5 Tips For A Clean Desk

Are you one who is continually affected by clutter? Do you lose the "paperwork" war on a regular basis? If so, here are 5 simple tips you can use to get that desk clean.

1. Remove everything that is not needed

Many people have dirty dishes, empty glasses, and other items which are no longer needed. Clean up all the "junk" that is piling up. Throw out old magazines, notes, and other items that can be termed "clutter".

2. Have a filing system

Have a file for everything. This helps to reduce clutter. Instead of saving magazines, rip out the important articles and file them under "articles". Do the same for bills, notes, and all other information.

3. Get rid of other people's clutter

Often other people put their junk on our desks. Delegate those issues to the proper people. If there is something that needs your attention, do it and return it to the person. Do not allow procrastination to clutter up your desk.

4. Make use of technology

We can now easily scan electronic documents. Establish an electronic filing system. Also, make use of electronic calendars and note taking programs. Electronic documents make for less clutter.

5. Have a system

The "only handle a piece of paper one time" is an effective system. Utilize an inbox for items that need your attention. Also, put up an outbox for the items that are already handled. Always do something with a piece of paper; either file it, throw it away, or move it forward to someone else.

These suggestions will help you gain control of your paperwork. The magical side benefit to this is that you will gain valuable time previously spent on trying to find misplaced items. When information is at your fingertips, you are much more effective. Try this today.
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Be Your Own Thinker

In the past I wrote about the power that societal conditioning can have over us. This is the major reason why people have difficulty forging their own thoughts. Simply, we are taught what to believe. Social pressure exerts great force on us. We all want to fit in. The idea of being singled out is not something that many are attracted to.

If you ask the average person, he or she will tell you that they are in control of their thoughts. However, the sad truth is that few take the time to monitor what is going on inside one's head. For example, have you ever taken a look at where your beliefs came from? Are they something that you made a decision to be true or were they put there by someone else? We are all products of our environment. This results in us mirroring those who are around us.

This conditioning will affect all areas of our life. Take one's work/financial situation. There are some who believe the best way is to go to school, get good grades, and find a stable company to work for. At the same time, some believe that owning your own company is the best route to go. Finally, there is a group of the population who believes the government will take care of them.

What creates the difference in mindset. I would say the largest part is the upbringing these people grew up in. The cultural impact on beliefs is evident depending upon the area one was raised. If he or she was exposed to people who received welfare their entire lives, this is believed to be true. This holds true for the entrepreneur and the steady paycheck individuals. Our societal conditioning plays a large part in what we do.

Other people lay expectations upon us. This is a fact of life. However, it is crucial that you decide to be your own person. The only one who can live your life is you. Others will want to influence it usually to make up for a lack of something within them. These are not the people you want to take advice from. Make a decision to live your life how you see fit. It is your happiness at stake.

There is a risk of being your own thinker. People like those who conform. If one chooses not to, he or she is open to scorn and ridicule. Society has a way of making fun of those who act or behave differently. This is its way of trying to get you back in line. Individuality is not stressed as a cultural norm. I can only presume that if everyone behaved in an individual manner, we would have anarchy. Fortunately, the vast majority will continue to conform so our decision to live our own life will not bring society down.

Be your own thinker. Take control of your thoughts immediately. Question all that you believe so that you are knowledgeable about what goes on in your head. If you were taught something was true, research it. Find out if it holds true for you or if it is false. Discard old beliefs which do not work for you. This is how one starts to attain individual freedom.
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Taking Risks

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Develop a sense of urgency

Yesterday, I wrote about the "need for speed". The idea is for us to start utilizing our time in a more effective way. We typically waste too much time dilly-dallying around. The most successful seem to have tamed this tendency while focusing their attention on the most important details.

Today, I want to mention the concept of approaching life with a sense of urgency. Most fail to realize how precious this thing called time is. That is because we think we have a lot of it left. The truth of the matter is that we have no idea how long we are going to live. Also, everyday brings us one step closer to the ultimate outcome: our departure.

Why do I write this? My intention is not to sadden or depress you. The point that I am making is that there is no time to waste if you are going to live life the way that you desire. Many people put off doing those things that make them happy. They allow fear to make decisions which prevent them from taking risks. Their motto becomes "someday". In effect, they put off their dreams.

We can see this in how people usually approach their day. The average person is nonchalant about how he or she handles the activities of the day. Many feel it is alright to put things off. Procrastination is one of the most common ailments among our society. We fall under the misconception that there is plenty of time for us to do things. This simply is not the truth.

What would happen if you were suddenly diagnosed with an ailment which would kill you? How would your priorities change? Would you approach your days differently? I am certain you would. Suddenly, there would be an urgency to everything you did. The goal would be to pack as much as you could into a limited period of time. Well, I am here to tell you that you are now suffering from a fatal illness which will kill you. This malady is called life and it is incurable. The end result is death.

Therefore, it is time that we started to make use of every second that we have left. Remember, death is just around the corner. You only have a little time left. As we age, time accelerates. Ask anyone in his or her 60s how quickly 10 or 20 years pass. The answer is usually something like "in the blink of an eye".

Develop a sense of urgency in your life. Make your motions fast and hard. Do everything with the vigor as if you are on your last legs. Squeeze all that you can into the time that you have left. The clock is ticking for all of us.
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The Need For Speed

This is a line from the blockbuster movie "Top Gun". In it, Goose tells Maverick that he has "the need for speed". Of course, they were naval aviators so this makes sense. However, for me, this is a motto for successful people. Those who rise to the top have the need for speed in their daily lives.

How much time do you waste? This is a question which warrants a lot of thought. Have you ever considered how many hours per week you waste? Idle time is death to someone who is trying to get ahead. Nevertheless, most fall into the trap of misusing time. In the end, they fail to grasp the power of momentum.

Everyday is comprised of the same amount of time, 24 hours. This equates to 1440 minutes which you can use for positive results. Each minute wasted is one less that you have to accomplish something. And, the minutes do add up.

Let us suppose that you sleep 7 hours per night. That leaves 1020 minutes in your day since 420 of them are spent sleeping. Naturally, everyone has daily activities like personal hygiene, eating, and dressing. These can reduce the total by another 120 minutes total. That leaves us now with 900 minutes which to do something. Nevertheless, that is still a lot of time.

Our day is basically a series of tasks. Those who best manage their time seem to get ahead. Yet, what does it mean to "manage" time? While there are many different answers, my concept of this is to best utilize each moment of the day. Those who excel at time management move from one activity to another without wasting even a minute. It is no coincidence that these are usually the successful people in an organization.

Let us get back to your life. If you have roughly 900 minutes each day to utilize, are you doing it effectively? This will really take some honesty on your part. Most people waste a large portion of their day. They do not spend their time in productive pursuits. Instead, they let moments slip away like they are worthless. Time is precious; just ask a dying man.

So, how many hours do you waste watching worthless television? Casually surfing the web? Do you spent extra moments chit chatting with other employees instead of attending to the business at hand? How much time do you waste at home doing "nothing"? These should give you an idea of some of the areas where you allow precious time to escape.

From now on, I want to you strive to make you day seamless. What I mean by this is to move from one activity to another. Do not dilly dally in between the tasks that need attention. The behavior of the successful is to use each moment to the fullest. Put yourself on self imposed deadlines to get things done. Most people do respond to a bit of pressure. Whatever the method, the goal is to use the time we have to the greatest advantage. Adopt the philosophy of having "the need for speed".
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Discipline carries negative connotations to many. Basically, it is something that few of us seek out. Just the word itself conjures up images that people do not like. The military stresses discipline with it's anal rules and regulations. Nuns in Catholic school hammer us about being disciplined often resulting in the meeting of a ruler. Or, perhaps our parents tried to instill this into us by having us make our beds as children. Whatever your image (and experience) is with discipline, it most likely is something that you do not aspire to have.

However, discipline is at the core of every major success. People achieve great things because of their perseverance. There are literally thousands of sayings which back this up. Overall, they all point to the fact that people need to keep going. Quiting at the first sign of trouble is not what leads to success.

Another aspect along this same line is that success is rarely an overnight occurrence. Robert DeNiro likes to say that it took him 10 years to become an overnight success. "Rome wasn't built in a day". We need to keep moving forward towards our objectives in spite of the obstacles we are confronted with.

What does it take to be a success? It takes the ability to regularly do the things which lead to the desired outcome. Athletes have the discipline to work out daily on their craft. I am certain there are days that Tiger Woods does not want to hit gold balls on the driving range. However, he did not become the #1 golfer in the world by sitting at home. The same is true for successful authors, artists, and business people. They do the things necessary each day to move forward.

Simply, there are lots of things in life that we dislike doing. Nevertheless, if you are to enjoy the incredible level of achievement that you are capable of, it is imperative that you become a disciplined person. Do the things each day which move your forward.

How do we do this? Well, I put together a simple exercise which will help instill discipline. You start with a basic monthly calendar. On it, write 5 things that you are going to do each day for the next month. I want the same 5 things written in each day. Now, we go and do them. Everyday we make sure these 5 actions are done. There are no excuses. We do them regardless of what is going on. It is only 5 activities. They need not be hard, difficult, nor major. The only criteria is that you do all 5 everyday.

If you complete this exercise for the full 30 days, you will have gained some discipline in your life. That is how you become successful: one activity at a time.
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People love to play the victim. This absolves them of any personal responsibility. It also provides for an excuse as to why one did not succeed. After all, it was because of (fill in the blank).

Being a victim is a way to ensure you will never be successful. Always reaching for an alibi becomes a habit that will eventually stifle action. Take a look at the most successful people and tell me how many claim victimization. You will find this is not a common trait among this group of people.

Take Oprah Winfrey as an example. On the surface she had everything going against her. She was black and raised in the South during the Civil Rights era. Not exactly a head start on the path to success. Add in the fact that she got pregnant as a teen and you can see how she was heading down the path that millions travel.

Yet, Oprah did not go in that direction. Instead, she became one of the most powerful people in the country. She affects the lives of millions of people everyday with her words. This from someone who had the cards stacked against her.

Unfortunately, Oprah is in the minority. Most use the unenviable circumstances to hold them back. They play the "if only" game. You know that one. If only I was white. If only I went to a better school. If only I was born into a different family. If only my mom loved me. The list can continue forever. The "if only" game is played by those who choose failure over success.

The simple fact is that everyone has circumstances to overcome. There is not a person in the world who did not have challenges somewhere along the way. This is a fact of life. No single individual is exempt from those difficult times. It is how we respond to them that makes the difference.

Whatever your background is, it does not matter. Those who choose to hold onto the past are destined to waste the present. Your life is what you make of it regardless of how you were raised. The events of the past are just that, in the past. It is time to take control today.

Being a victim is the standard practice in our society today. Anyone who watches politics at all sees how this comes into play. There are many "groups" out there who feel they were victimized. While this may be true, living life today according to that mindset is a plan for failure. Just look at the segments of the population who engage in that. They are the ones who seem to be falling further behind. Resist the temptation to join in this suicidal tendency.

One final thought about this: you tell someone who is involved in victimization by the fact they like to play the "blame" game. Personal responsibility says that "I am responsible for what occurs in my life". Adopt this motto and see how your actions are affected.
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Success Is In Your Limitations

Limits are something that we all deal with. Because of restrictions placed upon us, we are all limited in the choices that we have. As we grow and expand, our options tend to increase proportionally. One easy way to change your life is to overcome the limitations which are presently holding you back.

Freedom is something that I hold as one of my highest values. I believe that for one to fully be in control of his or her life, this has to be something that one strives for. Freedom has many different levels to it and it starts with the inherent right to pursue those objectives which will make you happy. This can include career, family, relationships, and hobbies. Unlike many parts of the world, we have the freedom to choose most aspects of our life. Sadly, few actually exercise this choice.

The greatest limitation that exists is the ones that we put upon ourselves. People's favorite saying appears to be "I can't". They hold grand ideas yet are stopped by the "I can'ts" in their minds. It reminds me of the old prayer "God, please release me from the bondage of self". This is a tall order for everyone.

Success starts in our minds. It is our mindset that begins the path to achievement. Without a top-notch outlook, we are apt to believe the lies we tell ourselves. The bondage of self can take over at any moment.

We live in a reality that includes time and space. There are physical constraints that are impossible to overcome. For example, it is physically impossible for me to be in two different cities are one time. Nevertheless, that limitation is overcome through the use of technology. Thus, I can have my image transmitted to as many different locations as I want. My success is determined by how well I overcome this limitation.

There is always something that we can do to expand the choices we have. Another example is the physical health of an individual. Suppose we take a person who is 150 pounds overweight. What are some of the ailments of that individual? Perhaps shortness of breath, fatigue, lack of stamina, etc... Now, consider how that affects his/her relationship with children. Obviously, the interaction is limited by the physical shortcomings.

Taking this a bit further, how do you think the situation would change if that person lost the 150 pounds? Naturally, the interaction (relationship) with his/her children would be different. Without the fatigue and shortness of breath, that person could play a game of tag or go for walks with them. The increase in energy would allow for more interaction.

As you can see, the overcoming of this physical limitation opened other avenues for this person. The same is true for your life. Whenever we overcome something that limits us, we experience the freedom of being able to do more.

So, what is presently limiting you? In other words, what is keeping you from your success? Get the answers to these questions and you will have a list of things that need your attention. It is that basic. There is nothing that cannot be gained by overcoming the limiting factor which is holding you back.

Find the limitation and you will find your success.
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The Power Of Momentum

Momentum is one of the most powerful tools in creating success. Those who are able to harness this technique and apply it find that success is a foregone conclusion. Those who do not tend to struggle in all they do.

Physics tells us that it takes less energy to keep an object moving than it does to get one started. The power of momentum aids in the moving of the object. At the same time, the faster the object is going, the more energy that is required to stop it. These are fundamental principles in the field of science.

In our lives, success adheres to the same ideas. It is easier to achieve success once you start. Minor victories always lead to larger ones. At the same time, the toughest action to take is the first one. After that, things become easier since momentum is on your side. That is why taking the initial action is so important.

Have you ever noticed a sports team on a winning steak? It seems that each victory is almost effortless. Everything is clicking in a positive way. The team has momentum which makes maintaining the same effort easier. Contrast that with a team on a losing streak. One thinks they will never win again simply by the body language of the individual players. They have no momentum.

In life, it is easier to keep going once started. I am certain you found yourself trying to accomplish something and going through the start-stop-start-stop routine. Nothing is more frustrating. Any momentum that is acquired is quickly destroyed by this process. Without momentum, success is almost impossible.

How can we apply this knowledge to our life? The easiest way is to get started with something. A month ago, we wrote out 3 goals we wanted to achieve in this calendar year. After that, we set down a series of steps which would lead to that outcome. This technique creates a plan for one to develop the momentum required. With each action (success), you will create the energy that helps carry you forward. The key is to get started moving in the direction that you want to go in.

Remember, it is easier to keep something in motion once it is started.
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Be the best you can be

The last week saw the inauguration of a new President. Barack Obama successfully achieved the highest office in the land. Obviously, it was a breakthrough moment on many different levels. I am not sure how long he had the dream of being President of the United States. However, it is something that he successfully pulled off.

As moving as this all is, what is discouraging to me is the message that we are receiving out of our political leadership. The United States, along with the rest of the world, is becoming a nation of bailouts. Personal accountability is being replaced with "we will take care of it". The situation with the states is a prime example. Undisciplined spending over the last few years led to huge financial shortfalls. Now, the taxpayer is expected to bail those in power at the state level out.

While this is a bad foundation to lay, I believe the overall tone is much more damaging. The hidden message is that individuals need not strive to be the best they can be. To me, this is the equivalent of killing someone. If you take away their dreams and potential, what does one have left? They are forced to look to someone else for their support.

My solution to all of our national problems is to teach people self sufficiency. We need to become the very best that we can be. This is more than just a slogan. It is a mindset which, once acquired, will filter into everything that you do. Focusing all our attention on being the best at whatever it is we are presently doing yields tremendous results. The multiplying effect is astounding in a short period of time.

There is no shame in being the best. Muhammad Ali was noted for the saying "I am the greatest". Many took this to mean that he was arrogant and cocky. Perhaps he was. However, to him, it was a prophecy to fulfill. And it was. Ali was the greatest fighter of his era and, arguably, of all time. He certainly was the best that he could be.

Wherever you are at in this moment, strive to be the best. Forget the opinions of others. Many will attack as soon as you start to enjoy the slightest success. That is jealousy starting to arise. Ignore the attempts to tear you down. Our country was made great by individuals creating the very best in their lives. Now is the time to return to that state of mind. It is the only path to long-term success.
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Hope: Vitally important

This is an idea that most of us take for granted yet it is something that is as important to humans as oxygen. Where there is hope there is life. And, without hope, there is death. I suppose this was true even at the beginning of our existence.

Presently, we are in a difficult environment. The financial markets collapsed wiping out entire life savings. At the same time, unemployment is rising thus spreading fear in the souls of those who are still employed. Economic catastrophe is coming to many in the form of foreclosures, credit card default, or poor investment returns. Overall, the state of affairs are dismal.

Hope is going to be a large factor in determining those who crumble versus those who persevere. Keeping this outlook will enable all of us to get through whatever life is going to serve up the next few years. Sadly, many will opt to look at things differently ensuring tragic results. We got a glimpse of what is ahead by the actions of a few of those who invested with Madoff. To them, walking in front of a train or eating a bullet seemed like sensible solutions. Hope left them.

I am here to tell you that all is not bad. In fact, I believe that this period of time is a blessing for all of us. While I am not going to downplay the severity of the world economy, I will claim that there is a benefit to what we are experiencing. Overall, we will be better off in the future.

Those of you who regularly read my column here know that I am a fan of getting the most out of each circumstance. Pain is a wonderful asset in the area of personal development. It is my experience that people will not alter their behavior until they have had enough pain. This appears to be true both individually and collectively. For us to change, we need to endure some pain.

We are experiencing a major correction in our lives. Almost everyone, made choices which put themselves in a poor situation. We opted to spent excessively (both as individuals and as a nation). Debt was accumulated without a thought of how to pay it back. Also, people were complacent with their education/learning. Instead of garnering additional skills which would increase one's value, we chose to watch Jeopardy each night. In short, we became "soft".

As I mentioned, there is plenty of hope. We will be stronger for going through this experience. To me, the most important aspect is for each of us to learn the lesson necessary to be in a different position in the future. At the same time, there are many opportunities to improve your circumstances. The stock market is really cheap right now. There are valuable companies offered at bargain basement prices if you are able to wait a few years for things to turn. Some people are going to make a lot of money when the stock market rebounds. Will it be you?

My point is that the media offers the "doom and gloom" as a way to get viewers/readers. Do not listen to what they are saying. Are things difficult now? Certainly. However, there are opportunities available to those who are seeking them. After all, a small company called Hewlett-Packard was started during the Great Depression.

There is hope for all of us who choose to hold on to it.
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Bottoming Out

What will it take for you to bottom out? Do you realize how important this process is to success and how many cannot achieve it until they reach this point? For some, it is something that first needs to be sought. If this sounds contrary to logic, it is.

Why would anyone seek to have horrible experiences occur in their life? Because it is these types of situations which often create the motivation that leads to success. Without the pain as a driving force, many would not attain such great heights. A tendency of human nature is that we are not going to do anything until "we had enough".

Have you had enough with what you do not like in your life? That is the question you need to answer. A great way to start the process is to choose something that really "gets under your skin". Take that particular situation and change it. Whatever it is, do something about it. This is the first step in reversing the process.

Alcoholics and drug addicts usually will not start their road to recovery until they had enough. This is different for everyone but, at some point, the recovered person could not take anymore. He or she bottomed out. The same will happen in your life. If there is something that you despise, perhaps you are getting close to bottoming out. This will provide the incentive to change it.

At the same time, there are situations people want to change yet it seems they cannot. Simply, they haven't had enough pain. If you find yourself in this situation, do something that will increase the pain you experience. Then, you will have the motivation.

Let us use weight loss as an example. Many know they need to do something to lose weight. They make all the promises while actually doing nothing about it. Some will travel this path a while longer until a health issue arises. This is often the motivation one needs. Nevertheless, the majority never really acquire the true desire to radically alter their circumstance.

Here is a way to gain the motivation if you are fat and need to do something about it.

1. Set up a myspace or facebook page.
2. Take a picture of yourself in a bikini (or briefs if you are male)
3. Post it there and sent it all over the Internet
4. Invite comments from everyone
5. Read the comments consistently

Trust me. If you follow these steps, you will be motivated to change your physical makeup. People will provide you with the rudest comments imaginable. These will give you a great deal of ammunition to get off the chair and workout.

Is this a radical technique? Absolutely. However, it will achieve the desire result which is enough pain to have one bottom out. Once that occurs, the road upward can begin.
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Self Reliance

I do a lot of reading about world affairs and the events confronting people. Naturally, the economic chaos is at the top of everyone's list. We are seeing something that never took place in our history. The peril we are confronted with shows us how precarious things really are. Even when we think we are safe, we truly are not.

One benefit to massive upheaval is that lessons are everywhere for one to learn from. We are seeing what happens when people spend too much while living beyond their means. The Western world became a consumerism society with people looking for the next "toy". At the same time, they had little regard of how to pay for it. The concept of easy credit is imprinted on our psyches.

A few months back, that bubble burst. We see where all this lack of accountability gets us. This culture is possessed with the idea of doing little (or nothing) and gaining a lot. Now, when things go bad, people are looking to place the blame.

Naturally, there is a complex web of societal issues that got us to where we are. Nevertheless, at the core of each of these problems is a lack of responsibility. Regardless of who you look to blame, the simple fact is that your plight was created by you. If you took the initiative to take control of your own life, you would not be in this mess. Sadly, that was not the prescribed method to success.

Many came to rely upon others for their achievements. A fair portion of the population became government cronies, believing the government would take care of them. Oops. That did not exactly work out. At the same time, some felt their companies would provide. It only takes one pink slip to negate this notion. Still others put their life savings into investments without knowing what they were getting into only to lose it all. Now, they are forced to sue to try to recoup money which is long gone.

This was the common thread through the American mentality. Everyone seems to feel that a big screen television is their right. Of course, it is hard to fault anyone when the government took the position that home ownership is something that everyone has a right to. The truth is that after life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the rest is up to you. Those who fail to heed this idea will eventually pay the price.

I am not trying to ring a patriotic mantra here. The point that I am making is that personal responsibility is the key to all success and happiness. Those who give that power away are always disappointed. They believe in the safe route only to find that it was not so safe. The only true path to safety is freedom and that comes only when one is responsible for him or herself.

This is a claim which is terribly unpopular. However, if you look at the events that are taking place, you will see the validity in this idea. How many people are dependent or will come to rely upon Social Security? With the retirement of an estimated 50 million baby boomers over the next decade, it is clear that is going to be a healthy number. Yet, we know that the Social Security fund is empty. At the same time, there is a government spending unheard of amounts of money to rescue this economy. While their plans might work, it will leave us with a horrific debt load. What happens if the US Government goes broke? These people will not receive their Social Security. They will be let down.

The only true way to be in control of your life is to take responsibility for it. No matter what the arena, it is crucial that you direct the situations. Financially, it is your money. Therefore, it is up to you to learn about investing so that you have some idea when you are talking with a financial planner. Take responsibility for your career by learning all you can about what you do. Improving your skills is one of the best measures against being laid off. Make yourself so valuable so that your company cannot let you go. The same is true for your romantic relationship. Put in all the effort necessary to make it the most prized relationship that you both have.

Personal responsibility is the idea that is going to fix your life. It is also the concept which will pull this country out of the mess it is in. Start the process by being accountable yourself.
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"The road to someday leads to the town called nowhere" -Anthony Robbins

What are you waiting for? The other day we wrote about how the Mayan calendar is telling us that really bad things are going to happen in the year 2012. (read here) Now, we acknowledge that the end of the world in the next few years is far-fetched (or is it?), it gives us a wonderful opportunity to implement a "drop-dead" date for our lives. We can use this mindset to achieve all that we desire in the time we have left.

The problem with life is that we never know when it is going to end. All us of face death. That is the eventual outcome of all that lives. We understand that we have only a limited time on this planet. The average life expectancy is roughly 75-80 years. Nevertheless, some people live longer while others die sooner. In that regard, death is a great uncertainty.

Typically, we perform better when there is pressure on us. Most are able to rise to the occasion when a situation warrants it. Having a "deadline" gives us that needed motivation to do what is important in our lives. Unfortunately, this does not exist for most people. We simply do not know when the end will come.

There was a popular movie a couple of years ago called "The Bucket List". The premise was that two cancer stricken men were going to accomplish everything the wrote on a list before they "kicked the bucket". It was a wonderful concept which ought to make many people think.

So here is the question: what are you going to do with the time remaining in your life? Suppose the Mayans are correct and life will cease to exist on 12/21/12? How would that change what you will do between now and that date? Would you live your life in the same way? Are there priorities you would attend to that you presently put further down on the list? What do you want to experience before you "check out"?

Living without a deadline enables us to buy into the concept of someday. People feel they will always get around to it someday. Sadly, for most, this time never arrives. They effectively put off all their dreams and desires for something or someone else. In the end, they realize they failed to live.

The time to get started is today. Begin to create the list for yourself of all that you want to experience before the final ending. Your life has an expiration date. Use the time you have left fruitfully.

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The John Galt Oath

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The time to get started is NOW!!!

Okay I got over my sulking. I just got done watching my beloved Giants play like total amateurs and get thoroughly beat by the Philadelphia Eagles. It was disheartening to see it all end like it did. Yesterday, the Carolina Panthers played the same type of game, thus letting their fans down. Regardless, now the off season begins for both those teams.

A week ago I wrote about having the mindset of an "off season". (read article here) Professional sports has a downtime when games are not played. This time is used by teams to make changes in preparation for the next year. Sadly, in life, we do not get an off season. Instead, we live in a way where one week blends into the next. There is little time to catch up, let alone, plan ahead. We tried to give you a clear plan during the Christmas holiday to make this year different. Unfortunately, for many, that is the best they can do.

We are now in the process of utilizing the off season mindset. For those who took the suggestion in the above mentioned article, you are now preparing for kickoff in the fall. The time between now and then is going to be used to radically alter your life. While we acknowledge that it is impossible to "shut life off", we are going to spend the time necessary to create a life that we desire. Just like an athlete trains during the off season, we are going to work on our skills until our "kickoff".

Again, the time to do that is now. For me, my "off season" started an hour ago. While I mentioned this over a week ago, I failed to heed the advice since my team was still playing. Now, I have no excuses. The countdown to opening day is on. I have little time to waste.

Does this seem hokey to you? How can a simple change in mindset alter the results we achieve? This technique works because it creates a destination. Too often, we live life without any "end dates". Life is an endless cycle. One week blends right into the next. It is as if we are always on the treadmill, never getting anywhere. Our off season gives us the time to dedicate ourselves to creating a life that we want. In doing so, we are acquiring the skills necessary to have a better "next season".

So, my beloved Giants are going to start making the changes to try to get back to the Super Bowl in 2010. They have roughly 54 weeks before that time hits. Management will start to appraise each member of the team to determine roster changes that will be made. Opening day is a little more than 7 months away. It will be here before they know it.
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Emerson Quote

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No Fear

How differently would your life be if fear did not exist? Or better yet, have you ever seen those people who were not scared of anything? They seem willing to try anything. There is not a person who they would not go and talk to. Everything appears to come easy to them. They are always surrounded by a group of people. My, how we look at them with envy.

The question is "are they really any different from you?". In most ways, no. However, there is one facet that separates them from you: fear makes your decisions. That is it. You continually give in to the fear while others walk though it.

For the most part, fear is a figment of your imagination. There are those situations where it is an ally where one is physically in danger. Nevertheless, few of us face life or death circumstances on a daily basis. In reality, fear is a creation of our mind meant to avoid change. The mind abhors uncertainty. If it can maintain the status quo, that provides a level of certainty. Taking action means there is a degree of uncertainty over the results that will be gotten. This is what the minds seeks to avoid.

Think of the things that you fear. What needs to happen for you to be scared? To start, you must project. What this means is that your mind looks to a point in the future. In addition, the mind will also look at the future point in time in the negative context. Whatever the decision that you are faced with is, the mind "sees" you failing. This causes the anxiety associated with fear. Hence, we fail to take the action.

Let us use skydiving as an example. When you think of engaging in this activity, what scares you about it? Most likely the idea of hitting the ground from a great height when the parachute fails to open is high on the list. Yet, of all the people who go skydiving, how many does this happen to? Very few. The idea that you will die by skydiving is unrealistic. Your chances statistically are better of meeting your demise in an auto accident. Nevertheless, more people drive than jump out of airplanes.

Do you see how fear precludes us from taking action. Our projection over a situation is always negative. Rarely do we picture the situation happening to the positive. Let us use the example of asking someone out. How often do we see one fail to approach another because of the fear of being rejected? For this to happen, what occurred in the person's mind? Simply, he "saw" himself asking her out and her rejecting him. Never does it enter into his mind that she might say yes to his offer.

This is a fundamental part of the thought process. Gaining control over this single trait will instantly change your life. Fear is a terrible ruler and that is what it does, controls your life. Begin to be one who lives without fear. How do you do this? Start by acknowledging that it does not exist anywhere but in your mind. Also, understand most of what you fear is an illusion. It is impossible to know how a situation will turn out. Finally, when projecting, think of how everything will work to your advantage. See yourself succeeding in that particular circumstance and you will. It is the basis for all manifestation.

Become one of those who lives without fear. It is the foundation for living in freedom.
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2012: The End of the World

Yesterday, I put up a video that refers to the belief that we are going to see some major changes in the world in the year 2012. Much of this speculation stems from Mayan calendar which says that 2012 is the end of the 23,000 year cycle. It is the time when we enter into the Aquarius phase on the Zodiac. How accurate any of this is anyone's guess.

Nevertheless, what if the prophecies are correct? What would it mean if the end of life as we knew it occurred on 12/21/12 (or some have it at the 23rd)? How would you live your life differently if you knew that was the end time? Would you alter you priorities? This really makes you wonder.

When I think with this mindset, I realize how much of what I do is of little impact. There is an old saying "in 100 years what will all this matter". The idea now can be changed to 4 years. If the forecasters are right, we have less than four years. After that, all bets are off.

This concept will cause two reactions in people. For some, it will be a motivator. They will take the approach, "I need to get going". At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who will feel this depressing while putting their "head in the sand". They will live their lives the same as they always did.

The truth of the matter is that we do not know if 12/21/12 is the end for us. Another fact is that some people reading these words at this moment will not be alive to see what happens on that date. Even if that is the end, there is no guarantee anyone of us will live to see it. It is important to remember that tomorrow is not a given but, rather, a gift.

Our mindset is crucial to the level of joy we experience. Those who have only a short period of time to live usually make an impact the last few months. They make every moment count. Those of us with "unlimited" time tend to waste it. We see this over and over. These people have the outlook "I will get to it tomorrow". Again, there is no guarantee that you will even get a tomorrow.

Typically, people get reflective when someone close to them dies. It seems a natural response to question the meaning of it all. Nevertheless, most return to their daily existence after a few days. Life goes on is the mantra. Sadly, they miss the entire lesson in the other person's death.

Life teaches us all we need to know to succeed. Lesson #1 is that there is no guarantee as to how long we will live. Most of us believe that we will have 70-80 years on this planet. I am sure John Travolta felt his son would have a similar experience. Tragically, he did not make it past 16 years of age. I am sure you had people in your life who "left too early". Learn the lesson that they presented you with.

There is no time to wait. Use the 4 years deadline to motivate yourself. Do all that you want within the next four years. Drive yourself to become the person that you want to be while experiencing all the joy and happiness that each moment offers. Use the next 1,444 (365 x 4 -16)days to the full advantage. Go after all that you desire because in 1450 days, none of it will matter. This is the mindset of a champion.

The most dangerous person is someone who has nothing to lose. We are all going to die at some point. And, everybody goes out on an equal footing. There is nothing on this planet that we get to take with us. Become that dangerous person by knowing that you cannot fail. Whatever the results are, in the long run they mean nothing. For the next 4 years, you are free to enjoy all that you can.
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Something To Make You Think

I am not sure the validity of this theory but it certainly makes you think. What if the world was going to end in 2012? We will delve more into this subject in future posts. In the meantime, watch this...

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Much is written about this subject. Those who are consistently motivated to reach a particular end are the ones who succeed in life. Individuals who live in a state of demotivation do not seem to accomplish a whole lot. I believe this is a well known fact.

Many seek insight as to how to motivate themselves. People buy cds, attend seminars, and read books in an effort to help their cause. This is an excellent way to increase knowledge while producing the results you desire. However, often we find that some of the techniques offered fail to generate the necessary motivation long term. It works for a short period of time yet the "excitement" wears off.

As we enter into the year, we are going to provide the insight into what you need for your success. Motivation is something that we are going to foster consistently. Nevertheless, instead of using some worthless concepts to "pump you up", we are going to reveal the inner cause which will push you. There is something that is present in all of us and finding out to encourage that trait is what will propel us to the next level.

The quality that I am referring to is competition. This is something that resides within everyone since we all were blessed with the human ego. Of course, this will vary from person-to-person. Some individuals are so competitive they need to win at everything. This is usually a sign of immaturity. A healthy competitive spirit is one which will motivate you to do all you can in an effort to achieve the desired results.

What is competition? When you think about it, competition is nothing more than a measuring stick. For it to be present, we need to compare ourselves to something (or someone) else. In sports, the competition is the opposing team. In business, it is another company or employee. Every facet of life has a competitive nature to it. Even in dating there are often times when two people are after the same person. This creates a competitive atmosphere where one tries to outdo the other.

When people seek motivation from a book or a seminar the result is usually that it dwindles a few days later. This is because one sought outside themselves. Motivation is something that needs to come from within. It is present, you just need to uncover it. And, competition is the key to unlocking it.

Today, I want you to think about was you can get your competitive juices flowing. In the next post, I will spell out some ways to determine what is the best way to motivate yourself. However, for now, consider what is it that really drives you. Where are those forces which will enable you to persevere regardless of what obstacles you face? Contained in this answer is the power to rapidly alter our lives.
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