Successful People Treat Life as a “Splendid Torch”

The other day I saw a great quote from Margaret Thatcher…

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.”

Ole’ Iron Maggie really nailed it with this one.  I like this quote because it gets at the essence of commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and career.  Commitment to personal responsibility is one of the four pillars of my Common Sense Success System.   I discuss it in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Star Power, I want YOU…To Succeed, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart your Professional Success

You demonstrate your commitment – to yourself and to the world — by doing three things.  First, take personal responsibility for your success.  Only you can make you a success.  You must be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals.

Those days in which you have a lot to do, and you get it all done, are not only satisfying they demonstrate your commitment to your success, and help strengthen that commitment.  I’m writing this on a plane on Friday night.  It’s about 8:00 in the evening.  I’ve been up since 5:00 because I needed to finish an important project for a client before I attended an all day workshop with Russell Brunson, my internet marketing mentor and business partner.  I’ve had a full, but very satisfying, day.  And, as Ms. Thatcher points out, one in which I feel a sense of supreme satisfaction.  I’ve demonstrated to myself that I’m willing to do the things necessary to succeed.

On the other hand, I had a bout with the flu earlier this week.  It left me feeling weak and tired.  I spent all of Monday afternoon and a good part of Tuesday morning in bed.  It couldn’t be helped.  I needed to get my strength back.  By Tuesday afternoon, I was feeling physically better, but emotionally drained.  I felt as if I hadn’t moved forward toward my goals.  I didn’t get anything done for about 24 hours – and I hated it. 

I find that I agree not only with Maggie Thatcher, but with George Bernard Shaw, my favorite playwright…

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

I know that I want my life to be a splendid torch that burns long and brightly.  How about you?  Do you revel in hard work and accomplishing everything you can?  Or do you prefer those days Maggie Thatcher describes as one in which you “lounge around doing nothing”?

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for the creating the successful life and career they want and deserve.  They set high goals – and do whatever it takes to accomplish them.  They react positively to the people and events in their lives – especially the negative people and events.  They relish the days when they have a lot to do, and then go on and do it.  They get great satisfaction from working hard and seeing the results of their labor.  When was the last day when you were truly busy? How did you feel at the end of it?  If you’re an achiever – someone who is committed to your career and life success, I bet you felt exhilarated and ready to go the next day.  That’s how I felt after a very long day last Friday.

That’s my take on feeling good about putting in the time and effort necessary to succeed in your life and career.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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