6/28/2009

Sex As A Motivator


Sex is one of the strongest emotions that people have. It makes men do things that are totally self defeating. There are hundreds of examples of powerful men throwing everything away for sex. It is something that has baffled researchers for decades.

Nevertheless, I am not here to figure out the primal urges of man. I simply accept that they exist and work with it. Since we know that the sex desire is so strong, let's use it for our advantage. It is time people start to readily accept this fact to push their life to greater heights.

When you think about it, most of what we do has a sexual thought behind it. Marketers know this well. The old saying "sex sells" holds true year after year. People are continually thinking about what the opposite sex will think. This is something that is conditioned within us even without our knowledge. Most times people are subconscious about it. Nevertheless, it is there.

Consider the concept of luxury automobiles. Why do people spend an amount equal to a decent house for a car? Who are the buyers of vehicles like Corvettes, Jaguar, and Porsche? If we analyze the statistics we understand that most of the buyers are male. And, they buy these cars because of the image it presents. In other words, is it a "chick magnet"? The marketers of these automobiles know this and use it to their advantage. That is why there is always a hot girl in the car ads.

The same holds true for women. Look at how they dress. Women will spend large sums of money making their appearance look top-notch. They are taught to do this to attract the right man. Even though society has changed, these generational ideas of yesteryear still persist. Women take great care to do their hair, make up and to wear the finest clothing. They also work out regularly to keep themselves fit. Basically, they want to maintain the sex appeal.

Our sex desire is powerful. Use it to get yourself motivated to take the action you are putting off. The easiest area to begin is with your body. This is what is judged first. Think of all the sex you will get if you lose the 50 extra pounds you are carrying. Make a game of it. Perhaps use this as a motivational tool with your partner (sexual not business). Offer sex as a reward for activities completed. You will be amazed how the motivation level skyrockets.
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6/14/2009

Making The Best Out Of Everything

In life, there are times when situations are less then we desire them to be. Unfortunately, it is also at these times where there is nothing that we can do to alter the reality of life. Therefore, we need to make the best of it. Often, this is as simple as altering our mindset.

I had such a situation this weekend. A few of use were invited to go on a boat to watch the space shuttle take off. There were 6 of us in all, 2 groups of three. We knew the owners of the boat moderately well and figured it would be a wonderful time. Sadly, we were mistaken.

From the outset, it was obvious this was going to be a strained interaction with 2 groups of three. The hosts and their friend proceeded to ignore the rest of us. Their was limited communication with no social skills shown. In short, we were completely ignored. It even got to the point where we asked ourselves, "why were we invited".

Bear in mind this was an overnight trip since the launch was due to go early the next morning. Around midnight, I determined that all was lost from the social standpoint. That is when I decided to make the best of it. We were going to be within a few miles of the launch of the space shuttle, something that few ever experience in life. I thought that if nothing else we could get some incredible pictured which would offset the other experiences.

Notice how I was "trapped" by the situation yet was determined to make the best of it. Since we were on a boat, there was nowhere for me to go. I was physically trapped by the circumstances. The only way I could alter what was transpiring was to focus my attention on producing some "gain" out of it.

This is where another monkey wrench was thrown into the mix. Due to mechanical issues, the shuttle launch was scrapped. There would be no pictures on this day. Witnessing something from a vantage point few get to see went out the window. Now I was 0 for 2 in my experiences.

Again I had to turn to a different outlook. The couple who owned (and ran) the boat were determined to remain on there until mid-afternoon. Thus we would not be returning for another 6 or 7 hours. I had the choice to sulk about the treatment I was receiving and the missed opportunity with the shuttle or to alter my mood. I chose the later.

How many people get to spend the day on a nice boat experiencing the water and sunshine. It is something that people spend thousands of dollars to do when they are visiting here on vacation. And this was costing me nothing. Therefore, I committed to enjoy the day as a tourist would. Swimming, sunbathing, and throwing the football around filled the remaining time on the boat.

In the end, I worked on my tan a bit more while enjoying a relaxing day at sea. It was not the trip I first envisioned when I received the invite during the week. However, it did turn out positive in spite of the setbacks. Would I put myself in the same position in the future? No I would not. I learned a valuable lesson with these people. Nevertheless, since I was in a situation I could not physically change, I made the best of it. Overall, it was a positive experience because of my mindset.

Try this the next time you find yourself "cornered" in life. You will be amazed how you can turn a negative situation into something positive. This will automatically raise up the quality of your life. Less negativity means more positivity.
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6/12/2009

There Are Only Two Choices


In the world of motivation, there are only two choices you have: success or excuses. There is nothing else. Either something is achieved or there are excuses offered as to why it was not completed. It is that simple. Do not complicate things by looking for tremendous alibis. You either do it or you do not.

The idea behind this philosophy is something called 'personal responsibility'. This is something that is missing in today's culture. People want to blame the economy, Congress, their mother, or a litany of other things for their plight in life. The truth is we all create our own destiny. If you are experiencing a lack of success, ask yourself why that is. Consider the excuses that you offer up as reasons for not doing something. This will enlighten you as to how easy you are on yourself.

People let themselves off the hook. Now, we have a culture which seems to tolerate that same mindset. Successful people achieve great heights because they hold themselves to a higher level. They do not allows themselves the luxury of making excuses.

Success is often the result of persistence. Rarely is success achieved in the first attempt. Many have to try things multiple times to get it right. The reason is that each 'failure' offers a lesson. Successful people learn the lesson while moving forward.

Contrast that with someone who is not successful. They usually quit at the first obstacle. Then, they offer up all the excuses as to why they didn't succeed. Of course, rarely do they point the finger at themselves. The excuses offer show who they are blaming. Others are responsible for their situation.

This is a surefire path to failure. Remember, there is success and there are excuses. If you have not experienced success up to this moment, keep going. Learn the lessons life is offering so as to do better in the future. There is nothing that will prevent you from achieving if you are persistent, take responsibility, and hold yourself accountable. This is what the high achievers do.
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6/11/2009

Managing Expectations

Did you ever heave your heart set on getting a particular gift for Christmas as a child only to be disappointed on the big day? If you are a normal human, you did. We all suffered this fate at least once in our life. Sadly, even if we got everything else that we wanted, we focused on the missing toy. This ruined the entire event for us.

Looking back over these times, what was the cause of our disappointment? Obviously, most people would respond by saying that their parents destroyed Christmas by not getting them what they wanted. This is a blamer mentality. It is also one that leads to lifelong misery since this habit is ingrained deeply.

The truth is that what was received for Christmas is irrelevant. When we experience disappointment in situations such as these, it is because we fail to manage our expectations. When our expectations are set too high, the natural result is disappointment. Therefore, the key to happiness is to lower our expectations.

This concept applies equally to situations, people, and companies. When we expect too much from another person, as an example, we are let down because they suffer from the disease called humanness. People will fail periodically. When they do, if we place too much on them, we will suffer ill emotional consequences.

Managing expectations is at the core of most spiritual disciplines. When we expect too much, we fail to be grateful for what we receive. At the same time, we tend to concentrate upon that which is missing instead of what is there. For example, how often do you expect to attend a fabulous party only to be let down when it isnt the blowout you pictured in your mind. The expectation created the dissatisfaction, not the party.

If you expect nothing, you cannot be disappointed. The happiest people in the world have the ability to "go with the flow". They do not get upset when things go other than planned. They remain emotionally flexible appreciating each moment. This is a recipe for happiness and peace.

Today, as you progress through your day, witness how your expectations impact your emotional state. Are there times where you get upset when things dont happen as you wish. Are you expecting too much of another (or yourself) which causes you unhappiness? How much happier would your day be if you simply accepted things as they occurred without a thought of how things should be? Witness your thoughts in this area for a few days while trying to cancel out some of your expectations. You will be a happier person.
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6/01/2009

The Opinion of Others

In each Presidential election, there are roughly 90 million people who vote. Even if the winner is clearly decisive, the number of people voting against that person is above 40 million. Certainly that is a lot of people who want him or her to go away. I would imagine that one could get a bit self conscious with so many people having a negative opinion. Of course, politics, especially Presidential, is not for the thin-skinned. There are lots of ill-meaning individuals who will say anything to get under another's skin.

I experience this to a lesser degree myself. There are many instances where people write (or say) things that are negative about me or my work. This can be a real blow to the esteem if I allow it. However, I realized long ago the opinion of others matters little to me. This is how I can survive in an environment like this.

The Internet gives everyone a forum to voice their opinions. Oftentimes, people are unflattering without merit. Unlike true journalism, the facts and truth matter little. People have the ability to state whatever they want without recourse. This too is an arena for those with thick skin.

Why do I bring this all up? The message I want to deliver is that the opinions of most people matters little. There is a saying that "nobody ever erected a statue for a critic". And it is real easy to be find a critic. It seems that everybody today feels qualified to comment on any situation. Again, the Internet provides the forum for that to occur.

We all have people who are important to us: friends, family, etc... These are the ones who are closest to us and who's opinions should matter. Sadly, there are many screwed up families out there. That is why it is best to practice not placing high value on the opinions of others. The only opinion that is important is what you believe about yourself. This is the one outlook we all need to take to heart.

Esteem is something that comes from within. Our worth is derived from ourselves (and whatever your belief is about spiritual matters). We do not get our value from others. Those who look for that from those around him or her are destined to be miserable. People in the world have an agenda. Unfortunately, most would rather tear another down as opposed to lifting themselves up. This is an easier course to follow.

At the end of the day, you are the one who needs to be happy with you. Each of us has incredible talent. At the same time, we are all capable of providing something wonderful to this world. Those who spend their time seeking this outlet find they have little time to worry about opinions of others. Those who are busy doing are too busy to read the viewpoints of the critics. Of course, the critics have the time to create their viewpoints since they fail to take any meaningful action in their lives.

Be mindful of this idea the next time someone says something unkind about you. I remember what a spiritual teacher of mine once said "other's opinions of me is none of my business".
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5/23/2009

The Ego's Control

The other day I wrote about anger and the effect it has on us. When we look at the situation further, we understand that the human ego is what drives us to behave in such a manner. If it wasn't for this simple mechanism, we would cease to get upset about that which we do.

To start, the ego is what pushes us to eat. We cannot survive without this crucial human component. It is the most basic of survival mechanisms. At this level, the ego is a helpful asset to be cherished.

However, mankind has a way of allowing the ego to get out of control. There are many names for it: vanity, false pride, etc... The bottom line is that we get into conflict when we allow our opinion of ourselves to become distorted. Harmony with our fellow man disappears.

People's opinion of themselves tends to drift towards one of two extremes. First, someone holds him or herself in very high regard. This shows through in the form of cockiness. Each action is done with the intention of showing you how good they really are.

The second way the ego gets distorted is by making the person believe he or she is worse than everyone else. Because of some past (or even present) conditioning, these people think that everyone in the world is a better person. These individuals continually put themselves down. Their belief system tells them they are worthless.

Each of these two situations is a gross distortion of reality. Everyone has worth, a tremendous worth. We each were blessed with certain skills. Nobody is completely worthless nor is there anyone who borders on perfection. We all have faults. Some excel in areas where others fail and vice versa.

The way to break the ego's control is to attempt to keep things in perspective. Much of what I write about on this blog deals with the perspective one keeps. To me, this is the essence of our existence. Whereas one sees lemons, another sees lemonade. One focuses on the crisis at hand while another sees opportunity. The perspective creates the reality.

You are just as worthy as the person next to you. There are skills you possess which are individual to you. Nobody else can do what you can do. At the same time, you cannot do what another can. That is the paradox of life. We each are not better or worse than others, simply different.

Adopting this mindset makes us realize that much of what we fret about is the ego trying to maintain its place. Anger is a weapon used when it is threatened. Overcome this desire by understanding that circumstances are no reflection of the person that you are. We all deal with things the best we can. Mistakes are made which provide an opportunity to learn. At the end of the day, your own comfort and happiness is what is important.
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5/21/2009

Why The Anger?


Have you ever noticed how people carry around anger with them for years? There are those who want to carry things with them eternally. We see this with political people on television. This also arises when one refers to an ex. It always baffles me how bitter people are even decades later. Makes you wonder if the payoff the person is experiencing is worth the grief it causes.

Why are people so angry? It is crucial to remember that anger is the way that people typically mask fear. When they are angry, they are really covering for a fear they have. Throwing themselves into a stage of rage often is how they believe they are maintaining control. Of course, watch someone in this state and you will see how out-of-control they really are.

Anger comes out in many ways. One of the most common is in the form of negativity. We all have encountered those people who are pessimistic about everything. No matter how things are progressing, they will find the dark cloud. It is as if they go out of their way to find fault with everything.

Naturally, we find these people rarely experience moments of happiness. People who want enjoyment in life choose not to seek all the negative that exists. Here is a simple truth: everyone has bad circumstances. Nobody is exempt from the ups and downs of life. The difference is in how people respond to the situations they encounter.

Take the example of the person who is still sore at an ex-spouse after a decade of more. When is that person going to let it go? The sad truth is probably never (unless he or she is reading this). Holding onto a resentment plants the seeds of death. It is impossible to be happy when one harbors such hatred.

The bottom line is that many people had rotten parents, got into bad marriages, had bosses who were jerks, or were fired through no fault of their own. Get over it. Being angry at something that happened in the past is what children do. Yet, they have the uncanny ability to wipe the slate clean as soon as the next television show comes on. They let bygones be bygones.

Anger only offers the illusion of working. The bottom line is that the one who is angry is the one to suffer. Rarely is the one who is the target of the anger affected. However, the one who chooses to get angry always suffers.

A large part of my journey into growth was to overcome the deep-seeded hatred and anger I had for people and past situations. Certainly I was wronged many times. In fact, there are still circumstances where I get the short-end of the stick without provocation. Yet, at the end of the day, it is not worth getting upset over. My life is within my control. I refuse to allow someone else to occupy too much space in my head. This removes the natural inclination to devise schemes to get revenge. I move on with my life while learning a lesson.

Remember, anger kills.
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5/20/2009

Take It To Another Level

This is a simple mindset trick that can radically alter the success that you have. Most of us operate at a default level mentally, energetically, and physically. It is most apparent when you watch the pace that people walk at. Most will go at something that is subconsciously comfortable to them.

One of the easiest ways to improve your life is to take everything you do up to another level. We often see this done in sports when champion athletes get "up" for the big game. It seems their talents rise to another level when everything is on the line.

You can do the same thing in your life. Most of what we do is segmented into different compartments. We have our work lives, followed by family, recreation, etc... Apply this mindset to each area will net us substantial results in general.

Let us look at exercise as an example. Most get into a routine and stick with it. Champion athletes chronicle how they often alter their routine to get maximum benefit from their workout. We need to do the same thing. Perhaps it is possible for you to enter the gym and quantify your exercise routine. Let's say that you normally operate at a level 5. You will see drastic results if you concentrate on performing at a level 7. This minor difference in effort will create a success rate that is higher than you were previously enjoying.

We can apply this to all areas. People who are successful operate at a different level. This exercise will help push you to a higher level. Try it for the next week to notice an instant difference.
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5/03/2009

In 100 Years...

In 100 years, what will it matter? I heard this line again in a movie I watched the other night. This got me to thinking about all the trivial hangups we all have. Can, adopting this outlook, make a difference in the actions we take in our lives? I believe that it will.

Utilizing this idea allows us to look at the larger picture. Too often we want to focus upon the isolated situations in front of us. Fear, a constant within most people, prevents the taking of action. We are so scared to failed that we resist taking the action. In the end, we live a life of unfulfilled dreams and promises.

If we remembered this simple saying each time we are confronted with a choice, I believe that the chance of moving forward is greatly increased. People are more willing to accept "failure" if they know the outcome really does not matter. Isnt that true for most things in life?

Let me give you an example. What was the last thing that you were really upset about? Can you even remember what it was? Think back a few weeks to the time where you were really angry? What situation caused that anger to dwell within you?

Whenever I ask these questions, most people find out that whatever they were irritated with was not that important. Usually they understand that what seemed crucial in the moment is really inconsequential in the long run. Things such as spilled milk, lost items, or forgotten tasks rarely amount to much. However, what often is of consequence is the reactions we have to those situations. Our exhibition of anger will leave an impact on our loved ones.

Fear is a jailer that knows no mercy. Resist the temptation to give into it by understanding that things will not matter in 100 years. Rejection is something that only hurts in the moment. Long term, it has little impact on our lives. Yet an acceptance of our proposition by another often leads to a breakthrough. There is more gained in life by saying "yes" rather than "no".

This concept is all about taking chances. Realizing that failure means little in the grand scheme enables us to pursue opportunities without limitation. In 100 years, it won't matter. Therefore, how much does it matter now?
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4/26/2009

Personal Accountability

A major component to success is the ability to follow through. Action is a pre-requisite for achievement. The greatest plans in the world are worthless unless action is added to the mix. It is the transition that takes something from the invisible world (an idea) into the visible (physical form).

To do this, there needs to be a level of accountability someplace along the line. Rarely is success a one-shot deal. Most often, success is the result of dedicated effort over a long period of time. Persistence is a common quality among those who excel. They have the ability to persevere regardless of the obstacles that arise.

It seems that we do the best when we are accountable to others. Lying is not something that most people will openly admit to enjoying. We want to perceive ourselves as honest. Yet, if we tell someone that we will do something, and fail to take the action, that is a form of dishonesty. For many, this is a situation they will do everything to avoid. Therefore, people do fairly well when they are accountable to others.

This scenario takes a different twist when that accountability is removed. There are many situations where the only one who we are accountable is ourselves. Here is where the trouble begins. People, in general, seem to be awful at maintaining any type of personal accountability. Sadly, they will always 'let themselves off the hook'. You can see this in all walks of life.

Let us use weight loss as an example. It is common for someone to commit to losing weight. The desire to change one's physical being most often comes around the New Year. The resolve to lose 'X' amount of pounds is made. Plans are set forth including joining a gym. And, for the first few weeks, the person follows through on the decision.

Of course, we all know what happens next. The desire to keep at it wanes over time. One day, the individual talks him or herself out of going to the gym. Of course, the rationalization makes total sense in that person's head. Following this pattern, within a few weeks the workout routine is totally eliminated.

What happened to the resolve that the person had on January 1st? The simple fact in life is that we will not always be motivated to take action. On any given day the desire to follow through might not be there. This occurs in everybody's life. However, those who attain success are the ones who can overcome these moments. Taking action in spite of how you feel is a key for those who want success.

Accountability is critical is one is to be successful. The ideal is for you to develop the ability to be accountable to oneself. If you set down an objective, follow through as if the entire world is watching. Understand that breaking your 'word' to yourself is just as bad as doing it to someone else. Be honest with yourself. Hold yourself to the same standards anyone else would. This single concept will increase your productivity significantly.

Since I understand how difficult it is to establish this foundation, the next suggestion is to establish accountability with others as often as possible. In the above mentioned example, getting a workout partner is a fantastic way to erect the accountability bridge. The likelihood of meeting at the gym when you commit to someone else is much greater then if it is just you. Look for those people in your life who you can be accountable to. Tell others of what you plan to do so that you have that foundation in place. You chances of success are drastically increased.

Focusing your attention on accountability can radically alter your life. It is something that most take for granted. However, seeking it out is a way to develop the habit of being responsible. Let your word be your bond. If you say it, do it. Act as if your life depended upon completing this action. You will see an immediate increase in your productivity.
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4/21/2009

Ignore What You Cannot Change

People love to spend time complaining about things which they cannot change. It is one of the easiest ways to sabotage your success. There are certain things which we can affect in our lives. However, wasting energy on things which cannot be changed is a waste of time and effort.

There are those who love to complain. They will bitch about anything and everything. This creates for a miserable existence. It also sucks us into a rut which is extremely difficult to exit. You need to be mindful of this when you are approaching this zone.

What are some of the things that people commonly complain about which they cannot alter in the slightest. The list is endless. Nevertheless, some examples are taxes, the speed which time elapses, others opinions, the weather, and your height. No matter how much effort you put into talking about these topics, you will not change them at all. You are powerless over each of those situations.

Power comes in exerting efforts into things that you can meaningfully impact while ignoring the rest. Instead of complaining about the weather, grab an umbrella and go about your business. You are the height that you are so accept it and move on. Taxes are a part of life. Learn how to best minimize their impact on you through better tax strategy. All these things will not change even if you talked about them for years on end. They are out of your control.

Perhaps the biggest hindrance to your success is your focusing on the past. This is something that people consistently dwell upon. Well, guess what? There is not a single thing that you can do about it other than learn the lessons presented. Until we develop time travel, all that occurred in the past remains there. The problem with focusing in this area is that you miss the present moments, the time when you can truly exert some influence.

So, in closing, break the habit of focusing on those things that you have absolutely no control over. It is an incredible time waster while only creating frustration. Regain your power by not being a victim to those situation which you are powerless over. Ignore them while concentrating in a different area. Your life will be better served.
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4/18/2009

Other People's Programming

Have you ever thought about the difference between a cult and a religion? What is it that separates the two? I believe the only difference is the conditioning we received which leads us to our conclusions. The programming of others is what establishes the beliefs that we carry with us each day.

Cults have the reputation for brainwashing people. Many who lead these enterprises are manipulative people with a self-serving (and sometimes evil) agenda. They are often delusional individuals who prey upon the weak. Those who fit a particular profile are targeted. Many believe that it is the weak who fall prey to this type of manipulation.

However, couldn't we say the same thing about the world's religions? People get their belief system from the "church" which tells them what is going to happen. They are instructed of how they are to live, what to worship, and with whom to interact. All stages of life, and thereafter, are often spelled out. Yet millions of people show up to their places of worship every Sunday.

So what is the difference between Jim Jones and the Pope? A case could be made that they are similar in how they influence the beliefs of others. Obviously Jim Jones was seriously demented in his quest for power and immortality. Having people commit mass suicide is probably not the path that God wants one to travel.

I feel the difference is in how we perceive the institutions we place our trust in. Since most of society readily accepts the major religions as legitimate, they are looked upon favorably. Yet something like the Church of Scientology is frowned upon because it is not the norm. In fact, Western culture carries the viewpoint of some of the Eastern philosophies while extolling the virtues of their own beliefs. Have you noticed how Islam is one of the most popular religions yet Christians feel those believers are barbaric? As if nobody ever died in the name of God.

My purpose in writing this is not to start a religious war. Personally, I have no "dog in this fight". Nevertheless, I do feel it important to show how powerful the conditioning of others is upon us. For those who truly want to live their own lives, it is vital that we make our own choices. Questioning our beliefs is crucial to this process.

Too often people are afraid to stray from the norm. They feel they have to behave in certain ways. Sadly, conformity is often the road to misery. Study the life of any successful person and you will realize that they broke from the masses at some point. Blind followers are like sheep. They are open to the abuse of others. This is something that the powerful in every walk of life prey upon. Cults, religions, government, and major corporations all use methods to program our thinking. Those who fail to question anything are the easy targets they seek.

Start to take control of what you think. Continually check your belief system and ask yourself, "why do I believe this"? How did you come about those conclusions? Is this something that you consciously selected or was it instilled in you by others? Family, friends, and schooling all have a part in this process. That is why people from similar backgrounds often behave in the same manner. The social conditioning can affect all of us.

Freedom starts with the thoughts in your mind. Begin the process of taking back control by looking at all the thoughts you have. If you find yourself defending a particular viewpoint, question why you believe that. It will be an enlightening exercise.
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4/12/2009

Fear Leads To 'No'


A few days ago, I wrote about "Saying Yes to Life". This is something that I believe many people need to implement. We are conditioned by society to say no to offers. Saying 'yes' opens up experiences we otherwise would have passed on.

Today I want to touch upon the psychology behind this. Most people allow fear to control their lives. The reason I make this statement is they tend to say 'no' more often then they say 'yes'. A life filled with negative responses is one that is run by fear.

Fear always leads to 'no'. It cannot be any other way. Fear is a technique used by the mind to maintain certainty. Anytime you are pondering something different the mind determines ways that it can control the certainty you experience. Obviously, a potentially new experience means there will be some uncertainty. The mind abhors this. Therefore, it creates a bit of fear in you to get you to deny the opportunity. Operating under the status quo is preferred.

Getting out of our comfort zone is the key to an expanding life. Naturally, there is some discomfort associated with doing this. Saying yes to new challenges and opportunities is how we grow. Sadly, most stop believe their growing stops when they reach adulthood. A truly enlightened person will seek to grow more during the adult years as opposed to childhood. This is a large order since childhood is nothing but a big growth stage.

Consider the responses you have to life situations. Think about all those times that you say no to others. Is this the overriding response in your life? If it is, I would point out that you are most likely allowing fear to control you. It is the one making the decisions for you. And, it is robbing you of a wonderful life. New experiences are what make things fun and exciting. The status quo becomes boring after a short period of time. Unfortunately, many remain within their same circle for years.

Begin today to say 'yes' to life. Whatever is asked of you today, answer in the affirmative. Regardless of what it is, agree to do it (unless it puts you at physical risk). Seek out some new experiences for yourself. This will lay the foundation for a more fulfilled life. Get out of the habit of saying 'no' all the time.
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4/11/2009

Who is looking at themselves?

We live in the 'age of blame'. People are being taught that it is acceptable to place the blame for the ills in our lives on others. This concept has taken hold to such a great degree that it is a national epidemic. And, the powerful in the media and the government are only fostering this idea.

When was the last time a powerful person stood up and took responsibility for a failure. Consider for a second the political landscape. We are in the midst of the worst economic situation in a couple of generations yet nobody in power has taken any responsibility for it. Instead, they are blaming everyone else. The finger pointing is on at full speed.

I try to train people to look at themselves. This is crucial for success. I subscribe to the ancient belief that if I am responsible I can make a change; if you are responsible I have to wait for you to change. Personal responsibility is where personal power resides.

The best definition I ever heard of this idea is 'the freedom to create our own lives'. This sums it up perfectly. Yet, in this era, we are taught that is not the way to go. We are a nation of bailouts. People bought homes they could not afford so we bail them out. Automobile companies operate under a bad business model, thus we reward them with billions. The same is true for the financial institutions. Everywhere we turn, people are being 'propped up' for bad choices. This further enhances the blame others mindset.

My desire is not to discuss the political decisions of our government. The goal is to get you to understand how few adhere to personal responsibility as a virtue. They will tell you they are responsible only to blame others. This is not how I want you to behave.

The bottom line is that you are where you are because of choices you made. It is that simple. You are the one who created your life. Even if you left it up to others to decide for you, you are the one who made that decision. Nobody forced you to take a particular job that you were just laid off from. If you had gone and become a doctor, your life would be different. The woman who is now divorcing you wed you without a gun to your head. Those children who are a burden on you are the result of your sexual activity. Except in the case of rape, you were a willing participant.

It is so easy to blame others. Especially in this era where we see it happening all the time. Why should you take responsibility for anything when nobody else is? The answer to that resides in the idea of freedom. It is only through personal responsibility that one can truly be free. failure to take this step will leave one dependent upon others. In other words, you live in captivity.

So what do you want? For those who desire freedom, the time has come to adopt personal responsibility as a virtue. It is you only path to the promised land.
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4/08/2009

Thinking About Things Differently

The world is coming to an end. At least that is the impression that one could get by reading the headlines doled out by the media. While not believing that the end is near, I will grant that we are in some trying times. This worldwide debacle has the potential to eclipse the Great Depression in severity. People are going to see things we have not witnessed in a few generations.

For this reason, I feel it important for people to change their mode of thinking. Many in the press made an issue of the fact that all stock profits gained by the bull market run over the last decade were wiped out in the last 6-9 months. This completely destroyed the buy and hold model of stock investing. People who adhered to this philosophy realized major losses recently.

This is just one example of how people's thinking needs to change. Another example is the idea of security in one's job. The days of lifetime employment left us 15 years ago. However, many still clung to the illusion that there is safety in a job. Understand this: there is no security in a job. This is something that can be lost at any time. We are witnessing well over half a million people losing their security each month in the United States alone.

Now is the time to rethink what direction you are going in. What are you going to do different in the near future to protect yourself against the circumstances we are now facing? Are you prepared to start that side business to supplement your income while you still are fortunate to be employed? Will you seek different streams of revenue to prevent a financial collapse if you are let go? Did you consider the opportunity you have under you own roof by renting out the spare bedroom? These are all ideas which are aside from the traditional thinking yet so necessary in this era.

You are capable of far more than you have done. The truth is that most in the Western world have enjoyed a relatively easy ride. We simply have not been pushed. Even those who suffered fail to realize what true poverty is. If you are questioning what it looks like, study the conditions in Africa or areas of Central America. That is true poverty.

Nevertheless, if this situation is prolonged, we might see something similar start to arise in this country. Many will find themselves facing circumstances which will test what they are made of. Fortunately, there is a lot more within you than even you imagine. Success is something that we all can attain regardless of the circumstances. It is only a matter of believing that we can do it. Sadly, few will reveal this to themselves until they are forced into the situation. Think differently about yourself starting this moment; it might be needed in the future.

The world around us is rapidly changing. A different way of thinking is critical to our advancement. What worked just a few years ago is now obsolete. The entire game has changed. Get yourself ahead of the curb by altering the way you look at things. This will uncover avenues which are right under your nose. With every crisis comes monumental opportunities for the person who is looking. Take advantage of it.
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4/07/2009

Our Habits Determine Our Success

People by their very nature are creatures of habits. We all have heard this and fundamentally know it to be true. However, have you ever really truly taken the time to ponder this idea. At its core, this idea states that all the success we want can be attained if we adopt the proper habits.

Is life really this simple? Could something as basic as habits create all the outcomes we desire? In a word, 'yes'. Anything you want to attain is a matter of only determining what habitual activities are necessary for its attainment. Once that is completed, repetition is added by doing the tasks over and over until it becomes a habit. This is the ultimate model for success.

I will use Ernest Hemingway as an example. Here was a man who is noted as one of the most successful writers in the 20th century. His works have been read by millions worldwide. He had a writing style that was unique which accounted for a large portion of his success. However, nothing would be achieved unless he sat down and wrote.

When Hemingway was working on a book, he was in the habit of writing. His routine was to start about 8 am after he ate his breakfast and write until 2 in the afternoon. He did this everyday. There was not a thought as to what he was doing the next day or at what time. From 8-2 he wrote. During that time he was able to produce between 500-700 words (this was before computers). This daily habit enabled him to complete works which were between 90,000-150,000 words.

Take the Olympic athlete as an example. This is a person who works at his/her craft everyday, 7 days a week. He or she is in the habit of getting into the gym or pool and practicing. It is not something that is questioned or thought about. The habit of getting up and working out is ingrained. The odds are great that there is little thought required. Working out is a habit.

The flip side is all the poor habits we have which prevent us from reaching our goals. How many people habitually turn the television on when they get home from work. They prefer to 'lose' themselves in sitcoms. This might not be an effective option if one is seeking to advance his or her career.

Exercising follows the same pattern. One who flops on the sofa drinking a few beers will not attain advanced health. It is only by developing the habit of exercise and proper eating will one lose weight. Yet most fail because of their habits.

As you can see, the idea is to get the mind thinking as little as possible. Given an opportunity, the mind will create many reasons for not doing something productive. Developing a habit is what allows us to bypass this. We suddenly realize that we are working out without thinking about it. The conscious thought arises after we are already at the gym. This is where our success becomes automatic.

Most people are on autopilot to failure. They habitually do the things that create adverse results in their life. Without thinking, they spend hours in front of the television. Nutritionally empty foods that are high in fat are consumed without regard for the long term effects. Relationships are sabotaged because of a lack of emotional mastery which results in things being said that are later regretted. Laziness is allowed to creep into all aspects of life unnoticed. In short, our habits are our enemy.

Begin today by looking at some of your habits. What are the things that you do which hurt you? Make a list and begin to replace them with empowering activities. Focus on them for a few weeks and you will see how they become a habit. Only then will you know what it is like to be on autopilot towards success.
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4/04/2009

Motivation Aids

People often tell me they lack motivation to complete the tasks which need their attention. In a word, they lack motivation. This is something that is fairly common among those who struggle. They have desires, and perhaps even a plan, yet fail to have the motives to complete what they desire. Thus their dilemma.

I cannot thoroughly cover how unearthing the "why" behind a desire will provide most of the energy needed to complete a task in this post. However, I can offer some assistance which will help you to get motivated to complete what you need to. These tidbits can be put into place immediately if you are only willing to follow them.

Have you ever noticed that gyms have music playing while people work out? This is done in an effort to create a particular atmosphere. Now, let us take this one step further. What is the difference between the music played in a gym versus that in an elevator. Each location has music yet creates a different atmosphere. The gym has something that will create energy and pump a person up while the elevator seeks to soothe.

Music is one of the most powerful motivators there is. Whatever you are confronted at doing, look for ways to add music to it. This will make the experience more enjoyable while providing an atmosphere for success.

As I write this post, I have some classical music playing in the background. This is something that I find helpful to write to. While I admit I am a fan of hard rock music, that does not lend itself to my creative writing. Classical music sets the tone I need to complete my work. At the same time, since this is really the only time I listen to this music, my mind is conditioned that classical music means writing. It is a trigger for me to start writing.

Enlisting the help of aids is useful in completing tasks. For example, people into yoga or pilates use mats to assist them. When these items are rolled out, the person knows that they are going to workout. The same is for weightlifters and their belts. I only wear this when I am working out thus my mind is conditioned to get motivated for exercise when the belt goes on.

These aids can also be used as stepping stones when you are lacking the motivation to get going. For example, if I lack the desire to write on a given day, I will flip on the music and sit at my computer. This is a step I can take with greater ease as opposed to writing immediately. Turning on the music is an action which moves me towards my eventual outcome.

The same is true for exercise. If you are lacking the desire to do it today, begin by putting on your workout clothing. This is a step you can easier handle then trying to "psyche" yourself up to workout. Once the clothing is on, take yourself to the gym (or wherever you workout). This is another step which moves you towards the results you seek. Finally, since you are dressed and there, you might as well workout.

We can break any activity down into manageable tasks. However, using motivational aids is an effective way to succeed. Music is one of the most powerful tools on this planet. It is something that strikes at the core of most people. Consider this the next time you find yourself resistant to doing something.

Now, since my writing is completed, I need to find my Metallica cd to motivate myself to work out.
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Say YES To Life


I believe that "no" is one of the most commonly used words in the English language. From the time we are little, we hear this word millions of times. Some people estimate that a child will hear the word "no" over 87,000 times before the age of 4. No matter how valid this statistic, we all can agree that it is every parents favorite word.

Of course, children are wonderful absorbers of their environment. They take in all that is around them. Is it any surprise that children say "no" with tremendous regularity. In short order, this becomes their favorite word.

Sadly, as we pass through life, we begin to accept this as our default notion. We react negatively to all opportunities or requests. Carrying forward the mindset instilled in our youth, we turn down all that is offered us. We say no to life.

It is for this reason that many live in a state of desperate existence. They will tell you they want so much more yet they repeatedly live each day the same as before. Whenever something is presented, they return to their favorite saying, "no".

If you are interested in transforming your life, it is time to start saying "yes" to life. This means that you move your life from a state of existing to one where you are truly living. You start to accept some of the things that life has to offer. Over time, your circle of experiences will expand.

Fear is the primary motivator for most people. To them, this is the driving force which creates the results in their lives. Unfortunately, since it is a negative power, it manifests a life that is disappointing. A life based upon fear is a lousy way to live.

Everyday we are confronted with decisions. The majority of them are yes or no answers. We have the choice to decide if we are going to do something or not. All to often, we opt for the negative. In doing so, we select what is comfortable. Therefore, we are dealing with what is known.

Saying YES to life means trying new things. Fundamentally, it deals with expanding your circle of experiences. Getting out of our comfort zone is one of the hardest things for people to do. Yet, it is also the most rewarding. There is nothing that is stopping you except for the fear telling you "no".

Overcome this. The next time you are given a choice, say "yes" to whatever is being offered. Instead of sitting home Friday night, take up the invite to go out with co-workers. Attend that latest movie even if you think it will be boring. Buy that stock even though you are uncertain where it will go (use a stop-loss). Read a book on a subject that you previously thought uninteresting. You never know what you will like until you try it.

People who are successful are the ones who say "yes" to things. People who reject everything never get ahead in life. Success is the result of taking some chances. To be successful in anything, we have to "put ourselves out there" and risk failure. It is that simple. However, success is achieved when we expose ourselves to this possibility.

Saying no is a guarantee of failure. It is impossible to win if you are not in the game. This is a fundamental premise of life. How can you expect to win the lottery if you do not buy a ticket? You cannot. The same is true for business, personal, or emotional success. Until you start a business, you will not be on the path to creating the next Microsoft. Marriage does not result until someone gets down on a knee and asks. Overcoming the fear of failure and rejection are steps in developing success. This is done by saying "yes".

Jim Carrey recently had a movie that I really enjoyed. It is called "Yes Man" and one that I recommend if you have a chance to see it. The basic idea is that he was under the spell of a guru where he believed that he had to say yes to everything that was offered. As you can imagine, this led him on some pretty interesting adventures. Ponder for a minute how different your daily life would be if you took this approach. I bet boredom would be something you rarely experienced.

Thoreau mentioned that most people "live a life of quiet desperation". I agree with him. Few really live. Instead they are trudging from one day to the next hoping things will change. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that the universe is presenting them with daily opportunities to change their path. Yet, they fall into their conditioning and say no to it all. Reverse this course by saying yes to some things today. It will radically alter your day.
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4/02/2009

Quality versus Quantity

I recently had an occasion to witness how someone seeks to develop her self through quantity rather than quality. Her esteem is such that she needs to surround herself with lots of people. This woman is always texting, calling, or instant messaging someone at all times throughout the day. I had the opportunity to see this first hand by going out to lunch with her. During the entire time we spent together, she never stopped interacting with others. This got my curiosity up to look a bit deeper into this.

A week later, I had the chance to meet her again. It was interesting how the low esteem is interwoven in all she does. To start, I will tell you this woman's life is chaos. She is always later no matter what. And, when I say late, it is not a few minutes. She showed up 45 minutes late to our get together. Normally, I would have left after about 15 minutes but I was interested in understanding this more. Again, when she got there, it was a similar thing. She was going a mile-a-minute the entire time. A relaxing meal was anything but that.

Not to short change my research, I was able to get with the girl in a group setting with all her friends. It was her birthday and some people threw her a party. Not surprisingly, she was late (about 40 minutes). And when she arrived, she worked the room like a pro. She was so elated to see everyone who was there. At one point during the evening, she shared how much all the people there meant to her. Many of them "saved her life". It was a heartwarming sentiment.

Why do I bring this story up? How does this pertain to quality? My interaction with this woman was numerous texts messages, a few phone calls, and 3 in-person meetings. We initially got together because we agreed to meet for a cup of coffee. What is interesting is that she has no idea that I am a writer. This is one of the major aspects of my life. Yet she has no clue about this side of me.

To me, this shows that this person is interested in quantity rather than quality. She mentioned how much our time meant to her and how she is so glad that I am in her life. It struck me as odd that someone would jump to that level so quickly. I surmise that is how it is with all her "friends". They became important to her really quick yet, in the end, she knows little about most of them. This is what happens when we focus on quantity.

Success in life is contingent upon the quality of our moments. No matter what it is that you are doing, it is the quality which you do that activity which is important. Even if it is simply washing the dishes. How well are you doing that single act? That is what makes a difference in your life.

Life is nothing but a series of moments. The goal is to make each of those moments filled with the best experiences. To do this, we need to look at our own self worth issues to determine our motivation. I like to surround myself with quality people. My esteem is such that I have no problem discontinuing interaction with another if they behave in manners unacceptable to me. People pleasing is not part of my defect list.

This woman that I just mentioned is not someone I choose to have in my life. After my observations were completed, I let the interaction go. Not surprisingly, contact on her end ceased also. Her text messages were mostly replies to inquiries I made. She was rarely the instigator. Again, I would guess this is true for most of her relationships.

Now, please do not get me wrong. This woman is a wonderful person on many different levels. There are things about her that I admire and respect her for. However, she is not someone that I believe I could ever trust. Her word cannot be believed. She repeatedly says one thing while doing another.

In the end, we must seek quality in all our relationships. It is far better to have a few close people who you know all about as opposed to a giant posse of followers. That is what I believe this woman had. The lack of trust probably went both ways with them. This is not something that I want in my life.

As mentioned, I seek out those quality relationships with others. It takes effort and work. We all know that it is something which is difficult. Nevertheless, the payoff is tremendous. At the end of the day, the only thing we truly have to bank upon is our relationship with other people. Those who are closest to us are the ones who really matter.
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4/01/2009

Thoughts Have Power


Have you ever stopped to consider the power of the mind? If not, perhaps it is time that you really pondered how much force exists between your ears. Regardless of who you are, there is enough energy in your mind to create whatever you desire. People just like you developed the atomic bomb, built monasteries, erected skyscrapers, and tore down others. The mind is the most powerful computer in the world.

Sadly, this item is commonly used for destruction. Most of the energy which comes from it is negative. We allow the mind to control us through the use of fear. In turn, it creates a reality for us which is completely different then we desire. One day we wake up only to realize that our life "past us by".

Each thought you have has the power to either create or destroy. The results of your thinking is solely up to you. Mastering this force takes practice yet it is within reach. We learn to think negatively, thus we can reverse this practice. In the end, it will be what changes your life.

Consider the impact that each thought has on your life. If that is too much for you at this time, then just consider how each of these thoughts affects your day (or moment). Our day is quickly ruined if we are consistently having negative thoughts. And, what is a negative thought? One that is driven by fear. When we allow these ideas to marinade in our head, we end up destroying our day. String enough of these days together and you will end up with a ruined life.

This is the power that exists at this moment in your mind. Therefore, it is time to reverse this course. We can do this by implementing positive ideas throughout our day. Mastering this single technique will result in all your dreams coming true.

Let us remember that everyone gets negative thoughts. There is not a person on this planet who does not experience periodic fear. However, the difference is the successful do not allow it to stop them. When the negative pops into their minds, they discard it immediately. The easiest way to do this is to replace it with something positive. I like to think of the exact opposite of what the fear is focusing upon. If it is telling me something is not going to work out, I think of how it will. This reversal gets me moving in the direction that I need to go while taking the action necessary for success.

Use your mind for creative purposes. You were not put here to suffer. There is an old saying "God don't make junk". Do not believe the mindless, negative chatter that goes on between your ears. We all have something to contribute. The world is waiting for you to share your genius with it. There is something specific which you are here to do. It is up to you to find it.

Greatness is not something you are born into. Heroic actions are often performed by average people. Having the belief that you can succeed is the first step in rising to whatever challenges life has to offer. Success is first created in the mind. Everything in this world which was created by man initially was a thought in someone's head. The grandest achievements started as pipe dreams.

The power of the universe is at your hands. Everyone taps into this power on a daily basis. Unfortunately, most are accessing it for negative results. Their outcome is destruction. Only something as forceful as that could completely destroy a life. However, when we harness this power for good, we can achieve incredible ends.

Unleash the power of thought. Choose what you want to concentrate your attention upon. Get away from fear-based thinking. Fill your mind with positive images which will help you to take action. Create a dream board complete with photos of your strongest desires. Look at these each morning so that you start with the proper mindset. This will take effort but it can be done. Controlling your thinking allows you to control your life.

Thoughts do have power. If you are like most, thus far they destroyed. Turn the tide by holding onto those thoughts which make you feel good. See things in your mind working out how you would like them. Use this power for total life creation. This is something that you can unleash anytime you like. Why not start this moment?
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3/31/2009

Fear: The Unseen Enemy


Have you ever stopped to consider how much fear controls the average person's life? This is the single greatest obstacle to success that exists. There is nothing else on this planet that even comes close to destroying as many dreams as fear does. The mastering of this single emotion will set you on the path to instant success.

Fear is something that exists entirely in our head. Now, when I talk about fear, I am not referring to the fight or flight instinct that humans are born with. This sort of fear is a benefit when we find ourselves in a situation where physical danger is present. The fight or flight trigger has physical benefits to ensure our survival. It is not this which stops people's progress.

When I mention fear, I am alluding to the mental creation which prevents us from taking action. It is that little voice which tells us everything is wrong. We "see" images in our minds of failure or rejection which puts us on edge. All projections are negative, thus picturing a horrific outcome. This is the fear which stops people dead in their tracks.

Fear is the unseen enemy of success. It is the overriding factor in most individual's lives. Sadly, it is not something that exists. Fear is a production of the mind. It is not something that one can touch, taste, or fear. The entire reason it is there is to prevent one from entering into the unknown.

This is the reason fear exists. The mind abhors the unknown. Instead, it prefers certainty. That being said, understand the mind will do anything to create that certainty for itself. Fear is a powerful weapon against you entering into the unknown. Anytime there is a doubt in your mind of how things will work out, fear is used to sway you from going in that direction.

Many believe the status quo is safe. They seek out security in all they do. Unfortunately, all their choices are driven by fear. It becomes their jailer. The possibility of positive outcomes are discounted since the mind doesn't experience certainty there. All that is recognized is negativity. The mind literally scares you into making the choice that fear wants you to make.

Would you allow Santa Claus to run your life? Most sane adults would say "no". Then how come these same people will allow something just as illogical to run their lives. Santa Claus is a something believed in by children. He does not exist. Rational adults know it to be true since Santa Claus cannot be seen, touched, nor heard. As was just mentioned, the same is true of fear. It simply does not exist.

Fear creeps up on you and slowly drains your life. People who suffer from procrastination are almost paralyzed by fear. Over time, individuals will lose the ability to do even the easiest of tasks. Fear exists in all they do. However, it did not start that way. It is something that patiently took hold as the years past. That is why many call it the silent killer.

Be mindful of the fear you experience on a daily basis. It is something that is robbing you blind. Ask yourself throughout the day if what you are feeling is real. Identify what is really there. If it is fear-based, you will find nothing. Remember the tricks the mind plays. Whatever it is envisioning, there is no certainty that is how the situation will resolve itself. In fact, the odds are great that the circumstances will be resolved in a way that is more favorable then what you pictured.

Like Einstein said, "I fear 10,000 things in my life, most of which never came true".
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3/29/2009

Get The Day Started Right


Over the last few weeks, we discussed how action is the bridge from the invisible to the visible world. It is what takes an idea and makes it reality. Sadly, most fall short at this phase of their progress. Fear in the form of procrastination takes over resulting in self-sabotage. Moving ahead in an active manner is crucial to our success.

I often mention having a list of things that you want to get done on a particular day. This helps to visually see all that you are trying to accomplish. Many suggest using this technique for personal success. However, I find that there is a thought that says start with the hardest activity first. Thus, if you complete the difficult tasks, your day will be complete even if all is not done.

Over the years, I dealt with people who were bitten by the procrastination bug. To a person, this method was a total failure. People who put things off are not going to compensate for the by handling a difficult task first thing in the morning. They will seek other ways to delay confronting that activity.

Momentum is a force that the most successful are able to harness. When we get something flowing, momentum builds which "pushes" us further ahead. Instead of continual struggle, we have energy helping us. Nevertheless, to build momentum, it is necessary to first get started. And, for a procrastinator, this is often an impossible task.

In these situations, I prefer to have 4 or 5 items at the top of the list that are rather easy to accomplish. Completing simple tasks while crossing them off is what helps to create some momentum. In other words, it gets the person started in the right direction. They start their day off right by building the immediate momentum. Then, they are better prepared to move onto some of the tougher tasks.

Following a system like this helps to set the tone for the day. People often fall into habitual behavior which causes them to suffer. Instead of starting productively, they begin by going to their favorite time wasters. Some will turn on the television while others surf the net. Regardless of the mechanism, success is not created in these activities.

Success is not a secret. It is a simple as deciding what you want and taking the action to get yourself there. No success was ever attain without action. Start you day right by completing a few items in a quick fashion. This will help you to build some momentum.
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3/28/2009

Consistency = Trust


Everyone wants to be trusted. It is something that many crave without even being aware of it. In fact, the majority of people believe they are trustworthy. And in some regards they are. However, there are many ways in which they are not.

It begins with how we view trust. In other words, what is our basic definition of trust. I would say that most look at it as being honest. They are trustworthy because they will not steal from you. I believe this makes them honest, not necessarily trustworthy. Nevertheless, for their definition, they are trustworthy.

To me, being trustworthy means being able to be depended upon. Not stealing my dvd player is a good start but it goes much deeper than that. If I am to trust someone, that person needs to show the ability to do what is promised. I believe that each day we make unwritten contracts with each other. Unfortunately, most break these contracts with their actions. These are the people who I believe are untrustworthy.

What is the top quality that endears trust? Consistency. When someone is consistent, they are predictable. This is something that is not held in high esteem by most of society. Yet, it is the easiest way to garner the trust of another. Be consistent in your actions. Those who are "all over the place" make people uneasy since they never know what to expect. Emotional control is a great predictor of the ability for one to perform.

Another factor I find extremely important is one who consistently does what he or she says. Keeping your word is another quality that is not emphasized like it was in the past. There was a time when "your word is your bond". Now, many will make statements without giving any thought as to whether the action will be completed.

Nothing frustrates me more then when someone tells me they will call me back after a meeting and they fail to do so. This is where I quickly size people up. Those who cannot keep a simple commitment such as this also tend to show up late for things. They are continually falling short on projects while missing deadlines. Overall, they tend to be all over the place with everything.

These people are not trustworthy to me. They lack any basic consistency to their life or our interaction. It matters little whether we are referring to a friendship, business, or romantic relationship. The same standard applies. When one is consistent in their actions as compared to their words, then I find them to be trustworthy. Those who do not, are not.

Consider your daily life. Are you consistent in what you do? Do you seek to fulfill your unwritten promises you made to another? Or do you say things while doing something completely different? The answers to these questions will tell you if others trust you or not. People who live their life in a haphazard manner usually are not trusted. This might be an eye-opener to you but it is reality. You might not be as trustworthy as you believe. If you aren't, focus on being more consistent in all that you do.
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Think, Act, Adjust

Here is a simple system for success in any area of life. Following these three steps will ensure you move forward in a consistent manner in the direction that you prefer. In the end, you will achieve what you desire in life.

Few people spend time thinking about what they truly want in life. Many are following the dreams that others set down for them. They made a decision to pursue a particular path at 17 or 18 and find themselves in the same profession decades later. Each day is justified by pointing to the fact that "I do alright at it". Never do they consider what truly inspires them.

This is offset by spending some time in thought. Choosing our life takes courage and willingness. The internal searching often is a frustrating process yet will yield magnificent dividends when done. Think about what you desire out of life. Get a mental picture of the model you want in your head. Life is not a "one size fits all deal". It is up to the individual to design his or her dream life.

After thinking, it is time to take action. More people stumble here than at any other point in life. Fear is a constant enemy for most people. Sadly, it is also the victor. Many allow fear to prevent them from taking the action which will lead to their dreams. They justify this by alluding to the fact that "this isnt the perfect time". Here is a lesson for you: there is no perfect time. The time to get started is immediately. Life is too short to squander away because of fear.

Success is a result of action. Nothing in this world is created without some type of action. All dreams exist on the invisible plane. What makes them reality is action. It is the bridge between the invisible and visible world. Taking control of the fear monster is what allows us to step forward. Systematic action always leads to successful results.

The final piece is to make adjustments. Many fail to act because they are fearful (again) about making the wrong decision. Bad decisions are a part of life. Those who are successful overcome the fear of making a poor choice by knowing they can adjust later. Nobody said we had to attain perfection. The need to "get it right" is what often prevents people from stepping forward.

Take the action and adjust as necessary. If you see yourself moving down the wrong path, alter your plans. We see this done all the time when building a home. There will be multiple set of plans created as the project moves forward. As design challenges arise, the architects amend the plans to solve the unanticipated issues. They adjust based upon their original decisions.

So, think, act, and adjust. Implement this process into all that you do each day. You will find that your life moves ahead at a much faster pace when you follow this outline. Success is closer than you think.
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Indecisiveness

This is one of the states with is guaranteed to lead to failure. When people are indecisive, they fail to take action. It is impossible to be focused and bold when one is torn mentally. This is something that you will want to eliminate from your life.

It is impossible to make the correct decision in every situation. Part of the human experience is making mistakes. Yet, too many allow their fear of making the wrong decision hinder them from making one at all. There is a saying, "no decision is a decision". Being indecisive is a path that leads to failure.

Let me give you an example. Have you ever had those days where you were torn on how to spend your time? Perhaps you anticipated the weather being awful so you thought of something else to do. Then, upon arising, you noticed the weather was nice. This created indecisiveness in your mind. Do you follow you plans or go back to your initial thought of spending some time outside? Often, someone in this state of mind wastes a great deal of time trying to decide. Indecisiveness costs them.

Everyday we are confronted with decisions. Those who work at making them quickly and boldly are the ones who get ahead in life. They are the ones who are able to take action. And, life has a way of rewarding action.

One of the easiest ways to eliminate some indecision in your life is to spend some time planning your day. Making a list of items that you want to accomplish on a given day is an effective way to get you focused. This process necessitates thinking about what is important to you and what requires your concentration. Action becomes easier when you know what the next task it. A list assists greatly in this effort.

Another way to fend off indecision is to practice making decisions quickly. Do not dwell upon anything. Make the choice in a matter of seconds and do not look back. People tend to second guess themselves when they make a choice. Avoid this habit. Start by quickly deciding what you are going to eat for lunch. Many people dwell upon this choice running the different options through their heads. Be bold, make a choice, and go eat. This will start you on the mental path to success.
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3/26/2009

Follow The Directions

Success leaves clues. There is no major secret to making your dreams come true. If you want to create anything in life, you only need to seek out those who achieved what you are wanting and follow their path. Life is literally that simple.

Yet, most people fail to take this step. I see so many who try to "reinvent the wheel". For whatever reason they believe that they have to figure it all out on their own. This style of independent thinking is what causes most to fail.

Remember what happened to you when you cheated in school. People who engage in this behavior get punished. Schools believe that copying is an awful trait to have. Sadly, that is why the educational system is pretty much worthless.

Here is a suggestion: in life, copy all that you can. Whatever you are seeking, copy from the person who already did it. This is called modeling. If you want to be a successful investor, copy the techniques of one who is successful. The same is true for relationships, athletics, and business. Copy all that you can. It will save you lots of mistakes.

What is one thing the successful can do that others cannot? They have the ability to follow the directions. If there is a path to what you want, simply follow the directions as they are laid out. If you want to be a success in sales, follow the directions of learning your product, making lots of calls, get some appointments, and ask for the business. Do this and you will achieve great sales numbers. The formula was already created.

Put the ego aside. Many believe that copying is beneath them. Well, there isn't much beneath them since they are pretty low on the success totem pole. The ones at the top know that success leaves clues. If we know where we are going and find the instructions to get there, then life becomes easy. It is when we give up the fighting that success will come to us.
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Thought To Carry Every Day

"Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably,

And never regret anything that made you smile. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance."

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3/25/2009

Line In The Sand


Is it time to draw the "line in the sand" with your life? We have spoke the last few days about beliefs and determining what is acceptable to us. Now it the time where we say "no more".

I was heard a gentleman share that to change we all need to get 100% of our own pain. He is an advocate that pain is the primary motivator in people's lives. I, too, found this to be true. People will do more to avoid pain then they will do for pleasure. It seems to be part of human nature.

Drawing the line in the sand means that you got to the point where what is happening is no longer acceptable to you. This happened to Rosa Parks on a bus one day. She got to the point where she said "no more". It was this event which is considered one of the major events of the civil rights movement.

What is your moment? Have you reached it yet? Most seem dissatisfied with their lives yet are still unwilling to change it. The time for change is now. Are you ready?

This process involves setting up rules for yourself which are non-negotiable. They are chosen consciously by you based upon your internal happiness. This is the time to ignore social conditioning. This is your life we are talking about.

Rules, when adhered to, are absolutes. For this to be effective, you must be strong with yourself and others. Going back on your rules will only allow for abuse. This is counterproductive.

For example, I do not allow people to waste my time unnecessarily. If you agree to meet at a certain hour, you better be there. This is one of my rules. People who are proverbially late are disrespectful in my opinion. I choose not to interact with people like that. This is one of my rules and it cost some potentially wonderful friendships. Or, perhaps, it did not. Nevertheless, people who behave in this manner are not in my life. It is a line in the sand I choose not to cross.

The reverse of this is for a person who is behaving like this to establish the rule for him or herself to always be on time. Not allowing oneself to be late is a rule that many have. They will not break this regardless of what happens. Every measure is taken to ensure they arrive in a timely manner.

Rules allow us to shape the behaviors of all around us. People often mistreat us. However, there is a saying which says "we taught everyone around us how to treat us". This is an accurate statement. If you have a friend who is always late, you tolerate that behavior. Instead, if you instilled an ultimatum the first time it happened, that person's behavior might be different. Yet, when you allow it, you condone it.

So, determine what is no longer acceptable to you. Reach that point of 100% pain which is necessary to make wholesale changes. You can begin with only a few things or you can create a major list. The important factor is to get started making some changes today. Your future success depends upon it.
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3/24/2009

Determine What You Believe In

What do you believe in? And why do you believe it? What is it exactly that you stand for? What value(s) do you hold dearest? Is this something that you have ever considered?

If you are like most, the answer is no. Few people really look at what it is they believe in. A belief system is something that is freely chosen although most do it without knowledge. Instead, they allow others to make the decisions for them.

Social conditioning is a powerful force. From the time we are small, there are people who are shaping our belief system. Over the years, we tend to model those who are around us. This is why people from a particular part of the country tend to behave in similar manners. It is the conditioning of the environment we grew up in.

The problem with this practice is that we rarely take the time to decide what we want for ourselves. For example, why do you believe the way you do politically? How did you choose the sports team you like? When did you decide to practice the religion that you have? For many, these are things that others decide for them.

We are now confronted with a crisis the country (world) has not seen in a few generations. Now is the time to evaluate what you really believe it. What is important to you? What characteristics as a person do you hold in the highest regard? In times of crisis, it is crucial to know who you are and what you stand for.

Spend some time thinking about what is important to you. There is a lot that life has to offer to the person who truly understands what is important. Those who fail to take this action are susceptible to being manipulated by others. Be one of the strong ones who can stand on principles.
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3/22/2009

What Is Most Important?

I heard of a situation that a friend of mine is confronted with. I will begin by saying that I do not have all the details since I heard this second handed but I feel the lesson is still the same. It really helps to put things in perspective.

Death is something that we are all confronted with. In the duration of our lives, we only are granted so much time on this planet. How we choose to utilize that time is a decision we are each allotted. Nevertheless, we only get one chance at this thing. In the end, we all pass away.

This week, a friend of mine got the results back from a biopsy he had done on his liver. From what I hear, the results are not good. He talked with someone about his situation. The facts of that conversation were relayed to me.

The death, or impending death, of someone close to me always makes me look at things in a different light. When someone is given a "death sentence", there is actually a release for them. They have the luxury of knowing exactly how much time they have left. There is no mystery as to how long they will live. They waste no energy worrying about their retirement since there is none. The option of best using those last remaining days is in front of them.

What about the rest of us? Well, it is my experience that we take a different approach. We have the limitation of believing that our time is unlimited. A sense of urgency is absent from our lives. We feel that there are decades left to live. Often, the only time we exit this state of hypnosis is when we are confronted with something like my friend did.

The fact that our time is limited is the reason why we need to determine what is important. If life is nothing more than a series of moments, what are we doing with these moments? How often do we waste that time by fretting about something that is truly unimportant? take the way people drive for example. There are stupid, senseless, selfish drivers everywhere in the world. Yet, most of us manage to allow ourselves to get upset when someone cuts us off. At those times, we are giving those moments away.

Most people spend the majority of their waking hours doing a job they detest. They do this in the hopes of getting a few weeks vacation and, ultimately, working towards retirement. That is the belief system we are taught. Work hard and save up for retirement. While this is a valid method, as we see, retirement is not always ensured. Many pass away long before that.

I like the old lesson which talks about no man, when reflecting over his life, wished he spent more time in the office. We all need to choose what is important to us. What type of life do you want to lead? I see so many who start on a particular path and stick with it because they invested so much time into their training. Sadly, they learn that they do not even like that field.

Rest assured, my friend's perspective is different at the moment. What was a pressing need two weeks ago is probably not even on his radar. Through is story, my life is different now also. I once again see how I allow time to get wasted. How much more can I pack into the time I have left? That is something we all can ask ourselves. Bet the ranch my friend is doing the same with the few months he has left.

Perhaps it is time to get off the merry-go-round. Stepping back to determine what we want in our life is a healthy practice. Maybe, this is something that you should consider doing on a daily basis. Someday, the end will be there for you also. How did you choose to spend you time.
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Life Is Simple

We all complicate the hell out of life. When you think about it, life is rather simple. There are only a few basics that need remembering. After that, throw the rest away.

Life is simple. You just make a series of choices and never look back. How profound. Did you ever consider how basic our existence really is? Yet, people foul this up by complicating the entire situation.

"Life is a series of choices". Every moment of the day we are making decisions. Who do we spend our time with? How are we using that time? Are we selecting choice A over choice B? Throughout the day, we are continually making decisions with regards to our time. When we make productive decisions, we get better results.

Of course, there will be times when we make poor decisions. This is where we want to "never look back". Reflection is a healthy and helpful part of life. Every situation is either a success or a lesson. Learning where things went wrong is beneficial in our future pursuit.

That is not what I am referring to what saying "never look back". Instead, I am alluding to the fact that people beat themselves up over the wrong choices they make. They allow guilt and frustration to enter into their present moments. This alters the decisions at hand. It becomes a snowball effect where fear and guilt become the deciders. This will always lead to more bad decisions.

Keep life simple. There is a tendency to over complicate things. The mind is a wonderful mechanism when controlled. However, for most, it is out of control. Our minds conjure up all kinds of scenarios which have no basis in reality. Therefore, learn to let all those illegitimate thoughts of fear, guilt, and worry melt away.

Make a decision and don't look back. If you make the wrong decision, then you will be confronted with a chance to make another one. That is how life works. Keep it simple; it is much easier.
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3/20/2009

Other Cultures

I like to write about mindset on this blog. One of my favorite pastimes is to learn/study different cultures of the world. It is amazing how much you can learn from this practice.

There is a large world out there. Too often, we get so focused upon our own "little world" that we see in front of us. Realizing that there is so much more removes the mental limitation we often put upon ourselves.

When I read about "far away lands" I find that my mind wanders. The dreaming mechanism is instantly awakened. What would it be like to live in that area for a summer? How would my life differ in that culture? What can I take from them and bring into my daily life? These are all things which run through my mind.

Other cultures make us appreciate our own. Gratitude is a basic component of those who experience regular happiness. There are many cultures we can look at and feel a longing. Nevertheless, there are also many which make us grateful that we grew up in the one we did. For example, study the daily life in Cuba or China the last 40 or 50 years. This will lead to a sense of gratitude for being part of the Western world.

Life is about expanding our horizons. Everyone needs to think on a larger scale. Look at the ways other people live and contrast that with your life. Are there things that you can learn from them? Consider this point as you are reading. It will be to your benefit.
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3/19/2009

Be Bold


If you want something to focus upon in your daily life which will change your journey, it is boldness. People who are highly successful tend to do things in bold ways. This is one of the major things that separates them from others.

Have you ever seen a meek person? This is someone who appears to be afraid of his or her shadow. Every action that person takes is tentative. It is almost as if they are unsure of themselves.

How does that contrast with people who are bold? Picture that person in your mind. Are they tentative? Not likely. Instead, they appear to be moving with a sense of confidence. Every action stands out.

Why do I bring this up? The truth is that nobody attained success on his or her own. Success is a team effort. The key is to attract people who will assist in your endeavors. People, by their nature, are attracted to those who are certain. Nobody wants to follow a leader who is completely unsure. Tentativeness is not a trait that is consistent with success.

Success requires bold actions. Beginning today, I want you to behave in a manner that is consistent with someone who is bold. Be careful. There is a difference between being bold and being a jerk. I am not telling you to act like a dictator.

By bold I mean approach all you do with a sense of certainty. Be willing to step out of your usual comfort zone and take some risks. The world rewards risk takers. Those who "play it safe" end up living an unfulfilled life. There is magic in being bold.

Ask yourself throughout your day, "what would someone who is bold do in this situation?". Consider how they would walk, talk, and behave. What is their demeanor like? Their body language? Try to implement that into your routine for a few days. You will be amazed at how differently you are received.
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3/18/2009

An Overriding Goal

What is it you want more than anything else in the world? What is the "dream" that you carry with you on a daily basis? If an idea for your entire life is too much, what do you want to see happen in the next 6-12 months?

There is so much talk of goals that they can get diluted. The fact is that an overriding goal is what provides passion in our life. It is the basis of all obsession. People who feel that strongly about something will do whatever they can to make it come true. That is a person who cannot be stopped.

Sadly, few have this in their life. Instead, they drift through life with each day resembling the next. Over time, no progress is made because there lacks a direction. Circumstances are the director of life. It is a reactive way to live.

A large part of taking control of one's life is to have something that is desired more than anything else. This serves as motivation to move forward. Everything else becomes secondary because of the tremendous focus we are able to produce. Centering our life around this outcome is what guarantees success.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, writes how he wanted to run his own business more than anything else. At the time, he was a salesperson working for Xerox. He used the desire to be financially free as motivation to succeed at his sales job. He poured all his commissions into investments which afforded him the opportunity to leave that job. His overriding goal was realized in only a couple of years.

It is time for you to put some passion in your life. Those who have a dream wake up each day seeking to fulfill it. If it is something that is not possible today, having this outlook offers direction. Over time, one can see the progress that is being made. We become like children looking forward to Christmas. The anticipation builds the closer that we get.

Failing to do this will create a life that feels listless. Each week will drag along drearily. I remember working with a person who was at a company for over 30 years. Each Monday, he was looking forward to the weekend. His entire life was spent looking forward to another time. It was sad to see someone throw away his entire work career. This man lived a passionless life.

Avoid that trap. Get something to look forward to. Do you want to live in another country? Learn another language? Become physically fit? Run a marathon? Start you own business? Whatever your dream is, recapture it. It will instantly give you something to be passionate about. And, it is the moment when you will start living.
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