Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It was February of 2011 and I had just finished up an amazing visit to the city of Chicago with a few friends and a few new ones.  A blizzard had gone through Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and an airport closure that had cancelled thousands of flights back into MSP meant that it was going to be a busy day at the airport at Midway Airport in Chicago.  I didn’t have to be back at the office until 11 am that next day, so I called Delta Airlines and offered to give up my flight on the early 7 am flight in case my seat was needed by anyone needing it and took instead a seat on the later 9:30 flight.

Now that I had a couple of extra hours in the morning, I decided to go out with a bang in Chicago.  Found a bar called Halligan – an old Irish bar and Firefighter hangout – which had great specials and a lively atmosphere.  I met more awesome fun people and enjoyed my last night in the city.

Even with the later flight…you can imagine after a good night out I still managed to be running late for my flight.  Good thing I was already packed….j quickly showered, grabbed my bag and made my way towards the train to the airport.  As I reached the Delta ticket counter at Midway, the ticket agent informed me that I was supposed to be on the 7 am flight….my change request was never processed and because of the cancellations the day before, there were no other seat openings for the rest of the day.  The old me would have been fuming….but the new me just laughed it off.  I’d find a way to win.

I didn’t panic…in fact, my first thought was that I was absolutely starving and saw my misfortune as a chance to get breakfast, haha!  I got back on the train and headed back towards Downtown Chicago, found myself a Starbucks and planted myself there to plan my strategy.  I called my personal assistant to put them on alert for any openings on Delta that may arise, while I navigated my options on the ground.

My first thought was to find a rental car and just drive back to Minneapolis.  After combing through my travel site, it appeared that because of all the travelers whose flights were cancelled, there were absolutely no cars left in the entire city of Chicago.  Wow.  How else can one get out of Chicago?  I then remembered….MegaBus.

With a smartphone equipped with Google as my only ammo…I searched for MegaBus and found their central location.  I hopped back on the train.  Along the way, I struck up a conversation with a few of the passengers about sports, the city…had such a great time that we exchanged contact information and we still keep in touch to this day.  I arrived at my stop and found myself somewhere on the Southwest side of Chicago.  I quickly realized, only to be confirmed by the lady at the desk, that I wasn’t at the ticket office or the place that the bus actually picks up travelers….I was at the bus garage.  There were about a half dozen drivers who were either on the lunch break or about to start their day sitting at a table playing dominoes and watching Sanford & Son.  I needed to go BACK downtown to the stop.  One of the drivers overheard my dilemma and offered to take me downtown an hour later, he was heading that way anyway.

The next 60 minutes was just a cool experience filled with great conversation and just taking in the comradarie of these bus drivers.  The nicknames, the jokes, the competitiveness of the game, the shop talk…I was completely immersed and in awe of the friendship and the family they created for themselves.  It was just one of those times that you realize that people often spend more time with the people they work with than their own families….your work family is a family too.

I arrive downtown at the stop on Canal Street to a crowd of people awaiting their bus out of town.  I instantly spot a gentleman collecting tickets, ask him where I BUY a ticket, and he tells me that I have to call or go online.  I call the 800 number, thinking I’m 20 minutes away from finally getting on my way back home….only for the ticket agent on the other end to tell me that there are no openings on the bus for TWO MORE DAYS.  Again….there was nothing I could do but laugh it off.

Next move, I call my personal assistant to see if there is any progress on either any seats on flights or any rental cars.  Zero zilch nada.  I decided to just head back to the airport and actually talk to an agent at any of the rental car companies and see if there happens to be ANYTHING available.  I get back to Midway and go to the Hertz counter….and was told that there is a minivan available, but I’d have to go to the location in Chinatown to get it.  Ugh. 

Another train ride!  At this point I’m absolutely just loving the adventure.  I hop BACK on the train eagerly hoping the train moves faster so I can get to the rental car before anyone else puts a claim on it.  I was more excited than a kid on a road trip asking “Are we there yet?” repeatedly.

The train got about 4 stops away when I get a phone call.

“Rich, where are you?” my personal assistant asked.

“I’m on the train heading to Hertz to get a rental car.” 

“I found an opening on the 4:25 flight out of Chicago back to Minneapolis.  I can hold it for you, but you need to get back to the airport NOW to claim it!”

I always think of this story when I find myself in a situation where I’m met with an initial disappointment.  Sometimes it’s just NOT EASY.  Obstacles will be put in your way sometimes, but you have to FIND A WAY TO WIN.  Sometimes, these obstacles are put in your way as a test…a test to see if you want it bad enough.  In my experience, if you have faith that you will get it, if you are determined to get it, and commit to action….the universe will conspire to make it happen for you.  It’s not guaranteed, but one thing that is guaranteed is that you’ll never get what you want with a crap attitude and quitting at the first sign of resistance.  My (extra) day in Chicago could’ve been viewed and perceived as one big headache….but it was a great learning lesson that gave me the opportunity to grow and meet MORE people along the way.

Determine what you want.  Free yourself of distractions.  Be open and aware of your surroundings.  Be prepared to sacrifice.  Have faith in yourself and your abilities to navigate the course..

Advertisements

IMG_7618.JPG4 years ago I made the decision that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired being a Negative Nancy and being down in the dumps constantly. 6 months of a deep depression where I had lost almost 70 pounds due to stress and anxiety, unable to complete sentences because my mind would not allow me to choose the right words in fear of saying something wrong, weeks upon weeks of insomnia in which even if I was able to fall asleep, I’d wake up in the middle of the night with sweat-soaked pillows….a point in my life I wouldn’t wish upon ANYBODY, but I know people who are in my life currently are at.

What I realized that day was that I had not only the ability to choose thoughts that empowered me, but the responsibility to do so….not only for myself, but for people in my life that DEPENDED on me. In a world that pumps us full of negative information from the TV, the Internet, the radio, the check-out lane gossip magazines to the people in our lives that thrive on neighborhood gossip…I CHOSE to inoculate myself with the teachings of Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar….and I still have the bookmark folder on my internet browser I titled “cognitive development” to prove and remind me of it. I chose not to live being dependent on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety pills for the rest of my life….and instead chose to take full responsibility for my life and the happenings in it and chose to be bigger than my problems by RE-WIRING and RE-TRAINING my brain. Personal development is the exercise your brain needs…just like those squats you do for your butt. No personal development and your brain atrophies.

Worry is a useless emotion…once you understand just what it is. If you’re going to THINK about a future event, you might as well think positively about it and fill that time reading or listening to things that empower you…not by listening to the voice in your head that continues to scare you.

My Christmas wish is for everyone who is currently suffering from depression to take steps to start to re-train their brain. Your past does not equal the future….and nobody’s opinion of you equals your reality. Each and every one of us has the ability to make today the first day of the rest of our life….and make it the BEST of our life.

God bless.

20140730-102709-37629311.jpgThe biggest obstacle to achieving wealth is ones perspective about it and what it’s use is. If you have a bad attitude toward those that have it, you’re pushing it away at EVERY level…even the level that will allow you to live comfortably. If you view money simply to live lavishly and to buy material things, then even if you had wealth, you’d piss it away…why most lottery winners end up broke soon after they win.

Change your attitude about money and what it can do, not just for you but also for others! If more money could help you pay your bills each month, would it be worth changing your attitude about it? If more money could help you be more CHARITABLE – either to a huge cause or to a family who experienced a sudden tragedy – without feeling the need to check your bank account for how much you could SPARE, would that be worth you changing your attitude about it? Money is simply a physical manifestation of the world inside your mind! What reasons that you are passionate about would you want to achieve wealth? To not have to work a job, freeing you up to spend more meaningful time with your family? To be able to free yourself from the chains of debt? To be a true philanthropist, everything from spreading financial resources to different causes OR on a bigger scale, starting a foundation or a charity in your own name that benefits a cause close to your heart? Brainstorm the reasons why you would. I challenge you! Feel the smiles come to your face when your putting a POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE on money and it’s BIGGER PURPOSE rather than the negative attitude we are conditioned to have because of the lack of it.

For more on this subject, I strongly encourage you to read “Secrets Of A Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker.

If you are looking for a proven, fool-proof system to take the first step in building true wealth for you, your family, and even your friends – click on the “Work With Rich” tab and fill out your information in the contact form. I look forward to hearing from you.

20140622-153922-56362590.jpgYou know what I’m talking about. Your friends post constantly, like clockwork, each and every Sunday night about it. The old “back to reality” in the morning. Mine was so bad when four years ago when I worked as a software sales manager that it started right when I left the office on Friday night; because I knew, like clockwork, as sure as the sky was blue, that the Monday morning alarm clock would be going off again…signaling the beginning of a long, stressful work week.

If you love your job these days, you’re lucky. Most these days aren’t in your position. A lot of people are working at jobs that they are clearly overqualified for and underpaid. A ton more actually love their job but despise the fact that they are financially shackled to it. Meaning…if disaster were to strike, if tragedy were to present themselves, they’d have no other way to support themselves and their family. Because they know of no other way to do that, they continue on doing the only thing they know.

That’s exactly where I was four years ago this month. June of 2010 was when the decline of my job and the increase of the unhappiness set in. I began questioning if my hard work and the stress was worth it. Sure, I made money, but more time and effort were demanded of me in return for less and less money. This is when I had my first thoughts of leaving. But because I knew of no other way…I stayed.

What happens when we love our jobs but begin experiencing this type of resentment for it is because we realize that we’d rather be doing something ELSE with our TIME. Whether it be spending more time with our family, spending time on vacation, seeing the world, giving back more to the community, whatever our dreams may be….we’d rather be doing THAT than exchanging time in our life for dollars in our wallet. But because we stay so busy with our JOBS, we hardly have any time to devote to our DREAMS.

I believe that God out dreams in our heart not to torment us, but for us to have at least one bit of intrinsic motivation to go for them. For us to have some type of gauge to let us know – and that gauge most often shows us through depression, unhappiness, uneasiness, stress – that what we’re doing isn’t bringing us any closer to what we want.

How would it feel for you to not have to wake up to an alarm each Monday morning? To still be able to provide whole-heartedly for your family, not just financially, but with the most important currency there is, TIME? To be able to serve others, something that most of us are conditioned not to do because we’re so worried about taking care of ourselves first?

Whatever it is you want to do, take a step towards it. Don’t wait. Take steps TODAY. Like Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” MLK once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

If you are currently looking and are open to a concept that will get you not only in the right direction, but to your destination, click on the “Work With Rich” tab above.

20140612-161228-58348283.jpg. Self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s the concept in which one has either a positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or other people and that the very expectation one has causes the exact behavior that allows those expectations to be fulfilled.

In the service industry, self-fulfilling prophecies are everywhere…most commonly, a server who has waited on a certain customer before and had been tipped badly, so the next time they come in, they tell the server who is waiting on them that they’re bad tippers, and voila! That server doesn’t give them good service and they don’t get a good tip!

Don’t pay attention to these claims! I had this happen time and time again, and each time I did, my thought process was, “They’re not bad tippers, they just tipped YOU badly” and I’ll show that server my 20-30% tip after the customer received great, genuine service. People will PAY for VALUE received.

What self-fulfilling prophecy are you telling yourself ABOUT yourself? And most importantly…listening to about yourself??? Most get “stuck” because they listen to their own voices of the past, and those voices continually reinforce this prophecy that things will never be better, so why even try?
Decide that in order for you to realize value, you need to value yourself, and that you need to PROVIDE value TO yourself. Read good books, not the fad fiction of today. Listen to audios. Read the Bible. Exercise. Take time out of the day for you. Meditate. Pamper yourself with a professional massage. A pedicure. Take action today towards something you want. The big thing you want tomorrow can be reduced to a small action that can be done today. See yourself TIPPING you abundantly. What kind of service would you provide yourself if you KNEW you would receive a good tip from yourself?

depressedAt times, we may get into a state where we just feel stuck. A state where no matter how positive our outlook is, the blows keep on coming. It can get exhausting. The truth is, none of us are immune from problems. Life happens to everyone, it’s how we react to life that will determine the quality of it. Easier said than done, I know. Car break down at the most inopportune time? You’re working overtime busting your butt trying to pay the bills but they don’t seem like they’re going anywhere, possibly even getting worse? It’s easy to want to feel like no matter what you do, it’s not worth it.

This post is not to cram some positive thinking hodge podge down your throat. I’m not going to do that because I know that no matter what I say to you about telling you to do something or to think something, it’s not going to work. I will however challenge you to think differently. I will challenge you to think about the process, the process moving from a current struggle in your life THROUGH it to where you want to be. It’s to get you UN-STUCK.

So why do some people achieve success and why do others seem to get stuck? Why do some people quit trying to achieve a goal while others achieve them so easily? Why do people quit in the face of adversity? The number one reason why people quit doing the things they want is simply because they fear being uncomfortable. They don’t understand that there is going to be some sweat equity involved. They don’t understand that in order to have something you’ve never had, you have to do things you’ve never done. Most people are simply afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Also, successful people (I’m referring to successful people as those that have achieved what they’ve set out to) have adopted a framework, a process that makes the goal real and achievable.

Loving-Couple-Photography-19The first thing you can do is to create a compelling future for the thing that you want to do. This is simply a reason, a feeling that is generated by the action that you want to create. This should be a statement that actually draws you TOWARDS the goal, not keeps you where you’re at. If you want to lose weight you shouldn’t say, “I want to lose weight because I’m fat.” Can you feel how big of a drag that is? There’s no compelling future there, only a compelling thought that you want to go plant your ass back on the couch! Instead, ask yourself how would it feel for you to lose weight? What would it look like to you? How would your spouse feel about you losing weight? How would you feel about the way your spouse feels about you losing weight? Would you feel happy? Would you feel more energetic? Would you be more hopeful? See how this creates positive emotion inside you and how it generates excitement for you to act? A lot different than the opposite, right?

Secondly, MATCH AND MODEL. Find the tools that will get you to where you want to go. Seek advice from people who have done what you want to do. If you want to lose weight, obviously you’d want to get a gym membership and maybe even enlist the help of a personal trainer…at the very least, learn different exercises and how the machines work, talk to a nutritionist and learn about what to eat and what to stay away from. Find people who have done what you want to do and do what they’ve done. Now, if the personal trainer and the nutritionist are overweight and out of shape, should you listen to them? Probably not!!! If you want advice about how to have a healthy relationship, should you take advice from people who have had multiple divorces? Probably not! Find someone that has what you want. Find out WHAT they did to achieve those results. Do EXACTLY what they did to get those results, and guess what. You’ll achieve the very same results. This example may be a little outdated since most refrigerators these days come standard with ice-makers, but we all remember filling up ice cube trays and throwing them in the freezer, right? Think about how UNCONSCIOUS we were at doing that. Did we ever stop and think one time, “I dunno…maybe this time it may not work…” NO! Of course not! A long time ago, someone discovered that if you have temperatures that are less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you can create ice cubes by putting water in this little plastic contraption with little dividers in it that look like squares!

There is one more aspect, and that is the freedom of, or acting despite inner conflict. If you have a compelling future, if you have the tools and have found who to match and model, but you don’t believe you deserve the success you may achieve, do you think you’ll be motivated to achieve it? If you have a compelling future and have the tools and found someone to match and model, but you still don’t believe you can achieve it, do you think you will? Probably not. It is ESSENTIAL for one to be free of personal conflict. You must believe you deserve and you must believe that you can. OR, find a mentor, a close friend that will push you so that you can borrow THEIR belief in you until you develop it yourself. This is acting despite inner conflict. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Back to the compelling future! Is your goal more important that the pain you may experience or the fear that you’re experiencing now? It should be. There may be other inner conflicts one may experience as well. This could be resentment of others, regret for past actions/choices, guilt for previous actions/choices, among others. I’ll agree with you…just those three last conflicts I listed are tough to overcome. They require deep soul-searching. The good news is that you can DECIDE to live your life differently starting TODAY that you have up until now. YOUR PAST DOES NOT DICTATE YOUR FUTURE.

I’m a Christian. I’m not here to push my beliefs on you, but it’s where I draw a considerable amount of my strength from. My beliefs are my beliefs. I believe that we were created in God’s image. I believe that we were created with greatness and we all have God-given abilities to do anything we want to do. Its just up to us to learn where to find them and how to use them. I also believe that God wants us to live in abundance. Not just in terms of abundance of money, but abundance of health, abundance of love, abundance of friendships, abundance of DREAMS! I believe that God put dreams in our heart not to torment us, but so that we pursue them! Our dreams are most often our purpose! A lot of people will say that what they have currently in their life is good enough. It could be a great marriage, healthy children, a secure job…that’s all fine. That’s okay. But appreciation for what you have is different than a dream that is untapped. Remember when you were a child, an adolescent. We all spoke with conviction about how we thought our lives would look like later in life. We were CERTAIN. Remember it. What did you tell your parents your life would look like? What did you tell your friends you would be doing? Is that the way life is looking for you currently? Most often with most people it isn’t. This creates an inner conflict. Achievement of our dreams is where one finds personal fulfillment. Pursuing your dream gives others permission to achieve theirs! One of the greatest speakers of our time Mr. Les Brown once said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” You’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve when you act with faith, belief, and conviction of your dreams.

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?” – Henry Ford

If you are currently seeking answers, if you are currently looking for a way for you to get “un-stuck” via a proven system for success, please read my story about how I turned my Mess Into A Message.

The Slight Edge Philosophy

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Slight Edge Philosophy – By Jeff Olson

When you were a tiny, little child, you made your way around the world on your hands and knees crawling. Everyone around you was walking and one day you got it into your head to give that a try.

So, little by little, you worked on developing the skills you needed to walk. You grabbed on to something above you and pulled yourself upright. You stood up, holding on to a table or chair or big stuffed animal. Wobbly and unsure, you let go, fell down, and tried again and again, until you stood up all by yourself. Then, you took a step.

The older people you watched took one step after another: right foot, left foot, right foot, left…but you managed only one step-and you crashed.

After days of side-stepping around the coffee table, awkwardly bringing one little foot out from behind the other while you held on to Mom’s or Dad’s fingers, you eventually took your first couple of steps…all alone…all by yourself…and (hopefully) to the cheers and applause of your family.

Baby steps. One at a time. And you were WALKING!

IN THE PROCESS OF LEARNING HOW TO WALK, you probably spent more time failing than you did succeeding. But did you ever have the thought of
quitting? Did you ever tell yourself, “I’m not cut out for walking-guess I’ll crawl for the rest of my life?” No, of course you didn’t. So, why do you do that now?

What’s different today with any goal you want and desire you have for accomplishing anything? When did you lose the ability to make a goal, go for it, and get it? How come you don’t do what you did when you were one or two years old?

The answer is alarming, yet simple:

Somewhere along the way in your life, you became unwilling to take baby steps. You lost faith in the universal truth that the simple little disciplines done again and again over time would move the mightiest mountains.

Shakespeare said “to climb steep hills requires slow pace at first,” but now you put your trust in achieving breakthroughs…making quantum leaps…instant this, instant that…hitting the lottery. You began a habit of settling for less, just because more was so far out of your reach. You forgot about the most proven, powerful success philosophy on Earth – “The Slight Edge.”

WINNING IS ALWAYS A MATTER OF SLIGHT EDGE. Who can forget that moving moment of triumph in the ’94 Olympics when American speed-skater Dan Jansen at last overcame years of discouragement, disappointment, and frustration to finally win the gold medal in the 1000 meters, setting a world record of one minute, 12.43 seconds?

Do you know by how much of a margin Jansen won? Do you know what the difference was between the winning world record gold medal and the virtual oblivion of second place?

Twenty-nine hundredths of a second! That’s a very Slight Edge!

No matter where you look, no matter in what area of accomplishment, life, work, or play-the difference between winning and losing, between going down in the record books as first and best…or not at all-the gap that separates success and failure is always measured as … THE SLIGHT EDGE.

And the best news of all is that it’s not just the winning goal that’s THE SLIGHT EDGE. The Slight Edge is the process itself that all winners use to achieve their goals.

A PENNY A DAY, DOUBLED FOR A MONTH… If you were offered $1,000,000 (one million dollars) right now, or a penny a day, doubled each day, for one month, which would you choose? Unless you’ve read this illustration before, like most people, you’ll probably choose the right-now million. But you’d be making the wrong choice.  One penny, doubled every day for a month adds up to $10,737,418…and 24cents. Compound interest. Leverage. Doubling. Geometric growth. It all adds up-and that’s YOUR SLIGHT EDGE.

With THE SLIGHT EDGE, time is on your side. What if you gave yourself five years to become twice the person you are today: to earn twice the income, have twice the personal relationships and contacts, make twice the impact on the world, enjoy twice the quality of life? Could you do it? How would you do it?! Ask yourself honestly, “If I doubled my efforts…if I had twice as much time…if I became twice as smart.. if I worked twice as hard as I do today…could I really become twice as productive as I am right now? No, you couldn’t, and you know it.

But wait! There is a way to become two, three, four, and more times as productive as you are today. THE SLIGHT EDGE.

IF YOU WERE TO IMPROVE just .003 each day- that’s only 3/10 of one percent, a very Slight Edge-and you kept that up for the next five years, here’s what would happen to you:

The first year, you would improve 100 percent (you would already be twice what you are today.  The second, you would improve 200 percent. The third year, 400 percent. And the fourth, 800 percent. And by the end of year five-by simply improving 3/10 of one percent each day-you will have magnified your value, your skills, and the results you accomplished 1,600 percent. That’s 22 times more than you are today.

Just 3/10 of one percent per day-and that’s NOT compounded. That’s just adding on 3/10 of one percent each day. That’s the awesome power of The Slight Edge. If all of this is so, then why isn’t everybody using The Slight Edge? We are.  All the time. Everyone. The Slight Edge is always operating. It never stops. It’s either working FOR you or AGAINST you. And that’s up to you. It’s your choice.

THE SLIGHT EDGE IS EASY TO DO-and it is easy not to do. Now, I’m defining EASY here as simply “something you can do.” The Slight Edge philosophy is based on doing things that are easy-little disciplines, which, done consistently over time, add up to the biggest accomplishments. The problem is that all those things that are easy to do are just as easy not to do. Why is something easy not to do? Because if you don’t do it, it won’t kill you today. But, that simple, seemingly insignificant error in judgment, compounded over time, will kill you, destroy you, ruin your chances for success, and demolish your dreams. You can count on it.

Take, for example, the health issue of fat and cholesterol in your diet. Would you say that it’s a good idea to eat at least a pound and a half of butter each day? How about drinking a quart
of saturated oil? “Hey, my cholesterol’s way down to 200-got to get it up above 300.” Crazy, right? Sure it is-but millions and millions of people are doing it every day. Why? We know what’s good for us:  fresh fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, unsaturated fats and oils, fish and chicken instead of beef. So why do we keep digging our graves with our teeth? It’s easy to eat well-right? It’s easy not to-right? And when you eat that hamburger, you won’t die, will you? No, of course not. But that simple error in judgment compounded over time will ruin the quality of your life and eventually take you out of your life forever!

If you ate that hamburger and you had a heart attack-would you ever eat another one? No way!  Eating a hamburger won’t kill you today, but compound all those greasy, dead-animal patties over 10 or 20 years-as many as 5,000 of them!-and one day your clogged-up, stressed- out, overworked ol’ heart just quits! It’s not the one hamburger, it’s the thousands! That one hamburger is just a simple, little error in judgment. But compounded over time, it can and will destroy you. It’s easy to do! It’s easy not to do! Either way, The Slight Edge is at work and at play. You’ve got to choose which way to go with The Slight Edge. And here is what makes doing the right thing such a hard choice
for most people-

THE ODDS ARE NOT IN YOUR FAVOR!

DID YOU KNOW that only five percent of people succeed and 95 percent of the people fail, no matter what realm of life or work you’re looking at. It’s true. Just one out of 20 people will ever achieve their goals in life. That’s how the numbers crunch out; it’s just the way it is. Back in the early 1950s, the Hartford Insurance Company did a survey of 100 brand new college graduates-all approximately 25 years old. They asked them this question:

“Will you achieve your financial goals within your working lives-within 40 years?” Every single one of them answered, “Yes!” Forty years later, in the early 1990s, the Hartford went back and checked out what had happened to all those now-65-years-old people. Here’s what they found:

One was wealthy, Four were financially secure, Six were still working, 35 were dead, and 54 were “dead broke,” having $200 or less left to spend each month after paying off their bills.

Five out of 100 had become successful. That’s only one out of 20. Why? What was missing for those 95 others? The answer has to do with GRAVITY-and the downward pull of life. REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE in the fourth grade? It was expected that you’d graduate and go on to fifth grade, wasn’t it? Your teachers, your parents, and all your classmates expected you to graduate. The whole system was geared to you moving from fourth, to fifth, to sixth grade and so on.

But what if nobody cared whether or not you graduated? What if the entire educational system, our society, and culture had absolutely no interest or expectation that kids would ever graduate to fifth grade? Would you have done it? If the structure were not in place for children to learn all the fourth grade stuff and pass the test, graduating and moving up to the new
challenges of fifth grade, only five percent of us would ever do it! Ask yourself this question: Where is the expectation and the structure to support me in being a success in my life and work? The alarming fact is that outside of our formal system of education, which most experts believe to be fatally flawed anyway, there is no expectation and no structure for your success-none. We get what we expect-and only five percent of us ever expects to win and keep on expecting that. Plus, we have no structure, no system to support us succeeding in
life. Isn’t that heavy? Well, life is heavy. And it’s heavy because the predominant force in life is gravity and it’s always pulling us DOWN. It pulls 19 out of 20 people DOWN.

The Slight Edge is a success system ANYONE can use to break free of the downward pull of life and become the best you can be. Here’s how you can make it work for you- FIRST, DON’T GO “WHERE THE ACTION IS!” Here’s a chart you’ve probably seen before:

ACTIONS > RESULTS> QUALITY OF LIFE

Your ACTIONS create your RESULTS, which in turn create the QUALITY OF LIFE you live and enjoy. Simple, powerful, and true. The problem is, your actions are not the source of your problem. That’s why diets don’t work. You see, there’s another side to the equation, and that’s the place where your actions come from.

Take a look at this:

ATTITUDE > Actions > Results > Quality of Life

Your actions are created by your attitudes-but attitudes aren’t the heart of the matter, either.  There is one thing more fundamental and essential…Your Philosophy. Your philosophy is your paradigm of the way life is, how life works (or doesn’t), and what’s the best way to live your life. Simply put, there’s nothing more fundamental than your philosophy.
Frank Lloyd Wright said this:

No stream rises higher than its source. Whatever man
might build could never express or reflect more than
he was… He could record neither more nor less than
he had learned of life when the buildings were built…

His philosophy, true or false, is there.

Human beings are builders by nature. Your philosophy is the foundation upon which you build your life. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ spoke of The Two Foundations. The Master spoke of a wise man who built his house upon the rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock.

And Christ told of another man-a “foolish man”-who built his house on sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and burst against that house; and it fell and great was its fall.

Your philosophy is the source of your failure or success. And the philosophy I recommend you adopt is The Slight Edge.

PHILOSOPHY > Attitude > Actions > Results > Quality of Life

WHAT DO YOU THINK is the key that unlocks The Slight Edge?

When I ask this question in seminars and training, here’s the answer I get back most often: “The key is knowledge.” To a point, that’s correct. But there’s more. Educating yourself is the critical ingredient in The Slight Edge philosophy. You must acquire the knowledge you need to master any subject, and pursuit that will contribute to your personal and professional growth and development.

There are three ways for you to get this knowledge:

1) Studied Knowledge

2) Activity Knowledge

3) Modeled Knowledge

STUDIED KNOWLEDGE. Books, tapes, seminars, training; read, listen, and attend everything you can; then, read, listen, and attend some more…study. READ 20 PAGES OF AN INSPIRING, INFORMATION – RICH BOOK EVERY DAY. Pick books that make a contribution to your goals.  You’re either building someone else’s dream or building your own. When you read romance, mystery, or detective novels, whose dream are you building-yours, or the author’s and publisher’s? When you read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich-a book that took 20 years to write, that interviews the richest and most successful men and women in the world and reveals their 13 success secrets-whose dream are you building? Read 20 pages
per day of an empowering book. Is that easy to do?  Sure. And that simple discipline compounded over time, like a penny doubled daily for a month, will send you to the top! Is it easy not to do? SURE. And if you don’t do it, will you destroy your life and work today?  No way. But that simple error in judgment, compounded over time, will pull you down and take you out of your life!

Listen to a self-improvement cassette tape for 15 minutes every day. You can listen to music on the radio in your car, building Michael Jackson’s dream or Barbara Streisand’s. Why not choose instead to build your own dreams? Listen to Jim Rohn’s tapes.  He’s a master-and he’ll help you build YOUR dreams.  Is listening to a tape for 15 minutes a day easy to
do? Of course. Is it easy not to do?…And if you don’t do it, will that ruin your life right now?…

Do a self-improvement seminar or training every few months.

Better yet, do one every month. Take a course.  Take two. If you don’t have the time to do that, because you’re playing softball every Tuesday and Thursday night, you just don’t get it! If your bowling average is over 180-you’re losing your Edge, right now! Skip the bowling league. Take a class instead. Is that easy to do?… Is it easy not to do?…And if you don’t do it, what will happen today?… But that simple error in judgment, compounded over time WILL kill you! You’ll end up a willing participant in the “conspiracy of mediocrity” that ‘s destroying 95 percent of the people in this country!

ACTIVITY KNOWLEDGE. Life is not a spectator sport-fish or cut bait. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. And life is not a result, either.  Life is not the goal-it’s the PROCESS. The road to success is always under construction. Marx was wrong:  Life is both the ends and the means. Emerson said, “Do the thing and you’ll have the power.” You can’t just go get the power and then do the thing. The only way to have the power is to do it, just do it.  People constantly ask me for the key to success. “What’s the one thing I can do to guarantee my success?” My answer is always the same: Be here-  actively immersed in the process-one year from now.  That’s the right answer-don’t you agree? It’s The Slight Edge answer. Commit to the process. The process is THE SLIGHT EDGE. Is it easy to do?… Is it easy not to do?

MODELED KNOWLEDGE. Did you know that your income will tend to be the average of your ten best friends’  incomes? (If having more income is a goal of yours,
either get new friends or raise the income of the friends you have now!) If you want to raise the quality of your life, hang out with people who have been there and done that. If you want to be a great public speaker, hang out with great speakers. If you want to be a success in business, hang around successful business people. If you want to be a terrific parent, spend lots of time with men and women who have mastered parenting. Do you know why birds of a feather flock together? Because they’re all going in the same direction. They share a common
vision. If you’re after a goal-any goal-go find the people who have achieved that goal, or who are well along the path to attaining that goal, and be with them, hang out with them, camp on their doorstep.  It’s called the Law of Association. It’s a Law because it always works. The first commandment of The Slight Edge:

Thou shalt educate thyself.

Is it easy to do? Is it easy not to do? And if you don’t do it, will you fail today? But that simple error in judgment, compounded over time, will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, GUARANTEE YOUR FAILURE!  LEARNING TO LEARN is committing to the process.  The Slight Edge is the process.

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

To make The Slight Edge work for you, you must learn how to learn.

Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, wrote:

“Learning is an approach, both to knowledge and to life, that emphasizes human initiative. It encompasses the acquisition and practice of new methodologies, new skills, new attitudes, and new values necessary to live in a world of change. Learning is a process of preparing to deal with new situations.”

Clearly, we live in a world of change. Constant change. Rapid change. Today, we accomplish in five years what our grandparents and parents took 50 years to do. And everything’s getting faster! Learning to learn is a mandatory for success today-and especially for tomorrow. Learning to learn is committing to the process. The Slight Edge is the process. Learning
to learn is a choice. You make that choice moment to moment-not just once and then you’re done with it for the rest of your life. Each new moment will present you with a new choice. Choose to read 20 pages a day-and you’ll have to make that choice every day. Choose to model and associate with winners-and you’ll have to make that choice every
day as well. You have to choose to make The Slight Edge work for you-moment to moment.

IS IT EASY TO DO?

IS IT EASY NOT TO DO?

In a follow up to my last post, I stumbled upon one of my favorite discussions of Les Brown. I had first seen this over a year ago.

We all may not know what we want to do in life, what our goals are, what are dreams are….but we all know when we get that icky feeling deep down inside when we’re doing something that we KNOW isn’t what we want to do. In this video, Les talks about how we need to stop playing it safe. He says, “If you go through life being casual, you’ll end up a casuality.” You see, my passion in life has sprung out of the lowest low of my life. I know first hand what work-related stress can do to someone physically and mentally. Stress is the number one cause for heart disease, which in fact, is the number one cause of death amongst Americans today. Life is too short to creep through life…find your passion and pursue it wholeheartedly. It can actually EXTEND your life.

“The majority of people suffer their first major heart attack on Monday morning, between 8 am and 9 am, people getting ready to go to jobs that they don’t like. Jobs that are making them sick. You see, when you’re not pursuing your goal, you are literally comitting spiritual suicide. When you have some goal out here that you’re stretching for and reaching for that takes you out of your comfort zone, you’ll find out some talents and abilities that you didn’t know you had!” -Les Brown

What are your limiting beliefs about your personality? Ever wished you had more friends or were able to be more outgoing but instead chalked it up as ok because you’re “anti-social” and that’s ok because that’s “just how you are”?

We all have the ability to be excellent. Excellent obviously comes from the word excel, which means to rise above, to be superior, to do extremely well. What are we saying to ourselves when we say it’s ok to be average? Not just ourselves but in particular aspects of our lives? I think way to often we are taught from our parents and role models that it’s ok to be “who we are”. I think it’s a tragedy. It is engrained in our heads from the moment we are born that if we are lacking in a certain aspect of our personalities, that it is OKAY. We are taught that there is nothing we can do to change or improve that area, it’s just how we were made. Sooner or later in life when that aspect of our life that is lacking faces a challenge, if we can’t properly work through it because we’ve always been taught to accept our shortcomings as a biological truth, personal disaster will strike.

We all need to be taught that we all have the power within ourselves to improve. Today can be just another day of a continuous whirlwind of shit, constantly accepting that any bad things will happen because they are destined to happen to me because that’s just how it is, or it can be day 1 of the beginning of excellence.

What are some things about yourself that you have always wanted to change but have always just said “that’s just how I am”?