Imagine yourself sitting on a tropical island basking away in the sun while your business generates income passively allowing you to enjoy the lifestyle few can only wish for. Perhaps it’s the feeling of living a stress free live, void of bills piling up in your mailbox at the end of each month. Wouldn’t that be great? Most of us dream about this from childhood right up to adulthood. I certainly never met anyone who dreamed of being poor.
I recently prepared for a speech on what separates people who become successful in anything they do in life. I cited top athletes such as Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, or billionaires such as Donald Trump. In my own life I reflected on the successful people around me. What made them great? What lead them down the path to greatness.
One common denominator was the continued desire for self improvement on their journey to success. In order for them to be successful in life, athletics, or business they had clearly defined goals. By that I mean they knew exactly what they wanted and the price they were willing to pay to achieve those goals.
When I was a child my father had suffered a bankruptcy. We had lost almost everything we had. We were not rich to start with so the impact we felt was ten times worse. Growing up we learned to not ask for much and at times we were lucky to have food on the table. I write this today because the holiday season has arrived. Christmas is for many is a happy time to celebrate. For me it has always been a time of sadness and soul searching. Although the spirit of Christmas has become more of a material event rather than a time to enjoy with family, it is really hard to explain that concept to a child who gets little or nothing under a tree on Christmas day.
I knew for myself I didn’t want to ever experience that feeling as a grown up. I also wouldn’t like to see a child experience something like that in their life. I’m going to go a little off track in today’s post by asking my readers for a special request before I get back on the topic success.
One of the charity programs my company has been supporting the past two years is the Breakfast Program for Kids at Burnaby 12th Elementary. They usually have these programs for kids in every city. The program serves kids from low income families to ensure they don’t go to class hungry to start their day. We help by donating food to the program along with our time. I’m proud to say that they’ve noticed a significant improvement in the children’s grades since we got involved.
It warms my heart when I see the children happily eat their breakfast in the morning. Their faces and body language tell me a lot of what is going on in their lives at home. In fact, watching them hang their heads as they eat their breakfast brings me back to my experiences as a child. The constant fighting over finances between the parents, not having enough to eat, or not fitting into the so called “in crowd” at school because you couldn’t afford certain clothes.
So my challenge to my readers is to go out and support your local programs for kids from lower income families. After all they are the future of your country. Wouldn’t it be a great feeling if they came back twenty years down the road to thank you for helping them become a success in life?
I brought up this program because I wanted to paint a picture of my world as a child. I remember my father and mother getting up at 5:00am in the morning for work and quite often coming home at 11pm. For many years they worked tirelessly not knowing if all their hard work would pay off. They had dreams for a better life for themselves and their children.
Although money was hard to come by they never wavered in their belief that one day all the sacrifices would pay off.
I see many people tell me how much they want something whether it be more wealth, better health, or better relationships. However their actions tell me a complete different story. I’ve never seen a person make it in anything in life without making the necessary sacrifices or having a clearly defined goal.
Over the years I’ve taught fitness I’ve had seen some dramatic changes in the personal development of my clients. What I still fail to understand are the ones who decide to not do a particular exercise that the rest of the class are doing. It is not because they are injured. It’s due to the fact that they do not like the exercise because it challenges their comfort level. So they take the easy way out but expect to get excellent results. This attitude translates to all areas of their lives.
In my opinion, if you are going to do something whether it be taking an acting class, a new sport, or learning any new skill, than put 100% into it. What are you there for in the first place?
I absolutely hate time wasting. You only have so many hours in a day so why partake in something where you don’t receive any benefit. I tell this to my wife all the time. To not expect me to attend any event where I cannot personally grow. It’s a waste of my time and takes away precious time I need to fulfill my goals in life.
In fact I decided I wanted to challenge myself by looking into taking an improv comedy class. I consider myself a serious individual so I thought this would be a great way to get me to lighten up a little, completely taking me out of my comfort zone. Most of all it can help me add humor, and train my brain to come up with responses on the fly during my keynote speeches.
If you want to achieve results, get serious about your goals and most of all accept responsibility for your life. Find your passion for what you want to do, not what others want you to do. Have one major purpose of that goal and commit to it.
My parents didn’t take a vacation for 18 years after they started their business. That’s not including the years prior. For myself and my siblings there were no vacations or days off until we reached our mid twenties.
Was it hard? Most definitely. Would I trade the experience for another one? If you had asked me many years ago I would have told you yes, but I can honestly say when I look at the way some of the people I went to school with turned out it would be resounding no.
How about you? What are you doing this very minute to self improve for success?