@TheRayCenter #CharacterCounts

From our guest contributor, Frank Sonnenberg. 

Everyone is born with the potential for greatness. What happens next is up to you. You get to choose which path you take, how high to set the bar for yourself, and how hard you’re willing to work to clear it. You get to decide how to spend your time, who to spend it with, and what you’re willing to forgo when time runs short. Every choice that you make and every action that you take has consequences, but who better to decide what’s best for you –– than you. It’s your life to live. Own it!

Securing the ultimate prize takes strength and courage. You’re going to face challenges that seem insurmountable and suffer setbacks along the way, but faith, hard work, and determination will see you through. Don’t listen to naysayers or allow others to lead you astray; follow your heart and let your dreams lead the way. You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be. You’ll travel this road only once. Believe in yourself and make yourself proud. There are no dress rehearsals in life.

Words to Live By

Here are 14 guideposts for your journey through life.

  • Be your own person. Get real; be yourself. Consider the advice of others, but trust yourself in the end.
  • Make yourself proud. Do your best; nothing less. Set standards of excellence that make the most important person –– you — proud.
  • Keep good company. Surround yourself with positive people who genuinely care about your well-being and bring out the best in you.
  • Find your passion. Pursue your dreams with fervor, and put your heart into everything you do. Everyone was put on this earth for a purpose…what’s yours?
  • Make a difference. Be a positive force in people’s lives. It doesn’t require a gift from your wallet but rather, a caring heart.
  • Prioritize your activities. Focus on the things that matter most. Everything on your plate isn’t of equal importance.
  • Invest your time. Think of time as your most valuable currency, and invest it wisely.
  • Be accountable. Accept responsibility for your behavior. When things go well, accept your well-deserved rewards. When they don’t, admit fault, learn from your mistakes, and move on.
  • Face reality. Be the change that you want to be. If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, don’t blame the mirror.
  • Invest in yourself. Don’t stop educating yourself. Learn something new every day. You’ll be able to leverage that investment for the rest of your life.
  • Be grateful. Appreciate what you have, while you have it, or you’ll learn what it meant to you after you’ve lost it.
  • Make lots of memories. Take time to smell the roses. Possessions age and lose value over time; memories last forever.
  • Remain true to your values. Compromise on your position, but not your principles. Listen to your conscience. That’s why you have one.
  • Guard your reputation. Protect your reputation like it’s the most valuable asset you own. Because it is!

Live the Dream

Success and happiness don’t just happen by chance; you have to go out and earn them for yourself. No one says they’re simple or easy to attain; it takes courage, hard work, and dedication. The key is to set high standards, remain true to your values, listen to your conscience, and never stop trying. At the end of the day, it’s your life to live. Own it! You have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.

This is adapted from BOOKSMART: Hundreds of real-world lessons for success and happiness by Frank Sonnenberg released November 2016.

Frank SonnenbergFrank is an award-winning author. He has written six books and over 300 articles. Frank was recently named one of “America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders” and one of America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts. Frank has served on several boards and has consulted to some of the largest and most respected companies in the world. Additionally,  FrankSonnenbergOnline was named among the “Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs,” among the “Top 100 Socially-Shared Leadership Blogs,” and one of the “Best Inspirational Blogs On the Planet.” Frank’s new book, BookSmart: Hundreds of real-world lessons for success and happiness was released November 2016. © 2018 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.

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