March 22, 2007.
"Whatever your life's work is, do it well."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whatever. Just a single word, two short syllables; yet a word that packs a very powerful punch. If you had to choose a word that encapsulates what living is all about, whatever would be a very good choice. Why? Because it reminds us to live life to the fullest, to seek the very best we are capable of giving and to do whatever we need to do whenever it needs to be done.
We're not talking about the loosely interpreted variation of the word here, where whatever is used as a catch-all expression that has no specific meaning at all. Not even close. What we are talking about is using the word in a constructive, productive manner; as in doing 'whatever' we need to do to get the job done.
Instead of wasting time whining or making excuses, we get just busy, get to work and finish the job. Let's face it; in order for us to get wherever we really want to go in life, we must be willing to do whatever it takes. That's right, whatever it takes. Period.
"Whatever you say, say it with conviction."
Too many of us freely run our mouths, constantly crowing about all the things we're going to do, all the grandiose things we're going to accomplish. Talking a good game is one thing, but backing up our words with any tangible action whatsoever is quite another. When it really counts, too often our words ring hollow. When it's time to walk our talk and make something happen, we fold like a stack of cards.
People need to know they can count on you to do what you say you'll do - when you said you would do it. Your word has got to be as good as gold. And that means acquiring a mean streak. Look, we're not talking about developing a nasty, surly disposition; far from it. What we are talking about is meaning what you say and saying what you mean - and saying it with confidence, conviction, purpose and passion.
"Whatever you do, don't do it halfway."
Whenever you commit to doing something, whatever it is, make sure you throw your entire heart and soul into the effort made. Instead of making a halfhearted, half-baked stab at getting it done, you need to give it your very best shot and just as importantly, stick with it until the task is complete. You should strive to autograph everything you do with excellence.
There will never be a shortage of people who habitually leave things halfway done, halfway finished. There are projects too numerous to count that were started by people who gave it a stab, gave it a shot, gave it a try... then promptly gave up. Instead of finishing what they started, they allowed the projects to finish them. That's something you'll never have to worry about once you acquire the healthy habit of finishing whatever you start.
"Whatever happens, take responsibility."
It sometimes feels as though taking personal responsibility for our actions has almost become a lost art - and that throwing the blame everywhere but at ourselves is a newfangled sport. After all, it's always easier to point your fingers at someone else, shift the blame or to shirk responsibility altogether. Instead of owning up to our actions, too many of us refuse to accept any responsibility whatsoever. And it shows.
If you're ever going to realize your immense potential and make your dreams come alive, you must accept total, complete, absolute responsibility for everything you say, think and do. And I do mean EVERYTHING! While playing the blame game may make you feel better for a minute or two, blaming others will never get you anywhere you really want to go. When you finally take responsibility for yourself and take charge of your actions, you're going to watch your life really take off.
"Whatever you are, be a good one."
There is one and only one way to glean the best out of life - and that's by giving life our very best. Not once in a while or whenever we get around to it, but each time, every time. And giving a lackadaisical, lackluster effort isn't going to cut the mustard either. We have to lay it all on the line each and every time out.
If we're serious about taking our lives to a new level of happiness and contentment, a new level of satisfaction and fulfillment, we've got to be willing to take control. Control of where we're going, control of what we're doing and control of every aspect of our lives. That means doing whatever it takes to get where we want to go. WHATEVER IT TAKES. By consistently striving to be the best we were born to be, we can ultimately be, do and have whatever our hearts desire. And I do mean WHATEVER.
The Bottom Line: When you're willing to do whatever it takes, you can have whatever you seek.
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