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If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
-- George Orwell


The MONTHLY Motivator - June 2002

How Do You Spell Accomplishment?

Accomplishment is a long word, made up of many letters. That is entirely appropriate, because there are many different qualities and values that go into creating accomplishment. Just as it takes fourteen letters to spell the word “accomplishment,” so too does it require at least as many positive values to bring about any worthwhile accomplishment.

A is for ACTION - Accomplishment results from focused, effective action. There are plenty of wishes, plans and intentions. There are many fewer actual desired results. The gulf between intention and accomplishment can be traversed only by focused and effective action. Desire is a starting point, but it’s not enough just to want it. Planning is a necessary step, yet plans alone will not get you there. Trying is admirable, though just trying won’t quite do it. Every accomplishment is the result of someone who was willing to take sufficient action to make that accomplishment a reality. It is action that turns great ideas and great intentions into great accomplishments. Dreaming and planning can inspire and prepare you, and action will make it happen.

C is for COMPETENCE - Not only must you take action, it needs to be effective action if the accomplishment is to come about. Just being busy won’t get you where you’re going. Getting the intended results will get you there. Competence comes largely from learning and experience. If you attempt something and it doesn’t work, learn from that experience and adjust your efforts based on what you’ve learned. No one is born knowing how to do everything perfectly, yet anyone can learn how to effectively do what needs to be done. If you find something that works, look for the reason why and improve on it. If you find something that doesn’t work, look for the reason why and make the appropriate changes. When you’re willing to admit your mistakes and learn from them, you have what it takes to develop the competence that will accomplish great things.

C is for COURAGE - Accomplishment requires you to move confidently forward into unknown territory, and that takes courage. Courage is not the absence of fear. Rather, it is the ability to take action even when fear is present. Your fears are not meant to stop you. They are there to prepare you, to teach you, to heighten your awareness, and to help you move successfully through difficult challenges. The biggest rewards come to those who have the courage to accept the difficult tasks, to take risks, to do the things that others find too uncomfortable. Anyone can have a great idea -- it takes courage to put that idea into action. Anyone can have the desire for accomplishment. It takes courage, the willingness to feel the fear and take action anyway, to translate that desire into reality. Courage stems from the realization that the greatest risk is not taking any risk at all. Every accomplishment, in some way, breaks new ground. In order to do that, you must step outside your comfort zone and have the courage to take the necessary risks.

O is for OPPORTUNITY - Accomplishment comes from the ability to see and act on opportunities. The world is full of them, and yet too many people let them pass by without ever recognizing or doing anything about those opportunities. What does it take to see opportunity? The main thing you need is a positive outlook. Because most opportunities come disguised as problems. When you look only at the negative aspects of a situation, you will surely fail to see the powerful, positive opportunities that are also there. Rather than looking for reasons to despair, look for reasons to be hopeful and optimistic. Though it sounds simplistic and even naive, such a strategy is actually a sophisticated and powerful way to find the very best opportunities. The most obvious opportunities are quickly diluted by their very prominence. The best opportunities for accomplishment are those which can be seen only by someone with a positive, optimistic outlook. Opportunity is everywhere. The real key to recognizing the best opportunities is to look for the best in every situation.

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--Ralph Marston

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