Kurt Baxter, president of the Baxter Marketing Group agency, surely must have been a preacher in another life: His April 6 keynote address at the National Conference on Operations and Fulfillment spoke directly to personal fulfillment.
Described as a “serial entrepreneur,” Baxter’s session title cut straight to what he believes is the key to success: “In Your Grip: What Matters Most.” And what matters most to Baxter is for people to have a positive attitude in everything they do, because that will guide them on a path to success.
Among the several impactful quotes Baxter offered was this from William Barclay: “There are two great days in a person’s life—the day we are born and the day we discover why.”
And from Plato: “The unexamined life is a life not worth living.”
What is success? “Many people lead a rudderless existence, walking around in a state of disappointment,” Baxter said. “Deep down, we have a longing to fulfill our true potential.”
As a child, Baxter wanted to be an animator at Disney Studios in Burbank. Well, he got a job there as a page, delivering messages on a bike that was named Dopey. (All the page bikes were named after the Seven Dwarfs.)
Not unlike fairytale characters who often transform, Baxter told attendees: “You will not always be who you are now. The possibility of transformation is the essence of hope.”
As “choice-makers,” Baxter said we all influence so many people in our daily lives and that we all should try to “spread some sunshine.”
The most introverted person influences 10,000 people in his or her life, Baxter said. “We’re all influencing and being influenced.”
Victor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, said the last human of freedoms is the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given circumstance.
Baxter outlined his four keys for a successful life, using the acronym GRIP to explain his points.
G stands for gratitude, which is the most important of attitudes, he said and fundamental to a positive attitude.
R stands for responsibility for our lives. “The blame game creates nothing.”
I stands for influence. “Everyone influences someone and that’s the greatest gift we possess.”
P stands for purpose. “True satisfaction comes from meaning and purpose.”
Baxter advised attendees to “hire for attitude, train for skill.”
“Your influence determines your level of success,” Baxter said. “It’s up to you. Keep asking what it means to be a successful human being.”