One of my favorite words in the dictionary is success. In each human being, there are many possibilities. Success is finding out which of these will be right for you. You select your values, your work, the person you marry, how you raise your children, the church you attend, the food you eat and the hobbies you pursue. How you choose and what you do with your choices are the road signs of your journey.

When I read, I’m constantly looking for material that can impact the lives of others. Oftentimes, a simple story can be the spark that empowers you to improve. I’d like to share one today that I ran across in my files.

On March 30, 1858, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the first ever patent for a modern day pencil with an eraser attached to it. Hymen Lipman created the wooden pencil that we have become accustomed to using for writing and drawing. Interestingly, manufacturers decided to paint the first pencils yellow because the color was associated with royalty and honor. This led people to assume that yellow pencils were the best type. What a brilliant marketing strategy.

It’s truly amazing how illustrative the pencil is of the lessons to follow in our day to day living. Now for the rest of the story. A pencil maker told the pencil 5 important lessons just before putting the pencil in the box.

1) Everything you do will always leave a mark.

2) You can always correct the mistakes you make.

3) What is important is what is inside you.

4) In life, you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you better.

5) To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be held and guided by the hand that holds you.

Yes, we all need to be constantly sharpened. This is how we will be able to use our unique talents and abilities to fulfill the purpose we were born to accomplish.

Like the pencil, the important part of who you are is what’s inside you. What are you passionate about? What is driving you to success? The inside job starts right now, today.

Success is indeed a journey. As a matter of fact, most don’t realize that you are successful the moment you commit and order your life to be successful.

Live today as if it were your signature day. Isn’t it empowering to realize that by your choices you can powerfully impact your future? What opportunities are in front of you today? You need no one’s approval or permission to be the best you can be today!