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Success Stories

“If you want to be a success, study successful people.”

“Success comes to those who spent time perfecting their skills so when opportunity knocked, they could say come in.”

“The only thing standing in your way is yourself.”

These are my top three quotes I have heard recited to me throughout my adult years.  I can’t tell you who originated them but I can tell you that my various mentors have made it a point to remind me of them whenever I felt like giving up.  The great thing about them, they worked.  These quotes and many others helped me remain focused on my goals.

One of the things I like about living in America is there are new examples of success each day.  People who create million dollar businesses from their garages and dorm rooms.  Mothers who sought a satisfactory solution to a problem but couldn’t find one so they created it, now they are raking in thousands of dollars.  The neighbor to the left of you could be one of these success stories.  Or maybe you may be on the verge of becoming a story to emulate by inventing something new & exciting or writing the next great novel.  The thing is your success is determined by what you define success as.  Let me type that again, YOUR SUCCESS IS DETERMINED BY YOUR OWN DEFINITION OF SUCCESS.

Now there are a lot of resources available to help you clarify your personal definition so I won’t spend time discussing your definition further.  I do however, want to focus on the strategy within the quote at the beginning of this post:  Study successful people.  You might have the thought coming across your mind that is similar to this one, “How do I study a successful person when I don’t know anyone like that?”  Well you do.  Everyone knows at least one person who is successful and you can interview them or ask them to become your mentor.  But there is another option.

Study successful people from the comfort of your home or smart phone/tablet.  Here are three of the shows available today which provide you insight into the lives of successful individuals:

1)  CNBC Titans – Titans, Moguls, & Mavericks is an entertainment show which focuses on the individuals who have made careers from taking ideas some may not have believed viable into legendary successes.  They beat the odds and we can learn from their stories.  A few individuals highlighted include Steve Jobs, Jack Daniels, and Milton Hershey.

2) O Network Oprah’s Master Class – Oprah leverages her popularity and influence to bring the viewers profiles of entertainers’ failures, successes, and life lessons.  The good the bad and the ugly parts of your favorite media personalities are discussed from the mouths of these personalities themselves.  Tune in to study Cindy Crawford, Tom Brokaw, and many others.

3) Bloomberg TV Game Changers – This show focuses on business leaders & entrepreneurs who took their ideas and changed the world. There are profiles of individuals like Mark Cuban, Ralph Lauren, J.K. Rowling and many others.

Want inspiration and advice regarding being a success?  Tune in to one of these shows.  All shows are broadcast on cable but a few may be accessed online from the channel’s website, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube.  Maybe one of these individuals will help you decide what success means to you.

Til next time,

“Action expresses priorities” – Mohandas Gandhi   

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Mental Blocks

There are times in my life when I am struck with the Aww inspiring thought that I have nothing to say.  My mind is full of things I want to read, do, and say that I sometimes don’t know where to begin.  I get struck with idea after idea and begin to compose a new post only to discover that my mind is blocked from moving forward. I must admit this is a new experience for me.  Never have I found myself so blocked from moving forward that I seemed to be standing still and not progressing.  It seemed like a foreign concept when I first encountered it that I did everything I could to avoid dealing with the task.  This avoidance worked for a few days and then out of the blue I awoke from an odd dream in which I felt an overwhelming desire to read a book. You see, I find it relaxing to read for pleasure.  I find this simple activity provides me with a sense of renewal akin to coming home from a vacation.  It was during this mental respite that I had an Aha moment:  sometimes mental blocks occur in order to help you recharge your batteries. If it has been a while since you took time out of your busy schedules and participated in an activity strictly for the pleasure of it, it is time to step back and do NOTHING!  Now when I say do nothing, I don’t mean for you to play hooky from work or stop caring for your family.  I mean sit back, relax, and give your mind and body some rest.  Take a bath, write in a journal, do a crossword puzzle, learn a new hobby but do not stick to your normal schedule.  Our routines have a way of making our mental faculties operate on autopilot without need for manual intervention. Think about it – have you ever found yourself driving home and your mind wanders for what you think is a few minutes only to realize you are pulling into your driveway with no thought as to how you got there?  Your mind and body took you where you always go.  You followed a set routine.  While this is great for driving home, it isn’t helpful for working on new projects.  This is when it becomes more important than ever to take a break. Stepping back from the project at hand for a few minutes at a time or a few hours on the weekend allows us to reset our brains and bodies by giving them a few minutes of rest.  Now I am not an expert in this area but I write from my own experiences.  There appear to be a few other notable people who agree with the importance of giving yourself time off. “Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” ― Maya AngelouWouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now “I think people need hope when times are tough. I think they also need escape and adventure and fantasy. Books are like cheap mini vacations.”  ― Michelle M. Pillow A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.  – Earl Wilson The thing I love most about going on vacation is that I get to leave behind any kind of schedule. My entire life is scheduled from morning to night, and when I’m on vacation, there is no schedule.  – Kelly Clarkson  Writer’s block for me was a signal that I needed to take a few minutes to relax and gain some new perspective.  It was a shock to my system because I hardly ever have nothing to say but I still resisted what my body was trying to tell me.  I’m stubborn and I like to be in control.  Neither of these characteristics helped me when I faced my own mind’s resistance.  A few hours of uninterrupted reading for pleasure was the mental vacation I needed to get back to work.  What do you need to defeat your own mental block?  Is it a good book or a new hobby?  Whatever it may be, take a few minutes to indulge this week.  You will feel and operate better because of it. Til next time, “Action expresses priorities” – Mohandas Gandhi    

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The Recommendation of the Month: It’s An App

Let’s get the confession out the way before we go any further:  I am not and have never been a technology geek.  I know just enough to get by in this world of rapidly changing technology.  As a matter of fact I only came into the smart phone revolution after my phone carrier told me they would no longer service my Analog phone.  Now I can’t imagine how I was able to survive so long without one.  My phone is my music player, movie theater, library, notepad, calendar, calculator ……  It also introduced me to one of my favorite apps and my recommendation of the month:  the Pulse App.

The Pulse News App is on my top three list of favorite apps because it allows me to read articles from my favorite websites in one area.  I can share articles with others via social media as well as sync with my other productivity apps such as EVERNOTE.  And the best part!  I can sync my Pulse account with my Google Reader account.  Now I know this seems a little simplistic and ordinary in the grand scheme of things but here’s why I love this app:  During the time in which I wait for my morning coffee to brew, I can read two – three articles from Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, or Dilbert.    This allows me to stay current on news and have a quick laugh as I start my day.

There is an option to catch the highlights from the game as well as obtain new recipes for the next Meatless Monday.  If I want celebrity gossip that is available as well.  Basically this app allows me to turn my waiting time into educational time.  One more step in the right direction of empowering myself to achieve my dreams.  Finally, it’s Free.  Gotta like a free App.  Take a few minutes out of your day and  check out the Pulse App in your App Store or online.  Add your desired content and turn your wait time into Empowerment Time.

Til next time,

“Action expresses priorities” – Mohandas Gandhi 

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The University of Life

We are three days into the New Year and hopefully we are on target with our resolutions.  If you have fallen off track, brush the dirt off yourself, get back up and start again.   Release those feelings of guilt over your stumble and ace a few courses.  Not the courses you take when you pay tuition for course credit.  I want you to learn life skills which are taught when you are in the midst of doubt or adversity.

In the words of Maya Angelou, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”   Utilize this moment of temporary defeat as a class you are taking in the University of Life.  Yes the University of Life, as long as we are alive we are all taking courses from the University of Life.

A few of the mandatory courses include:

1) Adversity  – The introductory course teaches you that life isn’t fair and each successive course educates you on how to develop personal strength and stamina.  “If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.” ― Terry Goodkind

2) Personal Accounting – Much like Business Accounting, this course teaches you how to account for the budget you have been granted access to.  This budget must be approved each fiscal year and the consequences for poor management will affect your ability to skip Adversity 104 and go straight to Humanity 101.

3) Humanity 101 – This course is your foundation course regarding how to interact and care for other humans surrounding you.  It includes chapters such as hospitality, charity, compassion, and values.  Essential courses which teach you the fundamentals of business etiquette, branding, and networking.  “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

Life isn’t fair but it will teach you the skills you need to achieve your goals.  Each day you get up is another day to start again.  Each breath you take is another reminder that life goes on.  Don’t give in to defeat because you fell off course.  This is one of chapters in the University of Life.  Take notes along the way to pinpoint what contributed to your detour, then make an alternative plan of action for when you come upon this detour again.  Because you will come upon another detour because after all, life isn’t fair but as long as we are alive hope exists.

Til next time,

“Action expresses priorities” – Mohandas Gandhi