Three Keys to Greatness

3 keys

Eight years ago I went into the studio and recorded a 56-minute video for teenagers called, “Three Keys to Greatness.” Although my focus was for teenagers, the principles I shared certainly apply to adults as well.

Recently I was asked to list these three things using one to two sentences for each. Now for your benefit here they are again.

1) Setting Goals. I call it the view of the future. Most people, including kids, will pay the price if they can see the promise of the future. So we need to help our kids see a well-defined future, so they will be motivated to pay the price today to attain the rewards of tomorrow. Goals help them do this.

2) Personal Development. Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives. I suggest having a minimum amount of time set aside for reading books, listening to audiocassettes, attending seminars, keeping a journal and spending time with other successful people. Charlie Tremendous Jones says you will be in five years the sum total of the books you read and the people you are around.

3) Financial Planning. I call it the 70/30 plan. After receiving your pay check or paying yourself, simply setting aside 10% for saving, 10% for investing and 10% for giving, and over time this will guarantee financial independence for a teenager.

If a young person, or for that matter an adult, focused on doing these three simple things over a long period of time I believe they will be assured success! 

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

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Abe Lincoln’s Productivity Secret

Ab lincoln

A favourite quotations comes from Abraham Lincoln when he said

   “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I  will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” 

Not only was that a metaphor for how we might approach all work in which we engage, but it also represented his philosophy as a skilled woodcutter. He spent much of his early life working odd jobs including rail splitting.  Considering people regard him one of the top 3 presidents in American history, he applied it to his political career as well. So we can take his quote both figuratively and in a literal sense.

Pitfalls to Ax Sharpening and How to Do It Anyway 

Why do we avoid sharpening the ax? This usually is because we want to begin our projects right away.  We want to get moving so we can complete the tasks as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, like the examples above reveal, going to work with a dull ax usually takes longer and makes the task less enjoyable.

We can motivate ourselves to sharpen the saw is to remember we face several risks for not sharpening:

  • We risk extending the time it takes to complete our goals.
  • We risk frustrating ourselves by having to stop several times midway through and having to sharpen.
  • We risk damaging the work and tools we already have
  • We risk decreased enjoyment of working through the project.

We want to enjoy what we’re doing don’t we?

The Ax Sharpening Challenge

I challenge you to take some time to review your goals and look for “ax sharpening” opportunities you can take with some of them.  If you are just starting out on one of your goals, ask yourself if you have everything you need to complete it.  If you are missing something, what is it?  Are you lacking information/education?  A tool or some software?  Do you have the right materials?  If you are in the middle of completing a goal, then it’s not too late to assess whether you have everything you need and to write it down.  Whatever you are missing, go out and get it.

By  Brad Isaac

It Takes a Positive Attitude to Achieve Positive Results

positive attitude

Realise that YOU are in control of how  you think and feel.

Your attitude determines the state of the world you live in. It is the foundation for every success and every failure you have had and will have. It will make you or break you.

Your attitude controls your life. But the good news? You control your attitude.

Attitude creates the way you feel about people and situations. Your actions are a result of your attitude—which in turn creates a reaction from others.

It is your attitude toward others and the universe that determines the resulting attitude toward you. Have a positive, joyful attitude and you’ll have positive, joyful results. Put out a bad, negative attitude and you’ve failed before you begin.

Basically, what you think is what you get.

I know it sounds simple, but, the truth is, it is:

Where do negative attitudes come from?

Negative attitudes come from thinking negative thoughts over and over until they become part of your subconscious, part of your personality—they become habitual. You may not even realise you have a negative attitude because it’s been with you for so long. Once you have a bad attitude, you expect failure and disaster. And that expectation turns you into a magnet for failure and disaster.

Then it becomes a vicious cycle: You expect the worst, so you get the worst. Your negative beliefs are reinforced. So you expect the worst, and you get the worst.

So, how do you shift your thoughts and create a positive attitude?

It takes work, but creating anything of value takes work. In order to have a new attitude, you have to change your subconscious thinking. How? By analysing every thought you have until positive thinking becomes habit. You’re merely replacing an old habit with a healthy habit, much like replacing smoking with exercise.

You can’t just stop being negative—you have to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.

Some people would say, “But negative situations are a reality. They just show up in everyday life.”

This is absolutely not true. Situations are a reality, yes. They do show up, yes. It is your attitude that makes a situation positive or negative. It’s time for you to realise that you are in control of how you think and feel—no one else on earth has this power unless you give it away.

Take control of your attitude, your state of mind, and you take control of your results.

Mark Victor Hansen

15 Priceless Lessons from 2015

 

  1. A rare-air dream requires an explosively great team. The smartest way to grow a company is to develop your people.
  2. Happy people make happy leaders–which create happy teams. So work on your happiness.
  3. A smile to a stranger is a gift of vast proportions.
  4. If world-class was easy, everyone would be doing it.
  5. Being on time is hip. Keeping your promises is cool. Having good manners is in.
  6. Busy isn’t productivity. Fake work isn’t real work. Fight for focus. And execute on what counts.
  7. Exceptional physical fitness is a game-changer.
  8. A fast-growing company is a highly-vulnerable entity. As you scale, it’s so easy to stop doing the special things that made you special. Stay solid on your founding values. Work even harder to be of service. Push even more passionately for mastery.
  9. Never miss a single opportunity to help another human being. At the end, our highest honor will come from our influence on others.
  10. The illusion of safety is always more dangerous than the discomfort of innovation.
  11. The greatest leaders build more leaders.
  12. Legendary performers are generated via their daily rituals more than their inherited talents.
  13. Business is a dialogue. Lose the dialogue with those you serve and you’ll lose the business. Period. And always remember who puts food on your table.
  14. A job is only a job if you fall into the trap of perceiving it as a job. All work is a spectacular opportunity to polish your craft, push your edges, transcend your fears and bring greater light into the world.
  15. Achievement without joy is failure, not winning.
Reproduced with kind permission from Robin Sharma

If You Change Yourself, You Can Change Your Life

change your life
You cannot change the circumstances. But you can get stronger, wiser, better. 
Life is about constant, predictable patterns of change, and the only constant factor will be our feelings and attitudes toward life. We as human beings have the power of attitude and that attitude determines choice, and choice determines results. All that we are and all that we can become has indeed been left to us to decide and interpret through our attitude and choices.
Life is like the changing seasons—you cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself. So the first major lesson in life to learn is how to handle the winters. They come regularly, right after autumn. Some are long, some are short, some are difficult, some are easy, but they always come right after autumn. That is never going to change.
There are all kinds of winters: the “winter” when you can’t figure it out, the “winter” when everything seems to go awry. There are economic winters, social winters and personal winters.
Wintertime can bring disappointment, and disappointment is common to all of us. So you must learn how to handle the winters. You must learn how to handle difficulty; it always comes after opportunity. That is never going to change.
The big question is what to do about winters. You can’t get rid of January simply by tearing it off the calendar. But here is what you can do: You can get stronger; you can get wiser; you can get better. Remember that trio of words: stronger, wiser, better. The winters won’t change, but you can.
Before I understood this, I used to wish for summer when it was winter. When things were difficult, I wished they were easy. I didn’t know any better. Then my mentor Earl Shoaff gave me the answer from a part of his unique philosophy when he said, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.”
Reproduced with kind permission form Jim Rohn

Wherever You Are, Be There

choices

One of the major reasons why we fail to find happiness or to create a unique lifestyle is because we have not yet mastered the art of being.

While we are home our thoughts are still absorbed with solving the challenges we face at the office. And when we are at the office we find ourselves worrying about problems at home.

We go through the day without really listening to what others are saying to us. We may be hearing the words, but we aren’t absorbing the message.

As we go through the day we find ourselves focusing on past experiences or future possibilities. We are so involved in yesterday and tomorrow that we never even notice that today is slipping by.

We go through the day rather than getting something from the day. We are everywhere at any given moment in time except living in that moment in time.

Lifestyle is learning to be wherever you are. It is developing a unique focus on the current moment, and drawing from it all of the substance and wealth of experience and emotions that it has to offer. Lifestyle is taking time to watch a sunset. Lifestyle is listening to silence. Lifestyle is capturing each moment so that it becomes a new part of what we are and of what we are in the process of becoming. Lifestyle is not something we do; it is something we experience. And until we learn to be there, we will never master the art of living well.

Jim Rohn

4 Straightforward Steps to Success

steps to successSuccess is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day.
 
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.

I’ve said it before, that success is the study of the obvious—but sometimes we need someone to remind us and show us the simplest way to get there.

Here are four simple steps to find your way to more success than you could ever imagine:

1. Collect good ideas. My mentor taught me to keep a journal when I was 25 years old. It’s the best collecting place for all of the ideas and information that comes your way. And that inspiration will be passed on to my children and my grandchildren.

If you hear a good health idea, capture it, write it down. Then on a cold wintry evening or a balmy summer night, go back through your journal. Dive back into the ideas that changed your life, the ideas that saved your marriage, the ideas that bailed you out of hard times, the ideas that helped you become successful. That’s valuable, going back over the pages of ideas you gathered over the years, reminiscing, reminding yourself. So be a collector of good ideas, of experiences, for your business, for your relationships, for your future.

It is challenging to be a student of your own life, your own future, your own destiny. Don’t trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down. Take the time to keep notes and to keep a journal.

2. Have good plans.
Building a life, building anything, is like building a house; you need to have a plan. What if you just started laying bricks and somebody asks, “What are you building?” You put down the brick you’re holding and say, “I have no idea.”

So, here’s the question: When should you start building the house? Answer: As soon as you have it finished. It’s simple time management.

Don’t start the day until it is pretty well finished—at least the outline of it. Leave some room to improvise, leave some room for extra strategies, but finish it before you start it. Don’t start the week until you have it finished. Lay it out, structure it, put it to work. The same goes for the month ahead—don’t start it until you have a plan in place.

And, the big one, don’t start the year until it is finished on paper. It’s not a bad idea, toward the end of the year, to sit down with your family for the personal plans, to sit down in your business for the professional plans, to sit down with your financial advisor to map out money plans. Plan out your calendar, your game plan, for all of life’s moving parts.

The reason why most people face the future with apprehension instead of anticipation is because they don’t have it well designed.

3. Give yourself time.
It takes time to build a career. It takes time to make changes. It takes time to learn, grow, change, develop and produce. It takes time to refine philosophy and activity. So give yourself time to learn, time to start some momentum, time to finally achieve.

I remember when Mama was teaching me a little bit about the piano. “Here is the left hand scale,” she said. I got that; it was easy. “Here is the right hand scale.” I got that, too. Then she said, “Now we are going to play both hands at the same time.” “Well, how can you do that?” I asked. Because one at a time was easy… but two the same time? But I got to where I could play the scales with both hands. “Now we are going to read the music and play with both hands,” she said. You can’t do all that, I thought. But you know, sure enough I looked at the music, looked at each hand, a little confused at first, but finally I grasped it. Then I remember the day when Mama said, “Now we are going to watch the audience, read the music and play with both hands. Now that is going too far! I thought. How could one person possibly do all that? By giving myself time to master one skill before we went to the next, I got to where I could watch the audience, read the music and play with both hands.

Life is not just the passing of time. Life is the collection of experiencesand their intensity.

4. Change yourself. Learn to solve problems—business problems, family problems, financial problems, emotional problems. The best way to treat a challenge? As an opportunity to grow. Change if you have to, modify if you must, discard an old philosophy that wasn’t working well for a new one.

The best phrase my mentor ever gave me: “Mr. Rohn, if you will change, everything will change for you.” I took that to heart, and sure enough, the more I improved, the more everything improved for me.

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.

By Jim Rohn – Reproduced with kind permission.

14 Thoughts About Building A Great Culture

1. Great leaders build and drive great cultures. They know it’s their number one priority. They can’t delegate it. They must lead and be engaged in the process.culture

2. Culture is the reason why great organizations have sustained success. Culture drives expectations and beliefs. Expectations and beliefs drive behavior. Behavior drives habits. Habits create the future.

3. Culture beats strategy. Strategy is important but it is your culture that will determine whether your strategy is successful.

4. If you focus on the fruit of the tree (outcomes and numbers) and ignore the root (culture) your tree will die. But if you focus on and nourish the root you always have a great supply of fruit.

5. When building a team and organization you must shape your culture before it shapes you. A culture is forming whether you like it or not. The key is to identify what you want your culture and organization to stand for. Once you know the values and principles that you stand for, every decision is easy to make; including the people you recruit and hire.

6. A culture of greatness doesn’t happen by accident. It happens when a leader expects greatness and each person in the organization builds it, lives it, values it, reinforces it and fights for it.

7. Culture is dynamic, not static. Everyone in your organization creates your culture by what they think, say and do each day. Culture is lead from the top down but it comes to life from the bottom up.

8. Your culture is not just your tradition. It is the people in your building who carry it on. –Brad Stevens, Head Coach, Boston Celtics

9. When leading a new team or organization, it will take longer to build a new culture if you allow negative people from the previous culture to contaminate the process.

10. When you build a strong, positive culture most of the energy vampires will leave by themselves because they don’t fit in. But you may also have to let a few energy vampires off the bus.

11. Creating a culture where people are afraid to fail leads to failure. Allowing people to fail and learn from failure ultimately leads to success.

12. Change is a part of every culture and organization. Embracing change and innovating will ensure that your organization thrives.

13. Progress is important but when innovating and driving change make sure you honor your tradition, purpose and culture. This generates power from your past to create your future.

14. Culture is like a tree. It takes years to cultivate and grow and yet it can be chopped down in a minute. Protect your culture.

By Jon Gordon – Reproduced with kind permission.

The 2 Greatest Words

Language is powerful. The words we use drive the deeds we do.language

Maybe two of the best ones to recite to automaticity so they become a part of your vocabulary are…

…Just start…….

…..nothing happens until you move!

And once you do, life begins to put the wind behind your sails. The Muse comes out to play. Your best self starts revealing more of its higher nature.

So… Wendy …

–just start the needle-moving project that will rewire your career

–just start the conversation needed to forgive the unforgiven

–just start the run that will become your marathon

–just start the craft that will raise you to genius

–just start the relationship that will lead you to love

–just start the book that will awaken your thinking

–just start the course that will transform your life

–just start the habit that will shift your productivity

–just start the dream that will change the world.

Without you showing up, shining fully, standing up after you’ve fallen, persisting when you feel like surrendering, we’ll all be less of a human family. Things will be colder. And the world will be less bright.

So please. Just start. We’ll applaud your rise. And I’ll watch your star blaze the path that so many will follow.

By Robin Sharma – Reproduced with kind permission.