Review your performance. Whether it’s communication, whether it’s activity, whether it’s a CEO, whether it’s on the job. Here’s what my father said, “Always do more than you are paid for to make an investment in your future.” Now some unions would argue with that. My father was so unique. Review your performance–your language with your children. Say, “Have I been too harsh, too strong, too stubborn? Should I have learned to be easier and mixed more compassion with the tough stuff I have to deal with?” And yes, prayer will help. Ask for help to say the right thing, not to ruin it all by poor communication.
Face your fears. That’s how you conquer them. Don’t dismiss them; face them. Say, “Here’s what I’m afraid of. I wonder what I could do to change that.”
Exercise your willpower to change direction. You don’t have to keep doing what you’ve been doing the last 6 years if it’s not yielding the benefits you want. My mentor helped me review the last six years so I wouldn’t repeat those errors the next six. Pick a new destination and go that way. Use your willpower to start the process. You don’t have to repeat last year. Clean up the errors. Invest it now in the next year. Watch it make the difference.
Admit your mistakes. Sometimes you have to admit them to others. Parents have to do it. We ask our kids do it; we have to do it. Here’s some of the best phrases in the English language, “I’m sorry.” The reason those are good words is because they could start a whole new relationship. It could start two people going in a whole new direction. Simple, not easy. You get this done, the turnaround can be dramatic. The early years can be big in payoff. Here’s the big one. Admit your mistakes to yourself. You don’t have to babble about them to everyone in the neighborhood. But it doesn’t hurt to sit down and have a conversation with yourself and say, “There’s no use kidding myself. Here’s where I really am. I’ve got pennies in my pocket and I’ve got nothing in the bank.” That’s what I said after a Girl Scout left my door. I had a conversation with myself and I said, “I don’t want this to happen anymore.”
Refine your goals. Start the process. Set some higher goals. Reach for some higher purpose. Go for something beyond what you thought you could do.
Believe in yourself. You’ve got to believe in God and you’ve got to believe in the community. You’ve got to believe in the possibilities. You’ve got to believe in the economy. You’ve got to believe that tomorrow can be better than today. Here’s the big one. Believe in yourself. There isn’t a skill you can’t learn; there isn’t a discipline you can’t try; there isn’t a class you can’t take; there isn’t a book you couldn’t read.
Ask for wisdom. This is communication of the highest source. Ask for wisdom that creates answers. Ask for the wisdom that creates faith to believe things are possible. Ask for wisdom to deal with the challenges for today and tomorrow, to deal with the challenges your family brings you. Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better.
Conserve your time. Sometimes we get faked out. Bill Bailey says the average person says, “I’ve got twenty more years.” No, Bill says you’ve got twenty more times. If you go fishing once a year, you’ve only got twenty more times to go fishing, not twenty years. That fakes you out.
Invest your profits. Here’s one of the philosophies that Mr. Shoaff gave me. Profits are better than wages. Wages make you a living, profits make you a fortune. Could we start earning profits while we make a living? The answer is yes.
Protect your family. These are troublesome times. At school–troublesome times. Protect your family as best you can from the hidden dangers, the lurking evil one.
Live with intensity. You might as well turn it up a notch or two. Invest more of you in whatever you do. Be a little stronger; be a little wiser. Step up your vitality contribution. Put everything you’ve got into everything you do and then ask for more vitality, more strength and more vigor, more heart and more soul.
Find your place. If you just work on a job, find the best place you can serve well, and sure enough they’ll ask you to occupy a better place. And if you keep doing a job well, do the very best you can. That’s your best way out. Here’s a Bible phrase. If you work on your gifts, they’ll make a place for you.
Demand integrity from yourself. Integrity is like loyalty. You can’t demand it of someone else; you can only demand it of yourself. Be the best example of loyalty, and you’ll get some loyal followers. Be the best example of integrity, and you’ll have people around you who have integrity. Lead the way.
Welcome the disciplines. Can’t give you much better advice than that because disciplines create the reality. Disciplines build cities. A well-disciplined activity creates abundance, creates uniqueness, productivity.
Fight for what’s right. It’s a fight we’re in. The story-teller says “And there was great war in heaven.” One of the writers of later scripture said, “I fought a good fight.” That’s extraordinary to be able to say. I fought for my kids, and I fought for what was right and I fought for good health, and I fought to protect my company and I fought for a good career that would bless my family. I fought a good fight. It’s good to fight the encroachment. Opposites are in conflict, and you’re in the middle. If you want something valuable, you’ve got to fight for it. Then this writer also said, “I fought a good fight and I kept the faith.” See, that’s the deal. Keep faith with your family. Fight the enemy and keep faith. Fight the illness and keep faith. Fight the evil and keep faith. I can’t give you much better advice.