How to Get Started on Your Dream — Today!

my-oscar.jpg  Brian Kim has a motivating article on doing something towards your dream today. That’s right, today. Not tomorrow or next month or when it is most convenient.

Brian writes:

So how can you get started on your dream today? To do that, let’s explore the reasons why people don’t get started on their dream in the first place.

In my opinion, people don’t get started on their dream because of three reasons.

1. They have too many dreams.

2. They’re doubtful they can accomplish it.

3. They fear they’ll fail at it.

Read the full post here.

February 28, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Work. 1 comment.

Challenge Your Assumptions about Success

hundred-dollar-bills.jpg Over at iwillteachyoutoberich.com, Remit Sethi talks about an interesting and prevalent phenomenon that he calls The Shrug Effect. He writes:

Isn’t it easy to point at someone really successful, listing the reasons why he’s so successful, but also the reasons he made it but you can’t?

We do this all the time. We see a famous CEO and point how “he took 5 companies public and got a Harvard MBA.” We see a successful children’s book author and point out how she already knew 4 publishers, so her book got published immediately … And then we shrug. “What can we do?” “She has a Harvard MBA.” “They made it big, but they’re different than me.” …

When we list off the skills/resources that the successful person has–and we don’t–we do 2 things: First, we distance ourselves from that person, making them into something other than an ordinary, regular person. Second, we create an excuse for why we won’t achieve the same level of accomplishment. And then, in a textbook case of a self-fulfilling prophecy, we don’t.

But guess what?

CEOs don’t just magically flip a switch and start wearing a fancy suit one day, directing their staff to do this and that. Getting to the top isn’t about knowing how to execute a leveraged buyout, or negotiating anti-dilution provisions, or whatever …
It starts earlier.

Read the entire post here.

February 28, 2007. life, Money, personal, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

A Beautiful Slide Show to Help You Relax

meditate-3.jpg Take a few minutes, watch this slideshow, and experience tranquility.

February 27, 2007. life, Personal Development. Leave a comment.

Proverb on Perseverance

woman-climbing-a-mountain.jpgI have found the following guiding thought to be true:

If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.

Chinese Proverb

This notion will work in your life if you apply it wisely and consistently.

But please do not mistake perseverance for passion. Don’t just get through it because you have to and you hate it (although, admittedly, this is sometimes required to get what you really want).

If you truly want something and this thing that you want is something you (and at least one other person, hopefully) know you are uniquely qualified for … then do it. Don’t hesitate. Speed, in most cases, is good.

Sometimes you will have to try harder than you thought you’d have to. But if you are truly talented and keep producing, the odds are highly skewed in your favor.

February 26, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

Seven Ways to Change Your Life Tomorrow

joy-4.jpg 1. Wake up 20 minutes early and either meditate or simply read the best self-help/motivational book you own.

2. Don’t think of tomorrow as the last day of your life or the first day of your life … simply wake up and think of the day as a day that defines your life (how you are living) and where you are going. If you are dissatisfied with the day’s results, you may be tempted to change.

3. Do one thing to help your financial health. Depending on your financial state, this could mean saving $10 extra dollars or $10,000 extra dollars tomorrow. It could mean finally reviewing your bank statement or finally reviewing your monthly investment portfolio. It could mean asking for a raise. It could mean refinancing. It could mean a lot of things depending on who you are and where you are financially. The point is, you should be able to find one thing that will improve your financial situation tomorrow, even if it is as simple as opening an online (high interest) savings account.

4. Read one newspaper or journal that you have been wanting to read but have not (and I’m not talking about The National Enquirer; look, I read my share of celebrity gossip … but those publications have their place and time). Is it the Wall Street Journal? Forbes Magazine? Fast Company? Harvard Business Review? What is Enlightment magazine? The Economist? BBC Online? PBS Online?

5. Listen to a new radio or satellite talk station. One tip: Check out HayHouse Radio — it’s free and full of inspirational audio programs that you can listen to all day in the background while you work.

6. If so inclined, apply for something that you’re really interested in but don’t think you’re quite qualified for. You never know. I read somewhere recently that H.R. offices receive vastly more applications for low-to-mid range jobs than for the highest-paying jobs. Obviously this is somewhat a function of qualification (not as many people have the top-notch education and experience, etc.) but not entirely. Go for it! Jennifer Hudson was an American Idol reject a couple of years ago … and she just won an Oscar. Nothing significant about Jennifer Hudson changed; she simply needed to be in a different place and in a different situation (which happened to be even more prestigious).

7. Have you been wanting to take lessons or a class on something? In the U.S., most of you probably live within a short distance of a community college which provides wonderful education at incredibly cheap prices (most courses go for about $30-$100). Or just sign up for an online course. UCLA’s Online Extension program is the best that I have found (although it is pricey for some … about $500 for a 10-week course on average). The UCLA Extension instructors tend to be top-notch.

There are thousands of ways in which you can start changing your life for the better. So go out and do something new tomorrow!

February 26, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 4 comments.

Create Your Own Vision Statement

Here’s a wonderful video on making your own Vision Statement (below).

This is akin to making a Vision Board for what you want to manifest in your life, but using technology instead of a corkboard — much more powerful.

A few of the things that Malcom says in the video that are worthy of mention:

You can actually have all the things you want …

All the things you want to do …

And all the things you want to be …

You get what you want … So long as it’s truly what you want.

‘Cause you only get what you really want.

That last point is key. You only get what you really want because you only get what you put strong emotions into.

You can find Malcom and more information on his Vision Statements here.

February 25, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 1 comment.

Great Quote on Creating Yourself

blooming-flower.jpg “Maturity includes the recognition that no one is going to see anything in us that we don’t see in ourselves. Stop waiting for a producer. Produce yourself.”

Marianne Williamson

February 24, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

Is Your Business Idea the Next Big Thing?

business-success.jpg EscapefromCubicleNation has a thoughtful post on how to tell if your business idea is the next YouTube … or not.

The top three ways (out of 10) to tell if you should reconsider:

  1. You “feel” there is a market based on hunches and a few conversations
  2. When you discuss the idea with people who would be the target market for your product or service, they are either overcome by an embarrassing silence or are direct like Michael Bolton from Office Space and say “That is the worst business idea I have ever heard.”
  3. When someone challenges your idea, you get very defensive and immediately change the subject, thinking “They obviously are not smart enough to get my brilliant idea.”

The top three ways (out of 10) to tell your business has viability:

  1. It serves a significant need in the market that is real, evidenced by thoughtful research, not speculation
  2. You have a unique approach, skill or capability that will allow you to serve this need better than anyone else
  3. When you talk to people who are the target market for the product or service, they get excited about it and ask when it is going to be available.

February 23, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Work. Leave a comment.

Steve Jobs’ Inspirational Speech at Stanford

Just a few of the a-ha moments in his speech, this one on trusting in the Universe (so to speak):

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

And another on the imperative to do only that which you truly love:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

Finally, on the power of the reality of death:

Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.



February 22, 2007. life, Money, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 21 comments.

A News Site that Seeks to Motivate

joy1.jpg A few days ago, I tried to find a few positive news stories to post. As I related in the post, it was incredibly hard to find even five positive news stories: I made the mistake of sticking to traditional media outlets.

Well, a new site has started that is focused on bringing us solely positive news.

Newsiasm.com describes itself as:

a news network inspired by the positive, interesting and newsworthy events happening everywhere, everyday, and by the conviction that people are inherently good … I created Newsiasm to offer an alternative to mainstream media. Increasingly, we hear that people no longer regularly watch, read or listen to the news because it is “too negative” and creates a feeling hopelessness. Our mission is to motivate people to reclaim their hope and optimism for the world through positive and constructive news, information and stories.

We accomplish this goal by combining news stories from traditional media sources with those submitted by you, the reader … In addition to saying something, we offer you the opportunity to do something by suggesting ways to affect change.

This is a worthy mission. Check it out here.

Another such site — also very good — is the Good News Network. You can visit the site here.

February 22, 2007. life, personal, Personal Development. 2 comments.

What’s the Big “Yes!” Burning Inside You?

couple-in-love.jpg “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage–pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically–to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.'”

Stephen Covey

February 22, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Uncategorized, Work. 2 comments.

Michael Beckwith

michael-beckwith.jpg A number of people have found my site by searching for Michael Beckwith’s quote, “Mediocrity always attacks excellence.”

As I said previously on this blog, that is a great quote.

But I think people really want to know what Michael Beckwith is about; people are drawn to him and are seeking to learn more about him.

I don’t know much about Michael, so I perused his church’s website (www.Agapelive.com).

From his website’s FAQ section:

Question:

Is Agape a church, and do its members follow a mainstream religious teaching based on scripture?

Answer:

Agape’s teachings embrace a Reality the world’s scriptures and sacred texts endeavor to describe, even as they acknowledge the impossibility of such a task. Some call it God, Great Spirit, Hashem, or Allah, while others simply prefer to leave it nameless. Agape teaches that this Spirit is the Source of our life, that we are made in its image and likeness, which makes us co-creative participants in the three-dimensional world in which we live.Through Agape’s teaching of the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality, individuals are taught the universal principles, cosmic laws, meditation, prayer and visioning techniques that have been practiced by spiritual seekers for thousands of years, teachings which to this very day are practical in meeting humanity’s challenges of 21st century living. Agape’s universal truth teachings point the way to how an individual may cultivate their own unique relationship with the Ineffable, live their life from a place of conscious connection with the already enlightened essential Self, and be of authentic service to the planet.

Feel free to check out his website, and I will post more on Michael and other “teachers” of The Secret in the future.

February 21, 2007. life, personal, Personal Development. 1 comment.

Steps to Achieving “The Secret”

jack_canfield.jpg Jack Canfield, one of the “teachers” who appeared in The Secret and on the first Oprah show re The Secret, has a post on Steps for Activating The Secret in your Life.

One of them is:

Take Action.

There are two kinds of actions you can take. Obvious actions are things like, if you want a better car, going to test drive all of the models you are interested in and choosing the exact car you want to have, and saving 10% of your income in a “car account.” …

There are also what I call “inspired actions.” Once you begin to do the things described above, the universe will start responding by sending people, resources and opportunities you need to manifest your desired result. You are going to find that you have inspired ideas; you must act on them. You must follow those gentle proddings from the universe. Often these intuitive impulses will have no seeming connection to achieving your goal, but if you follow them, they will lead you down a path of wonderful fulfillment.

Here’s a quick way to know if the actions you’re taking are taking you closer to the fulfillment of your dreams and desires. If you are feeling joy while you are doing them, then you are on the right path. Remember, joy is your internal guidance system, just like the GPS system in a car, telling you are taking the right actions. Follow your joy. (emphasis added)

I have found this to be true in my own life. When I am going with the flow that is my life (rather than someone else’s idea of what my life should be) , the universe responds almost immediately to my inspired actions.

You can read Jack’s full post here.

February 21, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. Leave a comment.

Styles of Blogging

writing-on-a-laptop.jpg So I’ve been thinking tonight about blogging.

Blogs come in all kinds of flavors, but for my purposes I have broken personal development (P.D.) oriented blogs into three types: (1) those in which the author talks about how their life is going and how they want their life to be better; (2) those that write short articles and/or blog about current events or other blogs; and (3) those that focus on the author and his/her take on personal development (the guru model) in medium-to-long posts.

So far I have mostly relied on the second model. I really stay away from complaining and whining about my life, so I would probably be as likely to use the first model as to write a tell-all book about all my secrets. The third model is more difficult: it requires the acknowledgment that although building content will be slow, the audience will eventually come if you write quality material. The second model works for quickly generating content and getting the word out about great P.D. articles available elsewhere, which I think is important.

However, now that I’ve been doing this for a while (O.K., in earnest? … Less than a week) my conclusion is that it is best to blend models #2 and #3.

A library of long articles about my P.D. thoughts and philosophies is a great aspiration, but that content will be built up slowly. In the meantime, I also think it is important to not simply be self-referential (guru-style) but also to help others find some great P.D. articles and tools elsewhere online.

On that note, I am off to think deep thoughts – very deep thoughts, of course.

February 21, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development, Work. 1 comment.

Personal Development Myths and Frauds

conman.gif Craig Harper has an insightful (and somewhat humorous) post about personal development fraud. In part two of the article, he points out some of the myths propagated by personal development gurus.

He has come up with seven, but I’ll list my favorite three. The first myth/fraud:

You deserve it!

No you don’t!
You earn it.
You create it.Whether or not we achieve our goals or turn our dreams into reality has got nothing to do with what we deserve and everything to do with what we create.

And personal development fraud #2:

Motivation is the key.

No it’s not.
If motivation is the key, we’re all doomed….
Because most of us fluctuate between ‘pumped’ and…”I can’t be bothered” on a regular basis … Sometimes success is more about some very un-cool things like discipline, self-control, resilience, work ethic and determination.

Finally, personal development fraud #6:

Always go with your gut.
What if your gut is wrong?
If you want your life to be a catastrophe, live your life by this rule.

You should definitely check out this post (scroll past the welcome message to see the post) and his site.

It is refreshing to hear some of the personal development falsehoods criticized openly by someone in the field.

I’m a big believer in personal development, but not in perpetual fantasizing and mushy, wishful thinking.

February 21, 2007. life, Passion, personal, Personal Development. Leave a comment.

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