The #1 Difference Between Success and Failure

tree success-failurePlanted in the same environment with equal resources and opportunity, one tree thrives (succeeds) while one dies (fails).

Since I’m not a treeologist, I can’t explain it. However, when I walk by these starkly contrasting Colorado pines (still keeping those 43 pounds off!), I’m reminded of the difference between people who find success and those who find failure—even when immersed in the same environment.

It’s this:

People who succeed do the things people who fail won’t and don’t do.

Said another way, success is born of engaging repetitively in the right actions. We call them “good habits”—like these:

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The Rough Road Leads to 15 Pearls of Wisdom

Road of wisdom

The expression “You can’t get there from here” is apt for the Miller’s Colorado residence. Sort of.

Though we live on a paved street, it’s impossible to get to our home without driving over a completely neglected, poorly maintained, incredibly lumpy and bumpy dirt and mud road. There’s just no getting around it.

Of course, it’s worth traveling because home is a good place to be.

It occurs to me that our unavoidable patch of rough road is much like growing up—and I don’t mean the obvious growing up that takes place from birth to 20-years-old.

I mean the maturation of our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, beliefs, desires, and needs, as well as our reactions and responses to people and events, that <hopefully> happens from age 20 to, say, 40.

It’s said that youth is wasted on the young, but what about this?:

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Victim Thinking Serves Nobody!

whiny

Ever made statements like these?

  • My kids don’t listen to me. It’s not fair. (Read: Parenting the QBQ Way)
  • The bank sold us a mortgage we couldn’t afford. It’s not fair.
  • I didn’t get the promotion/raise I expected. It’s not fair.
  • Others don’t work as hard as I do. It’s not fair.
  • My boss doesn’t communicate very well. It’s not fair.
  • They cut our benefits. It’s not fair.
  • My staff isn’t motivated. It’s not fair.
  • My co-workers are difficult. It’s not fair.
  • We can’t find people who want to work. It’s not fair.
  • I’m buried in student loans. It’s not fair.
  • The neighbors have a new boat/car/pool. It’s not fair.
  • The referees were awful and we lost the game. It’s not fair.

The truth is, no one is promised “fairness.” Humans make hurtful comments, accidents occur, events take a turn we don’t expect, others are blessed with talents we lack, things happen out of our control.

Sometimes WAY out of our control—like on May 20, 1975 …

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Master Money Manager Millennial Molly

MollyDid you hear our Broncos won Super Bowl 50? Well, the next day there was a scramble for championship jerseys here in Denver. Miller daughter Molly—Child #4 of 7—ran to Dick’s Sporting Goods and grabbed one for hubby, Ricardo.

But it was too small. When she returned it, the jerseys were gone.

So just the other day Molly popped onto eBay and found one. She bid, waited—and got it! Whoo hoo! Her real excitement, though, was evident when she said this:

“And, Dad, I made a profit of $9!”

I chuckled. “Profit”—that’s funny.

Most people might say, “And on eBay it was $9 less”—or something like that. But not Master Money Manager Millennial Molly … Cardenas.

Originally the youngest of four till Karen and I adopted three girls below her in age, and the child who NEVER got a joke growing up, we NEVER thought she’d be the one to someday:

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10 Weight Loss Tips From The Once Fat QBQ! Guy

weight loss

Four years ago today, something yuge happened in my life. Carrying a whopping 195 pounds on my 5’ 6” frame, I walked around the block.

Allow me to define “whopping”: In 1976, as a high school senior, I wrestled in the 132-pound weight class. (a photo and some powerful personal accountability content here)

The reality is, I’d become fat. Yes, fat.

Sadly, the top right April 2012 picture confirms I looked like Elvis in his final days.

But, the day after my walk around the block, I walked to a nearby intersection and back.

Two miles!

I then walked 2 miles the next day, then 3, then 4, and then 5 on some days. Before I knew it, I’d lost 43 pounds—and have kept it off.

I feel a hashtag coming on …

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Work: Still the Right Thing to Do

Easter 2016We had a plan: All 13 Colorado Millers would head to downtown Denver for a special Easter brunch at The Capital Grille. We even thought ahead, securing reservations weeks ago!

On Thursday night, however, child #6 of our seven—age 18—learned she was scheduled to work at King Soopers Marketplace on Easter afternoon. Employed since June, she has worked there throughout her entire high school senior year.

Bummer, though—because nobody wanted her to miss out. We all felt crummy about it.

But, she worked. While the rest of this crazy clan enjoyed food, fellowship, and fun, she did her job.

That’s life.

Sound harsh?

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5 Lessons On Achieving Goals You Can Apply Today

goals, goal setting, success

Over the weekend, while watching the NCAA wrestling tourney on TV, I was reminded of my dad, coach Jimmy MillerServing as Cornell’s head wrestling coach for more than 25 years, he oversaw many young men with intense goals. And many of them found success. During those years, he frequently made two comments about semifinal versus final matches.

One interesting, one wise.

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Personal Accountability: Doing My Job

Do-you-job2I asked our twentysomething daughter, Molly, who has served as captain of soccer and basketball teams, “Molly, in your opinion, what makes an effective team?” I was honestly just curious what she’d say; it wasn’t like I was doing book research! But I loved her answer: “Everyone taking care of their own stuff, Dad. Everybody working hard at doing their job.”

Perfect. So her outstanding thought went into Outstanding! in the “Work!” chapter.

Can you imagine responding to Incorrect Questions (“IQ” vs. “QBQ” tutorial) with Molly’s simple message? A message that is succinctly stated in the photo above, taken by her thirtysomething sister, Kristin, when in New Orleans to speak on QBQ!

These three words may not seem very “politically correct” to you; maybe they even seem harsh, cold, and callous. But let me paint a picture that might help:

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12 Thoughts Achievers Think

Rock John2

As the SunPraireFilms.com photographer—also the only QBQ! daughter-in-law, Casey Mae—prepared to snap the next shot of this author/speaker, she wryly said, “Okay, John, pretend you’re thinking.”

So I did.

While feigning the act of thought, I had one:

Henry Ford.

The famous inventor and businessman made a profound statement:

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Love that.

Of course, any strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness, so even thinking can be overdone. As we all know, it’s called “paralysis by analysis.”

However, I would posit this:

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She’s One Impressive Manager – You’ll Never Guess Her Age!

office depot amanda

Amanda’s Place – Office Depot Store #2657

After reading her Office Depot “Store Manager” badge, I asked the delightful young woman, “Really? The top top manager?”

Amanda replied, “Yep, that’s me.”

“You’re not the weekend manager?”

“Nope. I really am the Store Manager.”

Sincerely surprised, I jested, “Wow, the GM of an Office Depot at 29.”

She corrected me …

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