Everything that happens to us is a direct result of the choices we make. You choose to act or procrastinate, believe or doubt, help, or hinder, succeed or fail. I found these ’10 Principles’ from Lou Holtz’s self-improvement book, Winning Every Day really insightful and helpful.

1. THE POWER OF ATTITUDE. The attitude you choose to assume toward life and everything it brings you will determine whether you realize your aspirations. What you are capable of achieving is determined by your talent and ability. What you attempt to do is determined by your motivation. How well you do something is determined by your attitude.

2. TACKLE ADVERSITY. You are going to be knocked down. I have been on top and I have been at the bottom. To achieve success, you are going to have to solve problems. If you react positively to them, you’ll be stronger and better than ever. You can assume that your competitors have problems, too. If you react to setbacks more quickly and positively, you gain a distinct advantage. I’ve never encountered a person who achieved anything that didn’t require overcoming obstacles. Expect them.

3. HAVE A SENSE OF PURPOSE. Understand what you are trying to do. Stay completely focused on your original and primary purpose. Do not be sidetracked. If you own a business, help customers get what they want. Remember the 80/20 rule.

4. MAKE SACRIFICE YOUR ALLY. You can’t be successful without making sacrifices. Most losing organizations are overpopulated with people who constantly complain about life’s difficulties. They will drain your enthusiasm and energy. Take pride in making sacrifices and having self-discipline.

5. ADAPT OR DIE. Things are always changing, so embrace the fact that your life and career are always in transition. Yes, you will achieve your goals, but don’t fall into the mistake of thinking you don’t have to do anything further. Even when you become number one, you will still need to stay focused on the fundamentals.

6. CHASE YOUR DREAMS. All great accomplishments start with a dream. Dreams fuel your enthusiasm and vision. They give you a burning desire to get up in the morning and achieve.

7. NURTURE YOUR SELF-IMAGE. A positive self-image grows out of having strong character. To be trustworthy, committed to excellence, and show care for others are the underpinnings of a successful person.

8. FOSTER TRUST. All relationships are based on trust. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I have seen ruin tremendous opportunities because they didn’t have the discipline and decency to do what’s right. Continually ask yourself, “Is this the right thing to do?”; do what you feel is right regardless of peer pressure or personal desires’ success and confidence will not be far behind.

9. COMMIT TO EXCELLENCE. Do everything to the best of your ability. Everybody wants to be associated with people who set and maintain high standards. When you lower your standards, you only invite mediocrity.

10. HANDLE WITH CARE. Treat others as you would like to be treated – with concern and care.