Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Good Things Come to Those Who Ask
Written by Jack Canfield

Asking for what you need is probably the most underutilized tool for people. And yet, amazing requests have been granted to people simply because they've asked for it!

Whether its money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true.

They might be afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. More than likely, though, it is the fear of rejection that is holding them back. Even though they are afraid to hear the word no, they're already saying it to themselves by not asking!

Do you ask for what you want or are you afraid of rejection?

Consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection! You're not any worse off by hearing no than you were before you asked. You didn't have what you asked for before you asked and you still don't, so what did you lose?

Being rejected doesn't hold you back from anything. Only YOU hold yourself back. When you realize that there's no merit to rejection, you'll feel more comfortable asking for things. You may just need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.

How to Ask for What You Want

There’s a specific science to asking for and getting what you want or need in life. And while I recommend you learn more by studying The Aladdin Factor, here are some quick tips to get you started:

1. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation. Ask from the place that you have already been given it. It is a done deal. Ask as if you expect to get a “yes.”

2. Assume you can. Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get it. If you are going to assume, assume you can get an upgrade. Assume you can get a table by the window. Assume that you can return it without a sales slip. Assume that you can get a scholarship, that you can get a raise, that you can get tickets at this late date. Don’t ever assume against yourself.

3. Ask someone who can give it to you. Qualify the person. Who would I have to speak to get... Who is authorized to make a decision about... What would have to happen for me to get...

4. Be clear and specific. In my seminars, I often ask, “Who wants more money in their life?” I’ll pick someone who raised their hand and give them a quarter, asking, “Is that enough for you?” “No? Well, how would I know how much you want? How would anybody know?”

You need to ask for a specific number. Too many people are walking around wanting more of something, but not being specific enough to obtain it.

5. Ask repeatedly. One of the most important Success Principles is the commitment to not give up.

Whenever we’re asking others to participate in the fulfillment of our goals, some people are going to say “no.” They may have other priorities, commitments and reasons not to participate. It’s no reflection on you.

Just get used to the idea that there’s going to be a lot of rejection along the way to the brass ring. The key is to not give up. When someone says “No”— you say “NEXT!” Why?

Because when you keep on asking, even the same person again and again ... they might say “yes”...

…on a different day
…when they are in a better mood
…when you have new data to present
…after you’ve proven your commitment to them
…when circumstances have changed
…when you’ve learned how to close better
…when you’ve established better rapport
…when they trust you more
…when you have paid your dues
…when the economy is better
…and so on.

Kids know this Success Principle better than anyone. They will ask the same person over and over again without any hesitation. (can you relate?)

Getting a good perspective on rejection and learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. Practice asking and you'll get very good at it! You'll even speed your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.

Make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life, and start asking.

Remember, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE… if you dare to ask!

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, June 21, 2010

Releasing the Brakes
Written by Jack Canfield

Have you ever been driving your car and realized that you'd left the emergency brake on?

Of course. We all have. But when we discover the brake is on -- do we press harder on the gas pedal? Of course not!

We simply release the brake… and with no extra effort we go faster.

Going through life is a lot like driving a car. But unfortunately, most people drive through life with their psychological emergency brake on. They hold on to negative images of themselves... or suffer the effects of highly emotional events they haven't yet released. To cope, they stay in a comfort zone entirely of their own making.

And when they try to achieve their goals, these negative images and preprogrammed comfort zones always cancel out their good intentions—no matter how hard they try.

Call them "blocks" or "limiting beliefs" or "being stuck" -- but these images and past hurts are nothing more than driving through life with the emergency brake on.

Successful people, on the other hand, continually move beyond their comfort zone -- not by using increased willpower, but by replacing their beliefs about themselves and changing their self image.

They release the brakes -- and, just like a car, they instantly go faster.

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Think of your comfort zone as a prison you live in – a largely self-created prison. It consists of the collection of can’ts, musts, must nots, and other unfounded beliefs formed from all the negative thoughts and decisions you have accumulated and reinforced during your lifetime.

The good news is that you can change your comfort zone. How? In three different ways:

1. You can use affirmations and positive self-talk to affirm having what you want, doing what you want, and being the way you want.
2. You can create powerful and compelling new internal images of having, doing, and being what you want.
3. You can simply change your behaviors

All three of these approaches will begin to shift you out of your old comfort zone.

STOP RE-CREATING THE SAME EXPERIENCE OVER AND OVER!

An important concept that successful people understand is that you are never stuck. You just keep re-creating the same experiences over and over by thinking the same thoughts, maintaining the same beliefs, speaking the same words, and doing the same things.

Too often, we get stuck in an endless look of reinforcing behavior, which keep us stuck in a constant downward spiral.

It goes like this: Our limiting thoughts create images in our mind… and those images govern our behavior… which in turn reinforces that limiting thought.

This is known as the Self-Talk Endless Loop.

As long as you keep complaining about your present circumstances, your mind will focus on it. By continually talking about, thinking about, and writing about the way things are, you are continually reinforcing those very same neural pathways in your brain that got you to where you are today. You are continually sending out the same vibrations that will keep attracting the same people and circumstances that you have already created.

To change this cycle, you must focus instead on thinking, talking, and writing about the new reality you want to create. You must FLOOD your unconscious with thoughts, images and ACTION that match your desired reality.

Then suddenly, instead of your outcomes being predetermined by an endless cycle of reinforced self-doubt and self-talk, you’re free to pursue your goals with new determination and confidence.

If releasing the brakes is something you need to do, realize that it's difficult to do by yourself.

We need outside influences to break through our habitual ways of thinking and behaving to assist us in restructuring our beliefs, releasing our repressed emotions and connecting with our true selves.

Two of the most powerful methods for doing this are large group awareness trainings and therapy. If I were to attribute my incredible level of success to any one thing, it would be the hundreds of personal development seminars I’ve attended over the past 40 years.

If you've discovered that you've been recreating the same outcomes, scenarios, experiences and endless loop of not getting what you want, I'd like to help you break free from this downward spiral.

In fact, one of the most important things I do for participants in my Breakthrough to Success training week is to help them identify these "blocks" that govern their behavior -- then replace those blocks with new thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and patterns.

Of course, there are literally hundreds of individuals and organizations that conduct seminars all over the world. Some are better than others, and in my experience, about 20% of them are highly competent and effective.

Visit their websites, call and talk to them, attend their guest events, and then make a decision about which one feels right for you.

The impact in all areas of your life will be incredible.

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, June 16, 2010

The “Real Cost” of That First New Car

Your son turns 16 and wants to buy a new car.

What might you tell him?

Suppose you showed him instead that he could save $150 per month by buying a good used car -- rather than a new one! Most new cars lose a lot of their value just after driving them off the lot anyways.

If he were to save the $150.00 per month savings in a Roth IRA for 5 years (from age 16 to 21) at 6% rate of interest he would accumulate $10,518.00!

At age 21 after the car is paid off he could just leave the $10,518.00 alone to compound for 44 years (until age 65).

If the investment was working at 10% over the 44 years he would have $841,222.00.

If it was working at 12% he would have $2,011,965.00 and it would all be Tax-Free!

Just think, this could be the prize at 65 for not buying a new car at age 16!

Money smart people understand “Compound Interest” and the “Time-Value” of money! Won't you join the club?

The Money Message:
  • “Delayed Gratification” is something most teenagers know little about because it is usually not practiced by their peers, or their parents.
  • In this example, one decision to delay a desired “Pleasure,” by only five years, could have a “Million Dollar plus” payback at retirement age.
  • Most of us older folks, if we think back to our teens and early twenties, probably wish we would have known about the “Time-Value” of money -- and had practiced more “Delayed Gratification” in some specific instances.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to teach, and demonstrate, this powerful principle to your children.
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, June 7, 2010

Overcome ANY Obstacle with 3 Simple Questions
Written by Jack Canfield

What stands between you and what you most desire?

Your answers might relate to a lack of money, time, support from family, or all of these. Obstacles can seem so numerous, so obvious, and so tough to change.

You can relate to obstacles in many ways. Typical responses are to explain them or resist them.

Both responses take a lot of time and energy. And both anchor you firmly in the past, keeping your focus on areas of your life that are not working.

To immediately generate alternatives, remember a simple analogy...

Imagine that you’re driving down a scenic highway. Suddenly you come to a huge rock in the middle of the road.

At this moment you have several options. You could try to explain how the rock ended up there. You could also go into resistance mode, complaining about the carelessness of highway construction or the lack of state funding for rock removal.

Or, you could bypass all this negativity and remove the obstacle from your life at once. Instead of explaining the rock or resisting it, just drive around it.

When faced with obstacles, people often respond with questions based on explanation and resistance, such as:
  • Why am I so alone?
  • Why does this always happen to me?
  • Why am I such a failure?
However, you always have another option. You can ask questions that help you drive around any obstacle in your life.

Questions have uncanny power. Questions direct your attention — and along with it, how you think and how you feel. If you want to create different thoughts, feelings, and results into your life, then ask different questions.

Start now by skipping the why questions and begin asking what questions, such as:

1) What’s the lesson here?

There’s an old saying about learning from experience: Beware the person with twenty years of experience. This may consist of one year of learning and nineteen years of repetition.

The point is that experiences do not come prepackaged with empowering lessons. Everything hinges on how you interpret experiences, and your interpretations can change over the years. A single event can take you a step closer to emotional contraction or expansion. It all depends on how you interpret that event.

Psychologist Martin Seligman has made a career by studying how human beings interpret their experience. He notes that each of us has an explanatory style. People who chronically feel helpless tend to explain events in ways that are:
  • Permanent: “I always get confused when trying to learn something new.”
  • Personal: “I’m just no good at meeting people.”
  • Pervasive: “I’m just the kind of person who fails to follow through, no matter what kind of goals I set.”
Optimistic people use a different style. They explain events in ways that are:
  • Temporary: “When I feel confused, I ask questions that lead me to understanding.”
  • External: “I find it hard to talk to people in bars, so I invite them to quiet restaurants instead.”
  • Specific: “I find it challenging to meet long-term goals, so for now I will focus on achieving short-term objectives.”
You should interpret these obstacles as yield signs rather than stop signs.

These are signals that the world is expanding to accommodate your growth. Instead of resisting a challenge, just lean into it. Ask yourself: How can I interpret this event in a more powerful way? What’s a positive lesson that’s waiting here to be learned?

2) What’s great about having this problem?

There’s an easy answer to this question: “Nothing!” However, looking beyond that knee-jerk response can quickly open up your perspective.

Tony Robbins offers an example in his book Awaken the Giant WithinSuccess Books). He recalls a time when he’d been on the road for nearly 100 days out of 120. Returning to his office, he found a stack of urgent memos and a list of 100 phone calls that he needed to personally return. Before making these discoveries, he was tired. Now he felt exhausted.

Tony managed to shift his internal state simply by asking: What’s great about having this problem? He then realized that just a few years ago he would have been grateful to get calls from twenty people—let alone one hundred people with national reputations.

This insight was enough to break his pattern of frustration. He found himself feeling grateful that so many people he loved and respected were willing to connect with him.

3) What’s my next action?

This question shines a spotlight on solutions. No matter what happens, you can choose what to say and do in response. Rather than manifesting resistance or explanation, you can choose your next action.

Successful people hold a bias for action. Add inspiration and intention to the mix, and you gain an unstoppable momentum.

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, June 2, 2010

Think Roth IRA Now -- For Your Child's Future

In these current turbulent economic times, you really have to think outside of the box to get ahead financially. This may take some creativity on your part to pull off, but I can help give you some ideas and it will be well worth it in the end. One of the most powerful and underutilized programs that the government has to offer today is the Roth IRA that was established by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-34). When I say underutilized, I mean that not everyone that can qualify for one is actually getting in on the deal. Most people know that the Roth IRA exists, but most people don’t realize that Roth IRAs are available for kids too.

I wrote an earlier blog post explaining how I was able to start a Roth IRA for my seven year old son in an article called The Roth IRA – Not Just For Grownups Anymore! I would recommend reading that post if you are interested in a real-life story on how to start an IRA for a child that is still a minor. It gives ideas on how to prove and document verifiable earned income; ideas on different jobs minors could do; ideas on how to do the minor’s taxes (if necessary) and other helpful resources as well.

In this article, I want to get you excited about starting a Roth IRA as soon as possible for your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. and not waiting until they turn seven like I did, to get them off on the right financial footing. I want to stress that it is never too late to start investing, but I also want to stress that the sooner the better; because time is the most important factor in the money game. The more time you have to invest your money, the more times your money can compound and grow exponentially.

First, let’s start out with some important facts and maybe some misconceptions about Roth IRAs:
  • Anyone, at any age, is eligible for a Roth IRA -- As long as they have verifiable earned income below the limits set by the IRS, or are the Spouse of an income earner, having an earned income equal to, or more than, the combined contributions of both. The eligibility limits, regarding earned income, for a Roth IRA in 2010 are:
    • Single, filing single, with a Modified Adjusted Gross Income of $105,000.00 or less
    • Married, filing jointly, with a Modified Adjusted Gross Income of $167,000.00 or less
  • An individual may have as many IRAs as they choose -- The total annual contributions, to all, cannot exceed IRS annual limits.The annual contribution limits for Roth IRAs, in 2009, are as follows:
    • Anyone under age 50 is $5,000.00 per year.
    • Anyone age 50, or over is $6,000 per year.
  • Annual Roth IRA contributions (after tax dollars) can be made before the money is actually earned, within any given tax year -- If you know how much is going to be earned for the year, you can actually invest the money early, which gives your money more time to compound. (You still have until April 15th to take the Roth tag off -- free of penalties -- the money if you have over-estimated)
  • It does not matter whose money goes into your child’s Roth IRA -- As long as it does not exceed the verified amount earned by the child that year.
  • Withdrawals are never required from a Roth IRA -- There are no “RMDs” or Required Minimum Distributions with a Roth IRA.
  • A Roth IRA may be “S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D” from one generation to another.
  • The beneficiary of a Roth IRA has several options -- All with tax-free distributions.
  • All the contributions to a Roth IRA can be withdrawn at anytime, tax-free, and without any penalty -- The earnings from a Roth IRA cannot be withdrawn, with some exceptions, until age 59 ½.
  • Roth IRA money grows tax-free and may be withdrawn tax-free, and without penalty, anytime after age 59 ½.
  • Roth IRA contributions can be made automatically, at specified intervals, to your mutual fund account, in amounts as small as $8.33 per month.
Here are some startling facts about money:
  • Every $1 invested where it will compound monthly for 65 years:
    • At 10% will be worth $647.47
    • At 12% will be worth $2,347.88
  • The difference, at age 65, between investing $5,000.00 at the beginning of the year your baby is born, an the end of the same year,
    • At 10% is $396,859.00
    • At 12% is $1,321,265.00
  • Assuming a 31% tax bracket:
    • A Traditional IRA would have to be worth $1,449,275.00
    • To be equal to a Roth IRA that was worth $1,000,000.00!
  • $100 worth of toys & gifts from Grandparents, Friends, Relatives, or You, on your child’s first birthday if compounded monthly for 64 years:
    • At 10% would be $58,609.00
    • At 12% would be $208,360.00
  • At the birth of a new born, start investing $1 a day for 65 years, compounding monthly:
    • At 10% will equal $2,346,671.00
    • At 12% will equal $7,110,975.00
  • However, waiting to start until the child’s 5th birthday, will reduce the amount at age 65:
    • At 10% by $1,000,000.00
    • At 12% by $3,912,000.00
  • Here are some interesting calculations for if you were to start funding a Roth IRA at birth and made one-time investments for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years:
    • Here’s what it would look like investing $1,000.00:
    • Here’s what it would look like investing $5,000.00:
Now let’s put things into perspective:
The average American employee works about three hours, out of every eight, each work day just to pay taxes. Yet that same worker could make their kid a millionaire in forty-five years by investing just twelve minutes of wages each day -- assuming a 10% annual rate of return. 12 minutes per work day is approximately $100 per month, for the average American worker.
  • $100 per month for 45 years @ 10% = $1,056,986.00
  • $100 per month for 45 years @ 12% = $2,166,924.00
I hope this gives you some ideas and makes you realize how an insignificant investment today can make a significant difference in the future. By taking action now and by passing this knowledge along may greatly improve your lifestyle as well as that of future generations and you can leave a legacy that can help change the world for the better!

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.