12/31/2008

It Is Time To Get Started


I want to start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. It is hard to believe that 2009 is already here. That being said, it is important to note that 2010 will arrive before we know it. As we age, each year seems to pass quicker than the previous. If we are not careful, the NFL training camps will arrive without us taking much action (those who read yesterday's post know what this means). The time to get started is now.

Each year brings a new beginning. The slate is wiped completely clean. In the sales game, managers like to open their year by telling the team that everyone is at "0". The superstars and those who lagged behind are at the exact same level. It is where each goes from this point forward that makes the difference.

This is the mindset that I want you to approach 2009 with. Your past performance makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. The only thing that makes any difference is the action that you take starting now. Implementing the plan that we discussed over the last few weeks ensures that this will be the best year of your life.

Athletics often sees a player vault from average to superstar in one season. Your life has the same potential. With the proper plan, we are able to consistently take the steps that will allow us to fulfill all our dreams. Hard work and effort are required. There are no free rides. However, the payoff at the end of the journey is incredible. It fosters a sense of control over one's life that few know is possible.

With that, I will congratulate you on the start of a new life. Together, we are going to raise the level of everyone's performance. This is going to be a wonderful ride.
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12/30/2008

Thoreau's Happiness


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Off Season Moves


This past Sunday marked the end of the NFL regular season. Monday was the beginning of the moves that teams which failed to make the playoffs were undertaking in an effort to improve. Three teams decided to make coaching changes believing that it was time for new leadership. Over the next 6 months, we will see teams alter their coaching staffs, front office, and player rosters. Every sport has similar events occur during the off season.

Another factor is what the individual players do during this "downtime". In football, many participate in off season conditioning programs. Also, those who were injured rehabilitate those injuries so as to return to full strength when camp opens. Finally, many use this time to improve their skills by working on specific activities if they feel an area is lacking. They establish a benchmark (for example: weight added) to monitor the progress. All this occurs in solitude away from the bright lights of a professional game.

Professional athletes and teams have 5 or 6 months to revamp the direction they are traveling. However, you do not have this luxury. Unless you are in a profession where you are laid off each year, there is no off season for you. At the same time, there is no taking off from family and financial responsibilities. Life simply keeps occurring at it's regular pace. It is no wonder that people have such difficulty to make a life transition.

How can we use this knowledge to change our lives for the better? Since it is impossible to "stop life", we must figure out a way to make progress with all that occurs on a regular basis. Utilizing the concept of the off season helps us to set benchmarks of change. We can implement this into our planning and scheduling to have a profound impact.

Let us use the football calendar as an example. The regular season just ended so teams that did not make the playoffs are already looking towards next year. Training camp opens in July, thus the invitees to camp are set by then. With a preseason of 4 games, the regular season opens around the 2nd week in September. It is at that time that the fruits of the off season are enjoyed.

We can follow a similar time line. A few weeks ago we wrote down three goals which we wanted to achieve in 2009. Choose one of those goals and write next to it "2nd Week In September". This is the deadline for it's accomplishment.

Next we begin to plan our "off season". Realizing that you most likely cannot dedicate 9 months exclusively to this pursuit means that we need to schedule activities which move us towards this end. Therefore, we extend our work day in our mind by a couple of extra hours. This is an important concept so follow me here. Most fail at something because they decide to do it in their spare time. The fact is nobody has any spare time. We need to plan on the activity to be effective. Adding a couple of hours to the work day achieves this end.

Do you see what just happened here? Most people spend their 8 hours at work because they have no choice; they need to be there or risk being fired. By adding two more hours, we just removed the choice from ourselves. Now, we have 2 hours to dedicate to accomplishing the goal desired. I hope you can see how much more likely you are to attain your destination by using this concept.

Let us use the goal of learning a foreign language as an example. Supposing that we work from 8-5, that means we get home at 5:30 or 6:00. If we have a family, there are obligations there which might take us up until 8:00. At that time, we can put in 2 hours to learning the new language. If we do this for the next 9 months, how proficient might we be in this endeavor by "kickoff"? I surmise that you will have a good grasp of that language.

Of course, we can break the time up working on a couple of goals. Instead of dedicating two hours to one pursuit, perhaps we do an hour apiece. We spend the first hour studying and the second reading about a culture we are interested in learning about. Or, we can put an hour on the front end in the morning and one in the evening. Many people choose to workout for an hour in the morning while attending to the "study" in the evening. This is equally as effective.

The main idea is to be rigorous and dedicated to the pursuit. Do you think that professional athletes slack of their off season conditioning program? The answer is that some do and they pay a heavy price for that the following year. Those who are committed to working in the off season usually perform better.

Our off season just started. I chose to use the football season since it just ended. However, you could follow the schedule of baseball, golf, or hockey. Live your life like you were a professional athlete preparing for the next year. Act as if you have millions of dollars riding on your performance and accomplishments. Even if you do not make this type of money, are your goals any less important than any other? Obviously not. Your life is worth an incalculable amount. Begin to live according to that belief.
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12/29/2008

What Actions Do You Need To Take?

What are you going to accomplish this week? This is a question which most people have no idea how to answer. The reason is they fail to sit down and write out the actions which need to be taken. Simply put, they fail to plan.

I am a big fan of having a written list of actions that I am going to take. My belief is that people who operate off a list are much more effective. It is a trait that is followed by the most successful people. This allows them to accomplish things while others are wasting time. If there is one single action that separates the achievers from those who do not, it is this.

To create a list of this nature requires thought. This is one of the primary benefits of this habit. Regularly thinking about how you are going to spend you time will increase your productivity substantially. It allows one to focus his/her attention on those activities which are most important. If one has a series of long term goals written down, this behavior helps in the establishment of steps to achieve the desired results.

Failure to plan will lead to failure. This is one of the most basic components for success. To do this successfully, we must take our planning to the smallest time period possible. The reason is that, while we can plan for a year, we live only one day at a time. It is impossible to operate any other way. One who has a set of 1 year goals but fails to break them down further finds that time "slips by". Suddenly, the New Year is upon us without anything substantial accomplished.

Now, I get back to my initial question: what are you going to accomplish this week? I want you to get into the habit of asking yourself this question every Sunday night. This requires effort on your part. However, you will quickly realize that having a "to do" list for the week makes life a lot easier. You are able to see all that requires your attention. After that, you simply write in the specific day you will perform that action. String enough of these plans together and you will achieve any goal that you desire.
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12/28/2008

Avoid Being The Victim


One of the important keys to success is to avoid playing the victim. Most people who fail to achieve success excel at that art. I believe the reason they are unsuccessful is because they fall into the trap of blaming others for their plight. This is in direct opposition to personal responsibility.


It is easy to point the finger at other individuals or circumstance for the situations we find ourselves in. This is also a way to ensure your lack of progress in any area of your life. This habit causes people to shift their power away from themselves to something that is outside of them. This creates the scenario where the other person needs to be changed before one can succeed.

The simple fact of the matter is that nobody (or nothing) controls you unless you allow it. I often hear individuals say "she makes me so angry". This is absolutely incorrect. This person allows that other person to make him or her angry. Allowing someone else the power to affect how you feel is a sign of emotional weakness. If you find that you suffer from this, it is time to really invest the effort to changing that habit. Emotional control is a crucial factor in achieving great success.

Take control of your life. Whatever is occurring at this moment is a result of choices you made somewhere in the past. In others words, you chose the life that you are presently leading. While you might want to blame the boss all you want yet it is you who shows up for work each day. There are no slavery clauses written into employment contracts, thus it is your choice. No matter how your spouse acts, you chose to marry that person. If you lost money in the stock market, it was you who elected to put it there. This is the foundation of personal responsibility thinking.

There are times when life deals you a bad hand. However, the same is true for everyone. While some are busy sulking over the conditions of life, others are prevailing and moving forward. It is a basic fact that obstacles exist in life. Like the old saying goes, "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade".

Playing the victim is a guaranteed way to slice your success vein. Personal responsibility is the solution to this dilemma. Begin your quest today by taking responsibility for everything in your life. This will revert the power back to where it belongs, with you.
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12/26/2008

It is the feelings we want


Have you ever thought about why you have a desire for something? Why do you want a particular item? What is it that causes you to show up to work each day? Answering these questions will show what drives you as a person. Controlling this is fundamental to taking control of your life.

Everything that we do, achieve, or acquire is because of the feelings we get. Feelings are the motivators which drive us to do certain things. There are some feelings that we crave experiencing while there are others which we will do anything to avoid. Nevertheless, it is the feelings that we receive which influences our decisions.

Let us use the example of a new blouse. Why would someone buy something like that? We know that there is rarely a basic need for the items we purchase. Thus, there must be something else at work. Of course, it is the feelings associated with the blouse that cause one to buy it. Perhaps she likes how she will look in it. Or maybe she thinks about how others will envy her. Whatever the reasoning, it ultimately comes down to the feelings.

To further illustrate this same point, suppose the woman buys the blouse because she knows she will look good in it. This is a very positive feeling. However, what do you think her emotional state is when someone else shows up with the same blouse on? Obviously, she moves to a negative state. Now, she wishes she never bought the blouse.

This concept applies to all the goals and desires that we discussed the last few weeks. Anything that you hold as a goal is because of the feelings you associate with that particular accomplishment. For example, if you have a goal of getting a new car, the only reason you crave it is for the feelings you believe it will give you. Perhaps you like the security that comes from its reliability. Or, if it is something fancy, you might like the idea of turning a few heads. The feeling of approval of our friends and peers is a powerful motivator. Again, whatever your reasoning is will reveal the feelings that you are seeking.

To take this one step further, when we are engaged in a goal achieving system, it is important to know the feelings that we truly want to experience. Doing this will allow us to feel fulfilled when achieving our goals. Many get what they want only to realize it leaves them empty. The reason is a goal (or item) might not provide the feeling that person craves.

Another helpful part of knowing what feelings we want to experience is that we can "rig" our life to feel that way without the item or goal we are seeking. For example, many want money because it represents security. However, we know that money can be lost no matter how many dollars one has. Therefore, one with a goal like this can work on feeling secure without the need for a lot of money. This is not to squelch the idea of seeking financial gain. Instead, operating in this manner ensures that the person will experience security when he or she achieves the goal. The feeling is present regardless of what else happens.

As you can see, feelings are very important. These are the sensations that we are truly seeking. Remember this when you are on your quest to achieve your goals. It is the feelings behind that goal which you are truly seeking.
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12/25/2008

A Time Of Optimism

We are approaching the new year. This is the time of year where optimism is the greatest. Whatever occurred in 2008 is in the past. It is done. Whether it was positive or negative, you cannot go back and change it. Life moves froward regardless of the results you achieved.

If you are one who achieved all the goals that you set out for the year, I congratulate you. However, for those of us who fell short in a few areas, there is the tendency to dwell upon those unrealized dreams. Now is not the time to engage in that activity. We are programming ourselves to look forward.

Everyone achieves something. There are lots of wonderful things that you did over the past year. Make a list of some of them no matter how insignificant they might seem. Each time you gave someone a smile, you lifted their spirit in that moment. Write that on the list. List everything you can think of that helped yourself or someone else. You will soon realize that you did a great deal.

We are all going to make the next year the best we ever experienced. The media wants to put us in a negative mindset with all the activities which are occurring globally. We are not going to listen to their garbage. Their fodder is food for all those who are going to be trampled in the new year. We are not part of that crowd. Instead, we are the ones who know that in each crisis there are lots of opportunities. Now is the time that we are going to forge our way to success. The only thing that stands in our way is the mindset we have. Success is first achieved in the mind then manifests itself in the physical world.

In closing, I hope you enjoy your Christmas holiday. Spread good cheer wherever you go over the next few days. Perhaps this might create a habit that you do throughout the year. That is a wonderful goal to have for 2009.
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12/23/2008

What Qualities Do You Need?

Success is the result of certain actions taken in a specific direction. However, to get to that destination, there are certain qualities one needs to have. Implementing the proper attitudes and mindset are crucial if you are going to achieve anything substantial. For this to occur, you might need to alter how you view yourself.

Contrary to popular belief, your personality is something that is developed. It is not something that we are born with. People like to say "he is naturally..." or "this is how I was made". These are untrue statements. We all select the behaviors which we impact our lives. Most of these actions are determined by how we view ourselves.

"I played Cary Grant so long I actually became him"-Cary Grant

How would you describe Cary Grant? What words come to mind when you think about him. Mature. Sophisticated. Suave. Regal. Contrast that with Pee Wee Herman. What words come to mind to describe him? The reason I bring these two individuals up is neither of them are really that person. They both were born someone else. However, over time, they developed the qualities of their on screen persona (at least in our eyes).

Now that you see this concept, what qualities do you need to create the success in your life? How do you need to view yourself to achieve all you want to achieve? This is the first step to developing the personality which will carry you through.

Let us look at it another way. What is confidence? How do you know a person has it? Are you sure that they truly are confident or do they just hide their fear while taking action anyway? The point is, what you see on the outside is not what is necessarily on the inside. Yet, many times, it matters none. What comes through to others is what is important.

Therefore, we need to develop a list of all the qualities we need to succeed. Take out a piece of paper and write them down. Make a list of 5 characteristics which will get you to the next level. This is how you are going to view yourself. Start with words such as intelligent, confident, experienced, driven, etc... Take a look at some of the people you admire and ask yourself, "what qualities do I like in that person". If you want more success in business, choose someone who is successful in that arena. Perhaps it is best to start to see yourself as a business owner instead of an employee.

The idea is to create the image in our minds of how we want others to see us when we are successful. However, we know that before anything can happen, the vision needs to be clear in our mind. If you want to be something, see yourself as that first. Before long, that will become a part of you. This worked very well for Cary Grant.
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12/21/2008

How Committed Are You?

This is an extremely important question. Your level of commitment will determine how much success you enjoy. It dictates the actions that you are willing to take. Commitment creates the motivation and incentive to forge ahead. We wrote down some goals for the New Year a couple of weeks back. How committed are you to achieving them?

When people are fully committed to something, they can achieve incredible results. Superhuman feats are accomplished if the desire is great enough. Have you ever seen the videos of a woman who miraculously saves a child who is trapped underneath a car? A woman who weight 110 pounds has no business picking up something that heavy. Nevertheless, her level of commitment is really high at that moment. This provides her with the adrenaline rush necessary to pull off this feat.

Do you have the same outlook when viewing your goals? Are you will to go to any length to achieve them? What are you going to allow to stop you? These are questions which show the likelihood of getting what you desire. People who are not fully committed will turn back at the fist sign of trouble. I would surmise this is what you did most times in your life. It is time to change that.

We all heard the story of the leader who burned his ships once his troops got ashore. The reason he did this was to increase the commitment they had to winning the battle. Retreat was no longer an option once the ships sunk. Basically, the choices were win or die. That will commit you to the outcome.

Fortunately, we do not have to go to such extremes. However, it is worthy to think in these terms. Become fully committed to achieving what you desire. This will cause you to take whatever action necessary for success. This single shift in mindset increases the possibility of achievement by at least 50%. Success becomes easier when you have this belief.
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12/20/2008

Be The Best In All You Do

Being the best is something that is downplayed in recent years. We are taught that the effort put in is more important than winning or losing. While there is some merit to this idea, it creates a situation where people are unprepared for real life. The reason is that, in life, we are judged by the results we get. This is true whether we are referring to work, relationships, or athletics. Ultimately, it is the results of our actions which determine how far we will go.

Having the proper mindset is vitally important. Approaching everything with the outlook that we are going to be the best establishes a high level of performance in our mind. This helps to manifest the results that we desire instead of settling for less than we truly want.

How does this work? Many people want to change their life yet do not know where to begin. Surprisingly, this is an easy idea. Start exactly where you are at in this moment. Regardless of what you are doing, seek to be the best at it. This will develop the habit and the mindset to radically alter your life.

Let's take a career as an example. This is one of the areas where people seem dissatisfied. Simply, they do not like their job. How do we go about changing this? The starting point is to be the best at that particular job while you occupy it. It matters not what "level" you are at. Applying this to any position means that you will not occupy that position for too long. The world loves to reward the people who are the best at something. This mindset ensures that it will be you.

Another way of looking at it is to focus upon the task at hand. Strive to be the best at whatever you are doing in this present moment. If you are washing the dishes, be the world's best dishwasher for the next few minutes. The same is said for any activity regardless of how major or minor it is. We are seeking to develop a mindset which helps us to excel under all circumstances. Continually seeking to be the best in the minor activities will transcend into our more important tasks. Apply this in your home and watch how it filters into your work life.

Those who are successful are driven. Many feel that playing the game is more important than winning. While I do not advocate illegal or unethical behavior, success is something that people need to go after. Simply showing up is a path to mediocrity. Having the desire to set the world on it's ear is what will enable you to fulfill your ultimate potential. Be the best in everything that you do.
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12/19/2008

20 Top Success Tips From Donald Trump

To help with your progress entering the New Year, I thought it good if you got some success tips from The Don himself. These are found on his website.

  1. Think big

  2. Be positive

  3. Follow your passion

  4. Learn something new every day

  5. Listen to your gut

  6. Be patient

  7. Put a great team behind you

  8. Put beauty in everything you do

  9. Learn to negotiate, because everything you want demands it

  10. Always go for the biggest win possible

  11. Invest in real estate because it is the best investment there is

  12. Take risks

  13. Be audacious and get into the public eye

  14. Be your own brand

  15. Enjoy doing some work seven days a week and on vacations

  16. Say no

  17. Get out of your comfort zone

  18. Be stubborn when necessary

  19. Always have a Plan B

  20. Never settle for second best


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12/18/2008

Take Charge Of Your Own Life

This is the mindset that you need to acquire if you are going excel in these trying times. It is obvious that the world is in a turmoil like we never saw before. Economically, we might be confronted with the worst situation in the last 3 generations. There is little that is encouraging about what is coming down the road. The prevailing belief is that times will get worse before they get better.

That being said, I hope that most realize what the cost of depending upon someone else is. Everyday we are seeing lessons of people who put their trust in another only to be let down. Take all the people who worked in the financial sector. Hundreds of thousands of them lost their jobs because of the financial crisis. Even if they were superior employees, they are out looking for work. Another example is the automobile industry. People operated under the belief the union would take care of them. Sadly, if the companies go out of business, the employees are out of luck.

Now, we are being told by our political leaders that we should trust them. The government is in the process of bailing everyone under the sun out. How long can this keep up? Sadly, I believe a recession can outlast even the money printing power of the United States of America. There will come a time when we are told "there is no more".

Where does this leave you? For those who regularly read this blog, you know that "personal responsibility" is a quality that I value. In this era, it is the only trait that I believe will lead to success. The model we operated under for the past 30 years is dead. We cannot trust others to take care of us. Businesses lay people off. The government blows through the Social Security money. Economies go through cycles. There are a series of events all of which can alter our life. It is time to take back the control we passed along to others.

You recently established a few goals that you want to achieve in the next year. Part of your process is going to assume the responsibility for achieving them. This is your life we are talking about. It is yours to do with as you wish. However, if you want something better, get with the program of personal responsibility. It is the only thing which will lead to your success.

I am in charge of my life. That is a belief I have which is at the core of my existence. Whatever results I get are due to my actions and capabilities. If I experience a setback, then I have the opportunity to learn something. Every situation is built upon the previous ones. Utilize the knowledge gained from those circumstances.

Stop blaming everyone for your problems. This is one resolution that I insist you make for the New Year. It is not your wife/husband's fault. The government did not do it to you. Forget about blaming your race, religion, or ethnic makeup. The one who is responsible for your life is you.

Personal responsibility is a hallmark of all successful people. They are the ones who create their own success. Implement this model into your life for the upcoming year.
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12/17/2008

How Bad Is It?


The last few posts focused on mindset. This is going to be paramount entering the next 12 months (actually the rest of your life). Our perspective is going to determine which actions we take and how successful we are. For the foreseeable future, the common outlook is going to be filled with negativity. If you buy into this, then that is what you will create.



Life is full of ups and downs. There are good times and there are bad ones. The present situation is one of those challenges which serve to make us appreciate the good ones even more. You might want to reread that again. Bad circumstances provide wonderful opportunties for us. The benefits received from these times are enormous. Your outlook determines the benefits you will receive.



What occurs during negative times? Growth. We are going to see what you are made of. A person's character is not exemplified when the going is good, it is when things are tough that is shows through. How much resolve do you really have? Are you committed to doing what is necessary to succeed? Will your outlook and mindset defeat you even before you get started? Or will you prevail because you believe that you will? These are questions which you will be able to answer in the future. We all will. Circumstances will reveal the people that we are inside.



Another result of trying times is the gratitude we can implement. There is always something to be grateful for. I was speaking with someone earlier this evening who was mentioning how much more work each person is having to take on because of recent firings. This person, to her credit, was not bitching about it, but was grateful to have a job. Times like these give us the stark reminder of how bad things can get. It is beneficial to have a shift in perspective. Your life is terrific no matter what your present circumstances are.



"I was complaining about my shoes until I met a man with no feet".



Remember what is important in your life. You can achieve anything that you desire. Even if things are not exactly how you want them today, that does not mean it is permanent. All life is an ebb and flow. Money comes and money goes. So do people, jobs, and things. We came into the world with nothing and will leave that same way. It is what we do in between that makes the difference. Understand that your 2009 can be the best year of your life regardless of all the other events that are around. Keep this mindset to guarantee your success.


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Learners Are Earners

Have you ever heard this statement?  It is not one that is usually promoted within the mainstream circles.  Perhaps this is the reason why so many fail to get ahead in life.  Instead, they drift from day-to-day without really achieving anything substantial in their life.  This is not something that we are interested in doing on this site.

Success in 2009 is going to depend in part on our ability to learn.  Learners are earners.  Write this motto down and post it on your mirror.  It is imperative this become a central part of our being.  Increasing our knowledge is the basis for all success we will achieve.

We set down some goals and made plans for their achievement.  Unfortunately, in most instances, we do not have all the knowledge we need to achieve those ends.  That is where our learning comes in.  Daily reading and study will provide us with the answers we need.

It is best to develop the habit of reading each day.  The world is full of books which will provide us insight into all that we are wishing to achieve.  In reality, most everything was done before.  Your path to success was already paved by another.  He or she did all the hard work for you.  Picking up a book will offer the details about how that person did it.  It will also spell out some of the pitfalls to avoid.  Learning from the mistakes of others is one of the greatest traits of the successful.

Are you willing to be a continual learner?  If you are, then I am certain you will achieve all that you desire.  However, if you are one who believe that you must "figure it all out on your own", I would guess that your path will be more difficult.  After all, I don't need to reinvent the wheel to have tires on my car that work.  Someone already did that for me.

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12/16/2008

There are still wonderful opportunities


Chicken Little is having a field day.  Everytime I turn on the news, there is something bad promoted.  One day it is the auto industry.  The next, it is the financial companies.  Stock markets around the world are being battered.  Jobs are being lost.  In short, the world is coming to an end.



Is it really that bad?  I prefer to take a bit of a different view of the entire situation.  Like everyone else, I have retirement money that is half of what it was earlier this year.  My income decreased this year as compared to last.  The prospects for some opportunities next year are going to be delayed.  Realistically, it is a different business environment than it was 6 months ago.



That being said, how can I possibly believe that 2009 is going to be the best year of my life?  The answer is because it will be.  I know it.  My certainty is going to make that manifest as a reality.  I will not accept anything less.  Overall, when I look at my daily life, things did not change all that much.  In fact, in some respects, things inproved.



To begin with, my retirement account is still safe.  My heart goes out to all those who were swindled by Madoff.  However, I was not one of them and my money, even if half, still can grow.  I invest regularly so my money buys more shares than it did 3 months ago.  Over time, this account can recover.  I have another 20+ years before I am even eligible to touch that money without penalty.  Thus, what have I really lost?



And that is the gist of what is occurring.  A recession is nothing more than a collective mindset.  Are things bad for some people?  Definitely.  However, the majority are doing just fine.  Those who are 10+ years away from retirement will see their accounts return.  Also, gas prices plummeted over the last 6 months.  This has a bigger effect on the average budget than any of the other economic news.  Finally, we are seeing a deflationary period where the price of everything is coming down.  This will only help those tightening budgets.



So what perspective are you looking at?  That is what will determine your success next year.  Everyone is worried about what will happen.  Well, stop worrying and start doing.  Success is guaranteed to follow with that approach.



One final example of how the media can skew your perspective: unemployment is usually around 5%.  Now, it is in the neighborhood of 6.5% with estimates putting it as high as 9%.  This leaves an increase of 4%.  How come the media always focuses on this aspect?  If there is a 4% chance of losing your job, that means there is a 96% chance of keeping it.  The odds certainly are in your favor.  Also, always remember that 5% of the population does not want to work anyway.  Therefore, it is a small minority who is going to be out of work.  The majority will still be employed.



Having the right outlook is crucial to your success.  Approaching the new year with this mindset will allow you to see opportunities others miss.  There are still many ways to succeed regardless of what the present circumstances are.  The United States will still have an economy somewhere near $2 trillion.  That is a lot of products and services sold.  A total collapse will not occur regardless of what the Chicken Littles of the media world say.


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12/15/2008

The Easiest Way To Be A Star


There is one characteristic which will separate you from all of your peers. It is also the one trait that will help all your goals materialize. Those who focus their attention on this attain some of the greatest degrees of success. It is the one quality which will always keep you employed and that is CONSISTENCY.

People overlook the value of this simple concept. Yet, it is the one thing that all in positions of power seek in their people. You can choose any walk of life and you will see how the consistent are handsomely rewarded.

The field of sales is one where many managers seek out the "superstar" salesperson. However, these are not the successful managers. "Superstars" tend to be flaky in their production. They have the capability to deliver stellar months only to be followed up with nothing. A successful sales manager knows the key is getting people to deliver consistent numbers, even if they are not the top producers. Consistency allows for better planing, more consistent cash flow, and a steady flow of inventory.

Sports is another area where consistency is rewarded. Baseball teams love pitchers who can throw a shutout with 15 strikeouts. However, if that person consistently follows up that performance with two lackluster outings, a team is harmed. Again, managers prefer to know what they will get out of their pitcher.

A Dr. Jekyll, Mr Hyde approach to life creates a lack of confidence when dealing with others. By the same token, when your efforts are inconsistent, the internal self doubt creeps in. The remedy to this is for you to focus upon consistent action everyday.

The other day I wrote about doing something daily until it becomes a habit. Habitual actions create consistent outcomes. This allows for a smooth pursuit of all your goals. We started with three items that you want to achieve in the next year. Then, through the process of breaking the goal down, we arrived at daily activities we can take that move us closer to the goals. Consistently doing something day-after-day will create the habits necessary for success.

Follow this simple plan and you will see many of your goals arrived at by March 1st.
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12/14/2008

The Man Who Knows He Can

If you think you are better, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.
For out in the world you’ll find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all a state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger, faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is The Man Who Knows He Can!

  Anonymous



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The Determination of Andrew Jackson


Andrew Jackson is one of the more controversial figures in American history. The leader of the Battle of New Orleans, he is not without his detractors. Controversy aside, one thing that is universally agreed upon is how determination played a large part in Jackson's success. It is hard to find someone who was more determined than this man.

It is said that once Jackson set his mind to something, he was destined to accomplish it. How is that for the power of manifesting? His determination took an idea and made it a reality. Jackson simply would take action until he achieved his ends. There was nothing that would stand in his way.

How does this correspond with your outlook? Do you have similar determination in all that you do? Or, are you easily swayed when things get difficult? Those who drift through life tend to have the later as their predominant mindset. Rationalizaton and justification are favorite practices, usually to uphold the idea of settling for less than is desired.

We have discussed a great deal about making 2009 the best year ever. However, this will not be possible unless we develop the determinination to succeed. Having a plan is a wonderful part of the process and this act alone will occasionally lead us to our desired outcome. Nevertheless, to truly enjoy the fruits of being a high achiever, it is paramount that you are determined to get there.

I want you to consider this idea as you go throughout the day. Perhaps write down each time that you are dissuaded by another person or situation. You will be amazed how little control you really have over your life. Sadly, it usually is control that we cede ourselves, with fear being the motivator.

Develop the determination of Andrew Jackson. His resolve (along with creativity and ingenuity) helped to fend off the British at New Orleans in the War of 1812. While your situations are most likely much smaller in scale, you can utitilize his outlook to achieve similar results.
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12/13/2008

Be the "Go To Guy"

This is a phrase that we hear thrown about quite often but how many times have you really considered its implication? Most of us scarcely give it a second thought. It is as if we hear it in passing. However, contained in this simple phrase is the mindset which will make you successful beyond comprehension. Anything that you desire in life can be yours.

The world rewards people who step up. We all like to have that person who will fill the void whenever a crisis arises. In any walk of life, there are only a certain amount of people who can fill this role. To do so effectively takes guts, self-confidence, and inner strength. Yet, those who do recieve the greatest rewards.

Sports is a fascinating genre to watch since they provide impactful examples which are truly a microcosm of life. Let us take the NBA as an example. Here is a group of people who are the best basketball players in the world. Everyone in the league is one of only 500 (give or take) who can perform at this level. Nevertheless, as good as these men are, only a couple ever get the reputation as the "go to man". Michael Jordan is one who comes to mind. He was arguably the best player ever to lace up the sneakers. However, what makes his greatness even more magical is that he was the one who wanted the ball at the end of the game. His excellence came out when the pressure was the greatest.

The same is true for baseball players. There are some pitchers who want the ball with everything on the live. At the same time, there are those who cower from that opportunity. Their fear of failure is the driving force of their decision. Does this happen in your life? Is fear the one who makes the decision for you?

Being the "Go To Guy" is all about mindset. Having the desire to excel in pressure situations begins with the belief that you will succees. Those who shy away at these times are those who focus on the possibility of failing. If this is how you approached your life, it is time to change that. Instread, focus on how you will succeed under these conditions. Do you think Michael Jordan thought about missing the shot. I am certain that thought never crossed his mind. His entire focus was on putting the ball in the hoop.

Mental toughness is one of the leading characterisitics of the successful. Develop this trait within yourself. Start the process by considering yourself a "Go to person". Whatever your present walk of life, picture yourself as the one who is capable of performing when others are overrun with fear. This requires a bit of grandiosity in your thinking but that is alright. You are now the "knight in shining armor" ready to conquer the circumstances of your life. Anyone who is around you can count on you to pull through. This is the mindset of a winner.

As you approach 2009, develop this outlook to reach level you never dreamed possible. When you have the inner belief that you will be the one succeeding, you have taken the first step in making that a reality. All success is first created in the mind.
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The Written Plan

Having a list of goals combined with a list of corresponding actions to take each day is a powerful combination. With these two items, you are almost guaranteed success. The only remaining component is to ingrain these actions into your daily routine. Repetition creates a habit which puts our success on autopilot.

We created the list that requires our daily attention. Now it is time to start utilizing this concept. We start by putting a couple of the actions into our daily plan. Do you not have a daily plan? Then it is time to start writing one down each day.

Before going any further, you have the freedom to get as sophisticated or simple as you like with this. Personally, I prefer simple. The idea is to have a list of activities along with the times that you are going to do them. It is your daily schedule. Writing each task down enables you to control the direction of your day. Time is used effectively when you do this.

Therefore, start with a piece of paper (or a notebook). Draw lines across in breaking the day into hourly segments. Do this for the hours that you are typically awake. For example, if you arise at 6 AM and retire at 10 PM, mark those times off. Now, list the activities which occur each day. Start by putting "Create plan for day" 15-30 minutes before you go to sleep. This will start to create this as a habit.

For most, work consumes a fair portion of the day. Therefore, block off the work hours. If there are things you regularly do like attending luncheons, put that down. After filling the work time, take the activities which move us towards our goal and assign them to a specific time. Try to do the hardest activities when you have the most energy. Some prefer to workout in the morning while others like the evening. Decide what is best for you.

The actions we want to make into habits are written in everyday. Once you complete your plan, your next task is simply to follow what you wrote down. Of course, situations will arise which requires some flexibility. However, having a written plan will increase the likelihood that you achieve the results your desire.
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12/08/2008

Our Habits Determine Our Success

The successful have better habits than those who fail to achieve what they truly desire. Much of life is spent on autopilot with each day being a repeat of the one that preceded it. A great deal of time is spent doing the repetitive acts that requires little thought. Thus, anything that we achieve is because we are conditioned to act in a particular manner.

Have you ever considered how you brush your teeth? Few ever think about how they go about completing this task. However, we all have a routine that we go through to complete this action. Some of us put the brush under water, then put toothpaste on, and finally start brushing. Others will put the brush under water a second time. And, some will just put the toothpaste on the brush without water and begin the process. Regardless of how it is done, we do not think about how we accomplish this activity. It is at the subconscious level.

This is a simplistic example used to show how the concept operates in our life. The bottom line is a true life change will only occur when you change your habits. There are certain actions you undertake which are preventing your success. At the same time, there are other habits which will lead to our desired results. It is important to identify both.

Let us look at the weight loss example we used a few days ago. Going to the extreme, it is safe to say that an Olympic athlete has a different set of habits than a couch potato. These people are conditioned to work out. A day ceases to pass without them engaging in their training. Contrast this with the couch potato. His or her habits are drastically different. Instead of exercising, the habit here is to turn on the television when getting home from work and eating food high in fat content. People who do this often do so without much conscious thought.

Each person's habits brings about results. For the Olympic athlete, the outcome is incredible physical conditioning. At the same time, the couch potato achieves the state of obesity and poor health. A changing of the habits would alter each one's outcome.

How does all this apply to you? We mentioned in another article the importance of creating an action list to achieve our goals. When we go through this process, we are first operating at the conscious level. It takes mental thought to drive ourselves to act. The conditioning is not present at this initial stage. We need to develop the habit which will make our success a guarantee.

For something to become a habit, we need to engage in that activity each day. Repetition is what drives an activity to a subconscious level. Years ago, you had to think about a lot of tasks when learning to drive. Now, you can get from your home to your place of employment without even thinking about the trip at all. It is something that is completely at the subconscious level.

Success habits operate the same way. The action becomes a habit if we do it each day. It is estimated that the time is roughly three weeks. After that time period, you will be conditioned to take the action. Doing something different will require another conscious thought at the time. Here, we are in the habit of succeeding while having to actually think in order to fail. This is a magical state to achieve.

Success is not a mystery. Those who achieved the greatest of heights did so because of certain habits. Look at your life to uncover those actions you subconsciously take which hinder your success. Reverse the trend by identifying and implementing activities that move you forward. You will quickly realize the power that is contained within this simple concept.
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12/06/2008

Turning Goals Into Actions

A week ago I asked you to consider and write down the three biggest goals that you wanted to achieve in 2009.  This gives us a good basis of the general direction that we are seeking for the New Year.  Once we identified the areas of concentration, then we can begin to break our task into manageable components.



As we know, action is the key to all accomplishment.  However, we cannot simply go out and lose 50 pounds.  There are certain things which must be done to achieve this result.  It is crucial to realize that any success is the result of many smaller actions.  Rome was not built in a day. Rather, it was erected one stone at a time.  The same is true for your life.



Once we got the three areas of focus, we want to select one to concentrate on now.  Write that goal on a piece of paper.  Underneath, we are going to identify the important actions that we need to undertake on a daily basis.  Every goal that has any merit is achieved by doing something everyday towards reaching that outcome.  This is what we want to identify now.



For example, if losing 50 pounds is our goal, what are some of the actions we need to take each day to make this a reality?  One thing would be to workout daily.  A combination of aerobic and strength training is required.  In addition to daily exercise, we also want to alter our diet.  This starts with having a regular dose of fruits and vegetables.  We might also consider eliminating those foods which are high in fat content.  There are basic components that will lead to a healthy diet. We need to put these on our list.



As you can see, we are starting to move from a goal which is an abstract idea to concrete actions we can take.  Instead of focusing on the outcome, we now can concentrate on doing what we need to do.  Actions are what allow us to reach that end.  If we follow this path, achieving our goal is a natural outcome to our efforts.  In effect, we are developing a plan for our success.



It is best to list a couple of things for each goal.  We do not want to create such a long list that it gets overwhelming.  For example, if we listed 90 things we needed to do each day to lose the 50 pounds, how likely are we to quit?  Very!  This idea is to have a few activies listed that will be done every single day regardless of other circumstances.  This is what will lead to the successful outcome you seek.



Once having completed this for the first goal, do it for the other two.  In total, you might have 6 or 9 things to do each day.  This is a manageable number which will offer major changes in your life.  You are already laying the foundation for an incredible year.



Next, we will discuss the value of habits and how we can put our life on autopilot.  How would you like to achieve your goals by default.  The next session will show you how habits can be developed to guarantee success.


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Courage Is Crucial

The easiest thing to do in life is to exist at whatever level you are presently operating at.  Change is something that is difficult for most people to embrace.  To successfully do this requires the courage to step out of one's comfort zone into the unknown.  This is a concept which is more than most can handle.



How can I make this assertion?  Simple, most lead lives they are unhappy with.  I see so many settling for less than they truly desire.  They lack the courage to risk failure when they go after what they really want.  This is something that society trains us to do.  We are taught the "safe" route is the way to go. Sadly, it is also the path that leads to unhappiness.



If you are going to alter your life, it is going to take a great deal of courage.  Changing requires a bit of risk taking.  When you undertake something like this, you expose yourself to the ridicule of other people.  Often, this comes from those who are closest to us.  Those who have our "best interest" at heart are usually the ones who crush our dreams.  They tell us to "be realistic" and get something that is safe.



The events over the past few months teach us that safety is an illusion.  When it comes to investing, the buy and hold theory is considered the safest approach.  Proponents told us to find quality companies and hold them for decades.  Over time, if we reinvest the dividends, we would realize a healthy return.  All gains realized over the past 15 years were wiped out in a matter of a couple of months.  So much for the safety route.



We see the same situation with careers.  People who chose solid companies to work for are now losing their jobs in record numbers.  Their safety was an illusion.  Let us take the automobile industry.  Unions are considered the safe route.  Unfortunately, a union contract is worthless if the company goes out of business.  The UAW is just as panicky as management within the Big Three.  Millions are facing the loss of employment.



Safety is an illusion.  It does not exist.  Life is a risk.  That is where success comes from.  There will be times when you will fall flat on your face.  Over the next 12 months, we are going to encounter many challenges in our pursuit of change.  Altering your life is not something for the faint.  It takes courage to do this.  However, the payoff is beyond comprehension.  It is where we realize freedom.



We start to develop courage by moving forward in spite of what goes on in our head.  Often we are consummed by fear.  This is okay as long as we do not allow it to stop us.  Courage is not the absence of fear, rather, it is the taking of action in spire of the fear being present.   This is what the courageous do: they take action.  The fearful procrastinate.  Become one who exemplifies courage by taking action.  



Here is an exercise you can do immediately:  Make a list of 3-5 things that you are putting off doing. Write them on a piece of paper and resolve to complete them before you go to bed tonight. This single act put you into the courage area.  It might not feel like any big deal but it is.  Taking action is the single hardest thing for the unsuccessful to do because it requires courage.  Do this and watch your courage expand.


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Life Is Never Perfect


Life is not always perfect but we can be happy in spite of our present circumstances. This is what success is all about.

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12/03/2008

5 Things


Before we get into the larger goals that we discussed in the last entry, it is best to start with something that will show how valuable having a direction is to us. This is a simple exercise which will later be expanded in scope to cover longer time periods throughout the day. However, we are going to approach this is a simplistic manner to get the benefit of the concept.

Having a plan is an essential tool for success. It provides the direction while establishing barometers along the way. Breaking down a large task into smaller segments is what allows people to achieve great things. Remember, a journey begins with a single step. Or as Brian Tracy likes to say, "you eat an elephant one bite at a time".

We are going to quickly learn the value of seamless activity. Many waste untold amounts of time dilly-dallying around because they are unclear of what to do next. This exercise will show how having something in writing can be of tremendous benefit. You will notice your productivity shoot through the roof.

Here is how it works:

1. Write down 5 things that you are going to do in the next hour. List them on a piece of paper. The order of importance is not really critical; we are most concerned with the concept. It is also best to choose activities which can be accomplished in 15 minutes or less (writing your college thesis is not what needs to be on this list).

2. Starting with the top one, focus on doing that task until it is completed. After that, go on to the second one. Continue this until you complete all 5 activities.

What this exercise shows is how much more productive we are when we have a plan. Time is saved when we move seamlessly from one activity to the next. Also, this is laying a foundation for how a "life plan" will benefit us. The concept is the same whether we are looking at 5 minutes or 5 years. Having a plan is crucial for our success.
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11/30/2008

Courage



Courage is a central part of all success.

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11/29/2008

Three Goals

The new year is just around the corner. With that being said, it is time to lay some groundwork which will make it the best year of your life. I mentioned in a previous article that we are going to be offering some insight into the best way to do that. As you can guess, all your success first starts in your head.

One of the easiest ways to start this transition is to create 3 goals that you want for yourself. This is a number which will allow you to focus enough attention to each of these areas. So, let us start the process by writing out three goals for 2009. We put them on paper so that we can see them each day as a reminder of where our focus needs to be.

We will want the goals to be in different areas of our life. For example, health/fitness is an area that most need to focus some attention. Therefore, put down what you want your body to look like at the end of 2009. Also, you might want to set out a goal for your career. This could include any changes in profession that you might want to make or an income level you want to attain. Another area could be with your family. Decide what time/events/activities you want to share with them. Again, put this all on paper.

As we go through the next few weeks, we will be establishing a plan for each of these areas. The initial stage is to get the idea down and affirm it as a goal. It is best to chose things that are a bit of a stretch. If you make things too easy, you will tend to lose interest rather quickly.

Success is first created in the mind. Resolve what you want to get in 2009 so that you will have a clear mental picture. This will feed the mind with something that it can go after. Manifestation is the process which will help us to achieve all that we want.
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11/28/2008

Never Give Up

As we approach 2009, it is important to first get our mindset right. Recent events have people filled with fear. This is only natural with all the uncertainty which was created. However, we need to look at our own lives to determine what we are going to create for ourselves. The macro situations will affect us but not as much as our own activities.

When we uncover a dream or goal(which will will discuss in a the next entry), it is crucial that we maintain the desire for that outcome. So many people get excited about it initially only to lose luster when obstacles are encountered. At this point, they usually make excuses that allow them to give up. Throwing in the towel is now an art form.

It is vital that you never give up on your dreams. Life will throw challenges your way. This is a guarantee. Accept it as reality while persevering. The only thing that can truly stop you is your mindset. Success and failure are first created in the mind. The instant that you decide to quit, that is when you chose failure. It is that simple.

The economic conditions that everyone is facing are going to create a tougher road for everyone. Yet, because of the uncertainty, many will utilize this for tremendous gain. With each crisis is an opportunity. Those who attack the situation will come out on top. Sadly, the majority will accept the difficult conditions while making excuses. This allows for you to enter the minority.

Begin the process by getting it firm in your mind that you are not going to quit until you attain the success you want in life. No matter what obstacles you encounter, you will continue until you reach the outcome you desire. The decision to live a successful life is the first thing that you need to do. Make it now.
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11/27/2008

Begin the process of making 2009 the best

Another Thanksgiving (in the United States) is past us. Next up on the calendar is the Christmas holidays. This will put the finish to another year. We are close to kissing 2008 goodbye.

With the end of this year, my question is "how did your year go"? Did you accomplish much of what you wanted to? Or did another 12 months go by that leaves you full of regret and guilt? If the later is true, what are you going to do differently now that another year is just around the corner?

I realize that the events of the last two months have made circumstances rather tough. People lost a tremendous amount of money in the stock market in the last 60 days. At the same time, job security is rapidly decreasing. The economy is in the tank. Basically, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the next 12-24 months.

The regular readers of my work know that one of the basics of my belief system is personal responsibility. We see many touting the benefits of the government saving everyone from bankers to automobile makers to homeowners. While there might be some merits to this idea, it is best to take control of your life. Those who wait around for others to "save" them are often disappointed.

Over the next month, I will be writing many articles offering helpful ways to take control of your life over the next year. In every crisis there is an opportunity. Since we are in the middle of a major crisis, I see major opportunities everywhere I look. Now is the time to consider making those changes which will positively affect your life. The next 30+ days will help you achieve this. Check back regularly to join us on this quest.
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11/26/2008

Thanksgiving


Here is the United States we are celebrating the annual Thanksgiving holiday. Like most holidays, this one lost some of its meaning over the years. Nevertheless, it is a helpful reminder to be thankful for all that we have. Times of late are trying to us all. Nevertheless, there is a lot that we have which we take for granted.

Most of us in the Western world do not know what it is like to truly suffer. Lately, we hear how horrible the housing market is with people being foreclosed upon, how stocks are getting destroyed, and how people are facing the loss of their jobs. While acknowledging how bad all these are, it is best to remember that many in the world would love to have these problems.

We need only look at the continent of Africa to realize how blessed all of us are. They are struggling with some of the basic necessities of life. Diseases like aids is running at an incredible rate, most countries suffer from famine, and tribal wars are commonplace. Everyday is truly a life or death situation.

As you go through the next 24 hours, remember all that you have. If you find that you are presently lacking some of the things that this society has to offer, then be grateful that you live in a place where there is an opportunity to create your life as you see fit. At this moment, you have more opportunities within 10 miles of your house than most of the people in Africa will ever dream of.

A spiritual adviser of mine would say "we live in the land of milk and honey". How true he was.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
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11/23/2008

Create Your Life

Many come to me asking "how do I create the life that I want?". This is an interesting question which leads me to answer "what do you want in life?". It is at this point that I usually get a blank stare. The truth is that most really have no idea what they want their life to look like. This is one of the main reasons why they inevitably spend years going in circles.

Creating your life starts with deciding what you want. Our life is first developed in the mind before it can ever become a reality. Without this basic part of the process, we are doomed to follow the ideas of someone else.

Society has a way of determining what is best for us. When I say society, I am referring to all the influences that touch our lives. They could be parents, teachers, employers, spouses, etc... Each of these people has an idea of what is best for us, of how to be successful in this culture.

Sadly, few to take the time to decide what he or she wants. People will spend more time planning a vacation than they will laying a path for their life. The few that do consider what they want enjoy more success and happiness.

It is time to get clear in your mind what it is that you want out of life. Clarity is a powerful weapon. I want you to write down exactly how you want life to be 10 years from now. Shake off the limitations of the mind. Societal training will arise at every new thought. Part of the process is to turn off the ideas of those who influenced us to get to the core of what we want.

You will find this is one of the most valuable exercises you ever engage in. The greatest minds in the world spent considerable time in thought. It is best if we follow their example. Determine what is the most desirable thing that you want. Whatever it is, write it down and place it where you can see it. Each night, look at it and ask yourself "did I shape my day to move towards this outcome?". This process starts to move the goal/desire/wish to the conscious level. You suddenly find that your actions begin to mirror what you wrote down.

For example, if you want to have a loving, intimate relationship with a special someone, write that desire on a card and post it. Each day, ask yourself the above question. Obviously, if you want this to come to fruition, it is necessary to shape your actions so that they put you in position to meet people. Each day, do this. Eventually, you will achieve the result you desire.

Clarity is the most powerful tool we have. Get clear in what you want so that you can start to work towards it beginning this moment. The creation of the life you want is at hand.
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11/22/2008

5 Minutes Chunks

In the last article I wrote about overcoming procrastination by attending to all those activities which take 5 minutes or less. This is an effective way to getting ourselves off the procrastination treadmill and moving into the action arena. However, what about those projects which require more than 5 minutes of time.

We heard how breaking larger tasks into manageable sizes is the key. This is correct. Nevertheless, most failed to tell us what a manageable size is. Again, we look to the 5 minute rule. Our goal is to develop a list of items which are accomplished in less than 5 minutes. We know this is a size that is easily handled.

Let us start with a major activity like cleaning out the garage. This is something that can take hours to complete. Using our concept, we begin to break the job into smaller tasks. The first is to clean all the trash that is lying around and put it in a can to take to the curb. This might take more than 5 minutes but it is a good starting point. The next idea is to hang up all to tools that are scattered about. Again, we look to complete this in 5 minutes or less. Third might be to select an old box or two that we go through, discarding what is not needed. We continue this process until we completely cleaned out the garage.

The idea behind this philosophy is to get started. Procrastinators are terrible starters. Physics teaches that it takes more energy to start an object in motion than it does one that is already moving. Breaking projects into manageable tasks is an effective way to get ourselves going.
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5 Minutes To Overcoming Procrastination

There is a technique which will easily help you overcome procrastination while getting yourself to take action. We all know that the key to accomplishment is often as simple as getting off our duff. Yet, many are paralyzed by the procrastination bug. They failed to develop the “do it now” habit.

Can you do something for 5 minutes? Consider this question carefully before answering. If you are like most, the natural inclination is to say “yes”. I believe that is a truthful statement. Doing something for 5 minutes is not difficult. We can handle most anything for 5 minutes.

That being said, the next question is why do you procrastinate? Studies show that many of the activities we put off can be completed in 5 minutes or less. Individuals who procrastinate often experience the feeling of overwhelm. They find themselves caught up in a vicious cycle”: putting things off causes them to get overwhelmed while the feeling of being overwhelmed causes them to put more things off. How can you break this trend.

Breaking the procrastination habit starts with handling the tasks which fall under the 5 minute rule. This rule states that “anything I can do in less than 5 minutes gets attention immediately”. It is best to make a list of everything that fits the criteria. Once this list is completed, you begin with the first one on the list. Continue on each item for the next hour.

You will find that you are able to complete 10-12 activities. That is a wonderful beginning. Those who are experts are putting things off might find their list has hundreds of items on it. However, knocking out a portion of them will provide confidence moving forward. Do this everyday for the next 20 days to really ingrain the habit. At the end of that time you will find that you are now an action taker instead of a procrastinator. It is amazing what 5 minutes can do.
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11/19/2008

Avoid Living With Regret



Guilt is something that eats away at many. However, the actions that one fails to take in pursuit of dreams leave more regret then the wrongs done.
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11/18/2008

Success is failure turned inside out



The successful keep their mind right while being persistent in all their pursuits.
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Do One Thing At A Time

Multi-tasking is a myth that some egotistically use to inflate their egos. You will hear these people talk about how they excel at this "art" which makes them extremely valuable. It is a con job that is used to hide how they really are inefficient. Those who are most productive "single-task"

"I do one thing at a time, I do it well, and then I move on." Charles Winchester (M*A*S*H)

This quote from the hit television series really drives the point home. Do you do one thing at a time, do it well, and then move on? If not, you are sacrificing efficiency. We are wired to operate in this manner. Anything contrary to the natural methodology which we were born with will hinder us.

The human mind can only consciously concentrate on one thing at a time. If you doubt that, try to think of two things at this moment. It is impossible to concentrate on this article while thinking about what you are going to have for dinner. One thought is going to override the other. That is how the mind works.

Those who multi-task believe they are splitting their focus. This is impossible. Since they are attempting to handle two activities simultaneously, the concentration is bouncing back and forth. This allows for the opportunity to miss something.

I found that the most successful people were able to harness the power of the mind by putting all their mental effort into one area. This is what put them ahead of everyone else. Our mind is the most powerful mechanism there is. However, to maximize it's potential, we much be able to focus. This is easier to do when we look to do only one thing at a time.

Do not buy into the myth of multi-tasking. You will be more productive by following the above mentioned words of the snobbish doctor from Boston. Single-tasking is your path to true success.
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11/17/2008

Thomas Edison Says

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

-Thomas A. Edison
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Recharge Your Batteries

We live in a world that is now 24/7. Cable news channels have all the information from around the world available all every second of the day. One can trade on a multitude of markets around the clock. Cellphones put us in constant touch with everyone.

While all these have their benefits, the downfall is that we do not get any time for ourselves. Relaxation is something that is necessary for all of us. We need to recharge our batteries. Failure to do so can lead to burnout in addition to other health issues. Take the time to relax.

Many deem the one who is constantly on the go as "admirable". We all met those who work 70-100 hours a week. They are always conducting business. Wealth and prestige comes to them at every turn. Yet, many drop dead at a young age from stress.

You should strive to be a well rounded individual. It is wonderful to work hard. That is a trait which I feel we need more of in this era. However, it is necessary to step back and relax. The old saying "work hard, play hard" holds merit. Recharging our batteries enables us to be more effective in the other areas of our lives.

This is something that we are losing. Today, I want you to spend some time engaging in an activity solely for the pleasure of it. Pick up that hobby you put down so long ago. Perhaps writing is something that gives you enjoyment. How about gardening? Puzzles? Choose anything that allows you to relax and get lost in the moment. You will feel so much better.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. So often we get lost in the "to do" lists. Take an hour today just for yourself. You deserve it.
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11/15/2008

20 Ways To Change Your Life-Now

Most people want to change their life. However, they do not know where to begin. The problem is that human beings are creatures of habit and many find the habits they have do not lead them to a successful outcome. So I put together a list of 20 things you can do today which will change your life. Some of the things will alter your life path in the long term while others will change how you feel in the moment. Both have an impact of the degree of fulfillment we experience.

1. Turn off the t.v.

People are hypnotized by this device. Most of what we watch is intellectually empty. A periodic escape from life is healthy. However, too many spend hours each day flipping through the channels trying to find something worthwhile. Also, there is a great deal of negativity on the television. Turn it off and regain lost time while improving your attitude.

2. Stretch

Spend time stretching. This has an immediate impact of providing instant energy. Right now, stretch all your muscles from head to toe. Notice how much more energy you have by this simple action. In addition, we feel better as the years progress when we stretch daily. Our body is looser which helps offset the lose in elasticity. George Burns swore his secret was to spend 15 minutes each day stretching and he lived to 100. Solid advice.

3. Read for 30 minutes

This time is found by turning of the television. Spend 30 minutes a day reading to increase you knowledge. It is helpful if you pick up a book on a subject you never explored. This will peak your curiosity while potentially uncovering a subject you might fall in love with. Reading is relaxing, expands our knowledge, and stimulates our mental creativity.

4. Spend 15 minutes decluttering

We have too much stuff. There are items stuffed in every crevice of the house. Spend time each day going through different drawers discarding items that are not needed. Plan on filling a trash can each week while putting together a box of items for donation. Getting rid of old stuff increases the flow of energy within our surroundings.

5. Journal

This is a historic method of self therapy. We all have things bouncing around in our head. Writing is a way to get things out of the mental to a place where we can look at them. It makes it easier to deal with feelings and situations when we view it on paper. Writing each day will declutter some of the emotional/mental baggage that is weighing us down.

6. Drink more water

We are told that we need a minimum of 8 glasses of water. Most drink far less than this. Water is a terrific way to appease one's appetite thus causing us to eat less. Soda and other popular beverages are high in sugar and caffeine which adversely affect the body. Replace them with water will help to increase energy in addition to your overall health.

7. Have a salad with each meal

Greens help the body nutritionally. They also make one eat less at one sitting. Most people are overweight and the eating of a salad cuts down on the desire to have a second helping of pasta. Since our meals tend to be low in nutritional value, a salad helps to offer the body the good "fuel" it needs.

8. Learn a foreign language

It is easy with the Internet. Search for free courses and you will find lots of sites offering tutorials. Once you start on the language, a natural offshoot of that is to learn about the culture in that country. This will open up different opportunities in areas of travel, friends, and career.

9. Wake up earlier

Ben Franklin believed in the early to bed, early to rise. The morning hours can be really beneficial if applied properly. Too many get up and rush out of the house. Arising 30 minutes earlier will give you time to relax and consider your day. Perhaps this is the time you use to journal.

10. Create a daily to do list

This is one of the most powerful productivity tools. Writing down the activities you seek to accomplish clarifies your thinking while eliminating wasted time. Working from this list allows you to move effortless from one activity to another. This increases productivity-something that helps any business or career. Also, you will be sure to attend to the important tasks which often get lost when trying to handle the different emergencies throughout the day.

11. Spend 5 minutes thinking

Most people spend more time thinking about where to go on vacation then they do thinking about their life. Rumor is that Einstein would spend 30 minutes each day just thinking. Take a piece of paper and write down whatever ideas come to mind. You will be amazed how many opportunities come to mind during these sessions.

12. Spend time outside

We live in an indoor world. The human spirit enjoys the freedom from being outside. It is therapeutic to get in touch with nature and all it's wonders. Even if you are in a big city, spend 5-10 minutes looking up at the stars at night. Consider all there is out there and how incredible the universe is.

13. Create a vision board

This is an ancient technique which is used for great success. Spend a day with a piece of cardboard and some old magazines (remember our decluttering). Cut out pictures of things that represent what you want in life and attach them to your board. As you do this, a visual of your future life begins to emerge. Hang it where you can see it each day. Periodically amend it to better reflect your desires.

14. Go for a walk

You need not be a marathon runner. Walking is one of the healthier activities there is. It allows us to get outside and enjoy nature. Also, in addition to the health benefits, we can couple this with the socialization of another by getting a walking partner.

15. Savor your food

Food is a wonderful aspect of life. There is so much more to it than satisfying our hunger. However, we live in a fast paced world which necessitates eating on the run. We rarely enjoy what we are putting into our mouths. Savor every bite of the next meal that you eat. Turn off the television and eat in silence. Slow down and enjoy the process. This will stimulate you to try different things.

16. Join an organization/group

There is great enjoyment about being around like minded people. Each community has multiple groups or organizations that you can join. Some focus on civic contributions while others are based upon interests or hobbies. You will enjoy socialization, an increase in knowledge by learning from others, and be given an opportunity to contribute.

17. Strike up a conversation with a stranger

The next time you stand in line, talk with the person behind (or ahead of) you. An amazing thing happens: you learn they are human. Most live a "scared" existence by hurrying past people we do not know. Having the confidence to talk with anyone, anywhere helps us to become more social which increases happiness and career opportunities. This single action opens up a world of possibilities.

18. Partner with another in a business

Ownership is the key to success in most cultures. Historically, it was land; now it is a business. Find someone to start a business with as a means of affecting the financial resources of your family. You might find that a new career develops for you. Partnering also teaches us the value of a team. Two people working together are far more productive than working as individuals.

19. Get a pet (or a plant if the pet is not feasible)

Learning responsibility is a good thing. It is one of the keys to success. A pet (or plant) is totally dependent upon you. Also, they are always there when you come home. The joy that comes from taking care of something else is indescribable. Suddenly, you will have something else to focus upon.

20. Phone an old friend

We all lose touch of people we care about. Pick up the phone and call someone you were close to in the past. There is a good chance many of those same feelings are still there. Distance and time need not be reasons to keep a good friendship apart. Rekindle the emotions of old to find the fulfillment and happiness you once had.

You now have 20 things you can do today which will set your life in a different direction. Each of these actions is simple. Yet it is the simplicity which makes them effective. Try each of them for a week and see how differently you feel. This will lay the foundation for an entirely new life.
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Get Moving

This is the easiest way to change your life instantly. Whatever it is that ails you, movement will automatically alter everything. This is something that is applicable in this moment as well as your long term outcomes.

People feel certain things in the present moment. Joy, happiness, and elation are all emotions recognized in the "now. The same is true for depression, boredom, and anger. Obviously, experiencing the former is beneficial while we want to try to avoid the later.

There are times when we are going to feel down. The easiest way to alter those negative feelings is to get moving. Stand up and go do something. Tony Robbins says that "emotion is created by motion". You have a different physiology when you are active as opposed to sitting on the sofa eating potato chips. In that moment, you can overcome the depression, as an example, by going for a walk. It is not a long term fix but will improve your life in that moment.

Our long term successes are improved when we get moving. The difference between a plan and an outcome is action. This is the bridge which gets an idea from you head and produces in a tangible way. All success is the result of some type of physical activity. The same is true for you life.

So, you want to change your life? Well, get busy doing something. Pick up a book. Write down some goals. Begin working out. Enroll in a course at a local college. Whatever it is, begin by taking some action. This is the best way to set your life on a different path.

In working with others, I find it easiest to turn people who have challenges but are busy into success stories. The reason is they have the key to achieving anything they want. The solution is a to get them onto the proper path for what they want to attain. On the other hand, those who are continually omitting taking action are more of a challenge. Until they get moving, little will help them. Any new knowledge gained is wasted.

Therefore, get busy to change your life. Regardless of where you are at in this moment, get off your duff and go do something. Taking action is a necessary habit for success. It is created one action at a time.
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