“The harder I work…

the luckier I get.” Is a quote the famous college basketball coach John Wooden used quite often.Wooden won 10 NCAA championships in 12 years, a record that will most likely never be broken. Much of his success, i.e. “luck” has beenattributed to his disciplined work ethic. Luck is often defined as when preparation meets opportunity. Thosewho put forth the effort to prepare will more often than not besuccessful, i.e.”lucky” when the opportunity presents itself.

I’ve been in business for over 25 years and it is pretty easyfor me to recognize those who work hard and those who hardly work. I’ve also been sober for almost 22 years and it is pretty easy for me to recognize those who work hard at their recovery program and those who do not.The same goes for marriage and raising children. Today I know that nothing good in life happens without putting forth effort.

The phrase “practice makes perfect” is so true. A few years ago when I had a desire to write a book, I researched and read as many books as I could about writing and the one common directive all of these books told me was; “in order to become a good writer, you need to practice writing”…thus the advent of EagleLaunch. Back during my basketball playing days I had this desire to be able to dunk a basketball which requires having the ability to jump high. After researching the keys to jumping high, the biggest key was to practice jumping.

In anything you do, if you aren’t willing to put forth effortby practicing, you most likely will stay right where you are; “an object at rest stays at rest.” Anything good in life requires work. The harder you work at love, the more love you get, the harder you work at sobriety the more sobriety you get, the harder you work at acceptance the better you become at accepting,the harder you work at beinga leader the better leader you will become, the harder you work at not taking things personally the less sensitive and self centered you become, the harder you work at being a dad the better dad you will become, the harder you work at being a mom, the better mom you will become, the harder you work at being a spouse the better spouse you will become, the harder youwork at being afriend, the better friend you will become, the harder you work atnot carrying resentments, the less resentments you will carry, the harder you work at building character, the better your character will become…I could go on and on and on….I think you get the point.

Make a list of things you are struggling with right now. Look at them and ask yourself how much effort you have put forth in order to try and fixthem.Thinking and talking about them does not count as effort. What action steps have you taken to change? Solomon said it best in Proverbs 14:23 “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

One of the keys to putting forth effort is to have a plan. I wrote about this backon September 21, 2008 in”What’s your plan?” I have found that work and practice begins with a plan. From the plan flows the effort, from no plan flows no effort.A second key is to commit the plan toGod “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”The third step is to seek help from those wiser than you in formulating the plan.Nextis execution (effort/practice)to the best of your ability.Once executed,you need to have an understanding thatnot everything will go perfectly, there will be setbacks which will require adjustments. Last, but not least, a “can do attitude” is a must.If you don’t think you will succeed, then you will not succeed. If you are a pessimist, the best way to become an optimist is thru practice. See my January 18, 2009 blog about “Self Talk.”

In a nutshell I can summarize all I’ve just said with the acronym GOYA…Get Off Your A$$.Start today by commiting your desires to God and then to a plan and then commiting yourplan to execution and practice. I have found life to me much more enjoyable as I become “luckier.” Good Luck!


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