Like it or not, work is one of the few things that gives life meaning. You cannot possibly expect your life to have much meaning unless you are doing something that you love and care about. And if you are doing something that you love and care about, how can you aspire to just be good? If all you want is to be good enough, then you are not doing the work that you need to do. You need to be doing something that you have the possibility of becoming great at. And if your work is simply not a possibility, then you need to become involved with something that you are passionate about. Something that you can help to make great. So why are you going to spend your working years – the best years of your life – doing something that you do not love?
Adversity is a part of life. Failure is a part of life. Doubters and haters are a part of life. And if you focus on these things, you will look back one day with disappointment at the life that you have led. Instead, be positive. Find the good in all things. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. Open your heart to them. Love them. Share your purpose with them. Find their strengths and give them the opportunity to share their strengths with others. Above all, keep your eye on the road. You know where you are headed. Never lose focus on the vision that you have created for your life. Sure, there will be setbacks. And yes, you may not achieve all of your goals. Just keep your bus moving, fueled with positive energy. Make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.
We all struggle with negative thoughts, negative feelings, and negative actions. I cannot think of one single person who is 100% positive energy, 100% of the time. But I can think of scores of people who allow negativity to dominate their life. People who complain. People who only see the worst in every situation. And you will, too, if you allow negativity in your life. Instead, make an effort every day to think positively. Find the good in every situation. Because whatever situation you find yourself in, there is always a silver lining. There is always something to be thankful for. That something may not be immediately obvious. But it is there. Find it. Be positive.
The life that you are living is the cumulative result of the choices you have made. No, you do not have control over the events that occur around you. But whatever happens, you have the power to choose how to proceed. Unfortunately, many do not believe they have this power. Instead, they give up, becoming a passive participant in their own life. To succeed, you must create the life that you want to have. No one else can do this for you. You may not have made the best choices in the past. But that does not mean you must continue to make bad choices in the future. Only you can change the direction of your life. So, forget about the past and forgive yourself for getting you where you are today. And start today living the life that you want to life.
I think most people would like to believe that the ultra-successful received some good fortune at an early age that the rest of us will never have access to. This belief creates a mindset that success will never happen to them. From this mindset, one expects to fail rather than to succeed. And the excuse for not succeeding is always the same. You simply did not have the opportunities given to those more fortunate. In reality, I believe the opposite to be true. We all have opportunities to grow and become successful, but not everyone recognizes them. Because these opportunities look like obstacles blocking our path. Some see the obstacles and know that they can be overcome with a little diligence and hard work. This creates the daily opportunities that those with a failure mindset will never see.
We live in a world where civil discourse is not highly valued. People just do not seem to be able to talk to each other and work together. It makes me wonder what Franklin would think of our country today. Because from my perspective, things are spiraling out of control. We reach new depths daily. We cannot have leaders and public figures whose primary form of communication is yelling insults at each other and expect to have any civility at any level of our society. What can you do? Decide today that you can make a difference. Be courteous. Be honest. Be sincere. Live a life worth living.