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True Success in Times of Change
By Tom Morris

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The Seven Greatest Success Ideas

by Tom Morris

The Seven Greatest Success Ideas

What can Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and other great philosophers teach you about finding success? Absolutely everything!

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Master Strategies for Higher Achievement

by Brian Tracy

Master Strategies for Higher Achievement

Discover the master strategies to increase your personal power and your personal fortune in this age of opportunity.

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The Entrepreneurial Challenge

by Paul Zane Pilzer

The Entrepreneurial Challenge

Why This Is The Best Time To Start a New Business, and How To Find The Right Business For You!

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Is there wisdom for the way forward from where we are right now? How can we get from the mire of our current crises to the sort of sustainable future we all want? From the ancient Chinese and Greek philosophers, across cultures and through to the present day, the wisest people who have ever thought about positive achievement have left us bits and pieces of powerful advice for attaining true success in anything we do. I've put these ideas together into a simple framework of seven universal conditions. Let me lay them out briefly, and we'll see what they mean.

The 7 Cs of Success

For the most deeply satisfying and sustainable forms of success, we need to bring into any challenge, opportunity, endeavor, or relationship:

(1) A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.

(2) A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain that goal.

(3) A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal.

(4) A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision.

(5) An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we're doing.

(6) A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course.

(7) A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way.

There are certainly other concepts often associated with success, but it's my belief that every other one is just a version or application of one of these in specific situations. The 7 Cs give us the most universal, logical, and comprehensive framework for success. We'll take just a moment to look at each. And we start with our need for a goal or set of goals.

(1) A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.

In any facet of our lives, we need to think through as clearly as possible what we want to accomplish and what we'd like to see happen. True success starts with an inner vision, however incomplete it might be. The world as we find it is just the raw material for what we can make it. We are meant to be artists with our energies and our lives. And the only way to do that well is to structure our actions around clear goals.

(2) A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain the goal.

Inner attitude is a key to outer results. Philosopher William James learned from an array of champions that proper confidence should be operative in all of our lives. In any new enterprise, we need upfront faith in what we're doing. Sometimes we may have to work hard to generate this attitude. But it's worth the work it takes, because it raises our prospects for success. The best confidence arises out of competence and then augments it. It's of course no guarantee of success. But it is among the chief contributors to it.

(3) A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal.

Big dreams just lead to big disappointments when people don't learn how to chart their way forward. Success at anything challenging comes from planning your path and then putting that plan into action. Gestalt psychologists have taught us that a new mental focus generates new perceptual abilities. Concentrating your thought and energy in a new direction, toward a clear goal, you begin to see things that you might have missed before and that relate to the goal you've set. This focus allows you to plan, and then act and adjust along the way. Even a flawed plan can start you off and lead you to where you can discover a better one. A focused concentration of thought and action is key.

(4) A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision.

The word consistency comes from two Greek roots — a verb meaning "to stand" and a particle meaning "together." Consistency is all about standing together. Do my actions stand together with my words? Do my reactions and emotions stand together with my deepest beliefs and values? Do the people I work with stand together? This is what consistency is all about. It's a matter of unifying your energy and efforts in a single direction. Inconsistency defuses power. Consistency moves us toward our goals.

(5) An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we're doing.

Passion is the core of extraordinary success. It's a key to overcoming difficulties, seizing opportunities, and getting other people excited about your projects. Too much goal setting in the modern world has been an exercise of the intellect but not also of the heart. Philosophers appreciate the role of rationality in human life, but we know that it's not just the head, but also the heart, that can guide us on to the tasks right for us and keep us functioning at our peak.

(6) A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course.

Character inspires trust. And trust is necessary for people to work together well. Good character is required for great collaboration. In a world in which innovative partnerships and collaborative synergies are increasingly important, the moral foundation for working well together matters more than ever before. And good character does a lot more than just provide for trust. It has an effect on each individual's own freedom and insight. Bad character not only corrupts, it blinds. A person whose perspective has been deeply skewed by selfishness or mendacity cannot understand the world in as perceptive a way as someone whose sensibilities are ethically well formed. Good character makes sustainable success more likely.

(7) A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way.

The more you can enjoy the process of what you're doing, the better the results tend to be. It's easier to set creative goals. Confidence will come more naturally. Your concentration can seem effortless. Consistency will not be a battle. The emotional commitment will flow. And issues of character will not be as difficult to manage. A capacity to enjoy the process is intertwined with every other facilitator of success in a great many ways.

These conditions of success are all intimately and deeply connected. They constitute a unified framework of tools with which we can work our way toward the most fulfilling forms of achievement in everything we do. They will help us to make our proper mark in the world. They will move us in the direction of sustainable and satisfying attainment. And as a philosopher, I have just one question: Why should we ever settle for anything less?

Twisdom: Twitter Wisdom

The popular social media website Twitter has turned into the world's greatest cocktail party, and no one has to clean up afterwards, or even pay the tab. It's the new electronic campfire we sit around to talk and laugh and even sing. It's an endless conversation like no other, and it's just starting to pick up steam. We've all heard about how news breaks on Twitter before it hits any of the traditional journalistic outlets, and how it's being used by emergency responders in difficult situations around the world. But the potential overall cultural impact of Twitter is just beginning to be glimpsed.

Twitter is the new water cooler for the creative class — the social break room for people who don't work in an office. And for those who do, it's the ultimate coffee break. With five or 10 minutes of total immersion, you can be socializing with people all over the country and around the globe, sharing quick tales of weal and woe that range from the mundane to the metaphysical. There's instant advice, encouragement, and information to be had any time you stick your toes into the Twitter stream — if you've found a good spot on the bank of this wild new river to perch.

I've been using and enjoying this novel social medium and "micro-blog" website under the carefully devised codename, TomVMorris, for about six months. And I've briefly mentioned it in a couple of previous blogs, but I want to say a little more about the surprising way in which life wisdom crops up on Twitter, a phenomenon I now call "Twisdom."

What Twitter Really Is

Twitter is not mainly about telling the world, or your 47 followers, what you had for lunch. And it's not just about Ashton and Oprah, or who can attract the most followers the quickest. It's about building a new form of community. It's about learning. It's about support, inspiration, and daily motivation. And it's also about fun. But the most important aspect of Twitter may be that, if you do things right, you begin to surround yourself with an incredible group of people eager to share their best questions and insights about life. They're all looking for new wisdom and hope. Twisdom is the result.

There's collaborative thinking on Twitter at a level and in a form I've never seen before. Almost every day, and often many times a day, a topic comes up that causes me, as a philosopher and simply a curious individual, to ponder a bit, and then share the results of that pondering in the 140 character increments, or "tweets," that Twitter allows. One comment will spark another, and before long, people of different ages and walks of life from around the world are engaged with me and each other in an extended conversation of brief bursts that add up to new realizations for everyone involved.

I've gone from two followers to several thousand without doing anything to "build a following" on Twitter. It's just happened. This means that, when I send a tweet, that many people in principle could read it right away. And if they like it, they can retweet it, or copy and send it on to their followers, many of whom might then, if they also resonate with what I've said, send it on again, and then maybe even become my direct Twitter followers as well. In turn, seeing their use of my own little thought, I might join their circle. It's almost unimaginable how far a single tweet can go in its effort to do a little good in the world. The new connectivity of Twitter is immensely and surprisingly powerful.

Twitter Is What We Make It

While some younger friends were originally urging me to try Twitter, others were warning me off it. And I now understand both perspectives. As an experiment, I once clicked on the universal Twitter stream named "Everyone" that was available for a while on the basic Twitter web page. This immersed me in the main current of tweets from all over the world. I refreshed the page every four seconds, scanning and reading everything I could as fast as I was able, and I did this for a stretch of 10 minutes — an eternity in TwitterTime. It was quite an experience.

I didn't see any quotations from great thinkers. There were no deeper musings on life. There didn't seem to be much real social interaction. There were just lots of soliloquies on the painfully trivial. There were bursts of profanity. There was ample complaining and venting. There was also some high-pressure marketing. But there was almost nothing like what I see in my own little Twitter stream every time I dip in to it.

Like almost everything else in our world, Twitter is what we make of it. I've met lots of people who want to use it to think, touch lives, work together, and support each other. My little community there is an amazing circle of novelists, cartoonists, comic book writers and illustrators, editors, consultants, corporate and personal coaches, journalists, executives, marketing experts, moms, dads, and various celebrities who sometimes show up as just real people with a strong interest in ideas and in being helpful with their time. It's a self-selected collection of vibrant and generous personalities thinking and playing together daily. And that has set the stage for what I really didn't expect.

More Twitter Wisdom

In the short bursts of thought and commentary that Twitter allows, we can all turn into philosophical aphorists. Critics may be tempted to dismiss what results as nothing more than fortune cookie wisdom, without the cookie. But the nuggets of insight, or twisdom, that Twitter allows can in principle be much more than that.

What we find in Twitter exchanges won't typically replicate the results of a Yale philosophy seminar or a colloquium at Notre Dame. It's a place not for abstruse theory but for practical insight. And yet the insights can run quite deep. As Steven Johnson recently said in a Time magazine cover story on the whole phenomenon, "Twitter turns out to have surprising depth." One tweet can change your life, or on a much smaller scale, make your day. If you don't use Twitter already, you may find it at times unexpectedly helpful for a contemplation of the wonder and mystery of your life.

I'm not saying that you'll always find world-historical profundity on Twitter. Twisdom is often more down to earth and humble than that. It's frequently just a reminder of something we know and need to live. Or it's a slightly new angle on an old realization. It's a matter of perspective. Or it's a call to action and an inspiration to go take some initiative.

I think Twitter has already made me a better thinker. I've experienced new insights there that have arisen in a genuinely novel way, out of the collective thinking that occurs in short bursts and on the run. But that's how we do most things these days — in short bursts and on the run. So perhaps the Twisdom that has come about in the same way may be well suited to the situations we confront, and the insights we need, at precisely this moment in time.

If the idea of Twisdom interests you, one way to explore it is to find me on Twitter, as TomVMorris, and I'll introduce you around to the sages there that I already know, the people who inspire me each day. And, who knows, you may even end up pondering some of the mysteries of life with Ashton — or at least find out what he had for lunch!

Just two words define SUCCESS above all else...

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"The ability to convert ideas to things is
the secret of outward success.
- Henry Ward Beecher

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