To thine own self be true

I recently saw one of the top ranked high school football recruits in the country being interviewed. When the reporter asked him what his favorite movie was he responded with The Lion King (it’s also one of my favorites 🙂 ). The reporter couldn’t believe his answer and mockingly asked him what he saw in this “child’s movie.”

The recruit quickly replied with all of the life lessons he thought the movie portrayed, including being a good example of goal setting. After hearing the recruit’s thorough and passionate explanation, the reporter quickly changed the subject.

The moral of the story is that regardless of who you are, and regardless of what you’re aiming to achieve, there’s always going to be scoffers in your life. What’s important is that you stick to what you believe in, no matter what others may think. As William Shakespeare wrote, “to thine own self be true.”

And as the young man said to the surprised reporter, “Hakuna Matata!”

Live in the solution

“A person cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” – As A Man Thinketh

In her outstanding book, Choose the Happiness Habit, Pam Golden writes: “Take the story of two brothers who are twins. One grows up to be an alcoholic bum. The other becomes an extremely successful businessman. When the alcoholic is asked why he became a drunk, he replies, “My father was a drunk.” When the successful businessman is asked why he became successful, he says, “My father was a drunk.” Same background. Same upbringing. Different choices.”

The brothers chose different thoughts about the identical experience. Those thoughts over the years shaped the circumstances they now find themselves in.

There was a time in my life when I chose to think about challenges and obstacles as just more of the “bad luck” I seemed to attract. Ever hear the expression “when it rains, it pours?” That was my constant mantra when others asked me how things were going. So what do you think I got more of? If you answered “RAIN,” you’re correct!

Bob Proctor says “you’re either living in the problem or you’re living in the solution.” Now, when I’m confronted with what I used to think was a negative situation, I use a different thought process. I force myself to replace those negative thoughts that creep in with positive thoughts about how I might solve the “problem.” Sometimes I’ll take a notepad and just start jotting down ideas that might be a solution. At the same time, my thoughts are focused on the possible lessons I might learn from the situation so that I might profit from the experience in the future.

If you’ve guessed that it doesn’t “rain” as much in my life as it used to, you’re correct again. In fact, most days it’s a beautiful, cloudless and sunny day! Only occasionally now do I get any rain, and it’s good rain, the kind that makes living things grow.

And that’s worth thinking about.

Note: This was previously published in Day by Day with James Allen, but its message bears repeating many times.

The one-legged footballer

Neil Parry arrived at San Jose State University as a non-scholarship football player in 1999. He was a reserve safety and on special teams as a freshman. His life changed on October 14, 2000 when he suffered a compound fracture of his right leg. Nine days later the leg was amputated nine centimeters below his knee. ”

For many people that would be the end of the story, but not so for Neil…

“Thirty-five months and 25 surgeries later, Parry returned to college football as a special teams player for the Spartans. He went on to play in the final eight games of the 2003 season. Parry concluded his football career in the 2004 East-West Shrine Game.”

Proving once again, it’s not what happens to us that counts, it’s how we respond.

Story reported by San Jose State University Athletics

Keep the Faith

“Faith and purpose constitute the motive-power of life. There is nothing that a strong faith and an unflinching purpose may not accomplish.” — The Path to Prosperity

In my darkest hours, when it appeared I didn’t have a whole lot to hang onto, I somehow managed to develop the most important element of success in any undertaking: Faith.

I remember driving down the road in the 12-year-old automobile I had borrowed from a friend (because I had lost mine), telling myself over and over that it was just a matter of time before my fortunes were going to improve. It was a principle that I had borrowed from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich: “Repetition of affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith…This is the equivalent of saying that any impulse of thought which is repeatedly passed on to the subconscious mind is, finally, accepted and acted upon by the subconscious mind, which proceeds to translate that impulse into its physical equivalent, by the most practical procedure available.”

One of the most quoted verses of the Christian Bible is Paul’s instructions that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” That in itself tells us that we must see our desired outcome despite our present condition. In a similar way, defines Faith as “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.”

Faith is so important to success that Hill devoted an entire chapter to it, calling it “the second step toward riches (or success in any endeavor).” James Allen was even stronger in his statement above that “There is nothing that a strong faith and an unflinching purpose may not accomplish.”

As Napoleon Hill also tells us:

FAITH is the starting point of all accumulation of riches!
FAITH is the basis of all “miracles,” and all mysteries which cannot be analyzed by the rules of science!
FAITH is the only known antidote for FAILURE!

And that’s worth thinking about.