Sometimes people feel that they are controlled by external circumstances. But the fact is that your life is largely determined by your own personal choices and decisions in every area. You are where you are and what you are because of yourself. You have gotten yourself to where you are as the result of the choices and decisions that you have made in the past. If you want to be somewhere else in the future, it is up to you to make new and better choices and decisions in the present.
One of the most important discoveries in 20th century thought has been the central role of the actions that you take. An action is defined as something with a consequence. Using this definition, even an inaction can be considered to be an action, because inaction, or a failure to act on your part, has a consequence that can dramatically impact your life.
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For example, a person who fails to finish school, or fails to read regularly, or to listen to audio tapes and take additional training, is committing to what you might call an “inaction.” But because it has devastating consequences on the future for that person, it can be considered an action as well.
The most important actions that you take in determining the quality of your life revolve around the virtues and values that you decide to embrace and live by. They are as important to your life as breathing in and breathing out. The fact is that everything that you do is largely determined by what you feel to be good and right and true about life and people-your values!
When you are living consistent with your values, you feel good about yourself. When you are living inconsistent with your values, you feel badly about yourself.
Be Happy and Feel Good
Aristotle, perhaps the greatest of all the philosophers, broke new ground in thinking when he determined that all of human action is aimed at achieving the happiness of the individual. He said that we are all the same in this one respect. We all seek happiness, however we define it. Everything you do is merely a step in the direction of achieving the ultimate happiness you seek. Aristotle did not stop there. He went on to point out that only the good can be happy, and only the virtuous can be good. Therefore, all happiness is determined by the ability of the individual to establish and live by values and virtues that are life enhancing.
From the earliest days of civilization, the purpose of an education was to instill values into the character of the young. For the first 200 years of American historical development, it was understood that the purpose of the schools was to teach values and the purpose of the home was to teach religion. Young people were instructed by reading the stories, poems and plays of men and women in previous time periods who most demonstrated and illustrated the values by which that person should live if a person wanted to have a happy life.
Aristotle went on to point out that, if you have been brought up without clear values, you can develop values by deciding upon the kind of person you want to be and then by acting as if you had the values that that person would have.
Sculpt Your Life and Your Future
The wonderful thing about being a human being is that you are free to shape and sculpt your own character. You (Read more...)off
The above video is a short presentation I gave at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.
It covers a basic framework for mastering any skill quickly, including languages, music, dance, and more.
What skill have you put off learning for longest… and why? Let me know in the comments. Perhaps I (or other readers) can help. Second, if you could learn one skill in the next six months, what would it be?
The 4-Hour Chef and Meta-Learning — 200+ pages on all I know about accelerated learning
Total Immersion: How I Learned to Swim Effortlessly in 10 Days and You Can Too
Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes
How I Deconstruct Languages (scroll through the list)
To achieve anything big or worthwhile you need the support of lots of people. Most successful business, sales people and entrepreneurs in our society are those who have learned how to sell people on not only their ideas, but the ideas of others to increase their buying power. Your ability to get the support of the key people in your business and personal world will have as much to say about your ultimate success as anything else.
When we talk about “selling people on your ideas”, many people feel a little uneasy. They think to themselves that this cannot really apply to them because they are not really in sales. But this is silly.
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You see, everyone is in sales. Everyone sells something to someone under some conditions. From the time you are an infant and you begin selling your parents on the idea of changing your diapers or, getting you a bottle or rocking you to sleep, you are in sales. Your buying power as a child are your smiles and sweetness on the one hand, and your crying and screams of annoyance on the other. And in either case, you are attempting to make a sale of some kind.
What is Sales?
A good definition of selling might help. Selling is the ability to influence others to cooperate with you to achieve your goals. You only have two choices. You can get key people to cooperate with you or you can simply cooperate with them. You can be an agent of influence or you can be a recipient of influence. You can be good at the business of influencing and persuading others people or you can be poor at it. But in any case, you are in sales.
Fortunately, the basic principles of sales have been known for several thousands of years. A market transaction, from the earliest times, has been defined as a transaction where both parties feel that they gain by trading with the other. Otherwise, if the market is free and open, one or both parties would not enter into the transaction.
When you go out into the marketplace to sell a product or service today, the case that you must make, is that your product or service will be of greater value or enjoyment to the customer than the money that the customer will have to acquire it. Your product or service must also offer a greater benefit or value to the customer than an alternative use of the money. This is where sales is absolutely essential to all transactions.
There are two major areas of your life where your ability to sell people on your ideas will determine your ultimate success or failure. The first is when you work for a company. The second is when you start your own business and become an entrepreneur. I’ll talk about the selling skills you need in both cases, but let’s start with selling your ideas at your place of work.
What is the purpose of a business? Many people would say that it is to make a profit. However, the profit is merely the result of operating a business efficiently. The real purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. Therefore, whenever you have an idea that can help your business to create and keep a business, or to operate more efficiently, you have a product idea that you need to sell.
Good Sales People Answer the Right Questions
The number one question in sales, asked by every customer is, “What’s in it for me?” (Read more...)off
Back on March 1st, I posted an article here titled “Transformation on Demand.” It was about Bill Phillips and his 12 week program, called Transformation, which I entered at the time.
Recently I completed it. It took focus, energy, sacrifice and commitment. I feel better about it than I do all my books, albums, movies or much else.
I received a medal, certificate of completion, and t-shirt for my 12-week accomplishment. I’m continuing on with the program, as I love the results I’m getting.
I feel GRRRRRRREAT!!!
As I said on March 1st, I fully endorse Bill Phillips and his Transformation Challenge. I am not an affiliate for anything he offers, but I fully recommend all of it.
Go for it!
PS – I interviewed Bill Phillips in-depth about his life and career and Body-For-Life movement for my March 20th podcast. See http://www.mrfire.com/podcast.html
PPS – My “Transformation on Demand” original blog post about Bill Phillips and his Transformation Weekend is at http://blog.mrfire.com/transformation-on-demand/off
The most important quality of great leaders, the one quality for which you want to be known, is extraordinary performance, with the goal of achieving extraordinary results.
These results then serve as an inspiration to others to perform at equally exceptional levels. People ascribe leadership to those men and women who they feel can most enable them to achieve important goals or objectives.
Great Leaders: Why People Respect You
We develop great perceptions of those men and women we can count on to help us achieve what is important to us. Men and women who make great sales, or who establish admirable sales records, develop influence in the minds and hearts of their coworkers and superiors. They are spoken about in the most positive way.
The Halo Effect
Men and women who are responsible for companies or departments that achieve high levels of profitability also develop charisma and self confidence. They develop what is called the “halo effect.” They are perceived by others to be extraordinary men and women and great leaders who are capable of great things. Their shortcomings are often overlooked, while their strong points are overemphasized. Great leaders are charismatic and display self confidence.
Self Confidence: The Source of Charisma
Charisma actually comes from working on yourself. It comes from liking and accepting yourself unconditionally as you do and say the specific things that develop within you a powerful, charismatic personality.
Be Result Oriented and Purposeful
When you set clear goals and become result oriented and purposeful, backing those goals with unshakable self confidence, you develop charisma. When you are enthusiastic and excited about what you are doing, when you are totally committed to achieving something worthwhile, you radiate charisma and self confidence. When you take the time to study and become an expert at what you do, and then prepare thoroughly for any opportunity to use your knowledge, skill or experience, the perception that others have of you goes straight up.
Accept Complete Responsibility
When you take complete responsibility and accept ownership, without making excuses or blaming others, you experience a sense of control that leads to the personal power that is the foundation of charisma. When you look like a winner in every respect, when you have the kind of external image that others admire, you build your charisma. When you develop your character by setting high standards and then disciplining yourself to live consistent with the highest principles you know, you become the kind of person who is admired and respected everywhere. You become the kind of person who radiates charisma to others.
Focus on Results
Finally, when you concentrate your energies on achieving the results that you have been hired to accomplish, the results that others expect of you, you develop the reputation for performance and achievement that inevitably leads to the perception of charisma and self confidence.
Free Report: Discovering Your Talents!
You can develop the kind of charisma that opens doors for you by going to work on yourself, consistently and persistently, and becoming the kind of person everyone can admire and look up to. That’s what charisma is all about.
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, ask yourself every day, “What is the one thing that I and only I can do, that if done well, will make a real difference to my company?” Whatever your answer, go to work on that.
Second, decide upon the most important results you can get for your company and make sure that you and everyone else is working on those results (Read more...)off
Be a vessel of love.off