Have you ever thought about what your defining moment is, and what has made you to become the person that you are today?  Do you know that your defining moment can inspire others, and you can help others become Successful before yourself?  Also, do you know that learning by failure, during your defining moment, are stepping stones to Success and this is an important aspect of Leadership?

A defining moment is generally something significant, where you have changed as a result of the incident, and this may be losing a job, becoming an entrepreneur, getting a divorce, losing your car, going bankrupt, not getting that promotion, etc.  You may look back at an event in your life, and say that you are different afterwards, as a result of that event happening.  A defining moment, whilst painful at the time, can be used to inspire others and help others to become Successful.  Hence it is important to tap into what has made you become who you are, and to use it as a story and message in leading others.

My defining moment that I would like to share with you, that I now refer to as the meat ball story, had a significant impact on me and it is a true story.  It is something that happened to me over 20 years ago, when I was a post graduate student, and the incident really left an impression on me.

The Meat Ball Story

So, there I was, I was 24 years of age and studying for my PhD in England in the UK.  I did not have much money as a student, coming from a middle-class family, and I was very poor as a student.  At one stage, I was so poor that sometimes I would walk to the University, as I could not even afford the money for fuel for my car, and walk home at the end of the day.  The distance each way from where I was staying to the University was 6 miles, and I would often walk this!

I was so poor, that I could not even afford food sometimes, and I would only eat some biscuits and have coffee during the day time, and in the evening I would reward myself with a tin of meat balls.  A tin of meat balls was my treat at the end of a hard and exhausting day!

However, on one particular day, after walking 6 miles home, I had put the meat balls in the microwave, and as I was taking the bowl out of the microwave, the bowl was so hot that I dropped my meat balls on the kitchen floor!  Damn! (or stronger words to that effect) –there goes my dinner for the day!

At that moment, I thought that this situation cannot get much lower, I was starving and hungry, I was poor and exhausted, and I had just dropped my dinner on the floor!   I remember thinking at that moment, that if I ever become Successful later in life, then I will give back to help other people become Successful.  That moment was really a defining moment for me, never to give up, and to strive to help others become Successful.

Present Day

If you are wondering if I ate the meat balls off the floor that evening, as I am sure it is on some of your minds, …..I did not!  But seriously, that defining moment for me, really defines who I am today, and it is part of my mission statement for both myself, and my Company, which is the following:

‘to inspire and grow both people and business, and to help others become Successful’ – Paul Jukes

I have now dedicated my life, and created a multi-disciplined company, with the sole mission of wanting to help others become Successful, and I really believe that my defining moment was part of the journey.

I think when you suffer hardships, over a prolonged period of time, it teaches you a lot about never giving up and appreciating what you do have in life.  We all have personal circumstances go against us, that is life, but it is what are you going to do about it that counts.

So, what about yourself, can you think of a defining moment or event in your life that has changed you for the better?  What event now makes you look at leading people differently?  What effect has it had on you, your family, your work colleagues, and the way that you lead your life?  Have a brief think about it for a minute, and even write it down.

Whatever you came up with, your defining moment defines who you are, and it can help you to inspire others by articulating your defining moment to others in a time of need.

Use your defining moment as a reference point of where you have come from, and where you are going.  Use it to help and inspire others around you.  When you are next leading your teams, share a few words of inspiration, share your story, and I am sure you will help others become Successful.

So aim today to use your defining moment to develop, stretch and grow yourself.  Inspire others around you to help them, who may be in similar situations to your defining moment, and use it to become Successful.

Learn by Failure – Stepping Stones to being Successful

Failure is part of the course in life, it is part of the learning process.  We learn by failing.  If you want to lead you have to learn to overcome failure, and learn from it.  The important point is that if you have failed, then that is ok if you learn from it, and do not make the same mistake twice.  When making the same mistake twice, or many times, then one is not learning and growing.  We can often make the same mistakes in life and do not think about changing that and our circumstances.

When defeat comes your way, you have to see beyond the temporary defeat and keep your eyes on the end goal or prize.  Temporary defeat must be viewed as stepping stones, and learning moments, to greatness.  It is the steps that one has to take to grow and develop, whilst travelling along the path to being Successful.  An analogy is that of trying to play a musical instrument.  Every time we practice, we keep playing the music incorrectly while we are learning it, but this is practice, and practice makes perfect.  So, with temporary defeat, we should look for new ways to overcome the obstacle, and hence learn in the process.

When Henry Ford was making the engine block for his Model T out of a single cast, it was viewed as ‘impossible’ at the time by his Engineers.  When his Engineers again told him it was not possible, after a significant amount of time trying, his response was ‘I want it any way’.  In the end, the Engineers were able to deliver Ford an engine block made out of a single cast.  Ford got want he desired, and what was initially thought impossible to accomplish, became possible.  He never gave up!

There is another famous story about stopping three feet from gold.  A person who was digging for gold found the gold had stopped.  He dug a bit more but gave up.  Later on he found out that he was just three feet from the gold at the point where he had stopped drilling, and lost out on his fortune in life.  If he had the perseverance to have continued, then he would have discovered the nature of fault lines, and found where to look for the gold again.

I have also read that Edison took 10,000 attempts to make a light bulb.  He did not view each attempt as failure, but rather he viewed it as 10,000 steps to make a light bulb!  What is interesting about Edison was that he had no more than a little school education, but he had the perseverance to work hard and to keep trying.  He never gave up!

Always evaluate the experience, good or bad, and look for ways to improve the next time.  View it that you will be doing better next time.

Believe in yourself and your Ideas

If you have an idea or you want to do something in life, then you can make this become a reality.  The famous words of Napoleon Hill were ‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’.  If you can conceive in your mind what you want to do, then you can achieve this.  Basically, put another way, what you see in your mind you can hold in your hand if you believe that you can do it.  You may not know how you are going to get there, but you have to keep the end idea in mind.  This can be considered in having faith that you are going to achieve everything that you want.  You have to have hope and faith, and a belief that you will achieve what you want.  But you must never give up whilst undertaking the journey.

Part of never giving up is that you have to keep working on your idea, learn along the way, and develop in the progress.  Reaching your goal is not a race but a journey.  It will be many steps of temporary defeat.  If you keep at it, you will achieve it, regardless of the time that it will take you to get there.  To reach greatness in life may take many years of hard work and it doesn’t happen overnight.  I have read somewhere that it may take 10,000 hours of practice to become efficient at something.  That is about 5 years if you work on it full time, and 10 years if you work on it part time!  Think about it, if you want to excel and be excellent then you have to work at it, refining your skills, learning the market, learning the ropes, and you must never give up.

Being patient, believe in yourself and your idea, and work in a consistent manner to develop the skills necessary to fulfill your ambitions.  As previously mentioned, you have to be intentional and take action.

Power of a Made up Mind

If you want to do something, and never give up, then you must have a made up mind to want to do what it is you are pursuing.  Power of a made up mind can drive a person to reach an extreme goal, even when facing great adversity.  The power of a made up mind is so important.  If you don’t achieve what you want, it is probably because your mind was not made up.  If you mind is made up, you never give up!

People often give up after a short time of trying because they had not fully made up their mind to continue.  You often see this when people register at the gym at the beginning of the year, and by February, a lot of the people have dropped out.  The ones that had dropped out had not actually made up their mind that they were serious about getting fit or losing some weight.  When your mind is made up, even in extreme adversity, you will never give up.

Your body and mind has an amazing ability to keep going.  It is during those times, that significant break-through can happen in learning and development.  It is during the hours of practicing and studying, that you will progress to greatness.  There are ways to overcome defeat, and to set realistic and achievable goals, and this is discussed later.

A Burning Desire

Burning desire is where you want to achieve something more than anything else in life and it becomes an absolute obsession.  You put all your energy and heart into achieving something of significance to yourself.  Once you have a burning desire to do something then you will never give up.  Once you know what you want, and have a burning desire, you will gravitate to what you want over a period of time.

Good Enough

Important that you don’t compare yourself with other people who have different gifting’s.  Run your own race and be the best you can be.  You have your own unique set of talents and skills.  By practice, learning, and more practice, you can always improve and refine your skills to be better.  The refinement of your skills has to be a lifelong experience.

Do a bit every day.  When you do a bit every day, things do get easier.  Keep saying to yourself ‘I am going to make it’, ‘I can so this’, ‘I was made to do this’.  Say these affirmations to yourself daily.  Also it may take years to get what you want.  Life is not a race.  Live your dream, run your race, you are capable of achieving great things, and living the life of our dreams.


Don’t listen to criticism.  Criticism can be one of the biggest things that can stop a person from doing what they want to do in life.  Effectively it stops you from living the life of your dreams.  If you listen to criticism, then you may not live true to yourself and live the life of others.

However, it is a fine line between feedback and criticism.  Feedback is fine when it is undertaken in a constructive and supportive nature.  Feedback is always good if it is undertaken in a way that builds you up and not breaks you down.

Small minded people will try to put you down, and will say that your dreams are not possible.  You have the right to listen to it, but you equally have the right to reject it.  Everyone has a view point in life and it is important that you ignore criticism.

Also do not worry about what people think of you.  It is better to live the life you want rather than living someone else’s life, and being unhappy and never fulfilled.

Keep Trying

When learning a new skill, or refining an existing skill, it is very important that you keep trying, again, again, and again.  To do something well you have to have practiced many times.  If you hit failure, then try it again.  Do it so many times, that you will be Successful.

You can make it!

Do not let your present circumstances stop you from living your dream.  You may try to blame your present circumstances but things will not always be like they are.  I came from difficult circumstances and I think most of us do to a certain extend.  It is the ability to raise above it.  Do not allow your past to dictate your future; learn from your negative experiences to empower your present and future ambitions.  Where you are now is not where you are heading.  It is important to know where you are heading and to engage in consistent action.  Think where you are now in your life, and where you want to be in 10 years from.  Do you want to be successful in a particular area?  If you can visualize in your mind what it is you want to do, then write this down somewhere so that you can look at it from time to time.  So then you need to keep at what it is you want to do.  Never give up.  It is possible to live your dreams.

Live a life of no regrets

People never fulfil their dreams, or be the person they could have been, because of fear.  People listen to criticism and never do what they want to do.  They become trapped.

You do not want to go through all your life and have regrets for never trying something.  I have read somewhere that the number one regret by old people just before they die is that they wished they had live the life they wanted to live.  It is sad to think that people on their death bed have great regrets.

You do not want to be that person and you must be true to yourself and live the life that you want to live.  It is better to have tried something and failed, rather than never tried at all.


At The Jukes Group we have a Leadership and Motivation Group that strives to bring the best out of people.  We hold a number of Leadership classes and we Mentor people by using ideas and concepts formulated by proven Industry Leaders.  Leaders who have been there, walk-the-talk, believe in helping others, live by Core Values, and openly share their experience.  Our Leadership and Motivation Group is led by a team that has a proven, successful track record in our respective industries and personal lives.

Want to know more?  Please email paul.jukes@thejukesgroup.com

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