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

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#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

15 Insights for a life of Acute Brilliance

logo with the best in the business

1. The great call on our lives is to do our part to make other lives better.

2. Get enough rest. It’s a key factor in high performance + longevity.

3. Focus on how far you’ve come versus how far you still have to go.

4. Make the time to thank those who have encouraged you along the way.

5. Remind yourself relentlessly that mastery comes from going to your edges rather than clinging to what’s known.

6. Do more things that make you happy.

7. Practice removing complaint from your vocabulary (bonus tip: complaint is often frozen anger).

8. See your work as your craft. And devote yourself to knowing more about what you do than anyone who has ever done what you do.

9. Remember that creativity + peak productivity are seasonal: there’s a time to plant and a time to harvest.

10. Be kind to strangers. You just might save a life this way.

11. Regularly rewrite how you will have wished you will have lived on the last day of your life in your journal. This heightens your focus on doing what counts. And trains your brain to get it done.

12. Read for an hour a day. This ritual opens up frontiers that will make you a better producer, a deeper thinker and a richer human.

13. Walk into the situations that terrify you. This is how bravery grows. And the finest way I know of to take your power back.

14. Know that internal power, cultivated via years of inner work (reading + visualizing + contemplating + affirming + journaling + discussing + meditating + going to conferences etc.) is exponentially more valuable (and fulfilling) than external power (titles/status/cash)…a strong character always beats a large bank account…and decency lasts longer than fame.

15. When you stumble, just say “I am sorry”.

MORE TO FOLLOW NEXT WEEK

Reproduced with kind permission from Robin Sharma

How to Balance Your Workload for Max Productivity

workload v productivity
It’s not in the image of our big dreams that we run the risk of losing our focus and motivation. It’s the drudgery and routine of our daily lives that present the greatest danger to our hopes for achievement. Good time management means that you maximize the daily return on the energy and mental effort you expend.

“All of our dreams can come true—if we have the courage to pursue them.”
– Walt Disney

Ways to maximize your time productivity:

1. Write down in one place all your important goals and priorities. Write down every commitment you make at the time you make it.

2. Stop wasting the first hour of your workday. Having the chat and first cup of coffee, reading the paper and socializing are the three costliest opening exercises that lower productivity.

3. Do one thing at a time—well. It takes time to start and stop work on each activity. Stay with a task until it is completed.

4. Don’t open unimportant mail. More than a fourth of the mail you receive can be tossed or deleted before you open or read it.

5. Handle each piece of paper only once and never more than twice. Don’t set aside anything without taking action. Carry work, reading material, audiotapes and your laptop computer with you everywhere you go. Convert down time into uplink time.

6. Spend 20 minutes at the beginning of each week and 10 minutes at the beginning of each day planning your to-do list.

7. Set aside personal relaxation time during the day. Don’t work during lunch. It’s neither noble nor nutritional to skip important energy input and stress-relieving time. Throughout the day, ask yourself, What’s the best use of my time right now? As the day grows short, focus on projects you can least afford to leave undone.

8. Take vacations often, mini-vacations of two or three days, and leave your work at home. The harder you work, the more you need to balance your exercise and leisure time.

4 Tips for Setting Powerful Goals

making goals

We all have two choices: We can make a living or we can design a life.

Here’s how to do the latter.

The most important benefit of setting goals isn’t achieving your goal; it’s what you do and the person you become in order to achieve your goal that’s the real benefit.

Goal-setting is powerful because it provides focus. It shapes our dreams. It gives us the ability to hone in on the exact actions we need to perform to achieve everything we desire in life. Goals are great because they cause us to stretch and grow in ways that we never have before. In order to reach our goals, we must become better.

Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. Unfortunately, the present can produce many difficult obstacles. But setting goals provides long-term vision in our lives. We all need powerful, long-range goals to help us get past those short-term obstacles. Fortunately, the more powerful our goals are, the more we’ll be able to act on and guarantee that they will actually come to pass.

What are the key aspects to learn and remember when studying and writing our goals? Here’s a closer look at goal-setting and how you can make it forceful and practical:

1. Evaluate and reflect.

The only way we can reasonably decide what we want in the future and how we’ll get there is to know where we are right now and what our current level of satisfaction is. So first, take some time to think through and write down your current situation; then ask this question on each key point: Is that OK?

The purpose of evaluation is twofold. First, it gives you an objective way to look at your accomplishments and your pursuit of the vision you have for life. Secondly, it shows you where you are so you can determine where you need to go. Evaluation gives you a baseline to work from.

Take a couple of hours this week to evaluate and reflect. See where you are and write it down so that as the months progress and you continue a regular time of evaluation and reflection, you will see just how much ground you’re gaining—and that will be exciting!

2. Define your dreams and goals.

What are your dreams and goals? This isn’t what you already have or what you have done, but what you want. Have you ever really sat down and thought through your life values and decided what you really want? Have you ever taken the time to truly reflect, to listen quietly to your heart, to see what dreams live within you? Your dreams are there. Everyone has them. They may live right on the surface, or they may be buried deep from years of others telling you they were foolish, but they are there.

Take time to be quiet. This is something that we don’t do enough of in this busy world of ours. We rush, rush, rush, and we’re constantly listening to noise all around us. The human heart was meant for times of quiet—to peer deep within. It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams. Schedule some quiet “dream time” this week. No other people. No cellphone. No computer. Just you, a pad, a pen and your thoughts.

Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don’t think of any as too outlandish or foolish—remember—you’re dreaming! Let the thoughts fly and take careful record.

Now, prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them. Remember, we are always moving toward action—not just dreaming.

3. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

The acronym S.M.A.R.T. means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive.

Specific: Goals are no place to waffle. They are no place to be vague. Ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results. Incomplete goals produce incomplete futures.

Measurable: Always set goals that are measurable. I would say “specifically measurable” to take into account our principle of being specific.

Attainable: One of the detrimental things that many people do—with good intentions—is setting goals that are so high that they are unattainable.

Realistic: The root word of realistic is “real.” A goal has to be something that we can reasonably make “real” or a “reality” in our lives. There are some goals that are simply not realistic. You have to be able to say, even if it is a tremendously stretching goal, that yes, indeed, it is entirely realistic—that you could make it. You may even have to say that it will take x, y and z to do it, but if those happen, then it can be done. This is in no way to say it shouldn’t be a big goal, but it must be realistic.

Time: Every goal should have a timeframe attached to it. One of the powerful aspects of a great goal is that it has an end—a time in which you are shooting to accomplish it. As time goes by, you work on it because you don’t want to get behind, and you work diligently because you want to meet the deadline. You may even have to break down a big goal into different parts of measurement and timeframes—that is OK. Set smaller goals and work them out in their own time. A S.M.A.R.T. goal has a timeline.

4. Have accountability.

When someone knows what your goals are, they hold you accountable by asking you to “give an account” of where you are in the process of achieving that goal. Accountability puts some teeth into the process. If a goal is set and only one person knows it, does it really have any power? Many times, no. A goal isn’t as powerful if you don’t have one or more people who can hold you accountable to it.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

11 Benefits of Being Positive

The Benefits of Positivitypositive thinking3

1. Positive people live longer. In a study of nuns, those that regularly expressed positive emotions lived an average of 10 years longer than those who didn’t (Snowdon, 2001).

2. Positive work environments outperform negative work environments (Goleman, 2011).

3. Positive, optimistic salespeople sell more than pessimistic salespeople (Seligman, 2006).

4. Positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure (Institute of HeartMath, 2012).

5. Marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a 5-to-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions, whereas when the ratio approaches 1-to-1, marriages are more likely to end in divorce (Gottman, 1999).

6. Positive people who regularly express positive emotions are more resilient when facing stress, challenges, and adversity.”

7. Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture, which helps them identify solutions, whereas negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems (Fredrickson, 2009).

8. Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. For example, you can’t be thankful and stressed at the same time.

9. Positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation help athletes perform at a higher level (Institute of HeartMath, 2012).

10. Positive people have more friends, which is a key factor of happiness and longevity (Putnam, 2000).

11. Positive and popular leaders are more likely to garner the support of others and receive pay raises and promotions and achieve greater success in the workplace.

The Cost of Negativity:

1. Ninety percent of doctor visits are stress related, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. A study found that negative employees can scare off every customer they speak with—for good (Rath, 2004).

3. At work, too many negative interactions compared to positive interactions can decrease the productivity of a team, according to Barbara Fredrickson’s research at the University of Michigan.

4. Negativity affects the morale, performance, and productivity of our teams.

5. One negative person can create a miserable office environment for everyone else.

6. Robert Cross’s research at the University of Virginia demonstrates that 90 percent of anxiety at work is created by 5 percent of one’s network—the people who sap energy.

7. Negative emotions are associated with decreased life span and longevity.

8. Negative emotions increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

9. Negativity is associated with greater stress, less energy, and more pain.

10. Negative people have fewer friends.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon

How do you want people to see you as a leader?

leade 3

…..as honest and full of integrity, or dishonest and full of deceit? It’s your choice.

For a leader, honesty and integrity are absolutely the keys to success.

A lot of people don’t realize how closely they’re being watched by others. But do you remember when you were a kid in grade school, how you used to sit there staring at your teacher all day? By the end of the school year, you could do a perfect imitation of her mannerisms. You were aware of the slightest nuances in her voice—all the little clues that distinguished levels of meaning and told you the difference between bluff and “I mean business.”

As a child, you were able to do this after eight or nine months of observation. Suppose you had five or 10 years—do you think there would’ve been anything about your teacher you didn’t know?

Now fast forward and use that analogy as a manager. How much does your team know about you right this minute? Have you been completely honest with them, or do you feel like you’ve gotten away with small dishonest things?

An act of dishonesty can’t be hidden, and it will instantly undermine the authority of a leader. However, an act of integrity and kindness is just as obvious. When you’re in a leadership position, you have the choice of how you will be seen—but you will be seen, one way or the other.

In any organization, people want to believe in their leaders. If you give them reason to trust you, they’re not going to go looking for reasons to think otherwise, and they’ll be just as perceptive about your positive qualities as they are about the negative ones.

Yet we all know people who have gotten ahead as a result of dishonest or unethical behavior. But like the old saying goes, “Hope of dishonest gain is the beginning of loss.” I don’t think it’s refering to loss of money. I think it actually means loss of self-respect. You can have all the material things in the world, but if you’ve lost respect for yourself, what do you really have? The only way to ever attain success and enjoy it is to achieve it honestly with pride in what you’ve done.

Do you have a good reputation as the boss? Try incorporating the actions of effective leaders into your daily routine to make sure you do.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

The Biggest Challenge You’ll Face as a Leader

LION Team

Once you’ve set a goal for yourself as a leader—whether it’s to create your own enterprise, energize your organization or lead your small team—the challenge is finding good people to help you accomplish that goal. Gathering a successful team of people is not only helpful, it’s necessary.

To guide you in this daunting task of picking the right people, here’s a four-part check-list.
1. Check their background or history.
This might be the most obvious step, but it’s vitally important. Seek out available information regarding the individual’s qualifications to do the job.
2. Check their interest level.
Once you’ve learned their qualifications, gauge the potential employee’s genuine interest. Sometimes people can fake their interest, but if you’ve been a leader for a while, you’ll be a capable judge of whether somebody is merely pretending. 
Arrange face-to-face conversation and try to gauge his or her sincerity to the best of your ability. You won’t hit the bull’s-eye every time, but you can get pretty good at spotting genuine interest. The most interested prospects are often good ones.
3. Check their responses.
A response tells you a lot about someone’s integrity, character and skills. Listen for responses like these: “You want me to get there that early?” “You want me to stay that late?” “The break is only 10 minutes?” “I’ll have to work two evenings a week and Saturdays?”
You can’t ignore these clues. They indicate his or her character and often reveal how hard he or she will work. Our attitudes reflect our inner selves—so even if we can fool others for a while, our true selves eventually emerge.
4. Check results.
How else can we effectively judge an individual’s performance? The final judge must be results—and there are two types of results to look for.
The first type is work activity, and it’s simple to follow up on. Within a sales organization, you can request a new salesman make 10 calls his first week. If he starts telling a story or makes excuses for poor results when you follow up on his progress, it’s a definite sign. If his lack of activity continues, you’ll soon realize that he may not be capable of being a member of your team.
The second area you need to monitor is productivity. The ultimate test of a quality team is measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. Be up front with your team as to what you expect them to produce. Don’t let the surprises come later.
When you’re following this four-part check-list, your instincts play a major role, and they will improve each time you go through the process.
Remember, building a successful team will be one of your most challenging tasks as a leader. The good news is that it will reap you multiple rewards for a long time to come.
Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

Are you a Shark or a Goldfish?

  sharkgoldfish

If you are facing a challenge and anxious about your situation, I know how you feel. I lost my job in 2001 during the dotcom bust. The company was losing money faster than we could raise it and eventually the company sank faster than the Titanic.

I thought it was the worst event of my life. I was two months away from being bankrupt. I had a wife, two young children, a mortgage, no health insurance, and very little savings. I was a paycheck away from losing it all.

It sounds bad. It felt bad. At the time it was bad. But one day I decided that I wasn’t going to let this challenge take me down. And that’s when I knew I had to change what I was thinking and doing.

I read a few books including Who Moved My Cheese and Rich Dad, Poor Dad which helped me make some important decisions through the change. Eventually these decisions would lead to the work I do now as a writer, consultant, and speaker.

My layoff led to my life’s mission and purpose. What I thought was the worst event in my life actually lead to the best. I’m not alone. Gallup did a study and asked people to identify the worst and best event of their life. They found that there was an 80% correlation between the two events.

There was also a British study of 500 “charmed” people. They seemed to have it all; wealth, success, great relationships, etc. The researchers were surprised to discover that every one of these “charmed” people had bad things happen to them. They all experienced challenges and adversity, however, each one of them turned the bad into good and their misfortune into fortune.

The truth is that challenges and change are a part of life. The waves of change are always coming our way. But when the wave hits we have a choice. We can embrace it and ride it to a successful future or resist it and get crushed by the wave.

Embracing our waves of challenge and change is all about how we perceive and respond to the events we face.

We can’t always control the (E) vents in our life but we can control our (P)ositive response to these events and this often determines the (O)utcome.

When the change hits instead of focusing on the challenge we can choose to look for the opportunity. We can ask what this event is teaching us and identify how we can grow stronger and wiser from it. We can live in fear or move forward with faith and take positive action.

We can decide to be a Shark instead of a Goldfish? Goldfish become paralyzed by fear. They stay in their comfort zone and wait for someone to feed them. On the other hand Sharks (nice sharks) move forward with faith and take action. They trust that their best days are ahead of them, not behind them. Instead of waiting to be fed they venture out in the ocean of possibility in search of food. Their beliefs and actions create a self filling prophecy; because they expect to find food and take action to find it, they do.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon

The Power of Daily Practices

best practiceSuccess, world-class health, internal fulfilment and sustained happiness don’t just happen. These elements of your best life are created. All too often we look at a human being playing their best game on the playing field of life and assume they got lucky or were born into their lofty condition. What we don’t see is all the devotion and discipline that went into crafting the extraordinary results we see.

What I’m suggesting is that personal and professional greatness takes work. I’m not someone who would ever tell you that you could get to your dreams without having to make some sacrifices and pay the price in terms of dedication and self-control. The best amongst us make it all look so easy. I call it The Swan Effect- elite performers make personal excellence look effortless and seem to make things happen as gracefully as a swan moves along the water. But like the swan, what you don’t get to see is all the hard-work taking place below the surface.

The best way to create spectacular results in the most important areas of your life is through daily practice. In my life, I have a series of practices that set me up for a great day. Yes, sometimes life sends you unexpected challenges that knock you off track-that’s just life happening. But with a series of practices to keep you at your best, you’ll stay in a positive state much more often.

Practices that will lock you into your best state include a morning journalling session where you record your feelings, thoughts, and the blessings you are grateful for. Or you may start your day with a strong workout and an elite performer’s meal. I often listen to music for 15 minutes, as it not only energizes me, it just makes life better. I also use success statements or affirmations to get my mind focused.

Success and joy and inner peace don’t just show up. You need to create them. Find your series of practices, perform them with consistency. And then go out into this beautiful world of ours and shine.

Reproduced with kind permission from Robin Sharma