Monday, September 10, 2007


My youngest child, a senior in high school, is deep in the process of choosing and applying to colleges. You can cut the stress level in our house with a knife.

Twenty five plus years ago, the process was vastly different than it is now. Today, there are many more kids going to college. The applications are pages long, require well thought out essays and a `resume' overflowing with things accomplished so far in the student's life. To say that tuition costs have had a sharp increase is an understatement thereby magnifying the competition for admission and for scholarship money. My daughter seems to be doing nothing but looking over her shoulder at everyone in her high school who has better grades or a more impressive list of extra curricular activities. Despite the fact that she maintains high honor roll status while working 25 hours a week and participating in many volunteer activities - she is convinced no college or university will admit her.

We regularly and lovingly remind her to “SNAP OUT OF IT!” But I must share, part of me identifies 100% to what she is going through.

Having traveled the country to attend nearly every National Convention for years with my company - I often felt deflated after recognition time during General Session. Regardless of the fact that many times I was walking across stage in recognition of great sales, recruiting or advancement in rank - there was always someone who'd done a better job than me. Why couldn't I be more like her? Why hadn't I done what she'd done? Sometimes the feeling of overwhelm threatened to freeze me to a state of total procrastination and inactivity. And then - because I had wise and caring peers and uplines in my life who would scream “SNAP OUT OF IT!”, reminding me of all that I HAD accomplished in the past year.

Over the years, I have come to realize the importance of putting on blinders. Focusing on two things - helping my team with their goals and working towards my own - this is the key to success. Zig Ziglar says, “Help enough people get what they want, and you will get what you want.” Goals are personal and specific to the people who set them. Your goals and your team member's goals are theirs - no one else's. Looking from side-to-side at what someone else is accomplishing can be a futile activity producing nothing but stress and aggravation. Go ahead; celebrate the accomplishments of your peers. However, learn to use them as a healthy motivational force and keep them in perspective.

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