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INTRODUCTION

Thoughts/Actions/Habits --
Our success in life and our effectiveness as a leader "hinge" upon this one universal truth – we reap what we sow … and it’s corollary – what we repeatedly think about we eventually bring into reality. There is a saying: "Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit;* sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap an eternal destiny!" The key is to control/focus our thoughts so that we will reap the desired actions, habits, and results!

Controlling Our Thoughts (Goal Setting) --
As you understand HOW to CONTROL your thoughts, you will be empowered through practice to reap the actions, habits, and results you desire. To control our thoughts, it is necessary to practice the "2nd Law of Heaven"—Order (Organization). There are two things to organize—our time (via Goals/Plans/Schedules) and our space ("A place for every thing, and ever thing in its place"). Without order/organization our efforts are "diluted" over too many possibilities at one time … and we are in a "disarray" for all the "clutter" surrounding us! We all have dreams we want to come true … This is where goals come into play. (Just imagine all the opportunities out there available to each of us!) The first step is to write them down -- this "forces" you to determine/decide exactly what you do want! There is a another saying: "If you have no goal, there’s nothing to shoot for!" And another … "Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal."

Focusing Our Thoughts (Imprinting) --
With goals, we now have "something" to FOCUS on! Our mind is an automatic goal-striving (cybernetic) mechanism. When presented with a clear picture of a desired goal, it will "automatically" come up with those ideas necessary to acquire/achieve the desired results! The key is to have a clear picture of what you desire, which you present to your mind on a daily/recurring basis. ("Where your thoughts go, so goes your life.") We recommend a procedure called "Imprinting" which consists of three basic "ingredients" – affirmations, visualization, and feeling the emotion. Indeed, this process enables us to improve the most important aspect of our ability to succeed -- our self-concept/esteem ... to see who we really are and what we can/will become! All this entails the need to exercise the "1st Law of Heaven"--Obedience (self-discipline). Indeed, there are "battles" going on inside us each day … where we decide to be either self-indulgent or self-disciplined (realizing that some decisions can/should be made only once eliminates these battles … i.e. the decision not to smoke/drink). Self-indulgence leads to bad habits ("ruts"); Self-discipline leads to good habits ("grooves"). Put another way ... the CHOICES you make, each and every day, determine the quality of the life you live. When it gets down to it, we must make/take time for those things of highest priority … and TODAY is the best time to start! A great, simple two-step formula for success is: (1) Start, (2) Don’t Stop … or, put another way, DOn’t quIT.

Relationships & Communication --
One important ingredient of success is happiness, for they are twins … you can’t have one without the other. (Can a person truly be considered successful if they are not happy?) The key to happiness is found in RELATIONSHIPS. Realize it or not, we have an impact on each and every person we come in contact with … for good, or for ill. Our two most important relationships are with God and Family. You might ask, "What makes for a good relationship?" It is one resting on the firm foundation of love ... an all-encompassing love, called charity! One important ingredient is effective communication … and the "bedrock" of communication is effective listening. After listening attentively, we can then, and only then, give an appropriate response. In communicating, one may be passive, aggressive, or (ideally) assertive. One form of communication we all use, especially with people we just meet, is networking. Typically, the purpose of networking is to find people who can help us with a need/desire we have and/or who have a need/desire we can help them with. The ability to present your ideas to a group of people may be facilitated by taking a course in public speaking ... or better yet, joining a Toastmasters club in your area! Ultimately, the most important communication we can/will have is with God, through prayer.

Leadership --
One aspect of relationships which we normally associate with a business setting is participating in committees/teams. To coordinate the efforts of a committee/team, they typically hold meetings. An effective meeting will be centered around the accomplishment of specific goals/objectives and will follow an agenda. An intrinsic part of such meetings is decision making. Such decision making may range from autocratic to participative to delegative, depending on the nature of the decision to be made and the participants involved. Many of you have been a member of a club. Leadership in a club is similar to leadership found in committees/teams … indeed, a club may consist of committees, each covering a different responsibility, all aimed toward the overall success of the club … and, the ultimate example of an effective leader is the Savior himself. In addition to having goals, two vital characteristics of effective leaders are a sense of urgency, and follow-up-- if you are going to make real progress, assignments must be followed-up on and completed in a timely manner. ...Last, but not least, there must be joy in work (not only for yourself, but those you work with). It has been said that a great leader will do what it takes to ensure his/her followers find joy in the work they are doing (including such practices as training, empowerment, trust, appreciation, rewards, etc).… and along this line, a word of advice – get into a career that you thoroughly enjoy, that you have a passion for. Would you prefer to "dread" going to work each day (as all too many people do) … or would you like to be excited and enthusiastic?!

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*"Habit is the flywheel of society, its most precious conserving agent. The great thing, then, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy. We must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and guard against growing into ways that are disadvantageous as we guard against the plague. The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their proper work. There is no more miserable person than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom…the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work are subjects of deliberation. Half the time of such a man goes to deciding or regretting matters which ought to be so ingrained in him as practically not to exist for his consciousness at all." (William James, "Psychology: Briefer Course")

“Every time we have opportunity and fail to live up to that truth which is within us, every time we fail to express a good thought, every time we fail to perform a good act, we weaken ourselves, and make it more difficult to express that thought or perform that act in the future. Every time we perform a good act, every time we express a noble feeling, we make it the more easy to perform that act or express that feeling another time.” (David O. McKay)  Such action is motivated by having a positive frame of mind; indeed, our attitude impacts the very quality of our life … and the best frame of mind we can have is an attitude of gratitude.
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(Links in the introduction encompass many of the articles/stories on this website ... but not all. We recommend reading EACH article on this site, for each gives further insights into what it "takes" to succeed!)

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