Leadership Barometer 106 Secret Word

I believe there is a single word that has more to do with your happiness and success than any other word or force in your life.  We use this word in a number of ways, and it often has a negative connotation.

If we understand the concepts behind this word and how all the philosophers over the centuries have taught us to harness its power, then we have a much greater control over our destiny. If you are curious what this most powerful word is, read on.

The power of the word lies in understanding the things that control our lives. What we control and what we cannot control has everything to do with the quality of our lives. 

Many things in life we cannot control.  We cannot control where we were born for example.  Nothing we can say or do will allow us to go back and change conditions so we could be born into a wealthy and talented family in a secure part of the world rather than being born to an unwed young mother in Africa who has AIDS. It is up to a higher power to decide these things. 

There are plenty of people of wealth and power who live in a world of chaos and despair. There are also some people who have very little who have found the pathway to an enlightened life of service, peace and happiness regardless of their situation.

You might be exempt from serving in the military due to a medical condition and have the money in your family to go to Harvard Business School.  You find yourself the president of a wealthy bank. 

Meanwhile, the guy who was born in the very next house went to war and is now sitting in a POW camp in some hot desert. Yet the POW may very well be the luckier of the two individuals. It all depends on whether he understands and uses the word correctly.

Hopefully, by now you have guessed that the word I am thinking of is attitude. Several philosophers over time have realized and expressed the same ideal, “what determines the quality of your life is not what happens to you but how you react to what happens to you.” 

We cannot control many of the external things that happen to us in life, but we most certainly can control how we react to them.  That gives each of us a huge amount of control over our level of joy during our fleeting time on this planet.

The people who understand the concept and live their lives by it have a guaranteed pathway to success in life.  Those who refuse to accept the wisdom are doomed to a life of despair and pain regardless of the material possessions they acquire.

I am not saying anything new here. There are hundreds of authors and philosophers who have enlightened the world with this most simple but most profound knowledge. My personal belief is that one can never hear it enough because we all have a tendency to forget the logic when adversity hits. 

Bring yourself back to the realization that it is you, not external events, who is responsible for the way your life plays out. 

One thing for certain is that no matter how things progress, within less than 10 decades we will all be dead. But between now and then we each have a choice. Choose happiness and success.


The preceding information was adapted from the book Leading with Trust is like Sailing Downwind, by Robert Whipple. It is available on www.leadergrow.com.  

Robert Whipple is also the author of The TRUST Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals and, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online. Bob consults and speaks on these and other leadership topics. He is CEO of Leadergrow Inc. a company dedicated to growing leaders.

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