A Life That Counts

A Life That Counts Is Determined By:

1.  The Relationships That one Forms
Relationships help us to define who we are and what we can become.
Most people can trace their failures or successes to pivotal relationships. That’s because all relationships involve transference. When we interact with others we exchange energy, emotions, ideas, and values. Some relationships reinforce our values and uplift us; while others undercut our convictions and drain us. While we cannot choose every relationship in our lives, on the whole, we get to select those who are closest to

Relationship Rules
Get along with yourself – The one relationship you will have until you die is yourself.
Value people – You cannot make another person feel important if you secretly feel that he or she is a nobody.
Make the effort to form relationships – The result of a person who has never served others? Loneliness.
Understand the Reciprocity Rule – Over time, people come to share reciprocal, similar attitudes toward each other.
Follow the Golden Rule – The timeless principle: treat others the way you want to be treated.

2. The Decisions That one Makes
Good decisions sometimes reap dividends years into the future, while bad decisions have a way of haunting us.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden, encourages leaders to, “Make every day your masterpiece.” Two ingredients are necessary for each day to be a masterpiece: decisions and discipline.  Think of decisions as goal-setting and discipline as goal-getting. Decisions and discipline cannot be separated because one is worthless without the other.

Good Decisions – Daily Discipline = A Plan without Payoff
Daily Discipline – Good Decisions = Regimentation without Reward
Good Decisions + Daily Discipline = A Masterpiece of Success

3. The Experiences That one Encounters
In addition to relationships and decisions, our lives are shaped by pivotal experiences. Whether triumphs or tragedies, our lives are molded by a shortlist of prominent experiences. Perhaps we receive a long-awaited promotion or we’re suddenly let go from a job. Perhaps a loved one passes away, or a newborn baby enters our lives. These experiences immerse us in emotions and challenge our convictions. They may even reveal our purpose in life.

Oftentimes, we’re defined not so much in the moment of experience itself as in our response to the experience. Do we quit or rebound? Do we harbor bitterness or choose to forgive? Do we blame or improve? Whatever the case, the experiences in our lives profoundly touch us.

The life experiences we encounter are broad and varied, but here are a few brief pointers on gaining the most from them.

1. Evaluate experience
Experience isn’t the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher. Learn from mistakes and victories alike. Draw upon experiences to grow and gain wisdom.
2. Manage the emotional aspects of experience
Pivotal moments come with a flood of emotions – at times positive, and at times negative. Teach yourself to counteract negative feelings and learn to harness the momentum of positive emotions.
3. Share them through storytelling
Make a habit of sharing the lessons learned from the experiences that have shaped your life and your leadership.

FINAL THOUGHTS
If you’re not doing something with your life, then it doesn’t matter how long you live. If you’re doing something with your life, then it doesn’t matter how short your life may be. A life is not measured by years lived, but by its usefulness. If you are giving, loving, serving, helping, encouraging, and adding value to others, then you’re living a life that counts!

Source: John C. Maxwell article@Beliefnet

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