What I’ve learned…

By Frank L. Vandersloot

Recently, I asked myself what, if anything, I have learned over the last 25 years. I easily concluded that I have learned a great deal. In fact, I have learned so much that it would be impossible to make a list to cover everything that I know or understand today that I did not realize 25 years ago.

But I thought that it might be of some benefit to list a few of the understandings or discoveries that I’ve gained over the last 25 years. These are not even a fraction of the total but, at least at this moment, seem to me to be the most significant. They are not original to me, nor am I the only person who’s ever discovered them. Some are truths that I kind of understood before, but today I have a much greater appreciation for their impact and value…

FAITH vs. DISCOURAGEMENT

Faith is the most powerful attribute anyone can possess. If we have faith in God and faith in ourselves, nothing can defeat us.

Discouragement is the opposite of faith. Nothing good comes from discouragement. It is an evil force that causes despair. Discouragement causes us to lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that we can’t do it and that we should give up. Discouragement causes us to give up our goals and cheats us out of having a great life.

Both faith and discouragement are choices. We can choose to have faith or we can choose to be discouraged. In other words, we can choose whether to embrace the most powerful or the most destructive forces in the universe. It’s that simple, but it’s also been important! In other words, attitude really is everything!

SUCCESS vs. FAILURE

Far too many people never realize their true potential because they are afraid to set goals and they never get started because of fear of failure.

People often misinterpret success to be a lack of failure. But it is the opposite. success always is the result of repeated failures. Success is simply the process of getting back up every time we fail. Those who understand this principle are assured of success. Those who don’t are assured of failure.

By far the most important trait in building a Melaleuca business is that of persistence. I have seen people with tremendous talent fail because they lacked persistence. I have also seen hundreds who lacked talent but who succeeded in spite of themselves because they had persistence. The following statement by Calvin Coolidge is certainly true:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
-Calvin Coolidge

OTHER LEARNINGS

  • – Motherhood and Fatherhood are the two most important positions in any organization chart.
  • – Wealth will test us more than poverty ever could.
  • – Honesty is necessary in any meaningful relationship.
  • – Trust is never a gift. It must be earned. It is easily destroyed.
  • – We can be happy without money, but we cannot be happy without being loved.
  • – We can also not be happy without loving someone else.
  • – Forgiveness heals both the giver and the receiver.
  • – Expensive mistakes make great lessons.
  • – This is the most wonderful time in history to be alive on this earth!
  • (From the January, 2010 Leadership in Action Magazine)