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"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full", John 15:11.
  • Learn From Life's Winners, Not Life's Whiners

    There is something refreshingly poignant about that phrase. I have come to understand that winners always find ways to succeed, while whiners waste their lives complaining about being treated unfairly. The average company is burdened with an overabundance of whiners. In contrast, every company has its share of winners as well. Learning from life's winners should neither be confused nor compared to learning from life's whiners. However, both groups perform a great service for you and me. By example, winners teach us how to succeed. By default, whiners teach us how to waste our lives. The differences between learning from a winner and a whiner would be like comparing a high-performance Porsche with a Weed King riding lawnmower.

    Some of the people where you work are highly motivated and have already successfully layoff proofed themselves and their jobs. Some are on the same career track as you and may be unreachable. Don't worry; you don't have to pass them all. Why make yourself miserable trying to get ahead of someone who has a track record of being highly successful and has an eight-year head start? Don't sweat it, you really don't have to be number one at everything you do.

    If you work for a company that employs 200 people and you are among the top 20 employees, you have likely already achieved layoff proof status. If you feel that you are on the bubble and that there are people ahead of you in your quest to layoff proof yourself, then work hard and make your ascent closer to the top as you gain experience, tenure, and maturity. Apply the principles you have learned and set out to make yourself layoff proof.

    One way to get on the fast-track to achieving success is to identify the top 10-20 people working at your company and learn their secrets of success. Talk to them, listen to them, observe them, and ask questions. Learn what works for them. Ask them to tell you why they are successful. They may communicate some valuable insights that would enable you to rise far above the average employee in your company. Learn this very important lesson; learn from life's WINNERS, not life's whiners.

    Even winners experience defeats. Every single one of the greatest sports teams in history has endured many losses during their down seasons. Most of the greatest inventors of all time experienced more failures than successes. The most talented musicians, singers, and actors have encountered slumps. The greatest investors in history have picked many stocks that turned out to be duds. Great writers, including the likes of William Shakespeare, have had days when the words were just not there. No doubt, there were days when Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh had difficulty painting at the levels they expected to perform. Even the greatest composers of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and George Frideric Handel experienced failures.

    One thing many of the greatest people of history had in common was their determination to keep trying after experiencing failures. In addition to the wonderful world-changing contributions each one of them made, their abilities to keep going may be among the greatest contributions they ever made. The great people mentioned above knew the following principle instinctively: When you get knocked down you get back up, dust yourself off, and begin working toward your goal again. Learn from life's Winners, not life's whiners. Would you rather be compared to a Porsche or a Weed King?

    A layoff, termination, or job loss does not label you as a loser. It labels you as someone who is human just like all the rest of us. An important thing about job failures is that they can serve as significant markers in our lives. These markers do not stand as sentinels marking our failures so much as they stand out as monuments marking our turning points. Turning points are moments when we make conscious decisions to make changes in our lives that will move us to new levels of achievement or in new directions entirely.

    Used by author J. Barry Wood's permission and excerpted from Layoff Proof Your Job, Cracking the Layoff Code, one of the books featured on this site:

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