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Monday, October 22, 2007

3 steps to build self-confidence (Step 3)

Step 3: Accelerating Towards Success:

By this stage, you’ll feel your self-confidence building. You’ll have completed some of the courses you started in step 2, and you’ll have plenty of success to celebrate!

Now’s the time to start stretching yourself. Make the goals a bit bigger, and the challenges a bit tougher. Increase the size of your commitment. And extend the skills you’ve proven into new, but closely related arenas.

Keep yourself grounded – this is where people tend to get over-confident and over-stretch themselves. And make sure you don’t start enjoying cleverness for its own sake…

As long as you keep on stretching yourself enough, but not too much, you’ll find your self-confidence building apace. What’s more, you’ll have earned your self-confidence - because you’ll have put in the hard graft necessary to be… successful.

Cheers for Success

3 steps to build self-confidence (Step 2)

Here you start, ever so slowly, moving towards your goal. By doing the right things, and starting with small, easy wins, you’ll put yourself on the path to success – and the self-confidence that comes with it.

Build the knowledge you need to succeed:

Looking at your goals, identify the skills you’ll need to achieve them. And then look at how you can acquire these skills confidently and well. Don’t just accept a sketchy, just-good-enough solution – look for a solution, a program or a course that fully equips you to achieve what you want to achieve, and ideally gives you a certificate you can be proud of.

Focus on the basics:

When you’re starting, don’t try to do anything clever or elaborate. And don’t reach for perfection – just enjoy doing simple things successfully and well.

Set small goals, and achieve them:

Starting with the very small goals you identified in step 1, get in the habit of setting goals, achieving them, and celebrating that achievement. Don’t make goals particularly challenging at this stage, just get into the habit of achieving them and celebrating them. And little by little, start piling up the successes!

Keep managing your mind:
Stay on top of that positive thinking, keep celebrating and enjoying success, and keep those mental images strong.

And on the other side, learn to handle failure. Accept that mistakes happen when you’re trying something new. In fact, if you get into the habit of treating mistakes as learning experiences, you can (almost) start to see them in a positive light. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the saying “if it doesn’t kill me, it makes me stronger!”

Cheers for Success

3 steps to build self-confidence (1st step)

For this post, we will use the the metaphor of a journey: Preparing for your journey; setting out; and accelerating towards success.

(1) Preparing for Your Journey:

The first step involves getting yourself ready for your journey to self-confidence. You need to take stock of where you are, think about where you want to go, get yourself in the right mindset for your journey, and commit yourself to starting it and staying with it.

In preparing for your journey, do the following things:

Look at what you’ve already achieved:

Relive your life so far, and list the ten best things you’ve achieved in an “Achievement Log.” Perhaps you came top in an important test or exam, played a key role in an important team, produced the best sales figures in a period, did something that made a key difference in someone else’s life, or delivered a project that meant a lot for your business.

Put these into a smartly formatted document, which you can look at often. And then spend a few minutes each week enjoying the success you’ve already had!

Think about what's important to you, and who you really are:

Next, think about the things that are really important to you, and what you want to achieve with your life and build an Achievement Log, and reflecting on your recent life, think about what your friends would consider to be your strengths and weaknesses. From these, think about the opportunities and threats you face.

Make sure that you enjoy a few minutes reflecting on your strengths!

Think about where you want to go:

Setting and achieving goals is a key part of building self-confidence. Goal setting is the process you use to set yourself targets, and measure your successful hitting of those targets. Look forward to my next post as I talk about Goal-setting

Start managing your mind:
At this stage, you need to start managing your mind. Learn to pick up and defeat the negative self-talk which can destroy your confidence.

And learn how to use imagery to create strong mental images of what you’ll feel and experience as you achieve your major goals – there’s something about doing this that makes even major goals seem achievable!

And then commit yourself to success!

The final part of preparing for the journey is to make a clear and unequivocal promise to yourself that you are absolutely committed to your journey, and that you will do all in your power to achieve it.

If as you’re doing it, you find doubts starting to surface, write them down and challenge them calmly and rationally. If they dissolve under scrutiny, that’s great. However if they are based on genuine risks, make sure you set additional goals to manage them appropriately.

Either way, make that promise!

Next post: Step 2: Setting Out:

Cheers to Success

Building Self-Confidence

From the quietly confident doctor whose advice we rely on, to the star-quality confidence of an inspiring speaker, self-confident people have qualities that everyone admires. Jack Welch once said: “Confidence gives you courage and extends your reach. It lets you take greater risks and achieve far more than you ever thought possible” (Capitalism Magazine, 2002). This powerfully conveys the enormous role self-confidence plays in achieving greater success in whatever you do.

Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Sadly, this can be a vicious circle: People who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful. After all, would you instinctively want to back a project that was being pitched by someone who was nervous, fumbling and overly apologetic?


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On the other hand, you might be persuaded by someone who spoke clearly, who held their head high, who answered questions assuredly, and who readily admitted when he/she did not know something.

Self-confident people inspire confidence in others: Their audience, their peers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. Gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.

The good news is that self-confidence really can be learned and built on. And, whether you’re working on your own self-confidence or building the confidence of people around you, it’s well-worth the effort! All other things being equal, self-confidence is often the single ingredient that distinguishes a successful person from someone less successful.

So how confident do you seem to others?
Your level of self-confidence can show in many ways: Your behavior, your body language, how you speak, what you say, and so on
Building Self-Confidence

So how do you build this sense of balanced self-confidence, founded on a firm appreciation of reality?

The bad news is that there’s no quick fix or 5-minute solution.

The good news is that building self-confidence is readily achievable, just as long as you have the focus and determination to carry things through. And what’s even better is that the things you’ll do will build success – after all, your confidence will come from real, solid achievement. No-one can take this away from you!

Cheers for Success

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good Grief, You Taught Me a Lot, Charlie Brown!

For 50 years the daily comic strip 'Peanuts' entertained millions of readers. Every day, the adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the whole gang provided many laugh-out-loud moments while at the same time offering a daily inspiration and lessons on life.

With the recent death of 'Peanuts' creator Charles Schulz, I reflect on how much I enjoyed sharing the adventures of the 'Peanuts' gang and I remember the many lessons they taught me...

1. It's okay to be afraid... just don't let your fears control you.

Charlie Brown often sat in bed and spoke of his fears, but no matter how scared he was, he always did the things he wanted to do.

2. Persistence wins out.

Charlie Brown often lost, failed at much, but he never gave up. Even though he knew Lucy was going to pull the football away before he could kick it.... Even though he knew the tree was going to eat his kite... Even though he knew his team would lose the ball game, he kept on trying.

3. It's what you think of yourself that counts.

Linus carried a security blanket for years and his friends laughed at him. They also laughed at him because he believed in the "Great Pumpkin." Pigpen was a walking cloud of dust and dirt and was often regarded unkindly. Both characters, however, were always proud of themselves and believed they were as good as anybody else -- and they were right.

4. Sometimes you need to talk.

One thing the 'Peanuts' gang understood was the importance of talking things out. Whether leaning up against Schroeder's piano or atop the brick wall, they always had someplace to discuss what was of concern to them.

5. Sometimes you need to listen.

Even crabby, self-indulged Lucy knew the importance of listening. She started the famous 'Psychiatry Booth' where any and all could come and be heard.

6. Do what you love to do.

Through all their adventures, Schroeder remained constant in his appreciation of Beethoven and his love of playing the piano. He loved to play piano and that's what he did, regardless of the circumstances. Charlie Brown flew his kite, played baseball and football, not just to win (he knew he wouldn't), but because he loved to do those things.

7. It's important to have friends that care.

The 'Peanuts' gang was made up of individual characters, each with their own foibles and talents, but through it all they were always there for each other.

8. Big dreams lead to big things.

Snoopy was the biggest dreamer of them all, but his wild imagination often led to even wilder, more fantastic adventures in real life. Snoopy knew that you must have a big dream if you are going to lead a big life.

9. Action creates reality.

As Charlie Brown was reminded time and again after prodding from Linus: it takes action to bring about change. Though he often failed, Chuck took action quite regularly... and every now and again things would go his way.

10. Laugh every day! While the kids themselves may not have seen the humor in the things they did, Schulz made sure that we did. Life is only as serious or as humorous as YOU make it.

Cheers for Success

7 Steps to Living at the Speed of Life

Everywhere you turn today, people are in a constant rush: Hurry here! Hurry there! Free up an extra half-hour and you just might be able to squeeze one more task into your already overflowing schedule of things to do.

Unfortunately, too many of us these days mistake living fast for living well. They aren't the same things. Rather than spend your time rushing around not enjoying life, make the decision to do just the opposite. Choose to slow down.

1. Stop rushing
No matter how much you do or don't do, time passes by at a steady rate. Second by second, minute by minute. You can't change that. So accept it and pace yourself.

2. Stop being rushed
Of course, you'll need to spend some time telling the people around you that you're not going to rush anymore, but it's worth it. Take a stand: don't let others force you into fast forward mode.

3. Do less
It's natural for you to start rushing about when your list of activities is jam-packed. If you really want to slow down, reduce your commitments --it's okay to say "No" when people ask for your help and/or participation-- and free up some "spare" time.

4. Do nothing
Better yet, take #3 even further. Do less than less.... do nothing! Plan "nothing days". These are days when you have absolutely nothing that must be done -- days when anything you choose to do is the right thing to do.

5. Do one thing at a time
If you can't bring yourself to doing less (or nothing), then slow down by simply doing one thing at a time. You'll focus more on each task you do (and you'll probably complete it faster, too).

6. Do things now
Not everything, just the stuff that really must be done today. Pay your bills when they arrive, not the day they're due. Take out the trash when the trash is full, not just on the day the garbage truck comes by.

7. Do something for someone else
Spend an hour each week helping your favorite charity . You'll quickly see how valuable time really is and you'll feel great by focusing on helping others.

Cheers for Success

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Road to Success is in the Fast Lane

You succeed based on the quality of your work, the amount of work we can do and one other factor: speed. How fast can you go?


The power and progress of our society is based on speed. When your particle flow (information, services, goods and so on) is slow, the rest of the world speeds on by.

For example, can you imagine working without a computer, telephone, fax machine or the Internet?

Can you imagine traveling without a car or an airplane?

Imagine being in a world where the telegraph and railroad were major improvements.

Business Speed

Speed of particle flow determines the power of a business. The faster the business’ particles (service, sales, payment, delivery and so on) the more prosperous it becomes.

For example, you want to buy carpet for your home. Two companies sell the exact carpet you want.

One says, "We can install it in six weeks" and the other says, "We can install it tomorrow." Who do you pick?

If the price and quality are comparable, the company that can deliver the goods the fastest always wins in the end. In many cases, speed is more important than quality or price.

For example, fresh ripe tomatoes from Mexico in February may cost more, but they sell out quickly. Without fast delivery, they are inedible.

Imagine fast service in all areas.

You call and say, "Hello, I was calling to see if you could send someone to fix my furnace."

The furnace company says, "Is ten minutes okay?"

You call your dentist and ask, "How soon can I see the doctor?"

The receptionist says, "How about 1:00 today?"

You call an auto dealer and say, "I’d like a fully-loaded 2003 Midnight Blue Mercedes 450SL with white leather seats."

The dealer says, "It’s right here. You can pick it up or we can deliver it to you in an hour."

Business owners who take forever to make decisions soon lose money. Managers who can spot problems and correct them within minutes are valuable and hard to find. Workers who move like lightening are soon promoted.

Companies that can quickly change their direction are the most successful. For example, chain bookstores did not start selling books over the Internet until was in business long enough to work out their systems and take over the market. Chain bookstores lost millions because they took too long to act.

Personal Success

How quickly can you move the particles (communications, projects, services and so on) in your life or work? How fast are you?

When you wait, avoid and make excuses, you kill your speed. You delay your success.

When you respond quickly, act without delay and complete tasks faster than anyone else, you have power.

For example, high-school graduates Lynn and Chris both want to become school teachers.

Lynn says, "I’ve got all those years of school in front of me. I’m taking a year off to ride my bike around Europe before I start."

Chris says, "I can’t wait to teach. I’m taking classes this summer and will get my degree in three years."

Who do you think becomes the other’s principal?

The only road to significant success is in the fast lane.

Ten Tips for Speeding up Your Success

1. Jump into projects as soon as possible.

2. Act quickly on opportunities. If you see what you want, jump on it before you lose the chance.

3. Push yourself to walk faster, talk faster, read faster and move faster.

4. Keep up your speed with good habits: sufficient sleep, good food, regular exercise and so on.

5. Reduce or eliminate people or things that delay or stop you from moving quickly.

6. Whenever you think something can’t be done quickly, ask "Why not?"

7. Constantly look for faster methods to get the same result.

8. Send and return communications with as little delay as possible.

9. Set tough deadlines for completing tasks and make them.

10. Challenge yourself by taking on more work than ever and getting it done in less time than ever.

Cheers for Success

7 Mental Keys to Success

(1) What is desire? Something you want to create, or have. Let’s face it –– you have to want something before you can get it! Otherwise, you just shrug your shoulders and say, “so what?” So the first thing to do is decide what it is you want.

(2) You have to know exactly what you want and what it will look and feel like when you have it. These first two steps are the most important in becoming successful at anything. Why? Because action follows thought! If you don’t know precisely what you want AND have a do–able plan to get it, then you won’t be able to make that plan work, no matter how hard you try. You have to align yourself for success BEFORE you go into action! Otherwise, you work very hard and get nowhere, like this:

You need to do four things:

1) Figure out and write down the overall Vision for your undertaking.

2) Figure out and write down the Goal of your undertaking.

3) Figure out and write down the Purpose for your undertaking.

4) Figure out and write down Why you want to be, do, or have it.

Vision: What do you want and how will you feel when you have it?
Goal: The end result of your undertaking. What will it look like after you are done?
Purpose: What are you trying to accomplish?
Why: The motivation or reason for your undertaking. Why do you want to do it?

You need to state each of these succinctly and clearly. If you can’t write each of these steps in at most two or three sentences, you still aren’t clear enough about what you’re doing.

(3) Joe is a very good chef and he wants to start a restaurant. However, Joe has almost no knowledge about the restaurant business. Jill, on the other hand, is a CEO and has always liked food, but she has no clue about cooking. How successful do you think Joe or Jill will be in the restaurant business?

In order to succeed you have to know the tools of the trade. That requires some basic knowledge. You can either get that knowledge from personal research and experience, or find people who have the knowledge you lack and hire them. However you do it, you have to get up to speed in the area in which you want to have success.

The primary purpose for knowledge is to develop an Action Plan. Without a plan of action, all of your theory is just a lot pf daydreaming. People who know what they want AND have an action plan to get it are the most successful. Just as action without a vision is useless, so too is theory without a workable plan to put your theories into practice. Successful people are almost always passionate, and passion is not possible without knowledge AND a way to practically use that knowledge in the accomplishment of the goal.

(4) You can have all the skills and knowledge in the world, and be immensely talented to boot, but it will all come to nothing if you aren’t organized. I don’t care whether you are starting an automobile company with thousands of employees, or you are a one–man consulting company working out of your basement. You have to organize your thoughts and your life, otherwise your actions are inefficient, and you won’t get anywhere. It is impossible to bring any endeavor to fruition without organization. Those who neglect the organizational part of an enterprise usually work ten times as hard as necessary until they “get their act together.”

(5) This is so important that it could have gone first. What is integrity? It’s always keeping your word. It’s staying true to your goal and not allowing critics or nay–sayers to deter you. It’s making sure that the product you are selling is the absolute highest quality that is in your power to make it. Why is integrity so important? Because it keeps your conscience clear. It keeps you inspired, and aligned with the creative energy of the universe. Nothing will slow you down faster than the knowledge that you cut a corner or cheated someone. Unscrupulous people always fail, because their products or services don’t measure up.

(6) Intention simply means the conscious application of the will to a defined goal. You can’t create something by waving a magic wand. If you want something, you have to apply yourself! You have to work at it. The guy who wants to start a computer consulting business, but spends most of his time at the beach, is going to fail. Intention is directed focus. Action that is not aligned to the goal is wasted effort. Intention keeps you focused on the goal and not on things unrelated to the goal.

Having a strong desire, knowing exactly what you want, and having a plan to get it breeds passion. Successful people are always passionate, because they are focused very intensely on what is wanted, and are highly motivated. Both Mother Theresa and Joe Stalin were passionate people, and successful. Stalin was a scumbag and a murderer, but he knew the Mental Keys to Success. Guys like Stalin always go down, however, because their lust for power eventually conflicts with their personal integrity. Interestingly enough, an “evil” person can be successful if he or she is always true to the goal. The saying “honor among thieves” just means that a successful thief honors his obligations. The more successful an endeavor, however, the more integrity it has and the less evil it is! The universe is set up to reward honorable people and punish scumbags.

(7)Persistence just means, carrying your intention and your passion through time long enough to make it happen. Mostly, persistence is thought of in the context of struggle against large odds, but that’s not what I’m talking about. if you think your task is that difficult, you are already not aligned to the goal and you will probably fail. You are also setting yourself up for unnecessary sweat and strain. A motivated, passionate, knowledgeable and organized person can accomplish the task with a minimum of turbulence. Nevertheless, no one is perfect. When roadblocks appear, you have to overcome them. Persistence is the key quality that allows you to do that.

Multi–billionaire Ross Perot said, “"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown." This statement expresses the idea that you sometimes don’t know when you’re going to have a breakthrough. Sometimes, you quit before you see the manifestation. As the old saying goes, “it’s always darkest just before the dawn.”

““Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” –– Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the United States, 1872-1933)

Maybe old Calvin went a little too far with that statement. But there is no denying that when you study the lives of successful people, persistence is one of the qualities that almost always shows up.


The seven Mental Keys to Success:

· Desire
· Vision
· Knowledge (Action Plan)
· Organization
· Integrity
· Intention
· Persistence

These qualities lead to confidence, certainty, and success

Cheers to success

Three Things You Must Know to Attract Success

Everyone wants success.

Some people spend their every waking moment pursuing it, to the detriment of all else.

For others, attaining success seems impossible. They conclude that it is destined for a select few. The rest of us are to remain “content with such things as we have”. Having it all is not “in our stars”.

However, the above assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. When you strive for success with the wrong assumptions, you will never reach it.

It’s like travelling somewhere with the wrong map.

Zig Ziglar says that, “Success is a process, not an event,” “a journey, not a destination.”

Jim Rohn describes it as “…a condition that must be attracted not pursued.”

Do you see the pattern?

“…a process, not an event.”
“…a journey, not a destination.”
“…a condition that must be attracted not pursued.”

You can’t hurry success, catch it, or find it by chance. You can’t inherit it, gate-crash on it, or take it from some one else.

Success is something you must work hard and long to earn, for yourself. It has a price, sometimes a very high one. And most people aren’t really and truly ready to pay that price, to do what success demands.

If success has eluded you so far, perhaps you should try changing your assumptions.

You need to accept that:

(1) You must go through a growing process, which will require time and patience, in order to achieve success. There are no short cuts. Anything else is a temporary illusion.

Success that will remain with you, and bring you joy rather than sorrow, requires a learning process, a time to grow out of old habits and into new ones, a time to learn what works and what doesn’t.

And you must pay your dues, in full, in advance!

So don’t be in a hurry.

(2) You will need to acquire traits and skills that attract it.

What does success mean to you? Identify, in specific terms, what you regard as success. What traits or skills will you need to achieve this goal? Set clear, written goals.

Devise plans to acquire the needed traits and skills. Learn to do what you need to do, to get where you want to go.

What kinds of people have what you want? What do they do, or not do, that helps them get and keep it?

If you do what they do and avoid what they avoid, there’s a good chance that you will end up with what they have.

Find 2 or 3 people who have what you want. Write down the habits that have made them successful and resolve to copy them.

Starting now!

This is called mentoring, learning from others who have arrived where you want to go.

Mentoring can cut out the heart-aches of trial and error. A mentor can keep you focused and on track.

Once you learn to do what it takes, you qualify. And when you qualify, success comes looking for you. You just can’t be denied!

What a relief from the days when you ran after it! You fulfill the requirements and attract success to yourself. Opportunities open up to you, and when they do, they find you ready to grasp them.

(3) You must be ready to travel the road to success, oftentimes alone. It’s been said that, “At some point in time, the pursuit of your goals becomes secondary and what you have become in the process… what is most important. It’s not the distance you go…so much as the going itself” (Les Brown).

Parents, remember when you tried to teach your children to crawl? You put their favourite toy in front of them and teased them forward, inch by inch. They were after the toy, which kept them motivated.

But you wanted to strengthen their muscles and teach them a new skill. When they became good at reaching the toy, they had learned to crawl. After that, they could reach any destination they wanted, without you and the toy!

The DESTINATION was less important. They became champion crawlers in the PROCESS!

That’s what the journey to success does to you. It causes you to learn habits and skills that make you “full of success”, or “successful”.

Because you have now mastered the skills and the process, you can keep on reproducing success. You now have what it takes. But if you try to “gate-crash”, you don’t get to learn the process and the skills.

You cannot reproduce success, in the same or different scenarios. You do not have the tools for acquiring it; you only have a mirage. In other words, you have not become successful.

Should calamity strike, you are back to square one, and you’ll quite likely be there a long time.

Anyone can identify what success means to them and go after it. If you don’t mind the hard work and waiting, success can be yours. You can become the kind of person who attracts what he or she wants rather than running after it.

Funny enough, when you are ready for success you attract it, with little effort.

When you are not, it runs from you, no matter how hard you chase. In other words, you repel it!

Most likely, this is the reason that success eludes people.

Now that you know how to attract success, why not get started on the journey or process that will take you where you want to go? Any one can succeed, but unfortunately not every one will. It’s your decision to choose. Fate does not foist it upon you. You can have anything you want in life, if you’re ready to pay the price. But if you consider the process too hard, too slow, or the distance too long and lonely, you have qualified your self as a looser; painful but true.

So don’t short-change yourself with short-cuts and counterfeits. You can have the real thing.

Go out there today and start attracting success.

It’s literally yours for the taking!

Cheers for Success