When I looked at Robert, I could not help but feel the twinge of envy. We had both grown as neighbors, gone to the same school, even taken up the same courses in college and almost had the same kind of background. Here I was stuck in a mundane job that paid an average salary while he was living it up as a big time business magnate. He owned a big mansion, several foreign cars, seemed to have a lavish lifestyle while I lived like the average Joe, struggling with a big mortgage for a modest house, drew a station wagon and seemed to spend days and nights thinking about ways to save.
There was no doubt that I was jealous and bitter. I was feeling that I deserved more and this seemed to be eating into my very soul. As days passed I could feel myself becoming a bitter man who seemed to lose his temper more often. It is at this point that I decided to take a break. I talked things over with my long suffering wife who agreed that it would be a good idea if I went somewhere on my own for a few days. I made all the arrangements hoping that this break would let me start feeling better. It did but not in the way I thought.
I arrived at my holiday destination and the first thing that my eyes fell upon was a poster announcing that Robert would be giving a talk to some aspiring entrepreneurs in the same hotel as I was staying. By the time I checked into my room I was fuming. The only reason I had not turned around returned back home was that the hotel manager told me that the amount I had paid for my booking was not refundable.
I settled in my room but found that I could not settle down. I decided to take a walk around the place to check out things to do. As I stepped out of the room and walked down the reception area to step out, I could see people running around making arrangements for the talk that Robert was supposed to deliver. It was irritating see how enthusiastic people were about making the arrangements. I decided to ignore the whole thing and go about my walk. Throughout my walk I could not avoid thoughts of Robert and how lucky he was.
After a restless night tossing and turning, I woke up to go down and enjoy a nice long leisurely breakfast which was part of the package. I sat down and ate the delicious food that was served there along with the complementary newspaper they gave me when the maitre de approached and informed me that Robert’s lecture was going to be on at 6.00 in the evening and a telecast of this would be available as a special treat to guests at the hotel in the lounge. Moreover, if I wanted to attend it I will have to register in advance. On some impulse, I signed my name on to attend. I figured what would be the harm anyway as in any case Robert was spoiling my holiday.
That evening I walked down to the lounge to see the telecast of Robert’s speech all the time wondering what it could have that people were actually willing to pay for it. However, as soon as he started talking it became very clear why people paid, why he was so successful and how wrong I was to think that he owed his good fortune to luck.
He outlined a list of things that successful people have been doing and what people who want to be successful ought to do:
Always get up in the morning with a clear plan of what needs to be done for the day. Make the plan, review it and keep adjusting the plan as the day progresses
Plan for success but also prepare to fail. This may seem like a contradiction but what Robert meant was you need to put in all your efforts to ensure success but sometimes things could go wrong in spite of that and you need to have a backup plan for such times.
Never take anything or anybody for granted. This does not mean that you do not have confidence in people or things but it is just that taking things and people for granted can lead to complacence, which nobody wants.
Be nice to people but do not let them walk all over you. Being polite to people can pay off as long as you are not being cheated or being taken advantage of.
Work hard as there simply is no substitute for working hard. But at the same time it is important to figure out ways to work smart so that the work you do does produce results
Value your money. Money is an important symbol of success and it provides us many luxuries but no matter how rich you become, being careless with money can be an addictive and dangerous idea.
Always learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them. One cannot resolve to never making mistakes but one should take care to learn from them, move on and ensure that the same mistake is never repeated.
Never let your home life and work life intermingle as this can lead to murk things up. You need to fully focus on what you are doing whether it with regard to your home life or your work life.
I was glad that my wife had made me come to this resort. I am sure she had been reading up on some tips on how to make your spouse grow up. No matter what she had been thinking of I am glad she had made me do this.