It's been said that only the most egotistical of people could ever run for U.S. President. I believe that. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing either. It takes thick skin and a very strong desire to succeed to run a legitimate presidential campaign. There has to be something truly special about a presidential candidate. Not so much in doing what it takes to get enough votes to win, but simply in thinking one has the strength to succeed in run the country effectively.
Running a successful presidential campaign and running a successful company and running a successful personal life are all very much the same. They all take someone with great personal strength. Weak people need not apply to a successful, satisfying life.
Here are five ways to become a person of strength:
- Be secure Insecurity makes people uncomfortable. Most people don't like to hang around insecure types and they usually will not go out of their way to help them except for out of pity. Pity is no way to get ahead. Being secure means being confident in the decisions you make. You can't be worried about what other people think about you (too much) and you have to be confident in your own thoughts and abilities. While secure people are not always right, they are secure enough to admit their mistakes and move on.
- Get to know yourself
I once applied to be a Resident Assistant while in college. I was turned down because the assistant dean didn't feel that I "knew" myself. At the time I strongly disagreed, but thinking back he was probably right. Back then I truly didn't quite know who I was and I relied too heavily on others. While very opinionated about other people and things, I never really developed opinions about myself and was often swayed easily by anyone more forceful than me. Only a person who truly knows themselves can stand up in the face of adversity. If you don't know who you are or what you believe, you'll be blown around by every whim that passes by. Once you know who you are, however, you're firmly anchored and in control of where you go and what you do.
- Trust your leader
Everybody should have someone they look up to, such as a mentor or a person of great influence over them. Yes, even leaders have leaders they look to for guidance. But great leaders trust those who are above them. They trust their insights and opinions. And if you find you can't trust your leader then you need to find another team. That doesn't mean that you have a bad leader or you are a bad follower, it's just a matter of finding the right fit. Trust, however, is essential. If you trust no one then you are extremely limited in your growth potential. Trusting the experience of others is essential to success.
- See the big picture
I like big picture people. Mostly because that is what I am and I always have a tendency to give the big picture even when it's unnecessary. Some call it over-explaining or just babbling on. But I digress. Understanding the big picture is paramount to knowing where you are and where you're going. If you are not looking at the big picture then every bump in the road is going to look like an insurmountable mountain. Big picture thinking allows you to see past the bumps, roadblocks and debris that often stands in your way and helps you find alternate paths to success.
- Rely on your experience
While it is essential to rely and trust the experience of others, to be successful you also have to rely on your own experience. Many people will stand in your way and tell you that you don't have what it takes, or that you don't know enough. They might not believe in your experience, but you must. Life will always have naysayers, but the only time they are ever right is when you start listening to them. Know what you are capable of and go after it.
Developing your own personal strengths is essential to a full and satisfying life. Both your personal life and your professional life rely on whatever inner strength you have. Those without much personal strength are often found with other strengthless individuals. This causes each to feed off the inadequacies of others. People of strength tend to attract other people of strength which helps all of them grow and develop themselves even more, both collectively and as individuals.
Are you weak? Seek out people of strength to encourage you. Are you strong? Seek out other people of strength to grow stronger. Do this and I have no doubt that success will soon follow in all you do.