He was sent to military school at the age of fourteen.
- He did not make it there, because his real passion was hunting and drawing birds.
- At eighteen, his father and family moved to the United States.
- He had an abysmal career in business. His business partner possessed tenacity for trade, but this man of our story preferred to roam and hunt. In the end, the business went bottom up, and he had to sell his wife's share of her wealthy family's estate to pay off creditors.
- Finally, his partner bought out his share of the business, and our character went in search of another opportunity, never thinking that his affinity for shooting, mounting, and drawing birds would be a serious vocation.
- Over the next 10 years, he failed in business after business, but by 1819, he was bankrupt.
- Necessity forced him to utilize his 'hobby' of hunting birds to put food on the table. He also sold his bird drawings on commission to bring in money.
- Finally, in 1820, this gentleman had a 'big idea' to paint beautiful, detailed pictures with detailed research which became a masterpiece all over Europe and the United Stated.
- His name? John James Audubon, founder of the Audubon Society. His book finally gave him financial security, and a legacy that extended far beyond his lifetime
John Maxwell, in his book, Failing Forward, dissects this story, and comes up with a simple process that can help you from spinning out on the track to moving forward with new energy, vitality, and purpose.
- See Yourself Clearly. Garry Marshall, a very successful television producer (of such shows as Laverne and Shirley, the Odd Couple, and the movie Pretty Woman, also produced many failed shows before succeeding). "Most people try to beat down their flaws or deny them altogether. I've found it best to say, 'Here are my flaws. Now I have to find something I'm good at.' Don't use your flaws as an excuse to quit. Move forward or sideways."
- Admit Your Flaws Honestly. You must take responsibility for your actions. You must also take responsibility for who you are as a person. That means owning up to what you are not good at (based on skill), should not do (based on talent), and ought not to do (based on character).
- Discover Your Strengths Joyfully. No one ever achieved her dreams working outside her areas of gifting, talent, and motivation. To excel, do what you do well.
- Build on Your Strengths Passionately. Like Audubon, you will improve only if you enthusiastically develop your God-given abilities. To reach your Tomorrow's potential, you must commit to growth Today. As Ghandi stated, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
- Take inventory of your weaknesses, through your personal observations, listening to the observations of those closest to you (listen with an open and humble mind), and listening to the observations of other people. Write these weaknesses down. If they fall into the category of an attitude or character flaw, work with a close friend for the accountability to change that pattern. If the weakness you listed has to do with an absence of talent or skill, you may need to assess whether you need to shift your work toward working with your strengths, or whether you need to make a plan to gain the skill sets you need to compensate for those weaknesses.
- Take an inventory of your strengths, again through your personal observations, listening to the observations of those closest to you (listen with an open and humble mind), and listening to the observations of other people.
- Write down your strengths under these categories: giftedness, skills, opportunities, resources.
Develop a plan to both correct and minimize your weaknesses, and to build passionately upon and expand your strengths.
Change Your World, and Your Whole World Changes!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3924434 (I'm the author :)
photo credit: kimrose