Learning takes place over time as there is no magic fairy dust to give us wisdom once it is sprinkled on. Most humans don't take the time to capture their daily lessons, as their lives are a race to the eventual finish line. I happen to be a "serial journaler" who has recorded the daily highlights and lowlights of the past 25 years of my personal and professional life.
My daily journals are a permanent record of my successes, failures, beliefs and behaviors which are sometimes very painful but always thought provoking, as well as a continuous reminder of the journey I'm taking. These entries detail my growth over time and remind me that, above all, I'm human which is a thought many lose in the praise they receive for their triumphs.
During my recent review of journal postings, I took the time to single out ten entries that were particularly meaningful to me in the hope they may provide insights others may incorporate into their daily thinking. See if any of these resonate with you:
1. Be serious about business but don't take yourself too seriously! Stop being so critical of yourself and nurture your behavior and beliefs. Up to 85 percent of our thoughts can be negative and must be countered with positive ones or they evolve into a negative life script.
2. Live to sell, don't sell to live! I have interviewed thousands of salespeople and the one overriding thought that drives their success is the love of selling as opposed to those on the opposite side where selling is a function they must perform to make money.
3. Luck is a nice bonus; however, you can't count on it! I have heard the falsehood, "It's better to be lucky than good." In my world luck is a benefit of hard work, continuously performed. Those who rely on luck are consistently disappointed, just ask all lottery players.
4. Eliminate wishy, washy words from your life. These words lack commitment to action and feed mediocrity. Track how many times a day you say the words "try" and "should" and exchange them for "will."
5. Most humans lead lives of quiet desperation and go to their grave with a song in their heart. This is one of my favorite quotes from author Henry David Thoreau detailing the lives of so many who don't have the guts to pursue their dreams. I have a mentor who consistently extols the fact that "all you need are guts and humor to succeed in life."
6. Choices are the difference between high and low performance. Anyone who has achieved great success has done so by the making difficult choices lower performers fear. To achieve ultimate success, you must be willing to raise your level of risk.
7. Time is worth more that money. You can always make money but never make up lost time. Place a high value on each day and get the most out of it, professionally and personally.
8. "Success is not a destination, it's a journey. consistency, commitment, conviction and competency are the 4 Cs we must execute on the journey. Don't forget to celebrate all the little victories along the way.
9. Mediocrity is a curse that can be broken. Approximately 20 percent of salespeople are considered high performers, 60 percent mediocre performers and the last 20 percent low performers. Set small goals each day that will raise your accomplishments and you will escape mediocrity. Small goals achieved over time are the key to developing a pattern of success.
10. Work on yourself as it will help you achieve success. Self-esteem is made up of the belief in ourselves as well as the believe in the roles we perform. Make the choice to work on "you" first and then your role. It pays great dividends.
My journal is a movie of my life and I'm in charge of the script. I don't believe Brad Pitt will ever portray me, once the movie is made, but, you never know. At least the script is being written, in case he is ever interested. Go conquer your worlds.
• Bill Bartlett owns Corporate Strategies, A Sandler Training Center. firstname.lastname@example.org. Text "salestip" to 35893 to receive Bill's biweekly newsletter