How the power of words can change lives


Ever wondered how powerful words can be? Well let me tell you a heart warming story to emphasise something I believe to be true.

Some time ago I had lunch with a group of old friends. Nothing unusual about that, you might say. Even the fact that it was the first time we’d all been together in the same place, at the same time since the summer of 1979 was not exceptional. Such reunions happen all the time.

Nevertheless it was a pleasure to see them all again and swap stories about how our lives have progressed since those far off days. It is the story of one of my friends that to me is a source of inspiration and reinforces the importance of how powerful words can be.

Back in those distant days, we were all working together for the national telecommunications operator in Bahrain. Three of us were young, graduate engineers on an upward trajectory, with the future seemingly ours for the taking. And one, let’s call him Saeed, was simply the handyman and tea boy in the department.

Saeed was then a teenager, straight out of school. He was a bright and willing fellow but with absolutely no academic qualifications and he spoke very little English at the time. He came from a poor village and his perceived failure at school had left him feeling that he had blown his chances and was destined for a series of low paid, low skilled jobs.

Fast forward 35 years and Saeed is now every bit the poor-boy-made-good story. Not only is he now a wealthy international businessman with two very successful businesses. He also has a string of qualifications including a PhD. Amazingly he was actually in the process of completing a second doctorate at the time. In short, his success is impressive by any measure.

So how did Saeed get from where he was to where he is now? The simple answer of course is determination and a lot of hard work. You cannot achieve anything without those ingredients. However he also needed a reason to believe; a spark to light the fire. And that for me is where the story gets interesting.

Over lunch Saeed explained that it was a kind and encouraging word, all those years ago, from one of our fellow diners that had made him believe that he could make a success of his life, despite a poor start.

My fellow diner in question, let’s call him Tom, didn’t even remember the conversation. However back in the day it seems Tom had explained to Saeed that your future is not defined by your past, it is an endless stream of opportunities which you can choose to take, or not, and make your life whatever you want it to be.

The power of these well-timed words of encouragement had an impact on Saeed so profound that they propelled him down the road to a destiny which otherwise he did not think possible. And in that is the point.

Words can be very powerful, so choose them wisely. A few well-timed words can really inspire young people. Young people need encouragement more than they need critics. Next time you’re working with someone in the early stages of life’s journey, remember your words can have the power to encourage them, as well as discourage them.

Never forget how powerful words can be. Better if your words can inspire someone to exceptional achievement. If you want to leave a legacy behind you; it would be hard to improve on that I think.

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Visibility: Does it really matter?

Does visibility really matter?

Well that depends on how you think about it. If you’re happy to plod along and just accept whatever life decides you should have then it probably doesn’t matter much at all. However if success is your aim or if you want to enjoy more of what life can offer then visibility is essential.

How can you be a solution to my problem if I don’t know you exist? How can I possibly know what you have to offer unless I have some visibility of you in action? How can you establish a reputation if you hide your light under a bushel? If I don’t know you exist, you don’t exist.

If you really want to succeed in life then you have to be seen and you must make an impression on people. That’s important, like it or not. People need a reason to remember you.

Ideally you want them to like and respect you. Even if people just love to hate you then that is better than them being totally indifferent to you. At least you will be known. You have to be visible. As the saying goes, ability without visibility is a liability.

The product ‘You’ will only sell if people are aware that it exists. So self-promotion and personal public relations initiatives play an important role in building your reputation and creating demand for what you have to offer. Humility is all very well but diffidence is at best unwise. You will never get anywhere unless you have visibility with people that matter.

Think about the most successful people; people such as Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Elvis Presley and John Lennon. Sadly the latter two are no longer with us. Nevertheless the examples are valid. They all make or made an impression on you. You may not like them but you cannot or could not ignore them. They all have or had that special quality known as presence.

So make sure you get yourself noticed. Stand out in the crowd and give people a reason to remember you.

And remember this old Arab Proverb; “Be memorable, Be known”.

Recommended Reading

If you’re wise you will take the subject of personal PR very seriously. And if you do you might just be looking for a book on the subject. Well one I can recommend is:-

PERSONAL PR: Public Relations and Marketing Tips That Work to Your Advantage by author Bruce H. Joffe

This book has lots of simple suggestions and anecdotes which offer a guide as to how-to-do-it, as well as tactics and strategies you can use to succeed in your business and professional life

If you’d just like to check it out or if you’re keen to buy it then CLICK HERE

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Top 10 Tips for How to Manage Your Time

If only I had time is an expression I hear constantly. People will say to me, “Oh I’d love to do that, if only I had the time.” However we all have the same amount of time. We all have 168 hours each week and it all comes down to how we make best use of it. Time is the most precious commodity and far too many people don’t use their time as wisely as they should. So here are my Top 10 tips for how to manage your time.

1. Be in control: Just because someone makes a demand on your time, it doesn’t mean that you have to agree to it. You are the captain of your own ship and you should always be in control. And you’re mindset should always be, “I am in control of my life and if anyone wants a piece of my time then they will need to provide me with a very good reason as to why I should agree to their request.”

2. Keep your life and your desk free of clutter: Dealing with clutter just stresses you out, so be ruthless and get rid of it. You cannot work efficiently at a desk which is full of clutter. And you will waste so much time looking for things you need. So clear your desk and get rid of anything in your life that will prevent you from managing your time as efficiently as possible.

3. Be organized: A place for everything and everything in its place. If everything is in its place then you’ll know where to find it should you need it. And that reduces clutter and makes for a better environment in which to work, be it in the workplace or your personal life.

4. Make lists: You need to plan your week and plan each day too. Write it all down so you won’t forget it. Having a weekly planner is a good idea. Knowing what needs to be achieved each week, allows you to identify ‘must do’ activities each day. At the end of each day make a list of what needs to be done the next day in order to achieve your objectives. And do not rest until your list has been completed each day.

5. Prioritize: Everything is urgent these days, so you have to identify those things that are important to you achieving your objectives. Those are then the activities on which you must focus. You should know your priorities and they are the things that will allow you to achieve your objectives and meet your deadlines.

6. Develop routines: Having a proper routine will allow you to get very efficient at what you do. For instance, rather than responding to emails as and when they arrive in your inbox, set aside two or three time windows each day when you will deal with email. That could be for exactly one hour at the beginning of each day; half an hour just before lunch and then say half an hour at the end of the day just before you leave your desk. Be very strict about these windows for dealing with email and don’t allow email to become a distraction at other times.

7. Set deadlines and stick to them: If you have a piece of work to complete, judge how long it will take, use that to set a deadline for completion and then focus on that work such that you complete it within your deadline.

8. Delegate whenever possible: You should only be doing those things which absolutely have to be done by you. If you are lucky enough to have people to whom you can delegate then make use of them as much as you possibly can.

9. Don’t procrastinate: Procrastination is the thief of time. If you have got something to do, then get on with it. Don’t mess around. The sooner you start the sooner you will finish.

10. Learn to say No: Master this skill and it is the biggest time saver of them all. Far too often we agree do something for someone else simply because we don’t like saying no. It may not even be our responsibility but we do it anyway rather than say no. Always be polite but it is perfectly reasonable to say, I’d love to help you but I am busy right now.

Whilst this is not a comprehensive list, it is a good basis on which to start improving your time management. If you want to be successful then time management is an essential skill.

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11 tips for improving quality of life

Life has never been easy but it seems to get tougher with each passing year. We are all constantly juggling the conflicting demands of work and family and trying to squeeze in a little ‘me time’ whenever possible. It’s that elusive thing known as work-life balance. Most of us aspire to it but few achieve it.

How would you describe the quality of your life right now? This is a question we all ask ourselves occasionally. A reader asked me recently whether I could offer some tips for improving quality of life. It’s a subject close to my heart, so I am only to happy to oblige. Here are 11 memorable tips which I hope will help you improve your life’s quality:-

1. Keep it simple

There really is a lot to be said for simplicity. Complexity can be stressful. So keep everything in life as simple as possible. Ditch the clutter; buy only what you really need and can actually use; and learn to appreciate what you have rather than fretting about things you think you’d like to have but don’t right now. Nothing matters much and actually very few things really matter at all. If you’re lucky enough to have family and a handful of genuine friends plus food on your table and a roof over your head then what more do you actually need? Keeping life simple will reduce your stress levels and that’s important.

2. Treat people with respect

I believe that only people matter. Yes having a nice house and a nice car is great but as human beings we are social animals. We are not solitary animals like cats. We live in groups and we need other people in our lives. And key to having friends is being a friend and treating other people with respect. Treat everyone as you’d prefer them to treat you. Not everyone will appreciate that approach of course but the ones that matter most will and surely that’s what counts. Treat people with respect and generally other people will treat you with respect. And if we could all treat each other with respect then the world would be a better place.

3. Actions speak louder than words

We are judged by what we do and not what we say. Anyone can talk a good game but not everyone can deliver real results and deliver them well. If you want to impress people then it is only your actions that will count. If you can do what you do well then you will be well on your way to achieving success.

4. Ask questions

Intelligent people ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask a question or to request a clarification about something. If something doesn’t sound quite right then don’t be afraid to challenge it. Ask questions and you’ll learn; fail to ask questions and a life of ignorance lies ahead of you. Only a fool would proceed in ignorance.

5. Look forward; never back

The past has gone and it is important only insofar as the lessons it has taught us and the memories it has given us. The future is where we will spend the rest of our lives. Therefore we should always be living in the present and looking to the future. And above all our focus should be on forging the future we really want. Live your life by looking through the windshield not the the rear-view mirror.

6. Create your own future

We can’t change the past but we can influence our future. We can have a vision of what we want to achieve and how we’d like it to be. We don’t have to accept what is given to us. We can go out and get the things we want. It takes hard work, as well as determination and discipline but it can be done. Create the future you really want and don’t just settle for anything that comes along.

7. Don’t be afraid to change direction if necessary

There will be times in your life when you head off in a particular direction only to find that it doesn’t turn out to be quite what you imagined it would be. There’s nothing wrong with that as you won’t always get it right. From time to time you will make mistakes or perhaps you’ll misjudge a situation. However once you realize something is not quite right for you then don’t be afraid to change direction.

Just take it on the chin, change direction and move on. Don’t worry about what others might think. They’ll think whatever they think but who cares? It’s your life not theirs. It’s only what you think that matters. If you’re not happy with a situation then it’s better to take action than to live a miserable existence because you’re worried about what others might think.

8. Face your fear and just do it

From time to time we all face challenges in our lives. They can often seem daunting and more than a little scary. However if life was always easy then we’d never grow as people. By facing up to a challenge we learn and we grow. That’s how we build our character. That’s how we toughen up. Yes we’ll make mistakes but it is better to have a go and fail than not have a go at all.

Face a challenge and achieve a result and we have done something of which we can be truly proud. Face a challenge and get an outcome we didn’t really want and at least we’ve learned a valuable lesson. That is how we build experience. And if nothing else we can be proud that at least we had a go.

Fear is the body’s way of warning us to proceed with caution. It’s natural to feel fear but courage is our ability to act despite feeling that fear. Have courage and face every challenge as it comes. However hard it might appear at first, you’ll be glad you did.

9. Look after your own well being

You can’t enjoy life to the full if you have health problems can you? So take care of yourself and look after your health. Eat sensibly, drink in moderation, get plenty of exercise and avoid things like tobacco and other recreational stimulants. You might think it doesn’t matter but it does. One puff on a cigarette won’t kill you but the effect of regular smoking will have a cumulative, detrimental effect on your health. You might think ‘you can handle drugs’ but that is the wisdom of a fool. Regular use of recreational drugs will affect you in time. It is only a matter of time. If you don’t look after yourself then no one else will.

10. Learn to manage your time effectively

Time is our most precious resource. We all have the same amount of time, 168 hours each week. It’s how we choose to use it that matters most. Just because someone wants a piece of our time, it doesn’t follow that we should just give it to them. Allocate your time very, very carefully.

If something doesn’t need to be done, don’t do it. If someone else can do it, let them do it. If it can wait, let it wait. And if it absolutely must be done now, get on with it.

It is all about your priorities and those actions where you and only you can add the most value. Identify those things that will allow you to be most effective and they will form the basis of your priorities.

11. Have fun; life’s too short

We all need to ensure that we take time out for ourselves occasionally. We all need a little ‘me’ time; time to recharge our batteries and relax. Work is important of course, as it gives us a sense of purpose in our lives. However it is essential that we have a little fun too.

Life is far too short to be constantly working. So having a hobby or pleasurable pursuit is a very good idea, as is spending some quality time with the people who matter most to you. Have some fun and make sure that you have it regularly.

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If you knew you’ll die tomorrow, here’s what’s important to you today?

Many posts have reflected on the importance of money to living life in the modern age. Let’s be honest it’s difficult to live without money today. However we must also remember that life is short.

So, whilst money is obviously important in once sense, it’s not an ideal means for measuring success. Nor should the accumulation of money for its own sake be the underlying motive that drives us. Adopt that approach to life and you’ll be doomed to disappointment.

A better measure for success is whether we’re feeling fulfilled by what we’re doing. If our work is something we’d do as a hobby if we couldn’t get paid for it then that’s a better way of gauging success. As the great Warren Buffett once said, “Look for a job that you’d take it you didn’t need a job.”

A sense of purpose and work which is fulfilling and truly absorbing is a much less stressful way of living. If we enjoy what we do we’ll do it well and the money will follow anyway. If we do our work exceptionally well then people will notice. And once we get noticed, we’re on our way to genuine success.

Never be driven by money alone. Never accept a job simply because it’s well paid. It’s nice to have a good salary, of course. However once we get used to the money we still have to spend a third of our lives doing the work for which we’re being paid well. And to do work we don’t enjoy, is a very big price to pay in terms of emotions, our stress levels and the impact on our central nervous system.

If life is short then our time is very precious. What’s the point of working every hour we’ve got just to become rich, only then to die suddenly of a heart attack having had no time to enjoy the fruits of our labour? What a waste that would be. Being the richest man or woman in the graveyard is hardly a title worth having, is it?

So the underlying message to you dear reader is to find work you enjoy doing and to make sure you leave a little time to enjoy life too.

No one’s life is perfect. Everyone faces challenges occasionally. Inevitably your life will have its ups and downs too. However make sure there are more ups than downs in life, as far as you possibly can.

Take some time to smell the roses and have a laugh. As the old Music Hall song used to say; “enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”

You wouldn’t want to live forever, but you should be living your life to the full today. Life is short and it’s definitely later than you think.

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The Importance of Time Management

The importance of time management cannot be overstated.

If you want to be successful, then you have to master time management. Successful people are always good time managers. They would never allow other people to waste their time and nor should you.

Time is our most precious resource. It is more important than money because, whilst we can always get more money, we can never get more time. One hour spent is one hour we no longer have to spend.

How often do you hear people say, “I’d love to do that but I don’t have the time.” However the fact is that we all have exactly the same amount of time; 168 hours a week. It all comes down to our priorities and our determination to use our time wisely.

How we choose to prioritise and allocate our time will have a significant bearing on how successful we become. No savvy person would waste their money, nor would they allow other people to waste their money for them, would they? And yet people frequently waste their own time and allow other people to waste their time for them as well.

Why would anyone think it reasonable to waste their time? And why would anyone allow someone else to encroach on their time, resulting in more wasted seconds, minutes and hours.

Just because someone asks for a piece of your time, doesn’t mean you have to agree to their request. You have to ask yourself first whether it would be the best use of your time. The supplementary question would be whether there’s any obligation on your part? Every second is precious, so you have to be miserly when considering requests for even a small part of your time.

And before you begin every day make sure you have a short list of all your absolutely ‘must do’ items and then make sure you get them done. When you’re working, your focus should be on what you’re meant to deliver. Those things that will allow you to add the most value.

However remember this also; a life well lived is a life with balance. You work to live and not the opposite. So when the day is done, make sure you have a little time left over for those who matter most to you. After all, success is very nice but it wouldn’t mean much without family and friends.

Here are six quotes which underline the importance of time management.

  1. Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. ~Theophrastus
  2. Lost time is never found again. ~Benjamin Franklin
  3. My favourite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. ~Steve Jobs
  4. Time is what we want most but what we use worst. ~William Penn
  5. If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? ~John Wooden
  6. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent. ~Barbara Bush

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A Christmas Message

Over the past decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource: our people. The tide of war is receding. ~Barack Obama

Today is Christmas Day and in churches around the world the Christmas message of peace and goodwill to all men and women will be one that is repeated frequently.

However contrast the Christmas message to the comment above from former US President, Barack Obama, originally quoted in the British newspaper the Sunday Express in July 2011.

Now I’m referring specifically to his observation that a trillion dollars had been spent on war over the preceding decade. Even for an economy the size of the United States that is truly a staggering sum of money, wouldn’t you agree?

And remember that the United Kingdom has also spent enormous sums of money on war since the turn of the Millennium. Not as much as the United States I know but billions of pounds nevertheless.

Now just think about how that money might have been spent, had it not been spent on warfare.

Some of it could have been used for building and improving schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Surely that would have been a major benefit, both in the USA and the UK, wouldn’t you agree?

Then again, some of it could have been used to improve the education of young people and for providing better care for the elderly. At both ends of the age spectrum people are struggling. That money would have helped, don’t you think?

Additionally some of it could have been used for research to find alternative sources of energy to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and hydro-carbons. Think of the positive environmental benefits we’d have gained had a solution to our energy needs been found.

Finally, some of it could have been used for better communication between people around the world and for improving the understanding between different cultures. Cultures may differ but people are people and really we’re all the same the world over. So anything that breaks down barriers between people has the potential to make life better.

All that money could have been used as a force for good. That would have been a great idea, don’t you think?

No doubt our politicians believed what they were doing was intended as a force for good and of course it is easy to reflect in hindsight. However it is hard to consider these numbers without wondering whether it was the best use of this money, particularly as it now translates into debt the weight of which will be borne mainly by future generations.

People not yet born may be impoverished by this debt bequeathed to them by their forefathers. If nothing else, you must question the fairness of this situation.

Dear Reader you must make up your own mind about the wisdom or otherwise of spending money on war. However I can’t help thinking that there must have been a better way. War doesn’t decide who’s right; only who’s left and at what cost. Wars create bitterness, resentment and misery. And they create more problems than they could possibly solve.

Personally I think we must work harder at getting along with each other and we must find ways to avoid conflict in future. If we can focus on what we all have in common, rather than any differences between us, then that would be a good first step. Well I think so anyway.

Wherever you go in my experience, people are just people; we laugh; we cry; we eat; we sleep; you cut us and we bleed. Actually we’re not so different at all, are we?

If only our focus could be on showing common courtesy to other people and making sure that resources are shared more evenly. These would be worthy objectives, don’t you think?

Wherever you are Dear Reader, if you’re celebrating Christmas today then I wish you a very merry Christmas and may it be peaceful and filled with warmth, abundance and the comradeship of family and friends.

However if for you today is just another working day, then I hope the environment in which you work is both friendly and peaceful. And I hope the world in which you live is peaceful too.

May God bless you all and may 2018 prove to be all you would like it to be.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Failure: Problem or a force for good?

1. What is success?

We all want our children to reach their full potential. We want them to lead lives in which they are happy and fulfilled. My definition of success is doing the very best I can with the potential I was given and enjoying each day as it comes. I want to enjoy the work I do but I want to stretch myself too. Even as a mature I adult, I remain keen to learn something new every day.  My philosophy of what constitutes success I gained from my parents and it is something I try to pass on to the next generation. Essentially my philosophy is that it’s better to try something and fail rather than wondering what might have been.

2. There’s no such thing as failure

However let me say this, I do not believe there is such as thing as failure. There are only outcomes other than the one we wanted. And those outcomes are simply lessons from which we learn before we try again. If we keep trying eventually we can be successful.

3. Teach your children well

The best way to teach children about success is to teach them that failure is not a bad thing. Teach them never to fear failure. Teach them to have a go and enjoy the experience. Let them know that either they’ll succeed or they’ll learn a lesson. So either way they’ll gain and they’ll grow in character. You can only appreciate success if you’ve experienced a few failures along the road.

4. Force for good

If you think about it, failure is in fact be a force for good. Failure is simply a natural part of life and learning. Everyone fails occasionally and at any given time we’re more likely to fail than we are to succeed. However learning from failure makes us wiser and tougher. Failure is never desirable but it is very useful. It’s also inevitable, at least sometimes. The only way to avoid failure is to avoid risks and challenges and then you cannot grow as a person.

5. Secret to success

The secret to success is to use unsuccessful experiences as stepping stones to achieving your aims. Failure is never final and we should not allow an unsuccessful experience to discourage us or cause us to give up.

Failure is not, nor will it ever be, a person. So next time your child gets an outcome he or she didn’t want, reassure him or her that though it might be disappointing, it’s not a problem. It’s simply an opportunity to learn which shouldn’t be wasted.

Anyone experiencing failure should simply reflect on their actions and the outcome to discover the lesson within. Then use the knowledge gained to guide future efforts. Perseverance and persistence will get us there in the end. We just use these experiences to be a bit smarter next time.

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How to build character

How to build character? Now that’s a frequently asked question. Whether it’s someone seeking to build their own character or to improve character in someone else, we hear it often. However the supplementary question is, what is meant by character?

Now there’s a difference between being ‘a character’ and being ‘of character’. Whereas the former just means being a little bit eccentric, a wit perhaps, or even a raconteur. That’s not the subject of this post, despite all these being admirable qualities, of course. The point being considered here is how to become a person of character.

So what does it mean to be a person of character? First of all people of character usually do what is right regardless of whether they’re being watched or not. They also display traits such as honesty, integrity, courage, manners, self-reliance, commitment, and determination. The comedian Will Rogers once jokingly observed that to be of character people should “live in such a way that they wouldn’t be ashamed to sell their parrot to the town gossip.

So being of good character is an important thing to be. If achieving sustained success is your aim them talent alone isn’t enough. Talent might get you into the limelight briefly but without strong character you’re unlikely to remain there for too long. The process of developing good character is one that is on-going. So you have to keep working at it.

Essentially character is composed of 3 things:-

  1. Values: Having the right values and knowing what matters most.
  2. Doing what is right: Even when no one is watching.
  3. Being a decent person: Showing wisdom, honesty, integrity, love, humility, loyalty, courage, compassion, empathy, self-awareness, and a willingness to recognise fair criticism.

Everyone has at least some work to do to become a person of good character. This is an area where constant improvement is necessary, however good you are now. Some people may be well on the way to being of good character, whilst others may have a lot of work to do yet. However those that are still some way off can change and they can grow in character. You can be better if you want to be better and you can practice the behaviours necessary. These include:-

1. Decide you will be better:

As mature adults our first duty is to take care of ourselves and to be the best people we can be. To live lives worthy of respect. So decide to be the person you really could be.

2. Life-long learning:

It doesn’t matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement. Improvement comes through education and learning, whether formal or informal, and experience is gained by doing, making mistakes and learning the lessons from mistakes made.

3. Work on yourself:

To quote the late Jim Rohn, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” We’re all works in progress. Make sure you keep getting better.

Don’t leave them saying, “He used to be really good.” When they speak of you, make sure they say, “He just keeps getting better. He’s an example to us all.

4. Pursue excellence:

If anything is worth doing then it’s worth doing properly. The way you live your life is no exception.

5. Add value:

Our contribution to society is the value we add. That might be in the example we set or the work that we produce. We don’t get paid for the hour. We get paid for the value we put into the hour. Leave every situation better than you found it.

6. Be determined:

If success is your aim, it won’t happen without hard work and determination. Being good is not enough. Being determined to get to where you want to go is everything.

7. Be persistent:

Never accept an answer unless it’s the want you want. Never accept an outcome as the final outcome unless it’s the one that you want. Never, ever quit until you get to where you want to be or you’ve achieved the goal you set for yourself. Remember; winners never quit and quitters never win. Be the winner you can be.

8. Accept every challenge:

Never underestimate the importance of taking on a challenge. A challenge provides us with experience through which we’ll learn lessons. It’s also a means through which character is developed in the process. Not only will we learn more about our own character, we’ll learn about our capacity to achieve.

9. Ask yourself some searching questions:

It is a fact that too many people go to their graves with their full potential unrealised. Never quite developing their characters to the point where they leave a genuine legacy and an example for others to follow.

Ask yourself this question, “If you were to die tomorrow how will you be remembered at your funeral?” What will they say about you? How would you prefer to be remembered? What would you like people to say about you? And how can you change now to ensure they do?

Depending on the answers to those questions, you may well decide to make a few changes in your life.

Where to go from here:

If that proves to be the case, start with value. What values will you live by and what value are you going to add from now on? Be a person with values and of value.

Then think about challenges you could take on to build your character.

In taking on a challenge we can often surprise ourselves in terms of just how far we can go. Through a challenge we can also learn new skills and improve our self-confidence.

A challenge is an opportunity to grow; it’s an opportunity to learn; and it’s an opportunity to make progress towards becoming the person you really could be.

It’s true that challenges are hard and they’re meant to be. Challenges push us out of our comfort zone and that’s the whole point. Unless we move out of our comfort zone, how can we possibly grow as people?

So embrace challenges but never fear failing at a challenge; your only fear should be never realising you full potential because you failed to move out of your comfort zone.

Do well in a challenge and it can provide you with benefits you couldn’t have imagined before you started. At the very least every challenge makes you that little bit stronger and builds your character, so you really can’t lose.

So do you have some changes to make? If so, what and by when? Write them all down and make a plan. Now! It’s never too late to be the person you could be.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

What makes a great idea?

What makes a great idea? How is it that one idea can be successful and another idea less so? Why has the iPhone been so successful and yet the Blackberry has all but disappeared? How do you know when one of your ideas might just make big a difference?

The key ingredient for a great idea is timing. Ideas are a dime a dozen. The trick is to know when one of your inspired thoughts is right for its time and therefore how hard to push it.

If you’re too far ahead of other peoples’ thinking, that inspired thought you believed was great will only be ignored because it won’t resonate with people. If you’re too far behind, then it will be ignored because they’ve seen it all before. If you can hit that sweet spot between the two extremes then you can generate value from your idea because it will capture the imagination of the people who are ready for it.

An idea whose time has come is a truly great idea. Though coming up with one is not so easy, of course. It’s because great ideas are so rare that they can become so valuable. And that value is why it’s worthwhile to seek great ideas constantly.

Should you decide the world is not quite ready for your inspired thinking then don’t worry. Not ready now doesn’t mean the world will never be ready. Therefore keep a journal and make a note of all those flashes of inspiration. You never know when the time is right.

Your journals could be a source of pure gold in the future so make sure you buy quality notebooks that you can add to your personal library as you fill them with your thoughts and inspiration. My personal preference is for the RHINO A4 160 Ruled NoteBook which can be purchased from a great selection of notebooks that Amazon has in stock. Now you might think that it’s a bit expensive but buying cheap notebooks is a false economy. In keeping journals you’re creating value. And value starts with a quality notebook which you can BUY HERE.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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