Strategies for a Successful Life

“I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time.” -Charles Dickens.

This quote is from Charles Dickens, but it might just as well have come from any number of incredibly successful people, both ancient and modern.  What does it bring to your mind?

It makes me think of the burden of responsibility that parents have to teach their kids not only how to aim for success (and how to define it) but also to teach that virtues lead to success.  Virtues, such as punctuality, orderliness, diligence, and the ability and determination to concentrate, must be engrained in us, in order for us to succeed in any area.

Without virtues, our children will never gain the perseverence or the confidence that comes from achieving great things.

So how do we do it?  How do we encourage the positive, accentuate the excellent, refine the errors, and nudge ourselves and our children in the direction of confidence and success?

Here are eight strategies designed to help:

1. Read inspiring biographies together.  Find out about people who experienced terrible setbacks and still found a way to succeed.  See how others faced challenges.  Find out how others lifted their visions and their attitudes.

2. Remind yourself each day of a few things you did well.  Even small efforts to do the right things, bless your life and others’ lives.  Instead of dwelling on the things that you didn’t do, focus on what you did do.  Coach yourself or your children just as you would coach any winning team.

3. Remember to be thankful.  People are naturally insatiable; we always imagine better, richer, stronger, higher, and more amazing things than we currently have.  Staying grateful keeps you looking at the good rather than looking at what could be even better.  It’s just better.

4. Accomplish short term goals.  Baby steps toward success can help you gain confidence toward bigger goals.

5.  Build a great team around you.  Make friends with positive, encouraging, successful people, and teach your kids by example and by your words to do the same.  Virtues of others, as well as vices, tend to rub off on us.

6. Do something for someone else every day.  This not only blesses others and makes you feel better about yourself, but it takes the focus off your own journey for awhile, reminding you that this planet is full of people and we’re in this together.

7. Do something for yourself every day.  Take time to look your best, to tidy up your environment just a little, to give yourself small gifts of time or phone calls or wearing a color that makes your day.  Be kind to yourself so that you will not feel you are your own worst enemy when it’s time to push yourself really hard in some areas.

8. Exercise your faith.  Many studies show that the happiest people are the ones who live their religions. In our fragmented society, having strong social and spiritual connections can be life and sanity-saving.


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