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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The One Thing Successful People Never Do

The One Thing Successful People Never Do

Success comes in all shapes and colours. You can be successful in your job and career but you can equally be successful in your marriage, at sports or a hobby. Whatever success you are after there is one thing all radically successful people have in common: Their ferocious drive and hunger for success makes them never give up.
Successful people (or the people talking or writing about them) often paint a picture of the perfect ascent to success. In fact, some of the most successful people in business, entertainment and sport have failed. Many have failed numerous times but they have never given up. Successful people are able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on trying.
I have collected some examples that should be an inspiration to anyone who aspires to be successful. They show that if you want to succeed you should expect failure along the way. I actually believe that failure can spur you on and make you try even harder. You could argue that every experience of failure increases the hunger for success. The truly successful won't be beaten, they take responsibility for failure, learn from it and start all over from a stronger position.
Let's look at some examples, including some of my fellow LinkedIn influencers:
Henry Ford - the pioneer of modern business entrepreneurs and the founder of the Ford Motor Company failed a number of times on his route to success. His first venture to build a motor car got dissolved a year and a half after it was started because the stockholders lost confidence in Henry Ford. Ford was able to gather enough capital to start again but a year later pressure from the financiers forced him out of the company again. Despite the fact that the entire motor industry had lost faith in him he managed to find another investor to start the Ford Motor Company - and the rest is history.
Walt Disney - one of the greatest business leaders who created the global Disney empire of film studios, theme parks and consumer products didn't start off successful. Before the great success came a number of failures. Believe it or not, Walt was fired from an early job at the Kansas City Star Newspaper because he was not creative enough! In 1922 he started his first company called Laugh-O-Gram. The Kansas based business would produce cartoons and short advertising films. In 1923, the business went bankrupt. Walt didn't give up, he packed up, went to Hollywood and started The Walt Disney Company.
Richard Branson - He is undoubtedly a successful entrepreneur with many successful ventures to his name including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Music and Virgin Active. However, when he was 16 he dropped out of school to start a student magazine that didn't do as well as he hoped. He then set up a mail-order record business which did so well that he opened his own record shop called Virgin. Along the way to success came many other failed ventures including Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Clothes, Virgin Vie, Virgin cards, etc.
Oprah Winfrey - who ranks No 1 in the Forbes celebrity list and is recognised as the queen of entertainment based on an amazing career as iconic talk show host, media proprietor, actress and producer. In her earlier career she had numerous set-backs, which included getting fired from her job as a reporter because she was 'unfit for television', getting fired as co-anchor for the 6 O'clock weekday news on WJZ-TV and being demoted to morning TV.
J.K. Rowling - who wrote the Harry Potter books selling over 400 million copies and making it one of the most successful and lucrative book and film series ever. However, like so many writers she received endless rejections from publishers. Many rejected her manuscript outright for reasons like 'it was far too long for a children's book' or because 'children books never make any money'. J.K. Rowling's story is even more inspiring because when she started she was a divorced single mum on welfare.
Bill Gates -co-founder and chairman of Microsoft dropped out of Harvard and set up a business called Traf-O-Data. The partnership between him, Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert was based on a good idea (to read data from roadway traffic counters and create automated reports on traffic flows) but a flawed business model that left the company with few customers. The company ran up losses between 1974 and 1980 before it was closed. However, Bill Gates and Paul Allen took what they learned and avoided those mistakes whey they created the Microsoft empire.
History is littered with many more similar examples:
  • Milton Hershey failed in his first two attempts to set up a confectionary business.
  • H.J. Heinz set up a company that produced horseradish, which went bankrupt shortly after.
  • Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, the company he founded. Only to return a few years later to turn it into one of the most successful companies ever.
So, the one thing successful people never do is: Give up! I hope that this is inspiration and motivation for everyone who aspires to be successful in whatever way they chose. Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there other things you would add to the list of things successful people never do? Please share your thoughts...
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Death Is Inevitable

Dying with dignity

Death is inevitable, and a person at death’s door requires the highest level of empathy (to be distinguished from sympathy). - AFP
Death is inevitable, and a person at death’s door requires the highest level of empathy (to be distinguished from sympathy). - AFP




De-mystifying death: conversations with those facing end-of-life scenarios.

THANKS in part to a greater awareness of good hygiene, extensive health programmes, and advancements in the medical field, people are now living much longer lives.
For many, death is no longer regarded as a natural phenomenon. Instead, it is often seen as a failure of medicine and care – a brutal thief of time, and therefore, shunned and not discussed.
Yet, death is inevitable, and a person at death’s door requires the highest level of empathy (to be distinguished from sympathy).
This is vital to allow the person to “pass on” with dignity.
What does “preserving the dignity of a dying person” mean?
In a 2002 study of terminally-ill cancer patients, researchers concluded that dignity-conserving care depends not only on how patients are treated, but also how they are regarded (ie when patients know they are seen as being worthy of honour and respect by those who provide care to them). When this situation exists, dignity is more likely to be preserved.
It demonstrates that it is not just the physical care of a patient that is important during end-of-life scenarios, but also mental and emotional well-being.
For example, having efficient domestic help for an aged or sick parent at home is no substitute for family members offering kind words and loving gestures each day.
How does one talk to a dying person in a way that will help the person negotiate the process of dying with some measure of dignity?
Some examples offered by psychologists and mental health experts include:
For physical discomfort: Instead of “How are you today?”, ask “Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable?”
For emotional distress: Instead of “How are you feeling?”, ask “How are you coping with what is happening to you?”
For anxiety about death: Instead of “Don’t worry, everything will be fine”, ask “Are there things in the later stages of your illness that you would like to discuss?”
For frustration at reduced independence: Ask “How much are you able to do for yourself?”
All these questions are more likely to elicit an informative response that will enable you to consider how to better comfort and support the person.
One of the great sufferings endured by the dying is a sense of helplessness and uselessness. Therefore, if the person is able to do simple tasks, we should facilitate that.
Or during your chats with the person, there are questions that may empower and uplift the dying person’s mind, such as:
“Are there things about you that this disease does not affect?”
This allows the patient to identify aspects of their life still within their control, and also gives you an idea what the patient values most in life.
“What about yourself are you most proud of?”
This enables the dying person to recollect positive qualities that they possess, or noble deeds done.
“What part of you feels strongest right now?”
This allows the patient to do things that enhance their sense of ability and well-being. Or it could open the door for the patient to tell you about their frustrations and fears.
Whatever the physical condition of the patient, as long as their mental faculties areintact, they can still use their mind to alleviate suffering. For example, the patient can calm the mind through mindful breathing, enjoying music, or reflecting on whatever faith system they follow in order to place the mind into a positive, virtuous state (but on no account is this the time to pressure a patient to alter their faith system, as that could induce emotional trauma).
An empowered mind is one with dignity.
Psychiatrist Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ pioneering work with the terminally ill shows that most patients welcome the opportunity to speak openly about their condition, which led to her formulating the famed five stages of death: denial, anger (“Why me?”), bargaining (for more time), depression, and finally, acceptance – though not necessarily in that order.
Gently and openly conversing with the terminally-ill patient about life in general, their life in particular, the end of life, worries, fears, joys and assurances that loved ones will be taken care of, are all ways of helping the dying person arrive at the stage of acceptance, as well as some level of contentment, and indeed, moving on with dignity.
For more information about end-of-life issues, e-mail

Yeo Puay Huei is a member of Kasih Hospice Care Society. This article is contributed by The Star Health & Ageing Panel, which comprises a group of panellists who are not just opinion leaders in their respective fields of medical expertise, but have wide experience in medical health education for the public. The members of the panel include: Datuk Prof Dr Tan Hui Meng, consultant urologist; Dr Yap Piang Kian, consultant endocrinologist; Datuk Dr Azhari Rosman, consultant cardiologist; A/Prof Dr Philip Poi, consultant geriatrician; Dr Hew Fen Lee, consultant endocrinologist; Prof Dr Low Wah Yun, psychologist; Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist; Dr Lee Moon Keen, consultant neurologist; Dr Ting Hoon Chin, consultant dermatologist; Prof Khoo Ee Ming, primary care physician; Dr Ng Soo Chin, consultant haematologist. For more information, e-mail The Star Health & Ageing Advisory Panel provides this information for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star Health & Ageing Advisory Panel disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages that could result from use of the information obtained from this articl