Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Importance of Mindset, Meditation & Mastermind
Written by Jack Canfield

I attribute much of my success to the importance of mindset, meditation, and masterminding. They have contributed much to my life and you too can enjoy their benefits as well with a little effort.

Changing your mindset and the way you think about the world around you will open you up to new possibilities happening all around you. Meditation will help increase your self-confidence and expand your awareness among many other things. Masterminding will help hold you accountable for your own personal growth and development.

1. Mindset: The Importance of Mindset
Study after study has shown that the mind is an extremely powerful instrument. Things most people thought was impossible were later achieved by scientists, athletes, businesspeople and everyday individuals, simply because they believed they could and they persevered.

You may have heard the famous quote from Napoleon Hill – author of the classic personal development book, Think and Grow Rich – who said:

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

That belief, by the way is a choice. It’s simply a thought you decide to think over and over again until it becomes automatic.

Scientists know that our belief about whether something is possible is a byproduct of our life experience. Through a lifetime’s worth of events, our brain actually learns what to expect next. Since our brain expects things to happen a certain way, we often achieve exactly what we expect.

This is why it’s so important to have a believing mindset. Believe it’s possible to achieve something in your life and things will often turn out exactly as you believe they will.

Of course, there’s a negative aspect of belief. Believe that failure or disaster will befall you – and guess what… it usually will.

Positive AND negative outcomes are why it’s so important to hold positive expectations in your mind.

When you replace your negative expectations with positive ones and begin to believe that what you want is possible, your brain will take over the job of accomplishing it for you.

2. Meditation: A Powerful Success Tool
I regularly participate in multi-day meditation retreats. I always like to take a couple of weeks a year to spend in stillness and silence. It helps me to relax, de-stress, go deeper into my essential self and open myself to the inner guidance that I receive during these times. Once I catch up on my sleep after the first two days and enter into a deep state of peace, the insights, ahas, and breakthrough ideas that come to me are usually very profound and useful in my daily life and work.

The title for Chicken Soup for the Soul®, which has become a brand worth hundreds of millions of dollars, came to me after three days of meditation.

The idea for creating the Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul book came to Marci Shimoff, who became the coauthor for that book, came to her during a silent meditation retreat. That book was the catalyst for all of the other more than two hundred targeted Chicken Soup books that followed.

Another reason I attend meditation retreats regularly is that I drop into a deep space of unconditional love for myself, my wife, the fellow participants at the retreat, and for people outside the retreat—my family, friends, staff, students and humanity in general. Living in this state of unconditional love and acceptance is one of the most fulfilling experiences life has to offer.

Guided Meditations and Visualizations When I lead meditations at my training events, I use a process called guided meditation. I help my attendees meditate in a deeply relaxed state. They visualize the images, scenery and emotions they’ll experience once they’ve achieved the lifestyle they dream about.

Meditation and visualization has been repeatedly proven to:
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Expand awareness
  • Increase memory
  • Facilitate optimal performance
  • Evoke a more positive attitude
  • Accelerate the learning of difficult subject matter.

In one of the most well-known studies on creative visualization in sports Ohio State University divided 15 basketball players into three groups of five players each. They tested each student to establish their average free-throw percentage. They asked:
  • Group 1 to practice shooting free-throws everyday for 30 minutes.
  • Group 2 to not touch a basketball for 30 days.
  • Group 3 to not touch a basketball for 30 days, but instead visualize shooting free-throws and to see each shot going into the basket perfectly.

At the end of the study they had the players shoot free-throws and compare their results.
  • Group 1, which had practiced 30 minutes a day, showed a 24% improvement.
  • Group 2, which had not touched a basketball for 30 days, showed no improvement which is not surprising.
  • But Group 3, which had only visualized shooting perfect free-throws, showed a 23% improvement without any practice.

The body literally cannot tell the difference between a real event and a vividly imagined event.

The point is that you can literally build skills, improve performance and actually program yourself to do the things necessary, see the opportunities available, and create the ideas necessary to achieve the goals you want.

3. Mastermind: The Power of a Mastermind Group
And the final success strategy is one of the most powerful tools ever used by successful people. Whether it's the world’s richest people from the early 20th Century or today’s modern icons of business. It’s called the mastermind group.

Napoleon Hill first talked about mastermind groups in his book Think and Grow Rich. It’s the one concept people most reference when they credit any one thing with helping them become a millionaire.

Andrew Carnegie had a mastermind group. So did Henry Ford. Ford would mastermind with brilliant thinkers like Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and others in a group they held at their winter mansions in Coral Gables, Florida.

Mastermind Groups Focus a Special Energy
They knew, as millions of others have discovered since, that a mastermind group can focus special energy on your effort, in the form of knowledge, resources and spiritual energy, too. While you must always do the work of becoming a great success, a mastermind group can harness and maximize the spiritual focus behind your success.

It’s this spiritual aspect that Napoleon Hill wrote about extensively. In fact, he said that if we are in tune with the mastermind—that is, God, the Universal Power or whatever term you use for the all-powerful life force, we have significantly more positive energy available to us. We can focus this power on our success.

In short, “mastermind” is both that power coming to us from above—from the God force—but also that power which comes to us from each other. Together, we know more and can focus more energy than any one of us can alone.

Assemble Your Own Mastermind
To assemble a mastermind group, choose people who are already where you’d like to be in your life, or who are at least one level above you.

If your goal is to become a millionaire, you won’t get much help if everyone in your mastermind group is making only $60,000 a year.

Of course, you might ask, “Why would anyone want to be in a mastermind group with me if I’m only making $60,000 a year?”

The answer is that you’re the one putting the group together. You’re the one providing the arena. You're organizing, supporting and building a forum for other people’s growth.

The truth is many people at a higher level will want to become involved simply because they then get to play at a game they might never organize for themselves.

The other people you’re going to invite are people they would like to be around, too. So make a list of ideal candidates and start asking.

If your goals center on a specific subject like starting a new business or investing money, you might start a mastermind group centered on entrepreneurship or investments.

You can always launch a general mastermind group plus a second mastermind group centered on a certain topic area where you invite people from the same field.

The ideal size of a mastermind group is 5-6 people. If it is too much smaller, it loses its dynamics. If it's bigger, it becomes unwieldy, meetings take longer, some needs go unmet and personal sharing is minimized.

Take Action and Start a Mastermind
Is starting or joining a mastermind group something you’d like to try?

Think about 5-6 people that you know who may want to start a mastermind with you. Think of people who are already where you want to be in your life. Ask them about joining and soon, you too could be assembled with people who are at the top of their game and who are eager to help you improve, too.

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/.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Three Must-Have Legal Documents

Most Americans don’t have wills. If you’re among this majority, it may concern you that if you were to die, the state could end up making some pretty hefty decisions on your behalf. They could be the final decision-makers on what happens to any of your left-behind children and they could also wind up being the distributors of all of your left-behind possessions and financial assets.


As well as needing a will, if you really don’t want a stranger making any of those important choices for you, it is extremely imperative that you also obtain these three important legal documents:

1. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. Also known as an advance directive or health care proxy, this lets you identify who will make medical decisions for you if you cannot.

2. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances. This designates who will handle money decisions for you.

3. Living Will. This tells doctors (and your family) exactly what type of care you do or do not want to receive if you are terminally ill and incapacitated. (Some states combine #1 and #3 into one form).

So, don’t leave such important matters to someone you don’t know and give yourself (and your family) some peace of mind.

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, June 11, 2017

How to Show Appreciation to Others
Written by Jack Canfield

Learning how to show appreciation daily for everything is one of the highest emotional states you can experience. Many people find that it requires great diligence to cultivate a persistent attitude of appreciation. That’s because we’ve been culturally conditioned to focus on what we don’t have, rather than appreciation for what we’ve already received and achieved.

"Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.." - Oprah Winfrey

When you make being grateful a habit, you’ll feel true joy and contentment, no matter what you have or don’t have in your life. And since the Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, being grateful will naturally attract more into your life that you can be grateful for. When you learn how to show appreciation, it’s a never ending cycle of positivity!

We do dozens of things every day on autopilot, such as eating our meals, taking showers, or doing the dishes. We don’t have to spend time visualizing these activities or putting them on our to-do lists. We simply do them out of habit. Playing The Appreciation Game on a daily basis is a great mindfulness training and will help you turn gratitude into a daily habit, so you can attract more joy and abundance into your life all year long.

How to Show Appreciation Daily
1. Set a time every day
First, set a specific time each day to consciously appreciate everything you encounter. An ideal time to do this is on your way to or from work.

2. Appreciate everything you encounter
Second, appreciate the people you pass, the road you walk on, the cars that let you merge into a different lane, the street signs that make it easy for you to know where you’re going, the rain that’s nourishing the plants and trees, and so on.

3. Look for the good in every situation
Third, look for the good in all situations – even those you would normally view as negative. As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” For example, when my wife was in a car accident a few years ago, she could have chosen to berate herself or question her judgment. Instead, she learned how to stay focused on her gratitude for suffering only minor injuries and for the help she received from other drivers.

Remember, new habits take 30 to 60 days to lock in.

Show Appreciation at Least 10 Times a Day
Express your appreciation to at least 10 people a day, both individuals you know intimately, as well as virtual strangers who touch your life. Experiment with the different forms of appreciation and observe how much more deeply your appreciation is received when you find the right way to deliver it for each individual. Then keep track of everything you’ve appreciated on your scorecard.

I don’t go to bed without achieving my daily appreciation quota. I appreciate my wife and children, write letters to my mother or stepfather, or email my staff. Do this every day for 6 months or until you no longer needed the card as a reminder.

As you build the habit of appreciation, it helps to expand the circle of people whom you appreciate. Think bigger. Our society flourishes because of connections. We literally couldn’t survive without other people.

Nobody pumps their own petroleum, turns it into gas, and trucks it into their own town. Other people do it. The food we eat probably has 30 to 40 people involved in it before it gets to our tables. Although they may be strangers, the people who serve us by doing their part in making our society function deserve our thanks, too.

Try it for Yourself
Grab an index card, a journal, or keep a note in your phone to start writing down at least 10 things you appreciate daily for the next 30 days. It may not feel natural at first to focus on appreciating what you already have, especially when you're first learning how to show appreciation.

But by faithfully practicing The Appreciation Game, you’ll begin to change your conditioning.

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, June 4, 2017

You Don’t Have to Love What You Do...
Written by Jim Rohn

...but you have to love the opportunity.

You have to love what you do, that’s what people say. But that's not necessarily true. What is true is that you have to love the opportunity—the opportunity to build life, future, health, success and fortune. Knocking on someone’s door may not be something you love to do, but you love the opportunity of what might be behind it.

A guy says, "I'm digging ditches. Should I love digging ditches?" The answer? No, you don't have to love digging ditches, but if it is your first entry onto the ladder of success, you should be thinking, I'm glad somebody gave me the opportunity to dig ditches, and I'm going to do it so well, I won't be here long.

You can be inspired by just having found something, even though you are making mistakes in the beginning and even though it is not ideal, taking on a new discipline that you haven't learned yet. You don't have to love it, you just have to learn to appreciate the opportunity—and the person who believed in you before you believed in yourself, the person who brought you the good news, who found you.

If you will embrace the disciplines associated with the new opportunity, you will soon find that your self-confidence starts to grow, that you go from being a skeptic to being a believer. And, soon, when you start talking to people, you will find it to be the most thrilling opportunity in the world. Every person you meet, what could they be to you? It’s unlimited! Maybe a friend for life, an open door to retiring, a colleague for years to come. This is big, and sometimes, in the beginning when we are just getting started, we don't always see how big it really is.

So before you are tempted to give up or get discouraged, remember that all success is based on long-term commitment, faith, discipline, attitude and a few stepping stones along the way. You might not like the stone you are on right now, but it's sure to be one of the stones that leads to great opportunities in the future.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2017. 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.