Monday, December 27, 2010

Decide What You Want for Yourself This Year
Written by Jack Canfield

In order to get what you want, you must first decide what you want.

Most people really foul up at this crucial first step because they simply can’t see how it’s possible to get what they want — so they don’t even let themselves want it.

What scientists now know about how the brain works is that you must first decide the 'WHAT' before your brain can figure out the 'HOW'.

Once you lock-in your desires, your mind and the universe can step in.

Are you ready to get started?

STEP 1: Decide to Dream BIG and Be Willing to Dream BIG Dreams
Big dreams not only inspire you, but they also compel others to want to play big, too. Don’t think you should only dream big during economic heydays. Dream big every day, especially during tough times.

As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true.

STEP 2: Set Goals That Will Stretch You
Another value in giving yourself permission to go after the big dreams is that big dreams require you to grow in order to achieve them. In fact, in the long run, this is the greatest benefit you will receive from pursuing your dreams — not so much the outer trappings of fulfilling the dream (an expensive car, impressive house, loads of money and philanthropic opportunities), but who you become in the process.

As I’ve seen many times over, the outer symbols of success can all be easily lost. Houses burn down, companies go bankrupt, relationships end, cars get old, bodies age and fame wanes, but who you are, what you have learned, and the new skills you have developed never go away. These are the true prizes of success.

STEP 3: Service to Others
As you pinpoint what you want to go after, think about how you can be of service to others. When your dreams include this element, you’ll find yourself speeding along the path to accomplishing that goal. People want to be part of something that contributes and makes a difference.

STEP 4: Turn Your Dreams into Goals and Objectives
Once you are clear about what you want, you must turn each item into a measurable goal. By measurable, I mean measurable in space and time, how much and by when. Don’t just say that you want to lose weight, for instance. Be specific, push yourself to higher limits, and set dates. Say something like, “I want to lose 50 pounds by summer and participate in my community’s 10K for charity by the 4th of July.”

Similarly, your boss, your friends, your spouse, your brain — God, the Universe — can’t figure out what you want unless you specifically tell them what it is.

What do you want — exactly — and when do you want it by?

Step 5: Write Your Goals Down
Write your goals down in detail, and read your list of goals every day. This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want. For an even more powerful approach, close your eyes and focus on each goal and ask yourself, "What is one thing I could do today to move toward the achievement of this goal?" Write down your answers and take those actions.

I recommend writing down a minimum of 3 goals in each of the following 7 areas:

1. Financial Goals
2. Career/Business Goals
3. Free Time/Family Time
4. Health/Appearance Goals
5. Relationship Goals
6. Personal Growth
7. Making a Difference

If you want help getting started, I have a handy worksheet for you that models this formula, including examples. Click here to download this free resource and start creating all that you want from your life and all that you deserve!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to Create an Empowering Vision Book
You are the author... just add dreams!
Written by Jack Canfield

In an earlier edition of Success Strategies we discussed how tapping into the powers of the brain with visualization so it will begin to function as if your goals are already attained.

Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmation of your goals, you are certain to achieve them!

Creating a vision book is probably your most valuable visualization tool!

This powerful visualization tool serves as your image of the future - a tangible representation of where you are going. It represents your dreams, your goals, and your ideal life.

Because your mind responds strongly to visual stimulation--by representing your goals with pictures and images you will stimulate your emotions... and your emotions are the vibrational energy that activates the Law of Attraction.

Create a personal vision book that clearly depicts the future you wish to create.

Find pictures that represent or symbolize the experiences, feelings, and possessions you want to attract into your life, and place them in your book. Have fun with the process! Use photographs, magazine cutouts, pictures from the Internet--whatever inspires you. Be creative. Include not only pictures, but anything that speaks to you.

Consider including a picture of yourself in your book. If you do, choose one that was taken in a happy moment. You will also want to post your affirmations, inspirational words, quotations, and thoughts here. Choose words and images that inspire you and make you feel good.

You can use your vision book to depict goals and dreams in all areas of your life, or in just one specific area that you are focusing on.

Keep it neat, and be selective about what you place in your vision book. It's a good idea to avoid creating a cluttered or chaotic book--you don't want to attract chaos into your life.

Use only the words and images that best represent your purpose, your ideal future, and words that inspire positive emotions in you. There is beauty in simplicity and clarity.

If you are working on visualizing and creating changes in many areas of your life, then you may want to use more than one vision book. You might use one vision book for your personal goals and another for career and financial goals. You might even want to keep your career vision book at the office or on your desk as a means of inspiration and affirmation.

How to use your vision book.

Try keeping your vision book on the nightstand next to your bed. Leave it standing in an open position as often as you are comfortable with, and spend time each morning and evening visualizing, affirming, believing, and internalizing your goals.

The time you spend visualizing in the evening just before bed is especially powerful. The thoughts and images that are present in your mind during the last forty-five minutes before going to sleep are the ones that will replay themselves repeatedly in your subconscious mind through¬out the night, and the thoughts and images that you begin each day with will help you to create a vibrational match for the future you desire.

As some time goes by, and your dreams begin to manifest, look at those images that represent your achievements, and feel gratitude for how well the Law of Attraction is working in your life. Acknowledge that it is working.

Don't remove the pictures or images that represent the goals you've already achieved.

Achievement of the goals in your vision book are powerful visual reminders of what you have already consciously and deliberately attracted into your life.

I recommend you write down the date you created your vision book. The universe loves speed, and you will be amazed at just how quickly the Law of Attraction responds to your energy, commitment, and desires.

Much like a time capsule, this book will document your personal journey, your dreams, and your achievements for that particular year. It will become a record of your growth, awareness, and expansion that you will want to keep and reflect back upon in years to come.

Final thoughts on using your completed vision book:
  • Look at your vision book often and feel the inspiration it provides.
  • Hold it in your hands and really internalize the future it represents.
  • Read your affirmations and inspirational words aloud.
  • See yourself living in that manner.
  • Feel yourself in the future you have designed.
  • Believe it is already yours.
  • Be grateful for the good that is already present in your life.
  • Acknowledge any goals you have already achieved.
  • Acknowledge the changes you have seen and felt.
  • Acknowledge the presence of God in your life.
  • Acknowledge the Law of Attraction at work in your life.
  • Look at it just before going to bed and first thing upon rising.
I hope I've inspired you to create your own vision book and start implementing what you learned from today's message.

See it. Feel it. Believe it!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Celebrate Your Year: 23 Questions to Inventory Your Successes
Written by Jack Canfield

As you set goals for the coming year, it’s a good idea to take stock of the progress you’ve made toward your 2010 goals. For many people, this review is unpleasant and even can lead to a downward spiral.

If you didn’t achieve all of the goals you set at the beginning of the year, you may feel like you have failed. Our self-esteem can take a hit, we can become disheartened and discouraged, and our motivation drops. Some people actually become depressed.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to reframe how you look at success. Zeroing in on accomplishments that didn’t happen puts your focus on what you lack, rather than on what you have (the things you did experience and accomplish). This subtle mental trap leads to a host of negative consequences, which usually lead to attracting more lack.

The answer is not giving up the review of your year. Periodic review is essential to the process of growth and goal achievement. The key is to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate what you did accomplish, and then to refocus on the goals that you still want to achieve.

The “Win List”

One of the techniques I teach my Platinum Inner Circle Group is to create a detailed “Win List” at the end of the year. Its purpose is to help you acknowledge all of your wins, especially those that didn’t start as a written goal or intention.

This powerful technique takes about 30 minutes to complete. Start by listing all of the goals you set and achieved this year. Then list any other wins you think of – both large and small.

Here are some questions to help identify your successes.
  • What wins or progress did you achieve in business?
  • Did you discontinue an old product or develop a new product or product line?
  • Did you identify a new market to focus on?
  • Did you create any new marketing pieces or campaigns?
  • Did you delegate any tasks to become more productive? This could include adding new staff and/or assistants, such as a housekeeper, executive assistant, gardener, errand runner, babysitter, or child care person. It also might include putting new systems into place to increase your efficiency.
  • Did you buy, use or learn to use any new technology? This includes mental, emotional or spiritual technology, as well as mechanical, electronic and digital technology?
  • Did you spend more time in nature?
  • Did you develop any new supportive habits (such as meditation, exercise, sleep, or gratitude)? Did you overcome any non-supportive habits (for example, addiction to alcohol, caffeine, sugar, video games, porn, gambling, or shopping)?
  • How did you grow in leadership?
  • Did you deliver any presentations or speeches or develop new programs?
  • Did you develop any new abilities, skills or competencies?
  • What success did you achieve in the areas of financial income, investments or debt reduction?
  • Did you create any new relationships or deepen existing relationships? Consider both business and personal relationships.
  • Did you make any progress in self-development?
  • Did you attend any positive events (e.g., seminars, lectures, concerts, theater, or sports)?
  • Did you experience any positive events with your family?
  • Where there any positive events in relation to your house or apartment?
  • Did you take any trips or vacations?
  • Were there any positive additions to your life?
  • Were there any positive events in your community?
  • How about any positive events in your spiritual life (e.g., church services, meditation, retreats, rituals)?
  • Did you experience any positive events in regards to letting go (e.g., bad habits, negative people, or clutter)?
  • Did you have any wins in health and fitness (e.g., weight, exercise, cholesterol, sports, or endurance)?
Reduce Mental Friction

Mental “friction” caused by negative thoughts and feelings will slow down your progress as you work to achieve your goals. By using this technique to focus your attention on what you did achieve, you’ll shift into a state of gratitude and joy, accelerating your momentum into the new year.

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is Your Life Working?
Written by Jack Canfield

Success depends on facing facts.

It depends on realizing what's making you achieve success, and then realizing what is stifling your success. Sometimes recognizing the things that aren't working in your life can be painful. You might try to rationalize them, make excuses for them, or hide them. But truly, these things will keep you from the life you want to be living.

Do you want to be active and strong? ... Then you have to stop making excuses about your weight and lack of exercise.

Do you want to be in a loving relationship based on friendship and respect? ... Then you have to stop rationalizing why your mate is so unsupportive.

These things can be painful to look at because the truth is that you have to do something about them in order to make it work in your life.

You'll have to say no to the second helping of dinner and the dessert to follow and go through the awkward stage of getting into shape. You'll have to confront your mate about the areas that need work.

Plain and simple, you will have to do something uncomfortable.

Successful people do not waste time in denial. They face situations head on. They look for the warning signs, they find out why things aren't working, and they go about fixing them.

You, too, must be willing to recognize bad situations and decide what the appropriate action will be to remedy it. You will have to deal with circumstances that are uncomfortable and challenging in order to achieve your goals.

To make it easier, learn to seek these situations out.

Keep your awareness on the feedback you are getting from life and decide to address the situations immediately.

Commit to finding out why things aren't working and learn what will fix them. Once you start the process it will be much easier to continue. Once you tackle one thing in your life that isn't working, you will gain confidence to tackle some of the harder situations. But you must decide to take action.

Trust that making changes to the situation will ultimately bring about the best results.

Sure you might go through a bit of discomfort during the change, but in the end you will triumph! Trust that you won't make matters worse by owning up to what is not working in your life, and going about fixing them.

If you confront a partner about what you want, you will either get what you want or you will know that you need to leave to get what you want. But you will not get what you want if you do not change your situation!

So are you ready to admit the things that just are not working out?

Relationships, a job you thought would be wonderful, your finances, your diet? Make a list of the things in your life that are working against your success and ask how the situation can be improved. Commit to tackling just one of those issues and be brave.

By facing what is not working, you can only improve your life!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Be Thankful for Your Blessings:
5 Ways to Practice a Daily Appreciation Ritual
Written by Jack Canfield

The practice of giving thanks is commemorated today in America as a national holiday. But if you want to live an abundant life, appreciation shouldn’t be confined to a solitary day. It should be incorporated into your daily living.

Appreciation is one of the highest emotional states you can be in. It is the state of abundance. The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like. If you are grateful for what you have already received, you will attract more for which you can be grateful.

Many people find that it requires great diligence to cultivate an attitude of appreciation. We are culturally conditioned to focus on what we don’t have, rather than appreciating what we’ve already received.

"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread."
- Mother Teresa, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

Appreciate the Smallest Blessings

Activate your gratitude by acknowledging the gifts most people take for granted.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet and a roof over your head, you are better off than 75 percent of the world’s population.

If you eat three meals a day, you are far better off than the 1 billion people on the planet who eat once a day at most. Celebrate these simple blessings.

Do you have a phone? Be grateful – millions don’t. How about a car that allows you to travel to work or to explore the country? Is your family healthy? Do you have a computer and Internet access to stay in touch with the world, get access to education, and perform work for which you are paid? Do you have clean water to drink?

These daily conveniences are gifts that most people in the world do not enjoy.

Daily Appreciation Habits

Here are five easy ways to make appreciation part of your daily routine:

1. Take 7 minutes each morning to write down all you appreciate in life. Starting your day this way primes you to be receptive and grateful for everything your day will bring.

2. Appreciate at least 3 people every day. Most people enjoy receiving verbal appreciation. But written notes are also nice because they can be saved and re-read. (For ideas on expressing appreciation, grab your copy of The Success Principles and review principle 53; Practice Uncommon Appreciation.)

3. Play the Appreciation Game. As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Look for the good in all situations. When my wife was in a car accident a few years ago, she could have chosen to berate herself or question her judgment. Instead, she focused on her gratitude for suffering only minor injuries and for the help she received from other drivers.

4. Carry a physical token of gratitude in your pocket, such as a stone, crystal or some other small item. As you reach into your pocket throughout the day and feel the token, use it as a reminder to stop, breathe and take a moment to fully experience the emotion of gratitude.

5. Appreciate yourself. We all need acknowledgement, but the most important acknowledgement is what we give ourselves. In addition to celebrating your big successes, acknowledge your small daily successes too.

During this month’s Ask Jack call, I assigned the Mirror Exercise as homework. Your subconscious mind needs positive encouragement to pursue further achievements and to change any negative beliefs you hold toward praise and accomplishment. This powerful exercise requires you to appreciate yourself for the day’s accomplishments while talking to yourself in a mirror. For more detailed instructions about how to use the Mirror Exercise, click here.

It may not feel natural at first to focus on appreciating what you already have. But by faithfully practicing the Daily Appreciation Habits outlined in this article, you’ll begin to change your conditioning.

Giving thanks should be more than an occasional exercise once year. Let it become a daily discipline that allows you to attract more of what you want from life. I invite you to experiment with this discipline over the next 30 days and watch your blessings multiply!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Are You Stuck?
Written by Darren Hardy

I saw something absurd the other day. A highly engineered and specially designed high-performance race car stuck on a 35-mile-an-hour downtown street.

That is not what that car was made for. That is not what its creator (Enzo Ferrari) envisioned for it.

This 6-speed, F140 Aluminum V12, 4700cc engine with 660hp was built to go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and race at 217 miles an hour (2010 specs). But here it is… stuck.

I see this absurdity every day.

But not only in the streets—in office cubicles, conference rooms, huddled behind computer screens, and dragging luggage through airports.

People who were specially engineered and designed with special talents, skills and abilities who are traveling down the wrong road, with their potential stuck in first gear; trapped and unable to race.

That is not what their creator had envisioned for them either.

Are you…

1. Stuck. Traveling down the wrong road? Are you in a job, company or business that has you boxed in on the slow lane? Is it keeping you from being able to get out of first gear and challenge your greater abilities?

Sometimes it’s not the car; it’s the road the car is on.

2. Traveling with Pintos? Are you going slow because you are keeping pace with ordinary cars, when you were designed for racing?

Sometimes it’s not the car; it’s the cars it travels with.

3. Are you even aware that you are a race car? You were specially engineered and designed for speed… to race. You were built for greatness. I’m not kidding. You are a miracle of machinery. Yes, you… the one reading this. It’s likely you have never even experienced half of what your top speed is.

Sometimes it’s not the car; it’s the one given the responsibility to drive it.

If you ever really gripped the wheel, braced your neck and punched the pedal with all your might… the awesomeness of your innate potential will shock and exhilarate you.

Punch it. NOW!

Who else do you know has greater innate potential than they might realize or be utilizing? Forward this post to them: http://darrenhardy.success.com/2010/07/are-you-stuck/.

So, are you stuck? Are you on the wrong road, traveling with the wrong people, unaware of your true greatness? In the comments below share with everyone what you are going to do to “punch it” in your life, starting now.

Content republished with permission from Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine. For more great insights, tips and strategies on success and achievement go to http://darrenhardy.success.com/. More about Darren Hardy can be found at: http://DarrenHardy.SUCCESS.com/About.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gratitude and Appreciation as a Secret for Success
Written by Jack Canfield

The best attitude you can possibly aspire to express year-round is one of gratitude and appreciation.

Being truly grateful for what is already present in your life will automatically and effortlessly attract more good into your life.

Make a conscious decision to appreciate and acknowledge all that you have already been blessed with. These emotions are of the highest vibrational frequency, and through the Law of Attraction they will attract even more to be thankful for.

Try to be grateful for even the difficult and challenging situations that arise in your life.

It is often through these situations, that we experience the most profound spiritual and emotional growth. You can learn to view each apparent obstacle as an opportunity to develop a new quality, strength, skill, insight or wisdom and be grateful for the lessons. Each challenge is an opportunity for growth and expansion.

Rise to these occasions, and appreciate all that you are learning in the process. Keeping your attitude positive and appreciative through these times will not only help to avoid attracting more of these difficult situations into your life - it will also create a field of positive energy that will attract more of what you do want.

"Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely
the attitude of gratitude is the most important,
and by far the most life-changing."

- Zig Ziglar

A Token of Gratitude

Try carrying a small token, stone, crystal, or some other meaningful object with you each day in your pocket. Throughout the day, each time you reach into your pocket for your money or keys it will serve as a tangible reminder to stop and think of something you have to be grateful for. This is a great way to increase your awareness of all that you have to be appreciative of.

Take a moment to breathe, and really feel the emotion of gratitude. This simple mindfulness technique helps to raise your vibrational frequency and keep you in a state of constant gratitude.

Your Gratitude Journal

Start keeping a daily Gratitude and Acknowledgement journal. This is a necessary and valuable tool in the development of your growth and awareness. This book is not intended to be a long, drawn out “diary” sort of thing, just a short, simple list of things you are grateful for on that particular day. This is a place to honor and appreciate the good in your life.

Gratitude:

Each evening, before going to bed, take a few minutes to review your day. Think about the day’s events. Become aware of how many good things actually happened on that day, and remember to appreciate even the challenges that you encountered. Select the five things, or people, or events that you are most grateful for. There is no right or wrong here, just whatever, or whoever you are sincerely grateful for on that particular day. It may be the warm sun on your face, a cool breeze, a kind word, a friend, or just feeling good about what you got accomplished that day. It may be the way you handled a particular situation that would have thrown you into a tailspin in the past.

Anything you are grateful for. As you write them in your journal, feel the gratitude and appreciation. Give thanks.

Acknowledgement:

Take a moment to acknowledge the changes that are occurring for you personally. Write them down. Acknowledge just how well the Law of Attraction is working in your life. Write down any specific event where the Law of Attraction was at work- the parking space you envisioned, the meeting you wanted to schedule, the bonus check you received, the grade you wanted, the person who said yes when you asked them out.

Miracles can and do occur on a daily basis. They are happening all around you. Honor them, and notice them. Through acknowledgement, you will become more and more aware of the amazing synchronicity that is already at work in your life.

Make the time you spend in contemplation and writing in your Gratitude and Acknowledgement journal a sacred part of your daily routine.

Your continued expressions of joy and gratitude will draw even greater joy, love and abundance into your life.

You will begin to notice a change in your perception of each day‘s events. You will become more aware of the positive things that happen all around you every single day. Your focus will shift, your energy will shift, and you will begin to appreciate how blessed you already are. And … the Law of Attraction will respond to the higher vibration you are creating.

Enjoy the journey.
Live each day in joy and gratitude.


* * *
In our desire to make this easier for you we have created a beautiful Gratitude journal that you can utilize for this purpose. It contains pages for daily entries of what you are grateful for and weekly inspirational quotes. It also has blank pages for you to record any personal acknowledgements of how the Law of Attraction is working in your life. You can order a copy from www.jackcanfield.com.
* * *


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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tremendous Growth After Steep Market Declines – Is History Repeating?

Billionaire Warren Buffet has a motto that he lives by when he is investing: “I’m fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” He explains that “most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.”

If only most investors could follow suit. There are statistics that show that during the 20-year period ending 12/31/2009, if an equity investor just stayed invested, based on the S&P 500 Index, they would have had an average annual total return of 8.20%. Most investors during this time period however, only got an average return of 3.17%. That’s because a lot of investors got into the market when things were going well and got out when it wasn’t.

No one can predict the future; however a lot of investors try to time the market, by trying to get in and out at the perfect times. But did you know that had you invested a hypothetical $10,000 in the S&P 500 excluding dividends, from 10/3/1974 – 10/3/1984, the 10-year period after the 1/11/1973 – 10/3/1974 market decline of 48.2%, you would have made an average annual price return of 10.06% and your investment would have grown to $26,082?

Here’s what would have happened if you missed out on any of the best days in the market over those 10 years due to being out of the market:
  • If during that time you missed out on just the 10 best days you would have missed out on 51.6% of the price return and your investment would have grown to $17,781.
  • If you missed out on the 20 best days you would have missed out on 78.4% of the price return and your investment would have grown to $13, 478.
  • If you missed out on the 30 best days you would have missed out on 96.3% of the price return and your investment would be worth $10, 594.
  • If you missed out on the 40 best days you would have actually lost 15.0% in value and your investment would have be worth only $8,495.
Wise investors are in the market for the long term and love market fluctuations because they understand that when the market is low, a given amount of invested money buys more shares – then when the market goes up, the investment grows. Warren Buffet says “realize that the market always comes back.”

Talking about how the market always comes back, did you know that since the early 1930’s (including the great depression until the latest housing market crash between 2007 and 2009) there has been seventeen major declines of about 15% or more in the S&P 500? And while the markets fluctuated after the declines, the declines were often followed by meaningful recoveries.

As a matter of fact, the average annual total return for the five-year periods after each decline was positive 100% of the time and a hypothetical $10,000 investment in the S&P 500 would have as least doubled 12 out of 16 times! The average annual total return for the 5-year period after a decline has been 18.95%. There hasn’t been 5 years of data since the latest decline from 10/9/2007 – 3/9/2009 where the market declined 56.78%, but the first year after the decline has already produced an annual return of 72.28%!

Could it be history repeating itself again?

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 questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Acknowledge and Appreciate Yourself
Written by Jack Canfield

Pop Quiz: When was the last time you acknowledged and appreciated yourself?

That’s right: YOU. Not your spouse, not your children, not your boss, co-workers or friends. Just YOU!

Seriously, think about it!

And if it’s been too long since your last pat on the back, then I want you to take the time right now to acknowledge and appreciate yourself for everything you've accomplished today, throughout the year, and in life.

Ask yourself: How many times have you succeeded in the past month? The past year? The past 10 years? Are you able to recall your successes as easily as your failures and missteps?

This is not a selfish or egotistical act in the least. By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved—and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses—you actually can enhance everything about you!

Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.

In working with top leaders and thought philosophers of our time, I will tell you that among their secrets of success is a regular practice of acknowledging and appreciating what they have.It can offer an oracle into the future because it not only tells you where you are but it also helps clarify where you want to go in life. Whatever that might be. The road then becomes easier to navigate—easier to see from the distance and walk confidently step by step.

Don’t forget to think about both big and little accomplishments. Many people under-appreciate the minor things they do successfully every day . And yet they can recall in detail all the times they have failed or made mistakes. That's because the brain remembers events more easily when they are accompanied by strong emotions.

For example, you might vividly recall a graduation, losing 10 pounds, having a child, winning an award, or landing a highly sought after position. But see if you can identify just as many minor, more subtle successes, such as your intimate conversation with your spouse last night, the re-connection you established with an estranged friend last month, the quality time you were able to spend with your children today, how you checked off all your list of To-Dos for the weekend, how you learned a new task at work, or got your kid to school on time.

These may seem like minor acts in the grand scheme of life, but they are what make us feel whole, happy, and accomplished along the journey toward those larger, and much more deeply satisfying moments.

Acknowledging your mistakes also has it pluses, but we often don’t have trouble recalling or mulling over those. The point is, if you don't acknowledge your successes the same way you acknowledge your mistakes, you're sure to have a memory full of blunders. And a mind stuffed with negative chatter about the gaffes of life won’t fuel your energy, nor your confidence, creativity, and motivation to keep going.

Consider this, too: if you only remember the mistakes and failures, you won't be as ready to take risks that will lead to your successes. Build your self-esteem by recalling all the ways you have succeeded and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again.

Give yourself permission to toot your own horn and don’t wait for anyone to praise you. Here are two suggestions:

1.) Record Your Personal History. Take time to write your achievements down. Start when you were very young and think of all your achievements since then. Don't just pick the major milestones; write down all the things you take for granted. For example, if you list your college degree, write your appreciation for having the opportunity to go to college and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.

You can also create a log of success every day and review it when you are faced with a new challenge. By writing it all down daily, you're securing it in your long-term memory and it will become a part of what makes you tick. It can even become a source of positive reminders and affirmations for when you’re feeling down, as well as a personal record of you that becomes your legacy.

2.) Celebrate Yourself with Mementos. Surround yourself with reminders of your successes. Put up pictures, articles, trophies, awards and other pieces that bring your attention to your success. Make your environment speak to you about your achievements. Be proud of them!

By the way, showing appreciation for yourself and accomplishments has many rewards that go far beyond boosting your own self-confidence.

Appreciating yourself creates a cascading affect—your heightened confidence will spill over into other aspects of your life. Watch what happens when you gain that special trust in yourself. You’ll attract opportunities, experience more fulfilling relationships, and have no trouble reaching loftier goals.

Remember, people like to be around those who have a healthy self-esteem and who are achieving their goals. Commit to acknowledging your achievements and your brain will begin to tell you the truth: that you can do anything!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Going the Extra Mile will Get You Even Farther
Written by Jack Canfield

In life, victory often goes to those who make a 100% commitment to the outcome. They give it their all and put everything they have into getting their desired result… whether it be an Olympic gold medal, the top sales award, a perfect dinner party, or an A in microbiology.

It’s a simple concept, yet you’d be surprised how many people don’t stick to their disciplines, follow through with their plans, or go the extra mile.

Are you someone who consistently goes the extra mile and routinely over delivers on your promises?

It’s rare these days, but it’s the hallmark of high achievers who know that exceeding expectations helps you stand above the crowd. Almost by force of habit, successful people simply do more.

As a result, they experience not only greater financial rewards for their extra efforts but also a personal transformation, becoming more self-confident, more self-reliant, and more influential with those around them.

These high achievers stand out from the crowd because of their extra efforts. They are unwilling to give up, even in the face of difficult times.

They get the promotions, they get the loyal customers, they grow their businesses twice as fast, they get financial rewards, job security, and they go home feeling satisfied.

Do you exceed expectations?

Do you surprise people with more than they were expecting from you?

Do you have the opportunity – but also the personal initiative – to go the extra mile?

To be successful you must change your thinking. You can only win by making extra efforts. People who go the extra mile always get payback. You will discover yourself becoming more self-confident, more self-reliant and more influential with those around you.

People notice the special services and all the small touches that make dealing with you so pleasurable. And when they are talking to their friends they will mention you and recommend you because you are the one who stands out.

People will see that you pay attention to detail, that you consider all the small things that really make a business successful, that you care about your image, and that you belong with all the other people who work hard to achieve. You will attract new business and new opportunities.

Listen to any success story and you will hear of someone who worked exceptionally hard to get what they wanted.

You’ll hear how they put in the extra time, did what wasn’t part of their job description, and over-delivered on what was asked of them. You’ll hear how they stuck at it until they broke through, and usually you’ll hear how it only took them a couple of years to do it.

What have you been doing for the past couple of years? Think of what you could accomplish if you made it a habit to exceed everyone’s expectations. Image what doors could be open to you if you decided to be of better service and value.

How are you willing to go the extra mile? What kind of extra service are you willing to provide in order to stand out from the rest? What areas of your life could you be giving more of your effort and time, becoming more valuable, and improving your reputation?

Be willing to treat everyone like you’d treat your dearest friend. Don’t skimp on service. Don’t be mediocre or run of the mill. Show people what you are capable of. Show them that you care about your image and reputation.

When it comes to success, the people who are willing to go the extra mile get there that much faster!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Never Too Young to Learn: Time – The Most Important Factor in the “Money Game”

I wrote a post earlier this year about an experiment that I was doing with my seven year old son (now eight years old) to teach him about saving money and investing for his future. The post describes the steps in detail that I took with my son to start him investing in his own Roth IRA. We found that one of the main rules that you must follow in order to qualify for a Roth IRA is that the money must be “verifiable earned income” – in other words you must have proof that the money was earned and not just a gift from grand mom. So, in our “experiment”, in order to prove “verifiable earned income”, we decided to set up a business for my son, keep good documentation on all income, and then later file taxes on that income. You can read about all the steps we took at The Roth IRA – Not Just For Grownups Anymore!

Just recently, my son hit a milestone in the amount of income that he earned for his newly created business for this year. He cleared his first $250.00 – which is special because it is the minimum initial investment for the fund that we were looking to invest in. Now, I know $250.00 is not something to get too excited about, and my son wasn’t that excited about it either. He was starting to get a little tired of me always trying to find him odd jobs that he could make money doing – from shoveling snow, to spreading mulch, to cat-sitting or tomato-watering or mail-collecting while the neighbors are on vacation, to clearing the yard of dog poop, to mowing the neighbor’s lawn, to cleaning the bathrooms, to weeding. So, I decided at this point I needed to inject some excitement into this “experiment” and give him his first real money lesson.

I asked my son, “Would you like to know what this $250.00 could be worth in the future if you just invested it and left it alone until retirement?” He was pretty curious (and so was I) and he responded with an excited “Yeah!” So, I pulled out my financial calculator, handed it to him and let him do the driving. The first thing we needed to calculate was the number of years he had left until retirement age. We subtracted his age, 8 from the retirement age, 65 and got 57 years (he didn’t need the calculator for this one). Next, I helped him compute five very possible scenarios for his investment:
  • $250 working at 3% rate of return for 57 years would accumulate to $1,347.91
  • $250 working at 6% rate of return for 57 years would accumulate to $6,924.28
  • $250 working at 8% rate of return for 57 years would accumulate to $20,095.28
  • $250 working at 10% rate of return for 57 years would accumulate to $57,190.39
  • $250 working at 12% rate of return for 57 years would accumulate to $159,722.94!
My son had fun pushing in the numbers on the calculator, and he got more and more excited as the rate of return went up. By the time the exercise was over he had mastered the calculator. I told him that 12% is actually very possible over that long of a period of time, based on historical stock market evidence. Also, I mentioned that since the investment would be a Roth IRA, the money would be able to be withdrawn totally tax free! But, not only did he have fun, I think he actually got it – he realized that you can invest a relatively painless amount of money now and in the future it can turn into a pretty significant amount of money because of the powerful compounding effect of time on money.

This little exercise sort of changed my son’s attitude towards work in a positive direction and revived his entrepreneurial spirit. He saw what a measly $250.00 could possibly do over time and then you could just see the gears in his mind start turning as he started calculating his own scenarios of what the numbers would look like if he was to invest even more money.

The moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to teach a young child about money. Children are naturally inquisitive, have a great imagination and they are usually eager to learn. There are really only three factors in the “Money Game” – money, interest and time – where time is the most important. And children have the most important piece to the puzzle already – Time! Teaching your child early and celebrating their milestones can go a long way towards ensuring a better relationship with your child, taking advantage of more compounding periods for their money to grow, instilling in your child good money habits and work ethic as well as providing him with a more secure financial future.

I’d like to end on a quote that I thought was appropriate for this topic from the late great Jim Rohn: What should a child do with a dollar? Here's one philosophy: It's only a child and it's only a dollar, so what difference does it make? Wow, what a philosophy! Where do you suppose everything starts for the future? Here's where it starts—it starts with a child and a dollar. You say, “Well, he's only a child once. Let him spend it all.” Well, when would you hope that would stop? When he's fifty and broke like you?

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 questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Success Begins with Believing
Written by Jack Canfield

In order to be successful, we must first define what success means to us, and that means getting CLEAR about what you want, writing it down, and thinking BIG!

If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. You have to believe you have the right stuff, that you are able to pull it off. You have to believe in yourself. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-assurance, it is a deep-seeded belief that you have what it takes – the abilities, inner resources, talents, and skills to create your desired results.

Ultimately, you must learn to control your self-talk, eliminate any negative and limiting beliefs, and maintain a constant state of positive expectations.

Control Your Self-Talk

Researchers have found that the average person thinks as many as 50,000 thoughts a day. Sadly, many of those thoughts are negative — I’m not management material... I’ll never lose weight... It doesn’t matter what I do, nothing ever works out for me. This is what psychologists call victim language. Victim language actually keeps you in a victim state of mind. It is a form of self-hypnosis that lulls you into a belief that you are unlovable and incompetent.

In order to get what you want from life, you need to give up this victim language and start talking to yourself like a winner — I can do it... I know there is a solution... I am smart enough and strong enough to figure this out... Everything I eat helps me maintain my perfect body weight.

You Are Always Programming Your Subconscious Mind

Your subconscious mind is like the crew of a ship. You are it's captain. It is your job to give the crew orders. And when you do this, the crew takes everything you say literally. The crew (your subconscious) has no sense of humor. It just blindly follows orders. When you say, “Everything I eat goes straight to my hips,” the crew hears that as an order: Take everything she eats, turn it into fat and put it on her hips. On the other hand, if you say, “Everything I eat helps me maintain my perfect body weight,” the crew will begin to make that into reality by helping you make better food choices, exercise, and maintain the right metabolism rate for you body.

This power of your subconscious mind is the reason you must become very vigilant and pay careful attention to your spoken and internal statements. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they are committing negative self-talk, which is why it is best to enlist another person — your success partner — in monitoring each other’s speaking. You can have a signal for interrupting each other when you use victim language.

Use Affirmations to Build Self-Confidence

One of the most powerful tools for building worthiness and self-confidence is the repetition of positive statements until they become a natural part of the way you think. These “affirmations” act to crowd out and replace the negative orders you have been sending your crew (your subconscious mind) all these years. I suggest that you create a list of 10 to 20 statements that affirm your belief in your worthiness and your ability to create the life of your dreams.

Of course, what to believe is up to you, but here are some examples of affirmations that have worked for others in the past:
  • I am worthy of love, joy and success.
  • I am smart and make wise choices.
  • I am loveable and capable.
  • I create anything I want.
  • I am able to solve any problem that comes my way.
  • I can handle anything that life hands me.
  • I have all the energy I need to do everything I want to do.
  • I am attracting all the right people into my life.
Believing in Yourself is an Attitude

Believing in yourself is a choice. It’s an attitude you develop over time. It’s now your responsibility to take charge of your own self-concept and your beliefs. It might help to know that the latest brain research now indicates that with enough positive self-talk and positive visualization combined with the proper training, coaching, and practice, anyone can learn to do almost anything.

You must choose to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to – anything at all – because, in fact, you can

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Holiday Gift Idea for a Teen – A Lesson in Money

Tired of giving clothes that your teen will just return, a computer game that will keep your teen from going out doors or cold hard cash that your teen will blow before the day is over? How about this year putting that cash to work by giving your teen a gift that will keep on giving? A lesson in money!

By the way, this could be a lesson for you as well as your teen.

The Idea

Open a “Roth IRA” on January 1, 2011 for your teenage child or grandchild and fund it with $1,000.00 (or whatever you can afford, but for this article I am going to stick with $1000.00).

The Price

With the Roth IRA, the invested money must be earned by the owner for that year. So, the “Teen” has until December 31, 2011 to actually earn the $1,000.00 – twelve months.

Here are some examples to help your teen visualize how easy and possible it is to earn $1000.00 in one year:
  • Earn $83.00 a month or
  • Earn $20.00 a week or
  • Earn $2.74 a day or
  • Earn $2.00 per hour working 2 hours a day, 5 days a week
The Prize

$1,000.00 invested one time could have these results for your teen:

Average annual Rate of return -->@ 8%@ 10%@ 12%
50 years$53,878.18$145,369.92$391,583.40
55 years$80,270.18$239,178.43$711,388.26
60 years$119,590.18$393,522.41$1,292,376.71

Note: It doesn’t matter whose money is invested, so long as the owner of the Roth IRA earns at least the invested amount over that year. Therefore, a parent, or grandparent, could do some very creative “Matching” to inspire the child to work more, earn more, and invest more – and retire earlier, with a better quality of life!

The Lesson

Starting your teen investing as soon as possible can have many benefits, such as:
  • Learning the power of compounding interest over time.
  • Growing closer to your teen through the teaching process.
  • Gaining a greater sense of responsibility that comes along with ownership.
  • Learning great habits that can build self confidence and can lead to great success not only in finances, but in life!
Remember, the holidays will be here before you know it, so plan ahead. This year do something that can really make a positive impact on your teen!

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 questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chunk-Down that Goal and Get Out of Overwhelm
Written by Jack Canfield

Sometimes our biggest life goals seem so overwhelming.

We rarely see them as a series of small, achievable tasks, but in reality, breaking down a large goal into smaller tasks—and accomplishing them one at a time—is exactly how any big goal gets achieved.

After you have decided what you really want, with specific deadlines, the next step is to determine all of the individual action steps you will need to take to accomplish your goal.

How to Chunk It Down

There are several ways to figure out the action steps you will need to take to accomplish any goal. One is to consult with people who have already done what you want to do and ask what steps they took. From their experience, they can give you all of the necessary steps as well as advice on what pitfalls to avoid.

Another way is to purchase a book or manual that outlines the process.

Yet another way is to start from the end and look backward. You simply close your eyes and imagine that it is now the future and you have already achieved your goal. Then just look back and see what you had to do to get to where you now are. What was the last thing you did? And then the thing before that, and then the thing before that, until you arrive at the first action you had to start with.

Remember that it is okay not to know how to do something.

It’s okay to ask for guidance and advice from those who do know. Sometimes you can get it free, and sometimes you have to pay for it. Get used to asking, “Can you tell me how to go about...?” and “What would I have to do to...?” and “How did you...?”

Keep researching and asking until you can create a realistic action plan that will get you from where you are to where you want to go.

What will you need to do? How much money will you need to save or raise? What new skills will you need to learn? What resources will you need to mobilize? Who will you need to enroll in your vision? Who will you need to ask for assistance? What new disciplines or habits will you need to build into your life?

Another valuable technique for creating an action plan for your goals is called mind mapping.

How to Use Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a simple but powerful process for creating a detailed to do list for achieving your goal. It lets you determine what information you’ll need to gather, who you’ll need to talk to, what small steps you’ll need to take, how much money you’ll need to earn or raise, which deadlines you’ll need to meet, and so on—for each and every goal.

When I began creating my first educational audio program—a breakthrough goal that led to extraordinary gains for me and my business—I used mind mapping to help me “chunk down” that very large goal into all the individual tasks I would need to complete to produce a finished product.

To mind-map your own goals, follow these steps as illustrated in the example:

1.) Center circle: In the center circle, jot down the name of your stated goal—in this case, Create an Audio Educational Program.

2.) Outside circles: Next, divide the goal into the major categories of tasks you’ll need to accomplish to achieve the greater goal—in this case, Title, Studio, Topics, Audience, and so on.

3.) Spokes: Then, draw spokes radiating outward from each mini-circle and label each one (such as Write Copy, Color Picture for Back Cover, and Arrange Lunch.)

On a separate line connected to the minicircle, write every single step you’ll need to take. Break down each one of the more detailed task spokes with action items to help you create your master to do list.

Next, Make a Daily To-Do List

Once you’ve completed a mind map for your goal, convert all of the to-do items into daily action items by listing each one on your daily to-do lists and committing to a completion date for each one. Then schedule them in the appropriate order into your calendar and do whatever it takes to stay on schedule.

Do First Things First

The goal is to stay on schedule and complete the most important item first. In his excellent book, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, Brian Tracy reveals not just how to conquer procrastination but also how to prioritize and complete all of your action items.

In his unique system, Brian advises goal setters to identify the one to five things you must accomplish on any given day, and then pick the one you absolutely must do first. This becomes your biggest and ugliest frog.

He then suggests you accomplish that task first—in essence, eat that frog first—and, by so doing; make the rest of your day much, much easier. It’s a great strategy. But unfortunately, most of us leave the biggest and ugliest frog for last, hoping it will go away or somehow become easier. It never does. However, when you accomplish your toughest task early in the day, it sets the tone for the rest of your day.

By chunking down your goals, and then taking daily action on them, you create momentum and build your confidence, both of which move you farther and faster toward the achievement of your goals.

Now go take some action!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Real Cost of That Guarantee

Just imagine that you had $10,000.00 to invest right now. Where would you invest it? Let’s say that you found a great deal at the bank – a CD with a guaranteed 5% annual rate of return. That sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? Now, just for fun, let’s figure out how much you would make if you decided to take the bank up on their guarantee for one year:
  • First let’s multiply the $10,000.000 by the guaranteed 5% rate and this gives you your one year profit of $500.00. Not too shabby.
  • Next let’s multiply your one year profit of $500.00 by 25% (the amount of taxes you will need to pay to pull out this profit) that results in $125.00. Subtract the taxes paid from the first year’s profit ($500.00 - $125.00) and you still have a $375.00 profit. Still, not that bad.
  • Finally, let’s take inflation into account. With 4% inflation, your original $10,000.00 is worth $400.00 less now than last year. So, let’s subtract the loss in buying power due to inflation from the profit that was adjusted for taxes ($375.00 - $400.00). Your final profit -$25.00! What happened?
What happened here is what happens to a lot of intelligent people – they don’t take into account all of the factors, such as taxes and inflation – because they were never taught how to. And I think this is very important for everyone to know! The real cost of the guarantee, in this case, would be a loss of $25.00 worth of buying power! So, it turns out that it was a great deal after all … for the bank!

Important Note: Typically, whenever a financial institution is willing to “Guarantee” you a rate of return, it will be a guaranteed loss to you, when you take into account “Taxes” and “Inflation”. Next time you are enticed to take that guarantee, try out this little exercise to figure out if it is going to benefit you … or just the bank. Don’t forget about the taxes and inflation!

I like the way The Motley Fool puts it: “Over time, of course, the market has historically been the best place to park your money. [T]he so-called 'safest' investment vehicle – putting your money in an interest-bearing bank account, or in a money-market account – is in a very real sense the most guaranteed losing proposition of them all (short of stuffing your savings under your mattress, and watching it eaten away either by mice or by the sharp teeth of gnawing inflation).

Why is this? Because if you’re getting, say, a guaranteed 5% a year, then you are missing out on the average 10.6% that an index fund, like one that tracks the performance of the S&P 500, would have been gaining for you. It’s true that you’re protected from losing your principal if you take the bank account-conservative route – but you’re also 'protected' from any major long-term investment returns.”


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 questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stay Focused on Your Core Genius
Written by Jack Canfield

I believe you have inside of you a core genius... some one thing that you love to do, and do so well, that you hardly feel like doing anything else. It’s effortless for you and a whole lot of fun. And if you could make money doing it, you’d make it your lifetime’s work.

In most cases, your Core Genius is directly tied to your passions and life-purpose.

Successful people believe this, too. That's why they put their core genius first. They focus on it—and delegate everything else to other people on their team.

For me, my core genius lies in the area of teaching, training, coaching and motivating. Another core genius is writing and compiling books. Over my 35 year career, I have written, co-authored, compiled and edited more than 150 books, and I love to do it! I do it well, and people report that they get great value from it.

Compare that to the other people in the world who go through life doing everything, even those tasks they’re bad at or that could be done more cheaply, better, and faster by someone else.

They simply can’t find the time to focus on their core genius because they fail to delegate even the most menial of tasks.

When you delegate the grunt work—the things you hate doing or those tasks that are so painful, you end up putting them off—you get to concentrate on what you love to do. You free up your time so that you can be more productive. And you get to enjoy life more.

So why is delegating routine tasks and unwanted projects so difficult for most people?

Surprisingly, most people are afraid of looking wasteful or being judged as being above everyone else. They are afraid to give up control or reluctant to spend the money to pay for help. Deep down, most people simply don't want to let go.

Others (potentially you) have simply fallen into the habit of doing everything themselves. "It's too time-consuming to explain it to someone," you say. "I can do it more quickly and better myself anyway." But can you?

Delegate Completely!

If you’re a professional earning $75 per hour and you pay a neighborhood kid $10 an hour to cut the grass, you save the effort of doing it yourself on the weekend and gain one extra hour when you could profit by $65. Of course, while one hour does’t seem like much, multiply that by 52 weekends a year and you discover you’Ave gained 52 hours a year at $65 per hour —or an extra $3,380 in potential earnings.

Similarly, if you’re a real estate agent, you need to list houses, gather information for the multiple listings, attend open houses, do showings, put keys in lock boxes, write offers and make appointments. And, if you’re lucky, you eventually get to close a deal.

But let’s say that you’re the best closer in the area.

Why would you want to waste your time writing listings, doing lead generation, placing lock boxes, and making videos of the property when you could have a staff of colleagues and assistants doing all that, thus freeing you up to do more closing? Instead of doing just one deal a week, you could be doing three deals because you had delegated what you’re less good at.

One of the strategies I use and teach is complete delegation. It simply means that you delegate a task once and completely - rather than delegating it each time it needs to be done.

When my niece came to stay with us one year while she attended the local community college, we made a complete delegation - the grocery shopping. We told her she could have unlimited use of our van if she would buy the groceries every week. We provided her with a list of staples that we always want in the house (eggs, butter, milk, ketchup, and so on), and her job was to check every week and replace anything that was running low.

In addition, my wife planned meals and let her know which items she wanted for the main courses (fish, chicken, broccoli, avocados, and so on). The task was delegated once and saved us hundreds of hours that year that could be devoted to writing, exercise, family time, and recreation.

Most entrepreneurs spend less than 30% of their time focusing on their core genius and unique abilities.

In fact, by the time they've launched a business, it often seems entrepreneurs are doing everything but the one thing they went into business for in the first place.

Many salespeople, for example, spend more time on account administration than they do on the phone or in the field making sales, when they could hire a part-time administrator (or share the cost with another salesperson) to do this time-consuming detail work. In most cases, in a fraction of the time it would take them and at a fraction of the cost.

Most female executives spend too much time running their household, when they could easily and inexpensively delegate this task to a cleaning service or part-time mother's helper, freeing them to focus on their career or spend more quality time with their family.

Don't let this be your fate!

Identify your core genius, then delegate completely to free up more time to focus on what you love to do.

I believe that you can trade, barter, pay for and find volunteer help to do almost everything you don't want to do, leaving you to do what you are best at - and which will ultimately make you the most money and bring you the most happiness.

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You Confusing Motivation with Inspiration?

Lance Secretan, the author of Inspire! What Great Leaders Do has been studying great leaders like Gandhi, Buddha, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Confucius for over 30 years of his life. Many people have come up to him over the years and asked, “What about Hitler or Stalin or Mussolini? They were great leaders too!” Well, that didn’t really sit well with Lance, so, he decided to take all of his years of research and come up with his own definition of great leadership. Here’s how his definition goes:

Great Leadership is a serving relationship with others that inspires their growth and makes the world a better place.

So, Lance breaks down his definition of great leadership into 3 parts. The first part being that Great Leadership is a serving relationship. There is a great quote by Frank Warren that goes like this: “If you want to be a leader you will be very frustrated; for very few people wish to be lead. If you aim to be a servant, you will never be frustrated.” The secret here, Lance says, is servant leadership! The second part of Lance’s definition is that Great Leadership should inspire growth in people. And finally, the third part of his definition is that Great Leadership should make the world a better place. And it is by this definition; Hitler would not be considered a great leader!

Lance mentions in his book that we haven’t really learned that much about leadership in the past 100 years. Most of what we know and teach about leadership still comes from the behavioral scientists like Pavlov and BF Skinner and others – the philosophy of using the punishment and reward system as motivation. We are motivated to do well at work to get that promotion or award or that nice corner office. We are also motivated that if we don’t do well at work we could get demoted, not get that bonus check, lose our budget or even get fired.

Lance believes that we need to move away from this old-school motivational way of leadership and into a newer-school inspirational way of leadership. But first there must be some clarification, because Lance feels that “we have been confusing motivation with inspiration”. The dictionary tells us that to motivate is to provide a motive; to induce, incite, impel. Inspiration, on the other hand, comes from the Latin word spirare – meaning spirit, to infuse with an encouraging or exulting influence, to animate, stimulation by divinity, a divine influence upon human beings, to give life, the breath of God. By definition, you can see that the two words do not mean the same thing; much less should they be used interchangeably in a sentence. Lance even goes further, by mentioning in his book, that as the words relate to leadership, these two words are polar opposites.

Motivation is something we “do” to someone; inspiration is something that is the result of a soulful relationship. Anyone who has had the privilege of working with a great mentor in their lives probably knows and appreciates the difference. The mentor is not in it for themselves; they are offering a gift to you, an act of love and service. Their generosity of spirit and their gift of learning is not only what inspires you, but what inspires the mentor as well. Motivation comes more from a place of self-concern – “I want to change your behavior with a reward or incentive, so that, if you meet the targets or goals I set for you, I will meet my own needs and goals.” When we motivate, we serve ourselves first; when we inspire, we serve others first. Motivation is about me and fear where inspiration is about you and love.

Let’s all take a page out of Lance’s book Inspire! What Great Leaders Do and start moving away from motivation and more towards inspiration – not just where leadership is concerned but with all aspects of our life. By working together, serving one another and inspiring each other to grow, we can make the world a better place!

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 questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When Success is Slow, What Can You Do?
Written by Jack Canfield

Pop Quiz: Can success be sped up? Is there an antidote to slow outcomes despite arduous planning and actions taken? What's the secret for seeing huge results right now?!

I get versions of these questions frequently from people who feel frustrated at sluggish progress in their success journey - despite all the know-how and principles they rigorously employ.

Let's get one thing straight...

When we admire someone's success, or even our own, we often focus on the end result and not so much on the effort (and time) that it took to get there. This can cultivate unrealistic expectations, especially the idea that overnight success can happen through careful strategy and an execution of sound advice.

The truth be told, success typically follows a series of little events and achievements that can seem to take an eternity, that include a few disappointments along the way, and that challenge everything about you to the core - your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going.

If you focus on what's not working, guess what: You're likely coming from a place of aggravation as your mind wraps around all that is wrong.

You may even have negative thoughts like "I'm not good enough," "It will never work," or "Something must be wrong with me."

What this mentally does is engender more of these counter-productive feelings. And given what we know about the Law of Attraction, you attract what you are feeling. So negative experiences, people, and results will beget more negative experience, people, and results. There's not much success in that.

The key is to focus on what IS working.

To do so, I recommend two simple practices: journaling and meditation.

Maintaining a journal (I call it an Evidence Log, Results Journal, or Gratitude Journal) is a great way to steer your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.

Start each day with reflections on what you are grateful for in your life (list them out!) and end each day with notes on what went right (again, write them down), however small they may seem.

Spend time each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation.

Meditation can be a powerful tool for arriving at solutions to problems and shifting your attitude so you can attract success sooner rather than later. The magic of meditation is its ability to essentially shut down the outer layer of your judgmental, highly-critical brain and allow your unconscious mind to take over. This is where you enter a deeper state of inner peace and joy, tapping into a higher level of creativity that will help usher in the results you want. (Don't know how to meditate? Lots of books and materials are available to guide you through this practice. It's easier than you think.)

Let's say you're doing ALL these things, but you still aren't happy with your results...

I'll ask you then, are you taking real ACTION?

You may be taking the actions you are used to taking. But if you keep doing what you've already done, then you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. It's a matter of practicing some new behaviors. Shake things up a bit and see if you can take new actions or modify existing ones.

Remember the Rule of 5.

Every day do five specific things that take you toward your goal. Change up the five actions regularly and be open to feedback so you know when you're off course.

Lastly, I want to remind you about patience.

It's natural to underestimate how long a certain goal can take, especially a profound one. When I set a goal to become a millionaire, the year was 1983. How long did it take? Eleven years. It took time for Chicken Soup for the Soul to hit the bestseller lists. You could say our tenure on the New York Times list was more than a decade in the making. That's a lot of patience for someone who initially wanted overnight success.

So, yes, patience is a virtue. But keep at it, and in no time, you'll be only one week, or one day away from your ultimate success.

Remember... be GRATEFUL, reflect on what IS working and continue to take ACTION!
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Are you "stuck" in this area?
For more on speeding up your success, I highly recommend picking up a copy of
The Success Principles 30-Day Audio Course.
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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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.