Imagine a world ruled by the 5Rs of Absolute Success: respect, responsibility, recognition, renewal, and resilience. Wouldn’t that be something? Imagine a place where respect for oneself and others was supreme, where responsibility and taking care of one’s assignments ruled the day, where success was accepted and embraced, where renewal and rebirthing were integral parts of lived experience, and where resilience and the ability to return to the norm of our existence from the basement of our challenges and the heights of success were acknowledged and celebrated.
Often, I am plagued with concern about how we end the strife and struggle that go on in the lives and environments in which we function. Is there one thing that could be a “game changer”? What could be the one thing that turns the switch from chaos to calm, from failure to success, from desperation to aspiration, in the life of a person, couple, family, community, and the world? I believe that the 5Rs truly allow people to live with greater personal and inter-personal harmony.
So what’s stopping us? In short, we lack courage. Lack of courage is the mature version of fear. Garnering the courage to stand up for ourselves and the people we love and care for requires that we step outside of our comfort zones to reclaim the voice that may seem stolen but that in reality we have given away. We must reclaim this voice to speak and do what is right.
Let’s look at life’s challenges through the lens of courage and see if its application would make a difference. Major challenges that people face include overcoming poverty, asking someone out for a date, saving money, going back to school, changing eating habits, asking for a promotion, and addressing addiction. It seems as though courage makes all of these goals move from the impossible to the possible.
Courage must be buttressed by humility. We must counter the urge to think and feel that we are better than the next person or the sole purveyor of expertise or knowledge. This belief comes from arrogance. Allowing and inviting others to share our “stage” and experiences, recognizing that there is room for all and no reason to leave anyone behind, is essential to accepting our true mortality and embracing our life’s goal to leave an impactful legacy. We cannot leave a legacy, or have the impact we desire and deserve, if others never understand who we were, what we did, why we did it, how we did it, when we did it, and where we did it. We tend to seek out the crowd when in a challenged situation or state, but we generally want center stage when success or prominence is on the horizon. We must seek to be congruent in all circumstances of our lives and not be misguided by egocentrism and narcissism. Serving the ego has one result-the darkening of our potential. Humility must be omnipresent in our lives. It must be the spotlight we seek to shine on all of our thoughts, actions, and words. It must be a switch we keep on when everyone is watching as well as when no one is watching.
With frequency, we look for something else to solve our challenges. Let us walk forward, seeking to acquire, accept, and maintain courage, humility, respect, responsibility, recognition, renewal, and resilience. Focusing on courage, humility, and the 5Rs will give us the ability to walk toward our destiny rather than retreat into despair.
The 5Rs of Diversity and Living —respect, responsibility, recognition, renewal, and resilience—are universal ingredients of success.
- Respect requires that we genuinely value equality and seek to honor the people, places, and things in our lives.
- Responsibility means taking an interest in understanding our roles and the roles of others by empowering all people to reach their full potential while holding them accountable for their actions and reactions.
- Recognition involves studying and understanding systems and how they operate and seeking to use this knowledge to inspire others to appreciate and recognize the importance of education and knowledge.
- Renewal charges us with the responsibility to seek awareness and understanding of ourselves and others by conducting a candid and courageous inventory to understand. The who, what, where, when, how, and why of our successes and challenges.
- Resilience is a prerequisite for success. A resilient person recognizes that there will be challenges along the path to any goal but appreciates the importance of rising up after these setbacks with a commitment to proceeding differently with a better understanding of what is required to be truly successful.
This guest post is courtesy of Dr. Nat Williams. Orphaned at a young age and a product of the New York City foster home system, Dr. Williams rose from his humble beginnings to earn three masters degrees and a doctorate. Utilizing his experience with the public welfare system, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for helping others, since 1993 he has been the President and CEO of HumanWorks Affiliates, Inc., a cluster of eight corporations focused on human services.