The Exceptional Eight

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”          Nelson Mandela

The Exceptional Eight! Who are they?  A question I love to answer. The ‘Exceptional Eight’ is the moniker I assigned collectively to our grandchildren  shortly after the youngest, John Rowan, entered this world in July 2015, our older daughter’s sixth child – our eighth grandchild.  Some of the names I have heard for our new two-year old grandson are “John Rowan,” “J.R.,” and “Jack.” The presence of  eight grandchildren reminds me of the comedy-drama television series, Eight is Enough, that aired from 1977 to 1981

Is eight enough?  I guess it depends on what  eight infers.  It is a good number for me because it serves as a reminder of Eight Exercises of Exceptional People:

 Eight Exercises of Exceptional People

 principles without cost  that drive success


  • Choose a positive attitude. Scientific research indicates good outcomes are in store for those who embrace and maintain a positive attitude. The inherent challenges of life present hurdles that are somewhat demanding – obstacles that perpetually obstruct our progress; bad things happen. How do we respond? My  suggestion is to establish a comfortable daily tactic  to remind you of the importance of attitude.   My epiphany was  discovering and mandating Monday as the ‘great target day,’ setting momentum for a great week. Transmitting through my mind is the premise that Monday is great, and every day after Monday is better!’ The result is a great week, evolving into  great months and  years. How about a great life?!
  • Exercise regularly. The mindset of a positive attitude is cost-free, but a formal exercise program  entails some financial investment.  Several proven exercise routines do  not require  gym memberships or a sophisticated equipment. Of course, if you have sufficient resources, don’t hesitate to employ any of the many available options. Simplistically, a heart monitor and  exercise shoes are the primary necessities for launching into a self-propelled physical fitness program. My entire exercise regimen – simply walking –  has positively impacted my health and changed my life.  Numerous are the articles about health benefits walking ensures. I have enjoyed one particular  synergistic bonus in this practical, simple exercise choice – it provides time to plan my day, or to contemplate the next important goal. I always use my walking exercise time to ‘think out things’ that represent current issues in my life.  (Read The End)
  • Create a daily formula for success. If you want to succeed in life, be sure that each day marks some progress on your most important objectives. Significant goals, those that will forever change your life, are never accomplished within a few weeks. Typically, the standard timeframe is 12 months  or longer, so steady gradual progression is important . . .  small steps consistently  lead to success.  Be sure to schedule time each day to progress toward your long-term objectives..
  • Do what you love. You can improve your chance for success by combining great passion with your aptitude for chosen endeavors.  And enthusiasm is the success multiplier. Any formula you have adopted for success will be enhanced by your passion.
  • Gather a team. No one achieves long-term success without the help of others. Be sure to surround yourself with positive thinkers who reliably root for your success. Assemble as many ‘centerfielders’ on your team as possible. (See my blog on the importance of centerfielders and how to add them into your circle of influence and inspiration). 
  • Eat a healthy diet. The magnitude of proven nutritional scientific data will not allow you to ignore the fact that your food choices will indeed affect your health. And, your physical health is going to impact your ability to succeed at whatever you are trying to accomplish. Good health is not a guarantee, so it makes sense to maximize your opportunity for better health, knowing this will improve the chance for triumph in other areas of life.
  • Yes, love is a success principle. You cannot reach out to help others  without affecting yourself. Love was not put into your heart to stay. Love is not love until given away.  Love . . .  succeed.
  • Be exceptional. You have only one life to live. Make it the best for you and those  surrounding you. There is no reason to have an average life. You were born to be great! Nelson Mandela said it well:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.  Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

We are exceptional!

As I rise each morning, my foremost thought is that  this day is dedicated to the ‘Exceptional Eight,’ my grandchildren. I want them to be proud of me. I want the way I live my life to deliver the following message: You can succeed at any age in life – young, old or in-between – if you have passion for what you do and believe in yourself and your team.

What one thing, costing nothing or little, could you start doing that would be a game-changer for you? Is today the day to start?

Today, I will be exceptional.