Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Worldwide Web of Belief and Ritual

A note for for Friday August 1 2008

Welcome to the end of the typical week, and the start of a whole new month.

Firstly, my heartiest thanks and congratulations to each of you who shared your special thoughts, awareness's and lessons as you reflected on the amazing life contribution of Dr. Randy Pausch who passed away last Friday. I sent every one of them along to his family.

It was very evident indeed in your noted that each of you viewed your life as an amazing canvas upon which you are painting incredible master pieces. Your writings reflected much wonder about each of time here on this spinning orb, and more importantly, the footprint we leave as a consequence of our journey through it. I was humbled by your sharing.

Before our massive website meltdown in June, we were sharing with you some highly impactful video's each Friday. Although we're not 100% ready in our video section of the new website, sharing Randy's piece on the Oprah Show last week has spurred me into getting the Friday Video "Reader" back in gear.

We'll be re-presenting the video's in a new format on the website, hopefully by the time we end our summer break right after Labor day. Until then, we'll "just get it done".

Today we present you with an offering by one of our very favorite people. Wade Davis of National Geographic gives you gift of a world view that I absolutely know will impact on the life canvas you are painting for yourself. It will certainly cause minds to open wide.

The Worldwide Web of Belief and Ritual

This weekend be "Picasso" with your life canvas!

See you on Monday.

Take care,


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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The 7 Top Ways Millionaires Become Wealthy

A note from for Thursday July 31 2008

Welcome to this very fine mid-summer Thursday.

Thank you to all who responded so very positively to yesterday’s reader by new contributor Deon Du Plessis. I was warmed indeed by your reflections and agreement with Deon’s perspective.

I’ve been asked by a number of subscribers to continue focusing on “readers” that they can use to move forward in their understanding and practices of creating wealth. Today we do just that with an offering from yet another new contributor.

I certainly think you’ll enjoy Steven’s timely offering.

The 7 Top Way Millionaires Become Wealthy

by Steven Mattos

There are 7 common factors to those who build net fortunes of one million dollars or more. In North America, there has never been more personal wealth than there is today; yet most American‘s are not wealthy. Amazingly, a mere 3.5% of our households own almost one-half of the wealth in the United States and Canada! Although we may be hard working, educated, moderate to high-income earners, why are so few of us affluent?

In studying the affluent, I found a pattern that the wealthy follow. It is more often the result of planning, hard work, perseverance, and self-discipline that determines who become wealthy. The factors compiled here are summarized from the research done by Thomas Stanley Ph.D. on over 1100 actual millionaires (many are multi-millionaires) in the U.S. today.

1) Live Well Below Your Means

Don‘t be fooled.The “average” millionaire doesn‘t look like a millionaire! The key word here is frugal, frugal, and frugal. The typical person is North America is a consumptionist. It‘s in our blood. We work hard, make money, and spend it well. Not the typical millionaire! They play great defense (saving and investing) as well as offense (making money). Just like in football – great offense is exciting…but great defense wins games. An interesting note: Millionaires on average claimed their spouses were as frugal or more than they were. It‘s a family affair: Sacrifice high consumption today, for financial freedom tomorrow.

2) Spend Your Time, Energy, and Money in Ways that Build Wealth.

Although the road to Millionaire‘s Ville takes a frugal path, they pay well for training and advice. Do investment planning. Go to seminars. Hire good attorneys, tax accountants, mentors and coaches. Learn to identify and invest in assets that produce income. The wealthy spend money when the investment will protect and grow their assets. Millionaires also know the details: How much is spent each month and on food, clothing, and shelter. The non-wealthy say they don‘t have time to plan, while the wealthy make time to plan. But here‘s the shocker: The average millionaire spends 8.5 hours per month planning, while the non-affluent spend 4.5 hours or less planning. How can 4 more hours per week impact your future? Make it happen and the odds are in your favor of joining the truly wealthy!

3) Choose Financial Independence over Displaying High Social Status

The wealthy run highly efficient operations both in business and at home. Most live in average neighborhoods, and drive average cars. They‘re not interested in keeping up with the Jones‘ – because the Jones‘ aren‘t financially free. It takes lots of energy to consume big mortgages, change homes every few years, buy the most recent model cars, and wear the latest fashions. The wealthy drive typically American made cars! Japanese cars come in 2nd place; half of these are Toyota Camrys. Yes, significant value per dollar is the key here. The Millionaire‘s Motto: You aren‘t what you drive. The status cars – Lexus, BMW‘s, Mercedes? At 6.4% or less per each brand.

4) Don‘t Accept Economic Support from Your Parents once Outside the Home

Sounds painful doesn‘t it? It‘s a fact that has taught the wealthy how to earn, keep, and invest money. Parents of the wealthy do not, or cannot, provide ―economic outpatient care‖. The results are clear: The more dollars the adult children receive, the fewer they accumulate. Those who are given less are motivated to accumulate more on their own merits. An amazing fact: 80% of millionaires are first generation millionaires; they have made their money on their own, in their lifetime. Many of these folks have been immigrants to the U.S. and Canada, starting out with minimal cash on hand. Work hard to learn and generate wealth—it CAN be done, and happens in North America every day.

5) Teach your children to be economically self-sufficient to foster a “Wealth Mind-Set”

Provide your children fish and they will eat for a day. Teach them to fish and they will eat for a lifetime. As you might guess, children who grew up to be affluent, who had affluent parents, were taught to be disciplined and intentional with their money. Robert Kyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, didn‘t cave in when his son asked for a car at 16 years old, even when the neighbor kids were being given cars by their parents. He gave his son $3000, and a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, and a few books on investing in the stock market. Now Rich Dad‘s son watches more CNN than MTV. He has the motivation, and is getting an education that will provide him for a lifetime, well beyond his first car purchase.

6) Become Proficient in Targeting Market Opportunities

Find your niche, like the wealthy do. Follow where the money flows, and look for specialized opportunities. Why not target the wealthy themselves? Yes, they are frugal, especially first generation self-made wealthy. BUT…they spend openly on investing in themselves and their families. Investment advice and services, business training, software, tax advice, legal, medical, dental, health, real estate, and education are top priorities. They pay well for products and services that protect and grow their assets. Remember the majority of the wealthy are self-employed entrepreneurs. Followed by medical professionals and business executives.

7) Choose the Right Occupation

You now have a good idea of what the affluent do. 20% are retirees. Of the remaining 80%, most of these are self-made businessmen and women. Keep in mind that entrepreneurs are 4 times more likely to become millionaires than those who work for others. There is no one business, or group of business more likely to breed millionaire-hood. Some are lecturers, others medical professionals, farmers, small manufacturers, and corner mom and pop stores. The most important predictor is the characteristics of the owner, than the type of business. It‘s the winning combination of skills and attitude that hit‘s the wealth target.

NOTE: The affluent attribute being honest with all people as the most important characteristic in their businesses, tied with being well disciplined. The vast majority of the wealthy were not stellar students, or born into money. They have made it through following a few simple principles and being consistent.

Steven enjoys writing and teaching others on the special topics of wealth, health, and human potential. Steve left a lucrative career in biotechnology in 2000 to fully pursue his passions. Now he writes, trains, and coaches full time in San Jose, CA.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where Is Your Head At?

A note from for Wednesday July 30 2008

Welcome to this delightful midweek day.

I’ve been having a ton of fun here at this desk for the past couple of days. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at a couple of small events with groups of people who are on the edge of taking over complete control of the their financial future.

The economy here in North America is continuing to take some rather nasty turns as the a consequence of the real estate debacle, the rising number of lay off’s, and the impact that rising fuel prices is having on every aspect of our lives. It frankly stinks out there, but, some very intrepid people are committed to taking different steps to ensure their financial future.

They are not putting off what must be done, and neither should you.

Today’s offering is from one of our newest contributors, and I do certainly believe that it will touch some chords for you.

Where Is Your Head At?
by Deon Du Plessis

There are essentially two types of travelers in this world. There are those who are consumed by 'ticking boxes' and traveling to all the 'major attractions' just to say that they've been there and done that. Then there are those who truly travel for the experience of traveling and who soak up everything along the way. The real purpose of traveling is not to reach a destination, but to travel.

This is also true in the journey of life. So many people go through life reaching for destinations and they end up never 'traveling'. Wherever your mind is, that is where you are. See, your whole life is actually lived within the confines of your mind. It is not what happens to you, but how you process it in your mind. Wherever you put your focus is where your attention will be. So often we fall into the trap of the 'someday-somewhere' mentality, where we think that 'someday' when we are somewhere else or with someone else or with something else we will be happy. 'Then' we will do x, y and z. We almost live in this other place that we aspire to and we end up forgetting where we are right now - which is all we've really got anyway.

Life is lived in the 'now'. Now is all you will ever really own. Although you can escape to some future place in your mind, a place that you think will make you happy, you only really want that to experience that in a moment of now anyway. It's only when you are firmly rooted in the present moment and when all of you is here, that you can really experience something fully.

Being firmly rooted in the present does not negate having goals and aspiring to great things. In fact, it requires that. An awareness of where you've been and a vision for where you are going will color your experience of now. Set your course for where you want to go and then make sure that you are firmly rooted in the present. If you are driving your car and you are focused on something a mile ahead of you, you will miss both the hazards and the beauty that is right in front of you. Always remember that the purpose of traveling is not to reach a destination, but to travel - it's all about the experience.

The danger in always being focused on some future goal or accomplishment is that it distracts us from taking action right here, right now. Procrastination is a 'future thing'. When your mind is at some place in the future, you tend to absorb all the potential problems that this (imaginary) future might hold. Since most of our fears are only imaginary we tend to start imagining potential problems and challenges that breeds procrastination. Remember that procrastination is designed to 'protect' you from unpleasant tasks and to keep you from taking action on those things that will be unpleasant. When you are rooted in the future you will continuously fabricate situations and circumstances that will encourage procrastination. When you are rooted in the present you will be empowered to take action because all you have to deal with is what's in front of you.

There is immense power in 'now'. When you are firmly rooted in where you are instead of where you want to be in some nondescript future, then you are mobilized. Procrastination immobilizes you and even if you know where you want to travel to, you will remain stranded in indecision and fear. You will be overwhelmed by everything that you think you still need to do to get you where you are not. If you are focused on the now, then all you have to do is what you can do right now with exactly where you are right now and with exactly what you've got right now. You don't need to wait for anything to be different before you can take action. Your attention is focused on what you can do NOW. This is empowering.

It's true that action will not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. Procrastination steals your future by stealing your present moments. Be in the present moment. It will free you from the fears and problems that will keep you locked up in procrastination and indecision. To overcome procrastination, look at what's right in front of you and start there. Always ask yourself what you can do right now - and do that! Never waste your present moments with what you 'could have' or 'should have' done and don't be held captive by your future. Always be mindful of where your head is at, because that is where you are, and where you are is what will determine what you will or will not do.

Deon Du Plessis is the author of A Course of Action, a free e-Course designed to empower you to break through your limitations, take action and transform your ideas into reality. Visit The Self Improvement Gym for immediate access to this great resource.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

The Dash

A note from for Tuesday July 29 2008

Welcome to this fine Tuesday.

As expected, I’ve been having a whole bunch of conversations in the past few days about the impact that Dr. Randy Pausch has had on my life. It has been a time of great celebration, and much learning.

I used much of his example as a conversation during our weekly team conference call on Monday evening, and it felt just wonderful being able to voice out loud what I have gained from Randy’s legacy.

During the call I was reminded by an associate of a poem written by Linda Ellis that I read in 1997. In fact, I first read the poem on an plane. Can you just imagine, there I was, all 200 lbs of me, sitting bubbling while reading it.

So my friends, in honor of Randy Pausch, I get to share that wonderful poem with you.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Fundamentals of Success

A note from for Monday July 28 2008

Welcome to this final week of July 2008.

I spent a while this past weekend reflecting on the messages reflected in the “Last Lecture” by Dr. Randy Pausch who passed away on Friday. The example and contribution given by this outstanding and generous man will last in our minds and lives for years to come.

One of the most impactful lessons I was reminded of as I spent this weekend reflecting was just how fleeting our lives really are. I was jarred once again into the awareness that my life is my own, that I’m free to live it as I choose, and that there is nothing that I need ever be afraid of. I can make of this mortal experience exactly what I choose. That “power” is truly mine, just as it is yours.

You’ll be seeing and hearing much more about Randy Pausch this week as he is honored in every corner.

To get us off to a grand start this week we go to another great contributor, our friend Philip. Put his offering to good use.

The Fundamentals of Success
by Philip Humbert

In life, and in business, there are only a few fundamentals that make life work out well, and they have never changed. Too often we pretend that technology and education have created "new rules" or that modern systems permit us to cut corners and find short-cuts that didn't exist in the past. While there may be examples where that is true, in general, I don't believe it.

The fundamentals of living well, achieving our dreams and creating wealth have not changed. The path to success today is remarkably similar to the path walked by generations past.

What are the basics? You might have your own list, but I would suggest at least the following:

1. Personal Integrity. Socrates recommended, "Know thyself" and Shakespeare added, "to thine own self be true." Knowing who we are, what we value and making sure that our words and actions match is fundamental. Doing unfulfilling work or living in an environment that doesn't suit us will surely undermine our long-term success. Too many of us live "lives of quiet desperation" and that is NOT a foundation on which to build a life!

2. Clear Thinking. Many of us grew up in the "feel good" generation and we are confused about the role of thought (education, planning, skills and tools) verses emotion. We let our hopes, wishes, fears, or "hang-ups" run our lives. High achievers take time to think clearly, seek expert advice, plan wisely, and learn from the mistakes of others. The Old Testament says that "wisdom comes from a multitude of advisors." Some strategies just work better than others. Buildings are always designed and "blueprinted" in advance. Our lives should be designed just as carefully.

3. Unfailing Optimism. This is not shallow "positive thinking", but a clear-headed, conscious faith in the future and in your own potential. "Where there is a will, there is a way," or as Hannibal said over 2000 years ago, "We will find a way, or make one." High achievers believe in their skills, in their plans, and in their futures. They forge ahead with confidence built on integrity and careful planning.

4. Hard Work. Ben Franklin observed, "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise." I've heard people say achievement should be "effortless" and I agree that sometimes enormous amounts of work can flow easily and quickly, but I also know that creating a great life usually requires dedication, personal discipline, attention to detail, and effort.

5. Patience and Persistence. A great life is rarely built in a day. It takes time develop a life of one's own. There will be mistakes and wrong turns along the way, and highly successful people are neither surprised nor disheartened by this. They simply get a good night's sleep and start again in the morning. They learn from their mistakes, correct them, and move on with better skills and more effective strategies.

There are more fundamentals than we have room for here, but they have not changed, and there are no "new" fundamentals! Creating a great life does not take extraordinary luck, unusual talent or skill. Building a great life does, however, require that we follow the "rules" that make life work out well. The fundamentals are not sexy or exciting or sophisticated, but they are tried and true. Use them to create the life you truly want.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Randy Pausch "A True Hero".

A note from for Friday July 25 2008

Today on this 25th July 2008, it is with a bit of a heavy heart that I tell you that one of the people to most impact me in the past year has passed away.

Dr. Randy Pausch, who's amazing video "The Last Lecture" that I shared with you last Winter died today at 47 years of age.

This man has left each of us with an amazing gift.

We here at The Wealthy Attitude celebrate Randy today for his example of what a "Wealthy Attitude" really is.

Attached is the piece from The Oprah Show that we shared those few short months ago.

A True Hero

"Celebrate" your own life experience today!

Take care,


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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Can You Do?

A note from for July 24 2008

Welcome to yet another fine mid-summer Thursday.

We continue on this week’s theme of getting our mindset in the condition that will see us all succeed in achieving our 2008 goals and intentions. Our friend David certainly offers us a perspective today that is worth considering with your java.

What Can You Do?
by David Cameron Gikandi

Capability (What Can You Do?)

What is capability? What can you do? What is can?

You say, "I wish I could do that. But I can't." Sometimes the thing you desire seems most evasive and elusive to you. You may seem to think that you need money or something else that is external to you for you to be able to achieve your desire. And because this external thing is away from you and you don't have it, you think that you are doomed because even that seems elusive. So you are stuck in a vicious circle. You accept that, you fear it.

But before you accept something that has absolutely no value to you, take another look. Fear is a thing we are conditioned to accept without question, yet it has absolutely no value. Next
time you accept fear, ask yourself what value it really has for you. Escape is not a value. There is nowhere to run. Eventually, you will be found and you will have to face yourself. Running away from a problem is an idea that stems from the illusion that there is a you with a problem, and a you that can escape the you with the problem. Insane? Yep! The first step to getting out of a problem is knowing and accepting that you are the problem, and then you become the solution. Nothing outside changes, but as you change, a new outside replaces the old. The Law of Attraction and the Law of Cause and Effect work this way.

For now, let us define capability. What is can?

Everyone has things that they can do now that they could not do before. You can now walk while as a child you could not. The ground never changed, but you did. You can now read while you once could not. The English language never changed, but you did. At one time, Bill Gates could not write software, now he can. The world did not change, Bill did. At one time, Jesus could not perform miracles, then he did. Miracles did not change, Jesus did. At one time the Buddha was not enlightened, then he was. The ways of the universe did not change, the Buddha did.

Do you get the picture? There are a million things that a person can do now that they could not do years ago. Why?

It is never those things that changed. What changed was the idea that this person had of himself or herself. Have you seen the movie The Matrix? When Neo changed his idea of himself, he was able to do the undoable. It is so with everyone.

So what is can? What is capability. It is nothing more than a shift in what you think you are. What You Really Are is a being with infinite possibilities. Everyone is. We are all literally an
idea. As such, success is not something we can chase and get, it is something that we attract by the persons we become. We become those persons by changing the idea of what we think we are.
The problem is not with the world. The problem, if there is one, is with your recognition of yourself and your world. The way you perceive and interpret yourself and your world is a system. Change that system, through seeking new truths, and you change your world.

To put it in another way, on earth you are a being that has experiences. These experiences are determined by your thoughts, which are determined by your perceptions. And these experiences are experienced through perception. It is a cycle. The key here is that perception is a learnt system. You learnt your own way of perception as you grew up. Whatever you accepted as true from your parents, friends, teachers, and so on, is what builds your
framework of perception. Perception is a learnt system. You learn it, and you can just as easily unlearn it. You unlearn it by replacing it with a new system, and you get a new system by seeking new truths from books, guides, your higher self, and so on. The world that you perceive is perceived differently by the next guy. We are all seeing an illusion, an interpretation of energy activity that we are the creators of. The Real world is seen through vision, not perception. And vision only comes when you finally drop all your judgment of what you see, when you let it tell you what it is instead of you saying what it is. But that is another story all together.

You are in charge of 'can', and no one else. People can tell you that you can't, all day long, until they grow hoarse and lose their voices. It will have absolutely zero effect on you. Unless
you accept it. What did you accept as a child? Do you like it? Then un-accept it. Change.

Re-create yourself. Have a new idea of who you are!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

5 Master Qualities Of Extraordinary Achievers

A note from for Wednesday July 23 2008

Welcome to the midweek point.

We’ve been having some very interesting conversations in the past few days about “our story”. It’s been our distinct pleasure to have been able to listen in on some friends and associates relate their “stories” after having attending a personal growth conference recently in Oahu, Hawaii.

These individuals related “stories” that clearly validated their commitment to life-long learning, 100% personal responsibility, continual growth, adventurism, compassion, and huge heaping piles of self-appreciation. What fun it has been hearing these great shares by some very fine folks. Congratulations, and thanks, to you all.

Today’s offering from one of our favorite contributors speaks for itself.

5 Master Qualities Of Extraordinary Achievers
by Emmanuel Segui

You can be a master achiever by developing the same qualities of those who seem to achieve more than others. Here are 5 qualities you need to master in order to become a successful person in your chosen field and in your life.

Achievers are creative.

Creativity is a fundamental quality of a visionary leader. Creativity is also essential for problem-solving, conflict resolution, crisis and change management.

As they are extensively goal and result oriented, achievers need to come up with many solutions to reach their goals; therefore they need to be more creative than others. An effective method for you to be more creative in problem resolution is:

First, sit down in a comfortable chair and think about all the ways to resolve the problem, even if it may be absurd. This is not the time to be critical, but the time to think without any judgment. Come up with at least 20 solutions.

The first eight solutions will be obvious; the second eight solutions will require some effort and therefore creativity. You will see that the last two solutions will be the hardest to find, but the most creative. And they will surely be the ones that you will stick to.

Second, act out in your head the movie of how you would implement each solution. And third, be critical as far as each solution is concerned. This is an effective way to resolve problems used by effective leaders and managers.

Develop the Habit of Courage.

They have developed the habit of courage. Courage to wake up earlier and go to bed later. They've developed self-discipline. Self-discipline is mastering yourself, your actions, thinking and emotions. They know that in order to become leaders for others, they need to become a leader for themselves first.

It takes courage to have self-discipline but it is learnable. They take action even if it is uncomfortable. They go out of their comfort zone, and go for opportunities. Talk about courage!

An effective method to develop the habit of courage is to see opportunities to grow and evolve in every challenge you face. Face your fears and learn from them. There is always a positive intention behind every fear you feel.

Top People are committed to contribute.

Finally, they take action. High achievers are result and action-oriented. They are committed to action. As they make precise plan for what they really want, they go for it and are committed to reach the goal. An effective way for you to be committed to action is to set goals. Work every day on these plans and evaluate very week where you are.

Continuous Learning.

High achievers are lifelong learners who subscribe to the process of continuous improvement. They view mistakes as learning opportunities. "There is no failure, only feedback" is always their motto. They know they need to improve, take risks, make mistakes and view these mistakes as opportunities to bounce back.

An effective way for you to develop this habit is to first, read each day a book in your chosen field. Second, listen to educational audiotapes in your car and go to seminars given by experts in your field. By doing that, you will be ahead of your competitors and you will become more educated, therefore, you will earn more in your life.

They are Responsible.

High achievers know that they are 100% responsible for what's happening to them. They don't blame anybody else. They look themselves in the mirror and say "You can do it, it's only up to you dude!" You have the ability to respond in every situation you find yourself. Your response is up to you.

Creativity, courage, commitment, learning and responsibility are at the heart of every great achievement. Success is not always easy. People may be in your way. You may face discouragement. Problems may appear. But by learning how to be responsible, you will find solutions that others won't think of. You will find the courage to change your life and commit to excellence.

Oh, and have a ton of fun!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Silence of Listening

A note from for Tuesday July 22 2008

Say hello to this fine Tuesday.

As we continue to meander through this lovely Summer month, we have to remember that in just a short time we’ll be entering the most critical time of the business year, the fall selling season. Over the next few weeks, before we take out Summer break, we’ll be sending you along some interesting “readers” to support you in setting your Fall business plans.

Today’s offering is from a new contributor, and I do certainly believe that you’re going to like what she has to share.

The Silence of Listening
by Karla Brandau

If you want to catapult ahead of others on the treadmill of success, try silence - the silence of listening. Zip your mouth and refuse to interrupt or break into the other person's thoughts. This takes a high degree of discipline, especially if you have an outgoing, social personality, but it is definitely worth the effort. It is okay to briefly interject an occasional "Hmmm," "Ah," or "I see," but no more.

True listening is actually silent flattery! Plus, it builds teamwork, trust, and a sense of belonging to a group. It earns you respect and, perhaps most importantly, cooperation. In addition it will:

1. Cut down problem-solving time as issues surface more quickly.
2. Smooth out relationships, since candid conversations are allowed to occur.
3. Elicit positive responses in difficult situations because participants do not fear retaliation for their divergent viewpoints.
4. Gather an infinite amount of information for you, once people feel safe to speak the truth from their individual perspectives.

Acknowledgement is a basic, universal, human need. Consequently, when you listen attentively to another human, you fill their need to be acknowledged, so they are more likely to respond positively to you. A positive response means that they are more likely to receive and embrace your ideas more quickly.

Proper listening also includes avoiding body language signals or facial expressions that say, "I'm okay but you're definitely questionable"! Appropriate listening should instead communicate, "You are important and I'm not judging you." When people feel safe with you, they will lower their guard with you much like they would to a trusted counselor or skilled psychologist. They will become comfortable relaying things to you that they would never reveal in an antagonistic environment.

Only by appropriately listening can you learn what others truly know and think about a difficult choice. By gathering different insights and outlooks, you will be armed with information that will help you make better decisions.

At some point during the listening process, you undoubtedly will be exposed to bizarre opinions and bad ideas. It is important to restrain your initial human impulse to say, "That's the stupidest thing I've heard this century!" Comments like this will ultimately turn the now-embarrassed speaker into nothing more than a robot that functions according to what they perceive as your views. In the future they will not share their genuine thoughts and feelings for fear of additional embarrassment and rejection. This leads inevitably to depriving YOU of critical input you need to develop additional innovations.

To refresh your memory on this forgotten skill of listening, here is what it looks like:

1. Listen in a nonjudgmental way - only then will people openly suggest ideas and share thoughts.

2. Note their body language - read their emotions and feelings to perceive their complete message.

3. Be empathetic - and you will create an environment of security and trust, thus encouraging honesty.

4. Acknowledge - accept the speaker and build their self-confidence, and you will get a surplus of information filled with honest, candid reactions.

5. Provide limited (but encouraging) input - their spirits will expand as they are encouraged to express their views in a respectful atmosphere.

6. Rephrase and expand their ideas - carry their thoughts one step forward. Help their ideas to unfold and expand in front of their eyes.

7. Express what you are FOR, not what you are AGAINST - giving them positive feedback on their thoughts can open true dialog and release a stimulating interchange of ideas.

Listening is a strange, magnetic, and creative force. American author, Breda Ueland says that "When we really listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we are constantly being re-created."

The pace of the 21st Century demands almost daily re-creation. Mastering the art of listening provides you with information to re-create yourself and recharge your organization.

Give meaningful conversations your full attention and you will catapult your career to the top with the friends you make and the information you gain just through the silence of listening.

"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen." --Oliver Wendell Holmes, American writer and poet

Karla Brandau, CSP, is an expert in change, leadership and team building in the flat world. She offers keynotes and workshops to move your organization forward. Sign up for her monthly newsletter, From the Desk of Karla Brandau by going to Karla Get your free poster of suggested listening skills.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Wisdom, Power & Joy of Slow Change

A note from for Monday July 21 2008

Welcome to another shining brand new Summer week.

I sincerely expect that each of you is having an amazing Summer, and that you are enjoying every sunny day.

In the midst of this Summer here in North America, many are reconciling their activities and making the necessary adjustments to ensure that the year’s end sees their goals and intentions fulfilled. How are you doing so far?

Our friend Philip gets us off to a fine start for this week. Enjoy!

The Wisdom, Power & Joy of Slow Change
By Philip Humbert

Remember the saying that "haste makes waste?" We live in a age of constant change and tremendous impatience. We want solutions and we want them "NOW!" We want relief, we want success, we want the future to arrive easily, cheaply and soon!

And, at the same time, we want peace of mind, simplicity, and release from the stress of modern life. My friend, George Dubie, says, "hurry is the devil" and he's right. I love the quote from Gandhi that "there is more to life than increasing its speed." I think nature is constantly trying to tell us this.

Recently, I saw a National Geographic on how change takes place in nature and while this was not their major lesson, here's what I got:

1. Rapid change is often marked by chaos, confusion, pain, suffering and sometimes disaster.

2. Slow change is marked by growth, beauty, evolution and astonishing complexity.

Now, obviously those two "rules" don't always apply, but here are my thoughts. Rapid change comes from things like volcanoes and earthquakes and hurricanes and floods. Yes, change is quick and powerful and awesome. And, yes, there is beauty in Mother Nature's power, but the results are unpredictable and filled with unintended consequences.

On the other hand, slow change created the Grand Canyon, Giant Redwoods, and the rich soil of the Great Plains. Slow, methodical human labor created the great pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal. In his biography of Wilbur and Orville Wright, Fred Howard makes the point that they were successful in building the first airplane precisely because of their methodical experiments, careful notes, exhaustive research and willingness to learn from others. They took their time and got it right.

We've all know that fad diets often lead to re-gaining the weight on the other side. The healthy way is to change your lifestyle, burn more calories than you consume and slowly, methodically (and safely) achieve your desired outcome.

In the quest for "instant wealth", how many have fallen for "get rich quick schemes?" In our "need for speed," how many of us have run aground, taken the wrong turn or rushed impatiently down the wrong path?

There is wisdom in the story of the tortoise and the hare. Remember their race? The rabbit jumps off to a dramatic, frenzied start while the poor lumbering tortoise doesn't seem to have a chance, but I'm sure you remember how the story ends!Sure, I want to reach my goals as quickly as possible.

Sure, I like going fast! Of course I prefer my high speed internet connection! Who doesn't?

But when it comes to reaching our most important goals--peace, prosperity, loving families, personal satisfaction and the joy of living well, Mother Nature seems to know something. She moves slowly and methodically. She does her work in small increments, day by day, always moving forward, taking her time and doing her work with exquisite beauty. We can learn from that

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

A note from for Thursday July 16 2008

My thanks to all who have shared so generously about your own personal journey towards the happiness you now experience. You are great examples of living life by your own design.

Continuing our topic for the week, our friend Marci lays out something from her book that is highly fitting for most of us.

The Pursuit of Happiness
by Marci Shimoff

Years ago, I taught a success seminar in which I asked the participants to take a big sheet of heavy paper and write across the top "100 THINGS TO BE, DO, HAVE." They made three long columns and began listing their dreams, big and small. When they shared their goals afterwards, they were invariably all fired up. People wanted to go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, own a Mercedes SL600 Roadster (cream white, with titanium silver alloy wheels), dance at the White House, fly a small plane around the world. They wanted to rise to the top of their fields, end world hunger, create world peace, have their picture on the cover of Time magazine.

Somewhere on the BE list a few people wrote "Be happy," but I was surprised at how often most of them overlooked that. That's what the whole exercise was about, wasn't it? Didn't being, doing, and having all these things, equal happiness?

Over time, I've come to look back on those lists as a great example of taking the long way around. Big and wonderful as those things might be, they aren't the ultimate thing we all want. If you cut to the chase, what we really want is to be happy.

The truth is that happiness is so compelling, so attractive — so irresistible — that whether you realize it or not, everything you do is aimed at making yourself happy. Happiness has been called the holy grail of human existence, the be-all and end-all of life. Aristotle called it the goal of all goals.

So how do we do it?

When I talk to people about happiness, they often quote Thomas Jefferson's famous line from the Declaration of Independence. "Sure, I want to be happy," they tell me. "After all, doesn't everyone have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" We've been conditioned to believe that happiness is something for us to pursue. So like a dog going after a stick, we chase after happiness — grabbing at all the things we think will bring it to us.

One day I discovered what Thomas Jefferson really meant.

I was on an airplane going to a conference with my good friends Stewart and Joan Emery, leading lights in the human potential movement. We were talking about the concept of happiness — something I do a lot — when Stewart turned to me and said in his charming Australian accent, "Marci, do you know what Thomas Jefferson really meant by the pursuit of happiness?"

Back in Jefferson’s day, he explained, the common usage for the word "pursue" was not "to chase after." In fact, in 1776, to pursue something meant to practice that activity, to do it regularly, to make a habit of it.

What a difference a definition makes! Thomas Jefferson, our wise Founding Father, meant that we all had the right to practice happiness, not chase after it. And this is still true today. So let's stop pursuing happiness and start practicing it.

How? By changing our habits.

In my book, Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, I interviewed 100 unconditionally happy people. While a few of them were born happy, most of them learned to be happy by practicing habits that supported their happiness.

Through my research I uncovered 21 core Happiness Habits that anyone can practice to experience lasting happiness and become Happy for No Reason.

What a relief! You don't have to chase after the car, house, spouse or great adventure to live the life of your dreams. Simply making the Happiness Habits your own will help you build a deep and sustained happiness. Something I'm sure Thomas Jefferson would approve!

About the Author: Marci Shimoff is author of the new book Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out; plus Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, making her one of the bestselling female nonfiction authors of all time. She's also a featured teacher in the international film and book phenomenon, The Secret. Visit Happy for No Reason.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

No Doubt About It

A note from for Tuesday July 15 2008

Welcome to this very fine Tuesday.

I got a whole bunch of feedback yesterday from folks who had their own unique view on this week’s topic of “happiness”. It really does appear that there are as many interpretations as there are people that have them. Isn’t that just the ticket?

Clearly though, the one that stands way above all of the others is the adage “that you are as happy as you make up your mind to be”. It is quite simply a choice. Now that’s pretty clear, yes?

Sure, we could send you stories of people that “chose” to be happy and the results they have had from that posture. However, I think our friend Karen offers us a perspective that adds “trust” to the mix. I think you’ll like what she has to share today.

No Doubt About It

by Karen Wright

I've never really considered myself a suspicious or skeptical person. I might feel some caution in unfamiliar territory, but generally I'm pretty trusting and adventurous. But, recently I've been noticing a disparity between my self image of trust and my experience of circumspection. Doubt and cynicism seem to be a bit more at home in my psyche than I had thought.

I'm not talking your monumental distrust stuff - like the ongoing plea from the slain Nigerian dignitary's widow begging you to help her save her husband's endangered fortune by letting her transfer it to your bank account for a small good faith fee. Do people still fall for that?

I'm talking about little every-day stuff - an unexpected favor from a relatively new acquaintance or a new fabric cleaner claiming to remove even the toughest stains. When presented with an unfamiliar moment, why is it that we seem to default to questioning motives rather than trusting?

Sure, we've all fallen prey to unscrupulous ne'er-do-wells before. We've been cheated and fooled and embarrassed. Who hasn't? But, unless you live under a ubiquitous black cloud, the incidents of gotcha have been far out-weighed by the wonderful and nurturing side of life.

Yet, we tend to disbelieve easily while believing only after great examination. It's led me to wonder - what's the upside to doubting? What do we get out of it? We're very pragmatic beings who only do things that in some way serve us - however perverse that benefit might seem to others. Like most negative reactions in life, the cause for doubt seems to boil down to a fight or flight impulse. We are programmed to instinctually avoid anything or anyone who appears to be a threat to our survival.

But, the continued evolution of humankind is a balancing act between that primitive physical survival reflex and the collective wisdom of our more spiritually evolved consciousness. Trusting is how we expand, invite possibilities, and create. Trust implies accepting the unknown as the medium for growth.

It's almost laughable to consider that we hold so doggedly to what we believe we think we know. Each second we are exposed to 400 billions bits of information about our reality. It's humbling to know that we only have the intellectual horsepower to consciously assimilate 2000 bits of it. Less than five-hundred billionths of all that the world is telling us is what we use to define who we are, what's real, and what's possible. Would you trust the judgment of someone who was blind to 99.999999995% of all the facts?

And consider this - the miniscule .000000005% that each of us does know is just one of 6 billion other perspectives on the planet. Yet, we believe that we see the world as it is! No, we see the world as we see the world.

Okay, so let's get back to the doubting and skeptical tendencies we have. With our incredibly limited understanding of the world, how can we trust the soundness of our own judgments? We can't - yet it's the closest thing we have to a life-line, so we hang on to it with all the strength we have. We desperately need to feel in-the-know. Our doubt is born of fear - fear of the unknown. And we trust that doubt. We think that our doubt will protect us from that which we fear. We think that if we have a healthy wariness of strangers and new experiences, we'll be safe. This - to answer a question I posed earlier - is the upside to doubt. Doubt makes us feel protected from all the cheaters and liars.

But doubt has little to do with the cheaters and liars. Doubt is always about us and our fragile sense of self. It's the concern we have that someone will pull one over on us or make us look foolish. And besides, doubt feels better than the potential regret of being taken advantage of.

Like most negative approaches to life, doubt hurts us far more than it protects us and affects us far more than it affects anyone else. To live in doubt is to live a small timid life. You cannot experience this world trapped in a suit of protective armor. When you keep out possible harm you also keep out possible joy. Impenetrable walls are not selective - they block everything.

Doubt is really a self-trust issue. Yea, I know, I convinced you earlier that with that missing 99.999999995%, having confidence in what you know is a bit naive. And it might appear that the odds aren't stacked in your favor. But, self-trust doesn't come from knowing what's out there. It's all about knowing what's inside you.

Regardless of what you know or don't know of the world, have faith that you are stronger than any of it. You are more magnificent than all the Wonders of the World. You possess the seed of all creation. Trust in your eternal and inescapable wisdom. This world is filled to overflowing with goodness for you. Doubt blinds you to that abundance. Trust is the invitation.

"We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy." --Walter Anderson

Karen is author of The Sequoia Seed, a great read for anyone who is seeking understanding or guidance, inspiration or clarity in his or her life. Waking Up, the free bi-monthly ezine, was created to help you activate your natural motivation to move beyond mere existence and to really LIVE your dreams. Contact by tel: 509-475-1060 or email.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Steps to Happiness

A note from for Monday July 14 2008

Welcome to a lovely new week to play with.

Firstly, my thanks to all who sent comments on the new website presentation. I appreciate your feedback. If you haven’t seen it yet you can check it out at:

This week we’re going to have some fun with “happiness”. The past couple of weeks we’ve really dealt with some issues that have “weight”. So this week we’re going to play with the delightful subject that brings lightness to our days.

To get us started we go to our good friend Philip. He always has a perspective that makes us pay attention.

The Steps to Happiness
by Philip Humbert

There is no doubt that we want to "be happy" and that happiness enriches our lives. Happy people live up to eight years longer! Happy people are more confident. They have better relationships, and more energy, Happy people make more money, and they achieve their goals more often and with greater feelings of satisfaction and joy. Happiness feels good (who wants to be unhappy?) and it's good for us!

We're learning a lot about happiness. We're learning that money, fame, even power, long-life and health do not "make" us happy. Everyone knows, or is familiar with people who have "made it to the top" but remain unhappy people. What a shame!

At the same time, we also know that millions of people who achieve little in terms of "success" can be supremely happy! What an irony! Viktor Frankl, in his account of surviving the horrors of Nazi concentration camps talks about inmates who even managed to find some measure of happiness in those terrible conditions. How can that be????

First, I think it's crucial to separate happiness from pleasure. No one would want to be in a concentration camp, and no one would find "pleasure" in cancer, being poor or uneducated or suffering any of life's other tragedies. Much of life is painful!

But happiness is different. My own definition of happiness refers to "consistent feelings of satisfaction or joy when remembering the past, enjoying the present and anticipating the future." Happiness is about living with integrity and purpose. Happiness is about living our own lives, in our own way, and knowing that our lives have meaning. Happy people have moments of pleasure (that's important!) but even more importantly, they know they are living the life they were meant to live. At the end of the day, that's happiness.

Anyone with a credit card can buy pleasure. We live in a world of multi-media entertainment, travel, bright lights and fancy toys. We can eat at the world's best restaurants, or travel to exotic places. Anyone can do that, and we deserve them! They are nice and they are part of what we work for. Good for us!

According to the research, however, these things do not necessarily make us happy over the long-run.

Happiness is a bigger game, played for higher stakes. Happiness is about a life worth living. It's about doing work that makes sense and that uses your talents to make the world a better place. Happiness is about loving relationships. It's about honesty, integrity, and it has a component of meaning, purpose and contentment. Happiness is more elusive and more important than pleasure.

I'm writing a book about happiness, tentatively called "The High Way to Happiness," but for now here are four suggestions:

1. Take happiness seriously.
Happiness doesn't seem to "just happen." It's not a matter of luck or chance or youth or lucky genes. Happiness is something to go after, something to study and consider. Happiness is a goal, a skill and a result of living a life consistent with your values. Take it seriously.

2. Notice what makes you happy
and do more of it. If growing roses makes you happy, great! If taking the kids fishing makes you happy, do that! If working on your business makes you happy, go for it! Build your life around the things that bring joy and make you happy.

3. Be happy today.
Happiness is connected to gratitude, optimism and laughter. As Bobby McFerrin recommended, "Don't worry, be happy" and start now. Happiness is not a "someday" dream. It's a skill we practice every day. Be happy.

4. Invest in happiness!
Take time and give thought to a life of fulfillment and happiness. Pray or meditate about it. Ponder it, and take action!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Making Decisions With Less Stress

A note from for Thursday July 10 2008

Welcome to this fine Thursday.

Boy, did our reader yesterday certainly get attention. I’m grateful to all who shared back to me. I’ll be adding in many of your reflections in days to come.

Folks, I agree that “stress” is an issue in today’s world, but we certainly do have the directions and insights to rise way above the vagaries normally associated with it. It’s really us to us.

Perhaps today's offering will shed some more light on the issue.

Making Decisions With Less Stress

Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a requisite part of growth, stimulation and any compromising situation. Too much of it, it however, can short circuit your system and drive you haywire. If you are constantly under stress, without giving your body time for respite, your body will certainly break down.

Decision making is one of the primary stressors in life. However, you can’t really live a life without decisions, can’t you? Every day you make choices, and these choices translate into stresses that cannot be avoided. They can only be mitigated or handled appropriately.

No matter how hard we try, turning decisions into riskless and stressless activities would be an exercise in futility. The best thing we can do is handle the decision making process in a way that that is as healthy as possible. Here are a few things to remember when you have to make a pretty tight decision.

Assess the Situation. Hard decisions entail extra stress primarily because we tend to worry too much about things we cannot control. And worse than that, we sometimes fail to understand what type of situation we are actually in.

To handle such situations properly, you should carefully and calmly assess the situation before making a choice. If this means that you have to step back, take a few breaths, and relax a bit before plunging back into the action, then do so. You will find that this technique works wonders for the stressed mind.

Unnecessary Worry. As mentioned earlier, we have a tendency to worry about things we cannot control. This is where acceptance and proper mindset come in. While thinking about something only shows that you care, it also releases a flood of emotions that could only cloud your decision making abilities.

The best thing you have on your side is a rational mind. This is negated if you give in to unnecessary worrying. So it is best if you calmly work on the decision, taking the consequences and risks as objectively as possible.

Be Aware of the Consequences. Every decision has its consequences and its risks. A primary reason for decision making stress is that we tend to be overly optimistic or pessimistic, expecting something to happen and then banking all our hopes on those thoughts.

It would be better if you instead make a table of risks and rewards for each decision, and accept the outcome of the risks as part of the dangers of the decision making process. Life is like a gambit, you can’t always win, but you can always learn from it.

Take Time Off. As said earlier, stress is a precursor to growth and change. But if you don’t get enough rest in between stressors, you risk your mental and physical health. That is why it is very important for individuals that need to make big decisions – especially those that do so on a regular basis like bosses and managers – to take regular breaks.

They should take time off to relax, indulge in healthy recreation, and allow their minds and bodies to recuperate from the stress.

Preparation. A lot of unwanted stress could be avoided if only people were a lot more prepared to make their decisions. A little research and study on the nature of the decision would go a long way towards making each decision as sure and as stress-free as possible.


While you can’t avoid it, you can at least live with it. Don’t let stress get the better of you. Aim to keep it under control by making smarter decisions and by handling it in the right way.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

12 Ways To Kill Stress Before Stress Kills You

A note from for Wednesday July 9 2008

Welcome to the mid-week point.

I have to tell you. I visited a small town organic country market yesterday and picked up some very fresh tomatoes, bunches of basil, newly picked potatoes, baby carrots, and peas still in the pod. Today, I’m munching away like a king, and deeply appreciating the growers who bring these goods to market. Yummy stuff, and the pleasures of Summer.

I was also having some chats in the past few days about how we communicate with people. The question came up, do use language that reflects where people are, or do we use language that reflects where they want to be?

Example: I was talking to a young man who is struggling financially, but who wants to be a six figure earner. Would I be serving him best using language that reflected his current position, or talk to him as I would someone who is already a six figure earner? I opted for the latter, but did get his buy in.

The outcome was startling for both of us. He postured with much more confidence and optimism, and I felt as if I were serving him the best way I could. We’re going to be chatting about this more in this space.

Now, on to today’s offering. This is presented in response to some of our subscribers who are dealing with some major real estate issues U.S., and I think everyone should have it as a reminder.

12 Ways To Kill Stress Before Stress Kills You

There's been a lot of fuss around the blogs about the New York Times' silly article about bloggers killing themselves.

It's clear to anyone who reads it -- and should have been clear to the reporter, Matt Richtel, even before he wrote it -- that blogging isn't killing anyone. Writers don't blog 'til they drop.

Rather, Richtel offers a picture of several driven bloggers who, quite simply, worked too hard. Not all bloggers work too hard. Not even most bloggers work too hard.

But some do -- just as some engineers, politicians, landscape designers, pet groomers, phone psychics, agricultural product marketing specialists, computer technicians, telephone sanitizers, and vampire hunters work too hard.

I can see the headline now: "In World of 24/7 Politicking, Vice Presidents Hold Secret Meetings Till They Drop".

Bloggers working themselves to death is not a trend. The fact that it was notable enough for the deaths and illnesses reported in the story to pop up on the reporter's radar is proof of that. Dozens of corporate executives will have heart attacks while I'm writing this post -- a trend the media won't even notice.

But working too hard, that is a trend. Working too hard until your health begins to suffer, that too is a trend. Allowing your life to be driven by stress, driven so hard that it kills you -- that is a trend, and an unfortunate one indeed.

Stress Kills
Researchers suggest that as much as 60-90% of illnesses are directly caused by or exacerbated by stress. Stress is related to major illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, but can also cause back pain, headaches, tooth grinding, upset stomach and digestive problems, sleep loss and exhaustion, skin problems, unhealthy weight gain or loss, and of course, loss of sex drive.

And that's just the bodily symptoms: stress is linked to depression, anxiety, mood swings, confusion, restlessness, irritability, insecurity, forgetfulness, and a host of other negative mental and behavioral symptoms.

For all that, stress is often worn as a badge of accomplishment in our society. It's not enough that we compete to see who can do the most, but we compete to see who can handle the most stress doing it. With such an unhealthy attitude towards stress, it's no wonder that stress-related illnesses are so common.

Kill Stress
The only way to minimize the negative effects of stress is to minimize the stress itself -- to identify the sources of stress in your life and either a) eliminate them, or b) rethink them to reduce the stress they cause.

This doesn't include only the things we hate in our lives; stress can be caused just as easily by positive, life-affirming events as it can by negative events. Getting married, having a baby, getting a promotion, planning a kids' birthday party, or taking a vacation can be just as stressful as dealing with your overbearing boss for 8 hours a day or coming up on a big deadline.

Since the big positive changes in our lives can be just as stressful as the negative ones, dealing with stress can't be simply a matter of getting rid of everything that stresses you out. Instead, you need to develop practices and a mindset that dissipate and reduce the inevitable stress of life itself.

For starters:

  • Make quiet time
    Whether you meditate daily, go to the gym three times a week, practice yoga, go hiking on the weekends, or just spend an hour a night with a book, you need to create a space where you can clear your mind of everything that's dragging at you.
  • Stop procrastinating
    You can put off important tasks, but you can't put off worrying about them -- and the stress that causes.
  • Write everything down
    If forgetting something would cause you stress, make sure you've got it written down in a trusted system so you know you won't forget.
  • Eat better
    A good diet can help your body better deal with the effects of stress. A healthy diet isn't all that complicated; as Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, puts it, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." As a general rule, eat as much as you can from the "edges" of your supermarket -- produce, bakery, butcher counter, dairy case -- and save the stuff in the "middle" for once-in-a-while -- Twinkies, Pop Tarts, potato chips, canned foods, instant meals, etc.
  • Make family time
    Try to eat at least one meal a day with your family (or with friends if you're single). Better yet, eat at least one home cooked meal a day with your family/friends.
  • Talk it out
    Bottling up your frustrations, even the little ones, leads to stress. Learn to express dissatisfaction (in a constructive, non-hurtful way) and to voice your worries and fears to someone close to you.
  • Prioritize
    Figure out what in your life actually needs attention and what doesn't. Know what you can easily let slide -- and what you can drop entirely -- and focus your energy on things that will actually make a difference in your life.
  • Have routines
    Having a set routine means you don't have to worry about what comes next; after a while, it becomes second nature.
  • Accept interruptions gracefully
    Don't let your rituals become so rigid that you can't function if they're interrupted. Leave yourself enough wiggle room to adapt to changing conditions.
  • Know when to quit
    Don't stand for employers, friends, or lovers who treat you badly. Decide how much of yourself you're willing to put into a relationship, job, or activity; when you cross that line, walk away and don't look back. This applies to the little things ("At 5 pm, I go home") and the big things ("If things aren't better after 6 months of marriage therapy, I want a divorce").
  • Pay attention to yourself
    Notice when you feel stressed, and determine the cause. Notice when your body hurts or you feel unhappy, and determine why -- or see a doctor. Figure out whether the things you're doing are fulfilling your own definition of a good, productive life -- or somebody else's. Give up unnecessary competition (you need to make a better product than your competitor does; you don't need to have a prettier girlfriend or a faster car than he does).
  • Love
    Build relationships. Share yourself. Feel human warmth. What do you do to beat stress in your life? The important thing is to maintain balance between the stressful and the not-so-stressful. If you can do that, the rest will fall into place.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

What's Keeping You From Really Living?

A note from for Tuesday July 8 2008

My thanks to all who sent feedback on the new website presentation, I deeply appreciate your views. If you haven’t yet looked at it, you can view it at: There is still a whole bunch of work yet to do, but you can see the direction we are going in.

A great vote of thanks must also go to the superb line-up of contributors we have here at The Wealthy Attitude. They have assured me that they will be continuing to provide us with the very best product they can write, and, a number of them have already expressed interest in participating when we launch The Wealthy Attitude Live. What a hoot that’s going to be.

Now, on with today’s offering.

What’s Keeping You From Really Living?

Imagine a BIG production company came to you with a huge budget and a line-up of the biggest names in Hollywood to make a movie of your life.

Tell me. Would anyone want to go see it?

And, if they did, would it be pegged as a great adventure; filled with outrageous risk and incredible quests? Would it be a famous suspense movie; peppered with failure and real-life experiences that turn from victim to victor? Would it be an empowering love story; a heart-wrenching example of a person who knows how to really love? In other words...

What difference have you made that would be worth watching? Are you living an outrageous, faith-filled life? If not, why not? What's keeping you from really living?

I noticed one common thread throughout every successful person's life. Every successful person had taken the time to expose and eliminate their hidden fears and the negative beliefs these fears represent.

What about you? Have you taken the time to expose hidden fears and evaluated the beliefs you hold that affect your behavior?

The difference between a mediocre success and a breakthrough success is your willingness to face hidden fears and eliminate the negative beliefs they represent.

There two major hidden fears that hold people back from living an outrageous life are: The fear of success, and the fear of failure.

Most people I've worked with don't even realize these hidden fears are affecting them so much. But, when I have them look at their behaviors they notice the negative beliefs that their behaviors are screaming out.

I want this reader to be an electric current of energy that will energize you to throw yourself out into the world to make a difference - a big difference. It's about tuning in and turning on. It's about being bold, being electric in a turned-off world.

I warn you, living this way is not easy; especially because most of the world is spending more than five hours a day watching television and other people's lives, and another two hours of every day talking about it.

I want you to be different.

There's a great benefit for you in deciding to do so. But, before I explain what that is let me share with you what I've noticed lately. I've noticed a huge amount of people saying, "I'm so bored!" I can't seem to stay focused. Many people are asking themselves, "Am I just lazy? Undisciplined?

Here's the bottom line. We are living in a theater of the absurdity. We have reality shows screaming absurdity into our living rooms. We have young men who fly planes into buildings and walk into crowded areas with bombs strapped to themselves.

We need more than ever to have people of sound character, moral conviction and big thinkers to step up and do something really outrageous with their life. Something worth making a movie about! Why don't you be the one to join the theater of the absurdity in doing good?

Is that person you?

Be willing to step up and step out in being more outrageous in your life. Choose to be bold. Be bold in your goals. Be bold with your love. Be bold with your intentions. Boldness Gets Rewarded!

Psychologists say, "If a child has not had a serious fall within the first year of life, they are being too closely guarded."

That statement needs to be said for our adult lives as well. Have you had a serious fall in the past year? If not, is it because you're being too closely guarded? Are you too cautious? Too safe? Too practical? Too boring?

Your lack of courage is costing you - a lot! It is your lack of courage that keeps you from greater profits, more intimate relationships, and a life you love!

The good news is one act of courage - in any area of your life - has a powerful affect on all the other areas of your life.

Your career, your marriage, your friendships need just one outrageous act to bounce you out of a rut and into a more abundant, courageous life!

Courage is like a muscle. It's weak until it's worked out. But it doesn't take long to build this courage muscle into a strong, fit, powerful force!

What about you? What are your most outrageous acts of courage? Think about them. Relive them. And let these memories from the courageous side of you help empower the possibilities of today. One courageous act leads to another. It creates a courageous mentality.

What is the one thing you are willing to do right now that's a little outrageous to get your courageous muscles back into shape?

Do it! And watch opportunity begin to open up in all areas of your life. There's something about being willing to go all out that reminds us of just how big and abundant life can be. This one act of courage is your first step that will lead you to a courageous mentality and life of abundance!

Be bold. Boldness Gets Rewarded!

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Two C's of Success

A note from for Monday July 7 2008

Welcome to another brand spanking new Summer week.

I’m excited, and very happy, to tell you that The Wealthy Attitude website has been “reborn”. The initiative has a whole new look and presentation, and we opted for a nice clean and crisp look. The site is still primarily focused on helping those subscribers who are developing their own “Wealthy Attitude”, and for those developing an entrepreneurial spirit.

Although it is launched, there is a ton of content and pages yet to be installed. You’ll currently find some new things on the left hand menu that include The Wealthy Attitude Articles, The Wealthy Attitude Audio’s, and the soon to be resurrected, The Wealthy Attitude Video’s.

You’ll also see something shortly that has me very excited, it’s going to be called The Wealthy Attitude Live. It is a feature we are installing that will allow those of you with a webcam and headset to interact directly with us in real time. We’ll also be using this feature to present “Live” seminars featuring many of our current “Daily Reader” contributors. You’ll see this arriving very soon.

Take a minute and check out the new presentation at:

Now, as we are starting a new week, we go to our friend D. Paul Walmsley for a great boost to get us going.

The Two C’s of Success
D. Paul Walmsley

Are you caught in a constant struggle for money, trying to pay the bills and put food on the table?

Is it getting increasingly harder to balance work (where you earn your money) with pleasure (where you spend your money)?

It seems like more and more of our time is geared towards earning than enjoying our money but you'll be glad to know it doesn't have to remain this way.

There are two words that can collectively change your life and turn your entire situation around.
But before I jump into the details, let me share a story with you.I can remember back when I was a cabinetmaker and the owner of the shop had a smaller shop compared to some of the bigger cabinet shops around but the he had a vision that one day he too, would have a much bigger cabinet shop.

You see, the owners previous background was managing and operating one of these bigger shops and then decided to branch out and start his own business.

He was known as a real "crack the whip" type of manager and earned a reputation for being brutally upfront with what he was thinking which often rubbed people the wrong way, but I saw something in him that very few people ever took the time to notice.

He had a very big heart. Yes underneath the rough exterior and the piercing comments that would come your way from time to time he had an enormously big heart. I think he actually enjoyed having people a little jumpy when he walked into the room.

Most importantly he possessed two key traits that would help him succeed and grow his business into the giant it is today. Do you know what they are?

I'll give you a hint; they both start with "C".

Now, listen to this very carefully. The first quality that this owner had was Confidence. He was very sure of himself and what his cabinet shop was capable of doing and everybody that walked through those business doors could see his confidence.

But more than that he had Competence. He clearly understood every aspect of his business and even though he may not have done a certain project before and had no experience in doing certain work he knew it was possible and always operated from that place.

What he didn't know he found out by consulting with other acquaintances and co-workers. For the most part he always had an idea of how to approach the situation because he knew his craft so well.

To cut short my long story, confidence comes forward through being competent at what you do and competency comes from being confident in yourself so they work together to strengthen your ability to succeed in any situation in life.

When you know your craft well you do it with confidence, and when you have confidence it allows you to do your craft well. These to words are woven together into success. They are indeed the two "C's" of success.

Now Go Charge Towards Your Success!

D. Paul Walmsley

"C" yourself into an amazing day.

Take care,


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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some Truths About Mistakes

A note from for Thursday July 3 2008

Welcome to this very fine Thursday.

I'm in a particularly "impish" mood today, and everyone who really knows me can tell you that's when you have to look out.

I've been reminded all week that the truth about life is "getting what you came for". I've been measuring my life progress and have come to the conclusion that I'm leaving some stuff on the table.

Whhooaaa, hold the phone!! We can't do that. That's a mistake. We're all here to take everything that life has to offer off the table.

Here's a neat little piece to noodle in your day.

Some Truths About Mistakes

John once told me this hilarious story which I think you'll like.

There was a cow-boy riding a horse, quite satisfied as he rode onhis horse through the desert, the sun warming his skin, while his hat providing the nurturing shade to enjoy it.

As he went past a patch cactus, all of a sudden...

He jumped right off his horse and dived head-first into the plants full of thorns!

You could hear the yelping and screaming of pain. You could see the blood coming out from his wounds, and the tears in his eyes.

He got back on the horse and kept on riding into town.

Later in town, when he told his story, somebody asked him.

"But, why on Earth did you do that? It was so stupid!"

To this he simply and humbly replied...

"It seemed like a good idea to me at the time." :)

So, isn't it true that all your mistakes and all the stupid things you've done in the past just seemed like great ideas at the time?

But how much time do you spend every day thinking about the past, and how things could be different... or how you should make them better in the future?

This is the only true waste of time. Notice how much energy goes into thinking about this stuff. If this energy were free, how different would your life be?

This is not an excuse for ignorance. Put a pointer to the only ignorance. The ignorance of your being and who you truly are.

The truth of who you are is innocent and free. You are a kid in an adult body. You just take the game so seriously because everyone else does and this just appears to be the way we play the game.

But the game is a dream. And it's time to wake up.

May all beings be free.

Today, be a "rascal", and then run smiling.

Take care,


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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Keep a Positive Attitude Even if You’re on Your Last String!

A note from for Wednesday July 2 2008

Welcome to the mid-week point.

I’m happy to let you know that The Wealthy Attitude website is coming along just fine. The re-build (and re-design) has me on another learning curve, and excited about what we can be bringing you in very short order.

As we did in January 08 with the new format for The Daily Reader, it’s our intention to give the website visitors much more power to interact with us here at this desk. One of the things we are working on is a Live Communications Desk where you can come and visit and interact on a real time basis, and if you have a webcam and headset, talk live to us. What a hoot that’ll be.

To continue getting July into vibrant shape for progress, and to assist some of our subscribers with overwhelm, our friend Dr. Alan offers a neat perspective for the entire month.

Keep a Positive Attitude Even if You’re on Your Last String!
By Dr. Alan Zimmerman

The great violinist Paganini was performing before a most distinguished audience. Suddenly, one of his violin strings snapped. The audience gasped. But the master musician continued unruffled to play on the three remaining strings.

Snap! A second string broke. Then, with a sharp crack, a third string broke! For a brief moment, the artist stopped, raised his famous Stradivarius violin high, and with one hand announced, "One string -- and Paganini."

With outstanding skill, he finished the selection on a single string. His performance was flawless, and the audience gave him a tumultuous standing ovation.

There will be times in your life when one string after another will snap. And you will go through circumstances that might tempt you to give up. But if you maintain a positive attitude, you won't allow yourself to give up. Here are my top four ways to creating an unbeatable positive attitude that's invincible to failure - no matter what:

1. Stay calm.
When the tough times come into your business or into your life, it's easy to get angry, agitated, or scared. This won't help you. In fact the more emotional you get, the less capable you become. Instead, you must force yourself to remain calm. Not only will your calmness allow your mind to work, but it will also reinforce your own positive attitude. It's a way of re-affirming that you can handle it.

2. Refuse to blame anyone or anything for your problems.
It's easy and natural to blame someone else. After all, your company, your boss, your parents, your friends, and your spouse might even deserve some blame. Nonetheless, a critical step in attitude development is refusing to blame. Even though it may be justified, don't do it.

The problem with blaming anyone or anything for your problems is that it doesn't work. It doesn't change anything. It doesn't make anything better. All blame can do is keep you stuck in a rut or make you spiteful. I guarantee this won't turn you into a winner. It's not going to help you achieve peak performance.

3. Focus on the positive.
There's always some good in a bad situation. And there's always some bad in a good situation. It's the Yin Yang effect. So, what do you choose to focus on? An old ditty says it this way:

"As you go through life, brother,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole!"

Some people focus on the hole. But the strategy seldom if ever works. You've got to stop keeping track of the negatives. Perhaps you've noticed. On a bad day, some people tend to count every irritation or inconvenience that occurs. They'll burst out with, "This is the third time today something like this has happened." Yet seldom on a good day do these people say, "This is the third time today something great has happened." Keeping track of the negative simply gives you a weak and defeated negative attitude.

If you want to achieve peak performance, you must focus on the positive like Frank did, even though his constant optimism irritated his friends. No matter how horrible the circumstances, he'd remark, "It could have been worse."

To cure him of his annoying habit, his friends decided to invent a situation that was so bad, so terrible that even Frank could find no hope in it. On the golf course one day, his friends said, "Frank did you hear about Tom? He came home last night, found his wife in bed with another man, shot them both, and then turned the gun on himself."

"That's horrible," Frank said.
"But it could have been worse."
"How could it possibly be any worse?" his friends asked.
"Well," Frank answered, "If it had happened the night before, I'd be dead."

4. Refuse to use a loser's language.
The happiest, most successful peak performers, whether in life, in sports or in business, are those people who refuse to use a loser's language. They know that words precede results. They know if they talk like a loser, they'll end up losing. But they know if they refuse to acknowledge defeat, they cannot be defeated.

It's like the little boy who walked onto the baseball field saying, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world." He threw up the ball, swung, missed, and said, "Strike one." He threw up the ball again, and once more he swung and missed, and said, "Strike two." He did that for three strikes in a row.

At that point he picked up his bat and ball. With a smile on his face, he walked off the field and said, "I'm the greatest pitcher in the world." He refused to use the language of a loser. He only talked about winning, and so should you.

Tough times will come. You may get knocked down at work or in life. But with the right attitude, using the four skills I just discussed, you can get back up. You can get back on track toward success. And you can reach optimal peak performance.

As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker, Dr. Alan Zimmerman has taught more than one million people in 48 states and 22 countries how to keep a positive attitude on and off the job. In his book, "PIVOT: How One Turn In Attitude Can Lead To Success," Dr. Zimmerman outlines the exact steps you must take toget the results you want in any situation.

Go to Alan's site for a Free Sneak Preview.

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