Focus on Success

SC-TF1 BoO in Chalmette, 2005

SC-TF1 BoO in Chalmette, 2005

If you want success, look hard at what it is you want to be good at and learn how to add value to it.  A positive attitude will help you be successful; While God gives you talent, your mentor can teach you how to use it, but it is up to you to have the positive attitude to propel it forward.  Focus on commitment and excellence by looking at what matters NOW.  As I heard the legendary Coach Lou Holtz say once, “Analyze the past, focus on the future, but do your best now.  Don’t look back.”

I hear from people often enough about how this obstacle is in their path or that obstacle is blocking their success, but when I look at people with real, live, seemingly insurmountable hurdles, I find it personally difficult to imagine that there is anything that can keep me from achieving success if I really desire it.  I can come up with story after story about real people who have been successful despite the walls obstructing their path.  When faced with these odds, think about people who you find inspiring and let the thought of their own success help lighten your load.

When all seems to be unwinnable, however, remember that many challenges you are faced with are simply one battle in a total war.  You may be losing today, but if you can use that loss to rebound and develop an overall winning strategy, you can make it.  If the Spartan forces simply threw up their hands and gave up after losing at Thermopylae, the Greeks might well have been speaking Persian from that point forward (of course, the Spartans delivered a serious ass-kicking in the process, but I digress).  Instead they used that heroic stand as a motivating agent to carry the fight to the Persians and to defeat Xerxes.

How can we appeal to our colleagues that we need to develop a culture of success; a culture of innovation; of professionalism; of overwhelming customer care- not just to the taxpayers but to each other.  If we in emergency services focus on what extra value we can provide to our colleagues, they will also see that this is the way to be.  I’d suggest that as much as possible, to be helpful; we have the choice to challenge ourselves within reason to do whatever it takes to work together, to solve problems, to serve, and to make others feel important.  Do a little extra.

As a leader, it is easy to become frustrated or weary when things don’t go according to plan.  While there are some events that might prove to be especially daunting, remember that no real success ever came easily.  If winning were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Instead, when things aren’t the best, take the time to walk away from things for a little while, take some time to relax, and see if you can gain a different perspective on things.  You might find that by doing so you find a different or more ingenious solution to your needs and come out ahead in the long run.  Persevere, don’t perish.

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