Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
As I was reviewing emails that I recieved while on vacation earlier this month, I found this one from Harvey Mackay that I wanted to share with you this evening.
But first, a personal note. Everyone should get fired at least once in their life. Hopefully early in life when you can get another job. But first you need to learn why you were fired and then correct that mistake/problem.
I got fired from one of my first radio disc jockey jobs. I got fired from my first radio advertising jobs. I even got fired from one job because I was late too many times. (My next job, I had perfect attendance for 2 years.) You have to learn from these lessons and become better. Now here's Harvey:
Harvey Mackay's Column This Week
Ability is useless unless it is used
Elephants are powerful creatures, yet when you see them at a circus they stand quietly tied only to a small chain and metal stake. They could easily break free, yet they don't. Why?
When elephants are young they are tied to a heavy chain and immovable metal stake. They soon discover that no matter how hard they try, they can't break free. As elephants grow and become strong, they still believe they can't escape, as long as there is a chain around their neck and a stake in the ground beside them.
People are a lot like elephants in that they feel constrained. They never stretch beyond their self-imposed limitations.
You can't let others stop you. You have to unleash your power.
Often, our ability to accomplish a difficult task is directly related to our confidence that we can accomplish it. You have to believe in your ability and capitalize on your strengths. Look at it this way: If you can identify a reasonable solution to a problem, and you think you have the necessary skills to fix it, chances are you will be successful. Otherwise, you wouldn't even try.
Author Glenn Van Ekeren describes it well: "All people are created with the equal ability to become unequal. Not everyone is equipped with the same talents, gifts or abilities. Each of us is created in a unique way. Our personalities are as diverse as the universe itself. Yet there is one constant: We can, by using what we have to the fullest, stand out from the crowd."
Thomas Edison was almost deaf, but he didn't waste valuable time trying to teach himself to hear. Instead, he concentrated on the things he did best: thinking, organizing and creating. He believed in his ability and accomplished great things because of it.
A lot of famous people would never have achieved success if they had not stretched themselves and refused to listen to those who tried to hold them back. They believed in their abilities.
- The MGM testing director for Fred Astaire's first screen test wrote: "Can't act! Slightly bald! Can dance a little!" Astaire displayed this memo in his Beverly Hills home.
- Emily Dickinson had only seven poems published in her lifetime.
- Albert Einstein was called "mentally retarded" by one observer, and others criticized him for not wearing socks and having long hair.
- Sigmund Freud was booed from the podium when he first presented his ideas to the European scientific community. Fortunately, he returned to his office and kept on writing.
- Jerry Seinfield was jeered off stage during his initial appearance at a comedy club for stage fright. He returned the following night to wild applause.
The late Bill Walsh, former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, was considered a career assistant coach and not head coaching material. His unorthodox ideas were shunned. Finally after 21 years as an assistant coach, new 49ers owner, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., recognized Walsh's ability and hired him as head coach. Three Super Bowl wins later, Bill Walsh proved the importance of recognizing people's unique abilities.
One of the points I mention in my speeches is that NFL head coaches Bill Walsh, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Jimmy Johnson accounted for 11 Super Bowl championships. Ironically, they also share the distinction of having the worst first-year records of head coaches in NFL history, with only four wins total among the four. The people who hired them maintained confidence in their ability.
The ability to recognize ability is a top management skill. As any manager knows, hiring a person they don't necessarily like is a gamble. Generally, ability trumps personality.
A friend of mine hired a quiet—some might say anti-social—woman as his company's CFO because of her fiscal know how. She rarely left her office and spoke to almost no one. In fact, the only way most folks knew whether she was in the office was seeing her car in the parking lot. But for 25 years, the woman was a financial genius. At her retirement party, she said a few words of thanks. It was the first time many had even heard her voice. Not a people person, to be sure. But her fellow employees knew they owed their jobs to the woman who had the ability to handle the budget and steer the ship through the roughest waters.
Mackay's Moral: There's always room at the table for those who are able.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Posted: 04 Jun 2009 03:58 AM PDTThe reason diets don’t work is because we associate pain with food deprivation. Diet equals hunger, and hunger is pain. How could anyone succeed on a diet when pain is the result? Luckily, there is another way. After losing 40 pounds, I can testify that it works. The trick: Eat More!
The problem with dieting is the restriction. Eat less fat. Cut out carbs. Restrict calories. Only eat cabbage soup. Yuck. Do these diets work? Maybe sometimes, but at what cost? When we restrict our diet, the body’s metabolism adjusts to starvation mode. The metabolism thinks that it’s starving, and becomes better at storing fat. This is why people gain even more weight when they come off a diet. They have effectively trained themselves to retain more fat.
Instead of depriving yourself only to gain more weight, you can choose to lose weight and keep it off by eating more, and you still get to eat what you enjoy. Here’s how it works:
Think of your body as a gas tank. It can only hold so much. You are permitted to fill your tank with as much of whatever you like after you fill it with a few essentials to make sure it runs properly.
- Fill your tank with 70% water rich foods like fruits and vegetables.
It’s too complicated to count all your food during the day, so look at each meal individually. Always fill your plate with a proportion of about three-quarters vegetables to whatever else you want to eat. Eat delicious, sweet fruits instead of deserts made of processed sugar. For breakfast, choose to fill your omelets with spinach. We are made almost entirely of water, so gift yourself the gift of eating as much water rich foods as you like.
- Eating vegetables and fruits until the cows come home isn’t always the most filling fare, so load up on high fiber and whole grain foods such as bulgar, quinoa and spelt. A bunch of great companies make pasta, bread and other products from whole grains so that you can eat more, increase your fiber and not even realize that you have reduced your intake of processed flours.
- Third, eat more beans, legumes and nuts. They make great snacks, chili and stir-frys. Like high fiber grains, you will be nice and full from a diet rich in beans and nuts. Don’t be afraid to check out soy products too. Almost anything can be made from the soybean, and soy products are tastier than ever.
- Fourth, drink more water, and flavor it with lemon, lime, or juice. Add your favorite juice to seltzer. Most people consume a huge amount of their daily calories through fluids. Drinking water, seltzer and sugar-free beverages like unsweetened iced-tea will help flush your body and make it easier to digest.
- Finally, don’t beat yourself up over eating food that you like such as meat, dairy or sweets, as long as you treat those items as delicacies that come once the tank is filled with quality fuel. When you eat meats or dairy, just make sure your plate is filled with green leafy vegetables, and a serving of high fiber whole grains.
|Written on 6/04/2009 by Tommy Galan. Tommy is is the author of Happy Universe, a blog dedicated to designing happy lives through exciting goals and healthy lifestyle. A few of his many adventures include performing on Broadway, earning a Juris Doctorate, finishing marathons, and traveling the world. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.||Photo Credit: kliff53|
Monday, June 22, 2009
...you are a brand new college grad and without your dream job. This is from Seth Godin:
Fewer college grads have jobs than at any other time in recent memory—a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers annual student survey said that 20 percent of 2009 college graduates who applied for a job actually have one. So, what should the unfortunate 80% do?
How about a post-graduate year doing some combination of the following (not just one, how about all):
- Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
- Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery.
- Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
- Start, run and grow an online community.
- Give a speech a week to local organizations.
- Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
- Learn a foreign language fluently.
- Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
- Self-publish a book.
- Run a marathon.
Beats law school.
If you wake up every morning at 6, give up TV and treat this list like a job, you'll have no trouble accomplishing everything on it. Everything! When you do, what happens to your job prospects?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Must Watch Video: Triumph of the Human Spirit
In a Chinese modern dance competition, one unique couple won a top prize. The lady was a dancer who'd trained since she was a little girl. Later in life, she lost her entire right arm in an accident and fell into a state of depression.
Someone then asked her to coach a children's dance group. From that point on, she knew she needed to dance again. It took a long time before she could even make simple turns or spins without falling. With only one arm, it was hard to balance.
Then she heard of a man who'd lost a leg in an accident and fallen into a depression. She was determined to persuade him to be her partner. Since he'd never danced before, he turned her down. But she didn't give up and ultimately he agreed.
She started to teach him to dance, but he had no concept of using muscle or how to control his body. When she lost patience with him, he'd walk out. Eventually, they started training seriously.
Here's their performance in the competition.
Posted: 08 Mar 2009 07:16 PM PDT
This is a guest post from J.D. Roth, who runs and writes for one of the biggest and best personal finance blogs on the net: Get Rich Slowly. Be sure to check out Get Rich Slowly for lots of solid advice on saving money and living a financially sound lifestyle.
Because I write a personal finance blog, I read a lot of books about money. I’ll be honest: they’re usually pretty boring. Sure, they can tell you how to invest in bonds or how to find the latest loophole in the tax code. But most of them lack a certain something: the human element.
Recently I’ve begun to read a different kind of money book in my spare time. I’ve discovered the joy of classic biographies and success manuals, especially those written by (or about) wealthy and/or thrifty men. When I read about Benjamin Franklin or Warren Buffett or J.C. Penney, I learn a lot — not just about money, but about how to be a better man.
Here are twelve of most important lessons that these books, written by and about great men of years gone by, have taught me:
“Anybody can be a halfway man, but the one who rises above this class is the one who keeps everlastingly pushing.” — J. Ogden Armour, Touchstones of Success (1920)
More than any other, one lesson stands out from the books I’ve read: Never give up. If you have a goal or a dream, pursue it. If there’s a cause that you truly believe in, then fight for it. That’s not to say that you should doggedly chase greed or gluttony, but that you should do your best to achieve those things that are important to you. Great men struggle through daunting obstacles to reach their destinations. In everything that you do, do your best. And remember: The road to wealth is paved with goals.
“‘Tis easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.” — Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth (1758)
Benjamin Franklin famously attempted to codify his quest for self-control. As Brett wrote last year, Franklin committed himself to thirteen virtues, and he developed a system for tracking how disciplined he was in his daily pursuit of these ideals. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional indulgence. But when the indulgence becomes a habit — or worse, a vice — this can affect your life. Even destroy it. If you have habits that prevent you from fulfilling your potential, find a way to boost your self-control. (You might, for example, use Joe’s Goals to track your progress, much like Benjamin Franklin did.)
Do the Right Thing
“To be truly rich, regardless of his fortune or lack of it, a man must live by his own values. If those values are not personally meaningful, then no amount of money gained can hide the emptiness of life without them.” — John Paul Getty, How to Be Rich (1961)
Have a code of honor, and live by it. Your code of honor might come from your faith, or from your education, or from your family. Whatever the source, live by these values. Life is filled with temptations. The more you accomplish, the more people will tempt you with offers for quick gains or passing pleasures. Many men succumb to these, but those who do rarely achieve what they might have if they’d stuck to their principles. The books I’ve read are filled with stories of men who have resisted the urge to compromise, and who believe that this has been a key to their success. Don’t cheat. Be honest. Work hard. And embrace the golden rule.
Embrace The Golden Rule
“Good will is one of the few really important assets of life. A determined man can win almost anything that he goes after, but unless, in his getting, he gains good will he has not profited much.” — Henry Ford, My Life and Work (1922)
James Cash Penney — the man behind the J.C. Penney chain of department stores — believed that success could be measured by how a man treated others. In his book, Fifty Years with the Golden Rule, Penney describes his life-long adherence to this maxim: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Other great men believed the same. They believed that their fortunes came not from pursuing money itself, but by producing something of value to others. But this principle also holds true outside of business. In your dealings with your friends, your family, and with strangers, treat others as you would like to be treated. Doing so builds social capital, strengthening the fiber of the community.
Pay Yourself First
“Many a man is poor today, although he has worked like a slave, simply because he could not save.” — Orison Swett Marden, The Young Man Entering Business (1903)
Another common thread in most of these books — and in personal-finance classics like The Richest Man in Babylon — is the importance of saving. “Pay yourself first,” the old adage goes, and it’s great advice. If you will set aside ten or twenty per cent of all that you earn, your fortune will grow far beyond that of your peers. Some of this money should be invested in a manner that makes you comfortable. (You should learn about the concepts of asset allocation and diversification, if you haven’t already.) But some of your money should also be set aside in a high-interest savings account to act as an emergency fund. When you save — when you pay yourself first — you are using the strength of your youth to insure your uncertain tomorrow.
“Be assured that it gives much more pain to the mind to be in debt, than to do without any article whatever which we may seem to want.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to his daughter Martha (14 June 1787)
Debt is slavery. When you owe money to another man, you are obligated to work for his benefit, not yours. Many young men struggle with debt — I did so myself. But those who are not able to overcome their spending habits are likely to find themselves always poor. When you pay interest to someone else, you cannot earn interest for yourself. When you’re in debt, your options are limited. You cannot choose, for example, to take a month off to travel across the country with a friend. You cannot quit a job you hate. If you did, how would your bills get paid? To be sure, a certain amount of debt is useful in business, but make it a policy in your personal life to never borrow for something that will decrease in value. (And if you’re already behind, make it a priority to get out of debt as soon as possible.)
“The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum of fortune; it is the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick.” — P.T. Barnum, The Art of Money Getting (1880)
Your health is your greatest asset. If you lack health, you cannot work, and cannot produce an income. Health allows you to engage in productive activities, at work and at play. It allows you to enjoy the company of your friends and family. And it allows you to live with vigor. Guard your health. Do not neglect your body. Eat well. Exercise regularly. If you drink or smoke, do so in moderation. You will not live forever, but with some care and foresight, you may get a little closer!
Do Not Covet
“By wishing to be what he calls ‘up-to-date’ as his friends or boon companions, many a young man mortgages his future.” — Orison Swett Marden, The Young Man Entering Business (1903)
It never pays to compare yourself to others. For one, you can find yourself longing to own the same things they do. Your best friend buys a new Ford Mustang, and suddenly you want one too. The guys from work go out for drinks on Friday evening, but you’re broke — the temptation to join in, to have what others have, can be unbearable. Focus only on yourself and how the things you own and do relate to your goals. Don’t be jealous of others. (This is one message in the famous essay, “Acres of Diamonds”: Instead of looking elsewhere for wealth, look at your own life.)
“This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth…To set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or arrogance.” — Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (1889)
This is the flip side to “Do Not Covet”. Just as you should not allow the behavior of your friends to influence your spending decisions, so too be conscious of your influence on them. If you have money, don’t flaunt it. And if you don’t have money, don’t pretend that you do. It’s fine (even good) to buy quality products, but don’t be flashy. Live simply and well.
“No matter how great the talent or the effort, some things just take time: you can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” — Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report (1985)
Too many men want to “get rich quick.” They’re on the lookout for fast money. They also want to lose weight now, to be a great golfer now, to be in management now. This obsession with “now” is a problem. In his new book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell writes that the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is 10,000 hours. That is, those who achieve mastery have patiently practiced their craft for at least 10,000 hours — the equivalent of five years of full-time work. When people ask me why my personal finance blog is so successful, one of my responses is that I’ve worked at it 60+ hours a week for the past three years. Practice may not “make perfect,” but it certainly breeds success.
“Thrift does not end with itself, but extends its benefits to others. It founds hospitals, endows charities, establishes colleges, and extends educational influences.” — Samuel Smiles, Thrift (1875)
I was not raised in a culture of giving. It’s only something I’m beginning to learn in middle age. But as I read about the choices of men who have come before me, it’s clear that they have derived satisfaction (and done a lot of good) by giving generously — not just of money, but also of time and knowledge. Do not hoard the things you have. Share them so that others might profit, too.
Learning from the Average Joe
Over the past few months, I’ve enjoyed reading the real-life stories of how great men became great. But I’ve also found it enlightening to read about the experiences of the average day guy — the fellows like you and me.
One book I strongly recommend (especially considering the state of the economy) is Hard Times by Studs Terkel. Hard Times is an oral history of the Great Depression. Terkel interviewed scores of men and women about their experiences during the 1930s. Their stories are amazing, and they offer great insight about how we can live better lives today.
Go forth, my friends, and do great things.
At Get Rich Slowly, J.D. generally writes about things like how to choose a credit card and how to find the best savings account. From time-to-time, he also shares motivational articles on topics like how to build confidence and how to beat procrastination.DownloadThe Art of Manliness Free Man Cookbook