Like it or not, life is made up of rules that we each learn along the way. We should value learning these rules from people who have come before us, if not only to shorten the time and effort we put into learning, but to avoid making the same mistake.
While most of us may never be faced with the challenges that the people who came before us had to work through, we share a participation and love of business that has been — and will probably become — our life’s work.
No matter what field or aspect of business we find ourselves in, your responsibilities grow based on the level of integrity you demonstrate to your management and team players. Through the years, your reputation increases as someone who can be trusted and whose words mean something. In other words, you are honest.
However, while honesty is a characteristic of the highest order, it is not the only important rule in life that will separate you from all others as you build your business legacy.
Here are some of the rules of life I have discovered throughout my journey:
• There is no doubt, you are going to make mistakes in life — real wisdom is all about learning how to escape afterwards with our dignity, integrity and personal sanity intact. As long as we can look back and see where we went wrong and resolve not to repeat such mistakes, there is little else we need to do.
• Work at being flexible in your thinking and with your ideas. Once your thinking gets rigid and formal, you have lost the battle. Once you think you either have the only answer or all the answers, you might as well hang up your boots.
• Life is difficult and that’s okay. If it was easy, we would never be tested or tried. If it was easy, we couldn’t get stronger.
• When it comes to looking at what others have achieved in life, the world of business and life in general is divided into those we envy and those who inspire. If you find yourself saying, ‘I wish I had done that/thought that/experienced that/understood that,’ then you need to follow up with a ‘now I will.’
• Change what you can change, let go of the rest. I once challenged a very smart business associate to keep going forward with a more positive attitude. He put his pen down and looked me in the eye and told me that he couldn’t change the currency markets, but he could manage his own business and be in control. Therefore, he dedicated his workday to personally manage the things he could change and to the areas where he knew that he could make a difference.
• Aim to be the very best at everything you do — never second best. Failing is fine but aiming for second best isn’t.
• Dream and don’t be afraid to dream. Some of the most successful people have been those who have dared to dream the most. Dreaming is one of the most creative activities we are blessed with to inspire us to achieve great things.
• Know when to walk away and let go. This is one of the hardest things to do in life because the potential sense of failure can breed what we do not want to accept as our responsibility. Sometimes in life you just have to walk away. We all hate to fail, all hate to give up, hate to give in. We love the challenge of life and want to keep on until whatever we are trying to ‘win’ has been overcome. But sometimes, it just isn’t going to happen and we need to recognize those moments, shrug them off and walk away with our pride intact.
Rules of life make a big difference in the way you think and what you achieve. Embrace them and read a lot to learn from others.
Wishing you continued success.