Monday, May 30, 2016

Finding Hope in Tragedy
Written by Jim Rohn

In tragedy we see the strength of the human spirit as we face seemingly overwhelming circumstances and odds.

I am struck by something that seems to be ever-present and never-ending wherever and whenever the human race is faced with tragedy—whether an earthquake, a tsunami, a plane crash. I think it can be summed up in a single, simple phrase: “Hope springs eternal.”

What do I mean? Almost immediately springing from the stories of tragedy, we begin to hear of miraculous moments of kindness, compassion, empathy and evidence of the resiliency of the human spirit. In one moment, the world unites and with one gentle, generous hand, reaches out to touch those who have been hurt by devastation.

Kindness is demonstrated by people worldwide who see catastrophe and whose hearts are touched and then act in kindness. We even see and hear of people from all over the world packing their bags and heading to the troubled spots to help. Unusual kindness and compassion springs forth from tragedy.

The strength of the human spirit is demonstrated in a profound way when viewed through tragedy. I am amazed when I hear the stories of human triumph born out of tragedy—amazing stories of the will to survive and the will to help others survive. Stories that quite literally make your eyes tear up as you watch the images of people who have been faced with the horrific power of nature unleashed, who have faced death and not only overcome, but helped others do the same. In tragedy we see the strength of the human spirit as we face seemingly overwhelming circumstances and odds.

And hope, that eternal flame that refuses to be extinguished. We find that so many times, hope is born in or made stronger through tragedy. Without tragedy, would there be a need for hope? I believe one of the miracles we will see is people of all nations banding together to triumph and restore people who have lost so much. In light of all of the war and conflict that rages around the globe, this is one candle that will burn brightly: People of all different backgrounds, races, nationalities and religions brought together with a common purpose to survive and triumph—all because of tragedy.

Despite the tragedies that occur, we can be touched and inspired by the acts of kindness born out of these circumstances that bond the human race together, show the strength of the human spirit and give hope of better things to come. Although we are never glad when tragedy visits, we can be aware and seize the opportunity to do good in this world, even in the midst of tragedy.

Yes, hope springs eternal and the will of the human spirit is a miracle.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2016. 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.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

5 Ways to Be More Grateful Every Day
Written by Jim Rohn

Thankfulness opens the windows of opportunities, of blessings, of unique experiences to flow your way.

"Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want."

I believe one of the greatest lessons in life we can learn is to be thankful for what we already have. But gratitude is something we have to work at—to prepare our hearts to be reflective and thankful, to provide room for contemplation of our good fortune.

And if we want to be the kind of people who are characterized by thankfulness, by gratitude, then we must make sure that we focus on it at all times during the year.

Here are some words, some thoughts that are simple and practical to apply, that you can use right away in your quest for becoming more grateful:

1. Time
Set aside time regularly to be quiet, to reflect. We live in the fastest paced time. From the moment we awake to the moment we collapse into bed, we have the opportunity to go at full speed and never slow down. If we schedule time every day in which we can be quiet and reflect, we will free our hearts and minds up from the tyranny of the urgent and rushed.

2. Thought
Give thought to the many blessings that you have. Living in a consumer culture, most of us are fully aware of what we do not have—and how we absolutely must have "it.” But how often do we reflect upon that which we already have? Take some time each day and think of one or two things that you have that you may typically take for granted, and then take a moment and give thanks for those things. Make this part of your reflection time.

3. Generosity
Be generous toward those with less and not envious of those with more. We tend to look at others who may be wealthier than ourselves and think, I sure wish I had what he does. That kind of thinking breeds envy and jealousy rather than contentment. What can we do to break that cycle? I would suggest being generous to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Go to work at a food bank. And not just during the holidays, but on a regular basis during the year. That will remind you of how good you really have it.

4. Ask
Ask a friend what they are thankful for. You will be amazed at the answers you receive, and you will create meaningful bonds as you focus on this powerful question.

5. Acknowledge
Lastly, tell those you love how thankful you are for having them in your life. So many times we neglect to take the time to craft the words to express to those closest to us what their presence in our lives means to us. Take the opportunity to write them a note. Let them know what they mean to you, and in return you'll begin to create the possibility of deeper, richer, more fulfilling relationships with those you love.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2016. 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, May 15, 2016

7 Traits of the Most Resilient People

Cultivating a resilient character turns failure into success.

Resilience is the ability to return to the original form after being bent, stretched or compressed. It’s the ability to readily recover from illness, depression or adversity. How would you ever handle it if you lost everything you had today? What would your next step be? How long would you be depressed and upset and angry? What would it take for you to pull yourself up and start all over again? How resilient are you? Could you handle it? Could you learn from all of your disappointments and start all over again? What would it take?

First, it would take a lot of self-discipline. It would take a lot of positive self-talk to muster up the energy to begin again. It would take a lot of concentration to block out the noise and the clutter of all the negative voices trying to get through, as well as the negative voices of others around you. It would take a lot of discipline to balance the fear and anxiety with the knowing that, if you did it once, you can do it all over again.

Whether your losses had anything to do with you or not, your future success has everything to do with you. It would take a lot of self-reliance to avoid blame. What's happened has happened. You would need to get on with your life and begin again. If you lost everything tomorrow and were gathering the courage to try again, it would take a lot of self-appreciation. You need to know in your heart and mind that you have the skills, the talent and the strength to do it one more time.

Cultivating a resilient character turns failure into success. A resilient person won't give up. A resilient person will, in spite of all obstacles and setbacks, keep doing it until.

In The Resilient Self, authors Steven and Sybil Wolin list seven key characteristics that compose resilience:

1. Resilience requires insight.
You need to develop the ability to ask yourself tough questions and answer honestly. If you had something to do with your loss, be honest and responsible for it.

2. Resilience is independent.
As a resilient person, you can count on yourself to bounce back into life.

3. Although resilience is independent, it's also tied to others.
The more people you are responsible for, the greater your motivation to begin again—the stronger the reason, the stronger the action.

4. Resilience calls for initiative.
You need to develop the ability to take charge of the situation, to take charge of the problem. You need to stand up and do whatever is necessary to get back on course.

5. Resilience has an element of creativity.
With resilience, you are able to look at a situation and creatively determine the best way out. You are enterprising in your approach toward starting over.

6. A resilient person has humor.
You may cry until you start laughing, but a sense of humor is so important when turning your life around. You've got to take your goals seriously, and you've got to take yourself seriously. But at times, you've also got to be able to laugh at yourself and your situation.

7. A resilient person has a strong sense of morality.
Whatever you do to get back on your feet, make sure it's moral. Make sure that your upcoming success is at the service, and not at the expense of, others. Success, if it is yours to keep, must be at the service of others.

The more obstacles you face and overcome, the more times you falter and get back on track, the more difficulties you struggle with and conquer, the more resiliency you will naturally develop. If you are resilient, there is nothing that can hold you back.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2016. 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, May 8, 2016

8 Traits of Healthy Relationships
Written by Jim Rohn

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.

Nothing can bring more joy to life than beautifully fulfilling relationships. The depth of meaning, understanding and appreciation that these kinds of relationships bring is almost unfathomable. And, of course, as many people find out, nothing can bring so much pain as a broken relationship with someone dear to you.

Yes, relationships make the world go ’round. For better or for worse. But the exciting thing is that we can do much to increase our chances of having terrific relationships—relationships that are fulfilling and exciting, rich with meaning, joy and love.

There are basics that govern most human relationships and these basics are what I want to cover below. So here is my list of the eight essentials that I believe make up the basics of healthy relationships:

1. Love
Now, this all depends on your definition of love. Most people think that love is a feeling, but I would strongly debate that point. Actually, the concept of “like” is really about feelings. When you say you like someone, you are talking about how you feel. But when you say that you love someone, you are not necessarily talking about how you feel about them. Love is much deeper than a feeling. Love is a commitment we make to people to always treat that person right and honorably.

Yes, for those we become especially close to, we will have feelings of love, but I believe it is time for us to re-examine what we mean by love. We must expand our definition of what love means by including the commitment aspect of love. For healthy relationships, we must love everyone. We may not like them based on how we feel about them, but we should love them based on our definition of love above which in turn determines how we should act toward them; that is, treat them right and honorably. This is the basis of all healthy relationships.

2. Serving Heart
My good friend Zig Ziglar says frequently that “you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.”

The concept he is talking about is having a heart and life that is focused on serving other people. Life is best lived in service to others. This does not mean that we do not strive for the best for ourselves. It does mean that in all things we serve other people, including our family, co-workers and friends. We must learn to help those who deserve it, not just those who need it—life responds to deserve not need.

3. Honest Communication
In any good relationship, you will find open and honest communication. Communication is so important because it is the vehicle that allows us to verbalize what is inside us and enables it to connect with another person. Isn’t communication amazing? One person is feeling one thing, and through communication, another person can find that out and feel it too—amazing.

And this is a vital goal in good relationships—to communicate, to tell each other what we are thinking and what we are feeling. It enables us to make a connection. Sometimes we are the one speaking and other times we are listening. Either way, the central tenet is communication for the sake of building the relationship and making it stronger. And here’s what’s exciting: If we just communicate, we can get by. But if we communicate skillfully, we can work miracles!

4. Friendliness
Put simply, relationships just work better when we are friendly with others. Being friendly can cushion the bumpy ride we sometimes experience in our relationships. Cheerfulness goes a long way toward building lasting relationships. I mean, nobody wants to be around a grump, do they? The fact is that the friendlier you are the more you are going to have people who want to pursue longer-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with you. So cheer up, put on a smile, have kind words to say to others, treat people with a great deal of friendliness and you will see your relationships improve.

Love is much deeper than a feeling. Love is a commitment we make to people to always treat that person right and honorably.

5. Patience
People being people, we have an awful lot of time for practice in the area of patience. People are not perfect and will constantly fail us. And conversely we will fail other people. So while we try to have more patience for others, we need their patience as well.

So often, I think relationships break down because people give up and lose patience. I am talking about all kinds of friendships, marriages, business relationships, etc. Recent research has shown that those marriages that go through major turmoil, and then make it through, are very strong after doing so. Patience wins out. Those who give up on relationships too early, or because the other person isn’t perfect, often forget that their next friend, their next spouse or business partner will not be perfect either! So we would do well to cultivate this skill and learn to have more patience.

6. Loyalty
Loyalty is a commitment to another person. Sadly, loyalty is often a missing element in many relationships today. We have forgotten what it means to be loyal. Our consumer mentality has affected this to some degree. People are no longer loyal to a product. And unfortunately, many companies are not loyal to their clients or patrons.

Regrettably, this has spilled over into our relationships. It is one thing to switch brands of dishwashing detergent. It is another thing altogether to switch friends. Sometimes we just need to commit to being loyal and let the relationship move forward. We need a higher level of stick-to-it-iveness! This kind of loyalty will take our relationships to a much deeper level. What a powerful and secure feeling of knowing that you have a relationship with someone who is loyal to you and you to them—that neither of you is going anywhere even when things get tough. Wow, how powerful!

7. A Common Purpose
One of the basics of healthy relationships is to have a common purpose, and oftentimes this is a component that is initially overlooked, but for a long-term, long-lasting relationship it is vital. Think about how many friends you have met through the years while working on a common purpose. Maybe it was someone you met while participating in sports, while working on a political campaign, attending church, at your office, or anything that brought you together to work on a common purpose.

You had that strong common bond of purpose that brought you together and held you together. Working together, building together, failing and succeeding together—all while pursuing a common purpose—is what relationships are made of. Find people with whom you have common purposes and sow the seeds of great relationships, and then reap the long-lasting benefits.

8. Fun
All good relationships have some element of fun. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean loud, raucous fun, though that is appropriate for some relationships. But even in business relationships there should be some fun. It should be fun to do business with those who you are going to have a long-term business relationship with.

Fun brings enjoyment to the relationship and that is important. I think that oftentimes this key element can be easily forgotten or neglected in our family and spousal relationships. The fun things we did initially in a new relationship after a while can be taken for granted or simply fall by the wayside and we stop creating the fun and joy. So remember to consciously craft fun situations and moments, for these are the glue that hold our memories together and make our lives sweet.

There are so many key ingredients to making and maintaining great, long-lasting relationships. Each of the eight components we discussed brings unique dynamics and rewards to your relationships. Let’s begin to focus on improving our relationships in these areas and see what miracles occur!

One person caring about another represents life's greatest value.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2016. 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, May 1, 2016

10 Tips on How to Trust and Thrive (Instead of Stress and Survive) in Turbulent Times
Written by Jack Canfield

For many people, unexpected life changes are the source of their biggest fears.

What if their jobs get outsourced? What if their spouse leaves them? What if their town’s main source of employment dries up? What if the future they always imagined for themselves turns out to be a pipe dream?

The possibilities can be scary to contemplate.

But for some people, unexpected life changes can be a source of amazing opportunity. If you have an opportunity-seeking mindset, you will respond to any new situation in a way that allows you to create abundance and thrive.

For example, I know of a woman who lost her job in a town hit hard by an economic downturn. Businesses were closing up shop and many people were losing their homes. As she noticed the foreclosures happening in her own neighborhood, she realized that the angry people being forced out of their homes were leaving the houses in a complete mess.

So this enterprising woman called the local banks and offered to clean them for a fee so that they would be presentable when the banks tried to rent or sell them. Her little venture was so successful that she had to hire several other people to help – and she now has a successful house cleaning business.

I know of another jobless woman who had the brilliant idea to start buying and selling used furniture from people who were forced to downsize their living accommodations – either through foreclosure or job loss. She opened a store that sold the furniture locally as well as online – and she was able to make a good living!

Then there was my friend who has a Lexus dealership in Southern California. When the economy took a sharp downturn, people stopped coming into his dealership to buy cars. In order to stay afloat, he knew he had to change his business approach. So instead of waiting for people to come to the showroom, he drove his cars out to country clubs, marinas, and private golf courses and invited people there to take a test drive. Once people got behind the wheel, they were sold – and his dealership ended up selling more cars than ever.

You have to have faith in the Universe and yourself
The problem with turbulence is that it involves a lot of abrupt and dramatic ups and downs – and you can’t always see the blue skies beyond the storm.

But you mustn’t let your worries and fears keep you stuck. You need to have faith that you will navigate your way through the storm and end up in a better place than you were before. And you need to have the motivation to keep going no matter how hard the wind blows – and the confidence to take risks and act on opportunities that have no guaranteed outcome.

Here are some tips on how to cultivate trust and take action that will catapult you closer to your dream life – even when it feels like your world is falling apart.

1. Hold fast to your dreams
When most people are going through a period of upheaval, their response is to give up on heir goals and dreams and go into pure survival mode. But if you don’t have a target to aim for, you will never hit the mark.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for you to have a clear vision for your life – and make it more of a priority than ever.

The good news is, when you’ve been set loose from your moorings, it can be far easier to go after opportunities you’ve never had the time or courage to pursue.

2. Visualize your dreams with feeling twice a day
Your dreams should be your lighthouse: a beacon that cuts through the darkness and shows you the direction you need to go. You should consciously keep them at the forefront of your mind so they play a key role in influencing every decision you make.

That’s how you ensure your decisions point you in the direction that will make those dreams come true.

3. Keep your self-talk positive
You must have faith in yourself and trust that you are capable of doing what it takes to achieve your dreams and overcome any obstacle that life throws at you.

The best way to avoid succumbing to self-doubt is to consciously focus on practising positive self-talk. The moment you sense yourself falling into negativity and thinking something like, “I could never do that,” replace the negative thought with a more positive one, such as: “I absolutely CAN do that – I just need to figure out how.”

4. Surround yourself with positive people
As my friend Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you’re surrounded with negative, fear-based people who are always criticizing you or imagining the worst possible outcome to every situation, their dark outlooks will dull your spark. Don’t let that happen!

Instead, seek out positive, uplifting people who are actively creating their dreams. They will encourage you to keep going after your own dreams and help you see the way forward.

5. Read uplifting books
When you read inspires stories of people who have made their dreams come true and created amazing lives for themselves, it reassures you that such a future is not only possible, it’s entirely within your reach – and it motivates you to keep taking positive action toward that goal.

On top of that, reading is a powerful way to reduce stress – a natural by-product of going through turbulence. Studies show that reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce your stress level by more than two thirds.

6. Trust your intuition
Before you make a decision, bring your mind to stillness and listen to the quiet voice in your heart that delivers the wisdom you need to make the right choice.

If you have difficulty hearing that quiet voice inside you, here’s an article I recently wrote that shows you how to cultivate your intuition and take soul-inspired action.

7. Take continuous action
No matter how much you faith you have, no matter how deeply you trust and believe, you won’t achieve your dreams overnight. As my friend Robert J. Collier says, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

If you take one step after another, adjusting your route as necessary to ensure you stay moving in the right direction, you WILL reach your destination.

8. Expect the best
The Universe doesn’t give you what you deserve. It gives you what you expect.

As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

So if you want to make your dreams come true, you have to expect that it will happen. There may be some bumps along the way, but they shouldn’t deter you from following your dreams.

9. Use feedback to make the necessary course corrections
The Universe is giving you feedback all the time. If you apply for a job and the HR person says you don’t have the right level of experience, that’s feedback. If you tell your friends you’re thinking of going freelance and several people say, “I know someone who is in desperate need of your services!” That’s feedback too. If someone tells you, “I recommended you to a bunch of friends but they didn’t hire you because you don’t have a website” – you guessed it: feedback.

Use this feedback to determine what your next steps will be.

10. Persevere until you get the result you want
Don’t give up! It’s that simple. The Universe WANTS you to realize your greatest potential and create your ideal life. But it doesn’t always make it easy! It presents you with challenges that make you stretch beyond your current capabilities and become the kind of person who is capable of creating the life you desire.

And remember – the bigger the challenge, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll grow as you face it head on and figure out how to overcome it.

If you follow these 10 tips, I guarantee that you will be able to successfully navigate your way through any unexpected upheaval – and stay on target to achieving your goals and making your dreams come true.

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/.