Want Success? Start with these 5 Principles

Five Principles of Success
(Inspired by Steve Harvey)

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Image courtesy of pakron, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I listen to The Steve Harvey Morning Show and at the beginning of his radio show, he dedicates the first 12-15 minutes to sharing motivational and spiritual info that’s intended to help his listeners start their day off on a positive note as well as live their best lives.

He recently had a series called Five Principles of Success. He knows that reaching our goals can be a challenge, especially when we don’t know what to do to reach them. Therefore, he gave some practical principles to guide us on the road to success.

Inspired by his tips, here are his Five Principles of Success.

1.  Write The Vision and Have A Dream
Proverbs: 29:18-Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Everything begins with the dream. Every thing that we see right now was first conceived inside someone’s mind. So whatever you want to have or accomplish in your life must begin in your mind as a dream and desire.

Habakkuk 2:2-Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, so he may run that reads it.
It’s not good enough to just dream a dream, you must be specific in what you want and then write down your desires and goals. Something magical happens when we actually write down what we want to do because the physical act of writing boosts our learning, goal achievement and accountability.

2. Determination and Effort
Steve Harvey says that we must have lots of determination and give maximum effort because reaching our goals can’t be achieved with a 9 to 5 mindset. It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice of time and sleep to be successful, so if we think that we are going to attain our goals by working 8 hours a day and sleeping 8 hours a night, we are sadly mistaken.

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Image courtesy of Master isolated images, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3. Study Your Craft
It’s been said that it takes an investment of 10,000 hours of learning to become an expert in a particular area. Whether it’s 10,000, 100,000 or even 1,000 hours of deliberate practice, we can all agree that becoming a success is not an overnight process. With the advent of the internet and information so readily available at our fingertips, some have been deceived into believing that one can become a ‘success’ overnight through viral videos and internet over-exposure. The truth of the matter is, one can become ‘popular’ overnight but not a success or an expert.

Whatever you desire to do, study it. Live, breath, eat and sleep it. Perfect practice makes perfect. Just practicing doesn’t make perfect because if you are practicing the wrong thing, you’ll become perfect in the wrong process.

Also, there is value in studying the steps others have taken to become successful in a particular venture. Steve says that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or blaze the trail all of the time. One can learn by researching what has already been done and tailoring that wisdom to your situation. He’s not suggesting that we become clones; some believe smart people learn from their own mistakes, wise people learn from the mistakes of others. You don’t have to charge $50,000 on credit cards to learn about debt and financial discipline.  Learning from the example of others can save you time and effort.

4. Have Unwavering Faith and Belief
Once we decide that we are going to do something, opposition is right there, ready to hold us back, especially if we are doing the opposite of what we normally do. We must ask ourselves–How much do I believe that what I want will actually happen? Our belief has to be stronger than our doubt. Doubt comes to test us but our faith and prayer helps us fight.

Doubt doesn’t just come from our own minds, it comes from naysayers too. The naysayers are the people in our lives who ALWAYS tell you how something CAN’T be done. No matter how well planned out it is or how great of an idea, the naysayers come to say how our goal is impossible to achieve.  Innovators of the past had people tell them that their ideas were absurd, unattainable and impractical but if they would have listened to naysayers, so many things we take for granted as ‘normal’ would not be in existence today, i.e. flying, landing on the moon, home computers, talking on a phone NOT plugged into the wall, buying bottled water and coffee for $5 a cup (industry experts said that no one would pay for a bottle of water because they can get water at home for free and $5 for a cup of coffee that costs $1 at a diner was crazy), even CNN (Continuous News Network) would not exist because industry experts said that no one would want to watch news all day long.

No matter what resources we have at our fingertips or what opportunities have been laid in front of us, whatever we believe, is what will actually happen. So whether we believe we will succeed or fail, we are absolutely right

man helping man

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5. What’s Your Reason
Once we act on tips 1-4, our final consideration is the reason why we want what we want.  God told Abraham that I am blessing you to be a blessing. We should take the same mindset as we travel toward our goals. Ask yourself, why do I want what I want? Who will benefit? What purpose do I have for the money I will earn? What opportunities will I offer to others?  If we desire riches for selfish reasons and we get it, then what? We must have a clearly defined mission for our wealth.

Our mission is our commitment letter. Think of college athletes. Once they decide what schools they will go to, they sign commitment letters that declare publicly the organization they will dedicate their talents and effort to. As for us, our mission statement declares to whom and what we will honor when we reach our goals.  Who do we intend to bless, inspire and uplift when we become successful and wealthy? Steve said that in the Mission Impossible movies, Tom Cruise didn’t perform his missions for personal fame and gain–the missions were to help and save others. Therefore, our missions should be bigger than us. The more we are willing to do for others, the more God will give us to invest in them.  Steve shares his time and wisdom for the betterment of others through his mentorship programs for boys and girls, the books he’s written, his radio show and talk show.

If success were easy to obtain, everyone would have it, but it’s not. Many are not willing to do the work it takes nor desire to invest in others when they ‘arrive’.

So whether your goal is big or small, short term or long term, you have to consistently work to achieve it and these Five Principles of Success is a great place to start.

What principles have helped you achieve your goals?

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The 5 Most Irritating Writing Errors

ImageI’m a former English major and an unofficial wordsmith. I love reading and I love words. What I don’t love is how people butcher their words when they write, interrupting the flow of what I read.

The world is a much smaller place now and we are constantly bombarded with information…

*24 hour access to news and entertainment
*Commercials before the videos we watch on YouTube
*Product suggestions that pop up after each game we play on our phone

…not to mention the many social media outlets and apps we download to be up-to-date and in the know all of the time.

But with all of this information at our fingertips, one would think that we as a society are getting smarter but it seems that we are actually getting dumber by the download. We make so many grammatical errors when we write that I sometimes wonder if the information has gotten so overwhelming that we’ve forgotten the basics.

So I made a list the 5 most irritating writing errors that I’ve encountered:

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1.  Can we turn off the ‘text speech’ please? — It’s amazing how many people either cannot or do not know how to write in plain English anymore. I’m so sick of getting emails, updates and posts written in text lingo. I understand that it’s not a ‘best practice’ to spell out every word we text (mainly for 3 reasons- it takes too long to type on those tiny keyboards, everyone doesn’t have unlimited texting and don’t want one message delivered on 3 pages and people don’t want to read an extremely long text) but some individuals need to learn how to turn off the text jargon when they are writing things of importance like a job application, an email, an essay, a FB post. I sometimes need a translator to figure out what the person is saying to me. Overall, people appear to have failed remedial English courses when they don’t know to turn off the texting when writing things that matter.

2. Prolly – I had to mention this one on its own. I almost fell out of my seat the first time I saw this written in an email I received. The person meant probably but he wrote prolly.  The young man thought that he was spelling it correctly because he spelled everything else right in the email. I thought it was a one-time mistake but I’ve seen it more often over the past 6 months than I care to mention. (SN: today I saw proby in a tweet.) Proby? Prolly? Rilly?

Speaking of spelling…
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3. Using the letter, number or the phonetic spelling as a part of or in place of the word — I think this one gets my panties in a bunch the most. I’ve noticed that people are spelling words phonetically, moreso than correctly, now-a-days (even though ‘respelling‘ isn’t taught in school anymore. Remember that?)  But unfortunately, a lot of us do not pronounce our words correctly, therefore spelling them phonetically is impossible.
Its not xcptble 2 ryt a 200 wrd pston FB were mosta da wrds need 2b trnzsl8d b/c vwls r lef out or wrds r spelled ncorctly.

Here are some of the most irritating ones:
‘mi’ – me (not my)
 ‘fa’ – for
 ‘da’ or ‘de’ – the’
‘wif’ – with (I thought it was ‘wife’)

It’s not just text speech outside of texting and tweeting that gets me. It’s the fact that we don’t know elementary English structure.

4. Contraction vs Possession — I get it. Little Johnny struggled with knowing the difference in 4th grade. Well, Little Johnny is now 40-years-old and not-so-little, so Big John needs to get it together. We should know the rules by now. A contraction has that little thing called an apostrophe in it with one or two letters following because it represents two words. Possession means you own it…period.

So let’s work on learning the difference. Its irritating to see that your still using there as a possessive pronoun and when saying they are.

contraction              possession
you’re (you are)       your (dog)
it’s (it is)                   its (paw)
they’re (they are)     their (money)    there (location like ‘here’)

Quick tip — instead of using the contraction, use the two words the contraction stands for to see if the sentence makes sense. So if I tell my child that ‘you are going to eat this’, I wouldn’t write ‘your going to eat this’.

5. Subject-Verb Agreement — With some people, the subject and verb always fight and never agree. Others have the nerve to put the verb at the end of the sentence.

Subject-verb agreement is so basic…single subject, singular verb; more than one subject, plural verb. What yo’ name is? … They was going to the store … What kind of food that is? I often hear our young people speaking this way. But I tell my 13 year old son, ‘we are judged by how we speak’ and if you sound uneducated, people will treat as a lesser than. Sad but true.

What will become of our country when these children graduate high school and enter the work force?

ImageI know I said 5 but here a few honorable mentions.

*A vs An & An vs And — Yes, believe it. Some still don’t know when to use A vs. An. But I’ve also seen And written in place of An. LIsten, if your noun begins with a vowel or vowel sound, don’t use A before it. Don’t say ‘a apple, a iPhone, a effort, a heir’. It’s ‘an apple, an iPhone, an effort, an heir’. Yes, heir begins with a consonant but with a silent H, the word begins with a vowel sound. When using ‘and’, just remember that it’s a conjunction, joining two ideas together and not an article to be used before a noun.

*The Forgotten Ly — So many people neglect to put ‘ly’ at the end of their words…i.e ‘Do it respectful’…’Come to me correct’..’Handle it different.’ “LY” makes an adjective an adverb (explains to the extent), so the correct way to say these phrases are ‘Do it respectfulLY’…’Come to me correctLY’..’Handle it differentLY.’ The most overused and forgotten LY is — seriousLY. So if you want to be taken seriously, don’t say ‘I want to be taken serious’.

*Saying the subject, then immediately following it with a pronoun — ‘My brother, he’ ‘My sister, she’ — you’ve already told us whom you are speaking, there’s no need to repeat it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and other grammatical pet peeves you have.

Who Wuda Thunk? That information overload can cause information breakdown…

Weekly Writing Challenge: Through the Door

I try to find inspiration in all kinds of experiences–fun, exciting, scary, frustrating, even the challenging aspects of life.  Well, here’s one that’s got me thinking.

A fellow WordPress blogger has a creative writing challenge for us. Just reading the highlights of the challenge has thrust me back into my childhood, where life was challenging and difficult at times as well as simple and innocent. I believed the best and dreamt the biggest. I dreamed vivid details, loved the noisy-ness of life and basked in the quiet times. (I think I just found an idea for my next post).  This is causing my creative juices to flow.

Door Knob2

Come on, take the challenge with me.  Even if you aren’t sure what to write about, write something. Get it done. You can always edit and rewrite. Just step up to the challenge.

Click the link below…walk through the door and see what happens.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Through the Door.

Done is Better than Perfect

created via frame ur life

If you’re like me, you have a lot of things you want to do and so many great ideas to act on. If you’re also like me, you struggle to ‘finish’ these great ideas because you strive for perfection. You always have the need to ‘tweak this’ or find a ‘better way’ to say that…it’s a freaking revolving door of revisions, rewrites and redo’s.

Well, starting my blog was no exception.

I know we just met but I have a confession to make–I’m an information junkie, point blank. I love learning new things and trying out new stuff, even to my detriment sometimes. I read and research, think about things, plan and study, research and read some more, which defers my starting anything, let alone finishing those things I start. Some may say that I’m doing my due diligence by investigating things before I partake of them but in actuality, I think I subconsciously use it as a stall tactic (confession #2). I don’t like failing–but what I hate even more is not knowing what I’m doing (#3). Now once I’ve learned something, I’ve got it! And then I compound what I’ve learned over time and work it like nobody’s business (which explains why I’ve thrived in so many different jobs…don’t judge me:-) but it’s the ‘not knowing what I’m doing, lost and vulnerable feeling’ that I don’t like. So, when faced with a new venture, I’m a little nervous and hesitant because I don’t wanna mess it up or start off on the wrong foot.

created via frame ur life

You may be saying, ‘the best thing to do is just jump in’…while that may be true in theory, it’s not true for me. I’m the type to put my big toe in first, just to check the temperature of the water and then, when I see that it’s safe, I jump in, making huge splash. I’ll be the woman hanging back, in a room full of people, watching how they interact and communicate before I mingle…but when I get out there, I work my magic on that room and no one will forget me. When I start a new job, I study my duties and ask for one-on-one training before I hit the sales floor…but once I’m out there, I impress people with my skills and I’m consistently one of the top sellers. So, of course, I’ve done the same thing with starting my blog. I did all of my pre-ritual research before I actually wrote this because I wanted it to be perfect or at least, right.  Now, after mulling over all of the ideas, watching videos, reading articles, taking notes on how to be a blogger, blah, blah, blah, I’ve finally completed my first blog. And now that it’s done, I have confidence in my future posts.

I don’t know what you think…you may like it or you may not be impressed. Either way, I’m just happy to say that I did it.

Who Wuda Thunk? that ‘Done is Better than Perfect?’

What say you?