Life is a journey, and the best way to approach life is to be equipped for the journey. In getting ourselves armed for this journey, one question we need to constantly ask ourselves is-What do I need to do to be successful in this journey. The truth is that there is no easy answer. In this issue we will take a look at 10 things that John Maxwell identified as the most important lessons we need to know. Here they are.
Your greatest victory
There is a lot of competition in life; and the most competitive tend to make the most progress and occupy the seats of power, fame and wealth. In competition we have to subjugate others. We literally have to conquer our competitors on the sports fields and in business. However, your greatest victory in this life will always be over yourself. There is no one who poses a greater threat to your goals than you. Plato was spot on when he wrote “the first and best victory is to conquer self.”
Confidence is the most important asset
Confidence in oneself is the cornerstone upon which all success is built. It takes confidence in oneself to initiate bold actions; to stand up for one’s potential and to pursue one’s dreams. Self-confidence breeds confidence in others.
Final responsibility is the most important weight you will ever bear.
There are many variables that will influence the way things go in life. You can never control them all; just as the farmer cannot control the weather. Each of these variables can serve as a potential excuse or even good explanation for your failure to achieve what you ought to achieve in life. People may even let you down or circumstances may conspire against you. You must decide in advance that your life is yours to lead; and the final responsibility is yours to bear. Whatever happens to you in this life the responsibility is yours. You are personally responsible for the success and the failures as well.
The most important habit -taking time to think
There are many good habits that we must learn and employ as our servants as we seek to become something or someone of note. However, there is one habit that breeds all other habits. Our lives today are a result of our thinking yesterday, and our lives tomorrow will be determined by what we think today. If we desire to rise above our circumstances and to move up to another level in our careers, then we need to improve our thinking. It is important to learn the habit of deliberately setting aside quality time to think. Change your thinking and you will change your results.
Pride is the worst weakness you will ever have
Pride gives people an overinflated sense of their own importance and causes them to devalue the contribution of others. Pride causes people to gloss over their fallibility, over exaggerates their sense of invulnerability. Pride never wins friends but alienates potential allies.
The only available opportunity is today
We all have some regrets of what we could have done that we did not do. There is no man without a tale of missed opportunities. We also have opportunities that we wish will come our way in the future. The most important opportunity and the only one that is available is today. Seize today’s opportunity and today you will make progress. Our strength lies in the present.
The most precious possession you will ever lose is hope
We have all lost something or someone very important and dear to us. However, our greatest loss will always be hope. When you lose hope you risk losing it all; including losing your very self. The idea that something good is around the corner gives us infinite strength. Hope is a power that keeps us going in the toughest times of life. It’s a power that energises us with excitement and anticipation as we look forward to the future.
Life’s greatest mistake – putting self before others.
Habitual self-absorption is a certain path to failure and frustration. People have needs just as you have needs. Their needs are just as important; at least in their eyes. Daily we are tempted to use other people to get to our destinations. What you receive from people will never be as important as what you give out to them because it is what you give out or invest in them that will determine how valuable they will be to you. Success is determined by the seeds we sow in people, not by the harvest we reap. Never seek to cash in on your relationships, but rather seek to add value. Do not seek the “pay-back” time but seek to invest even more. The rewards will come without you calling for them.
Wisdom is your greatest need
We all can do with a bit more money, a few more opportunities and more support. However, your greatest need will always be wisdom. Money answers most questions, but whether you have lots of it or just a little you will always need wisdom to spend it well. In life you will face unfamiliar situations and be forced to make decisions under conditions of extreme uncertainty. In these moments wisdom will put you in good stead. Lifelong learners have an edge over the competition any day. Make it a habit to constantly acquire new skills, insights and knowledge.
Life’s greatest joy is bringing the best out of others.
Marriage may be the most blissful thing; while victory may be the sweetest to the soul and achievement gives us all satisfaction. All these are good. However, trophies eventually collect dust and sooner or later we must vacate positions of influence. What truly lasts is the graffiti that we etch into the lives around us. What brings the greatest joy and satisfaction is enriching the lives of those we love by adding value to them.