I've watched a lot of people over the years. Part of my job description has always involved observing others. Some have had some wild successes, but others have struggled and failed. I've done both myself a few times.
Last week, I talked about how looking back can help you get ahead. The idea was that if you can figure out what went wrong, you can make some adjustments and maybe still get there.
Ship captains and airline pilots know that even the tiniest course correction can make a huge difference in reaching your destination. It can also help you avoid disaster. I think it's true in our lives too.
We may want to make some course corrections of our own, as we move into the New Year. So what do we need, to ensure we succeed? What are the qualities that successful people have in common?
After a lot of years of looking, here are some of the most important character traits I've observed. I call them "The 4 D's." There may be a little overlap in them, but I think they're critical to our success.
1. Desire. You have to really want it. Otherwise you won't have the staying power. There are lots of other things you can do. The winds of life will blow you right off course if you're not careful.
2. Determination. You have to make up your mind that you're all in with this thing. Especially when it gets difficult. Really tough undertakings often require a take-no-prisoners attitude.
3. Dedication. What are you willing to give up to see this done? Time, resources, money, reputation, or even other goals? It's the people who never give up, who always keep trying, whatever it takes, who get what they want in the end.
4. Discipline. It's a thousand little things. You have to win the battle today. Right now. Then you win another small battle tomorrow. Put enough days together, and you can win a week. Win four weeks and you're winning this month. Twelve of those and you win this year. Get the idea?
I was listening to Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo after their win the other day. They had a good lead, but then let the other team get 24 unanswered points, before pulling it out in the end. When they asked him how he handled the pressure, he said "You've got to live in the present."
He went on to say that meant that they focused on every play as if it were the most important. And then the next one. They didn't worry about the last play. They only thought about what they had to do right now. He took it one thing at a time, with great effort and great intensity, and they won!
Some other winners include our Week Two Biggest Losers. Heather Curry took 1st place by losing 3.0 lbs and 1.7% of her body weight. Michelle Hall took 2nd, losing 2.4 lbs and 1.6%. Crystal Kirby and Avoree Gore tied for 3rd, both losing 1.2%, and 2.9 and 2.4 lbs respectively.