Apr 222012

“Defining Success and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms”

How many books have you read that trumpeted the message: becoming tremendously successful is simply a matter of making the commitment to be more successful, becoming more focused on your goals, or renewing a passion for your chosen field of work?   The number may be 2, 20, or 200, but undoubtedly you have read them. Unfortunately, those type of books often only convince those people who are already hardworking, diligent, and successful that they could be even more successful if they just became fixated on their work. Paradoxically, people who internalize any of these messages often become disenchanted with their career, feel burned-out, and come to view themselves as inherently unsuccessful. Why?  Their definition of “success” is limited, and their obsession with their career causes their lives to become out-of-balance. The good news is that “success” really is yours for the taking.  That is, success, as you choose to define it.

The first step in defining what your Personal Pinnacle of Success will be is to think about what “success” and being “successful” really mean.  Webster’s Online Dictionary (www.m-w.com) defines “success” as a “degree or measure of succeeding,” a “favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence,” or “one who succeeds.”  “Successful” is defined as “resulting or terminating in success” or “gaining or having gained success.” 

I believe that most people decide whether or not they are successful by focusing on reaching one particular objective rather than assessing if they are leading lives that are rich in a number of areas. Usually, the objective is a substantial amount of wealth or fame.  At least, they categorize someone else as “successful” because of that person’s observable power, prestige, fame, or wealth. Yet, when I work with people who others consider to be highly successful, I often find that they do not share that perception. In fact, they perceive themselves to be quite unsuccessful. They think of themselves as failures, even though they have met or exceeded their own goals, because the amount of wealth or fame that they obtained was their singular measure for determining if they were indeed successful.  The lesson to be learned is that fame and fortune are only one component of how success should be determined.

Before sliding down that slippery slope of unsatisfactory self-worth, I encourage you to adopt a new and powerful plan for successful living: the “Personal Pinnacle of Success.” This model expands the definition of success. Rather than measuring success in terms of a desired result in one area of your life (e.g., becoming president of a corporation), the concept of success is expanded to include the notion of “successful living.” What does “successful living” mean?  Rather than focusing the majority of your time and effort in one area of your life, your energy is distributed between five key areas. This multifaceted approach significantly impacts how you organize your life, set your priorities, and ultimately define your goals. Each area is important in and unto itself.  However, if any of these areas begins to monopolize your time, it can have a toxic effect on your effort to live successfully.

The five key areas of the Personal Pinnacle of Success model are outlined below:         

Career: The scope of this area includes not only your chosen vocational field or profession, but also your educational background, relationships with your colleagues and clients, affiliation with professional organizations, and any other relationships that you have associated with your career.

Community: This area encompasses your friends, acquaintances, religious affiliation, neighborhood organizations, and any community group in which you actively participate.

Conduct of Life: This area includes your moral, value, and belief systems that cause you to conduct your life in a certain manner. It also includes the important aspect of extending courtesies to people you interact with, professionally and socially.

Family: This area includes your spouse (or significant other), children, and extended family.

          Personal Satisfaction: Happiness, inner peace, spirituality, a feeling of wellness, maintaining a positive outlook toward life, the ability for introspection, and other factors all are components of the area of personal satisfaction.

In order to understand the significance of each these five key areas in your life, draw an analogy to the elements and preparation that are necessary for a successful mountain climbing expedition. Behind every good expedition is a support group of sponsors and facilitators.  Your nuclear and extended family serves as the support group in your own life. In order to endure the physical stress of climbing a mountain, you must have a certain level of training. In life, your value and belief systems assist you in carrying on in spite of the stress placed on your character as you move toward greater heights of success. In order to for your to scale a mountain and reach its summit, you must have premium equipment and superlative technique.  In conquering your Personal Pinnacle of Success, your education, career experience, and aspirations for future success will enable you to reach the summit on which you have chosen to focus.  Any arduous expedition requires a partner or team that you can depend on when your equipment fails or a boulder obstructs your path. A life journey also requires a connection with supportive friends and community members. As you achieve increasing greater levels of personal satisfaction in the course of your own life, compare that to reaching plateaus and ultimately the summit of your Personal Pinnacle of Success. This design for living successfully assures you that your life will be rich in a wide variety of areas rather than having depth in only one and shallowness or emptiness in others. This model also allows you to define on your own terms what it means to be successful. 

          If you suffer from “chronic career over-focus,” you may be concerned that bringing the five key areas of your life into balance may be detrimental of your career.  My response is simple: don’t be. Living successfully allows you to enjoy many aspects of your life.  That enjoyment will likely have several unintended, but positive, consequences.  For example, the plan that you create to balance the areas of your life may lead you to invest more time and energy in your own community.  Think of all the potential business related networking contacts that you may make while donating time at your child’s school or to a community service project.  Bringing your life into greater balance will energize you, expand your opportunities for success in all five areas, and lead to many exceptionally interesting and beneficial unintended consequences!

How can you use this model to assure that you will be successful and live successfully? This question can be answered by preparing for and embarking on an expedition to your Personal Pinnacle of Success. During the initial planning and mapping phase of your expedition, you will set a series of goals or benchmarks to be achieved in each of the five key areas I have discussed. The goals that you set in each area should be related to either improving how you function in that area or the level of connectedness that you have with the area’s other group members. You should expect to make periodic adjustments to your plan throughout your journey to your Personal Pinnacle of Success. Just as a planned course must be altered due to a rock slide or weather change, so too may you alter your objectives within each area as you meet a goal or find that a life change necessitates an adjustment in your plan.

Another required element of insuring your future success is designating the balance that you want to achieve between the key areas. In making that determination, you must ask yourself whether each area is of equal importance to you, or if the areas will have varying levels of importance. Please remember that successful living depends upon being connected with each of these areas. As with most teams, each area will have its own strengths and weaknesses for you.  Each area will have its moment in time when it is the most important member of your team. Many experienced mountain climbers will tell you that climbing requires more balance than strength. As with climbing, achieving and possessing strength in only one of the key areas of your life may cause the other areas to atrophy and become dysfunctional. You may then be left with the feeling of failure that some outwardly successful people experience that I described earlier. Attaining and maintaining a balance between these five key areas of your life will assure that you live successfully.

In your quest to reach your own Personal Pinnacle of Success, I encourage you to periodically obtain the assistance of a success coach. Like an expert guide, a coach will help you navigate the difficult straits along your journey and help you to live more successfully.

          At this point you may be thinking, “It seems that there will always be something to work on. The journey to the peak of a mountain concludes when you reach the summit. Does the journey to my Personal Pinnacle of Success ever end? ”   It is true that there will be things for you to work on throughout the course of your life. Just as you would not attempt to climb Mount Everest when you are a novice mountaineer, you will not immediately reach your Personal Pinnacle of Success.

Having a successful career, maintaining a successful relationship with your family, conducting yourself in a manner deserving of people’s respect, becoming a productive member of your community, and feeling satisfied all require planning, hard work, and perseverance. Success is not a static event or single goal to be met. There will always be a higher mountain to climb. Today you begin your training to commence the greatest expedition of your life.  Charting the course and scaling the mountain that is your Personal Pinnacle of Success is a life-long process. If your definitions of success and successful living evolve throughout your lifetime, you will ultimately derive a sense of satisfaction with your achievements as well as a feeling of being successful.

          Undoubtedly, you have thought of additional questions such as:

          “How do I achieve success in each area?”

          “How do I determine what the balance I would like to achieve between the key areas should be?”

          “How do I move toward that balance?”

Those, my friend, are topics for other articles!  I hope that you look forward to reading about them in future issues of The Pinnacle Perspective.  This philosophy will be more fully described in my upcoming book: Your Personal Pinnacle of Success: Balancing Your Life and Achieving Success.

Until then, may you soar toward your dreams and achieve balance in your life.

Apr 222012

Do you play “The Glad Game”? That describes the philosophy of that the main character, Pollyanna Whittier, of the book Pollyanna[i]. Pollyanna was taught by her father to find the good side in every situation. Her optimism was so entrenched that she found something good to focus on she was struck by a car and faced with the possibility of never walking again. She eventually taught a whole town to look on the bright side of life.

If you think that positive thinking does not impact your health, think again! Trindle et al[ii] studied almost 100,000 women for approximately 8 years. The researchers found that women who were judged to be the most cynical and hostile were at an increased risk to develop cancer, cardiovascular disease, or die during the research period. Interestingly, the researchers found that the effect of cynical hostility (which might also be thought of as the level of anger toward others) and optimism were independent of one another. In other words, you may think brightly about the future, but you can also harm yourself by choosing to carry anger, resentment, and even rage toward those around you. Conversano et al.[iii] reviewed the literature and found a wealth of studies validating the positive impact of optimism on mental and physical health. Interestingly, I came across a fair amount of research and editorials in the medical literature which carried the tone that people “better face reality” in relation to illness, but that is the subject for a future article. Gilhooly et al[iv] compared “healthy” and “unhealthy” pairs of people who were 70 to 90 years of age. The total sample size was more than 200 individuals. They found that people who “endorse an internal locus of control” (believe that they have some control over the course of events) and were less neurotic tended to be categorized as being more healthy. They concluded that personality traits were linked to health status.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I wholeheartedly embrace pollyannaism. When I have found myself in the darkest moments of my life, it seemed to me that it was obviously the time to look up and go forward. That is not to say that I never experience anger, frustration, or those negative feelings that can dim the brightness of life. However, I decided long ago that I am going to search for the bright side of every situation. To me it is really the only choice. “Choice” is the key word in that sentence. My parents and brother all died after developing cancer. In retrospect, each one of them had long term battles with the demons of frustration, anger, anxiety, or depression. Of course, some people have chemically based disorders, and there has been research indicating that personality traits are genetically influenced. However, I am living proof that you can choose to be an upbeat, optimistic, and positively focused person. I choose to play the Glad Game as much and as often as possible!

Do you play the Glad Game? If so, great! Keep it up!! Would you like to start playing the glad game? Let me help you. Begin by ending your day with a review what has “gone right” today.  Your challenge should be to increase the number of things you have on your list until you can routinely get over 20 items on the list. Focus on the little things. Did your alarm go off on time? Was the sun shining? Did the kids remember to brush their teeth on their own? Was traffic just a bit lighter? The possibilities are endless! Make a list for a minimum of 14 days, and then assess whether you have begun to notice the little things that are going right during the day. If so, then it’s on to the next Glad Game exercise. If not, continue to create a list until you notice a change in your perspective.  I will be posting more glad game exercises via my blog (Seek THE Positive: http://www.bingoforlearning.com/healthblog/). In order for you to create a more positive outlook on life, play the Glad Game today and every day. I’m committed to being a life-long Glad Game player. Won’t you join me?


[i] Porter, Eleanor. (1913) Pollyanna. L.C. Page publisher.

[ii] Trindle, et al. (2009). Optimism, cynical hostility, and incident coronary heart disease and mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative. Circulation. 2009 Aug 25;120(8):656-62. Epub 2009 Aug 10.


[iii] Conversano, et  al. (2010) Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2010; 6: 25–29.

Published online 2010 May 14. doi: 10.2174/1745017901006010025.



[iv] Gilhooly et al. (2007) Successful ageing in an area of deprivation: part 2–a quantitative exploration of the role of personality and beliefs in good health in old age. Public Health. 2007 Nov;121(11):814-21. Epub 2007 Jul 2.


Apr 212012

Did you make your list on January 1st? I did! You may be one of those individuals, like myself, who makes or revises his or her list every month or quarter. What list am I talking about? That list of resolutions, goals, or good intentions that we hope to follow throughout our lives. Things about ourselves or our lives that we want to change. Many of us dutifully compile those lists, but most of us also almost immediately file them away in a place where we will not be forced to examine and measure our actions against them for some time.

Any therapist, coach, or motivational expert will sing the praises of goal charts, resolutions, life plans, or anything else that helps you stay on track to meet your goals. However, that list can be dangerous. It can even be hazardous to your health! How is that possible? If you make that list, place it in a drawer, and look at it months or even a year after you compose it, it can lead to high levels of stress, as well as feelings of disappointment and even despair. Consider how you would feel if you did not examine your well thought out list until one year later. The plans that you made would probably be unfulfilled. The goals that you set for yourself are unmet. You might have traveled far off the road toward your dreams. It is even possible that you may have forgotten to do something critical for your health and well-being (e.g., that physical you’ve already put off for several years).

Goals, and the lists on which you detail them, are only helpful if you remember what they are. It is essential that you review your list weekly. Better yet, post it somewhere that you will constantly see and be reminded of it. It is easy to veer off the road toward your Personal Pinnacle of Success* if you cannot remember the directions that you carefully mapped out to guide you toward success! It is also easy to become sidetracked when obstacles tumble into your path.

As with a goal, a resolution to do something will only remain meaningful if you remember why it was so important to you in the first place. For example, you may have resolved to work for yourself so that you can have more time with your family. It will be essential for you to keep that in mind during the times that you are struggling to establish yourself as an entrepreneur. Why? Because clearly it is easier to work a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule and let someone else deal with all the headaches of running a business.

Goals and resolutions also need to be specific. For example, the goal of losing 5 pounds in a 30 day period is much more likely to be met than an amorphous goal stating, “I will be skinny by the end of the year.” Many people find themselves being able to meet small goals because they are specific and time-limited. However, they encounter difficulties when they set larger goals that have a greater impact on their lives. Why? Because the goals are not divided into small segments that say what you intend to achieve and have a definite end date for meeting the goal. You are much more likely to meet the goals for your professional and private life if they are broken down into manageable and obtainable segments.

Many people are able to meet goals in their professional lives, but fall short of obtaining them in their personal lives. The problem is similar to the desire to “become skinny” rather than lose 5 pounds each month. In business, it is routine to set sales quotas and an end date for completing projects. However, personal goals are often much more non-descript or amorphous. Goals that will improve the self, or one’s level of happiness, are often difficult to define. For many people, the list of things to improve in their personal lives may include becoming a better person, spouse, or parent. Unlike an objective sales quota that may be objectively defined by the volume of sales, becoming a better anything requires a careful consideration and description of what constitutes the positive characteristics of that certain something. For example, you can only begin to work on a concept such as character development after you have established a detailed list of what constitutes a good or strong character. More specifically, rather than having a resolution “to become a better person” during the next six months, I would encourage you to make a list of qualities that you aspire to obtain. That is, if you value the quality of compassion for others, then try to consistently look at the world through the eyes of those around you for one week. When you have achieved that goal, then set a new goal of behaving in that manner for a month. Another example might be instead of resolving to “be a better parent,” try to have more patience with your child in the coming week. As you internalize the new behavior, then extend the timeline for engaging in the behavior. It is important to remember that personal goals designed to change your behavior, and ultimately your character, take time to internalize and become second nature. Until they are, they must be consciously and conscientiously worked on.

Today is the day to pull your list out of the drawer. Then, display it in some prominent place where you will look at it daily. That list will help you stay focused, meet or exceed your goals, and ultimately help you to be happier in life!

 * Please refer to my article: The Personal Pinnacle of Success: Defining and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms” at http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com/personal1.htm.

Celebrate Life today and everyday!


Susan C Rempel, Ph.D.

Do you like this article? Reprint it (with the following attachment of course) on your site or in your ezine!!

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© 2007 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

Bingo Games, Motivational Material and More at www.UnCommonCourtesy.com! More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available . Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion. Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Join Susan Rempel, Ph.D.’s blog: Seek THE Positive.

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This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment:

© 2007 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

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Bingo Games, Motivational Material and More at WWW.UnCommonCourtesy.com!

More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available . Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion. Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Visit http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com today!

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Apr 212012

A few days ago it occurred to me that I was violating one of the key themes that I so often espouse to others! 

There I sat at my desk thinking I should work on one of my websites. Maybe, I should work on one of the two book projects I am developing. Then again, there were a bevy of emails I needed to respond to.  While I was at it, I should return several telephone messages. My desk was in its usual state of disarray.  My cup of coffee had long since gone cold. Then it hit me.  Actually, someone hit me!  One of my kids ran up to my desk, gave me a hug, suggested I take him on an errand, and all three of my cherubs were hoping to go out to lunch. I started to groan at the thought of losing an entire afternoon of work when a voice in my head shouted, “Priorities! What happened to your priorities?”

I don’t think I am wrong to assume that many of the people reading this article are like me: a “type-A” workaholic.  Of course, being a workaholic has its benefits: a good income, financial security, never experiencing a dull moment, etc.  Then there is the bad news: focusing exclusively on your job (or any other part of your life) leads to tunnel vision.

If you read my article: The Personal Pinnacle of Success”  (http://uncommoncourtesy.com/personal1.htm) you will remember that it is important to balance your priorities between five key areas of life: work, family, community, conduct of life, and personal satisfaction.  Additionally, you need to establish priorities and goals within each of these areas.  Developing tunnel vision in any area limits the amount of time that you have to spend in the other four areas.  It also prevents an abundance of other things.  It prevents you from participating in a wide range of activities that contribute to a satisfying life.  It also prevents you from experiencing the sense of peace that comes when you control your life rather than having others control it for you.  Further, it prevents you from engaging in meaningful relationships with those who are important to you. 

Your tunnel vision tends to become even more exaggerated when the various aspects of each area lack prioritization. My own situation was a fine example of what happens when work is not prioritized.  The same principle applies to the other areas as well.  Consider how overwhelmed you would feel if you tried to spend equal amounts of time volunteering at your local hospital, coaching your child’s little league team, organizing a school fund-raiser, working full time, as well as meeting the other responsibilities that you have to your work, family, and yourself! Most people who spread themselves too thin in community-related activities either drop out of the activities or feel guilty for not doing enough with each of them. Another example would be telling your spouse, “Honey, I’m here for you 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).”  That simply is not possible!  You need approximately 10 hours each day to sleep and care for yourself.  During the week, you spend at least 9 hours each day working, commuting, and/or running errands.  If you have children, they need, no they demand, a significant amount of your attention each day. You might even have the audacity to allocate a brief amount of time to yourself each day, so that you can read, exercise, meditate, watch television, or surf the Internet. A much more realistic statement you could make to your spouse is that you want to spend time each day focused exclusively on him or her, and dedicate most of your weekend time to your spouse and children.

As you can imagine, all of these thoughts flashed through my mind as I sat at my desk.  I then realized that it was a great day outside.  Heck, it was Saturday! My children needed my immediate attention much more than anything that I had to work on, and I needed a break. I was out of touch with anything that was not sitting on my desk.  What was the perfect solution? Two of my kids jumped in the car with me, we picked up my youngest child from dance class, and we took care of the errand as then had a nice lunch. I even spent time chatting with my husband after he returned home.  When I returned to my desk, I saw what needed to be completed immediately because I could think clearly. I had the break that I needed to see how to prioritize my workload. On that day work definitely needed to wait until after the “family time” that I needed. 

The point to my story is that merely establishing priorities for your life is not enough. You must also have a clear vision of how you are living your life. Ask yourself if what you are doing at this moment is in sync with the balance that you are seeking to achieve in your life? Is any particular responsibility or relationship demanding so much of your time and energy that you ignore other important aspects of your life? You must constantly monitor your actions within each area as well.  Are you feeling overwhelmed, burned-out, or angry about the amount of time that you focus on one of the key areas?  If the answer is “yes,” then consider it to be a symptom that you need to step back, examine your priorities, and shape your life accordingly.

Copyright © 1998 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment: 

© 1998 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

Bingo Games, Motivational Material and More at www.UnCommonCourtesy.com! More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available . Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion. Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Join Susan Rempel, Ph.D.’s blog: Seek THE Positive.


Apr 212012

Seek THE Positive!

I, Susan Rempel, have decided to seek THE Positive. It is my adventure to constantly improve my health and wellbeing. Won’t you join me?

What does it mean to seek THE positive?

“T” refers to your thoughts and mental health. Working to stay positive each and every day is a conscious choice that you make each moment of your life. Thinking positively and with great enthusiasm improves your mood. Learning to reduce and better manage stress impacts your mental and physical well being. Forming healthy relationships, and minimizing the drama that you choose to enter into, leads to a centered and balanced approach to life. Having a positive belief system not only boosts your enthusiasm during your search for the positive side of life,  but it also provides comfort when you are faced with life’s difficult moments. Being grateful for the life you have been given will help you to continue to seek THE positive each and every day. And, by the way, what have you done today that is “just for fun”? When you were a child, play and fun was something you not only sought, but you actively demanded. Ask yourself when was the last time you brought fun into your life.

“H” refers to your physical health and well being. Taking care of your body improves the quality and length of your life.  Eating well and correctly  supplementing your body will improve your health.   Exercise improves not only muscle strength and system function, but it improves your mood and how you feel about yourself. Resting your body and getting enough sleep is critical for so many reasons. Finding alternative and integrative options to maintain and improve your physical health and well being gives you choices that place you in control of your health!

“E” refers to Education, Evaluation and Execution.  This is the “action” part of THE and the most challenging as well. How do you know what to eat and how to supplement if you are not constantly educating yourself?  Are you filling your mind with positive thoughts and information? Are you critically analyzing what you learn? Don’t just take someone’s word for something if it is your health that is at stake. Take time to learn more about a subject. Hear what others have to say about the subject. Develop your own opinion and march forth on your quest for the positive health and well being that you seek to achieve. Are you processing how each relationship in your life impacts you? Evaluate how you can focus yourself and those around you on what is most positive each and every day. How you execute or choose, to think, behave, and act is perhaps the hardest part of the equation. You make choices that impact your physical and mental well being all day long.  What you put, or don’t put, into your body, how you choose to view a situation or relationship, and how you treat yourself impacts the quality and length of your life.

Life is a journey…. Seek THE positive each and every day!


I decided to devote a portion of this site, write articles, and develop a series of games to help me share what has worked for me and my optimism for the future with others. Enjoy! I’ll be releasing new games slowly over the next few months. If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment:

© 2010 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

– begin attachment –

Bingo Games, Motivational Material and More at www.UnCommonCourtesy.com! More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available . Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion. Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Join Susan Rempel, Ph.D.’s blog: Seek THE Positive.

– end attachment –

Apr 212012

The clock is ticking.

The days are flying by.

And all you can think is, “Do I have to do _____ again?”

You can fill in the blank. We all have things to do in life that are boring or unpleasant. Yet, we must do them. No matter what role you are in (e.g., employer, parent, spouse, friend, colleague, etc.) there are things that you must do in order to maintain or improve your relationships with others. Certain tasks or obligations, however, are more arduous than others.

The task of leading others is one of the most difficult of our lives. Being a good leader requires great skill. This is especially true when you must motivate people to do something that they do not want to do. You may not recognize all the areas of your life that require you to assume a position of leadership. You lead employees to perform well at their jobs. You lead your children toward internalizing a good value system and achieving their goals in life. You must sometimes lead your spouse or a friend to assist them in making good choices. You even lead yourself when you set and achieve goals for your own life. Actually, it is your ability to lead or motivate yourself that helps you complete mundane tasks (e.g., getting out of bed) throughout the day. No matter which of the five key areas of life* that you consider, each one requires that you somehow serve as an inspirational leader for others at one time or another.

Being a leader requires a significant amount of energy and ingenuity. Others constantly make demands on your time, attention, and resources. For most people, there are numerous occasions when they spend so much time and effort leading, directing, and inspiring others, they forget to save energy to spark the key player on the team: themselves. Has this happened to you? Are you the victim of what I refer to as “Listless Leadership”?

Listless Leadership occurs when you have drained your own resources or allowed them to be drained by others. There is nothing left for you to draw upon within yourself so that you can inspire those around you. You are tired, fatigued, uninterested, indifferent, and basically unexcited about completing the task at hand. You begin to question why you couldn’t delegate a task to someone else, why you are actually struggling to motivate someone else, or if anyone would notice if you don’t do something “just this once.” Actually, the answer to the last question is “no.” No one will notice if you fail to send a power packed fax, give an uplifting pep-talk, or engage in a meaningful discussion with them – just this once. However, if no one notices, just this once, then there is the tendency to continue to not complete an unpleasant or unpalatable task in the future. More importantly, since any good team adopts or emulates the energy level and spirit of its leader, your team may fall into the doldrums if you are uninspired yourself. Listless Leadership, therefore, can easily become a constant, contagious, and chronic problem.

Can you imagine the effect on a sales staff if the manager unconsciously communicates that it is acceptable to put off making contacts with potential clients until tomorrow? Will most children complete a difficult school assignment if they are left to motivate themselves to do so? How many community service projects would be completed if the organizers didn’t provide any direction and just left it up to the participants to complete a variety of tasks at their leisure? The answers are: disastrous, no, and very few. Suffice it to say that it is very serious and deleterious when any team captain suffers from Listless Leadership.

How do you assess whether you suffer from Listless Leadership? Ask yourself the following questions:

Are you often physically exhausted?

Do events at home and/or work leave you emotionally drained?

Are you able to recognize the achievements of people who look to you for leadership and guidance?

Do you feel that your own efforts or work have gone unrecognized by others?

Are you overly focused on one area of your life? Has accomplishing a particular goal become the core of your existence?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then follow this formula to take the first step transforming your pattern of Listless Leadership into the optimal style for leading others that I call “Luminary Leadership”:

If you are often physically exhausted, then you need Plentiful Periods of rest and self-care so you can improve how you function in all the important areas of life.

If you feel emotionally drained and empty, then take the time to replenish your Emotional Energy reserve. People who lack energy live uninspired lives and “just get by” from one day to the next. They are unable to experience emotions in the same way as those who allow for quiet time to center themselves.

If you cannot recognize the good qualities in those around you, then you should examine their conduct and deeds and shower them with Abundant Admiration.

If you feel your efforts or your work are unrecognized or unappreciated, then do not hesitate to tell the people who need to know about the Copious Contributions that you have made.

If you are overlyfocused on a project or a particular area in your life, then it is imperative for you to Expansively Examine the Events and Entities that Enrich your Existence!

What is so special about this combination of positive factors and actions? They will synergistically work together to increase your feeling of inner peace! That’s it my friends. The key to metamorphosing your unproductive pattern of Listless Leadership into the invaluable skills and characteristics of a Luminary Leader is maintaining a sense of inner peace. That inner peace is the foundation upon which your life is built. It is the fountain that replenishes you when your reserves are low. It is the spark within yourself that you will ultimately utilize to ignite others.

Does it seem odd that the key to motivating others is your sense of inner peace? It shouldn’t! Your sense of inner peace is like the keel on a ship. It helps you to remain balanced and steady in the midst of a storm. It gives you confidence that you can make full use of the prevailing winds without fear of capsizing. A strong sense of inner peace also fosters living your life in the present. If you are at peace with your present life, then your future successes will only enhance your sense of peace and feeling of personal satisfaction. It is those people who cannot live in the present who constantly search for things in the future that will make them happy or blame things in the past for their present discontent. They cannot lead others toward success because they cannot even lead themselves.

What does all that have to do with being motivated and motivating others? A sense of inner peace promotes a positive vision of life. That vision makes it possible for you to focus on the positive aspects of any situation and sustain a positive outlook toward life. It will also help you to see interesting possibilities and opportunities as they present themselves to you throughout your life which will expand your feeling of success. Viewing life in positive terms will prompt you to care for your physical and mental health. In fact, it is well documented that a positive outlook and attitude has amazingly beneficial effects on your health. If you are both healthy and at peace with yourself, you will be less likely to drive yourself unmercifully toward unrealistic goals. You will not perceive that other people “have it so much better” because of a particular achievement or possession. Improving your sense of inner peace will empower you to move toward your goals. They will also activate your ability to serve as a catalyst in any situation. You will become the spark that can ignite the fire in others. You will truly be a leader because you will lead others toward success by your own example.

The secret to motivating others is building a solid foundation in your own life. The basis for that foundation is your sense of inner peace and personal satisfaction. Upon that foundation you will build the framework of a diverse, interesting, and satisfying life. The foundation and framework then create an environment in which meaningful relationships at home, work, and in the community can develop and flourish. Being with you will become a pleasant, positive, and motivating experience for others. They will seek to emulate you and look to you for guidance. In that way, you will be a spark. That spark will ignite a chain of events that will improve your life and the lives of those around you. Make the decision today to begin to lay that foundation within yourself and become a spark to those around you. Choose to lead others with a dazzling spark of brilliance rather than with a dull and indifferent collection of directives!

* Please refer to Susan’s article: “The Personal Pinnacle of Success: Defining Success and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms” at http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com/personal1.htm.

Copyright © 1998-2011 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment:

© 1998 – 2011 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

Get motivated with UnCommon Courtesy & Coaching! Motivational products and services for children, parents, and teachers that reinforce positive behavior, good manners, a positive outlook on life, and life success. Supplies for parents and teachers. Games, books, computer games, bingo cards, and toys. Visit us today at http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com

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Apr 212012

The beginning of a new year is a natural time to take a look at your life and make a list of goals. You might make a list of your top 10 goals for next year. People often set lofty goals for themselves. What is on your list of things to accomplish during the next year? Common goals include: eliminating debt, losing weight, going back to school, spending more time with your family and friends, or becoming more successful.

My suggestion? Turn your goals on their head! Let’s consider the goal of eliminating debt. Wow! If you have a mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, old student loans, etc., you will no doubt throw up your hands in a few weeks because it may take decades to accomplish your goal. However, can you resolve that today you will only spend the cash in your pocket or not spend more than a certain amount of money? Yes, you can! If you want to improve your health, is it likely that you can completely change your diet and stick to it. No, probably not. However, you could resolve that you will not eat any fast food today. Did you achieve your goal? How about tomorrow? Could you do that? Yes, you can! You can also sign up for and attend the first class toward that degree you never finished. That is much easier to carry out than trying to plan how you will complete all ten classes that are required to finish that degree. Is your goal to spend more time with your friends and family? Start by organizing a Facebook group of your nuclear and extended family members. Then post to it once a week. Of course, being successful is an amorphous goal. More than a decade ago I wrote my first article about being successful: “The Personal Pinnacle of Success: Defining Success and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms”. What you define as “being successful” will change, change, and change again over the course of your life. Also, you may experience success in one area of your life, but feel you have neglected others. In my experience, even the most “successful” people feel that he or she needs to be more successful in one way or another. Again, instead of planning out your entire life, ask yourself what you can do today to make yourself feel more successful.

You can choose how to think, feel, and behave today. While you cannot control the actions of others, the economy, or a host of other things, you can make a difference for yourself today and each day. If you make a change, and continue that change for a few weeks, the change will become a habit. Then, decide to make another change. The progression of changes that you make in your life will be slow, but they are much more likely to be successful. What will you choose to change about you think, feel, or behave today? I’d love to hear not only about your choices, but your successes as well! As always, I challenge you to Seek THE Positive! Happy New Year!!


Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.


This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment:

© 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

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Apr 212012

You may recall that in a previous article*, someone prompted me to step back and examine my own pattern of behavior. Well, this time I managed to figure out something all by myself. I had been hemming and hawing about what to do about a particular situation. Last night, I woke up from a sound sleep. I sat up in bed and said to myself, “What exactly are you waiting for?”

Have you ever asked yourself the same question? Has there been something in your own life that you have repeatedly postponed. It seems to me that everyone has something they want to do in life, but it just never seems to be the “right time” to do it. It may be changing jobs, getting married, going back to school, having a baby, buying a house, or one of a million different decisions. There always seems to be a good reason to put if off. “I’ll just wait until after the holidays.” “I’ll start just as soon as I finish that big project at work.” “When I’ve saved a bit more money, I’ll be ready to jump right in.” “I’ll do it when I have more time.” Do you hear the open-ended nature of these responses? There is no deadline. In each of these cases, taking action may be postponed indefinitely. Actually, let’s call those statements what they really are: excuses. Each of these statements emanates from reasoning that is passive. The speaker is waiting for something else to happen. Action is required only after that something else has occurred.

The problem with living your life in a passive stance is that the world around you is not going to wait for your “right time.” Time does not stand still and neither does your life. A passive stance in an active world only results in someone or something else dictating the course of your life.

The notion that life should be lived passively is something that we learn as children. Anyone who has children, or works with them, will tell you that children are naturally egocentric. When a baby is born, all of his** needs seem immediate. If you do not change his diaper immediately, feed him when he is hungry, or dress him suitably for the weather, he begins to cry. He will not stop crying until his need is met. As he gets older, “no” may become his favorite word. Some might say this is simply a continuation of an infant’s egocentrism. I would venture to add that “No” may also be a learned response. Why? Because that child might often be told “No” regardless of whether he is voicing  a need, desire, or want. “No, you can’t have that.” “No, we can’t do that right now” “No, we’ll do it later.” What message is being sent to the child? “Your need will be postponed because it is less important than mine.” I have come across many parents who seemed to use “no” as a default response rather than out of necessity. Although the child in my example will benefit from understanding the importance of being patient and following rules, he also may learn the unintended lessons that authority figures make decisions haphazardly and someone else is in charge of determining when his need will be met.

When the child enters elementary school, he receives further training. His teacher tells him to follow the rules, to speak only when it is his turn, and his individual needs are less important than the need for group order. Again, these premises are good and necessary for conducting oneself in an orderly society. Yet, they are often taught with such fervor at home and at school that the child begins to wait for a signal from an authority figure that it is time for him to take action so that he can meet his own need. Consequently, a child who is a natural leader may learn to take charge of a situation only when approval is granted by an authority figure. It may take years for this child, who may potentially be a fantastic entrepreneur or dynamic corporate executive, to unlearn these lessons of postponement and conformity.

The damage done by internalization of the principles of conformity and postponement is compounded by another principle that is often taught by parents: “be safe and don’t fail.” Parents want their children to be happy, healthy, and safe. Additionally, children today are subjected to more pressure to succeed and excel than at any other point in history. Consequently, parents tend to teach their children to play it safe, take fewer risks, and not make mistakes. The internalization of this principle together with those of postponement and conformity may produce a child who learns to live in fear. That child also learns it is safer to allow someone else to make decisions because he cannot be held accountable for any failure that occurs as a result of the decision..

I like to the term this behavior as “passive decision making.” You make passive decisions by your own inactivity, passivity, and ambivalence in a particular situation. Passive decisions are often caused by the actions of others. They result from your decision to allow life to happen to you. Do you have a history of passive decision making? Do you wait for an authority figure to tell you when it is time to take action. Unfortunately, those who taught you in your youth have all retired. Your parents have lived their lives and cannot make life-changing decisions for you. Also, they have not changed their desire for you to avoid failure. Your friends are comfortable with the predictability of your actions (or inaction). Passive decision-making is especially problematic if you are a corporate executive, small business owner, or entrepreneur. Other people, and your livelihood, depend upon your ability to make decisions. Those around you may see you as a strong person with great creativity. Yet, you may feel weak and look for a signal from someone else as to when it is time for you to step-up and take action.

It is up to you to decide to abandon the principles of passivity, conformity, and living life without risks that you internalized as a child. You are the only one who will live your life and you are completely responsible for your own actions or inaction. No one else will be sorry that you did not act decisively at any particular time. You are the only one who can take charge and live the life you desire. It is up to you to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you each day.

My friend, today is the day to ask yourself: “What am I waiting for?” Decide that you will no longer be satisfied if life happens to you because of your passive decisions. Refuse to allow mundane tasks and your own inaction to dictate the course of your life. Set goals that will maximize your personal satisfaction and reach the new levels of success that you set in each of the five key areas of your life.*** Choose to be the captain of your own ship rather than allowing fate to seize the rudder from you and direct the course of your life!  

* please refer to Prioritizing Your Life is a Continual Process

** I am using the male pronoun for the sake of simplicity.

*** For more information about the five key areas of your life, please read The Personal Pinnacle Of Success: Defining Success and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms

Copyright © 1998 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment:

© 1998 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

Bingo Games, Motivational Material and More at www.UnCommonCourtesy.com! More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available . Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion. Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Join Susan Rempel, Ph.D.’s blog: Seek THE Positive.

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Apr 212012

Last week, I wrote about Pollyanna’s decision to play “The Glad Game” (http://uncommoncourtesy.com/PlayTheGladGame.htm). This week I had the opportunity to play the Glad Game myself. My son, who tends to bring home more than his fair share of viruses, was sick again. One of my daughters was sick as well. That left my husband, my other daughter, and myself all in the line of fire to catch a nasty cold. The bug seemed to be going around my daughters’ school, and I couldn’t help but notice that the variety of responses to the prospect of being ill by those around me. A negative thinker in the bunch used it as another occasion to complain about yet another cold being passed around, as well as other aspects of her life that she viewed negatively.  My husband, who is very easy going, adopted a “What will be, will be” type attitude about the possibility of being infected by my germ laden son. The ever enthusiastic optimist in the crowd, that would be me, tried to act as if the illness did not exist and kept mumbling, “I am not getting sick. I am not getting sick. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow,” while consuming heavy doses of a variety of vitamins and supplements.  

As I thought about the spectrum of reactions, I began to also think about the glasses that each of us wears.  No, I am not referring to corrective lenses. Perhaps you recall the phrase “seeing the world through rose colored glasses?”  It is very much like Pollyanna’s decision to play the Glad Game even when presented with the possibility that she might never walk again. Well, you, and everyone around you, view the world through a set of glasses. Your “glasses” are the outlook that you have adopted toward life.  They dictate how you respond to any given situation, and your overall perception of reality. You may not have voluntarily chosen the glasses you wear. That is, you were born with a particular temperament.  Then you spent years being part of a family that lived life in a certain manner.  These “family themes” are sometimes easier to recognize in other families than in your own.  Consider what we know about the famous Kennedy family of Massachusetts.  The children in that family were taught to take risks and have high aspirations.  Now consider the type of themes that your parents indoctrinated into you as a child. Were they positive themes (e.g., you can be successful) or negative themes (e.g., don’t make a mistake or you will fail)? Were they enabling or disabling? Finally, consider whether you have incorporated those themes into the outlook that you have as an adult.   

As you think about the theme that you live with and by, note how those around you employ themes in their lives. For example, consider how you, your family members, your boss, your employees, and your friends might react to a particular situation.  Imagine being stuck at a railroad crossing waiting for a long freight train to pass while you’re enroute to see a movie.  If there are several people in the car, there will undoubtedly be a wide variety of reactions.  Some people will be angry that they might miss the movie. Their theme focuses on the unfairness of life, or that life can become negative at any time. Others will see the same situation as a good excuse not to sit through all of the trailers that are shown before the main feature. These are people whose theme helps them to adapt or “go with the flow” of life. Still others will begin looking through the newspaper to see what other movies are available or even suggest just stopping off for coffee and dessert at that new restaurant in town. These are the individuals who view any situation as an opportunity to have something positive happen. Each of these individuals is reacting differently to the situation, in part, because of the theme that they have chosen to adopt.  It is clear that each one of these people wears a different set of glasses.

No doubt, you’ve read many articles about how your unconscious attitudes or themes affect your life.  However, I would like you to consider two  ways in which the glasses that you have chosen to wear affect your life.  First, they impact how those around you function.  Second, they also impact how others choose to view you. In order to explore these ideas further, allow me to introduce you to two imaginary individuals who wear very different sets of glasses: Ned (the negative thinker) and Oscar (the optimist).

Ned is a nay-sayer.  He can find the negative aspect of any situation even if it requires looking all night long.  Ned even found a negative point about winning the state lottery when he said, “imagine the taxes, the financial planning, and all the additional telemarketing telephone calls that I’d receive night after night.” Ned views the world as a dark and dangerous place.  Every decision is monumental.  Each life choice must be painstakingly scrutinized.  Consequently, Ned spends much of his free time worrying about the 1001 bad things that might happen to him at any time.  Ned’s brother was surprised when Ned actually had no reaction to a newspaper story that an asteroid might strike Earth within the next 100 years! 

Oscar, on the other hand, is an optimist.  He sees each day as another opportunity to be successful and help others.  The idea of doing something new and different excites Oscar because he likes to contemplate and explore all the interesting possibilities in life that are placed before him. He views life as a journey.  Even the setbacks that Oscar faces now and then are nothing more than life lessons that will ultimately help him to become more successful.

It may seem obvious to you how the glasses that Ned and Oscar wear impact how they function and perform in life.  What may not be so obvious is how others react to Ned and Oscar because of the glasses that each one has chosen to wear.  Ned and Oscar are supervisors at the same company.  Each is responsible for managing a large group of employees.  The people who Ned supervises don’t often approach him with new ideas.  They know that he wants to “stick with what works.”  He leads with an iron fist because controlling others gives Ned a feeling of security.  He sometimes micromanages situations and instills fear in his staff.  Ned’s entire work group has adopted his tentative attitude and is constantly concerned about the possible pitfalls that may result from their decisions.  While Ned’s supervisor views him as a dependable employee, she also sees him as a bit of a “stick in the mud.”  She has given up on passing along motivational material to Ned because she knows he will only see the negative aspects of the information.  At home, Ned’s family is well aware of his penchant for negativity.  His constant ruminations and worrying cause unnecessary tension and anxiety at home.  His wife is afraid to tell him about her problems because he will become upset.  His children have learned that he will be unresponsive to them as he lies on the couch and considers his negative fate.

There is quite another atmosphere in Oscar’s house. Oscar’s offspring can’t wait for him to get home.  He always has a great story to tell them and has time to help them work through their problems.  Oscar and his wife enjoy talking about things that they would like to do in the future.  They also try their best to enjoy each day as well.  Oscar is like a beacon of light at work.  His outlook inspires his employees to do their best.  He is interested in new ideas, strategies, and technology that will help his employees to meet and beat anything that their competitors might be doing.  Oscar has a plaque on his desk that reminds him of the benefits of persistence and a positive outlook. Oscar’s boss doesn’t bother giving him motivational material either.  However, unlike Ned, motivational material is unnecessary because Oscar is always bursting through her door with motivational material of his own to give to her.  Oscar’s employer sees him as a go-getter who will someday be running the whole company or forming an innovative company of his own!

As you can see from this example, the glasses that you put on every morning impact how you view the world, and how you will function in it. Additionally, the glasses that you wear directly impact how those around you behave and react to you.  Consider the overall impression that your boss, your spouse, and your friends have about you.  Are you a fun person to be around?  Are you always down in the dumps?  Do they think of you as one of the most energetic people in their lives?  Have they written you off of their “people who like to try something new” list? If you wear glasses that are similar to Ned’s, you may not realize the opportunities that you have missed, the relationships that have been damaged, and the potential successes that have not been realized merely because you wear a negative set of glasses much of the time. Although everyone has a “dark glasses day” now and then, it is up to you to choose to wear the clear and sharp glasses of an optimist. It is those glasses that will help you to see the opportunities around you and seize success in your life at home and work.

Today is the day to step back and examine how you view the world.  Ask others how they perceive you.  Evaluate how your actions communicate your view of the world to others.   When you get up tomorrow morning, make the choice to put on the bright sunny glasses that Oscar wears.  Then, go out there and have a great day!  Oh, how did I choose to play the Glad Game? I decided to be thankful that I did not get nearly as sick as my kids!

Copyright © 1997 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment:

© 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

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Bingo Games, Motivational Material and More at www.UnCommonCourtesy.com! More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available . Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion. Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Join Susan Rempel, Ph.D.’s blog: Seek THE Positive.

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Apr 212012

I am always fascinated by how people choose to respond to various situations. Quite often, an individual’s response gives me a clue about who the person really is, and what that person thinks about himself or herself.

I was quite interested in the response that I received concerning the “success stories” column in the Pinnacle Perspective (http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com/newsletter.htm). For the past few weeks, I have made it a point to ask each new subscriber to send me his or her own personal success story. I also posted a notice in the previous edition of the newsletter asking for people to send me success stories. I received quite a few responses, but they all seemed to indicate that the writer did not think of himself or herself as “successful.”

These responses reminded me that many people view success as something that will occur in the future. It is something that will be bestowed upon them after reaching their ultimate goal. Such a definition of success is self-defeating. It requires that a person postpone a positive definition of the self for years and sometimes decades.

If you think that you are someone who will be successful at some time in the future, then by necessity a small part of you must think that you are unsuccessful at this time. This is not true! The way that you should view success is as a process that you engage in throughout your life, not as a singular outcome that will happen in the future. That process is the road of success that you travel upon while climbing toward your Personal Pinnacle of Success.* Allow me to point out a few aspects of success and being successful which will reinforce the notion that success is a life pattern rather than an outcome of achieving a singular goal:

In actuality, you are successful at this very moment. If you examine your life history, you will be able to identify many moments during which you felt successful. Each of these moments were what I refer to as “experiences of success” or “successful experiences.” Additionally, each of these moments adds to sum of the successes that you experience during your lifetime.

Your definition of what it means to be successful will change over time. With each successful experience, there will come an adjustment of your definition of success. Most successful people will set a new, and higher, goal for themselves immediately after achieving a previously desired goal. You may sometimes forget how successful you have become because you have lost sight of all of your past experiences of success.

Becoming successful is a gradual process. Each new successful experience in your life increases the total of your successful experiences. It is easy to forget how far you have traveled along the road toward your Personal Pinnacle of Success* unless you take the time to write a performance evaluation for yourself that encompasses the past five to ten years. This exercise is well worth the time and effort because it will help you to see the success that you have experienced, and thereby enhance your confidence level and the probability of experiencing future successes. It will also help you to develop a list of achievable goals for the next five to ten years of your life.

Your next successful experience is often hiding just behind the roadblock that you think stands before you at this moment. Developing creative strategies to solve a current problem will often result in an avalanche of positive unintended consequences. Some of the best ideas in human history have been developed in the face of adversity.

Your next successful experience may also result from assuming a flexible or adaptive stance in response to a roadblock. As the old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, you must make lemonade!”

You must begin to intrinsically think of yourself as a success in order to become more successful in the future. If you adopt a mindset that you cannot achieve something or are ultimately doomed to failure, you will fail. If you decide that you will find some how or some way to achieve your goals, then you will move forward in your life and experience a large number of successes.

The pattern of success in your life directly results from your own dogged determination and will to overcome any obstacle. Time Magazine’s recent article about exceptional students** noted that a key quality of many talented students is persistence. They set high goals for themselves. They keep working at a project until they are satisfied with the results. Their drive inevitably propels them toward a future filled with successful experiences. Those same qualities are clearly visible in most successful adults.

Successful experiences will occur in different areas of your life at different times in your life. So many people limit their definition of success to the area of work. As I noted in “The Personal Pinnacle of Success: Defining Success and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms” , there are five key areas in your life. If you develop each area fully, you will have successful experiences in each area. However, it is unlikely that you will be highly successful in each area at the same time. Therefore, when you feel that you are not making progress in one area at the break neck speed that you desire, consider the progress that you are making in other areas. Allow yourself to savor successful experiences in each area of your life, rather than over-focusing on your career.

Success comes to those who seek it. Your future experience of success is, in part, determined by the road map that you develop. If you travel through life without an action plan, it is almost assured that you will experience frustration and a sense of failure. In order to achieve the success that you desire, you must determine where it is that you want to go and how you will get there.

Success is a pattern in your life rather than an outcome of it. If success was determined merely by reaching a single goal, then why would you continue on in life after you have reached that goal? Living a full and successful life is a process of setting, achieving, and setting new goals in each of the five key areas of life. In that you can never achieve perfection in any area of life, there will always be something to work on, something new to achieve, and new experiences to enjoy!

Today is the day to begin viewing yourself as a successful person. Consider your past experiences of success. Savor your present successful experiences. Develop a plan to expand your life to include more success in the days to come. The challenge for every human being is to make the most of the time that has been granted to him or her. There will never be another opportunity to rewind your life and experience it again. You cannot correct past mistakes or opportunities that have been lost, but you can decide to use them as stepping stones to future successes. You can also make the decision that you will begin to view yourself as a successful person. You can also challenge yourself to live a full, satisfying, and exciting life in the years to come.

* Please refer to my article: “The Personal Pinnacle of Success: Defining Success and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms” at http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com/personal1.htm

** Wallis, Claudia (1998). “Their Eight Secrets of Success.” Time Magazine Vol. 152, No. 16. pp. 80-86.

Copyright © 1998 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

Celebrate Life today and everyday!


Susan C Rempel, Ph.D.

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© 1998 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available at http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com. Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion.Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Visit http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com today!

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