Mackay Column: 'Be inspired to be your best self'

Harvey Mackay

Be inspired to be your best self

By Harvey Mackay

I recently came across this wonderful poem by Nancye Sims, “A Creed to Live By.” It captures life’s challenges in a very inspirational fashion, and I hope you learn as much from it as I have.

Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

In our materialistic society, there will always be people who have a bigger house, nicer car and so on. Get over it. The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Anytime is a perfect time to set your goals for the year, for the decade or for the rest of your life. After all, if you don’t know what you want to achieve, how will you know when you get there? Goals not only give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day. Achieving goals produces significant accomplishments.

Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

Focus on what is important to you. The subtitle to one of my books is “Do what you love. Love what you do.” And remember the people who mean the most to you too.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

The present is when you can change your life. Mother Teresa said it best, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

One of my lessons when I speak to corporate audiences is believe in yourself even when no one else does. Who says that you’re not tougher and better and smarter and harder working and more able than your competition? It doesn’t matter if they say you can’t do it. The only thing that matters is if you say it.

Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.

No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The important point is to admit your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

One of the reasons we admire people who take risks is that most of us are scared stiff at the prospect of taking risks ourselves. No risk, no success.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give love. The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Love never asks, “What can I get?” It asks, “What can I give?” Ever notice how poets talk about love? It’s usually about the other person. If we all care about others, that means someone is caring about us too.

Don't dismiss your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose.

I often joke that it takes years to become an overnight success. But it starts with a dream. My dream was to own a factory. I wasn’t even sure what kind of product I’d make, or exactly where it would be. But I pictured myself walking the factory floor, talking to workers. The pile of broken-down machines I bought might have looked more like a nightmare at the time. But dreams come true – with a lot of wide-awake work.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you're going. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Every day is a gift! That’s why it’s called the present!

Mackay’s Moral: It’s never too late to become what you could have been.