Tag Archives: Success

Fractal

Succeed on Your Own Terms – Week 21

February 23, 2014

I have come to believe that one must succeed on one’s own terms, or not succeed at all. After all, each of us is unique, with individual talents and interests. No one of us is exactly like another. If we’re willing, we can take that individuality and build on it to paint the masterpiece of a life well and fully lived.

In the past several weeks, we have been instructed to read each day at least one obituary with a picture from that day’s printed newspaper. This has been an interesting exercise, designed, in part, to help us internalize the reality that each day might be our last. This accords with Scroll V in Mandino’s Greatest Salesman, which begins, “I will live this day as if it is my last.”

I feel privileged to have received another benefit from my reading. No two obituaries of more than a paragraph are even remotely alike. This is natural, and it reflects what is now for me a treasured truth: no two lives are even remotely alike.

I’m a big fan of patterns, and human behavior does seem to roughly fall into a relatively small number of large patterns. However, like a fractal image, the closer you look, the more detail is revealed. And God is in the detail (contrary to the proverb).

Perhaps it is an American cultural trait to celebrate individuality. If so, well, but there’s no denying individuality no matter your race, gender or culture. Each of us is as a snowflake, no two of which, it is said, are exactly alike.

Snowflake

My predisposition to like patterns initially led me a little astray for a while. You see, intellectually (though not much in practice it seems) I like the idea of learning from the mistakes of others. Couple this with the tendency to live in the “less than” box, and you get an evil combination of fearing error without the confidence to understand the message of eternal truth.

The truth is that no one can succeed like I can, because no one else has my unique gifts and talents. Likewise, I cannot succeed like anyone else, because I do not have their gifts and talents. I must succeed on my own terms, or not succeed at all.

This becomes obvious when you realize that if someone else is setting the goal posts, the goal will always move just as you seem to reach it.

Does this mean I cannot benefit from the roads and bridges others build? No. All it means is that my destination is, figuratively, my own home in the city I choose. No one outside my mastermind can build my home, and no one else can live there.

Golden Gate

Thus we see the truth of the Hero’s Journey: each person becomes a hero by treading a unique path, with unique adversity and uniquely crafted assistance.

I used to think, erroneously, that a unique path required me to travel alone. Now I know the truth. I can only succeed, even individually, with the assistance and fellowship of trusted, harmonious companions and advisers. And, yet, my journey is mine alone.

No one can live my life for me. I must do it. If my life is to become a masterpiece, it is not because someone (even God) laid a template over me and painted my life by their numbers. Good thing God doesn’t want automatons for children. We are His heirs, if we’re willing to claim His kingdom for ourselves. And part of that heritage is the freedom and obligation to craft and live a unique life.

My promise to you is that what you want wants you. The success you want, on your own terms, wants you. You’re designed 1st class, by 1st class, and you’re entitled to go 1st class as long as you live your own 1st class miracle.

I rejoice in your companionship along the journey of success. As we achieve the success we envision, we lift those around us and help make the world a better place. As we do well, we indeed do good, if that is our desire.

Name your terms, smile and pay your price.  “Take what you want,” says God, “and pay for it.”

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Longing, Symbols & Substance – Week 17

Haanel’s Part Seventeen of his Masterkey System warns against running after symbols instead of internalizing substance. This message spoke strongly to me as I pondered why I had trapped emotions of failure and longing.

For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of trapped emotions, please have a look at Dr. Blaine Hansen’s work on The Emotion Code.

My self-awareness is tied into the concepts of linkages, connection, and being whole-hearted. Here’s what I learned:

• I had tied success in my mind to achievement and/or acquisition, accretion in Haanel’s Part One language;
• I had felt myself a failure (toxic shame) for not achieving and/or acquiring;
• I had, in too many respects, opted out of the flow of giving and receiving by effectively not being willing to share my gifts with others; and
• I failed to see that I had accepted the world’s enticements to pursue symbols rather than substance.

I’ve written much more about this in this week’s supplemental post. I invite you to read it if you feel drawn to hearing more about my journey.

As a consequence of the gift of awareness, I am changing in several ways:

• I embrace strength through vulnerability;
• I honor myself by living substantively, which means to always seek the true spirit of my objectives rather than to be distracted by shiny symbols;
• My primary goal is connection: to myself, to God, to people and to the world around me. After all, I am one with all these. How can I love without connection?
• My motivation for connection is love, service, sharing and empowerment. I know now that success is in living, receiving and giving in the spirit of abundance. Acquisition, achievement and accretion are only symbols, and they are unimportant, if many times enjoyable, and they can never more distract me from the truth, which is;
• I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy. I was conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose. And that purpose is to be a true mirror and a true lens, reflecting and focusing for all the Light of the World.

This is a path and a practice. Each day I draw closer to the measure and stature of the fullness of my ideals as I tread the path. Please feel free to help me be true to my ideals as you see my needs. Thank you for traveling with me!

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Week 03 – Faith or Fear?

All my life I’ve espoused and proclaimed an active faith in a loving God and in my Savior, Jesus Christ. That faith informs me that God, my Heavenly Father, cares for me and holds me lovingly in His hands. I also have faith that Heavenly Father extends to me His grace through the sacrifice and Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ. I have experienced that grace many times.

And, yet, something has been missing. Or, more correctly, I’ve missed something. The concept is permission to prosper.

I thought I understood this concept, as it struck me several months ago that I needed to give myself permission to prosper. I thought I’d done that. And, perhaps I did, though not completely.

Enlightenment began to dawn yesterday as I was reading and pondering my current definite major purpose document. I sensed a lack of clarity of purpose in my writing, and I felt driven to discover the crystal within my intent.

And today, as I read again my purpose statement, the fog lifted. I saw in my writing the face of fear in a hypothetical assertion of faith. What a shock! Fear is the exact opposite of faith! I feel grateful to have seen the light and humble that Heavenly Father would extend to me the tender mercy of inspiration and clarity.

Here’s the essence of it. My writing exposed two fear-based beliefs:
1. That I somehow needed (or didn’t have) God’s permission to prosper; and
2. That I could not prosper under my own power.

Faith allows me to see the error of those beliefs.

The Savior, in the Sermon on the Mount, already told me, “Ask, and ye shall receive. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you.” I already had God’s permission to prosper!

As if to reinforce the point, Jesus matter-of-factly discussed the power of merchant stewards to double their investments in the Parable of the Talents. And here I was, hiding my talent as did the slothful servant! Thank goodness for the gift of repentance!

And He had given me a third witness of the same truth in Doctrine and Covenants Section 58: “… men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.” (Emphasis mine)

Praise God for the power to change and the power to act! I am re-writing my purpose statement with a proper assertion of faith. God is the source of power, and He has imbued me with it. I get to go forward and use that power to prosper. I have His permission and His loving instruction in the form of gentle, loving commandments. It is my will to obey, and I rejoice in the power to prosper with which He has endowed me. Thank you!

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