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English: Mavericks Surf Contest 2010. Français...

Mavericks Surf Contest 2010. This is not me! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m happy to admit it, I’m not a surfer.

My pale complexion and complete lack of swimming ability has kept me on dry land whenever possible.

However, I can see the appeal of surfing.

Those well-tanned, buffed men and women who have an affinity with the ocean waves are heroes to many and I have few friends (although they’re neither well-tanned nor buffed) who love to surf as a hobby.

When done well there are few athletic feats more poetic, powerful or graceful than a surfer riding a great wave.

I wish I was that cool!

In considering the art of surfing, I think that there is a very important principle that we can all learn from surfers.

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Every day you have a multitude of choices to make.

Are you going to be enthusiastic, or just mail it in?

Are you going to be optimistic, or pessimistic?

Are you going to smile, or scowl?

Are you going to be grateful, or find things to complain about?

Are you going to look life and its assorted challenges in the eye, or cower in fear?

Are you going to influence the world, or be influenced by it?

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If you’re here, my guess is that you want to make the most of your life and fulfill your potential.

That’s the aim of this blog and I love it when I hear inspiring stories of people who make the most of their capabilities.

I believe that everyone is a 10 out of 10 at something and has the capacity to develop their strengths to an elite, world-class level.

However, I’ve met a lot of people who live at a level that’s far below their full potential and seem strangely content to waste the opportunities that life present them with to live a remarkable life.

Too often, I’ve been that person and I know that there are times when I haven’t made the most of my capabilities.

So, here are 17 ways to squander your talent: Read the rest of this entry »

The breakthrough moment that you are waiting for won’t come due to luck or good fortune.

It will come due to the hard work that you put in behind the scenes when no-one is watching.

You’re not a piece of clay that comes out of the ground in perfect condition.

You need to spend some time on the pottery wheel, so that you can be shaped into something beautiful and useful.

Some people think that success comes if you are fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time.

That’s only half true.

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FedEx delivers overnight and they guarantee it.

And in a society that expects instant results, we often expect that our dreams will be fulfilled just as quickly and if they aren’t we are tempted to think that it wasn’t meant to be and just give up.

But it doesn’t work like that.

If your dreams and goals are big enough to matter, they will take time and effort.

And that effort will need to be repeated.

Again and again.

Over many years.

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Over the years I’ve met a lot of people who felt as though they were stuck in dead-end jobs.

They may have been in the job for a year, five years, ten years or even more.

Some were in their early 20’s or late 50’s.

They all dreaded going to work, they hated Monday mornings and each wanted nothing more than to leave, but they don’t know how to escape.

It may be that they didn’t really know what they wanted to do next.

Or perhaps they needed to undergo more training or increase their skills before leaving, but struggled to make the time.

In many cases, it turns out that the fear of an unknown future is greater than their dislike of their current situation, giving them little motivation for taking action and generating such inadequate excuses for staying such as: Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes, I wish that I had more charisma, or more talent, or more money or that I was more athletic or good-looking.

Sometimes, I look at the opportunities that others have and think that I would be more successful if I had the same set of circumstances surrounding me.

Sometimes, I think that I need to wait a bit longer before taking action on a project because I don’t yet have all of the skills required to get it exactly right.

Then I hear a small voice remind me, “Darren, everything you need, you already have.”

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When you’re enthusiastic and passionate about something, it’s contagious.

When you’re dour, dull and disinterested, it’s catching.

When you’re confident and in control, it has a calming effect on others.

When you panic and act frantically, those around you start to look over their shoulders as well.

When you’re focused and working hard, those around you are more likely to do the same.

When you slack off, those around you also look for an excuse to give less than their best.

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Some people change the world through music, art or poetry.

Some people change the world by creating extraordinary products that change the way we live.

Some people change the world by standing up to injustice, often at considerable personal cost.

Some people change the world by leading businesses that engage their people to do great work.

Some people change the world by healing the pain of the less fortunate and speaking for those who have no voice.

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Every action that you take…

Every time that you work on your craft…

Every call you make…

Every item you cross off your list…

Every time you deliver phenomenal service to a customer…

Every time you respond immediately to a great idea…

Every single time you do something that matters, you get one step closer to your goal.

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