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Roger’s tips: When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Roger Eichelberger

Dale Carnegie knew what it meant to fight the odds. As a young person, and as a junior in college, “he was struggling against many odds. His family was poor…. Study had to be done between his farm chores. He withdrew from many school activities because be didn’t have the time or the clothes.”

Dale Carnegie did not give up. He “knew he could do anything he wanted to do.…” Dale Carnegie fought the odds and knew what it meant to tough it out.

He went on to publish several books. One of them which stands out in my mind is entitled How to Win Friends and Influence People. “More than two decades after it’s publication, it ‘was’ still selling over 250,000 copies a year and ‘had’ topped the 5,000,000 figure.”

Another paper back book published later by Carnegie was entitled, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Even though both paper back books were written over 50 years ago, they both have stood the test of time, being incredible books yet today.

Successful people like Dale Carnegie rose to the occasion when they had set their sights on something valuable and dear to their hearts. Contrary to the attitude of the pessimist, the person who trains their mind and senses may achieve more. This becomes a matter of wanting to excel past the expected.

Have you ever heard the statement, “Your attitude is showing?” Webster defines attitude as “1: the arrangement of the parts of the body or figure; Posture” The definition also makes reference to “more at aptitude” which deals with the capacity to learn.

I’ve often thought to myself—“I don’t want to let my attitude get in the way of being able to do better.” Also, if a person does not choose to do more than the bare minimum, maybe nothing more than the minimum will happen. This is not what I call toughing it out. If we’re going to tough it out, we must try to set our sights on reaching our fullest potential.

Following are seven pointers about making tough decisions, suggested by Dr. Barbara Varenhorst, a psychologist, and Daralee Schulman, a career and stress management consultant.

  • “Be aware of how you can’t control the final outcome of a decision,” only the process.
  • “Identify your wants and needs” in the beginning.
  • Rank your needs even if some are contradictory while asking yourself, “Which would I choose?”
  • “Gather all the information” you need to make a decision such as “alternatives, consequences, advantages, and disadvantages,” and please don’t let your emotions get involved.
  • “Determine how much of a risk you’re willing to take.” Choose the strategy that is the safest. Which one has the highest odds of success with the best outcome?
  • “Eliminate any option” which might be hard to live with later.
  • “Picture how you would deal with negative consequences.”

From the book JOB and LIFE OPPORTUNITIE$: MOVING UP by Roger Eichelberger of Hesston which can be purchased at Faith & Life Bookstore.