Perseverance & Unrewarded Genius

11 10 2011

Here is an inspiring short thought from business and leadership guru Robin Sharma. Ever had a time when it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into doing something (and doing it well), obstacles constantly blocked your path? Has life – personal or business – ever simply seemed too difficult? Maybe for you that time is now. “Why me?” we ask. “After all I’ve done, now this?” Here’s some encouragement and inspiration to get back to a perspective of perseverance.

–          Quinton

Guts. Boldness. Bravery. Perseverance. Big, beautiful words. That any great person+leader+entrepreneur needs to tattoo onto their brain cells.

Success is much more about staying true to your vision in the face of challenges/obstructions than being gifted or expressing some kind of Genius.

I’d rather have average talent with a fierce heart that inspires me to be unstoppable versus being brilliant – but frightened to do anything with it.

Here’s a quote from Calvin Coolidge that makes my point 1000X better than I could. I hope it helps you Be Great:

“Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; there is nothing more common in the world than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Make Today Awesome.

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“If” – by Rudyard Kipling

22 02 2011

IF you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,                    

Or if lied about, you don’t deal in lies,

Or if hated, you don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;             

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by rogues to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,              

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;                    

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,               

Or walk with Kings yet keep the common touch,

if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,                     

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – what is more – you’ll be a Man, my son.





Greek Heroes: Men of Honour

26 07 2010

In The Suppliants, by ancient Greek playwright Euripides, a messenger reports the bravery of five exemplary soldiers who died while trying to take back the captured city of Thebes. All the men who died were not only great warriors, but they lived commendable lives of honour.

**

Hear, then. By granting me the privilege of praising friends, you meet my own desire to speak of them with justice and with truth. I saw the deeds–bolder than words can tell– by which they hoped to take the city.

Look: The handsome one is Capaneus. Through him the lightning went. A man of means, he never flaunted his wealth but kept an attitude no prouder than a poor man’s. He avoided people who live beyond their needs and load their table to excess. He used to say the good does not consist in belly food, and satisfaction comes from moderation. He was true in friendship to present and absent friends. Not many men are so. His character was never false; his ways were courteous; his word, in house or city, was his bond.

Second I name Eteoclus. He practiced another kind of virtue. Lacking means, this youth held many offices in Argos. Often his friends would make him gifts of gold, but he never took them into his house. He wanted no slavish way of life, haltered by money. He kept his hate for sinners, not the city; A town is not to blame if a bad pilot makes men speak ill of it.

Hippomedon, third of the heroes, showed his nature thus: While yet a boy he had the strength of will not to take the pleasures of the Muses that soften life; he went to live in the country, giving himself hard tasks to do, rejoicing in manly growth. He hunted, delighted in horses, and stretched the bow with this hands, to make his body useful to the city.

There lies the son of huntress Atalanta, Parthenopaeus, supreme in beauty. He was Arcadian, But came to Inachus’ banks and was reared in Argos. After his upbringing there, he showed himself as resident foreigners should, not troublesome or spiteful to the city, or disputatious, which would have made him hard to tolerate as citizen and guest. He joined the army like a born Argive, fought the country’s wars, was glad when the city prospered, took it hard if bad times came. Although he had many lovers, and women flocked to him, still he was careful to cause them no offense.

In praise of Tydeus I shall say much in little. He was ambitious greatly gifted, and wise in deeds, not words.

From what I have told you, Theseus, you should not wonder that these men dared to die before the towers. To be well brought up develops self-respect: anyone who has practiced what is good is ashamed to turn out badly. Manliness is teachable. Even a child is taught to say and hear what he does not understand; things understood are kept in mind til old age. So, in like manner, train your children well.





A Soldier’s Last Letter

22 01 2010

A letter from Army Private Jesse A. Givens, 34, a soldier in Iraq. Private Givens was killed May 1 when his tank fell into the Euphrates River after the bank on which he was parked gave way. This letter was written to be delivered to his family if he died. Melissa is his wife, Dakota his 6-year-old stepson and Bean is the name he used for his son, Carson.

Reading this makes you stop and think about what is really important in life.

– Quinton

**

My family,

I never thought that I would be writing a letter like this. I really don’t know where to start. I’ve been getting bad feelings, though and, well, if you are reading this. . . .

The happiest moments in my life all deal with my little family. I will always have with me the small moments we all shared. The moments when you quit taking life so serious and smiled. The sounds of a beautiful boy’s laughter or the simple nudge of a baby unborn. You will never know how complete you have made me. You saved me from loneliness and taught me how to think beyond myself. You taught me how to live and to love. You opened my eyes to a world I never dreamed existed.

Dakota . . . you taught me how to care until it hurts, you taught me how to smile again. You taught me that life isn’t so serious and sometimes you just have to play. You have a big, beautiful heart. Through life you need to keep it open and follow it. Never be afraid to be yourself. I will always be there in our park when you dream so we can play. I love you, and hope someday you will understand why I didn’t come home. Please be proud of me.

Bean, I never got to see you but I know in my heart you are beautiful. I know you will be strong and big-hearted like your mom and brother. I will always have with me the feel of the soft nudges on your mom’s belly, and the joy I felt when I found out you were on your way. I love you, Bean.

Melissa, I have never been as blessed as the day I met you. You are my angel, soulmate, wife, lover and best friend. I am sorry. I did not want to have to write this letter. There is so much more I need to say, so much more I need to share. A lifetime’s worth. I married you for a million lifetimes. That’s how long I will be with you. Please keep my babies safe. Please find it in your heart to forgive me for leaving you alone. . . . Teach our babies to live life to the fullest, tell yourself to do the same.

I will always be there with you, Melissa. I will always want you, need you and love you, in my heart, my mind and my soul. Do me a favor, after you tuck the children in. Give them hugs and kisses from me. Go outside and look at the stars and count them. Don’t forget to smile.

Love Always,
Your husband,
Jesse





Where is your time going?

13 01 2010

This morning I read the following article by author Bob Gass, inspired by a verse in the Bible where the Jewish king David writes “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

The article made me think – hope it does for you too. Enjoy!

Quinton

***

Our days are like identical suitcases, but some people pack more into them than others. That’s because they know how to pack.

Everybody gets twenty-four hours, but not everybody gets the same return on them. The truth is, you don’t manage your time, you manage your life. Time cannot be controlled; it marches on no matter what you do. Nobody, no matter how shrewd, can save minutes from one day to spend in another. No scientist is capable of creating new minutes. With all his wealth, Warren Buffett can’t buy additional hours for his day.

People talk about trying to ‘find time,’ but they need to stop looking; there isn’t any extra lying around. Twenty-four hours is the best any of us is going to get.

Wise people understand that time is their most precious commodity. As a result, they know where their time goes. They continually analyse how they are using their time and ask themselves, ‘Am I getting the best use out of my time?’

In his book What To Do Between Birth and Death: The Art of Growing Up, Charles Spezzano writes: ‘You don’t really pay for things with money, you pay for them with time. We say, “In five years, I’ll have enough money put away for that vacation house we want. Then I’ll slow down.” That means the house will cost you five years; one-twelfth of your adult life. Translate the dollar value of the house, car, or anything else into time, and then see if it’s still worth it.’





Are you busy?

21 12 2009

“Are you busy?” This is the standard work question I hear people asking one another. Or, to reverse it, the standard work answer to the question “How’s it going?” is “Busy”.

But it’s not enough to be busy. So are ants, bees, and snails. The important questions are: What are you busy about? Who are you busy being?

– Richard Sauerman





Make a LIFE, not a living

11 12 2009