What are some of the greatest thoughts about personal success?

by Sam on April 8, 2009

 

Analysis: I treasure pithy aphorisms. When they’re from famous people, they give credence to propositions that I might otherwise be alone in putting forth. They say in a few words, what I often require paragraphs to express. They sometimes make me laugh. They always make me think. They often make me act!

Answer: The ten quotes below are no exception. And as a bonus they cover something we all want: Greater personal effectiveness that will translate to greater leadership success. I hope you’ll enjoy and profit from these quotations as much as I have.

1.   Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow. ~Horace This famous advice is rarely seen with the second half of the sentence connected to it. Don’t misunderstand the storied Roman poet. He is not arguing against planning for the future. He, rather, wishes for us a sense of urgency to take advantage of every opportunity that life presents. After all, as the Bible suggests, tomorrow will worry about itself. What will you seize today?

2.   It’s never too late to be who you might have been. ~George Eliot Vince Lombardi said that great leaders aren’t born, but are made by effort and hard work. You have that same opportunity to become great, but at the cost of sweat and determination. Are you up for it?

3.   The distance between ignorance and knowledge is shorter than the distance between knowledge and action. ~Ken Blanchard (Although this quote is attributed to Ken, there is reason to believe that his wife Marjorie deserves the byline. Sound familiar, guys?) You already know most of the right things to do to win the hearts of followers. Do you have the determination, resolve, and grit to transform that knowledge into action with your hands, mouth, and feet?

4.   There are two kinds of people in the world–those who die at the age of 90 and those who die at the age of 40 but continue breathing for 50 years. ~Author unknown I hope you’ve never said, “People have to accept me as I am.” The truth is that many people love you the way you are, but they may also love you too much to want you to stay that way. If given the chance, what would they change in you?

5.   Start digging the well before you are thirsty. ~Chinese proverb The best time to increase your effectiveness as a leader through training and coaching is before you think you need to. Is it time to put your hand to the spade?

6.   Your leadership and communication styles are perfectly designed to get the present impact you’re having on others. ~Author unknown Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing while expecting different results. If you want different results, your act is the one you’ll need to clean up. Where do you propose to start?

7.   The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. ~Proverbs 12:15 “Like everyone, I know I can do better, but I think I’m doing a pretty good job right now.” These sound suspiciously like the words of a fool who is right in his own eyes. What are some ways in which you can benefit from counsel (a coach)? A

8.   You can’t expect to win unless you know why you lose. ~Benjamin Lipson Lipson speaks to the need to get feedback on your destructive behaviors so you can pinpoint the ones you need to remedy. Do you have the data? If not, how will you get it? A

9.   If one man calls you a jackass, ignore him. If two men call you a jackass, get a saddle. ~Hebrew proverb (You gotta love this one!) When we get confirming feedback it’s time to pay attention, consider the impact that it may be having on our success, and map out a plan for addressing it. What complaints have you heard more than once?

10. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~Philippians 4:13 Rest on this assurance when the challenge of personal change is daunting. For people of faith, “him” of course is God. Non-believers may rely on others (an accountability partner?) for strength. Who will you turn to?

Aphorism
 
All the good maxims already exist in the world; we just fail to apply them.
 
~Blaise Pascal
 

Approaching

Each answer marked with an A is the subject of a soon-to-appear Ask in the form of a solution tool.  Feel free to contact Sam now to learn how that tool might be applied to your team.

Action (yours)
Do you have an Ask for Sam about leadership, team building or communications?  Email that question to him at sam@asksamdeep.com.  He will respond to you either by email or telephone.  Please include your telephone number with your Ask.

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