Sunday, February 22, 2015

Do You Know What You Really Want from Your Life? Decide Today!
Written by Jack Canfield

When Sarah was just a small child, she was very curious and had a strong will. With a big world to explore, she got into everything—from pulling out the linens in the closet to feel how the various materials rubbed against her skin, to tugging up the flowers in the garden to find out how deep the roots went. Sarah was definitely a handful of energy as she plunged headfirst into whatever she had decided to do.

Rather than asking Sarah why she did the things she did, her parents felt that discipline would set her straight. So, with stern voices they would chastise her, rather than seek to understand her:

Don’t touch that!

Stay out of there!

Don’t do that!

You should be ashamed of yourself, Sarah!

To avoid being reprimanded, Sarah quickly learned how to do the things that her parents wanted her to do, rather than those that she wanted for herself. As she grew older, this way of living—operating to satisfy others at her own expense—became the norm and she forgot the simple joys of making up her own mind about what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it.

Does this story sound familiar to you?

Can you relate with the way Sarah began to live her parent’s vision for her life—or rather was limited by their lack of vision—instead of deciding what she wanted from life and who she truly wanted to be? Her early childhood programming got in the way of discovering what she really wanted in life.

My book The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be asks the child in all of us an important question: Do you know what you want from your life?

Deciding What You Want

The subtitle of my book is “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.” The implication, of course, is that to find success, you not only have to know where you are now, but you also need to know where you want to end up. You need to be able to imagine what that place—your place of success, that place you want to be in life—feels like, sounds like, smells like, tastes like. You need to clarify your destination so you will be sure to know it when you arrive.

Clarifying exactly what you want in life is no easy task. As it guides you to a more refined sense of self-awareness, The Success Principles™ offers a wealth of wonderful suggestions to help you on your journey. Here is a sampling of ways to help you decide what you want from your life.

Stop Settling for “I Don’t Care, I Don’t Know, and It Doesn’t Matter to Me.”

It doesn’t matter how small the decision, to begin reclaiming your right to decide what you want, have a preference. Yours is just as important as anybody else’s so speak up, voice yourself.

30-30-30

If you are having a hard time figuring out the one thing you want from your life, why not choose thirty? That’s right. On a piece of paper, write down a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want be before you die. Sometimes when the pressure to find just one thing is removed, the floodgates open and you discover that there are a multitude of things that you want to do with and in your successful life.

Make an “I want” List

For 10-15 minutes have a friend record your answers to the simple question, “What do you want?” During the allotted time, have your friend ask you the question over and over again. If you’re like most people, your list will range from the very material things to matters of the heart and the true revelations of who you are and what you want from your most true self. Go ahead, start asking: What do you want? What do you want? I want! I want!

Don’t Worry, The Money Will Come

Is worrying about making a living keeping you from deciding upon what you want in life? Are you afraid that you won’t be able to survive if you follow your bliss? Make a list of 20 things you absolutely love to do. Then, try and imagine ways you can make a living doing these things. For example, if you love books, you could be a writer, a librarian, a clerk in a bookstore, a teacher, a desktop publisher, and on and on. Don’t worry—you can do it. You only have to believe, trust, and act.

Dream Big

When you are deciding what you want from your life, there is no reason to think small. Take a risk and dream big, shoot for the stars. This is your opportunity to write the script to your life—you are the star, not a bit player. Have the courage to write the role of a lifetime and, imagine this, yours will be the name shining on the marquee for all to see. Dream big because amazing things can and do happen to people just like you each and every day!

Share Your Vision—It Will Help You See

When you share your vision of success with trusted others, family and close friends, you will gain the support of your loved ones. In addition, each time you verbalize your goals, you are affirming to yourself and the universe that you know what you want in life, where you want to go, and that you are deserving of the successes you will find when you arrive.

Don’t delay. Decide what you want and begin transforming your life starting today!

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, February 15, 2015

Master the Art of Living Well
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 might 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.

Lifestyle is learning to be wherever you are. It is developing a unique focus on the current moment, 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. It is listening to silence. It is capturing each moment so that it becomes a new part of what we are now and 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 © 2015. 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, February 8, 2015

7 Steps for Creating the Life YOU Want
Written by Jack Canfield

We all aspire to do, be and have great things. Yet most of us simply aren't creating the results we want. We complain that we don't have enough money, romance, success or joy in our lives.

We point fingers and blame outside problems that "happen" to us and make life more difficult. But what we need to understand and keep at the forefront of our minds is that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out of ourselves. Regardless of personal circumstances, economic climates, and access to resources, it helps to maintain faith in the fact we each are more powerful than we think.

We all have the ability to create the life we want. We just need to learn how to do it. Is there an exact "formula"? No, but there are certain common features that successful people exhibit and that anyone can practice. They are what can jumpstart your success and attract what you want in life. You'd be hard pressed to find any high achiever who doesn't live by the following 7 tips:

1. Take No Less than 100% Responsibility for Your Life
One of the greatest myths that is pervasive in our culture today is that you are entitled to a great life and that somehow, somewhere, someone is responsible for filling our lives with continual happiness, exciting career options, nurturing family time and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist. But the real truth is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you.

Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. That person who reflects back at you in the mirror is the chief conductor in your life. Say hello!

I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but the mind can play games, tricking plenty of people into thinking external factors are the source of failure, disappointment, and unhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that external factors don't determine how you live. You are in complete control of the quality of your life.

Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don't waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.

2. Be Clear Why You're Here
I believe each of us is born with a life purpose. Identifying, acknowledging and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they're here to do, and then they pursue that with passion and enthusiasm.

If you don't know what you're supposed to be doing, then just tune in to the signals around you. Looking toward others for help and guidance is helpful, but don't forget to stay tuned in to yourself—your behavior, attitude, likes and dislikes, and life experiences. Identify what's working and what isn't. If you need to, write it all down. You might be surprised by what you discover.

3. Decide What You Want
It sounds so simple, but here's the problem: I see plenty of people who are overly-busy yet who feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They are physically tired, spiritually drained, and far from where they'd like to be—as if they've been running on a treadmill going nowhere fast. Why? Because they haven't clearly mapped out what they want and then taken the steps to get there. Rather than identifying specific goals, milestones, and dreams (and I'm talking BIG dreams and goals here), they go through the motions day in and day out tackling unimportant tasks. They end up...you guessed it...going in circles and wasting lots of energy. In the meanwhile, they grow increasingly uninspired and out of touch with their authentic selves. This, of course, sets anyone up to living a life out of balance.

One of the main reasons why most people don't get what they want is they haven't decided what they want. They haven't defined their desires in clear and compelling detail. What does success look like to you? Not everybody's definition of success is the same, nor should it be.

Don't let your inner devil's advocate (or that incessant but unimportant To Do list) inhibit you from dreaming big. 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. Big dreams not only inspire you, but they also compel others to want to play big, too.

4. Believe It Is Possible
Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But today, they're learning that instead we respond to what the brain, based on previous experience, expects to happen next. In fact, the mind is such a powerful instrument; it can deliver literally everything you want. But you have to believe that what you want is possible.

As you commit to believing in yourself, also make a commitment to toning down the complaint department. Look at what you are complaining about. I'm fat. I'm tired. I can't get out of debt. I won't ever get a better job. I can't stand the relationship I have with my father. I'll never find a soulmate in life. Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.

5. Believe in Yourself
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. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence or self-assurance, it is a deep-seated belief that you have what it takes; the abilities, inner resources, talents and skills to create your desired results.

Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to believe that you create all your experiences. You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you. Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that—little hills to hop over.

6. Become an Inverse Paranoid
This one is straightforward: Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity. Successful people do just that.

7. Unleash the Power of Goal Setting
Experts on the science of success know the brain is a goal-seeking organism. Whatever goal you give to your subconscious mind, it will work day and night to achieve. To engage you subconscious mind, a goal has to be measurable. When there aren't any criteria for measurement, it is simply something you want, a wish, a preference, or a good idea.

Sometimes we need to make just one initial goal to get started, and that's okay. At least it comes with a few actions to achieve. A first step simply can be making an immediate change in a single area in your life. Are you unhappy about something that is happening right now? Make requests that will make it more desirable to you, or take the steps to change it yourself. Making a change might be uncomfortable and overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it, or makes you feel bad about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice so why continue to complain? You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice and you have responsibility for your choices.

Bear in mind that you have to be willing to change your behavior if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you've already taken an initial step in the right direction, now's the time to plan more steps to keep moving you forward faster.

Isn't it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn't it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else?

So if you need just one thing to do different today than you did yesterday, make it this: Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process you'll discover it is much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!

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, February 1, 2015

Associations on Purpose
Written by Jim Rohn

The people we regularly associate with have great power to influence us in postitive ways, but also in negative ways. As a matter of fact, their power of influence in our lives is so great that it is possible to be nudged off course a little at a time until, finally, we find ourselves asking, How did I get here?

Here are three ways to deal with negative associations or relationships that are holding you back from your potential.

1. Disassociate. This is not an easy decision, nor something you should take lightly, but in some cases, it might be essential. You may just have to make the hard choice not to let certain negative influences affect you anymore. It could be a choice that preserves the quality of your life.

2. Limit your association. Spend major time with major influences and minor time with minor influences. It is easy to do just the opposite, but don't fall into that trap. Take a look at your priorities and your values. We have so little time at our disposal. Wouldn't it make sense to invest it wisely?

3. Expand your associations. This is the one I suggest you focus on the most. Find other successful people that you can spend more time with. Invite them to lunch (pick up the tab) and ask them how they have achieved so much or what makes them successful. Now, this is not just about financial success; it can be someone that you want to learn from about having a better marriage, being a better parent, having better health or a stronger spiritual life.

This is called association on purpose—getting around the right people by expanding your circle of influence. And when you do that, you will naturally limit the relationships that are holding you back. Give it a try and see for yourself.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2015. 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.