The Most Powerful Words

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Maya Angelou

‘I love you’ are influential words.  Most of us were introduced to this phrase during childhood. When properly applied in life-giving situations, these three little words are a catalyst for exceptional outcomes.  Conversely, when used in selfish or other negative ways, this phrase can be emotionally hurtful and even destructive.

‘Love’ is not a neutral word. Feelings surface quickly if we concentrate any length of time in contemplation of our ‘love’ experience.

Love and being loved are central to any successful life.  And my definition of success is being and becoming the best at what I am meant to be and do in life.

But, what is love?  The modern world propounds many possible answers to this question. Simply stated, I wholeheartedly believe that to love someone is parallel to looking out for their best interests in the same manner in which we consider our own needs. The proverbial Golden Rule, precepts that are typically taught to the smallest child, applies to this discussion. For those of you who read the Bible, Paul’s letter to those at Corinth, beginning with the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, speaks volumes. The words from this passage are full of wisdom and can be literally life-changing for anyone who is willing to embrace the principles.

 “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”   Source: New American Bible

This passage on love provides one of the most powerful blueprints for success. Speak your name where the word ‘love’ appears in this passage. Imagine what you could be, what you could accomplish if that passage revealed the way you lived your life. Life-changing. Successful people “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things. Love never fails.”

I know these truths to be real because I have loved and have been loved by others throughout my life. And, I cannot even begin to imagine how my life would have evolved without the supportive love of those surrounding me.  Of those who have loved me, two were powerfully influential — my mother, Lucille Hackbarth, and my wife, Carol Hackbarth. These two saintly women have changed everything about who I am today. I have been comforted over the years, knowing they always had my back . . .  always wanting good things for me. Always encouraging me to make good decisions. Always cheering me on to be my best. Carol and Lucille have believed, hoped and endured many things on behalf of my growth.  All  that these two beloved women have wanted for me sounds very much like my success. Love never fails.

If success is being and becoming the best at what you are meant to be and do in life, who has helped you to be that person. Who, in your life, has really loved you? Who has had the best positive effect on your journey so far? Have you told them? Should you tell them now and more often?

Over 20 years ago, I received a bonus in my love life – the first of eight bonuses. The birth of my granddaughter Gabrielle was followed by seven other blessings: Philip, Caroline, Chase, Kekoa, Luci, Sollie and John. I call them the Exceptional Eight.

How have these eight wonderful children affected my success? The obvious answer is through abiding love. Each morning, I imagine that this day is dedicated to them. I want to send a message to my grandchildren by how I live. And the message is simple. If you believe in yourself and your team, have passion for what you do, and love others, you can succeed in life at any age.  At a young age, like the Exceptional Eight, or later in life, love never fails.

Love. The Alpha and Omega. The greatest success strategy ever created, helping you to become the best you, the one that you have always wanted to be. The person you were always meant to be. Today, how shall I begin? I will start by telling those who have been pivotal in the success I now enjoy – how important they are to me. I will make it a habit to tell them often. So important, I cannot delay. Who is first on your list? Will you tell them today?

I must begin now, while there is time.

Carol, I love you.

Kelly (daughter), I love you.

Kim (daughter), I love you.

Gabrielle, I love you.

Philip, I love you.

Caroline, I love you.

Chase, I love you.

Kekoa, I love you.

Luci, I love you.

Sollie, I love you.

John, I love you.

And Mom, I still feel your love.  

Love is the most powerful success principle. Love never fails.

Today, I fully embrace my success in life, being and becoming the best at what I am meant to be and do.

Today, I will love.