I’m always intrigued in how people will express what it takes to be successful. I came across one last week that I simply love. It really captures the essence of what is required to be successful at anything. This quote comes from Kobi Yamada, President and CEO of Compendium, Inc. who says “Success requires three bones, The WISHBONE, the BACKBONE and the FUNNY BONE.”

Funny and true, so let’s take a closer look at this statement and break it down.

The Wishbone: I believe this means that you must be able to visualize the future. To learn to see what your possibilities and potential are; To be able to develop a life plan through possibility thinking and goal setting; To be able to unabashedly dream of what could be.  In goal setting exercises I will many times challenge my business coaching customers with the question, “How big will you ALLOW yourself to dream…if you knew you could not fail?” You might be surprised how many people restrict themselves and literally how many will undermine their own potential by not allowing themselves to dream!

The great American philosopher and humorist, Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.”

The Backbone:  The backbone is the metaphor for persistence. Success means sticking to the job and belief in what you’re doing… then, stepping out in faith when the world keeps throwing up roadblocks.

Winston Churchill said “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” He added, “It is never possible to guarantee success; It is only possible to deserve it!”

The Funny bone:  And finally and probably most importantly…the Funny bone. All I can honestly offer here is that if you haven’t figured this fact out yet you’re probably not enjoying yourself much these days. In business or in life it is imperative that you must have the ability to laugh at yourself! Life is much too short to deprive yourself of the humor that it has to offer. And as an entrepreneur, business person or parent it is a mandatory requirement.

It all goes back to attitude and how you take both the highs and the lows of business and life. It’s the attitude of gratitude. It’s the glass half full concept. It’s what Zig Ziegler calls “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” versus possibility thinking. It’s what Henry Ford was referring to in his famous quote, “If you think you can or you can’t….You’re right!”

Yes our world is a serious place and yes we must focus and work hard and all that, but from personal experience, it’s also good to learn to lighten up, stop and take a deep breath, laugh a little and not let the steam build. The great golfer, Payne Stewart once said, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, then how can you laugh at anybody else? I think people see the human side of you when you do that.”  And my friends, as far as I’m concerned, that’s what the world needs a lot more of these days. Show your family, friends, colleagues and customers that you care enough to laugh a little bit. It makes life and business much easier.

As always, BE GREAT!

Coach Dan

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