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Those Nine Things
If you’re thinking about New Year’s resolutions, you may be wondering why some people always seem to accomplish their goals while other people keep making the same mistakes over and over. Christian psychologist and author Dr. Henry Cloud has learned from observing his clients that there nine behaviors and responses that successful people have in common.

If you have time for an in-depth study, his book 9 Things You Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life is fascinating reading. If you’ll settle for a greatly abbreviated version, here it is:


1. Dig it up. Rediscover who you are. Listen to your heart’s desire.

2. Pull the tooth. Rid yourself of situations requiring negative energy
3. Play the movie. Ask yourself, “If I do (or don’t do) this, how will it influence the direction of my life?”

4. Do something. Passivity is not your friend. Figure out what you can do to improve an undesirable situation. Then do it.

5. Act like an ant. In the ant world, success is built and sustained by carrying one grain of sand at a time. The lesson for human beings: nothing is too hard if you divide it into small tasks.

6. Hate well. Choose what you will and won’t accept/tolerate in your life. Then move against unacceptable situations while showing respect for the people involved.

7. Don’t play fair. Always give people more than they deserve. Work on a higher level by treating them well regardless of how they treat you.

8. Be humble. Accept your mistakes and failures as being normal. Then use them as learning tools.

9. Upset the right people. Since you can never please everyone, be prepared to encounter confrontation. Base your decisions and actions on your values and goals, not on the reactions of other people.

Someone once observed that life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans. If we do not purposefully travel the paths of ownership and responsibility, we will end up as mere guests in our own lives. Studying and applying these nine principles can prevent that from happening to you!

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By Brenda Dickerson. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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