Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bad Luck, Bad Choices and Bad Habits by Chris Widener

We were at some friend’s house one day and the wife mentioned some other acquaintances of ours. “It sure is too bad, all the bad luck they have,” she said.

My first thought was, “Bad habits, not bad luck.”

My second thought was, “Or is it bad choices?”

You see, there is a difference. What we many times call bad luck is merely bad choices. Let me explain:

If you work hard, buy a new car, keep it up with regular maintenance and blow a tire driving down the road, then that is bad luck.

However, if you drive on your tires until they are almost bald and drive at speeds higher than they are recommended for, and keep them at the wrong inflation level, and then the tire blows, that is not bad luck but bad choices. The tire blew because you chose not to buy new ones. The tire blew because you chose not to take the time to check your tire inflation level the last time you filled up the tank.

It is bad luck to leave your house on vacation and while you are away the gas line breaks and the house blows up.

It is bad habits to not tend to taking care of your house, replacing the roof, painting, etc., until it is a junk pile.

It is bad luck to be let go from a company that goes into meltdown because the CEO acts unethically and the stock tanks, forcing layoffs.

It is both bad choices and bad habits to be late to work every day, display shoddy workmanship and have a bad attitude to the point that the boss fires you.

If you choose to frequent shady parts of town or risky establishments, and you get mugged, is that bad luck or bad choices?

You get the point.

How often do we call something bad luck when it is really the result of bad habits or bad choices? This really boils down to a matter of ownership of our lives and actions. Do we take full responsibility for our lives or not?

I know of a gentleman who was recently passed over for a job. It would have paid him $13,000 for a week’s worth of work. The person who passed him over told me why. Knowing this gentleman, I said, “It is too bad, because with a few good choices, that guy could be living in a nice house, driving nice cars, and having very few financial problems.”

What about you? Do you experience bad luck? Or bad habits? Or bad choices?

The next time you hear someone say, “He’s down on his luck,” perhaps you ought to ask, “Or is he down on his choices?”

I have found that those who have good habits and make good choices tend to experience the best luck! So, if you want a little good luck, make some good choices and develop some good habits.


Multiple Skills for the 21st Century by Jim Rohn

I believe that in the 21st century it is so important to have multiple skills. But what I also find is that—if you are already in sales, network marketing or have an entrepreneurial business (or plan to in the future)—you can gain the needed skills for the future while you create your income now.

Here's my short list for on-the-job training, so that you can learn while you earn.

Sales
I began my journey with sales, which of course dynamically changed my life back at age 25. The first year I multiplied my income by five. I was raised in farm country. I knew how to milk cows, but it didn't pay well. But sales altered the course of my life, learning to present a valid product in the marketplace, talk about its virtues and get somebody to say “yes.” And then give them good service.

Recruiting
Then came recruiting, how to expand my business, build an organization. We have all heard the question, Is it better to have one person selling $1,000 or have 100 people selling $10? If you ask me, I'll take the 100 at $10. Recruiting, the ability to multiply your efforts, once mastered, is one of life's and leadership's greatest time-management resources.

Organizing
Then I learned organizing. Keeping your own schedule can be difficult at times, but now you have to balance multiple tasks and people to get maximum results. But you will find that the payoff is massive once you have tapped into the synergy and momentum of group dynamics and teamwork.

Promotion
Next is promotion. First it's the spring campaign and then the fall campaign, and then it's this month's objective's campaign. You never know when it's going to click for someone to want or need to buy from you or be a part of what you are doing, so having the offer or the special or the contest going when they're ready can make all the difference.

Recognition
Then it's the recognition. Some people work harder for recognition than they do for money. It's the chance to belong. It helps to get people to do something that, ordinarily on their own, they wouldn't think of doing. They could, but they don't think of it. You come along with a little promotion for this month or this quarter, and everything changes for them, and I found that paid big money.

Communication
Then I learned communication: how to do the training, how to do the teaching, and probably the greatest gift of all is learning how to inspire with words. Inspire people to see themselves better than they are—all of those gifts, all of those skills. Be the voice that tells them they have made a wise decision, and why.

Now, I believe with just this little short list I've given you, you'll be equipped. We've all watched what has happened the last 15 years. The guy had one skill—the company downsizes. His division is eliminated and since he only had one skill, now he is vulnerable. He's wandering around saying, “Oh my, the last few years I should have taken some classes that would have taught me a couple of more things and I wouldn't be here in this vulnerable position.”

So my admonition: Learn some multiple skills, or should we say, backup skills for the 21st century, and there's no better place to learn them than in what you're already doing now.



What in the World Are You Doing? by Chris Widener

Let’s talk about leaving an impact legacy. “What is an impact legacy?” you may ask. It is how you impact people and the world around you. You see, many people glide through life and do not make much of an impact. That is unfortunate. Others, though, those driven by a purpose and passion for living, are continually making the world a better place and making an impact wherever they go. That’s what I believe you want to do.

In order to help you reflect on this, I want to ask you a question: What in the world are you doing?

Here is the typical life—typical, though not everybody does it this way. For the most part, people’s lives generally go something like this:

You’re born
You eat and sleep
You play with toys
You go to school
You play Little League
You go to school
You learn to drive
You go to school
You leave high school
You go to more school, but you pay for it now
You get a job
You get married
You buy a house
You have kids
You watch your kids eat, sleep, play and go to school
You work, work and work
You retire
You die

That’s the basic life, isn’t it? I know there is more to it, but that is about it for most people.
Here is that question again: What in the world are you doing?

I mean, what are you doing besides the typical “enjoying yourself while you are waiting to die” scenario? What kind of impact are you making?

What I believe sets the successful apart is that they don’t just live the average life. They don’t just pass time. They make an impact. They have something compelling in their life that drives them—something that gives them an answer when they are asked that question: What in the world are you doing?

I’m helping children.
I’m creating a business that supports many families.
I lead a church.
I am defending our liberties.
I am raising great children.
I’m teaching others to improve their lives.
I help people have fun.
I create memories for people.

In other words, successful people always come down to this: I make an impact and help other people by (fill in your purpose here).

What in the world are you doing?

If you want to be successful, you need to be able to answer that by describing how you help others. If you aren’t helping others, if you aren’t making an impact, you are just taking up space, eating food and waiting to die.

Here’s the question for you to answer and what to do with your answer: What in the world are you doing?

If you know, then you are good to go—live it and make an impact!

If you don’t know, then maybe you need to reflect on what you are doing, what your life is about, and how you can explode the mundane bubble you may be living in!

The world needs impact makers—so live to be one!


Personal Development: The Plan by Jim Rohn

As we all know, our results are only as good as our plan. My mentor, Mr. Shoaff, taught me that it's not what happens that determines the major part of our future, because what happens, happens to us all. Instead, he taught me that the key is what we do about it. If we start the process of change by developing a plan, doing something different in this next year than we did the previous year, it won't matter how small those efforts start.

Start doing different things with the same set of circumstances—the ones we've always had and cannot change—and see what miracles occur. If we start the miracle process and change ourselves, then everything changes. And here's what is interesting: the difference between success and failure is so subtle. Let me explain by giving you my definitions of failure and success. Here it is: Failure is a few errors in judgment repeated every day. The man says, "Well I didn't walk around the block today and it didn't kill me, so it must be okay." No, no, it is that kind of error in judgment that after six years has him out of breath and panting as he walks from his car to his office. You can't make those kinds of mistakes; it will end up costing you.

Now, here is my definition of success: A few simple disciplines practiced every day. Do you see the distinction? A few disciplines. Here's a little phrase we've all heard: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." And my question to you is, "What if that's true?" How simple and easy is that plan?

The fact is, when you look at successful people, you will almost always discover a plan behind their success. They know what they want, they work out a plan that will get them where they want to go, and they work their plan. It is the foundation for success. We as humans have the unique ability to effect change in our lives; it is through our own conscious choice when we engage in the miracle process of personal development that we are able to transform our nature and our lives.

So, what are some good ideas on developing a plan that will work well and take you to the finish line powerfully and in style? Here are some major points to keep in mind:

Develop the Plan for You. Some people are very detail-oriented and they will be able to follow an intricate plan closely. Others are a little more freewheeling and aren't really "detail" people. That is okay too. In all the years of my speaking to audiences worldwide, people have asked the question, "What plan is the right plan?" And my answer: the plan that fits you—your plan, the one you develop that is unique to you and for you. You see, each of us is unique and motivated by different factors, and you've got to develop one that is right for you and fits you. Some plans will not be as intricate as others, but we all must have a plan, along with goals in that plan, to move us along the program. If you are a free spirit type, don't tell yourself you are going to spend two hours a day with a book and tapes and journal. It probably won't happen and you will get discouraged. Whatever your personality, your strengths and your weaknesses, develop the plan around them! This is not a one-plan-fits-all proposition.

Establish Times to Spend Working on the Material. It may be every Sunday night. It may be 20 minutes each morning. It may be in the car listening to the CDs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Whatever it is, set the times and do it. In your step-by-step plan, put down points that you can accomplish every week. They should be specific and achievable. Develop the discipline and take those steps every day, which will move you closer to your goals and where you want to be.

Keep a Journal. Take notes. It may be on paper, it may be on a micro-recorder. Mr. Shoaff taught me not to trust my memory, but to write it down, to find one place to gather the information that effects change. And that advice has served me well all these years. Record the ideas and inspiration that will carry you from where you are to where you want to be. Take notes on the ideas that impact you most. Put down your thoughts and ideas. Brainstorm with yourself on where you are going and what you want to do. Record your dreams and ambitions. Your journals are a gathering place for all the valuable information that you will find. If you are serious about becoming wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured, unique, if you come across something important, write it down. Two people will listen to the same material and different ideas will come to each one. Use the information you gather and record it for further reflection, for future debate and for weighing the value that it is to you.

Reflect. Create time for reflection—a time to go back over, to study again the things you've learned and the things you've done each day. I call it "running the tapes again" so that the day locks firmly in your memory so that it serves as a tool. As you go through the material in this plan, you will want to spend time reflecting on its significance for you. Regularly set aside time. Here are some good guidelines for times to reflect: At the end of the day. Take a few minutes at the end of each day and go back over the day—who you talked to, who you saw, what they said, what happened and how you felt, what went on. A day is the piece of the mosaic of your life. Next, take a few hours at the end of the week to reflect on the week's activities. I would suggest at least a half hour. Also during that weekly time, take a few minutes to reflect on how this material should be applied to your life and circumstances. Take a half day at the end of the month and a weekend at the end of the year so that you've got it so that it never disappears, to ensure that the past is even more valuable and will serve your future well.

Set Goals. Your plan is the roadmap for how you are going to get to your goals, so you have to
have them. Of all the things that changed my life for the better (and most quickly), it was learning how to set goals. Mastering this unique process can have a powerful effect on your life too. I remember shortly after I met Mr. Shoaff, he asked me if I had a list of my goals, and of course I didn't. He suggested to me that because I lacked a set of clearly defined goals that he could guess my bank balance within a few hundred dollars... and he did! Well, Mr. Shoaff immediately began helping me define my view of the future, my dreams. He taught me to set goals because it is the greatest influence on a person's future and the greatest force that will pull a person in the direction that they want to go. But the future must be planned and well-designed to exert a force that pulls you toward the promise of what can be.

Act. Act on your plan. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful so many times is that the successful simply do it. They take action; they aren't necessarily smarter than others, they just work the plan. And the time to act is when the emotion is strong. Because if you don't, here's what happens: it's called the law of diminishing intent. We intend to act when the idea strikes us, when the emotion is high, but if we delay and we don't translate that into action fairly soon, the intention starts to diminish, and a month from now it's cold and a year from now it can't be found. So set up the discipline when the idea is strong, clear and powerful—that's the time to work the plan. Otherwise the emotion is wasted unless you capture the emotion and put it into disciplined activities and translate it into equity. And here's what is interesting: all disciplines affect each other; everything affects everything. That's why the smallest action is important—because the value and benefits that you receive from that one little action will inspire you to do the next one and the next one.

So step out and take action on your plan, because if the plan is good, then the results can be miraculous.

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