Keys to Success
34 years ago today, we said “I do”. Two imperfect people with a lot to learn decided to do life together. Three grown children and three grandchildren later, we stand amazed. Has it been easy? No way. Has it been worth the struggles? Absolutely. And then some.
As I’ve reflected on some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, I realized they apply to success in anything. Whether building a home, building an organization or building a business – there are certain principles that are unchanging. Strategies change but principles don’t.
Here’s the Cliff Note version of what I’ve learned in the last 34 years of marriage. (I’m smart enough to know the lessons will continue as long as I have breath.)
1. Commitment. That’s a decision to do what it takes to make it work; a resolute determination; an “in it to win it” attitude. Note: Extraordinary endurance and stamina will be required.
2. Resist being governed by feelings and emotions. Mental toughness means you do the right thing whether you feel like it or not.
3. Focus on what’s right – not what’s wrong. Look for the good and talk about that. Out loud.
4. Show appreciation and gratitude – verbally express it in some way every single day.
5. Get over yourself – it’s not about you. There’s a bigger vision than whether you happen to be happy with how things are going right now.
6. Show respect. That means engaging in courageous communication about everything that affects another.
7. Let go of the need to be right. Pride, ego and the need to control are lethal to relationships. Healthy relationships aren’t 50/50. They’re 100/100.
8. Forgive. Mistakes will be made. There will be plenty of opportunities to be angry. That’s okay, but get over it. Forgive. And forgive again. And then forgive some more. Take the time to consciously forgive yourself while you’re at it.
9. Relinquish unrealistic expectations of changing someone else and work on changing yourself.
10. Trust God. Always and in all things. Nothing is impossible with Him. “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I Cor. 13:13
Now, to remember the difference between knowledge and wisdom is APPLYING what you’ve learned.
The Best is Yet to Come!