Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Planning Is the First Step to Success
Written by Jim Rohn

How dramatically we can change our results is largely a function of imagination. In 1960, it was a technological impossibility for man to travel into outer space. Within 10 years, however, the first man stepped out onto the surface of the moon. The miraculous process of converting that dream into reality began when one voice challenged the scientific community to do whatever was necessary to see to it that America "places a man on the moon by the end of this decade." That challenge awakened the spirit of a nation by planting the seed of possible future achievement into the fertile soil of imagination—with that one bold challenge, the impossible became a reality.

The same principles apply to every area of our life. Can a poor person become wealthy? Of course! The unique combination of desire, planning, effort and perseverance will always work its magic. The question is not whether the formula for success will work but rather whether the person will work the formula. That is the unknown variable. That is the challenge that confronts us all. We can all go from wherever we are to wherever we want to be. No dream is impossible provided we first have the courage to believe in it.

No matter how busy you are, try to find some time over the next two weeks to reflect, think, give and plan.

The week between Christmas and New Year's is the ideal time for this. Try to slow things down. Spend time with the ones you love and care about. Take some time to talk with your spouse and kids about goals and dreams for the new year. Use this as a time to recharge your batteries—not just by watching TV the entire time—but to seriously, and with excitement, think about a handful of changes or additions you want for your life in the new year.

I believe you will find the act of reflecting, thinking, dreaming and planning to be one of the most important exercises you can do that will positively impact the next 12 months.

And remember, do not neglect to commit to set this time aside, or you will find that the business of life can and will get in the way.

So let's all take a moment to gather up the past year of victories and defeats, times of growth as well as times of stagnation, and use it to wipe a clean slate and thoughtfully design the next year the way we truly desire it to be.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2014. 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, December 28, 2014

Finding, Deciding, and Being: On Purpose
Written by Jack Canfield

Being On Purpose

I think we are all born with a deep and meaningful purpose that we have to discover. Your purpose is not something you need to make up; it’s already there. You have to uncover it. You can begin to discover your purpose by exploring two things:
  1. What do you love to do?
  2. What comes easy to you?
Of course, it takes work to develop your talents- even the most gifted musician still has to practice-but it should feel natural, like rowing downstream rather than upstream. I love to teach, to write, to coach, to facilitate, to train, and to develop transformational seminars, workshops, and courses. I love to bring other leaders together for conferences and to co-create new approaches to our work.

These things come easy for me. Although I invested many years in learning how to master these skills, I loved every minute of it. In other words, work is required, but suffering is not. If you are struggling and suffering, you are probably not living on purpose.

But what if I am still searching for my purpose?

Let me share with you a quick little exercise from my book The Success Principles that may help you discover your purpose.

First, ask yourself, What are two qualities I most enjoy expressing in the world? Mine are love and joy.

Second, ask yourself, What are two ways I most enjoy expressing these qualities? Mine are inspiring and empowering people. I inspire people with the moving stories that I tell in my seminars and that I write about in my books, and I empower them by teaching them powerful success strategies that they can apply in their own lives.

Once you’ve answered these questions, take a few moments and write a description of what the world would look like if it were operating perfectly according to you. In my perfect world, everybody is living their highest vision where they are doing, being, and having everything they want. Finally, combine all three of the above into one statement, and you will have a clear idea of your purpose. Mine is “inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy.”

Can you share examples of “living on purpose”?

One of my coaching students, Dr. Sudheer Gogte, a successful cardiologist, was struggling to identify his purpose. I suggested another exercise from my book, and asked him to look back over his life and answer the question, When have I felt most fulfilled?

He shared three periods in which he felt the happiest and most fulfilled. First, he told me about a time with his grandfather when he was growing up in India. The second was his experience of playing with his own grandchildren. The third was a time he spent vacationing on a sailboat. When I asked him what was common to all three of these experiences, he told me that it was the sense of freedom that he felt.

Noticing that none of his three experiences related to his profession in medicine, I asked him to tell me about his most fulfilling experiences as a doctor. The incidences he reported were when he had donated his services for free or for a lesser fee than his partners thought he should have charged. He shared about a time when he too a much longer time than usual during an office visit to support and encourage a family who where in fear of losing their father during an impending heart surgery. As we examined his life further, it became apparent that he took very little time for himself. He was always n call, always working late, always overscheduled with little or no free time for self-care. I asked him why this was so. He answered that people could die if he didn’t attend to them. The problem became clear: By attending only to patients and never to himself, he was-in a sense- dying.

The drive this point home, I asked Sudheer what he would do in the following situation: “ A patient comes to you for an operation. If you operate on this patient, you will die. If you don’t operate on him, he will die. It’s him or you. What would you do?” He reflected quietly on this scenario for along time, and the finally he said, “I would choose to live, rather than die myself. It doesn’t make sense to kill myself to save others.” This was a turning point in his life. He later told me that while he still wants to serve people, he now knows he has a right to take care of himself-his mind, his body, and his needs. This cardiologist now places a higher value on doing what truly comes from his heart, not someone else’s.

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, December 21, 2014

3 Keys to Finding Your Genius
Written by Jim Rohn

It is up to you to do the work of changing your beliefs, because when you do, you will be opening up new worlds—literally. The truth is that you have an amazing mind with a capacity for learning that is beyond your comprehension. You must believe this and feed your mind with valuable information. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind. Here are three steps to help you find your genius:

1. Get the right knowledge. Words—if they are not true—are meaningless. I hear children say, “I read it in a book.” But is it true? Just because someone says it or writes it, doesn't mean it is true. As learners, we want to get the right knowledge, not just information or opinions. It is our job to seek out information and knowledge and then test it and run it through our minds to see if it is true and if it can be rightfully applied to our lives in order to make them better. We need to weigh and measure what we learn in order to gain the right knowledge.

2. Become passionate about learning. This will take some work, but the only way to do it is to begin learning about things that have an immediate impact in your life. When you learn about a new financial concept that helps you earn money or get out of debt, you get fired up. When you learn about a way to communicate that helps you sell more products, you’ll feel energized. When you learn about how to interact with your family in a healthy way and your relationships get better, you’ll feel inspired.

3. Discipline yourself through the hard work of study. Learning will take work. Until someone comes up with modules that can plug into your mind and give you instant access to knowledge, you are on your own, and that takes work. The process of learning is a long one. Yes, we can speed it up, but it is still a process of reading, listening, reviewing, repetition, applying the knowledge, experiencing the outcomes, readjusting, etc. Simply put, it takes time. Slowly but surely, when you discipline yourself, you will gain knowledge and begin learning.

Learning is possible, no matter what your age. You are never too young or too old. Your mind was created to learn and has a huge capacity to do so. This week, make a commitment to unlock the potential of your mind!

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2014. 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, December 14, 2014

Inspired Action Gets It Done
Written by Jack Canfield

I have had an enormous amount of success in my life, and I owe it all to two things. The first is that I have learned how to access my intuition and tune in to my inner guidance (which comes from both my own subconscious mind and from God); I have learned how to meditate, use guided visualization, and read the kinesthetic signals from my body (what some people call learning to trust your gut). The second is that I have learned to quickly act on my inner guidance—the sooner the better!

The Power of Asking for Inner Guidance
Asking for inner guidance through meditation has provided me with some very powerful ideas, ones that have accelerated the rate and magnified the size of my personal and professional success. When we needed a title for the book of inspirational and motivational stories that Mark Victor Hansen and I had compiled, I agreed to meditate an hour a day in search of the perfect title. I simply asked God to give me a title, then I sat in silence waiting for it. Nothing emerged the first two days, but on the third day, a green chalk board, like the ones used in schools, suddenly emerged. Then a hand appeared and wrote the words “Chicken Soup” on the board. I contemplated that for a moment, then I asked what I assumed was God’s hand: “What does chicken soup have to do with this book?”

I heard, “Your grandmother used to give you chicken soup when you were sick as a kid.”
I replied, “But this book isn’t about sick people.”
The voice responded, “People’s spirits are sick.”

This was in 1992 during the recession that accompanied the first Gulf War, and many people were indeed living in fear, hopelessness, and resignation.

I played with the title “Chicken Soup for the Spirit,” which didn’t sound quite right, and then it morphed into “Chicken Soup for the Soul” . . . and I immediately got goose bumps—what Mark likes to call God bumps. They almost always seem to accompany an idea that is deeply aligned with what is for my highest good.

I immediately got up from meditation and told my wife, who got goose bumps. Then I called Mark, who got goose bumps, and our agent, who also got goose bumps. By the end of the day the full title had emerged—Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit. It seemed we were definitely onto something.

Inspiration Must Be Followed by Action
Sometimes inspirations occur without our even seeming to ask for them. Other times, we have to ask for them, then create the quiet space within which to receive them. They can occur while lying in bed in a semiconscious dream state, while taking a shower, or while walking along a beach or through the woods. But however and whenever they come, they need to be acted on as soon as possible. I have come to believe that when they come, they come in a certain window of time that is ideally suited for the action to begin at that moment.

So Mark, our agent, and I headed off to New York City to sell our book. Unfortunately, during the three days we were in New York City, no one at the fifteen publishing houses we visited got goose bumps. Everyone told us that nobody bought collections of short stories and that our title was stupid. Our agent became so discouraged that he gave us the book back and said he could not sell it.

Action Must Be Consistent and Persistent
That is when we had to choose between believing in our dream and trusting our inner guidance or believing the naysayers in the publishing industry and trusting their judgments. Well, one of the secrets of success that I have learned is to never give up on the dreams that come from deep in your heart. In fact, by this time, our dream had become more of a divine obsession. We couldn’t let it go. So we took more action. Over the next five months, we were rejected by 144 publishers. Eventually, we went to the American Booksellers Association Convention and walked the floor of the exhibit area for three days asking hundreds of publishers, “Will you publish our book?” It was not until late in the third day that Health Communications, Inc., a little publisher in Deerfield Beach, Florida, decided to seriously look at our book. A month later they decided to publish it.

The Rule of Five
When the book finally came out in July 1993, it was not an overnight success. It wasn’t until a year later that it hit its first bestsellers list. But it was during that year that Mark and I came up with what we dubbed the Rule of Five. We agreed to take five action steps every single day, except on holidays and vacations, to promote and sell our book. One day, we called five radio stations and asked them to interview us about the book. On another, we sent out five free review copies to book reviewers and influential people. One of those people was the producer of the hit television show Touched by an Angel. She was so taken by the book that she required all of her writers, directors, cameramen, and other crew members to read the book. She said that the feelings generated and evoked by our stories were the same ones she wanted to create in their TV episodes. That story made it into Variety and later onto the Associated Press wire and generated thousands of book sales. We also bought the book 1001 Ways to Market Your Book, by John Kremer, and wrote each way on a Post-it note and stuck them all on a long wall in our office. We did five of those suggestions every day. Eventually, Chicken Soup for the Soul reached number one on the New York Times list and stayed there for almost three years, selling ten million copies along the way.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself, “What are the five action steps that I need to take every day—no matter what—to achieve my number one goal?”

Perseverance
Finally, never give up. If we had stopped trying to sell the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book after one hundred rejections, I would not be sitting here writing this today. If we had stopped trying to promote, market, and sell the book after six months of no major results, I would not be a multimillionaire who has traveled to more than forty countries speaking and training people on the principles contained in that book and my other books.

It has taken more than fifteen years to build a brand that has generated more than a billion dollars in retail sales and has created more than twenty licensed products, including Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul dog and cat foods. So also be patient.

If you follow your heart, believe in your dreams, trust your inner guidance, take action, and persevere no matter what, you will eventually find yourself living a life far greater than you ever could have imagined.

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, December 7, 2014

All Life Wishes to Reward Its Benefactor
Written by Jim Rohn

Parents, leaders, employers, teachers and volunteers, have you discovered one of the great positive mysteries of life? Here it is: All life seems to wish to reward its benefactor.

If you become the benefactor, you will receive these incredible rewards. If you are the benefactor to the garden, the flowers seem to bloom and say, “Look at me. Look how bright and beautiful I am because you took care of me. I wish to reward you by being beautiful, lovely and spectacular.”

Your own children, if you become their benefactor, want to reward you with their progress. I taught my daughters how to swim. And my daughters would say, as they were about to dive, “Daddy, daddy watch, watch, look, look, watch,” as if to say, “Look what you have created here, you've spent the time with me, and now look at me. This is the payoff. Watch me dive.” I was their benefactor.

I have found that all life wishes to respond to the benefactor—the ones who give their time, give their effort, give their patience, give their ideas, the benefit of their experience. Whatever has benefited from that wishes to respond.

Remember that whatever you move toward tends to move toward you. Just as when you move toward education and education starts to seek you out, or when you move toward progress and progress seems to want to now embrace you, you will find that, just as predictably, as you move toward helping those in your care, they will wish to repay you with their own success and accomplishments.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2014. 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.