Each day I strive to improve as a husband, father, educator and leader. The tasks at hand can be exhausting. Some days I feel like a great superintendent, yet only a mediocre husband. Other days I am proud of my work as high school principal, but embarrassed at the lack of attention to my personal life. On rare occasions, I get it right and find the delicate balance between my personal and professional lives.
In today’s fast paced society, how do we find that balance, make a positive impact, and achieve that feeling of success at the end of the day? I recently read an article by Elle Kaplan, who discussed the 8 Harsh Truths That Will Immediately Make You More Successful. Here is my interpretation of these truths, which I feel can have a huge impact on students, teachers, staff, parents and community.
Negative thinking leads to negative outcomes. Negative thoughts narrow mental focus and impair our ability think, react and problem solve. A positive attitude changes everything. Throw out those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Your perspective will change and problems can be tackled with a fresh lens. A positive attitude will not only improve your life, but the lives of those around you.
Surround yourself with people who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself. Negative attitudes are toxic and contagious. Never let a negative person bring you down. Say goodbye to toxic people and seek out those who inspire and encourage you.
Success isn’t easy. It takes courage and hard work. Don’t be afraid to try something new and fail. One of my favorite quotes hits the nail on the head, “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough!” Embrace change, be willing to take risks and learn from mistakes.
Determine your own self-worth and sense of accomplishment. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Self-worth should come from within, as Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair of Disney wrote, “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.”
No one is perfect. Holding yourself to a perfect standard is unrealistic and unhealthy. Treat each failure as a learning opportunity that gets you closer to perfection.
Few people are successful on the first try. Success is cultivated through multiple attempts and failures. Michael Jordan said it best when he stated, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
Be your own greatest fan and cheerleader. Create your path to success and enjoy the journey. Believe in yourself and do what it takes to reach your goals.
Be fearless. As Mark Twain is often credited with writing, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Do any of these harsh truths resonate with you? If so, why?