Saturday, April 28, 2007

Control and Overcorrection

When we lose control of our automobile on a slippery road, the vehicle may start fishtailing. When this happens, we may over-correct a few times before we find the spot where control is regained.

Some of us go fishtailing through life, never quite mastering our balance and control. This doesn't mean that we don't proceed in the direction we wish to go. It does make the trip more harrowing and may unnerve others who are watching. There are those who actually enjoy that type of trip. Being slightly off balance may feel exhilarating or may help them focus their attention more acutely. It also may help clear a path for them as others who prefer consistency move out of the way.

When we are under stress of any kind, our bodies pick up on it and respond. Our pupils dilate, the blood pressure goes up, respiration goes up, and our ability to communicate is diminished. Yet during those times when situations feel out of control we may expect more of ourselves than usual.

Pressure has different effects on different people, as mentioned in the film "The Devil's Advocate".

"Pressure. It changes everything, pressure. Some folks, you squeeze them, they focus. Others fold. Can you summon your talent at will? Can you deliver on a deadline? Can you sleep at night?"

Some of us are able to focus with more intensity when we are squeezed by situations as long as we are taking action. After the crisis is over we may come unglued. Others lose focus during stressful times and may be of more assistance after the situation is over. Those in this category are a huge help by participating in cleanup and re-stabilization or by offering support.

Regardless of personal style, when out of control situations occur people may over-react and overdo attempts to correct the situation. It is similar to a pendulum. If the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it must swing equally far in the other direction before equilibrium is re-established, and so it often is with us.

One surprisingly valuable tool for restabilization is letting go. If we are overcorrecting by gripping that steering wheel and jerking it too far in the other direction, letting go or easing our grip for a second or two before making another move sometimes can help. Overwhelming feelings of anger, frustration, fear, or despair similarly can cause us to over-react or become obsessed with some sort of retaliation or retribution. This can be alleviated to some extent if we are able to try to make a conscious effort not to react but rather to respond. Easing up and letting go briefly helps us restabilize ourselves without the pendulum having to swing so far in the other direction, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual. This helps us control our tendency for overcorrection because it comes from an inner knowing that regardless of uncontrollable or changing situations our personal control is still our own. We still have the power to decide what we will say and do about them. The power of choice is always ours.

Anticipate a great day. It's Yours!

© 2007 Gail Pursell Elliott. All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Energy flows where attention goes.

With the latest example of violence at Virginia Tech, millions of Americans and people around the world are asking, "What's the cause?"

We are a nation inundated with violence from every angle. One manifestation of this is the current ever-increasing popularity of violent horror films. In fact, according to an article I recently read in a major paper, "the more violent the better."

Graphic images of violence in the media are now commonplace, and our senses have become deadened to depictions of violence. Is it any wonder that since Generation Y (or the Internet Generation) has grown up their entire lives watching graphic violence in their own living rooms night after night, that this would be programmed into them as 'normal'?

To add to that phenomenon, as a nation we've spent the last half a decade totally consumed with the "war on terror". Our news brings terror into our living rooms every single night.

As Americans, we are surrounded by this 'war' and yet the greatest terror we experience is in our own homes and airports. I travel over 200 days per year, and I cannot tell you how many times my bags have been 'terrorized' and ransacked...all in the name of national security.

Every single time I'm in the airport of late, I hear the announcement repeated over and over again, "The TSA has raised the security threat level to orange." What the heck does orange mean, and how are the colors decided? I've never heard of the threat level as anything other than orange (as close to red on the visible spectrum without being red). Will it ever drop to sky blue, white or pink? Doubtful. That wouldn't be scary enough.

Terror has now crept into our school system at great magnitude and the message is loud and clear that we must wake up!

In my book Practical Spirituality, I wrote a chapter entitled "Stand 'For' Something Versus 'Against' It." If our full attention continues to focus upon terror, we feed the beast...It's a raging bonfire, and we're throwing another log on it day after day, week after week.

Bottomline: The "war on terror" feeds and propagates terror...Violence in our media and in our homes feeds and creates more violence.

I'm not suggesting that the "war on terror" or any other single philosophy is totally and completely responsible for the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is the outcome of a momentum of energy that has pumped violence and terror into our homes and minds over time.

The Virginia Tech incident is the REAL "code orange". If we don't wake up soon, it will only continue to intensify.

The only way to stop the madness is to increase our consciousness and shift our focus. And it seems that our friends across the pond are on the right track. A member of Tony Blair's cabinet, International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, said they are no longer using the term "war on terror". According to Benn, "the phrase strengthens terrorists by making them feel part of a bigger struggle." It's definitely a step in the right direction.

I encourage each individual to release the "war on terror" from their vocabulary and minds and begin focusing on "propagating peace". As we begin to shift our individual consciousness, we shift the consciousness of our country and, eventually, the consciousness of our planet. It may not occur overnight, but let us begin...

To your continued wealth and happiness,

James Arthur Ray
James Ray International

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hitting the Bull's Eye by Zig Ziglar

Somebody once said the difference between a big shot and little shot is that the big shot was the little shot who kept on shooting. There's much truth in that witticism. The reality is, no matter what our target might be, we seldom hit it on the first try unless the target is low, which means the accomplishment and the rewards will be insignificant.

In bow shooting, experienced archers test the wind by using the first shot to judge its strength and direction, enabling them to zero in on the target with their following shots. In short, archers learn from their mistakes. That's good advice for all of us. Success in business, athletics, science, politics, etc., seldom comes on the first effort. Walt Disney went bankrupt a number of times and had at least one nervous breakdown before he made it big. Athletic skills are acquired over a long period of time and after countless hours of practice. Authors by the hundreds can tell you stories by the thousands of those rejection slips before they found a publisher who was willing to 'gamble' on an unknown.

It's more than just a cliché that persistent, enthusiastic effort produces powerful, positive results, that failure is an event—not a person—and that the only time you must not fail is the last time you try. Whatever your target might be, chances are good that you're not going to hit the bull's eye on the first effort you make at being 'successful'. The key is persistence and the willingness to try again in the face of those early misses.

You can learn from those early mistakes and if you do keep on shooting, it's just a question of time before you, too, are hitting the bull's eye.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

4 Steps to Success by Jim Rohn

Number one is good ideas. Be a collector of good ideas. My mentor taught me to keep a journal when I was 25 years old. I've been doing it now all these years. They will be passed on to my children and my grandchildren. If you hear a good health idea, capture it, write it down. Don't trust your memory. Then on a cold wintry evening, go back through your journal, the ideas that changed your life, the ideas that saved your marriage, the ideas that bailed you out of bankruptcy, the ideas that helped you become successful, the ideas that made you millions. What a good review. Going back over the collection of ideas that you gathered over the years. So be a collector of good ideas for your business, for your relationships, for your future.

The next step to success is to have good plans. A good plan for the day, a good plan for the future, a good health plan, a good plan for your marriage. Building anything is like building a house, you need to have a plan. Now here is a good time management question: When should you start the day?

Answer: As soon as you have it finished. It is like building a house, building a life. What if you just started laying bricks and somebody asks, "What are you building?" And you say, "I have no idea." See they would come and take you away to a safe place. So, don't start the house until you finish it. Now, is it possible to finish the house before you start it? Yes, but it would be foolish to start before you had it finished. Not a bad time management idea. Don't start the day until it is pretty well finished—at least the outline of the day. Leave some room to improvise. Leave some room for extra strategies, but finish it before you start it.

And here is the next piece that is a little more challenging: Do not start the week until you have it finished. Lay it out, structure it, then put it to work. Then the next one is a little tougher yet; do not start the month until you have it finished.

And finally the big one, don't start the year until it is finished on paper. It's not a bad idea, toward the end of the year, to sit down with your family for the family structure plans, sit down in your business for the business plans, sit down with your financial advisor for your investments and map out the to buy, properties to sell, places to go with your family, lay out the year. I finally learned to do that. It was also helpful for my family to show them where they appeared on my calendar. You know I used to have my business things on there and I used to have my lectures and my seminars all laid out on my calendar, and guess what the children said, "Where are we on the game plan, please show us our names on the game plan." So you need to do it for your children, for your spouse, for your friends.

Now, here is the third step to success, and it can be really challenging. Learning to handle the passing of time. It takes time to build a career, it takes time to make changes, so give your project time, give your people time. If you're working with people, give them time to learn, grow, change, develop, produce. And here is the big one, give yourself time. It takes time to master something new. It takes time to make altered changes and refinement in philosophy as well as activity. Give yourself time to learn, time to get it, time to start some momentum, time to finally achieve. It is easy to be impatient with yourself. I remember when I first tried to learn to tie my shoes. The shoe strings, it seemed like it would take me forever. Finally I got it and it didn't take forever, but it seemed like for a while I'd never learn, I'd get it backwards; the bow goes up and down instead of across. How do I straighten that out? Finally I got it, it just took time.

Mama taught me a little bit about playing the piano. "Here is the left hand scale", she'd say. I got that, it was easy. Then she said, "Here is the right hand scale." I got that, that was easy. Now she said, "We are going to play both hands at the same time." I said, "Well, how can you do that?" Now one at a time was easy...but at the same time? Looking at this hand and looking at that hand, finally I got it. Finally I got where I could play the scales with both hands. Then I remember the day she said, "Now we are going to read the music and play with both hands." I thought, "You can't do all that." But you know, sure enough I'm looking at the music, looking at each hand, a little confused at first, but finally I mastered it. It took a little time to read the music and play with both hands. Then I remember the day she said, "Now we are going to watch the audience, read the music and play with both hands. I thought, "Now that is going too far!" How could you possibly do that? But see adding them one at a time and giving myself time to master one before we went to the next one; sure enough I got to where I could watch the audience, read the music and play with both hands. So the lesson here is: Give yourself time, you can become a better pro, you can better master the art of parenting, you can better master the art of managing time, conserving resources, working together as a partner. Give yourself time.

And here's the last one: learning to solve problems. Business problems, family problems, financial problems, emotional problems, etc. challenges for us all. Here's the best way to treat a problem: As an opportunity to grow. Change if you have to, modify if you must, discard an old philosophy that wasn't working well for a new one. The best phrase my mentor ever gave me was when he said, "Mr. Rohn, if you will change, everything will change for you." Wow, I took that to heart, and sure enough the more I changed the more everything changed for me.

So learn to master good ideas, have good plans, handle the passing of time and solve problems, and you will be on your way to more success than you could ever imagine!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Conceive, Believe, Achieve!

What type of content would you associate with a title like you see above for a blog?

Wordy self-development theories like MOY?

It was what I presumed when I first visited Bradley Woods' blog.

My first comment to him: "Haha, conceive, believe and achieve that Rolls-Royce and trip to Le Méridien Bora Bora!" (perhaps I'm just too excited.)

Bradley: "I'm not sure what's funny. If you took the chance to look you would realize a lot of these places aren't that expensive. It's your limiting beliefs that keep you stuck in your day to day. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors! Make it great!"

Nelson: "I'm sorry if my comment isn't constructive. I thought a reader would come to associate the title of your blog with wordy self-development theories, but you go straight into the realm of 'materialism', which I don't mean as 'bad' really, just a surprising and unique angle. But let me tell you Sir, your blog is definitely THE place to visualize!"

I'm telling ya, dear reader, this blogger has THE SECRET. I don't know whether he has been to places where the pictures are taken or has that vintage car. Nonetheless, his photoes speak for themselves. Bradley Woods' blog is definitely THE place to visualize!

Luck's not random, it favours the prepared.

"THE harder I work the luckier I get."

"Luck frequently visits the prepared mind."

"Luck is the residue of diligence."

Quotations about luck are everywhere. We all yearn for a streak of it, especially if it brings money.

Accidents do happen, but when luck is involved the lucky are not selected at random.

When Columbus courageously set sail in 1492, he was headed for the East Indies, not America. He got lucky. Ditto for Dr Jonas Salk when he discovered the polio vaccine.

What we refer to as luck results from preparation and perspiration. Idle, unprepared minds usually do not recognise opportunity. Neither will a negative mind that automatically goes into reverse when an innovative idea is proposed. The lucky pay their dues.

How can you get lucky? Here are a few thoughts:

Be perpetually inquisitive. Search for truth, for answers to questions that are important to you. Listen while others talk.

Network. Get out of your rut and meet new people doing new things and thinking new thoughts.

Be positive. Cheer for those who try.

Diversify your interests. Join Rotary, or another service club to meet new and interesting people.

Be willing to make mistakes. They are necessary detours on the road to achievement.

Maintain personal stability. Unstable or volatile conditions eat up energy and distract from achievement.

Be deserving. Prepare for success. If you don't, it won't visit. If it does and you are not deserving, it won't stay.

Treat people fairly. They will appreciate it and may become an important future resource.

Do not blame others. Ultimately, your life is in your own hands. The blame game is for losers.

Look for the edge. Do not fall off, but try to find where it is and practise risk-taking in non-threatening ways.

Develop role models. Learn more about those who have achieved the goals you are still reaching for.

Prepare your mind for success. Achievement is like athletics. It requires preparation to win. Read aggressively.

Excerpted from Habits Of Wealth by Bill Byrne, published by The Berkley Publishing Group.