| Larry D Matthews's
|Thursday, April 5, 2007
The Path to Success
Copyright © Larry Matthews
IS IT TIME FOR A CHANGE ?
Life is actually very similar for us all. Oh yes some are born into a more privileged environment , some are more lucky and some just seem to be more blessed but here in North America the playing field is reasonably level. You can be successful with the right choices and a certain amount of ability and determination. So why do so many people seem to be unsuccessful and unhappy with their circumstances ? We need to explore that question in order to determine what it is that seems to separate the winners and losers in the game of life.
As a student of human nature being an employer for over 30 years I have had the experience of getting to know a lot of people as employees and as customers. A wise old man once said to me ďWe are all the total sum of our past experiencesĒ. As we experience life our character is formed and shaped by those experiences, the good, the bad and yes even the terrible. These experiences make you who you are today, at this point in time, based on your past. YOU are YOU. You have your habits (good and bad) You have a belief system and you have opinions (right or wrong). In my opinion people who do not succeed are overwhelmed by their past. The habits they have formed and the choices they have made. In many cases they are carrying memories of a troubling childhood, grief from a lost loved one, a broken relationship or just the memory of a betrayed trust. All still part of the sum total of who they are. Today still influencing the decision and choices they make.
I donít think I ever met anybody who did not have the ability to be successful unless of course handicapped in some way but only then if so severely handicapped that they are not able to function. Stephen Hawkins certainly did not let his handicap slow him down much.
So what is the answer ? What am I trying to say ? Here is the answer in a nutshell. You have the ability to be successful . All you have to do is change. Sounds simple. Think about this . If you keep doing what you have always done nothing will change in your life. The only way you can change your life for the better is to make a decision to change . Then make sure that change will be a positive one that you can commit to and be able to support for enough time to achieve results.
Now , we know that it is not easy to change . That is so obvious because so many of us (over 90%) never change . Why is that ? I have a theory. Our brain is a biological computer and like the electronic computers we use today once programmed can not be reprogrammed with out cleaning off the hard drive and reprogramming it . So based on my theory to move from being mediocre (unsuccessful) to being exceptional (successful) we must do two basic things. Number one: Remove all negativity from our hard drive (brain or mind) Number two : Replace all that negativity with positive thoughts . Basically change our mind set . Change our pattern of thinking. Change our programming . With out these two basic steps your computer (brain) will not recognise or be able to utilise the software (success concepts) to be able to follow the path to success . Now take a moment to think about this . Do you agree with my theory? To move forward you have to understand and accept your own faults and weaknesses . Developing the right mind set is the most important step and essential to moving along the path to success but you will also have to overcome some faults and weaknesses (bad habits). Some of those could include the following:
Laziness (poor work ethic)
Procrastination (putting things off )
Dishonesty ( with yourself and others )
Disorganized (poor time management )
Lack of focus (going in too many directions at once )
Lack of commitment (never completing any thing )
Lack of Loyalty (always putting yourself first )
Lack of empathy ( unable to put yourself in the other personís place )
These are just some of the road blocks to success that may have to be overcome. The right mind set will give you the inner strength and power to overcome any bad habits you may have formed over the years. Donít worry, all successful people have had to overcome their own personal demons on their road to success. Success is all about overcoming . Interior influences. Those thoughts we have within ourselves (self doubt ) and exterior influences, (our environment and people around us.) Interior and exterior factors all need to be changed from the negative to the positive in order to achieve that success we so desire.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO CHANGE ?
We know change does not come easy. If you agree with my theory you have already made the turn towards the path to success. The first step is to admit you have to change. You are being honest with yourself. You recognize the need to change. Congratulations !! Iím impressed. Henry Ford once said ď I would rather have youth and enthusiasm than experience any day.Ē Why do you suppose he said that? Would it not be better to have someone with experience because they would know more? Not in Henryís opinion. Iíll tell you why he felt this way. His experience had taught him it was easier to program someone to do things the way he wanted them done than it was to try and re-program someone who already thought they knew how to do it. He realized how difficult it was to change someoneís mind set. I have experienced this in my own business career. I have been more disappointed by employees that were supposed to know what they were doing. In fact my best employees have been those with the least experience who did not question the way I wanted things done.
Please understand this does not mean skills acquired through experience. We all realize it takes time to develop certain skills. What Henry was concerned with was attitude. Someone with the best skills can be an employers worst nightmare with the wrong attitude. The world is full of amazingly capable people with the wrong attitude who never succeed at anything. I am always saddened when I meet these people . So much ability ruined by such a poor attitude. Some are such good communicators that they convince those around them that their way is the best way. They even manage to pass their attitude on to their children and grandchildren. When you understand this you come to understand why change can be so difficult for some people.
HOW DO I KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT CHANGE ?
Your probably asking yourself that question about now. What makes me think I can be some kind of self proclaimed expert about success and the changes you might have to make to become successful ?
Thatís a fair question . To answer that question I need to tell you something about me and my life. Remember what the wise old man told me ď We are all the total sum of our past experiences". That statement ofcourse applies to me. I am the total sum of my past experiences .
Here is my story. I believe life is all about overcoming. Life continually throwís us knuckle balls. We continually strike out. Some people become discouraged and stop swinging. These people are the losers in the game of life. The winners keep swinging. Everyone knows Babe Ruth was a home run hitter, the best of his day. Most do not know he had more strike outs than anyone else. The Babe never stopped swinging and he always went for the home run. He was and history has recorded him as a winner.
My first knuckle ball was when my father died when I was seven years old. My mother received $80 per month widows allowance and the rent for a little two room house was $40 per month . We had no plumbing or hydro and our only heat was a wood stove. I was the oldest of 4 boys. You could say we were poor. When I was eleven years old I went to live and work on my uncles farm in exchange for a better house for us to live in. My uncle worked away through the week and I did the chores before and after school. That year my mother married again and our step father moved in with us. When I was thirteen years old the barn burnt and I worked in the woods yarding logs with a horse for lumber to rebuild the barn.
That spring my uncle purchased a dairy farm and I moved there to work on that farm where I remained until I was fifteen. By this time my mother and stepfather had 3 more boys. I then moved home with them. Our youngest brother passed away that winter and we survived another knuckle ball. When I was sixteen years old I went to work driving a truck in the city for 75 cents an hour.
Some weeks I worked over 100 hours. The first year I bought my step father a car and my mother a new fridge and stove. When I was seventeen I met Peggy who was fifteen and my future wife.
When I was nineteen I joined the military. That fall my step father died from a bee sting and I received a compassionate posting near home to help my mother with my five brothers . We survived another Knuckle ball . When I was 22 Peggy and I got married and I went to work as a labourer and then a carpenter. Again in order to stay near home to help Mum and the boys . When I was 24 I moved up north to work as a miner. Two of my brothers came up to work with me. When I was 25 I moved home and became a real estate salesperson. Peggy and I bought a little house for $2500 with no plumbing . I sold real estate, worked at carpentry and worked in the woods cutting pulp. I thought I was successful and was quite content with my life. Then I read a book. That book changed my life forever. When I was 27 I started my own real estate company and everyone thought I was crazy. The year I turned 30 my youngest brother Brian was killed in a car accident. He was only 14 years old. Life had thrown us the worst kind of knuckle ball. He was like a son to me and I was devastated. My mother was worse but I now had two daughters and we had to keep swinging.
We had to overcome. Since then the years have flown. Mum passed away in 1996. Three years ago my brother Ron had a brain injury and we look after him at home. He is only 50 and requires 24 hour care. Another terrible knuckle ball. You have to keep swinging. We have a successful business. Two wonderful daughters and a grand daughter. Every day we work on our attitude.
HOW DID I MANAGE TO CHANGE MY LIFE ?
You have to be asking yourself that question. How did I manage to overcome so many set backs? My brief history is only the tip of the iceberg. My business set backs would fill a book. Like how I survived the banks calling my loans when I owed over $1,000,000 dollars. How I survived a heart attack when we were out of cash and could not borrow. How I managed to keep our restaurant when the lender would not renew our mortgage. How I survived in business when a large insurance company obtained an attachment order against me and the Sheriff went around and cleaned out all our bank accounts. Just to name a few of the challenges Iíve overcome. Iíve told you all this not to brag or make you think Iím exceptional in any way. I tell you these things to convince you I know something about change. About challenges and about overcoming. About the knuckle balls life throws and that we are all the same. We all have the choice to keep swinging. No matter what, we do not have to give up. I am no better than the next person. I just do not quit. I have programmed myself to be that way. This didnít happen by chance. This wasnít part of my personality or character. This wasnít the way I was born. There was no mentor or anyone whose example I followed through the years. No one taught me anything. Most of what Iíve learned has been through my own mistakes and the sometimes painful results. I have learned that change is a continual part of growth. What I have done is learned to learn. To continue to evolve, to continue to reprogram. I have a system I use to do that. This system is what I want you to learn and apply to your life. Yes that book I read when I was 25 is an essential element of that system but only a beginning on the road to success.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE INTERNALLY
Remember I said we all have internal and external factors in our lives. The internal factors are all those things (the total sum) of our life experiences that make us who we are as a person today. Not yesterday or tomorrow but today. The first thing you need to do is make a list . Start from childhood and make a list of all the negative experience that you feel have had an impact on how you feel TODAY . You will need a quiet spot free from distraction and allow as much time as you think you will need but do it in one day.
Once you have written the list study it for a while. Think about who was involved. T his may be emotional and thatís okay. Cry if you feel like it. Thatís all part of the process . I want you to write at the bottom of the list the date and sign it. Also write a PS... That this is the last day those experiences are going to effect your future . Then in your mind I want you to visualize a video of your life running backwards erasing all those experiences. Then I want you to burn the list and watch it burn. As you watch the flames destroy the list repeat to yourself... TOMORROW IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE !! I WILL GET UP IN THE MORNING WITH A NEW AND POSITIVE ATTITUDE . MY MIND NO LONGER HAS THE ABILITY TO STORE NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES BUT WILL PERCEIVE THEM AS CHALLENGES TO BE OVERCOME . (repeat at least 10 times)
Then tape this message where it can be seen first thing each morning and repeat it 10 times each morning . Do this faithfully. REMEMBER YOU HAVE A LIFE TIME OF NEGATIVITY TO ERASE . WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU WILL ACHIEVE.
Continue to do this until you no longer feel tempted to dwell on the negative. Do it for as long as it takes. REMEMBER YOU NO LONGER QUIT . YOU ARE NOW ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS !!!!!! NOW YOU ARE READY TO CHANGE .
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE EXTERNALLY
We all have our own external appearance. This is made up of how we perceive ourselves and how we are perceived by others. Quite often our own opinion is quite different than that perceived by others. The key question here is how do we want to be perceived?
Do you take pride in how you look. Do you look successful? Are you out going and friendly? That is how most of us want to be perceived. Think about this. Do you have to change? Hereís some questions to ask yourself.
Do I always greet people with a smile and hello ?
Do I speak first or wait for them to speak first ?
Do I look people in the eye ?
Is my handshake firm and strong ?
Do I dress neatly?
Do I tell my friends how much I appreciate them ?
Do I tell my loved ones how much I love them ?
If I canít say something good do I say nothing at all ?
Do I understand why appreciation is the greatest human want ?
Do I have the ability to put myself in the other persons place ?
These are 10 simple questions but so important when we consider how we are perceived.
DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE . PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT . PRACTICE THE GOLDEN RULE AND BE AMAZED HOW YOU WILL BE TREATED IN RETURN !!
Our external environment influences us greatly. Are you happy where youíre living? Are you happy at work? Do the people you associate with influence you in a positive way? Do you have to make some changes? Remember to involve your loved ones in any planned changes. For you to be happy so must they. Let them know you are on the road to success and you want them to travel with you because you love them and success would be incomplete with out their involvement.
You can change your life and circumstances. You can influence and change the lives of the people around you and most importantly the people you love. YOU CAN OVERCOME. YOU CAN BELIEVE AND ACHIEVE. WHY NOT LET TOMORROW BE THE FIRST DAY OF YOUR NEW LIFE. IT ALL STARTS WITH CHANGE.
To help you get started I will send you the book I read that convinced me to change. Just send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the book as an eBook. FREE NO CHARGE. Also if you want to enrol in my Path to success program just let me know in the email and you will receive free positive success tips on a regular basis to help you STAY ON THE PATH TO SUCCESS .
In closing I wish you all the best and may God richly bless you on your new path.