Monday, January 30, 2012

The Importance of Leaving a Legacy
Written by Jim Rohn

There are four areas concerning Leaving a Legacy that I consider to be fundamental; a Life Well-Lived, Principles to Live By, The Importance of a Spiritual Legacy and an Impact Legacy and a Financial Legacy. Today I would like to share on a Life Well-Lived.

You know, I have had an amazing life. I have traveled the world. I have shared my heart with so many wonderful people. I have been fortunate enough to make a great living and enjoy the fruit of my work. I have met thousands of people who are dedicated to personal development and self growth. I have made it my life's pursuit to teach others the philosophies and actions that would help them achieve greatness and personal fulfillment in their own lives.

Leaving a legacy for others to follow is part of what drives me. I followed others who had gone before me; they left a legacy for me. Now I am making sure that those who come after me will have a trail to follow as well. You see, leaving a legacy is important.

Think about those who left a legacy for us to follow and for you specifically:
  • Your parents
  • Your grandparents
  • Your aunts and uncles
  • Your schoolteachers
  • Your coaches
  • Your neighbors where you grew up

For those of us in America (for our international readers, take a moment to reflect on those leaders who helped form the foundations of your country):
  • The Founding Fathers of the United States, who had a dream of a place of self-determination
  • Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves
  • FDR, who saw us through the Great Depression
  • The many men and woman who defended our liberties through the wars of the 20th century so we could live in freedom
  • JFK, who called us to space exploration and set us on course to have a man walk on the moon
  • Martin Luther King Jr., who left us a legacy to pursue the dream of racial equality

There are literally thousands of men and women who lived in a way that affects our lives today.

And yes, the list goes on from there as well. These are the people who we knew, who we lived with, and who shaped us deeply, for good and for bad in some cases.

You see, a legacy can be anywhere on the continuum, from very bad to very good. It all depends on how we live our lives.

How we live our lives is critically important. I want to challenge you to take a look at how you live, to think deeply about the major areas of your life where you can and should leave a lasting legacy.

Why is leaving a legacy important? Here are a few reasons:

The legacy we leave is part of the ongoing foundations of life. Those who came before leave us the world we live in. Those who will come after will have only what we leave them. We are stewards of this world, and we have a calling on our lives to leave it better than how we found it, even if it seems like such a small part.

Legacies have raw power for good and for bad. There are people who have changed the world for good, people who have opened up new worlds for millions of others, people who have spurred others on to new heights. And there are people who have caused massive destruction for countless millions, people who left a wake of pain behind them wherever they went.

There are parents who have blessed their children with greatness and other parents who have ruined their children's fragile minds and hearts. What we do affects others. Our lives have the power to create good or purvey evil. It is important that we choose to do good.

It is an act of responsibility to leave a legacy. Because of the power of our lives and the legacies we leave, it is a great responsibility to choose to leave a positive legacy. All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. I truly believe that part of what makes us good and honorable people is to have a foundational part of our lives based on the goal of leaving a legacy.

Purposefully leaving a legacy for others breaks the downward pull of selfishness that can be inherent in us. When we strive to leave a legacy, we are acting with a selflessness that can only be good for us. Yes, I suppose someone could work hard to earn money so that when he or she dies, a building is named after them, but that is not the kind of legacy we are talking about. We are talking about legacies that make life better for those who come after us, not about our own fame or recognition, but about helping others. After all, we won't be around to watch our legacy. To build that which will last beyond us is selfless, and living with that in mind breaks the power of selfishness that tries so desperately to engrain itself in our lives.

It also keeps us focused on the big picture. Legacy building is "big picture." It keeps us focused on the long term and gives us values that we can judge our actions by. When we are acting based on selfishness, personal expediency and the like, we are "small picture"—whatever is pragmatic right now. When we are building a life that will give for many years, we are "big picture." Ask yourself: How does this action affect my overall goals? How will this affect people in the years to come?

Yes, your legacy is very important. Take time to reflect on how you are going to use these lessons, information and skills to build a life that leaves a tremendous legacy!

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2012. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Locking in Your Legacy
Written by Chris Widener

If you are going to leave a legacy that impacts people, there is something that you are going to have to come to grips with:

You are going to die.

What? What kind of motivational tool is that, Chris? Real inspiring!

Actually, it is. Our mortality may perhaps be the ultimate inspiration and motivation! If we lived on this earth eternally, we could be procrastinators extraordinaire! We would never have to get anything done because there would always be tomorrow. But alas, we pass on and all we leave are the memories and the lives of others we affected while we were here. Sounds gloomy? In actuality, it is exciting! You see, this gives us purpose—and a deadline (pun intended).

We can choose how we will live on in the hearts and memories of others. We do this by purposing to live NOW in a way that makes change happen not only within us but also those around us.

What kind of legacy will you leave? How will your family and friends remember you? How will you leave your descendants in the following areas? Give some thought to them and make some changes. In doing so, you will begin to lock in your legacy.

Below are some subject areas that that I hope will cause you to think—really think—about how you can leave a legacy.

Emotionally
Have you ever stepped back and asked yourself how you treat other people and how that affects them emotionally? I have four children. I am acutely aware that they are being shaped emotionally by how I treat them and teach them how to deal with the world. I am especially aware of this from my own background. I can directly trace my emotional shortcomings to the emotional coolness I felt from my own family. Are you raising emotionally healthy kids who are both independent as well as interdependent? Are you helping your spouse to grow emotionally? Give this some serious thought.

Spiritually
In my mind, the "God" question is the most important. You know, I often hear people say that they are just going to let their kids "figure it out on their own." These same people will show them how to shoot a basketball, trade stocks, and build a tree house, all simply temporal issues, but then leave the answers to the most important question up in the air! Now I am not advocating cramming anything down their throats, just taking the time to help them find their way. Are you helping and encouraging those around you to find their spiritual life? Are you living an authentic spiritual life that will be your legacy? Give some serious thought to this.

Physically
Now I know what you are thinking: I can't change my genes. We got what we got and we have to live with it. To a certain extent this is true. I am 5 foot 11 inches tall for the rest of my life. I will never be 6 foot, and neither will my kids. What I am talking about though, is to be examples of taking our physical health seriously. The statistics prove that whatever bad habits you have, your kids are likely to do them as well. Why? Because you are their example. This is why I work to stay physically fit. I work out. I lift weights. I eat right (most of the time—I am a sucker for Breyer's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream). I don't smoke. I want to leave a legacy of good health for my kids. True, they can still go astray, but I will do my best to give them a good example to follow. Give this some serious thought.

Financially
There are two primary ways you can leave a financial legacy. First, teach your loved ones about how to handle money (some of you may first need to learn yourself). There are just so many good books on the subject that there is no reason for not knowing how to handle money. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" is a good book to start with, or perhaps "The Millionaire Next Door." These will teach you the basics. Secondly, you can leave an inheritance. Now let me be clear on this. This does not have to be after you die. In fact, the more you have, the more I believe you ought to give away while you are alive. Let's face it, the older you get, the less need you have for money once the basics are taken care of. It always cracks me up that by the time you can afford a big house, your kids are gone and you don't need one! Turn the money over early so you can watch the joy of your loved ones spending, investing and giving it! This is of course predicated upon the assumption that you have first taught them how to handle it. If you have, then you should give it away while you're alive so you can enjoy seeing your legacy in action! Give your financial inheritance some serious thought.

Relationally
What kind of legacy will you leave in regard to how you interact relationally with people you know? When people look at how you interact with others, will they be better off if they develop the same relational habits? Will your legacy be one of love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and forgiveness? Give the idea of influencing others relationally some serious thought.

Intellectually
I don't know about you, but I want to challenge people to deeper intellectual thought. In a day and age of "People Magazine" mentalities, we need people who will challenge us to think deeper. Are you doing anything that will challenge your sphere of influence to intellectual gains? Will those left after you are gone say that you made them think in ways they hadn't before? That you challenged them to be smarter? Give this issue some serious thought.

Functionally
Functionally? Yep. It's a catchall word. It is how you function. How will those you influence actually function? This is to a great degree how you function. Are you well-rounded? Are you balanced? Do you keep the main things the main things? Is your life functioning well? Make it your goal to live a balanced, functional life so you can leave a legacy of such. Give your life function some serious thought.

I ended each paragraph with a challenge to think seriously about each. These aren't issues we will solve immediately. They take a lifetime to build and they will ebb and flow. But as you diligently pursue staying on top of them, you will be locking in that legacy you desire to leave behind!

Reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2012. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wherever You Are, Be There
Written by Jim Rohn

One of the major reasons why we fail to find happiness or to create unique lifestyle is because we have not yet mastered the art of being.

While we are home our thoughts are still absorbed with solving the challenges we face at the office. And when we are at the office we find ourselves worrying about problems at home.

We go through the day without really listening to what others are saying to us. We may be hearing the words, but we aren't absorbing the message.

As we go through the day we find ourselves focusing on past experiences or future possibilities. We are so involved in yesterday and tomorrow that we never even notice that today is slipping by.

We go through the day rather than getting something from the day. We are everywhere at any given moment in time except living in that moment in time.

Lifestyle is learning to be wherever you are. It is developing a unique focus on the current moment, and drawing from it all of the substance and wealth of experience and emotions that it has to offer. Lifestyle is taking time to watch a sunset. Lifestyle is listening to silence. Lifestyle is capturing each moment so that it becomes a new part of what we are and of what we are in the process of becoming. Lifestyle is not something we do; it is something we experience. And until we learn to be there, we will never master the art of living well.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2012. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Utilizing The Law of Attraction
Written by Jack Canfield

The law of attraction states that you will attract into your life--whether wanted or unwanted--whatever you give your energy, focus, and attention to.

You are constantly giving off vibrations of energy when you think and feel. These vibrations can be picked up and received by other people. That's why people say, "he has good vibes," or "he gives off bad vibes." You are constantly giving off vibrations -- literally!

If you're feeling excited, enthusiastic, passionate, happy, joyful, loving, appreciative, abundant, prosperous, relaxed and peaceful, you are giving off positive vibrations.

On the other hand, if you're feeling bored, anxious, worried, confused, sad, lonely, hurt, angry, resentful, guilty, disappointed, frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed out, or depressed, then you are giving off negative vibrations.

The law of attraction states that the universe responds to whatever you are offering -- by giving you more of whatever you are vibrating. It doesn't care whether it is good for you or not; it simply responds to your vibration.

If you saw the film The Secret, you saw this explained in great detail.

The problem is that most of the time, you are not aware of what vibration you are offering. You are simply responding to things outside of you--current events, the news, how people treat you, the stock market, how much money you are making, how your children are doing in school, whether or not your favorite sports team wins--and then having a feeling that is either positive or negative.

When you are simply responding unconsciously to what happens around you, you tend to stay "stuck" in your current condition. This is why most people's lives never seem to change very much. They get stuck in a repeating cycle of recreating the same reality over and over by the vibration they are sending out.

It works like this... First you observe what you currently have and are currently receiving in your life. You call this your "reality." You respond to what you observe with a feeling, positive or negative, which then gives off that vibration to the universe. The law of attraction then responds to this vibration and brings you more of what you were vibrating. This keeps the cycle going over and over, until you choose to change it through the exertion of your will. You are a victim of your lack of awareness of the law of attraction.

The Process of Intentional Creation

It is possible to get out of this vicious cycle and create what you want instead of continually recreating what you already have. It is a simple, three-step process that you can begin immediately.

If you've been implementing the action steps I coach you through in The KEY to Living the Law of Attraction, you have already begun this process.

Step 1: Identify what you truly desire & eliminate the negative

It is important to focus on what you want rather than what you don't want. You must state it in the positive and filter out the words don't, not and no. Remember, your mind works in pictures and if you say I don't want to be mad, you are creating the picture and thus the vibration of being mad. You must create the opposite of what you don't want.

Step 2: Raise your vibration level

Your job in stage two is to create a vibrational match for that which you say you want to have. How would you be feeling if you already had those things--the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the amount of money that you want to have?

Your job is to identify what makes you feel good and do more of it, then learn not to tolerate your negative feelings.

Affirmations are an important component in raising your vibrational level to what it is you want. Remember, the law of attraction does not respond to the words you use or the thoughts you think. It simply responds to how you feel about what you say and how you feel about what you think.

For information on how to create even more effective affirmations, review chapter 10 in The KEY to Living the Law of Attraction, where you'll find my guidelines for creating effective visualizations.

Step 3. Release it and allow it.

In this third step, you simply release your affirmation, your vibration, and your feelings to the universe to take care of your "request" or "order" as I call it. But you have to abstain from any doubts. If you doubt you can have it in any way, then you are not allowing it. You are pushing it away and you end up with contradictory messages to the universe.

It is only when the contradictory thoughts, talk, and images are removed that your desired results will manifest. The faster you remove your resistance, the faster your dreams can be realized.

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/.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Best Gift to Give Yourself and Others
Written by Jim Rohn

I’m often asked the question, “How can I best help my children, spouse, family member, staff member, friend, etc., improve/change?” In fact, that might be the most frequently asked question I receive, “How can I help change someone else?”

My answer often comes as a surprise and here it is. The key to helping others is to help yourself first. In other words, the best contribution I can make to someone else is my own personal development. If I become 10 times wiser, 10 times stronger, think of what that will do for my adventure as a father... as a grandfather... as a business colleague.

The best gift I can give to you, really, is my ongoing personal development. Getting better, getting stronger, becoming wiser. I think parents should pick this valuable philosophy up. If the parents are okay, the kids have an excellent chance of being okay. Work on your personal development as parents—that’s the best gift you can give to your children.

If you have ever ridden in an airplane, then you might have noticed the oxygen compartment located above every seat. There are explicit instructions that say, “In case of an emergency, first secure your own oxygen mask and then if you have children with you secure their masks.” Take care of yourself first... then assist your children. If we use that same philosophy throughout our whole parental life, it would be so valuable.

If I learn to create happiness for myself, my children now have an excellent chance to be happy. If I create a unique lifestyle for myself and my spouse, that will be a great example to serve my children.

Self-development enables you to serve, to be more valuable to those around you; for your child... your business... your colleague... your community... your church.

That’s why I teach development skills. If you keep refining all the parts of your character (yourself, your health, etc.) so that you become an attractive person to the marketplace, you’ll attract opportunity. Opportunity will then begin to seek you out. Your reputation will begin to precede you and people will want to do business with you. All of that possibility is created by working on the philosophy that success is something you attract by continually working on your own personal development.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2012. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.