If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Try, Try Again!

In this photo provided by the White House, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy is pictured in the first family's White House living quarters, June 19, 1961. (AP Photo/White House/Mark Shaw)

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis became the First Lady at age 31, but her greatest accomplishment, according to her, was becoming a mother. “If you bungle at raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much,” she said. While Jackie identified herself as a wife and mother first, she did go on to become a famous New York editor after the deaths of her husbands. Her persistence allowed her to maintain focus all her life on self-improvement.

Jackie once said, “What is sad for women of my generation is that they weren’t supposed to work if they had families. What were they going to do when the children were grown—watch the raindrops coming down the windowpane?” She has a valid point. If your life is outwardly focused—on your kids, your husband or even your job—what do you do when those things are gone?

There is also another lesson we can take from Jackie’s life. Your greatest asset, whether in personal relationships, business or any other area of your life, is your ability to choose a task and stick to it until it is accomplished. You will be amazed at how much you can get done just from sheer tenacity!

Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer from Hawaii who at age 13 had her left arm bitten off by a shark, is a shining example of sticking to your goals no matter what. She was back on her surfboard a month after the near-deadly attack and won the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championships. Persistence paid off for Bethany, and it will for you too!

Showing persistence and maintain focus are key to achieving your goals. I do not know what your particular goals are, but I can promise you this: you will never reach them without persistence. The world is not designed to push you toward your goals; rather, the world pushes you away from the things that are good and exciting in your life. You have to push back against the current and ensure that you have the right attitude of tenacity and persistence to reach whatever goal you have in mind!

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Corporate Mom: Discipline and Determination

Sheryl Sandburg is the Chief Operations Officer of Facebook
and a working mom and wife.

img-sheryl-sandberg-holding_204909765218

She is also the author of Lean In: Woman, Work and the Will To Lead.  Over and over in her book, Sheryl points to something that seems to be missing in many of our daily lives:  discipline. Without discipline, you will never achieve your dreams because you will not have the organization and strength to move toward them in a way that guarantees success.

Discipline is not a difficult concept to understand, but it is sometimes very difficult to put into action.  The word comes from the Latin disciplina which simply meant to “teach or guide.”  Later, the word took on a negative connotation:  to scourge or beat into submission.

I prefer the original Latin meaning.  Discipline means teaching yourself or someone else to follow a pattern that brings success.  It also embodies the idea of choosing to improve and setting your sights on the future.

Let me give you an example of how discipline should work.  Let us suppose that you have the goal of running a 5K race and placing in the top 10.  Remember, the more specific your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it!  What does discipline and learning have to do with this goal?  Plenty, as we shall see!

First, in order to place in the top 10, you must find out what the top ten average speed is.  Are these people running a 15-minute mile or a 10-minute mile?  The faster they are, the more vigorously you will have to train to reach your goal.  As for running 5K, if you have never run before, it is time to start thinking  about getting out there and putting the feet to the road!  However, you are probably not going to run 3.1 miles your first time out.  How do you get from sitting on the couch to running a 12-minute mile?  Discipline is the answer.

I promise you that if you get up this morning, put on your shoes and walk 3.1 miles at a brisk pace, then increase your speed gradually every single day over the next three months, you will be running that 5K.  This is because you are disciplining, or teaching, your body to accept that type of physical activity level.  As your body gets used to the work, it becomes easier.

Be it your career, relationships or motherhood- It is vital to put a focused, diligent effort into what you want to achieve. Discipline is one of the best qualities to carry when leading by example.

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There Is No “We” In Motivated, Just “I”

You Are a Strong, Powerful, Motivated Woman!

Nancy-Brinker

Nancy Brinker is a woman whose name you may never have heard. However, I am willing to bet you have heard of her greatest accomplishment: the Susan G. Komen Foundation that focuses on research for a cure for breast cancer. Did you ever wonder who Susan G. Komen was or why her name is attached to this incredible organization? Here is the story of Nancy Brinker and how “be motivated” could be her motto!

Nancy Brinker’s sister, Susan G. Komen, died of breast cancer at age 36. While this was devastating, Nancy could have taken the attitude that this type of thing happens all the time and it was just “bad luck.” Instead, she used her powerful motivation to send a message to the world: a cure for breast cancer is possible if we believe and work hard.

She began the foundation and sponsored walks in various neighborhoods to raise breast cancer awareness. She adopted the pink ribbon as the symbol of dedication and motivation to finding a cure for cancer. By the year 2009, her organization was so large that the president awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land, and she was named one of times “100 Most Influential People.” Her hard work and dedication paid off not only in recognition but in the cultural change she enacted almost single-handedly. Her refusal to allow her cause to be ignored resulted in truly great strides forward in breast cancer research.

Nancy Brinker was motivated by her sister. All of us have something that motivates us. Perhaps your motivation is your family or some other group. However, no matter what your source, motivation is what drives you to success. A motivated woman is an ambitious woman. As I show you in my new book, The Ambitious Woman, without motivation it is hard to drive yourself as you will have to do in order to succeed.

Be motivated. Be strong. Think about all the things you can accomplish and what women before you have accomplished simply by grounding themselves in strong motivation! While teamwork is important, there is no “we” in motivation; when it comes to pushing yourself, it is up to you to do the work!

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Success is Not An Accident

Limit the Complaints and Watch Your Success Soar

Ila-Puri_Day-Care-Teacher-0

If you want to see what putting the principles of determination and tenacity into action can accomplish, the story of Manal Elzeen should inspire you. Manal was a high school economics and accounting teacher in the Sudan when unrest developed in that country. She knew that her life and the lives of her children were in danger and that she must get out of the country.


She sought asylum in the United States and, after a period of time, was able to come to this country and settled in Fort Wayne. However, she now faced another problem: she could not pursue her teaching career as her new state of Indiana would not give her a teaching certificate with her credentials. Determined that she would never give up, she instead put her training to work and opened a day care for children in her home.

Because she utilized her skills and worked hard, her business was a success, allowing her to support her family and even prosper in her new home. As Manal says, “If you want to get anywhere in this life you need to work hard and learn more. This is an opportunity to receive the support needed to be successful. I want to make my business great!”

How many of us complain when the slightest setback changes our plans?
When I think of the times I have considered giving up due to nothing worse than the fact that people did not react to me the way I expected, I am almost ashamed when I see the determination of a woman like Manal. Over the years, I have learned that if one thing is undoubtedly true, it is the fact that if you never, ever, ever, EVER give up, good things will eventually happen!

Determination is not blindly following a path, however. Perhaps this is where many people make their mistakes. You have to know exactly where you want to go. The more detailed and concrete your goals are, the more likely you are to achieve them! As my own niece Janelle Cline said, “Those who accomplish great things in life have what I call a ‘can-do’ attitude. They are determined to ‘can-do’ whatever is needed to accomplish their goals.”

When you are determined to pursue a well-identified goal, and when you never give up on that goal, you are well on your way to accomplishment!

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