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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Achieving Success: Minutes, Hours, Days, Years


A successful life is made up of a string of successful days. A successful day is made up of successful hours. A successful hour is made up of successful minutes. What does a successful minute or hour or year look like?

We see people whom the less-wise and less-intelligent among us might think of as successful, and who are not really as successful as they are wealthy or famous. They could lose their wealth, their looks, or their fame just as fast as they gained it and there would be nothing left. We do, in fact, see that all the time. For example, professional athletes who age-out of sports and within a few years are bankrupt, in spite of having made millions of dollars per year for several years. It happens. They did well in their working lives, and they made a lot of money, but they were never successful and didn't know how to handle the downsides of life.
As we study successful people, we see that they have trials and opposition, the same as anyone else. They just deal with them much better.

We see other people who are very wealthy and lose it or a large portion of it, and they go to work and build it back. The wealth didn't make them successful. The success helped them become wealthy.
I have seen people who are extremely successful and have never been wealthy, and will probably never be, because they don't care about it.

We see people who seem to be successful by the world's standards, but who don't seem to have any sense. Politicians, CEOs, movie stars, athletes, and rock stars give in to very unsuccessful emotions and ruin their marriages and families through extra-marital affairs. They ruin their lives with alcohol and drugs. They break the law trying to get or stay rich. In today's world, people seem to adore them no less, and many of them keep their offices or the status or their wealth and work. But none of them can be thought of as successful. A successful person would not reach such a lofty position and then chance the ruination of it through any form of stupidity.

A good bit of success is remembering to stay successful. It's easy to get to a place where many other people wish they could be, and then think too much of ourselves, and become proud and cocky, and lose it all or do things that an intelligent person should never even consider.

Every minute, every hour, every day, every year are important to those of us wanting to be successful. And that should be everyone. Success is getting to the end of our lives having gotten as close as we are capable of being where and what we should be. For those who don't know where or what they should be, part of success if learning where and what they should be. Successful people know. If we never try, or if, anywhere along the way we give up, we can't be successful.

Now that we know what a successful life is, we can understand that each week, day, hour, and minute are the same. A successful minute is one where we are learning and working toward becoming what we are supposed to become. More of those than not in an hour is a successful hour, and more of those hours than not gives us a successful day.

Each year, I spend a week at a lake, boating, skiing, water boarding, tubing, eating, conversing, playing, and having a very good time. Is that a successful week? It is for me. I'm still learning. I'm still watching other people, and I know they are watching me. I'm still thinking. I'm still considering what I should be doing, and what I should be becoming. I'm still thinking about the beginning of my life and the end of my life, and all that is in between. And I am resting and recreating, which are important for a successful life. We can no more go through our entire lives without resting and recreating than we can go through our days without sleeping. We have to charge the batteries sometimes.

A successful life is made up of a string of successful days. Knowing that, we must press forward. Success is predictable. We can never arrive at success. If we think we've made it, we haven't. We can never stop trying to attain success. Only by keeping trying can we be successful.
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