Every year we jump on new fads and set lofty resolution goals. Caeser already laced you up with the 3 Things you need to keep you New Year’s Resolutions, now I’m going to give you a resolution worth keeping. What I am proposing is a 30-day challenge. A challenge to better ourselves and expand our horizons. A challenge to move closer our dreams and fight the nightmares in some of our realities. I think this challenge will help equip you to do bigger and better things in 2012. It’s not a magic cure and some of the concepts may take more than 30 days to master, but they are all valuable tools. After speaking with some of the most successful business people, community leaders, and I developed these 30 ideals or steps to Greatness. Don’t wait until January to start, Start today!! Let’s get it.
Day #1– Adopt a grateful attitude and Resign from LAZINESS!!: How can we reach our goals when we are constantly negative/ungrateful and lazy? We must WORK to reach our potential! So today, stop grumbling, be grateful and work hard, work smarter, and most importantly…work RIGHT!
Day#2: Potential is one of the world’s great dichotomy’s. If you live up to it, it’s great, a wonderful motivator, and an excellent source of inspiration. When it is unrealized, it can be depressing, cause a state of duress, and create an atmosphere of negative pressure. What will YOU do with your potential TODAY?
Day #3: Remember “You was who you was before you got here” are you listening to the echo of GREATNESS that God whispered into your spirit? Ignore the poor grammar and understand the POWER in that phrase. Before we were conceived God spoke GREATNESS & PURPOSE into our lives. The things that have and will happen in our lives have shaped us for the message of GREATNESS God spoke into our existence.
Day#4: “You don’t grind, You don’t shine” – Mike Jones…Who? Seriously, Mr. Jones was one to something here. How can we expect to reach our potential and realize our personal GREATNESS if we don’t grind!?! We must work at perfecting our craft, even those that come naturally to us. It is this continuous honing, or “grinding” out of imperfections, of our skills that prepares us for our moments in the spotlight, our SHINE.
Day #5: Find your Passion, Find your Greatness. Identify the things you are passionate about and discover ways to integrate them into your life and your career. This way you begin to learn about things you love and in turn you can LIVE WHAT YOU LEARN. “Passion Distinguishes the Difference between Success and Greatness…..Where does you Passion Lie?”
Day #6: Be Account-Able! Being accountable means taking account for your abilities or in some cases lack thereof. As leaders, we tend to validate our leadership in how much we do, but the most effective leaders are those that can account for their abilities and adjust accordingly. i.e. if you are not a social butterfly, you may want to leave publicity up to someone that is. Great leaders are account-able because they can take account for their abilities as well as those around them.
Day #7: Sometimes it’s not about working harder. Sometimes, it’s not even about worker smarter. Most of the time, it’s just about working the RIGHT WAY!! Get your Spike Lee on and DO THE RIGHT THING!! (www.responsibilityproject.com)
Day #8: KNOW WHEN GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH. This is easier said than done. We seem to be preparing, and getting our minds right, when we should be doing. We should always strive for perfection, but with the full knowledge that we will never achieve it. It’s only so much planning you can do, then its time to start ACTING or in some cases stop!!
Day #9: FIND THE WIN-WIN! I know, I know… the competitor within wants to run the yard, shoot up the corporate ladder and beat the pants off everyone else in the process. In reality, everyone has a purpose. Finding the win –win allows for the overall growth and development of everyone involved, which leads to a better environment in which to serve. Plus, if you do what you do and do it well, people will recognize it, trust me!
Day #10: Let your attitude dictate your situation, not the other way around. “How you doing?… GREAT!!” even when I feel like poo on a stick. I am not suggesting you be fake, but I believe there is power in the tongue. Great leaders speak their vision into existence with faith, not confidence. Translation – even when they can’t see the finish line, they see themselves standing on the podium.
Day #11: BE YOU, because BEING FAKE IS TOO HARD!! It’s great to be able to adapt and maneuver in different crowds, but that’s different than losing a sense of whom you are. One lie in your personality leads to another and eventually, you forget who the true you is. It is YOUR unique attributes that help define YOUR greatness!
Day #12: DO IT FROM YOUR HEART OR NOT AT ALL! My grandmother taught me this & it shapes how I interact with people everyday. An important part of reaching your personal Greatness is adopting a SERVANTS attitude. Serve from your heart and plant seeds of reciprocation, serve out of obligation and your feelings get hurt when the favor is not returned.
Day#13: KNOW WHEN TO SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Be intentional about the details. It is often the small things that make the biggest difference. Remembering someone’s name or saying hello and good morning with a smile. We will stress about a flyer design but won’t remember the name of the guests in attendance. Some details are more important than others, learning the difference is a step in a GREAT direction.
Day #14: PUT FEAR IN ITS PROPER PLACE. Fear’s crippling effect can extend beyond movies and haunted houses. It can steal the experiences meant to shape our lives. Let’s stop this thief and change our perspective. Fear is nothing more than Faith perverted! It is not to be embraced but erased!! Stop being Scurrred and THINK, DREAM, DO SOMETHING BIG!
Day #15: BE OPEN, do something different this weekend!! With the busy pace of life, it is easy to get caught in a rut. Before we know it, we are drowning in routine. So make a conscious effort to step out of your comfort zone and broaden your horizons. Read a book, visit a museum, eat some exotic food or maybe just cook a meal!!! You might be surprised with a new favorite thing. Don’t let old age force your hand to some “Bucket List” Live today!
Day #16: TRUST IS EASIER TO KEEP THAN REBUILD!! Trust is essential in productive relationships & develops bonds that run deeper than oceans. However, as strong a bond as trust can build; losing it creates chasms as magnificent as the Grand Canyon. Trust is like Humpty Dumpty, once it breaks all the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put it back together again. Things are rarely the same once trust is lost, so do your best to keep it.
Day #17: Don’t be afraid to fail…it happens to the Greatest of us! “My name is (your name) and I have been a failure, yet those failures have been/will be stepping stones to my GREATNESS!” Failure is not an option; it’s a prereq, like Spanish 1301 preps you for Spanish 1423. I’m not suggesting you plan to fail, but if/when it happens; REGROUP, REFOCUS, & REBUILD.
Day #18: “Be good & if you can’t be good be careful” This isn’t a license to secretly wild out; it’s a warning about your influence. Our influence expands beyond our organizations into our communities. Fair or not, we represent more than ourselves every time we step out for night on the town. We have all heard, “to whom much is given, much is expected” what they leave off is that “much of what you do is watched and examined too”
Day #19: CREATE A LEGACY. Great Leaders create Great Leaders. You know that saying about giving a man fish vs. giving a man a fishing pole? Leadership works in a similar way. Lead a man and you give him direction for a day, TEACH him how to lead and give him direction for a lifetime. The difference is between creating and crippling, which is your leadership accomplishing?
Day #20: Take The Keys: During talks, I say, “here are the keys to a 2010 Escalade, black on black, fully loaded with all the bells and whistles on 24’s…PAID FO’ (taxes & all –take that Harpo)!” Then I wait, it’s amazing how long it takes for someone to take the keys. Our lives are the same way, fully paid for with all the bells & whistles, waiting on us to take the keys and drive. What are you waiting for?
Day # 21: Get a Mentor/Be a Mentor. If the greatest golfer of all times has a coach/mentor for his swing, why don’t you have one for what you do? Passing on knowledge through a personal, mutually invested relationship is the best way to insure it is appreciated. It’s also one of the best ways to build a relationship.
Day# 22: SPEAK UP! Old folks used to say, “a closed mouth don’t get fed” & it’s true for two reasons; 1.You can’t eat with your mouth closed & 2. If you don’t tell people you’re hungry, no one will ever know you’re starving. If you need help developing a particular aspect of your character or leadership style you must 1. Be open to the change/development and 2. Let someone know you need help. When I thought about dropping out of college, I had mastered the art of starvation through silence. It wasn’t until I acknowledged I needed help & opened my mouth that I began to excel. I was able to feed off the support of administrators, friends and family. I got my fill of success and fulfillment. And most importantly, I learned how to feed others in my same situation. What success story are you starving with your silence?
Day #23: Don’t let your mouth write a check your actions can’t cash. We all like to think we are the best at something and truthfully, most of us are really good at a few things, but selling wolf tickets is a no no! I learned something in my time in sales, NEVER OVER PROMISE it always forces you to UNDER DELIVER. Don’t sell yourself short by talking yourself up and setting yourself up for failure. Say what you can do and then go out and do it. This applies to relationships, money, credit, work, LIFE!
Day# 24: The greater your network, the greater your net worth!! There is one thing most successful people have in common….they are tapped in to their network. Take the time today to evaluate you network and where you fit in its framework. Start planting strategic seeds with the contacts that you respect and admire the most. The better you build your network the better your chances of connecting with someone that increase your net worth. It’s not always what you know but who you know!
Day#25: Healing takes place after understanding. We have all been hurt. Some of us reading this are still hurting. Popular advice after an emotional hurt is to “move on” but if we move on without healing, we leave ourselves open for a repeat performance. Examine the things that have you hurting and struggling to move on and attempt to gain understanding about what REALLY happened (not just your version). If you need help (friendly or professional) seek that and get an understanding of what is hurting you, then you can move on to why and move away from the pain.
Day# 26: CELEBRATE SUCCESSES AND FAILURES ALIKE. We are often so focused on the end result that we neglect to celebrate the small successes in life. Even more so we NEVER celebrate our failures! I hope they don’t happen too often but they will happen and when they do a celebration is in order. Before you regroup, refocus, & rebuild… Take the time to CELEBRATE! Take time to laugh at yourself, cry, scream, whatever it takes to have a smile on your face as the end result. In the words of D. Chappelle, “It’s a celebration”
Day # 27: BEND BUT DON’T BREAK – While buildings around them fell, the Sabal Palm survived 145 mph winds during Hurricanes Andrew and Wilma. Though less attractive than other palms, they grow to 50 ft. & thrive in almost ALL conditions. When things don’t go as planned, a great leader will adjust and adapt. As conditions change, so should our plans. We should live with the strength and flexibility of a Sabal Palm.
Day #28: Always Keep a Mirror Around – sometimes, especially when we are successful, we get “too big for our britches”; forgetting who we are, where we’re from & where our energy should be focused. That’s when a mirror comes in handy! If you ever forget who you are look in the mirror for a reminder that you are who God says you are. If you begin to lose touch with those less fortunate or with less authority, look in the mirror for a moment of SANKOFA (reflecting on your past while contemplating your future). And if you EVER feel like your image is more important than your reality, hold that mirror up to redirect all the energy you’ve been focusing outward to spark your passion for your original purpose. A mirror is a pretty handy tool.
Day #29: Never marginalize your efforts or responsibilities; it makes room for others to do so as well. So the next time you think your role is insignificant or of little importance, remember that your pride and work ethic are always significant and important!!
Day #30: If you quit after a failure, that failure becomes your legacy. It leaves a stain that blots out all of your good works. But WHEN WE BUILD FROM FAILURE, IT BECOMES a lesson in humility, pushing you to progress beyond success and achieve GREATNESS!!
Take the 30 day challenge, live out these principles and ideals and see where life takes you. Will you take the challenge? Do you believe things like this are helpful or hogwash?