Category Archives: Choosing

You’ve Got it in You

Making decisions Is Murder

Go to one restaurant tonight, and there are all those other great eateries you can’t enjoy. Deciding FOR one thing means you’re deciding AGAINST everything else.

For example, you decide to take one job, and you turn your back on a whole host of other career moves. Until you choose one thing, everything is possible – everything is yours (potentially). In fact, until the moment of decision, you are fabulously rich with all that vast, unclaimed potential. 

93 Year Old Body Builder

Dr. Charles Eugster, back in 2012, gave a TEDx talk in Zurich on the importance of body building. He was 93 at the time. In that presentation, he told about his experience when he was a much younger 85. It seems he looked in the mirror and didn’t like what he saw.

Of course, sooner or later everybody does that, young and old alike. And most folks don’t do much about it (except to stop looking in the mirror so often). But on that particular day, Eugster decided to change what he was seeing.

Rebuilding Your Beliefs

Hand-Me-Down Ideas

Most of our beliefs are second-hand goods. We acquire the bulk of them, beginning at a very early age, from those around us, and then we spend much of the rest of our lives trying both to cling to them and shake ourselves loose from them.

We take our beliefs on so lightly, so full of trust, thinking they are fundamental truths, but eventually we begin suspecting that many of them are a bad fit. That’s when we find that bringing a belief in is a lot easier than inviting it out. What a strange comedy.

The Option of Low-Key Greatness

Successes are the side effects, not the goals of living.

Coaches, lecturers and self-help experts spend a lot of time telling you how to be greater, achieve more, improve your self-worth. I admit I’ve done the same thing in the past, and I’ll probably do it again, when it seems appropriate.

But just for now, just for the next two or three minutes, let’s set aside our to-do lists, our goal sheets and our dream boards. Let’s not talk about goals or achievement at all. No affirmations, no law of attraction stuff, no power-packed visualizations.

Reasons You Can’t – All Unreal

My grandaddy, who ran a plumbing shop, used to say, “There are lots of reasons you think you can’t, but not one of them is real. Not one.”

Grandaddy may have been a country boy from south Georgia with only a third-grade education, but that never seemed to slow him down. For instance, I recall that in his late fifties he still remembered all the states and their capitols. He could tell you every US president and when he served (as well as interesting little stories about things each one achieved).

New Email Design – Which Color Works Best?

A few days ago I sent out an email testing a new, bright red template. And I asked for feedback on the color about whether anybody liked (or hated) the red design.

Feedback was very sparse, with less than a dozen readers offering their opinions. Of those who did respond, however, there was near-unanimous agreement: red was not bad exactly, but it hit the eye a little too strongly.

The Impatience of Mrs. Suzuki

Patience is a virtue … everybody agrees, right?

Back in the 14th century, British poet William Langland was probably the first to introduce this thought into English. And the ensuing seven hundred years have done nothing to disprove it. Just the opposite.

So why are so many people still so impatient?

Putting in Stars

Dreaming of Success

Maybe you want more… Tony did. Little Tony was born “in the wrong neighborhood” to relatively poor, working class parents who couldn’t afford to send him to college.

But even as a child, little Tony ached and yearned to amount to something, to be really big in the world. His grades weren’t all that special, but he had one burning desire. He wanted to be a big success.

Who’s That Knockin’ on Your Door?

Missing Messages

Imagine this: You’re at a friend’s house, cheerfully chatting, and there’s a knock at the front door. But your friend makes no move to go see who it is. The knocking continues, gradually becoming more insistent, but still your friend ignores it.

Finally, you offer, “Don’t you think you should go see about that?”

Grampa’s Business Rules

The Rules for Success Are Not New

You know, business doesn’t have to be a complex, Harvard-B-school kind of thing, all complicated and hard for ordinary mortals to understand. Much of it CAN be boiled down to some pretty simple stuff.

My paternal grandfather didn’t have a degree in business. In fact, he never got past the third or fourth grade, but that didn’t stop him from running several successful businesses and owning a significant part of the small north-Georgia town where he lived.

Iron-Clad Confidence

“He just oozed confidence.”

That’s the way a long-time friend described Aristotle Onassis when he was just a teenager. Some people are late bloomers. They don’t gain much real self assurance till they are well into adulthood.

But there are also early bloomers — Onassis was one — and the stories describing his early years don’t all agree on details. The do all agree, however, on one point: young Ari had charisma, and lots of it. They all describe a young man with brains and drive and overflowing with confidence.

Information Overload? No Such Thing

So Much Information, so Little Time

How will I ever keep up?   … that feeling grips many of us.

When it does, we shrug our shoulders and curse the glut of data pouring into and through our lives. It has, in fact, become quite trendy to complain about feeling harassed and overwhelmed by all the incoming info that we need to know. Somebody even coined the term “information overload,” right?

The Most Unpopular Secret of Personal Power

HELEN KELLER SAID, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

So you hate the hard times you’ve passed through? Maybe you need to think again.

Easy times never stretch us, never enlarge our strengths, never give us a new, expanded grasp of our capabilities.

But I Don’t Want to Wait THAT Long

Impatience

Years ago, I worked in a camera shop with a man named Sam who was constantly bemoaning his bad luck. He often talked about Mr. Dawson, a man in our town. He was in his seventies, and he was really lucky. Dawson was “lucky” according to Sam because he owned buildings all over the western suburbs of Chicago.

One day when he mentioned Dawson, I commented, “Hey, Sam, you’re only thirty-five now. Why don’t you start buying buildings this year? By the time you’re seventy-five you’ll have become as rich as Dawson.”

Control Your Words — Control Your Destiny

Undependable

Mike had run into a stubborn little glitch with his affirmations. “When I say the word ‘productive,’ he told me, “I get a little spike of self-doubt.”

Each time Mike affirmed that he was productive, it stirred up in him a deep feeling of mis-match — what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. This basically means he was trying to believe two things that contradict each other. At the gut level, Mike “knew” that he was UN-productive, so strong doubts came welling up within him.

Your Affirmations vs. Your Results

Getting What You Expect out of Life?

If not, how do you behave when you’re disappointed?

My wife and I last year moved back to Japan after living six years in Thailand. Now, I’ve eaten and enjoyed Thai food for years, but being in the source-country of all that goodness did bring me a few surprises. Take milk for example.

Balking at Self-Change

Still Fighting the Changes You Really Want?

Most of us want things to be better in our lives. But then, when the opportunity for change comes, we may fight against the very things we say we want.

My friend Joanne had decided to have a large storage shed built in her back yard. She had even hired the contractor and paid him a sizeable deposit. The problem started when he asked where, exactly, did she want it located.

Determined to Be Unhappy

Happiness Is an Inside Job

Abraham Lincoln, a man well acquainted with the disappointments and sorrows of life, once said: “Folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

What he meant was, if you are truly determined to be happy, it’s well within your power to make it happen … regardless of what the people around you are doing to you, saying against you, thinking about you, or withholding from you. In other words, your mental state is your own doing.

As a corollary to that, your UNhappiness is also your own doing.

Procrastination Is a Good Start

Some Assets Wear a Disguise

Those so-called “bad” habits you’ve been struggling to break may be better assets than you realize. In fact, if you really understood what you have here, you might not dislike them quite so much.

True, in their present form, some of your habits may be royally screwing up your life, but here’s an interesting little question for you… who says a habit has to stay in its present form? This simple question uncovers the loose edge of a huge, huge secret. And the secret is that you can actually keep your present “bad” habits, only adjusting them slightly, building on them a bit, and as you retune them, they could become some of your strongest “good” habits.

Obedience Training?

Will Your Child Be Somebody’s Servant? Are You?

Mike said his dad looked ready to spit poison. One of the ladies at church had just commented, “Teddy, your little boy is so polite.” As always, Mike’s father loved to hear that. He beamed, “Yep, I’m raising my boy to be a good, obedient kid.”

But that particular day, old Mr. Corley happened to be walking past. Mr. Corley … the old man who owned half the town. The old man who never dressed fancy, never lived high, and never said much to anybody, and who certainly never poked his nose into anybody else’s affairs. That Mr. Corley.

But this time, old man Corley butted in. He growled, “Aw hell, Teddy, you ain’t raising a kid. You’re just training somebody’s servant for ‘em.”

Everything ALWAYS Works Right

Failing Takes a Lot of Effort

“Son,” my Dad would say, “You could screw up a one-man funeral.” I don’t know how many thousands of times my father told me that while I was growing up, but it soaked in pretty deeply.

By the time I reached adulthood, I was convinced; nothing would ever work right for me; if there was a way to mess things up, I’d always find it. That was just a fact of my existence: I was a screwup.

How Money Became a Sin

Why Do They Say Those Awful Things About Money?

Been hearing it all my life — “The love of money is the root of all evil”.

It’s in the holy scriptures, right? Of course, many teachers and gurus make a big deal of this, explaining the distinction that “It’s not money that’s evil, it’s the LOVE of money.”

Well, here’s the thing. Long before there was money (OR the love of money), evil reared its ugly head when the Angel Lucifer led a rebellion in heaven. (At least, that’s the Judeo-Christian version of the story.)

The Trick to Riches

Causing Wealth to Happen to You

When you daydream about being vastly rich, how do you see that money coming to you? Is it just mysteriously there, right in your hand, ready to spend and spend and spend? Or maybe the only way you can imagine getting riches is by winning the lottery?

More than 8,000 millionaires dot the fiscal map of the United States alone. And 90% of them started out with essentially nothing. They got theirs the old-fashioned way … they earned it all. Of course, many of the industries they rode to riches are not old-fashioned, but that’s a different matter.

Depression Is a Volunteer Activity

De-Mystifying Moods

I was feeling great that day, so naturally I decided to screw it up. Feeling happy was not a common thing for me. In fact, I spent a LOT of time depressed from the age of 15 till I was around 30. After that I mellowed out a bit, and how that happened is a story.

When you can’t seem to control your own moods, you tend to look either for relief or for answers. I opted for answers, and where I looked was in positive thinking books.

Will a Name Stop You?

How Small Is Your Sticking Point?

It was a simple question on a business forum run by a large U.S. bank:

“I am planning an ecommerce website to retail paintball products. I’m looking for a [domain] name, but the one I came up with is already registered. So I’m stuck, which puts me back at the start. I want a memorable but short name, that also gets across the business I’m in. It should be an experiential name as well as a functional/descriptive one.”

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