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Maureen Stephenson: Success secrets still valid

Posted: January 23, 2009 7:45 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

Author Michael Jeffreys personally interviewed 15 top motivational gurus in 1997 for his book.
After talking to gurus from Brian Tracy to Dr. Wayne Dyer, he distilled eight Secrets to Success they all agreed on.

These secrets are still applicable even today.

  • Take 100 percent responsibility for your life: In a society where people blame everything - from their parents to the government - for failure, those who don't buy into this mentality or succumb to the "victim" thinking succeed. To blame something or somebody outside yourself is saying they have control of your life and not you. Someone else's opinion of you doesn't have to become your reality.

  • Live your life on purpose: What separates motivational thinkers from the unsuccessful is that they believe they're doing what they were put here to do. The difference between this and just living is that the latter is just getting through the week with the least problems.


But when you live your life on purpose, your main concern is doing the job right. For the entrepreneur this means finding a cause you believe in and building your business around it.

  • Be willing to pay the price for your dreams: Wanting a big house, a luxury car and a million dollars in the bank is all very nice, and everyone wants these things, but are you willing to pay the price to get them?


This is one of the major differences between the successful and unsuccessful.

  • Stay focused: Every day we're bombarded with hundreds of tasks, phone calls, messages and everyone competing for our time. Focusing requires giving up something in the present because you are investing your time in something that will pay off big-time down the road. Jack Canfield and Mark Hanson were turned down by 30 publishers when they submitted the first "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book.

Instead of giving up, they stayed focused on their goal and did four or five interviews per day for radio, TV and newspapers for five days a week for a whole year. Eventually, a small publisher decided to take a chance, and of course now the book is a best-seller that spawned an entire series that have sold more than 10 million copies.

  • Become an expert in your field: One striking factor all successful people have in common is how seriously they take their profession. They strive to be the best at what they do and do almost anything to improve.


If someone followed you around all day with a video camera at your business, would it be a tape you'd be proud of or embarrassed about? Make the decision today to work at being the best in your field. How? By finding out what the "best" in your field are doing, and do what they do.

  • Write out a plan for achieving your goals: Write out an action plan/map for how you're going to achieve your goals. Trying to reach your goals without a plan is like trying to drive from Los Angeles to Chicago without a map. A goal that isn't written down is merely a wish or fantasy.

  • Never give up: Never, never, never give up. When you're fully committed to achieving your goal, giving up is not an option. You must be willing do whatever it takes to make it happen. The power of perseverance is an awesome force.


As someone once said, "inch by inch it's a cinch." Think of the lowly inchworm - if it pondered the length of the trip from start to finish before it started, it probably would never move.

To a worm's point-of-view, the garden path must look like a trip to Mars. Never give up! Keep on going like the Energizer battery bunny, and pretty soon you're there.

  • Don't delay: Nobody knows how much time they have left to accomplish their dreams, and we must remember that we don't have forever.


The clock is ticking, and sooner or later your number comes up and you're gone. Successful achievers know this, too, but they don't view it as a "negative." Achievers use it to "spur them on." They go after what they want as energetically and as passionately as possible, for as long as they have.

I had a friend who used to say, "Today is a check - cash it! Yesterday is an I.O.U. - forget it! Tomorrow is a promissory note, don't bank on it!" I think that's a good summation of life, so go out there and cash in on that "today" check.

Maureen Stephenson is a local author and owner of Santa Clarita-based REMS Publishing & Publicity. Her column represents her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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