Sep 252010
 

Self Improvement – Coping with Fear, Risk, and Crisis

The people keep you going

Most of us are in this business because we respect natural health. Mental health is a key part of our overall (natural) health. A well-recognized sign of strong mental health is creative service to others and freedom from selfishness. Such selfless service supplies a sense of calm satisfaction which further reinforces health. This positive cycle just keeps on going.

“It was never pushing this business that got us where we are today – it was helping others,” says Marge. “We don’t set goals; we help people. It’s the people, including our wonderful Managers, that make you successful. You couldn’t be in this business if you didn’t give from the heart. The only thing that keeps you going is the people.”

“The power of man’s virtue should not be measured by his special efforts, but by his ordinary doings.”
-Blaise Pascal

Handling rejection

“You are a quack and a crook. You are unworthy of my attention. I’m not interested and I want you to go away.” Yikes! What a nasty thing to read! Are you OK? Take a moment, if you need, to put yourself back together. The rest of this page will help.

When you take your emotions and convictions public, you face some pretty personal assaults. Be prepared for this by having full faith in the value of your message. Then if (no, when) someone disrespects that message, you can bounce back. You can “shake the dust off your sandals” and move on.

Actually, rejection is no big deal. We expect a certain percentage of people to be so locked into their own ruts that they just can’t see out. Your message may represent a threat to their precious, comfortable rut. They would have to change if they took you seriously. On the bright side, maybe you gave them something to think about and their attitude will soften. It has happened. Then, when they come back seeking you out, your joy is doubled. Rejection is simply the way you know that it’s time to move on. You will find so many kind and appreciative people that you will not even worry about those who are ignorant or rude. As you keep on, your pleasure and satisfaction keeps on growing and growing.

“Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption.”
-John Stuart Mill

Overcoming fear

What frightens you? Disapproval? Failure? Fear is death. You can take your death by fear all at once or in little bits. You have heard of people who have been so afraid of a shadow that they brought on a heart attack. Could they have had more mental control?

Fear leads to both inaction and indecisive action and both can kill. Texas roads are littered with dead armadillos and squirrels. Armadillos will stop still in the road. Squirrels will dash madly back and forth, unable to decide which way to run. I have known people who give in to their fear, bit by bit, until they are unwilling to leave their houses. I have known others who dash from one get-rich idea to another without pursuing one long enough to benefit from their efforts. Could they have had more mental control?

A key to overcoming fear is to want something strong enough that you are finally willing to plunge ahead despite your fears. Once you decide to act, you can redirect the energy of your fear into unexpectedly decisive action.

“Has fear ever held a man back from anything he really wanted, or a woman either?”
-George Bernard Shaw

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
-Ambrose Redmoon

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it.”
-Tagore

“His flight was madness: when our actions do not, Our fears do make us traitors.”
-Shakespeare, Macbeth

“I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do …”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

“Fear always springs from ignorance.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing is terrible except fear itself.”
-Francis Bacon

“We have nothing to fear except fear itself.”
-Winston Churchill

If your friends and family don’t understand

It can be discouraging if your friends don’t understand why you are “doing this strange herb thing.” You have a choice. You can fearfully give in to their ignorance or you can boldly persist in educating them.

For many years, I just deep down solid didn’t get it. My wife would try to tell me about herbs but it didn’t make sense so it irritated me. I wouldn’t eat anything that was “good for you” and I certainly wouldn’t take any capsules! Eventually it began to make sense and I changed. Give it some time.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
-Mark Twain

“Don’t listen to friends when the Friend inside you says ‘Do this.'”
-Gandhi

Risk = Commitment (Burning your bridges)

Have you heard the story of the explorer who burned his boats upon reaching the far land? His troops then had no option but to stay. They were irrevocably committed.

I operated my network business part-time for years and never grew much beyond the minimum sales required to stay a manager. When I gave notice to my employer, however, there was no turning back and I REALLY paid attention to product sales and recruiting. When I put more at risk, I generated commitment.

“I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau

“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
-John F. Kennedy

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
-T. S. Eliot

Crisis time: excuse or challenge?

The Chinese pictogram for “crisis” is composed of the symbols for “danger” and “opportunity.” People tend to resist change but when a crisis strikes, change forces itself on you. Your only choice is how to react.

A crisis can be your excuse for feeling sorry for yourself and quitting. Maybe a natural disaster wiped out your home and business. Now what do you do? You could lose heart and quit. The other option is to simply start over and rebuild with what you have left. You may not have much but you still have your experience. You can be determined to do an even better job this time. When the universe hands you an opportunity, take it.

“Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.”

“A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it.”

“A wise man will make more opportunity than he finds.”

“Chiefly the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.”
-Francis Bacon

Failure

You shouldn’t agonize over your failures but you should dwell on them. Think about what happened and why it went wrong. When you understand why you failed, you free yourself to try again.

History is full of inspiring stories of those who failed repeatedly but kept on trying again until they were successful beyond any expectation. I always think of Thomas Edison trying thousands of materials for the filament for his new electric light bulb. Although people seem altogether too happy to remind you of your failures, I really believe that some failures are evidence that you are out there doing something. Just don’t keep making the same mistakes.

“You only fail when you fail to try,” according to Dr. Daniel Litchford, who was the motivational speaker at a New Managers’ Convention. He taught: “I’m not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying.”

“There is nothing left to you at this moment but to have a good laugh.”
-Anonymous Zen master

When you do wrong

Does it seem today that business ethics favors the sharp operator and that no one notices or punishes all the little dishonesties that people commit all the time? Don’t believe it. When we act from bad motives, it catches up to us. When we are greedy, selfish and covetous, the stream of good that was refreshing us seems to dry up.

A manager from California, urges others: “Don’t do anything you know is wrong or later you will feel sorry and it will affect your energy, your business. If you make mistakes, don’t let them get you down; keep trying and you will do very well!”

When you do wrong, the best course is to turn it around as quickly as you can. Admit the wrong, ask forgiveness, repay or repair the damage that you have done, forgive yourself and move on.

“How pleasant it is, at the end of the day, No follies to have to repent; But reflect on the past, and be able to say, That my time has been properly spent.”
-Jane Taylor, Rhymes for the Nursery. The Way to be Happy.

If you say it, you have to do it

Isn’t it funny? You can convince yourself that you want to do something but still put it off indefinitely. As long as you keep the goal private, it’s just too easy to procrastinate.

The cure is to make your goal public; then you have to follow through or else “lose face.” Once you have made a public commitment, you feel a real obligation to begin and then keep on keeping your promise.

You might use this technique to strengthen your commitment to lose 15 pounds or to send out a monthly newsletter. When people ask you how much weight you’ve lost or want to know when they’ll receive your next newsletter, you will be more likely to get back to work in order to meet their expectations.

The hardest part of any task is getting off to a good start. Once you actually get started, it’s easier to keep going.

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
-Plato

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 252010
 

Self Improvement – Getting it Done

Commit to goals – visualize the results

What do you want to achieve? Knowing your destination is a crucial step in getting there.

Written goals are best; they have real power. The act of committing your goals to paper forces you to clarify and refine them. Until you write it down, a goal is just a wish or a hope. Commit.

Identifying goals actually reduces stress. Psychiatrists have discovered that helping their patients to establish personal goals is the most effective way to help them cope with problems. Establishing clear goals puts you in charge of your life.

A fixed goal, something that you can see clearly in your mind’s eye, increases motivation; you can take the measure of your progress towards that goal. And, as you progress, anticipate the satisfaction of its completion.

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lively apparition to reveal it to the other’s eyes as mine see it.”
-Michelangelo

“A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness.”
-Zadok Rabinowitz

Set priorities

What is the most important thing to do next? If you haven’t figured out what is most important, I’ll bet that you’ll do something relatively unimportant or nothing at all.

You may have success with a to-do list revised each morning. When something new comes up, evaluate against your list of most important tasks. You will get more done just by knowing what is most important. It focuses your attention and stimulates your energy. A common mistake is to confuse urgent matters with truly vital ones. You should look for things that have the largest payoff and focus on them first.

You can evaluate your priority-setting by keeping a detailed record of how you spend your time for a week. What did you do and how long did it take? Also think carefully about what your personal responsibilities are and write this down separately. At the end of the week, compare your lists and decide if you are spending your time effectively. Make adjustments.

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
-Andrew Jackson
[Don’t stop deliberating too soon. I take exception to some of President Jackson’s decisions. ed.]

Just don’t do it

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
-C. Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson’s Law, (1958)

Parkinson wasn’t being funny; he was dead-on serious. You’ve seen it happen. A perfectly reasonable job gets blown out of all proportion. It might be your fault or maybe the decision just had to be run back past a committee which decided to form a sub-committee for further investigation.

If the task will produce a valuable return and it is straight-forward and clear, just do it. On the other hand, tasks that can’t be nailed down and done right away often grow into evil dragons. Ignore evil dragons. Walk away from them and refuse to pay them any attention. They will disappear and quit bothering you if ignore them.

It really is amazing how many really urgent (but actually trivial) things can simply be ignored without the world coming to an end. How wonderfully liberating!

Success ain’t easy

If you want to succeed at something truly worthwhile, be prepared for the struggle. Many have given up families, property and security in their homelands to pursue opportunity elsewhere. Many poor and disadvantaged have committed to making sacrifices to create desired changes in their circumstances. The world’s classic stories involve the struggle to overcome intimidating obstacles.

To succeed in any difficult endeavor we need to overcome fear and reach deep within ourselves for courage and determination. You may not be in favorable circumstances but there is always something more that you can try to improve your situation. Have realistic expectations. It takes about 7-10 years of persistent practice to truly master any art, craft, sport or business.

“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.”
-Sidney Smith

“Do what you can with what you have, where you are.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
-Anais Nin

Hard work

It’s easy to work hard when you love what you’re doing.

Hard work is needed to build a secure business. It can take extra hours each day and can require continued work over a span of years.

Sometimes it happens that people begin coming from hundreds of miles away for help. When you can offer renewed hope and eventually, renewed health, it’s hard to say “no.” Your hard work can be a labor of love.

“Go the extra mile”

This popular motto is a reference to Matthew 5:41. The point is to not be miserly with your commitments. When you hold back and only do something reluctantly you might as well have not done it; you only did what you were forced to do. If you are going to do something for someone else, give it all you’ve got. Do more than expected. This kind of behavior gets noticed and in time gets rewarded.

Honesty and Integrity

Throughout recorded history it has been a tendency of men to set their own rules and do whatever seems best for themselves. “Business ethics” become especially loose with no hesitation to profit from the ignorance or misfortune of others, especially “if they are not of our own.”

Some people worry that they will be at a financial disadvantage if they are not as “sharp” as their competitors. Others understand that people appreciate obvious integrity and prefer to do business with people that they like and trust.

If you have cheated or taken advantage of someone, it is very hard to respect or even like them from that point forward. Bad relationships are death to a network marketing business.

“Think nothing profitable to you which compels you to break a promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any person, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains about it.”
-Marcus Aurelius

“Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris. (It is part of human nature to hate the man you have hurt.)”
-Tacitus

Dare to dream

Walt Disney’s Cinderella sings: “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” Would it have been better for Cinderella to have never seen the castle? Would she have been happier never knowing anything but the cinders?

Most times we are so limited by what we think is practical that we don’t see what is possible. Look up for a moment from the ground directly in front of you and see the world of possibilities all around you! You don’t have to be daring to dream of improving your situation. In fact, if you never visualize a desired future, you cannot start to make it happen.

Some people actually do live happily every after. Why shouldn’t you?

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”
-Joseph Campbell

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
-Thomas Jefferson

Set outrageous goals

Miracles happen. Outrageous challenges have a special mystique and have the potential to generate unusual excitement.

  • Impress yourself with dramatic results.
  • Amaze your friends.
  • Pump up your determination to do the unusual.
  • Focus on a single goal.
  • Keep that goal constantly in front of you.
  • Put up signs and stickers everywhere to remind yourself.
  • Infect everyone with your enthusiasm.

“Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.”
-Helen Keller

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
-Goethe

Preparation + Opportunity = Advancement

If you aren’t prepared, you probably won’t even notice opportunities when they happen. In fact, preparation seems to have a way of CREATING opportunities. Without preparation, you are not in a position to take advantage of opportunities even if you recognize them.

Opportunities ARE available. Some have to be created. Others will wander by when you least expect them. They may not wait around for you. You may have to already have your resources (and willingness to commit them) ready. Then, when the right opportunity comes, just reach out and grasp it. This boldness to advance seems to create a momentum toward success.

“Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”
-W.H. Murray, Member of the Second Himalayan Expedition

Hard work

It’s easy to work hard when you love what you’re doing.

Hard work is needed to build a secure business. It can take extra hours each day and can require continued work over a span of years.

Sometimes it happens that people begin coming from hundreds of miles away for help. When you can offer renewed hope and eventually, renewed health, it’s hard to say “no.” Your hard work can be a labor of love.

“Go the extra mile”

This popular motto is a reference to Matthew 5:41. The point is to not be miserly with your commitments. When you hold back and only do something reluctantly you might as well have not done it; you only did what you were forced to do. If you are going to do something for someone else, give it all you’ve got. Do more than expected. This kind of behavior gets noticed and in time gets rewarded.

Honesty and Integrity

Throughout recorded history it has been a tendency of men to set their own rules and do whatever seems best for themselves. “Business ethics” become especially loose with no hesitation to profit from the ignorance or misfortune of others, especially “if they are not of our own.”

Some people worry that they will be at a financial disadvantage if they are not as “sharp” as their competitors. Others understand that people appreciate obvious integrity and prefer to do business with people that they like and trust.

If you have cheated or taken advantage of someone, it is very hard to respect or even like them from that point forward. Bad relationships are death to a network marketing business.

“Think nothing profitable to you which compels you to break a promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any person, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains about it.”
-Marcus Aurelius

“Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris. (It is part of human nature to hate the man you have hurt.)”
-Tacitus

Keep on keeping on

Some people just seem to have trouble with everything they try. When things don’t seem to be working out fast enough, they give up and try something else. The problem is that by not sticking persistently to any one thing, they consistently discard their efforts by moving on too soon.

Jonas, a National Manager, explained his formula for success. “Keep on keeping on. The world will make room for the man who knows where he is going.” He explained: “If I could give the reason for our success, I could do it with just a couple of words: consistent persistence. Line upon line. Precept upon precept. There’s no formula to guarantee success in a few months’ time. You have to keep with it. We’re very excited about our business, and that helps others get excited.”

“There’s no substitute for hard work.”
-Thomas Edison

“Do not turn back when you are just at the goal.”
-Syrus

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 242010
 

Self Improvement – Coping with Fear, Risk, and Crisis

The people keep you going

Most of us are in this business because we respect natural health. Mental health is a key part of our overall (natural) health. A well-recognized sign of strong mental health is creative service to others and freedom from selfishness. Such selfless service supplies a sense of calm satisfaction which further reinforces health. This positive cycle just keeps on going.

"It was never pushing this business that got us where we are today – it was helping others," says Marge. "We don’t set goals; we help people. It’s the people, including our wonderful Managers, that make you successful. You couldn’t be in this business if you didn’t give from the heart. The only thing that keeps you going is the people."

"The power of man’s virtue should not be measured by his special efforts, but by his ordinary doings."
-Blaise Pascal 

Handling rejection

"You are a quack and a crook. You are unworthy of my attention. I’m not interested and I want you to go away." Yikes! What a nasty thing to read! Are you OK? Take a moment, if you need, to put yourself back together. The rest of this page will help.

When you take your emotions and convictions public, you face some pretty personal assaults. Be prepared for this by having full faith in the value of your message. Then if (no, when) someone disrespects that message, you can bounce back. You can "shake the dust off your sandals" and move on.

Actually, rejection is no big deal. We expect a certain percentage of people to be so locked into their own ruts that they just can’t see out. Your message may represent a threat to their precious, comfortable rut. They would have to change if they took you seriously. On the bright side, maybe you gave them something to think about and their attitude will soften. It has happened. Then, when they come back seeking you out, your joy is doubled. Rejection is simply the way you know that it’s time to move on. You will find so many kind and appreciative people that you will not even worry about those who are ignorant or rude. As you keep on, your pleasure and satisfaction keeps on growing and growing.

"Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption."
-John Stuart Mill 

Overcoming fear

What frightens you? Disapproval? Failure? Fear is death. You can take your death by fear all at once or in little bits. You have heard of people who have been so afraid of a shadow that they brought on a heart attack. Could they have had more mental control?

Fear leads to both inaction and indecisive action and both can kill. Texas roads are littered with dead armadillos and squirrels. Armadillos will stop still in the road. Squirrels will dash madly back and forth, unable to decide which way to run. I have known people who give in to their fear, bit by bit, until they are unwilling to leave their houses. I have known others who dash from one get-rich idea to another without pursuing one long enough to benefit from their efforts. Could they have had more mental control?

A key to overcoming fear is to want something strong enough that you are finally willing to plunge ahead despite your fears. Once you decide to act, you can redirect the energy of your fear into unexpectedly decisive action.

"Has fear ever held a man back from anything he really wanted, or a woman either?"
-George Bernard Shaw

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
-Ambrose Redmoon

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it."
-Tagore

"His flight was madness: when our actions do not, Our fears do make us traitors."
-Shakespeare, Macbeth

"I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do …"
-Eleanor Roosevelt

"Fear always springs from ignorance."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Nothing is terrible except fear itself."
-Francis Bacon

"We have nothing to fear except fear itself."
-Winston Churchill

If your friends and family don’t understand

It can be discouraging if your friends don’t understand why you are "doing this strange herb thing." You have a choice. You can fearfully give in to their ignorance or you can boldly persist in educating them.

For many years, I just deep down solid didn’t get it. My wife would try to tell me about herbs but it didn’t make sense so it irritated me. I wouldn’t eat anything that was "good for you" and I certainly wouldn’t take any capsules! Eventually it began to make sense and I changed. Give it some time.

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
-Mark Twain

"Don’t listen to friends when the Friend inside you says ‘Do this.’"
-Gandhi

Risk = Commitment (Burning your bridges)

Have you heard the story of the explorer who burned his boats upon reaching the far land? His troops then had no option but to stay. They were irrevocably committed.

I operated my network business part-time for years and never grew much beyond the minimum sales required to stay a manager. When I gave notice to my employer, however, there was no turning back and I REALLY paid attention to product sales and recruiting. When I put more at risk, I generated commitment.

"I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
-Henry David Thoreau

"There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."
-John F. Kennedy

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
-T. S. Eliot

Crisis time: excuse or challenge?

The Chinese pictogram for "crisis" is composed of the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity." People tend to resist change but when a crisis strikes, change forces itself on you. Your only choice is how to react.

A crisis can be your excuse for feeling sorry for yourself and quitting. Maybe a natural disaster wiped out your home and business. Now what do you do? You could lose heart and quit. The other option is to simply start over and rebuild with what you have left. You may not have much but you still have your experience. You can be determined to do an even better job this time. When the universe hands you an opportunity, take it.

"Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue."

"A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it."

"A wise man will make more opportunity than he finds."

"Chiefly the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands."
-Francis Bacon

Failure

You shouldn’t agonize over your failures but you should dwell on them. Think about what happened and why it went wrong. When you understand why you failed, you free yourself to try again.

History is full of inspiring stories of those who failed repeatedly but kept on trying again until they were successful beyond any expectation. I always think of Thomas Edison trying thousands of materials for the filament for his new electric light bulb. Although people seem altogether too happy to remind you of your failures, I really believe that some failures are evidence that you are out there doing something. Just don’t keep making the same mistakes.

"You only fail when you fail to try," according to Dr. Daniel Litchford, who was the motivational speaker at a New Managers’ Convention. He taught: "I’m not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying."

"There is nothing left to you at this moment but to have a good laugh."
-Anonymous Zen master

When you do wrong

Does it seem today that business ethics favors the sharp operator and that no one notices or punishes all the little dishonesties that people commit all the time? Don’t believe it. When we act from bad motives, it catches up to us. When we are greedy, selfish and covetous, the stream of good that was refreshing us seems to dry up.

A manager from California, urges others: "Don’t do anything you know is wrong or later you will feel sorry and it will affect your energy, your business. If you make mistakes, don’t let them get you down; keep trying and you will do very well!"

When you do wrong, the best course is to turn it around as quickly as you can. Admit the wrong, ask forgiveness, repay or repair the damage that you have done, forgive yourself and move on.

"How pleasant it is, at the end of the day, No follies to have to repent; But reflect on the past, and be able to say, That my time has been properly spent."
-Jane Taylor, Rhymes for the Nursery. The Way to be Happy.

If you say it, you have to do it

Isn’t it funny? You can convince yourself that you want to do something but still put it off indefinitely. As long as you keep the goal private, it’s just too easy to procrastinate.

The cure is to make your goal public; then you have to follow through or else "lose face." Once you have made a public commitment, you feel a real obligation to begin and then keep on keeping your promise.

You might use this technique to strengthen your commitment to lose 15 pounds or to send out a monthly newsletter. When people ask you how much weight you’ve lost or want to know when they’ll receive your next newsletter, you will be more likely to get back to work in order to meet their expectations.

The hardest part of any task is getting off to a good start. Once you actually get started, it’s easier to keep going.

"The beginning is the most important part of the work."
-Plato

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 242010
 

Self Improvement – Getting it Done

Commit to goals – visualize the results

What do you want to achieve? Knowing your destination is a crucial step in getting there.

Written goals are best; they have real power. The act of committing your goals to paper forces you to clarify and refine them. Until you write it down, a goal is just a wish or a hope. Commit.

Identifying goals actually reduces stress. Psychiatrists have discovered that helping their patients to establish personal goals is the most effective way to help them cope with problems. Establishing clear goals puts you in charge of your life.

A fixed goal, something that you can see clearly in your mind’s eye, increases motivation; you can take the measure of your progress towards that goal. And, as you progress, anticipate the satisfaction of its completion.

"In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lively apparition to reveal it to the other’s eyes as mine see it."
-Michelangelo

"A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness."
-Zadok Rabinowitz

Set priorities

What is the most important thing to do next? If you haven’t figured out what is most important, I’ll bet that you’ll do something relatively unimportant or nothing at all.

You may have success with a to-do list revised each morning. When something new comes up, evaluate against your list of most important tasks. You will get more done just by knowing what is most important. It focuses your attention and stimulates your energy. A common mistake is to confuse urgent matters with truly vital ones. You should look for things that have the largest payoff and focus on them first.

You can evaluate your priority-setting by keeping a detailed record of how you spend your time for a week. What did you do and how long did it take? Also think carefully about what your personal responsibilities are and write this down separately. At the end of the week, compare your lists and decide if you are spending your time effectively. Make adjustments.

"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."
-Andrew Jackson
[Don’t stop deliberating too soon. I take exception to some of President Jackson’s decisions. ed.]

Just don’t do it

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
-C. Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson’s Law, (1958)

Parkinson wasn’t being funny; he was dead-on serious. You’ve seen it happen. A perfectly reasonable job gets blown out of all proportion. It might be your fault or maybe the decision just had to be run back past a committee which decided to form a sub-committee for further investigation.

If the task will produce a valuable return and it is straight-forward and clear, just do it. On the other hand, tasks that can’t be nailed down and done right away often grow into evil dragons. Ignore evil dragons. Walk away from them and refuse to pay them any attention. They will disappear and quit bothering you if ignore them.

It really is amazing how many really urgent (but actually trivial) things can simply be ignored without the world coming to an end. How wonderfully liberating!

Success ain’t easy

If you want to succeed at something truly worthwhile, be prepared for the struggle. Many have given up families, property and security in their homelands to pursue opportunity elsewhere. Many poor and disadvantaged have committed to making sacrifices to create desired changes in their circumstances. The world’s classic stories involve the struggle to overcome intimidating obstacles.

To succeed in any difficult endeavor we need to overcome fear and reach deep within ourselves for courage and determination. You may not be in favorable circumstances but there is always something more that you can try to improve your situation. Have realistic expectations. It takes about 7-10 years of persistent practice to truly master any art, craft, sport or business.

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can."
-Sidney Smith

"Do what you can with what you have, where you are."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage."
-Anais Nin

Hard work

It’s easy to work hard when you love what you’re doing.

Hard work is needed to build a secure business. It can take extra hours each day and can require continued work over a span of years.

Sometimes it happens that people begin coming from hundreds of miles away for help. When you can offer renewed hope and eventually, renewed health, it’s hard to say "no." Your hard work can be a labor of love.

"Go the extra mile"

This popular motto is a reference to Matthew 5:41. The point is to not be miserly with your commitments. When you hold back and only do something reluctantly you might as well have not done it; you only did what you were forced to do. If you are going to do something for someone else, give it all you’ve got. Do more than expected. This kind of behavior gets noticed and in time gets rewarded.

Honesty and Integrity

Throughout recorded history it has been a tendency of men to set their own rules and do whatever seems best for themselves. "Business ethics" become especially loose with no hesitation to profit from the ignorance or misfortune of others, especially "if they are not of our own."

Some people worry that they will be at a financial disadvantage if they are not as "sharp" as their competitors. Others understand that people appreciate obvious integrity and prefer to do business with people that they like and trust.

If you have cheated or taken advantage of someone, it is very hard to respect or even like them from that point forward. Bad relationships are death to a network marketing business.

"Think nothing profitable to you which compels you to break a promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any person, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains about it."
-Marcus Aurelius

"Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris. (It is part of human nature to hate the man you have hurt.)"
-Tacitus

Dare to dream

Walt Disney’s Cinderella sings: "A dream is a wish your heart makes." Would it have been better for Cinderella to have never seen the castle? Would she have been happier never knowing anything but the cinders?

Most times we are so limited by what we think is practical that we don’t see what is possible. Look up for a moment from the ground directly in front of you and see the world of possibilities all around you! You don’t have to be daring to dream of improving your situation. In fact, if you never visualize a desired future, you cannot start to make it happen.

Some people actually do live happily every after. Why shouldn’t you?

"If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living."
-Joseph Campbell

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."
-Thomas Jefferson

Set outrageous goals

Miracles happen. Outrageous challenges have a special mystique and have the potential to generate unusual excitement.

  • Impress yourself with dramatic results.
  • Amaze your friends.
  • Pump up your determination to do the unusual.
  • Focus on a single goal.
  • Keep that goal constantly in front of you.
  • Put up signs and stickers everywhere to remind yourself.
  • Infect everyone with your enthusiasm.

"Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing."
-Helen Keller

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
-Goethe

Preparation + Opportunity = Advancement

If you aren’t prepared, you probably won’t even notice opportunities when they happen. In fact, preparation seems to have a way of CREATING opportunities. Without preparation, you are not in a position to take advantage of opportunities even if you recognize them.

Opportunities ARE available. Some have to be created. Others will wander by when you least expect them. They may not wait around for you. You may have to already have your resources (and willingness to commit them) ready. Then, when the right opportunity comes, just reach out and grasp it. This boldness to advance seems to create a momentum toward success.

"Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."
-W.H. Murray, Member of the Second Himalayan Expedition

Hard work

It’s easy to work hard when you love what you’re doing.

Hard work is needed to build a secure business. It can take extra hours each day and can require continued work over a span of years.

Sometimes it happens that people begin coming from hundreds of miles away for help. When you can offer renewed hope and eventually, renewed health, it’s hard to say "no." Your hard work can be a labor of love.

"Go the extra mile"

This popular motto is a reference to Matthew 5:41. The point is to not be miserly with your commitments. When you hold back and only do something reluctantly you might as well have not done it; you only did what you were forced to do. If you are going to do something for someone else, give it all you’ve got. Do more than expected. This kind of behavior gets noticed and in time gets rewarded.

Honesty and Integrity

Throughout recorded history it has been a tendency of men to set their own rules and do whatever seems best for themselves. "Business ethics" become especially loose with no hesitation to profit from the ignorance or misfortune of others, especially "if they are not of our own."

Some people worry that they will be at a financial disadvantage if they are not as "sharp" as their competitors. Others understand that people appreciate obvious integrity and prefer to do business with people that they like and trust.

If you have cheated or taken advantage of someone, it is very hard to respect or even like them from that point forward. Bad relationships are death to a network marketing business.

"Think nothing profitable to you which compels you to break a promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any person, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains about it."
-Marcus Aurelius

"Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris. (It is part of human nature to hate the man you have hurt.)"
-Tacitus

Keep on keeping on

Some people just seem to have trouble with everything they try. When things don’t seem to be working out fast enough, they give up and try something else. The problem is that by not sticking persistently to any one thing, they consistently discard their efforts by moving on too soon.

Jonas, a National Manager, explained his formula for success. "Keep on keeping on. The world will make room for the man who knows where he is going." He explained: "If I could give the reason for our success, I could do it with just a couple of words: consistent persistence. Line upon line. Precept upon precept. There’s no formula to guarantee success in a few months’ time. You have to keep with it. We’re very excited about our business, and that helps others get excited."

"There’s no substitute for hard work."
-Thomas Edison

"Do not turn back when you are just at the goal."
-Syrus

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

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