It Is Your Choice
by Joe Bonura, CSP
Do Not Sell Yourself Short
After reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
for the twentieth time, I reflected on a poem by Jesse Bell Rittenhouse
I bargained with life for a penny,
And life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty score.
For life is just the employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menials hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked for Life,
Life would have willingly paid.
Adversity Creates Opportunity
The poem was a gentle reminder that in life, you are exactly where
you expected to be. Is that true? What about the economy, the stock
market, the hurricanes, the oil spills, whatever? Circumstances
do not make opportunities. You do. Hill also points out in his book
that many of todays greatest companies were started during
the Great Depression. Adversity creates opportunity
only if you are paying close attention. The key is to be observant
Are You A Bench Warmer?
Are you sitting on the sidelines, waiting for things to change?
Only if YOU change, will your circumstances change. That may be
easy to say when you are not up to your neck in alligators. I have
been up to my neck in alligators all of my life; I simply keep swimming,
and swimming, and swimming in the opposite direction, and you can
Action Can Change Your Life
The questions will give you the answer: What have you bargained
for in life? If you bargain for a penny, why should you expect a
dollar? For the first quarter of my working career, I was working
for pennies, and then one day, I heard motivational speaker Earl
Nightingale declare that anyone can have, be, or do, anything in
life. Many people that day heard the same message; however, most
of them did not take action. I did take action, and it changed my
Stuck In A Rut?
We are the sum total of the people we know, the experiences we
had, and the decisions that we make. Recall the people who have
influenced your life in a positive or in a negative way, and consider
how you have allowed those influences to affect your life. The choices
you make will be of significant importance. You can allow the negative
influences to dominate your thinking and you will end up stuck in
a rut (see my previous article In A Rut http://bonura.com/articles/in_a_rut.htm
), or you can choose to make the negative influence a motivating
factor to move on in a positive spirit.
Recently, I read a story about a family that had twins, and the
father was an alcoholic. When the twins grew up, one of them became
an alcoholic, like his father. When he was asked why he became an
alcoholic, he responded, What else could you expect; my father
was an alcoholic? The other twin grew up to be a sober pillar
of his community. In view of his fathers addiction, he was
asked why he did not become an alcoholic, he responded, What
else could you expect, my father was an alcoholic?
Do Not Flip Over Your Choices
The comedian Flip Wilson often made the statement, The devil
made my do it! The truth be told: the devil does not force
you to do something; he gives you the options and you decide one
way or the other. Your greatest power is to choose to do or not
to do. I recall the chant we opened every Dale Carnegie session
with, If it is going to be, it is up to me. Ultimately,
it is your choice to determine where you will end up.
The Past Does Not Equal The Future
You are where you are today, based on all the choices that you
have made, and the good news is that if you are not happy with where
you are, you can make new choices. And they are simple choices that
can make a big difference in your life. If you choose to get up
fifteen minutes earlier each day, you will have a fifteen-minute
head start on what you accomplished the day before. If you decide
to make an extra sales call each day, and your average is normally
five calls a day, Monday through Friday, you will have worked an
extra day by making the five additional calls each week. If you
want to lose weight, and you are accustomed to eating a large high-calorie
lunch every day, try cutting back and eating a salad instead.
One Step At A Time
You can finish a marathon just by putting one foot in front of
the other and continuing to move forward. You fail only when you
stop moving forward. Several years ago, I watched my daughter run
in the Chicago Marathon. She spent months of preparation working
up to running the distance: she did it one day at a time and one
mile at a time. When the big day came, we followed her throughout
the race. At the five-mile mark, she was full of energy and excitement.
At the ten-mile mark, she was still in the race, but she had a more
serious look on her face as she passed us. By the 24-mile marker,
she was focused on the run and totally fixated on putting one foot
in front of the other. The pain and the strain were obvious, but
the months of preparation were kicking in. At the end of the race,
she was jumping up and down and high-fiving with new energy. She
was experiencing the thrill of having accomplished her goal of finishing
her first marathon.
Life is a marathon. We practice or train by getting an education
in a career. We implement the training and experience the highs
and the lows, but the key to finishing well is to keep running
with the finish line in sight.
Get Set Go!
Start your race beginning today. What is it that you want? Start
training and then go for it. Remember what Rittenhouse said in his
poem. Life will give you whatever you bargain for if you are willing
to pay the price.
© 2010 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.