The "Secret"

The self-help industry is well known for promoting the idea of the "secret to _________".  This is a mechanism to get people to take action and purchase the product being offered.  It is effective for one simple reason: people want to be in the know.  They want to make changes in particular areas which means they seek insight.  Hence why people are trying to uncover the "secret".

It Is All Out There

A few years back I was getting into photography.  Anyone who has engaged in this exercise understands the value of being able to take fabulous picture.  It is a was to immortalize events that happen in your life while gaining the envy of others.  Everyone has taken pictures yet only a select few are able to consistently take outstanding photos.  This is the difference.

As I was going through my endeavor, I decided to seek all the information possible.  The Internet opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to research.  There is more available at the "ends of our finger tips" then is contained in the Library of Congress.  Ergo, I did a search on photography tips.  I uncovered millions of websites all offering insight.  By going through a few, I was able to find the "Secret" to great pictures.

Before I go into that, I will state that often the most profound ideas are simple.  Simplicity allows for duplication and understanding.  Keeping with that idea, the "secret" to great pictures was nothing more than a sentence.  Sure, there are thousands of ways to improve one's skills in the world of photography and they all have merit.  However, the basic "secret" is only a sentence.  And here it is:

-Know everything there is to know about what your camera does and be able to do it.

It is ironic that knowing what is in your hands will separate you from 98% of the other photographers out there.  The "secret" turned out to be rather open.

Willing To Do What Others Will Not Do

Action is always the key.  It is not what you know but, rather, what you do with that knowledge.  Many attain the mental ideas needed for success yet few follow through.  And action is always the difference maker. 

In keeping with our camera example, the "secret" is to know everything there is to know about what your camera does and be able to do it.  Following this simple idea will place one in the 2% minority.  The rest will plug along taking awful pictures.  Why can I say this to be true?

I will answer this with a few questions: have you ever bought a vcr/dvd player and read the manual?  Did you read the manual and learn everything that your computer/laptop does?  Have you read the manual to your car to learn every feature about that?  Did you ever buy a camera and not learn everything it didi?  If you are like most people, you answered no to these questions.

The truth is few are willing to put in the time to read and learn.  When we are seeking to excel at something, oftentimes we overlook the basics.  The "secret" is often right in front of us if we are willing to take the action.  Too often people are looking for the complex when the wisdom is truly in the simplicity.

In closing, the secret to success in any endeavor in life is action.  Thus, your continual focus needs to be upon those actions that are taken as compared to those that are not.  Time management is nothing more than the process of deciding what we do.  In life, at every moment, we are opting to do one thing in lieu of another.  Those who are most successful make better choices in this area.

Be willing to do what others will not do.  That is the secret.
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"Well Done Is Better Then Well Said"

The title to this post is attributed to Ben Franklin.  Considered by many to be the greatest of all the Founding Fathers (of the United States), Franklin was diverse in his achievements throughout his life.  He was a printer, inventor, statesman, and author.  Many of the ideas he presented are still in use today.  In addition, the last two centuries have witnessed thousands of people studying his life to garner glimpses of what made him so successful.  Part of this is going to apply to the personal revolution we are now waging.

Action Not Words

I will start by stating that it is actions that you take, not the words you speak, which are important.  Other judge us by the tasks that we perform.  The world is littered with people who were well-meaning but lacked the necessary resolve to act.  Action is the one thing that differentiates people.

The Law of Attraction deals with taking an idea and manifesting it in the physical form.  While I will agree with the concept that everything starts as an idea, the truth of the matter that it takes action to move something from the invisible to the visible world.  This is the step that many miss.  I believe many fail because they mistakenly believe that things will magically transform from their mind into some type of physical form.  Without action, this is not possible.

Another area that people get tripped up is in matching their actions with their words.  Go into any bar and you will hear the drunken braggarts boasting about all they will accomplish.  Make a note of it while returning to the same bar 3 or 6 months from now.  Do you know what you will see?  The same people sitting on the same bar stools talking about doing the same things.  Here is a group of people who excel at verbalizing their ideas but lack at acting upon them.  Therefore, they accomplish nothing.

One resolution that you need to make is to have your words match your actions.  If you are one who continually says you will do something only to fail in that endeavor, then you need to change immediately.  You present focus needs to be to do whatever you state you will do.  That is what someone with good character does.  Regardless of what the activity is, no matter how insignificant, get it done.  You reputation and integrity are on the line.

Becoming A Task Master

Inactivity is death.  People spend way too much time basically doing nothing.  We live in an age where we expect others to entertain us.  This is the MTV generation.  Everything is sent to us digitally while we sit on our rumps taking it all in.  Our televisions have hundreds of channels broadcasting everything under the sun 24 hours a day.  The average person spend 5+ hours a day looking at this device in an effort to escape from what is his/her life.  All this time, one is inactive.

You goal is to be a Task Master.   Simply put, you need to have the ability to do.  Above, I mentioned that it is imperative that you do what you say you will do.  Now, I am going to go one step further: it is crucial that you do what you think.  If an idea pops into your head, you do it.  People always err on the side of inactivity.  It is time to develop the habit of "getting things done".

We all make promises to ourselves.  However, the easiest person for me to break a promise to is myself.  How many times have you "told" yourself that you would do something only to not do it.  No more.  It is time that you follow through.  If you think it, you can do it.  No matter how menial the task, get it done.  If you are not able to keep your promises to yourself on the small stuff, how can you expect to do it on the larger things?  The truth is you will not.

Many state that it is crucial to do the most important things first.  I do not subscribe to this theory for the simple fact that the majority of people just need to do something.  They are so conditioned for inactivity that it permeates every part of their life.  While I will grant there are actions that offer more benefit than others, the best thing to do is to get started.  I want everyone to do whatever task is in front of them regardless of the importance.  This is what becoming a Task Master is all about.  Eventually you can distinguish between the value of particular actions.  But, for now, as Nike says, just do it.

One final thought.  People, including myself stress the value of planning.  One would not wage a revolution without a plan.  To attack without any forethought is a strategy which leads to annihilation.  Therefore, you must spend time planning your life.  However, to me, planning is an activity.  When one engages in this behavior he or she is not sitting around idly.  Instead, a concrete task is being tended to.  That being said, a plan is ever evolving.  It is not something that is developed once.  One needs to focus upon it while making appropriate changes on a regular basis.  For this reason, get busy.  Take action.  Do what is in front of you.  As your plan develops, other actions will arise.  In the intern, strive for "well done".

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Decision Time

You are at the point now where it is decision time.  What are you doing to do?  How are you going to proceed from this point forward?  In what areas of your life are you going to wage your own personal revolution?  The time is now.

Things Are Getting Dire

I make this statement on a couple of different levels.  Anyone who turns on one of the cable news channels or reads the paper realizes how bad things are economically.  Personally, we all know at least one person who was adversely affected by this economic crhttp://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=9142749039560757753#editor/target=post;postID=5756714970572353493isis over the last 5 years.  Consider the fact that Europe is close to plunging into a recession, China is slowing, jobs are not returning, businesses are broke, people are not spending money, and we have a recipe for prolonged economic paralysis.  Taken to the individual level, this makes things extremely difficult.

While the macro picture is terrible, many people also have lives that are completely underwhelming.  Individuals are at a point where they are in jeopardy of missing out on their entire existence.  Alcohol and drug use are at all time highs.  The obesity rates in most Western countries is approaching epidemic levels.  Divorce rates are such where more than 1 out of 2 marriages ends.  Prescriptions for anti-depressants are being written by the millions because people cannot cope with what is going on.  The economic situation only adds to a multitude of woes that many were already suffering.

All this adds up to a dire situation.

Start A Revolution

We see revolutions take place in many third world nations.  Today, in the 21st century, we see governments overthrown by the people because of massive discontent.  While most regimes were extremely oppressive, the fact is that discontent is at the core of this.  People reach a point where the incompetence of the leadership is no longer tolerated.  Therefore, the enemy is identified and plans are established to remove them.  Egypt is a country which recently went through this.

You might ask why I use the term "revolution" and what this has to do with your life?  It is simple.  A revolution is a series of radical actions designed to achieve a desired end in which the participants have no ability to turn back.  When a revolution is staged, failure is not an option.  Those who are at the core of this movement are playing with their lives.  It is a life or death decision.  If it fails, execution is the result.  Courage and conviction are crucial elements within each person.

Therefore, it is time for you to start a revolution on your life.  There is no turning back and you are making a decision which has life or death consequences.  When you decide to move forward, you are opting to get on the path of living.  However, if you hold back and do what you always have, slow death is certain to arise.  Most people are allowing each day to pass away.  Their lives are nothing more than years of emptiness.  Fear, procrastination, laziness, insecurity, and a host of other negative beliefs ensure compliance with the status quo.  Sadly, for most, this means a lack of fulfillment.  Life is a stage that these people endure until death takes place.

Identify Your Number 1 Enemy

In the revolutionary situation I mentioned before, it is fairly simple for the participants to identify their enemy.  The existing regime is at the top of the hit list.  Under these circumstances, the desired outcome is the complete removal from power.  Anyone can see this is fairly obvious.

However, in your life, what is your #1 enemy.  Unlike the aforementioned circumstance, this is not as obvious.  We can often identify the power that controls a government.  Yet few of us can identify what is controlling our lives.  Uncovering this will allow us to take a life or death approach to resolving this problem.

So, what is your number 1 enemy?  For many, it is procrastination.  For others, it is a lack of self control.  Still others battle laziness on a regular basis.  Understanding what is at the helm of your life is of paramount importance.

A way to uncover this is to ask yourself, "what about my life do I hate the most".  Hatred is a powerful emotion which can reveal a great deal about what is going on.  Those with the ability to hate have tremendous potential because this emotion is driven by passion.  While it is presently in a negative form, passion is necessary for all great accomplishment.  Consider our revolutionaries entering into warfare.  Apathetic is not a word we would use to describe them.  Yet many people are apathetic about their lives.  They lack passion in any regard.  Hatred shows there is some passion there.  Utilize this for your advantage.

Hence, what do you hate most about your life?  This is your number 1 enemy.  Identify it and resolve to conquer it.  That is what success is all about.  It is decision time now.  You cannot put off things any longer (perhaps procrastination is your #1 enemy).  Life is spiraling out of control downward and you need the resolve to stop this plunge.  Everything starts in the mind.  Putting this off any longer is not possible.

Therefore, spend some time today asking yourself this question.  Do it numerous times.  Isolate your answer.  Come up with something that is clear and concise.  With clarity comes power.  Once you can identify your enemy, then the battle can begin.  In coming weeks we will develop strategies to with this war.  This is just the first step.  Do it now.

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