13 Ways of Wisdom (Part Two)

In the February newsletter I asked what words of wisdom can motivate and energize us to improve our lives moving forwards?  Detailed herewith the balance of 8 of the 13 ‘lucky for sum’ thoughts for the year 2013!

8. Worship what you do.

What is it that inspires you?  What fire ups your imagination and your desire?  What is your vision and what are your dreams?  What is it that you would really like to do and/or become?  Each one of us has talent in some form or shape and it is never too late to better use those talents.  What is your own best talent and how can you maximise that talent?  Each one of the above questions can be used in setting new goals for yourself and then putting the necessary plans in place to ensure that you are working towards achieving your end goals.  Worship what you do and you are more likely to accomplish your goals. 

The famous 19th Century author George Elliot once said “It’s never too late to become the person you might have been.”  George Elliot is a remarkable example of worshiping what she did; of maximising her talent and achieving her end goals.  As you probably know, her real name was Mary Anne Evans but she wrote under the male pen name George Elliot because the people of the male dominated world during the 1800’s in Britain would otherwise not have taken her work seriously.

9. Mix and Meet with people sharing similar Stance and Mind-set.

The buoyant strength and energy of like-minded individuals will rub off on you and help to further inspire and motivate you.  There will be things that you can learn and live that will improve and fast-track your journey to your own destination and goals.

Take note of the core values of winners…. of people who are leaders and who are responsible human beings.  There will be both internal and external characteristics that impact stance and mind-set.  Take the best of what you see and make it a part of your life.

As a final thought, remember at all times to try to avoid negative people.  Just as the buoyant strength and energy of those that one should try to associate with will positively influence one’s future, so will negative people tend to drain your energy and waste your time.  Think carefully about who you regularly mix and meet with and if necessary make some changes to your social and working set and environment.  You can do this subtly!

 10. What is Perfection?

Does anybody ever truly achieve perfection?

At the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Nadia Comăneci became the first person ever to achieve a perfect score of 10 in modern gymnastic history, a feat she ultimately achieved 7 times at those Games.  The feat was of such magnitude that even Omega’s Olympic scoring monitor was unable to reflect any more than 3 digits, so her score was displayed as 1.00.  Imperfection linked to perfection!

Her perfect score in 1976 was, at the time, an amazing achievement, but since then humans and their capabilities have improved drastically, as they will into the future world.  Would her routine of 1976 be considered a perfect 10 today?  Think even further back to 1954 – Roger Bannister became the first man to run a sub 4 minute mile.  Today such time is considered to be slow amongst elite athletes.

Both Comăneci and Bannister were striving for excellence, not perfection.  Each of their achievements may have been regarded as perfection, but only for a time.  When they were training they were not thinking about perfection but rather about excellence.

People who try to be perfectionists are often the losers in the game of life.  Strive to do your best; to work within your capabilities and your talents; and aspire to achieve excellence rather than perfection, because perfection in itself may be unachievable.  Striving to achieve excellence will lead to greater success and your own score of a perfect 10 or your own sub 4 minute mile!

11. Learn to Take Responsibility!

How many times have you heard somebody telling you how unlucky they were not to have achieved or done something?  Using bad luck or chance or some form of divine intervention will ultimately lead to continued lack of success.  I have used them before but Gary Player’s words “the harder I practice the luckier I get” ring true relative to learning to take responsibility.

It is the decisions that we take that ultimately lead to the rewards and/or outcomes that each one of us will encounter along life’s journey.  Those people who fail to take responsibility for their actions or the progress/lack of progress will eventually more than likely be the losers in their chosen sphere of life.  At KeNako Academy we are training young golfers, some perhaps with more talent than others, but all with a desire to succeed as golfers and to one day play on one of the major tours of the world.  Unless they learn to take responsibility now – for their commitment to their program; to practice what they are being taught; to respect and adhere to the discipline and the rules; to acknowledge mistakes and to deal with any such mistake; these boys and girls will fail – not just as golfers but on a broader scale in their future lives.

It was a man called George Washington Carver who once said “Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.”

12. Goals are important – but they must not be cast in stone.

Reference to goal setting is frequently made in our various articles.  But whilst goal setting is an important part of wisdom and success, it is equally important to be able to and capable of adjusting the goals as time moves on.  Setting the initial goal will help to define one’s ideals.  The road to achieving them may change course.  Learn to bypass any unnecessary distractions but take heed of all new information.

Goal setting will help to focus your attention; to record your knowledge; to organise the way that you intend achieving your goals; to allocate time to each step along the road to fulfilment; to measure your success against your written targets; to use your resources efficiently and effectively.

Along the road to your goal you may discover that you have new and different competencies that you were never previously aware of or that you never formerly had.  Take cognisance of any such newfound strengths and incorporate them into your revised goals.

13. Learn to Celebrate your Failures

The most important lessons in life are learnt from failure to do something or from lack of achievement.  The starting point is having the ability to admit that you have made a mistake and then taking responsibility for your actions.  Progress will accelerate after a mistake is admitted to.  Think of a baby.  As it grows it makes mistakes that adults will laugh at but understand, accept and help to correct.  All the while the baby is learning from its own mistakes.  If it pulls the dogs tail and the dog snaps at it the baby is unlikely to do it again.  The baby may cry, but it is temporary hurt – it will learn and move on, even if an adult did not see what happened.

Of course, a baby’s mistake can be fairly inconsequential when one considers some of the things that we may do or that others may do as life progresses.  But accepting a failure and learning to deal with it openly and honestly is a vital piece of the wisdom puzzle!


Ron Boon