“If you do it when you’re expected to and do it right the first time, you won’t have to worry about doing it over.” I can still hear the house mom’s voice in the group home I grew up in when I lived in Miami. She would tell us this when we had to redo our chores, which all of the youth in the home were required to do. She never made idle threats and none of us in the home were brave or senseless enough to challenge her. Well, there was one person who thought he could and was sadly mistaken. That foolish person was me.
Kim, our house mom, would always tell us that if we did not complete our chores from the day before that she would wake us up at three in the morning to complete them. We never believed that she would do it but we also never challenged her. Until one day when the list of chores stated that it was my turn to rake the leaves in the front and back yard. I had homework and a big test I was preparing for so I figured I’d get to it the next day. Kim had other plans for me.
I was fast asleep, perhaps on my second dream, when all of a sudden thunderously loud knocks began to break down the door. I looked over at the alarm clock and it was exactly three in the morning. I thought the house was on fire until I heard, “Joseph! Get up and get out there and rake those leaves like you were supposed to”. I always thought she was bluffing about that threat until I was raking those leaves at three in the morning and was still expected to go to school the next day.
That day, I was forced to understand the importance of getting a job done when you are expected to get it done. Even more so, I understood the importance of getting it done right the first time. I also learned that procrastination only delays the inevitable. Simply, you have to get it done anyway so why not get it done when you’re supposed to. Stop stalling and get it done.
There are some things that you have been putting off completing for whatever reason. Choose today to get it done. There is no reason why you should wait another minute. Get it done and get it done right the first time.
Procrastination is the thief of time. Stop waiting and start acting.
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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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There are so many people who start off strong but they never end up finishing what they’ve started. Some people fail to finish because they lack the drive, discipline and persistence necessary to see a goal through to the end. Others lose interest in the very thing they’d hoped to accomplish because it seemed to be taking a little longer than they had expected. At the top of the list are those who seek validation from others in order to gauge whether or not they should continue. If you are guilty, much like I was, there is a way out.
Before I understood the importance of persistence and the value of perseverance, I too sought out validation from others. Many of the projects I started I simply wanted people to like and if they didn’t I would inevitably scrap the whole thing or subconsciously start losing interest myself. I prayed to God to remove my need for others to like what I was doing and to free me from the need for others to validate my work and He did. I am no longer held captive by what others think and feel about me. Those things are irrelevant to my growth as an individual.
When you are passionate about a certain thing, your passion is enough fuel to drive that thing to immeasurable heights; keep your foot on the gas. Just because you may not be receiving the feedback you hoped for does not mean that it isn’t a great thing. Keep going until you get what you are looking for. It may take weeks, months and even years before the right person notices; all you need is one. Remember, no one will notice your work if you stop working.
At all times remain focused on your dreams, even if your eyes are the only pair on the prize.
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There is a man who lost his job the same year he was defeated during a run to serve in the legislature. A year later, after several attempts, his business failed. Shortly thereafter, his significant other passed away. Nearly a year after that, he had a severe nervous breakdown. This same man would experience over a dozen losses spanning over three decades. His tenacity and ability to stick with it despite his failures allowed him to become the 16th President of the United States of America.
President Abraham Lincoln’s attempts at success was rejected countless times before he finally heard his first YES! It may take you 10,000 times or 10 times to accomplish your dreams; either way, do not give up. We can only imagine what kind of world we’d be living in had he not persevered; the landscape of the world would be significantly different. The secret to his success was that he remained disciplined and committed enough to continue to keep trying until he received a favorable response. This is the recipe for success and exactly what you need to do.
The interesting thing about setting goals is that we really don’t know the exact date we’ll accomplish them; yet it is imperative that we continue to work diligently towards the accomplishment of said goals. Understand that we will never know the exact date that we will win simply because most people give up right before they get the thing they were working so feverishly for. Many people give up because they lack the necessary patience and perseverance required to accomplish any goal. You must stick with whatever it is you are doing, even if it seems like there is no end in sight. Your goals can and will be achieved if you simply choose not to throw in the towel. Quitting will never be an option for a winner.
Don’t give up 3 seconds before the miracle happens.
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One of the most difficult things to do is to watch others around you continue to succeed while you seem to be in a holding pattern. You work twice as hard as the next person yet your results are not the same. You wake up early and you go to sleep late working on living the dream. I want you to understand and commit to memory that your day will come. Eventually your day will come but only if you refuse to give up on your dreams.
Understand that everything happens as it is designed to happen. If you aren’t receiving the fruits of your labor it simply means that it isn’t your season to experience harvest. Yet that should not prevent you from working as if your harvest will come tomorrow. No one ever knows when their time to shine will come. I do know this much, the people who are shining stars have one thing in common; they never gave up.
After his very first audition, Sidney Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier made a decision that day to prove that he could make it in the acting business and in 1963 he became the first and youngest Black actor to win an Oscar for Best Actor. He was also nominated 5 years prior for Best Actor. Imagine if Sidney would’ve listened to the doubters.
Your time will come if you focus on your goal and work as hard as you can for as long as you can. It matters not what others are doing to reach their goals; at all times focus on self. Truthfully, you may seem like the one who is wildly successful in the eyes of others. I want you to really think about what success looks like in your eyes and focus intently on that. Never compare the blessings of others to your own blessings; yours will never seem enough.
Don’t be afraid of failing; that’s the only way you will ever learn how to win. Successful people set high goals and will do whatever it takes to reach them. Don’t be concerned with what the next man is doing, stay in your line and race towards the finish line.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
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Nearly 18 months ago, I travelled over 1500 miles by car leaving behind people, places and things in search of something new, exciting and different. This morning is unlike any other morning I’ve ever had in my entire life; this morning I woke up enlightened and wanted to share that with you. Truthfully, every morning is different and is essentially based on our perception and reception of the day which makes it a gift. I digress because this message isn’t particularly about that. This morning, I want to emphasize the importance of persistence. It is critically important that you maintain a high level of persistence in the face of danger; persistence in the face of uncertainty and persistence in the face of doubt.
The key to success is staying the course and seeing a goal through to the end. Throughout the entire 1500 mile pilgrimage, one single thought continued to rewind and play over and over again in my head; “If I keep driving, sooner or later, I’ll reach my destination”. There is so much we all can and should learn from my journey. The main lesson is, stay the course! On my way to my final destination, I encountered traffic; I watched fellow road warriors get pulled over by police officers and issued speeding tickets and I even witnessed several serious car accidents. One can reasonably parallel this road trip experience to similar experiences in our lives.
Essentially, in life we are going to experience some obstacles, trials and tribulations along the way toward the achievement of our goals. The key thing to remember is that if we stay focused on the end result, the chances of accomplishing that specific result is extremely favorable; almost 100% of the time. Keep in mind that as long as you keep grinding, keep driving and stay focused, eventually you too will reach the finish line. The goal is to not stop driving; to not stop moving; to stay busy and to work diligently until your desired end result is realized. It can be done if you stay the course.
Don’t stop until you have reached the top.
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Don’t ever start something you aren’t willing to maintain and eventually finish. It takes little to no effort to start something, perhaps that explains why so many people have so many great starts. This theory is also applicable to Olympic runners awaiting the sound of the starters’ gun. Many times, the person who takes off first or the fastest off the block isn’t always the one who ends up with the gold medal at the end of the race. The person who wins is typically the one who finishes strong.
No one will remember how you started but the world will never forget how you finished. If you are going to exhaust effort on anything affiliated with your dreams, I encourage you to focus intently on finishing. I am guilty of not finishing a few things that I’ve started, we all are. The goal is to develop and strengthen the skill of follow-through. Following through with the careful execution of any goal is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
There is an unexplainable feeling that you experience when you accomplish anything. The ultimate goal is to experience this feeling early and often. There is a way to accomplish this. Step one, finish strong. It doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish that matters. It’s funny what our minds have the capability of retaining. As I write this, all I hear is an old friend’s voice echoing, “Finish Strong!” I choose to finish what I start and so should you or don’t bother starting it at all.
Be a finisher and finish strong.
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Many people have difficulty handling rejection. Naturally, no one wants to hear no. Think back to when you were a child and you would ask permission in order to acquire a certain thing, only to be told no. Most of us responded angrily, unless you grew up in my home where that wasn’t allowed. No truly meant no. There were no arguments, no jury, and one judge.
As an adult and through my vast experience with sales, I learned to develop and strengthen the muscle that allows me to transfer no’s into yeses. Initially, when I attempted to “sell” a product or service and was met with rejection, I would take it personally and become very disappointed thinking that there must be something wrong with me and my ability to sell; fortunately, I was wrong. When someone rejects us, it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with us or our abilities, it means that it just might not be the right time. Simply, everything isn’t for everybody.
Some people are simply not interested in being accommodating by nature. Others create this imaginary force field that is designed to discourage you from offering them your product or service, even if that product is you. Those are the people I cherish the most because their “no” saves me time, effort and energy. Your goal is to reduce and limit the amount of time you spend trying to convince a “no” into transforming into a “yes”. Believe me, your efforts will be futile. The same amount of energy you put into getting a “no” is the same amount of energy it takes to get a “yes”. Some minds are simply made up; it has nothing to do with you as a person or your abilities.
Understand that every “no” simply means you’re that much closer to a “yes”. Embrace every “no” you hear because each time you hear it, focus on the “yes” that’s right around the corner. The goal is to keep going and not be discouraged by rejection. Remember, they are not rejecting you as a person; they are most likely rejecting the idea, product or service you are offering.
When you hear a “no”, dust yourself off and try again. If you don’t give up, inevitably, someone will say “yes”.
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If you truly want to learn the importance of patience, emulate a teacher. Most educators have mastered the art of patience. It takes patience to teach lessons to a class with various students who learn at different paces. The best way to master something is to attempt to teach it to someone else. It’s an interesting phenomenon, when we teach, we also learn. You ever notice how while you are explaining something to someone it starts to make even more sense to you? That’s not an accident.
I’m certain you’ve heard the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Simply put, anything that is destined to be great takes time to build. You are destined for greatness and it is going to take you building a strong foundation brick-by-brick. It is going to take you reaching deep down inside and pulling out every ounce of endurance from your being. It is going to take patience. The end result will be similar. Much like Rome, you too will stand atop a mountain of your issues, obstacles, trials and tribulations proclaiming victory as the conqueror. Stand up and claim victory, it’s already yours.
Understand this, you have come too far to stop now. You must know that being successful doesn’t happen overnight. Even when it seems like it does for some people, it truly doesn’t. Their day simply came before yours and that’s ok because your day is right around the corner. As you read my words, I want you to accept the fact that your life will and must improve. Know that your dreams are not impossible. If that is your desire then it shall and will come to pass.
Continue to chase your dreams, work diligently towards the attainment of them and be patient while they show up at the exact time they were meant to be there. Patience is not only a virtue; it is a requirement for success.
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Your future success is based on the work you do in the present. Do you want to know why so many people dream impossible dreams? It’s quite simple actually, how much effort does it take for us to dream? Precisely right; it takes little to no effort to think of grandiose thoughts or create these visions of grandeur. In fact, I encourage it. The problem is; this is where most people stop. They stop at the dream stage and never progress to the next stage; the work stage.
The work stage is where you work to meet your thoughts and/or dreams half-way. I say half-way because thinking of the idea is truly only half of the way there; the second half consists of the work that you must put in towards making this idea a reality. Write down your plan of action. If you don’t answer the “how” in how you are going to make this dream come true, it will be almost impossible to do it. The how is your set of instructions, your directions, your plan of attack. Your plan should be very detailed, precise and leave little room for error.
Today is the day you choose to put that thing you’ve been thinking about to work. That thing or idea is worth absolutely nothing if it’s stuck in your head. You need to share it. You need to release it. You need to believe in it enough to take the risk and see if it will work out; it just might. Much like you, I have tons of ideas that pass through my mind on a daily basis and don’t necessarily act on all of them. However, there are ideas that pop into your head that evens surprises you. When that happens, write it down and start working on creating it in order to share it with the world. We’re waiting.
Having seemingly impossible dreams is much better than having no dreams at all.
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