Santa’s Grossest Christmas List:  Real Toys My Grandkids Want

When my grandkids handed me their Christmas lists, I was shocked!  Each list is filled with gross and obnoxious toys.  I am not lying – boogers and pooh headline their Christmas Lists.  I have grown to expect inherited poor taste from the boys, but this year, the girls are just as bad.  I am not a prude or stick-in-the-mud when it comes to gross; I enjoy a good juicy fart joke book or as a boy, shooting dripping spit balls and other bits and pieces of grossness with a rubber band.  To me, the whole toy poopoo fad is funny and highly reflective of our society, but when my granddaughters ask for “turd launchers” and dolls that poo their pants for Christmas, that surpasses even my tolerance for gross.  Why are kids so fascinated with toys devoted to body excretions?  Do parents and grandparents buy their children and grandchildren such disgusting toys?  Of course, we do, or the store shelves would not be stacked to the ceiling with such disgusting games and stuffed caricatures.

When my kids were growing up, my wife often chastised me for sharing what I considered to be a high quality dirty diaper or tasteful fart joke with my boys.  My daughter, like her mama, was too classy to dabble in the sewer, but even she would sometimes cringe and laugh with us.  Other than the boys absorbing my weird sense of humor, no harm that I am aware of was done.  Heck, the uncouth things I subjected my kids to were tame compared to the crudeness of toys today.  My best gross-outs pale in comparison to the toys found on Amazon.com or on Walmart toy shelves.

Apparently, there is a race among toy makers for the “Gross-out” title.  There are toys galore that feature snot, boogers, farting, peeing, and even pooping!  What is the deal with the obsession with crap?  I am not talking about cheap, poorly made, waste of money toys although most of these toys certainly are, I am referring to toys that look and feel like real crap, number two, poo, poop, feces, manure, cow-pies, dung, and doo-doo.  Who would have ever thought a “sack of poopoo” would have a major niche in the toy market?  Take a stroll down the toy aisle in Walmart, Toys “R” Us, or shop for toys on Amazon.com, and you will be greeted by dolls that not only pee, but poop; giant noses with finger picking boogers; stuffed pigs that fart; and dogs that  poo and come with pooper scooper accessories.  I am not completely naïve; I fully understand boys twelve and under have always been fascinated with anything gross, but when did sweet little girls take up that banner?  I can’t imagine why anyone, parents, grandparents, or toy makers, would want to teach our sweet little darlings that cleaning poop is fun!

There are those who claim lifelike dolls with life functions teach children to be responsible caring adults and parents.  According to their reasoning, such toys provide children with life experiences.  That is all well and good, but some life experiences are better left for later in life.  Maybe, it’s my weak stomach, but in my opinion, cleaning poop from a baby’s bottom is one of those life experiences we can spare nine and ten-year-old girls without fear of psychological scarring.  I don’t think I am wrong when I say cleaning a dirty diaper is a shitty experience regardless how devoted and loving you are as a parent.  While I don’t totally disagree with the responsibility angle, for me, a pooping doll is like putting anatomically correct parts on Ken and Barbie.  Ken doesn’t need a penis, nor does Barbie need a vagina for boys and girls to pretend they are boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife.  Why teach children love is dependent on physical grappling?  Likewise, why teach children cleaning poop is one of the pleasures of parenthood?  The imagination is a wonderful place for boys and girls to dwell, so why destroy it with too much realism?

With many of the toys on the shelf this Christmas, there is a thin line between being an educational toy and a toy simply geared to rectal sensationalism.   The grosser the toy the more popular!  If it hangs from the nose or pops out the bottom, it is fun stuff.  Unfortunately, gross appears to have no boundaries.  There are also poo shaped and colored pillows for those who have always had a hankering to cuddle next to or lay their heads on an incredibly plush fiber or down filled turd.  What will they come up with next?  Poo shaped highway signage?

I don’t know where this trend goes from here, but I am sure, the grosser it gets, the better kids will like it.  But, as a grandparent, that is not my problem.  It is not grandpa and grandma’s responsibility to dig the grandkids out of the gutter; that’s mom and dad’s job.  A grandparent’s job is to spoil them rotten, which includes buying them all the slime, guts, and rubber poo they think they need.  Therefore, this Christmas, I plan to visit Amazon.com, Toys “R” Us, and Walmart, and buy the grossest games and toys I can find for my grandkids.  I don’t care about the life experience the game provides, or if it has educational value, as long as it makes them laugh.  I might not get grandparent of the year, but hearing them laugh is all the reward I need.  Laughter is what childhood is all about even if it takes a little plastic fecal matter and nasal slime to help it happen.

So, for those adults who have a touch of a child in their heart, a spark of the rebel in their soul, and love to hear children laugh, I invite you to look at my grandkids’ Christmas list.  It might not be wholesome; it may even be the grossest Christmas list ever compiled by kids, but if a doll with a greasy runny diaper will get me a hug and laughter for Christmas, you can bet a roll of toilet paper, I am all in!  There is little doubt, the toys on the list will bring smiles and laughter to the little ones, but I would not be surprised if those toys, as gross as they are, tickle the kid in adults as well.  Even the clogged hearts of constipated Grinches and Scrooges stand to be softened by the sight of a stuffed turd ornament on a Christmas tree; after all, it seems miracles come in brown this year.

Merry Christmas, and happy shopping!  Remember, the grossest thing of all is a world, especially a Christmas, without laughter.

Santa’s Grossest Christmas List

The perfect Christmas gift list for kids and adults who love to laugh.

Doggie Doo                Best Price:      $25.89 at Amazon.com

The perfect game to train your kids to clean up after the family dog that you can’t house-break!

 Who Tooted               Best Price:      $29.99 at Amazon.com

Great practice for those long family trips in the car!

Gooey Louie              Best Price:       $19.59 at Amazon.com

This game is the perfect consolation for those people who were disappointed to discover the History Channel’s “American Pickers” was not about booger harvesting.

Poopyhead                 Best Price:      $16.95 at Amazon.com

As in real life, everyone gets crapped on, but the winner is the one who gets pooped on the least.

Gas Out                      Best Price:      $10.49 at Amazon.com

Fast action farting fun!  The perfect tooting game without the smell.

Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise             Best Price:      $149.99 at Amazon.com

There are probably much cheaper ways to play with pooping babies, but for those folks who go to sleep at night dreaming of finding surprises in dirty diapers, this doll is a sure bet to tickle their fancy.

Baby Alive Super Snacks Snackin Sara     Best Price:      $49.99 at Amazon.com

This baby poops in her diaper after she is fed!  Just like a real baby the cycle never ends – feed and poop and clean mess, feed and poop and clean mess, feed and poop and clean mess.  What fun!

PooPen                       Best Price:      $4.68 at Amazon.com

Adds new meaning to crappy writing.

The Farting Animal Coloring Activity Book       Best Price:    $5.95 at Amazon.com

Kids learn all things toot even fuzzy kittens and mom!

Farting Santa            Best Price:      $14.99 at Amazon.com

This little guy is in my personal collection!  Pull his finger and it is easy to see how Santa is propelled up a chimney.

Poop Christmas Tree Hanging Ornament          Best Price:     $11.95 at Amazon.com

A smiling pile of poo for your Christmas tree!  Nothing says Christmas like a poo ornament on your tree.

Happy shopping!  This Christmas brown is the new green.

Merry Christmas!

JL

©Jack Linton, December 9, 2017

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Today’s Teachers vs The Way It was Back Then

Public education in Mississippi, in the United States, is a dead horse many politicians and a large faction of the public refuse to stop beating.  By underfunding public schools, shifting support to charter and private schools, and openly bashing teachers for everything from poor test scores to the spiritual collapse of the nation, public school haters have effectively beaten public education and its supporters into submission, yet, they refuse to unsaddle the dead horse and move on.  There are others they could pick on, such as themselves, for the less than satisfactory conditions in education and society.  Lack of political and public support for underfunded, underappreciated, and undervalued public schools is well documented, but villainizing public educators is far easier than sharing responsibility.

Sitting astride their decomposing steed, they reminisce about their glory days in school.  They recall the “good old days” when public schools were home to superhero teachers, angelic students, apple pie baking moms in lacy aprons, uncompromising no-nonsense dads, and principals welding a board of education nicknamed “Old Hickory.”  These buckaroos worship at the alter of “The Way it was Back Then” –  a time when there were no bad teachers, kids were only mischievously delinquent, and Coca-Cola miraculously taught the world to sing in perfect harmony amid fields of butterflies flitting under skies painted with candy striped rainbows.  If you listen to the saddle busters, the world and everything about it was cool and perfect in the “The Way it was Back Then” until public schools kicked prayer out the school house door and messed up everything.

I lived and taught school in “The Way it was Back Then,” but the world singing in perfect harmony and mischievous innocents somehow escaped me.  Yes, over time, prayer became less conspicuous in public schools, but only after it disappeared from most homes.  Granted, there were many good teachers back then, but no more than there are today.  Forty years ago, you were considered a good teacher if you kept a low profile and did not bother anyone, and no one was bothered by you.  If you left parents alone, and never troubled them about their child’s behavior or grades, you were a good teacher.  You were a good teacher if you did not send discipline referrals to the principal’s office, and if you were popular with all your students, you were considered the best of the best teachers.  Little has changed over forty years, teachers still get brownie points for all the above, but today, in the era of accountability, it is much harder for a teacher to be considered good just by laying low out of the principal’s hair.

In a profession where every Joe on the street believes he can do it better, and political and education gurus who haven’t been in a classroom in years, if ever, dictate how to educate kids, today’s teachers must be better than good; they are expected to be perfect.  They must have the thick hide of a rhinoceros to withstand twisted evidence they are the problem rather than the solution; they must hold their tongue when factors beyond their control such as poverty, inadequate funding, and apathy in the home toward education are left out of the student failure equation; and they must cower before an accountability system that has become more about judging and dismissing teachers than assessing the strengths and weaknesses of student knowledge.  The result is public school educators feel so negatively stigmatized and traumatized they are fleeing the teaching ranks in droves.  Forget about recruiting new blood!  Why would a bright, energetic, young person with compassion for children want to be a part of a profession in which teachers are expected to be mechanical in their approach to learning, unquestioning before the data gods, submissive to political whims, and tied to research that often is only given the light of day if it is convenient and relevant to the ideology of the status quo.  In an era, where selective evidence is used to undermine teacher quality, turn teachers into scapegoats, prescribe quick fixes, and look at school reform as a process rather than a cultural change, it is a true miracle the American public-school teacher has yet to be added to the nation’s extinction list.

I say these things not to be negative, but to illustrate teaching is not for the faint of heart.  Even the best teachers I worked with during the “The Way it was Back Then” would not have stayed in the profession more than a year or two if they had been subjected to the distrust and lack of respect today’s teachers face.  Also, today, teachers never have a moment of peace from change.  They are subjected to change with every new fad, book, article, or political agenda.  Of course, change is not all bad, but when it occurs solely for the sake of change itself, to sell books, or is politically motivated, it can be frustrating and even demeaning.  Who can blame teachers for rolling their eyes and thinking “this too shall pass” when presented the latest, greatest ideas or programs?

Today, other than change, the only constants in the life of teachers are cutting corners to make financial ends meet for their families, providing parenting in the classroom for kids who don’t get it at home, bringing their “A Game” to class every day regardless of the cards they have been dealt professionally and personally, and being unappreciated and ridiculed for their efforts.  Teachers are not perfect.  However, they do not deserve to be unfairly judged and persecuted, especially for those things over which they have little or no control.  Contrary, to popular misconceptions, teachers are human, and occasionally, they deserve a break as well as a little TLC!

The good news is teachers, with few exceptions, are making a difference in the lives of their students.  They sacrifice, jump through hoops, dance sideways, do cartwheels, do whatever it takes to help students learn and become responsible citizens, and they do so despite a never lifting veil of distrust.  The cynicism against public schools is sad since so much of it is the result of perceptions caused by clueless negative hearsay.  Most school naysayers do not have an inkling as to what goes on in public schools; how could they?  With few exceptions, they have not set foot in a public school or any other school since they were high school students themselves.  Before anyone gives a blanket condemnation of public schools, it would be nice if they first visited one to see for themselves rather than blindly accept scuttlebutt and data that fails miserably to tell the whole story.  Yes, there is work to be done in public schools, the same as there is in private and charter schools as well as any other institution that depends on the human element for success; however, I am confident if the naysayers would put political and personal agendas aside for a closer look, they would be less likely to condemn public schools as a whole.

I taught school during “The Way it was Back Then,” and I will tell anyone who will listen, teachers have come a long way, baby, and the best is yet to come!  The challenges will not dwindle and go away; if anything, they will continue to grow, but the overall quality and resiliency of today’s teachers give hope the challenges will be recognized, addressed, and eventually rectified.  When it comes to quality teaching for all children, forty years ago was not the “good ole days” as so many seem to believe.  We are living the good days; thanks to better prepared, knowledgeable, caring teachers.

There are more challenges to educating children than ever before, but the number of teachers with the knowledge and skills to address those challenges are as great, probably greater, than any time in our history.  Therefore, my advice to everyone – teachers, parents, administrators, politicians, and the public –  is don’t look back; keep your eyes on the future.  Overall, we have good teachers in the driver’s seat, and if we hold on to them, support them, and don’t rock the boat every time there’s an uncomfortable swell, they will get our children and grandchildren safely to their tomorrow.  However, we must be willing to give them a chance, and not desert them to wolves with agendas other than doing what is right for children.  Although the current mindset toward public school education, it should be clear by now, you cannot beat a good horse to death, and expect to ride it to victory in the race.

JL

©Jack Linton, December 1, 2017

10 Ways to Focus on Family this Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving take the holiday back, and make it a truly special day.  For a little while put aside the chaos in the world, the shopping blitzes, and the everyday drama, and concentrate on who and what truly matters in your life.  Focus on family and friends.  Make them the only focus of your day.  In the complex world in which we live, the competition for our attention is brutal.  With television, cell phones, and other devices designed to make our lives easier and bring us closer, we have never been further apart, especially families.  We have lost touch with who we are, and what we are about.

Therefore, to help make this the best Thanksgiving ever, and help focus on what really matters, ten ways to focus on family this Thanksgiving are listed below.  The strategies are not magic, but one or more might bring magic back into your life, so give them a try, and see what happens:

  1. Turn off the world and concentrate on family and friends! For one day, refuse to think of the world, and think only about family;
  2. Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade! Better, watch the faces of the kids watching it;
  3. Shut down Facebook! Take a break from the drama;
  4. Shut down tweeting! For one day, pay attention to those around you;
  5. Turn off the news! Instead, catch up with news about family and friends;
  6. Turn off the television! Put on some music and dance, or play a game with the kids;
  7. Turn off your cell phone! Use it only to talk with distant loved ones;
  8. Forget the diet, and stuff yourself! Honor the turkey’s sacrifice;
  9. Watch a holiday movie, or nap, or eat some more turkey! Just visit; and
  10. Give thanks for your blessings! Invite everyone to share a blessing.

No, it is not magic, but more than ever before, focus on family is what we need in our lives.  Give it a try; God might surprise you with another blessing.  Happy Thanksgiving, and may God bless you and your family.

JL

©Jack Linton, November 22, 2017

The Great Halloween Sleepover

One of my favorite days of the year is finally here – THE GREAT HALLOWEEN SLEEPOVER!  Every Halloween Wicked Mawmaw and Diabolical Pawpaw (yours truly!) host the grandgoblins for a night of food, candy, scary movies, food, candy, and more candy.  The goal is to deprive them of sleep by showing scary movies all night, stuff them with pizza and hot dogs, let them eat all the candy and popcorn they want, and come morning, send them home to their parents sleep deprived and cranked up on sugar.  Could a night be more fun and diabolical?

It’s an all night rug-rat party!  From 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the grandgoblins rule the roost.  The rules are simple.  They are forbidden to bite or maim each other, they cannot sit in Diabolical Pawpaw’s chair unless they are curled up in his lap, they cannot go outside and torture the animals, they are forbidden to tinkle on the floor in the bath of horrors, but most of all, they are required to have a good time.  Parents can come, but they are not welcome if they are picky about how much pizza, hot dogs, and candy their child eats; worried about their child getting sticky, wet, or egged; or they are a stickler for their child getting a good night’s rest.  This night belongs to the kids and the grandparents.  However, Wicked Mawmaw and I are not insensitive to the parents; we do provide each child with a barf bag.

The event kicks off with the Witches Pit of Fire complete with ghost stories and roasted ghost droppings.  From there, it is twelve hours of non-stop mayhem.  Movies to make your flesh crawl, things that go crash in the night, boogeymen hiding behind doors, and bloated tummies are the norm.  There is plenty of Diabolical Pawpaw’s Atomic Fallout Popcorn to munch on during the movies, and in between there is the highlight of the evening – Wicked Mawmaw’s Oven Dung Cookies!  She was lucky to get them baked this year before the yellow tape went up around the oven.  We are not sure if the tape marks a crime scene for another half-baked goblin, or if it simply restricts access to the oven as it undergoes conversion to a crematorium.

I can’t wait until Friday night!  I have filed the dog’s toenails, painted the cat black, invited the most detestable goons and goblins, sawdust has been poured on the floor, and special guest appearances by childhood’s greatest nightmares have been arranged.  The setting is set for the perfect night of fright.  I can already hear the screams – oh what music to my ears!

Halloween Sleepover Announcement-1

©Jack Linton, October 26, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Have a Great Day, Do these 10 Things

Everyone wakes up hoping to have a great day, but unfortunately, too many people do not have a clue how to make it happen.  The quality of their day is left to chance, luck, or placed in someone else’s hands.  Fortunately, having a great day, every day, is not difficult, especially, if you take responsibility for your happiness and DO the following:

  1. START your day by looking in the mirror. Take a deep breath, stick out your tongue at what you see, wink at who you see, wiggle your ears, laugh at what you see, but most of all, thank God you have eyes to see, a tongue to stick out, ears to wiggle, and a chance to breathe another day.  Do not despair about yourself – you are the best you have;
  2. DRESS like you are proud to be alive: wear deodorant, wear clean clothes, comb your hair, and brush your teeth before you leave your house;
  3. RELAX and take the day as it comes.  Do not try to conform the day to your desires.  Slow down!  There are no instant replays or do overs in life, so make the best of every moment, and do not take your one shot at living for granted;
  4. READ at least thirty minutes; seek to learn something new;
  5. COMMIT to three good turns – one for family, one for someone you don’t know, and one for yourself;
  6. DO at least one thing you don’t want to do;
  7. BE silly!  Do something completely off the wall and different for you.  Do not be afraid to be happy and enjoy life; you have earned it, and deserve it!  Laugh!  God did not put you on earth to be sad and create gloom.  He put you here because he believed you make the world a better place to live;
  8. TELL at least one person you love him/her;
  9. TREAT yourself! At the end of the day, if you have accomplished everything on this list, treat yourself to your favorite ice cream and toppings in front of the mirror, if you completed at least six items on the list, smile in the mirror and give yourself thumbs up, if you accomplished less than six, but gave it your best, stand in front of the mirror and pat yourself on the back.  Why stand in front of the mirror to treat yourself?  So, you get accustomed to what a happy person looks like!
  10. GIVE thanks! At the end of the day, thank God for his blessings, and before you sign-off, do not forget to tell God you are ready for tomorrow if he is willing and will walk with you.

For those willing to take responsibility for their happiness, post this list on your bathroom mirror and on the refrigerator.  Use the list daily!  Your happiness begins with you, so give yourself permission to be happy, and see what happens.  Put yesterday to bed, and before you worry about tomorrow, live the life out of today;

JL

©Jack Linton, October 19, 2017

American Gun Control:  The Lottery that Kills

There are those who say events such as the mass murder in Las Vegas this past week are random acts of violence carried out by sick individuals cloaked in evil.  They say there is no way to stop such violence or predict when or where such horrific events will take place since it is governed by the haphazardness of diabolical thinking.  It is like predicting a lottery – impossible.  As in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” these tragic events have become a recurrence in our lives where the only winning ticket is a losing ticket.  The crazies hold that losing ticket, and the only defense decent people have is to pray the crazies strike somewhere far away from them and their loved ones.

In the “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson dramatizes the permissiveness of society to permit pointless violence and cruelty.  In her story, she portrays the people of a small community as blind followers in the inhumane stoning of a fellow villager.  They demonstrate little regard for consequences as long as they are not the one stoned.  The same permissiveness could just as well be written about our society’s response to the pointless violence and inhumanity we have seen in such places as Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Las Vegas.  As a nation, we cringe at the horror, but like the villagers in “The Lottery,” we are reluctant to do anything about it.  Truly saddened for those who lost their lives or loved ones, we pray for the victims, then turn away thankful it did not happen to us or our loved ones, and go back to leading our lives as if it could never happen to us.  Across the country, we condemn the act, but speak cautiously of corrective actions for fear of offending those who think differently about the issue.  Our inability to address the issue is the very permissiveness Jackson speaks to in her short story.

As a nation, we loathe the violence, but we are politically and helplessly insecure to stop it.  Politicians reside in the pockets of the stone lobbyists, they keep quiet for fear of political consequences at the poles, or like so many of the citizens they represent, they embrace a non-wavering interpretation of an amendment never intended to put Americans in jeopardy.  Many citizens stand opposed to common sense solutions out of personal insecurities that the government can’t protect them, and criminals will have all the stones and they will not.  As a result, the nation lives in constant dread of mass violence, not knowing which city, town, or village might be its next victim.  The bottom line is too many Americans ignore the connection between their continued inaction and inability to address the mass violence issue and the body count of those ungodly attacks on America.

Too many oppose removing the tools of carnage.  They shy away from taking the stone from the assassin’s hand reasoning he will simply replace it with a stick or gravel, and the carnage will continue.   They ignore that the stone allows the killer to maximize casualties, which is the very reason mass killers choose stones to carry out their attacks and not gravel or sticks.  Their argument always disintegrates to stones don’t kill people, people kill people, and they have a point, so in the name of humanity, the aim of society should be to rid itself of both stones and killers and not quibble about which is eradicated first.  Granted, a citizenry without stones will not cure the crazy problem, but it will serve to make the madness less deadly.

Having been raised in the South, I grew up with guns, and I believe strongly in my Second Amendment right to own firearms for sport and protection.  However, I do not believe there is any common-sense reason why any citizen should possess military style weaponry designed for one purpose – to kill people.  Those weapons belong only in the capable hands of the military and law enforcement.  If all citizens were blessed with common-sense, a sense of morality, and a sane mind, I might think otherwise, but that is not the case.  At present, it is far too easy for the crazies to get their hands on high powered military style weapons, and that needs to change immediately.

Unfortunately, right now, we are at the mercy of a killing lottery run by the crazies and condoned by our inaction.  They control when, where, and the extent of the bloodshed they inflict.  In the name of common-sense, the loved ones who have been massacred, and those who will be slaughtered unless we do something to drastically reduce the ability of maniacs to wage war on innocent men, women, and children, it is time we placed lives above politics, money, and personal insecurities.  In an interview, Shirley Jackson said, “I hoped to shock the story’s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.”  I wonder what graphic dramatization of pointless violence and inhumanity it will take to shock our nation.  It does not appear the bloodshed at Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, or Las Vegas has been horrific enough to put an end to the insane bloody lottery game we are playing.

JL

©Jack Linton, October 8, 2017

Successful People: Simply Put

What does it take to be successful?  That is a subjective question that can vary based on individual definitions of success.  In the United States, a successful life almost exclusively equates to an efficacious and prestigious career even though there are many other factors, such as family and community, that are just as important.  Unfortunately, in our society, most people measure success only by the size of their paycheck and bank account.  In the eyes of many, if you have money, you are successful, and if you don’t, you are a failure.  Nothing could be further from the truth, but you would be hard pressed to convince most Americans that accumulation of wealth is not the ultimate success story.  People believe want they want to believe, and for the most part, they want to believe money will resolve all their problems.

When it comes to success, a major problem in America is we spend more time identifying success and dreaming about it than we do doing something about it.  We fail miserably at applying action to our dreams and goals.  As a result, we are a nation of dreamers rather than doers.  We are a nation filled with blamers rather than achievers.  It is always someone else’s fault when we fail.  However, the truth behind our failure primarily lies in our inability to apply basic principles of success to our lives.

Regardless of the goal or end game, when it comes to success, there are common principles that directly impact our lives.  Whether you are a successful billionaire business person or a common Joe doing your best to provide for your family and keep your head above water, the basic principles for success apply to every one of us.  Yet, too many people are not aware of such principles, or they ignore them.  As a result, a roadblock to the success so many hard-working individuals deserve is created.  That is a shame since the principles are so simple to put into action.

Principles for Success

  1. Success is hard work! Even for the people who make it look easy, it is a sure bet they have worked hard to be successful and work even harder to maintain that success.  They know their end goal, prepare to accomplish that goal, and stay focused on the goal until it becomes their reality.

Simply Put:

 Successful people are goal oriented

and focus on success;

  1. The only action that has ever led to long term success is commitment. If you expect success and expect to maintain it, you must commit yourself to success.  You cannot talk about your dreams and goals occasionally and expect anything to happen.  Doing something worthwhile well takes more than talk; it takes action!  Dreams take action that result in sweat, which leads to success.  Hoping, dreaming, and even praying for success is a gamble.  If you want to increase the odds for success in your life, you must commit to give legs to your hopes, dreams, and prayers.

Simply Put:

Successful people get off their butt

and work for success;  

  1. Be your biggest cheerleader! No one will believe in you until you believe in yourself.  If you say, I can’t do that – you can’t, or if you say, I am not good enough – you aren’t.  Over time, if you say enough negative things about yourself, people will begin to believe those things about you.  By human nature, people will believe negatives quicker than they believe positives, so never sell yourself short around other people.  Sometimes, you may need to fake it until you make it, but that is okay if you maintain an image of confidence and remain steadfast to the accomplishment of your goals.  Always remember, your success depends on how you think about yourself, and the image others have of you.

Simply Put:

       Successful people celebrate themselves,

       especially in the presence of others;

  1. Quit making excuses! With few exceptions, you did not make the team or get the job because people didn’t like you.  You were rejected because you were not very good or others were better than you.  You have the power to change “not very good” by practicing every day to be better than you were yesterday.  To be successful, you must work to get better, or you can take the easy road and prop yourself up with excuses and self-pity and whine your life away.

Simply Put:

      Successful people do not spend valuable

     time making excuses or whining;

  1. Expectations are often a self-fulfilling prophecy. Always expect great things of yourself and those around you.  Keep your standards high!  To help with your journey, march with people with high standards.  Never, ever, lower your expectations or standards for anyone.  Avoid those who think your ambitions and goals are too lofty.  Expect great things of yourself and expect great things will happen in return.  Believing in yourself, dreaming big, applying a lot of elbow grease, and surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and have skills you may lack will slay most any demon or dragon you face.

Simply Put:

    Successful people refuse to lower their standards and surround

themselves with skilled people who believe in them;

  1. Don’t worry if someone sees you dance! When it comes to life, we all have two left feet, so don’t worry about it.  Concentrate on the music.

Simply Put:

Successful people don’t stay in the shadows;

they put themselves out there;

  1. Don’t worry about the mistakes you have made or may make in the future. If you must worry, be concerned for the opportunities you missed while worrying you might make a mistake.  Opportunity does not always knock twice.

Simply Put:

   Successful people don’t worry about bruises. 

   They take a licking and keep on trekking toward their goals;

  1. When confronted by an idiot or someone who wants nothing more than to bring you down, always respond with “Bless your heart” and walk away.

Simply Put:

Successful people do not waste time on bad or hot air;

  1. A sure way to ensure failure or maintain mediocrity is to remain in your comfort zone. To be successful, you must be willing to occasionally get the hell scared out of you.  Taking chances is the norm for successful people.

Simply Put:

     Successful people are not afraid to scream and stand up to their fears.

   They take chances;

  1. Remember this about success! Most people are not concerned with your success.  If you are lucky, on your most successful day, 20% of the people will support you, 10% will do everything within their power to cut your throat or discredit you, and the remaining 70% could care less one way or the other as long as you leave them alone.  Therefore, seeking 100% or even a simple majority buy-in to try to please everybody is a sure bet for failure.

Simply Put:

       Successful people have the courage to stand alone.  They work hard

       to bring everyone on board, but not at the expense of their goals.

Definitions or interpretations of success will vary from person to person, but achieving success is the result of one thing and one thing only – action.  You can dream, hope, and pray for success, but if that is all you do, your chances of success will be very slim.  Although luck and miracles happen, depending on either to make you successful is like buying a lottery ticket – the odds are not in your favor.  Success is a personal commitment to being prepared when the door of opportunity opens, and by practicing the ten principles presented above, the door to opportunity is more likely to open wider and more often.

Simply Put:

Your success in this world falls directly in your lap.  No one can succeed for you.  The ball is in your court, so pick it up and do something with it.  You cannot score unless you shoot the ball.  Shoot and keep shooting until you make the shot, and once you have made the shot, keep shooting to make the second shot.  Never, ever stop shooting.  Life is about playing offense!  As long as you control the ball, you can’t lose!

JL

© Jack Linton, September 29, 2017