virgin islands scene

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.
-- Dorothy Thompson


The MONTHLY Motivator - May 2013

Highly effective

Whatever it is you choose sincerely to do, you can be highly effective at it. As long as you’re going to make the effort, you might as well make it count. If you’re going to devote your precious time and energy to something, you want to be highly effective at creating meaningful value. Being highly effective comes from putting positive energy into not just what you’re doing, but into every area of your life. To be highly effective at anything in particular, you must be a highly effective person throughout the whole of your life. It’s not particularly complicated or difficult. It simply comes from a solid commitment to doing what is good and right, purposeful and positive.

An important initial step in being highly effective is to be committed to lifelong learning. You can learn from everything. Take full advantage of that great opportunity. From joy, you can learn. From adversity, you can learn. From friends, from travel, challenge, disappointment, pleasure, achievement, anger, frustration and beauty, you can learn. From the biggest ideas and the smallest details you can learn. You can even learn just by thinking in a new way about what you’ve already learned. Whatever it is you wish to learn, you can learn. Your knowledge and wisdom add great value and effectiveness to whatever you do. Every day there are countless opportunities to increase that knowledge and that wisdom. Learning is the ability from which all other abilities arise and improve. Keep on learning all that you can learn.

Even in negative experiences such as frustration, there is much you can learn. After all, in every frustration there is a powerful message. Frustration tells you, in no uncertain terms, that something is not as good as it could possibly be. There’s a reason for that frustration. And when you choose to be brutally honest with yourself, there’s also a positive and potentially life-changing response. The best response to frustration is not to fight it or resent it or let it break you down, but to learn from it. Perhaps frustration is attempting to convince you of the need to speak out against injustice, or pointing out changes that you know you must make in your own behavior. Frustration may very well be telling you that what you’re doing at the moment is not at all in line with your most deeply held values. Frustration may be your way of telling yourself that you need to more fully prepare for life’s various challenges. It could be that frustration is helping you to realize that there must be a more effective, more efficient, more compassionate, or more sensible way to do some particular thing. Many great achievements and advances start out as frustrations. Feel the frustration, and then listen very carefully. For that frustration is giving you some priceless advice.

Of course, there’s plenty that you can learn from the positive experiences as well. In fact, you can learn from every experience. Think of this. You’ve been building value within you all your life. It is the priceless value of experience, and every bit of it is still with you. Today you have more than you’ve ever had. Think of all the good and useful things you can do with that wealth of experience. From every victory, from every defeat, that experience grows wiser and more valuable. And now, in this moment, you can utilize the value of your lifelong experience to create even more value. Your perspective is unique, and from that perspective you can build a richness of living that is perfectly suited to you. What’s more, you can share that richness with those around you to make it even more fulfilling. What a great opportunity you have. And you do indeed have it, wherever you are and whatever you’ve been through. Feel, appreciate and explore your living and growing wealth of experience. From that experience comes effectiveness.

One often overlooked component of being highly effective is enjoyment of life. Whatever you enjoy, you improve. Enjoy where you are, and suddenly where you are has more value. Enjoy the moment you’re living. And suddenly the moment offers new and positive possibilities. Enjoy what you’re doing. By so doing, you transform your effort into a pathway to success and achievement.

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--Ralph Marston

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