Step Boldly Forward!
Posted by Mr. Howard Bufe, Unknown, Cornerstone Credit Union League on 3/21/2017

“People are Born Originals, but most die copies.” – John Mason (Author of “An Enemy Called Average”)

It is so critical to your personal and professional lives to always strive to be the best person you can be.  Don’t settle for anything less.  Don’t look back.  You can’t focus on the future if you constantly have your back pointed to the future while you’re dwelling on the past.  Always look forward and decide today to boldly take steps toward the very best plans for your life.  Nobody can make you successful!  Not your parents, not your friends or family and not your boss.  Only you and you alone can make you successful.  You do this through gaining knowledge, accepting change, implementing what you’ve learned, and engaging in growth.  All the seminars, classes, books and audios are wasted if we’re unclear on what learning really is:  Learning is not just attending, listening, or reading.  Nor is it merely gaining knowledge.  Learning is really about translating knowing what to do into doing what we know.  It’s about changing.  If we have not changed we have not learned.  What have you learned today?

Years ago a gentleman shared with me some very wise advice.   He stated, “Howard, I’m a millionaire for the third time.  I made the first million, made some bad decisions and lost it.  I made the second million, took on a partner and he was instrumental in me losing it.  I’ve now made a million for the third time.  I don’t tell you this for you to be in awe that I’ve made a million dollars for the third time.  My goal is for you to walk away having learned at least one critical thing today.  Remember, people can take your possessions, they can take your money, but, the one thing nobody can take from you is your knowledge.  The more knowledge you have the richer your life will be.”  Thirst for knowledge because knowledge is Power!

The starting point of all greatness, of all personal success is the acceptance of 100 percent responsibility for your life.  Until you have claimed total and unconditional responsibility for everything that happens in your life, you’ll never be serious about success.  To the contrary, the irresponsible person is like a leaf blowing in the wind with zero hope of steering itself in a meaningful direction.

Success, Growth and Change is not a destination, but a Journey!  As you travel down your unique path, be curios, unique and turn failures into opportunities.  I encourage you to always be curious.  “What I know doesn’t impress me, what I don’t know excites me.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  Get excited about the things you don’t know!  Don’t be afraid to be unique.  Coach Bear Bryant remarked, “Over the years I’ve learned a lot about coaching staffs and one piece of advice I would pass along to a young head coach – or a corporate executive, or even a bank president – is this:  Don’t make them in your image.  Don’t even try.  My assistants don’t look alike, think alike, or have the same personalities.  And I sure don’t want them thinking like I do.  You don’t strive for sameness, you strive for balance.” 

Turn failure into opportunity.  “Not failure, but low aim, is a crime.”  James Russell Lowell.  Football coaches Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Bill Walsh together won nine of the sixteen Super Bowls in the years 1974 to 1989.  Considered among the best coaches the game has produced.  This is well known.  What is also a matter of record, but less well known, is that these three coaches also share the distinction of having three of the worst first-season records of any head coaches in NFL history.

One final thought about accountability.  Accept that you are totally responsible and accountable for your success in life.  Not society, not culture, not government, not family and not your boss.  Make a decision today to take the initiative to gain knowledge, accept change, and implement what you’ve learned and to grow in your uniqueness and value!  If you want more from someone, you have to provide more value.

Categories: Education & Training, Employment & Staffing, Human Resources, Strategic Planning & Consulting, Succession Planning
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