Nov 132014
 

… of results.

This post is a quick compilation of some especially powerful quotes which have come across my line of sight in recent weeks.

Study them, think about what they mean in depth, and apply. Knowledge learned and not acted upon isn’t a full equation.

During a persons’ lifetime, there are only a couple of opportunities that come your way. If you possess the courage and self confidence to grasp them, they can change your life.

– Lou Holtz

… Our actions are directly connected to our thoughts … you must begin at the level of your thoughts. Seek to isolate the thoughts that lead to the wrong way of speaking.

– Stuart Scott

Look within. Within is the foundation of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.

– Marcus Aurelius

Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

– Leonardo da Vinci

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or, you will be taught how to fly.

– Patrick Overton

Dec 012013
 

Recently, I had the blessing to listen to an audio recording which was really eye opening – rest assured that I’d not have had the opportunity to learn at this level without having made the decision to become better in all areas of life.

The crux of the recording = get your thinking right first; it is an inside-out battle, as better thoughts flow outward to the outside once you conquer limiting beliefs, cynicism, negativity, doubt, fears of man, and excusitis on the inside.

Here are the five laws that were spotlighted, culled from my notes & some personal reflection after hearing the talk numerous times over the past month.

One: Law of ‘Cause & Effect’

The most fundamental of the five; in fact, without it, is a foundation of Western Civilization as we know it today, and as it was birthed back in antiquity during the ascendency of the Greeks. The world is guided by law, and not by chance, as Aristotle taught to his students.

Choices we’ve made in the past ( cause ) are definitely impacting our present ( effect ). We most certainly reap what we have sowed.

Study the works of Viktor Frankl & Seligman, the latter of the ‘explanatory style‘, to better grasp this law at a far deeper level.

Two: Law of Belief

A person most always acts consistently with his/her beliefs.

It doesn’t work if one changes their actions or habits without first changing the beliefs that frame their thinking.

Belief, let alone faith, is very powerful – one of the all time best books to read is ‘The Magic of Thinking Big‘.

Three: Law of Expectations

Dr. Robert Rosenthal’s ‘Pygmalion in the Classroom‘ illustrates this law to a ‘T’.

What you get in life is what you expect. This law and the preceding law work hand in hand. Build your belief first, and your expectations can and will be molded to be far more useful as you proceed on your success journey.

A simple illustration ( can find numerous graphics via a basic web search ) is to have dreams and a sweeping vision that tower above your obstacles and present reality. If you can frame your expectations for the future in the right thinking context, you’ll be further down the road than the majority of people you encounter.

Four: Law of Attraction

Simply stated, ‘You attract what you are.’

If you’ve already changed your thinking, mindset, beliefs, and expectations, it’s almost a given that you’ll be attracting different people to you.

John C. Maxwell, in his magnum opus, ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership‘, focused on this through what he called the “Law of Magnetism”.

Five: Law of Correspondence

Your outer self corresponds to your innermost self; who you are externally, facing the world, is a direct correlation to what you are internally.

This can be your greatest responsibility and assignment; how will you become a better ‘you’ ? Re-review the above four laws: notice how they all are inter-related?

In the end, you want to become the mental equivalent of what you want to be on the outside. Change your inputs ( information is everything ), focus on having a better mindset and mode of thinking, and you’ll see the results flow downstream.

Continue reading »

Nov 272013
 

Do. Learn. Define.

Therein lies the fundamental, root issue with why so many do not find lasting success (however they chose to define it) nor significance in their lives.

Define. Learn. Do.

Not only is this 180 degrees different when you examine in writing or hear someone say it out loud, it is also inside-out transformational for one’s thinking and mindset.

Why is the former far inferior to the latter?

Let’s dissect this at a high level in this post. This concept can easily form the spine of a book, or the core theme of an entire evening’s seminar, so additional comments from those who read this post & identify with this are most welcome to offer input.

First, the former.

In old style, agricultural/industrial age schooling, you are often asked at some, or many points, by an adult in authority something along the lines of “What do you want to do when you graduate?” Without being aware of the far superior alternative, this seemingly straightforward question has pinned the teenager (‘you’) into a corner, and continued a programming that nearly often leads to mediocrity and a settled for life rather than one of uncovering genius, serving others, & being part of something far bigger than oneself.

Then, often, the answer received by the adult ranges from a shrug/blank stare, to a verbal “I am not sure/don’t know”, to, in some cases, a detailed reply from a smaller percentage of teens. This is quite often the lead-in to the learn step, where, often, one finds themselves on the college prep track, taking classes to beef up the transcript for colleges “A”, “B”, and “C” to evaluate when it comes to the next stage. You are embarking on a journey to learn whatever it is that you want to do

Lastly, whatever you end up learning defines your life; its contours, its obligations, most usually, your budget ( mostly debt ), and even where you live and whom you associate with.

You’ve now been boxed in = a Pre-defined outcome based on the first step you took. And, keep in mind, this step was driven often unconsciously, due to societal norms and perhaps peer pressure. Can this box be broached, so you can re-learn something else after changing your answer to the “do”? Yes, however, not all that easily.

What about flipping the entire equation, and turning it on its head? Let’s look at it:

Define – define your life, ‘Johnny’; where do you see yourself in 5? 10? 20? years. What’s your ideal day look like? What are your priorities that you want to fulfill?

Learn – Let’s find / lead you to someone(s), something(s) which will lead you through the steps, phases, decision points, thought processes, and commitments which are required in order to reach the lifestyle which you’ve defined in step one.

Then, wrapping up with Do. Now, after your thinking has been changed by this new information and perspective/mindset, it’s time to act. Take action! Make mistakes. Failure is a direct input to success. Do what the someone/something advised and recommended. For instance, if you want to be wealthy and have both time & money, follow the success principles which the truly wealthy advised in the books & audios, and what your mentor(s) who have what you want have told you.

Is this not evolutionary, let alone revolutionary, in how it differs? For certain.

Why don’t more folks in the West, let alone America, make the latter choice? Simple reasons > Too much noise v. proven gold medal information. Conditioning & programming. Those without success teaching those who have yet to have the opportunity to learn success principles that break the mediocrity ‘chain’. A lack of reading & listening, and being unaware of the value of education v. schooling.

These reasons can be dealt with. And, it’s one of my missions to reach as many as I can to help them realize that there is a choice.

Thank you for reading & may your days be blessed in all ways!

Oct 282013
 
Habits, Traits, & Principles of the Successful

Successful people are not lucky.

They simply follow a different ‘guidebook’ of habits, traits, and principles which Mr. & Mrs. Average do not either choose to or know about. Chances are, they are living far too much of their lives awash in the conventional wisdom, advertising/PR, and/or mass media entertainment sources to have dug far enough below the surface to hit the gold veins that would transform their lives from the inside-out.

However, let it be said that its never too late to grow into these!  I’m living proof, as it took me several decades post graduation from traditional schooling to have struck the gold. And, now that I have, the veins continue to appear: all over the place!  There is no shortage of world class information to make these veins produce additional gold; in fact, there’s so much that quite some time ago, I made it a large part of my life’s purpose to spread & share what I’ve learned with as many humble, honeable, & hungry people that I am able to build relationships with.

And, with the above mission in mind, here are ten to study, learn from, and live each & every day:

[1]  Have a Focus & a Purpose in Life.

+ Focus like a laser, and not like a flashlight.

+ Know your “Why” – this is imperative!

+ Define your purpose. Mr. Orrin Woodward thought so much of this, he used it as foundational Resolution 1 in his landmark book, ‘Resolved’  (!)

+ Keep in mind that purpose, legacy, and destiny are Level 3/highest of the high/ motivators. Once you find yours, your life will feel far more complete and fulfilling.

[2]  Always strive for Excellence

+ Self explanatory, yes?   However, one would be surprised, mildly, or perhaps more so, to find how many aren’t. Mediocrity and same-ness are prevalent in mainstream culture. “Home to work”, “home to work” …  is the mentality. And, when not working, you may find these same folks who are not living up to their potential holding their favorite sports teams to a super high standard.

+ Be the example. You’re the project. Not someone else – unless you are living intentionally for excellence in all areas of your life, you cannot in good stead point out others’ perceived imperfections or attempt to correct them.

+ Rise above the crowd. The crowd has fallen prey to a little known (yet becoming more clear) factor called ‘Sturgeon’s Law’ –  One has to read NYT Best Seller, ‘LeaderShift’ to be educated in depth on this law, however, in short form, it means that the crowd, defined as the 90%, will be average at best.

[3]  Always leave people better off than before you met them.

+ Every interaction you have with someone else can be scoreboard’ed on a scale of 1-5. Keep yours at 4 or 5 always.

+ Study books like ‘The Great Connection’, ‘Personality Plus’, ‘The Five Love Languages’, & ‘Positive Personality Profiles’

+ Be an encourager & a cheerleader. The world has too many discouragers, cynics, unhealthy skeptics, & correctors.

[4]  Take Responsibility

+ Look in the mirror. You are always the final responsible party. If you have/own a ‘victim card’, toss it in the trash, never to be played again.

+ Sometimes, taking responsibility means you accept fault when something is out of your control. However, leadership entails such high levels of ownership of situations, people/followers, and the resulting circumstances.

[5]  Always take on new challenges.

+ Living in one’s familiar zone won’t result in the success that is earned by those who are in the pool and moving against the current. The current will be given new life by those who stretch and grow in all areas. A challenge is an open opportunity; don’t pull down a shade over it.

+ The mindset of a winner and a climber is that of someone who takes things on with ambition and determination. Create the new reality by tapping into your vision. Overcome the goliaths and achieve the private/personal, public, and leadership victories that are yours for the taking.

[6]  Produce, regardless of the situation you’re in

+ Excuses are useless. Don’t ever make them. Find reasons to produce something remarkable.

+ Never whine. Never complain. Never make excuses.  Wooden’s set of three’s is just as applicable today, a few years after his passing at age 99, as it was when he was growing up.

[7]  Have a strong work ethic

+ You’re entitled to nothing except life, liberty (freedom), and the pursuit of happiness. Natural laws, as so brilliantly espoused by Patrick Henry in his 7 Resolves { 1765 } , are the governing ‘rules of the road’ for true leaders.

+ Laws that encourage anything remotely resembling entitlement are those which successful people repel. Earn your stripes by what you do to make yourself better, and then, thereafter, to go out and serve others.

[8]  Invest in yourself.

+ The monies one earns should be paid to ‘You, Inc.” first ahead of anything else. No one can take away wisdom, knowledge, and learned truth(s) from you unlike they can a house, a car, electronics, or sports gear.

+ The poor have big TV’s; the wealthy have big libraries. A generalization? Sure. Are there exceptions? Sure. However, for the clear majority of cases, this holds true. Study spending & investment trends to find out.

[9]  Persevere.

+ Jack Canfield & Colonel Sanders come to mind – both were extremely successful. Yet, each man found rejection after rejection until someone said ‘yes’

+ Adversity quotient is incredibly valuable; in the aforementioned book, ‘Resolved’, it ranks as number 12. What is your IQ x EQ x WQ = AQ ?

+ Failure is simply an event, and not an individual. Failure is a huge part of success. Be sure you know how to reframe & how to learn from each setback.

[10]  Ability to prioritize.

+ Stephen R. Covey taught this crucial success principle the best in his Habit 3.

+ Have you drawn out your entire life and segmented into ‘priorities’, ‘obligations’, and ‘urgencies’?   Or, at least, done this by the day, week, month, quarter, or year?

+ Priorities should align with your mission(s), purpose, and your dreams. They will get you from “A” to “B” fastest of all, while your obligations and the urgencies will act as anchors.

___________________________________________________

Hope this post, like all others, has added value to you. Comment if you’ve been especially impacted – always welcome feedback at all times.

And … a huge & heartfelt …

… Thank you to Mr. Alex Nickerson for inspiring this content!  Having met him once in person & seen him another time, his credibility in putting forth this kind of content is clearly reflected in the successes he has realized thus far in his life.

Aug 132013
 
Leadership correlates with education, education with freedom, and leadership engenders freedom: Connections

A couple months ago, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to hear a very moving talk from a well regarded, influential servant leader #. His ability to interweave leadership principles, liber education (self-directed/leadership), & the meanings of freedom seamlessly together is quite impressive. I’ve noticed that such an ability to synthesize concepts is often missing from today’s schooling, although its value is hard to underestimate in any context once you’ve experienced it.

That talk inspires this post. My wishes for the reader are to think independently; to understand that it is very important to grow his/her leadership abilities — in the ‘soft skills’ — and, lastly, that schooling and education are far from one in the same.

It’s been proven throughout history that freedoms that citizens enjoy are connected to their education. And, that information learned, studied, and applied is where wisdom originates. We cannot depend on faux ‘experts’ to determine anything — businesses large and small, schools, public, private, and home based, and other institutions crave and are clear need of leaders who are honeable, hungry to learn, and are humble, realizing that for every book they read, there are thousands yet to be.

Our freedoms, best described through the lens of either the ‘eight meanings’, or the ‘three types’ ( DeMille & McEwen, respectively ), rest with embracing the age in which we presently live, while renewing our past, and looking evermore into the future. A business model that combines servant/replacement leadership with education, and which filters out the best information from the noise and mis-information in our world today, is beyond priceless. It is troubling when so many citizens are struggling when we have more info at our fingertips today than even 10 years ago; so, let’s connect these together and serve first, to address our problems at their very root.

Businesses which are cutting edge often are very abstract and intangible —  it can be argued that Microsoft, let alone Facebook in the present time, are very much in this category. So, information that isn’t pure, which is not based on fundamental concepts and principles of leadership, nor which encourage any of the types or meanings of freedom, can get out into the marketplace through such an outlet. Think of all the banner ads, the advertising in the news feed, and such as cases in point.

Enter into the marketplace of our global world a similar model, based strictly on information and connecting people together who share a like-minded vision. Going further, the model teaches the soft skills to those who are hungry to invest their 86,400 seconds a day into those who own a share of it; let alone, existing to reach out to others who don’t yet own a share, but wish to do so since they realize that doing the same old, same old in the familiar zone just won’t get them ahead in life.

What may restrain the growth of such a fused model of self-directed education, servant/replacement driven leadership, & the impartation of freedom principles?  Alexander Tytler saw many of them coming centuries ago:  Complacency. Cynicism. Apathy. Dependence [ in this case, on big institutions, words instead of action/deeds ]. Bondage [ here, speaking of debt – spending much of your time plying a trade to pay creditors instead of focusing on what really matters ]. However, can anyone change this?  Of course!  Should you have some healthy skepticism that you can?   Sure. Just use the latter as fuel, and don’t catch the dreaded disease known as ‘excusitis’.

Dr. Schwartz taught us about this disease years ago in his landmark book ( a MUST read.); being “busy” and broke, let alone leaning back on your health as a crutch, all fit into this category of mediocrity. Breaking free from it by solving the idea and ambition problems is exactly what this type of fused model solves!  Leadership requires independent thought, & a different lens and thinking pattern. Education requires the same, and dispenses with much of the (more subtle) programming that schooling includes. And, freedom is precious, and requires one to lead from the front, educate constantly, and think in depth.

Don’t find yourself on the outside looking in while the “experts” attempt to solve problems in your town/city, county, province/state, or nation. Don’t let yourself be distracted from the real issues. Avoid living vicariously through others’ successes, inc. a favorite sports team(s). Curtail excessive entertainment that can become entrenched in your lifestyle, which will neutralize your potential to be great, instead of just average. Be extraordinary!  As Don Soderquist taught us in his book, live, learn, and lead to make a difference. This type of internet age model gives you the intangible tools to do all of the above & much, much more.

Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog & may your life be filled with all the things that you have earned by service before self.

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# Sending many kind regards to Mr. George Guzzardo. Please take the opportunity to visit his blog; he updates it frequently and his posts are filled with wisdom; the link/URL is in my blogroll.

Mar 102013
 
Do you have the mindset of an innovator & creator?

Innovation & creation. Are they not both building blocks of a growth based, free enterprise economy?

For sure!

So, in that case, we can draw an arrow, without any leap of logic, to what one engine of rebuilding the entrepreneurial mindset of America is and what we need to encourage across all socio-economic classes, whether age, gender, race, ethnicity, or otherwise.

The below information was culled from a fantastic book I read about 15 mos. ago, by none other than leadership expert, John C. Maxwell, ‘Developing the Leader Within You’ 

For any given change proposal, the graphing of the responses looks like this:

2%  – Innovators

10% – early Adopters

60% – middle adopters

20% – late adopters

8% – laggards

I’d say that this is very telling as to why the macro economies of the West have stalled; of course, there is far more to this analysis than just this, however, it’s definitely a piece of the analysis that may not be as well studied as others. Regardless of one’s intent, often, a review will be colored by the person writing it- so if you’re reading an economic study, you may not find out that the person is resistant to change in his/her profession, or generally, so could that’s why, perhaps paired with a lack of reading, we’re not hearing more about this.

When roughly 12% of the population embraces change openly and without time, emotional, or rational resistance acting as ‘sand in the gears’, and 28% on the other side of the teeter totter, could that be why so many look not to entrepreneurs, but to big institutions of yore ( think: big business/corporations, big education, big unions, big government ) or “experts” (many of whom aren’t really experts, lacking their 10,000 hours invested ) to deal with the issues causing economic dis-location, stagnation, and missed growth opportunities?

Let’s change this graphing by addressing the deep roots:  Read more. Listen more (at the expense only of your own thinking that you know the answer(s)). Invest in yourself ahead of all else by cutting needless expenses that have no return on dollars spent. Find mentor(s)) to follow. Join a community based leadership growth group in your area. And, by all means, focus on the great that’s out there – innovate your thinking, and adopt the mindset of an eagle. We have enough chickens and chicken littles 😉

Jan 302013
 
What traits do you share with Sir Winston?

We’ve all heard so much about Sir Winston Churchill, that his name & legacy are burned into our conscious minds.

Yet, have we really exhausted the deep well of insightful wisdom which this great man left behind for all the successive generations?  I’d say ‘not even close.’  There are numerous reasons why I come to this conclusion: One of which is that we do not teach history nearly as well as we used to; another is that not enough people read great books; a third is that we have bought into the self-deception that we have all the knowledge we need to live fruitful, purposeful lives, yet we are still in want of more wheat & farmers’ seeds to germinate in our minds.

So, with the above in mind – I am summing up the table of characteristics of Mr. Churchill’s life that served him so very well [ my thoughts/comments in ( ) ].

I happily point the readers to Appendix A of a really good book that I read over a year ago, ‘Ready, Begin!‘ by Lawrence M. Kryske., from which this information originated. Mr. Kryske did a fantastic job pulling it all together! Get that book on your shelf/in your e-reader 🙂

 

VISION

Focus     ( whom wouldn’t benefit from laser instead of flashlight focus?)

Innovation   ( producers & creators in society do this. Think: Steve Jobs. )

Perspective  ( C + “P” = E )

Simplicity  ( Something that every Type C/Melancholy needs to remember-note to self )

Being Proactive  ( Habit 1 – Covey )

Open Minded   ( NEVER close your mind or eyes to an opportunity! )

Insightful   ( mentors and coaches provide )

Adding Value   (  Edify. Never subtract from a person via your words. )

Detail Oriented   ( See above re: melancholy 😉 )

Big Picture  (  Vision – Resolution 4 )

Discernment   (  a component of human relations / people skills )

Preparation   (  Plant seeds/a tree well before you need a crop/apples! )

 

COURAGE

Risk Taking   ( entrepreneurs do this & America needs many more of them! )

Introspection  ( deep thinking v. reacting )

Enthusiasm   (  Carnegie & Bettger taught this years ago. Still imperative! )

Generosity   ( Serve others 1st. Always. )

Priorities / Timing  ( Habit 3 – Covey )

Integrity / Truth   (  truth is truth. Know it, live it, and expect it at all times )

Decision Making  ( make a decision, don’t ever fear a mistake or failing. )

Judgment  ( important for growing personally & leading others )

Empathy   (  HUGE importance. )

Accountability     ( NEVER ‘pass the buck’, blame shift, or make excuses. )

Boldness  ( nail your colors to the mast! )

 

DETERMINATION

Tenacity   ( A crucial trait for an entrepreneur. )

Resilience   (  Another for entrepreneurial minded folks. Never, ever quit. )

Problem Solving  (  problem ID’ed —> series of choices –> problem solved. )

Attitude  (  Resolution 3 )

Discipline  (  Build your internal integrity. Don’t cut yourself slack via excuses. )

Dedication  ( Imperative for having long term vision )

Action Oriented  ( can’t have all green lights before you move ahead. )

Patience  ( crucial element in dealing with others )

Versatility  ( grow in all personality types – be Type D, I, S, & C all at once 🙂 )

Involving Others  (  Level 4 thinking – interdependent / Habit 6 – Covey )

Impassioned  ( ollin – all in!

Flexibility  ( very valuable skill. )

 

In the end, what can be learned from this great leader’s life is nothing short of remarkable. That surely explains the vast number of books & other post mortem recognition he has received.  Successful people mirror their lives to those who have results ( define – learn – do ) and one can’t go wrong by using Sir Winston as a role model!