Sunday, October 4, 2015

Are you overlooking these critical success clues?
Written by Jack Canfield

If you teach in some capacity – either as a speaker, coach, consultant, or actual teacher – you’re probably gearing up to do some powerful work with your students or clients this fall.

To ensure you do the best possible job of helping your students and clients reach their full potential and achieve great results, I encourage you to set the following intention for yourself:


The clues to success are hidden in plain sight
When I say, “yellow alerts,” what I’m talking about are the advance warnings you get in the form of telltale signs, gut instinct, intuition, comments from others that alert you to impending danger and give you time to prevent the unwanted outcome.

You know when you suddenly get a “bad feeling” about something, or you become aware that people are acting differently around you, or you develop a niggling awareness that there’s something you’re ignoring or overlooking?

THOSE are yellow alerts.

For example:
  • Your students don’t pay attention when you speak
  • Your audience looks bored and disengaged
  • Nobody raises their hand to answer your questions
  • People don’t respond to your emails or participate in your online group
  • Students who typically do great work are no longer completing their assignments
  • Organizations who hired you to speak don’t ask you to return
  • People stop grumbling and whispering to each other as soon as you walk in the room
  • People aren’t looking you in the eye
  • You’re sensing a weird undertone in the way people talk to you
  • You no longer feel like you’re “killing it” onstage or in front of the class

The faster you’re able to recognize and respond to yellow alerts such as these, the easier you’ll find it to avoid obstacles, overcome challenges, and reach a higher level of success – both for yourself and your students or clients.

Avoiding the problem doesn’t make it go away
Unfortunately, many people choose to ignore yellow alerts because they don’t want to feel any soft of discomfort. Acknowledging and responding to yellow alerts usually involves doing things you would rather not do – such as have an awkward conversation with someone or admit something isn’t working.

And so you pretend not to see the yellow alerts – because it’s easier, more convenient, less uncomfortable, and protects you from having to take risks.

Successful people, on the other hand, face problems head on. They’re willing to get uncomfortable, because they know that yellow alerts often develop into problems that fester and grow into huge roadblocks that prevent you from moving forward.

The faster you respond, the easier life becomes
Once you develop the habit of responding quickly and decisively to yellow alerts as they happen, life becomes easier.

You’re able to eliminate problems before they occur and achieve greater levels of success must faster.

However, learning how to recognize and respond to yellow alerts isn’t always easy. It requires concentrated awareness, dedicated discipline, and a willingness to experiment and take risks.

You have to be prepared to look at your own shortcomings and be willing to hear uncomfortable truths. It’s only when you face what isn’t working that you’re able to explore better options and come up with a better way of getting the results you want.

Here are 6 tips to help you do a better job of recognizing yellow alerts so you can respond to them right away and achieve better results, faster – both for yourself and your students or clients:

1. Clear your mind and focus on being present in the moment

When you’re working onstage, in front of a classroom, or one-on-one with clients or students, you’ll be much more effective if you’re able to clear your mind of everything else that’s happening in your life and focus on being present in the moment.

This will make it so much easier for you to remain tapped into your intuition and be able to identify yellow alerts right away.

If you find it hard to remain completely present in the moment, I recommend you take up meditation or a meditative practice such as yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or another form of martial art. These practices are great for helping you sharpen your focus and concentrate on what’s happening in the here and now.

2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

The only way you can grow – as a person, teacher, parent, businessperson or whatever – is to move beyond your comfort zone into a place where you are very likely to feel awkward, uncomfortable, and vulnerable.

But that’s where the magic happens. It’s where you acquire the understanding and experience you need to start performing at a much higher level.

So instead of worrying about the potential discomfort of responding to yellow alerts, embrace the opportunity to evolve.

3. Learn how to listen to people

To become a transformational teacher, you’ve got to be able to really LISTEN to your students and clients.

Don’t just keep your ears open for the things you expect them to say. Clear your mind of preconceptions, give them your full attention, and listen for the things you AREN’T expecting – because this is the information that’s going to help you radically improve your game.

4. Learn how to read people

It’s not enough to listen to what they’re saying – you also have to be able to read your students and audience and understand what it is they’re NOT saying.

If you learn how to read their physical cues – restlessness, listlessness, flashes of anger or irritation in their expressions, a reluctance to meet you in the eye – you’ll be able to recognize when there’s something they want you to know, even when they’re reluctant to express themselves or aren’t even consciously aware of what they want or need from you.

5. Ask them straight out

The best way to understand how well you’re performing – and what you can do to operate at an even higher level – is to straight-out ask for feedback from your students, clients, audiences, and colleagues.

Be prepared to ask questions such as:
  • “Is what I’m doing working?
  • Could I be doing it better?
  • Is there something more I should be doing that I am not?
  • Is there something I am doing that I should stop doing?
  • How do you see me limiting myself?”

Don’t be afraid to ask – because the information you will receive will be invaluable. You are better off knowing the truth than not knowing it – because once you know, you can DO something about it. You cannot improve your life, your relationships, your game, or your performance without meaningful feedback from the people around you.

“You’re doing great!” might be nice to hear but it doesn’t tell you anything that will help you become a better teacher, speaker, trainer, or person.

6. Process the information and ACT on it

When you respond to a yellow alert and probe deeper to uncover valuable information about your performance – and what you can do to improve it – be sure to process that information and ACT on it!

If you find out that your audience or students aren’t captivated by your teaching style, do some research to find some resources that will help you become a more compelling, engaging teacher – and then put their advice into action.

If you find that your clients aren’t completing the assignments you give them because they’re unclear on the instructions or don’t see the value of them, reassess those assignments and how you’re presenting them to your clients. Maybe you need to make the instructions clearer, or do a better job of pointing out the benefits your clients will experience once they finish the assignment. Or maybe you should consider replacing that assignment with one that’s more effective.

If you find that organizations that have hired you to speak in the past aren’t asking you back, send them a letter asking for honest feedback on what you could have done better in your last speaking engagement – then use their feedback to improve your presentation content and style before you book your next gig.

It’s only when you act on this valuable information that you’re able to create meaningful change.

Simple isn’t always easy
Recognizing and responding to yellow alerts is relatively simple in principle – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing and the results you’re producing – and willing to adapt on the fly.

Pay attention... your results don’t lie
The easiest, fastest, and best way to find out what is or isn’t working is to pay attention to the results you are currently producing. Your audiences and students either love you or they don’t. They’re either experiencing major breakthroughs or they aren’t. You either command respect or you don’t. Organizations are either hiring you to speak for them or they aren’t.

It’s that simple. Results don’t lie!

So if you want to do the best possible job of helping your students and clients this fall, set the intention of recognizing and responding to yellow alerts. It’s the only way to ensure that you keep improving as a teacher – and are able to help your students and clients reach their full potential and achieve incredible results.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Why not 12%? Why not YOU? Why not NOW?

I recently had some interesting information revealed to me that I just had to share it with you!

(Drum roll please.) Well here it goes: If you take the amount you are investing on a monthly basis, assuming a 12% rate of return (not 11% and not 13%), your result in 20 years (not 19 years and not 21 years) would approximately be the monthly amount you were investing plus three zeroes added to the end. So, that means, for example, if you were to invest $1,000 per month working at 12%, in 20 years you would have $1 million! Isn't that awesome? I think is because I strongly believe that everyone should at least have a 20 year game plan for becoming a millionaire. If you don't have one yet, then you can take this one.

But, you are probably wondering, how can I get 12%? 12% is impossible! On the contrary, I believe 12% is very possible over the long term. However, don't take my word for it, take financial guru, Dave Ramsey's word for it! I love how he puts it in his book The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness:

"There are several people in our country today who are ignorant on the returns offered by investing well. Ignorance is not lack of intelligence; it is simply 'not knowing.' Sadly, many intelligent but ignorant people seem to think that making a 12 percent rate of return on their money in a long-term investment is impossible."

"I recommend good growth-stock mutual funds in this book as a long-term investment and dare to state that you should make 12 percent on your money over time. The supporting data for that bold statement can be found by looking at the historical averages of the Standard & Poor's 500 index. Widely regarded as the best single gauge of the US equities market, the S&P 500 is an index with five hundred of the largest companies in leading industries of the US economy. The S&P 500 has averaged 11.69 percent per year for the last eighty-plus years, as of this writing [2013]. This includes some pretty significant recession periods."

"Does that mean you can expect to see 12 percent growth every year? Of course not. That's not how this thing works. The market goes up and down all of the time, and sometimes it's a pretty wild ride. Just looking back over the past few years as of this writing [2013], it looks like a roller coaster. In 2009, the market's annual return was 26.46 percent. In 2010, it was 8 percent. In 2011, it was actually down for the year at -1.12 percent. But true long-term investors don't worry too much about the year-to-year returns. They look at the history over the long haul, knowing that some years it'll be up, and some years it'll be down."

"Most experts and anyone who has had even one finance class agree that the S&P 500 is a great statistical measure of stock market returns. This is such a standard, or bellwether, that virtually every stock fund will show you its returns in comparison to the S&P 500. And again, the life-time average of the S&P 500 is just under 12 percent."

"Any decent broker with the heart of a teacher can, in his or her sleep, lead you to funds with long track records averaging over 12 percent. So don't let anyone tell you that you can't predict a 12 percent rate when you are considering investments for ten years or longer."

So, with that in mind, here are some questions that you may want to ponder: Why not 12%? Why not YOU? And if you haven't already started on your 20-year game plan, Why not NOW?

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.