Archive for March 6, 2008

Make Each Day Part Of Your Masterpiece Of Success

March 6, 2008

It’s always a joy listening to an inspirational speech about success. To me, this is paradigm reinforcement and a renewal of my life’s purpose. A few days ago at the National University of Singapore Toastmasters Club, Nah Wen Bin presented his project on the Masterpiece of Success.

I found his sharing useful for our reflection, comprehension and application. Hence, with his permission, I post his speech here for your learning pleasure:

Make each day part of your masterpiece of success

How does one define daily success? If you were told to rate today on a scale of one to ten, with ten being a perfect day, would you even know how to score it? Upon on what would u base your rating on? Would you define a good day based on how you feel? Or how many items that you’ve accomplished today? Or would u score your day based on how much time u spent with someone that you love? How would you define success for today?

Good evening club president, fellow toastmasters. The objective of my speech today is to convince you that success can be achieved from simple steps performed daily and the ingredients needed to create this daily success.

Everyone wants to have a good day, but not everybody knows what a good day looks like. How do u win today? How do u make today a great day instead of one that falls to pieces. Here is the missing piece. The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. You’ll never change your life until you change something u do daily. Everyday of your life is merely preparation for the next. What u become is the result of what u do today. So, make each day your masterpiece.

All too often we get distracted by what is outside our control. You can’t do anything about yesterday; the door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. U can do nothing about tomorrow, it is yet to come. However, tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today, so make each day your masterpiece. By applying yourself to the task to become a little better each day over a long period of time, you will become a lot better.     The question is how?

What does it take? I believe there are 2 ingredients to make each day a masterpiece. Good decisions and good discipline. One is goal setting while the other is goal getting. Each cannot reach its full potential without the other.

The first ingredient of success—making good decisions—has no real value without the second, which is practicing daily discipline. Let’s take an example close to our hearts, public speaking. Each of us desires to improve our public speaking skills, which prompted us to make the good decision of joining a toastmasters club. However, this good decision would come to naught if we did not practice the daily discipline of practicing our speeches and regularly attending our chapter meetings.

Look at our society for further examples. Everyone wants to be thin, but nobody wants to diet. Everyone wants to live long, but few will exercise. Everybody wants money, yet seldom will anybody budget or control their spending. Thus, I hope that I have convinced you that making good decisions is nothing unless it is accompanied by daily discipline. This brings me to my second point; practicing daily discipline.

Most people want to avoid pain, and the practice of discipline is usually painful. Take the example of exercise for instance; we all know that exercise is a good decision. Yet few people have the daily discipline to follow through with it. We fear the pain of self discipline, in the case of exercise; it is the pain of working out for half an hour.

What we fail to realise is that there are two kinds of pain: the pain of self-discipline and the pain of regret. We avoid the pain of self-discipline because it confronts us every day. Meanwhile, the pain of regret goes unnoticed for days, months, and even years, but when it comes, it marks us with the profoundest disappointment. Successful people conquer their feelings of instant gratification and form habits of daily discipline. They realize that the pain of self-discipline is momentary, while its payoff yields long-lasting rewards. If you conquer the initial pain of that half an hour of exercise, you’ll feel good about yourself the whole day. That’s 12 hours of satisfaction for half an hour’s work. And if you keep it up in the long run, you’ll receive the long term payoff of having good health.

Thus, you can begin to build a better life by determining to make good decisions, and following through on them with daily discipline.  Only then little by little, step by step, will you be able to make each day part of your masterpiece of success.