How dramatically we can change our results is largely a function of imagination.
In 1960, it was a technological impossibility for man to travel into outer space. However, within 10 years, the first man stepped out onto the surface of the moon. The miraculous process of converting that dream into reality began when one voice challenged the scientific community to do whatever was necessary to see to it that America “places a man on the moon by the end of this decade.” That challenge awakened the spirit of a nation by planting the seed of possible future achievement into the fertile soil of imagination.
With that one bold challenge, the impossible became a reality.
The same principle applies to every other area of our life.
Can a poor person become wealthy? Of course! The unique combination of desire, planning, effort and perseverance will always work its magic. The question is not whether the formula for success will work, but rather whether the person will work the formula. That is the unknown variable. That is the challenge that confronts us all.
We can all go from wherever we are to wherever we want to be. No dream is impossible provided we first have the courage to believe in it.
Here is how you can do that—13 ways to improve your life:
1. Face your fears.
That’s how you conquer them. Don’t dismiss them; face them. Say, Here’s what I’m afraid of. I wonder what I could do to change that. Face your fears today.
2. Exercise your willpower to change direction.
You don’t have to keep doing what you’ve been doing the last six years if it’s not yielding the benefits you want. Pick a new destination and go that way. Use your willpower to start the process. You don’t have to repeat last year. Clean up the errors. Invest it now in the next year. Watch it make the difference.
3. Admit your mistakes.
Sometimes you have to admit them to others. Here’s one of the best phrases in the English language: “I’m sorry.” Those words could start a whole new relationship. They could start two people going in a whole new direction. Admit your mistakes to yourself. You don’t have to babble about them to everyone in the neighborhood. But it doesn’t hurt you to sit down and have a conversation with yourself and say, There’s no use kidding myself. Here’s where I really am. I’ve got pennies in my pocket and I’ve got nothing in the bank. That’s what I said after a Girl Scout left my door. I had a conversation with myself and I said, I don’t want this to happen anymore.
4. Refine your goals.
Start the process. Set some higher goals. Reach for some higher purpose. Go for something beyond what you thought you could do.
5. Believe in yourself.
You’ve got to believe in the possibilities. You’ve got to believe that tomorrow can be better than today. Believe in yourself. There isn’t a skill you can’t learn; there isn’t a discipline you can’t try; there isn’t a class you can’t take; there isn’t a book you couldn’t read.
6. Ask for wisdom.
Ask for wisdom that creates answers. Ask for wisdom to deal with the challenges for today and tomorrow. Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better.
7. Conserve your time.
Sometimes we get faked out. Motivational speaker Bill Bailey says the average person says, “I’ve got 20 more years.” But Bill says you’ve got 20 more times. If you go fishing once a year, you’ve only got 20 more times to go fishing, not 20 years. That fakes you out.
8. Invest your profits.
Here’s one of the philosophies that my mentor, Earl Shoaff, gave me: Profits are better than wages. Wages make you a living, profits make you a fortune. Could we start earning profits while we make a living? The answer is yes.
9. Live with intensity
You might as well turn it up a notch or two. Invest more of you in whatever you do. Be a little stronger; be a little wiser. Step up your vitality contribution. Put everything you’ve got into everything you do and then ask for more vitality, more strength and more vigor, more heart and more soul.
10. Find your place.
If you just work at a job, find the best place you can serve well, and sure enough they’ll ask you to occupy a better place. Keep doing a job well; do the very best you can. That’s your best way out.
11. Demand integrity from yourself.
Integrity is like loyalty. You can’t demand it of someone else; you can only demand it of yourself. Be the best example of loyalty and you’ll get loyal followers. Be the best example of integrity and you’ll have people around you who have integrity. Lead the way.
12. Welcome the disciplines.
I can’t give you much better advice than that because disciplines create reality. Disciplines build cities. A well-disciplined activity creates abundance, uniqueness and productivity.
13. Fight for what’s right.
It’s extraordinary to be able to say: “I fought for my kids; I fought for what was right; I fought for good health; I fought to protect my company; I fought for a good career that would bless my family. I fought a good fight.” It’s good to fight the encroachment. Opposites are in conflict and you’re in the middle. If you want something valuable, you’ve got to fight for it.