Toxic People

We hear a lot of talk in the media about all the toxic assets on the balance sheets of the banks. These "assets" are destroying these companies at a record rate. We already saw the fall of Lehman Brothers with AIG, Bank of American, and Citigroup teetering on the brink. All of these institutions are/were filled with the toxic assets.

Many people are just as toxic. They have the ability to destroy your life if you allow them. They will eat at your personal balance sheet from the inside while bankrupting you. Some of the most valuable things in your life are stolen by these people.

Who are the toxic people? We have all run across them. They are the ones who are constantly filled with negativity. Everything in life is looked at as half full. All ideas are met with resistance since they believe anything from anyone else to be "stupid". Most of all, they are energy drains.

What do you do about these people? It is simple. Get them out of your life. These people hold no value to you. They will steal your dreams if you allow them. As mentioned, the energy drain they place upon your will ruin your day. These people are toxic. They add nothing to your life.

The banks are desperately trying to get rid of their toxic assets. Their survival depends upon it. You need to approach the toxic people in your life with the same urgency. Toxic people will kill all the good that life has to offer you. The more you interact with them, the more they will sap from you.

From now on, watch for those who are wrought with negativity. Also, monitor those who are always blaming others for their plight in life. Be careful of the complainers. And most importantly, avoid those people who constantly want to bitch about their problems to you. Energetically, these people are not worth it.
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Teflon Insides

John Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime family, was known as the Teflon Don because none of the first few indictments against him stuck. In other words, the charges of the prosecution bounced off him.

This brings me to today's lesson. Do you have teflon insides or do you let things get to you? This is a very important question pertaining to emotional stability. Your answer shows how you are able to handle things.

People who have emotional control have things "roll off their back". It seems like they are immune to criticism. They simply do not take things to heart. Accusations or insults levied against them bounce off like that person is made of Teflon. Again, nothing sticks to them.

The truth is that people can only hurt you as much as you allow them. Nothing can affect you other than those things you choose to allow to affect you. This is a difficult concept for many to understand since they are slaves to their emotions. People who utilize their personal power are in charge of their lives. This includes being in control of their emotions.

Try not to take things personally. Remember that everyone has an opinion (and they all stink). What others think is of little importance in most instances. There are only a few people in our lives who's opinions are important. The rest can go fly a kite.

Take control of your emotions and lay the foundation for a successful life.
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Rome wasn't built in a day. We all heard this saying yet have you ever taken the time to consider what that really means? Most have not. Yet, it holds one of the keys for success.

Being from a sales background, I learned the value of consistency. When I was in management, my income was derived based upon what the salespeople sold. At the beginning of each month, I had to project what we were going to produce. With some, this was easy. However, there were others who were a challenge.

Any sales manager will tell you that he or she would take a salesperson who consistently produced the same amount each month as opposed to the person who is a star one month and a dud the next. In the end, it is easier to deal with a steady producer even if you sacrifice some overall production.

The "superstars" pride themselves on being able to write large numbers. This is the upside to them. However, these same people tend to be equally capable of throwing up a low number. They lack the discipline to consistently produce. This drives an owner (manager) nuts since the bills come in steadily each month.

What does this have to do with you if you are not in sales? Contained in this idea is the basis for all your success. Consistency in life is what gets results. For example, if you went to the gym 4 days in a row then took 3 weeks off, what do you think your results would be? Not very good. To achieve physical fitness, it is crucial to be consistent with your exercise routine. It is the consistency that gets the results.

Lets take attitude as an example. Have you ever dealt with one of those people who was always on an emotional rollercoaster? They are up one day, down the next. People like this are impossible to deal with. You never know which person will show up. People like this tend to have few friends (success in the interpersonal arena). They drive people away.

Contrast that with someone who is consistently happy. That person always has people around him or her. That attitude spreads to others. People feel better being in the presence of a person like that. The consistency puts others at ease.

Take a look at your life. Where can you be more consistent? Rome was built over a long period of time, one stone at a time. Everyday the masons were adding to the city. This consistent activity allowed them to create one of the most powerful empires the world ever saw. And it was the result of daily action.
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The Power Of Sharing

I had a friend of mine call me this morning about a personal situation that he is going through. Over the last couple of years, he has turned to me as a "personal" adviser on his life matters. Currently, he is facing job uncertainty in addition to enduring a financial situation that him and his wife created for themselves. In short, he is facing having to go bankrupt over the choices they made.

Today, he was in the ringer over all that is happening. Fear is starting to take control to the point where he is at the end of his rope. Most of us can identify. We all get to that point occasionally. The important thing is what we do when we get there.

My friend is advancing in his growth. Over the last few years, he has learned many of the techniques I write about. Of course, we all need a reminder course periodically. Knowing what to do and remembering what to do are two different things.

We talked for about 40 minutes. One of the most insightful things he said was that just talking about it made him feel better. Sometimes, it is not so much what is said as long as conversation takes place.

When we are confronted with difficulties, either real or imagined, the worst thing to do it to entertain our thoughts. Our minds have a tendency to run freely when we are in this state. It is a dangerous place to be. Sharing with another helps us to get things out on the table. Suddenly, we feel less alone.

Emotions serve as a magnifying force. They cloud sound thought. Whenever we are emotionally charged about something (especially with fear), we really need the clarity that another can provide. It is a simple fact that I can offer solutions easier in those situations that I am not emotionally involved in. This is true for most people. Take a situation, think about it, and add a bit of negative emotion and you have a recipe for disaster.

It takes courage to share with another. Allowing someone else into our thoughts is a scary proposition. We are then vulnerable. There is a risk of that person judging us. We have to swallow our pride and admit that "we cannot handle it all". That is okay. The truth is that nobody can handle all that life serves up alone and anyone who claims they can is a liar. We all need someone we can fall back upon.

So, the next time you are in a bind, find someone to share with. You will be amazed how therapeutic it is.
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The Power of Now

This is an age-old concept that most philosophies throughout history taught. However, it is something that is overlooked by the average person. Most people spend the majority of their time mentally in a different place.

Fear and guilt are the two emotions that people experience. When we have fear, we are projecting forward. And, of course, guilt occurs when we project backwards. Therefore, if you want to eliminate fear and guilt from your life, just stay in the moment.

It is impossible to experience either when you are mentally "present". Go ahead and try it. Try to experience fear while focusing solely on the words written here. Do not let your mind leave for an instant. If you are able to do that, you will notice that fear cannot exist. However, if fear did creep in, you must have thought about something in a future time. This is the magic of our minds. It can create feelings within us which occur at a different time.

The common thread, whether projecting forward or backwards, is negative. For these emotions to exist, one must look at the situation and determine that something "bad" is going to happen. Let me ask you a question, if you projected forward positively, do you think you will experience fear? Of course not.

We have power in this moment. This is the time that I can act. I am completely powerless over a situation in the future as well as anything that happened in the past. I cannot change any of those events. The only thing I can do is to adhere to the action I take in this moment. Naturally, it might have some impact on a future time, but the action is now.

The power of now is where life is found. It is also where all the magic in the world is located. The greatest achievers in history were able to accomplish things in the moment. Mastering the twin forces of guilt and fear is as simple as remaining at this place. There is an old saying. keep your head where your feet are. This is as accurate as it gets.

Do you want to change your life? Begin by living this moment right now. Do not think, worry, or consider anything that happened in the past. It is gone and cannot be changed. The only value to the past is to learn the lessons which can be utilized in the future. At the same time, give up fearing the future. Do not consider any time other than this moment. If you can do that, you will master these two dehabilitating forces.
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The Shift Of An Entire Life

Do you know how much energy it takes to shift your entire life? If you read the past few posts, you will know that the answer is "not much". It takes no more energy to shift your entire life then it does to conjure up a thought. That is right. You can change your entire life with a single thought.

Is this something that you doubt? Perhaps you need to read some of the last few posts spelling out the power of the mind.

There are thousands of examples of how life (and history) was shifted by a single thought. How about the idea Rosa Parks had one day to not give up her seat? This changed her life somewhat. So did the idea that man could fly. The Wright Brothers were never the same again. The decision to invest or not invest in a particular stock has ramifications on your life. Everything that we think about can affect the quality of the life we lead.

I believe the most important thought is to decide that you are going to create the life that you desire. There is nothing more freeing than the thought that you are capable of designing your life however you see fit. This is the single thought that released a thousand dreams.

Is this something that you are willing to do? It is easy to keep thinking the same garbage that society implanted upon your mind. You know the ideas which I am talking about. Those that tell you that you are not worthy; are not good enough; that you have to do it this way. All these are part of the societal conditioning that we are all exposed to.

Breaking free of this mindset takes only a single thought. The decision that says "I am going to do this my way". It is your life to lead why shouldn't you live it how you see fit. This is the way nature intended. Yet, so many fall victim to the ideas of others.

So how do you change your life? It starts by thinking that you can. You are free to consider any possibility that your mind can create. There are no limitations to your thought process. The mind is a mechanism without any bounds. Let it run wild in a positive way by thinking about all that you can create.

Success is created in our mind first. Everything that you see around you was at one time a thought in someone's head. Before it materializes in the physical world, it must first be present in the mental world. This is another fact of nature. If someone did not think it, you would not see it before you.

Be the Rosa Parks in your life. Decide what you will no longer tolerate. Have your Earth shattering moment where you refuse to give up your seat on the bus to freedom. Let someone else wait in line. It is now your time to go for it. Use your mental energy for positive impacts on your life. This single idea can change your entire life.
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Long Term Thinking

Mindset is critically important for success. One of the common traits of the super successful is that they focus on the long term. The unsuccessful, on the other hand, tend to concentrate on short term results. This single difference has dramatic impacts in the life you lead.

Short term thinking causes long term problems. A prime example of this is often the political world. Politicians take steps thinking about the time frame to the next election cycle. They do not truly consider the long term impacts of their decisions.

Some business leaders fall into this same mindset. This is especially true for publicly traded companies. The executives there are concerned about the next quarter's reporting. Often, their decisions are good for the short term while have negative long term effects.

On the personal level, attitude is affected when you have long term thinking. With this mindset, the ups and downs of life do not impact you as greatly. There will always be setbacks. This is a fact of life. However, when you look at the big picture, it is easy to see how a temporary setback is not that major. People with short term thinking often get caught up on this.

Develop a long term mindset. Look at what you want your life to be 1, 5, 10, and 20 years from now. These are the time frames I found beneficial. People who think in these terms weather all that life has to throw at it. Certainly, there are times when things will not go well. Concentrating on the longer cycle will reveal all the positives.
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Overcoming Fear II

We spoke of the power that fear can have on us. In many situations, fear is actually the force which is in control. People allow this to stand between them and their dreams. It is sad how something that does not exist can exert such influence.

There are many strategies which help in overcoming fear and getting us to take action. However, there is one which I believe trumps all the rest. Follow this simple idea and you will be able to take action in any situation.

This involves asking one simple question: "what is the worst thing that could happen in this situation?". Come up with the answer to that question and prepare for that event. If you are prepared for the worst case scenario, then you will be able to handle whatever arises. This is a technique those who are trained in crisis management utilize.

When working with salespeople, I often find they are fearful of prospecting. The fear of rejection has the power to paralyze. This simple technique works wonders in this situation. I ask them what is the worst that happens. For example, in telephone prospecting, the worst thing that could occur is for that person to hang up (perhaps after saying a few berating words). The next question is, what would you do? Hang up the phone after hearing the dial tone is the most likely answer. Not the end of the world.

We can take this same principle into the world of dating. Many are scared to approach a person of the opposite sex for fear of being rejected. Another example: what is the worst that can happen? She can laugh and say no. Okay. Learn how to deal with that response and take action. Anything short of that will be a piece of cake to deal with.

You see, we can apply this to all fears that we have. What is the worst that is going to happen? Often we have this idea already in our head. Therefore, prepare for that outcome so that you are ready. Then, if it does happen, you can handle it.

An interesting sidenote to this technique: if you prepare for things that do not occur often enough, you will find that you tend to stop the negative thinking after a while. It takes effort to continually prepare for dire situations which never occur. After a while, one sees the insanity of his or her own thinking. The mind is playing tricks on us. Fear is just a technique for control.

Try this mind trick the next time you are fearful about something. The first couple of times you might want to write it down. In fact, keep a journal just to monitor what really happened. Note the situation, what you think will happen (worst case scenario), and your plan for dealing with it. Also write down what occurred after the situation is resolved. This will give you a record of what your mind is doing. It wont take you too long to see how fear is used to make decisions for you.
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Overcoming Fear

Everyone is afraid at times. Nobody walking this planet is exempt from fear. However, the successful are those who confront their fears by moving forward. Overcoming fear is the most basic of actions if you are going to lead a successful life.

We see many people who live in a "box" because of the fear they have. They are too fearful to strike out on their own and achieve what they truly desire. Instead, they live the dream of another. This is sad. Of course, this choice is rationalized by saying such things as "I am being responsible".

Fear exists totally in your head. It is not real. The truth is believing in fear is as effective as believing in the Easter Bunny. They both carry the same power over your life.

The only power that fear has is what you give to it. As FDR said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Einstein said, "I feared over 10,000 things in my life, most of which never came true". If we cease to buy into the fear, it ceases to be able to control us.

Many think that courage is the absence of fear. It is not. Courage is acting in spite of the fear that you have. This is what separates those who control fear versus those who are controlled by it.

Another truth is that it takes courage to forge your own life. Society has an effective method of modeling our behavior to it's liking. The same is true for family and friends. If you stray from the acceptable norm, you risk being chastised by others. This can be a scary proposition to many.

Often, the only thing standing between you and success is your fear. Many have the ability yet seem to "freeze" when it is time to act. They are no different then a deer caught in headlights. Fear takes control of the situation.

So, how do you overcome this? Since the problem resides in your mind, we only need a mental solution. It starts with the understanding that fear is not real. It is a mechanism the mind uses to control us. Our minds like certainty. When it is confronted with an unknown, it creates fear to move us into inactivity. This way the mind can rest in certainty.

Also, ponder what Einstein said. Most of what we expect to happen never really comes true. The mind has a way of exaggerating the negative. It tends to go to the "worst case scenario". Fortunately, in life, the worst case rarely happens. Situations usually work out much better than we anticipated. This is where the mind games are waged.

Ignore the negative self talk of your mind. It is not your friend. The best thing you can do is to remember that action is the bridge to success in any endeavor. Resist the temptation to be paralyzed by fear. Taking action, in and of itself, is overcoming fear. When we act, we are exercising our personal power. It is us, not fear, who is in control of the situation.
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Prepare For The Worst

Are you prepared for the worst? Have you even thought about how bad things could get in your life? These are all questions which show how prepared one is to handle the tribulations that could be a daily part of one's life. Are you one who is ready?

Survival experts tell us that a key factor in getting through horrific situations is to "prepare for the worst". When you do this, it allows you to consider different possibilities. Most get stuck in a "boxlike" mindset. In other words, they cannot think outside their normal pattern.

We recently entered into a worldwide recession. Do you really understand how bad things could get? If not, it is suggested that you ponder some of the events which come to pass during major economic downturns.

For example, we all know that crime tends to accelerate when people are starving. Are you ready to deal with a lifestyle where the rule of law does not always prevail? Consider what is occurring in Mexico at the moment. What would happen if that situation was repeated in major cities throughout the U.S.? Could you handle yourself in an environment like that.

Another thing to consider is the world's oil supply. Saudi Arabia is dependent upon oil to sustain it's society. What happens if oil gets to $5 a barrel? The Saudi economy crashes, thus making it open to being taken over. How would you be impacted daily if the largest oil reserves were in the hands of the Iranians? We would see our lifestyle change in an instant.

Are any of these things going to come to pass. Hopefully not. Nevertheless, it is good to exercise your mind to all the possibilities of what can happen and prepare for it. If you are ready to handle the worst, then anything short of that will be easy to handle. Preparation can alleviate a host of problems.

Living in Florida reminds us how important it is to be prepared. We deal with hurricanes on a regular basis. People are trained to prepare as if a category 5 is going to hit. Fortunately, the storms are rarely that powerful. Yet, we saw the inverse situation with Katrina. New Orleans was completely unprepared for what it faced. The people there failed to ready themselves for the worst possible scenario.

Does this mean we are to engage in negative thinking? Absolutely not. Preparing ourselves mentally is not negative thinking. Instead, it is a mental approach design to make us more effective regardless of what occurs. Sticking our head in the sand thinking that bad things will not occur is not practical. That is what many did with Katrina. They ignored the fact that there was a monster storm headed their way.

Prepare for the worst. This will allow you to use all your resources to their maximum potential. As mentioned, rarely does the worst occur in our lives. Yet, being prepared at this level will make handling reality a lot easier.
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Successful Outlook

The last few days, I wrote a lot about thinking. I believe this is the singlemost important factor in success. Everything that we are comes from the thoughts that we consistently hold. In fact, all that we experience is nothing more than what we think about a particular situation.

Focus is what makes the difference. It is what we focus upon that determines the direction that our life goes in. Too many people choose to concentrate upon the fear in their life. They picture how things can go wrong. That is their consistent focus.

Want to make a radical shift in your life? Change what you choose to focus upon. Instead of looking at all the negativity, think continually about good things. I wrote the other day about positive expectations. Successful people concentrate their thoughts on how things are going to turn out in their favor. The rest always look at how things will go wrong.

Is fear running your life? If so, stop focusing upon it. Think of all the successes you had thus far. Everyone, no matter where they presently are, had a great deal of success. We come into this world naked and helpless. As the decades pass, we learn a great deal about the world around us. This is where knowledge comes from. Our life experiences are what makes us smarter, and stronger.

So, if you had a rough go of it, get excited. It means that you are capable of handling so much. Give yourself some credit. There are lots of things that you can do right now that others cannot. We all have had our share of successes.

A successful outlook is the most important trait to maintain. People who are hopeless choose to focus upon all that is wrong in their life. It is sad to witness because it need not be that way. It is a choice that person makes. Be one who takes control of your thoughts.

In my working with others, I have come across people who have endured it all. The fact of life is that bad things often happen to good people. It is not what happens to us that makes the difference; rather it is how we handle it that is important. No matter how bad you have it, someone else has it worse. Remember this the next time you want to engage in the negative thinking.

The bottom line is that you will be alright. Life need not be this overwhelming thing that is made to be endured. You are free to choose how much you choose to enjoy it. Focus your attention on all the good things that are going to come to you in the future. Happiness and success is just around the corner if you believe it. Of course, so is pain and misery if you choose that door. The choice is yours.

Today, choose to have a successful outlook. The rest of your life is going to be a wonderful masterpiece.
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A powerful technique for success is the concept of presupposition. A presupposition is a belief that something will happen before it occurs. One supposes something to be a certain way. This is often prevalent in science when someone makes a presupposition which will influence the results of the experiment. Nevertheless, we can us this technique in our daily life to increase the benefits we receive.

Most of us have some type of "to do" list. This is another tool that many utilize for success. However, what if we have a "to be done" list instead of a "to do" list? Do you notice any different between the two? This is more than just semantics. Using the name "to be done" presupposes that you are going to get the items on that list completed. The word done instills the idea of something being finished. This is how a presupposition works.

Another way of phrasing this idea is "act as if". What do we mean by this? What this saying is telling us is to act as if what we want is already true. If you want to be physically fit, as as if you already were. Someone who is fit will eat certain foods and workout in a certain way. Model that behavior even if you are not already there yet. The same is true for success in business. What does a successful business person do? Act as if you are that person and you will become it.

Cary Grant liked to say that he played Cary Grant so long he became him. Life is one big play. We are free to create whatever character we desire. Presupposing that things are a certain way gives us a shortcut to manifesting what we want.

The truth is everyone uses this technique already. Sadly, most use it for negative results. They presuppose everything is going to go wrong. Their "act as if" is to believe that they will fail. Naturally, what the mind focuses upon expands. Thus, that person manifests more failure. It is a basic fact of nature. If that person would change the thinking, new results would be attained.

Can someone really change their life by changing their thinking. A concept such as this seems really hocky. However, it is the foundation for all great achievement. Thousands of texts have referred to the power of the mind over the years. This concept has stood the test of time. Stop being a disbeliever and change your thinking. Instantaneous results will be achieved.
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The Mindset Breakthrough

I wrote a great deal of late about mindset. Many teach the value of the proper mental outlook. This is not something that I developed. It stretches back many thousands of years. Most of the spiritual texts written deal with this same subject. For example, there is the saying "as you think, so shall you be". No truer words were ever written.

The other day I had an epiphany about what this all means. What is the true difference between successful thinking and unsuccessful thinking? How are they different and what can be a simple way to "see" it? Then it came to me. The major difference is expectations. Successful have positive expectations while others have negative. It is that simple.

Of course, this is something we heard for years. Positive thinking is a long established genre. However, I am talking about something a bit different. What I am referring to is the default mindset we go through life with. Most of us are conditioned to picture things failing. This is the default way we look at things. Our projections all tend to be negative.

If you want to revolutionize your life, change this pattern. Have positive expectations in all that you do. In fact, I want you to be so sure of what visualize that you are completely surprised when things do not go your way. This is the mindset which creates success. Genuine surprise at failing is what shows that you cut off the other possibilities.

It is a long held concept that "what you consistently think about expands". Being surprised at a negative outcome shows that your mind was focusing on things going your way. This is what the successful do. Do you think Donald Trump imagines building a structure and having the units not sell? How about Warren Buffet; does he buy a stock with the intention of it going down? These ideas never enter into their mindset. Of course, they are aware (and prepare for) the downside of things. Yet, their overriding thoughts are of success.

How does this differ from your outlook? Do you expect things to go "your way"? Are you surprised when you reach someone's voice mail or did you expect them not to be there? Are you shocked if a parking spot is available close to the store or is it a pleasant surprise? People who trained their minds have come to expect these things to occur. And why not? The effort required is no different. It takes the same energy to expect negativity as it does positivity.

This seems like a simple concept. It is. However, like most practical matters, it is difficult to implement. Your thinking is a result of years of conditioning. Habits are so powerful because they took hold over so many years. Yet, breaking this one habit while implementing positive expectations will revolutionize your life. It is the one insight that many need to completely change their lives. Begin to use this on a daily basis.
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Be A Big Thinker

What is holding you back? The answer is your thoughts. It is the ideas that we consistently keep in our heads which determine the level of success we are to achieve. Sadly, most keep thoughts of limitation and lack. And, guess what they experience in their lives on a daily basis. Thoughts have a way of manifesting themselves into reality. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain the best thoughts that we can.

One of the most common traits of people is "little thinking". People are conditioned to stop dreaming big. Instead, we are taught to be "realistic". Our parents tell us "get your head out of the clouds and your feet on the ground". Nothing great was ever achieved by this mindset.

Recently, Obama became President of the United States. Here was a person who was not limited by the reality of what happened in the past. Nor was Jackie Robinson, the first man in space, or the Wright Brothers. All these people broke through barriers which existed only in the minds of the masses.

So, what thoughts are you pushing aside as unrealistic. What the the big thoughts that you are avoiding. If you are to attain any level of success in your life, it starts off with the notion that all is possible. Whatever you dream, you can achieve. I believe this to be a true statement. The potential that is within you at this very moment is enough to change the world. My question is do you have the courage to believe that?

Be a big thinker. There is no added cost to your life. It takes the same energy to think big as it does to think small. However, it does require some courage. There are many doubters out there. Most people prefer to drag others down as opposed to lifting themselves up. That is a definite path to mediocrity.

To attain success, you must first imagine it. Think of the greatest of achievements. This will open up an entirely new world to you.
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How much are you putting off?

Procrastination is something that everyone deals with. The level of success we achieve is often dependent upon how well we deal with this fatal animal. In short, the most success people are able to take action where others are stopped. That is the main difference.

I would like you to do a little test for yourself. Take out a pen and write down all the things that you are presently putting off. What are some of those actions which you know you should take, yet just cannot get yourself to pull the trigger. List everything that you can think of. Nothing should be omitted, no matter how small it seems.

Do you have a long list? This list reveals a great deal about your ability to handle procrastination. Simply, if you have a long list, you are probably in need of help with this for. Procrastination is running your life. I have seem people who have a list that equaled a book. They put everything off.

In my book "The Ultimate Procrastination Handbook", I mentioned this as one of the main ways to overcome procrastination. The Procrastination List is a powerful tool for beginning to win the battle against stagnation. Now, you have a list of all that you are putting off. The next step is to do something about it.

What I suggest is to take a couple of the easier ones on the list. Put them on your daily to do list (if you do not have one, start one). I want you to complete those activities right now. Get up and go do them. I will wait here for you.

Did you complete them? If so, cross them off the list. What you have done is started to develop some momentum. Continue to do this for the next couple of weeks and you will see your Procrastination List dwindle down. You are on your way to regaining control of your life.
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Make Every Moment Count

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Last night, I saw the movie Notorious BIG. In it, there is a scene where Biggie is talking with his mom after the death of Tupac. "Make every moment count" were the words his mom uttered to him. No truer words were ever spoken.

Are you making every moment count in your life? Do you spend countless hours chasing things that really are not important in the long run? Life is short. We never know when the end comes. It is a surprise for all of us. Today is the only day that we have.

Have you identified what is important in your life? What lasting impressions are you leaving? In other words, what is your legacy? This is something that is accomplished only by investing the time in those important activities. Now is the time to make every moment count.

The world has so much to offer. We live in an age where information is readily available to us. There are so many ways to improve ourselves. I look at our forefathers; people who were true inspirations in their education and diversity. Men like Benjamin Franklin made the most of their lives. He was a successful businessman, inventor, diplomat, and educator. People like him were Renaissance men in the truest sense of the word. Their focus was on continual improvement. Is your life reflective of this idea.

It is easy to get caught up watching reruns on television. It is a mechanism which allows us to "turn off" our minds. However, for many, it is also a terrible time waster. Utilize each moment to it's fullest. That is how you create a successful life: one moment at a time.
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Know what you can change

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

-The Serenity Prayer

I am hearing a lot of people focusing on all the negativity surrounding the current economic crisis. There is a lot of fear out there. People are worried about losing their jobs, homes, and savings. Each day seems more bad news. This is compounded by watching the pundits on tv. They tell of how the stimulus package is nothing more than pork and going to kill this country. We hear the reports of 500,000 people laid off each month. And, out retirements are devastated with every market downturn.

So, what is one to do? As the words penned by Reinhold Neibuhr tell us, we need to focus on those things we can change. Most events are out of our control. However, there is action we can take each day which will have a positive impact in our lives. Concentrating our efforts on improving our circumstances make us stronger while giving us more control over our journey.

Let us look at our job as an example. All across the country, companies are laying people off due to economic cutbacks. This decision is out of the hands of most people. However, the idea of making yourself into the most valuable employee is within your grasp. Do all that you can to make it difficult for them to let you go. This is within your control.

Study everything you can about your business. Take night courses which will help you in your career. Accept assignments that other people refuse. Do whatever you can to make yourself the most valuable employee they ever saw.

Approach every area of your life in this manner. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Step up your activity to make yourself better. Learn about investing to increase your chances of success. Study budgeting to learn to stretch your resources further. This is what is going to separate you from everyone else. The majority of people are going to allow the current circumstances eat them alive.

Know what you can change and concentrate on that. Leave those things that are out of your control to the forces of the universe. It is not worth your energy since you cannot change them anyway.

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Finish Strong

This is one of the more moving videos that I have seen in a while. Be sure to take a look. It is a little over 2 minutes but something that you will remember.

Click here.
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The Growth Is In The Pain

Most people will do anything to avoid pain. It is something that we are taught to avoid. However, the successful are those who embrace pain and what it does for them. Pain is the one thing that yields significant results: growth.

I like the analogy of working out. Those who see the results from exercise are the ones who push themselves far enough to suffer a bit of pain. "No pain, No gain" is the motto. Also, the best results come from going a bit further. Doing just one more set is what gives the greatest growth.

How often do you push yourself to do "one more" in your daily life? Do you look for opportunities to step out of your comfort zone so that you can grow? If you are like most people, this is something that you avoid. Of course, be kind to yourself; it is what you were taught to do.

Let us look at a simple example. How did you learn to ride a bike? Most of us got on the bike after the training wheels were removed and rode a short distant before falling down. If we were fortunate, we might of had a parent steadying the bike as we went. However, the end result was that we fell, repeatedly. Naturally, those of us who ride a bike got back on. We stuck with it even though we suffered a bit of pain in the process. In the end, we succeeded because we endured what life served us.

So, I implore you to look for those times when you can get a bit of pain. Go deep into the situation to strengthen yourself. Growth is the mechanism which allows us to handle things further along on our journey. Do not pass the opportunity to make your life easier by doing something that is a challenge today.

Remember, your growth is found in the pain.
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You can only count on yourself

I advocate personal responsibility. Soceity wants to teach that it is always someone else's fault. We watch the political process to see this in action. Everyone in power seems to have a perfect track record: they never made a mistake. Why? Because it is always someone else's fault.

Part of my teaching is that you are responsible for the circumstances in your life. If you wife is not behaving how you would like, that is your fault. You were the one who chose to marry her. Kids creating chaos. Nobody told you to have them. It was your choice. Same goes for the job. There are no slavery contracts. You are the person who choses to work for that company. Everything, and I mean everything, is a result of the choices you made.

There is a story about a family headed by a father who was an alcoholic. He had two sons. When they grew up, one son followed in his father's footsteps becoming a lush while the other did not. When asked "how come they turned out the way they did", both responded "with a dad like mine, how could I turn out any other way".

Here was two people who grew up in the same environment yet turned out totally different. That is how life is. We are free to make choices. Unfortunately, most choose to depend on someone or something else for their power. It drives me nuts when I meet people like this. In this era, dependence upon the government is a big thing. Well, when I talk to people who went that route, it seems that perhaps this was not the best option. In the end, the government let them down.

The same is true for your company, boss, wife, or kids. If you come to rely upon someone else for you success and happiness, you will be let down. Spouses will leave. Companies fire people. Bossese get promoted. The bottom line is that there is only one person that you can depend on, and that person is YOU!!!
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Kick Your Life Into Overdrive

We hear this statement quite often. However, have you ever thought about what this means? The odds are that you have not. I presume that it means different things to each person. To me, this means that we go and attack life. Too many want to wait until life comes to them. This is not how one excels in creating the life that he or she truly desires.

I come across so many individuals who are stuck in neutral. They have plans and desires yet never seem to get anywhere. They waste so much time waiting for things to occur. In the end, they never do. That is the mistake people make.

To succeed in life, you need to take it under your control. There are so many factors which are beyond one's influence. Those who pursue the avenue of security find they are often the ones who suffer the most. The successful decide their own fate. Even when obstacles do arise, they are only temporary setbacks.

So, how do you kick your life into overdrive? I would say the first step is simply move at a faster pace. Most people seem to drag themselves through their life. The entire day is spent in a state of "moping". You see this in the pace which that person's conducts his or her activities. Everything is slow.

To kick your life into overdrive, I would suggest getting excited. Regardless of your present position, the time to start creating your dreams is now. Your present circumstances are simply a starting point from which you can move forward. These situations need not be permanent. If you are willing to move ahead, things will change for you in many ways. The important element is to get moving.

Start to implement passion into your life. The successful truly love what they do. Certainly, it is difficult to drop everything to pursue a different path. In fact, because of present responsibilities, this might not be possible. However, you can work your way into a different position. Begin to take the action which leads to different results. This is how people change their lives.

So, kickstart your life today. Whatever you are putting off, go do it now. This will lay the foundation of taking action. Action is the key to all success. Putting things off until a later date often leads to one never "getting around to it". Do not fall into this trap. Life starts right now.
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Solving Problems

Sales is nothing more than the process of finding a problem and solving it. This is what a professional salesperson does. Of course, this is radically different from the conception that most have of salespeople. Instead, most carry the idea of "Herb Tarlek" from WKRP in Cincinnati as the image of what a salesperson is. Basically, they believe it is someone who is just trying to force their products down people's throats. This is not true.

A salesperson is not a con man. That is called a con artist. A salesperson is not a crook. That is called a crook. And a salesperson is not a swindler. Rather, a professional salesperson is someone who is schooled in his/her industry and is adept at uncovering problems within an organization. One these problems are realized, the salesperson can design a solution that solves the problem. This is what the pros do.

How is this different than the average "car salesman"? This is an industry which got a bad name and for good reason. These people tend to use hard sales tactics to get people to buy. This is not what I am referring to. The class of salesperson which I am thinking of operate more like doctors. They investigate a company's current situation by asking questions so as to fully understand what the problem might be. After that, they formulate a "prescription" which cures the ills of that company.

A salesperson is a problem solver. In this current economic environment, many companies are suffering large problems that they need help with. The most obvious situation confronting everyone is dwindling financial resources. This is where a salesperson can help. Do you have a product or service which will save a company money? This is something they are all looking for. Perhaps you can reduce the time/people needed to complete a particular task. This would equate to a savings for them. Regardless of the situation, seek to solve a problem.

Salespeople are what makes the economy flourish. Many will take exception to this idea but it is the truth. Few companies are complaining about the lack of qualified accounting personnel. Nor are they suffering from a lack of creative ideas. Every company is experiencing a loss in revenue. This is where the salespeople come in. They are the only ones who create revenues for a company. Everyone else is an expense.

It is good to remember this point when looking at this profession. There is still a stigma attached to it. However, never were professional salespeople needed as they are now. The entire economy is resting on our ability to excel at our jobs. Collectively, we are the ones who will turn this recession around.
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4 Parts of the Sales Process

Yesterday I wrote that having the ability to sell is the only survival skill guaranteed to get one through this economic crisis is it persists. Selling is the one job within a company that can pay for itself. Salespeople are revenue generators; everyone else is an expense.

That being the case, I figured it best to give you some of the fundamentals of sales. This will enable you to start to look at this lucrative field in a different light. It will also provide the foundation for further research.

There are four basic parts to the sales process. They are:

1. Prospecting-the act of finding someone to talk to who has a need and ability to pay for your product.
2. Qualifying-determining if the person you are talking to has the need and/or can pay for your product.
3. Presenting-showing how your product is the solution to the needs uncovered during the qualifying process.
4. Closing-asking for the order.

That is the entire sales process. Everything, no matter how is it packaged, goes through the same process. The only difference is how companies choose to use marketing as opposed to sales people. For example, large retail chains use advertising to do their prospecting instead of sales people.

People often believe that closing is the most important part of the sales process. You often see classified ads wanting "closers". That is the old sales model which had people tying up prospects and hammering them over the head until they bought. Under the new model, closing is a natural progression of the entire process.

So what is the most important part of the process: prospecting. The best closer in the world will starve if he/she has nobody to talk to (just go onto any car lot now to see what I mean). A sales person who has a steady flow of prospects will write consistent business. Those who fail in sales do so because they lack the ability to find people in the market.

There is an old saying, if you ask enough people to buy, someone will say yes.

Look for the sales process in all transactions to familiarize yourself with this concept.
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Seeing What Others Do Not

There was a movie in the 80s called "Night Shift". In it, Michael Keaton played an eccentric character who proclaimed that he was an "idea man". He was continually getting these ideas which he would record on his handheld recorder. Of course, most were loony. However, one, which was totally outrageous, was followed and set the premise for the movie.

Being a person of ideas is a habit that all of us should try and cultivate. Ideas are what change the world. They are also the things that change our lives. Everything that you see around you started as an idea in someone's head. Before anything is manifested in the physical world, it must first be seen in the mental. That is how it works.

Are you in the habit of seeing what others do not? Or, do you get caught up in the prevailing mindset which exists among society? The successful are people who can look at a situation while seeing what it can become. Those who fail to get ahead in life tend to see things exactly how they are.

What is the prevailing attitude in the current environment? According to the press, the world is coming to an end. The economic crisis is the worst in history. People are going to suffer consequences which they will never recover from. Homelessness is going to be a reality for many since unemployment is going through the roof. In short, we are going to be lucky if we survive this ordeal.

That is what I see being promoted everyday. But, this brings up the point "is this reality". For many, it is. Those people are buying into what is said. They partake in the gloom and doom. Their reality is created in the minds of others.

Nevertheless, there are a few out there who realize this is a fabulous time to be alive. In fact, some believe their is never a better time in history to exist. They understand that there are unlimited opportunities out there for people who are able to see them. Those who are adept at seeing what others cannot are the ones who succeed.

What is so wonderful about the economic crisis we are in? What are some of the negatives we hear about? To start, the stock market crash makes headlines. And rightfully so. It is wonderful news. Stocks of some of the finest companies in the world are offered at a huge discount. They are on sale. Yesterday, I purchased a stock which was over $70 last Spring for $8.10 a share. There never was a time to make money in the market if one is able to hold things for a while.

Unemployment is something else that makes the news. That is a wonderful piece of information. Companies that downsize usually come back stronger. They are leaner and meaner. It is a reality of economic cycles. Also, it allows for the best personnel to be retained. My readers here are some of the most knowledgeable on the net. Surely, they will stand out from the crowd.

Yesterday, I wrote about the one survival skill that will get you through this crisis. People who know the sales game will excel in this environment. Fortunes will be made while others are sitting around complaining.

There are lots of opportunities out there. For those who approach each day with the proper mindset, they will materialize easily. However, if you are one who buys into all the negativity that exists, you will go down with everyone else.
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Which Are You?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second, she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners.

She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then, she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which one are you?” she asked her daughter.

When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

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The One Survival Skill

Many people are worried about their jobs with the recent economic events that took place around the world.  And, for good reason.  Things are awful in many areas.  This is perhaps the worst economic environment that we have seen in a couple of generations.  Before it is done, we might surpass the Great Depression for worst economic crisis ever to impact the industrialized world.

Do you have the same fear?  I was posed this question the other day by someone.  After looking into where I stood emotionally, I realized that I have no fear regarding the current economic situation.  Things are bad for many; for me this is an opportunity.  I can excel where others are struggling.  This is something that separates the successful from those who allow circumstances to swallow them up.

Why do I have this outlook?  Like many, I am overexposed with some of my debt.  However, I use debt as a method to increase my wealth.  I am not buried by unsecured debt like so many. Also, my investments were hammered over the past year.  Some days, I see stocks I purchased decreasing by double digits percentages.  I am no different then others in this regard.  Finally, my businesses are down substantially from a year ago.  Money is tight all around thus all businesses are suffering to some degree.

So, what makes me so different?  When I got to the core of my confidence, I realized that I had the security of knowing that the catastrophic gloom would not strike me.  Many, when they loose their jobs, have difficulty finding another.  This leads to financial pressures often encompassing the losing of a home.  Facing events like this strikes terror into the hearts of so many.

I understand that I am exempt from these pressures.  Regardless of how bad things get, I will be able to overcome any obstacle.  My businesses can go under and I will be able to maintain the basics of life.  Being out in the cold is not an option in my life.  This is the reality of the economic circumstances we face today.  People who have my skillset are in greater demand now then they were a year ago.  Everything in my life can crash today and I will be employed tomorrow.  And, it is simply because I have this one skill that most fail to learn.

What is this magical skill that I am referring to?  And, can it change your life to give you the same peace of mind in an economic crisis?  It most certainly can.  You will have all the comfort of knowing that you will succeed if you can do one thing: SELL.

Okay, now I lost most of you.  Many of you would walk through an alligator pit before taking a job selling.  Well, that is exactly why I will excel where others fail.  The present economic circumstances are limiting what businesses can do.   Many positions that were needed a year ago are no longer necessary.  A company does not need all of its customer service personnel when its customer base decreased by 25%.  Administrative positions are being eliminated daily. Organizations are doing everything they can to "trim the fat".  And, if one is doing it, so is everyone else.  

Yet, sales people are needed.  They are the solution to declining revenues.  Sales people are the one group of people who can positively affect the bottom line.  In short, they are the only personnel who actually pay for themselves.  Everyone else within an organziation is an expense. Sales people affect the left hand side of the balance sheet in a positive way.  They are the ones who generate the revenues for companies to expand and grow.

That is why I am so confident in this economic environment.  My sales background is the most fundamental sales style there is.  I was groomed in the traditional mode where one takes a territory and generates business.  It is that simple.  You can put me anywhere in this country, provide me with some product training, and I can go to work that day.  A phone book and map is all I need.  My livelihood is not contingent upon anyone else.

Compare this to your present circumstances.  Who holds control over your employment? Assuming that you are a terrific employee, what other factors could impact your livelihood.  I am surrounded by companies that do a lot of defense work.  They have cutbacks every time government contracts are not funded by Congress.  Washington controls their employment.  I know others who were laid off because of diminishing sales.  Businesses enter into bankruptcy. People take their business to a competitor.  All these factors are out of an individual's hands.

The bottom line is that sales people are the only ones who can be assured of being needed.  When things get bad economically, their services are required even more.  Every company is looking to increase their revenues.  To do that, they need people to "hit the streets" and make sales, not another mid-level manager.  

Start to learn some of the basics about sales.  It is something that will give you an avenue to pursue should this economic crisis continue.

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There is never a "perfect" time

I once had a spiritual advisor who told me to "stop thinking; that I was no good at it". Obviously, you would need to know the context which that was stated, but it was an appropriate comment. Basically, this statement applies to most people.

Most individuals get themselves into a quandry by overthinking. They often suffer from "paralysis from analysis". What this means is they think themselves out of taking action. The mind runs and instills fear in the person. This is the mind's defense against uncertainty. Any conclusion it draws is negative, thus implenting fear into the equation.

Success is a result of action. There is no success without action. If you study the most successful people in the world, you quickly understand that they take action which moves them consistently towards their goals. Fear, while present, is not a determining factor. People move forward in spite of the fear.

Does this mean that one should recklessly jump at any opportunity that comes along? No. That is not being smart. Rather, it is foolhardy. The intelligent do their research, get the facts, make a decision, then act. This is far different from just plunging in head first.

Warren Buffet is considered the best stock picker in the world. He is the richest man with a net worth over $45 billion. He uses the above approach when looking at a stock transaction. All the research is completed when he enters the trade. Of course, he is buying billions of dollars worth of stock at one time. The fear of loss might be present, but it does not prevent him from moving forward.

There is a time to think and there is a time to act. Most people do more thinking than acting (I am not referring to being on a stage). They suffer from paralysis by analysis. Overthinking causes them to miss golden opportunities right in front of them. They are too busy waiting for the perfect time. There never is a perfect time. Take action and make the necessary adjustments as you progress. That is how the successful operate.

The world is full of risk. There is nothing in life that is totally risk free. Even the most basic of activities has the risk of catastrophe. Taking a bath as an example. For most this is a risk free activity. Yet each year thousands of people die in their own bathtub. In reality, just getting out of bed involves risk. You can never avoid it completely.

Do not omit planning and research from your success process. However, understand there is a point in time when action is necessary. Resist the temptation to succumb to fear by thinking some more. Move forward and adjust as necessary.

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