THE LAWS OF LIFETIME GROWTH by Dan Sullivan - definitely a must read.
Here’s an excerpt that I think everybody should read and ponder upon.
The book offers 10 fundamental laws about obtaining personal growth and a better outlook in life.
1. Your future is bigger than your past. The knowledge and lessons gained from history are the truest education and training in preparation for the time that is yet to come. Use your past to incessantly build a better future, and disconnect yourself from circumstances, relationships, and events that hold you hostage. Build on your rich, positive experiences and exploit them as resources in the process of thinking differently and developing new approaches.
At the moment, your future remains a movie in your mind. The way it will play out will depend on your script, the cast of characters, the situations that will unfold, and your vision on how to direct all these elements. A bigger future is about gaining enhanced learning, more opportunities, improved capabilities, increased confidence, a better quality of life and amplified connectedness. The list goes on and on, and is limited only by your imagination.
2. Your learning is greater than your experience. Experience is the best of all teachers. The smartest people are those who can transform even the smallest events or situations into breakthroughs in thinking and action. Look at all of life as a school, and every experience as a lesson that will provide the foundation for better experiences. Failures are opportunities to discover what you should eliminate in the future. Successes show you what to maximize.
3. Your contribution is bigger than your reward. Financial independence, adulation, and social status are the rewards of success. They are good but they can be growth stoppers, too, if you allow them to draw your focus away from further efforts, especially those that create value for others. The most copious expansion goes to those who make significant contributions, to those who bring people from the dark into the light; helping them diminish the dangers they face, seize and embrace their opportunities, minimize their weaknesses and exploit their strengths. When you generate worth, do it for larger numbers of people, and you will, without a doubt, guarantee that your effort is always much more than your recompense. And it’s good for the soul, too.
4. Your performance must be greater than your applause. The best performers in all fields are those who always go all-out to improve themselves. No matter how much approbation you receive, keep working to get better. Thus, incessantly work to surpass everything you’ve done so far. Be growth-driven instead of goal-driven. It’s not exactly wrong to be motivated by goals, but you should make sure that they don’t limit your growth. If you set them too high, they de-motivate you. If you set them too low, you will be most likely tempted to relax when you conveniently hit them rather than push for your best performance.
5. Your gratitude is greater than your success. Avoid self-centeredness and isolation, because if you succumb to these negative feelings, you can lose your creativity and ability to grow some more. Continually acknowledge the contributions of others, and you will automatically create room in your mind and in the world for much greater success. Focus on appreciating and thanking others, and the conditions will always grow to support your unending grace.
Oprah Winfrey, for example, maintains a journal of thankfulness. She recommends her habit to others: “Every night, list five things that happened this day that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change your perspective of your day and your life. If you can learn to focus on what you have, you will always see that the universe is abundant; you will have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough,” she shared.
6. Your enjoyment is greater than your effort. Creativity in all fields of activity is intimately linked to playfulness — the constant desire to do new things just for the fun of it. Growth doesn’t have to be born out of rigid exertions to be satisfying. Best to discover the enjoyment in the work you do. Weave in an entertainment value or a sense of play in it.
7. Your cooperation is greater than your status. Working with others and creating opportunities for heightened teamwork makes loftier endeavors possible in your life, your family, your community and your country. And who knows, even your universe. By making your cooperation larger than who you are, you will stumble upon limitless prospects and synergies in coalescing your talents, skills and power with those of others.
8. Your confidence is greater than your comfort. Confidence and comfort are attractive byproducts of goal achievement, but when they become the goals themselves, they quickly put a halt to lifetime growth. But if you are experiencing too much comfort, complacency can set in. In that sense, comfort can be a catch. It is advisable to view it as a provisional phase for you to establish and constantly struggle for higher goals and realizations.
9. Your purpose is greater than your money. Purpose or a reason for being is crucial for lifetime growth. Money can be a convenient gauge of advancement in some situations. It is also a reserve you can tap to realize more advanced possibilities. At some point, however, money without purpose loses its essence. If you use money to achieve a greater purpose, you’ll attract all the resources and rewards that make life richer and more fulfilled.
10. Your questions are bigger than your answers. For some people, their entire sense of security and self-image depends on having all the answers. But growth lies in the territory of the unknown. What you already know is in the past. What you have yet to discover is the future. Always make your questions bigger than your answers, and you’ll keep drawing yourself into a bigger future with new possibilities.
So much of life, Sullivan and Nomora proclaimed, “is about choices, and it’s your choice to choose every single day to grow and to look for ways to make your life and the lives of those around you better.”