If you could have historical figures or modern day ‘gurus’ from the world of business, art, politics, sport, music, fashion etc, as your coach or mentor for 2013 – who would you invite round for dinner at your place?
Rather than my usual style of blog, I’ve decided to make my last blog of 2012 a little different and sign out for the year with FOUR SUCCESS PRINCIPLES from four individuals whose life experiences and wisdom have certainly impacted my life over the last 12 months. Each one of the four people would definitely be on my dinner party guest list too!
I thought I’d share the ideas with you in the hope that even to the smallest degree they will ‘educate, motivate and inspire’ you throughout the new year. If nothing else, you’ll be able to regale your family with them over the Christmas dinner table (ho-ho-ho)!!
1. HARRY HOUDINI – was the greatest magician during his time. He was also a fantastic locksmith, and boasted that he could escape from any jail cell in the world in less than one hour. A small town in the British Isles built a new jail and issued Houdini the challenge. Houdini loved challenges and there was prize money offered, so he accepted. When the big day arrived, there was a large crowd present and the media was also there to cover the special event. Houdini confidently walked into the cell, and the door was closed. He immediately took off his coat and went to work. Hidden in his belt was a flexible, yet tough and durable ten-inch piece of steel, which he used to work on the lock. At the end of 30 minutes, his confidence had disappeared. At the end of an hour, he was soaked in perspiration. After two hours, Houdini literally collapsed against the door – which opened!
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE #1 – You see the door had never been locked except in Houdini’s own mind, which meant that the door was as firmly locked as if a thousand locksmiths had put their best locks on it. Houdini could have unlocked any physical locks, but not the lock that was in his own mind. Just like Houdini, the locks are in our own mind, those self-limiting beliefs we hold for ourselves often prevent us from getting out of our ‘jail’ and seeing ourselves as we could be and not as we are. Most of us are in a ‘mental prison’ of one sort or another and in order to break out, we need to realise it, and just give the door a little push.
2. ANDREW CARNEGIE – was a poor Scottish immigrant boy, barely educated, who started out as a messenger for a telegraph company. Despite his humble beginnings he rose to become, by the time he was 35 years old, one of the world’s empire builders, creating America’s steel industry and amassing a great fortune. At one time he had 43 millionaires working for him. Andrew Carnegie believed it was a rich man’s duty to give away his money and not die rich. After he retired from steel making, he gave away about $350 million- over $2 billion in today’s terms, during the remaining years of his life. Among his many gifts to the United States were a concert hall in New York City, a technical school in Pittsburgh, hundreds of public libraries around the world, as well as foundations to promote education and research.
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE #2 – A humble beginning is not a barrier to becoming successful. With his poor background Andrew Carnegie became one of the richest man during his time, and he was responsible for Napoleon Hill’s work on personal achievement, ‘Think and Grow Rich’. He was responsible for creating 43 millionaires during his lifetime and was a ‘giving person’. The more you give, the more you are going to receive, and that is how it is going to be according to universal law.
3. WINSTON CHURCHILL – one day, the Prime Minister of England was invited to address the graduating class at Oxford University. Sir Winston Churchill was seated at the head table, dressed in his formal wear – top hat, cane and cigar. When he was introduced to speak, he walked to the podium. Grabbing the lectern in both hands, he paused for a moment and looked at the audience. He continued looking at the crowd for about 30 seconds and then said, “Never, never, never give up!” Then another long pause and with even greater emphasis, he repeated, “Never, never, never give up!” He stared at the audience for a few more seconds and sat down.
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE #3 – This is undoubtedly the shortest major address in history. It is also one of the most meaningful. If we only appreciate the fact that a lot of people could have succeeded in their endeavours had they just hung on to it for a little while longer! Develop the habit of persistency.
4. KING SOLOMON – once upon a time there was a king who wanted to compile the ‘wisdom of ages’. He commissioned his wise men to carry out the urgent task immediately and condense it into a book. The wise men began their research and after one year they returned with a thick book on the ‘wisdom of ages’. The king was pleased, but requested them to condense it further. The wise men later came back with one chapter, and yet the king insisted that it was still too long. Finally, they condensed it into one sentence. When the king read it he was very pleased and said, “This is truly the wisdom of ages”. The sentence simply read, “There is no such thing as a free lunch” – and there isn’t!
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE #4 – How true it is, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’. If you want success then you will need to invest your time, energy, money, etc. to get it. There is always a price to pay for everything! Tell me something you really, really value that you acquired cheaply or easily – nothing comes to mind does it? That’s because we tend to value those things that we had to work the hardest for. Whether that’s a job, a relationship, a sale, a house or anything and anyone. In a nutshell, the ‘Law of Compensation’ states that, ‘You will receive according to the effort you put in!’
Well that’s it from me for 2012, be great to hear from you in terms of which of the four success principles has the most resonance with you and / or who you’d invite round for dinner in 2013 – now you’ve finished reading, why not send me a quick email with your selections?
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for all your support over the last 12 months, the excellent feedback to this blog has certainly motivated and inspired me to ensure that I continue with the work through 2013.
Meantime best wishes to you and family for a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Onwards + upwards!
‘Training leaders since 1985′
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