Watch a movie or a TV show and see what makes people successful and happy. It’s usually some almost magical quality or event. In real life, the main difference between people who achieve and people who do not isn’t as exciting or mysterious, but it is as important. It is simply conscientiousness. People who approach things with order, common sense, consistency, and persistence will ultimately succeed.
IN THE EARLY 1950s, Lillian Vernon spent $500 on her first advertisement. She offered monogrammed belts and handbags, and when she was finished filling the first round of orders, she had made a $32,000 profit.
From her first successful ad to fifty years later, Lillian Vernon has been selling household items and gifts, and steadily expanding her sales. Her company now generates more than $250 million in sales every year and is one of the fifty largest companies owned by a woman in the United States.
Lillian met with her share of skeptics: “There were naysayers along the way, but I couldn’t be defeated. Because all it really takes is common sense, intelligence, and hard work.” Which for the seventy-one-year-old businesswoman still means a six-day work week. Employee conscientiousness was five times more likely to predict supervisor satisfaction than was employee intelligence. (Fallon et al. 2000)
Turn Off the TV
Television is the creamy filling that distracts us from the substance of our lives. Do not let television become the default organizer of your time.
LANCE COMPARES WATCHING television to getting lost in a cave: “It may seem interesting, but you’ve got to get out eventually.” Lance gave up television after examining whether it was worth the hours he was spending on it.
“If you add up the time in your day, especially the free time in your day, and then figure out how much goes out to television, it will make your jaw drop,” Lance says. “We just don’t even consider the alternatives. For most people, it would be like choosing to walk across the country instead of fl y. But there’s just so much freedom in your life when you gain that time.”
Lance says that one of the great surprises of living without television is how much he still knows about television. Everybody thinks they will be lost at the water cooler conversation if they don’t have a television.
But there is so much coverage about television—just reading the newspaper, you would know an awful lot about Desperate Housewives and American Idol.”
Watching too much TV can triple our hunger for more possessions while reducing our personal contentment by about 5 percent for every hour a day we spend watching. (Wu 1998)
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Quotes for the day:
"Don't make excuses - make good."
"Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were."
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