Archive for January, 2011

Does It Take More Than Goals to Engineer My Success?

January 18th, 2011 16 comments

I had a great day yesterday.  I was pumped!  I had a very productive Monday, a great start to my week.  I felt like I was in alignment with the goals I had set for my success filled year.  I received an email from someone who was talking about how yesterday, my productive yesterday, was being referred to as “Blue Monday”.

“Blue Monday” is the day when the holidays are over and the credit card bills begin to roll in.  People are in a funk.  This funk, Blue Monday, was reported, again, on the 10:00 pm news.  2 completely different sources were reporting this phenomenon.

It got me to thinking, how many people get sucked into the herd mentality of being depressed on this particular Monday?  If I allowed myself to get sucked into the herd mindset, I would have missed my amazing day!

I realized I can engineer my year any way I want.  I can’t expect the economy to get better, or the alignment of the stars to be just right, for my great year.  I have to get better!  I have to improve my skills.  It isn’t an outside thing, it’s an inside thing.

A few days ago, I was  listening to a video talking about “Income Engineering”.  I like that.  Don’t we all want to improve our incomes this year?  Isn’t it more exciting to know it is each of us who can engineer a better income for ourselves, not outside forces?

The video said to engineer our income we need to know, and do 3 things.

1.  What to do
2.  How to do it
3.  Where to do it

I understand this!  If I want to engineer my income to better heights, I need to do all 3 things, not 2, not 1, but all 3.

To do this, I will need to sort out the information, which is constantly bombarding my brain.  I will need to sort out my activities.  Sorted into meaningful information and activities and meaningless information and activities.  The question then becomes, how do I do this on an ongoing basis?  How do I know what is meaningful and meaningless?

The answer lies in my goals.  It isn’t enough to set smart goals.  I will need to send all information and activities through my mental filter.  If it doesn’t move me towards my goals, it is a meaningless activity or information!

I read an article by Jon Gordon.  He said if we want to have a great year, we will need to simplify.  We can look at our goals and what we want to do this year and come up with a word, just one word, which “will represent the essence of what we hope to accomplish and who we want to be.”  It is not a word picked out randomly, but with thought and prayer.  His word for the year is “purpose”.  He has this word, visible, where he can see it and think about it every day.

I like this idea.  After much thought and consideration, I chose the word “focus”.  I realized to get done what I want to do this year, I need to focus.  Focus like I have never done before…with mind bending intensity!

I believe in income engineering.  I, also, believe to achieve my idea of the income and business I want to grow this year, I will have to step away from the herd mentality.  No one can pick a day where I should be “blue and depressed”.

I, also know, I can’t change the U. S. economy.  I can only change my economy.  To do this, I need to upgrade and develop better skills.  I will need to follow the 3 income engineering steps and add my 4th one…just do it!

To “do it”, means to have the guts to do whatever it takes, and to endure whatever comes my way, to hit the mark I have set for myself!

My challenge for you, should you want to have a unbelievably profitable year, is to find your word that speaks to you.  Share it with us.

Feel free to pass this on.  Tweet it, pass on to your network of friends on Facebook.  The way to change to the world, is to change each individual world, until it changes the whole world!

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The Upside of Failure

January 12th, 2011 2 comments

Everyone loves a success story.  We all enjoy hearing them.  They motivate us and reinforce our level of belief that good things can happen.  But, there is an element in every success story we don’t often think about. In every success story, there is always failure.

What kind of story would it make if someone succeeded all the time?  What if they never looked into the yawning face of failure?  It would be a very boring story and no one would be able to relate to it.

We all fail.  No matter what successes we have in our lives, it has always come with a close relationship to failure and adversity.  If we haven’t enjoyed enough success, it tells me one thing.  We haven’t had enough failures.  If there hasn’t been too many failures, it’s because we’re playing life too closely guarded, without enough risks taken.

Failure is a stepping stone to success.  Rejection is another.  I once heard a speaker who said, “The road to success leads right straight through the dump!”  How true!

Success is not a clean sport.  In fact, success is only a bi product of learning to persevere through a life filled with failure and adversity.  Success is only reached after we have crawled around in the dirt of failure, risen up again and strive for more.

Failure teaches us humility, patience, and to be persistent.  It teaches us that rejection doesn’t mean stop.  It teaches us to push through and learn from what doesn’t work.

Failure can squash fear!  Fear is a way of letting us know we are on to bigger things.  When we have faced failure, we no longer have to fear it.

Failure doesn’t automatically mean success.  It all depends on our perception of failure and rejection.  We can view failure as a huge obstacle which drops down on us like a boulder from above, crushing us forever under its weight.  Or, we can look at it as one more way something doesn’t work, a rock of adversity we can climb on our way to victory.    It can teaches how strong and resilient we are.

It can teach us to take risks and not to be afraid to fail.  Failure isn’t fatal unless we allow it.  The biggest thing we can learn from failure is to be thankful for it.  For without it, there wouldn’t be success.

The next time you are moved by a success story, try imagining what the story would be like without the element of failure.  Better yet, let’s face failure on our own terms.  Let’s look it in the eye, waive our fist in its face and go on to create our own success stories!

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Why Can’t I Stick to My Goals?

January 11th, 2011 No comments

Many of us have started our new year out with some pretty exciting goals.  As we are drawing them up, they excite us.  We know, if we can accomplish our goals for this year, we’ll be on way to having what we want!…Two weeks later, we’re dead in the water.

What happened to the excitement?  The “can do” attitude?  What happened to changing the world?

We get so down about it.  Feel like failures.  Why can’t we stick to our goals or resolutions?

When we fail to accomplish our goals, very rarely is it the fault of the goals we set.  If they were exciting to us when we set them, it would make sense the goals were right on the mark, just waiting to be accomplished.

The problem lies in us and our self image.  Most of us are, literally, prisoners to the idea of what others think about us.  Instead of forming a clear mental picture of who we really are, we accept the picture others have of us. We are only a waitress, a bricklayer, a fireman, a housewife….you fill in the blank because I know you have heard all of it before.

Because we are pack creatures, and need to get along with others to survive, we will do whatever we have to do to be accepted by them. We allow others to tell us who we are, and what we can accomplish in life.  In other words, our identity.  We haven’t reached our goals because our identity trumps goals any day of the week!

To add to this picture we carry around of ourselves, we add all the mistakes we’ve made, and most importantly, how people react to us when we made them.

Have you ever made a decision to do something, then made the mistake of telling others what you were going to do.  Did the people around you say, “you’ll never do that”, “people like us don’t have success like that”, “you’ve already tried _______, and look where it got you”.  Sound familiar?  At this point, we tuck our tails between our legs and creep away, goals forgotten.

If we are, really, wanting to achieve our goals, we’ll need to change what we think of ourselves, aka self image.  Have you ever heard of BDH?  It stands for Be it, Do it, Have it.

When preparing goals, it’d be better to work it backwards.  Who would I have to be to have this goal in my life?  How would that person accomplish this goal?

It’s as if you’re seeing yourself in a different way, and what your life would look like if you had the goal in your life.  Who do you have to become on the inside to support having the goal?

Until we change our self image to match our goals, our goals will remain outside of our reach.  As a wise man once said, “never let what’s most important to become a slave to what’s least important.  What’s most important is how I see me, what’s least important is what others think.”

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The 3 Reasons People Don’t Forgive

January 10th, 2011 13 comments

There are many commonalities we all experience on this strange trip called life.  Some experiences are colored with warm sunny feelings, while others are wrought with dark turbulent emotions.  One of those things wrought with despair and guaranteed to keep us where we don’t want to be is to not forgive, ourselves or others.  If the lack of  forgiveness is dark and emotionally crippling, wouldn’t it make sense to forgive would add light to our lives?  Divine, so to speak.

We’ve all had horrible things inflicted on us by others.  Whether they have been intentional or done by accident.  We, in turn, have done things which have hurt others.  It is a cycle, which only forgiveness can break.  If this is true, why is it so hard to forgive?

Maybe, if we can understand the reasons we don’t forgive, it might get easier to take the initial steps on the road to forgiveness.  Here are 3 reasons people chose to not forgive.

1.  Punishing the offender.  By never forgiving the person who hurt us we feel in some way we are punishing them for inflicting the hurt.  This is a thought process born from anger.  We want to lash out at them, and by denying them forgiveness, we can continue to punish them.

Flawed logic.  Why?  Because, the only one being punished by our lack of forgiveness is us.  The other person may not even know they hurt us.  They are unaffected by our negative feelings.  We are the ones who are hurt, and the negative feelings only deepen the hurt, exponentially.

2.  We don’t want to condone what they did. By denying  forgiveness, we are letting them know, we believe what they did was wrong.  We are still angry and hurt by their actions.

Another piece of flawed logic.  Forgiveness doesn’t have any bearing on condoning bad behavior.  It is possible to not like what someone did, but still forgive them.

3.  Can’t let it go. The anger from what someone has done to us is like a festering sore that can’t get well because we keep picking off the scab.  We have to revisit it often, poke it a couple of times until we feel that all consuming feelings of pain and anguish.

Flawed again.  If we continue to revisit our hurt, we are reinforcing the bad feelings.  It never gets well as long as we haven’t forgiven.

If we use any of these 3 things to stop us from forgiving, we only keep ourselves locked into being a victim.

The main point of all of this is, the only one we hurt by not forgiving, is ourselves.  The lack of forgiveness only draws more like feelings to us until we are trapped in a world of fear, hate and anger all wrapped up together in one smothering bundle.  We feel horrible, lost and sad.

I have been very hurt by others who I felt had wronged me.  I realized for me to let it go, I had to learn to bless them….and mean it.  It was hard, in the beginning, to ask for blessings for them, who I was still so angry with.  To be able to wish them well, and not feel that brick laying in the bottom of my stomach, took time.  But, I continued to practice it.  Every time I thought of them or the situation, I would shift my thoughts. Instead of feeling angry, I would ask God to bless them.  After awhile, it became easier.  Soon, I found I didn’t really think of them or the situation at all.  I had truly forgiven them.

My world was back to the sunny warm feelings of love and appreciation for my life.  I had conquered the lack of forgiveness, one more time.  Each time, I find it’s easier to let things go.  I can wish them well, but to be away from me.

After all, the example is on the cross.  If he can do it, why shouldn’t I?

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Goals – Are They Only a Figure of Speech?

January 4th, 2011 3 comments

This time of year, everyone is talking about their goals.  They might call them New year’s resolutions, intentions, or commitments for the coming year.

Yesterday, I was out and about with a friend.  We stopped by a neighborhood coffee house to indulge in a delicious steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold day.  As we were leaving and preparing to get into our car, a man in a white minivan pulled up.  He was going to attempt to park in the spot next to ours.  It would be a very close fit.  The gentleman rolled down his window and said, “is that your goal?”

It took me a minute to realize, he was talking about a goal of me getting into the car.  Obviously, he was wanting to let us get into our car before he squeezed his big beast into the spot next to us.  I thought it was very considerate of him, but an odd phrasing to his question.

This got me thinking.  Do most people only give lip service to making goals?  Do some people use it in their figure of speech and nothing more?

Many of us start the year with great plans, but as time goes on, don’t accomplish them.  We start out gung ho to lose weight, get a better job, earn more money, and by the second week, we are cruising down the same well worn path as before.

Setting goals is a worthy activity.  I read somewhere, when making goals, “think it than ink it”.  I know many people talk about goals, like my experience with the man in the minivan.  When it comes right down to writing those goals down, it is a different story.  Goals, not written down, have a 98% chance of failure.

Goals were devised to help us plot a course towards our crystallized and clarified vision for our lives. As Jesse Stoner Zemel said, “A vision is a clearly-articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.”

But, what if we have written our goals and still nothing happens?  Is it the fault of our goals setting?  Could it be that our vision is either not clear, or we are actually visualizing worst case scenarios in our minds, instead of where our goals want us to be?

I have a friend who always tells me, “I always picture the worst thing that could happen in my mind so I am not disappointed when it happens.  If it doesn’t, and something good happens, I am happy.” When a pessimistic statement such as this is made, are we shocked?  Or, do we think like that even though we might not give it voice?

If we set our goals and we don’t stick to them, or they don’t happen,  it could be lack of self discipline.  Or, our image of ourselves, and the way we live our lives, is not congruent with our goals?

When we set a goal of a 10% increase in our earnings for this coming year, but we don’t feel worthy of making more money, it won’t happen.  Holding a belief about ourselves, which is different than what we are longing for, or believing money is bad, are two beliefs which creates friction within ourselves.  We won’t make any lasting progress until we change our belief about money and/or our self image about having it.

As I look at the goals I made last year and what I accomplished, I can see a pattern.  I can see where my beliefs aren’t congruent with my goals.  If I try to bull doze my way toward them, I will only push them away because of the resistance it sets up in myself.  If I have a goal, but don’t have the belief system to support it, I will fail.

One of the wondrous things about setting goals every year and writing them down is the ability to look at them over and over again.  We can revisit them daily.  With each visit, we can commit ourselves to our vision of the life we want our goals to lead us to.  The next year, when it is time to revamp and set new goals, we can look at them, and see a pattern we should deal with.

Shouldn’t goals be more important than just a figure of speech?

Leave me a comment below about what you are doing to position yourself to achieve your goals. Also, Let me know how I can be of service to you to help you reach your goals?

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