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  April 11, 2014
Being the Tortoise...

 


 

"Success is neither magical or mysterious.  Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals"

~  Jim Rohn                         

As it so happens, I recently found myself involved with a community mentor program associated with one of our local universities.  I was assigned to a university junior by the name of Clayton.

Clayton is bright and very intelligent, which comes as no surprise.  At a mere age of 20 years old, he also happens to be very articulate and mature beyond his age; that does come somewhat unexpectedly.

My job as a mentor is to meet with Clayton a few hours every other week or thereabouts, to discuss real world applications and his future endeavors, dreams and aspirations. 

Often when we meet, I am reminded of a personal experience that I had when I was in college.

I was sitting in an upper-level electronic engineering class.  The professor was busy scribbling formulas across the chalkboard (yes... professors still used chalk back then) and I was copying everything he wrote in my notebook.

After about 20 minutes of lecturing on the subject, I was thoroughly and utterly lost. 

I raised my hand high to ask a question.  When the professor called on me, I tried with all my rational brain power to formulate a unifying question that would somehow give me a great "aha moment"... hopefully helping me to understand all of the scribbles on the board.

After seemingly a minute of silence (in reality it was closer to 10 seconds... it just felt like a whole minute)...

I finally blurted out, "Dr. Wilson... I am so lost that I can’t create a good question to ask you!"

At that point, the professor stopped the class... and the entire class spent the remaining 30 minutes discussing why great questions, are in fact, far more important than answers.

I since have long forgotten about waveform convolutions (the subject of that particular day’s lesson)... but I will always remember the life lesson I learned that eventful  day...

Good questions will almost always trump good answers...

Clayton is a young man with very good questions...

One such question he posed to me was this:  What is the definition of success and how can I go about becoming successful?

This is an age-old question that has been asked since the beginning of time...

It’s a question with no real answer... because success means something entirely different to each and every person on this planet.

To one person... it might mean a roof over one’s head, food in one’s stomach, and clothes on one’s back...

To another person it might mean an 8-figure income and all the free time to enjoy one’s wealth...

To yet another person... it might mean overcoming a debilitating illness such as cancer or multiple scoliosis...

And to yet another... it might be building a schoolhouse or water well in a rural village to help some people less fortunate...

In the end, it doesn’t really matter what an individual calls success... be it life or liberty or the pursuit of happiness (and maybe it’s all three)...

There are as many definitions of success as there are people... so it is a question that is unanswerable (at least by me)...

For me... my own definition of success is to leave the world a better place than when I entered it... because leaving a lasting legacy is my own form of the "Heaven" concept.

It is a never ending goal... because in my opinion, the world can always be a bit better.

So now that I have the what and why... the only issue is the how...

If I devoted my every waking hour to solving the problems of the world, I’d soon grow tired of my goal and would end up burning out...
  
Instead of being the hare... I try to live my life as the tortoise.  This gives me the staying power to keep going... day after day... month after month... year after year...

The Tortoise and the Hare (Disney 1934)

The Tortoise and the Hare
(Disney 1934)

This means doing little things... consistently and relentlessly... each and every day... forever!

Working towards a goal shouldn’t be like a crash diet where we starve ourselves for 10 days... lose 5 pounds (of mostly water weight)... and then realize that starving is not sustainable over the long-haul.

The real key to losing weight is making small adjustments... like cutting out just 100 calories out of our diet while increasing our exercise by say 100 calories... each and every day... just drink water at lunch instead of a Coke or skip that glass of wine at dinner... and walk around the block for 15 minutes on your morning coffee break...

After one week’s time we will have consumed only 700 calories less than we would have (100 x 7) and burned only 700 additional calories (100 x 7) for a total of only 1,400 calories... not even half of a single pound worth (3500 calories = 1 pound)...

But now we multiply this week by an entire year and we have now saved 72,800 calories (1,400 x 52 = 72,800)... by the end of the year we have lost just over 20 lbs.

Repeat this for 3 years... and we have lost 60 lbs!!

Reducing 100 calories or burning 100 calories isn’t hard to do... what is hard is doing it consistently... each and every day.

Instead of weight loss, the goal could be saving money...

Just save $5 day each and every day (the price of a designer cup of Starbuck’s coffee)... and after one year... you’ll have saved $1,825... and after 10 years with a little compound interest you will have saved just over $25,000!

A little bit equals a lot over time...

Now in my case of living a successful life... I suppose that I could organize and energize people, raise great sums of money, and/or run for political office... but that’s not my calling...

I’m not trying to change the world... wholesale... I’m trying to affect just a small piece of it... retail...

And if I’m able to help just one person... make one person smile... repair one small thing... pick up one piece of trash... only do my small part... then I count it as a huge success because the world is incrementally better than it would have been had I never lived...

It’s about doing something consistently... doing it over and over until it becoming an innate habit that can be sustained over the course of a lifetime... over and over and over...

Consistency is not sexy... it is slow and plodding... one foot after another slowly getting to the place we desire... while enjoying the journey along the way...

True success doesn’t come from being fast... it comes from being consistent. 
  

Thank you very much for your support of OptiFuse where we strive to bring our customers consistent products... consistent service... and consistent success.

 

  
Jim Kalb
President

Email -  jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com 

Twitter - @OptiFuse

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Human Connections...

Teeming with Success...

Unconventional Courage...

Words to Live By...

A World Apart...A Part of the World...

All Expectations...

Brewing Up a Storm...


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