When the paths of our professional or personal lives get rough, it is not a sign that we must seek a smoother road, although lowered expectations may prompt us to. Actually, it just might be the time to adjust our strategy and to raise our expectations.

If your goal is to merely get by, to do nothing more than break even, there is nothing to motivate or inspire you. You are just marching in step with the crowd-being one of the pack.

You need to have another strategy to get different results. Create a new vision. Set your sights on a destination-a goal-so compelling that you'll be pulled toward it just by thinking about it. A clear vision is all you need.

Giving up and settling for something less is never the answer to life's challenges. See those challenges as the tremendously valuable opportunities that they are. Winners are constantly either looking for ways to accomplish their visions or are setting their sights on new visions. They are constantly looking for opportunities and using them as stepping stones to reach greater heights.

Remember, there always rich rewards waiting for those who can produce and provide real value. Certainly that is even more acutely true in times of crisis, turmoil and uncertainty.

You have so very much to offer. You are experienced, open- minded, adaptable, and willing to make a positive contribution. Therefore, what’s stopping you? Get busy making your own contribution with those opportunities that come your way.

Now is your time to shine more brightly than ever before. Embrace this day, and every day, with the enthusiasm of knowing what a truly wonderful opportunity is in your hands. If you can dream it, you can make it happen. Don’t settle for anything less.