Anyone who has ever amounted to anything became a diligent student of their craft. They learned the ins and outs of what makes someone successful in their industry. They’ve read countless books and articles on how to perfect their craft by learning from others who have been in their field and have experienced some form of wild success. As a keynote speaker it is incredibly important for me to learn from other successful speakers. My principle goal when studying successful people is to learn about the nuances of what works and what doesn’t when you’re on stage. I study other speakers as if it’s a final exam that I want so badly to ace.
While studying I received a phone call from one of my very good friends and I explained to him what I was doing. He explained how he is also a student in his craft and how he’s constantly learning about new things and how to be better at what he does. He is an engineer. He directed me towards a commencement speech given by Arnold Schwarzenegger to the graduating class at the University of Southern California where he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree. The speech is entitled “Six Rules of Success.”
Over the next several Morning Cup of Joe’s, I’m going to break down Arnold’s six rules in order to help you better apply it to your life and experience the wild success that Arnold has.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules of Success
1) Trust yourself
2) Break the rules
3) Don’t be afraid to fail
4) Ignore the naysayers
5) Work your butt off
6) Give Back!
Here’s a link to the speech. Check it out!
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Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks
Anything worth having never comes easily. In fact, not only does it not come easily but you have to be willing to work twice as hard to keep it. Think about the things you may still have in your life right now that was simply given to you. How did you treat it? Do you still have it? Is it in good shape? Now think about something that you definitely have that you worked hard for. I bet you take care of it. You may actually still have it. You probably thank God for it as often as you can.
When we work hard for something or have to earn it, we treat it better. Whether it’s a relationship or a material item, we work harder for something that we’re vested in. Not only do we work harder, we treat it differently. The best example is a rental car. Think back to a vehicle you rented. How did you treat it? I can bet you didn’t wash it; you may have driven over speed bumps going 40mph. You treated it like it wasn’t yours. Now think about the car you actually make payments on or the one you own outright. You probably wash it every weekend. Keep it gassed up and treat it like a prize possession.
What’s the difference, you ask? They are both cars, aren’t they? Well, the difference is in the fact that with one of the cars you actually had to work hard to get it and even harder to keep. With the other, the sense of pride of ownership simply doesn’t exist because it isn’t fully yours. Your relationships work the same way. You must be willing to give in order to receive. You can’t treat others like they are rental cars and expect them to treat you like a car they make payments on. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Remember, nothing worth having ever comes easily. If you worked hard to get something, you must be willing to work hard to keep it.
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You may find this hard to believe but I love trials and tribulations. I love challenges. I love when the going gets tough. I love having to go through difficult and challenging times in my life. I love when things seem out of control and in disarray. I love when it seems like there’s nowhere else to go and no one around to help you. I bet you’re wondering, how can anyone love all of these seemingly negative things? It’s quite simple actually, here’s why.
If you’re reading this then one can reasonably assume that you are alive. You may not be well but you are certainly alive. And if you’re alive then no situation is insurmountable. Meaning, there is no situation or circumstance too big for you to overcome. I truly believe in the saying “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” I love going through trials and tribulations because without these trials and tribulations there’s absolutely no way I can build the type of muscles necessary to overcome any obstacle.
What gets me nervous is when things are going well. It’s not that I don’t want things to flow smoothly, it’s just that I know with every test comes a testimony. With every loss comes a discovery. With every fall there’s a rise. The reason why I said I love experiencing trials and tribulations is because I know what naturally follows; a triumph. When things don’t seem to be going your way, embrace it and try to learn the lesson you were meant to learn from this situation. If you don’t learn the intended lesson, you are bound to experience these trials over and over again until you do.
Believe it or not, if your current situation seems unstable, unhappy or uncertain, you are in a great place! Think of your circumstances as a storm and maintain the understanding that all storms must pass. You may have to pick up the pieces once the storm has passed but that should be the least of your worries. Surviving the storm is what’s most important.
If you are going through a storm in your life, keep going!
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To experience depression is to experience one of the lowest, if not the lowest, emotion of them all. Being depressed means that you have reached a point where you have given up hope on mostly everything in your life; your physical and spiritual health as well as your relationships suffer immensely. Your family and social life suffers and worst of all, you suffer. When you are at a point where you think, feel and believe that life has nothing more to offer, simply step back and reevaluate your situation. If you are on this side of the dirt, there is always hope.
Once you hit rock bottom, the only direction you can go is up. Remember that nothing happens by accident; even our trials and tribulations are set up in such a way to strengthen a particular proverbial muscle. In essence, we go through trials in our lives as a means to show the world that one can overcome tragedy. Simply, we are all here to serve as testimonies. It is imperative that you understand the importance of overcoming your obstacles so that you can be an example for others. Some people are strong because they draw on the strength of others; subscribing to the thought that “if s/he can do it, so can I”. If you overcoming an obstacle serves as an example of what’s possible, simply thank God for the opportunity.
I have been fortunate enough to experience the bottom. I am even more fortunate to learn the simple lesson and understanding that from that point on it can only get better; that’s what I kept telling myself. Along my journey, I have lost many worldly possessions including homes, automobiles and other “stuff”. Once I came to the realization that I am not my “stuff”, my world opened up to new possibilities. I no longer worked hard to possess worldly things; I simply worked hard to possess a greater sense of happiness and a greater sense of awareness.
Why do you think you are going through your trial? I’ll tell you why. For one, it is because God has specifically chosen you. Be thankful and know that you can and will make it through, especially if you believe that you can. Keep fighting and don’t stop believing in the impossible; miracles do happen.
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When it comes to being successful in life, all of the issues that we face bring us down to making two choices; we can either fight or we can take flight. With fighting, at least you have a chance to overcome this obstacle. However, choosing to flee from your problem doesn’t mean that it’s going to go away. It almost never does until you handle it. Our problems are designed to offer us only two possible outcomes; we can either choose to swim and stay above the water or we can allow the problem to force us to sink. Either way, they are both choices we are choosing to make. Since you now know this to be fact, choose to swim.
Choosing to swim simply means that you are not going to allow your problem to defeat you. In fact, the power we possess to change our circumstances is often handed freely to our problems. Take back control of the power you possess to change your circumstances and start finding solutions now. You have every resource you will ever need to be successful. Your greatest obstacle will always be yourself and what you allow your mind to think. A successful person’s mind always thinks of possibilities, not limitations.
Challenges in life are meant to strengthen us, if and only if we are strong enough to outlast them. It is indeed a test of endurance. You must be willing to do whatever it takes to stay above the water, even when you feel the constant tug of your problems trying to pull you under. It simply means that you must paddle harder and swim faster. Make the conscious decision to not let your problems win. With every challenge there are hidden opportunities to be better. Always search for the opportunities in your problems and shift your focus towards solution-driven thinking.
You control your destiny. You control your fate. You control your outcomes.
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Have you ever looked through your emails to see what you sent a year, two even three or more years ago? Well, I have. Recently I was looking through some old emails and came across this tag line at the end of a friends email. Many people have quotes at the end of their emails which mean little to nothing and most of the quotes do not articulate the message the user intended. However, every now and then, you come across a gem like the quote I found. When that happens, share it. That is what I have chosen to do.
The quote at the end of the email stated “The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.” by David Starr Jordan. This quote could not be more true. If you know where you are going, those who don’t will automatically step aside to let you pass. Think about it. When you’re driving and the person in front of you is driving a little slower than you are, if you don’t honk, chances are they will switch lanes to allow you to pass. It works the exact same way as it relates to accomplishing your goals.
It is imperative that you continue to push forward no matter what. There will be people who try to stand in your way, keep moving! There will be roadblocks that seem to have no way through, keep moving! There will be seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your way, keep moving! If you choose to keep moving, others will have no other option but to get out of the way; especially if it looks like you know where you’re going.
When you know where you are going, no one can stand in your way!
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Anything worth having is indeed worth fighting for, right? While this is true, most people never consider the opposite. Anything worth fighting for is truly worth having. Think about it. When was the last time you fought hard to have something? Did you get that thing? If you did, you most likely still have it. Where we go wrong is thinking that if it’s worth having then it’s worth fighting for. Shift your focus to whether it is worth fighting for because if it is then most likely its worth having.
There are some people and many things in your life that you did not fight to get yet I am willing to bet that you are willing to fight to keep. Obviously, there is a thin line between the two. Your focus should be to distinguish between what is worth fighting for and what is not. Some things simply aren’t worth fighting for. Truthfully, there are some people who aren’t worth fighting for either.
Your ultimate goal should be to achieve personal happiness; understand that no one and no thing can help you achieve this goal. Personal happiness can only be achieved by taking full responsibility for your own happiness. You are the only one who can make you happy. Most of the time we depend on others to fill that void. If you continue to do this, you will continue to be disappointed. It is not only important to take a personal inventory of what is worth fighting for in your life, it is equally important to know that you too are worth fighting for.
Commit to memory the fact that anything worth fighting for is certainly worth having.
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There is something I am going to tell you that may surprise you but please understand that it is a fact. The fact is that some battles aren’t yours to fight. Although we are strong, most of us are too stubborn to realize when our strength is not enough to win a fight. Yet that does not prevent us from entering a fight. When you find yourself starting to lose strength or when you feel that you may lose a battle, simply turn it over to God.
Sometimes we enter unwinnable battles; at times on purpose. I believe that when we are tested or thrown off course, it is God trying to tell us something. What He’s trying to tell us is that He possesses the necessary power to win any and every battle. You don’t have to fight alone, you are just choosing to. If you are in a situation where you are constantly battling the same demons, it is because you haven’t asked Him for help.
Imagine fighting your battles in a wrestling ring; you against your problems. Your problem has an issue waiting to be tagged in once you get weak enough for them to tap you out. What you must ask yourself is at your weakest moment, who will you tag in? Look over your shoulder, reach out your hand and tag God in; I guarantee you He won’t lose. Although most of us try, we cannot win every battle on our own. In fact, some battles aren’t meant for you to fight alone.
When you feel like you are in one of those unwinnable battles against your problems, simply call out to God, ask Him for help or turn it over to Him completely. Trust me, He can handle it.
Remember, turn your battles over to God or simply tag Him in; you can’t lose.
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There is an ongoing battle between being cooperative and being competitive. Oftentimes, the thin line which separates the two becomes obscure. Some extreme competitors expect to win and most inevitably do. The problem comes when our expectations aren’t met and the results aren’t favorable. Many of us are so competitive that experiencing a loss would result in complete disappointment and utter devastation.
When I was in college, I ran for Student Body President. I truly gave that election my all and I mean ALL. After several grueling months of campaigning from dorms to classrooms, Election Day had finally arrived. Almost ten hours later a winner was announced. My name was not called. That was my first experience losing an election. There are countless people who quit after they’ve experienced a loss. My life experience has taught me that if perhaps I don’t win today, it doesn’t mean I can’t win tomorrow. Every loss presents an opportunity to learn, grow and get better.
Although I did not win the election, I was not willing to accept that this one loss would ultimately dictate my future. A winner understands that it is not over until it is completely over and even then you must fight some more. Whether you win or lose, remember to always give it your best shot. While I was devastated at the time, I had to wrap my mind around the fact that failure is an event, it is not a person. No matter the results, you should never walk away from an experience hoping you had done a little more. Leave it all on the battlefield.
The greatest difference between a winner and a loser is that a winner always gets back up.
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It isn’t over until it’s truly over. Don’t count yourself out before you even get into the battle. Oftentimes, we talk ourselves out of a battle before we even jump in. Citing countless reasons why we shouldn’t do something. In the same vain, you must also consider citing reasons why something may actually work. Everything is dichotomous in nature; meaning there are two ways to look at everything. There certainly are positives if you focus intently on discovering them; consider the positives.
You will never know the outcomes of the battles you don’t fight. If you choose not to fight, you’ve already lost. Understand that nothing in this world comes easily; nothing. The outcome of your battles has already been determined yet that should not prevent you from fighting as hard as you can. The fact that you are still living simply means that you are on the winning end of the battle. It also means that, to date, no problem has claimed your life and thus has made you stronger.
Your primary goal each and every day should be to never quit. Quitting is not nor should it ever be an option for you. First, understand and commit to memory the fact that you were born to win. There is no such thing as an insurmountable battle. No matter how hard it seems and will become at times, you cannot quit. No matter how difficult the battle appears, you cannot quit. Even if it looks like you are going to lose, you cannot quit. Your reward is waiting at the finish-line and you cannot claim any rewards if you don’t finish. Be a finisher.
The only way you’ll know if you can truly win a battle is if you make it to the end. No matter how long and arduous the journey may seem, you must focus on the end result. Do not fear defeat, focus intently on the finish-line and you will win every time.
You can win and you will win; simply because there are no other options for you.
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