THIS IS SOME BULLS*$T

Do me a favor, take out your cell phone and look up the definition of success. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Chances are it would look something like this. When it comes to the definition of success these defintions are, in a word, WRONG!!!

We live in a world that defines success in terms of the visceral if not material means. Any defintion of success, including the one by my mentor Earl Nightingale, that does not include enjoying the process or life is incomplete.

If we achieve all our goals and lose the love of family and friends we would not feel successful. If we are rich, but full of mental anguish would we be a success? I do not think so.

Remember that success is indeed “The progressive realization of a worthy ideal” as Mr. Nightingale said, but we must remember to find our happiness along the way as well.

A NEW FRIEND

This was a picture that my lady took of me on a fun day we had at the zoo. This friendly duck flew over by us and was content just hanging out. He posed for several pictures and didn’t fly away until some children tried to grab him. After which time we went to the park and were greeted by other animals that seemed to follow us.

In addition to a great inspiring story, it demonstrated something I always find to be true. That day both my lady and I were in a very happy mood. At the zoo then at the park later. The animals, and people as well I believe can sense what kind of mood we are in.

This is yet another reason why maintaining a positive attitude is so important. Is it easy? Of course it is not, but it is worth it. By falling victim to worry and petty things that upset us we run the risk of throwing into jeopardy things like friendships, relationships and even our careers. By keeping our attitude positive, or at least doing our best to do so, we begin to attract into our lives all manner of good things. New friends, opportunities and yes even friendly ducks. All these things give us even more reason to smile. It is worth noting the opposite is equally true. When we are crass, sarcastic and angry and depressed often we repel the very situations that would change or situations and disposition for the better.

Therefore, all change must begin from within. Begin to get everyone, and thr world with kindness, compassion and a smile. It may take a bit, but sure as the sun rises in the east, you fortune will begin to turn.

For those of you thinking “I’ll smile when the world gives me something to smile about!” I would like to give you an analogy Earl Nightingale used to describe that way of thinking. He said it is like sitting in front of a wood stove and saying “Give me heat and then I’ll put the wood in.” We must give that which we wish to receive.

DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS 

Success, each person’s definition of success is different. To some it is material acquisition, for some it is a sense of joy and peace of mind. This is a challenge to someone trying to come up with formulas anyone can use regardless of their definition. In an effort to discover what makes some people successful at what they do and prevent others from doing so, I have studied some of the greatest minds in the self-improvement industry.

The best definition of success I have ever come across is from Earl Nightingale. Earl is  often referred to as “The dean of personal development” as his scope of knowledge and experience is hard to rival. Earl was on the USS Arizona when it was bombed at Pearl Harbor. 1500 people died on that ship. Earl was one of 100 to survive. He went on to own several business and have his own radio program. He recorded a message to help his salesman called The Strangest Secret. Without much fanfare or advertising that message launched what is now known as the spoken word industry. I cannot recommend highly enough you get your hands on a copy of this valuable message.

This post is not just about Earl Nightingale, but the message he brought the world. His definition of success is “The progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Read that quote a time or two more. Let it sink in. What it means is that a person who knows who they want to become and is working towards it is automatically a success. Why is that? It is because of goals. Having a concrete definition in mind of where you want to go and putting forth effort to get there. Even if it may seem you are momentarily moving backwards, you are still learning valuable lessons allowing you to move forward.

Once you pick your goal (mine is to help individuals reduce stress, increase joy and become the best versions of themselves) you will be able to know if what you are doing is working or not. Even if it happens not to be you are still learning what does not work. It was Edison who said “I never failed. I just learned 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb.” When you goal is clear, confusion is minimal and motivation is maximum.

I FINALLY GOT IT!!

This is me…I believe that I am lost in thought here. At least that is what I am telling myself. If you have read my book or followed this blog for any length of time you know that I am an advocate of filling your life with motivational and inspirational things daily. In addition to that I recommend listening to them over and over again. Why would we want to listen to something we have already listened to? Wouldn’t we be better served listening to something new? Actually we should do a mixture of both. As to why we should listen to the same message several times, it is to get the most out of it.

Depending on our mood at the time we can hear and look at things in an entirely different way. Another reason is that as we experience different things in life we can appreciate things differently. Getting married changes our perspective on relationships. Being in a different economical bracket can change our opinions on what places to eat at. It doesn’t have to even be such major changes. Meeting new people, learning new things can all change how we view the world. Sometimes it takes hearing something several times for it to click.

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, but just the other day a concept I had understood on an intellectual level finally made sense emotionally. You could say I finally got the message in my spirit. That message is you have to give to get. The first time I heard it the message sounded like a paradox. How can you give the very thing you wish to receive? If you are looking for financial freedom how does giving away some of your money help? This was made clear through the help of many of my mentors. First, Earl Nightingale, the dean of personal development. Earl described the life some people live as sitting in front of a woodstove saying “Give me heat and then I will put in the wood.” It just doesn’t work that way. Zig Ziglar, another great speaker, put it this way, “You can’t pay anyone to do your pushups.”

Still the one that finally made it click was a video by Greg Plitt the late fitness model and motivator. I was close to hyperventilating on a treadmill while watching one of his videos. In this video he talked about people who go to the gym for the month of January and then give up because they are not seeing any results. He used a very great analogy. Imagine your body as a lump of cold clay. You place that clay on a pottery wheel and begin to try and shape it. You put some water on it as well as the friction and heat of your hands. What happens? At first not much. The clay has been sitting like that for quite some time, so even if you push very hard it will not move much. Now, keep spinning it and rubbing it with your hands and the clay begins to warm up. That is like starting to go to the gym when you are out of shape. Your body has not moved for years, now suddenly you are moving and working. It is like pushing on the cold clay, it doesn’t change very much. After the clay begins to heat up, however, it begins to get easier and easier to mold. If you stop and let the clay get cold again, you have to start all over. Most people just get to the place where they are about to see changes, or when the clay is warm if you will, and then stop. If only they had pushed on a little longer they would have seen the beginning of the results they were seeking.

Ok, great story, but what does it all mean. I realized then and there (maybe lack of oxygen had something to do with it) that everything truly worthwhile in life I had to give something to get. When I learned to bartend I studied great communicators as well as drink recipes. When I was getting in better shape I had given up some of my free time to the gym.

If you are looking at a specific goal take some time to think what you may have to give up to get that goal and start giving!

WHY YOU MUST BE TO HAVE

Does the title of this post sound confusing? If it does, do not worry, the concept it conveys took me a long time to wrap my head around myself. This principle was first introduced to me through a book I was reading on law of attraction. In this arena it was said you have to see and feel yourself as if you were already in the situation you were desiring. I must confess I struggled with this. How can I imagine myself on the shores of Fiji when I am scraping the ice off my windshield in West Allis Wisconsin?

Even the business books I have read advocate putting yourself forth as what you want to become. Once again convincing people I am a wealthy executive while I am driving a PT cruiser that spends more time in the shop than on the road is no easy task. It is hard to convey the attitude of wealth when you experience lack. It is no easier than feeling healthy while you are sick.

What all of these examples had in common with me is a “Fake it until you make it” kind of mentality. I am not a fan of faking anything. I find genuine people refreshing and strive to be as genuine as I can be myself. It somehow felt dishonest. I wondered was I not fully understanding the concept correctly?

Several things managed to change  my opinion and mindset on this. First, was my favorite quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When I first heard this quote from Mahatma Gandhi it changed my life. Not only did I understand the great deal of responsibility that I had to create my own reality, but it also gave me a feeling of great control over doing so.

Next influence that allowed me to change perspective was the words of the famous author and speaker Earl nightingale who said “We become what we think about all day long.” That certainly made a little more sense to me. If I kept thoughts of where I wanted to go in my head instead of where I was I would be more likely to get there.

The last example came from one of my greatest influences, Tony Robbins. He explained it as they teach you in racing school. When you go into a spin, focus on where you want to go not the wall you do not want to crash into. The majority of people are focused on what they do not want and where they do not want to go. That is why you often see cars on an open road crash into the only tree within a mile of where they are.

This lead to an interesting discovery that occurred to me, there is no law of physics that states our mind and bodies have to occupy that same place at the same time. In fact, if they do we are really not going anywhere. We must live in the present while preparing for the future.

This all does three very important things. First, it helps prepare us for our success. Allow me to give you an example. In the next few years I plan on running for office. Right now as I hear stories of politicians and the issues they face I imagine myself in their positions and think of what I might say and do. I also conduct myself as a public official does, so when the time comes that I am elected I will not have to worry about changing how I act or carry myself.

The second thing being want you want before you actually achieve it does is give you conscious and subconscious mind a target on which to fix themselves. In essence, saying to your mind, “This is where we are going, now find the way there.” You will suddenly find yourself surrounded by the people you need to be and in the situations you need to be in. That leads us to the final benefit.

What kind of people do you think happy and positive people want to be around? If you are thinking other happy and positive people you would be correct. Like attracts like. It is a natural law. Creative people do not do well to surround themselves with people who choose not to exercise their creative potential. Motivated people enjoy the company of other driven people. The benefit of all of this is that they feed off each other. The takeaway is this, if you want to be happy, surround yourself with happy people. The way to attract happy people? Be one yourself.

 

BITTER OR BETTER?

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If you continuously compete with others you become bitter but if you continuously compete with yourself you become better”

A good quote that reminds us the only person we should try to be better than is the person we were yesterday. As the new year approaches it may be a good time to take stock of who we were this last year and who we would like to be in the coming year. Establishing a point A and a point B is a great starting point! The more honest we are with ourselves the easier it will be to decide what we need to do to become that kind of person we wish to be. My good is to make the major share of my income by the end of 2014 from writing. Obviously some of the things I have to do is search out new writing opportunities, practice my writing and marketing and work on improving both of them. I have also learned something else. What happens if I reached the end of 2014 and only 50% of my income is from writing? Have I failed? No. It is more than my current state. Earl Nightingale defined success as “The progressive realization of a worthy ideal” That means whenever we have decided on a worthy ideal or goal for our lives and are working toward it, we are a success. We are farther than 95% of everyone else. If you ask your neighbor what they want most answers are vague at best. “I want more money” or “I want a better job” So the better we clearly define the person we wish to become and begin to take determined action towards that end, the more likely we are to become a success. so take the time to do this very important step. Tonight get clear as to who you wish to become, then be honest with yourself as to where you are. It may be a touch painful, but you should be excited because the steps you must take to close the distance between Point A and Point B should be abundantly clear and a map of what you must do will be set before you.

ARE YOU SUCCESSFUL?

For years I always wondered what the secret to success was.  I read books to learn.  Listened to cds, went to seminars and workshops trying to find this elusive piece of inspiration.  Never quite felt that ‘I had it’.  So I began to listen to friends, co-workers and customers who I felt embodied success.  Strangest thing was, a lot of them said they were unsuccessful and searching for the secret to success as well.  It was quite by accident, or perhaps fate, that this all changed.  I stumbled upon this secret when I asked one of these people whom I considered quite successful what I considered a simple question. What is the definition of success?  He looked at me quizzically and replied “you know I don’t really know”.  The fact was, neither did I.  How on earth was I ever to find the secret of success when I didn’t even have a personal definition of what it meant to me.  Ask yourself, what does success mean to you?  Is it being a caring parent?  A loving spouse perhaps?  obtaining a certain income or place in your business?  Although these are all very worthwhile goals they all have one fatal flaw.  After you reach them, then what?  Are you then successful?  Is the game over?

Allow me to share with you the best definition of success I have ever heard.  It was from Earl Nightingale. Long before the movie ‘The Secret” or law of attraction was so in fashion,  Earl was the first person to ever receive a gold record for spoken word.  The piece was called “the Strangest Secret” I encourage you all to check it out.  In it, Mr Nightingale describes success as this  “The progressive realization of a worthy ideal”.  What does this mean exactly?  Well let us take the goal of being a great parent.  If that is your goal and you are working towards it, then by all accounts you are a success.  Now what if you make a mistake?  Well that is part of the journey as well, we learn from our mistakes.  So you are even more of a success.  Let me get a little more personal.  My goal is to have a daily blog that is viewed across the globe (six countries so far) that brings positivity and a rewarding life to all who read it.  I also am working on a book of the same design.  Now does that mean I will only be a success when my book is printed and my blog is read in every country?  Not hardly.  I have my goal and am working toward it,  so now I consider myself a success.

So today think about your goal.  What is your life’s ambition.  Write it down so you can see it every day.  Keep in your mind’s eye as you go about your day.  Know as soon as you do this you are already a success. Soon paths that you never would have seen shall open up and you will be on your way. If you need a little encouragement or a good solid plan I suggest you check out “The Strangest Secret” available at nightingale.com.  Here’s to all of us being a success!