Triumph Over Challenges

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

The sweet joy of triumph! When we succeed at a challenging task, solve a complicated problem, or reach a goal, we rejoice. We are elated. Failures fade away because we have achieved a milestone.

Would we know the feeling of triumph without the awareness of defeat? Isn’t our recognition of a win enhanced by the missteps we made along the way?

Every day I must remind myself that it is imperative to risk failure in order to find success. If I wait for the best opportunity, then I will miss many openings for progress. So many of our daily decisions are affected by timing. Yet rarely is our timing perfect.

If we want success and to experience triumph, then we must act. Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Today was made for challenges. Today was made for triumph. We can take the leap of faith that is needed to overcome.


No Need to Be Perfect

When you are driving and a great song comes on the radio, do you find yourself singing? What if you don’t know the words? Do you hum? I think many of us do.

Life can be a lot like that. Sometimes we sing. Sometimes we don’t know the words, so we hum. Sometimes we whistle, and sometimes we just listen.

When I find myself in a situation I am not familiar with, I spend time observing. When I find myself in a situation that is familiar, but I am not sure how to proceed, I do my best to follow along. When I am in a familiar situation, it is fun to just jump in.

Even though I strive for productivity, and continuous improvement, life is not about being perfect. Life is about participation on whatever level we are able to contribute at the moment.

Next time you find yourself struggling to make progress, instead of searching for the perfect next step, just hum.

Can We Change?

“Tomorrow we will become what we choose today. To change means to choose to change.” – John C. Maxwell

I love this quote because there is so much wisdom in just fifteen words.

1. Change takes time. We must work today for what we want tomorrow. Our focus needs to be on the future. Very little permanent change occurs within one day.

2. Change is a choice. It will not occur without intent. We have the opportunity to decide what we wish to change.

3. Change is never ending. Every day we can work towards tomorrow’s goals. Incremental change has a huge impact over a lifetime of effort.

Often we stumble on these points, and we don’t change as much as we expect. We can choose to change to meet our goals in our professional life, our personal life, in our diet, our exercise, or our habits. Can we change? Each day we can strive to make ourselves better tomorrow.

How Much Does This Cost? You Have to Be Joking!

Imagine walking into a bakery to buy a loaf of bread. The scent invades your nose as soon as you enter. You notice that none of the loaves have any prices. There are at least a dozen different types but no prices.

The person checking out has a loaf of whole wheat, and you notice the charge of only $0.79 on the register. That is a great price. You grab a loaf of the whole wheat bread, and get in line.

The person in front of you has a loaf of whole wheat too. But when his purchase appears on the register it is $4.59. That’s strange. The person pays and leaves.

The cashier takes your loaf of bread to scan, and the register shows $28.99. You ask the cashier, “How can it be so much? It was much cheaper for those other customers.”

He responds, “I am sorry sir, this is the price for you. Some customers are on a bread plan. Others have discounted prices based on their employer. Some of our customers actually get their bread for free from a government program. But it looks like your price is $28.99.”

Can this actually happen? You would think in today’s global and competitive marketplace you would not experience this. But this is exactly the system we have for prescription drugs in the United States.

I don’t want to start a political debate, but want to encourage you to think about the consequences of our current system for healthcare. It does not matter if you believe in a free market based system or a government subsidized system. What we have now is a mess and neither of those. Two people can be on the same medication, one paying $20 a month, the other paying $1200. The prices are not market based or subsidized.

Before you respond about the need for companies to recover their development costs, consider this. Other countries are buying the same drug for less. In effect, we are subsidizing the whole world for the development costs of prescription drugs, because companies are able to charge more in the US, than elsewhere.

Whatever your views, I encourage you to think for yourself, not just listen to the political rhetoric. For me, I like to know what bread costs before I pick up a loaf.