Planning To Achieve

How does one plan to achieve?

Well, for starters, you have to see it to believe it.  After you have allowed the sight of your achievements to become real in your mind, you have to birth them into creation by writing them down.  Only then will you be able to say you have taken the first step to becoming an Achiever.

What you need to know is all of us have been wired for greatness by the Creator.  By giving us the free will to work out our own salvation, He is daring us to become more than who we are.  But know this, the nest that we’re in is on the side of a mountain.  And if we don’t learn how to spread and flap our wings, this same mountain is going to become our permanent home.

But if you have stayed with me this long, you must have some pretty strong wings.  They have become stronger because you used them to break free of your doubts and fears so that you can finally see the sun rising and setting on the horizon. Now, you want to get there, where the sun is.  To do that, though, you must learn the mechanics of flight.

The sun that you see rising and setting on the horizon can be anything you want it to be.  But for the purposes of this book, it represents your Adult LIFE Vision in the areas of nurturing, learning, working and leading.  When this Adult LIFE Vision comes into focus in your mind, you will be better able to connect what you’re doing today with what you see yourself doing tomorrow.

But notice what I did here.

I’m not talking about life.

I’m talking about LIFE.

To experience LIFE, you must adopt values that are reflective of your living independently fearless and empowered.

The L in LIFE means you’re active and thriving.

The I in LIFE means you’re not negatively influenced or controlled by others.

The F in LIFE means you’re bold or brave.

And the E in LIFE means you’re enabled or permitted.

Active and Thriving

As the oldest of three children raised by a once-poor, single-parent mother, I could have easily allowed my circumstances to dictate the course of my life.  But I didn’t.  Instead, I came to realize that my mother was once impoverished, not me.  And just like her, I had to figure out how to make a better life for myself.  This required that I make the power moves that needed to be made to position me for any and all opportunities that would come my way.  Only then would I be able to thrive, or ascend to the next rungs on the ladder.

If you’re not moving forward and up the rungs of the ladder, you’re not being active, and you’re not thriving.  The operative word here is moving.  You cannot stand in one place and expect good things to come your way.  You have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone, both personally and professionally, if you want to gain the knowledge, skills and experiences to display mastery as a nurturer, learner, worker and leader.  Without this knowledge, without these skills, and without these experiences, you ability to display this mastery will be diminished, because you have not taken the time to develop a proper framework for achievement.

 Not Negatively Influenced or Controlled By Others

Everyone is susceptible to being negatively influenced or controlled.  You may have friends who want you to drink alcohol or use drugs.  Or, you may have a boyfriend or girlfriend who is pressuring you to be sexually active in the absence of a ring being on it (your left ring finger).  But what you need to understand is you are a thermostat, not a thermometer.  You don’t gauge the temperature, you control it.

Therefore, you should not allow negative outside forces to dictate how you will nurture, how you will learn, how you will work, and how you will lead.  You are the director of your own symphony in these areas, and you should be committed to selflessly showing others how you do what you do.  In other words, because you have been blessed, you should always be striving to bless others for their benefit, not yours.

But what is the standard for determining if something is negative or positive?   That’s a good question.  Well, for starters, you have to ask yourself is this other person’s words or deeds promoting fairness, equality and justice?

Fairness means “impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination” (Merriam-Webster.com).

Equality, or equal, means “like in quality, nature or status” (Merriam-Webster.com).

And justice means “acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good” (Merriam-Webster.com).

There is no gray area relative to this triad of ideas.  You have two choices, embrace or shun.  If you choose to shun these ideas, you increase your susceptibility to being negatively influenced and controlled (or duped) by others because now ideology and partisanship drive your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  And when you allow ideology and partisanship to ensnare you, the groupthink that follows causes you to adopt an us against them mentality, and the only thing that really matters to you, them, is being part of a collective that is committed to convincing unlike-minded people to think, feel and behave the way you do.  To win.

But are you really winning when bad things continue to happen to good people.   I say no.  No because these good people want to exercise the same inalienable rights – life, liberty and happiness – that you have been endowed with by the Creator.  Will there be times when their exercise of these inalienable rights infringe upon the exercise of your inalienable rights?  Yes.  But if we are to live in a world defined by our ability to get along, we must do what is morally right relative to fairness, equality and justice.

My religion, Christianity, guides my thoughts, feelings and behaviors in this area.  Whenever, I say this, people tend to think I’m a bible scholar.  I’m not.  But what I am is an adherent to the two greatest commandments that are espoused by Jesus Christ in Luke 10:27 of the Holy Bible – “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  They also think I’m intolerant of people whose thoughts, feelings and behaviors don’t align well with Christian dogma.  Again, I’m not.  I have learned that this intolerance hinders my ability to sow blessings into other people’s lives, as well as their ability to sow blessings into my own.

Does that mean I’m accepting of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors?

No.

But it does mean I will be an active listener who will hold up what they think, feel and do to biblical truths.  And then the love I have for them, my neighbors, will compel me to join them in the struggle to co-exist on common ground, working together to sow and cultivate the seeds of fairness, equality and justice for the benefit of all.

Bold or Brave

Sometimes, being bold and brave is a hard thing to do.  For us married adults, one of the hardest things to do is apologize to our spouses after doing or saying something wrong or hurtful.  For you, young Achiever, it may equate to doing or saying something wrong or hurtful to a friend or parent.  When we find ourselves in these type of straits, we are afraid to step up to the plate to take our swings because we think it won’t end well.  We may feel embarrassed by what we did or said.  Or, we may fear the vitriol that we will receive once what we did or said is revealed.  Know this, though: If you don’t step up to the plate to take your swings, you will never know what it is like to win.

You must win as a friend and parent.

You must win as a lifelong learner.

You must win as an employer and employee.

And, you must win as a servant-leader.

Boldness and bravery stem from courage and confidence.  Courage is what allows you to look your adversary in the eyes.  Confidence is what allows you to take the steps you need to take to turn your adversary into a friend. Bold and brave Achievers don’t go through life thinking they are worse than others.  They also don’t go through life thinking they are better than others.  Because the Creator sought to create using one blueprint instead of multiple ones, they understand they have been endowed by this same Creator with varying degrees of talents and gifts. Therefore, you must reject the negative messages being cast upon you by your detractors, the ones who regularly tell you that you are nobody.  You are somebody, and the level of boldness and bravery that you display in our presence is what causes us to take notice of your unique, yet relatable, brand of existing.

But if you are existing without reaching for the next rung of the ladder, we will dismiss you outright to take notice of the person behind you.

But if you are existing to reach for and pull at the next rung on the ladder, we will consider you bold and brave, offering a hand up not a hand out if and when you request it.

Enabled or Permitted

Your very existence enables or permits you to achieve as a friend and parent, lifelong learner, employer or employee, and servant-leader.  But many of us allow the unenlightened few to distract us from our purpose.  They distract us because we think they have our best interest at heart.

But if they are not reaching for and pulling at the next rung on the ladder, like you, they are living miserably.  Don’t get me wrong, even they have the capacity to change, but if they are underage and using alcohol and drugs, being sexually promiscuous, or doing poorly in school, they just want company.  Nothing worse than being miserable all by oneself.

You, young Achiever, must resist the urge to be partner to their misery.  You were created to be happy while making those around you happier.  This happiness is the engine that enables or permits us to achieve great things as individuals and as part of collectives.  And believe me when I write this: Happiness loves company too.

LIFER Logo, 8-18-18

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How To Be a Social Entrepreneur | TEDx Talks

Great presentation on what it means to be a Social Entrepreneur.  Check it out below.

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How to Know When You’ve Found Your Purpose in Life | SuperSoul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

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UNDEFEATED: Usain Bolt and His Legacy of Achievement

Achievement Journal Logo RevisedLast Saturday, I learned through Facebook that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt came in third in the 100-meter dash at the International Amateur Athletic Federation’s World Track & Field Championships in London.  After reading this news, I immediately clicked over to YouTube.  I had to see with my own eyes how a man who has clocked 9.58 seconds over this distance could be defeated in what was being billed as the final race of his illustrious career.

Usain Bolt Last 100Most track and field aficionados know Bolt’s start is not the best, and last weekend, it was terrible.  American Christian Coleman, world renown for his blistering starts, pressed the pace from jump, leading all competitors for most of the race before being overtaken in the final five meters by his compatriot Justin Gatlin.  And while Gatlin’s winning time of 9.92 was much slower than Bolt’s world record, he was the one who left these world championships with a gold medal dangling from his neck.

NBC Sports announcer Ato Bolden, a former world-class sprinter himself, was quick to question Bolt’s rationale for not retiring after winning gold last year at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.  He suggested that Bolt’s legacy would be tarnished, that it was a mistake for him to pursue another world championship in 2017.  A loss could potentially deny him the kind of endorsement deals offered to noteworthy champions, he said. Before this race in London, Bolt had been undefeated in major sprints with Olympic or World championship implications.

Gatlin BowBut I disagree with Bolden.  Usain Bolt’s legacy isn’t tarnished.  If anything, this loss will embolden him in his pursuit of greatness outside of athletics.  And as I watched Justin Gatlin pay homage to Bolt with a respectful bow, it became increasingly apparent that he will always be considered track and field’s G.O.A.T., greatest of all time, long after his records of 9.58 in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 are broken.

Usain Bolt demonstrated grace and humility in the midst of his defeat.  He commended both Gatlin and Coleman for running great races.  More importantly, he never attributed his loss to injury or lack of preparation.  He lost.  ‘Nuff said.

There are three things we Achievers should take away from Bolt’s loss.  They include the following:

  • Defeat is nothing more than a temporary setback.
  • We are defined by our lifetime of achievement, not singular moments.
  • We are the authors of our own success stories.

Defeat is nothing more than a temporary setback

We all experience gains and losses.  That’s part of life.  Usain Bolt lost the final race of his career, but because he’s like us, he has also experienced other forms of loss outside of the athletic arena.  But these losses don’t keep good men, good women, down.  If anything, they make us better, stronger.  Every defeat, every setback, is meant to be a lesson just waiting to be learned.  And as we step into futures of living independently fearless and empowered, we take pride in knowing we can never be defeated if we’re still inching closer to the finish line.  It has been noted by an unknown poet that the race doesn’t always go to the bigger or faster man, the race sometimes goes to the man who thinks he can.  Ultimately, it’s about finishing what you started.

We are defined by our lifetime of achievement, not singular moments

Usain Bolt burst on the scene at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Games.  Since then, he has rewritten the record books, setting individual world records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and working with his Jamaican teammates to do the same in the 4 x 100 relay. And as memories of what Bolt accomplished on the track become more distant, we will come to consider them singular moments in a life hopefully well led.

Yes, he will be able to secure major endorsements because of what he accomplished on the track.  We consumers will buy any product or service that he promotes due to the appreciation we have for the way he entertained us before, during and after each of his races.  But we must always remember that Usain Bolt’s achievements are no different than our own.  Because they are no different, they also require that we identify ways we can use them to enrich other people’s lives.  When all is said and done, we should all want to be remembered as individuals who uplifted others through positive investments of time, talent and treasure.

We are the authors of our own success stories

A person is not considered successful just because he or she achieved fame, fortune or celebrity.  Success is measured by one’s ability to keep a roof over his or her head, food on the table, and clothes on his or her back.  Therefore, we all should wake up each morning excited about the lives we will enrich, the places we will visit, and the things we will create through sheer grit and determination.

My waking moments are also spent paying homage to the God who sees fit to allow me to take my next breaths.  I implore you to do the same.  Because it is he who allows us to breathe, it is imperative that we receive the personal revelation from on high that allows us to define our purposes, our reasons for being here.  Once these purposes have been defined, we must recognize the important role we play in making each other’s stories more compelling.  Gatlin did that for Bolt by serving as a formidable opponent.  And even though Gatlin got a leg up on Bolt in his final race, you would be hard pressed to dispute what Bolt was able to accomplish as an elite sprinter over a 10-year span.  

Thank you, Usain, for inviting us to the trackside parties that ensued after each of your spectacular performances.   You will be missed but not easily forgotten.

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Structuring Homework Time | Active Parenting Publishers, Inc.

Here’s a short Active Parenting 4th Edition video for parents of children ages 5-12 on structuring homework time.

Learn more about ACHIEVEMENT SQUARE Development & Training Centers, Inc.’s (FREE) On-Demand Service Options by clicking here.

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The One World Program | One World Education

Here’s a short video about the One World Education model.  The organization is based in the Washington, DC/Metro area, and its designed curriculum helps students improve their writing and critical thinking skills.

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Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign | Individual Thought

ACHIEVEMENT SQUARE Development & Training Centers, Inc. serves the poor because Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign has yet to be finished.  Our system for moving people from better to great is proven.  Watch this insightful video then support our efforts by clicking here.

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How Does Giving to Charity Help Taxes?

Here’s some helpful information about giving to qualified charities, courtesy of Time magazine.

ACHIEVEMENT SQUARE Development & Training Centers, Inc. is a qualified charity, so please consider supporting our efforts with a tax-deductible donation by clicking here.

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The Most Inspiring Robin Williams Speech – Make Your Life Spectacular | Goalcast

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