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Develop the wonderful habit of a daily swim. It will promote excellent health, keep you relaxed and concentrated, lean and trim. Swimming is not stressful on the body, provides a great workout for the lungs and requires little time to do effectively. Remember that in a fit body resides a fit mind.

People who are doing good today are ensuring their happiness for tomorrow.

The key to successful time management is doing what you planned to do when you planned to do it. Keep your mind fully on the task at hand. Only then will you achieve all your goals and have time for the things that matter most. Although it is imperative to be flexible (a bow too tightly strung will soon break), following your planned schedule requires no more than simple discipline.

An excellent visualization technique: if you are worrying about something, picture the words of your worry on a piece of paper. Now ignite a match to the paper and watch the worry dissipate into flames. Bruce Lee, the great martial arts master employed this mental control device regularly.

Compartmentalize your worry. Set aside a certain amount of time to ponder over a problem and map out an effective plan of attack and your options. Once this is done, have the mental fortitude not to come back to the problem and go over it again and again. The human mind is a strange creature – things we want to forget keep coming back and those things we want to remember are not there when we want them. But the mind is similar to a muscle and the more you flex it the stronger it will become. Make it your servant. Feed it only the best nutrition and information. It will serve you well and perform magic if you believe in it.

Peak performers are physically relaxed and mentally engaged.

To be at your performance peak mentally, your body must be loose physically and relaxed. It is now beyond dispute that there is a mind-body connection and when the body is supple, free from tension, the mind is clear, calm and focused as well. This is why yoga is such a beneficial activity. It keeps the body relaxed so that the mind can follow. Basic stretching for 15 minutes a day is also an excellent way to release tension that builds up as a result of our life in this highly complex and fast moving, but wonderful world. Try having a massage or power lounging in a Jacuzzi. Relax the body and you relax the mind.

Prepare a detailed financial plan for the next few years and follow it. Seek out financial advice if you need it. A powerful strategy for financial mastery is also a simple one: save 10% of all you make for long-term growth (take this off the pay cheque before you have a chance to spend it). If you can invest $200 a month for the next 30 years at an annual return rate of 15%, you will end up with $1.4 million dollars. Being wise with your money is one of the very best investments to make. Financial security leads to personal freedom.

Readers are leaders. U.S. President Bill Clinton read more than 300 books during his short time at Oxford University. Some top performers read a book a day. Seek out knowledge and information. We have truly entered the age of massive information and those who are proactive can use this to their advantage. The more you know, the less you fear.

Get into the excellent habit of reading something positive and inspirational before you go to bed and as soon as you awake in the morning. You will soon note the benefits as these thoughts will be supporting you throughout the day.

  • Home Based Business 👔
    https://youtu.be/jRcfE2xxSAw

    Create Your Own Future

    There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake. —Orison Swett Marden

    Every successful person has experienced countless temporary set- backs, obstacles, and even outright defeats, in the course of his or her life. But it has been the ability to respond positively and con- structively to these defeats and to bounce back that ultimately has assured success. This quality of bouncing rather than breaking will determine your success as well.

    Dr. Abraham Zaleznik of the Harvard Business School did a study some years ago on the role that disappointment plays in life. Many people had researched and written on motivation and its rela- tionship to success. But Zaleznik was the first person who looked at the other side of the coin.

    • THINKING AHEAD

    If you are a normal, intelligent person, you will organize each area of your life to avoid failure and disappointment as much as possible. You will think ahead and anticipate what could go wrong. You will then take the necessary precautions to guard against setbacks and problems. You will weigh and balance differ- ent options. You will select the course of action that offers the greatest likelihood of success.

    Nonetheless, no matter how well you think and plan, things will not always turn out the way you expect. Murphy’s Law says: “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Of all the things that can go wrong, the worst possible thing will go wrong at the worst possible time and cost the most amount of money.” Cohen’s Law then adds: “Mur- phy was an optimist!”

    Therefore, disappointment comes unbidden. Disappointment comes in spite of your best efforts to avoid it. Disappointment is in- evitable and unavoidable. As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, you are going to experience disappointments in life. And the more goals you set and the more things you try, the more difficulties and problems you will have.

    • THE ONE THING YOU CAN CONTROL

    What Dr. Zaleznik discovered was that successful people respond to disappointment differently from unsuccessful people. His conclu- sion was that the way you deal with disappointment is an extremely good predictor of whether you will achieve success in your field, or in life overall.

    Since you can’t always avoid disappointment, no matter what you do, the only thing that matters is how you deal with the disap- pointment when it comes upon you, unwanted and unexpected. Do you let it overwhelm you? Do you blow up, become angry, and blame or attack other people? Or do you roll with the punches, and respond effectively?

    Successful people deal with disappointment by taking it in stride. Unsuccessful people allow disappointment to stop them. Successful people recover and continue forward. Unsuccessful peo ple often quit and go back. Motivational speaker Charlie Jones says,

    “It’s not how far you fall but how high you bounce that counts!”

    https://youtu.be/d1C2UTX-0Xw

    ■THE TRIGGER OF NEGATIVITY

    Most negative emotions are triggered by frustrated expectations. You wish, hope, or plan for something to happen in a certain way, and when it doesn’t, you react with impatience and anger. This is quite normal. If you care about a result, you are going to be hurt if you don’t achieve it.

    The challenge is that emotions are triggered instantaneously. For this reason, you can have very little control over your emotions and reactions at the moment that something happens to you. It is too late. When the disappointment occurs, you will react instinc- tively and habitually, depending on your previous experiences. When things go wrong, it is too late for you to think of fine and no- ble thoughts.You simply react.

    Epictetus, the Greek Stoic philosopher, once wrote, “Circum- stances do not make the man; they only reveal him to himself,” and to others, for that matter. It is not the adverse situation that builds your character so much as it reveals your character as it exists at that moment.

    ■PREPARE IN ADVANCE

    One of the best ways to change your thinking, and your life, is to prepare for disappointment in advance. Set yourself up to bounce back quickly by practicing mental prepreparation.

    Mental prepreparation enables you to prepare internally for the inevitable disappointments of life and work, even though you do not know what they are or when they will come. This is one of the most powerful of all thinking techniques that you can use to gain and keep control of your emotions, assuring that they are primarily pos- itive and constructive, no matter what happens.

    In mental prepreparation, you begin with the premise that you are going to face all kinds of problems and difficulties when you de- cide to accomplish anything worthwhile in life. In fact, if you set a big, challenging goal for yourself, one that forces you out of your comfort zone, you are going to meet with countless obstacles and difficulties that you cannot now imagine.

    This trial by endurance seems to go with the territory. Every time you try to be or do something more or different, problems of all kinds will arise in your path. If you are not prepared in advance, they can discourage you and drive you back into your comfort zone. Instead of waiting for the inevitable problems to occur, you mentally prepare for these inevitable difficulties before they happen. You say to yourself: “Today I will face all kinds of ups and downs, diffi- culties and setbacks, but I will not let them get me down. Once I start to-

    ward my goal, I will be unstoppable!”

    ■PRACTICE CRISIS ANTICIPATION

    In business consulting, we teach a way of thinking called “crisis an- ticipation.” I encourage decision makers to look six months to a year into the future and ask the question, “What are some of the negative things that could happen that would derail our plans? Of all of them, what are the very worst things that could happen?”

    We then make a list of all the different setbacks or unexpected emergencies that could occur that would threaten the enterprise. For example: A competitor could come out with a new product or service that was better and/or cheaper than ours. Interest rates could go up. Government could place new taxes and regulations on our activities. Costs of fuel or raw materials could increase. A key person or persons within the organization could depart for some reason. A key customer or customers could leave and go to a com- petitor. Competitors could cut their prices below costs in order to take business away. The economy could tip into recession and the overall market could shrink dramatically.

    In each of these cases, the ability of the company to respond quickly and effectively could determine its very survival. These pos- sible reversals and setbacks should be thought through in advance. The best rule is “no surprises!”

    Royal Dutch/Shell of the Netherlands has one of the most complete forward planning processes of any company in the world. It has developed over 600 scenarios to deal with problems that might occur around the world in areas where it has oil and gas operations. As a result, the company is seldom surprised by anything that happens. It is never caught off guard. It always has a backup plan ready to go. It has also become one of the most continuously profitable and successful companies in the world. Thinking ahead really pays off.

    https://youtu.be/vocCCB6LnMI

    ■LOOK INTO THE FUTURE

    What works for large and small corporations can work for you as well. You should practice crisis anticipation regularly in everything you do. Look down the road of your life, like a traveler, and imagine some of the negative things that might happen and how you could respond to them. You will be amazed at how much more positive and confident you will feel when you have already developed alter- native courses of action to some of the worst things that could hap- pen in a particular area.

    For example, what would you do if you lost your job today? The idea of losing one’s job is a major fear for most people, affecting 37 percent of the working population according to one study. I re- ceived a letter recently from a gentleman who told me that his fear of losing his job, which he recognized was completely irrational, was so great that it was paralyzing him. It was actually holding him back from doing the kind of work that he had to do in order to keep his job. His fear and his lack of alternatives were actually increasing the likelihood that he would be laid off.

    ■YOUR NEW JOB

    Sometimes I ask people in my audiences, “What is your next job go- ing to be?” For most people this question comes as a surprise. They have not even thought about what their next job is going to be. But we know that the world of work is changing at a rapid rate. The fact is that you have already changed jobs several times. It is virtually in- evitable that you will change jobs again, and perhaps sooner than you expect. What is your next job likely to be?

    When I explain that each person must be preparing for his or her next job, it is a new idea for most people. They either have not thought about it or don’t want to think about it. But the only question is this: “What level of knowledge, skills, and ability will you require at your next job in order to continue to earn the kind of money that you want to earn in the future?”

    If you don’t think about this question in advance, you may be forced to think about it when your time has run out and the ques- tion is forced upon you.

    ■YOUR NEW CAREER

    After audience members have thought about what their next job is going to be, I then ask the second question, “What is your next career going to be?” What entirely new field, industry, business, or line of work are you going to be in 5 to 10 years from now?

    According to employment experts, a person starting work to- day will have an average of 14 or 15 full-time jobs, each lasting two years or more, over the course of a working lifetime. He or she will also have as many as five different careers, in completely dif- ferent fields, each of which will require new kinds of knowledge and different skills.

    Much of what you know about your current work will be obso- lete within five years. Because of rapid changes taking place in every area, your existing store of knowledge, information, ideas, and skills will be of little value. These will have no relevance or application to the job market and the economy of the future. You will need new knowledge and skills if you want to survive and thrive in an increas- ingly competitive society.

    This is why Peter Drucker said, “The only skill that will not be- come obsolete in the years ahead is the ability to learn new skills.”

    ■CONTINUALLY THINK AHEAD

    You probably recall the famous comment by hockey star Wayne Gretzky. When he was asked by a reporter for the secret of his suc- cess on the ice, he replied by saying, “Most players are pretty good, but they go to where the puck is. I go to where the puck is going to be.”

    This observation is directly relevant to you. Where is your puck going to be three to five years from now? Where is your puck going to be 10 years from now? Taking a long-term perspective on your work life enables you to make better decisions in the short term. As strategic planner Michael Kami says, “Those who do not think about the future cannot have one.”

    Look into your future and begin to imagine and anticipate some of the twists and turns that might occur. If you lost your job today, how would you react? What would be your first thought? The great majority of people, when they think about losing their jobs, go into a form of panic. They have no idea what they would do.

    However, in my work with many thousands of successful people, I have found that they have one particular attitude in common. They all know with complete assurance that if they lost their jobs they could walk across the street and get another job tomorrow. They are so good at what they do, and so confident in their abilities, that job loss to them would be merely an inconvenience. They have lots of options.

    As I mentioned in Chapter 6, there is a way to determine how good you are in your field. What is the number of job offers you get on a regular basis? Just as a store or restaurant can measure its suc- cess by the number of customers or patrons it attracts, you can measure how valued and respected you are for what you do by counting the number of people who want to hire you and use your services. How are you doing?

    ■EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

    https://youtu.be/h7ZD-66EiP0

    Sometimes I ask audiences what they would do if their entire indus- try disappeared overnight. They shake their heads and they say that can’t possibly happen. Then I point out that the defense industry in California literally collapsed in the early 1990s and over 400,000 highly competent defense engineers and executives, with many years of education and experience, were rendered obsolete. Their jobs were not only gone; they were gone forever. Each of these thou- sands of competent, capable men and women were forced into the position of going out into the marketplace, developing new skills, and going to work in entirely new fields.

    The collapse of the dot-com mania wiped out more than 90 percent of the Internet jobs and companies that had sprung up across the country. The collapse in the telecom sector led to layoffs of many thousands of workers. The decline in recent years of the frantic investment activity that had been seen during the 1990s trig- gered the layoffs and firings of tens of thousands of people in the fi- nancial services industries. It goes on and on, and will continue. Only the names of the industries will change. This rapid shift in jobs and industries is going to happen more and more often to more and more people.

    ■YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE

    The world of finance and investments is constantly changing. The markets are increasingly volatile. The old philosophy of “buy and hold” is no longer relevant to the world of today, and tomorrow. If you have money invested, you should be thinking continually about what might happen if your investments went bad and you lost all your money. You should always be preparing against the worst pos- sible outcome of a particular investment.

    There is a direct relationship between how much time you in- vest in thinking about and planning your financial life and how likely you are to become financially independent. According to Dr. Thomas Stanley’s interviews with thousands of self-made million- aires, they share a common characteristic: they spend far more time thinking about financial matters than the average person.

    The average adult, even though he or she worries about money much of the time, spends only two to three hours per month actu- ally thinking about his or her finances, usually at bill-paying time. The average affluent American, in contrast, spends 20 to 30 hours per month thinking about his or her money. As a result, they make far better spending decisions and more intelligent investments than the majority. They become increasingly skilled in money matters, and eventually pull ahead of their peers.

    ■THE STRATEGY OF NAPOLEON

    The French general Napoleon dominated the continent of Europe for almost 20 years. He led his armies to victory in dozens of bat- tles, and lost only three battles in his entire career. He lost almost 600,000 men when he invaded Russia, failing to anticipate the cold of the Russian winter. Greatly weakened from the Russian campaign, he subsequently lost the battle of Leipzig, which led to his being exiled to the island of Elba. And finally, he lost at the battle of Waterloo due to a series of miscommunications with his field generals.

    It is often forgotten that he won many other battles, small and large, and is considered to be one of the three greatest military ge- niuses of history. (Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan were the other two.) Napoleon had developed a quality that helped him to achieve victory, which you also can develop. It is called extrapolatory thinking. This is the ability to think and plan several moves ahead in whatever you are doing. This way of thinking involves your consid- ering every possible event that could occur, and then making provi- sions for them, well in advance.

    Napoleon personally felt that his thoroughness and depth of preparation, carefully considering every detail, were his key to vic- tory. This quality was demonstrated by his phenomenal ability to ar- rive onto the field of a potential battle and then to think through every single possible twist and turn of the battle to its logical con- clusion—before the first shot was fired.

    Once he had completed his preparations, he could take his posi- tion at his command center to direct the battle. No matter what news he received from any part of the battlefield, he was always ready with an immediate response. Many people thought that his quickness of response under fire was because he was a brilliant thinker, which he was, but that was not the secret of his success. His secret was that he had thought through every possible eventuality, in advance.

    ■EXTRAPOLATE FROM THE PRESENT

    This ability, to think through every major situation in your life in advance, is a way of thinking that you can learn with practice. The better you become at anticipating future events based on current facts, the better your life will be. You will be able to minimize re- versals and maximize opportunities. Thinking this way will give you an edge over others who simply react and respond to what- ever happens.

    If you work for a company, you should be thinking through the worst possible things that could happen in the next six months to a year that could affect your job and your security. If you own the company, you should identify the worst possible things that could affect the survival and health of your enterprise. You and your spouse should discuss possible problems and difficulties that might occur in your family life, and then make plans to guard against them.

    ■TAKE NECESSARY FINANCIAL PRECAUTIONS

    You often read about people who failed to insure properly and consequently lost their cars, their homes, and sometimes all of their possessions. They failed to look into the future and ask what the consequences to their life would be if a fire occurred in their home or if they had a traffic accident and they were not suffi- ciently insured.

    One of the smartest things that you can do to preserve your fi- nancial well-being is to develop a regular savings program.Your goal should be to save 10 percent and more of your income, off the top, each month, from each paycheck or income source. There are few things that will give a greater sense of confidence and control than for you to know that you have a cash reserve set aside in the event of an unexpected emergency. In contrast, there is nothing that will cause you more stress and tension than to be living on the edge of your financial resources, unable to deal with a financial emergency or a need of any kind.

    W. Clement Stone once said, “If you cannot save money, then the seeds of greatness are not in you.”

    ■LIVE WITHIN YOUR INCOME

    https://youtu.be/5QKzGbdwIZQ

    Your ability to save money and to discipline yourself to live within your income is a key measure of your ability to succeed in life. If you do not have the internal self-control to refrain from spending everything you earn, this suggests that you probably don’t have the discipline necessary to succeed in other areas of your life. Although the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil, it is far more likely that the lack of money is the root of all evil.

    Perhaps the greatest benefit of saving your money and building up a cash reserve is that it enables you to take advantage of oppor- tunities when they arise, as they always do. In the movie Field of Dreams, a profound idea was expressed: “If you build it, they will come.” In the financial world, this means that if you accumulate money through hard work and saving, you will attract into your life opportunities to invest that money to earn even more.

    ■BECOMING A MONEY MAGNET

    The Law of Attraction is very powerful in monetary matters. When you save even a small amount of money and put it in a bank ac- count or a carefully chosen mutual fund, you create a certain force field of energy around that money. This energy somehow begins to attract even more money into your life. As your savings and invest- ments grow, the magnetic power of your money grows even stronger. The more money you accumulate, the more money that will be attracted to you, and the more opportunities you will have to accumulate even more.

    When you think about your money and the pleasure it gives you to have money in the bank, you increase the energy field around your money and you attract even more. This force field becomes even more powerful when you love your money. When you think about your growing financial reserves with intense happiness, you intensify the energy around your money and you attract even more. When people say that it takes money to make money, they are right in two special ways. First, your ability to save money and build up a nest egg is a measure of whether you have the ability to earn even more money and whether you can be trusted with money. Sec- ond, when you put together even a small amount of money, you will attract opportunities to accumulate an even larger amount.

    ■A SUCCESS STORY

    A participant came up to me at a seminar recently and asked if I re- membered him. I told him that unfortunately I spoke to too many people each year to remember all of them. He reminded me that he had attended my two-day seminar about six years before. He was quite shy so he waited at the lunch break until everyone had left. He then told me about a most remarkable series of events that had hap- pened to him since the seminar.

    When he came to my seminar, he was a used car salesman. He had two children and was in his early thirties. He was earning an av- erage income and was up to his neck in debt. He was living in a rented house with his family.

    At the seminar, he decided that his biggest source of worry was the fact that he was in debt and had no money in the bank. So he set a goal to get out of debt and to save $30,000 over the next five years. This was a huge goal for him, considering his circumstances and his past. He had not been out of debt since his teens.

    ■TAKING ACTION

    Nonetheless, in faith, he wrote down his goal, made a plan, and be- gan working on it every day. This decision activated his mental pow- ers. Because of the Law of Correspondence, the Law of Attraction, and the Law of Subconscious Activity, among others, things began to change for him far faster than he had imagined. He actually achieved his financial goal in only three years. He was out of debt and had $30,000 in the bank.

    One day, his boss, the owner of the dealership, called him in and asked him if he was interested in a business opportunity. He was quite flattered and asked his boss to explain. His boss said that he had observed how much better he had become as a sales- man, and he had also heard that he had saved up some money from his income.

    This salesman was shy and cautious, and asked his boss what he had in mind. His boss told him that he had been approached by the automobile manufacturer in Detroit and asked to recommend someone who would be interested in opening a new car dealership in the same city in a growing part of town. The boss said he was willing to recommend him, and back him in this dealership. He would go in with him as a full partner if he were willing to put in his money as well.

    The final outcome of this story was that his boss helped him set up the new dealership; he helped him with all the purchasing, in- ventory, parts, service department decisions, and staffing. After two years, his boss sold the half share back to him, so he ended up own- ing the dealership 100 percent.

    Then he said to me, “And today, I’m a millionaire.” He said, “Six years ago I was a used car salesman, and today I am a million- aire.” He was one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. He said if he had not taken that advice from the seminar and begun saving his money and getting out of debt, he would not have been in a position to take advantage of that opportunity when it came along. He said, “Taking your seminar probably saved me 20 years of hard work, and maybe even a lifetime.”

    This story applies to your life as well. One of the most impor- tant actions that you can take to remain positive and optimistic is to prepare mentally, financially, and physically in advance. Think through what might possibly happen and make plans to prepare for opportunities. Make plans and put aside reserves to minimize or es- cape the consequences of a financial setback. This way of thinking, of planning ahead in every area, is a mark of the superior individual.

    ■TWO MAGIC QUESTIONS

    Here are two questions that you can ask to turn failure into success. I call these the magic questions because of the incredible power they have to improve your life. You can ask them and benefit from them after every experience.

    The first question is, “What did I do right?” No matter what you do, or how it turns out, whether it is a success or a failure, you should do an instant mental replay of the event and assess every- thing that you did right in that situation.

    Even if it turns out badly, or was a complete failure, there were always things that you did that were correct. If you can isolate the positive parts of your performance and write them down, you will be preprogramming your mind to repeat the things that you did right in the next similar situation.

    The second magic question is, “What would I do differently?” This is an excellent question because it forces you to think positively about what happened and how you could do better. Ask yourself, if you had to do it over again, how would you change or improve your performance or behavior in that situation? What would you do more of or less of?

    Be sure to write down your answers. This ensures that you cap- ture them before you forget. Each time you try something new or different, immediately sit down with a pad of paper and answer those two questions: “What did I do right?” and “What would I do differently?” Both of these questions are positive and they both re- quire positive responses.Your answers prepare you, consciously and unconsciously, to do even better next time. Both sets of answers keep you focused on improvement rather than regret.

    ■POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE THINKING

    Both winners and losers examine how they performed after an im- portant event. But underachievers almost invariably rehash the mis- takes they have made, the expenses they have incurred, and the failures they have experienced. High achievers, in contrast, those who think positively about themselves and their lives, are constantly reviewing the best parts of their performance and making plans to repeat those actions the next time.

    When you think about what you did right and what you could do differently next time, your mind will be completely positive.Your creativity will be stimulated. You will see all kinds of opportunities and possibilities for improvement that you would have missed com- pletely if you allowed yourself to feel sorry for yourself after an un- successful event.

    ■BUSINESS AND SALES

    If you are in business, you should ask these questions regularly of yourself and your key staff: “What did we do right?” and “What would we do differently next time?” Remember, most things you try will be unsuccessful the first few times. By asking these questions, you extract the greatest value possible from the situation. Treat every experience as an opportunity to learn something that can help you next time.

    If you are in sales, use this method after every sale. Immediately after a sales call, successful or not, ask the magic questions. This quick review will dramatically increase the speed at which you learn and grow as a sales professional.

    Make this instant replay a part of your life. Use this method re- peatedly so that it becomes automatic. No matter how disappoint- ing the setback or difficulty may be, you will soon be preprogrammed to learn the most from the situation and to extract every kernel of good that you can possibly get from it.

    When you combine this method with mindstorming—forcing yourself to generate 20 answers to each question—you will be ab- solutely astonished at the number of great ideas and insights for growth and improvement you will come up with. These ideas will dramatically increase the speed at which you become one of the best in your field.

    ■THE EDISON APPROACH

    Thomas Edison, the greatest inventor of the modern age, was con- vinced that experimentation was simply a process of elimination. He therefore kept accurate records of every experiment. Once he had decided that an invention was possible, he dedicated himself to eliminating the ways that wouldn’t work until the only method left standing was the one way that would work. As a result, he became the greatest inventor of the modern age and one of the wealthiest businessmen in the country.You should do the same.

    From now on, each time you try and fail, shrug it off as a learn- ing experience that just moved you one step closer to success. As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is merely an opportunity to more intel- ligently begin again.”

    ■YOUR RECOVERY RATE

    When you experience a disappointment of any kind, your natural reaction is to feel stunned emotionally.You feel as though you have been punched in your emotional solar plexus. You feel hurt, let down, disappointed, and discouraged. You occasionally feel like quitting altogether and doing something completely different. These feelings are normal and natural when you experience frus- tration or failure of any kind. The only question is, how long do they last?

    When you go to a doctor or clinic for a complete medical exam, you will often be given a stress test. First, they will take your pulse at your resting heart rate. Then they will ask you to do some aerobic exercises to raise your heart rate. Once your heart rate is up to a particular point, they will measure it again. They will wait one, two, and five minutes after the exercise, and again take your pulse. The mark of how fit you are is how rapidly your heart returns to its rest- ing pulse rate after exercise.

    ■BOUNCING BACK

    With your personality, it is the same. The mark of how mentally healthy you are can be measured by how quickly you recover after experiencing a disappointment. Of course, a setback or reversal will hurt. It always hurts if what you are trying to do is important to you. But that’s not the main point. The main point is how quickly you bounce back.Your recovery rate is everything. If you plan in ad- vance for setbacks and problems, and preprogram your mind the way we have described in this chapter, your recovery rate will be much faster.

    Your recovery rate is under your control. It is completely deter- mined by the way you think about what happens to you. It is not the event itself that affects you, but rather the way that you interpret the event to yourself. And this is very much a choice you make.

    ■YOUR INNER DIALOGUE

    Here are several powerful affirmations that you can use to take immediate mental and emotional control over a negative situa- tion. These words quickly neutralize any negative feelings you might have.The first thing you say when something goes wrong is the words: “I am responsible!”

    Your natural tendency when something goes wrong will be to become angry and upset and either blame someone or something else or make excuses. But the moment you say, “I am responsible!” you stop blaming someone else for the problem. By accepting re- sponsibility, even if it is only for the way you react, you short-circuit your feelings of disappointment, anger, and frustration. The instant you say, “I am responsible!” your mind becomes calm and clear again.You begin to think of positive, constructive things you can do to minimize the damage or to maximize the opportunity.

    ■INTERPRET IT POSITIVELY

    Here is an affirmation that has been extraordinarily helpful to me over the years. No matter what has happened, and no matter how disappointed I am, I immediately say, “Every experience is a positive experience if I view it as an opportunity for growth and self-mastery.”

    This statement enables you to assert control over your emo- tions. It forces you to think about how you can learn and grow from this problem. Like the statement “I am responsible,” these words give you a sense of control and personal power in any situation. “Every situation is a positive situation if I view it as an opportunity for growth and self-mastery.”

    You then look into the situation and ask yourself what you can possibly learn from what has just happened. How can you grow as a result of this difficulty? What has this situation been sent to teach you? If you had a divine force that was controlling your destiny, and this force was sending you specific learning experiences to help you to be successful, what lessons could you find in your current problem?

    ■ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME

    Your mind can hold only one thought at a time, positive or negative. If you are constructively looking for a solution for or a valuable lesson from every difficulty, you can’t be upset or angry at the same time. If you apply the Law of Substitution and deliberately force yourself to think about the positive aspects of the situation, you will always find them.You will then be able to turn them to your advantage.

    A positive mental attitude, which means a positive and con- structive response to disappointments and setbacks, is largely deter- mined by your feeling a sense of control. Having a sense of control means that you feel you are in control of your own life.You feel that you are in charge. You feel that you are in the driver’s seat. You feel that you are on top of things.

    ■THINK ABOUT YOUR GOALS

    One of the most powerful ways to bounce back from failure is to put the negative situation into its proper perspective. Remember, failure is never final. Most mistakes that you make are small relative to the great scheme of things. If you think back, you will probably not even be able to remember what it was you were worrying about a year ago, much less three, four, or five years ago.

    The key to your having a sense of control is for you to develop and maintain a clear sense of direction. This sense of direction comes from having clear, specific, written goals. One of the most powerful ways to keep your mind positive is to simply think about your goals. When something goes wrong, think about your goals. When you lose a sale, or even a job, think about your goals. When an investment fails or a business deal falls through, think about your goals.

    Your long-term goals are to be financially independent, to enjoy excellent health, to have wonderful relationships, and to do work that makes a difference in the world, among others.

    When you keep your mind on these goals, and on what you are doing to achieve each of these goals, you will find that it is almost impossible to feel upset or angry. Thinking about your goals em- powers you and makes you a more positive and confident person.

    ■THINK IN TERMS OF CYCLES AND TRENDS

    Look at your life as a series of cycles and trends. Think in terms of regular ups and downs. Think in terms of summers and winters, falls and springs. When you develop this long-term perspective and you see things that happen as part of a larger pattern, you will not be too caught up in short-term fluctuations of your fortunes. You become much more capable of responding effectively to little prob- lems and difficulties of day-to-day life. You can put things into proper perspective.

    The sigmoid curve, which looks like an “S” lying on its side, ex- plains much of human life. It has three phases. In the first phase, you are struggling and working hard to figure things out and get es- tablished. This is true for a job, a relationship, a new business start- up, or the introduction of a new product or service.

    The second phase comes after you have learned the critical lessons of phase one. This is the growth phase, where you make great progress and get excellent results.Your business expands, your products and services sell well, your career takes off, and your rela- tionships are at their best.

    Then comes phase three, the decline phase, which follows phase two just as the winter follows the harvest season. In this phase, it be- comes harder and harder to get the same results and satisfactions as in phase two. Sales and profitability are harder to achieve. Your job or relationship is no longer as enjoyable. Your company struggles to survive or thrive.

    Which phase are you in today, in each of the important areas of your life and work? What could you do to get into or back into phase two, the growth phase? What are the cycles and trends in your life and business?

    ■“DENIAL” IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT

    Many of our problems in dealing with setbacks and disappoint- ments come from our resisting reality. We engage in denial. We be- come angry and insist that this should not have happened to us or should not have happened at all. We reject it and wish that it hadn’t occurred in the first place.

    It is this resistance and denial that causes most of our stress. When you say, “What can’t be cured must be endured,” you lower your flash point. You become more relaxed. You become calmer and you develop a more detached perspective. You stand back and you look at the situation as though it were happening to someone else. As a result you become more constructive about how the situation can best be resolved.You don’t allow yourself to become emotionally in- volved in every little thing that happens to you.

    Abraham Lincoln wrote, “Most people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” In the Foundation for Inner Peace’s Course in Miracles, it says, “You give meaning to everything you see.” Without the meaning or emotion that you attach to an event or cir- cumstance, it has no emotional significance for you. And you can change the meaning by controlling your thinking. You can even eliminate its negative effect on you altogether by refusing to become emotionally involved in a short-term setback. It is up to you.

    ■THE DECIDING FACTOR

    Your ability to deal with disappointment in a positive, constructive way will do more to enable you to succeed and say more about you to other people than any other single factor. This is a learned ability, acquired by practice. Effective men and women are invariably those who have developed the ability to respond constructively to the large and small crises that occur unbidden, unexpectedly, and un- avoidably.You must do the same.

    Decide in advance that, no matter what happens, nothing will ever stop you. Decide in advance that, although you will have countless ups and downs in the course of your life, you will keep on persisting until you win through to your goals. When you make this decision in ad- vance, you will be ready. When you engage in mental prepreparation, you will be fast on your feet when the inevitable problems appear, and be ready to bounce instead of break.You will be virtually unstoppable.

    ACTION EXERCISES                     

    1. Resolve that you will bounce rather than break. Examine your biggest disappointment in life right now and determine how you can learn or benefit from it.
    2. Identify the three worst things that could happen to you in the months ahead. What is your plan to avoid or minimize their pos- sible negative effects?
    3. Select your biggest worry or problem right now and determine how you can learn and grow from this difficulty. What is the most important lesson that it contains?
    1. Practice the Edison approach to life. Calmly accept that every temporary setback is merely a way of identifying a way that does not work. Therefore, it is a success.
    2. No matter what happens, think about your goals and what you can do right now to achieve them. Get busy.
    3. Identify the trends in your business. Which way is the market go- ing? If things continue the way they are today, what decisions or changes will you have to make?
    4. Ask two questions about your most recent important experi- ence: What did you do right? And what would you do differently next time? Resolve to learn every possible lesson from every set- back or difficulty.

  • Home Based BUSINESS 👔

    Think Like a Genius

    Make every thought, every fact, that comes into your mind pay you a profit. Make it work and produce for you. Think of things not as they are but as they might be. Don’t merely dream¾but create!Maxwell Maltz

    You are a potential genius.Your amazing brain has more than 18 bil- lion cells, each one of which is connected to and interlinked with as many as 20,000 others. This means that the number of possible thoughts you can think is greater than all the molecules in the known universe.

    You have the capacity to learn at incredible rates and to retain more information than you can even imagine. It is said that “when an educated person dies, it is as if a library burned down.” This potential library is contained between your ears.

    ■THE ORIGINS OF WEALTH

    Throughout human history, value has been contained in land, la- bor, capital, furniture, fixtures, machinery, and other hard assets. Wars and revolutions have been fought over their control. The pri- mary creators of value were those people who could combine these various resources together to produce products and services for the marketplace.

    In the twentieth century, however, we have seen change take place at a speed that is virtually unimaginable. In 1900, 50 percent of the American population lived on farms raising food for the other 50 percent who lived in towns and cities. Today, less than 3 percent of the population lives on farms, and they produce not only enough food for all Americans, but huge surpluses as well that are exported or even given away to the entire world.

    We have moved from the agricultural age to the industrial age to the service age to the information age, and we are now entering the communications age. The primary source of value today is not land, labor, and other hard assets, but knowledge, information, and ideas. The greatest wealth you could possibly possess is between your ears.You can create an unlimited future for yourself by tapping into your brainpower and channeling it, like a powerful current, to energize your life and get you anything you really want.

    ■TRUE WEALTH TODAY

    The richest American today, and perhaps the richest person in the world, is Bill Gates. The net worth of his company, Microsoft, is greater than the net worth of IBM, which has been in business many years longer. Microsoft is based entirely on brainpower. It cre- ates wealth by making it easier to process information digitally within computers, and from computer to computer by telephone lines, wireless systems, and satellites.

    If you own a company, your chief assets walk out the door every night at quitting time. Your building could burn to the ground, but as long as your people got out safely, you could walk across the street and start your business again. The chief assets of any organi- zation, and of any individual, are contained in the ability to think and to apply that thinking to getting results that other people will pay for. The ability to create wealth is determined by mental strength rather than physical strength.

    ■STARTING CAPITAL

    In generations past, it may have taken many years for a person to accumulate enough capital to start and build a successful business in manufacturing or services. Today, such a large investment in physical assets can actually be a liability. A change in technology on the other side of the world can render a $100 million manufactur- ing plant obsolete in a few months.

    But what you have between your ears can be invaluable. It is ca- pable of countless applications and uses. It is completely portable. It is versatile. It is flexible, and can be increased almost without lim- its, if you learn how.

    An immigrant could arrive at a U.S. airport with the ability to create a billion-dollar industry in his head. He could walk up to cus- toms; open his hands and say, “Nothing to declare;” and walk on through. His assets are all in his knowledge and skill. Many of the most successful and respected entrepreneurs and businesspeople in America arrived this way.

    ■KNOWLEDGE IS THE GREAT RESOURCE

    The primary source of value today is knowledge. Since there is no limit to the amount of knowledge you can acquire, there is no limit to the amount of value that you can create.You can start from wher- ever you are, no matter what your background, and begin to in- crease your mental assets. You can start work today on improving your ability to perform and get results for which others will pay.

    The wonderful thing about knowledge is that it can be repro- duced hundreds of thousands, even millions of times without losing its value. It is the one commodity that can actually be infinite in its application. If you or someone else comes up with a new idea to do something faster or better, that idea can be spread around the world in no time at all, and be in the hands of millions of other people who can also use it to improve their lives and work. And you have lost nothing. The idea still has its original value to you. This is ab- solutely incredible.

    ■HARD ASSETS VERSUS BRAINPOWER

    Today, our banking and financial industries are struggling to make the shift to knowledge as an asset. Banks, for example, will lend money today only against hard assets, things that can be seized as collateral and sold to repay the loan. However, the real assets of a company are not the tangible items at all. They are the thinking ability of the people who work there. They are contained in the combined brainpower of teams of experts working together to solve problems, create innovations, and produce goods and services for the competitive marketplace.

    Your ability to utilize your brainpower and unlock your creative abilities is absolutely essential to your success. Today, we know more about how you can become smarter than we ever have before.

    ■SMALL DIFFERENCES LEAD TO BIG RESULTS

    Often small improvements in the way you think and perform can lead to significant improvements in your performance. It is not nec- essary for you to attend university and get years of education to bring your knowledge up to the level where it can pay off for you. Sometimes very small changes in what you are doing right now, right where you are, can bring about amazing results.

    Here’s an example. If a horse runs in a horse race and wins by a nose, it earns 10 times the prize money of a horse that comes in sec- ond. Does this mean that the horse that comes in first is 10 times faster? Is it twice as fast? Ten percent faster? No, the horse that wins is only a nose faster.

    By the same token, your possession of one small piece of infor- mation at the right time and in the right place can enable you to make an extraordinary difference in a particular situation. Often a single idea or insight can change your whole life or career.

    ■AVOID THE INTELLIGENCE TRAP

    The most successful people today are those who are continually in- vesting in learning and expanding their intellectual asset base. They are wide open to new ideas and new approaches. A major mistake made by many people, especially those who have graduated from a university, is that they conclude that everything they know at the moment is all that there is to know about a particular subject.

    Sometimes they think that what they know is all they need to know about a subject as well.

    This is called the “intelligence trap” of the poor performer, the unconscious incompetent. This is a person who does not know, and does not know that he does not know. This person cannot be helped, because he is closed to new information. This is why the be- ginning of all wisdom is often the awareness of how ignorant you re- ally are, of how little you really know.

    ■DON’T BE IMPRESSED

    I have traveled in many countries and met countless highly intelli- gent and successful people. I have spoken with many millionaires, multimillionaires, and even billionaires. I have worked at the highest level of government with some of the smartest men and women who have ever lived. And the one thing that these people seem to have in common is that they never become impressed by their own intelligence. In fact, the smarter they get, the humbler they become and the less they look upon themselves as experts in any way.

    Over 700 years ago, Roger Bacon of England was considered to be the last universal man. He was thought to be current with all the knowledge and science of the day. He, in his day, knew almost everything there was to know about everything that was taught academically.

    Of course, at that time, the amount of available knowledge was limited. There were very few books. There were fewer scientists, philosophers, and researchers writing and teaching.

    ■KNOWLEDGE GROWS EXPONENTIALLY

    Today, however, it is impossible for one person to know everything about even one small subject. Just look at modern medicine. There are great minds who spend their entire lives studying the workings of the inner ear or the trachea or one of the other organs of the body. And even though these highly intelligent and dedicated pro- fessionals spend their whole careers specializing in a particular part of the body, they never learn everything there is to know about even that one organ.

    Sometimes I ask audiences, “Is there anyone here who is a know-it-all?” Of course, no one raises his or her hand. Then I go on to explain what I mean by a know-it-all.

    A know-it-all is a person who feels that he knows everything that he needs to know about a subject. How can you tell if you have become a know-it-all? It is easy. You have stopped learning and growing in your area of specialization.You have stopped reading, lis- tening to audio programs, and taking additional courses.

    The very fact that you fail to regularly seek out new knowledge in your field means that you have unconsciously, accidentally, slipped into the intelligence trap of the low performer.You have un- wittingly become a know-it-all by the very act of not continuing to learn and grow.

    ■THE ANSWERS ARE CHANGING

    After giving an advanced test to a graduate class of physics students at Princeton University, Albert Einstein was on the way back to his office when one of his graduate assistants asked the famous profes- sor, “Dr. Einstein, wasn’t that the same exam that you gave to this physics class last year?”

    Dr. Einstein nodded and said, “Yes, it was the same exam as last year.”

    The graduate assistant summoned up his courage to ask the great Nobel prizewinning physicist, “But, Dr. Einstein, how could you give the same test two years in a row?”

    “Because,” Einstein replied, “in the last year, the answers have changed.”

    In the same way, your answers are changing today at a more rapid rate than ever before. The answers in your field are changing as you sit there. What was true a year ago may not be true today, and what is true today may not be true a year from now. The only way that you can be assured of staying on top of your field is by con- tinually taking in new ideas and knowledge to compare it with what you know today.

    ■THE SOURCES OF INNOVATION

    Peter Drucker, in his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Harper- Business, 1985), writes that the greatest business breakthroughs take place as the result of “either the unexpected success or the un- expected failure.”

    He explains that when something unusual or unexpected happens in any field, the average person dismisses it as a ran- dom event or as an accident. The superior person, however, stud- ies each unexpected result as if it were a sign of an underlying trend or an indication of a fundamental change in the nature of things.

    When an experiment in growing bacteria failed because a mold had blown across the laboratory and landed on the petri dish, killing the bacteria, the lab assistants were about to throw it out. However, a bacteriologist, Alexander Fleming, became curious about a mold that was so powerful that it could kill such strong bac- teria. His research led to the discovery and development of peni- cillin, which saved millions of lives in World War II and won him both a knighthood and the Nobel prize.

    ■KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN

    In 1975, IBM commissioned consultants to study the market po- tential of the personal computer. They came back with the conclu- sion that the market for personal computers was only a few hundred in the entire world, at best. Based on this information, IBM decided to concentrate its efforts on mainframes, where it was already the world leader, and ignore the personal computer market, leaving it to a little upstart company in Cupertino, California, called Apple Computer.

    When the Apple computers hit the market and began to sell by the hundreds, and then thousands, IBM got smart fast. IBM did an about-face and decided to plunge into the small computer business. And the company did. IBM came out with a PC that within four years captured more than 50 percent of the world market for smaller computers.

    ■WATCH FOR THE TRENDS

    But IBM failed to notice that a major trend to smaller computers had taken place. Ignoring its initial success in PCs, IBM continued to concentrate on the development and sale of mainframes. While IBM’s attention was focused on mainframes, more and more com- petitors rushed into the personal computer field, and eventually IBM was displaced as the world leader.

    IBM failed to see that its success in capturing 50 percent of the personal computer market was indicative of a sweeping trend in computers that would change the entire world. Today IBM is scrambling to catch up, competing with companies like Dell Com- puter, Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, Toshiba, and others. Because IBM missed the trend, it is unlikely that it will ever recover its posi- tion in the personal computer market.

    ■THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE

    Keep your eyes open. There are more changes taking place all around you today than ever before. Any one of these changes may be indicative of a trend that could lead on to fortune and success for you. You must be open, awake, and alert to these changes. Nothing remains the same for very long. All your best opportunities will come from applying your knowledge and brainpower to new prod- ucts and new services in the future.

    All you need to start a fortune is an idea that is 10 percent new. All you need is a product or service innovation that is a little better, faster, or cheaper than something else, and you can quickly move to the front of the line.

    Many of the great fortunes being made today in the United States and throughout the world are being created by people who started with nothing. One day, they came up with a breakthrough idea that revolutionized or transformed their industry.What could it be for you?

    ■TWO FACTORS THAT HOLD YOU BACK

    There are two major factors that stand in the way of you using more of your natural intelligence. They are psychosclerosis and homeostasis. Psychosclerosis is another name for “hardening of the attitudes.” This is experienced by a particular type of person who is rigid, in- flexible, and unchanging. This is the kind of person who develops fixed attitudes on a certain person or subject and then resists any at- tempt to change his mind. This is often called the mechanical way of thinking.You probably know people who suffer from it.

    The opposite way of thinking is more open and flexible. This is called the adaptive worldview. Adaptive people keep their minds open to new information. They are curious and interested in new ideas and developments. They are more concerned with what’s right than with who’s right. They are willing to abandon an old idea if someone can come along and show them that a new idea has more merit. They are more concerned that the new idea works to solve a problem or achieve a goal than they are with being right themselves.

    ■THREE QUALITIES OF GENIUS

    Geniuses have been studied extensively over the years. One of the most remarkable conclusions the experts have arrived at is that ge- niuses are not necessarily people with extraordinary high IQs. They are often ordinary people who use their intelligence in a superior way compared to average, or even smarter, people. What this means is that you can function at genius levels if you learn to think the way that geniuses do.

    Geniuses seem to have three characteristics in common, each of which you can develop and make into a regular part of your thinking. First, geniuses seem to have open minds. They are curious, ques- tioning, flexible, and willing to consider a wide range of possibilities in dealing with a question or problem. This adaptive mind-set is like an open door that allows ideas to blow through from any direction, or source. This is the mind-set of the genius. And you can learn it by practicing it.

    Second, geniuses seem to approach problems and decisions sys- tematically. They don’t throw themselves at a problem like a dog chasing a passing car. Instead, they approach every difficult situa- tion by asking structured questions in a logical order, like solving a problem in math.

    Third, geniuses approach problems with a series of questions.

    ■QUESTIONING OPENS YOUR MIND

    Geniuses first ask, “What exactly is the problem?” and “Why is this a problem in the first place?” They then ask, “What would be an ideal solution to this problem?” and “What holds us back from achieving such a solution?”

    They ask: Why does this situation exist? How did it happen? What caused it? Where and when did it first occur? Who is involved in it? What are the different ways that we could solve this problem? Of all  the different ways, which solution seems to be the most acceptable, all things considered?

    The very act of questioning opens your mind and expands your options. It increases your creativity and stimulates your imagina- tion. Questioning enables you to think more effectively about the problem, and ultimately reach a better decision.

    ■JUMPING  TO CONCLUSIONS

    People with mechanical mind-sets tend to jump to conclusions. They see a problem and they immediately decide on a solution. When two events happen close together, they assume that one event is the rea- son for the second event. They confuse correlation with causation. Once they have made a decision, they look for evidence to confirm what they have already decided. Their egos quickly become in- volved, and they then become reluctant to change their minds.

    There seems to be a direct relationship between the quantity of ideas and approaches you develop to solve a problem and your like- lihood of coming up with the best idea that will solve the problem in the very best way. For this reason, you must discipline yourself to resist the temptation to jump to conclusions, or to rush to judg- ment.You must proceed more slowly, like a genius, and keep asking questions.You must keep your mind open.

    ■CREATIVITY IS YOUR BIRTHRIGHT

    If the truth were known, you are an idea-generating organism. Cre- ativity is your birthright. You are a highly intelligent individual with a continuous flow of good ideas that you can use to accomplish goals and improve your life. In fact, even if you have not used your creativity for a long time, and most people have not, you can stir it up, like sugar that has sunk to the bottom of a cup of coffee, by stimulating your mind with methods that we will talk about in the next chapter.

    There is a Law of Probabilities that applies to creative thinking and tapping into the powers of your mind. This law says that the more ideas that you are exposed to, the more likely it is that you will be exposed to the right idea, exactly when you need it.

    The most successful people today are those who are constantly exposing themselves to new ideas from a variety of sources. Unsuc- cessful people, in contrast, are those who continue to recirculate the same tired old ideas with little imagination or creativity.

    ■LOOK FOR IDEAS EVERYWHERE

    When you attend a seminar or a lecture given by an expert who is sharing some of the most current ideas in his or her field, you will often receive a bombardment of new insights that you can use to improve parts of your life. Many people’s lives have been completely changed as the result of attending a single lecture given by a single intelligent person who gave them a single insight that was the key to their future.

    Imagine what would happen if you attended courses, seminars, and lectures on a regular basis.You would be continually bombard- ing your mind with new ideas that would keep your mind alert and aware, and keep your creative juices flowing.

    Creative people are constantly reading, not only in their own fields but in other fields as well. They read primarily nonfiction. They subscribe to a variety of magazines and newspapers. They are continually scanning through the tables of contents and through the critical articles.

    Always read with a pen or highlighter in your hand. Even better, learn how to speed-read so that you can scan material at a thousand words a minute, or faster. Speed-reading is a skill, like riding a bicy- cle, that anyone can learn with a few hours of application. Forever after, you will be able to process more information than perhaps you ever imagined possible.

    ■GET AROUND THE RIGHT PEOPLE

    Effective people make a habit of associating with other positive, cre- ative people. They are constantly sharing ideas and experiences, learning from each other. They cut clippings out of magazines and newsletters, and pass them on to their friends. They recommend books they have read and audio programs they have listened to. Their friends do the same for them. Sometimes one good idea that you get from someone else can change the direction of your life.

    ■A FOOLISH CONSISTENCY

    The second major factor that holds people back is homeostasis. This is defined as a “striving for constancy.” It is a deep desire to remain consistent with what you have done and said in the past. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay “Self-Reliance,” “A foolish con- sistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

    He was referring to the natural tendency of individuals to try to remain consistent with previous opinions and behaviors. This form of rigidity blocks off almost all possibilities for growth in the future. To resist the tendency toward homeostasis, you should be willing to abandon your old ideas when someone can prove that there are newer, better ideas available.

    One way to escape the mental trap of homeostasis is for you to be willing to admit that you are wrong. The mark of the superior per- son, in a time of rapid change, is to always remain open to the pos- sibility that one’s most cherished ideas are incorrect. This takes tremendous courage and maturity. But it stimulates more ideas and insights.

    ■WRONG DECISIONS

    According to the American Management Association, at least 70 percent of your decisions will turn out to be wrong in the fullness of time. This 70 percent figure is an average. Some people will be wrong even more often. But you can assume, as a rule of thumb, that 7 out of 10 decisions that you make regarding your life and work will turn out to be wrong in the long run.

    Here is a question for you. If 70 percent of the decisions that managers and executives make turn out to be wrong, how can the world continue to function? The answer is simple. Superior peo- ple—those who rise to the top of any organization—are those who are willing to cut their losses. They are willing to admit quickly that they have made a mistake and rectify the situation rather than per- sisting until it gets worse.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of people fall in love with their past decisions, and once having made them, they are reluctant to give them up, even if all the evidence is against them. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, resolve to be the very first to recognize that a decision that you have made or conclusion that you have come to has been invalidated or disproven by new information. Be prepared to drop the old decision and embrace a new solution or new way of doing things.

    ■FLEXIBILITY GIVES YOU STRENGTH

    According to the Menninger Institute, the most important quality that you will need to be successful in the twenty-first century is the quality of flexibility, especially in the way you think. Flexibility refers to your willingness to change and try new things. It especially means that you have the ability to continually abandon old, out- moded ideas in favor of new, more effective ideas.

    Many people spend much of their time arguing, rationalizing, and justifying their behaviors. They are determined to continue do- ing things the same old way even when it is perfectly clear that the old way no longer works. The way to avoid this tendency is to remain flexible, especially when you are most convinced that you are right.

    ■THE MIRACLE OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

    One of the great turning points in my life came when, as a young man in my early twenties, I discovered the miracle of personal de- velopment. My life has never been the same. I learned that through personal development you can indeed pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. I learned that, by learning what you need to learn to achieve the goals you have set for yourself, there are virtually no limits on what you can do, have, or be.

    The truth is that the future belongs to the competent.You could lose all of your money tomorrow, but as long as you still had your ability to think and reason, you could make it all back and more besides. The future belongs to those who are better informed. The future belongs not to those who have more versus those who have less, but to those who know more versus those who know less.

    ■RAPID OBSOLESCENCE

    Knowledge and information in your field are doubling every two or three years. Whatever information base you have is rapidly becom- ing obsolete. You must be in the process of continually taking in new information and ideas just to stay even.

    Fortunately, there is a simple, three-part program that you can use to keep yourself ahead of the pack. I have used it and taught it to many thousands of people, and I have files full of letters from people whose entire lives have been changed as a result. The three keys to continu- ous personal and professional development are continuous readingcon- tinuous listening to audio learning programs, and continuous training.

    ■READ EVERY DAY

    In order to stay on top of your job, you should read in your field at least one hour per day, underlining and taking good notes. Anything less than one hour per day will put you in danger of being passed by your competitors. My friend Jim Rohn advises, “Work at least as hard on yourself as you do on your job.”

    At the very least, you should get up every morning and read 30 to 60 minutes in something educational. Take careful notes. Review your notes on a regular basis. Reflect on what you have learned, and think about how you could apply the new ideas in your daily life.

    Use your powers of visualization to imagine yourself using the new information in some way. This will dramatically increase the speed at which you learn and retain the new ideas, and increase the likelihood that you will use them at the first opportunity.

    If you read just one hour per day, that will amount to about one book per week. One book per week will amount to about 50 books per year. Fifty books per year will total about 500 books over the next 10 years. At the very least, you will need a bigger house just to hold your books, and you will probably be able to afford it as well.

    ■GIVE YOURSELF THE EDGE

    According to the American Booksellers Association, fully 70 per- cent of American adults have not visited a bookstore in the last five years. The average American reads less than one book per year; 58 percent of adult Americans never read another book from cover to cover after they leave high school.

    Meanwhile, in the information age, if you are not reading con- tinuously you are in serious danger of being made obsolete by the passage of time. However, if you read one hour per day, one book per week, you will be getting the equivalent of a Ph.D. in your field every year.You will become one of the smartest, best-informed, and most productive people in your business.

    ■BEATING THE DRUM

    Some years ago, I had a good friend who read very little. He was not convinced that reading would make any difference to his life or income. He had gotten out of the habit of reading after he left school. He argued with me that reading wasn’t that important. Meanwhile, he struggled to make a living. He was continually frustrated. He was continually losing business to his better- informed competitors.

    For almost three years, I kept at him, encouraging him to begin daily reading. Finally, he gave in and began to read each morning, just for a few minutes. He was amazed at how helpful the reading was, and how much more knowledgeable he was when he spoke to his clients.

    He soon began reading, as I had recommended, an hour per day, one book per week. Within a year, his income had doubled. Af- ter two years, his income doubled again. Today he is one of the highest-paid people in his field. And he is proud to tell me every time I see him that he very seldom meets a client who is as well informed as he is about their business. And the more he reads, the more competent and confident he becomes.

    ■TO EARN MORE, YOU MUST LEARN MORE

    The rule is that to earn more, you must learn more. You cannot move ahead in your field further or faster than you are doing today except to the degree to which you learn and practice something new.

    The second part of your personal and professional development program consists of audio learning programs. If you travel in your work, you spend between five hundred and one thousand hours per year in your car. If you turn this driving time into learning time, you will get the equivalent of three to six months of 40-hour weeks of additional education, just driving from place to place. I have met countless people who have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled their incomes by the simple act of listening to audio learning programs as they drive around.

    ■TAKE ALL THE TRAINING YOU CAN GET

    The third key to continuous learning, and to unlocking your mental potential, is for you to take all the training you can get. If a training program is offered in the public arena, it has already been proven to be highly effective. The person presenting the program has probably acquired many years of experience, and may have spent hundreds of hours assembling the program that you can take in a half or a full day.You can sometimes save yourself weeks, months, and even years of hard work by attending a seminar given by an expert who explains to you state-of-the-art ways to get your job done faster and easier.

    ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

    When you combine these three: regular reading, regular listening to audio learning programs, and regular and continuous training, you have a dynamite combination that can propel you forward at a greater speed than you ever could without them.

    ■KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

    As mentioned earlier, Francis Bacon said that knowledge is power. This is only partially true. In fact, only knowledge that can be ap- plied to practical purposes for someone else is actually power. The libraries are full of knowledge that does no one any good.

    To change your thinking in a positive and constructive way, you must continually feed your mind with new ideas.You must stay cur- rent with your field.You must regularly associate with other leading people in your area of specialization. You must be continually look- ing for ways to do your work better, faster, cheaper, and easier. You must be continually seeking ways to serve your clients and cus- tomers better.You must stay on the cutting edge of your field so that you are, and you continue to be, one of the most valuable people in your business.

    ■NO-LIMIT THINKING

    In the information age, knowledge is everything. And the amount of knowledge that you can gather and apply to your life is limited only by your own personal ambition. There are really no limits on what you can accomplish except for the limits you set for yourself.

    The more you learn, the more you earn. The more knowledge- able you become about your field, the more courage and confi- dence you will have to implement your skills in your work. The more courage and confidence you develop, the higher will be your self-esteem and your sense of personal power. You will become vir- tually unstoppable in everything you do.

                           ACTION EXERCISES                     

    1. Begin today to create your own personal library of books in your field. Read 30 to 60 minutes each day, underline, and take care- ful notes.
    2. Examine your recent unexpected successes and failures in your business. Could they be indicative of a trend that you can take advantage of?
    3. Approach each problem in your life systematically. Imagine that the solution is exactly the opposite of what you are cur- rently doing.
    1. Continually expose your mind to new ideas and viewpoints. Ask lots of questions. Consider the possibility that you could be wrong.
    2. Listen to educational audio programs in your car. Turn your car into a mobile classroom, a “university on wheels.”
    3. Select an area where expertise can help you to move ahead in your career. Develop a plan to study and learn everything you possibly can in that area. Be the best at what you do.
    4. Associate only with positive, optimistic, creative, happy people who are going somewhere with their lives. Get around winners if you want to be one.
  • Achieve personal success

    Develop the wonderful habit of a daily swim. It will promote excellent health, keep you relaxed and concentrated, lean and trim. Swimming is not stressful on the body, provides a great workout for the lungs and requires little time to do effectively. Remember that in a fit body resides a fit mind.

    People who are doing good today are ensuring their happiness for tomorrow.

    The key to successful time management is doing what you planned to do when you planned to do it. Keep your mind fully on the task at hand. Only then will you achieve all your goals and have time for the things that matter most. Although it is imperative to be flexible (a bow too tightly strung will soon break), following your planned schedule requires no more than simple discipline.

    An excellent visualization technique: if you are worrying about something, picture the words of your worry on a piece of paper. Now ignite a match to the paper and watch the worry dissipate into flames. Bruce Lee, the great martial arts master employed this mental control device regularly.

    Compartmentalize your worry. Set aside a certain amount of time to ponder over a problem and map out an effective plan of attack and your options. Once this is done, have the mental fortitude not to come back to the problem and go over it again and again. The human mind is a strange creature – things we want to forget keep coming back and those things we want to remember are not there when we want them. But the mind is similar to a muscle and the more you flex it the stronger it will become. Make it your servant. Feed it only the best nutrition and information. It will serve you well and perform magic if you believe in it.

    Peak performers are physically relaxed and mentally engaged.

    To be at your performance peak mentally, your body must be loose physically and relaxed. It is now beyond dispute that there is a mind-body connection and when the body is supple, free from tension, the mind is clear, calm and focused as well. This is why yoga is such a beneficial activity. It keeps the body relaxed so that the mind can follow. Basic stretching for 15 minutes a day is also an excellent way to release tension that builds up as a result of our life in this highly complex and fast moving, but wonderful world. Try having a massage or power lounging in a Jacuzzi. Relax the body and you relax the mind.

    Prepare a detailed financial plan for the next few years and follow it. Seek out financial advice if you need it. A powerful strategy for financial mastery is also a simple one: save 10% of all you make for long-term growth (take this off the pay cheque before you have a chance to spend it). If you can invest $200 a month for the next 30 years at an annual return rate of 15%, you will end up with $1.4 million dollars. Being wise with your money is one of the very best investments to make. Financial security leads to personal freedom.

    Readers are leaders. U.S. President Bill Clinton read more than 300 books during his short time at Oxford University. Some top performers read a book a day. Seek out knowledge and information. We have truly entered the age of massive information and those who are proactive can use this to their advantage. The more you know, the less you fear.

    Get into the excellent habit of reading something positive and inspirational before you go to bed and as soon as you awake in the morning. You will soon note the benefits as these thoughts will be supporting you throughout the day.

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  • Home Based BUSINESS ~ Dream team coffee munchers

    WE USE
    “The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into 24 hours.” —Thomas Edison

    Most projects start with confidence. We’re going to crush this! Then come the mistakes. We squirm. We become riddled with self-doubt. Suddenly the prospect of success seems like a dim light bulb.

    At some point, though, we come to accept that screwing up is a key part of the creative process. Think about how kids play: They don’t think, they just do. And if the whole contraption comes crashing to the floor, they laugh at the mess and start over. (Or throw a fit, but hey, they’re learning about emotion, too!) Point is, when you embrace setbacks and don’t let them cripple you, you’re more likely to get across the finish line.

    Maybe we should stop talking about failure and call our botched projects “experiments.” And let’s take a cue from Edison and crowd as many experiments into 24 hours as we can. Here are eight ways to fail your way forward.


    1. Keep it basic
    Don’t start by trying to find a fully developed solution to a problem. Keep fidelity low at first to allow others to see the possibility in the idea, not the flaws. The higher the polish, the more likely you’ll get the wrong kind of feedback.


    2. Design impossible tasks
    Such as: How might we create a new color? How might we live forever? Moonshoot thinking frees us from limiting ourselves, helping us produce a bunch of wild ideas. None of them will be right, but they’ll rev the engine of our imagination.


    3. Don’t assume your final format
    What are you making? Will you be hand sketching? Wireframing? Sculpting out of modeling clay? Drafting a written piece? Even when our end goal is to end up on screen, it is often helpful to start in a different medium—and maybe a tactile one.


    4. Set a goal for failure
    Follow this advice from 100 Days of Rejection by Jian Jiang: “We will fail at least 30 times before we figure out the right solution.” Lowering the stakes and making a solution less precious makes it easier to generate a bounty of ideas to build from.


    5. “This is a bad idea, but…”
    Every time you throw out an idea, start with, “This is a bad idea, but what if…” That helps you practice non-attachment and prepare for the reality that most of your ideas won’t stick.


    6. The Shame Gong
    Every time someone makes a mistake or fails, hit the gong and have the team whisper “shame” in unison. It actually lowers the barrier for admitting to failure and makes for more honest, less bullshitty brainstorms. It also lightens the mood when you’re struggling with a particularly tough challenge or client. Plus: Ringing a gong is just fun. Missed a line item from the plan? Shame. Couldn’t guess the grape of the wine at happy hour? Shame!


    7. The mis-name game
    Walk around the room and loudly, courageously, and boldly point at objects and yell out the wrong name for them. Do this for three to four minutes. Then pause and debrief. What was that like? Why was it difficult? There is a stubborn voice in your head telling you what is wrong, infeasible, impractical, too risky. The exercise reminds us that there’s a voice enforcing our fear of failure that can overpower our ability to take creative risks. Our job is to learn how to quiet that voice at the right moments to break out of the expected.


    8. Worst experience ever
    Design the WORST _blank_ experience ever (airplane/shopping/dining/laundry) and really encourage people to visualize it. Then use that to design the best version using an insight you learned from the worst. So, if the worst dining experience involved a waiter who would not leave you alone on a romantic date, what does that say about the key elements that make or break a date?

    One final note for aspiring leaders: Don’t be afraid to talk about past failures and what you learned from them. Admitting failure will help your team gracefully shut down initiatives that aren’t working and move on to the next thing. Now get out there and gong.

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Published by J Jay Samuel Davis

A West Texas Cowboy, seeking "fishers of (wo)men!"

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