The Seventh Decision for Success

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I will persist without exception.

Knowing that I have already made changes in my life that will last forever, today I insert the final piece of the puzzle. I possess the greatest power ever bestowed upon mankind, the power of choice. Today, I choose to persist without exception. No longer will I live in a dimension of distraction, my focus blown hither and yon like a leaf on a blustery day. I know the outcome I desire. I hold fast to my dreams. I stay the course. I do not quit.

I will persist without exception. I will continue despite exhaustion.

I acknowledge that most people quit when exhaustion sets in. I am not “most people.” I am stronger than most people. Average people accept exhaustion as a matter of course. I do not. Average people compare themselves with other people. That is why they are average. I compare myself to my potential. I am not average. I see exhaustion as a precursor to victory.

How long must a child try to walk before he actually does so? Do I not have more strength than a child? More understanding? More desire? How long must I work to succeed before I actually do so? A child would never ask the question, for the answer does not matter. By persisting without exception, my outcome – my success – is assured.

I will persist without exception. I focus on results.

To achieve the results I desire, it is not even necessary that I enjoy the process. It is only important that I continue the process with my eyes on the outcome. An athlete does not enjoy the pain of training; an athlete enjoys the results of having trained. A young falcon is pushed from the nest, afraid and tumbling from the cliff. The pain of learning to fly cannot be an enjoyable experience, but the anguish of learning to fly is quickly forgotten as the falcon soars to the heavens.

A sailor who fearfully watches stormy seas lash his vessel will always steer an unproductive course. But a wise and experienced captain keeps his eye firmly fixed upon the lighthouse. He knows that by guiding his ship directly to a specific point, the time spent in discomfort is lessened. And by keeping his eye on the light, there never exists one second of discouragement. My light, my harbor, my future is within sight!

I will persist without exception. I am a person of great faith.

In Jeremiah, my Creator declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” From this day forward, I will claim a faith in the certainty of my future.

Too much of my life has been spent doubting my beliefs and believing my doubts. No more! I have faith in my future. I do not look left or right. I look forward. I can only persist.

For me, faith will always be a sounder guide than reason because reason can only go so far – faith has no limits. I will expect miracles in my life because faith produces them every day. I will believe in the future that I do not see. That is faith. And the reward of this faith is to see the future that I believed.

I will continue despite exhaustion. I will focus on results. I am a person of great faith.

I will persist without exception.

I read this book for an English class I took a few semesters back and it gave me so much insight on personal success. I enjoyed every minute of it and I could hardly put it down. Andy Andrews is an exemplary writer. I also had the pleasure to read another book of his called The Noticer. It spoke about perspective; also very insightful. The Traveler’s Gift has seven different decisions for personal success. Here, I’ve posted the very last one. I am not being paid to push or suggest this book, but I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

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If I Had My Life to Live Over

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by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck after she found out she had a fatal disease.

 

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

We take so much for granted in this thing we call life. It’s hard sometimes to find the positive in a whole bunch of negatives. This poem touched me because I don’t want to go through life never actually ENJOYING life. Life’s too short to go around with our heads hanging down and crying and complaining about things we CANNOT change. We can only do what is in our power and ability to do, no more, no less. Live life to its fullest, and GIVE NOTHING BACK! DREAM BIG! Have no regrets!

The Elements of Merit

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Commentary for the reader: Many who know me, know that I have a twin brother, Joseph. We weren’t close for a long time. But in the past seven years we’ve been closer than we have been probably our entire lives. Like myself, my brother writes. He has a very inquisitive mind and he researches topics of his interest and he reads a lot. One particular writing he sent me I posted on facebook a time ago, but thought I’d post it here. Hope you enjoy it.

In the various arenas of life there usually emerge individuals of exceptional accomplishment. Their names become associated with the area of life in which they have excelled and their achievements become the relative benchmarks of excellence. Whether artistic or athletic, industrious or inventive, they all share three common elements.

The first is inherent ability. A common truth among all people is despite an awareness of our existence we had no control over the aptitude and ability we’re born with. But it is equally as true that our inherent ability is the foundation of all merit. Some people can never become fortune 500 CEOs or the Daytona 500 winner for no other reason than that the traits they’ve been born with prevent it. Unless one’s achievements are in spite of inherent abilities that made achievement highly unlikely, this element should not be the source of pride, for it would be like having pride in a tree’s height though you didn’t plant it.

The second element is choice. Though some people feel compelled to do or become certain things in life, compulsion does not neutralize choice. Before being held to account for our deeds, we are responsible for our decisions. Our abilities and circumstances provide a plethora of options, but at some point we must choose. This is why we rightfully derive pleasure from our accomplishments, because they show an exceptional aspect of our inner cognitive facility. In praise and being praised very few consider choice, though it is the essence of human action, and where the honor of all merit begins.

The final element is that of conditioning. Whether our talents be physical or intellectual, we must sufficiently exercise them so as to maximize their potential. This comes in the form of study and reflection on one hand and necessary and complimentary action on the other. It is important to investigate the kind and degree of conditioning warranted by one’s chosen undertaking. For this is the most determining factor in all exceptional deeds.

The act that is often referenced as great, is only the sum of the elements of merit and never greater than its parts. Much like many common objects that we only think of as wholes, and by so doing fail to appreciate the full extent of their being.

Familiar Quote

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The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. ~Charles DuBois~

I believe my first time hearing this quote was at the end of a Criminal Minds episode by Agent Hotchner. I thought it was catchy and I thought it made sense. I wrote a note about what I thought it meant on my facebook page a few weeks back, but I wanted to take a different approach to it. I talked about how I sacrificed my childhood to be a teenage mother. But that was a long time ago and I’ve come a long way since then. For the purpose of this post, I want to talk about my future as opposed to my past.

So who am I, really? Today, at 29 years old, I am a mother, a sister, a niece, a daughter, a granddaughter, an aunt, a godmother, a coworker, an employee and a friend. I feel that I am loyal to those close to me. I make people laugh, I’m a listener and confidant. I will soon be a student again working toward completing my Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. People have made sacrifices for me my entire life. My grandmother in particular. She sacrificed what she was and what she could become for me and my twin brother.

The Many Faces of Me

My ultimate goal is to be successful in life and to be the type of parent my children can be proud of. I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far if I must say so myself. I don’t want to give up on school because it is most important to me since I have come so far already. The few minor setbacks are just that, setbacks. They aren’t going to stop me from pushing forward and earning my degree. Once I get my Associates Degree, I plan to continue and work on my 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management.

So what are you striving for in your life right now, at this moment? And will you push through until you get where you want to be?

‘The System’

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Ok. So when we hear the phrase ‘the system’ a couple of things come to mind. The justice system for one; the school system is another. But the system I am referring to and writing about here is the child protective services; department of family and children services; the administration for children’s services, or whatever it may be called in your respective areas. Here where I live its DFCS – Department of Family and Children Services.

They seem backwards to me. They help the people who don’t want to get out and work, they keep having babies every year or every other year just to get an increase on their food stamps. Its like what help does the hard working person get? None! I’m not knocking anyone who gets public assistance who needs it. But there are so many people who take advantage and get away with it. There’s this lady I know who gets over a thousand dollars in food stamps and sells over 3/4 of them every month. But never has money to pay her bills, which aren’t that much because she gets assistance with her rent so its like $25…maybe $50! Actually quit her job when it was time for her to do her food stamp review so that she wouldn’t have to report her income and risk a decrease in her stamps!! I mean what is this world coming to?! When will grown people get a sense of responsibility and integrity about themselves?!

The caption under the picture says it all.

I’m just really disgusted with the system and the way they operate. The main reason I decided to write on this particular subject is because of children being taken from their mothers. Mothers who work hard, aren’t out here doing things they have no business, doing all they can to take care of their children. But then you have these mothers who should not even be graced with the title of mother, who don’t work, don’t take care of their kids the way they’re supposed to be taken care of and they keep their kids. Even in situations where DFCS is called on these unfit parents, they “investigate” but nothing is really done. I know of someone right now who should not have custody of any of her four children. She is so unfit until it is pathetic. Calling DFCS does no good because her case worker doesn’t follow up. And who suffers? The children! Its so sad and its mind boggling how they can let such things go on.

Children don't get to pick their mothers... But they do love them.

I don’t have the thick skin to do the type of work child protective service workers have to do. I could not rip a child from his/her mother’s arms kicking and screaming like its no big thing. I’m a big cry baby and I can’t stand to see others in pain (physical or emotional) and I know I couldn’t handle that type of work. But something must be done to right the wrongs that have been and are being done. I don’t know what, when, or how, but somehow, someway, something must be done. Because of one accusation, a good parent loses a good name, their children, their dignity; all in the blink of an eye. But the children who are truly suffering at the hands of an unfit, neglectful, could care less kind of mother, they stay. They’re there day in and day out seeing things children should never see, looking after younger siblings instead of being a child themselves, going without food or clean clothes, no bath, hair a mess. It saddens me so… I can’t even bear to think about it or write anything further about it. The system needs a change and fast!

RePost: “I’m Sorry Love. Your Knickers Don’t Match Your Bra”

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This blog post I read the other day was so funny, I just had to re-post it. You can read it by clicking here.

The reason that it was funny to me is because as a woman, I don’t really think much about matching up my panties and bras. I mean, who has time to be that particular? It was a pretty hilarious to me, especially the part where she says “…fear that one day I will have to get my clothes cut off by paramedics and be wearing appalling knickers.” I couldn’t stop laughing because I’ve thought about that before too. I mean, just what if (God forbid) you get into an accident where you have to be rushed to the emergency room and they have to strip you – and we know they will literally cut your clothing off of you if its bad – and you have on disgraceful and distasteful underwear?! I just thought this one was worth sharing!

Monday Motto

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Well bloggers and blog readers… It is Monday! It’s been almost two weeks since I began this blog venture and so far, like McDonald’s, I’m LOVIN’ it! I’ve had some laughs, some tears… But so far, so good. I’ve only had one day where I had no views to my blog, but I’m not bitter because I’m just starting and just getting familiar with everything that has to do with wordpress.com, so with time, I’m sure the daily views will increase; especially with more interesting posts… But I can say that my stats have me at 208 views (17 posts) already! And its been less than two weeks!

Any who! Today is Monday. I’m going to try something new and start a Monday motto. Usually I’m quite busy on Mondays. Invoices, payroll, etc… Today is no different. Gotta stay on task to get the job done. I had cleaned my desk a little over a week ago, and sadly, it is back to its normal cluttered mess! But I plan to fix that today hopefully before lunch. My boss definitely appreciates it being clean!

A couple of weeks ago I was looking on youtube at some different videos (it was around 9/11) and came across one about a man born with no arms and no legs. His name is Nick Vujicic. His story was so touching that I watched a few of his speeches. One in particular he was at a church talking about life and the choices we make. Something he said stuck out to me. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) “Don’t gain comfort for your situation, by saying someone else is worse off than you are.” And how many of us have used that line before? I know I have. “I try not to complain because I know there is someone out there doing a lot worse than me.” I understand what he meant. Its not okay that there are people ‘out there’ doing worse than me. I feel badly for them because I was in some of those people’s shoes at one point. I’ve been down to my last dime without knowing where my next meal would come from. I’ve been so lost and so hopeless until there was nowhere to look but up from the low situation I was in. I don’t want to make anyone cry, or give some sob story, I just wanted to put it out there that don’t look at your situation as being better than someone else. Look at it as just a blessing to be where you are.

So today, my Monday Motto is going to be: Count your blessings, however small. Count them and appreciate them not because someone else may not be as blessed as you may be, but because you have been blessed, and highly favored. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!