Back to Basics :How to win friends and influence people

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As a continuation of my “Going Back to basics” series, anyone who has stuided leadership before knows the importance of excellent communication and people skills.

The more I studied leadership over time,  the more I realized that I needed to spend just as much time reading the top 5 team books as I did learning specific business principles, and applying those principles on a regular basis.  Its been said so many times before by so many great leaders- practices are many, principles are few, practices always Change, principles never do.

My “back to basics” series will help bring to the forefront of your mind, those principles that will bring positive change into your business and personal relationships. As you go thru them, see how many of these principles you truly apply on a daily basis. Please read the book! Until then, here are some summary points I have listed from Dale Carnegie’s timeless book, “How to win friends and influence people”.

How to win friends and influence people summary:

On handling people

Principal #1 Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

Principal #2 Give honest and sincere appreciation

Principal #3 Arouse in the other person an eager want

Six ways to make people like you

Principal #1 Become genuinely interested in other people

Principal #2 SMILE!

Principal #3 Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language

Principal #4 Be a good listener

Principal #5 Talk in terms of the other person’s interest

Principal #6 Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely

How to Win people to your way of thinking

Principle #1 The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it

Principle #2 Show respect for the other persons opinion. Never say “you’re wrong”

Principle #3 If your are wrong,  admit it quickly and emphatically

Principal #4 Begin in a Friendly way

Principal #5 Get the other person saying yes yes immediately

Principal #6 Let the other person do a great deal of the talking

Principal #7 Let the other person feel that the idea was his or hers

Principal #8 Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view

Principal#9 Be empathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires

Principal #10 Appeal to the nobler motives

Principal #11 Dramatize your ideas

Principal #12 Throw Down a challenge

Be a leader: How to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment

Principal #1 Begin with praise and honest appreciation

Principal #2 Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly

Principal #3 Talk about your own mistakes Before criticizing the other person

Principal #4 Ask questions instead of giving direct orders

Principal #5 Let the other person save face

Principal #6 Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.  Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise

Principal #7 Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to

Principal #8 Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct

Principal #9 Make the other person happy about doing the things you suggest

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Back to Basics: How to have confidence and power in dealing with people

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As part of my new “back to basics” blog series, I wanted to re-post a blog article I did a few years back.  I believe these timeless principles are so important yet easy to overlook on a daily basis.  At the very core of any business, relationship, negotiation, event, or activity, these principles are keys to success.  If you read, study and implement these on a regular basis, you will be amazed at the results.  Enjoy.

How to have power and confidence in dealing with people, by Les Giblin, is an amazing book and one of  the  top 5 books that help individuals improve their business and personal lives in a significant way.  I took the liberty of posting the key points of each chapter to help paint the big picture.  Hope it helps and inspires everyone.  Have a safe and blessed day!

Key bullet points from each chapter of the book, “How to have confidence and power in dealing with people.

Chapter 1

1. It is a proven fact that from 66 to 90 percent of all failures in the business world are failures in human relations.
2. So called personality problems such as timidity, shyness, and self-consciousness, are basically problems in dealing with people.
3. Learn the skills in dealing with people with confidence and you will automatically improve your own success and happiness.
4. Learn the underlying principles involved in dealing with people and you wont need gimmicks.

Chapter 2

1. We are all egoists.
2. We are all more interested in ourselves than in anything else in the world.
3. Every person you meet wants to feel important, and to amount to something.
4. There is a hunger in every human being for approval.
5. A hungry ego is a mean ego.
6. Satisfy the other persons hunger for self-esteem and he automatically becomes more friendly
and likable.
7. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Psychologists now tell us that unless you do love yourself in
the sense of having some feeling of self-esteem and self-regard, it is impossible for you to feel friendly towards other people.
8. Help the other fellow like himself better and you make him easier to get along with.
9. People act or fail to act, largely to enhance their own ego.

Chapter 3

1. Don’t be stingy in feeding the hunger for a feeling of importance.
2. Don’t underestimate small courtesies such as being on time for an appointment. It is by such things that we acknowledge the importance of the other person. Unfortunately, we are often more courteous to strangers than to home folks. Try treating your family and friends with the same courtesy you show strangers
3. Remind yourself that other people are important, and your attitude will get across to the other person.
4, Start today, begin to notice other people more. Pay attention to a man or child and you make him feel important.
5. Don’t hold it over other people or attempt to increase your own feeling of self importance by making other people feel small.

Chapter 4

1. Whether you realize it or not, you control the actions and attitudes of others by your own actions and attitudes.
2. Your own attitudes are reflected back to you from the other person almost as if you stood in front of a mirror.
3. Act or feel hostile and the other fellow reflects this hostility back to you. Shout at him and he is almost compelled to shout back. Act calmly and unemotionally and you turn away his anger before it gets started.
4. Act enthusiastic and you arouse the enthusiasm of the other person.
5. Act confidently and the other person has confidence in you.
6. Begin today deliberately to cultivate an enthusiastic attitude. Take a tip from Frank Bettinger, and act as if you were enthusiastic. Soon you will be enthusiastic.
7. Right now, begin deliberately to cultivate a confident manner. Don’t mumble you words as if you were afraid to express them. Speak out. Watch your posture. A slumped figure signifies that you find the burdens of life too heavy for you to bear. A drooping head signifies that you are defeated by life. Hold your head up. Straighten up your shoulders.
8. Walk with a confident step as if you had somewhere important to go.

Chapter 5

1. In dealing with people, you yourself sound the keynote for the entire theme, when you begin the interview.
2. If you start off on a note of formality the meeting will be formal. Start off on a note of  friendliness and the meeting will be friendly. Set the stage for a business like discussion and it will be business like. Start on a note of apology and the other person will force you to play that theme all the way through.
3. When you meet someone for the first time, the impression you make then is very likely to be the keynote that will determine how he regards you for the rest of your life.
4. Other people tend to accept you at your own evaluation. If you think you are a nobody, you are practically asking other people to snub you.
5. One of the best means ever discovered for impressing the other fellow favorably is not to strive too hard to make an impression but to let him know that he is making a good impression on you.
6. People judge you not only by the opinion you hold of yourself but also by the opinions you hold on other things. your job, your company, even your competition.
7. Negative opinions create a negative atmosphere. Don’t be a knocker, and don’t be a sore head. The way, itself in which you ask things sets the stage or sounds the keynote for the other persons answer. Don’t ask no questions if you want yes answers. Don’t ask questions or issue instructions that imply you expect trouble. Why ask for trouble?

Chapter 6

Accept, Approve, Appreciate

1. Accept people as they are. Allow them to be themselves. Don’t insist on anyone being perfect before you can like them.
2. Approve. Look for something to approve in the other person. It may be something small.  Let the person know you approve of that.
3. Appreciation. To appreciate means to raise in value as opposed to depreciate which means to lower in value. Treat other people as if they were valuable to you. Thank them and give them special treatment.

Chapter 7

1. Human relations often become deadlocked because each party is afraid to make the first move.
2. Don’t wait for a sign from the other fellow. Assume that he is going to be friendly and act accordingly.
3. Assume the attitude that you wish the other person to take. Act as if you expected him to like you.
4. Take a chance that the other fellow will be friends. It is always a gamble but you will win 99 times for every time you lose. If you just bet on his being friendly. Refuse to take the chance and you lose every time.
5. Don’t be an eager beaver. Don’t be overly anxious. Don’t knock yourself out trying to make the other fellow like you. Remember there is such a thing as being too charming and trying too hard.
6. Just relax and take for granted that other people do like you.
7. Use the magic of your smile to warm up the other fellow.
8. Starting today, begin to develop a genuine smile by practicing before your bathroom mirror.
You know what a real smile looks like when you see one. You mirror will tell you whether your smile is real or phony. Also, going through the motions of smiling will get you in the habit and actually make you feel more like smiling.

Chapter 8

1. Both success and happiness depend in large measure on our ability to express ourselves.
Therefore start today to study ways to improve your talk. Keep at it day after day.
2. Practice starting conversations with strangers by using the warm up technique of asking simple questions or making obvious observations.
3. TO be a good conversationalist, stop trying to be perfect and don’t be afraid to be trite.
4. Nuggets and gems in conversation come only after you have dug a lot of low grade ore.
5. Ask questions to bring out interesting talk from others.
6. Use “ me too” technique to identify yourself with the speaker and his interests.
7. Talk about yourself only when invited to do so by the other person.  If he wants to know about you, he will ask.
8. Use happy talk  Nobody likes a goomy gus or prophet of gloom and doom.  Keep your troubles to yourself.
9. Eliminate teasing, kidding,  and sarcasm from your conversation.
10. Encourage the other person to talk about himself. Talk about the other persons interests.
Chapter 9

1. The art of listening will make you rich.
2. Look at the person who is talking. Anybody worth listening to is worth looking at. It will also help you concentrate on what he is saying.
3. Appear deeply interested in what he or she is saying. If you agree nod your head. Respond to his cue, work with him.
4. Lean toward the person who is talking.
Chapter 10
1. Dealing with people you may not agree with.
2. Let him state his case.
3. Pause momentarily before you answer.
4. Don’t insist on winning 100%
5. State your case moderately and accurately.
6. Speak thru third persons, Let the other person save face.

Chapter 11

1. If you want other people to help you, and go all out you must ask for their ideas as well as or their brawn.
2. Make the other fellow feel that your problem is their problem.
3. Use the principle of multiple management, giving each member of the team a voice in how the
team is to operate.
4. When you want someone to do you a favor make him a member of your team. Don’t just say, how about putting in a good word for me. Say if you were in my shoes and wanted to get favorable attention how would you go about it?
5. Set up your own brain trust and make use of the ideas suggestions and advice of other people.
6. Be sure when you ask for advice you actually want advice. DON’T Ask for advice if you want sympathy or a pat on the back.

Chapter 12

1. Sincere praise miraculously releases energy in the other person, perks him up physically as well as giving his spirits a lift.
2. The person who is discouraging doing sloppy work or just hard to get along with is probably suffering from low self-esteem. Praise can act as a wonder drug to give his self-esteem a healthy shot in the arm change his behavior for the better.
3. Give others credit for what they do. Show your appreciation of what they have done by saying THANK YOU.
4. Be generous with kind statements. Gratitude is not a common thing. By being generous with gratitude, you make yourself a stand out.
5. Increase your own happiness and peace of mind by paying three sincere compliments each day.

Chapter 13

1. Criticism must be made in privacy
2. Preface criticism with a kind word or compliment.
3. Make the criticism the act, not the person
.4. Supply the answer.
5. Ask for cooperation, don’t demand it.
6. One criticism to an offense.
7. Finish in a friendly fashion.

Chapter 14

KNOWLEDGE PLUS APPLICATION EQUALS SUCCESS!!
HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE!!

Back to Basics in Leadership

I am starting a new series of posts that focus on going “Back to Basics”. These basics are the foundation of leadership and serve to guide us through not only our  business endeavors but also our personal lives.  By learning and focusing on these timeless principles, the end results are truly amazing.

We can and should all strive to get better at the things that matter in life.  Who wouldn’t want to be a better Mom or Dad to your kids, become a better friend to your buddies,become a better spouse to your significant other, a better co-worker or employee at your job or become a successful business owner, all based on learning and applying these basic principles over time.  The results are truly worth the effort.

I thought Id start with a great video by Chris Brady, who talks about what leadership is. Enjoy and stay tuned for my “back to basics” posts.

Ben

The Art of Listening

Here is a great article by Orrin Woodward on the Art of Listening.  Often, its helpful to be reminded of what we already know and should be doing. Applying some of these basic principles can make all the difference in both our personal and professional lives. Have a great day.

Ben

If I were to pick the most important art in dealing with people it would be the art of listening. Nothing increased my ability to lead people as much as learning how to listen. No matter how powerful a speaker you develop into, it is not as effective as powerful listening.

I am hesitant to share this topic because I am aware of how much I need to improve in this area still! With that said, I can still remember the day I focused on listening to others before drawing wrong conclusions and solving the wrong problems. What a break thru it was to realize that not everyone wanted the problem solved as much as they wanted someone to listen!

If I were to pick one area for all Team Leaders to improve in, I would pick listening over all others besides character. You cannot connect with others until you have listened long enough for them to feel understood by you. When a person feels you understand; you can work together to solve any issues that need to be addressed, in a spirit of teamwork.

Without listening to others, your solutions come across as domineering and not heartfelt. Remember, people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care! Do you care for your community? If you do, then close your mouth and actively listen to them. You have two ears and one mouth – please use in that proportion. Ask questions and listen – save the seminars for when you are asked to speak!

God Bless, Orrin Woodward

We all take talking for granted. Though you may occasionally feel your hands grow cold before giving a speech, you often talk without recognizing the simultaneous changes that occur in your body.

Research shows that while we speak with our words, we also speak with every fiber of our being. This ‘language of the heart’ is integral to the health and emotional life of all of us.

Blood pressure and heart rate elevates every time you speak, even when discussing the most neutral topic. Even those who speak through signing had the same results.

For people who are hypertensive, the rise caused by talking was much greater than for healthy people, and often well into the danger zone. How do hypertensive people handle this? After all, most do not drop dead during social encounters. Other studies show that they subconsciously maintain distance in their relationships and minimize what can be for them ‘lethal dialogues’.

What makes the cardiovascular system of hypertensive’s so vulnerable to verbal communication? Though the hypertensive’s studied were outwardly calm, many tended to talk intensely and breathlessly, interrupting and speaking over other people. This kind of speech is typical of Type – A behavior, an impulsive, hard driving life style linked to increased risk of heart disease.

Most normal talk is a seesaw. The rising of blood pressure when one talks is balanced by a rapid lowering of pressure when one listens. But the rhythm is out of sync in hypertensive’s. They frequently fail to listen; they are on guard, defensive. So their pressure stays up.

Learning to calmly listen to another person helps lower blood pressure. By learning to listen more, by breathing regularly while talking, and paying attention to what the other person is saying, you can learn to lower your blood pressure.

Since so few people genuinely attend to others, those who will learn to draw out the other person can be guaranteed all the friendships they can handle and can be assured of deepening the relationships they presently own.

The road to the heart is the ear. – Voltaire

Why are so many of us poor listeners? Much of our listening education was in the form of be quiet, listen and pay attention. Most of the people in our society are passive listeners, geared to react on trigger words, and shut out tedium.

Time spend learning in school: 

40% learning how to read

35% learning how to write

25% learning how to talk

1% learning how to listen or communicate

We can learn to be good listeners with some work and practice. The rewards can be great.

1. Know when you are not listening. 

Check yourself by asking silently: Can I repeat, rephrase or clarify what has just been said?” If you can’t, the sound may be on but the replay is broken.

2. Know why you are not listening.

As you define your excuses for not listening you will systematically eradicate the ‘watching someone talk’ syndrome. Check the following common reasons for not listening and begin to take silent control of the communication.

* We hear only what we want to hear.

* We consider the topic or information unimportant.

* We jump to conclusions

* Too many other problems on our minds.

* Radical departure from our own thinking.

* Waiting for our turn to talk.

3. Avoid judgments.

Nearly all the reasons for not listening focus on our own ego and our inability to grant equal attention to another person. As soon as the person speaking is elevated to a pinnacle of importance, the active listening process begins and we weigh each thought mightily as if our lives depended on a total recitation of the prior narrative. As you fine tune your listening skills avoid listening only when you deem the speaker worthy of hearing.

4. Match your thought process to the speaker’s words.

We think and hear about 1.000 words per minute. The average speaking speed is 125 words per minute. What then do we do with the time lapse? Human nature combats the problem with anything from boredom to rudeness. Good listeners use the time to clarify, validate and reiterate the conversation topic in their mind. Listen for ideas and emotions rather than facts. Fact listening is defensive. Emotion listening is offensive. Idea listening is progressive.

5. Know thyself.

Do words like difficult, stupid, revolutionary, or assignments shut off your listening process? Does a reference to love, food or fun cause your ears to perk and your antenna to turn in? Understand where your hot and cold buttons are and adjust your listening process to circumvent any sudden shut down because of an emotion laden word or phrase. (This seems to me to be what happens with communication with husbands and wives. We allow too many words to become hot or cold buttons and therefore we render ourselves unable to really communicate)

6. Conversation always moves from agreement to disagreement and then stops. 

Listeners who are involved in two way conversation and are prepared to repeat and clarify information will immediately direct the conversation back to agreement and then reach an understanding.

7. Keep alert.

Listening shuts down when both apathy and anxiety set in. Strive for enthusiasm in listening. Communicate with you body; lean forward, smile, nod, become involved by maintaining direct eye contact. If you are on the telephone; stand up, walk. The more attentive and alert, the better you listen. Listening is an acquired skill that is critically important to success in life. Adults spend about 75% of each day in verbal communication. 45% of this time is spent listening. Persons in a business or social situation who do not have good listening skills are ineffective. Mistakes due to poor listening skills cost organizations thousands of dollars each year.

Listening to another is the highest form of building personal self esteem. For only when we feel good about ourselves and the world around us do we go beyond ‘waiting for our turn to talk’ or ‘watching someone else talk’ to ‘passionate’ listening that elevates us to pinnacles of thought and action separates us from animals making noise.

The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. – Richard Moss

A smile is the light in your face that lets others know your heart is at home.

Listening attentively to another is to pay the highest compliment to them.

You do not have to be witty to be a good conversationalist you simply have to know how to listen. The secret of being interesting is to be interested in the other person. Ask questions the other person will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves. But don’t be the silent partner in the conversation.

Silence can be described as negative feedback. Like a failed monitoring system on a moon rocket, it tells you something is wrong, but it doesn’t go very far toward telling you what. “Respond to their questions and especially their comments that can open the emotional connection between you.

Conversation with your friends will indeed get sparse if you restrict yourselves to facts, but when you talk about your feelings there will always be plenty to discuss. It’s amazing the way a man listens to you. When you talk to him he looks you squarely in the eye.

He seems to shut out all other interests and hang on every word you utter. It is flattering to have someone give you that much of his attention. The eye lock is a powerful magnet for making contact with people. Look people squarely in the eye it is one of the surest indicators that you are interested in the other person.

Be careful not to give advice too quickly. Often people ask for advice when what they really want is for someone to listen to them. By listening to them you help them get the problem outside of themselves and on the table between you, the issues become clear and they are able to arrive at their own decision.

When people confide in you they are often afraid they have said too much. They will be watching you to see if you raise your brows or appear to have lost confidence in them. It is important to alley those fears by not over reacting to what has been said. To put them at ease compliment them on being able to share with you. By all means don’t reveal anyone’s private matters. When you tell something told to you in confidence you identify yourself as an untrustworthy confidant. So the way to be a confidant is to let no one know that you are a confidant to others.

That which is in the well of the heart is bound to come up in the bucket of speech.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird

Seek first to understand and then to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand: they listen with the intent to reply. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigm, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Covey

What is Emotional Intelligence and why it’s important

Have you ever wondered to yourself why people do the things they do or say the things they say? Have you ever met someone who was constantly negative or complained about anything and everything? Have you ever wished you could of handled a situation better than you did? We all have! A lot of our success or failure in life is due to something called “Emotional Intelligence”.

I like to consider myself , what Chris Brady calls, a “Prodigious noticer”.  I find it interesting, sometimes comical, sometimes disturbing, to watch people’s reactions and interactions with situations and others around them.  Whether it be close family members, people at work or those you meet for the first time, it seems even the most intelligent (IQ) people struggle in Life simply because they lack Emotional Intelligence.  I know that in my professional and personal life, one of the main things I try to work on every day is to increase my EQ.  Thanks to LIFE and all of the great, successful people I get to associate with, I have learned how important this one attribute is towards a happy, successful professional and personal life. This attribute, EQ, is essential as a leader.

Ok, so What is Emotional Intelligence?  Emotional Intelligence as defined by Wikipedia is:  (EI or EQ) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.

One of my favorite books, Emotional Intelligence, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, truly captures the essence of how important it is to deal with not only your own emotions, but of those you interact with on a daily basis.

What everyone needs to know.
Emotional Intelligence Is the Other Kind of Smart.

When Emotional Intelligence (EQ) first garnered significant media attention back in the 1990s, it really hit home for people. For the first time we all had an explanation for an unusual finding: people of average intelligence outperform people with the highest levels of intelligence the vast majority of the time (70% to be exact). Suddenly we had a name for the main determinant of success in life: emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is critical to managing your behavior, moving smoothly through social situations, and making critical choices in life. There are four emotional intelligence skills and they group under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

  • Self-Awareness is how accurately you can identify your emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across time and situation.
  • Self-Management is how you use awareness of your emotions to create the behavior that you want.
  • Social Awareness is how well you read the emotions of other people.
  • Relationship Management is how you use the first three emotional intelligence skills to manage your interactions with other people.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Intelligence (IQ), and Personality Are Not Connected.

The three do not go together in any meaningful way. Emotional intelligence explains a fundamental element of your behavior that is unique from your intellect. You cannot determine someone’s IQ based on their EQ and vice versa. Intelligence is how quickly you absorb new information and it does not change throughout your life. Emotional intelligence is unique because it is a flexible skill that you can improve with practice. Anyone can develop a high degree of emotional intelligence.

Like IQ, your personality does not change. Personality is the style with which you approach the world: what motivates you and the people and situations that give you energy (versus those that drain it). One example of this is the tendency we all have to be introverted or extroverted.

 
Emotional Intelligence Dictates Performance.

Emotional intelligence has a massive impact upon personal and professional success. TalentSmart has measured the EQ of close to a million people now and we find that this skill accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs. Emotions are the primary driver of our behavior. Working to improve your emotional intelligence results in improvements in many areas of your behavior. We’ve found that more than 90% of top performers have high EQs.

High EQ individuals make $29,000 more on average than those with low EQs and every point you add to your EQ adds $1,300 to your annual salary.

Emotional Intelligence Can Be Increased With Practice

Your brain is hard-wired to give emotions the upper hand. The limbic system (the emotional brain) reacts to events first before we have the opportunity to engage the rational brain. The communication between these two areas of the brain is the very definition of emotional intelligence. EQ requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain.

“Plasticity” is the term used to describe the brain’s ability to grow new connections between neurons that facilitates the use of new behaviors. Your brain loves efficiency: the skills you practice are the skills your brain will make it easier for you to repeat. When you work to increase your EQ, the billions of microscopic neurons lining the road between the rational and emotional centers of your brain branch off small “arms” to communicate with the cells around them. A single cell can grow upwards of 10,000 connections to the cells around it.

In a separate article written by Dr Travis Bradberry, the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, he explains how a lack of Emotional Intelligence, negativity and complaining can literally rot the brain.

Rodent studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of the neurons in the hippocampus—an important area of the brain responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that neurons use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons.

Stress is a formidable threat for those of us who want to think clearly, reason effectively, and have a decent memory.

Most sources of stress are easy to identify. If your non-profit is waiting to land a grant that your organization needs to function, or you are working on the biggest project of your career, you’re bound to feel stress, but the unexpected sources of stress are the ones that can take you by surprise and harm your brain.

Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to negative emotional stimuli—the same kind of exposure you get in the presence of complainers and otherwise negative people—caused subjects’ brains to have the same emotional reactions that they experienced when stressed. Your brain gets sucked into a negative emotional state when exposed to negative people, and—just like a stress response—the longer you endure this state the worse it is for your brain.

Here are some strategies that author Bradberry suggests:

1. Set Limits with Complainers

Complainers are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

2. Squash the Negative Self-Talk

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people, and other times you create it for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about something, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either magnify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs. Be wary of the following two types of negative self-talk in particular and try the alternatives:

  1. Turn I always or I never into just this time or sometimes.Your actions are unique to that particular situation, no matter how often you think you mess up. Make certain your thoughts follow suit. When you start treating each situation as its own animal and stop beating yourself up over every mistake, you’ll stop making your problems bigger than they really are.
  2. Replace judgmental statements like I’m an idiot with factual ones like I made a mistake. Thoughts that attach a permanent label to you leave no room for improvement. Factual statements are objective and situational, and help you focus on what you can change.

3. Quit Focusing on Problems—Focus on Solutions

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions.

4. Get Some Sleep

A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to problems. Being well rested helps you deal with your own negativity, and gives you the perspective you need to set limits with complainers and negative people.

There’s a reason the squeaky wheel gets the grease—complainers are hard to ignore. Whether you or they are the source of your stress, apply the strategies above, and you’ll remove the power that complaining and negativity hold over you.

I hope this information helps.  My life has dramatically improved over the last 6 years as a direct result of information provided thru LIFE. Anyone can achieve what they focus on.  You will be amazed what you can achieve when you apply the right information over time.  The key is to learn on a regular basis, with the intent of improving in the area you desire.  All of us can benefit from learning success principles, many of which were never taught in school or purposely learned in life. LIFE provides a great resource and place to learn and grow in multiple areas of our lives.  All my thanks go to this incredible resource along with all the great leaders who made LIFE possible. Lead on and have a great day!

Ben

Three factors that set the course for success in LIFE

I picked out one of the many books in my library to read while on my overnight trip in Cancun, Mexico and came across a favorite of mine called, ” Leaders without borders“, by Doug Nickerson.

 This book is only a 100 pages long but it packs some powerful, thought-provoking teaching and ideas that can have a positive influence on you.  I’ve heard Co Founder of LIFE and best-selling author  Orrin Woodward say that “ideas have consequences”, so I wanted to share three “factors” from the book to help set the course for success in LIFE and in your leadership journey.

#1 The factor of a positive response You are in command of your response. Henry Van Dyke said, ” There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”  As a leader, you set the tone not only for yourself  but for your organization by the way you react to the things that happen to you.

A positive response is not a willful denial of the reality that exists.  Your response, however, reflects the realization that whatever happened is only a snapshot of one moment in the larger picture of your destiny.  When you choose not to be defined by one negative moment, but rather re-define it for good, you have chosen a positive response.

#2 The factor of a positive attitudeI like Herm Albright’s  lighthearted observation: ” A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort”  A positive attitude in the midst of negative circumstances is exactly the right prescription to turn things around.

While certainly no one can deny that Thomas Edison was a man of accomplishment, he also suffered great setbacks.  Yet Edison said, ” I never did a day’s work in all my life, it was all fun.”  What a great attitude. The right attitude propelled him to unimaginable accomplishment, and it can do the same for you.

#3 The factor of positive perseverance- When you choose a positive response to negative circumstances, you begin to experience exponential growth as a leader.  Your reactions, positive or negative, set in motion the laws of reciprocity.  The choices you make have  a great impact.

Emerson said, ” That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has become easier”. Your reaction as a leader is charting a course for your future, so choose it wisely.

Some last thoughts. When it comes to your life and your business, what does your face say about you? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? A strong leader is one who does not shy away from reality , but looks through the lens of optimism when faced with challenges.

An optimistic leader confronts his fears

An optimistic leader gives others confidence

An optimistic leader looks for the good in all situations

An optimistic leader will certainly have moments of being tested

Doug Nickerson says,  “the next time things go haywire,  just remember that you are not alone. When times are tough and adversity strikes, let your confident words be,” I believe this is going to be our finest hour.”

Optimism does not prevent difficulties or make you immune from them.  Optimism, however, empowers you to face difficulties with a confidence that gives you an advantage to overcome them.

Robert L Stevenson said, ” You cannot run away from weakness; you must sometime fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where do you stand? Now is the time to rise up with courage and be the optimistic leader you were destined to be.

This great book is an example of not only great teaching on the key principles of success but a great reminder of the factors we once knew but don’t apply on a regular basis.  Listening to one CD or attending one meeting does not build habits.  It takes little bits of information, energy, effort and application over time, to experience full results.  We cannot change our destination overnight, but we can change our direction.  The journey is certainly worth the destination.

Plugging into leadership training  and personal development material from LIFE over the last 5 years, has been one of the best things I have ever done, not only for me and my family, but for many others looking to Live the Life they’ve always wanted.

Lead on and may the wind be at your back.

Ben

Going from ‘Good to Great’ with the 90 day Mental Fitness Challenge

Author Jim Collin’s wrote a best-selling book called, “Good to Great”, where he reveals many of the factors that determine the long-term success or failure of a business or corporation.  Through his exhaustive research and analysis of facts and data, there are some key revelations why some companies triumph and achieve long-term sustained success and others fail.  One of the key reasons according to Collins is because ‘good is the enemy of great’.  Collins says most individuals and companies that fail, do so because they are comfortable and happy with their current situation, good or bad.  A lot of businesses settle for good and never aspire to be great.  Mr Collins writes, “That good is the enemy of great is not just a business problem.  Its a human problem.  As we seek to understand the differences between good and great, between excellent and mediocre, I believe it comes down to the individual.  It comes down to a choice and how we think. It’s a matter of conscious thought.

Ironically enough, the first chapter of “Good to Great”, references Level 5 leadership and what a significant impact leadership had on those companies that achieved greatness.  Since the leadership/personal development industry is roughly a 400 billion dollar industry, clearly going from ‘Good to Great’  involves applying the right principles and practices of success and leadership over time and doing what is necessary to get the job done. We may not understand fully what leadership is but we certainly know,see and feel what a lack of leadership is.  We see it in our Governments, unions, Churches, schools and homes all across the globe.

   Orrin Woodward, best-selling author of multiple books including Launching a Leadership Revolution and Resolved-13 resolutions for LIFE, #6 Leadership guru on the planet,  and the founder of LIFE -Living Intentionally For Excellence Inc., has not only achieved amazing personal success, but has also taught thousands of others the principles of  success, leadership and the importance of personal development.  The question is, as a business owner, employer or employee, how valuable, profitable or significant would it be to have leadership/personal development training integrated into your business or personal life?  The testimonies are overwhelming.

What the New 90 day Mental Fitness Challenge and the LIFE/LLR ( leadership training ) is doing today is leveraging the best minds of our time to provide the right information to individuals and corporations looking to improve and excel.  In order to go from good to great and achieve results, it all comes down to helping and empowering the individual to embark on a journey of leadership training and personal growth.

If you are a business owner, employee or just an individual looking to live the life you’ve always wanted, what the Mental Fitness Challenge can do help identify and teach what is necessary for success.  Imagine an employee or employer with a better attitude, better people skills, higher level of character and integrity, better conflict resolution skills,  deeper sense of purpose, greater knowledge of systems thinking or business in general.  All of these traits and more can and will ultimately lead to better business,  profits and productivity.

The greatest part I have seen is that the Mental Fitness Challenge has been engineered and developed by an amazing group of men and women, all with overwhelming results in life.  None of these individuals pontificate from on high or just write about success.  They are all actively out in society developing other leaders, something the world is sorely lacking today. With over 18 years of teaching and success in the business world and a mission to help millions of people learn, grow and get better, the impact of LIFE goes beyond measure.  The founders of LIFE and the Mental Fitness Challenge have made it their legacy to spread leadership and teach timeless principles and practices to the masses, and do it in a fun, affordable way.  Customers can share the Mental Fitness Challenge with others and get reimbursed for the cost of their Package.  That alone is amazing.

The Mental Fitness Challenge can help teach what was never taught or emphasized in school, even at the college level. The Mental Fitness Challenge can help maintain high levels of performance over time which is key.  This material is of the highest quality, most competitive cost in the world.  There are countless schools, Real Estate companies, Lawyers offices, churches and other business organizations implementing this material.  It is in demand all across the globe, thanks to the Gentlemen and Ladies that represent the best leadership service provider in the world.  The best investment anyone can make is in their brain.  Proper thinking and information from the right source can and will lead to the right results, offer immeasurable success in your professional and personal life and take you from Good to Great in whatever endeavor you pursue.  Are you ready to take the Challenge?

God Bless,

Ben and Tanya

What can the Mental Fitness Challenge do for You?

The Mental Fitness Challenge has been out for 16 days now and it has gone viral. Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady have hit a home run with this LIFE changing Personal Development Program. It was designed to help educate and change people’s thinking and provide a measurable way to see massive improvements in any of the areas that truly matter in our lives.

After taking a Pre-Self assessment test and establishing a base line of where you are, you embark on a 90 day challenge to learn, grow and get better in any or all areas of our lives. The testimony and feedback so far has been amazing. Claude Hamilton, one of the founders of LIFE and The Mental Fitness Challenge, has posted a lot of this testimony on his blog.

The best investment you can make is in your brain.  A lot of us spend time working out and getting physically fit but not all of us have a plan to get and stay Mentally Fit.  Since the body always follows the mind, this Challenge will radically change your thinking and the results in your life, whether it be a better marriage, becoming a better parent, having better finances, having a stronger faith life, developing closer friends, having a higher purpose or all the above.  There are those who have experienced  a major transformation in the results in their lives.  I am one of them!

Watch the video and take the Challenge here!

God Bless,

Ben and Tanya

Take the Mental Fitness Challenge

Living the LIFE you’ve always wanted using the Mental Fitness Challenge!

Click here to take the challenge

The Mental Fitness Challenge is a program designed to give you the life you’ve always wanted through better thinking and better association. You see, it will never be a better product, piece of equipment, or the latest craze that changes you, only your thinking can do that!

You can read thousands of quotes from successful people all stating that the key to success is learning better ideas and applying them in your life. This MFC program is designed to give you the thinking it takes to succeed in any area you chose to improve. Maybe you want to lose weight, be a better parent or spouse, or maybe improve you financial situation. The key to better results are better ideas!

Here is a short summary of the Mental Fitness Challenge from best selling author Chris Brady:

What is it? A life-changing package of information, including three best-selling books, a bunch of CDs, an online environment for tracking progress, a video library which accumulates for future viewing as videos stream in through email on a regular basis, a self-assessment test, unlimited 360 feedback, accountability partners, goal and tracking sheets, and more! This product encompasses years and years of learning how people change and maximize in their lives in all the 13 areas of resolutions from Orrin Woodward’s best seller RESOLVED.

Life Compensation Plan by Chris Brady

Chris posted a great article today..

Life Compensation Plan

When the LIFE company was established, one of the primary goals of its founders was to accomplish something in the area of compensation that hadn’t been done before. The heart behind this was to offer financial rewards that would truly be based upon performance. But there was more. It was also desired to put a heavy emphasis on revenue sharing with the field – this is “corporate speak” for not letting the company keep most of the profits.

While many (but certainly not all!) pay plans appear to be at least somewhat fair in terms of how the money is split amongst participants in the field, what often is NOT fair is how much money finds it way back to the corporation. The result is a subtle but real conflict of interest between the company and its field operators. Therefore, right off the bat, LIFE designed its financial plan in such a way that most of its profits flow to the people who are actually doing the work to make the revenue happen in the first place. Right out of the gate, the percentage of gross revenue paid back to the field in commissions was structured to be in the (estimated) 65+% range. This, as far as we know, is an industry high. Then, after just two months in business, LIFE announced its One Time Cash Award program, which put even more money into the field. It is still too soon to know the exact figures (as some of the qualification periods for these rewards don’t end until the end of 2012), but we believe this will put the percentage at something approaching 70%.

How can this be done? How can a group of founders establish a company on such lean terms? The answer comes from the strong belief that the best leadership for this type of company can be provided by those who are actually doing what they are teaching and expecting others to do. THIS, as far as we know, has never been done before: corporate founders who deliberately establish the financial incentives in such a way as to keep themselves in the game, out in the trenches, and thereby providing the means by which most of the profits flow to the field.

And now there’s more. On April 27th, at the Spring Leadership Convention in Columbus, Ohio, LIFE will announce an additional incentive program representing even more new money being put into the compensation program. This will be a reward package that will be attractive to new participants and attainable early in their experience with the business – in other words, something they can qualify for in the near-term, not “someday.”

All of this, in the LIFE compensation plan, is in addition to LIFE’s groundbreaking position between the four industries of Personal Development, Home-based Businesses, Life coaching, and Community building, and takes advantage of LIFE’s high-value position in the market of personal development materials, wherein its products are among the lowest priced in the marketplace (in some cases hundreds of percent cheaper than its competition). And, don’t forget, all of LIFE’s products are backed with a 30 day money back guarantee.

When LIFE founder Orrin Woodward says, “We don’t promise easy, but we do promise worth it!” the LIFE founders have done their best to structure a compensation plan and reward system that shows his statement to be much more than mere rhetoric.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

LIFE: TEAM Growth hits new levels

Here is a great excerpt from Orrin Woodward’s blog that exemplifies where we are and where we are going with LIFE.  This is 18 years in the making.  There has never been a better time to be part of history in progress.

In studying LIFE and the teams associated with this industry changing concept, one notices how simple the business is. Read, listen, and associate with leaders and receive compensation for sharing the materials with others. Think about how revolutionary that is. First, you share life-changing information that impacts people’s lives. Second, a $50 dollar subscription produces 50 points and a $100 dollar subscription produces 100 points. However, the coup-de-grace, as they say, is the LIFE Business Compensation Plan pays out nearly 70% on the points accumulated monthly.

The granddaddy’s of the industry pay our around 33%; the top companies pay out 50%; so how does LIFE pay out 70%? LIFE builds teams or communities across the country and because its a digital model, the cost structures allow a ridiculous amount of compensation back to the communities. Compensated communities are the future of leadership training and the LIFE Business is leading the way.

Here are some simple observable facts to remember:

1. With 70% paid back to field leaders, there are more people receiving bonuses equal to or higher than their purchases in LIFE than any other community building business. The math is simple when 50% of the points are paid back on the first bonus alone. Nearly 95%, practically everybody, receives a bonus from LIFE.

2. LIFE shares its product up front. In other words, LIFE is proud of its materials and freely shares the CDs, books, and meetings with others. If someone likes what they see, then they are free to be a customer or member. On the other hand, if someone doesn’t like what they see, then LIFE respects that they are not looking for life improvement at this time.

3. LIFE launched in November and already has over 3,000 customers. Customers are people who buy the material because they love the material without any thought or desire to build a community. This is a key factor in the over 20% of the people receiving bonuses from LIFE higher than their purchases. Typical community building pegs this number at less than 5%, but not with LIFE’s business model. The more customers, the more people are profitable. Every PC leader has more customers in LIFE than ever before in community-building.

4. LIFE is preparing Phase II with digital downloads for both books and CD’s available, plus points on attendance at leadership meetings. Think about this, where else do you receive points and bonuses for reading, listening, and attending to become a better person?

5. The other impressive factor with LIFE is the retention rates. Because people love the materials without compensation, the retention rates are easily double the community-building average. Why would people quit on a great product at a great price regardless of whether they are customers or members? This is great news for members because it’s easier to maintain a business with a high retention rate.

These are just five of the LIFE differences. Don’t take anyone’s word for it though. Check out the LIFE materials for yourself. When it comes to personal development, the proof is in the pudding. Either the CDs, books, and meetings will help you on your journey or they won’t. If they do, and you would like more out of life, why not join the compensated community. If they do, but you are happy pursuing your current career path, then sign up as a customer. If you don’t enjoy the materials, then as a free person, you can pass on the opportunity offered.

This is what LIFE is all about, the freedom to live your life and the responsibility to own the results.

What is LIFE?

Here’s a new page on the LIFE site that describes what LIFE is.

 

What is LIFE?

LIFE is a company that specializes in producing personal development materials offered for sale through independent Life Members. One of the mainstays of the LIFE approach to personal growth is the development of communities that encourage people to improve their leadership, people skills, and other core competencies. The founders of LIFE have designed their learning programs to follow the principles consistent with long term high achievement, namely: small, affordable doses of information and truth learned and applied consistently over time. This is predominantly accomplished through the format of monthly subscriptions, which focus on the “8F’s:” the categories through which we live out our lives – Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Freedom, Following, and Fun.

Are the LIFE improvement materials credible?

LIFE is founded upon the teaching principles of Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, co-authors of the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, Business Weekly best seller Launching a Leadership Revolution. Together they have numerous leadership and professional achievements including both qualifying for Top 15 Leadership Guru spots in the latest Top 30 Leadership Guru list. The LIFE improvement materials provided by the LIFE company have received accolades from individuals, business owners, educators, business consultants, other best selling authors, military leaders, leaders in elected government, and professional sports figures.

How competitive are the prices of LIFE’s materials?

The founding principle of LIFE is “Making a Difference.” For this reason, the pricing model for LIFE’s materials reflects the founders’ desire to maximize the impact of their information. Nearly any price comparison to materials of similar genre will demonstrate that LIFE’s materials are not only priced below the competition, but well below. As an example, below are the prices for each of the top three subscription packages available through LIFE:

  1. LIFE Series (Improved Life Skills), which includes 4 CDs and a book each month for $50.
  2. Leadership Series (Improved Leadership Skills), which includes 4 CDs and a book each month for $50.
  3. Faith Series (Spiritual Development), which includes 1 CD and a book each month for $25. (All corporate profits from this series go to our All Grace Outreach charity).

These subscription prices are anywhere from 20% to 200% cheaper than similar offerings from other providers.

What is the opportunity offered by LIFE?

LIFE offers members the opportunity to profit from the sale of LIFE’s materials through a competitive compensation plan. LIFE’s goal is to flow the money typically spent on marketing and advertising to the leaders who help build the customer base for LIFE materials. Further, the founders of LIFE are dedicated to serving in the field alongside LIFE members – a unique situation that enables the compensation structure to maintain as its chief consideration the flowing of profits to the field and not to corporate shareholders, investors, or other interested parties, as is true with most companies. What this means is the LIFE compensation plan can offer one of the highest margins in the industry, with a pay plan that provides 50% of sales on a graduated bonus chart, and additional bonuses (upwards of 15% at the time of this writing, with plans for more depending upon profitability) in additional bonuses for developing leaders in the field, all while keeping prices competitively low.

Additionally, money saving innovations are made available to customers of LIFE materials. The Three for Free Program allows customers or members who obtain subscriptions for LIFE materials to three or more other customers to qualify for a free product subscription for themselves.

Is there any business development training?

LIFE has partnered with TEAM, a top community building and training material organization, to provide all of its business development training. LIFE, in other words, provides world-class personal development materials at a remarkable price point. TEAM (with over a decade of experience with tens of thousands of people in several countries) provides leading-edge business development and training to assist LIFE members in building their businesses. Here is how the personal development and business development break down:k

  1. If a person desires to be a customer, then he or she signs up for one of the LIFE material subscriptions mentioned above.
  2. If a person desires to be a LIFE member (business builder), then he or she follows the same steps as a customer. However, on top of this, he or she also signs up in LIFE as a member ($35 LIFE membership and $50 business starter kit). As a member of LIFE, there are several different levels of participation.
    1. Simply become a member of LIFE and utilize the materials for one’s self and occasionally recommend LIFE materials to others.
    2. Become a member of LIFE but pursue the amassing of a large number of sales to take advantage of the aggressive pay plan.
    3. Become a member of LIFE, and in addition to generating sales of LIFE materials, also build a sales force (or team) that does the same thing.

    For any of these levels, the TEAM training system (business development training) is an optional assist in such efforts. It provides a supportive environment, specific training, mentoring, recognition, materials, events, and team-building activities, and can be utilized as much or as little as the LIFE member deems necessary.

How credible is the TEAM training system?

Both Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward have been showcased as keynote speakers at the prestigious MasterMind event, which features top leaders from the training world and is attended by participants from six continents. Additionally, both Brady and Woodward have been featured in Networking Times magazine, the leading trade magazine for the industry, and currently host a monthly column in the publication. They have also been featured in special editions of Success and Success from Home magazines. The other leaders comprising the TEAM’s Policy Council collectively have over 100 years experience in the industry and are in-demand speakers around North America. The TEAM’s training system operates under the motto: Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference! Moreover, the TEAM is one of the few communities of its kind that routinely hosts tens of thousands of people at monthly events around the USA and Canada. The TEAM training system puts its money where its mouth is, guaranteeing a “no questions asked” 30 day money back refund policy. The TEAM wants satisfied business builders and works hard to ensure that satisfaction.

Is there a guarantee on LIFE materials?

Absolutely. Just as with the TEAM training system, LIFE offers a 30 day money back return policy on all its products

LIFE’s Mission Statement

ImageHere is a great description of LIFE, what it’s purpose is and what amazing value it has in the lives of so many.

I am intrigued by all of the testimony available on the LIFE site.  I encourage everyone to submit their testimonies when possible.  The LIFE materials changed our lives in such a significant way that we cannot sometimes put into words.

We are so thankful for LIFE founders, Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the rest of the PC, for providing us all with an amazing, life changing, spectrum of materials and an opportunity to to “pay it forward” to others.  Everyone could use something LIFE has to offer, some could use everything LIFE has to offer in the areas of Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Freedom, Following, Friends and Fun (8f’s)

Revolutionize Your Life!

Everyone will be called upon to lead at some point (and truly several points) in their lives, the only question is: Will they be ready?

The LIFE business launched with the purpose of providing world-class leadership materials to business executives, entrepreneurs, corporate climbers, pastors, church leaders, administrators, community service leaders, public servants, teachers, parents, and anybody who will find themselves in a position to lead.

When it gets right down to it, leadership is for everyone. Nobody will be able to make their way through life without needing to draw upon the toolbox of leadership.  Sadly, many people lack these tools and therefore get to live with the consequences of being ill-equipped. These consequences include missed opportunities, unfulfilled career aspirations, financial woes, and broken relationships.

Although leadership is for everyone, not everyone will equip themselves. Therefore, it may be helpful to consider a list of people for which the LIFE materials don’t apply.  LIFE leadership training materials are NOT for those who:

1. Refuse to take 100% personal responsibility for their results in life.

2. Would rather fix blame than fix problems.

3. Want an easy, comfortable life without having to earn it.

4. Already know everything and are therefore unteachable.

5. Have character issues they refuse to address.

LIFE is for those who earnestly seek a better life, are interested in the strenuous process of personal growth, are driven to succeed in significant ways, and are committed to a life of excellence for a higher purpose.

Mediocrity is for the many.

Leadership is for the few.

Everyone will be called upon to lead – few will be ready.

How to avoid a train wreck in LIFE

Hello all,

I wanted to share something that hit home for me not too long ago. I was listening to a cd from our Leadership Development Organization, TEAM, and it was about avoiding train wrecks. What does that mean really? When they speak of avoiding a train wreck and described what they meant, it made so much sense based on some of the events that have occurred in my life recently. This is my interpretation of what they mean by avoiding a train wreck:

In our lives, many of us face daily struggles as well as life changing events. For me, in the last few months, I experienced a death in the family, some health issues and had some major concerns about my career as an airline pilot. Life seems to be a series of challenges that must be overcome. In our everyday life, we face disappointments, struggles, family issues, work issues, health issues and relationship issues. How we deal with them is what is most important because those issues will never go away. We know that much.

So how do we deal with those issues? What do we mean by avoiding a train wreck? Since TEAM focuses on leadership training and mentor ship,  the first step begins with changing our thinking learning how to avoid problems before they develop. Team focuses on leadership and personal development. That is the focus of this blog. Information alone is not the key; correct information applied at the right time is the key.  Having a mentor or a coach is a big part of this to help guide you thru the mine field safely.

Whatever your goals are in life, we should all strive to improve ourselves.  We all hope to gain wisdom as we get older. The problem is, where are we getting our information from? Who are we learning from? If we learn from people who mean well but dont have the fruit on the tree, then we have learned from the wrong source.

To avoid a train wreck, it is important to understand what leads up to the train wreck. I want to briefly describe this process as it pertains to being healthy, wealthy and wise.

Leadership and personal development training are game changers.  How can we make a difference in people’s lives? How can we do that and avoid some of the horrible things that we DO have control over?

Let’s discuss being healthy first. In my opinion, if you do not have your health, you don’t have anything and your entire world revolves around your health. How many of you have been sick or know someone that has been really sick? My sister Linda, who passed away from Leukemia a few months back lived the last years of her life fighting for her life. That was not the way to live. We have all of this great knowledge and studies that maintaining an active and healthy life style is critical for longevity.

Why is it still that cancer and disease dominate our society? When someone gets sick and their mortality is challenged, then they may change their habits. What would anyone do for the chance to go back in time and fix the things that caused their illness? If I was on my death bed prematurely, I would do anything to go back and fix the problem. Anything. The problem is for most, when we are diagnosed with cancer, it is often too late.

When we discuss health and tell the world that eating your fruits and vegetables will prevent disease, why is it so hard to do that? Well it is hard because our lives are so busy and fast food is the staple of today’s society. If you dont have your health, you dont have much. It should be our priority.  Dont wait until its too late to make smart decisions. Easier said than done but it is just a decision.  I believe that your decisions are influenced by information and education so start reading and listenting a little bit more on health related matters. Even a small change in your diet and excercise can make a huge difference.

As for avoiding a wealthy train wreck, it is clear that 95% of our society is affected by the economy today. We are robbing Peter to pay Paul and are financing our gas tanks. Most people have either experienced a job loss or know someone that has in the last few years. Our society believes that the Government is going to take care of us and everything will be alright. Who ever believes this is fooling themselves.

Whatever we do, I believe it is important to consider a Plan B and to take financial responsibility for ourselves. If you were ever told to go to school, get good grades and get a good stable job with benefits, then you are not alone. If you went and did all that, how is it working out for you? Are you living pay check to pay check and spending more time at work then with the people you love? Are you making millions of dollars for your company and only getting paid pennies on the dollar while having all the responsibility? Is back stabbing and corporate downsizing affecting your job status? All I know is that my expensive education and career path as an airline pilot has resulted in pay cut after pay cut, job loss after job loss, pensions lost or wiped out and my poor 401k reduced down to just a “k”.

Someone once said, ” The person who can change his mind based on new information, can rule the world” How you think and how you were taught to think defines your actions. If you were taught to go out, get a good education, get a good job and work hard, then that is something you most likely received from your parents like me. This was Industrial age thinking. We are now in the information age and when we talk about avoiding a train wreck, it makes sense to do something that is going to propel you forward, helping to avoid devastation if you were to lose your job or your health.

Even if you keep your job and live what the Department of Labor calls the 45 Year plan, then what we need to really think about is retirement and how we are living our lives now. Do we wish we had more time, money, security in our lives? The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If we don’t change some things in our life, then we are going to have a train wreck.

We are expected to live well into our 70’s and 80’s now on Social Security, savings and investments. A train wreck is coming unless we do something now to avoid it. How are we expected to live happily into our retirement years on 1/2 to 1/3 of the salary we already couldn’t live comfortably off of to begin with. With rising health insurance costs and health issues, our expenses are only going to go up, not down. So what do we do? Something… anything different that will add security to our lives, help us pay off debt and allow us the time and freedom to spend time with family and friends. We are getting our information from the wrong sources if we are broke, have no time in our lives and feel like we are running on a hamster wheel. Get information from the right source on how to get your finances in order and develop a plan B.

Last but not least, how do we avoid a train wreck with being wise. Someone once said, “Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences”. Do we really know or understand what the consequences of our actions are? What I am constantly striving for in my life is a balance between my professional life and my personal life. I have gone through some personal struggles, some family and relationship struggles, which is what most people that breathe air on this planet go through. I know that there are not too many things I can control in life but Orrin Woodword said, ” The only thing you can control in life is the way you think about the things you cannot control”

I have made it my mission in life to learn. I do so now primarily from listening to cd’s and reading endless books from many individuals with a lot more knowledge and wisdom than I have. From a business standpoint, I have Defined what I want, learned from the people that already have what I want and then committed to doing what is necessary to achieving those goals. If I learn from the people that have already achieved success, then that is the first step. In school, I was told to go out and get the job you want, learn how to do your job and then the paycheck I received, defined my lifestyle. It was completely opposite from what we should be doing. Again, I was a victim of Industrial age thinking and had to reprogram what I was taught all my life. This is how millionaires think.

How do we avoid a train wreck in our personal lives, in our relationships with others and in everything we do? Learn about yourself, learn from others. My personal development, hunger to change, thirst for knowledge and willingness to do whatever I need to do to achieve my goals, is what has allowed me to be successful. I just want to pass that along to everyone because before I got involved with TEAM, my thought process was different. What they taught me and what I have learned has positively impacted every aspect of my life.

I believe we could all be healthier, wealthier and wiser, no matter who you are. It was a matter of realizing it and willing to invest time in ourselves. A lot of people invest in a lot of different things except themselves. By becoming a better leader, we become better at everything in our lives, from being a better spouse, sibling, friend, parent and business person. Who wouldn’t want that? We can all avoid a train wreck in these 3 categories and TEAM combined can help you achieve that. We believe in having fun, making money and making a difference in people’s lives.

As I continue to learn, my hope and desire is to help others achieve their goals. The more I serve and help others, the more I learn that life is short and what we do in the time we are here is what defines us as we leave a legacy. The journey is long and the destination may be far, but it is not the destination that is as important as who we become along the journey to that destination. God Bless.