SUCCESS RULE #41 Remember Where You Came From

Today’s rule is again written by guest writer Cindy Lee, an extraordinarily talented writer and success rule follower.

If you’ve been a success rule follower for any period of time, you have undoubtedly come to realize the Rules and Tools for Success are not stand alone, nor are they the end all-be all to your success. Instead they are rules that have a time and a place and should be kept in your tool bag to use when needed, or as appropriate, and applied throughout your life.

Success Rule number one, “Success, it’s everything you think it is” is somewhat a play on words in that success IS the result of how you think, but it is also relative in that we all have different measures of success. Cindy will remind you to look at all the successes you’ve had in your life.

Anthony Tormey

Founder & CEO

Leader Development Institute


Remember Where You Came From

A few weeks ago, I was sorting through some old photos for one of my grown children. In doing so, I came upon Christmas pictures from 1995. At that time I was newly divorced and my mother had passed away earlier in the year. My apartment was in a run-down center-city converted house. The entire thing consisted of an ill-equipped kitchen, drafty living room, two small bedrooms and a minuscule bathroom. It was what I could afford on a barely-more-than-minimum salary. Despite all of that, the photos contained smiling faces. Pictures of the ceremonial gift unwrapping, children sitting cross-legged on the floor, plates being balanced on knees and a tiny tree decorated and lit as if to be in a grand mansion. The scenes evoked memories of that Christmas so very long ago.

Success meant something different then. It meant making the rent each month, paying the gas bill, scraping together money for food and spending time with my family to share what little bit I had. Oh, how far I have come since those days.

Memories are something we all have. Remembering is something we all do. However, the two are not necessarily the same thing.

In “Success Rule 17, Know Thyself”, there is a list of techniques to get to know yourself a little better. One of the techniques is to “look back” at your life. Looking back at your life can be both pleasurable and painful. These things contribute to who you are today. You may wonder how that can advance your success right now. The key is to remember where you came from.

Remembering where you came from, what you’ve been through and what you have felt leads to a better understanding of other people and situations. A better understanding leads to success. Seem simple? Let’s take a look.

Example 1: People make mistakes. You’ve made mistakes. In the past, when you made a mistake, how were you confronted about it? Was it from someone who “got in your face”? Or, was it from someone who helped you understand the mistake and how to correct it?

Example 2: You receive a phone call from an irate boss, co-worker or acquaintance. Do you reflect their attitude? Or, do you try to understand the situation, allow them to vent and then work toward a solution?

Example 3: You are in the break room and over hear someone talking about a bad relationship break up. Do you run to another person and say…”Did you hear…?” Or, do you wait for a private moment and say… “I am sorry I overheard, if there is anything I can do to help, let me know.”

The list can go on and on. In each of these scenarios, which action or reaction would you consider to be that of a “successful” person?

Success is not measured only by paychecks and possessions; it is also measured by who you are. What kind of a person you are. Arrogant? Demeaning? Patient? Understanding? Do people turn around when they see you coming or are you approachable?

You were the “new guy” once. You’ve been that irate caller. You’ve been through bad situations. Draw from your memories and remember where you came from. Coming from a place of understanding will move you toward success.

Remember where you came from and be Extraordinary in your future!

Cindy Lee

Executive Assistant

Leader Development Institute

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