The Three Rules That Matter

by Bernie Swain

We all want to make a difference.  We all want to succeed in life.

But how is that possible when our days (in fact our moments) are so filled with constant distractions of one sort or another? 

I used to ask myself that kind of question nearly every day.  How can I make a difference?  How can I make the most of my life and the lives of those around me?

Looking back, I found the answers.  I’ll share them with you here in case it makes a difference in your life.    

Here’s my story:  I grew up amid modest means, inspired by my high school coach to become a college-level athletic director.  Just as that was finally within my reach, I gave it up – quickly in fact – because my wife recognized a turning point I had not seen in myself; a need to succeed or fail on my own, with no excuses.  The road we travelled on next was certainly bumpy.  But it was fulfilling; within a handful of years, we’d established ourselves as the undisputed leaders within our industry.

This all happened because my wife inspired me to take a risk. I found strength and energy in my turning points that resulted in an array of lessons learned about failure, about success, and about personal leadership.   Looking back, here is what I learned.

1.  We are guided and defined by influences and experiences all around us that form our character, family, friends, school and work.

2.  But in each life there is a powerful influence or defining moment, a turning point that has the potential to give us the “passion and perseverance” to succeed in life.

3.  Successful people recognize and use their turning points.

Turning points motivated us.  They give us strength and consistency when we need it.  They give us confidence to explore and take risks. They can make us stronger and wiser, and contribute greatly to our character and accomplishment.

Now it’s your turn:  What is your turning point? Has it shaped who you are?  Has it changed others around you? 

Please share your story in the comments below.  I look forward to hearing from you. 



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