your fears.
High achievement requires courage, self-confidence, boldness, and the
willingness to go for your goals with no guarantee of success. With courage
you can do anything in life. Without it, none of the other qualities will help
The first time I saw the Olympics on TV I was in the third grade. As soon as I
saw the Olympians I knew I wanted to be just like them. What impressed me the
most about the Olympians was not their athletic ability. What I admired about
the Olympians was their values. You see, these were people that had a dream,
and had the courage to commit fully to it for years with no guarantee of
success. Thatís what impressed me about them! Sure they had outstanding
athletic ability. But more importantly, they had the faith, the guts, the
boldness, and the willingness to go for it with no guarantees of success. They
had that rare attitude of not worrying about the possibility of failure. They
were going to go for it and commit 100% to winning no matter what. Itís like
they said to themselves, "Itís my dream and Iím going for it.
Thatís it period!"
When you move boldly towards you goals, when you make the decision to do
whatever it takes (and all it is is an attitude change, a choice), magic
happens. All of a sudden, unseen forces will come to your aid. The bolder and
more committed you are, the more your subconscious will work for you. You will
unconsciously start to attract the people and resources you need to achieve
your goal. All of a sudden, you will draw energy to making your dream a
People will start saying you are lucky. Winners know there is no such thing as
luck. All that is really happening is that now, you have become driven. You
are known for your goal. Everybody can see it. Your every action is
broadcasting to the world where you are headed, and all of a sudden, anyone
who might be interested in helping you, can see you are serious.
When you are focused on your goal, your mind starts acting like a guided
missile. It becomes tuned to anything that might help you achieve your goal.
This is not any different than when you buy a new car and all of a sudden you
notice how many other people are driving the same model car.
When you put all of your energy into one goal, you tap into huge resources.
That single decision changes everything. All the stress and worry disappears.
Your mental attitude changes completely. You are now the hunter. The dream has
become the prey that will eventually succumb to you.
When you make the decision to commit 100%, the winner inside you comes out.
The champion inside you comes out. The real you comes out. You just have to
have the courage to face your fears.
Your fears are a smokescreen. They are like ghosts that keep you from being
the real you. Your best you. Itís OK to be afraid. Everyone is afraid! If
everyone is afraid, whatís the difference between a brave person and a
coward? The brave person acts in spite of his fears. The coward allows his
fears to overwhelm him and control his thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Can courage be developed? Absolutely. Aristotle said, "Through
repetition, any quality can be developed." Do you realize the
implications of that statement? It means we are not doomed to being the way we
currently are. You can change! You can grow! You can be a different person
three months from now! In case you havenít figured it out, that EXCITES me!
You see, if that is true, and it is, now you know that it is within you to
grow into the kind of person that can make your dreams come true.
Back to courage. The way to develop courage is by practicing courage in every
situation where courage is required. How do you do that? Through a decision.
You come to the realization that whenever you are afraid to do something, you
are simply being tested. You make a decision that from now on you will win
over your fear. Remember; if you do what you fear, the fear will disappear. If
you donít do what you fear, the fear will control your life.
Make a game out of conquering your fears. You can get started with small
things. For example, if you usually wait to see what everyone else is having
when youíre ordering in a restaurant, next time, be the first to order. When
you do that, you will have experienced a small personal victory. You just won
over that fear. Next time you are talking to somebody and you want to ask a
question but you are afraid of looking stupid, ask anyways. Guess what?
Youíve just won another personal victory. Score: Fears Ė 0, Courage Ė2.
You need to win many many personal victories before you will win a public
victory. Michael Johnson, the 200 meter and 400 meter Olympic Gold medallist,
says in his biography, "I did not miss a scheduled workout in 10
years." His public victory did not happen overnight.
By becoming conscious of your fears and making a game out of conquering them,
before long you will begin to understand in your heart that fears are just
smokescreens. And by playing that game all the time, you are becoming more
courageous every day.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a
You become what you repeatedly do.
Do you want to develop perseverance?
Then next time you want to quit, don't. Every time you refuse to quit you
become stronger and more perseverant.
Do you want to develop courage?
Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is acting in spite of fear.
To develop courage, start doing what you fear. Look fear in the face and be
bigger than fear. That's how you develop courage.
Practice makes perfect. You can develop any quality by repeatedly dong it.
In this issue, I will continue to share with you some basic principles of
parenting that come from McDowell and Day's "How to be a Hero to your
Kids". Last month's principle was affection. This month, you'll learn
about availability. In the next two issues, you will get details on one of the
other ingredients of effective parenting.
In these days of being over committed and overly busy, itís common to feel
guilty about not spending enough time with the family. Itís a matter of
making it a priority, and getting creative.
You canít schedule a small child the way you schedule a committee meeting,
or a doctorís appointment. The attention span of a small child is very, very
short. And when you are willing to be available according to the childís
agenda, you give the child permission to have that short attention span.
I am blessed to work at home. Building my business means working long hours.
Iím usually up by 6:00 AM. Iím typically working on articles, marketing,
product development, research, or speaking every minute I can. Iím writing
this article at 12:15 AM.
I work long hours but I have an open door policy with my
two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Gabriela. Many times every day Gabriela
knocks on my door and I hear a wonderful, ďDaddy, may I come in?Ē
The answer is always ďOf course Sweetheart!Ē Gabbyís attention span is
only a couple of minutes. She either wants to show me something or wants me to
play ďBabiesĒ (to play with her dolls). If Iím on the phone, she knows
she needs to remain quiet and she knows she will get priority time as soon as
I hang up. If I am off the phone, she is on top of my agenda instantly. Why
shouldnít she? Itís only going to be a few minutes! And every time she
gets those minutes, it is affirming in her mind that she is more important to
me than any project I might be working on. How do you think THAT makes her
It makes her feel that she has such tremendous worth to me that Iím willing
to interrupt what Iím doing, no matter how important it may be, and spend
some time with her. Thatís what acceptance and appreciation are all about.
Acceptance and appreciation tell the child that he or she is of tremendous
worth. And I can only express my acceptance and appreciation through being
affectionate Ė and available.
When weíre available to our children it says, ďYou are important.Ē And
when we are not available it says, ďOh, yes, I love you, but other things
come ahead of you. You are not really that important.Ē
of the Month
"You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your
brain before you engage your weapon. Keep faith in your comrades on your left
and right and Marine Air overhead. Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.
"For the mission's sake, our country's sake, and the sake of the men who
carried the Division's colors in past battles- who fought for life and never
lost their nerve-carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate
to the world there is 'No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy' than a U.S.
Major-General J.N. Mattis - Commander of the 1st Marine Division now somewhere
in Iraq. This is an exert of what he told his troops before they rolled.
"Pain is temporary, Glory is forever."
- U.S. Marine Saying
of the Month
ďCreate Your Own FutureĒ by Brian Tracy is this monthís featured book.
Brian Tracy is one of the most popular professional speakers and business
authorities in the world today. In this fast moving, practical book, he
outlines a proven process you can use to set and achieve every goal you can
imagine for yourself in the years ahead.
If you donít like to read, or if you have little time to read, youíll like
this book. You donít need to read it cover to cover. Iíve found I can open
this book to any page, start reading, and immediately learn something I can
use to get me closer to my goals. Itís filled with great tips.
ďCreate Your Own FutureĒ will show you how to set goals, unlock your
inborn creativity, and overcome any obstacle in your path. Youíll learn how
to identify the key skills you need to master your field, and how to get the
support of the most important people in your work and personal lives. Tracy
shows you how to take complete charge of yourself and your environment, and
develop the habits of all high-performing men and women.
If you want to learn how to become the kind of person who attracts people,
ideas, and opportunities that will help you achieve your goals faster, reading
ďCreate Your Own FutureĒ is definitely a step in the right direction.