Jack Zufelt: Global Influencer, Best-Selling Author and Influence Magazine 100 Authority shares his insight on success as our Guest Expert+Editor

March 17, 2020
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As part of their refinement all highly influential people did whatever it took to eliminate the character flaws that affect their life negatively. And at the same time…..they added as many good traits as possible that were required to achieve their Core Desires. ™ 

Only a clear perception of the exquisite worth of your strengths, traits and potential will cause you to rid yourself of any negative habits and cultivate positive ones. The more negative habits you can weed out, the better your life will become. Some habits may disappear as easily as pressing the delete button on your computer keyboard; others may take years to overcome. 

To eliminate the negative and refine your positive traits so you can maximize your influence and success, follow these seven steps. 

1. Identify your Core Desires in all 6 areas of life.
There is great value in discovering your Core Desires. In fact they are crucial to your happiness and success. Once you know your Core Desires, you will do what it takes to eliminate any inhibiting attributes or habits. Only if the benefits and rewards are worth it to you will you seek the direction and discipline to make the change, pursuing it until you have overcome the pull of your old ways. Then

Ask yourself, "If I developed that trait, what would it give me that I am not currently getting?" Clearly define exactly what you expect to gain for each trait you wish to add or eliminate. Be aware that not working on a negative trait means that you have decided keeping that trait has a greater benefit to you. If your Core Desire isn't at 100 on your Core Desire Scale, you won't change permanently. If it is, you will persist with enthusiasm and anticipation-even if it takes a lifetime. 

For example, suppose your Core Desire is to be highly credible, and to achieve that desire you realize that you must be totally honest. Honesty is one spiritual attribute we would all do well to cultivate. Being deceitful not only costs us our credibility; it costs our society astronomically. Lying is simply not acceptable for you, or to anyone else. When you are completely honest, you never lie, and you just can't lie and be okay with yourself. Lying is a form of self-abuse-it hurts you, and it hurts others. Honesty is a virtue that we should expect from others-and they should expect from us. 

Generally there are three reasons we tell lies. First, and more often than not, we lie to protect ourselves or someone else. Secondly, we lie to make ourselves look good. And finally, we lie to gain in money, possessions, ego, or fame. If someone asks you, "What are you feeling?" or "Why are you so quiet?" you may dread telling the truth because- at the core-you are afraid to be honest and don't trust that the truth will be accepted. In fact, you may expect to have a negative experience by telling the truth-and so you tell a lie.

If you want to become a person of total integrity but have difficulty telling the truth, ridding yourself of the habit of being dishonest will move you in quantum leaps toward becoming a better person. Justifying the telling of any untruth for some perceived benefit is unacceptable for the person who values integrity. Don't let anyone tell you that little lies or white lies are not detrimental, because they are. They destroy trust and open the door for bigger lies. In fact, white lies often do more harm than good because others have a hard time trusting people who think that lying in the "right" circumstance is acceptable. Remember that trust is the foundation of all relationships. There are no "white lies." Lies don't come in colors. 

When I first went into business, several mentors told me that one of the most important things needed to make money is integrity. "If you don't have integrity, you won't make it in business." Not only is this true in business, it is true in all areas of life. Whatever you do, it must be legal, moral, and ethical. You can then soar to any financial, emotional, or spiritual height you desire. With integrity, you will stand out from the crowd, especially the crowd composed of people who can't be trusted. 

2. Acknowledge negative traits for what they are. Stop focusing on the problem, and start focusing your faith and energy on finding a solution. Being negative or doubting is the same as being faithless. Remember that faith is action out of confidence. If you have little or no faith, you won't take the action needed to get you out of negative situations, conditions, or behaviors. When you are discouraged, financially stressed, or have marital problems, only proper action during those trying times causes you to make the changes needed. 

Where can you find the additional faith needed to be more faithful? You may find it in others who have been there and have successfully faced the same problem or a similar circumstance-and prevailed. Borrow from their faith until you have enough of your own. 

Remember that a Success Attitude is that frame of mind that allows you to accomplish whatever you want because you know you can create the opportunity and make it happen. 

3. Learn to address and resolve problems.
With every problem you face, you can leave it as it is, change it, or get out and quit. This applies to marriage, business, friendships, and
sports. Many people refuse to take responsibility for their lives and are in denial-or uninformed-about the power within them to choose. They believe that their boss, spouse, fate, or circumstances control their lives. The truth is that we all have far more control over our life's circumstances than we admit. If you can't change negative people, eliminate them from your life. Negative people are like weeds that choke the flowers and fruits from growing. 

What we persist in doing becomes easier because our ability to do increases. How fast you find the solution to your problems is in direct proportion to how much you seek a resolution. If it is a Core Desire, you will persist until you find one.

4. Keep an open mind.
Be nonjudgmental, because judging incorrectly can hurt your future. Reserve your judgment about people until you know all the facts. How we judge others is how we ourselves will be judged. Do you want to be judged kindly, after all your ircumstances are understood? Judging or criticizing is a two-way street-when you don't judge harshly, you'll find people not judging you harshly. 

When we pass judgment on others, we assume we are better than they are and believe we know the intent of their hearts. No one is any better than anyone else, and we can't ever know what is going on in someone else's heart. 

When I managed the karate studio, I had an instructor who walked a prospective student and his father through the facility, explaining how great karate lessons would be for the thirteen-year-old. The father was convinced and asked the instructor what option would be best for his son. There was a one-year contract teaching basic skills, a two-year contract, or a three-year contract-each designed to help the student reach a higher belt level and proficiency. 

The instructor noticed that the man and his son were wearing worn-out Levis and old shirts and made a judgment about the man's ability to pay for the more expensive three- year contract. Rather than risk losing the sale, he recommended the one-year contract. The man agreed and wrote a check. When the instructor saw the name on the check, he immediately realized his error. The father was a wealthy and well-known man who could easily have afforded the most expensive plan. In fact, he could have bought the whole studio. 

In the 1950s, Kay Starr wanted to sing with a big band. She went to many auditions where unscrupulous men would try to pick up female singers by promising them contracts. After an audition, one man in particular kept trying to talk to her. At first she ignored him, but finally she told him to leave her alone. The man walked away. Immediately several other singers came up to her and excitedly asked her, "What did Glenn Miller want with you?" 

A young man with a lot of talent went to an audition for the Grand Ole Opry. But because of his unusual style, the talent scouts turned him down and told him he would never make it as a singer. Elvis Presley went back to Memphis with a broken heart.

In the early 1960s, an American recording studio needed some hits, so they auditioned an act from England. Making a snap decision based on how the boys looked, the executives turned them down. The Beatles returned to England without a contract. 

I remember being on a plane when a man was trying to get his suitcase into the overhead storage space above me. He reeked of alcohol. The flight attendant tried to help him and offered to check the bag, but the man became very angry. Cursing loudly, he told her to leave him alone. I judged him to be a loser and mumbled something under my breath about what a jerk he was being. Cursing, he told me to mind my own business and then told me where to go. I was ready for an argument, but then he said, "I just found out that my two daughters had a car accident. One of them is dead, and the other is in intensive care, so leave me the hell alone!" I felt ashamed of myself. 

Two young children always went to school in dirty, worn-out clothes, sometimes smelling from not taking baths. At lunchtime these two children would frequently wait until everyone was out of the lunchroom and then rummage through the trash, searching for leftovers. They tried to hide what they were doing, but several of the older boys found them, and ridiculed them. 

But some other children, realizing the circumstances of their two classmates, offered to share lunches and snacks, and even conducted a drive to collect new clothes for them. You will be the reason other people feel good about themselves if you make a conscious effort to acknowledge the good in them-the things they frequently don't see in themselves. Make it part of your life's mission to bring sunshine and light to everyone with whom you come in contact. It's a wonderful way to live, and it creates love and success in our own life. 

5. Remember that growth is a patience-testing, step-by- step, lifetime process, and adversity is part of it. When children are learning to walk, first they teeter and fall and try again. Each attempt moves the child a little closer to the Core Desire. The more effort you expend to correct a shortcoming, the faster you'll dispatch it. If it is a Core Desire, you'll find you can change your characteristics or acquire new ones quickly. It may take considerable time and practice for these new characteristics to become second nature to you, but if it is a 100 on the Core Desire Scale, you will pursue it to the best of your ability and eventually refine it to perfection. 

Changing the way you react to adversity is also a worthwhile endeavor. This is especially true if you've been- by your own admission and by the observation of your family, friends, or business associates-reacting unrealistically or badly. If you freeze when adversity strikes because you don't know what to do, find a mentor who can give you direction and tell you the proper action to take. Indecision is deadly to both your emotional and your spiritual well-being. Taking proper action is the best way to stop worrying about adversity. 

Does this mean you won't get discouraged, afraid, have your feelings hurt, or even get angry because of some of the curve’s life throws at you? Of course not. You'll experience all of these and more. Be faithful, and take action to help you through the trials. 

You must understand and accept that problems, barriers, and even major disasters are a part of life. It is up to you to decide to deal with them, just as you would do if you were to break your arm. If you learn to roll with the punches and ask for help, your adversities will be easier to overcome. 

Some adversities may take longer to recover from than others. But good almost always comes from adversity. If you have trouble accepting this, seek others who have dealt with similar hardships, and find out how they coped. In every adversity, there is the seed of an equal or greater benefit. 

Whenever you're called upon to handle adversities, realize that you're not alone. People throughout the ages have faced many things with God's help. 

There is adversity that you choose, and there is adversity that chooses you. With the adversities you choose, you either don't mind them or you prepare as needed so you can handle them as well as possible. You may choose to start a strict diet so that you can lose weight, increase your mobility, and enjoy more physical activities with your children.Or you may decide to get into shape so you can run a ten-mile race to raise money for breast cancer, even though running ten miles can be hard and painful.

The situation changes dramatically when adversity chooses you. Because you are no longer in control, and there are no expected benefits, you can't see where and when the hardship will end or what the benefits are. 

When we choose adversity, the hardship is acceptable because we know what is required, as well as the rewards. However, when adversity chooses us, we complain, worry, fear, and even get angry, because we cannot readily see what we stand to gain. 

The antidote for both types of adversity is trust. If you trust in yourself you can endure any situation and take proper action to achieve the best outcome possible. Taking proper action in conditions of adversity involves identifying the problem, recognizing its impact, considering solutions, focusing your resources, implementing the solution, assessing how well the solution is working, and making any necessary course corrections. When you start taking proper action, you start feeling better. Knowing that every cloud has a silver lining may not make you happy when you are in the middle of a raging storm, but the benefits of the hard times that choose you are very real. Sometimes only hindsight can give you this perspective. 

We all have an incredible capacity to endure tough times. You must realize that many people have dealt with similar situations and not only survived but also come away from misfortune much stronger and wiser. Trust that this will happen to you, too. 

Some of the most marvelous discoveries and scientific advances were made by accident or mistake. The use of penicillin to treat infections is just one example. If those people had concentrated on the problem rather than on the solution, they would never have made the breakthrough discovery. 

Some of the most amazing stories only surface after people have faced enormous odds. Lorenzo, a five-year-old boy, contracted a rare, deadly disease, adreno leuko dystrophy (ALD). His parents were told that Lorenzo had just two years to live, but driven by a desire to save their son, they researched the disease and succeeded in finding an effective treatment. Their story was made into a movie, Lorenzo's Oil. 

There is only one time when an adversity is absolutely devoid of any benefit or gift: the moment when you refuse to see the benefit. Accept the gifts that adversity brings you, and you will be richly rewarded. 

6. Call upon a higher power.
Everywhere I go in the world, most people tell me that involving God, or a higher power, in their spiritual life is important to them. Most people have a deep and personal belief in God. Spirituality should not be overlooked as a source of guidance,
enlightenment, and help. 

There will be times when you cannot find the strength to overcome a problem by yourself, and it seems that nobody else can help you either. There will be times when you can't find the answers, and you turn to God. Though you may not understand the methods and purposes of God, if you trust God, you will always have a sense of peace and joy. God always stands ready to help you achieve whatever good you want in this life. 

7. Learn and obey the spiritual laws and principles.
There are irrevocable laws that govern every realm, be it chemistry, math, music, interpersonal relationships, or
parenting. As we learn the laws that govern our Core Desires, we may then obtain the blessings and benefits associated with them. Obedience to these laws will always bring the desired results, just as adherence to any proven formula or recipe does. 

Failure to apply these laws and truths will keep you from obtaining the benefits that are waiting to be enjoyed. For example, if you fail to water your houseplants, they will turn brown and die, or if you water them too much, they will turn yellow, then die. Knowing just the right amount of water to apply will help them thrive. Similarly, you must learn, and then obey, the laws that govern your Core Desires. 

Learning eternal truths and obeying eternal laws have greatly enhanced my ability to have a close relationship with my wife, to have open and rewarding relationships with my children, to earn enough money to live the way I want, and to be very happy. And I am still learning-this is what makes life so exciting. 

I know people who are very rich and have many fine possessions, and yet are miserable because they have failed to obey the laws that govern happiness. Some even turn to drugs, alcohol, or suicide to escape. Money and material possessions will not bring you happiness in life. The richest blessings are within the spiritual arena. However, increasing your spirituality can bring you riches, if you seek riches for the right reasons and are obedient to the laws that govern the creation of wealth. 

If attaining higher self-esteem is one of your Core Desires, learn to "Love thy neighbor as thyself." There is a reason why God wants us to love ourselves as well as our neighbors. Loving yourself means doing what's best for you, taking care of yourself in all areas of life. You'll eagerly learn truths that will help you be happier; you'll fill your time with good things that uplift and enhance your life. Learn as many truths as you can so you can enjoy the benefits and blessings they bring. If having more faith is one of your spiritual Core Desires, consider the question, faith in what or in whom? God?  Yourself?  Others? You've got to want what faith will bring you. 

In the Bible, God invites people to pray over their flocks. Some would say, "But I don't have any flocks." I don't have flocks of animals either, but I do have a wife, children, and a business. So I pray over these things as my flock. I ask for help in every aspect of my life, especially my marriage and my family. When you add prayer to your Conquering Force, you have the two most powerful forces in the entire universe working in your behalf. 

I've mentioned some possible traits, habits, characteristics, and attributes you may wish to change or improve upon. I've also touched upon others you may wish to add. Make the spiritual side of you a priority. Learn the laws and truths that govern the attainment of your Core Desires, keep refining your thinking, feeling, and motivation, and you will experience life more fully. As we seek refinement, we grow, and in growing we become more. This is an ongoing process that will help us to become all that is in us to become.

Author's Bio:

Jack M. Zufelt is the author of the #1 best-selling book, The DNA of Success. He has achieved worldwide recognition for teaching people the true cause of all achievement. His life's mission is to impart the truth about-and dispel the myths surrounding-success and achievement. Want to achieve better results? How about live a richer life with more happiness, joy and satisfaction? Discover Jack's DNA of Success and live the life you've always wanted...    Click Here to learn more: > http://www.DNAMasterCourse.com 

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