Saturday, January 30, 2010

Develop A Prosperity Consciousness

By: Brian Tracy

The starting point of all riches is the development of a prosperity consciousness. You must become a financial success in your thinking long before you achieve it in your reality. Both poverty and riches are the result of a state of mind, and the most important single step you ever take on the road to wealth and financial independence is the decision to change your thinking, to impress into your mind an unshakable belief that you can and will achieve your financial goals. This must happen before anything else happens.

Think And Grow Rich
When I was growing up, I was fascinated by stories of successful men and women and how they made and lost their fortunes, and then made them over again. I read about the importance of a prosperity consciousness in the book, Think And Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, several times. But I never fully understood what it meant until about five years ago. Then it hit me and I've never been quite the same since. Every aspect of my life has improved dramatically, especially in the area of accumulating wealth, since I finally understood what is meant by a prosperity consciousness.

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Two Great Discoveries
Here are two of the most exciting principles ever discovered in the long search by mankind for the secrets of health, happiness and great personal wealth.

All Causation is Mental
The first principle is this. All causation is mental. That means that everything that you are or ever will be will be a result of how you use your mind. You are merely a mind with a body to carry it around with. The entire man made world that you see is simply an expression of thought. Your entire life is an expression of your own thinking. And since the quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life, if you improve the quality of your thinking, you must, you will, inevitably improve the quality of your life.

The Law of Expectations
The second principle is what we call the law of expectations. This law says that whatever you expect with confidence, positive or negative, becomes your reality. If you confidently expect to succeed, if you confidently expect to learn something from every experience, if you confidently expect to become wealthy as a result of applying your talents and abilities to your opportunities and you maintain that attitude of confident expectations long enough, it will become your reality. It will give you a positive optimistic cheerful attitude that will cause people to want to help you, and will cause things to happen the way you want them to happen.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to practice these principles in your day to day life:

First, start thinking today in a positive, optimistic, confident way about personal and financial success. Continually imagine what differences it would make in your life if you were financially independent. This is the starting point of developing a prosperity consciousness.

Second, develop your own attitude of positive expectations. Look for the good in every situation. Look for the valuable lesson in every setback or difficulty. Be positive and cheerful about everything that happens and you will be amazed at the difference it makes in your life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reversing Negative Momentum by John Maxwell

Domino's Pizza recently launched a bold, unorthodox campaign to resurrect its image. In a series of ads and on its website,, Domino's airs actual customer complaints about the poor quality of its traditional pizza, and promises better taste from newly released recipes. It certainly must be painful for the pizza chain to admit that customers thought its pizza crust "tasted like cardboard" or felt its food was "bland" or "processed." Yet, Dominos' honesty has a refreshing ring. Not often does a business publicly assume responsibility a poor product.

Through its marketing blitz, Domino's Pizza is attempting one of the most difficult feats in leadership: reversing negative momentum. They aren't alone. 2008 and 2009 were tough years for almost everyone as stocks sunk, home prices plunged, and unemployment crept above 10%. How do leaders halt a downward slide, and change the direction of their teams and organizations?

Four Ways to Reverse Negative Momentum in Your Organization

1) Assume Responsibility for Your Situation

Yes, the economy has been bad, but unless you're Ben Bernanke, then there isn't much you can do about it. By blaming your troubles on the economy, you're putting yourself at the mercy of outside forces. Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, pour your energies into improving the areas within your sphere of influence. Take responsibility for the strength of your products, the health of your brand, and your relationships with key customers.

2) Be Willing to Slaughter the Sacred Cow

Many leaders cling to past successes and traditions to the point that they imperil their organization. Some, enamored with a product, make decisions based on emotional attachments rather than sound judgment. Others, stubbornly set in their ways, refuse to face their fears of change-even when their current business model is unsustainable.

Dominos had to scrap recipes a generation old in order to give itself a makeover. Ford Motor Company sold off Jaguar and Land Rover so that it could compete more effectively in the small-car market. What drastic changes might you need to consider in order to put your team in a better position?

3) Don't Just Listen to Customers; Lead Them

A business should always attune its ears to the customer. However, if customer complaints are your primary driver of change, then you're not a market leader. Domino's is probably overhauling its pizza a decade too late. Customer preferences shifted long ago, and the pizza chain is only now acting in response.

Innovative leaders understand their customers to the point that they are able to anticipate consumer needs. Apple Inc. serves as a prime example. The iPod and iPhone weren't responses to dissatisfied customers. Instead, these ahead-of-the-curve products brilliantly introduced new ways to access music and to experience multimedia content. Apple has scored a string of successes by leading customers rather than reacting to them.

4) Craft a Message for Change...Better Yet, Create the Conditions for It to Happen

Once morale has dipped, leaders have to craft an upbeat message to reverse the tenor of conversation. Yet, a sunny outlook itself won't do the trick. In the words of Lou Gerstner, the man who revived IBM, "You can't simply give a couple of speeches or write a new credo for the company and declare that a new culture has taken hold. You can't mandate it, can't engineer it. What you can do is create the conditions for transformation, provide incentives."

General David Petraeus knows well the challenges of reversing momentum. In Iraq, the general inherited a military operation muddled in a quagmire. He busily set about altering conditions within the country. Instead of attempting to seek and destroy enemy combatants, General Petraeus shifted resources in order to serve and protect the Iraqi people. As security improved, incentives were given for one-time insurgents to stop fighting and reenter public life. Thanks to the conditions orchestrated by General Petraeus, the situation in Iraq not only stabilized, it improved.

The Dilution Dilemma: Making Your Messages MatterBy Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE

As a leader, do you ever feel your important messages fall on deaf ears?

Are your carefully constructed and communicated strategies always get implemented?

Are you often frustrated by the difference between the results you ask of others and what you actually get?

Leaders agonize when developing vision, mission and strategy. They carefully choose words and phrases. They painstakingly craft spoken and written communication to explain these important concepts. They communicate these messages in countless conversations and presentations.

Yet if you asked the typical employee what their leader's message is-what is truly important and how it should shape their decisions, actions and interactions-they'd be hard pressed to provide more than a vague summary.


The answer: The Dilution Dilemma. By the time the message is passed down or through the organization, the clarity, effectiveness and impact are dramatically diluted.

What can you do to minimize or eliminate this costly dilution?

The antidote can be summarized by these four words: constant, clear, catchy and compelling.

Constant. The best messaging loses effectiveness when it changes. The more often messaging changes, the less believable future messaging becomes.

Repetition is the mother of both retention and understanding. When followers hear the same messages repeatedly they realize there must be a reason, and the reason is importance. Often the first time a message is heard it is ignored or discounted. Why? Employees assume they'll hear it again if it really is significant. They are used to fleeting ideas and concepts and have learned to tune out those that aren't emphasized.

Constant communication of the same messages can be a crazy maker for leaders but it is necessary nonetheless. You need to stick to you messaging until you are sick and tired of repeating it. Only at the point of near nausea can you safely assume the message has been both heard, understood and believed to be important.

The messages you send as a leader will be repeated with less frequently as they move through the organization. That's why you need to front-load the system with constant repetition. A few mentions by leaders at the top get diluted to a miniscule amount of information at the bottom of the org chart.

Clear. Ambiguity is the enemy of success. When people aren't clear on what you mean, they fill in the blanks, and usually incorrectly.

There is a scene in the movie Philadelphia where the character played by Tom Hanks is doing an initial consultation with a lawyer played by Denzel Washington. Although I saw it over twenty years ago, I still recall how the lawyer communicated with the potential client about his situation. He said, "Explain it to me like I'm a second grader." Despite his intellect and skill, he knew only a complete and thorough explanation would provide the information he needed.

And that is clarity. You must cut through the superfluous to find the substantive and communicate it in such a way that there can be no misunderstanding.

Leaders build their messages on irreducible minimums. They know that if they can't succinctly explain what they mean, they won't be understood by others. Recall the childhood game of telephone where a statement is passed by whispering to another which they in turn whisper to another. Within a few of these "transmissions" the content of the original message has completely morphed. This is yet another effect of the dilution dilemma.

Don't tell people you're explaining it like they're second graders, but be just as clear and thorough as if you were.

The end result you need as a leader is not mere acceptance and understanding but action. Be clear on what people must do as a result of what you're telling them. You can't insinuate what needs to be done; clarity requires a call to action.

Catchy. Your audience is bombarded with messages in every conceivable medium. Being catchy is about breaking through the clutter and being memorable.

What about your message will stick in the mind of the reader or hearer? Here's the test: will they be able to accurately convey what you've communicated? Your job as a leader is to make their job of understanding and repeating easy. More importantly, catchy messages make us want to repeat them. We all love the catchy and the clever and quickly tire of the mundane.

Stories, metaphors, analogies, mottos and even clichés are among the tools you can use. Spend as much time in the packaging of what you're trying to convey as you do developing the content of the message.

Remember, facts validate, but stories illustrate. The best statistical analysis in the world will be diluted to the point of nothingness if it isn't packaged in a catchy, memorable story or illustration.

Compelling. The ultimate guard against dilution is to make your important messages compelling. People can be clear and able to act on the information but they won't without reasons that make sense to them. That is the essence of creating compelling message: getting people to care enough to do something. Compelling ideas are powerful; they have the ability to induce action.

And that requires emotion. Take it from two experts in the field, Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Made to Stick: "A credible idea makes people believe. An emotional idea makes people care."

Leaders tend to have credible ideas but often stop short of compelling ideas. A leader knows why action should be taken, but that familiarity can prevent them from thinking through the reasons others need to follow through.

To avoid dilution, answer the question lingering in the listener's mind: why should I care? That is a more effective question than "Why is this important?"

Ideas must be robust to be strong and withstand the almost inevitable affects of the dilution dilemma. As a leader, the strength o f your ideas and messages comes from constant and clear communication that is designed to be catchy and compelling.


Mark Sanborn is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development. lists Mark as one of the top 15 leadership experts in the world.

Mark has presented over 2200 speeches and seminars in every state and 10 countries. His book, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary is an international bestseller and was on the New York Times, Business Week and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. His latest books include You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Positive Difference and The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do.

For more information visit

Secrets of Successful Teams by Chris Widener

To be a success is not always to be a success individually. In fact, most of the time, we achieve our successes as part of a team.

We are all part of teams. Our family is a team. Our place of work is a team. The community groups we belong to are teams. Sometimes we are the team leader or “coach,” while other times we fulfill the role of follower or “player.” It is so important, then, for us to understand teams and how they work, especially those who achieve success—the achievement of their desired goal.

In my life, I have been on some successful teams, and some not-so-successful teams. This includes both athletically as well as professionally. When I was growing up, I worked for seven years with the Seattle Supersonics, our local National Basketball Association team, which now plays in Oklahoma City as the Thunder. They were at times unsuccessful and, in 1979, my second year working there, the most successful team in the league, winning the World Championship. I have been able to see firsthand what makes the difference between the unsuccessful teams and the successful ones.

Here are some principles I know that, when implemented on a regular basis, can turn any lackluster team into an outstanding one! These principles can be applied to your family, your business, your organization and, yes, your sports team.

The leader needs to communicate the vision. If they are setting the pace, they need to let people know where they are going so that the team can follow. The coach always does a pre-game talk, laying out the vision.

The leader communicates the vision frequently, so as to always be updating the team as to where they are at and what changes need to be made. The coach doesn’t relegate the direction he gives to the pre-game; he coaches and communicates all the way through the game.

Watch a good basketball team. They are talking to each other all of the time. Helping one another out, encouraging one another, praising one another, and telling each other how they can make changes so the same mistakes aren’t made again. The same is true of successful teams in the professional world, and in life in general.

The truly great teams are teams that are committed to excellence. In everything they do, their goal is to achieve at the highest level. And this commitment is held throughout the team and at every level. A successful team cannot have members who are not committed to excellence, because in the end, they will become the weak link.

If you want a fascinating read, pick up The Power of Followership by Robert Kelley. The author basically makes the point that the secret to getting things done lies not only in great leadership, but in how well everyone else, 99 percent of the team, follows the leadership. Good teams are filled with people who are committed to following and getting the job done.

Understanding Roles
Pardon the Chicago Bulls analogy, but it is so clear. In the team’s championship years, when the game was on the line, with only one shot left, everyone—the coaches, the players, the 20,000 people watching in the stadium and millions watching on TV—knew who would shoot the last shot. That was Michael Jordan’s role.

Every team works best when the members of the team have clearly defined and understood roles. Some do one thing, others do another. One isn’t better or more important than the other, just different. When teams operate out of their strengths and their roles, they win.

Strengths and Weaknesses
This brings me to strengths and weaknesses. Every team member has strengths and weaknesses. The successful teams are those who on a regular and consistent basis enable the members to operate out of their strengths and not out of their weaknesses. And one person’s strength will cover another’s weakness. This is teamwork, enabling all of the bases to be covered.

The team that plays together stays together. Is your team all work and no play? If you’re smart, that will change. Get your team out of the office once a month and go have some fun. Enjoy one another. Enjoy life. It will bring a sense of bonding that can’t be made even in “winning.”

Common Goals and Vision
I have found that these need to have three aspects: short, simple and clear. Can you say it in less than 30 seconds? Is it simple? Can you and others understand it? Does the team all know what they are working together for?

All through the “game,” successful teams appreciate one another and show it in a variety of ways. The coach shows it to the players, the players show it to the coach, and the players show it to one another.

Here is a “Successful Teams” checklist you can use for evaluation:

  • Is there communication between coach and players and from player to player?
  • Is your team committed to excellence?
  • Do those on the team know what it means to follow?
  • Does everyone on my team know their specific role?
  • Do the individuals on our team regularly operate out of their strengths as opposed to their weaknesses?
  • Does our team take a break from time to time to just have fun together?
  • Do we understand our common goals and vision? Can we all state it (them)?
  • Is there a sense of and communication of genuine appreciation among my team?

Chris Widener was part of an all-star lineup of personal-development experts offering life-changing lessons and inspiration at the 2009 SUCCESS Symposium. Now you can get the best of that incredible day—five hours on four CDs and two DVDs—for ONLY $49! Click here now for complete details.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Visualize and Expect Success

Our studies of high achievers have shown that no matter how different their personalities, work habits, occupations or gender, the people who accomplish great things in life have visualized and expected success all along. They’ve had the ability to vividly picture their achievements and to reassure themselves in the face of long odds that they would come through.

To visualize the person you want most to become, set aside some time this week in which you can create an atmosphere conducive to re-affirming your life dreams. You may want to be near the ocean, or a lake, or in a park, in a garden or in the woods. Or you might just sit quietly by yourself in a comfortable lounge or chair. Get yourself in the mood for visualizing. When the left hemisphere of the brain is quiet and relaxed, the mind is most receptive to creative inputs. To facilitate this you may want to use soothing recorded music, preferably slow and inspiring like Bach, Handel or Vivaldi if you like classical music, or soft, popular instrumentals from epic movies or other mood music.

Once you’re properly relaxed and optimistic, let your mind focus on who you really want to become. Visualize the future in two time frames: five years from now and ten years from now. First, design a day in your life five years from now. Who are you five years from now? Where are you professionally and geographically? On Monday mornings, where do you go?

What are you doing, seeing, feeling and thinking? Who are the people around you? What’s different about your life five years from now?

Next, project ahead ten years from today. Picture a film of your life at that time. Who is watching it with you? What dramatic moments are depicted by that film? What personal triumphs are revealed? What obstacles are courageously overcome?

Don’t be shy! The purpose of this exercise is to load visualized software in your mental computer. Just as a computer must be configured to accept specific materials, your mind must be prepared to accept the reality of your greater success. By introducing positive images of goal achievement, you’re preparing yourself to translate those goals into reality.

I especially like to visualize myself being introduced at a dinner in my honor. Maybe it’s the Coaches’ Hall of Fame! Don’t laugh! It could happen! The emcee comes to the microphone and reads the highlights of my life and adds some insights as to who I really am. What would the emcee be saying about you if such a dinner were held in your honor ten years from now? Devote a page in your journal to describing the things you would want said about you.

This visualization will put you on a path that leads to your future self that you vividly picture today!

—Denis Waitley

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life - STARTING TODAY!

by Jack Canfield

This isn’t a trick question.

Take 100% Responsibility for Your LifeCertainly you know the answer—the person who has been responsible for the life you live right now: YOU.

Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing... Your income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors.

I've often said that you are either creating or allowing everything that is happening in your life.

I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but often times people convince themselves into thinking that external factors are the source of their failure, disappointment, and unhappiness.

External factors do not determine how you live. YOU are in complete control of the quality of your life, by either creating or allowing the circumstances you experience.

When I hear people complain about the state of their life (be it their problems with personal finances, weight, their jobs, or general dissatisfaction), I like to help them see things differently.

If they feel “stuck” and unable to move forward for whatever reason, I ask them to scrutinize both what is working well and what isn’t working well in their life and see how they’ve arrived at where they currently are.

For example, if a woman tells me she’s unhappy with her weight—she travels frequently, and has no to time to exercise or seek healthy foods—I point out that her weight is not a result of her travels and schedule. It’s an outcome of what she chooses to eat and how she chooses to move, regardless of her daily agenda. Why not make a conscious effort to pre-plan healthy meals and snacks, even if it’s on the go, and sneak in 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there to be physically active (hey, I know some frequent flyers that make it a habit of running through airports!).

If you’re frustrated with any area in your life, then it’s time to take a little inventory.

Certainly there are wonderful things happening, whether it’s your job, your romantic relationship, your children, your friends, or your income level. Your accomplishments are just as important as your missteps.

First, congratulate yourself on your successes; and then take a look at what isn’t working out so well. What are you doing or not doing to create those experiences?

Watch out! If you find yourself beginning to complain about everything but the choices you’ve made, then you need to take a step back. See if you can stop blaming outside factors for your unhappiness.

When you realize that you—and only you—create your experiences, you’ll realize that you can un-create them and forge new experiences whenever you want.

How empowering is that!

You must take responsibility for your happiness and your unhappiness, your successes and your failures, your good times and your bad times.

All too often we choose to claim the successes and blame the failures on others or other circumstances. When you stop blaming, however, you can take that energy and redirect it to focus on shaping a better situation for yourself. Blaming only ties up your energy. Imagine roping all the energy into a positive effort.

Some ideas to make this happen:

1. Believe, Believe, Believe! Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to accept the fact that you create all your experiences. You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you. Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that—little hills to hop over.

2. Take no less than 100% responsibility . Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don't waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.

3. Stop complaining . Look at what you are complaining about. I’m fat. I’m tired. I can’t get out of debt. I won’t ever get a better job. I can’t stand the relationship I have with my sister. I’ll never find a soulmate in life. Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.

4. Make an immediate change. Are you unhappy about something that is happening right now? Make requests that will make it more desirable to you, or take the steps to change it yourself. Making a change might be uncomfortable for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it, or makes you feel bad about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice so why continue to complain?

You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice and you have responsibility for your choices.

5. Pay attention. Looking to others for help and guidance is helpful, but don’t forget to stay tuned in to yourself—your behavior, attitude, and life experiences. Identify what’s working and what isn’t. If you need to, write it all down. Then…

6. Face the truth and take action for the long term . You have to be willing to change your behavior if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you’ve already taken an initial step in the right direction, now’s the time to plan additional steps to keep moving you forward, faster.

Isn’t it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn’t it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else?

If you need just one thing to do different today, than you did yesterday, make it this:

Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process you’ll discover it's much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!

© 2010 Jack Canfield

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sales Plan? What is a Sales Plan?

By Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling

In the past, if you said the word "plan" to me, I would bolt and run. I'm the "creative type," a former ballet dancer and choreographer-I'm terrible with details. When I was dancing professionally, all the details were taken care of; all I had to do was show up and dance. Even when I was choreographing, as long as I met my deadline for when the dance needed to be completed, I could go with the moment, go with the impulse and see where the dance led.

A hearty dose of reality hit when I began to run a dance company. All of a sudden, I had people-employees, volunteers and dancers-waiting. I had to know where we were going and how we were going to get there. It was a different world. Every decision had impact down the line. If we were going to have a spring season, I needed to know what we would be performing and where we'd be performing it. How many dancers would I need? What about costumes? Were we going to commission music? What would it cost? How would we pay for it all?

It took a long time for me to grasp the impact of having a plan. Because I was running a small, grass roots organization, there never seemed to be enough time, people, money or resources. I was always putting out fires. Every plan I developed changed the moment I keyed in the last sentence and printed it out. Plan-who has time to plan? Especially when the plan keeps changing.

Over time, I began to see the planning process as a road map. You know your ultimate goal. You figure out the best way to get there. Your plan needs to include contingencies and have enough space that you can deal with fires and still move forward. And sometimes, the plan changes; it might need some adjustment or "tweaking." As long as the goal remains the same and as long as you keep taking steps forward to achieve that goal, your plan will help you get there.

In sales, your goal is revenue-driven. How much money do you want to make? Or a better question: How much profit do you want to make? Then, how are you going to achieve that?

Your basic plan should start with a dollar amount and work backwards. If, for example, you want to gross $500,000 in sales this year, on average, how many sales would that be? What is the dollar value of your average sale? On average, how many prospects do you have to see or speak with to close one sale? So, how many prospects would you need to see or speak with to close the number of sales you would need to reach your goal of $500,000? What steps do you need to take to see or speak with that many prospects?

Wow! What a mouthful! Here is a mathematical formula:

Value of average sale =______________

How many prospects must you speak with to close one sale: _______________

(Gross sales) (Average dollar value of sale) = Total number of sales needed

(Number of prospects you must speak with to close one sale) X (Total number of sales needed) = Total number of prospects

This formula, then gives you the total number of prospects you must speak with in order to reach your sales goal. Do your own calculations.

Having a sales action plan will bring immediate payoffs in all areas of sales from prospecting to presenting to responding to objections, closing and beyond. Join The Queen in this upcoming information-packed webinar: Your Sales Action Plan for Shattering Sales in 2010.

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Your Automatic Pilot to Goal Achievement by Denis Waitley

Every living organism has a built-in autopilot to help it achieve its goal, which is, in very basic terms, to live. In more primitive forms of life, to live simply means physical survival for both the individ­ual and the species. This built-in mechanism or instinct in animals is limited to finding food and shelter, avoiding or overcoming ene­mies and procreation to ensure the continuation of the line.

Humans have intelligence and emotional and spiritual needs and capabilities, which animals do not have, and we often over­look the fact that human beings have a success instinct. Animals cannot select their goals; their success mechanisms are limited to those inborn goal images that are called instincts. The success in­stinct in the human being, however, has something that animals will never possess: the creative imagination. The human being is the only creature on earth that can direct his or her future by choice. You are more than a creature; you are a creator. You choose what your reticular activating system in your brain gives credit to. And you choose what you are looking for in the future through the repeated use of your creative imagination. The way you perceive your world defines the world in which you live. To see it in its unlimited range of possibilities is to see with the quan­tum mind.

The perceptions we hold of ourselves, or our self-images, deter­mine the kind and scope of people we are; our self-images are our life-controlling mechanisms and dwell at the subconscious level of thinking. Responsible for autonomic body control, such as breath­ing and heartbeat, and also for storing conditioned reflexes (re­peated skills or images), the subconscious can be compared to a navigational guidance system or automatic pilot. The conscious level of thinking, responsible for collecting information from the environment, storing it in the memory and making rational decisions, can be compared to an attorney or judge.

Guidance systems can be programmed to seek an image or tar­get. They are installed in missiles and spacecraft, which are then guided by these highly sophisticated electronic systems to seek a target through the use of electronic data feedback. The homing torpedo, for example, is a self-propelled system that makes every correction necessary to stay on target and score a hit by constantly monitoring feedback signals from the target area and adjusting the course setting in its own navigational guidance computer. Pro­grammed incompletely or nonspecifically, or aimed at a target too far out of range, the homing torpedo will wander erratically until its propulsion system fails or it self-destructs.

So it is with each of us. Set a goal or an image, and this self-motivated system, which constantly monitors self-talk and environ­mental feedback about the goal, adjusts the self-image settings in our minds and makes every decision necessary to reach the goal.

Most of the information fed into your subconscious memory stays there. The billions of separate bits of input stored over a life­time are all there awaiting retrieval, and can never be willfully erased by you. They can be overridden or modified over a period of time, but you are stuck with them for life. While performing brain surgery on patients who were conscious under local anesthe­sia, Dr. Wilder Penfield of the Montreal Neurological Institute stimulated certain brain cells with a weak electrical current. In­credibly, he found his patients remembering experiences that had happened to them many years before; it was as if each person had a videotape recorder in his or her head. One 35-year-old woman recalled her fifth birthday party in vivid detail. She saw all the children around her in party hats; she saw herself opening her presents, including a Dutch doll with wooden shoes, and she blew out the candles on her cake and made a wish. On the basis of this work, Dr. Penfield theorized that every experience, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch registers a pattern in the brain that stays long after the actual experience is consciously forgotten.

Recent research suggests that the brain can function like a holographic projector, which uses laser beams to project and reassem­ble three-dimensional images. If you’ve been through the delight­ful experiences of Disneyland, Walt Disney World or Epcot Center, you’ve been startled and amazed at the “real-life” ghosts and characters. Though they are just an assembly of light waves, they appear so solid that you could reach out and touch them! It is this holographic capability of the brain that makes your mind such a potent force.

Scientists agree that the human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one imagined viv­idly, emotionally and in detail. Many of your everyday decisions are based upon information about yourself that has been stored as truth but is just a figment of your imagination, shaded by your en­vironment.

During every moment of our lives, we program our self-image to work for us or against us. It strives to meet the objectives we set for it, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, true or false or safe or dangerous. Like a videotape recorder playing its cassette, its sole function is to follow instructions implicitly, based upon previous inputs.


In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even move.

"We told them so."
"Crazy men and their crazy dreams."
"It`s foolish to chase wild visions."

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.

He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife's arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination and persistence.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Power Of Choice-Jim Meisenheimer

Just for a minute, think about where you are today, think about where you have been, and think about where you will be going.

Where you are today with your life is a result of the choices you've made in the past.

What you will become in the future will be the result of the choices you make today and tomorrow.

Scary proposition - isn't it?

Here's a short list of choices you are faced with almost on a daily basis.

Yes I can't! That's a choice isn't it, believing and feeling that you can't do something.

Yes I can! That's also a choice - choosing to believe that you can do anything within reason.

I can't. I can. I will. Can you see the subtle and powerful difference at work here? There's a huge difference in outcomes between I can't, I can, and I will. You get to choose!

You get to choose your expectations everyday. For example, you're scheduled to make a sales call with an especially difficult customer. Do you walk into the sales call thinking you'll get hammered on your pricing, or do you walk into the sales call expecting this sales call to be your best ever with this particular customer. You get to choose!

You get to choose your career. If you don't like your work, change it. If you don't like your career, change it. Forget about the economy and the recession because they have little to do with the choices you make. You get to choose!

You get to choose to be prepared. Funny thing about preparation is that it takes more work than improvisation. Funny thing about the results too, preparation generally achieves far superior results than improvisation. You get to choose!

You get to choose excellence over mediocrity. Why is it that a majority of salespeople choose mediocrity? If you always choose excellence you'll never, and I mean never, be a part of the mediocrity brigade. You get to choose!

You get to choose whether or not you want to exceed your customers’ expectations. You can be slow to commit and quick deliver. You can go out of your way to make every sales call a magic moment for your customers. You get to choose!

You get to choose to be ordinary or extraordinary. You realize of course it only takes a little extra in everything you do to be viewed as an extraordinary salesperson. You get to choose!

You get to choose by design to leave people feeling good when ever you meet with them. You recognize their accomplishments. They show gratitude for their business. You always walk in with a smile and walk out leaving them smiling. You get to choose!

You choose to keep learning instead of mental stagnation. You are an avid reader. You read the Wall Street Journal daily. You listen to CDs as you drive from account to account. You get to choose!

You choose to be rich or choose to struggle financially. You get to choose!

You choose to be cheerful or choose to be grouchy. You get to choose!

You can choose to be happy or choose to feel sorry for yourself. You get to choose!

You get to choose your attitude. Some people think the glass is half full. Others think it's half empty. A person with an extremely positive attitude believes his glass is overflowing with opportunities and possibilities.

During the Vietnam War, Air Force Colonel George Hall was shot down and captured in North Vietnam. He was a prisoner of war for 5.5 years.

“Though he was barefoot and dressed in his black prison uniform, shut up in a tiny cubicle, he discovered that through his mind he had an amazing freedom.

He was able to leave his prison cell clad in a Polo shirt and slacks. He wore clean black and white golf shoes. He could feel the thick green grass of Pebble Beach golf course in northern California.

The sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean. The Colonel played each hole, starting with the first and ending with the eighteenth. He studied each shot, measured each swing, felt each blade of grass between his fingers as he replaced every divot.

He noted the sand in each bunker, hit each shot, sank each putt and strode on to the next hole - all in his imagination.

Every day for five and a half years he played a perfect game of golf on the Pebble Beach course. The Colonel realized that only he had the power to make a choice between being resigned to his fate, of fear and hopelessness, or he could replay his happiest moments from the past, taking his mind off solitary confinement and setting it free upon a beautiful and famous golf course.

When he returned from his captivity, in his first golf game he shot a 76-not a bad score for a professional golfer, but even more amazing for an amateur. When asked how he had accomplished such a feat, he said, I never putted a green in more than two strokes during the last five years.

All those years of playing perfect games in the recesses of his mind, had produced a near perfect performance on a real golf course!”

You see, your attitude is everything about everything.

When it’s all said and done according to Joyce Nidetch, “Your choices determine your destiny.”

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Law of Time Perspective

By Brian Tracy

The most successful people in any society are those who take the longest time period into consideration when making their day-to-day decisions. This insight comes from the pioneering work on upward financial mobility in America conducted by Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University in the late 1950's and early 1960's. After studying many of the factors that were thought to contribute to individual financial success over the course of a person's lifetime, he concluded that there was one primary factor that took precedence over all the others. He called it “time perspective.”

Plant Trees

What Banfield found was that the higher a person rises in any society, the longer the time perspective or time horizon of that person. People at the highest social and economic levels make decisions and sacrifices that may not pay off for many years, sometimes not even in their own lifetimes. They “plant trees under which they will never sit.”


An obvious example of someone with a long time perspective is the man or women who spends ten or twelve years studying and interning to become a doctor. This person takes extraordinarily long time to lay down the foundation for a lifetime career. And partially because we know how long it takes to become a doctor, we hold doctors in the highest esteem of any professional group. We appreciate and admire the sacrifices that they have made in order to be able to practice a profession that is so important to so many of us. We recognize their long time perspectives.

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Long Time Perspectives

People with long term perspectives are willing to pay the price of success for a long, long time before they achieve it. They think about the consequences of their choices and decisions in terms of what they might mean in five, ten, fifteen, and even twenty years from now.

Short Time Perspectives

People at the lowest levels of society have the shortest time perspectives. They focus primarily on immediate gratification and often engage in behaviors that are virtually guaranteed to lead to negative consequences in the long term. At the very bottom of the social ladder, you find hopeless alcoholics and drug addicts. These people think in terms of the next drink or the next fix. Their time perspective is often less than one hour.

Delayed Gratification is the Key to Financial Success

Your ability to practice self-mastery, self-control, and self-denial, to sacrifice in the short term so you can enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the starting point of developing a long time perspective. This attitude is essential to financial achievement of any kind.

Action Exercise

Practice a long term perspective in every area of your life, especially in your financial life but also with your family and your health. Think of where you would ideally like to be in five years and begin today to take steps in that direction.

Rejection is a Gift! - By Patricia Omoqui

Did I get your attention? You might be sitting there thinking, "Patricia, you are really pushing it! You are just plain crazy with your positivity by calling rejection a gift. Rejection hurts too much to be good for me in any way." I can relate to your viewpoint because I used to feel that way too. All I ask of you this week is that you contemplate the ideas I share. You just never know how your perspective might expand if you do.

A reader emailed recently asking, "How do I tackle rejection?" As I responded I decided that I should devote an entire article to this topic since rejection is such a major and very common aspect of our daily and lifelong experience. It happens to us all, doesn't it?

We experience it when we are young. Parents criticize us -- some may even walk out of our lives or force us out of theirs. Friends call us names on the playground and talk about us behind our backs. The deep sting of rejection continues into puberty as our boyfriends and girlfriends leave us. I'm sure you remember your first break-up as if it was yesterday, don't you? Papers we submit are returned to us with low marks and negative comments from the teacher.

Our adult life is full of refusals. Business proposals get tossed aside by potential investors. Our friends and family members mock our dreams. Manuscripts we've written get thrown into a slush pile, never getting a second look. Even minor snubs upset us -- the taxi we desperately need passes us by.

When does this rejection stop?

Guess what. It doesn't. There are 6 billion people on this planet and whether we like it or not, each of us is entitled to his or her opinion. We each have freedom to shape our life experiences and that means we are all making choices every minute of every day. Sometimes the choice made leaves us out. If I take such a choice as a personal rejection, I feel deep pain.
Rejection need not be personal unless we choose to see it that way. As a hiring manager, I often interviewed dozens of candidates for one open position. Though I liked many of them and found their skills impressive, I could hire only one. It wasn't personal.

As a college girl I fell in love with a smart, good-looking athlete. I was certain that he was "the one" for me. However, after a year of dating he backed away. I was devastated. I couldn't understand why he didn't see that we were perfect for each other. Soon after he stopped dating me, he began dating another girl on campus. It took me many tears and much inner work for me to accept his choice.

As I sit here more than 10 years later, I am grateful that he was honest and moved on when he did. I see clearly now that a long-term relationship with him would have limited both of us. He gave me a gift through that "rejection." If I hadn't taken it to mean there was something wrong with me, I could have saved myself a great deal of grief.

I share these stories with you to encourage you to avoid the needless suffering that I have walked through. Rejection is never personal. If someone rejects me I have come to understand that it is not about me. If a parent or a spouse leaves, it's not because of some lack in you, it's because of their own inner issues. I invite you to notice how different you would feel inside if you could accept that as true. I now see that rejection offers me clarity and direction.
Consider the following ideas about rejection and see if any of them might offer you new perspectives to support you in your journey:

1. Rejection is not about you, it's someone making a choice based on their own, deeply felt inner needs and goals. It's futile to try to control another person. People think what they think and want what they want. What we can change is the way we choose to interpret another person's choice and how we respond to them. Each of us here on Earth is entitled to their own journey.

2. Rejection shows us our next opportunities for growth. It guides us to the wounds that we have within that need to be healed. The suffering we feel leads us to greater levels of self-awareness if we choose to learn and grow from the experience. When someone rejects us it shows us how sensitive we are and the ways we are probably still questioning and doubting ourselves.

3. If you don't reject you, nobody else can either. An important key to moving beyond rejection is to learn to love and accept yourself for who you are and where you are in life. If you accept and love yourself fully, would it matter if someone walked out on you? Of course, you might feel loss. Moving through the mourning process might be painful; it need not be devastating. When you are happy with you, people can say or do anything to you and it really doesn't affect you all that much. You listen to their comments as observations. Thank them for their honesty. Smile or shrug, and then move on with your day.

4. Rejection is a gift. Yes, seems strange to say it, but it is actually quite wonderful when someone honestly tells you they aren't interested in you! It opens the door for new things, better-suited friends and partners, and fresh experiences to enter your life. It is a blessing when people tell the truth and say what they are thinking! By doing this, they save us time and energy. I would much prefer someone to be real with me than to pretend that things are a way that they really aren't.

Take time this week to look more closely at the way you experience rejections -- the little daily ones and the big ones too. How strong is your emotional reaction when others bypass you? Would you save energy if you didn't take it to heart? If you could see rejection as an opportunity to move forward with clear direction, how might you feel about recent situations where people have left you out?

As actor Sylvester Stallone once said, "I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat."

Food For Thought

"Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.

About the Author:

Patricia G. Omoqui 2009, All Rights Reserved

Patricia Omoqui is an internationally recognized inspirational speaker, life coach and writer. Patricia's mission in life is to inspire people to move beyond fear so they can reach their full potential.

To share your thoughts about this article, please email Patricia at or visit her at her website.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Create Your Daily Personal Growth Schedule

By Brian Tracy

There are seven disciplines you must develop if you want to achieve all that is possible for you. You can learn these disciplines through practice and repetition until they become automatic.

Goal Setting
Every morning, take three to five minutes to write out your top goals in the present tense. Get a spiral notebook for this purpose. By writing out your ten goals at the beginning of each day, you will program them deep into your subconscious mind.

This daily goal writing will activate your mental powers. It will stimulate your mind and make you more alert. Throughout the day, you will see opportunities and possibilities to move more rapidly toward your goals.

Planning and Organizing
Take a few minutes, preferably the night before, to plan out every activity of the coming day. Always work from a list. Always think on paper. This is one of the most powerful and important disciplines of all for high performance.

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"Accomplish More in a Month Than Most People Accomplish in a Year"
Your ability to discipline yourself "to do what you should, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not," is the key to becoming a great person and living a great life. When you develop the habits of self-discipline, you will accomplish more in a month than most people accomplish in a year. Click for more >>

Concentration on your Highest-Value Activities
Your ability to work single-mindedly on your most important task will contribute as much to your success as any other discipline you can develop.

Exercise and Proper Nutrition
Your health is more important than anything else. By disciplining yourself to exercise regularly and to eat carefully, you will promote the highest possible levels of health and fitness throughout your life.

Learning and Growth
Your mind is like a muscle. If you don't use it, you lose it. Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.

Time for Important People in Your Life
Relationships are everything. Be sure that in climbing the ladder of success, you do not find it leaning against the wrong building. Build time for your relationships into every day, no matter how busy you get.

Time for Important People in Your Life
These seven disciplines will ensure that you perform at the highest level and get the greatest satisfaction and results from everything you do. Study these seven disciplines and then make a plan for how you can incorporate each of them into your daily life.

The Life Planning Process
"A Goal Without a Plan is Only a Dream…"
If you dream of achieving great things in life, planning for making them a reality on paper is vital to your success.

The Life Planning Process is a step-by-step manual to help you set and achieve your goals. Using this Action Workbook will guarantee that you stay on course, on time and on target.
Learn more here >>

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Success Lesson From the Past

by anthony on January 15, 2010

The large block of marble stood in the center of the open-air workshop. The officials who had purchased the block were eager to get their project underway and began looking for an artist who could transform the stone block into a work of art.

Success Tools

A suitable artist was identified and work began on the project, but as time passed, the artist gradually lost interest and eventually walked away from his commission.

Another artist was found and work commenced once more, however, this second artist also lost interest and the entire project came to a grinding halt.

The block of marble then sat neglected in the yard of the workshop for over 25 years!

Then one day, a young man in his twenties heard about the marble block and visited the yard. When he gazed upon the stone, the young man did not see a weathered old block of marble. Instead, he saw an opportunity waiting to be realized.

He negotiated with the owners of the marble block and in due course received permission to try his hand where others had failed.

For three long years the young man chipped away at the block of stone and tap by tap he transformed his dream into a reality.

In January 1504, the young man whose name was Michelangelo, unveiled his statue of David.

Success Tools

The secret of Michelangelo’s success was that he was able to combine two seemingly conflicting virtues.

The first of these virtues was Vision. Whereas most people looked upon the marble block and saw a neglected slab of stone, Michelangelo saw a magnificent statue trapped within the rock just waiting to be released.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”
- Michelangelo

In addition to having the ability to visualize his ultimate desire, Michelangelo also developed the virtue of Patience.

He knew that long lasting success did not come quickly or easily, but rather, it was the result of patiently chipping away at his goal each and every day.

“Genius is Eternal Patience”
- Michelangelo

Today, some five hundred years later, many of us spend time to develop a grand vision for our life, but then we quickly become impatient to make our vision a reality. All too often we become frustrated with our lack of progress and eventually give up on our goal entirely.

It is a rare individual who can combine the ability to visualize their goal with the patience to take the small daily steps necessary to transform that vision into reality.

Today I’d like to encourage you to approach your own goals in the same way that Michelangelo approached the creation of the statue of David.

Even though your current reality may resemble the worn out block of marble, challenge yourself to look deeper to find the hidden opportunity that is waiting to be realized.

Once you have identified your objective, resist the urge to become impatient. Instead, develop a mindset of quiet anticipation and chip away at your goal a little each day.

By combining the power of Vision with the virtue of Patience, nothing will stop you from creating your own masterpiece.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

5 Reasons Why Dreams Don't Take Flight by Dr. John C. Maxwell

Most of us never see our dreams come true. Instead of soaring through the clouds, our dreams languish like a broken-down airplane confined to its hangar. Through life, I have come to identify five common reasons why dreams don’t take flight.

No. 1 We Have Been Discouraged from Dreaming by OthersWe have to pilot our own dreams; we cannot entrust them to anyone else. People who aren’t following their own dreams resent us pursuing ours. Such people feel inadequate when we succeed, so they try to drag us down.If we listen to external voices, then we allow our dreams to be hijacked. At some point, other people will place limitations on us by doubting our abilities. When surrounded by the turbulence of criticism, we have to grasp the controls tightly to keep from being knocked off course.

No. 2 We Are Hindered by Past Disappointments and HurtsIn the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a young, talented and cocky aviator who dreams of being the premier pilot in the U.S. Navy. In the film’s opening scenes, Maverick showcases his flying ability, but also displays a knack for pushing the envelope with regards to safety. Midway through the movie, Maverick’s characteristic aggression spells disaster. His plane crashes, killing his best friend and co-pilot.

Although cleared of wrongdoing, the painful memory of the accident haunts Maverick. He quits taking risks and loses his edge. Struggling to regain his poise, he considers giving up on his dream. Although the incident nearly wrecks Maverick’s career, he eventually reaches within to find the strength to return to the sky.

Like Maverick, many of us live with the memory of failure embedded in our psyche. Perhaps a business we started went broke, or we were fired from a position of leadership. Disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality, and all of us have encountered that gap. Failure is a necessary and natural part of life, but if we’re going to attain our dreams, then, like Maverick, we have to summon the courage to deal with past hurts.

No. 3 We Fall into the Habit of Settling for AverageAverage is the norm for a reason. Being exceptional demands extra effort, sustained inspiration and uncommon discipline. When we attempt to give flight to our dreams, we have to overcome the weight of opposition. Like gravity, life’s circumstances constantly pull on our dreams, tugging us down to mediocrity.Most of us don’t pay the price to overcome the opposition to our dreams. We may start out inspired, but through time, we fatigue. Although never intending to abandon our dreams, we begin to make concessions here and there. Through time, our lives become mundane, and our dreams slip away.

No. 4 We Lack the Confidence Needed to Pursue Our DreamsDreams are fragile. They will be buffeted by assaults from all sides. As such, they must be supplied with the extra strength of self-confidence.

In Amelia Earhart’s day, women were not supposed to fly airplanes. If she had lacked self-assurance, she never would have even attempted to be a pilot. Instead, Earhart confidently chased after her dream, and she was rewarded with both fulfillment and fame.

No. 5 We Lack the Imagination to DreamFor thousands of years, mankind traveled along the ground: by foot, by horse-and-buggy, by locomotive, and eventually by automobile. Thanks to the dreams of Orville and Wilbur Wright, we now hop across oceans in a matter of hours. The imaginative brothers overcame ridicule and doubt to pioneer human flight, and the world has never been the same.

Many of us play small because we do not allow ourselves to dream. We trap ourselves in reality and never dare to go beyond what we can see with our eyes. Imagination lifts us beyond average by giving us a vision of life that surpasses what we are experiencing currently. Dreams infuse our spirit with energy and spur us on to greatness.