Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Seasons of Life
Written by Jim Rohn

First, life and business are like the changing seasons. That's one of the best ways to illustrate life: it's like the seasons that change. Second, you cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself.

Now with those two key phrases in mind, let's look at what I consider to be the first major lesson in life to learn, and that is how to handle the winters. They come regularly, right after autumn. Some are long, some are short, some are difficult, some are easy, but they always come right after autumn. That is never going to change.

There are all kinds of winters - the "winter" when you can't figure it out, the "winter" when everything seems to go haywire. There are economic winters, social winters and personal winters. Wintertime can bring disappointment, and disappointment is common to all of us. So you must learn how to handle the winters. You must learn how to handle difficulty; it always comes after opportunity. You must learn to handle recessions; they come right after expansions. That isn't going to change.

The big question is what do you do about winters? You can't get rid of January simply by tearing it off the calendar. But here is what you can do: you can get stronger; you can get wiser; and you can get better. Remember that trio of words: stronger, wiser, better. The winters won't change, but you can.

Next is spring. Fortunately, following the turbulence of winter comes the season of activity and opportunity called springtime. It is the season for entering the fertile fields of life with seed, knowledge, commitment, and a determined effort.

However, the mere arrival of spring is no sign that things are going to look good in the fall. You must do something with the spring. In fact, everyone has to get good at one of two things: planting in the spring or begging in the fall. Take advantage of the day and the opportunities that spring can bring.

It is the promise of spring that as we sow, so shall we also reap. Faith further provides to us an irrevocable law decreed in heaven which assures that for every disciplined human effort we will receive a multiple reward. For each cup planted, a bushel reaped, for every good idea given to another, many shall be given to us in return. For every demonstrated act of faith, a multiplicity of the rewards; and for every act of love given, a life of love in return.

Just remember it is a natural characteristic of springtime to present itself ever so briefly, or to lull us into inactivity with its bounteous beauty. Do not pause too long to soak in the aroma of the blossoming flowers, lest you awaken to find springtime gone with your seed still in your sack. Get busy quickly on your springs, your opportunities. There are just a handful of springs that have been handed to each of us. Life is brief, even at its longest. Whatever you are going to do with your life, get at it. Don't just let the seasons pass by.

The third major lesson in life to learn; how to nourish and protect your crops all summer. Sure enough, as soon as you've planted, the busy bugs and noxious weeds are out to take things over. Here is the next bit of truth: they will take it, unless you prevent it.

There are two key phrases to consider with the third major lesson. The first is "all good will be attacked." Don't press me for a reason. I was not in on some of the early decisions, so I don't know why. I just know that it's true. Let reality be your best beginning. Every garden will be invaded. The second phrase is "all values must be defended." Social values, political values, friendship values, business values - all must be defended. Every garden must be tended all summer. If you don't develop this skill, you'll never wind up with anything of value.

But for those who make diligent efforts to plant, protect, and preserve there are not enough birds, bugs, or other obstacles to destroy all the efforts of last spring.

Now, the fourth and season is fall, the time of harvesting the fruits of our springtime labor. Fall also presents us with our fourth major lesson to learn in life, and that is to learn how to reap in the fall without apology if you have done well and without complaint if you have not.

For nothing is more exciting than a bounteous crop, and nothing more dreadful than a barren field in the fall. We must remember that in all areas of the human existence, what we put into this world, we get back from it. It is nature's way of evening the score. So regardless of the results, take full responsibility for your crop. One of the highest forms of human maturity is accepting full responsibility for our lives.

Which brings me back to the beginning of our discussion. We must remember that life is constantly recycling itself. Much of life is about the balancing of two opposites; like the positive and negative charge on a battery. Life's balancing of opposites totally surrounds our lives; man/woman, day/night, good/evil, life/death, water/land, summer/winter, recession/expansion, joy/sorrow, etc.

Yes, I believe we will have major changes, but I also believe we will continue to have just one winter, spring, summer and fall each year. Much of our success will lie in our ability and philosophy to plant in the springtime of opportunity. To weed and cultivate in the testing time of summer, to harvest without apology and/or complaint in the season of fall and to get stronger, wiser, better in the transition and learning times of winter.

Remember it is not what happens to you that determines your future; it is what you do about it.

So here's to a great, faith-filled and prosperous year.

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, September 23, 2012

Effective Risk Management Planning: Cash Value or Term Life Insurance?

Just the other day while browsing through the archives I came across an old video from June of 2010! It was only my second speech as a member of Toastmasters, so as you can see, I still had a major case of “the butterflies”. Despite my nervousness, I felt that the powerful information contained in this video definitely outweighed any lack of presentation skills that I might have had. I hope you agree as you watch a story of how two similar families take different approaches when planning their risk management strategies. Do you agree with my conclusions?

Below the video is a picture of the handout that I kept looking down at during the course of the presentation. If you are more of a visual person like me, you may want to look at the picture too and follow along.

I hope you enjoy and please leave me your comments below!



If you cannot view the video please click on this link

Click on the image below to enlarge or print and follow along!



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

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Choices
Written by Darren Hardy

We all come into this world the same: naked, scared and ignorant. After that grand entrance, the life we end up with is simply an accumulation of all the choices we make. Our choices can be our best friend or our worst enemy. They can deliver us to our goals or send us orbiting into a galaxy far, far away.

Think about it. Everything in your life exists because you first made a choice about something. Choices are at the root of every one of your results. Each choice starts a behavior that, over time, becomes a habit. Choose poorly, and you just might find yourself back at the drawing board, forced to make new, often harder choices. Don’t choose at all, and you’ve made the choice to be the passive receiver of whatever comes your way.

In essence, you make your choices, and then your choices make you. Every decision, no matter how slight, alters the trajectory of your life—whether or not to go to college, who to marry, to have that last drink before you drive, to indulge in gossip or stay silent, to make one more prospecting call or call it a day, to say I love you or not. Every choice has an impact on The Compound Effect of your life.

This chapter is about becoming aware of and making choices that support the expansion of your life. Sounds complicated, but you’ll be amazed by its simplicity. No longer will 99 percent of your choices be unconscious. No more will most of your daily routines and traditions come as a reaction to your programming. You’ll ask yourself (and be able to answer), “How many of my behaviors have I not ‘voted on’? What am I doing that I didn’t consciously choose to do, yet continue to do every day?”

By employing the same idiot-proof strategies I’ve used to catapult my own life and career, strengthened by The Compound Effect, you’ll be able to loosen the mysterious grip of the things that are unwinding your life and pulling you in the wrong direction. You’ll be able to hit the pause button before stumbling into idiot territory. You’ll experience the ease of making decisions that lead to behaviors and habits that support you, every time.

Your biggest challenge isn’t that you’ve intentionally been making bad choices. Heck, that would be easy to fix. Your biggest challenge is that you’ve been sleepwalking through your choices. Half the time, you’re not even aware you’re making them! Our choices are often shaped by our culture and upbringing. They can be so entwined in our routine behaviors and habits that they seem beyond our control. For instance, have you ever been going about your business, enjoying your life, when all of sudden you made a stupid choice or series of small choices that ultimately sabotaged your hard work and momentum, all for no apparent reason? You didn’t intend to sabotage yourself, but by not thinking about your decisions—weighing the risks and potential outcomes—you found yourself facing unintended consequences. Nobody intends to become obese, go through bankruptcy, or get a divorce, but often (if not always) those consequences are the result of a series of small, poor choices.

Elephants Don’t Bite
Have you ever been bitten by an elephant? How about a mosquito? It’s the little things in life that will bite you. Occasionally, we see big mistakes threaten to destroy a career or reputation in an instant—the famous comedian who rants racial slurs during a stand-up routine, the drunken anti-Semitic antics of a once-celebrated humanitarian, the anti-gay-rights senator caught soliciting gay sex in a restroom, the admired female tennis player who uncharacteristically threatens an official with a tirade of expletives. Clearly, these types of poor choices have major repercussions. But even if you’ve pulled such a whopper in your past, it’s not extraordinary massive steps backward or the tragic single moments that we’re concerned with here.

For most of us, it’s the frequent, small and seemingly inconsequential choices that are of grave concern. I’m talking about the decisions you think don’t make any difference at all. It’s the little things that inevitably and predictably derail your success. Whether they’re bone-headed maneuvers, no-biggie behaviors, or are disguised as positive choices (those are especially insidious), these seemingly insignificant decisions can completely throw you off course because you’re not mindful of them. You get overwhelmed, space out and become unaware of the little actions that take you way off course. The Compound Effect works, all right. It always works, remember? But in this case it works against you because you’re sleepwalking.

For instance, you inhale a soda and bag of potato chips and suddenly realize only after you polished off the last chip that you blew an entire day of healthy eating—and you weren’t even hungry. You get caught up and lose two hours watching mindless TV—scratch that, let’s give you some credit and make it an educational documentary—before realizing you spaced on preparing for an important presentation to land a valuable client. You blurt out a knee-jerk lie to a loved one for no good reason, when the truth would have worked just fine. What’s going on?

You’ve allowed yourself to make a choice without thinking. And as long as you’re making choices unconsciously, you can’t consciously choose to change that ineffective behavior and turn it into productive habits. It’s time to WAKE UP and make empowering choices.

This article is excerpted from SUCCESS magazine publisher Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect.
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, September 9, 2012

You Are Who Your Friends Are
Written by Jack Canfield

It's important to acknowledge the power of a positive attitude. This goes not only for yourself, but also for the people you surround yourself with.

Attitudes are catchy. Whether they're positive or negative, they're rubbing off on you. If you're around people who complain, judge, spread negative gossip, blame others, and play victim roles, chances are you do, too.

Who are you around most? Are they achieving their dreams or complaining about their circumstances? Do they look up to others who are go-getters and high achievers, or do they make fun of them and roll their eyes? How do they treat you?

If you're spending time with people who don't support your dreams and goals, it's seriously time to look at whom you call your friends, and start networking to up-level your circle of influence.

Successful people surround themselves with successful people, plain and simple. They want to be around others who are achieving goals and making things happen. They want to know their secrets and strategies for winning. They're not embarrassed to be hanging out with people who are studying for success and making good money.

You, too, need to surround yourself with positive influences. Join the clubs that other successful people are in, learn what they're learning. It doesn't matter from what walk of life you are coming from. Show up and transform yourself into an achiever! Success isn't just for those who have had it easy, who came from supportive homes or had expensive educations. There are so many successful people who rose up from very poor conditions and overcame obstacles to achieve the goals they set their sights on.

But they didn't get there by hanging out with negative energy-drainers!

Have you been limiting your success by letting yourself become influenced by other people's negative energy?

Make a list of all the people you spend time with and make a note of the kind of personality they have. How many negative people are you around every day? How many people on your list are achieving their dreams, supporting yours and taking responsibility for their lives? You're better off spending time alone than with people who hold themselves back with a victim mentality.

Simply stop spending time with the negative people on your list. Join the clubs that will put you in with a positive circle of friends. Set a new standard for yourself and don't become friends with people who fall below that standard. Invite your old friends to come with you and you'll know who has potential and who to stop being around entirely.

You have to take responsibility for this area of your life. Look around you at the people you call friends. Does it make you proud? Are you selling yourself short? Or are you on the right track?

Starting TODAY ... make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people - people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealist, an visionaries!

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, September 2, 2012

Walking a New Road
Written by Jim Rohn

Here is a good question to ask yourself. Ten years from now you will surely arrive. The question is, where? We don't want to kid ourselves about where. We don't want to kid ourselves about the road we're walking.

At age 25, I had a day shortly after I met my mentor Mr. Shoaff called "do not kid myself anymore" day. I didn't want to be disillusioned anymore. Up until then, I had been using the crossed-finger theory. But after meeting Mr. Shoaff, I finally decided that the crossed-finger theory was not going to get me what I wanted. That it wasn't where the treasure lies. That I was going to have to make sure which way I was headed.

Then, with the help of Mr. Shoaff, I found with a few reading disciplines, and a few disciplines of mind, and a few disciplines of activity, that when exercised, can begin making all the difference in the world as to where you will arrive.

Just a few changes. Sometimes we get the idea that we're doing about 10% and there's about 90% more that we need in order to make the difference for our fortune, but probably the opposite is true. We're doing enough things to have bought and shared in the good life so far. And maybe all we need is that extra 5% or 10% of intellectual change. Activity change. A refinement of discipline. A refinement of thought. And all we need is the ideas to make those simple changes and the equity starts gathering in one year, three years, five years, 10 years.

I have a good comment for you: Now's the time to fix the next 10 years. Now, you may have to come to grips with reality and with truth; that's what was good for me when I met Mr. Shoaff. I was 25 years old, he was 44 years old. And he brought me a wealth of experience and he started asking me the tough questions. "Big question", he said, "Are you reading the books that are going to take you where you want to go in the next 5 years?"

Excellent question. See, you want to make sure. I would assume for all of you, to get to where you want to be in the next 5 years, you are either reading the right books or you're not. You're either engaged in the disciplines or you're not. But, here's what we don't want to engage in: disillusion. Hoping without acting. Wishing without doing.

The key is to take a look and say, "Where am I? What could I do to make the changes to make sure that I can take more certain daily steps toward the treasure I want, the mental treasure, the personal treasure, the spiritual treasure, the financial treasure? I don't want to make any more errors. Now's the time to adjust my daily program to take me where I want to go."

In lecturing for more than 40 years, I've gotten letters and personal testimonies of people that have done such remarkable things with just a few suggestions. And that is why seminars, tapes and books can be so valuable. Here's a key idea for us all to remember: We could all use a little coaching. When you're playing the game, it's sometimes hard to see it all.

But the key is to start right now making these changes to walk this new road. And here's what's exciting to me: just a few daily disciplines makes a great deal of difference in one year, three years, and five years. And before you know it, you will be walking a brand new road.

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.