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Say Yes To Your Success

Saying “Yes”.

I was reading the novel “Things Fall Apart” by the great and recently deceased African author Chinua Achebe on a plane the other day.  I came across this passage…

“His chi, or personal god, was good.  The people have a proverb that says when a man says ‘yes’ his chi says ‘yes’ also.  Okonkwo said yes very strongly, so his chi agreed. And not only his chi but his clan too, because it judged a man by the work of his hands.”

I thought to myself, “That’s some great life and career success advice.”  So I closed my Kindle and fired up my laptop to write this post.

You demonstrate your commitment to your career success – to yourself, to your chi, your clan and to the world – by doing three things.  First, take personal responsibility for your career success.  Only you can make you a career 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.

When you commit to your career success, your chi will commit to it too.  This reminds me of a quote I’ve seen attributed to many people.  I always go with Thomas Jefferson, as he is the earliest to whom I’ve seen it attributed.

“I believe in luck.  The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Hard work demonstrates your willingness to commit to your life and career success.

I had a bout with the flu this winter.  It left me feeling weak and tired.  I spent all of a Monday afternoon and a good part of the following 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 wasn’t saying yes to my chi.  I didn’t get anything done for about 36 hours – and I hated it.  Even though I was sick, I felt as if I hadn’t said yes to my life and career success for a day and a half.

George Bernard Shaw is my favorite playwright.  I’ve always liked what he has to say about hard work and committing to your life and career success.

“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 want my life to be a splendid torch that burns long and brightly.  That’s why I choose to commit to taking personal responsibility for my life and career success.  Reveling in hard work is how I demonstrate that commitment to myself, my chi, my clan and the world.

Commit to taking personal responsibility for creating your life.  Set high goals – and do whatever it takes to accomplish them.  React positively to the people and events in your life – especially the negative people and events.  Relish the days when you have a lot to do, and then go on and do it.  Take great satisfaction in working hard and seeing the results of your labor.

Read more posts by Bud Bilanich, Ed.D., The Common Sense Guy, a career success coach, leadership consultant, motivational speaker, bestselling author and influential blogger for JenningsWire.