Be your own “cause” for success in life!

I came across this quote from a friend’s post and it’s now among my top quotes to contemplate regularly. It’s a reminder of how I want to live my life and be remembered.

Many of us work so hard to get pay raises, achieve higher titles or positions that we focus on wanting the praise and applause from our superiors and others for work performed. However, we often forget to work on our own “cause,” which is that of being a great and honorable person.

Regrettably, several friends of mine passed away last year, and I attended many Celebrations of Life, funerals, and services. What struck me most was how most of the speakers talked about the people who died, as being most kind, considerate, and respectful to others, and how they lived a good life. However, there was one service where no one mentioned the person’s character or personality. Instead, most comments were about the person’s accomplishments in business and their life in general. Even the person’s children weren’t all that complimentary of their parent.

This got me thinking about my life and how I want to be thought of and remembered. I wouldn’t ever want someone to say such things as:  “Syndi sure is/was a selfish, unkind, and thoughtless person. She doesn’t car/never cared about anyone, but herself.”  I recognize no one would ever say such things openly at a funeral, yet I have heard disparaging remarks such as this speaking about someone in a personal conversation.

Seriously, this is something we all should think about, and be mindful of how we speak and treat others every day while we’re still alive. So when we leave a room or leave this earth, we will have left behind the best memories possible.

Question:  How do you want to be thought of and remembered? Will it be favorable, or not? How will people describe your least appealing trait? It’s never too late to consider these questions and improve yourself.

TASK: Mark your calendar now for a day in the next two weeks when you will carve out at least 30-60 minutes to be in a quiet place. Your goal is to evaluate yourself (honestly). Write some notes of reminders to yourself of all the most favorable and unfavorable traits you possess. Then, in a separate column, write how you plan to improve the unfavorable traits, and how you will continue to do the right things for the most favorable ones.

Commit yourself to making yourself into your “new cause” to reduce the unfavorable traits about yourself, so you can display only the best aspects that everyone admires in you. Items to consider:

  • If you aren’t in the habit of using “please” and “thank you” with each request you make, do it! Evaluate yourself at the end of the day to count how many times you said “please” or “thank you.” You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel for doing it.
  • If you tend to raise your voice whenever you become agitated over perhaps the littlest situations, stop it! Stop yourself, even in the middle of a sentence, to restate your comments in a lower tone of voice.
  • If you feel the urge to micro-manage other people’s work hold a conversation with the person(s) involved. Let them know how much you want to undo this trait, yet need their cooperation in earning your trust to complete tasks on time. Set reasonable due dates and pledge not to bug them until that date. Ask the other people to respect their pledge to get it done by then.

Whatever traits you have that are less favorable, Spring time is a great time to admit them and work toward improvements.  It’s never too late to start working on the best person you want to be for yourself.  The end result will make your presence known and felt long after you’ve left the room and this earth.

Happy Practicing!

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