Old school work ethic

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(NNPA)—“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others but to get ahead of ourselves—to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our today, to do our work with more force than ever before.”—Steward B. Johnson

It bothers me that sometimes people make the assumption that personal achievements are the result of being born into the “right” family, by which they mean an affluent or famous lineage. Sometimes people will ask me, “Now, whose son are you?”

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This leads you to believe that one can only become successful if they have a foot up on the rest of the competition. Believe it or not, some folks also believe that success is a byproduct of luck. Nothing can be further from the truth. Most people have achieved their success through sheer determination and hard work.

Sure, it’s easier to get to the mountain top if you’ve got someone ahead of you giving you a hand but you still have to do the climbing. The workload still belongs to you. Never rely on hookups, introductions, free passes or special privileges we receive in direct proportion to how much we give.

I’ve been blessed with a tremendous opportunity to add value to the lives of others. I believe that’s what makes every single human being’s story so amazing. My story, though similar to a lot of other rags to riches tales, is still uniquely mine. There are no exact duplicates of my life. And guess what? That means you have something special to give to the world, too. I accepted my gifts a long time ago and I’ve been flowing ever since. What about you? Will you cheat the world of your brilliance? Will you hide your greatness under a bushel? Or will you embrace your talents and contribute to this great world of ours?

Say the following out loud three times:

Good work, not good luck.

Be your own master teacher. Opportunities are everywhere. You can rise above any circumstance with hard work, integrity, faith and especially persistence.

Good work, not good luck.

Great careers and successful lives start with small ideas. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Keep your eyes open and your mind and body working and be ready to work with the opportunities that come your way.

Good work, not good luck.

You won’t always hit a home run the first time. But you will never hit a home run if you don’t learn how to swing. You may make only $50 on your first job or in your first “business.”

But it will probably be the most important $50 you ever make.

Take action:

Lay the foundations for success even before you begin to plot your future.

Find a mentor. Find a role model. Watch those around you. If you can’t find a role model in your family, then find one in your community. They are there if you look.

Make peace with your family. You may have family members who can lead by example. You may not. Nonetheless, you need to make peace with your family. Let them teach you what to do, and what not to do.

Focus on the positive. Identify and congratulate yourself on your positive accomplishments no matter how small. Don’t harp on the negatives. Don’t listen to the negatives. Don’t listen to those who say “you can’t.” Don’t let the negative people drag you down. Get away from them if you have to.

Hang out with good people. There are always good people who will welcome you and help you. Just keep looking for them until you find them. Don’t give up asking for help. That’s not begging. That’s investing in your future. There are a lot of good people in this world. Find them and put yourself near them.

Two quotes to give serious and careful thought to, “One doesn’t become great by claiming greatness” and “Before a man eats, he must sweat.”

(Dr. Farrah Gray is the author of “The Truth Shall Make You Rich: The New Road Map to Radical Prosperity,” “Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You from Success” and the international best-seller “Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out.” He is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via e-mail at fg@drfarrahgray.com or his website at http://www.drfarrahgray.com/.)

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