They Call This Stuff News?

My background is self improvement.

One of my core beliefs and teachings is that we each create our own reality.

I am very concerned that many folks are allowing others to take this vital role away from them.

Although I have not had programmed TV in our house for over 17 years now, the ‘news’ still gets to me through the Internet, radio and conversations with others.

What bothers me is the  idea that we are all about to crash and burn.

And as I watch the savings of many people disappear in the stock market I have to wonder what the heck is going on!

I think we all need to take a very close look at what tribe we are part of!

In my tribe(s) which include my family tribe, business tribe, friends tribe, etc… – our world is pretty much the same as it has always been.

There is no one panicking that I am aware of. Are some of the members of our tribes going through challenges due to financial challenges? Of course – but that is always happening!

All of us are still doing our best to create our lives the best we can. We are making daily choices to the best of our ability. And most of the folks I know are figuring out ways to take best advantage of every opportunity that arises. And there are incredible opportunities in today’s world!

When you come across someone who seems to be part of the tribe that believes the world is ending – please point out to them they are creating their own reality.

As for me – that world I hear about on the news (it shouldn’t even be called news in my opinion) is not the world I live in. Nor would I want to!

What do you think?

If you feel strongly about this, please post a comment on the blog…

Be the fittest, most rested, most intelligent, best funded and motivated person

One of the best reads I do each morning is marketing guru Seth Godin.

As  I continually learn how to write copy for my different blogs, sales letters, and clients, more and more I am turned off by the conventional idea to sell with hyperbole.

Seth’s post this morning sums up my feelings very well…

Here it is…

People really want to believe effort is a myth, at least if we consider what we consume in the media:

  • politicians and beauty queens who get by on a smile and a wink
  • lottery winners who turn a lifetime of lousy jobs into one big payday
  • sports stars who are born with skills we could never hope to acquire
  • hollywood celebrities with the talent of being in the right place at the right time
  • failed CEOs with $40 million buyouts

It really seems (at least if you read popular media) that who you know and whether you get ‘picked’ are the two keys to success. Luck.

The thing about luck is this: we’re already lucky. We’re insanely lucky that we weren’t born during the black plague or in a country with no freedom. We’re lucky that we’ve got access to highly-leveraged tools and terrific opportunities. If we set that luck aside, though, something interesting shows up.

Delete the outliers–the people who are hit by a bus or win the lottery, the people who luck out in a big way, and we’re left with everyone else. And for everyone else, effort is directly related to success. Not all the time, but as much as you would expect. Smarter, harder working, better informed and better liked people do better than other people, most of the time.

Effort takes many forms. Showing up, certainly. Knowing stuff (being smart might be luck of the draw, but knowing stuff is the result of effort). Being kind when it’s more fun not to. Paying forward when there’s no hope of tangible reward. Doing the right thing. You’ve heard these things a hundred times before, of course, but I guess it’s easier to bet on luck.

If people aren’t betting on luck, then why do we make so many dumb choices? Why aren’t useful books selling at fifty times the rate they sell now? Why does anyone, ever, watch reality TV shows? Why do people do such dumb stuff with their money?

I think we’ve been tricked by the veneer of lucky people on the top of the heap. We see the folks who manage to skate by, or who get so much more than we think they deserve, and it’s easy to forget that:

a. these guys are the exceptions
and
b. there’s nothing you can do about it anyway.

And that’s the key to the paradox of effort: While luck may be more appealing than effort, you don’t get to choose luck. Effort, on the other hand, is totally available, all the time.

This is a hard sell. Diet books that say, “eat less, exercise more,” may work, but they don’t sell many copies.

With that forewarning, here’s a bootstrapper’s/marketer’s/entrepreneur’s/fast-rising executive’s effort diet. Go through the list and decide whether or not it’s worth it. Or make up your own diet. Effort is a choice, at least make it on purpose:

1. Delete 120 minutes a day of ‘spare time’ from your life. This can include TV, reading the newspaper, commuting, wasting time in social networks and meetings. Up to you.

2. Spend the 120 minutes doing this instead:

  • Exercise for thirty minutes.
  • Read relevant non-fiction (trade magazines, journals, business books, blogs, etc.)
  • Send three thank you notes.
  • Learn new digital techniques (spreadsheet macros, Firefox shortcuts, productivity tools, graphic design, html coding)
  • Volunteer.
  • Blog for five minutes about something you learned.
  • Give a speech once a month about something you don’t currently know a lot about.

3. Spend at least one weekend day doing absolutely nothing but being with people you love.

4. Only spend money, for one year, on things you absolutely need to get by. Save the rest, relentlessly.

If you somehow pulled this off, then six months from now, you would be the fittest, best rested, most intelligent, best funded and motivated person in your office or your field. You would know how to do things other people don’t, you’d have a wider network and you’d be more focused.

It’s entirely possible that this won’t be sufficient, and you will continue to need better luck. But it’s a lot more likely you’ll get lucky, I bet.

Happiness is Creating Your Life!

For years I have been writing about happiness. What it is, where to find it, how to keep it, and how to share it.

The more time goes by, the more certain I am happiness is what we all really want.

And I also believe the more we all tie happiness to having money, the less happy we will be.

Speaking only for myself now – I feel the most alive and happy when I am super excited about a new project, goal or  journey.

There is something extremely attractive in a new challenge.

When we built our first sailboat. When we built the horse farm we currently live on. When I went to sea for the first time. When I took the engineer crew position on a 165 foot mega yacht in Acapulco Mexico. When I joined the Navy and to serve on nuclear submarines. When I met my wife.

All these and many more are dreams manifested to reality. Manifested means I was so passionate I would do anything to get there!

Our newest goal is to go back to the cruising life – and share it with our two sons – Ian who is 16 and Ryan who is now 9. I want to show them there is a whole another world of people, places and cultures beyond their current experience.

With the challenge of manifesting such a dream comes work. Lots of it. We have a horse farm and business to sell (great time I picked to sell property!), 11 years of accumulated stuff to get rid of, a boat to find, purchase, and get ready for sea – and finally to move us all from a home to a small boat!

Easy.

The thing is I am so excited about it – I want to skip all the steps and just go right to sea! Why can’t it be this way?

I’ll leave that answer to you…

(But now you know what I have been up to!)

So my point is – what is it that makes you so passionate you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to get started? What keeps you up late at night?

Is this what you are doing?