Have you ever wondered why some people complain about the very same things that other people embrace? Looking back over my life I remember well asking myself this question at the ripe old age of fourteen!
I was sitting in a physiotherapy exercise class at the local hospital in my small hometown of Wednesfield, England. I remember the day vividly as the pain still lingered many months after several surgeries to repair the damage to my right wrist. I had severely injured my wrist in a childhood race to the “window” and back in the school playgrounds. Obviously I wasn’t that sharp at 14 running full speed into a plate-glass window!
I was complaining that I couldn’t do a certain exercise when I knew if I did, it would help me recover. It reminded me of our family Sunday outings to a local club where relatives would meet up to relax, drink, and play bingo. After a few adult beverages, the conversations inevitably would always revert to how miserable things were in The Midlands and how they believed a series of circumstances is what ordered their lives.
I would hear uncles telling uncles the reason they were unhappy, the reason they had barely any money, the reason they couldn’t get a break, the reason why others were doing better, the reason why they could never get ahead, etc., etc. It was incredible how many reasons they had for where they were, or were not as middle-aged men.
- Taxes were too high
- Their place of employment didn’t offer opportunity
- They had a terrible boss
- Weather was constantly unpleasant
- School system was flawed
- Wives spent too much
- Impossible to save any money
- Their job didn’t pay enough for the work they did
Like a lightning bolt it occurred to me that I was following in my relatives footsteps. They were simply naming off a list of excuses for why things weren’t going well in their lives when in fact is was clearly their philosophy that was out of whack.
I decided to lose the excuses (someone else found them I think), and change my philosophy. Humans have the ability to think, to use their minds, the ability to process ideas and not just operate by instinct. I went to work on my philosophy and building a better strategy for my life. What I wanted to achieve, to accomplish, to experience and to enjoy. I began to build a blueprint in my mind, and then on paper, of how my life would look when I was 30, 40, 50 and now 60 in a couple of weeks.
Here’s what I did. I wrote out a series of goals for my life and the plans to achieve those goals. This made me think more, use my mind in ways I hadn’t before, and do things very differently than those around me. In place of complaining I decided I’d take risks. If I failed I knew it would lead to discovery, as making mistakes is how we learn. It wasn’t long before I had a road map of where my life was going and what I was sure I’d find on the journey.
Around my 15th birthday I met a guy who changed my life forever. He had a market stall selling toys and second-hand items and he told me that if I focused on adding value to society, society would add value to my life. From that day on my number one focus was adding value. Whether that was through my mobile disc-jockey business or my door-to-door carpet sales business, I knew my path and my life would be fulfilling.
It’s all about PHILOSOPHY.
Over the past few years I have been so very grateful to the hundreds of employees that have dedicated their working days to the success of our company. Last year I decided we need to be more pro-active in mentoring those who have a strong desire to be self-employed. In other words, the next leaders in their communities.
There will always be job seekers, job holders, and job creators – and each are as important as the other. As my focus from the age of fourteen was to be a job creator, I have consistently encouraged those that have a strong desire to lead to take chances and reach for the moon. 2018 is a year for us to recognize and assist those in our organization to break out and go-for-it. I’ll be helping them in a myriad of ways.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading! Make every day a terrific day.