PICK YOURSELF UP: Napoleon Hill's Wisdom to Get What You Want in Life

Regardless of whether you're distraught or jubilant about the state of the world or the outcome of the US elections, you may be asking "What's next?" Where should I go from here? These same questions are relevant when your business or life is at a crossroads, you have accomplished the purpose at hand, or you're getting ready to set next year's strategic direction.

That's Life

Perhaps you'll find guidance, as I do, from Frank Sinatra in his song, That's Life. Here's a useful interpretation of the song with seven key lessons. As Frank says, "Pick yourself up and get back in the race!"

Think and Grow Rich

In times of change, it's even more important to discern what your values are, to reaffirm your passionate purpose, and take action to accomplish it. Consider the wisdom of Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich which is encompassed in my work Pursuit of Passionate Purpose.

KNOW THYSELF. What is meaningful to you? What do you value? What gifts do you have? Nature gave you these tools — everything you need to get what you want. You get rewarded for accepting and using these gifts. You get the opposite if you don't use them.
CLARIFY PASSIONATE PURPOSE. There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose — the knowledge of what you want, and a burning desire to possess it. Write down your purpose. State it daily. One important purpose, Hill recommends, is to have complete harmony with your mate. What is your purpose?
REPEAT. Use repetition. Tell yourself over and over again what you want. Thoughts are things. If you tell yourself enough times, you will believe it, even if it's a lie. The human mind is constantly attracting vibrations which harmonize with that which dominates the mind. Any thought, idea, plan, or purpose which you hold in your mind attracts a host of its relatives, adds those 'relatives' to its own force, and grows until it becomes the dominating, motivating master.
BUILD A FIRE OF DESIRE (or Passion). Any idea, plan, or purpose held in the mind by repetition of thought and emotionalized with burning desire is taken over by the subconscious mind and acted on by all means available.
BELIEVE AND HAVE FAITH. Belief is what Napoleon Hill refers to as faith. Faith is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind. Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
PERSIST. Lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure. It is a weakness that may be overcome by effort. If you find yourself lacking in persistence, this weakness may be remedied by building a stronger fire under your desires.
CREATE A PLAN. Then put it into Action and have fun with the pursuit!


Get back in the race and work to get all that you want. Follow Napoleon Hill's wisdom: know thyself, clarify purpose, repeat positive thoughts, build a fire of desire, believe and have faith, persist, create a plan and put it into action.

copyright Theresa M. Szczurek 2016.  All rights reserved.  www.pursuitofpassionatepurpose.com, www.TMSworld.com, www.RadishSystems.com

OPTIMISIM: Tips to Keep on the Sunny Side of Life

Is it a sunny day?  Regardless of whether there are clouds, rain, or sunshine outside, the answer lies within you.  Successful Passionate Pursuers have Optimism.  They carry a hopeful, upbeat disposition and believe that good prevails. 




My theme in 2015 is “Be a SUNFLOWER.™”  Each letter of the word aligns with one of the traits of successful Passionate Pursuers. O stands for Optimism.  From page 52 of Pursuit of Passionate Purpose, “Norman Vincent Peale in The Power of Positive Thinking popularized and humanized the importance of a can-do outlook using examples of real people. People with a positive attitude carry a hopeful, upbeat disposition with the believe that good ultimately overcomes evil.”




During a week-long meditation retreat in the mountains led by Shinzen Young (www.shinzen.org), I walked the outside labyrinth.  Merriam-Webster defines a labyrinth as a place that has many confusing paths or passages, something that is extremely complicated or difficult to understand.  However http://www.veriditas.org/guidelines has this to say about a spiritual, meditation labyrinth, "The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally.


Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received."


Here are my insights.


  1. Be grateful for those who have helped bring you to where you are now and those who have come this way before, have shown the way, and have tended the path.


  1. Keep going.  Put one foot in front of another.  The journey brings the joys, satisfaction, and learning of life. Sometime it looks like you are so close to the finish, but there may be a long way to go. There may be obstacles along the way, don't let that stop you.


  1. Rest and appreciate.  See the beauty and small, little flowers along life's way.  Hear the birds chirp.  What messages do they bring?  Feel the air with a touch of moisture, notice the dew sparkling in the morning sunlight.  Enjoy the diversity and difference of each stone along the path.


  1. Savor your progress.  Pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished.


  1. Be optimistic.  Just like sunflowers which turn to the sun, raise your face to the light.  Find hope and the bright spots in life's journey. Remember and sing the popular American song, Keep On the Sunny Side



This song was originally written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn (1858–1927) with music by J. Howard Entwisle (1866–1903) and  popularized in a 1928 recording by the Carter Family

There's a dark and a troubled side of life;

There's a bright and a sunny side, too;

Tho' we meet with the darkness and strife,

The sunny side we also may view.


Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,

Keep on the sunny side of life;

It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,

If we keep on the sunny side of life.




Life and work is a spiritual journey, whether you realize it or not.  Similar to walking a labyrinth, have hope as you notice, learn, appreciate, and continue along the way. Keep on the sunny side of life.


Theresa Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com; www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com; www.RadishSystems.com)

copyright 2015 all rights reserved.

THE PHOENIX FACTOR: How to Regenerate When Life Slams a Door Shut

Regenerate. This is the R in Sunflower.  Passionate pursuers, as described in Pursuit of Passionate Purpose, have the SUNFLOWER Traits, whereby each letter aligns with a different characteristic or trait.    


A regenerative nature allows Passionate Pursuers to revive, renew, and produce again despite adversity, setbacks, and obstacles.  With the ability to bounce back, recover readily, and rise from the ashes, they possess the Phoenix Factor just like the unique mythical bird fabled to have lived 500 years or more.  As a process of human development and reinforced in life, generativity is indispensable in all pursuits of passionate purpose.  Such resilience appears to be interdependent with the other SUNFLOWER traits of Self-confidence, Never Quitting, and Optimism.


Frank Sinatra’s hit song ‘That’s Life’ has a meaningful message.  Consider a few of its lines:

That's life (that's life), I tell you I can't deny it
I thought of quitting, baby, but my heart just ain't  gonna buy it

I've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing

Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

Politicians, the ones that survive, know how to regenerate.  Consider Hillary Clinton.  Right after she lost the Democrat bid for the US presidency, she picked herself up and supported the Obama for President race. Then after he won, Hillary served on his cabinet as the Secretary of State.  Phoenix must be her middle name.


Practical Pointers to Regenerate.


  1. Pause. Take a break to recharge.  Be kind to yourself.
  2. Reconnect with your passion.  What is meaningful to you?  How can living true to your values and working to make a contribution reenergize you.
  3. Surround Yourself with Proper People.   “Read about and listen to other people who have successfully moved beyond difficult situations,” says Josephine Heath, president of The Community Foundation serving BoulderCounty.  If they did it, so can you.
  4. Follow the Phoenix Factor.  Believe and act.  Regenerate and rise from the ashes.




Yep, Frank Sinatra knew what all successful people know.  There will be difficult times – that’s life.  The winners don’t let that stop them.  They may take a break to recharge and connect with their passions.  Then they rise again with resilience and get back in the race.


Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com; www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com; www.RadishSystems.com)


Do you recall Frank Sinatra’s hit song, “That’s Life?”  Think of his lyrics, ‘pick myself up and get back in the race.’  This youtube video has good advice for all of us (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qh_TKJTPsQ)


Many people would say they are happy that 2009 is behind them, that last year was a challenging time.  How can you ensure 2010 is not a repeat of 2009 but much better with business growth?


Believe and Act.  You must believe that it is possible and then take proper, positive actions to make it happen. Every year I select a theme to focus my efforts.  I don’t recall ever choosing the same theme twice, until this year.  “Believe and Act” remains as the theme because this is exactly what is needed to get back in the race. What is your theme this year?


Regenerate.  Recall from my research and book Pursuit of Passionate Purpose that Passionate Pursuers are like sunflowers; thus there is a large bright yellow flower on the book’s cover.  Successful people have the nine traits that align with each letter of the word SUNFLOWER.  R stands for “regenerative.”  They don’t let things keep them down – they rebound.  A regenerative nature allows Passionate Pursuers to revive, renew, and product again despite adversity, setbacks, and obstacles.  Resilience is a common trait of the extremely wealthy; check out my article “How to Think Like a Billionaire” at http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/how-to-think-like-a-billionaire/


Practical Pointers.  Here’s what to do to get back in the race in order to position you and your company for the big win? 


  1. Assess what worked and what did not work last year.  What progress did you make?
  2. Decide to revise your attitude.  You must believe that everything is possible.  Believe, believe, believe that you can pick yourself up and get on top.
  3. Revise your personal and corporate Strategic Plan.  What is your vision for the future – where do you want to go? What actions will get you to where you want to go?  Go back to the basics, yet get creative.
  4. Act.  Then do what you need to do.  Get help and don’t try to do it all alone.


It’s never too late.  Schedule a Strategic Planning session.  Contact me today and let’s explore how to get you back into the race.


Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com and www.RadishSystems.com)


copyright 2010 Theresa M. Szczurek  all rights reserved.


If you slow down enough to be mindful, you might notice and treasure the spirituality of every day life and every day work. What is spirituality? It is connections -- with your self, with other living thngs, to nature, and to the greater spirit. These connections nourish the soul. When asked in my "Pursuit of Passionate Purpose" research study what brings meaning to life. Most people mentioned two things -- contribution and connections. Contribution is what you get from a pursuit of passionate purpose. Connections are deep caring, meaning relationships. They are the spirit of life and the Connections Strategy is one of the six Success Strategies that facilitate forward movement on your journey.

Scott W.Alexander in his book Everyday Spiritual Practice: Simple Pathways for Enriching Your Life encourages intentional, active, and regular practice by engaging the mind, body, heart, will, and soul. How do you engage and connect? Here are some ways to engage.

  • Engage the mind through meditation, prayer, affirmations, journaling, planning, writing, speaking, and silence.

  • Engage the body through exercise, dance, yoga, eating, singing, and other physical activity.

  • Engage the heart through everyday relationships, grieving, parenting, and partnership.

  • Engage the will through recycling, social justice activities, vegetarianism, volunteering, giving, and working toward a cause.

  • Engage the soul through music, cooking, art, gardening, story telling, and meditation.

Passionate purpose optimally engaged your whole self, or spirit, as well as others in the pursuit. The pursuit is consistent with the common myth about the hero's journey. The hero leaves home in service of a worthwhile purpose, encounters obstacles and hindrances, eventually succeeds, and returns home to be of further service. Work and life is our story of living this myth.

What is your spiritual maintenance schedule on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis? Have you, like me, built spirituality through engagement and connections into your personal action plan? This practice can bring the peak performance you seek. Begin now! Believe and Act!

Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com and www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com)


What makes your spirit soar? What makes your heart sing? What makes you feel great? It is helpful to know because you can be more productive, creative, and happy in this state. I find that certain music helps.

Last Sunday at church our congregation sang this song, Let It Be A Dance, by Ric Masten with Mastenville Music. It really lifted my spirit. If you are like me, perhaps it will help you too. It speaks to an attitude and belief that can carry you to greater joy, passion, performance, success.

Chorus: Let it be a dance we do.
May I have this dance with you.
Through the good times and the bad times, too,
let it be a dance.

Let a dancing song be heard.
Play the music, say the words,
and fill the sky with sailing birds.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Learn to follow, learn to lead, feel the rhythm,
fill the need to reap the harvest, plant the seek.
Let it be a dance.


Every body turn and spin,
let your body learn to bend,
and, like a willow with the wind,
let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
A child is born, the old must die,
a time for joy, a time to cry.
Take it as it passes by.


Morning star comes out at night.
without the dark there is no light.
If nothings's wrong, nothing's right.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let the sun shine, let it rain,
share the laughter, bear the pain,
and round and round we go again.
Let it be a dance.


As you embark on this new year, you have a choice. You can choose to trudge on with heavy spirit OR to lightly dance through life with laughter and joy. Why not sing the songs, dance the dances, and pursue the passionate purposes that can carry you, your business, your customers, and others to greatness.

Let it be a dance!

Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com and www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com)