Persist until

“Great is the heartfelt joy when, after innumerable and apparently unsuccessful attempts, some ingrained fault of character is at last cast out to trouble its erstwhile victim and the world no more.” – The Mastery of Destiny

James Allen is sharing with us the reward (heartfelt joy) for finally overcoming a personal character deficit. However, what he’s really sharing with us is the value of persistence.

If I had to pick one character trait that I think is a “must have” in order to be successful in any endeavor, it would be persistence. In fact, it seems to be the one trait that is the dominant trait in every single, super-successful individual I know. I believe it to be the one trait that any ordinary person can use to become extraordinary (“extra-ordinary”).

Napoleon Hill, who wrote Think and Grow Rich, devoted an entire chapter to Persistence and said that the only thing that was different about Henry Ford and Thomas Edison was their persistence.

I’ve long since forgotten where I read it, but I’ve never forgotten the story of the tribe in Africa that confounded all of the anthropologists. It seems that this tribe had for centuries enjoyed a 100% success rate with its rain dance. In comparing this tribe to other tribes who did rain dances but who didn’t always experience success, the experts couldn’t find anything that differentiated the one tribe. They performed the same rituals, praying the same incantations to the same gods, in the same costumes. Like all the tribes, they sometimes danced for days, even weeks on end.

Finally an astute observer noticed something very telling. The successful tribe did one thing – and only one thing – different than the other tribes. It ALWAYS danced UNTIL it rained!

If your head is hanging low today as mine has done on many a day, I hope you’ll find the encouragement to know that you really only need to do one thing at this point — PERSIST. And that means taking just one step in the right direction — even a half step in the right direction.

Yes, maybe you need to review your plan or change your plan or maybe you even need to create a plan in the first place 🙂 But the one way you can ensure that you will meet with success (it’s absolutely guaranteed) — is to “dance until it rains!”

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.

It’s Never Too Late Part 2

Doris Eaton TravisDoris Eaton Travis appeared on Broadway for the first time as a Ziegfeld girl when she was just 14 years old. The youngest Ziegfeld girl ever.

In 1998, she made Broadway history by appearing at The New Amsterdam Theatre after an eighty year absence where she tap danced in a benefit for AIDS.

At the tender age of 101 she received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Oakland University and two years ago wrote and published a book, “Days We Danced: The Story of My Theatrical Family From Florenz Ziegfeld to Arthur Murray” (Marquand Books).

Today she is enjoying her third career. After dancing and acting she and her husband owned and operated the nation’s largest chain of Arthur Murray dance studios. In 2000 she and her late husband purchased a 400-acre horse ranch which she continues to operate.

Despite an extremely full life, she still found time to enroll at the University of Oklahoma, where she became the oldest graduate at age eighty-eight, with a degree in History.

And when the curtain goes up in March of this year at The New Amsterdam, Doris will once again be on stage. She’ll be 102-years-old, proving once again that it’s never too late!

What are you reflecting?

“What you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your own inward experience. It matters little what is without, for it is all a reflection of your own state of consciousness. It matters everything what you are within, for everything without will be mirrored and colored accordingly.” — Path to Prosperity

Although we rarely want to admit it, the world (as we see it) is simply a mirror, reflecting back to us our own inner state. If we are inwardly in turmoil then we are certain to see a tumultuous world. Just as certainly, a seemingly joyful world is only returning to us our own inward joy.

Those days when everything seems to go wrong from the moment we wake up, usually begins with one bad event (car won’t start, alarm didn’t go off, etc.) that we allow to affect our state of mind. That leads to another, and then another and before you know it, the world looks like an ugly place to us.

Put enough of those days together and life can become almost unbearable. Yet, nothing in the world created our misery — it was our response —- our own state of consciousness — that created the ugliness.

In the mid-1990’s I allowed a few negative events (brought on by living by the wrong principles) to drastically change my state of consciousness. In the middle of one of the greatest economic expansions in the history of the world, I barely lived above the level of poverty. Where others saw opportunity, I saw lack. It was simply a reflection of my inner state.

By 1998 I had gained control of my inner self and, accordingly, the sun once again began to shine in my world. The same circumstances that had once appeared as lack, now appeared as opportunities. Today there are so many opportunities in my life that I am only able to act on a tiny fraction of them. My table truly overfloweth.

During my dark days I came across a tiny booklet called 12 Ways to Develop a Positive Attitude. The author, Dale Galloway, writes from experience. He was a well-known pastor whose wife suddenly left him one year a few days before Christmas.

One of the many gems he offered was: “No matter what happens, look for the good and you’ll find it. A positive thinker does not refuse to recognize the negative – he refuses to dwell on it. Positive thinking is a form of thought which habitually looks for the best results from the worst conditions. It is always possible to look for something good; to expect the best for yourself even though things look bad. And the remarkable fact is that when you seek good, you will find it.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

Personal Development

I saw this in the current issue of the Jim Rohn newsletter. It’s one of my favorite teachings of Jim:

To attract attractive people, you must be attractive. To attract powerful people, you must be powerful. To attract committed people, you must be committed. Instead of going to work on them, you go to work on yourself. If you become, you can attract.

We can have more than we’ve got because we can become more than we are.

The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming. You cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit.

Pity the man who inherits a million dollars and who isn’t a millionaire. Here’s what would be pitiful: If your income grew and you didn’t.

The most important question to ask on the job is not “What am I getting?” The most important question to ask on the job is “What am I becoming?”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development.

After you become a millionaire, you can give all of your money away because what’s important is not the million dollars; what’s important is the person you have become in the process of becoming a millionaire.

Income seldom exceeds personal development.

What you become directly influences what you get.

SHAM is a sham!

CNNI don’t know about you, but self-help and personal development literally saved my life. Having been evicted from my home and losing my last automobile among other things, I shudder to think where I could have turned if it hadn’t been for self-help.

Now along comes some hungry author (who didn’t have any problem when he himself was making money in self-help) and writes a book called “SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America helpless.” Fortunately, when CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed him, he got another opinion from Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of the famed Chicken Soup series. And Mark did an incredible job in the interview demonstrating how self help/personal development is serving the greater good of humanity.

The book should be re-titled SHAME, and it’s all on Steve Salerno, who helps no one but himself.

You can watch part of the interview here… (scroll down the page to the CNN logo).