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Clement Stone began as a shoeshine boy and became a multimillionaire. He credits his success to three words: Do It Now. He required everyone who worked for him to write those words on index cards and post them in their work area.

Stone built a business empire on optimism. His father died when Clement was three, leaving the family with a significant gambling debt.  By age 13 he owned his own newspaper stand. He turned $100 into an insurance empire. During his 100 years of living he gave away over $275 million. He lived to do it now.

Will those words find their way to your work area in 2023? Or better still, into your work ethic? Words have power. A single phrase or a sentence can inspire behaviour and habits.

Try on these words for size in January.

Do It Now in 2023

 1. “Today’s pain is tomorrow’s power. The more you suffer today, the stronger you are tomorrow.”

Self-pity is self-defeating. Tomorrow’s success is based on today’s discomfort. Plus, willpower is like a muscle: The more you exercise it, the stronger your will gets.

And the easier it is to call on when dedication and persistence make all the difference.

My friend, Olympian Melissa Lotholz agrees completely. “For me, 2022 was very a different and to be honest difficult year. There was burnout, loss, disappointment, heartbreak, unknowns, and many seemingly dark days. As I stumbled forward, I found (in retrospect) that many of those dark and difficult moments, gave way to unexpected gifts of connection and opportunity.”

 2. “If you want to know how much you’ll be missed when you’re gone, put your finger in a bucket of water and then remove it. The hole that’s left will be how much you are missed.”

I forget who shared this with me, but the thought is true. Instead of being depressing, the thought that you’re replaceable is liberating. You may not leave a hole, but you can leave a mark on a person, a team, or a culture that lives on after you’re gone. In 2019 Jocelyn and I transitioned out of our pastoral roles at North Pointe for the sake of church’s future, not ours.

When it’s your time, you may not be missed, but you can be remembered in the best possible way.

3. “There are two types of pain you will go through in life: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons.” Jim Rohn

The worst words you can say are, “I wish I had…” Push yourself to do what you hope to do so you will never have to regret not having tried.

James Clear says, “The most important battles must be fought anew each day. Exercising today does not render tomorrow’s workout unnecessary. Supporting your spouse today does not mean you can mail it in tomorrow. Learn to love the endless nature of things and life gets easier.” 

 4. “Courage means finding something more important than fear.”

Am I courageous? You won’t find out until you face a situation that demands courage. Even then it will be others that apply that descriptor to you. Courage is like humility – you can’t see it in yourself.

Courageous people aren’t fearless; they’ve simply found something that matters more to them than the fear they’re facing. Find a reason that has greater meaning than the fear: your dream of serving God, your family’s future, or your desire to make a difference.

When you find a greater meaning, you’ll find the courage to overcome your fear.

 5. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda

Often someone says, “I’ll try…” because it gives the person an out. Once the person says, “I will,” his or her perspective changes. What previously seemed insurmountable is no longer a matter of luck or chance but of time and effort and persistence.

When what you want to do really matters, don’t say, “I’ll try.” Say, “I will,” and keep that promise to yourself.

 6. “The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.”

What is the extra mile? Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Make that hospital visit. Don’t wait to be asked; offer.

Most people think, “Wait, no one else is here. Why am I doing this?” That’s why the extra mile is such a lonely place.

Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do – especially if other people aren’t doing that one thing.

Sure, it’s hard.

But that’s what will make you different – and over time, it will make you incredibly successful.

What words inspire you? Please post a comment below. Do it now. Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 43 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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