March 6

  

Today's Quotation:

There are two kinds of success.  One is the very rare kind that comes to the person who has the power to do what no one else has the power to do.  That is genius.  But the average person who wins what we call success is not a genius.  That person is a man or woman who has merely the ordinary qualities that they share with their fellows, but who has developed those ordinary qualities to a more than ordinary degree.

Theodore Roosevelt

Today's Meditation:

I have done nothing that anyone would call the work of a genius.  There are moments when I feel like a genius, and I've been blessed with a great deal of insight, but I can't think of anything that I do that someone else couldn't do just as well, or even better.  Some things I have done better than others, but that's more a result of a lot of effort on my part than it is of any genius that I possess.

But that's okay by me--I don't need to be a genius.  I can write, and I do my best to focus my writing on positive topics and to develop my writing to a "more than ordinary degree."  I want to be a better writer than most, for a very simple reason--the better I am, the more effective my writing will be for the reader.  I'm a pretty good runner, too, but I've never made the decision to develop that quality to a high degree.  If I were to do so, the time it would take would take time away from the development of other areas of my self.

Hard work and persistence are the two most common denominators of success.  Giving up on something is probably the greatest cause of people not reaching their potential, as opposed to a lack of ability or anything else.  Whatever you like and are good at, you have the power to develop your ability.  Art?  Find teachers, take classes, read books on technique, practice, watch videos.  Computers?  Read, take classes, find mentors, practice.  Business?  Read, take classes, find mentors, watch videos, practice.  Do you notice the similarities in the words that will help you to develop your abilities in these fields?

You can be very, very good at anything you do, but excelling does take work.  In societies in which we expect life to just fall into our laps somehow, we've lost the respect for the value of developing ourselves, but if we're going to excel, not just succeed, we must develop ourselves past the ordinary.  Reading a book a week on a topic of our choice will make us one of the best-read people in the field within a year.  Then you can solve problems and devise ideas and plans much more easily and effectively than if you never had tried to develop your abilities.

Questions to ponder:

1.  How much have you worked at developing your abilities in your chosen field recently?

2.  Is it possible to grow and improve by accepting the status quo and letting things ride?

3.  What can you do today to start developing your expertise in a given field?  What will the long-term effects be if you start and then keep it up?

For further thought:

Your success and happiness lie in you.  External conditions are the accidents of life, its outer trappings.  The great, enduring realities are love of service.  Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulty.


Helen Keller

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