Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Do You Want? by Jack Canfield

People who have achieved their goals knew what they wanted in the first place. They decided what to go after, and they went after it. One of the most compelling reasons why people do not get what they want is that they never decided what they wanted! They never defined the desires of their hearts in complete detail.

Why don’t you know what you want? Why isn’t it spelled out in detail in your mind? Most likely, it is because you have lost touch with the desires of your heart. You were probably taught that you couldn’t have whatever you wanted. You were probably taught that it was more important to do what made other people happy. Seeking your happiness was considered selfish, so you learned not to define your happiness. Now, you find yourself completely unaware of what your preferences are, how you really want to live your life, and what your goals are for your life.

Take back your life! Start honoring your preferences, no matter how small they seem. Even if you don’t know what you prefer, pretend you do, and make a decision. You’ll be more keenly aware of whether that decision made you happy or not and you will learn your preferences!

Commit to this new belief: You deserve to have everything exactly the way you want it. Make it a priority to begin to know your wants and desires. Start simple by making a list of things you want to do and things you want to have. Keep writing until you find some of your core values, such as wanting to have loving relationships, to make a difference in your world or to be financially secure.

Think of what you love to do with your time. Write down several things that you love to do, and then make a list of all the ways you can think of to be making a living doing those things. Create a detailed description of the vision you have for your ideal life. Don’t limit yourself. Dream as big as you possibly can from your perspective right now.

In detail, what is going on in the financial area of your life? How much money do you make? How much do you have in savings and investments? What about your real estate? What kind of house or houses do you own? Create detailed visions of all the major areas of your life, your ideal career, your recreation time, your ideal body and physical health, your relationships with family and friends, your spiritual life, and the community in which you live. Create and write down your ideal vision for each area and review it on a daily basis.

All you have to do at this point is clarify your vision to yourself. Don’t worry about how it will happen right now. Once you have a clear picture of what you want going through your mind, the steps and opportunities to get it will appear. When you have completed your ideal vision of your life, share it with a supportive friend. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it! More than likely, they want the same thing for themselves but believe it’s impossible. Deciding what you want is the first step to getting what you want. Don’t put off creating your vision!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Law of Superb Execution

By Brian Tracy

Leaders are committed to excellent performance of the business task at hand, and to continuous improvement. A leader is the person who chooses the area of excellence for his or her team. A leader knows that excellence is a journey, not a destination. Leaders are committed to being the best in everything they do. They constantly strive to be better in their key result areas. They compare themselves with people, organizations, and products or services that are better than they are, and they are continually improving.

Standards of Excellence
Leaders set standards of excellence for everyone who reports to them. They are ruthless about weeding out incompetence and poor performance. Leaders demand quality work and insist that people do their jobs well. The leader sets the standard of excellence. No one, or no part of the organization, can be any better than the standard that the leader represents and enforces. For this reason, leaders are committed to personal excellence in everything they do.

Leaders are Learners
Leaders are learners, continually striving to be better in their work and personal lives. They read, take additional courses and seminars, and listen to audio programs in their cars. They attend conventions and association meetings, go to the important sessions, and take good notes. They are committed to learning and growing in every area where they feel they can make an even more valuable contribution to their work.

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Inspiring People
People are most inspired when they feel they are working for an organization in which excellence is expected. The very best way to motivate and inspire others is for you to announce your commitment to being the best in your field or industry. Then, continually benchmark your performance and the performance of your organization against the very "best in class" in your business.

Core Competencies
Leaders identify their core competencies, the vital tasks they do that are responsible for them being in business. They continually look for ways to upgrade these core competencies to assure that they maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Leaders think about the future and identify the core competencies that will be required for success in the years ahead. They then develop plans to acquire those core competencies well before they will be needed to compete effectively in the marketplace of tomorrow.

Action Exercise
Identify your personal core competencies. What are the essential skills of your job, the abilities that make you valuable, if not indispensable? What core competencies do you need to acquire if you want to be the best in your field in the years ahead? Make a plan today to develop the key skills and core competencies you will need tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Unleashing the Power - Tony Robbins

Helping people reach their greatest potential

Marc Figueroa December 2, 2008

Tony Robbins has coached U.S. presidents, Fortune 500 CEOs, sports and entertainment superstars—all seeking strategies to reach the next level in their lives and careers. People often call upon Robbins to help remove barriers holding them back and to inspire them to take action. This master motivator is equally adept at keeping a crowd of 10,000 people on its feet for hours. He's also addressed the World Economic Forum, British Parliament and Harvard Business School.

Robbins' message goes beyond positive thinking; intelligent thinking is what drives him. He understands that when people are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and fearful, they're rarely capable of brilliant analysis and decision-making.

"Confidence and competence is not the same thing," Robbins tells SUCCESS, following his return from a recent seminar tour through Australia and India. "No one should go into their garden and chant, "There are no weeds. There are no weeds. There are no weeds." For people to be true leaders, they have to first see things as they are, not worse. Then see it better than it is, and then make it the way you see it.

"The bottom line is that people have within them a force that is so powerful, there is nothing that can keep them from doing, being, sharing, creating and giving whatever they envision in life," Robbins continues. "My entire life is helping people unleash that power. Nothing drives me more than to see someone or an organization transform and begin to pursue goals with a purpose that inspires them, and gives them a greater sense of meaning—in not only what they do, but who they are."

Tony Robbins

Harnessing Emotion to Fuel Change

As economic uncertainty continues to shake Wall Street and Main Street, many success-minded professionals are being put to the test. Robbins' work is particularly relevant now, when people can call on his tools to keep their heads together and develop what he calls "emotional fitness."

"If you're psychologically strong enough, you can not only survive, but you can thrive when tough situations occur, as opposed to letting the environment control you and take over," he says. "It's really about mastering strength within yourself so that you can conquer the outer world around you."

Robbins continues to attract thousands of people to packed arenas all over the world, seeking to take their lives to the next level. The human spirit is what inspires him. Human potential actualized is what drives him.

But momentum wasn't always on his side. The 48-year-old Robbins vividly remembers the days when he was living in a stark, 400-square-foot apartment in Venice, Calif., and reduced to washing dishes in the bathtub. He was 30 pounds overweight, had a dead-end job, and in relationships that weren't working.

"I was extremely unhappy and couldn't stand who I was because I knew I had the potential to be so much more," he says. "I think there are many people who can relate to what I was experiencing—the pain of being in a rut and feeling like there's no way out.

"There are many people who live in what I call 'No-man's Land,' a place where you're not really happy, but you're not unhappy enough to do anything about it," he says. "That's a dangerous place. It's a place where people numb themselves to their dreams. It's where they dismiss hope and accept what's in front of them instead of driving toward what they really want in life. I lived there for a time, but I eventually hit rock bottom, and I'm glad I did because it forced me to take action. My only option for survival was to dig deep—to summon my courage, determination, faith, compassion and commitment to transform my life. I learned so much from that experience because I used those negative feelings to fuel my change. For me, I had no choice. I had to change."

Breaking Through Limitations

That change has resulted in big business for Robbins, who serves as chairman of five companies all geared toward his creed of improving the quality of life for people around the world. Robbins Research International Inc., based in San Diego, stages more than 100 events a year, offers professional coaching services and a variety of multimedia programs, including his best-selling The Ultimate Edge and Personal Power CD programs, which have sold more than 35 million units worldwide. He also created the award-winning Namale Resort and Spa in Fiji, where he also spends a few months each year.

But none of the success he enjoys would ever have happened if he hadn't been able to find a way to break through his own limitations. He had to get clear about what he really wanted and harness the fuel of human emotion to force himself to consistently take action to make his dreams a reality. "I was my first client," he says.

Robbins has worked directly with more than 3.5 million people from more than 100 countries. And he's as active as ever, often spending more than 15 hours on stage per day for a four-day event. That may sound crazy to some, but for Robbins, it's just another day at the office.

"I'm obsessed with finding what makes the difference in the quality of people's lives," Robbins says, "I'm always reading, interviewing extraordinary individuals, studying their patterns and experimenting on how to integrate what I've learned to make a difference in peoples' lives. The energy that comes from connecting and helping to make a difference with thousands of people at once, or one-on-one, is the juice of life for me. When you're giving everything you have and those you're working with are throwing it back at you five times as hard, it's absolutely incredible. It's an extraordinary experience, so powerful that I get swept up in those magical moments. Sometimes I come off stage and I think it's 8 at night, and I'm reminded that it's 1 o'clock in the morning."

His business of helping others help themselves didn't grow overnight. When he started 30 years ago, Robbins was a pioneer in personal and professional development—which is a $10 billion industry today. Along the way, Robbins says he probably failed more times than he succeeded. But he looks at failures simply as results or outcomes that he learns from each time.

Science of Achievement

"Unfortunately, we're programmed to fear this thing called 'failure,' so we try everything we can to avoid it, which is pointless," he says. "Failure is often necessary for real learning to occur. But the answer is simple. If you didn't get the results you want, learn from the experience so that you have references about how to make better decisions the next time around. People who fear failure internalize their mistakes, and when they try to go after something in the future, they might think, "Well, I tried to go after a dream before and look what happened." This is what keeps people from taking the very action that could move them to accomplish their goals. Too many people want to avoid any hint of a problem. But overcoming obstacles is what gives us psychological strength—it's the very thing that forms character."

Over the years, Robbins has noticed patterns in what makes people succeed or fail, what makes them feel happy or sad, and what it is that creates a life of meaning and fulfillment versus a life of frustration and despair. He saw it early on in his own life, and he sees it in the people he spends time with today—whether it's a hungry entrepreneur, a seasoned corporate executive or a mid-level manager.

"I can tell you, after working with millions of people for more than three decades, success is no accident in any environment," Robbins says. "There are rules of the game that, if followed, will lead to consistent success. There are logical patterns of action, and specific pathways to excellence that I call the science of achievement. But none of that means much without the art of fulfillment. I have seen business moguls achieve their ultimate goals but still live in frustration, worry and fear. What's preventing these successful people from being happy? The answer is they have focused only on achievement and not fulfillment. Extraordinary accomplishment does not guarantee extraordinary joy, happiness, love and a sense of meaning. These two skill sets feed off each other, and makes me believe that success without fulfillment is failure."

The father of life coaching answers some questions about failure and success, and everything in between.

Q: How did you go from living in a small apartment, practically broke, to the successful and fulfilled person you are today?

Anthony Robbins: I took advantage of my intense pain, and I turned it into the fuel for action. When you're living in a 400-square-foot bachelor apartment, cooking on a hotplate above your trash can and washing your dishes in the bathtub, you have to start looking at yourself. On top of that I was 30 pounds overweight, had a job that was going nowhere, and I was in relationships I hated. What changed me? I had a series of experiences with frustration at myself, and moved into unbelievable humiliation. I began to realize that who I was as a man—how I was living mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially—was far less of a man than who I really was inside. When I hit that threshold of pain, I didn't know at the time what I was doing, but I decided at the very minimum I was going to go on a run.

You have to understand; I hadn't run or exercised intensely for probably three years. But at the peak of that physical intensity, my nervous system was wired. I had made radical changes in my body. So I grabbed a journal there on the beach, drew a line in the middle of the page, and on one side wrote everything I would no longer stand for in my life, which was virtually everything I was living at the time. And on the other side I wrote everything I was now committed to. But I didn't yet know how I was going to make the change. I knew what I was going to change and why. This is the day that I turned my life around. It unleashed me. I began to search for the answers, but instead of just reading about them, or hearing them, I began to apply them. And I changed everything in my life. I lost 30 pounds in a little more than 30 days. I transformed emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. Within a year, I had begun to live the dreams that I once thought were impossible. I'd tell anyone that if you're going to change your life, you have to:

  1. Decide what you will no longer stand for and what you'?re committed to. Clarity is power.

  2. Take massive action. You have to be willing to do the things you don't want to do. You have to build a momentum that consistent action produces.

  3. Notice what's working and what's not working. And when it's not working, change your approach. And keep changing until you finally achieve what it is you're committed to.

Q: You talk about people living an extraordinary life. What is your definition of an extraordinary life?

AR: I think the answer is different for everyone. Ultimately, an extraordinary life is life on your terms. For some people it might be creating their own business or starting a nonprofit foundation. For others it may be making several million dollars. For someone else it might be the ultimate satisfaction of raising a son or daughter to be an extraordinary soul. It could be creating a garden, writing a poem or just truly enjoying every breath of life. I think the most important thing is for you to defi ne what would be an extraordinary life for you today because it changes as our lives change. We don't want to be living off an old script. Otherwise, you may fi nd yourself with one of those insane moments where you actually achieved your goal and then your brain says, 'Is this all there is' There's no worse feeling in life. Take a moment to update your wish list and ask yourself, 'If my life was truly extraordinary, if it was magnificent, by my own definition, what would my life be like today: physically, emotionally, with my family, in my career, in my level of happiness?' Set the standard for yourself so your brain, body and soul know what you're committed to creating.

For me personally, an extraordinary life is living what you were made for. For me, that means, first of all, giving and sharing love, and I'm truly blessed to have that kind of love in my relationship with my wife, Sage. But an extraordinary life for me is also finding a way to make a difference for others to grow and love. The driving force in my life is to help make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people everywhere. It is my greatest joy to share the tools and strategies for creating a life of meaning and fulfillment. Nothing stokes me more than to see someone or an organization transform and begin to pursue goals with a purpose that inspires them, and gives them a greater sense of meaning—in not only what they do, but who they are.

Q: How have you learned from your past setbacks and failures?

AR: Like most people, I've had as many, if not more failures than successes. But what's been helpful is that I've worked hard to learn from these mistakes so I don't have to repeat them. I realized along the way that if we can learn from our mistakes, we can create shortcuts that can help us to make a measurable difference for other people in their lives. When you recognize a pattern for failure, you can avoid it. And when you recognize a pattern for success, you can take the on-ramp for what you want much more quickly. I call these 'Pathways to Power.' And my life is truly about sharing those strategies, those pathways, those shortcuts that allow us to save ourselves time and pain. Ultimately, what I've learned, though, is that life is not about success or failure; it's about meaning. It's about the interpretation we give to each event in our life—and not the event itself. Meanings are shaped by what we believe and what we value.

Just remember, two people can have the same circumstances, but they pull different meanings from it, and therefore a different set of emotions, actions, and a different life.

Q: You are sometimes referred to as a motivational speaker. Is that an accurate description?

AR: My work has never been about motivation. It's true that when people see news coverage of my seminars they see 10,000 people jumping or celebrating. I just understand that in order to get peak performance, you have to get people in a peak state. What we do is based on the state we're in. And training people's minds and bodies to be at their best is exciting and rewarding.

But ultimately, who I really am is the 'Why' guy. If somebody says to me, 'I don't need any motivation,' I'll say, 'That's obvious. You're already motivated. What I want to know is: What is your motive for action? I want to know, for example, why you claim that you want to lose weight, yet each day, you seem to be motivated to eat things that cause you to gain weight.' The ultimate question is 'Why?' And when you can answer this question, you can change your life forever. Part of my job is to help people uncover the inner conflicts that hold them back, to find the conflicts in their motivations. When you can uncover these conflicts and shift them, you can change anything in your life.

Q: It seems there's more uncertainty in the world now than ever. What do you say to people who are uncertain about their future?

AR: It's true the world has changed dramatically over the last few years, and it's going to continue to change. The pace of change is more rapid than ever. But one thing is constant—there are seasons in everyone's life just as there are seasons in nature. There's a passageway that, if you see it, it will pull you out of the uncertainty and guide you on how to maximize this time in your life. The transformation of the quality of life for early humanity came when seasons were recognized. Until then, man had to wander as a hunter and gatherer, moving from place to place. But once we understood the seasons, we knew when to plant, when to protect, when to reap. And man could have roots. He could have sustainability. He could have certainty for his future.

These kinds of seasons not only shape our personal lives, but there are seasons in history as well. Every 100 years has roughly four primary seasons in it. If you're a student of history, you know there are economic cycles, and cycles of war. You think things are tough today? If you were born in 1910, what was happening in the world by the time you were 19 years old? It was 1929 and the Great Depression occurred. In the next major cycle in life, around 29 years old, World War II broke out. And yet this generation faced these incredible challenges—this financial, emotional and international winter if you would—and by fighting through it, they built a psychological and emotional muscle that makes us still call them the 'Great Generation.'

The secret to life is threefold. It's to understand what season of life you're in, to understand what season the world is in, and to figure out how to take advantage of it. I teach everyone in my seminars how to find the season they're in, which is different for everyone, and to take advantage of it. That's the secret to experiencing an extraordinary life.

Developing a Powerful Sales Personality

By Brian Tracy

Becoming excellent in closing sales is an inside job. It begins within you. In sales, your personality is more important than your product knowledge. It is more important than your sales skills. It is more important than the product or service that you are selling. In fact, your personality determines fully 80 percent of your sales success.

Take Charge of Your Life
The biggest mistake you can make is to ever think that you work for anyone but yourself. From the time you take your first job until the day you retire, you are self employed. You are the president of your own entrepreneurial corporation, selling your services into the marketplace at the highest price possible. You have only one employee—yourself. Your job is to sell the highest quality and quantity of your services throughout your working life.

View Yourself as Self-Employed
In a study done in New York some years ago, researchers found that the top 3 percent of people in every field looked upon themselves as self-employed. They treated the company as if it belonged to them personally. They saw themselves as being in charge of every aspect of their lives. They took everything that happened to their company personally, exactly as if they owned 100 percent of the stock.

Winners Versus Losers
The difference between winners and losers is quite clear. Winners always accept responsibility for their actions. Losers never do but instead always have some kind of explanation for why they are doing poorly.

Don't Waste Time
The average salesperson today wastes a fully 50 percent of his or her working time. According to research, he comes in a little later, works a little slower, and leaves a little earlier. He spends most of his working time in idle chitchat with coworkers, personal business, reading the paper, drinking coffee, and surfing the internet. Winners arrive a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later.

Develop Empathy and Understanding
Top salespeople have high levels of empathy, i.e., they really care about their customers. Ambition, the desires to achieve, combined with empathy, the genuine caring for the well-being of your customers, are the twin keys to top sales performance. A person with empathy makes every effort to get inside the mind and heart of the customer and to understand his situation and needs.

Keep Your Word
Top-selling salespeople are impeccably honest with themselves and with others. There is no substitute for honesty in selling. Earl Nightingale once said, "If honesty did not exist, it would have to be invented as the surest way of getting rich."

Do What you Love to Do
One of the secrets of success in selling is for you to do what you love to do. Top salespeople love what they are selling. They believe in it passionately. They will defend it and argue over it. They will talk about it day and night. When they go to bed, they think about their product. When they wake up in the morning, they can hardly wait to talk to prospects about it. Look at the top salespeople in the very best companies, and you'll find that these people are fanatical, about their products and services.

Action Exercise
Resolve today, that you are going to become one of the hardest-working professional salespeople in your industry; start earlier; work harder; stay later.

To Lead, Start with Yourself

John C. Maxwell December 22, 2009

As a leader I frequently get asked the question: What is my greatest accomplishment— the greatest thing I have ever seen happen as a leader? And after reading an Earl Nightingale article he titled “The Greatest Things,” I thought I would compile my own list of a leader’s greatest “things.”

The list I am going to share with you over the next few months is very subjective. I suggest that after I share them with you, you do your own assessment—because there is no right or wrong answer. What I am giving you is my own subjective and personal thinking on leadership. So let’s get started with the first one.

The Leader’s Greatest Victory—Victory over Self

My greatest victory every day is victory over self. I don’t want to put this in past tense because this is a daily battle I have to fight. Not a day goes by where I don’t have to work on myself and battle the temptations of self.

When people think of leadership, the common thought is a leader’s greatest victory is with others. That is a normal and understandable thought process. Because what do leaders do? They lead others. They are taking people someplace, right?

I have found that most of my problems in leadership are my problems. It’s like the guy who said, “If I could kick the person most responsible for my troubles, I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week, because I would be kicking myself.”

Halfway though writing my book Leadership Gold, which is a compilation of 26 of the most important lessons I have learned as a leader, I realized I learned almost every lesson because I did it wrong. In other words, the lesson was learned not because I was smart or got it right, but because I messed up. I had to reverse and ask myself some questions, like, How did I get that wrong and what could I have done better?

When I work with leaders, many of the problems they have with people are their own problems. It reminds me of when I was doing a conference and a college student raised his hand and said to me, “John, I love all this leadership information, but I don’t have a team yet. So who should I start leading?” And my answer to him was start with himself. Because if you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else? The philosopher Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.”

Ralph Stayer, president of Johnsonville Foods, wrote: “In most situations, I am the problem. My mentalities, my pictures, my expectations form the biggest obstacles to my success.” I think Ralph was feeling what I felt many times. He found the enemy, and it was himself.

In my book Winning with People, there are some people principles that address victory over self. Let’s take a look at a couple.

The Lens Principle: Who we are determines how we see others.

This principle says once we get our own act together, we will be able to help others get their acts together. It’s impossible, if I am an unhealthy leader, to have healthy followers. I have to fi x myself. We don’t see others as they are; we see others as we are, because each of us has his or her own bent and that colors our view of everything.

What is around us doesn’t determine what we see. What is within us does. For example, if I am an untrusting person, how do you think I will see you? I will see you as untrustworthy. I am going to view you not as you are but as I am. I am going to look at you through the lens of John Maxwell. So anything that is unhealthy about me is going to spill onto you. This is what leaders have to understand.

As a leader, if I can get victory over myself, if I can fix John Maxwell, the odds are high I can help fix others. If I can’t fix myself, the odds are high I will never be able to add value to and help others.

The Mirror Principle: The first person we must examine is ourselves.

People unaware of who they are and what they do often damage relationships with others. The way to change that is to look in the mirror.

A leader’s tendency is to examine someone else, asking what is wrong with that person. Why aren’t they doing their job correctly?

Why don’t they ever come to work on time? Unfortunately this is how many leaders react. It’s easy to teach leadership; it’s difficult to model leadership.

Within the first six months of becoming a pastor, I came up against a real issue that I had to settle within my heart. It centered on the question, How do I teach my congregation a biblical passage I wasn’t living correctly or falling short of? What was I going to do with that teaching session?

I grew up in a culture that would say just fake it until you make it and just tell them how to live and move on. But I wasn’t comfortable with that. I remember sitting down with my wife, Margaret, and discussing this with her. And I made a determination early on as a young pastor that I would never teach what I didn’t live.

And I went to my congregation and told them I was very young and inexperienced, and there may be times when I bring in other pastors to teach certain principles. And if that happens I will come and sit with them in the pews and take notes alongside them. I have tried my whole life to live that principle of not trying to export something I don’t possess. That’s why victory over self is so essential for the leader.

Author Terry Felber in his book Am I Making Myself Clear? said the following:

    There’s something innate in us that looks out for our own interests before those of others. If I take a photograph of a group you are with, who is the first person you look for in the picture? Yourself, of course! You’ll think to yourself, look at my hair! It’s all messed up! And my eyes are half closed. Look at that crooked smile on my face. The most important person to you is yourself.

A key difference between followers and leaders is very simple. Followers think of themselves first, leaders think of others first. Putting others before yourself is a key victory for a leader.

John C. Maxwell is a leadership expert, speaker, author and founder of EQUIP, a nonprofit that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries worldwide. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek best-selling author, Maxwell has written more than 50 books, including The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His blog can be read at JohnMaxwellOnLeadership.com.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Acknowledge and Appreciate Yourself TODAY!

by Jack Canfield

With the year coming to a close, it's time to acknowledge and appreciate yourself for everything you've accomplished today, throughout the year, and in life.

Acknowledge Your Positive PastHow many times have you succeeded in the past month? Are you able to recall your successes as well as your failures and missteps?

Many people under-appreciate the little things they accomplish every day. And yet they can recall in detail all the times they have failed or made mistakes. That's because the brain remembers events more easily when they're accompanied by strong emotions.

You might recall graduation, losing 10 pounds, winning an award, or landing a highly sought after position.

But do you include in your successes how you had a really great talk with your spouse, how you spent quality time with your teen, how you got all your list of things done for the day, how you learned to change your own oil, or got your fussy child to take a nap?

If you don't acknowledge your successes the same way you acknowledge your mistakes, you're sure to have a memory full of blunders.

Toot your own horn and don't wait for anyone else to praise you!

If you only remember the mistakes and failures, you won't be as ready to take risks that will lead to your successes. Build your self-esteem by recalling ALL the ways you have succeeded and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again.

The more you acknowledge your past successes, the more confident you become in taking on and successfully accomplishing new ones.

Take time to write your achievements down.

To really convince yourself that you're a succcessful person who can continue to achieve great things, I'd like to challenge you to list 100 or more of your life successes.

Start when you were very young and think of all your achievements since then. Don't just pick the big things, write down all the things you take for granted. Thinks like, learning to ride a bike, singing solo at church, getting your first job, or leading a fund-raising campaign.

You should also begin to create a Victory Log of your daily successes and review it anytime you are faced with a new challenge. By writing it down everyday, you're securing it in your long-term memory, which enhances your self-esteem and builds your confidence.

Surround yourself with reminders of your success.

We know from research that what you see in your environment has a psychological impact on your moods, your attitudes, and your behavior. Your environment has a great deal of influence over you. And here's an even more important fact: You have almost total control over your immediate environment.

Put up pictures, articles, trophies, awards and other symbols of your past achievements that remind you about your past successes. Make a special place - a special shelf, wall or section of your home or office that you pass by every day and fill it with your success symbols.

This will have a powerful effect on your subconscious mind and will subtly remind you that you are someone who has consistent success in life!

This is also a great thing to do for your children. Proudly display their success symbols as well.

People like to be around those who have a healthy self-esteem and who are achieving their goals. Commit to acknowledging your achievements and your brain will begin to tell you the truth... that you can do ANYTHING!

Taking just 30 minutes to complete this activity will become your positive springboard into 2010 for even more successes.

© 2009 Jack Canfield

Monday, December 14, 2009

Goal Setting Tips - By Joan Breiner & Susyn Reeve

Your dreams can become a reality by using these tips for setting goals, as you improve your self-esteem and nourish a positive attitude.

Do you have a dream or a vision for your life? Have you identified the thoughts and actions that will allow your dream to come to form? Not having a vision, dream, or goal for yourself is like being on a boat with no destination in mind, drifting aimlessly wherever the wind and currents take you.

Often people with a negative attitude and low self-esteem feel they have no control of their destiny. They spend time reacting to life as opposed to creating the life they want. Setting goals for yourself puts you in control, sets your course - you choose the direction for your life. When you have a clear focus, you have less stress, more self-confidence, improved concentration and greater peace and happiness.

You are responsible for your life, not your husband, not your parents, not your boss, not your friends. This recognition puts you in the driver's seat and automatically builds self- esteem.

There are different types of goals. Life Goals are the general desires and big dreams that you want to achieve during your lifetime, such as a fulfilling job, financial security, a beautiful home. Action Goals are measureable, specific goals related to time-specific events - the 'stepping stones' leading you towards your life goal. For example: You may desire to have a fulfilling job in an exciting field, and to reach this goal you must first complete the specific action goal of finishing the necessary schooling.

Remember: Since you don't know how long your life will be -- if you aren't focused on your Life Goals each day and if your Action Goals don't relate to your Life Goals then it will very hard for you to be successful in accomplishing your Life Goals. This is why is it so empowering to first identify your Life Goals and then determine your Action Goals.

It is crucial that you have a strong desire and passion for any Life Goals you set for yourself. They shouldn't be based on what other people think you ought to do. If you are not absolutely passionate about the goal, vision, or dream, then you will be easily discouraged and more likely to lose your focus and quit as soon as you are faced with obstacles and challenges.

Remember: Blocks and Obstacles give you the opportunity to survey the territory and strengthen your commitment to your goals.

Once you define your vision, imagine yourself living your life with your Life Goal fully accomplished. Does it make you feel excited and energized or tired and overwhelmed? Ask yourself, "If I could have it, would I take it?" If your answer is, "No," then adjust your goal until you are able to answer this question with a resounding, "Yes." Then Go For It!

Live Your Dreams - Goal-Setting Process:

1. Identify your dreams, visions, goals: Answer the following questions:
a. What do I want?
b. What would I like my obituary to say about my life?
c. What's on my 'bucket list' of things I would like to do, accomplish in my life?
d. What is my heart song?
2. Ask the Test Question -- If I could have it, would I take it? Adjust your goal until you can answer the test question with a resounding, YES.
3. Affirm your dreams, vision, goals: Create the following:
a. Affirmations written in the present tense reinforcing your desired result: I am financially secure. I have a loving, supportive, nourishing relationships with my family.
b. A Vision Board Collage of images and words that represent your vision fully accomplished. Look at your Vision Board daily to connected in your heart and mind with your hearts' desire.
4. List the thoughts, words and actions that support the full accomplishment of your goals.
5. Specify the Action Goals including specific deadlines.
6. Take Action in your thoughts, words and behavior that reflect your commitment to your vision.
7. Acknowledge Success along the way. When you acknowledge your success along the way you energetically nourish yourself and deepen your focus on your desired result.
8. Create and Adjust make adjustments to your Action Goals as you become aware of new information along the way.
9. Allow Success by affirming your desired result before you can even see it.
10. Ask for Support and help when you become unsure of success and are discouraged by obstacles and challenges.

Remember: Allow time for setting your Life Goals. Once you know what you want, and your heart and mind are aligned the next steps will present themselves and your actions will naturally support your hearts' desire. Your main tasks in living your dreams is to define your goals, have faith in your ability to be successful and take actions in your thinking, speaking and behavior that reflect your hearts' desire.

©2009 Susyn Reeve & Joan Breiner. All Rights Reserved -- http://www.selfgrowth.com/guide/joanandsusyn.html

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Five Rules for Entrepreneurship

By Brian Tracy

Entrepreneurship is the art of finding profitable solutions to problems. Every successful entrepreneur or business person has been able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it before someone else did. Here are the five rules for success.

1. Find a Need and Fill It
Human needs and wants are unlimited. Therefore, the opportunities for entrepreneurship and financial success are unlimited as well. The only constraint on the business opportunities available to you are the limits you place on your own imagination.

2. Find a Problem and Solve It
Wherever there is a widespread and unsolved customer problem, there is an opportunity for you to start and build a successful business.

Once upon a time, before photocopies, the only way to type multiple copies of a letter was with carbon paper places between sheets of stationary. But a single mistake would require the typist to go through and erase the mistakes on every single copy. This was enormously clumsy and time consuming.

Then a secretary working for small company in Minneapolis began mixing flour with nail varnish in order to white out the mistake she was making in her typing. Soon, people in other offices began asking for it. The demand became so great that she quit her job and began working full-time manufacturing what she called “Liquid Paper.” A few years later, the Gillette Corporation came along and bought her out for $47 million cash.

3. Unlimited Opportunities
There are problems everywhere. Your job is to find one of these problems and solve it better than it has been solved in the past. Find a problem that everyone has and see if you can't come up with a solution for it. Find a way to supply a product or service better, cheaper, faster, or easier. Use your imagination.

4. Focus on the Customer
The key to success in business is to focus on the customer. Become obsessed with your customer. Become fixated on your customer's wants, needs, and desires. Think of your customer all the time. Think of what your customer is willing to pay for. Think about your customer's problems. See yourself as if you were working for your customer.

5. Bootstrap Your Way to Success
Once you have come up with a problem or idea, resolve to invest your time, talent, and energy instead of your money to get started. Most great personal fortunes in the United States were started with an idea and with the sale of personal services.

Most great fortunes were started by people with no money, resources, or backing. They were started by individuals who came up with an idea and who then put their whole heart into producing a product or service that someone else would buy.

Action Exercise
Look for business opportunities everywhere, develop, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and continually be open and curious about the needs not satisfied and problems not solved.

One idea is all you need to make your first million.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giving Abundance

“One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.” —Jim Rohn

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” —Og Mandino

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” —Norman MacEwan

“Wherever you go, whomever you meet, look for an opportunity to help, to inspire, to lend support.” —Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

“The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.” —Homer

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” —Brian Tracy

“The duty of helping one’s self in the highest sense involves the helping of one’s neighbors.” —Samuel Smiles

“You can’t be too kind or too generous.” —Patricia Fripp

Time for You by Ron White

He was completely infatuated with her. It was all that he could think and talk about. Yet, every time that he asked her on a date, he received the same reply. She told him that she would love to go out with him, but her schedule of work, school and other commitments was just too hectic and it wasn’t possible.

In his frustration, he came to me and asked me for advice. He wanted to know how he could creatively help her with some of her responsibilities and free up some commitments so that they could spend time together. When he made this suggestion to me, I sighed deeply and bit my lip. I was searching for a tactful way to break the news to him. I have never reached tremendous success in my efforts to be tactful, so I just let him have it.

“Man, when she tells you that she doesn’t have time, what she means is that she doesn’t have time for YOU. I suggest that you dress in black for a week and pretend as if she’s dead because it isn’t going to happen.”

My words seemed to have been a kick to the gut that knocked all the air out of his lungs. After a few seconds of silence, he raised his head as he came up for air. “Thanks, buddy—I needed to hear that” was his beaten reply to me. After our conversation, he left. I do believe that, although he didn’t dress in black for a week, he did take my advice and move on. I am sure that both he and the woman are grateful for that.

You see, I have never seen a woman (or a man) who is head over heels attracted to someone, yet just can’t find the time to be with that person. If the interest is there, the time will be there.

In life, you often hear the excuse “I just don’t have the time” when someone wants to spend more time with family, start their own business, chase a goal, travel or volunteer. You have the time. You are simply spending it somewhere else. You are a human and will make time for what you see as a priority. The question is: Are you prioritizing the correct things?

You have the exact same amount of time in a day that Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Copernicus and Leonardo da Vinci had. You have the exact same amount of time in a day that Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey have. The question is not, Do you have the time? The question is, How are you spending the time that you do have?

Begin to keep a journal and log the time you spend doing things every day. Do this for at least two weeks. Track the time you spend getting ready for work, driving your car, working at the office, eating out, reading, watching television, surfing the Internet or simply doing nothing. You may be surprised at the amount of time that you spend on unproductive matters. It is very often shocking the amount of time each day that we squander and will never get back.

Zig Ziglar penned the term automobile university. It is the answer for everyone who says they don’t have time to learn a new skill, a foreign language or gain an education on the mysteries of the day. Ziglar suggests that if you simply listen to audio programs as you drive every day, you can successfully use the time to gain a new skill or improve your education. This is effective time management.

Life can often become so overwhelming that, as we get caught up in the rat race, we are not aware of how we are spending our time. It may be time for a time inventory of your life. First, begin by journaling what is most important to you in your life. Then, track how you spend your time for two weeks. It could be very eye-opening.

Remember, you have the same amount of time in a day that Einstein, Henry Ford and Leonardo da Vinci had. The question is: Are you using your time as effectively as they did? You have no cause to complain for your lack of time, only your management of that time. Time plays no favorites. You make time every day for what you value. What do you value?

—Ron White

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Formula For Failure and Success

- by Jim Rohn

Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. We do not fail overnight. Failure is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices. To put it more simply, failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day. Now why would someone make an error in judgment and then be so foolish as to repeat it every day?

The answer is because he or she does not think that it matters.

On their own, our daily acts do not seem that important. A minor oversight, a poor decision, or a wasted hour generally doesn't result in an instant and measurable impact. More often than not, we escape from any immediate consequences of our deeds.

If we have not bothered to read a single book in the past ninety days, this lack of discipline does not seem to have any immediate impact on our lives. And since nothing drastic happened to us after the first ninety days, we repeat this error in judgment for another ninety days, and on and on it goes. Why? Because it doesn't seem to matter. And herein lies the great danger. Far worse than not reading the books is not even realizing that it matters!

Those who eat too many of the wrong foods are contributing to a future health problem, but the joy of the moment overshadows the consequence of the future. It does not seem to matter. Those who smoke too much or drink too much go on making these poor choices year after year after year... because it doesn't seem to matter. But the pain and regret of these errors in judgment have only been delayed for a future time. Consequences are seldom instant; instead, they accumulate until the inevitable day of reckoning finally arrives and the price must be paid for our poor choices - choices that didn't seem to matter.

Failure's most dangerous attribute is its subtlety. In the short term those little errors don't seem to make any difference. We do not seem to be failing. In fact, sometimes these accumulated errors in judgment occur throughout a period of great joy and prosperity in our lives. Since nothing terrible happens to us, since there are no instant consequences to capture our attention, we simply drift from one day to the next, repeating the errors, thinking the wrong thoughts, listening to the wrong voices and making the wrong choices. The sky did not fall in on us yesterday; therefore the act was probably harmless. Since it seemed to have no measurable consequence, it is probably safe to repeat.

But we must become better educated than that!

If at the end of the day when we made our first error in judgment the sky had fallen in on us, we undoubtedly would have taken immediate steps to ensure that the act would never be repeated again. Like the child who places his hand on a hot burner despite his parents' warnings, we would have had an instantaneous experience accompanying our error in judgment.

Unfortunately, failure does not shout out its warnings as our parents once did. This is why it is imperative to refine our philosophy in order to be able to make better choices. With a powerful, personal philosophy guiding our every step, we become more aware of our errors in judgment and more aware that each error really does matter.

Now here is the great news. Just like the formula for failure, the formula for success is easy to follow: It's a few simple disciplines practiced every day.

Now here is an interesting question worth pondering: How can we change the errors in the formula for failure into the disciplines required in the formula for success? The answer is by making the future an important part of our current philosophy.

Both success and failure involve future consequences, namely the inevitable rewards or unavoidable regrets resulting from past activities. If this is true, why don't more people take time to ponder the future? The answer is simple: They are so caught up in the current moment that it doesn't seem to matter. The problems and the rewards of today are so absorbing to some human beings that they never pause long enough to think about tomorrow.

But what if we did develop a new discipline to take just a few minutes every day to look a little further down the road? We would then be able to foresee the impending consequences of our current conduct. Armed with that valuable information, we would be able to take the necessary action to change our errors into new success-oriented disciplines. In other words, by disciplining ourselves to see the future in advance, we would be able to change our thinking, amend our errors and develop new habits to replace the old.

One of the exciting things about the formula for success - a few simple disciplines practiced every day - is that the results are almost immediate. As we voluntarily change daily errors into daily disciplines, we experience positive results in a very short period of time. When we change our diet, our health improves noticeably in just a few weeks. When we start exercising, we feel a new vitality almost immediately. When we begin reading, we experience a growing awareness and a new level of self-confidence. Whatever new discipline we begin to practice daily will produce exciting results that will drive us to become even better at developing new disciplines.

The real magic of new disciplines is that they will cause us to amend our thinking. If we were to start today to read the books, keep a journal, attend the classes, listen more and observe more, then today would be the first day of a new life leading to a better future. If we were to start today to try harder, and in every way make a conscious and consistent effort to change subtle and deadly errors into constructive and rewarding disciplines, we would never again settle for a life of existence – not once we have tasted the fruits of a life of substance!

This article is kindly reprinted from Jim Rohn website. Please visit Jims website at http://www.JimRohn.com