As an author, I want to keep this blog centered on my writing, but for the past several years I have been doing some exploration of a topic I have found most interesting and I think I'm ready to reveal what I have discovered:
I have always been fascinated by effective people. I do not use the word "success" simply because I find that particular word difficult to define and in today's American culture, rather shallow. I define effectiveness as the ability to attain a predetermined goal. Also, as we define successful people as wealthy, there are too many wealthy people who are certainly not content with their lives and every effective person I have met carries within themselves an inner core of satisfaction.
Having studied countless biographies and talking with a huge number of people, here are the main traits of highly effective people that I have discovered:
- They are focused. Refusing to be distracted, they have a very specific goal and 75% of their waking life is focused on its attainment. They seldom, if ever, watch TV and though an amazing number of them are physically active, they spend little time on entertainment. None of them play computer games. They entertain no addictions. Their inner joy comes from seeing the attainment of their goal as the Ultimate Game and the relationships they enjoy are based on the second trait:
- They surround themselves with people who share in their goal and they reward them for their work and loyalty in some manner, either public recognition or financial payment. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, referred to this as a Mastermind Group. I have never met a "Lone Ranger" in my search for effective people.
- But the most important trait I have found is that they a) do not know fear, or b) they recognize the fear and choose to ignore it. I honestly have not been able to find out which one of those statements is the most accurate, but I suspect it is the first. These people simply do not acknowledge the presence of fear.
The most common phobias that humanity deals with are (in this order) fear of speaking in public, the fear of death and the fear of failure/ridicule. Quite simply, effective people are not saddled with them. At all.
- I must also honestly report that effective people span almost every worldview in existence. I have met effective Christians, Jews, Buddhists, pagans, atheists, and others, but I have found that each has a deep, defining moral core and they demand honesty, justice, and fair play in all their relationships.
- Failure means nothing to them. I really want to stress this: NOTHING. All they did, in their perspective, is learn how not to do something.
This topic has always been of great interest to me, but a decade ago as I passed my 50th birthday and I became aware of my own mortality. I also realized that there were many goals and desires left unattained and I spent ten years trying to discover why.
I am a very mature person and I blame nobody for this situation. My present situation is my decision, not my parents, my God (1), the government, my family, or anybody else.
Now as I approach my 60th birthday (on All Saints' Day) I am determined to "redeem the time" and spend my next decade in focusing on my goals and personal vision (2) nurturing the traits, with God's help, of effective people.
Wish me luck.
(1) There is a Christian sect that contains many individuals that I deeply love and respect that believe that humanity has no free will and that God micromanages everything for if He does not, he is not completely sovereign. Therefore, they would deduce that I am exactly where God wants me and I should be content with my goals and desires unattained. Quite simply, with due and deep respect and love to my Calvinist/Reformed brothers, I maintain a different view of Christianity.
(2) My goals, my personal vision, my governing statements that guide my life are not selfish. Many people will prosper and be blessed if I reach them.