Archive for March, 2007

When Murphy’s Law Messes You Up

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

This past week has been a trying week for me. Murphy’s law has struck at me, not once, not twice but an astounding three times! For a refresher, Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst time possible.

The highlight of this past week for me was to be a voice-over project that I was planning to do for a non-profit organization that is spearheading some initiatives in South Africa. I had prepared very well for this project. We had planned and conversed a couple of times on exactly how this would be done and everything was in place for me to just walk into the studio and do the voice-over for the DVD. Well, on Thursday morning, the day of the scheduled recording, Murphy slammed my door and forced his way into my life without giving me any notice. A whole lot of things went wrong and I just couldn’t make it to the studio.

Well, my experience with Murphy this week has prompted me to develop a strategy for keeping him from messing me up ever again. Here’s my three-pronged strategy for dealing with Murphy next time he shows up. I call it the ABC’s of dealing with Murphy:

1. Anticipate what might go wrong

When Murphy struck at me this week I did not see it coming at all. All week I had prepared for all my engagements with complete confidence that everything was going to go as planned. This was a little naive from a leadership standpoint. My game plan now is to anticipate what might go wrong so that when it does go wrong, I can deal effectively with it.

2. Bring yourself to a state of calmness

Murphy left me in a panic this week because of the element of surprise. I failed to consciously make the choice of staying calm – actually when I talked to my contact at the non-profit organization, I used the word “flustered”. I was upset that I hadn’t made it for the highlight of my week. 

3. Create systems that allow for success

Success in any endeavor is all about having the right systems. I took a good look at all the systems in my disposal and with the help of a life coach, I was able to align them so that I’m assured of victory over Murphy. Here’s a link to my Life Coach.

Inspiration: Stories that Iginite Motivation

Friday, March 30th, 2007

As I was reflecting on what I would post about this morning, I was inspired by the sense of inspiration that people found in my personal story. I think we all need daily doses of inspiration. The key to staying motivated towards achieving our goals is the inspiration that comes from the stories we encounter on a daily basis. Learning to listen to the good, powerful and life-changing stories that life offers us enables us to soar above mediocrity and live life at a higher level. Our purpose is clarified and our power is harnessed when we share in positive, life-changing stories.

I subscribe to a newsletter that comes to my inbox weekly from the Children’s Defense Fund. In this week’s newsletter, stories were highlighted of teenagers that are contributing to their communities. This was a very inspiring publication. We are used to listening to the stories of teenagers involved in crime and negative things in the news media. I think it is essential to turn off the negative news and start finding the positive things that are being done in society and highlighting them. I was greatly inspired to continue working in my community when I read these stories.

We get inspired so that we can aspire to higher ideals. Our aspirations provide us with the motivation that we need to stay focused. Being inspired therefore, is foundational to our personal growth and development. I look at and define myself as an inspirational teacher. My stories inspire people so that they can find the motivation to do what they need to do. Motivation may provide people with information that generates good feelings within them but inspiration sparks a fire within them that they can act upon. 

The Joy of Blogging

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Blogging is fun. When I started blogging four months ago, I had no idea that I would not only be doing it with this passion, but also “expand” into having four fully active blogs. My first ever post, Conception and Birth of A Dream, and venture into blogosphere came on December 1, 2006. Since then, I have continued to blog on a daily basis. I like to look at this blog as a business blog. My other blogs are:

1. Philosophy/Philanthropy Blog

www.epicflow.wordpress.com

Epic Flow was born out of a desire to Engage, Participate, Interact and Create in society. It is an endeavor to contribute to society and impact it positively. 

2. Youth Resource Blog

www.empoweredyouth.wordpress.com

Empowered Youth is subtitled, Hot Personal Development for Smart Youth. This blog highlights the challenges in the lives of today’s youth and endeavors to provide solutions that empower youth to live a better life. 

3. Personal Insights Blog

http://www.idealstrategies.blogspot.com

The subtitle for this blog is Optimum Outcomes for Smart and Sharp Living. This blog is an off-shoot of the Better Life Optimum Outcomes Magazine (BLOOM).   

The content interchanges between all my blogs. It’s been an exciting four months of developing ideas, thoughts and resources and publishing them online in a form that is easily accessible. Even with all the myths that exist about blogging, it still has been a very rewarding process for me.

Value First

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

We have been told many times in the past that “If you build it, they will come”. This line was popularized by a movie, Field of Dreams, I believe. While this was a great line for many years, it proves to be insufficient for today’s world. Today’s world demands that whatever you build must provide value. Value is measured by the contribution that your idea brings to the table. The line that works in our world today, as opposed to the world of Field of Dreams, is this: “If you build it and it provides value, they will come.”

Let’s talk about value then: the value that you and I bring to the table. I know and feel that, as conscientious individuals, you and I absolutely love what we do. Just like you, I wake up every morning and I want to give my absolute best in whatever I do throughout the day. Some people will say that most people don’t have a passion for what they do. They do just enough to keep from getting fired because they are being paid just enough to keep from quitting. I hope that’s not your situation because I want you to embrace the idea of providing maximum value on a daily basis. When you embrace such an attitude, your life gains immense purpose and power. Elevate your life, give maximum value on a daily basis. 

The Irony of Narrow Focus

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

When I was a kid my dad bought me a couple of magnifying glasses of varied colors. I enjoyed playing with the glasses and feeling like a serious detective as I roamed in and out of the house looking for clues to mysteries that I created in my overactive imagination. Perhaps the greatest power of those glasses, I came to discover, was that when I held them over a piece of newspaper and allowed the sun’s rays to stream through, pretty soon I would have a fire (I was a little older and understood the need for safety). We lived directly under the equator and the sun was always hot and directly above us for most of the day. However, it’s rays never burnt anything until when they were brought to a point of focus.

While bringing those rays to a point of focus might seem like reducing the sun’s power, it actually increased it’s intensity and resulted in the generation of heat. This is the same thing with our potential. When potential is brought to a point of focus it results in greater output and results. Activity is not necessarily productivity. It’s what you focus on that brings about your greatest productivity. Much has been said about the Pareto Principle, which I believe to be true. According to Pareto, 80% of your productivity will come from 20% of your activity (paraphrased). Here’s the key to generating lasting results: find the 20% of what you are most effective at and give it 80% of your time and resources.     

Microwave or Crock-pot?: Understanding Process

Monday, March 26th, 2007

This morning I had a crucial decision to make. I knew that I would be very busy throughout the entire day. I also knew that I would need to eat in the evening in order to replenish my energy. (I don’t know whether you are like me, but at the end of a very busy day I am usually very hungry).

Knowing that I would be too tired to cook, I considered the options available to me: I could wait until evening and just microwave some of the three-minute meals that were in the refrigerator or I could pull out the crock-pot and let the pot roast cook itself throughout the day. (Someone else would have added fast food to the options but that is never an option for me). I made a quick decision. I pulled out the crock-pot and ended up having a delicious meal in the evening.

Thinking about the whole process I went through made me think about our approach to personal growth. Personal growth is a process, not an instant event. It takes place over the course of many days, weeks, months and years. You cannot “microwave” yourself into a self-actualized human being or a philosophical guru. You have to go through the “slow cooker” in order to develop into your full capabilities.

We derail our growth when we think that we can hasten the process. This is evidenced in the many people who are looking for just one thing that will change their lives. There is no “secret” to the process. You can’t just watch a “secret” DVD and change your life. There’s more to it than just that. There’s massive action that must take place behind the scenes. It has to be a quiet, slow process, not a fast, noisy activity.

Developing Global Perspectives

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Nothing demonstrates the beauty of humanity more than a coming together of people of all races and backgrounds. I’ve always enjoyed mingling with people from other countries and cultures. That is why I chose to volunteer with an organization that is doing a lot to build cross-cultural understanding in my city. If we are going to make a positive impact in this Century we will need to understand our place in the global community of humanity. Every human being, regardless of social status, needs to have a dream of at least visiting another country and culture at one time or another in his or her life. Having a global perspective really changes how you see your own community.

It’s true that kids dream of visiting other countries and touring around the world but somehow that dream dies before they even get into their teenage years. What kills the dream? Is it the comfort of being in their own safe and secure neighborhoods? Whenever I visit schools to speak with kids, I always encourage them to hold onto that dream. Such an opportunity is an eye-opener and should never ever be passed up. I’ve been to a few countries and each experience was amazing in it’s own way. In today’s world it is unthinkable to live and operate without an understanding of the world around us.

Conflict Management – Pt II

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

One of the most crucial competencies for management is conflict resolution. There are five approaches that can be utilized in the management of conflict:

1. Accomodating – This is where one group places emphasis on the needs of the other group while minimizing it’s own concerns. In essence, one group allows the other to win – a win-lose situation. While it may seem as if the group is giving in, it might be a beneficial approach when the other group has a huge stake in the matter at hand.

2. Dominating – This is when one group focuses completely on it’s own cares and concerns and closes the door to the other group. The dominating group “forces” it’s power and resolutions on the other group. This again is a win-lose situation.The group with the higher balance of power wins over the other group.

3. Avoiding – It’s unfortunate that this happens but there are times when one group may avoid another. This may not be the best strategy but it sometimes helps to cool the situation so that the time may be used to gather additional information.

4. Compromising – When two groups compromise, none of them emerges as a winner. There must be some giving up of value in order for compromising to be effective. Compromise can lead to more conflict later because teh groups might still harbour a feeling that their needs were never met.

5. Collaboration – When groups collaborate, both of them come out of the conflict situation as winners. Collaboration is solution-centered thinking. By working together to solve the conflict the two groups demonstrate immense respect for each other.

Managing Conflict

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Many years ago, a mentor told me that “motion causes friction.” Over the past couple of days, we have all been held spell-bound by the friction taking place between the Obama camp and the Clinton camp in the race for President of the United States. The truth is that friction takes place everwhere – it occurs inside our organizations, it occurs between different organizations, it occurs on sports teams, it occurs in the family, it occurs in Churches, it occurs between countries and many other areas of life. At one point or another, we will all encounter friction in life. Friction between human systems is defined as conflict. Understanding how to manage conflict is therefore essential.

There are two kinds of conflict: functional conflict and dysfunctional conflict.

Functional conflict is a confrontation between groups that benefits all groups that are involved equally. Functional conflict brings about greater awareness and solutions which allow for change. Functional conflict actually leads to a mutual understanding between groups. For example, the research team at Better Life Company that it’s time to release a new product onto the market. The marketing team on the other hand feels like the company has too many products that are yet to be well-positioned in the market. This conflict brings in the strategy team and after lengthy discussions, they reach a consensus. That is functional conflict. 

Dysfunctional conflict is any conflict between groups that creates an environment that is not conducive to progress. This kind of conlict leads to stress and results in terrible losses for any groups that are involved in it. Those of you who are avid football fans may remember the surprise firing of Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer was fired because of dysfunctional conflict between him and the team manager, AJ Smith. For almost 3 years, the two of them had been at logger-heads over personnel decisions.  The conflict between the two of them led to the chargers losing many good coordinators.

Tomorrow we will look at key aspects of managing conflict.

Understanding Community

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

The 21st Century continues to bring amazing technological revolutions that are altering man’s life in many ways. Society is benefitting in many ways from these innovations and inventions. One area that I am particularly delighted about is the human connection to technology. Technology has helped in developing community and enhancing connectedness within the human race. Organizations and businesses will therefore do well if they understand the concept of community and cultivate it within their people.

People want to be connected to others. We’ve seen the explosion of social websites like myspace, xanga, facebook, youtube and so many others. These technological revolutions are offering people the chance to build friendships and enhance community in many different ways. Blogs are a prime tool through which ideas are being shared globally through many different platforms. The commercial about employees at a company working on their myspace accounts or blogs are understable because community is essential to our existence as human beings.

The call for community is a call for involvement in society too. Volunteering to engage in one’s community is perhaps one of the best ways someone can be fulfilled in society. Finding that time to go out of your way and do something that serves a larger purpose than yourself is the greatest single act of selflessness one can engage in. Nothing really brings more joy and satisfaction than volunteering for a cause bigger than oneself. Let us enhance our communities and also build communities that bring about a better life.

Grow or Go – Life’s Two Constant Choices

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Life is all about growth. Every day we are faced with situations and circumstances that provide us with two choices – grow or go! Having a menatlity of growth is the first step towards being able to maximize your life and live above the level of mediocrity that plagues most of society. If you don’t grow, you will go! No question about that. I call this “Life’s two constant choices”. What choice will you make today? Will you make every circumstance that comes your way an opportunity for personal growth or will you shrink away from growth and give in to mediocrity? Life’s two constant choices are right before you today. Make the better choice – a choice for better life! 

Massive Productivity – Learning from Kobe Bryant

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

This past weekend was a monster weekend for Kobe Bryant as he became the first player in close to half a decade to score 50 points in consecutive games for the Lakers. Kobe had 50 points on Sunday and 65 points on Friday to lead the Lakers to massive wins over the Timberwolves and the Trail Blazers. This was simply classic, over-the-top, A-game performance. As I began to reflect on Kobe’s magnificent playing, I began realizing that this is exactly what we all need to do in order to win in the game of life. We must embrace massive productivity. So here are some thoughts on how this is doable:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Your performance on the “courts of life” is very much dependent on what happens behind the scenes. Kobe didn’t just walk off the streets and onto the court for that kind of performance. It has taken him years of practice to get to that level of playing. Same thing with you. In order to be an MP (Massive Producer), you have to act massively behind the scenes. It’s your behind the scenes work that brings you from obscurity and into the limelight.

2. Take immediate control of your mental state

The winner’s edge is in his mental attitude. You must approach every situation with a readiness to tackle it and win. You can’t shy away from displaying your skill when your moment of action comes. The moment Kobe steps onto the court, he is focused and ready to do battle. You can’t allow your mind to wander in hundreds of different directions. You’ve got to harness it. 

3. Discover the power of team

No matter how good a player is, he cannot play alone against a team of five and expect to win. You’ve got to find those people who will elevate your performance. Teamwork makes the dream work. What’s your dream? Are you connected to people that can elevate your game? Discover the power of team and you will multiply your value. You can’t do it by yourself. The days of the lone ranger are over.

Can we slow down?

Monday, March 19th, 2007

We live in a world that is increasingly becoming faster and faster. This is evidenced in many areas of life ranging from business to family and social events. Bill Gates has been a proponent of faster business in his book, Business at the Speed of Thought. Many other authors have been proponents of ideas like out-smarting and out-thinking. Basically, there have been many voices calling for faster processes, faster thinking, faster living and faster everything.

This quest for faster and faster has in many ways ended up hurting society. Stress levels have increased and a lot of damage has been done to people, organizations and institutions in society. We have a saying back home that “we operate on African time”. In America people say that time is money. These two sayings depict two different paradigms on the idea of time. There are advantages and disadvantages to both paradigms but I believe there is a lot that the West can learn from “African time” in terms of time management and slowing down the pace of life. I am in the process of writing down some thoughts, but of course I’m working on “African time”. 

 

Interdependence – How Teamwork Elevates Productivity Pt. 2

Monday, March 19th, 2007

This post is a continuation of ysterday’s post on interdependence. We have been looking at this by way of an acronym I developed on a trip to Jamaica in 2002. Here is the acronym once again: 
 
Identify every aspect of the operation that requires a team effort
Notify every member of the team of his or her role.
Team up on the basis of the group’s vision and not individual interests
Examine your dream together and let everyone capture a passion for it
Resolve to all be focused on the team aspects of the organization
Divide responsibilities fairly to every member of the team
Engage the soul of every member of the team.
Paint pictures and mental images of possibilities.
Employ a variety of people to help cast the vision.
Navigate through situations and circumstances as one unit.
Display an in-depth care and concern for one another.
Empower each other by relying on each other’s skills and abilities
Nourish each other by equipping and elevating each other’s contribution
Communicate at all times, making everything clear and plain to the team
End every effort by sharing the benefits and rewards of teamwork.

In today’s post I will briefly look at the last eight things we did with our team:

8. Paint pictures and mental images of possibilities.

Every day in the morning, we had the opportunity to cast vision to the team and we made the best use of such avenues to ensure that everyone grasped the big picture of our entire purpose of being in Jamaica.

9. Employ a variety of people to help cast the vision.

We had MAs (Mission Advisors) whom we selected to work with us in binding the team together and communicating our vision to the rest of the group.

10. Navigate through situations and circumstances as one unit.

We made it a primary priority to stick together as a team and travel together. The leaders would always look out for our team members to ensure that we were all on one track.

11. Display an in-depth care and concern for one another

We emphasized on the need for great relationships with each other. John Maxwell once pointed out that people go the first mile because of duty, they go the second mile because of relationship. Good relationships were a vital concern for us.

12. Empower each other by relying on each other’s skills and abilities

Interdependence is impossible unless a team learns to rely on each other. By realizing that everyone is gifted to serve, we were in fact able to empower each other.

13. Nourish each other by equipping and elevating each other’s contribution

We advocated for placing individual rights below the team’s best interest. The other person’s contribution was considered as very important and this enabled us to achieve so much progress.

14. Communicate at all times, making everything clear and plain to the team

We made it a priority to always communicate with each other and went to great lengths to keep the entire team updated on our courses of action.

15. End every effort by sharing the benefits and rewards of teamwork.

Instead of taking all the praise for our achievements, we would always credit the team with having made all things happen.

Interdependence – How Teamwork Elevates Productivity Pt. 1

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Over the next two days I want to look at the concept of interdependence, specifically, how teamwork elevates productivity. This post is simply a reproduction of ideas that I developed a few years ago when I went to Jamaica as a team leader for a group of about 35 teenagers. This was a huge project and it required that every member of the team contribute their very best. My thoughts were crystalized in the form of an acronym that I will be sharing over the next two days. Here is the acronym: 
 
Identify every aspect of the operation that requires a team effort
Notify every member of the team of his or her role.
Team up on the basis of the group’s vision and not individual interests
Examine your dream together and let everyone capture a passion for it
Resolve to all be focused on the team aspects of the organization
Divide responsibilities fairly to every member of the team
Engage the soul of every member of the team.
Paint pictures and mental images of possibilities.
Employ a variety of people to help cast the vision.
Navigate through situations and circumstances as one unit.
Display an in-depth care and concern for one another.
Empower each other by relying on each other’s skills and abilities
Nourish each other by equipping and elevating each other’s contribution
Communicate at all times, making everything clear and plain to the team
End every effort by sharing the benefits and rewards of teamwork.

In today’s post I will briefly look at the first seven things we did with our team:

1. Identify every aspect of the operation that requires a team effort

As a team, we started off by pointing out every area in which we had to work together. We build into the team an understanding of the team concept by helping them see that one would be too small a number to achieve what we had set out to do.

2. Notify every member of the team of his or her role.

As team leader, I notified every member of the team of what would be expected of them. We developed consensus on the things we wanted to see achieved. Every “got on the same page” regarding what they had to accomplish individually (there is no “I” in team but there is a “me”)

3. Team up on the basis of the group’s vision and not individual interests

Our team developed a vision that had meaning to each of us. This was clearly written and displayed so that everyone had access to it. We had to ensure that everyone understood the cause. We rallied the entire team together on this one cause and it worked so well.

4. Examine your dream together and let everyone capture a passion for it

Every morning we had meetings together which greatly helped us to continually harness the vision and hold onto it. Understanding the vision and buying into it as a corporate team was essential to our success. This made all of us to run in the same direction with the same goal in mind.

5. Resolve to all be focused on the team aspects of the organization

Each day there were many obstacles and distractions that threatened our progress as a team. We had to resolve to stay focused. There were team-members who lost motivation every once in a while. We had to encourage each member of the team to stay focused.

6. Divide responsibilities fairly to every member of the team

Each member on the team had different abilities and we divided responsibilities based on their skills and willingness to serve in particular capacities. In the division of labor, we had to ensure that there was specialization in terms of the skill sets of the team member.

7. Engage the soul of every member of the team

We endeavored to “click” with our team by coaching, mentoring and communicating the vision to them every single moment we had the opportunity to do so. Those who soared as leaders within the group contributed immensely in mentoring the others.

To be continued tomorrow…

Pathways to the Real World

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Over the past two days I have read two books that surprisingly had exactly the same message. When I checked them out of the library I never quite knew that they would both say the same thing. One is Life’s a Journey – Not a Sprint by Jennifer Lewis-Hall and the other is Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World by Maria Shriver. Both of these ladies were journalists and TV personalities. Both of them attained substantial  recognition as they graced the national airways on major television channels. Both authors offer tremendous insight into life, career, family and the balance between juggling all the roles that life requires of us. Their message is a simply one: we are all powerful human beings and can create for ourselves a life of true significance. True fulfillment is not found in doing but in being. I would greatly recommend both books.  

The Most Important Ingredient of Speech

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

The last couple of years have seen a mushrooming in the quest for professional speaking skills. Organizations like Toastmasters and speaking courses like Dale Carnegie’s have continued to grow immensely as more and more people realize the need to enhance their speaking skills. This is great. People are realizing that it is not just enough to have language, you need to develop mastery in it’s use. Now, the development of mastery in many speaking organizations usually focuses on the technical aspects of speaking – how to stand, use of gestures, layout of notes, etc. But then, there’s another aspect of speaking that I think is the most imporatnt ingredient. This is passion.

All the foremost speakers that we fondly remember have always demonstrated a passion that came from deep within their convictions. Martin Luther King Jr. (The greatest speaker of the 20th Century), Ronald Reagan (The Great Communicator), Zig Ziglar (The Greatest Motivational Speaker) and Les Brown (The World’s Leading Motivational Speaker) are good examples of very passionate speakers. If you will speak to change lives you must have passion. Passion elevates words from notes in ink to life-changing insights in the mind. Passion comes from conviction. You must believe in what you are saying deeply. Cultivate a deep passion and your speaking will be greatly rewarded.

Getting Serious About The Little Things

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Richard Carlson contributed immensely to de-stressing the human race in his masterpiece, Don’t sweat the small stuff. I personally have benefited immensely from his work. There have been many situations when I would get close to allowing small stuff to ruin my attitude. In those moments I’ve thought of his work and the potential of stress always ended up dissipating.

But then I would also like us to consider getting serious about the little things that, if not properly handled, can derail our purposes, marriages and organizations. As I advocate for getting serious about small stuff, I’m not saying that you should sweat the small stuff. Sweat is a waste of energy (mere rearrangement of the letters) while getting serious is conservation of energy.

Think about your home, your job or your schooling. Supposing you decided not to be serious about the little things, what would happen? Would your home be successful? Would you continue working at your job for long? Would you do well in school and graduate? Little things do matter. Small stuff may not matter but little things can become big things.

Think of the nanotechnology industry. Something extremely small is rapidly becoming a big thing. Nanotechnology is simply the manipulation of atoms and molecules. The particles that are produced are a thousand times smaller than the width of hair, a hundred times smaller than a red blood cell – small stuff, huh!? Yet in the next few years nanotechnology will be driving almost everything – from computer chips to fuel cells. When the entire process of manipulating this small particles is fully undertood we might have robots creating things out of nothing. Picture a car or a hamburger appear out of thin air as the molecules are arranged by nano-scale robots!

Let’s get serious about the little things. Little things become big things. Don’t sweat the small stuff but get serious about the little things.

Speaking to Change Lives Positively

Monday, March 12th, 2007

This morning I’ve been working on a speech that I’ll be delivering to a group of ladies with developmental disabilities. I was approached by a lady who has a daughter receiving services from an organization for the developmentally challenged right here in Cincinnati. My speech is part inspirational, part motivational and entirely geared towards empowering them with insights that will elevate their lives. As I worked on this, the thought came to my mind, what exactly is the purpose of public speaking? I see no other end expect the desire to change lives positively.

More than ever before, we live in a day when people are easily discouraged by the pressures of modern life. While society has progressed in many ways, there has still been an increase in the demands that life puts on us. In almost every aspect of life there is a need for radical change. It’s almost as if we need a revolution to see things go ‘back to normal’. Poverty, suicides, abortions, crime, drug use, discrimination and many other ills are on the rise. If society will advance beyond these issues, we need more speakers who will inspire people to change their lives. We need more empowerment than entertainment. Let every speech, from now henceforth, be about changing lives.

Three Crucial Keys for Success in Life

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Yesterday I wrote about three essential traits that I would like to follow up on. One could argue for so many different traits and keys as being essential or crucial to life. My choice for these particular qualities and keys is driven by the fact that they have worked very well for me. Here are the crucial keys for success in life:

Imagination

No one ever changed their circumstances in life without some measure of imagination. Imagination births vision and empowers one’s motivations. Good imagination is a sign of an awakened mind. An awakened mind is the factory of ideas and insights. Ideas and insights are the raw materials for a better life. 

Commitment

Commitment, whether to a purpose, a person, faith or any other pursuit in life, is essential for success in that particular pursuit. Commitment is the magnet that draws one closer to the realization of his or her ambitions and aspirations. Show me a person who is committed to what he or she is pursuing and I will show you a person who will achieve tremendous success.

Joy

Joy is that quality that births within us a sense of amazement about life. Joy enables us to enjoy what we do and find meaning in the daily routine of life. Having a joyous attitude is crucial to life. It neutralizes the pain of life and enables us to tap into the abundance of life. Joy enables us to experience the fulness of every day life.