Strangest Secret Formula

Inspire – The Journey



  • Fight Hardest When Your Competition Is Resting!

    There is a story that I tell to all my executive coaching clients. It’s an old story. One you heard as a child. A hare and a tortoise decided to race. The hare had the potential, but the tortoise had the discipline. As the hare stopped for a break, the tortoise went past him and eventually won the race. When I heard this story years ago, it demonstrated the fact that we could work slowly, but if we are disciplined, we will eventually get there. We now know that we need both efficiency and discipline if we expect to make it. But let’s look at that story again. Suppose the real message from that story is “when your competition is taking a break, that’s the time to put in your best effort.” When I was in college, I had opportunity to fight on the college’s karate team. The trainer we had working with the group indicated that most of the time, fighters come out and try to “feel” the other fighter out before they do anything significant. And yet, years of experience indicate that the first part of the fight is the best time to give it your all, while your competition is still sizing up the situation. It’s a fact that the NFL Super Bowl is most often won by the team that scores first. He who draws first blood... wins. The beginning, that’s the time to really put in your best effort because you can catch them, sleeping. Now I wasn’t one of the strongest fighter’s on the team and I often made up for that by being incredibly slow. So catching my opponent sleeping sounded like a really good idea to me. Sounds like one of those ‘duh’ statements doesn’t it. The best time to get ahead is when everyone else is taking a break. If the competition has decided to take it easy, why not take advantage of the situation by putting in your best effort? Now there’s another benefit to working hard when the competition is taking a break. Your greater effort creates an impression in the minds of others. The football great Walter Payton was known for having a personal pre-season conditioning program that was simply grueling. It was a highly publicized effort that capitalized on the saying “whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Payton spent hours working hard before everyone else got to camp making sure he was ready for the season. I wonder what affect that had on would-be tacklers during the season? I wonder if they pulled up just a little before the impact with the thought “if he’d do that to himself, what’s he willing to do to me” rolling around in their heads? Your greater effort, during everyone else’s rest time will put all kinds of impressions in the minds of superiors, clients and most of all your competition. While your competition is throwing in the proverbial towel, you are going to position yourself so that when they wake up, they can’t possibly catch up. Just remember this quote that I saw recently on a T-shirt. “If you’re not the lead dog, the scenery never changes.” So let’s make a decision to be the lead dog. About the Author: Art Jackson is a professional speaker, executive coach and the President of Eagles Nest Performance Management, Inc. He is a recognized expert in the areas of leadership, performance improvement and interpersonal skills. Art is the originator of the Purpose Centered Leadership(TM) system that has been used to improve performance in many facets of public and private life. Click on the following link to learn more about:  Art Jackson   

  • Maximum Thinking(TM) - Building Your Personal Brand

    When most people hear the term “branding” the first thing that comes to their mind is a company's brand or style. What that company wants to look like or be known for. But what about you personally... what is your own personal brand telling other people about you? We all know a famous movie star or rock star that has a personal brand or a certain image that the public holds about them. It makes that person who they are in your eyes, and the opinion you may hold of that individual might be positive or negative. Take for example the American actor, Charlie Sheen. What do you think about when you hear his name? You probably think about some crazy party animal always getting in trouble and not caring too much about anyone other than himself. Then, if you look at Bill Gates, sure you may think about Microsoft. What about him as a person? Here is a man who along with his wife started the Bill and Melinda Gates Polio Foundation and has dedicated a large portion of his wealth to eliminating Polio in the world. Now, Bill Gates is a person that we think about and say to ourselves this person really cares about others and the world he lives in. If you had a choice of which of these two individuals you could do business with or spend your time with, which would you choose? And why? What is your personal brand all about? Are you really walking your talk? Do your actions match the values that you profess to the people your dealing with on a daily basis? What do people see when you don’t know they’re watching? Your words have to match your actions or your personal brand will be ruined. I this this happen all the time. I recently ran into an acquaintance who stopped me to talk. She proceeded to tell me how bad the economy was and how hard it was to get a job, she went on to tell me that she was recently at a community event and met someone who was looking for help in their business and they told her to stop by for an interview the next day. However, she didn’t get the job and couldn’t figure out why; she was more than qualified for the position. I later ran into the business owner and asked him what happened and why he didn’t hire someone who had all the qualifications she did to fill the position. The business owner proceeded to tell me that he was prepared to hire her until later that night he saw her being very rude to a group of older people at an event, and talking about how much of a pain dealing with older people can be because they move so slow and require too much attention. He then said, “I don’t need anyone with that attitude working for me. I’m 68 years old and sometimes I move slow and need a little more attention than others. I just don’t think we would be a good fit to work with each other.” It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner, an at home parent, a teenager, or fresh out of college looking to land that new job, you need to start thinking about and building your personal brand. Make sure it's positive, healthy, and matches the values of the people who can help you and open rewarding doors for you in life. You never know who is watching, so start being truthful with yourself. If what you’re doing is not what you want to be remembered for don’t—do it. My Grandfather always told me “if you wouldn’t do it in front of your mother then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.” About the Author: Chris Livingston has become known as America’s Maximum Thinking™ Coach. He’s the author of the book Pathways to Success: A Better Way for Your Today. His "can–do" attitude and effective ability to teach interpersonal skills that bring forth rewarding real-life results, has made him a valuable "go-to" consultant and mentor for those facing challenges in business, career and life. With over 20 years as a successful entrepreneur, Chris has helped many businesses to shift and change their company’s mindset to achieve greater success in sales, team efficiency, strategic business development, and in making excellence "The Standard." He believes in and embraces the philosophy of Dr. Wayne Dyer, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Click on the following link to learn more about:  Chris Livingston   

  • Getting Motivated - I'll Take You There

    Ever wonder sometimes how you're going to make it to your dream, goal, or life destination? Whether you're going it alone or seemingly swimming upstream with your group, you can reset your motivational mindset in just a few simple steps. There lies within us the potential for greatness. I believe it is ever present and awaiting the dawn when we will remove our self-imposed success limitations that are not conducive to our success. But what if you are giving it your best already, yet you continue to face obstacle after obstacle? What can you do when there's seemingly no one in your corner, on your team, or by your side? Reset Your Motivational Mindset: Pump Up the Jam! Mindlessly clicking through your station in life isn't going to get you tuned into the situation you want to be. It's like late-night television. You grab the remote and click through station after station until you finally land on something just to stop the channel surfing pain. Go one better: Find your favorite song and pump it up! I love music because it can change your state of mind in an instant. Don't believe me? Sing a Song I find it interesting when someone starts to get into a song. Inevitably, someone will cheer them on and say, “Go on girl, sing!” and although the person likes the song, she sheepishly backs away from it declaring, “I can't sing.” Really? Who says you need to? In the '80s one of the most unique sounds coming from the radio was the beat box. Arguably, Biz Markie was the most unique artists of his time. He was so unique, he could make music with his mouth; I'm not talking about singing. I'm talking about his own language, his own code, dialect, inflection. He would gyrate, gesticulate, and manipulate his voice to create something so unique that no one could touch it. It was as if he could bend sound. He was beat boxing, and that was Biz's trademark. A sound so unique, only he could give it to the world. Granted, the sound wasn't for everybody, but it was for him. He chose to sing a song like no one else. Make the Music with your mouth. Bring forth your unique sound. Sing YOUR song. Everybody Dance Now What's more motivating than motion? Have you ever watched a sporting event where the game gets good? As soon as the action breaks, everyone gets up to cheer and dance, and there isn't even any music playing! Cheer yourself with a dance. It's seemingly impossible to dance to upbeat music and be depressed. Just talking about dancing tips your timidity toward temptation! Move your molecules! Walk on Sunshine Louis Armstrong said in his song, “When you're smilin', the whole world smiles at you.” Imagine what this can do for your motivational mood to have an entire block, town, or city of people reflecting back what you put out into the world. Walk on sunshine. Put a smile on your face, and some pep in your step, and watch the world accept and reflect that pep. Imagine the empowering feeling of being able to walk on sunshine. Superhero? Perhaps. Motivational magic? Definitely! Don't Stop Believin' Pursuing motivation doesn't have to be like seeking a brass ring; however, I do believe it is a journey. Like most journeys, it begins with a step within ourselves to seek out truer meaning, deeper truth, and insightful enlightenment. I've placed below a short list of motivational music: 1. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now (McFadden & Whitehead) 2. I'm Every Woman (Whitney Houston) 3. Boogie Shoes (KC and the Sunshine Band) 4. Everybody Dance Now (C & C music Factory) 5. I can see Clearly Now (Johnny Nash) 6. Don't Worry Be Happy (Bobby McFarren) 7. Don't Stop Til you Get Enough (Michael Jackson) 8. Shackles (Mary, Mary) 9. Don't Stop Believing (Journey) 10. Lovely Day (Bill Withers) 11. Let's Go Crazy (Prince) 12. Dancing on the Ceiling (Lionel Richie) 13. Whip it (Willow Smith) 14. Make the Music with your Mouth (Biz Markie) 15. Twist Again (Chubby Checker) 16. I'll Take You There (Mavis Staples) 17. Sing A Song (Earth Wind and Fire) 18. We Are Family (Sister Sledge) Although these artists represent different genres, they still share common threads. Each of them had a burning passion within them to share their song with the world. Whether individual or group, they persevered through the most difficult situations. They kept the faith, and delivered. You can make your own M.U.S.I.C., and make it motivational, too! You can Make YoUr self Shine and your spirit soar In spite of your Circumstances. Like most journeys, you often find someone along the way who helps you get to the next destination. Whether you listen to these songs, or any others that motivate you, remember this: You are not alone. You are in the company of determined and destined doers who held steadfast to their dreams, and won. They are proof that no matter how dark it may seem, there is a victory around the corner. Pump up the jam and reset your motivational mindset with your favorite unconditional supporters. Keep the faith, and remember, if you're ever running low on energy, We Are Family (Sister Sledge), and we will be here to motivate, encourage, and inspire you. About the Author: Shonn Scott is a professional speaker and facilitator who has presented to small to large groups at Morgan State University, Community College of Baltimore County, Project Second Start; the State of Maryland Department of Human Resources, (DHR) and the Maryland State Department of Education, to name a few. Click the following link to learn more about: Shonn Scott   

  • Work Hard and Dream Big

    You must have the ability to visualize your dreams in order to achieve them. Without a solid plan and visualization, your goals become a daydream. Daydreams may be entertaining but they rarely produce long lasting results. When most people daydream they jump immediately to the goal in life; dreaming of the HGTV dream home and not thinking, "If I work hard I will be able to afford this home one day;" dreaming of being the next American Idol, but not taking the time to learn the words to the song or practice the music. Some dream of owning a boat, but never learning how to stay on course in their career so they can afford one. You must reprogram your mind to achieve positive behavior. Visualize the goals you want. If you want a new job, then see yourself in that job. Plan your next move step-by-step, and minute-by-minute. This will build confidence and self esteem when you apply for a new position. When you see kids playing basketball on the court, they imitate the great players. They see themselves going to the hoop just like LeBron "King" James. Watching LeBron James make plays and moving the ball is more than just visualization for the young kids, it's a rehearsal. See yourself as a winner, and you'll be a winner. This is the time to start moving toward the steps of visualization. Keep in mind that if you see yourself as a failure, you'll be a failure. Be careful about poor self images that you pick and emulate. Remember, some people say, "Be careful what you pray for because it might come true."    I Have a Dream Great leaders see things not as they are but as they would like them to be. I'm quite sure if Martin Luther King would have accepted the plight of the African American and never dreamed that one day his children would be able to go to the amusement parks in Alabama with other children, or never dreamed his children would be able to sit hand-in-hand in restaurants. If he never dreamed, he would not have had the vision that he shared with others as he stood on stage and talked about "I have a dream." Deeply rooted in the American dream, Martin Luther King's dream was a visualization that could be. He saw the world for what we could make of it and the way that it should be one day. Build Your Dream Book For What You See Is What You Get Research and plan your next step. Understand the mechanics of work and how life is but also have the ability to see life the way you want it to be. When you are able to change your vision, then you are on the road to success. Write your way to success by developing a planning book. Section your book into life chapters for improvement. The first chapter should be on building the mind. How many books should I read? What areas of improvement should I do my research? The next chapter could be on health and fitness outlining my personal goals for achievement. Do you want to run in a 5k marathon or just shape up a little to fit into that new outfit? A very popular chapter is the home improvement and you can start from the inside out. Plans from building a man cave, redecorating rooms, remodeling the kitchen, planting tress and flowers should be written in each of your chapters. The chapters should be labeled with organizational folders so you can easily add new information as you discover new ideas. Just think of the time you save by having all this information right at your finger tips. You now have a system for storing the knowledge you gain when looking through magazines, discovering a web page or picking up a brochure. Do you remember as a child you would cut and paste and draw your dreams and visions with bright colors on big paper? When you become an adult you put away your childish toys, pull them out again and write a blueprint to trace your footprints with big bold dreams. Dream it, write it, save it, and then make it happen. Promise yourself that your dreams will become your symbols of achievement. Color your dreams; paste them on the refrigerator door with magnets. Sprinkle a little water of knowledge on your dreams by going on line and researching the potential and possibilities of achievement. Understanding the degree of difficulty will give you a time frame to attach to the dream. Believe in yourself and know that you can accomplish the goals that you have set. Work hard and strive for excellence in all that you do. Be true to yourself and understand, the harder you work the luckier you get. Believe in yourself and your dreams will come true. About the Author: Harvey Alston Considered one of the most dynamic, “high octane” speakers in America. Harvey Alston has been a full-time speaker since 1989. He has spoken to millions of people throughout the United States who have benefited not only from his knowledge, but also from the wisdom that Harvey Alston brings to the finish line. Harvey Alston’s unforgettable words of individual responsibility for achievement have improved spirits, spurred growth, and changed lives. His powerful, soul-searching presentations uplift audiences to a higher standard, and to a level where they strive only for the best. Harvey Alston believes in solitary achievement, shared accomplishment and the dignity of human beings. Click the following link to learn more about: Harvey Alston   

  • The Power of Forgiveness

    Pain, disappointment, hurt, embarrassment, and shame are emotions that are associated with all relationships; whether they are romantic or non-romantic. The most important emotion is anger. Anger, however, is a secondary emotion. No one feels angry first. Anger is a reaction to an event. For example, if your boss calls you “inadequate” aloud during a staff meeting you might feel embarrassed. Then, after your colleagues react to the statement you become angry. What if I told you it was important to forgive your boss? I can hear the mumbles now. Let me explain. Forgiveness is important for personal growth Refusing to forgive someone can deter you from your personal goals. When you are angry with someone, that anger can consume your thoughts. Let’s continue to use the example of the boss. After the boss calls you inadequate, it may cause a negative reaction for you towards your job. You may neglect your work tasks deliberately due to your emotional state. The reason that you remain angry is due to your initial reaction. It is the embarrassment that the comments caused that still remains. As long as this goes unresolved, then the anger will remain. Your boss has total control over your emotions without having to do anything. Suppressing your emotions will only cause these emotions to be expressed in a negative way. This may cause you to direct your anger at people that were not involved in the situation. Creating a forgiveness list helps identify those you need to forgive The purpose of a forgiveness list is to identify all the people that you need to forgive. Rank the list from most important to least important. This could be updated as more names are identified. Next to each name write the reason you need to forgive the person. Each person you do not forgive holds a specific part of you. Until you learn to forgive the person, that part of you will continue to be lost. This is a process, and not something that will be done overnight. There will be times where you progress, and other times in which you go astray. Do not give up on the process. Forgiveness is the key to your own happiness. The boss that disrespected you should be on this list. Identify the reason that you need to forgive him. The reason might be so you can be more productive at work. Discovering the reason will give you the key to forgiving the person. Forgiving frees you from the past The past can block your present if you allow, blinding your sight from the wonderful opportunities in your future. Forgiveness helps to close the chapters of your past. Why relive past events, when new adventures are waiting to be written? All the hurt that you feel about past must be released. If the situation is severe, seeking professional counseling is suggested. In any regards, you must allow the process of forgiving to happen. This is how you will free yourself from the past. If your boss treated you negatively, it does not mean your next boss will. Forgiving will allow you to reflect about each relationship independently instead of from past references. Life is difficult enough without carrying unresolved baggage. Forgiving prepares you for more meaningful relationships Being freed from the past, you are now ready for progress, to move on. This may be the begging of a new relationship or the repair of an old one. Now that you understand the feelings you have towards your boss, the situation could possibly be reconciled. If the situation cannot be reconciled, then at least you will be able to express your emotions in a more controlled manner. Whatever the outcome, you must forgive for  your own benefit. Forgiveness is not for the person you feel disrespected you, but it is all about you. You forgive so that you can be a better person. When you seek new relationships, you will enter them without the baggage and the hurt from your past. Everyone has emotional wounds. Forgiveness is the bandage for those wounds. You may always be able to see the scar, but the wound can heal. There is power in forgiving. Get your power back. About the Author: Terrence Johnson is a licensed professional counselor who currently works at Jackson State University as a therapist. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University where he obtained a bachelor degree in psychology and a master degree in counselor education. He has worked with adolescent offenders, children with mental health disorders, middle, high school, and college aged students. He specializes in the areas of career and mental health counseling. Click the following link to learn more about: Terrence Johnson   

  • The Sure-Proof Way to Work Through Any Doubt

    Everyone has doubts. Yet there are so many people who are plagued by them. This article will reveal a new way to work through and eventually release any pressing doubt you may have. By adjusting the way you perceive your own doubts you will enter into an entirely new relationship with your unsettling thoughts, with those so-called traitors. All you have to do is follow three simple steps. 1. Do not believe everything that you think. Psychologists estimate that we have about sixty-thousand thoughts a day. This means that as you become more aware of yourself and your thoughts, you also realize that there are some thoughts you can agree with and others you can discard. By turning over a given thought in your mind you can look at it from multiple angles, instead of automatically believing it to be true. Some thoughts are absolutely fantastic but many are not true at all. Many believe that because they had a negative thought, it means that the thought is the truth and therefore they are a bad person. This is not the case. Thoughts are submitted to your awareness for your approval before they hold any power over you, regardless of how negative they may seem at first. If you know a thought is not helping you, take a deep breath, discard it, and replace it with a positive affirmation. You do not discard the thought by resisting it. This will only make the thought stronger. Instead, let it float into your awareness, consider it, and then fill your mind with something better. 2. Make time for yourself. This may seem obvious and easy. But the simplest answers are easiest to forget about. Taking time to relax and reflect each day will increase your productivity by an enormous amount. As you find an onslaught of doubts coming on, do not let them overcome you. Get up and do something. Be spontaneous and go explore a new area. Get lost in a good book. Watch an inspiring movie. Go for a long run. Watch the sun set. Take a long, hot shower. Listen to soothing music, such as the classics. Go to a relaxing place after work and unwind for thirty minutes. Call an old friend and ask how they are doing. Focus your mind on other things and other people. It is often when your mind is completely off your problem that your answer will come to you. The truth is that you will be of no help to others if you are tired and burned out. Yes, work hard. Yes, be disciplined and persistent with your goals. Just do not be afraid to unplug and simplify your life by taking time to yourself every day. You deserve it. 3. Embrace it. Bringing the process to completion, now you must obtain a new understanding of what your doubts mean. Throughout your life you have viewed your doubts as annoying, negative, and frustrating. Instead, be open to viewing them as signposts and guides telling you that you are on the right path and where to make course corrections. The key point is that doubts simply mean that you are expanding your comfort zone. People who lead their fields, who are green and growing, often have doubts three to four nights a week. This is because they are taking risks and moving forward. They know these doubts are a normal and natural human tendency. It is the champion, the winner, who pushes forward anyways. Think about it like this. When a plane takes off, especially on a rainy day, there is usually going to be some turbulence as it climbs through the clouds. Does a pilot, after hitting turbulence, level off below the clouds or even worse turn back and land? Of course not! The pilot makes sure to keep on climbing, eventually making it above the clouds. The sun is always shining behind the clouds. It is the same thing with your doubts. Once you push through your own doubts and self-limiting beliefs, your confidence will increase and you will reach a whole new level of living. About the Author: Jeff Davis is currently living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. He is studying at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School to receive his Masters of Finance. He speaks about the advantages of small colleges. He has lived in Budapest, Hungary for an entire year and traveled all over the world. He also enjoys seeing his family in Newtown, Connecticut.   

  • A Rebirth of a New You

    This month perhaps you and countless of others around the globe will take part in an annual event marking the New Year. In addition to the countdown and singing Auld Lang Syne, you may find yourself creating a “New to Do” list, better known as the infamous New Year’s Resolution. In my early twenties, I can recall making my first New Year’s Resolution. It was December 31st, and I was bringing in the New Year with some friends. We were all having a great time and the question came up “what is your new year’s resolution?” That question hit me like a ton of bricks because I never gave it any thought. This was a new concept. When it was my turn to share, I just made it up on the fly. Some of those goals at the time were to exercise, save money and travel. As the clock was winding down we began counting in unison 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! After the celebration I went home thinking about my goals. I awoke the next morning and to my surprise NOTHING HAPPENED! Maybe I need to give this New Year’s resolution thing some more time. Several weeks and months had past and I didn’t reach my goals. I found myself consumed with mixed emotions and feeling frustrated that an entire year was wasted on “wishful thinking.” This process would play out for several years until I decided one day to try a different approach. It began with asking myself a new set of questions: Should goals be made only during New Years or can they made anytime? Revised and adjusted as I go. You can probably relate or know someone who has had a similar experience. We all have good intentions of accomplishing our goals. How can we better avoid these barriers, stay focused and accomplish whatever we set our mind on? First, get a clear picture of where you want to be and WRITE IT DOWN. If it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. Your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.) Do you see yourself in a new position, volunteering more or running a 5K? Whatever you see yourself doing you must create a big enough WHY? For example, why should I run a 5K? To raise money for charity, get fit, raise awareness, etc. The more reasons you find, the better. Review your goals daily, once in the morning shortly after you awake and before you go to bed. Last, share your goals with other caring people who support you and your ideas. They will hold you accountable, and check in on your from time to time. It is important to create a support network and receive positive feedback. This will help to keep you motivated and driven to accomplish your ultimate goals. About the Author: Kenny Bey is a Certified Instructor for Dale Carnegie. His humor and energy, in addition to his skills, makes him a highly successful trainer and keynote speaker. Prior to joining Dale Carnegie, Kenny served as a teacher and Assistant Principal. He brings experience and leadership training to his current position. Outside of work, Kenny supports the community as a volunteer for raising cancer awareness. Kenny Bey is also, a dedicated father of three, who resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.   

  • It's Time To Re-Boot Your Life

    How old are you right now? 25, 35, 45, Older? No matter your age, now is the perfect time to re-boot your life. I’m sure you recognize the term re-boot if you’ve ever used a computer. Every now and then your computer has a glitch that prevents it from working. You consider calling a computer tech but quickly remember the $45 you spent for basic instructions the last time! Perhaps the service call went something like this: Tech: “Ma'am, would you please turn your computer off?" Caller: "It's turned off." Tech: "Thank you. Now, we’re going to wait a few minutes..." Tech: "Ma'am, please turn your computer back on now." Caller: "Okay... My computer is turned back on, and it's booting up." Tech: "Did that fix the problem?" Caller: "Yes, it looks like it did." Tech: "Great! What is the full name on your credit card?” Wouldn’t it be great if life worked the same way? Well it can, minus the $45 charge! Take a moment to assess your life — what is working, what isn’t, what changes can be made today, etc. Like the computer that needed a fresh start before being able to function again, you too may be in need of a re-boot. Another example is PepsiCo North America Beverages. This company is re-evaluating its beverage portfolio to identify ways to become more profitable and productive. They have implemented an enterprise-wide innovation that could cause them to not only succeed, but lead, the beverage industry. To pull off their re-boot, they are examining products, packaging and programs to find areas that will make the most critical difference to their future growth. PepsiCo North America Beverages is also changing their perspective on how the industry works to make them more competitive in a changing environment. That alone should be interesting to you because PepsiCo is doing quite well, however they want to do better, hence the idea of a re-boot. Even if you’re doing quite well right now, it still may be a great time for a re-boot. “But my life is too big and has too much going on for me to re-boot.” I hear comments like this all the time. Here’s my thinking, if a multi-million dollar corporation like PepsiCo North America can re-boot, I’m sure you can shut down long enough to get your affairs moving in a more profitable and productive direction. If you’re like me, you’ve probably already completed several life re-boots. Since I graduated from college, I’ve been: • A military officer • A corporate executive • A consultant • A professional speaker • And now, an entrepreneur In this article, I want to cover some of the things I do with clients that come to me needing a fresh start. A re-boot. 1. Visualize the life you want to live. To jump start your visualization, pick a role model and do some research on his or her lifestyle. Look through magazines, get information on his or her home and work life. Watch Biography shows on TV, etc. Based on what you discover, what are the up and down sides of this person’s life? Now it should be easier to create a visual of how you want to live your life. Remember, you don’t have to mimic every aspect of your role model’s life; you can modify it. I was fortunate enough to discover some things in my role model’s life that were not acceptable to him so I made sure those issues weren’t present in my visual. While you’re generating your picture, don’t miss opportunities to add to your vision. I constantly add to my vision through my dream book -- a notebook with photos of things I want in my life. I review the book several times each week and it always amazes me when something in the book shows up in my life. Seemingly without any effort on my part. While you’re visualizing, doo a passion check. One of my mentors told me years ago, “Do what you love or be prepared to always get beat by someone doing exactly the same thing you do but loving it.” In other words, where do your passions lie? What activity could you do on a daily basis that would keep you constantly jazzed up? So often we spend our lives doing things that bring us no joy at all. How can you add some great joy to your life? Visualize your life with great joy. 2. Get a picture of what your life looks like right now. Different from your dream book, get a journal and start writing down what your life looks like right now. Write the good and the not-so-good and record what you want to keep and what you’d like to get rid of. Be honest with yourself and be careful not to overlook parts of your life that may be hard to confront. Once you have this record, you’re ready to start planning your escape from where you are and your arrival to where you want to be. As you write, consider your life in four (4) areas: • Spiritual Development –Spiritual Development is working on your inner person. Your closeness to God. So ask some of the following questions. Are you as close to Deity as you’d like to be? Are you calm, centered and as much at peace as you’d like? • Personal Development –Personal Development are the activities aimed at improving your job or career related skills. So ask yourself these questions. Do you have all the training that you need to progress in your career? • Service Achievement – Service Achievement is what you do for others. Your charitable acts of kindness that make the world a better place. Ask yourself these questions. Are you doing as much for others as you could be doing? Do you sometimes feel that you could be doing more to make the world a better place? • Personal Achievement – Personal Achievement is what you do in your career. It’s your Monday through Friday work. Ask yourself these questions. Have you progressed in your career as much as you’d like? Is there a promotion in there with your name on it? Develop a picture of your life in these (4) areas. Now, you have a picture of where you are and where you are going. You next step is ‘bridging the gap’. 3. Determine what you need to do to ‘bridge the gap’. Bridging the gap means looking for actions you can take to move from where you are right now and where you want to be. It takes a lot of thinking so enlist the help of your peers, colleagues, friends, family members and work together to tackle this step. Make sure you pick individuals whose opinion you respect. Be open to the opinions and suggestions of others. Write down everything you hear and review it all later. 4. Avoid talking yourself off the ledge -- just jump! The very idea of re-booting can be scary. Remember that original example of turning the computer off and then on again? Sounds simple to do, but my biggest worry when I’m about to do it is am I going to lose some of my data when I turn it off? Don’t worry, this fresh start isn’t exactly like a computer. As you start moving forward, if you find you don’t like the new life, you can always make course corrections and try the process again. and if necessary go back to the previous life whenever you want. Let’s revisit the PepsiCo example and introduce one of their competitors, Coke. Years ago, Coke came out with ‘New Coke’ that was supposed to be a replacement for the original formula. They were surprised when people were wedded to the original taste and didn’t want to make the switch. Coke’s response was simple, “My bad. Here’s the original Coke back.” If needed, you can always simply go back. Strangely enough though, I’ve never found anyone that went back to his or her old life. Even Coke came out with additional versions after they pulled new-Coke. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Just jump into your reboot of life. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You’ll take some actions that just didn’t work. Well even then, you’re better off. You have discovered some actions that won’t get the job done and that discovery alone is worth the risk. So go after the life you want and wait a good long while before you wave your white surrender flag. About the Author: Art Jackson is a professional speaker, executive coach and the President of Eagles Nest Performance Management, Inc. He is a recognized expert in the areas of leadership, performance improvement and interpersonal skills. Art is the originator of the Purpose Centered Leadership(TM) system that has been used to improve performance in many facets of public and private life. Click on the following link to learn more about:  Art Jackson   

  • Six Simple Acts of Kindness

       Road Rage. Bullying. Bad customer service. Mudslinging politics. The economy. The price of gasoline...and on and on. The litany of what can make us angry, irritated, exhausted and disheartened seems endless, reinforced from an endless media stream that bombards us from the television, radio, internet and more. I’m sure that each of us can easily come up with a list of the top 5-10 things that lean on us in a negative way.  What I propose, instead, is that we change our focus, intentionally, on things that lift--and here’s the catch--not us, but others. For starters, a handful of simple acts of kindness can go a long, long way. Six Simple Acts of Kindness for Spirit Lifting. Simple Act #1. Yield. Make room in your lane for other vehicles to enter. Drive kindly. Lay off the horn. Slow down. Become the antithesis of the road rager. Do this often and endlessly. And don’t forget, there are countless new drivers on the road. Even better, give everyone the respect and patience you need to offer those rookie drivers. Simple Act #2. Turn Off Your Cell Phone. I don’t just mean in waiting rooms, theaters and in restaurants. Impossible? Try this, if you must take a call on your cell phone, apologize, step out of earshot from other people and speak quietly. If you’re with other people and not expecting a call, turn your cell phone off. Simple Act #3. Hold the Door. This is an easy one. When entering a doorway, pause—yes pause—long enough to hold the door for those who wish to enter or exit. For bonus spirit lifting, look for people with packages, small children, or strollers and gracefully move ahead of the person to get to and hold the door. For maximum spirit lifting, see someone struggling with packages while entering a neighboring office, dash out of your office, and help with the packages and the door. Simple Act #4. Greet People with a Smile. Another easy one. There should be endless opportunities throughout the day for this one. See a person, say, “Hello,” and smile. Answer the phone with a smile (it makes a difference--try it). Begin the morning at the office, with, “Good morning” and a smile. Employees and volunteers in reception areas of stores, schools, and offices can brighten people’s days with their smiles. The nice thing about smiling is that it’s good for them and good for you, too. A great gift that doesn't cost a dime. Simple Act #5. Pick up the Trash. If you see a piece of trash, pick it up. Start with this: On your way from your car to your office building, or from your house to your street, pick up any paper that has blown into your path. In addition to keeping the area attractive, this simple act tends to be contagious. Simple Act #6. Stand Up. Always a sign of respect, this simple act of kindness extends beyond a judge walking into a courtroom, the president entering a room, or a bride walking down an aisle. Stand when you shake hands, when someone joins you and you are seated, and when someone gets up from or comes back to your dinner table. We live in a world of instant information that travels fast and far and reminds us of things without easy solutions. Gun violence, homelessness, hunger, war and poverty, to name a few. It seems impossible or overwhelming at times, to make a positive difference in the face of these enormous issues. Acts of kindness and daily acts of selfless giving are within our easy reach. Moving forward, keep in mind the simple phrase, How can I help you? About the Author: Cathleen Hanson is co-director and founder of The International School of Protocol, the leader in providing training and consultation services to those who want to enhance their interpersonal skills and personal effectiveness in business and social relationships. The International School of Protocol provides the highest caliber of protocol and etiquette training for businesses, corporations, colleges, schools, teachers, youth and individuals. Click the following link to learn more about: Cathleen Hanson       

  • Leave Your DISTRACTION And Take Action

    Now is a great time for you to take action in your life. Are you aware of the things that are holding you back from moving forward? Any circumstance that keeps you from fulfilling your purpose is a distraction. Through the word DISTRACTION we present 11 areas that you could face at anytime. The question you must answer is, what is holding you back? Is it Disappointments? In your mind do you see yourself failing over and over again? Michael Jordan who is one of the greatest basketball players of all time missed more shots than he has made. Michael went on to win 6 championships knowing that if he kept shooting great things were to come. Wake up with a winning attitude so life can appoint you instead of disappoint you. Is it Ignorance? Do you struggle because of what you don’t know? Not everyone is a genius or a walking encyclopedia. Find out what you need to know to succeed in your job or business. Learn from your mistakes and be willing to listen to your elders. Is it Selfishness? Be honest, are you the one that is not too quick to share time or resources? The one you are always running from and don’t want to be bothered with could be the one that has what you need. Think about this, if your arms are always crossed and fists balled up nothing can be put into your hands. Is it Tardiness? Are you going to be late to your own funeral? In 2012 the early bird still gets the WORM (Wisdom, Opportunities, Resources, and Money). If you work 9to5 Monday through Friday commit to be at least minutes early each day which equals to only 25 extra minutes per work week. Start showing up on time and watch what happens. Is it Relationships? Do you treat others like you want to be treated? When you leave work do you leave work at work or do you let the job rob you of family time? Are you able to keep your serious family issues out of the boardroom and off of the table topics? Before you hate on someone try to relate to someone. Is it Aim? Are you guilty of aiming low? If you are one to never look up, you may often feel and find yourself at the bottom. If you focus and aim high you will find the opportunities and rewards will be greater. Aim high for the stars and you will take yourself far. Is it Consistency? Are you good one minute and not so good the next? Everyone has ups and downs in their journey. Are you willing to practice more so people count on your performance? Find a way to win and keep winning. Is it Talent? If you were in the stands watching you would you boo? Have you ever thought that maybe your gifts are not in the right position or the opportunity is not right for your gifts? Ask others what you are good or great at? Improve or change your groove. Is it Idleness? Do you have to keep busy at all times? Are you afraid that if you take a break your life may break down? Sitting still maybe just what the doctor ordered. With a clear mind the dreams you have been chasing can begin to chase you. Is it Organization? Can you find anything? Do you know where your appointment book is or the tablet that you recently wrote down your million dollar idea in? Clutter can make your career stutter. A clear path will open visions so you can see your destiny. Is it Needs? At times are you like most and confuse what you want with what you truly need? Inventory your needs to the bare minimum and watch life take you to maximum. Begin to appreciate what you have and find ways to multiple stream your dream. If nothing is holding you back and everything is picture perfect in your life please pass these words of encouragement on to someone else so they can leave their DISTRACTION and take action. Find what clouds are in your sky and move them out the way so your life can see more sunshine. About the Author: Derrick Hayes is the author of 1 WORD Is All It Takes, creator of Derricknyms, Developer of the app Motivation To Your Mobile, Nominator of Today’s Honoree, and blogs at the Encouragement Speaker. Click on the following link to learn more about:  Derrick Hayes   





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