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Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
-- Stephen Covey


The MONTHLY Motivator - October 2013


Choose richness

You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be miserable. Which would you rather be? You can choose to make productive and purposeful use of the moments in this day. Or you can choose to let the time slip away and be left with nothing but regret. Life is what you decide you are going to make of it. What have you decided to make of the possibility-filled moment that is right now? You can complain that it’s all so very unfair, but all that will accomplish is to bring you down even more. Or, you can fully accept life as it is and then experience the genuine satisfaction of making your way forward in spite of the obstacles. You can choose to hide behind excuses or you can open yourself up to the richness of life. You can decide to make the most of whatever comes your way, and know how great it feels to be fully alive and engaged in your world. No matter what has come before, life in this moment is what you decide to make it. Consider all the possibilities, and then choose the life that is you.

Choose to act

Are you just sitting and waiting for life to come to you? With that approach, you’re not going to like much of what comes your way. Instead, step forward with enthusiasm and meet each day with positive and eager anticipation. That way, you’ll put life solidly on your own terms. The more responsibility you’re willing to take, the more control you’ll have over the world around you. Be decisive and proactive, and events will more often unfold in your favor. Make use of each moment to give something meaningful to life. Fill your thoughts and actions with substance, and you’ll fill your life with great treasures. Get up, get out there, and immerse yourself in the richness of being. The positive contributions you make will come back to you again and again in delightfully unexpected ways. There is a whole world of abundance and fulfillment just waiting to be explored. Step forward and discover even more of what it means to be you.

Are you spending this day chasing distractions or are you using its precious minutes and hours to create real value? Is there something you could be creating or improving or repairing or solving that would bring much more lasting value than what you’re doing now? It’s easy to find things to keep you busy. It can be more difficult to engage yourself in work that truly makes a difference over the long run. Yet once you start to do the work that really matters, once you build a little momentum, it becomes easier to rise above all those distractions. When you know you’re doing what’s truly meaningful and lasting, you develop a powerful, authentic desire to keep doing it. Life is rich, and is rich also with opportunities for every kind of distraction. Though the distractions promise momentary enjoyment, real enjoyment comes not from being busy with meaningless efforts, but in making a meaningful difference. Give yourself a break occasionally, and give in to the distractions for some momentary pleasure. Keep your priorities, though, on the efforts that bring not mere pleasure, but the kind of joy and fulfillment that last a lifetime. Make the effort, and make the effort that really matters.

Choose to venture forth

Being comfortable can be nice and pleasant. Yet too much comfort can softly and steadily erode your sense of purpose and even your most treasured dreams. Being too attached to comfort can prevent you from venturing forth and fulfilling your best possibilities. In order to maintain your level of comfort, you may well be tempted to compromise the values you hold dear. Enjoy the comfort that you have attained, while being careful not to let that comfort become a prison. As nice as comfort can be, so much of life’s richness lies outside the boundaries of your comfort zone. As with most things in life, comfort is best when it is experienced in moderation and balance. Even comfort loses its desirability when it is the only thing you ever experience. Enjoy and be truly thankful for the comforts in your life. At the same time, balance those comforts with real and demanding challenges. Maintain a comfortable place in your world from which you can regularly emerge to take on the risks and challenges that will add so much richness to life. Outside your comfort zone, there are always new dreams waiting to be lived. Find them and live them fully.

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--Ralph Marston

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