The Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday is significant because early in a new year we are called out to remember to keep “the dream of progress” alive.
As we celebrate and honor King’s contribution, we’d do well to remember that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
A favorite inspirational example for keeping the dream of progress alive…..
One of the most famous and influential composers of all time is as famous for music as he is for his miraculous strength to keep the dream of progress alive while getting beyond his past. Beethoven transcended a childhood under the rule of an oppressive, violent, alcoholic father.
If that wasn’t enough to get past……..
Later in life Beethoven’s hearing declined. Audiences, including princes and nobility appreciated his musical talents but when they realized he was going deaf they admired his extraordinary strength and adaptability. His genius was more than just music!
Musicologists who study Beethoven interpret his compositions to have a heroic while somber undertone that reflect mood, plight and the infinite strength that fueled his triumph over his trials.
Examine the records of anyone who has achieved noteworthy success (MLK, Muhammad Ali, Beethoven, Walt Disney) and see commonalities….such as a spirit of open mindedness, adaptability and discovery, definitive purpose backed by unwavering action. The thing is there is no one way to stay open and move into action with definitive purpose. There are as many ways as there are individuals. The individual effort is makes the difference. Beethoven made the difference!
A growth mindset means you intentionally invest in yourself to make yourself more valuable and as you invest…you come to expect a payoff….It’s only natural that investments payoff!
With a growth mindset you’re continuously growing—you manage in the arena of who you are now while growing into who you are becoming.
Beethoven’s experience is not that extraordinary. Troubles are everywhere. They are a part of life. What is extraordinary is the response to these difficult circumstances. Too many people just show up in life and expect things to turn out okay. Or worse, improve without any effort. They let life lead them and they wait for improvement to come along and they complain that they are stuck.
Fact: Difficulty, mediocrity and poverty require no extra effort. They will find you. Progress, well being and success require growth, input and action new thinking, new approaches.
A growth mindset means you have taken the reins, you are in the driver’s seat…you are the director of your destiny.
The payoff of a growth mindset is tapping into your limitless potential.
You continually develop your abilities, so at any given time, you have the ability to change your situation and change reality. You’re never far from your cutting edge. You are always ready to launch for what’s next.
When Beethoven was challenged by a loss of hearing he didn’t miss a beat. A big part of his genius was how he seamlessly shifted to something new…he was prepared and ready because he was investing in himself all along.
Here are 3 take always to keeping the dream of progress alive
- Focus on daily improvement and the months and years will take care of themselves. The one surefire way to progress and realize your BIG dream is to learn & grow incrementally, making small advances daily in your life.
- Make the outcomes you want to see in the future part of your everyday life. If you want to be more disciplined…start now and use reading, a fitness plan or improved eating, develop habits to build rock solid discipline that will serve every area of your entire life. You don’t have to follow a fitness plan or a diet plan from some book to the TEE…start small, make your own plan…just make sure you consistently take action…start and build …don’t quit. Use my 10 Minute Leadership Habit tool to invest just 10-minutes each day to reflect, learn and grow…in your business and personal life. That little 10-minute investment will compound and add up to over 3 hours per month of self-directed growth…You will always be close to your best thoughts, your best self.
- Use reading to do more than read……..Read extensively and widely not to just gain information and grow intellectually…..but also with the intention to increase discipline, focus and concentration. Read to accelerate your ability to decipher meaning and quickly identify what’s useful for you. Develop the ability to quickly distill your own interpretation of meaning.
Get very comfortable with books so that you get to the point where you can look at a table of contents and know what you want to get out of the book and what you don’t need to spend valuable time on. Go to my blog for a detailed article on becoming a better reader.
Your growth mindset is not dependent on a winning circumstance. Rather it creates the winning circumstance.
Remember, not work, investment and that investment… Starts with YOU!