As we enter into the New Year, it seems appropriate that we reexamine the cornerstones of success in our lives. It has been reported that Mary Kay Ash, who passed 10 years ago, created more female millionaires than anyone in our society. She once said, “I wasn’t that interested in the dollars-and- cents part of business, my interest in starting Mary Kay Inc. was to offer women opportunities that didn’t exist anywhere else.” Mary Kay preached devotion to God, family and career. She understood that balance was the key to success in life. What are your cornerstones of success? I would like to offer the following for you to consider.

Heart and soul

Heart, soul, courage and faith are all words to describe having a resolute spirit. Having the conviction and belief that you can find a way, when there is no way. Having courage in spite of the circumstances. When your world has been shaken by traumatic events such as the loss of a loved or a serious illness, sometimes the only thing you have to stand on is your faith. Heart and soul is the invisible magic that moves people, moves people to think, moves people to act, and moves people to survive.

There is no substitute for heart and soul. Heart, soul, courage and faith are not a given and have to be nourished and fed regularly. How will you nourish your heart and soul in the New Year.

Family and relationships

Our family and relationships define who we are. Last year, I attended a funeral that had more than a thousand people in attendance. The deceased was not a celebrity or public official, however he had touched the lives of many through several community roles that he had performed. The program was fairly normal, with the exception of tributes by several of his nieces, nephews and close friends. All expressed their gratitude for his positive attitude, his ability to share and the care that he expressed for them as individuals. Conspicuously absent from the funeral were his manager, banker and broker. Who will be at your funeral and what will they say about you and your life?

Mental and physical fitness

Treat your body as your temple. What you read, listen to and watch will significantly impact your success or failure. The subconscious mind feeds upon random thoughts. The choice is yours, you can think your way into failure or success to a large part depending on what you allow into your mind. Likewise, our bodies will respond to what we eat, drink or otherwise injest. Like our minds, our bodies, if not exercised regularly will operate at less than peak efficiency. No amount of money or fame can compensate for poor mental or physical health. How will you improve you temple next year?

Career and finances

Most of our adult life will be spent on a job. If the job is one that you enjoy and you are good at, it will be a successful experience. However, if it is one that you don’t enjoy, you will only go through the motions until the end of each day. Is your job one that you are excited to go to each day? If not, how can you change it to be more exciting or do you have to move on to something more in line with you motivations?

Your finances allow you to provide for your family’s security and well-being. Have you established personal financial goals? If so, are you on a track to achieve them? If not, what will you do in the New Year to provide for your family’s long-term security and well-being? Life is a journey, not a destination. We must live each day to its fullest, for tomorrow is not promised. We cannot take life or the people in our lives for granted. What are your cornerstones for Success and are they in balance? What will you do in the New Year to achieve success?

(Michael G. Shinn can be reached at shinnm@financialnetwork.com.)

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