Thursday, 8 August 2013

Why It Matters How You Think of Your Money

God's Abundance by Charles Fillmore (1953)

You may already be aware of the principle that man's thoughts are what he makes of them, and that we become what we think about.

William James famously said his greatest discovery was the fact that "Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." It's common knowledge a man is what he thinks about all day long, and whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve", and so on.

It stands to reason therefore, that this 'thinking' process applies equally to money. Our money. And since we seem to complain about money almost ceaselessly, I thought the following extract from Sacred Texts was worth keeping in mind (pun intended!):

..."Watch your thoughts when you are handling your money, because your money is attached through your mind to the one source of all substance and all money. When you think of your money, which is visible, as something directly attached to an invisible source that is giving or withholding according to your thought, you have the key to all riches and the reason for all lack"...

Incredible stuff.

You can read the entire piece from here

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Law of Success - Are You Paying Attention?

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.” Winston Churchill.
I love that quote from Winston Churchill because it's speaks a wonderful truth. It reminds me of the great Chinese proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Case in point:
You can teach a man to fish but he has to want to fish. In our abundant society, we expect more and more things to be done for us without thought or effort.

We have to want to be successful and to do something about it for ourselves which reminds me of a book on quitting smoking where the author points out that you may wish to help someone else quit by lending them your book. But they to want to quit smoking enough that they purchase the book themselves, or they won't bother to read the book you've lent them for free.

If you search "The law of success" in Google you'll come up with a list of results all pointing to Napoleon Hill's 16 lessons on the subject from 1928. As I write, it's 2013. What's more, there are numerous offerings of Napoleon Hill's extensive work available free as ebooks and audio. Here's a free example if you're not familiar with this publication.

Are YOU Paying Attention?
My point is why are we not paying attention to the answers we have right in front of us? In Napoleon Hill's case, for 85 years or so, and the Bible which has been offering successful ways of living for centuries.

Success in and of itself has been described and defined in a great many ways by a great many authors over the centuries and it will continue to be so. Having the valuable benefit of libraries and the Internet to provide access to this wonderful information (often free as I mention) why do so few of us take the time or have the inclination to actually search out and apply the information to cure (yes, cure) many of our troubles, insecurities, financial worries and countless other issues?

Perhaps it's down to the fact that because we in the western world have so many home comforts (yes, even you and I), we place very little value on something for free, even if we think we don't. Most of our essential needs in the western world have been met, so if anything above this basic need requires extra effort, why bother?

Perhaps this view is a little too simplistic.

What do you want? Yes, really
Access to the meaning and definition of success is free but each and every one of us has to decide what success means to us individually, and what we have to do in order to attain it. It's a question some of us will return to many times during our lifetimes. Just don't wait too long!

To learn more on the subject read Dr Robert Anthony's book "Beyond Positive Thinking" which offers a no-nonsense formula for getting what you want.

Because so few of us actually pursue success, perhaps that's why we regard it as some sort of secret (I may even have used this term myself) because it kind of adds a certain mystery and inaccessibility to such a wondrous gift each of us has within us free and clear. And maybe that's how it should be.

It's there if we want it, but we have to decide we want it; to engage with it and put it to use in our own lives and for the benefit of humanity.

Just be aware of one thing
Whichever way you look at it, success is a journey which by definition will take time, planning and commitment. Add to that the development of character with obstacles and challenges to be overcome. And at the end of each individual journey, the traveller thus gains valuable experience and insights to be passed on to those who are preparing their own journey, just as the late, great, Napoleon Hill intended.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Is There Power in Positive Thinking?

Is There Power in Positive Thinking? Wow! Grab your notepad as Margaret Chesney Ph.D provides research based evidence into successful mind-body interventions then provides a proven formula to improve your own life. 

Think of it as a bit like taking all the best bits from a ton of personal development programs, and summing them all up into one simple, proven formula which bring positive results into daily living. Enjoy...

Please leave your comments and results you're getting from applying the tools to your own life. I'd love to hear about your successes!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Refreshing Way To Look At Your Goals

Gardens, not buildings

Great projects start out feeling like buildings. There are architects, materials, staff, rigid timelines, permits, engineers, a structure.

It works or it doesn't.

Build something that doesn't fall down. On time.

But in fact, great projects, like great careers and relationships that last, are gardens. They are tended, they shift, they grow. They endure over time, gaining a personality and reflecting their environment. When something dies or fades away, we prune, replant and grow again.

Perfection and polish aren't nearly as important as good light, good drainage and a passionate gardener.

By all means, build. But don't finish. Don't walk away.

Here we grow.

This post is courtesy of Seth Godin's blog which I highly recommend here

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Shocking Which? poll reveals many 'borrowing money for food'..

Which? poll reveals many 'borrowing money for food'..

This alarming report published in April 2013 makes for alarming reading. When I last looked, there were nearly 800 comments and counting...

The survey suggests many households are cutting back on essentials.

One in five UK households borrowed money or used savings to cover food costs in April, a Which? survey says.

It suggests the equivalent of five million households used credit cards, overdrafts or savings to buy food. The consumer group tracks the spending habits and behaviours of 2,000 people every month.
Which? boss Richard Lloyd described the findings as"shocking". The government said tax and benefit changes meant working households were now better off. The figures come despite official statistics last week showing that personal insolvencies had dropped to their lowest levels in five years.

The Which? monthly tracker involves researchers interviewing a cross-section of the population online. The results can then be filtered by age, income, gender or region. Of the one in five households borrowing or dipping into savings to pay for food, most were low income families - half of whom earned less than £21,000 a year.

Average household earnings in 2011 were about £37,000, according to the most recently available data from the Office for National Statistics.
Among the group who used savings or credit to pay for food:

Eight out of 10 (82%) worried about food prices

More than half (55%) said they were likely to cut back on food spending in the next few months
Nearly six out of 10 (57%) said they found it difficult to cope on their current income
A third (32%) borrowed money from friends and family in April

A typical weekly food bill averages about £76, Which? researchers said, up 4% on last year.
Of all the people polled, the research showed:

A quarter said they were living comfortably on their incomes
More than a third - 36% - felt their finances were under pressure
Almost one third - 31% - cut back spending on essentials last month, and were most likely to be women aged between 30 and 49.

'Mixed economic picture'
Mr Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: "Our tracker shows that many households are stretched to their financial breaking point, with rising food prices one of the top worries for squeezed consumers.

"It's simply shocking that so many people need to use savings or credit to pay for essentials like food."

BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam said the economic picture in Britain was decidedly mixed these days.

“Families face a cost of living crisis and are being forced into debt
or to use their savings simply to put food on the table”

Mary Creagh Shadow environment secretary"

It's true that millions are at what Which? describes as 'financial breaking point', yet retail spending is growing, as are house prices, while the number of people in work is at a record high."

He added that average real incomes in Britain had fallen to the same levels as a decade ago because salaries were not rising but the cost of living was.

"The good news is that the economy is recovering, albeit at a glacial pace. The bad news is that it's not happening quickly enough for millions who are genuinely struggling to make ends meet," he said.

A spokesman for Oxfam said millions of people were under pressure from a combination of rising prices and stagnant incomes - with their problems added to by cuts to services and safety nets.

Mary Creagh, Labour's shadow environment secretary, said the UK was facing a "growing epidemic of hidden hunger".

"Families face a cost of living crisis and are being forced into debt or to use their savings simply to put food on the table".

"This incompetent government needs to wake up to the human cost of their failed economic policies and change course now," she added.

A government spokesman said nine out of 10 working households would be better off as a result of last month's changes to the tax and benefit system - with the average working household better off by more than £300 a year.

"The economy is healing: the deficit is down by a third, over 1 million private sector jobs have been created and interest rates remain low," he added.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Make Money Online or Build a Business?

With more and more of us using computers across an even broader age range, it's obvious to see why we might consider ways for our new shiny piece of technology to earn its keep. Whether it's by a popular online auction site or any number of sites promising quick riches, it's easy to see why making money online has such appeal:
  • it can be quite anonymous - you can set up relatively cheaply and promote other people's products (you don't even have to produce your own products or hold stock)
  • there are no age restrictions - so the internet has massive appeal to those in-between jobs, those with a family or people looking to supplement their income, to name but a few (incidentally over 70% of US households are looking to start a business from home right now)
  • there are no 9-5 restrictions, so you can work the hours to suit your present lifestyle
  • the internet truly has a global audience, although not everyone will want what you have to offer
  • Internet marketing is a process, so it can be learned at your pace in your spare time
  • the Internet is not gender specific - in fact women have a better eye for relationships which is key to any sort of relationship marketing, and essential online
  • there's a lot of free information available, meaning anyone who takes the time, can learn anything they need to succeed
I'm sure you can think of many more.

What does Google think?

I just typed 'make money online' into Google and it returned 2,430,000,000 results!

So you can see there's a lot of interest here. But this creates a big problem. With those numbers where do you start?

Good question.

Sounds like there are a lot of folks out there with solutions. But who do you trust? This is why the get rich quick crowd do so well because there are so many choices. Those in search of how to make money online are easy prey for the quick riches solution because I suspect they think most of the hard work has already been done for them. I thought this myself initially!

This 'thinking all the hard work has been done for you' kind of attitude leads to a kind of not taking this 'make money online' thing very seriously. Even worse, making money online for the newbie is seldom regarded as a business.

Sound silly? It's not.

Why having no business experience matters

Many people who embark on the trail of internet success for the first time, seldom have any real business experience. Ask any successful business person and they will quickly tell you that success depends on systems. Think Franchises like McDonalds - systems that work wherever. The sole trader who does the work himself rarely has the know-how to look beyond their own way of doing things. Think of your business as a system of ways of doing things then scale the systems. This is important.

And the internet takes a whole lot more commitment to succeed especially if you're planning to do-it-alone. You can just walk away if things don't work out especially as there's no-one watching you, and you can just quietly quit if you want.
I've found over the last 13 years or so that online products and services fall broadly into two categories:

1. make money online (get rich quick)
2. legitimate products (many of which don't offer you everything you need to succeed. In other words there's an up-sell - usually a cheap initial product followed by more expensive products later usually culminating in an expensive monthly membership site).

Don’t mistake movement for achievement

It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: busy doing what? If you've succumbed to some of the 'make money products' you're likely to discover that most don't deliver on their promises. The next question is how long are you going to follow this approach before taking the time to do some proper research?

This might be a good time to ask yourself why you want to make money online in the first place.

What type of income do you want to create? Short-term or long-term? How about both? Serious or keep buying into the get-rich-quick offers?

Only you can decide.

You're already working so why not start doing it right? I've bought many products over the years but the one which lives up to its promise I stumbled upon quite by accident whilst working on another project!

It's a company called Site Build It!, or SBI and it shows you step by step how you can turn any hobby, passion or skill into a viable online business. What you probably don't realise is that almost any topic can earn money with a website (the get-rich-quick sites don't tell you that do they?)

Put your brain and motivation to good use

You don't need programming skills or web design knowledge, an existing business or a product to sell (a common question, just your knowledge and motivation. SBI has all the tools you need, and they take you step by step and teach you how to use everything - even helping you find the perfect topic for your site; how to build it, get traffic to it, and how to make money with it, no matter what it's about!

Sound incredible? It's not!

Have a look at the Video Tour to get an idea of how it works (or the Quick Tour if you're in a hurry).

Dig into this information and spend some time learning about how you can make real money whilst building a real business. This is undoubtedly the best way of doing it; make money online and build a business! 

The late Malcolm Forbes said "The biggest mistake people make in life is not making a living doing what they most enjoy."

Now you have no excuse!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

When Working Smarter is Dumber

This article comes from an idea by Edward Shapard at about how to work smarter, not harder which you can read here. It had a profound affect on me, and I'm sure it will on you.

The moral of the story is that it's all very well developing systems to help you get more done, but are you factoring in the time (read: down-time) it takes to perfect your system? It takes time to get things off the ground so ensure the project you intend to spend your valuable time on warrants it. This applies to many scenarios, and I'm sure you can of a few of your own.

Take the plethora of "successful" internet marketers these days who brag about their huge incomes from zero to $zillions in a matter of days, even hours. But again, like the character in Mr Shapard's story, they fail to inform us that it took four or five, even ten years to perfect their "system" before it made a cent. Get the picture? And what were they doing before that? Developing, tweaking, designing, troubleshooting etc. (again think Mr McDuck!)

Any kind of personal development is a case in point.

Let me explain. I can recall (with some discomfort when I look back at it) the reams of notes and exercises I performed diligently as part of my personal development "education" process prescribed in some of the books I read. Although many of the exercises were useful, my point is, don't get bogged down with the 'how to's.' I discovered the 'system' could be, and is in fact, never ending!

Sounds silly. It's not.

Think more in terms of Herbert Spencer's famous quote "The great aim of education is not knowledge but ACTION."

Look at your own life and identify if the time you spend on attempting to work "smarter" is, in fact dumber. I wasted hours (and numerous notebooks!) looking for answers I didn't really need. I got caught up in the system instead of the action part. The system was the action and it had zero tangible results. Less is more is certainly true for me, what's true for you?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Can 'The World's Most Influencial Thinker' Help Us Succeed? (The answer is far more surprising, and more fascinating, than we could ever have imagined)

Do we really need another book about success?

In his book 'Outliers' Thomas Gladwell defines success as '...this perennially interesting question; and there are so many different answers depending on who you ask and when you ask them. And that is why we keep returning to it. If there was some simple little algorithm we could apply, it wouldn't capture our imagination in the same way.'

The Economist says 'A compelling read with an important message; by understanding better what makes people successful we should be able to produce more successful (and happy )people'

William Leith of the Evening Standard adds 'It will make you feel happy. It will make you realise that if you're not successful it might not be your fault'

Time says 'Makes geniuses look a bit less special, and the rest of us a bit more so'

Gladwell argues that there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success. In fact, you may never look at some sports in the same way again. 'Outliers' is a book you won't want to put down. It's easy to read and Gladwell goes to great lengths to evidence his conclusions. Many times I found myself reading past my daily cut-off point just to get to the next chapter and the conclusion of his next revelation!

I first discovered the book from a close friend. We often discussed careers over the years and this was one such occasion. We had been discussing the length of time and the amount of work we had been putting into our present careers when my friend remembered a figure from Malcolm of 10,000 hours (or ten years) to become expert enough in your chosen field before a breakthrough to success! This number seemed about right (ask my wife!) What's more, Gladwell cites many examples from sports teams, software programmers, and rock stars to name but a few!

Before you can become an expert in your chosen field, you need the opportunity to learn how to be an expert - and this takes time. Many people look for a quick solution to bypass the amount of time it takes to succeed, but this is only part of the equation as Gladwell skillfully explains.

'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell discusses the eternal question of why some people achieve so much more than others. The answer is far more surprising, and more fascinating, than we could ever have imagined.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Do You Really Want What You Say You Want?

Eric Thomas is somewhat of a phenomenon. Here is a guy who passionately tells it how it is! Eric gets down to the nitty-gritty and puts the 'real' reasons in your space as to why you may not be achieving the kind of success you say you want. Take note, Eric pulls no punches here (I was even a little shocked myself).

Winston Churchill famously once said "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."  This is one such truth.

I trust this brief video gives you that extra impetus to go after that which you say you want. If nothing else, I'm confident you'll be looking up more of Eric's dynamic videos!

The Story of Self-Talk And How To Empower Yourself

Shad Helmstetter provides proven evidence about how our programming during our childhoods is responsible for the people we are today. More importantly, he offers practical suggestions and exercises on how we can change and improve our chances of success today in his book called 'What To Say When You Talk To Yourself.' I highly recommend it.

Dr Helmstetter reckons the average 18 year old has been told 'No' or what they could not do more than 180,000 times! And during his speaking engagements he has met people who could not recall a single instance of being told what they could do!

Isn't it about time you started programming yourself for positive change in a way that's already familiar to you? Dr Helmstetter shows you how you can re-program any part of your life that has been holding you back.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

What To Do When Faced With The Irresistible 'Work-From-Home' Online Offer

Ah, the irresistible 'Work-From-Home' online offer:

"When I Told My Friends I Was Going To Earn $1,000 A Week, They Just Laughed At Me. Now They're Begging Me For My Secret."

Well, you might say, I'm big enough to make my own choices, and you'd be right! But what if all the information you needed to make an informed choice just wasn't available? Even a little research online often brings up a full page of reviews by the same company and its employees, with links back to the same videos and sales page!

So what then? By the time you reach the end of the skillfully prepared sales spiel, you're already half convinced (often against your better judgement) and your credit card is ready to make payment.

I wanted to mention this especially after all my years online I should have known better! I recently watched one of these skillfully crafted and drawn out videos (one hour+) in which the 'seller' pushes all manner of emotional buttons to give a truly heart-wrenching rags to riches story of how they overcame incredible odds to become a success.

And (for a limited period, of course) they're offering their entire 'system' free to show you how you can do the same. And all this can be achieved with no effort (naturally) taking only 2 hours a day 'working' from your soon-to-be-acquired beach front property (probably in your swimwear!). You get the picture!

Often these tales are SO compelling you find yourself sitting through the whole shenanigans just to see what's on offer at the end! This type of presentation is highly engaging, persuasive and well-polished. But have you ever noticed they NEVER tell you what you have to do to earn the riches they claim? All you have to do is give your email address, a small payment and bingo!

So, why do we fall for these types of ads? Are we so naive and desperate to earn our riches that we think some 'magic, no-work-needed system' will do the work for us? Often we want to make up for lost time and get suckered in to the promise of a better lifestyle seemingly in a matter of several months. Who wouldn't want that?

Tip: if something sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true! And, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it IS a duck no matter what anyone is trying to tell (read 'sell') you!

These sales pages and ads often appeal on an emotional level which is so hard to resist, especially as their audience (most folks in fact wanting to earn additional income from home) often have important reasons for wanting to earn an additional income. You have your reasons just like me.

These offers have a single purpose; to separate you from your hard-earned cash with little or no regard for your success. By the time you sign up, you realise the reality is far from the sales pitch, and you've spent your money and you're angry for being suckered in, vowing to be more careful in future.

So, what should we do. Use a little common sense. Remember the duck! Don't be suckered in by the 'limited time' offers and call to immediate action. After all, this is your life, your money and your future.

The sort of information to look out for in any potential offer online should tell you: 

  • exactly what's involved before asking for a single penny
  • should let you poke around for as long as you want to find out as much information as you need, educating you in the process without bothering you at the same time
  • should offer a money back trial and guarantee with no catches
  • access to tons of real-life testimonials made by actual business owners for you to check out yourself - no carefully selected stories from the company
  • be able to do your own research to find out the truth about the business, its history, owner(s) and what it takes to succeed - honestly
  • be able to build your own picture (without persuasion) to decide if the business is right for you, and your lifestyle (yes, work will be involved)
  • you should be able to see yourself working and enjoying your business as a result of your own findings
  • all the tools and resources to build this business should be in one place without the need to buy anything else to achieve the results you want, and should do the job the company claims
  • ideally a live community where you can connect with like-minded people who are already achieving the results you aspire to, who want to help you succeed because they were once exactly where you are right now.
  • a track record of success

Decide for yourself is what I'm saying.

Make an informed choice. This is the sort of information I've been talking about with no bells and whistles to temp you out of your hard-earned cash. Just sound, proven evidence of success and a how-to system that leads you every step of the way and delivers.

Just remember, it's YOU who has to do the work! But you knew that already right? I hope this information has helped you like it has helped me. Please let me know what you think...

Thursday, 28 February 2013

How to Be More Social by Eduard Ezeanu

Useful post courtesy of Eduard Ezeanu from his blog People Skills Decoded

Do you want to overcome shyness or anxiety and be confident and charismatic? Do you want to make effortless conversation with anyone, make friends easily and fully enjoy life?

How to be more social How to Be More Social

If you tend to be shy, quiet or anxious in social situations, learning how to be more social is one of the most important things you can do. Put into application the right know-how on how to be more social and you’ll see outstanding transformations. You’ll find it easier to make friends, get noticed and have fun in social settings.

As a social confidence coach, most of what I do is help others discover how to be more social and implement this understanding effectively. I want to share with you some of the key ideas that have helped these persons without fail. I discuss them in more detail and also provide other powerful advice in this free presentation.

Approach Being More Social Progressively

The common mistake that people who want to be more sociable make is that they try to achieve this all of a sudden. I know you may crave to be the person who talks with everybody at a party, tells captivating stories and mesmerizes others. And you can become that person. But not overnight. It’s essential to approach this as a gradual process and take it one day at a time.

For example, you may start by simply getting out of the house more; or asking more questions during conversation, and once this gets easier, move on to something more challenging. Focus on making progress, not on radically changing yourself in an instant, and you’ll get very far. Anybody who wants to teach you how to be more social and promises a total transformation in a flash is just trying to swindle you.

Learn the Rules and Play the Game

I big issue for many people who want to find out how to be more social is that they don’t have a minimal understanding of the basic social etiquette.

For example, they often don’t know if it’s OK to ask a work colleague a personal question (the answer is: yes) or when is it proper to do so (the answer is: after you’ve gotten to know each other a bit at a professional level first). Now, I typically don’t give a lot of heed to etiquette. But there are some fundamental norms for social interaction that it’s good to understand. And once you understand them, you can feel more confident in social situations and be more outgoing.

So I encourage you to ask yourself: what do I feel I need to understand better about social interactions. Then seek this understanding you require. Sometimes just asking some questions to a few more socially savvy acquaintances is enough. Other times you may want to actually pick up a book or do a course on social dynamics and the art of conversation.

One small warning here: don’t overdo it. The point is to learn the basic etiquette and try to comply with it most of the time. Don’t try to become the perfect conversationalist who always follows the rules. That’s impossible and frankly, it would make you quite boring.

Focus Externally, Not Internally During Social Interactions

One thing I often notice at people who are reserved is that they’re regularly inside their head while interacting with others. They scrutinize their behavior, try to find ways impress, or criticize themselves in their inner dialog. It’s no surprise that many times they seem to not be paying real attention to the interaction.

If this sounds familiar, then a crucial step forward for you is to focus more externally during social interactions. Pay attention to the other person, what they’re saying, and sometimes observe the context you’re in. But avoid being in your head. This switch in your focus will achieve two things: it will lower your nervousness and it will allow you to have better reactions during the interaction. In time, this will make you more confident to initiate interactions and express yourself.

Work On Your Self-Image

Whenever I coach a person and we explore their desire to be more social, we reliably discover that there is a deeper issue that doesn’t permit them to be as sociable as they would like to be. Many times they have some sort of an inferiority complex, self-image issues or a lack of self-esteem. Having a hard time interacting with others is just a symptom, but it is not the core problem.

In this case, it’s essential to work on the deeper issue in order to get rid of the symptom. You need to change your thinking patterns about yourself, and weed out those limiting beliefs you have about you. Change your thinking, and you change your entire social life.

You now have the basic guidelines on how to be more social. In order to see real results, it’s important to capably put hem into practice. Ultimately, it is proper action that separates the winners from the losers; the people who revamp their social life from the people who just complain and dream of a better day.

Image courtesy of Mark Sebastian

How to Make Changes Stick by Eduard Ezeanu

Courtesy of Steve Aitchison's blog Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
Any person who’s into personal development knows that changing your thinking, behavior or emotional reactions is complicated enough. But things often get even more complicated because that change doesn’t stick. You finally got in the habit of eating healthy and hitting the gym every day, then something sidetracks you and you find yourself eating junk food and slacking it again. You finally managed to build your social confidence and be more social, only to find that old anxiety creeping in again one day when you’re in a social setting, and preventing you from being outgoing. Unfortunately, old negative habits often do come back, many times just when we think we got rid of them, and sometimes they come back with a vengeance. This is why it’s important to be able not only to make change happen, but also to make it stick. As a coach, I put a great deal of focus in helping my clients with both these aspects. I’d like to share with you the most important 5 strategies they, as well as myself, have used successfully to make new habits stick.

changes that stick 
1. Expect and Accept Regress
As far as I can tell, regress is a natural part of progress. When we improve, we frequently make two steps forward, one step back. Our mind falls back on old habits several times until it lets go of them completely to make room for the new habits. What truly matters is how you react when regress happens. If you see it as something terrible that shouldn’t happen or as a sign that you can’t truly change, you’ll likely be shocked, become disillusioned and give up. Obviously, not a good outcome. On the other hand, if you see regress as a natural part of self-improvement, you expect it to come about and you accept it when it does. You take notice of it, then you put your eyes back on the target and you keep moving forward. Sooner or later, the change will stick permanently.

2. Choose Regularity over Intensity
One thing I’ve noticed is that, for building new habits, it’s much more effective to practice something 15 minutes every day for 30 days than 3 hours every day for 3 days. And the latest psychological research tends to support this idea as well. Even though the overall amount of time dedicated to practicing is somewhat smaller in the first case, the new habit will be more likely to stick. And even if you will regress eventually, it will be to a lesser degree and easier to overcome. This is because regularity is more important than intensity in forming new mental associations, which are reflected in new habits. Both of them are essential, but regularity seems to be the priority. Take this into account when you establish how much you implement something each day and for how many days.

3. Don’t Stop Practicing Too Early
On a related note, most people tend to stop practicing stuff too early. Usually, when a new habit starts to take form, when they finally see the desired behavior, feeling or way of thinking emerging on its own, they take it as a sign that the change is done and so they stop practicing. However, this is not true. If you don’t keep practicing at that point, in a few days you’ll go right back to your old habit. The new habit may feel natural at that point, but part of this is only temporary. You need to keep practicing it and to reinforce it in your mind in order to make the change stick. I can’t stress enough how important this is.

4. Incentivize Yourself to Practice
Realizing the long-term benefits of doing something regularly is simply not enough to keep you doing it. Sometimes it’s not even enough to get you started. Just look at all the people who know the long-term benefits they will achieve if they stop smoking, or drinking, or eating sweets, but still they don’t. You need to create and sustain the emotional drive to practice. This is where instant incentives come in: rewards that you give yourself immediately for practicing something, but you forbid yourself from accessing if you don’t practice. In my view, a good practice routine entails daily practice activities, combined with daily incentives to actually do them. In my experience, this is the only approach that works in the long-run.

5. Seek Outside Support
The truth is, other people are a powerful force that you can employ to help make change happen and then keep practicing to make it stick. There are lots of ways to employ them. You can get some of your friends to engage in making the same changes you want to make and you can help keep each other accountable. You can work with a trainer, coach or instructor who supervises your practice and, likewise, helps to keep you accountable. Look around, see the options you have for getting support from others and use them. Change is much easier when others are there to help you. Ultimately, making change stick is from my perspective a matter of working smarter, not harder. You need to have a good understanding of how your mind works in installing new habits and to apply this understanding in the way you organize you day to day activity. This is what works. This is what allows you to genuinely grow and thrive in this world.
Thanks to Eduard Ezeanu a guest author on Steve Aitchison's Blog

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Self-Image and Success Thinking by George Zalucki

George Zalucki continues to inspire me. His teachings and programs have been part of my life for over 20 years, and the following extract is no less significant if you use it! Courtesy of George Zalucki's blog

If you are truly desiring success in business and your personal life, read this article daily and sign the affirmation at the end….

Probably the biggest trap or pitfall in life is self-doubt or low self-esteem.  It is a psychological pit designed and dug by our own minds but we constantly blame its development on others.

Life’s most pathetic expression is, “I can’t do that!”  Defeatism kills your self-image.  Even losing after a good fight raises self-esteem.  Your self-image sets the boundaries of your accomplishments.  Your mental picture of yourself is the real key to understanding your own personality and behavior.  All of your actions, feelings, behaviors, including your abilities, are always constant with your self-image.  You attract conditions in your life that are consistent with your self-image.

Each of us was engineered for happiness and success.  Your unconscious mind is absolutely impersonal.  It operates as a machine and has no “will” of its own.  It works only upon the data which you feed it in the form if ideas, beliefs, opinions, judgments, and interpretations.  You developed your own reaction patterns.  You learned those patterns, and you can learn new ones.  Your present negative beliefs were formed by thoughts plus feelings.

You can think new thoughts and feel new feelings.  Positive thinking does not change the beliefs one has about oneself.  Positive thinking works only when it is consistent with the individuals self image.
Your present state of self-esteem is the result of past experiences, which formed thoughts (impressions).  The thoughts about the experiences were then interpreted to mean something (which produced feelings), and finally, based upon emotions you felt, you formed judgments, which you etched in stone to become your self-image.

Quit meditating on your phobias and shortcomings.  Learn to be indifferent to your old thinking and reaction patterns.  Seek the truth!  The truth is: You are far more capable than anything you’ve accomplished to date indicates.

Esteem means to appreciate the worth of.  We stand in awe of the stars, the sea, the sunset, the beauty of a flower and then downgrade God’s greatest creation, OURSELVES.
Creating a better self-image does not create new abilities, talents, or powers; it simply releases and utilizes what is already lying dormant within you.

Accept yourself as you are, and start from there. Learn to emotionally tolerate imperfection in yourself.  Don’t get down on yourself because you’re not perfect.  You are “ Somebody Special”, NOW!  Accept yourself!  Be yourself!  Don’t turn your back on “you”!  It’s the only “you” in the game.  Live your life with zest, keenness, and a gusto that surmounts obstacles and brushes aside discouragement.  Take the lid off and play full out.  You’ll discover yourself when you do.


I accept fully the responsibilities for my own thoughts about myself.  I accept that I must open myself to new experiences if I am to develop as a person.  I forgive everyone (parents, friends, teachers) who ever told me I couldn’t do it.

I accept my self as a child of God forever capable of growing and expanding in service to others and myself.  I accept the responsibility to become all that I am capable of becoming.  I am committed to being “Awake” and “Alive” from this day forward.

I know fully that my thoughts fashion my reality and therefore I shall monitor all thoughts from my own mind and the minds of others that ever again suggest limitation.  I am on my way never to turn back.

There is no way I can fail if I monitor my thoughts and control my emotional reactions to the disappointments I shall encounter along my journey to success.  I know I must increase and balance  my level of business building activities and I will do so immediately from this day forward.

It is now only time and effort that separates me from my goal.  I am now fully committed to supplying plenty of both of these essential ingredients to create and justify the enormous financial and personal success that is certain to be mine in the near future.  In fact, I now declare myself to become a celebrated and recognized success by this date ____/___/____.
Signature: _______________.

Note:  Sign this article and then put it in a frame on your desk.  Read it once each day and you will see an enormous increase in your business and personal life.  A focused mind is unstoppable!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Inspiration is all around. What inspires you?

Inspiration comes in many forms, but what truly inspires you? When pushed, most of us want to spend more time with our loved ones and families. I mean, if I told you the world was going to end tomorrow, you'd hardly want to get back to the office and finish a few jobs!

This importance of people and relationships was brilliantly told in the TV miniseries 'Band of Brothers' in 2001. Many of you might be familiar with this epic World War 11 TV miniseries. It's a moving account of 'Easy' Company (part of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division) as told through the experiences of some of its remaining soldiers.

Having watched these episodes again more recently, they never fail to move me on a deep level, and inspire at the same time. The series also makes one think of WW11 on a greater scale and especially Remembrance Day on Sunday November 11, or the Sunday nearest.

When I see those little paper poppies innocently fluttering about in their paper trays, I think of those young men and women who gave so much so you and I could 'get to' do what we do each and every day.

For some, this significance passes them by. For others it's a symbol of endless inspiration.

You only have to look at the last Paralympics in the United Kingdom to see what men and women can achieve even after life-changing injuries. So next time you feel like moaning because (fill in the blank...!) spare a thought for all those young men and women caught up in the conflict of WW11 and many others, who fought to give you and I the opportunities we have all around us.

I recall a quote from Rebecca Fine whose site 'Science of Getting Rich' Network or SOGR was inspired by a gentleman named Wallace Wattles and his book 'The Science of Getting Rich.' Rebecca reminds us that 'we get to' choose our lives and actions every single day. Incidentally, Wallace Wattles book 'The Science of Getting Rich' is available as a free download online and it's well worth a read.

We really do 'get to' choose.

By reminding ourselves that we 'get to' do something, it puts us in a different frame of mind to really appreciate the actions we have the opportunity to undertake. It transforms simple tasks into important invaluable components of the bigger picture we set for ourselves. And you and I both know that success requires lots of action often in small seemingly insignificant steps.

Friday, 15 February 2013

A Valuable Lesson on Reality From a Dentist!

I visited my dentist the other day and came away with more than just a tooth repair! I was reminded of a valuable lesson on reality.

Having broken a tooth some years earlier, it had a porcelain repair fitted by another dentist. Being relatively new to my present dentist, I thought it might be helpful if I gave a little background on the offending tooth so my new dentist knew what he was dealing with. Made sense I thought.

However, after a quick study of an X-ray taken of the area, my dentist politely informed me that he didn't need to know any previous history of the tooth, he had all he needed to work with right in front of him, right now.

This got me thinking (apart from feeling a little silly), and reminded me of a suggestion from Brian Tracy where an astute manager always asked about the reality of the business at the beginning of every meeting to get a clear picture of the facts as they are, not as they might like them to be.

This is a great question to ask yourself on a regular basis. Have you ever sat and asked yourself what your reality is? Right now? Not yesterday, last week or last month, but right now in relation to your goals or special project? This question gets you thinking and making decisions in the present because it gets right to the facts as they are now. And you can apply this to so many areas of your life!

This reality question got me thinking about my own efforts in relation to one of my own major goals this year. It will do the same for you.

If you have your own goals and things you want to achieve, by asking this question of yourself (and telling the truth) you will have a better understanding, and picture, of what your reality is. It's especially useful to help you identify corrective action to rectify any course of action (or lack of it) which may be getting you off track.

Don't worry if things don't all stack up, you now know something more than you did a few moments ago, and you have a tool which can help you focus on any specific areas to help you move forward. Don't necessarily change your goal, change your approach as Anthony Robbins proclaims. See what's working (or not), and keep at it always being mindful of what your reality is as you progress.

An added bonus is the development of a mindset which continually looks for, and measures progress, and as Peter Drucker say 'What gets measured, gets managed.'

Monday, 11 February 2013

Personal Development Problem Solving - How Good a Problem Solver Are You?

How many times have you found yourself facing a pile of seemingly insurmountable problems all requiring your attention before you could get on with anything really productive and profitable? It seems these time consuming issues raise their ugly heads when we least expect them, and right when forward progress is most pressing!

I confess to being caught up in this situation myself since the end of last year and into the beginning of this. In fact I had to pile on the discipline until I could see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the l-o-n-g tunnel! I'm sure you've been there too. I found this issue to be a golden opportunity to put into practice a large dollop of my own advice! In fact I wrote a post What it really means to take responsibility so a good recap of my own situation was called for!

I poured over some great advice from Brian Tracy, Earl Nightingale and Norman Vincent Peale who described successful people as being not too different from you and I when it comes to solving problems. It's just that they seem to have developed problem solving into a habit which moves them forward to achieve their goals whilst the rest of us delay, ask the wrong people for advice, or do nothing at all!

Worse still is the fact that most of us 'know' what we should be doing, we're just not doing it! 

Hence the opening quote above. 

The eye often sees problems as insurmountable, yet the heart knows the problem is a test; a test to see if we're up to the challenge. A-ha! Could it be that each challenge is therefore a test of our resolve and desire to reach the goals we've set for ourselves? 

Big goals equals big problems to be overcome. Why? Because there's never been a victory without a battle! The better you get, the better your life gets - that's the meaning of personal development. As you get better, so does everything else in your life. Stands to reason really doesn't it?

You see, each and every one of us has these wonderful abilities built in so to speak. Our heart is a measure of all things relating to our behaviour. How good you feel about yourself in any one moment is in direct proportion to how you act in relation to your commitments. Good attitude, good behaviour, good results! The more we act in a fashion which reflects our own best behaviour, the better we'll feel about ourselves and our project(s). 

You have a conscience because if you don't live by it, it hurts!

Personal development requires us to learn new skills to make progress in this world. Over time these new skills and abilities will improve our lot if we stick with it. And therein lies the rub. Improvement requires change which means doing new things which require effort, commitment, and discipline. Some represent insurmountable problems, and challengs to be overcome to others. Which are you?

That's probably why there is a smaller proportion of successful people in this world. It's only fair. The rewards go to those who solve their problems and stick with it until they reach their goals. Over time this becomes as much a habit as goal setting itself.

The upside is that as you get better at solving problems, the bigger, more valuable problems you get to solve! By the way there are no lessons in school on problem solving - we each have to find our own way because no-one is going to solve our problems for us (take note here). 

Learn to see problems for what they are; simply obstacles between you and what you really want. If you're not taking spirited action to solve your problems in any one area, it might be time to re-evaluate this particular goal in favour of another. 

Another useful post on this topic is what's in an attitude? which will help you if you're finding yourself challenged in any particular area, with a suggestion on how to get things under control. Try it! The upside is a life you've always wanted.