What I Need to Succeed

Posted: March 11, 2010 in Growth, Life
Tags: , , ,

A couple of years ago I was feeling particularly disgusted with my lack of progress in life. I’ve always lacked self-motivation. Procrastination was like a demon that would regularly possess me, keeping me from doing the amazing things that had to be done to raise me from mediocrity.

I grew up in the rust belt, where there really is a pervasive mindset that the “little man can’t get ahead.” I really started chipping away at that paradigm when I got a grip on my finances via the Financial Peace University curriculum. Many of the processes, ideas and wisdom are adaptable to other areas of life, and I found my bow was pointing on a course that made everything seem possible. The most important revelation was that, looking back at my twenties, if I had worked harder every time I felt lazy, I might have already achieved every dream I ever had. I could have already gotten there. I’m not there now, but I could have been… if I had kicked my own ass. And if I continue doing what I’ve been doing, I’ll keep getting what I’ve been getting.

What I Need to Succeed

In a burst of creative activity, I took a Sharpie and wrote eight fundamental “needs” on every third line of a legal pad. Then I took a pen and began to fill the lines in between, and the margins, and soon every available space around these needs with actions that I could take and arguments to support them.

The end result? It’s a beautiful mess. It really has taken on an artistic aura. And it’s the most inspiring thing I’ve ever written. I have displayed it in a place in my home where I can read it (or at least parts of it) every day. And my life is better, more organized, and less prone to lethargy than ever before.

The image is probably not legible, so the full manifesto is below.

What I Need to Succeed

Avoiding (& Killing) Indecision & (Self-Imposed) Delay


(happy happy happy happy happy)

  • I’m smarter than 60% of the small business owners I see. 40% are smarter, but they don’t know me and don’t matter.
  • Feeling powerless will kill a good attitude.
  • I can. I’m able. I have done before.
  • Embrace change!
  • Be a servant.

Hopeful Spirit

  • Be excited about where God’s going to have put you five years from today. He might allow me to go through rough times, but he won’t make me stay there. He loves me! I am not a victim.
  • Find joy.
  • It’s up to you. Take responsibility.

Trust in God’s Help

  • Add to prayers: “Rid me of indecision, give me great confidence.” He put me here; He’ll give me everything I need. Obstacles are God’s gym equipment.
  • Be humble. Be a servant.
  • Worry? Is it something you can fix? Fix it or leave it alone.

Focused Effort

  • Get rid of distractions.
  • Don’t let low priority items take over my schedule.
  • Break big tasks into little ones.

An Answer to “I’m Too Tired.”

  • STAND. Ask, “Am I really tired, or just discouraged?” if it’s real fatigue, schedule some rest. If it’s not, dig out the root of discouragement. Kill it.
  • Find joy (see “Attitude”). Talk to someone who thinks you’re great (maybe even God!)
  • The Blues: Do something fun. Watch out! It’s tempting to nurse this feeling. Force yourself to smile for ten minutes.

An Answer to “I Haven’t Got Enough Time.”

  • God gives us everything we need – including enough time to get His work done. Running out of time means either I’ve mismanaged God’s gift of time, or I’m mistaken about how much time God thinks I need.
  • Overwhelmed? Two minutes of quiet, dark, alone, prayer, sit, walk, deep breaths or whatever will not make you so late or behind schedule that it matters, but it will make you think clearer.

A Tactic to Get Started

  • Break big tasks into little ones. List-making is good.
  • Be encouraged.
  • Stand up. Walk.
  • Make a short schedule mapping out the next small piece of time, like an hour.

Knowledge: The Fear-Beater

  • Fear is not a fruit of the Spirit. Dig out the root of the fear – knowing exactly what’s scary makes it smaller. Sometimes that’s all you need. Keep researching until the fear is gone, or give the fear (& the decision) to God.
  • Insecurity is childish (see “Attitude”).
  1. Carol says:


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