When I published my first book, Searching for Success, it marked the completion of a personal milestone. For too many years, I had created mental obstacles that stopped me from realizing my dream of authoring a book. This powerful experience was life-changing. Shortly after publication, I was asked to present my thoughts on the process of completing this project to a local business group. As I began to recall events, I identified seven lessons I had learned. The more I thought about them, the more I saw how they might apply to anyone in their own personal quest for success. The reflection process is a practice everyone should undertake. To help, why not examine your personal performance in your career and in your personal undertakings against the seven points below? The use of questions is an excellent method to gauge performance and each point has challenging questions for your consideration.

(1) Face the things you fear. What events during the past months froze your progress? What fear did you avoid thus avoiding the experience of being successful? Many fears are the result of personal perceptions rather than actual circumstance. We believe we cannot do and we don’t. Search for reasons why you fear doing the things you should be doing. Squarely face them with a determination to overcome their growth stagnation.

(2) There’s more than one way. Humans are very creative animals. But, while being extremely creative, we can also be extremely limiting. We look at an activity and conform to the one method we believe controls the way this activity can be done. What did you avoid doing because the one way you thought it had to be done was not possible? Unleash your creative powers and seek that alternate route to success. Don’t be blocked by one-dimensional thinking. What activity, if changed, will make a dramatic difference in your future?

(3) A public commitment makes you finish. Sometimes we give up on a task because our personal motivation disappears. We give up in a moment of weakness and quit our search for success. What activity should you rekindle? Tell a friend who can encourage you; someone who will not let you quit and help you re-commit to that elusive dream.

(4) You must give up to get. One of the most misunderstood laws of the universe is the notion that we can gain something without effort. Even the lottery is not a free lunch. You must buy a ticket before you can win! The more worthy an accomplishment, the more hard work is required to make it a reality. hat were you unwilling to give up in order to accomplish a goal these last months? Are you willing to change your tactics?

(5) Everyone has a message the world needs to hear. Each person has a role to play in the history of humanity. Our task is to determine what gifts we have and what tasks we are charged to accomplish with these gifts. We need to be true to ourselves and pursue our dreams. We need to share our gifts with the world by fulfilling our purpose. We must listen to our inner voice. When we do, the path becomes clear. What messages have you been ignoring?

(6) Follow your heart. True happiness comes from following our calling. And, as noted in the previous point, our calling is linked to our talents and gifts. To find your calling, follow the advice offered by author Fredrick Buechner. He says, “The place God calls you is where your deep gladness meets the deep hunger of the world.” What is your deep gladness?

(7) Ground yourself. To make life happen, we must have a focus. To have balance, we must focus on family, friends and work. That balanced focus is supported by a spiritual grounding. Love your family and friends. Work hard but don’t take life too seriously. Have fun as well. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Treat your body as your most precious possession by eating right and exercising. Build a strong religious connection for a sure foundation that won’t crumble when your focus drifts.

What successes have gone by in the past because you failed to act? What are you searching for? More importantly, what are you waiting for?

Author's Bio: 

Billy Arcement, MEd.,—The Leadership Strategist, is a professional speaker, author, facilitator and executive coach. He authored the book, Searching for Success and co-authored, Journeying on Holy Ground—Christian Strategies to Reach Your Personal, Professional and Spiritual Destiny. Learn more about his services at www.SearchingForSuccess.com. ©2008