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Chapter 7

Develop Your Talents

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 Today's Empowering Quote 
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'All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.'
            -John F. Kennedy

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 Today's Empowering Question
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How much more work would it be to do this task as well as I can versus as quickly as I can?  What value would it be to me to do it as well as I can?

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 Today's Fast Session
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In our back yard, about 15 feet from the house is a large, gorgeous maple tree.

In the summer, it's home to a number of birds.

Last year, at the end of a long branch, which extends to within 7 feet of our upstairs bathroom window, some robins built a nest where they lived all summer until the weather got too cold.

Both our cats just lay in the windowsill for hours all summer watching the birds come and go less than 7 feet from their window perch.

Now keep in mind that this winter was absolutely brutal.

14 feet of snow.  The wind that blew like no winter that I can ever recall.  Never as often and as hard as this year, it seemed. It was just miserable from mid October until April.

Yet this bird's nest, sitting on a long branch wide open to the chilling, hammering winds and cold that snaps electrical wires like tooth picks, stayed right there.

Every day, I'd look out at this nest and there it was, gripping that branch...

And I've got to believe that the robins that built the nest were no smarter or more skilled in nest building than any of the robins in my neighbors' trees.

They simply didn't want their home to fall apart no matter what.  So they build it to withstand the worst possible conditions.

No short cuts.

No excuses.

Tell me, what if you were to take every little task you do today, and do your absolute best?

What if you were to mow the lawn as well as you could today?

What if you gave your all to every customer or prospective customer?

How much more effort would it take to be the best husband, wife or significant other than you normally put in?

What would it really take to avoid eating beyond being comfortably full?

To finish your homework and then study for another 30 minutes for good measure?

You know, the difference between failure, moderate success, an OK marriage, an undistinguished career and a raging success in any one of those areas is usually
miniscule.

It's not that much more work.

Often it's hardly any real effort at all.

Every single day I get emails from people who have given up hope of ever being really happy and satisfied in life. "I'm beyond help."  "I'm happy that you're doing this work  for other people... Too bad it can't help me."

They read the emails.  They may even buy the tapes, and either don't listen to them as prescribed, or when changes do begin either with positive progress or with negative tension created by the rapid changes happening, they quit because the change is uncomfortable at first.

"Whoa! That's not me!  Who am I kidding? Better slow down."

The bottom line is, change is always wanted on some level but hardly ever completely enjoyable at first.

If there is one thing that you MUST beat into your head every day like a mantra is that success at anything is simple.

GOD, it's so simple!

It's just a matter of repetition of little thoughts and little actions.

For example, to allow yourself to do shoddy work once and then again is to create momentum.  A third time is like an avalanche...

Hard to stop it. The fourth time is virtually guaranteed.

When the brownies or chips and soda make it into the shopping cart every week, that's it.

Run past that aisle.  Achieve a little success.  Get a little momentum going the other way.

When the sitcom wins out consistently over the homework or baseball practice in the back yard, then you are creating a rotten habit, which develops a character.

Done long enough, and that becomes who you are...

But thank God that with just a little effort we can change those things by making only slight direction changes.

The nest in my back yard is now housing a new family of robins who didn't have to do a thing. They just moved in.  All the work was done already.  They just hung a few pictures, threw out a "Welcome" mat and called it home.

And once you change the momentum of any downward slide you may be in, it's deceptively simple to stop the slide, make a few right decisions and your entire destiny can change.

If I was to get in my truck right now and drive due west for just four days, I'd be in North Bend, Oregon.

But if I was pointing only about 5 degrees to the south, in the same four days I'd end up in Los Angeles, California... about 960 miles away.

Now hold your thumb and fore finger about an eighth of an inch apart.

Go ahead. Do it.

You see, most of the time the difference between horrible, devastating failure and massive, glorious success is only that far apart.

In the next four days, will you have chosen to stay on course?

Keep reminding yourself of how important each hour and each decision is.  Do that every hour today, and I guarantee that no matter what doesn't go right, you won't
be too terribly bothered by it.

Isn't THAT the direction you wanted to go in today?

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Today's Winning Beliefs
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-- I'm keeping on course today
-- Today is my day to succeed
-- I'm making all the right decisions now
-- I enjoy each of my victories no matter how small
-- I'm doing things right the first time today

 

 

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