Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thought's from Uncle Harvey

10 years ago, I returned to Ft. Wayne after my dad, Don Howard passed away. I lived about an hour away near Warsaw, Indiana.

During the months leading up to my dad's death, he was visited by his brothers and their wives. Uncle Dean & Aunt Jean who live in Maine & Florida are the oldest. Uncle Carl and Aunt Lorraine were the youngest, with my folks in between.

A connection developed between my Uncle Carl and myself and remained until he passed away recently. They lived in Georgia and we would trade stories and I apprecited his wisdom and humor.

Recently I recieved a box with books from Harvey Mackay, and I am re-reading one of them right now. Harvey is old enough to be my Uncle, and wise enough too.

Click here to read about how I ended up with a box of books.

Here's the latest from Harvey:
Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

Those who itch for success must keep scratching

One of the questions I am asked most often is how to attain success. That's a tough question to answer because success is different for each individual.

I still remember one of my college professors who was asked how he judged whether his students were successful. He always said, "If they are happy, they are successful."

Years ago, I wrote about a formula for success: Determination + goal setting + concentration = success. I received a letter from a Harvard graduate saying that I was missing a fourth quality—courage. His point was that determination could be undermined by the fear that comes with a new venture.

Let me take that one step further. In my opinion, many people fail to achieve their goals not because they are afraid of the job at hand, but because they have grown so familiar in the comfort zone of their job, they are afraid to meet the challenge of a new job. I once heard someone joke that the road to success is marked with many tempting parking places.

Great acts of courage tend to be committed by entrepreneurs. I have seldom met anyone who left his or her job, whether fired or voluntarily, who started their own business and regretted it. What these people always regret is not having done it sooner. Even people who started a business and failed are satisfied because they tried.

I watched a fascinating television program on the education channel about "Why do men die for their country?" They examined the U.S. Marines, the French Foreign Legion and the British Commandos. They discussed the importance of discipline and tradition.

However, the most important reason why men died for their country was their love for their fellow man. They interviewed a soldier who related a most revealing story. He was wounded in combat and was convalescing in a hospital when he discovered that his fellow soldiers were going on a dangerous mission. He escaped from the hospital and went with them. Then, while participating in this mission, he was wounded once again.

When they interviewed him, he said, "You work with people and you live with them, and you soon realize that your survival depends on one another."

Whether it is a military battle, a basketball game or work, we can only enjoy success when we realize that we must be able to count on one another.

Napoleon Hill, one of my favorite authors, started out in the early 1900s as a young newsman and interviewed steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, then one of the wealthiest men alive. Carnegie convinced Hill to devote 20 years of his life to a study of what made men successful, according to William A. Cohen in "The Art of the Leader."

Carnegie helped Hill by giving him introductions to the mightiest, wealthiest and best-known men of his day. These included Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Schwab, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Clarence Darrow and many others.

Not a single person interviewed by Hill said they would have become successful without the people around them—bosses, colleagues and subordinates. Carnegie himself must have recognized this, because on his tombstone is engraved a single sentence: "Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself."

Not only do you need to surround yourself with a winning team to be successful, but you need to develop your own network that can help you deal with some of life's minor annoyances, as well as your most challenging problems. Your network can act as role models, advise you and comfort you. They can also provide you with financial assistance, intellectual and social resources, entertainment and a ride to work in the morning.

Without a network you'll have a hard time finding a client, making a sale, getting a job or hiring the right employee.

But even with all the help in the world, the quest for success ultimately boils down to your desire. As boxer/entrepreneur George Foreman would tell you, "Don't have that conversation with yourself where you say, 'He's got more talent that I do,' or 'She's faster than I am.' Success depends on what's in your mind. Success is about your spirit."

Mackay's Moral: Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to.

Miss a column? The last three weeks of Harvey's columns are always archived online.

More information and learning tools can be found online at

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