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. 

8 Leadership Lessons

leadership lessons1. It’s a Leadership Factory – Some factories build products. West Point builds leaders. One of the Colonels told me “The history we teach is about the people we have taught.”

2. Leadership can be Developed – While the people selected to go to West Point have demonstrated leadership qualities during their young life they are by no means a finished product. Everything West Point does is geared towards developing these young men and women into leaders. Leadership is a skill and it can be developed. Your organization may not be West Point but you can invest in your people now and develop them into your future leaders tomorrow. I am a huge believer in leadership development programs and organizations that grow and develop leaders from within.

3. Leadership and Service is a Choice – The young men and women who attend West Point made a choice to lead and serve. You and I can make the same choice each day. We may not lead and serve in the military but we can choose to lead our teams and serve a cause greater than ourselves.

4. Leadership is Both Macro and Micro – Macro-leadership involves culture, vision, strategy, and the ability to lead at the organization level, while micro-leadership involves leading at the team and individual level. Macro and micro leadership require a different set of skills. When a cadet graduates West Point most are technically better at macro-leadership than micro-leadership. Like many leaders and managers in the civilian world they have to learn to coach, lead and build their team at the micro level. When thinking about your own leadership it’s helpful to think about leading at both the macro and micro level. Today more than ever micro-leadership is essential to build winning teams and organizations.

5. Coaching is Leadership – Upon graduating from West Point a cadet will commission as an officer and be placed in a place to lead a platoon. They are advised at West Point to listen to the advice of their non-commissioned officer (NCO) who is often an expert at micro-leadership (coaching). I had an officer tell me that when he arrived to lead his platoon, his NCO coached him and gave him leadership advice behind the scenes that made all the difference with his platoon. It reminded of what my friend Brendan Suhr often says, “Coaching is leadership.” Brendan was the assistant coach to Chuck Daly for the NBA Champion Detroit Pistons and the original US Olympic Dream Team. Brendan wasn’t considered the leader but he coached up to the leader and coached down to the team. Because of him both the leader and the team were successful. Coaching is leadership.

6. Vision is Powerful – Gunnar Carroll was the captain of Army Baseball team last year. Gunnar said to keep his team inspired during the year he would often talk about the vision they had at the beginning of the season. It’s a great example that one of the most important things a leader can do is to frequently share the vision and inspire everyone to keep moving towards it. When you keep your vision alive, it keeps you alive and energized.

7. Failure is Necessary – At West Point everything is designed to make cadets fail. They know that through failure most cadets will become stronger, wiser and better. Those who don’t grow from failure are the ones who quit. Just like life it’s a weeding out process that separates the contenders from the pretenders. Everyone fails but those who learn and grow from it eventually thrive. Those who allow failure to define them and give up unfortunately don’t become all they are meant to be. Failure is a gift if you are willing to learn and grow from it.

8. You Don’t Have to be in the Military to be a Servant Leader Boo Corrigan, the West Point Athletic Director,gave a speech about leadership. Boo has never served in the military but he told all the athletes that his role was to serve them, create the right environment for them and give them what they need to be successful. It was honest, sincere, and a powerful display of servant leadership. You can do the same and implement the three greatest leadership strategies of all: Love, Serve and Care.

8 Leadership Lessons from West Point

4 Keys to Unlock the Power of Your Mind

key brainWhen your brain is working at peak performance, it allows you to be your best because it controls the rest.

Take care to feed and stimulate your brain and you will expand your mind. The two are inextricably connected. We need to see the human brain and mind with wonder, awe and inspiration.

The brain is the equivalent of a human supercomputer. It is more complicated than any computer mankind has ever made, and maximizing its ability is essential to becoming the success you want to be—because it controls who you are. It is the command center involved in and controlling absolutely everything you do, determining how you think, feel and act.

Simply put: When your brain is working at peak performance, it allows you to be your best because it controls the rest.

There are some basic influences on the brain that shape how it functions and how far it develops, including genes, self-talk, life experiences, stress and study. Although these things influence the brain, they do not determine how far you can go or what you can learn. In other words, you have the incredible opportunity to go as far as you desire.

So with such a tremendous tool at our disposal, what keeps so many people from experiencing the possibilities that it can bring? There are some simple barriers that have the potential to wreak havoc on your learning if you allow them to, but you can overcome them. The key to breaking through these barriers is to do the opposite…

1. Change your beliefs.
Many people do not believe that they can learn, master knowledge or become “smart.” These are deeply held beliefs for many, and ultimately, if we do not believe it, we will not achieve it.

So change your beliefs. It is up to you to do the work of changing your beliefs. And when you do, you will be opening up new worlds—literally! Feed your mind with information that will change your belief. The truth is that you have an amazing mind with a capacity for learning that is beyond your comprehension. You must believe this. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.

2. Get the right knowledge.
What keeps some people from learning is that they choose not to access or do not have access to knowledge. Knowledge comes from experiences, books, people and other “knowledge dispensers.” We must tap into that knowledge.

So get the right knowledge. Words if they are not true are meaningless. I hear children say, “I read it in a book.” But is it true? Just because someone says it or writes it, doesn’t mean it is true. As a learner, you want to get the right knowledge, not just information or opinions. It is your job to seek out information and knowledge and then test it and run it through your mind to see if it is true, and if it can be rightfully applied to your life in order to make it better and help you succeed. You need to weigh and measure what you learn in order to gain the right knowledge. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.

3. Become passionate about learning.
Some people simply do not have the desire to learn. They may be lazy, or they may not see the positive impact that learning would have on them. They have no passion inside that drives them to learn.

So become passionate about learning. This will take some work, but the only way to do it is to begin learning about things that have an immediate impact in your life. When you learn about a new financial concept that helps you earn money or get out of debt, that will get you fired up. When you learn about how to interact with your family in a healthy way and your relationships get better, that will inspire you. Become passionate about learning. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.

4. Discipline yourself through the hard work of study.
Gaining knowledge is hard work and takes a lifetime to master. It is an ongoing discipline that is never complete.

So discipline yourself through the hard work of study. Learning will take work. Until someone comes up with modules that can plug into your mind and give you instant access to knowledge, you are on your own, and that takes work. The process of learning is a long one. Yes, we can speed it up, but it is still a process of reading, listening, reviewing, repetition, applying the knowledge, experiencing the outcomes, readjusting, etc. Simply put, that takes time. Slowly but surely, when you discipline yourself, you gain knowledge and learn. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.

Learning is possible, no matter what your age. You are never too young or too old. Your mind was created to learn and has a huge capacity to do so. This week, make a commitment to unlock the potential of your mind!

By Jim Rohn – Reproduced with kind permission

The Two Choices we Face

full or emptyEach of us has two distinct choices to make about what we will do with our lives. The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less and think less. To try less and discipline ourselves less. 

These are the choices that lead to an empty life. These are the choices that, once made, lead to a life of constant apprehension instead of a life of wondrous anticipation. 

And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive and produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice. 

To do or not to do. To be or not to be. To be all or to be less or to be nothing at all. 

Like the tree, it would be a worthy challenge for us all to stretch upward and outward to the full measure of our capabilities. Why not do all that we can, every moment that we can, the best that we can, for as long as we can? 

Our ultimate life objective should be to create as much as our talent and ability and desire will permit. To settle for doing less than we could do is to fail in this worthiest of undertakings. 

Results are the best measurement of human progress. Not conversation. Not explanation. Not justification. Results! And if our results are less than our potential suggests that they should be, then we must strive to become more today than we were the day before. 

The greatest rewards are always reserved for those who bring great value to themselves and the world around them as a result of who and what they have become.

By Jim Rohn, Reproduced with kind permission

Are You Moving to the Natural Rhythm of Life

One of the difficulties we face in our industrialized age is that we’ve lost seasons of life 2our sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with the seasons, we have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life—and we have our priorities out of balance as a result.

For a farmer, springtime is his most active time. It’s then when he must work around the clock, up before the sun and still toiling at the stroke of midnight. He must keep his equipment running at full capacity because he has but a small window of time for the planting of his crop. When winter comes, there is less for him to do to keep him busy.

There is a lesson here: Learn to use the seasons of life.

Decide when to pour it on and when to ease back, when to take advantage and when to let things ride. It’s easy to keep going from 9-5 year in and year out and lose a natural sense of priorities and cycles. Don’t let one year blend into another in a seemingly endless parade of tasks and responsibilities.

Keep your eye on your own seasons, lest you lose sight of value and substance.

By Jim Rohn – Reproduced with kind permission

It’s a Challenge to Succeed

tree with fruitsIt is a challenge to succeed. If it were not, I’m sure more people would be successful, but for every person who is enjoying the fruit from the tree of success, many more are examining the roots.

They are trying to figure it all out. They are mystified and perplexed by what seems to be some strange, complex and elusive secret that must be found if ever success is to be enjoyed. While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way.

Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily engaged in designing and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them. While the much larger group sits in awe at how life can be so unfair, complicated and unjust.

“I am a nice person,” the man says to himself. “How come this other guy is happy and prosperous, and I’m always struggling?” He asks himself, “I am a good husband, a good father and a good worker. How come nothing seems to work out for me? Life just isn’t fair.

I’m even smarter and willing to work harder than some of these other people who just seem to have everything going their way,” he says as he slumps into the sofa to watch another evening of television. But you see you’ve got to be more than a good person and a good worker. You’ve got to become a good planner, and a good dreamer.

You’ve got to see the future finished in advance. You’ve got to put in the long hours and put up with the setbacks and the disappointments. You’ve got to learn to enjoy the process of disciplines and of putting yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. You’ve got to be prepared and willing to attack the challenges if you want the success because challenges are part of success.

Now that may sound like a full menu of activities, but let me assure you that the process of going from average to fortune isn’t really all that difficult. Thinking about it is the difficult part. Anticipating all the effort and the changes and the disciplines is far worse in the mind than in reality.

I can promise you that the challenges you’ll meet on the road to success are far less difficult to deal with than the struggles and the disappointments that come from being average. Confronting and overcoming challenges is an exhilarating experience.

By Jim Rohn – Reproduced with kind permission

6 Emotional Enemies Inside Your Mind

a_mind_explosion_  Don’t become a victim of yourself. Forget about the thief waiting in the alley—what about the thief in your mind?

What can destroy our ambitions, our fortunes, our relationships—our lives? The enemies lurking inside us, the ones we face from within, the ones we’ve got to destroy before they destroy us. There are five we must conquer:

1. Fear
We are not born with courage, but neither are we born with fear. Maybe some of our fears are brought on by our own experiences, by what someone has told us, by what we’ve read and heard about. Some fears are valid, like walking alone in a bad part of town at 2 o’clock in the morning. But once we learn to avoid that situation, we won’t need to live in fear of it.

2. Indifference
What a tragic disease indifference is. Some will say, “Ho-hum, let it slide. I’ll just drift along.” But here’s one problem with drifting: We can’t drift our way to the top of the mountain.

3. Indecision
Indecision is the thief of opportunity and enterprise. It will steal our chances for a better future. We have to take a sword to this enemy.

4. Doubt
Sure, there’s room for healthy skepticism. We can’t believe everything. But we also can’t let doubt take over. Many of us doubt the past, doubt the future, doubt each other, doubt the government, doubt the possibilities and doubt the opportunities. Worst of all, we doubt ourselves. Doubt will destroy our lives and our chances of success. It will empty both our bank accounts and our hearts. Doubt is an enemy. Go after it. Get rid of it.

5. Worry
We’ve all got to worry some—but we can’t let it conquer us. Instead, let it alarm us. Worry can be useful. If we step off the curb in New York City and a taxi is coming, we’ve got to worry. But we can’t let worry loose like a mad dog that drives us into a small corner. Here’s what we’ve got to do with our worries: Drive them into a small corner. Whatever is out to get us, we’ve got to get it. Whatever is pushing on us, we’ve got to push back.

6. Timidity
Over-caution is the timid approach to life. Timidity is not a virtue (unlike humility); in fact, it can be an illness. If we let it go, it’ll conquer us. If we’re timid, we won’t get promoted, we won’t advance and grow and become powerful. We’ve got to avoid over-caution.

So, we must battle with the enemy, battle with fears, build our courage to fight what’s holding us back, what’s keeping us from our goals and dreams. We have to be courageous in our lives and in our pursuit of the things we want and the people we want to become.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

15 More, Insights for a life of Acute Brilliance


#16. When you hurt, just feel the hurt.

#17. When you love, just trust in it fully.

#18. When you dream, know it’s the wisest part of you suggesting the next level available to you. Take the hint.

#19. Remind yourself that health is wealth. And should you lose yours, nothing will be more important than getting it back.

#20. Protect your mindset. Negative stimuli have never been so everywhere. So please: Less news and more beauty. Less gossip and more art. Less grumbling and more gratitude.

#21. Learn from the past but don’t wallow in it.

#22. Remember that your income will never exceed your self-identity. And that your outer results mirror your inner story.

#23. When you fall, get back up. When you win, decide how you’ll make it even better.

#24. Work hard on being more present. Presence is rare these days–and a phenomenal gift to give those who intersect your days.

#25. Laugh at yourself. Life’s too short to take yourself too seriously.

#26. Trust that blaming others is excusing yourself.

#27. Know that success lies around a brilliant execution on the fundamentals.

#28. Having a grand vision is cool. Being amazing at getting it done is far hipper.

#29. Be good at living your own life + values versus great at living everyone else’s.

#30. Don’t miss the so-called ordinary pleasures every day brings to the wise soul who notices them…the singing birds or the beautiful coffee or the inspirational poem or the laughing child or the clean water or breezes winding through the lush trees…witnessing these forges a life gorgeously lived…

Reproduced with kind permission from Robin Sharma