➤ Admit Your Mistakes
You need the courage to admit that you might be wrong, and that you have made a mistake when you get new information on any sit- uation. It is amazing how many people keep themselves locked into a low level of performance because they will not admit that they are not perfect. They will not admit that, with the passing of time, something that seemed like a good idea has proven to be a bad choice or decision.
Don’t be afraid to cut your losses. Don’t be afraid to admit that you were wrong and to bail out. Don’t be afraid to put one course of action aside and embark upon something completely different. This is the mark of courage, personal power, and effective thinking.
➤ Be Willing to Make Mistakes
Successful people are not those who necessarily make the right decisions all the time, but they make their decisions right. If they make a mistake, they accept it, learn as much as possible from it, and then continue on. Remember, you can learn to succeed only by failing and making mistakes. The more you fail and the more mis- takes you make, the smarter you become and the more likely it is that you will eventually achieve your goals.
➤ Accept Complete Responsibility
You need the courage to accept complete responsibility for your life, which means to take ownership for results.You need the courage to refuse to make excuses or to defend yourself. You need the courage to say, over and over again, “I am responsible!”
When something goes wrong, you focus on the solution rather than the problem.You ask, “What do we do from here?What’s the next step?What is the solution?”
You then pick yourself up and carry on, extracting the wheat from the situation and throwing away the chaff.
➤ Be Patient
You need what is called “courageous patience.” This is a special kind of courage that is required after you have launched toward your goal but you have not yet seen any results. It is amazing how many people break and run in that zone between when they begin and when they start to see a payoff. Their doubts and fears over- whelm them.
But this is not for you. Once you have started toward your goal, resolve to remain calm and conﬁdent until you start to get results. Be patient and persistent, no matter what happens in the short term.
➤ Persist Longer
The ﬁnal courage you need is the courage to persist longer than anyone else. Persistence is the quality that will ultimately guarantee your success. Your willingness to persist in the face of every adver- sity can be your greatest asset. It can be the one factor that guaran- tees your success.
If you refuse to quit, you must ultimately succeed. Just as in baseball, you won’t ultimately hit a home run unless you keep on swinging. In 30 years of studying successful people, I have discov- ered one fact over and over. No one was ever defeated until they ac- cepted defeat as a reality. No one can ever defeat you but yourself.
When you discipline yourself to do what you should do, whether you feel like it or not, and you use this inner strength to build high levels of courage and persistence within yourself, you will become an incredibly powerful person. You will soon feel that there is nothing that you cannot accomplish. You will eventually develop yourself to the point where you feel completely unstoppable.
■YOU ARE ULTIMATELY SELF-MADE
Someone once said, “I’m a self-made man, but if I had to do it over, I’d bring in a little help.” You and I are all self-made. We all have a lot of areas in which we could improve. We all need to set higher standards for ourselves. We all need to work continually on the development of our characters. We all need to strive to be- come better people. We can never allow ourselves to be complacent at any level of accomplishment. We have to keep raising the bar on ourselves.
One of the marks of superior people is that they can manage themselves. If they work for a company, they might do this by imag- ining their boss sitting next to them, observing them and ﬁlling out their annual performance appraisal every minute of every day. Or, by seeing themselves as role models, they might set far higher stan- dards for themselves than anyone else could set for them.
Only the top 2 percent of people in our society can supervise and manage themselves. They can conduct themselves throughout the day as though everyone is watching, even though no one is watching.
■THE REAL PAYOFF
When you set high standards for yourself, your self-esteem and self- respect increase. When you decide that you are going to live consis- tently with your highest values and your deepest convictions, you feel wonderful about yourself. When you become completely hon- est, you stop compromising yourself in your relationships with oth- ers. You speak sincerely to everyone with whom you live and work. You practice absolute truthfulness with yourself and others.
The more honest you are with yourself, the greater courage and self-conﬁdence you will have. You will become more positive and enthusiastic about yourself. You will develop a tremendous feeling of inner power and personal strength. The more you live consis- tently with the very highest values you know, the ﬁner your charac- ter will become. Eventually, you will reach the point where you are absolutely unstoppable!
- Determine your three most important values in your personal and family life. What do you believe in and care about the most?
- Resolve to live in truth with yourself and others, without com- promise. In what area of your life are you are not being perfectly honest with another person?
- “To thine own self be true.” Examine the areas of your life where you experience stress, dissatisfaction, or unhappiness and deter- mine if you are compromising one of your values.
- What kind of a company would your company be if everyone in it was just like you? What could you change immediately to make your company a better place?
- What would you do and how would you spend your time if you learned today that you had only six months left to live? Your an- swers to this question will reveal your true values.
- “People don’t change.” Since this is one of the laws of life, what changes should you make in your life and relationships, at home and at work, to accommodate this fact.
- Practice truthfulness in all things. In what areas do you need to accept the world as it is, rather than the way you would like it to be? Be honest with yourself.