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From Humble Beginnings…
By Deb Haggerty   Printer Friendly Version

He was born in the hills of Northern Missouri. The fifth of eight boys born to a poor farm family, he quit school in the eighth grade to work on the family farm. But he had a dream ...

She was raised in a room behind her father's store. She had few of the material things in life like clothes or shoes or even curtains in the kitchen. But she had love, and encouragement, and a father who valued language and well-spoken words ...

He and his wife started their marriage living in a roach-ridden apartment. They had a child, and then another and very little on which to live. But they loved and valued people and were able to encourage others in their struggle ...

What do these three people have in common? They all became successful people!

Success to most of us means money, fame, fortune. Success means elegant clothes, beautiful homes, expensive cars. Success means getting the best seats at the theatre, the center table at the most elegant restaurants, arriving by limousines. But what is success - really?

Success is many things to many people. However, several key elements are common to all successful people. These elements, or attributes, are not unattainable, but within the reach of every person who desires them.

Self-image is key. Each of us is a unique individual, with talents and abilities different from those around us. In my view, there are no superiors or inferiors, just people who are at different places in their journey than we are.

Understanding of yourself, who you are, why you are the way you are, is critical. Understanding that those who are not like you, are not wrong, but merely different is crucial. We can't expect to be understood by others unless we care enough to try to understand them first. It's been said, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Or, "People will not care to understand you until they understand you care."

Courage to learn, and change, and fail is a requirement to success. Walking into a room full of strangers takes courage. Approaching a potential client takes courage. Getting married takes courage. Starting over takes courage. Sometimes getting out of bed to face the day takes courage. "Talent is not sufficient. You must have the courage to take it to the world."

Commitment to being the best you can be, no matter what the circumstances requires effort. No one promised us a rose garden, but with commitment and hard work, roses will bloom and thrive.

Enthusiasm is contagious - and key to being successful. Successful people radiate enthusiasm and are able to engender enthusiasm in those around them. People who are successful carry the silver lining of the clouds they encounter with them.

Strength to keep going when the going gets tough ... Strength is required to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Strength is required to endure long hours of hard work, sometimes with little reward. Strength is required to ignore the lure of "instant success" and to keep following your dream. Submission to a higher power, to a sense of values, to a vision and mission, to the wisdom of others with more experience is one of the hallmarks of the successful person. Most truly successful people are also very humble. They realize that, to quote John Donne, "No man is an island, but each is a part of the main."

Self-image, understanding, courage, commitment, enthusiasm, strength and submission are the attributes that spell success!

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