Terry Paulson

“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.” Napoleon Hill said it, and fathers repeat it. You aren't owed a job, a home, healthcare, or the salary you think you're worth. Life is difficult, but be thankful you live where you're free to pursue your dreams and enjoy the successes you earn.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only things left by those that hustled.” Lincoln's advice makes no room for excuses. Get busy today starting your own business or taking any job you can get. Stop waiting for the "right" job. Start working for what you can get, and then prove you're worth more.

“Where there's a will there's a way.” Whether you can or can't has less to do with the obstacles in your way. It has a lot more to do with your attitude, your actions, and how resourceful you are in bouncing back from setbacks to find a way around, over, or through the obstacles in your way. Easy doesn't do it in any economy.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Milton Friedman said it first. You think the rich are the only ones paying more taxes. Be real. When forced to pay more, they just pass those "taxes" on to you in the form of higher costs.

“You made your bed, so you must lie in it.” Personal responsibility is all about experiencing the natural consequences for your own choices. Victor Frankel observed that we need a Statue of Responsibility on the West coast to match our Statue of Liberty on the East coast. When you protect people from natural consequences, you do them no favors. Let people earn and learn from their successes and their failures. Entitlements promote dependency not maturity.

“Laws are never as effective as habits.” Good advice Adlai Stevenson. The volumes of regulations generated to protect us from ourselves just limit our freedoms and increase the costs involved in implementing, controlling and enforcing the laws they create. Stop making new laws and regulations to deal with the "irresponsible few" that end up punishing the "responsible many."

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Lincoln said it, but more Americans need to live it. You can choose your attitude in any situation. Instead of waiting for a good day to come your way, make it a good day every day by making the best of the hand you're dealt.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt said it and lived it. God doesn’t create junk! Find your gifts and work to be the best you can be! Stop worrying about what others say. The best revenge is being successful anyway. What you do to hold yourself back is far more critical to your success than the opinions of others.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy's admonition ought to be every American's responsibility. We have too many people thinking nothing about what they can do for America while expecting government to do everything for them whether they've earned it or not. People wanting to contribute their best is what made America great. May it again be so.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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