The last week saw the inauguration of a new President. Barack Obama successfully achieved the highest office in the land. Obviously, it was a breakthrough moment on many different levels. I am not sure how long he had the dream of being President of the United States. However, it is something that he successfully pulled off.
As moving as this all is, what is discouraging to me is the message that we are receiving out of our political leadership. The United States, along with the rest of the world, is becoming a nation of bailouts. Personal accountability is being replaced with "we will take care of it". The situation with the states is a prime example. Undisciplined spending over the last few years led to huge financial shortfalls. Now, the taxpayer is expected to bail those in power at the state level out.
While this is a bad foundation to lay, I believe the overall tone is much more damaging. The hidden message is that individuals need not strive to be the best they can be. To me, this is the equivalent of killing someone. If you take away their dreams and potential, what does one have left? They are forced to look to someone else for their support.
My solution to all of our national problems is to teach people self sufficiency. We need to become the very best that we can be. This is more than just a slogan. It is a mindset which, once acquired, will filter into everything that you do. Focusing all our attention on being the best at whatever it is we are presently doing yields tremendous results. The multiplying effect is astounding in a short period of time.
There is no shame in being the best. Muhammad Ali was noted for the saying "I am the greatest". Many took this to mean that he was arrogant and cocky. Perhaps he was. However, to him, it was a prophecy to fulfill. And it was. Ali was the greatest fighter of his era and, arguably, of all time. He certainly was the best that he could be.
Wherever you are at in this moment, strive to be the best. Forget the opinions of others. Many will attack as soon as you start to enjoy the slightest success. That is jealousy starting to arise. Ignore the attempts to tear you down. Our country was made great by individuals creating the very best in their lives. Now is the time to return to that state of mind. It is the only path to long-term success.
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