Jul 262012
 

Bill Moyers is his old, quiet, direct, and serious self. No car chases. No gun fights. Just the presentation of ideas worth discussing.

“On the Oregon Trail, more settlers died from gun accidents than from Indian attacks.”

[amz-related-products search_index='Books' keywords='gun violence' unit='grid']
May 212012
 

My sweet wife and I were sitting on the front porch swing, reading the Sunday paper and enjoying the cool breeze of the early morning. It still amazes me how many things we don’t know about each other, even after all these years. She was reading the obituaries. I knew something was up when she lowered the paper into her lap and just stared off into the distance. Eventually she explained, “I almost married a Republican lawyer.”

Being my usual smart-ass self, I quipped, “Yeah, that would have been tough. Lawyers like to argue, and they especially like to win arguments. And, you can’t argue rationally with a Republican.” Fortunately, my beloved knows that, once I get the smart-ass out of my system, it’s safe to move on as if nothing had happened. She finished her story.

“Someone I dated in high school died. I might have married him. It turns out he became a lawyer.” I put my arm across her shoulder. She likes to lean her head back and rest that way. “We were actually pretty serious for a while, and then I called it off.” She leaned her head back and rolled it toward my shoulder. “You know what a liberal hippie chick I was back then, with protest marches and folk songs. Well, he invited me to go with him to a Young Republicans Club meeting. So, we started comparing ideas and, pretty soon that was it.”

Well, that’s about it here too. When you’re been married for a long time, some of the best things are the quiet, delicate, unexpected joys that land on you, like the cool flutter of a butterfly, for just a moment. I kissed her gently on the head and told her that I loved her. And then I just stared off into the distance for a while, surprised that I would find myself so suddenly grateful to a Republican lawyer.

©2012, David Satterlee

[amz-related-products search_index=’Books’ keywords=’liberal family love’ unit=’grid’]

Feb 092012
 

By David Satterlee

All politicians are aware that they need to be careful of their words. Words have the power to invoke strong emotions, which can distract from rational debate. These words, repeated over and over, confer the conviction of certainty and authority, even when they lack any basis in fact.

But, Republicans seem to have made the cynical use of emotional words (instead of the discussion of ideas and consequences) a primary focus of their message for many years. Do not misunderstand me. I will say again that all politicians use influential words. However, my premise is that Republicans seem to operate on the unabashed theory that they can make anything true by saying it often enough to the uninformed. Let’s compare some early Newt Gingrich to some contemporary Frank Luntz.

In 1994, Newt Gingrich described his goal as “reshaping the entire nation through the news media.” (New York Times, 12/14/94) His aggressive negativity fits with his philosophy that, “fights make news.” (Boston Globe, 11/20/94). In a GOPAC training tape of that era, he advised creating ‘shield issues’ to deflect criticism: “You better find a good compassion issue where, you know, you show up in the local paper holding a baby in the neonatal center, and all you’re trying to do is shield yourself from the inevitable attack.”
The 1996 GOPAC memo, “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control” went further by listing words to use to accuse Democrats and defend Republicans. It’s cover letter from Newt Gingrich explained that, “The words in that paper are tested language from a recent series of focus groups where we actually tested ideas and language.” The memo said:

As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that “language matters.” In the video “We Are a Majority,” language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party… As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates, we have heard a plaintive plea: “I wish I could speak like Newt.”
That takes years of practice. But we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.
This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that, like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.
Contrasting Words
Often we search hard for words to help us define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.
decay… failure (fail)… collapse(ing)… deeper… crisis… urgent(cy)… destructive… destroy… sick… pathetic… lie… liberal… they/them… unionized bureaucracy… “compassion” is not enough… betray… consequences… limit(s)… shallow… traitors… sensationalists… endanger… coercion… hypocrisy… radical… threaten… devour… waste… corruption… incompetent… permissive attitudes… destructive… impose… self-serving… greed… ideological… insecure… anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs… pessimistic… excuses… intolerant… stagnation… welfare… corrupt… selfish… insensitive… status quo… mandate(s)… taxes… spend(ing)… shame… disgrace… punish (poor…)… bizarre… cynicism… cheat… steal… abuse of power… machine… bosses… obsolete… criminal rights… red tape… patronage
Optimistic Positive Governing Words
Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!
share… change… opportunity… legacy… challenge… control… truth… moral… courage… reform… prosperity… crusade… movement… children… family… debate… compete… active(ly)… we/us/our… candid(ly)… humane… pristine… provide… liberty… commitment… principle(d)… unique… duty… precious… premise… care(ing)… tough… listen… learn… help… lead… vision… success… empower(ment)… citizen… activist… mobilize… conflict… light… dream… freedom… peace… rights… pioneer… proud/pride… building… preserve… pro-(issue): flag, children, environment… reform… workfare… eliminate good-time in prison… strength… choice/choose… fair… protect… confident… incentive… hard work… initiative… common sense… passionate

Frank Luntz recently wrote, “Words matter. The most powerful words have helped launch social movements and cultural revolutions. The most effective words have instigated great change in public policy. The right words at the right time can literally change history.” (Huffington Post, 3/1/11)

In “The 11 Words for 2011” he comments:

  • “Uncompromising integrity.” Of all the truthiness words, none is as powerful as “integrity,” but in today’s cynical environment, even that’s not enough. People also need to feel that your integrity is absolute.
  • “The simple truth” comes straight from billionaire businessman Steve Wynn, and it sets the context for a straightforward discussion that might otherwise be confusing or contentious. It’s the perfect phrase to begin and end the budget-deficit-debt debate.
  • “You decide.” No, this is not paying homage to Fox News. The lesson of 2010 is that Americans want control of their lives back, and they don’t want Washington or Wall Street making their decisions for them. So add the phrase “you’re in control” and you’ve said exactly what Americans want to hear.
  • “You deserve.” This comes from DNC Chairman Tim Kaine and it was first employed by him in his highly praised 2006 SOTU response. It tells voters precisely what they should expect from their politicians and their government.

Notice that his focus is not on integrity, truth, or reason (although these words are used), but on the ability of these words to manipulate and persuade. Spend some time with this point; savor it and use it as an illumination in a dark corner. Is a product really better because a different color makes it “new and improved?” Can you really believe that the new automated customer service phone system was installed “to serve you better?” Do you really believe all the accusations that Republican candidates threw at each other (or at our President) during the 2011/2012 GOP primary debates?

Do not misunderstand me. I will say again that all politicians use influential words. My objection is to the use of falsehoods and unsubstantiated accusations wrapped in phrases designed to trigger emotional responses IN PLACE OF persuasive rhetorical reason. This is especially onerous when the audience is predisposed to respond to calls for loyalty and obedience to authority more than to understanding and reason.

What was that? Did I just say that there is something wrong with conservative audiences? Yes and no. Research into individual and cultural development shows that all individuals and social groups mature through a predictable series of worldviews. Each worldview in this progressive dynamic of maturity embraces all previous worldviews. And each new worldview transcends and supersedes previous ones as they no longer succeed in explaining, making meaning of, and guiding decisions about life circumstances.

Earlier worldviews respond predominantly to emotions, power, and authority while later worldviews respond more to evidence, empathy, and the dynamic nuances of collective benefit. This makes it easier to recruit holders of earlier worldviews using simpler assertions that appeal to their predispositions.

In brief, individuals and cultures move through a predictable path in areas such as cognition, morality, emotions, and faith. There have been many researchers in these developmental areas. Although they may assign different stage names, they all identify systems of developmental levels. Let’s take an example:

Don Beck, in his book Spiral Dynamics, based on the research of psychologist Clare Graves, identified and described:

  • SurvivalSense – Instinctive – “Express self to meet imperative physiological needs through instincts of Homo sapiens.”
  • KinSpirits – Tribal – “Sacrifice to the ways of the elders and customs as one subsumed in group.” This is the level of traditional cultures.
  • PowerGods – Preconventional/Egocentric – “Express self (impulsively) for what self desires without guilt and to avoid shame.” Expressed by the mentality of street gangs, Vikings, etc.
  • TruthForce – Pre-Modern/Traditional – “Sacrifice self for reward to come through obedience to rightful authority in purposeful Way.” Embodied by fundamentalist religions.
  • StriveDrive – Modernism – “Express self (calculatedly) to reach goals and objectives without rousing the ire of important others.” Expressed in the Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.
  • HumanBond – Postmodernism – “Sacrifice self-interest now in order to gain acceptance and group harmony.” Expressed in 1960s pluralism and systems theory.
  • FlexFlow – Integral – “Express self for what self desires, but avoid harm to others so that all life, not just own life, will benefit.”
  • GlobalView – Holistic – Sacrifice self-interest purely out of principal to achieve greater good.

Each new worldview allows individuals or communities to deal successfully with an increasingly complex world. On the other hand, each worldview is a necessary and universal, if temporary, stage in development. Each worldview serves its purpose at a particular stage, and is retained and still available to those who have acquired the ability to deal with more complex issues.

Unfortunately, people holding earlier worldviews have difficulty in understanding the reasoning and motives of those who have moved on to more-comprehensive systems of thought. Because of this, it is easy to persuasively misrepresent scientific thought to a tribal culture, or lie about the motives of someone holding a global view to someone pledging obedience to a specific leader or religion. No amount of explaining would have convinced the Victorian English colonial empire that they should “make love, not war” or organize meetings so as to be sure that everyone had a chance to express their feelings.

This same dynamic makes it easy to misrepresent liberals to conservatives. Whoops! You may be thinking that I did it again. I DID NOT SAY, “liberals good, conservatives bad.” If your worldview is working for you and you have values that move you to behave virtuously, that is a wonderful thing. In fact, you can’t become liberal without passing through a conservative phase. Been there, done that, moved on. However, there is no reason to think that this makes you better than your neighbor. Some of your neighbors are also moving on. This is all good.

At some point, some people begin to discover that their current way of thinking isn’t working for them anymore. If they struggle hard enough, it is possible to break through to a new way of thinking. When this happens, events take on new meaning, uncomfortable ideas begin to make sense, and you feel like you can see more clearly. But, you will be tempted, after several frustrating attempts to explain yourself to your old friends, to just say, “It’s complex.” They may accuse you of being a superior son-of-a-bitch and stop spending time with you. Then they will tell each other how much you hate them now. ‘sorry ‘bout that. Been there, done that, moved on.

My point is simply this: when the time comes to take a larger view…

  • Be willing to give up emotional reflexes for rational evidence.
  • Be willing to give up small-group loyalty for large-group tolerance.
  • Be willing to defer gratification now for more important gains later.
  • Be willing to give up selfishness to care about the welfare of others.
  • Be willing to balance individual liberties with the common good.
  • Be willing to come together in middle ground to work together to make life better for everyone.

And, don’t let dishonorable people lie to you and use you to achieve their own selfish advantage.

[amz-related-products search_index=’Books’ keywords=’newt gingrich language’ unit=’grid’]

Sep 262010
 

Self Improvement – Doing Business from Home

It just took over the house

In the Oct/Nov ’92 issue of Sunshine Horizons, Beverly Lewis tells about “one couple so committed to this business they’ve literally turned their entire house into a miniature university. As I walked through their kitchen during a visit one day, I saw a Nature’s Spring on the counter. The kitchen table was loaded with company products and literature. Each of the rooms was filled with educational books and other related paraphernalia. After touring their home and noticing no bedroom, I couldn’t help ask them where they sleep! Their level of enthusiasm amazes me, and it’s just one example. There are thousands of others.”

Each person must decide how they want to deal with this problem as it happens. You can set firm limits, throttle the business to keep it from growing further, move, build on to add room or open a store. Your choice should meet your needs for room, privacy, location and potential for further expansion.

“Blessed is he who has found his work. Let him ask no other blessing.”
-Thomas Carlyle

“Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.”
-Mr. Spock

There’s just nowhere to hide

Sometimes you just need to wash dishes or read a book. If your business is in your house, people will drop by at unpredictable times. When the business is small that might not be such a problem. In fact, being available to care and share at odd hours may be a service that distinguishes you from less-popular competitors.

Setting (and enforcing) business hours

One way to manage the demands on your time is to post the hours that you are open and then stick to them. It’s not always easy to be firm when a friend with a need (but poor planning skills) knows that you must be in there somewhere.

It’s usually not that bad. Most people will respect your need to have an orderly life with some time set aside for sleep or whimpering in a corner.

Less TV, more real life

Soap operas, reruns and especially the hot new shows can sap your time and attention. Sure, TV can be entertaining but building a new business can be a lot more fun. Instead of watching other people do things and listening to other people laugh, you can enjoy the real thing.

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
-Emerson

“Television watching takes up more time than any other activity our society engages in.” -Scientific Australian

“The whole day stretches before us with unlimited opportunity! And what better way to appreciate that opportunity than by squandering it watching cartoons all day!”
-Calvin, Weirdos from Another Planet, Bill Watterson

Bottles behind the bushes

As much as you would like to spend all your time waiting for people to show up and pick up their products, there ARE some other things that need to be done from time to time.

I solved the problem by telling customers how much their check should be and then leaving their products, invoice and an envelope in a dry spot on the porch. They picked up their herbs, put the check in the envelope and shoved it through a crack in the garage door. It worked like a charm. One loyal customer is a real estate agent who can’t spare the time during the day and likes to drop by after 10:30 p.m. Bottles behind the bushes makes us both very happy; she gets her herbs and I get my sleep.

Don’t forget the family

Take time to be with your family. A new business can be demanding but it doesn’t deserve your total attention. You probably started the business to help your family with their health or finances. Trading your income for your time, attention and love makes a lousy exchange.

Be kind to your family. Don’t let your anxiety or frustrations with business matters splatter all over your spouse and children; you will need their support and good will at times like these.

When you set a goal, take the wishes and circumstances of your family into consideration. Don’t leave them behind. In fact it’s a good idea to involve your family in planning and decision making. They will often think of things that you would have overlooked. Their input can be invaluable.

Your family may even enjoy participating in the business. Because “opposites attract” it’s likely that your spouse has qualities that will complement yours. Split up the responsibilities in a way that makes the best use of your individual talents. Very few people have achieved business success without the support of their family.

When you outgrow the house

After a while, the business may be just too big to keep on running from the house. My sponsors kept on cannibalizing their home until they had to move out and buy the house next door to live in. I live in a sub-division with deed restrictions. Once I moved all the herbs to a store, I could finally relax about being turned in by neighbors. Actually, zoning ordinances can be a blessing in disguise. A past “Manager of the Year” team admits that they took a leap of faith and opened a store even though they weren’t ready to move financially. Once all their eggs were in one basket, they just had to succeed.

About the time you have developed 5-10 managers, you will be faced with a decision about your retail sales. Do you deliberately cut back and send people to your successline or do you make a separate place for the business? This is a very individual question and no other person’s decision will be exactly right for you. How does your approach to business fit with your house? Do you prefer giving home demonstrations? Do you need more privacy, more room or a better location? This is one of those major forks in the road. Meditate carefully on your choice; it can have permanent effects.

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 – A Guide to Learning

Learning is a never-ending process of personal change

Part of the joy of life is the continuous wonder of learning new things. When you integrate new knowledge with what you already know, you build a deep, richly textured fabric of wisdom that can be applied to make life more satisfying and productive. In other words: knowledge is your key to success.

It’s surprising how many people lose the ambition to keep on learning once they finish formal schooling. The fact is that school (including college) teaches you HOW to learn but only gives you an initial load of facts and skills. There is so much more to know!

A Manager in Louisiana says, “I’ll be learning until I’m 90 years old and on crutches.” She understands that learning doesn’t have to end until the end. Personally, I plan to live a lot longer than 90.

“All human beings, by nature, desire to know.”
-Aristotle

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
-Henry Ford

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn … and change.”
-Carl Rogers

“In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn.”
-John Naisbitt

“… in the world of the future, the new illiterate will be the person who has not learned how to learn.”
-Alvin Toffler

“Knowledge has three degrees – opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition.”
-Plotinus

A brief thank you to my readers:
“To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his company.”
-Andre Gide (1903)


Imitate what works for others

Look for successful people and learn from what they are doing. When you imitate what they are doing, you can expect to begin having the same results.

Don’t fixate on a single individual. You can do better. Pay attention to the attitudes and results of all the successful people you admire. You can meet many of these folks in person and even more through the books they have written. Not every book contains advice that is right for you. But, as you continue reading widely you will see patterns emerge and begin to identify the things that you need to do.

Now comes the hard part. You have to change. When you recognize old patterns of response that need to be changed, make that change as hard and as well as you can. Our habits and mental patterns are real and have power. If you are going to get out of a rut, you have to invest enough energy to get fully clear.

Once you have made the desired change, you can see more than when you were in a rut. This is the best time to take a good look around, reevaluate everything, fix your sights on your goal and decide which change will take you further in that direction.

“I invent nothing; I rediscover.”
-Rodin


Don’t be limited by what others do

When you read a self-help book you can pick up some good ideas. Never, never stop there. The author doesn’t know everything. Read some more authors. Feed your mind a flood of vicarious experience. Expose yourself to a wide variety of experience. Collect ideas.

Then what do you do? Have respect for your own experience and good sense. Pick out the things that are good for you. Send problems to your subconscious to figure out and then listen when creative ideas come back. In the final analysis it’s your life; you make the choices and you stand responsible for the results.

“If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it.”
-S. I. Hayakawa

“We can be knowledgeable with another man’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with another man’s wisdom.”
-Michel De Montaigne


Everybody starts out ignorant

It’s OK to not know as much as someone else. At one time, that other person knew less than you do now. Do you get the point? You will learn if you persist. More, you can teach what you do already know. There are plenty of people who haven’t yet opened their eyes to recognize even the outline of what you already recognize as wonderful and important.

You don’t have to have everything figured out before you start. Like a journey, you don’t have to know every step ahead of time, just be willing to keep getting closer to your destination. You will learn as you go along. You will experiment. You will make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. In the end, you will be the expert.

“The work will teach you how to do it.”
-Estonian Proverb

“To know that you do not know is best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.”
-Lao Tzu

“Everyone is ignorant, only in different subjects.”
-Will Rogers


Build a library and read at least one book every month

You are going to accumulate books, magazines and clippings. All you have to do is organize your educational materials and you have a library. Books are still the best way to study and learn at your own pace. You should constantly be acquiring more knowledge about your areas of interest. In turn, this should constantly expand your areas of interest.

Building a library shows your commitment to education. It provides the means to help others to learn as well.

Set aside a budget for building your library. Subscribe to appropriate magazines and newsletters. Find books that you know add important information to your reference collection.

You don’t always have to buy books at retail. You can find real bargains in used book stores. If you have a store and you resell books, your wholesaler will save you about 40% off the retail cost.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
-Isaac Asimov

“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.”
-Marcus Aurelius


Build your reputation

Studying and learning earns a lot of long term benefits. It improves your self confidence because you really are more knowledgeable and competent. You know that you know more and so does everybody else. Your reputation will grow.

Studying and learning sets you apart. Not everyone has the self-discipline to apply themselves. It’s amazing how many people do just enough to get by. Studying and learning makes you a better teacher. You will make many close friends because your students will appreciate your sharing your knowledge with them. Teaching is a very personal activity that bonds people together.

When your customers have questions and you have answers, this strengthens your position in the marketplace. Your reputation will spread and the extra word-of-mouth advertising will increase your business.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”
-Abraham Lincoln

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 – Know Your Self

If it is to be, it’s up to me!

Jack of Bakersfield, California, endorses the motto: “If it is to be, it’s up to me!”

If you fail to act, things will gradually come apart. Your plow will rust, termites will devour your walls and your distributors will loose interest. It is a universal law that things will become increasingly disorganized if left alone. Thus, we all have a responsibility to continuously invest intelligent, creative energy into making things more organized. I do not believe that things can become increasingly organized on their own without the directed energy of a creative worker. So, if you want something to happen, you had better get out there, plan, invest your time and energy and take responsibility to make it happen.

“Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly, even if they roll a few more upon it.”
-Albert Schweitzer

“But then if I do not strive, who will?”
-Chuang Tzu

How to Test Your Motives

The ideal motive for running your network business is service to others. You may draw your faith in this principle from the teachings of Jesus or the concept of Karma, but the principle is sound. The trick is to not anticipate that repayment at the time you are performing an act of service.

Sometimes, however, your life situation puts a lot of pressure on you. Many of the people who are moved to begin a network business do so because they already have financial problems and need money now. That makes it real hard to avoid visualizing their neighbor’s product purchase as their children’s school shoes. If this is your situation, do what you must from the need to do it. Relief from poverty by earnest endeavor is an honorable motive and most people will respond kindly to your work. (And you may just introduce them to the business opportunity that they need to solve their own problems.)

The real problems of motivation are those people who see network marketing as their ticket to riches through the work of others. They are shameless, pushy and shallow. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to earning a car allowance or a TAC trip. But, if you spend all your time dreaming about retiring early and how important you’ll look in your fancy yacht, then shame on you.

“It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
-Bertrand Russell

Know thyself

I’ve known some people who are a mess. They don’t understand themselves and they don’t understand anyone else either. They don’t know what they want out of life and cast around randomly and unsuccessfully for affection, approval and control. They change jobs and spouses; nothing seems to make them happy. They may live dangerously to feel “alive” or they may resort to chemicals to hide from their desperate emptiness.

Knowing yourself not only means understanding your values and needs, but also having mastery of your goals, emotions and relationships. When you know what good things bring you a sense of satisfaction and purpose, you can invest your life cultivating, harvesting and distributing that goodness.

“Thoroughly to know oneself, is above all art, for it is the highest art.”
-Theologia Germanica

“To know oneself, one should assert oneself.”
-Albert Camus

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
-George Eliot

“Being in business is not about money. It is a way to become who you are.”
-Paul Hawken

The pleasures of dedicated work

There is nothing like dedicated, focused attention to make things flow. Somehow, when you get completely involved, time seems to stand still and everything gets easier. It’s like all the circuits in your brain line up to keep you on track. In fact, being fully absorbed in work is a distinctly pleasurable state of mind.

According to a manager in Texas: “It’s easy if you are willing to work hard and if you have the desire to achieve. It’s difficult if you aren’t dedicated to the work and the company. When I decided to dedicate myself full-time to an NSP business, it became much easier for me to achieve my business goals. The very reason I’ve worked all these years with the same endeavor is because I enjoy helping people find natural answers to their dietary concerns, and talking about health and nutrition with them in words they are comfortable with and can understand.”

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
-Patanjali 

Approval and control

What are the things that you really, down deep, want in life? Almost anything you can think of boils down to some form of approval or control. That makes the desire to feel approved and in control the most powerful influence for good or bad in our lives.

My sponsor urged me to learn to “release” on my desires for approval and control. She explained that they bound me to the responses of people who weren’t even aware of their influence. In addition, these emotions especially bound me to manipulative people who had no interest in my welfare.

While discussing competition, my wife told me that women compete for approval but men compete for control. Have you noticed that tendency? You can use that information to help motivate the people you talk to.

“The hook is your desire to be approved by others. The bait is any kind of reward. The minute you go for the bait, the game is playing you. You are no longer playing the game. You get serious.”
-Laurence G. Boldt

Waiting ’till later – the classic negator

“I’ll do it tomorrow.” – “Tomorrow never comes.”

Be careful to not say “tomorrow” when you really mean “not today.” Procrastination is the perfect way to put something off forever. It negates your good intentions. The best way to fight procrastination is do things right away. There’s no time like the present.

Setting deadlines helps you to avoid being forced to rush at the last minute. Try to finish your monthly goals during the first 2 weeks. Place your orders early.

“We take no note of time, but from its loss.”

“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
-Edward Young

“To be contented is noble, but to be lethargic does not enable one to benefit men or to utilize things.”
-Hung Tzu Ch’eng

“Tomorrow is another day”
-Scarlet O’Hara, Gone With the Wind

Buy some flowers

Show your appreciation. Buy some flowers for someone who needs a lift or needs to know that you care. Flowers are truly special. They convey a special sense of tenderness and friendship. Buy some flowers for yourself too. You deserve it. You’ve been working hard and doing good. Take charge of brightening your day and giving yourself a lift.

You don’t have to limit yourself to flowers, of course. There are so many ways to show your appreciation! Search constantly to find ways to brighten someone’s day. At Hewlett-Packard Company an engineer burst into his supervisor’s office to announce that he’d solved an important problem. The manager groped in his desk for some way to give an immediate reward and came up with the banana from his lunch. The “Golden Banana Award” is now one of the highest honors an HP employee can receive.

“The best portion of a good man’s life – his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
-William Wordsworth

Looking Good

The most important part of looking good is a smile born of genuine happiness. Inner beauty always brings out the best in people. It is not necessary to have the best clothes or most perfect hair and makeup but your attitudes will affect your appearance.

Respect for yourself and others demands keeping clean and being “presentable.” I don’t know which comes first, self-esteem or dressing well, but they seem to reinforce each other. My great grandparents used to put on their better clothes when they left the house. It was a matter of respect for themselves and others. People today seem to want to be more “casual” but that is no excuse for being slovenly.

Mary Kay Ash (chairman of Mary Kay Cosmetics) says: “While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence – which, I believe, does make the woman.”

“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.”
-Christopher Lasch

“What you see is what you get.”
-Flip Wilson

Love: The best motivation

The real sustaining power to keep you going is love. When you love people, you just HAVE to show them how they can feel better and be healthier. Can you imagine a finer motivation?

Bonnie feels this way: “Love the people and be very concerned with other people’s feelings. If we love people, we have the right attitude to be in the people business. As you help them get what they want, they will help you get what you want. Treat each other like family, and like you want to be treated. It works – it’s tried and tested.”

“It’s motive alone that gives character to the actions of men.”
-Jean de la Bruyere

Zest for life

They know you’re dead when you quit moving. Zest for life is the joyous energy that keeps us moving, playing and working. If that were to go away, we would start losing mental and muscle tone rapidly.

Zest for life is infectious. It is a gift that you automatically share with everyone you meet. People like to be near you when you have infectious enthusiasm.

The sense of optimism that you bring to your life and work increases your chances of success in any endeavor and contributes to your health and ability to deal with stressful situations.

“I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
-Helen Keller

“A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.”
-Mother Teresa

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 – 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 252010
 

Self Improvement – Mastering the Vision Thing

Personality types – your approach to work

How do you interact with those around you? How do you see yourself? How do you resolve problems? If you understand these things about your personality, you can make more progress with less confusion. You will engage your creative energies consciously and constructively. Consider some typical psychological models:

Hero – The explorer, decision-maker, adventurer, leader, servant of humanity.

Showman – The entertainer, artist, master of perception, imaginative creator.

Warrior – The persistent achiever, master of focused concentration, craftsman; powered by aggressive energy.

Scholar – The eternal student, wise teacher, steward of knowledge, compassionate nurturer.

“Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.”
-Marcus Aurelius 

Life and love as art

Life should be rich, full and satisfying. Life is our gift to enjoy. Life is our obligation to produce and serve. Life should be lived with style and grace; it is its own art. When you create something, make it appealing as well as functional. Your extra effort is an act of love for yourself, your Creator and your society.

“We have come to think of art and work as incompatible, or at least independent categories and have for the first time in history created an industry without art.”

“The vocation, whether it be that of the farmer or the architect, is a function; the exercise of this function as regards the man himself is the most indispensable means of spiritual development, and as regards his relation to society the measure of his worth.”
-Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

“To love is to transform; to be a poet.”
-Norman O. Brown

“The secret of art is love.”
-Antoine Bourdelle

“The art of life, of a poet’s life, is, not having anything to do, to do something.”
-Henry David Thoreau

“… a first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.”
-Abraham Maslow

The entrepreneurial personality

Do you have what it takes to run your own business? There are some personality traits that are common to entrepreneurs.

A representative of the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, explains about entrepreneurs: “They have a high need for achievement. They have a high tolerance for ambiguity and are comfortable adding their own structure to ambiguous situations. They usually have a single vision they do not swerve from, and they believe they control their own destinies.” Entrepreneur, February 1996, p. 30.

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”
-Albert Einstein

“I call intuition cosmic fishing. You feel the nibble, and then you have to hook the fish.”
-Buckminster Fuller

Decide to be Manager

Anything less than achieving “manager” leadership level in a network marketing plan is haphazard. It’s OK to be a distributor, but both the commitment and the rewards are limited. The big jump in responsibility (and financial reward) comes with being a manager. It takes planning to stay a manager.

The first step up the “ladder of success” is deciding that you want to be a manager. This is an important commitment. You want to start out well balanced and firmly committed. Once you begin climbing and you take others along with you, your responsibilities increase. You will want to plan first and know what you need to do.

Learn how to become a manager. Go back and read the marketing plan brochure and the distributor manual. Ask your sponsor or their manager for advice.

Learn how to stay a manager. One company ran a statistical analyses of their computer records and found that managers with 10 or more active distributors rarely had problems staying managers.

“No one knows what he can do until he tries.”
-Publilius Syrus

“One comes to be of just such stuff as that on which the mind is set.”
-Upanishads

… and then you get letters …

Once you have achieved “Manager” status, you’ll realize that you certainly didn’t do it alone. Your distributors will teach you more than you ever taught them. And, you’ll get letters like this (real) one:

Dear [Manager],

I’d like to take the time to thank you for being a great manager and a good friend and for all of the good things I’ve learned from you. You are why I am where I am today. Last month I ranked 2nd among recruiters (Area Managers). I have 7 first line managers and 2 second line managers. I have been invited to Convention again this year, all expenses paid. My husband and I have been invited to [the president’s] house for dinner next Saturday night and to a special photo session before the Awards Banquet. I am very excited but also overwhelmed by all of this. I still don’t know why. I do nothing but educate my people and it just makes my organization grow. Again, I’d just like to tell you and [your spouse] ….

Thank You

Cast your bread upon the water

“Casting your bread upon the water” is a reference to the scripture at Ecclesiastes 11:1. It refers to the rewards of exceptional generosity. Bread is the “staff of life.” When you are willing to part with something valuable, your generosity will be repaid. (As long as we’re on the subject, compare Luke 6:38.)

Lillian from Bakersfield, California, says “Caring and giving genuine service is like casting bread upon the water: it always comes back. I just keep going at the business of helping people to better health, and I keep talking about the benefits of the business. There always seems to be people who want to hear more.”

One of the most valuable things we have to share with others is our time and attention. Time is stuff of which our lives are made.

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”
-James Allen

Time: Use it or lose it

Every moment that is wasted is time you will never get back.

Take advantage of every available opportunity to advance your purposes. Feel free to share the Nature’s Sunshine philosophy with just about anyone you meet. Share your success with others and help to enrich their lives.

Make time to relax and enjoy the rest that you have earned – and then get right back to work doing good and enjoying every minute of it!

“I was so full of sleep at the time that I left the true way.”
-Dante

“Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus. (But meanwhile it is flying, irretrievable time is flying.)
-Virgil

“Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.
-Dion Boucicault, London Assurance (1841)

“No time like the present.”
-Mrs. Manley, The Lost Lover (1696)

I see (I. S.E.E.) what I should do

Integrity – the things that you choose to do should not conflict with your best values. Your actions should have purpose and meaning. They should be responsible and honest.

Service – Your actions should build up and create rather than destroy or take. Contributing to the welfare of others out of love will make you stronger and “make the world a better place.” “Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only for our own happiness, but that of the world at large.” Mahatma Gandhi

Enjoyment – When you find joy in doing what you love to do, your life will flow. Your creativity and enthusiasm will bring success. It is a gift that we can rejoice and do good and see good for all our hard work.

Excellence – If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Why commit to doing something if you don’t care enough about it to be persistent, determined and see it through to a conclusion you can remember with satisfaction?

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Help for a hurting world

If your neighbor was lost and confused and you knew how to solve his problem, wouldn’t you speak up? Who really is your neighbor? The world is filled with people who know that they’re getting progressively less healthy. They are confused and frightened. They don’t know where to turn and they don’t like it. You can help. You’ve tried something that worked for yourself and your family and you can tell them about it.

At one NSP convention, the Senior National Manager shared his philosophy with the attendees when he pointed out that “There’s a hurting world out there. Who is going to help them? If not me, who? If not now, when? If not, why?”

“Today … we know that all living beings who strive to maintain life and who long to be spared pain – all living beings on earth are our neighbors.”
-Albert Schweitzer

“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”
-Joseph Campbell

Draw a treasure map

If you haven’t been somewhere before you may need good directions and a road map to get there. When you have a goal to reach, decide how you want to get there and plan your route ahead of time. Follow your map and you will find your treasure.

Verlyn tells distributors to map out a plan. “Draw a ‘treasure map’ – things you’d like to have or accomplish within one year’s time. Don’t quit until you accomplish them. Don’t just dream… also have it come true! Decide you can do it, then do it with enthusiasm. If you can get on fire about what you are selling, others will feel your excitement.”

We start from the foundation of our values. This allows us to develop a vision of where we want to go. When we commit to that vision, we have goals. Next we develop a strategy to guide us in achieving our goals. We commit to specific tactics; the things we must do next. If the things we do are truly consistent with our values, then we will be happy and feel productive.

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
-Seneca

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 – A Guide to Learning

Learning is a never-ending process of personal change

Part of the joy of life is the continuous wonder of learning new things. When you integrate new knowledge with what you already know, you build a deep, richly textured fabric of wisdom that can be applied to make life more satisfying and productive. In other words: knowledge is your key to success.

It’s surprising how many people lose the ambition to keep on learning once they finish formal schooling. The fact is that school (including college) teaches you HOW to learn but only gives you an initial load of facts and skills. There is so much more to know!

A Manager in Louisiana says, "I’ll be learning until I’m 90 years old and on crutches." She understands that learning doesn’t have to end until the end. Personally, I plan to live a lot longer than 90.

"All human beings, by nature, desire to know."
-Aristotle

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."
-Henry Ford

"The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn … and change."
-Carl Rogers

"In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn."
-John Naisbitt

"… in the world of the future, the new illiterate will be the person who has not learned how to learn."
-Alvin Toffler

"Knowledge has three degrees – opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition."
-Plotinus

A brief thank you to my readers:
"To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his company."
-Andre Gide (1903)

Imitate what works for others

Look for successful people and learn from what they are doing. When you imitate what they are doing, you can expect to begin having the same results.

Don’t fixate on a single individual. You can do better. Pay attention to the attitudes and results of all the successful people you admire. You can meet many of these folks in person and even more through the books they have written. Not every book contains advice that is right for you. But, as you continue reading widely you will see patterns emerge and begin to identify the things that you need to do.

Now comes the hard part. You have to change. When you recognize old patterns of response that need to be changed, make that change as hard and as well as you can. Our habits and mental patterns are real and have power. If you are going to get out of a rut, you have to invest enough energy to get fully clear.

Once you have made the desired change, you can see more than when you were in a rut. This is the best time to take a good look around, reevaluate everything, fix your sights on your goal and decide which change will take you further in that direction.

"I invent nothing; I rediscover."
-Rodin

Don’t be limited by what others do

When you read a self-help book you can pick up some good ideas. Never, never stop there. The author doesn’t know everything. Read some more authors. Feed your mind a flood of vicarious experience. Expose yourself to a wide variety of experience. Collect ideas.

Then what do you do? Have respect for your own experience and good sense. Pick out the things that are good for you. Send problems to your subconscious to figure out and then listen when creative ideas come back. In the final analysis it’s your life; you make the choices and you stand responsible for the results.

"If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it."
-S. I. Hayakawa

"We can be knowledgeable with another man’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with another man’s wisdom."
-Michel De Montaigne

Everybody starts out ignorant

It’s OK to not know as much as someone else. At one time, that other person knew less than you do now. Do you get the point? You will learn if you persist. More, you can teach what you do already know. There are plenty of people who haven’t yet opened their eyes to recognize even the outline of what you already recognize as wonderful and important.

You don’t have to have everything figured out before you start. Like a journey, you don’t have to know every step ahead of time, just be willing to keep getting closer to your destination. You will learn as you go along. You will experiment. You will make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. In the end, you will be the expert.

"The work will teach you how to do it."
-Estonian Proverb

"To know that you do not know is best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease."
-Lao Tzu

"Everyone is ignorant, only in different subjects."
-Will Rogers

Build a library and read at least one book every month

You are going to accumulate books, magazines and clippings. All you have to do is organize your educational materials and you have a library. Books are still the best way to study and learn at your own pace. You should constantly be acquiring more knowledge about your areas of interest. In turn, this should constantly expand your areas of interest.

Building a library shows your commitment to education. It provides the means to help others to learn as well.

Set aside a budget for building your library. Subscribe to appropriate magazines and newsletters. Find books that you know add important information to your reference collection.

You don’t always have to buy books at retail. You can find real bargains in used book stores. If you have a store and you resell books, your wholesaler will save you about 40% off the retail cost.

"Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is."
-Isaac Asimov

"Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life."
-Marcus Aurelius

Build your reputation

Studying and learning earns a lot of long term benefits. It improves your self confidence because you really are more knowledgeable and competent. You know that you know more and so does everybody else. Your reputation will grow.

Studying and learning sets you apart. Not everyone has the self-discipline to apply themselves. It’s amazing how many people do just enough to get by. Studying and learning makes you a better teacher. You will make many close friends because your students will appreciate your sharing your knowledge with them. Teaching is a very personal activity that bonds people together.

When your customers have questions and you have answers, this strengthens your position in the marketplace. Your reputation will spread and the extra word-of-mouth advertising will increase your business.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."
-Abraham Lincoln

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 – Know Yourself

If it is to be, it’s up to me!

Jack of Bakersfield, California, endorses the motto: "If it is to be, it’s up to me!"

If you fail to act, things will gradually come apart. Your plow will rust, termites will devour your walls and your distributors will loose interest. It is a universal law that things will become increasingly disorganized if left alone. Thus, we all have a responsibility to continuously invest intelligent, creative energy into making things more organized. I do not believe that things can become increasingly organized on their own without the directed energy of a creative worker. So, if you want something to happen, you had better get out there, plan, invest your time and energy and take responsibility to make it happen.

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly, even if they roll a few more upon it."
-Albert Schweitzer

"But then if I do not strive, who will?"
-Chuang Tzu

How to Test Your Motives

The ideal motive for running your network business is service to others. You may draw your faith in this principle from the teachings of Jesus or the concept of Karma, but the principle is sound. The trick is to not anticipate that repayment at the time you are performing an act of service.

Sometimes, however, your life situation puts a lot of pressure on you. Many of the people who are moved to begin a network business do so because they already have financial problems and need money now. That makes it real hard to avoid visualizing their neighbor’s product purchase as their children’s school shoes. If this is your situation, do what you must from the need to do it. Relief from poverty by earnest endeavor is an honorable motive and most people will respond kindly to your work. (And you may just introduce them to the business opportunity that they need to solve their own problems.)

The real problems of motivation are those people who see network marketing as their ticket to riches through the work of others. They are shameless, pushy and shallow. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to earning a car allowance or a TAC trip. But, if you spend all your time dreaming about retiring early and how important you’ll look in your fancy yacht, then shame on you.

"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly."
-Bertrand Russell

Know thyself

I’ve known some people who are a mess. They don’t understand themselves and they don’t understand anyone else either. They don’t know what they want out of life and cast around randomly and unsuccessfully for affection, approval and control. They change jobs and spouses; nothing seems to make them happy. They may live dangerously to feel "alive" or they may resort to chemicals to hide from their desperate emptiness.

Knowing yourself not only means understanding your values and needs, but also having mastery of your goals, emotions and relationships. When you know what good things bring you a sense of satisfaction and purpose, you can invest your life cultivating, harvesting and distributing that goodness.

"Thoroughly to know oneself, is above all art, for it is the highest art."
-Theologia Germanica

"To know oneself, one should assert oneself."
-Albert Camus

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
-George Eliot

"Being in business is not about money. It is a way to become who you are."
-Paul Hawken

The pleasures of dedicated work

There is nothing like dedicated, focused attention to make things flow. Somehow, when you get completely involved, time seems to stand still and everything gets easier. It’s like all the circuits in your brain line up to keep you on track. In fact, being fully absorbed in work is a distinctly pleasurable state of mind.

According to a manager in Texas: "It’s easy if you are willing to work hard and if you have the desire to achieve. It’s difficult if you aren’t dedicated to the work and the company. When I decided to dedicate myself full-time to an NSP business, it became much easier for me to achieve my business goals. The very reason I’ve worked all these years with the same endeavor is because I enjoy helping people find natural answers to their dietary concerns, and talking about health and nutrition with them in words they are comfortable with and can understand."

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."
-Patanjali 

Approval and control

What are the things that you really, down deep, want in life? Almost anything you can think of boils down to some form of approval or control. That makes the desire to feel approved and in control the most powerful influence for good or bad in our lives.

My sponsor urged me to learn to “release” on my desires for approval and control. She explained that they bound me to the responses of people who weren’t even aware of their influence. In addition, these emotions especially bound me to manipulative people who had no interest in my welfare.

While discussing competition, my wife told me that women compete for approval but men compete for control. Have you noticed that tendency? You can use that information to help motivate the people you talk to.

"The hook is your desire to be approved by others. The bait is any kind of reward. The minute you go for the bait, the game is playing you. You are no longer playing the game. You get serious."
-Laurence G. Boldt

Waiting ’till later – the classic negator

"I’ll do it tomorrow." – "Tomorrow never comes."

Be careful to not say "tomorrow" when you really mean "not today." Procrastination is the perfect way to put something off forever. It negates your good intentions. The best way to fight procrastination is do things right away. There’s no time like the present.

Setting deadlines helps you to avoid being forced to rush at the last minute. Try to finish your monthly goals during the first 2 weeks. Place your orders early.

"We take no note of time, but from its loss."

"Procrastination is the thief of time."
-Edward Young

"To be contented is noble, but to be lethargic does not enable one to benefit men or to utilize things."
-Hung Tzu Ch’eng

"Tomorrow is another day"
-Scarlet O’Hara, Gone With the Wind

Buy some flowers

Show your appreciation. Buy some flowers for someone who needs a lift or needs to know that you care. Flowers are truly special. They convey a special sense of tenderness and friendship. Buy some flowers for yourself too. You deserve it. You’ve been working hard and doing good. Take charge of brightening your day and giving yourself a lift.

You don’t have to limit yourself to flowers, of course. There are so many ways to show your appreciation! Search constantly to find ways to brighten someone’s day. At Hewlett-Packard Company an engineer burst into his supervisor’s office to announce that he’d solved an important problem. The manager groped in his desk for some way to give an immediate reward and came up with the banana from his lunch. The "Golden Banana Award" is now one of the highest honors an HP employee can receive.

"The best portion of a good man’s life – his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."
-William Wordsworth

Looking Good

The most important part of looking good is a smile born of genuine happiness. Inner beauty always brings out the best in people. It is not necessary to have the best clothes or most perfect hair and makeup but your attitudes will affect your appearance.

Respect for yourself and others demands keeping clean and being "presentable." I don’t know which comes first, self-esteem or dressing well, but they seem to reinforce each other. My great grandparents used to put on their better clothes when they left the house. It was a matter of respect for themselves and others. People today seem to want to be more "casual" but that is no excuse for being slovenly.

Mary Kay Ash (chairman of Mary Kay Cosmetics) says: "While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence – which, I believe, does make the woman."

"Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success."
-Christopher Lasch

"What you see is what you get."
-Flip Wilson

Love: The best motivation

The real sustaining power to keep you going is love. When you love people, you just HAVE to show them how they can feel better and be healthier. Can you imagine a finer motivation?

Bonnie feels this way: "Love the people and be very concerned with other people’s feelings. If we love people, we have the right attitude to be in the people business. As you help them get what they want, they will help you get what you want. Treat each other like family, and like you want to be treated. It works – it’s tried and tested."

"It’s motive alone that gives character to the actions of men."
-Jean de la Bruyere

Zest for life

They know you’re dead when you quit moving. Zest for life is the joyous energy that keeps us moving, playing and working. If that were to go away, we would start losing mental and muscle tone rapidly.

Zest for life is infectious. It is a gift that you automatically share with everyone you meet. People like to be near you when you have infectious enthusiasm.

The sense of optimism that you bring to your life and work increases your chances of success in any endeavor and contributes to your health and ability to deal with stressful situations.

"I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
-Helen Keller

"A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love."
-Mother Teresa

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.