Anonymous Distributor

You can do two things with pumpkin seeds. Eat them, an excellent source of protein, or plant them, and watch a successful seed bring back 100 more.

The farmer who plants the seeds aggressively, without regard for, “Hey, be careful; I could have eaten that seed,” often ends up with many more pumpkins and many more seeds.

On the other hand, the person who guards all the seeds, and then eats them, ends up with not much.

Money and time work the same way.

Give that some serious thought. It’s the truth.

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Harvey Mackay tells the following terrific story about Richard Petty and how success lulled him and his racing team into complacency.

“Looking back on his extraordinary career of 35 years, NASCAR driving legend Richard Petty noted that during his first 20 years of racing, he had an excellent record of winning. For example, he won the Daytona 500 seven times!

“However, in the late 1970s, his career went into a decline from which it never recovered. Other racing teams had gone high-tech, refining their cars with ever-more sophisticated engineering, while the Petty team was complacent and set in its ways.

“’We’d be winning steadily for 20 years and decided we wouldn’t change,’ Petty said.

“Richard Petty, one of the greatest drivers in racing history, ended his career without a win in his last eight years.

“Lesson learned: Resistance to change and complacency can defeat any person or organization, no matter how talented.

“Success is sweet, but it can quickly sour if the ingredients aren’t fresh. I’ve seen plenty of businesses, large and small, rest on their laurels only to be lulled into a coma. On the one hand, it’s tempting to go along with the tried and true — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“But that’s an adage that needs to be tested constantly. Times change, tastes change, technology changes. People change. And aren’t we all dependent on people for our business?

“’Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose,’ said Bill Gates. ‘That’s why success can be a breeding ground for complacency. People and organizations become content, satisfied and comfortable — too comfortable — in the way they do things. In short, things are going well, and they don’t think there is a need to change.’”

I’ve always believed that companies can go out of business quicker by growing too fast and being too successful than they can from normal business growth. I’d rather grow 10 percent a year than 150 percent a year, because I still remember what fast growth can do to a business. And I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy.

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In 1860, a 38-year-old man was working as a handyman for his father, a leather merchant. He kept books, drove wagons, and handled hides for about $66 a month. Prior to this menial job, the man had failed as a soldier, a farmer and a real-estate agent. Most of the people who knew him had written him off as a failure. Only eight years later, he was president of the United States. The man was Ulysses S. Grant.

Most of us are afraid of failing. Admit it. We all face fears and anxieties every day, and the only way to overcome them and succeed is to recognize them up front, so we can confront them directly. Examine your fears during the light of day. Somehow, they always seem worse at night and more difficult to face.

Ask yourself what might happen during the day that you’re afraid of — failure to complete a big project at work, for example, or rejection by someone. Then, think of how you could prevent that failure. Be on the lookout for behaviors and thoughts that add to your fear. Train yourself to change your patterns of action and thinking. Finally, pay attention to what you learn about failure as you confront it. Use the experience of facing and overcoming your fear to confront and defeat the obstacles you face every day. Start looking at failure as an opportunity to avoid a future mistake.

Failure can be one more step on your road to success. You just have to turn it around in a positive direction. It can strengthen your determination to overcome obstacles. Failure can make you braver in the face of opposition. It can help you learn what you need to do in order to succeed. Failure can teach you to recognize your limitations and your strengths. It can encourage you to change your strategy. Failure can lead you to success.

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Contact the Anonymous Distributor at anonymous.distributor@gmail.com or read his blog at www.anonymousdistributor.blogspot.com.

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