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We Can All Succeed

After doing my “Sunday Morning Live” program this week, I reflected on some of the dialogue with my call-in guests. I concluded that far too many people believe that there is a limited number of opportunities to succeed in life. They believe that abundance and wealth are limited, also. Even worse, there is a firm belief by many that if one person is successful, another has to fail. In reality, we can all succeed.

Now, this might be true, in the case of a small organization where opportunities are limited by management. But, the world is a vast place, and many opportunities are created from ideas to help people. Ideas to help people that create opportunities for success is good for everyone. What follows is a couple of examples of success that took nothing away from anyone.

Radio One and St. Jude’s

Every year, Radio One/Urban One broadcasting network for whom I work has an annual radiothon to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital. The commitment the company made, made we want to learn more about St. Jude’s. In the beginning, some 30 years ago, Danny Thomas simply had an idea. He had potential, many prayers, and a vision, for St. Jude’s Hospital. With the help of many friends in the Arab-American community and beyond, Thomas built an incredible charity. Many of us believe that he also received divine guidance.

Naturally, there is much more to the story. But the point I want to stress is that the creation of that charity and hospital took nothing from no one. The many children who have recovered from cancer are living proof that this idea, and prosperity, exists to the benefit of humankind. No one has been hurt by the success of St. Jude’s. His daughter, Marlo Thomas, took over where her father left off and has continued to guide the charity in helping many, many children.

My Personal Story

When I first started working in the addictions field, I had volunteered my time at a local hospital’s alcohol and drug treatment program. After discovering that I was an avid meditator, I was offered a job teaching meditation, visualization, and progressive relaxation techniques to the clients and staff members.

I taught them the benefits of meditation. I explained how to deal with stress, how to breathe correctly, how to become aware of their bodies, and many more benefits. But most importantly, I taught how to more fully enjoy life.

Helping Others Will Help You, Too

In a short time, the graduates of the treatment program wanted to continue their learning, so I eventually started a private practice. In a short time, I hired four staff members. That pure gesture to help others, not only created an additional opportunity for me, it helped others too.

The jobs created didn’t take food off of the table for anyone. When someone starts a business, do competitors stop eating? If you believe that your competition is your problem, it indeed will become YOUR problem. I would call this limited thinking. If we are to prosper and grow successful in life, we must establish the habit of “thinking outside of the box.” Look for new and different ways of doing things.

Opportunities Are Infinite

Do not waste your time with negative thinking about your competition. It is so much easier to co-exist in harmony. Take time to become friends with them, and in the process, learn from them. Opportunities are abundant, and there is enough for everyone. Let this become a mantra for you: I will observe my competition. I will learn from their mistakes. When I can, I will copy their successes.

To visualize new ways of doing things, and to visualize new opportunities, we must take vacations to generate fresh ideas. This is another reason to keep a notebook with you. I think an old-fashioned spiral notebook is better than a digital device, for me. I like to “write it down.”

What Is Your Niche?

We all have a niche. Sales and marketing; STEM fields, technology, etc. Do you know yours? Make sure that you take time to cultivate your niche. Develop your own identity in business and in life. Remember, the sky might be the limit for the ordinary ambitious person. But, expand your thinking, and you will discover that there is a whole galaxy of opportunity awaiting your discovery.

J Thomas Smith is the host of “Sunday Morning Live” on “The People’s Station” KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 CST). He is an attorney, author, keynote speaker, substance abuse professional, and internet marketer. Your comments are welcome atjtsmith@radio-one.com.  Follow on Twitter @DrJThomasSmith; Instagram @drjtsmith102 and Facebook @smithlawnet.

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