What does it take to maximize your income potential at a time when the economy seems uncertain? What does it take to secure some cushion of comfort that promotes peace of mind? If you’re like many people today, financial concerns top the list of worries.
Why is it some people are successful and some struggle all their lives? Could there be a common denominator that links income security to the inventory of characteristics that undergird the successful person? The answer should come as no surprise for common sense informs us that there must be something in common. So what are those characteristics and can they be developed and cultivated?
There are five major elements that will distinguish success from failure in almost everything one undertakes in life; and this is especially true when it comes to that special sense of security achieved only as a result of income. Master these five character traits and you will find that problems become opportunities. You can be like that proverbial duck in a rainstorm — impervious; the stresses you might deal with today will just run off your back.
For over 30 years now I have taught people how to reach down inside and find that hidden reservoir of strength and power that resides within. Indeed, I close every one of my radio show broadcasts with these words, “Remember, believing in yourself always matters!” You see, what happens with all to many is doubt creeps into the equation, and this is the inlet for the flood of fear that can drown our hopes and ambitions in an instant. So the first character trait, or principle, is this: Believe in yourself!
Think of it this way, when you wish to sell something, you must be enthusiastic and present the best side of whatever you are selling. You typically do not sell something by speaking poorly of it. You put the “best foot forward.” Now, that’s actually also principle number two. One and two work together in a stable lockstep, literally dovetailed in such a way that they can become as opposite ends of the same coin. Let me flesh that out some.
Self-doubt inevitably leads to self-sabotage. So long as you believe that you are incapable or undeserving and so forth, you will tend to fulfill your own belief. Your doubt becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Believing in yourself requires actively converting doubt into confidence, and there is no better way to do this in the beginning then to list all of your strength, talents and abilities and put them together in an imagined sale presentation. In other words, learn to sell yourself! Now that means putting your best foot forward and that leads to principle three and a new action plan.
I have employed many people in my lifetime, and only a handful remain warm in my memory. The reason for that is altogether too many people today do no more than they have to in order to get by. Those I remember well, most of whom I still have a relationship with, brought their very best to the job every day. It may seem a bit like a pep talk, but doing your very best at everything you do regardless of the situation is the best character-building opportunity you may ever have in life. There is a story from my youth that I like to share when it comes to this principle. I once asked a teacher about the different talents and gifts, or what I saw as handicaps and limitations, that people were born with. I was searching for some notion of fairness and unable to find it. I was given this as an example of the equalizer available to all of us.
Imagine a rocket scientist who just successfully launched a deep mission voyager. Imagine the pride he feels in the accomplishment. Now imagine a so-called menial laborer. On his hands and knees for endless hours, he scrubs and polishes a floor. He has worked so hard and with so much pride that he has scrubbed his knuckles raw. Now he stands back and beholds his labors. The floor absolutely glistens — every square inch of it. It never looked this good even when it was new. Now, which man senses the most pride, the rocket scientist or the floor scrubber?
When you do your very best at everything you will discover hidden strength and power and this reinforces your ability to believe in yourself and therefore the entire model becomes circular — action leads to reaction! Nothing builds character faster than requiring your level best at everything you undertake!
Okay, so far we have the interlocking nature of self-belief, a positive self-presentation (best foot forward), and demanding our best at everything we do. The fourth principle or character trait is action. We must take action, make a plan and begin doing. I have urged people to donate their time to some charity if they are out of work, and again to follow the first three principles. Often employment is awarded because the donated work is so valuable that no one wishes to see the person leave. So, if you’re unemployed, sometimes the best way to find work is to give it away. Let’s say you have answered those ads, filled out applications, made appointments, presented yourself at your very best, and still have time on your hands. Use that time to build a network of references and relationships by donating your time to some worthy project or charity. If you’re already employed, doing your very best will cause you to stand out and this will no doubt increase your security and perhaps even be rewarded with a promotion.
Now that leads to the fifth and final characteristic that I want to emphasize. When you work for someone, including yourself, show an earnest interest in the business. Be enthusiastic about the company and the products or services. Learn the products and services so that every day you combine your very best with knowledge, sincerity and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious and it is the fiber that makes great leaders and motivational speakers. If you apply to a company for work, learn about the company in advance. Be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want to work for them… not just get a job, but why you wish so much to work for them! Again, apply that knowledge, sincerity and enthusiasm with the aforementioned four principles and you will once again stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
It’s unfortunate today that so many people seem to think that the world owes them something. We live in a great country here in America, where opportunity is ours — but it is the opportunity to pursue success, health and happiness that we are guaranteed, not the outcome. Our future is in our hands, and incorporating these five principles into our lives as a part and parcel of our everyday being will ensure the best possible outcome!
Thanks for the read,
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions
For more about winning characteristics, see my book, I Believe.