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Star in your own story

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Sylvester Stallone

“If our life is always easy, it is only because we are called to a lesser purpose” -Rick Joyner

Henry Ford, the ‘father of modern automobiles,’ said: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Ford made us realise that we are the principal factor in determining how far we can go in life’s journey. So many people have pitiably become spectators in their own destiny. Don’t put the pen of your life in the hand of another; be the lead actor in your own story. Take ownership of your life.

Star in your children’s life. Be their hero. When children are unable to find a hero in their parents, they will ultimately be exposed to unguarded external influence.

Star in your spouse’s success story. In fact, nobody should feature most in your spouse’s success story more than you.

Many times, this might be the genesis of extramarital affairs, as people tend to be closer the most to people that feature most in their success. The more you delegate your responsibilities in your children’s and spouse’s life, the more relegated you will become in their lives.

Don’t ever give too much of your critical roles to others. Be involved, be present, and be your own fan.

One of the biggest and most famous American movie superstars back in the day, Sylvester Stallone, was a struggling actor in every definition. His life was refined through adversity. At some point, he got so broke that he stole his wife’s jewellery and sold it. Things got so bad that he even ended up homeless. He slept at the New York bus station for three days, unable to pay rent or afford food.

His lowest point came when he tried to sell his dog at the liquor store to any stranger. He didn’t have money to feed the dog anymore. He sold the dog for $25 only. He said he walked away crying. Two weeks later, he saw a boxing match between the late Mohammed Ali and Chuck Wepner and that match gave him inspiration to write the script for the famous movie, Rocky. He wrote the script for 24 hours.

He tried to sell it and got an offer for $125,000 for the script, but he had JUST ONE REQUEST. He wanted to star in the movie. He wanted to be the main actor. But the studio said, NO! They wanted a REAL STAR. They said he “looked funny and talked funny.”

He left with his script. A few weeks later, the studio offered him $250,000 for the script. But he refused. They went ahead to offer him $350,000. He still refused. They wanted his movie, BUT NOT HIM. He said no; he had to be in that movie.

After a while, the studio agreed, gave him $35,000 for the script and let him star in it. The rest is history! The movie won Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing at the prestigious Oscar Awards. He was even nominated for the Best Actor award.

The movie, Rocky, was inducted into the American National Film Registry as one of the greatest movies ever.

Can you guess the first thing he bought with the $35,000? THE DOG HE SOLD. Stallone loved his dog so much that he stood at the liquor store for three days waiting for the man he sold his dog to. And on the third day, he saw the man coming with the dog and begged for the dog back. The man refused.

Stallone offered him $100. The man refused. He offered him $500. The guy refused. Yes, he refused even $1,000. And believe it or not, Stallone had to pay $15,000 for the same dog he sold at $25 only. Yes, and he finally got his dog back.

Today, the same Stallone, who slept in the streets and sold his dog just because he could not even feed it anymore, is one of the greatest movie stars that ever walked the earth.

Being a star in life is not automatic; there are critical steps to take, such as: SHOW UP. Woody Allen said: “Eighty per cent of success is just showing up.”

So many times, we don’t know what we are capable of doing until we try. Be present. It has been ascertained that in virtually all endeavours of life, 80 per cent make wishes, while only 20 per cent make an attempt. Most people don’t even try.

An attempt puts you ahead of 80 per cent of people. Whether it is a diet, a startup business, a ministry, a workout regiment or relationship, just show up and make an attempt.

OWN UP: Benjamin Franklin said: “I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.”

There is only one thing that will never give result in life and that is excuses. Take responsibility and ownership of your life. Success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses. Stop making excuses. It is victim’s mentality to hold others responsible for the situation in your own life. People that will make maximum impact in life make minimum excuses.

One of the most prevalent habits among the mediocre is their penchant for excuses. Until you cultivate the habit of living above your excuses, you will continue to live an inferior life.

Someone said: “When I lost all my excuses, I found my results.”

BRACE UP: Life has two rules: One, never quit. Two, always remember rule One.

Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.

Thomas A. Edison said: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Failing doesn’t make you a failure; quitting does. Our approach to failure will determine how long we will remain in it. Great people see failure as feedback, while common people see failure as setback.

GIVE UP. You have to give up to go up. I know this sounds weird, but it is true for anybody that wants to go far in life. To go up in life, there are some things you have to give up. It might be some ideologies, an attitude, a mentality, a toxic friendship, a habit, an addiction, or an association.

In the book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by the foremost leadership guru, John C. Maxwell, The Law of Sacrifice, which is the 18th Lesson, summarily underlines the fact that for every achievement, there is a corresponding sacrifice.

Sacrifice comes before success, even in the dictionary.

LOOK UP. Mentorship is sacrosanct to your destination. There are some people you will always need to look up to.

Mentorship is not negotiable in your journey to the top. You must have mentors that you can look up to and leverage on their experience and expertise.

A mentor will stretch you beyond your comfort zone and help you realise your latent potentials.

OPEN UP: There are people that are significant to your destination. Share your ideas with them. There are ‘advices’ that will give your vision a leap. Don’t bottle up; open up.

When you brainstorm with people of like minds, then you will have a masterpiece. Find a mastermind circle.

There is an African proverb that says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

GET UP. Sylvester Stallone once said: “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give; it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”

In life, you will be knocked down, but never allow yourself to be knocked-out. You are not defeated when you fall down; you are defeated when you stay down.

FOLLOW UP. The major reason why success stories are not always conclusive is either because nobody is following up or there is no form of accountability.

In the first point that I listed, which is ‘show up,’ the introductory quote by Woody Allen conclusively says: “Eighty per cent of success is showing up, while the remaining 20 per cent is following up.”

Peter Drucker once said: “What gets measured gets done.”

Max Depree said: “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”

There are things we need to give up, there are people we need to open up and look up to. We must know that we don’t have a chance if we don’t show up and own up. We must be tenacious enough to always brace up and get up, regardless of how intimidating the situation.

Lastly, you must hold yourself accountable and get feedbacks by following up.

Quote Of The Week
Henry Ford, the ‘father of modern automobiles,’ said: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”



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