Archive

Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Muppets, Puppet Shows & Living Your Dream

December 13th, 2014

I’m friends on Facebook (and in real life) with several people from high school and college. Not LOTS of them, but a select few. One of my FB friends is a girl I dated in high school and who went on to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. When I first learned that she had made the choir it made my heart sing (pun intended), because I knew that it was a dream she had held since before I ever met her. I love seeing people achieve their dreams. I love success in all its myriad forms, and so often success is mentally linked with money when in fact, that is almost never how success is actually measured.

Success is, by definition, forward progress toward a goal. If you have a goal and you are moving toward it, you are being successful. So when I learned that Deby had been accepted as part of the choir, I couldn’t stop smiling. Imagine having a dream as a child, never letting go of that dream and then ultimately realizing that dream. Who wouldn’t wish that for every human alive? So, first off, let me make it abundantly clear that for the past few years I’ve really held her in high esteem. Even though we only dated for less than a year and that was almost three decades ago, it still makes me overly proud to see her achieve a lifelong dream.

That being said, I can tell you that THIS WEEK my admiration for her doubled. You see this week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing with the Sesame Street Muppets. That’s right, my old girlfriend from high school is performing ON STAGE with REAL Muppets! Don’t get me wrong, living your life’s dream is great and all, but to do it with Ernie and Bert is infinitely better! And Count VonCount, and Big Bird, and even Abby Cadabra! Hey, I get to do puppet shows all the time. That’s what I do, magic puppet shows…dream come true and all that. So, yeah. I’m not trying to name drop, but that girl on the second row from the bottom, middle section, third from the left…yep. I know her.

Goal Setting, Just Personal, Success

Conspiracy Theories

May 6th, 2011

I’m a skeptic. I also love a good conspiracy theory. As a professional storyteller, I really appreciate the intrigue and drama that a good conspiracy theory entails. I respect the battle of “good” and “evil” and the mystery of which is which in these stories.

But most of the time, conspiracy theories tend to overlook the obvious: reality is usually much simpler than the involved conspiracies would dictate.

It’s been less than a week since President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden and already there are so many accusations being made on all sides. From questioning whether or not OBL was actually killed, questioning whether he was killed recently or several years ago, and even whether or not the Pakistani government knew where OBL was living (since he was reportedly staying in a mansion just a few miles from the capital of Pakistan).

Even the most level headed politicians are getting in on this last one.

“How could they NOT have KNOWN Bin Laden was living there? It’s a huge mansion with no telephone service, and high walls topped with barbed wire! It’s just miles from the capital! The government HAD to have known!”

Really?

There was a story last week about a family that kept their daughter in a cage and fed her two pop-tarts a day. They lived in a mobile home in a mobile home park. They kept the kid this way for months or years and no one noticed until someone came knocking about an unrelated case and just happened to see the kid in the cage.

I know who lives in every house on our block. But there is no way that I can tell you if there are OTHER people also in there hiding in a spare bedroom or the attic. I see people come and go, but I can’t see the people who DON’T come and go. Unless I go through every room in every house, Osama Bin Laden could have been living next door to me…or you. Unless you’ve systematically checked every room in all of your neighbors houses. It’s not likely.

As for Bin Laden’s death, there have been suggestions that the timing was conveniently close to the release of Obama’s birth certificate. But c’mon! When, in ANY presidency has there ever been a time that WASN’T involved in some sort of controversy?

Political leaders that get things done face opposition. Always. And political leaders that don’t get things done face controversy for not doing anything. No matter when OBL’s death was announced people would have noticed that there was some controversy going on at the time.

Why didn’t we capture him? We could have gotten good information from him.

Look, we’ve been hunting this guy for ten years. He’s slipped through our fingers by just hours on many occasions. Clinton missed his chance and caught hell for it. OBL got away a few times during the Bush administration and Bush never lived it down. Now Obama finally has the change to finish the job. Can you imagine what would have happened if, while trying to capture or transport OBL the guy managed to escape? Everyone would have been screaming “Why didn’t you just KILL him?!”

The job of a president is never easy. You are always having your decisions scrutinized. And no matter what you do, there will be people from the other political party who will work to undermine your efforts and minimize the importance of your successes. This is true for Democrats and Republicans.

So good leaders make decisions and move forward and start getting more things done.

And then conspiracy theorists invent interesting alternative motivations and stories that I love to hear, but just can’t really sink my teeth into.

Getting Things Done, Just Personal, Success

I’ve given up hope…

March 27th, 2011

 Hope is so overrated.

 

I keep hearing all my friends talk about it, tweet about it, and blog about it like it’s the next great thing.

 

Let’s face it…if “hope” is your last best strategy, you are a cataclysmic failure. Hope is all fine and good in the right context, but when you really lay it all out on the table, hope is about the crappiest guidance system you could ask for.

 

Nothing in life is guaranteed. As my CFP constantly reminds me: Past results do not predict future outcomes. But let’s get real for a little bit. There is not a better indicator of future outcomes than past results. None.

 

The abusive boyfriend is the one MOST likely to hit you again. The aggressive driver is the MOST likely to get in an accident. They guy with perfect attendance at work is the one MOST likely to show up first thing tomorrow. Past performance doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a pretty good place to start.

 

Hope has nothing to do with it. You can “hope” until you are blue in the face, but it won’t do you any good if your day-to-day, minute-by-minute actions are out of synch with how the world really works.

 

Here’s an idea that won’t sit well with many of you: Make decisions (especially the important ones) based on real-world, proven patterns and leave “hope” out of it all. You don’t marry someone and “hope” they’re the mate for you. You date them, question them, talk to them, watch movies with them and then TALK about the movie you just watched so that you KNOW what they think and you KNOW how they act and you KNOW what they want in life and you KNOW what they are willing to do (and what they are absolutely NOT willing to do) to attain their goals. You don’t “hope” their goals and dreams and aspirations and boundaries are in synch with yours. If you do, you’re in for disappointment unless you are decidedly lucky.

 

The problem with “hope” is that it leads to false conclusions. It leads us to ignore legitimate evidence that undermines our position of hope, and leads us to find and even create false evidence in our minds that supports our position. Hope is the mirror image of paranoia only worse. When we worry (paranoia), we set up defenses. A worrisome person works to protect themselves from danger, and often from dangers that don’t really exist.

 

The potential loss from “worry” and “paranoia” is significant, but limited: a little time, a little money, an little joy. But the losses that can amass from false “hope” can be monumental. With hope you can bet it all and if your hope is unfounded, you can lose it all. With hope you can very quickly make decisions that will have consequences that linger long after the hope has faded. Because hope is not rational, it can rise quickly and fade just as fast. And because hope is not at all linked to reality, it can result in horrible consequences.

 

Over the last two weeks I’ve spent twelve days in a series of state parks around Texas that have a reputation for interesting mountain biking trails. I always wear a helmet because (as a former special education teacher) I know all too well the results of a traumatic brain injury. I am not paranoid about this matter, but I am consistent in wearing the helmet. I would never ride and “hope” that I’ll be fine, nor would I sit in my camper too fearful of the trails to get out and enjoy life. Neither extreme is healthy or productive.

 

Instead I look at the risks, mitigate them with rational safety precautions, and then enjoy myself to the fullest extent possible.

 

Every time I head out to the woods I set up a few automatic stock trades that might or might not fill while I’m out on the trails. I have a few buy orders if the price drops low enough and a few sell orders if the price jumps high enough. No matter what happens I’m going to win. I either pick up a good stock at a great price if the market drops significantly, or I sell a stock at a great price if it jumps significantly. And if it chugs along at an even level, then I’ll collect the dividends and interest. But I never have to “hope” the market does anything!

 

I fully expect the market to swing up and down like it always has. I will capitalize on that consistent pattern. But I do not make financial decisions by “hoping” that my decisions are accurate. Instead I base them on patterns that have proven true over time. That means I’m wrong quite often since these patterns are never 100%. I miss opportunities from time to time. But I never suffer traumatic losses, because I never allow “hope” or “fear” to guide my decisions.

 

If you have nothing else going for you, then by all means, “hope” for the best. But if you are in a position where you have ANYTHING worthwhile to lose, please, base your decisions on something more substantial.

Getting Things Done, Success

Simple, Powerful, and Inexpensive

June 15th, 2010

“Burn The Thoughts, Beliefs and Attitudes of the Happiest, Most Effective People Into Your Mind and You Will Feel How They Feel, Do What They Do and Get The Same Results They Get!”

Two weeks ago I told you about a product that has changed my life and many of you have decided to take a step in investigating what might be the transformative missing link in your own success.

Whether you are working on health and fitness goals, financial goals, relationship goals, productivity goals or all of these, I am confident that you will find a solution in the next 90 seconds.

First, a promise.

I promise that you have never seen ANYTHING like what you are now going to learn about. These Accelerated Success Conditioning Programs are a radical enhancement to traditional self-help.

These programs are not “how-to” lecture based advice. They make “how-to” information and self-help advice work better.

These programs don’t attempt to teach you WHAT to do. You may know what to do already – but can’t get yourself to do it. Anybody have books on their shelf filled with good advice that hasn’t yet been implemented?

They don’t explain how to get motivated… that wouldn’t last.

And they can’t show you how to eat, how to get more done, how to be more persuasive or how to feel happy or get rid of fears. Those are habits that can’t be acquired through lecture. These Accelerated Success Conditioning Programs are thought and behavior modification Programs, and as a behavior modification expert with two decades of experience in the field, I can tell you that the science is sound and I can attest that the product works. I own ALL of the systems and use them because they are so easy to implement.

So unlike mere advice or information, they literally alter your unsupportive thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and emotional habits you’ve developed over a lifetime to be more like the people who get the results that you want to get.

Imagine being able to:

• Hit your ideal weight and stay there forever without feeling
     miserable

• Exercise like a maniac and LOVE it

• Be free of depression no matter how severe or how long
     you’ve suffered

• Explode your personal sales and fall in love with prospecting

• Get rid of your panic attacks and stop obsessive behaviors

• Live every single day with passion and purpose no matter
     what your age

• Have more money than you could ever need

• Quit bad habits for good – and not miss them one little bit

• Become a goal achieving machine

• Feel great about who you are, happy to be you

Until now there has been no simple, easy and fast way to permanently change the little voice inside your head, to change how you think, to let go of your past, to release unsupportive emotions.

• No “how-to” book will insert the motivation to get up
     after you keep falling down

• No lecture or seminar can implant unstoppable
     determination to do whatever it takes to succeed.

• No punishment you could endure would guarantee that
     you’ll stop doing what you’ve done most of your life.

• No exercise equipment can force you to take the time
     to use it. 

• No patch, powder or pill can alter your behaviors. All
     they can do is suck your bank account dry and leave
     you no more able to succeed on your own than you
     were before you got hooked on them.
 
Until now, there has been no way to predictably eliminate the mental patterns that make fear jump up and stop you and install all the qualities it takes to make a dream life.

But now there is…

Check out this affiliate link to what I believe is one of the most powerful and definitely one of the least expensive methods to reprogram your brain that I’ve ever found.

Simple, inexpensive, and powerfully effective: This deserves your investigation.

Think Right Now or if you are curious, you can go see my own results from using one of the systems by visiting www.JulianSpeaks.com/bragging but be warned, there is a photo of me without a shirt on so view it at your own discretion.

Fitness, Getting Things Done, Goal Setting, Success

As Your waistline gets smaller, your wallet gets FATTER

June 4th, 2010

I’ve often pointed out the relationship between a person’s financial success and their level of fitness. I’m not the only behavior change expert who recognizes the correlation. Countless success gurus have pointed out the direct correlation between physical fitness and “fiscal fitness”. The more a person is worth financially, the more likely they are to be healthy and fit.

As a behavior change specialist I find it fascinating to discover the myriad reasons people either take action or avoid taking action. One of the most powerful discoveries in human behavior (and it probably won’t shock any of you) is that we often do things that are NOT in our best interest and we repeat these patterns for no recognizable reason.

A few years ago I realized that I had gotten almost 50 pounds overweight and my cardio vascular endurance had plummeted. I was determined to get back into shape but just couldn’t seem to find the time (sound familiar?)

But something quite simple changed in my life and within a few months I had lost ALL the weight and was in the best shape of my life. That was more than three years ago and any of you who have seen the before and after pictures or who have known me for that length of time can attest to the recognizable differences in my physique.

Those differences are still here. I’ve kept the weight off and in fact have gotten in even better shape over the last year and will continue to get stronger, faster, and leaner as I continue to age. These differences are irrefutable and obvious when you see me or see pictures of me.

What you CAN’T see are the other, more meaningful changes that have taken place. Because my endurance is up it is easier for me to get more work done in less time. I feel stronger and more confident. My relationship with my wife has gotten much better. Because I am more efficient in the things I do, I actually have more free time and have taken up a few new hobbies including geocaching which is like a world-wide, 24/7 Easter egg hunt that often involves some pretty serious hiking.

So what was the little something that happened to me three and a half years ago? When researching human behavior modification techniques, I came across what I believe is one of the most powerful tools for a person to be able to literally hypnotize themselves into becoming exactly who they would like to become.

The CD system is really quite simple and it is NOT subliminal programming. Rather it is based on proven scientific principles that have definitely worked in my own life.

If you are interested in losing weight, developing higher self-esteem, getting more organized, becoming a better leader, controlling your smoking habit, setting and reaching your goals, or any of the other patterns that ThinkRightNow has available, I encourage you to visit their site through the affiliate link below and at least investigate what has clearly worked for me and many others.

If you purchase 3 systems, you get a fourth system tossed in and each system is less than $35.

If you’ve been thinking about doing something to regain the health you deserve but you’ve been putting it off because it would be too difficult or you don’t know where to start…Then I recommend you add the “End Procrastination” system to your cart  :)

Check out ThinkRightNow and see if you are willing to put them up to their 6 month money back guarantee.

You have nothing to lose but unwanted weight and bad habits!

Fitness, Getting Things Done, Goal Setting, Success

Results from a Mastermind

May 11th, 2010

Last week I got back from a five day mastermind session with a few of my very intelligent friends. We spent the week in Dallas, Texas where we rented an executive suite and stayed up until 3am every night, which was quite different for me since I normally rise at 4:30 am.

We had several very serious discussions on trends we saw over the past twelve months and how we might be able to capitalize on them. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of what we discussed and discovered, so stay tuned for those emails.

But in addition to conceptual and the strategic planning that went on, we also took time to engage in the tactical. We spent time each day in the gym working out. We spent time on the computer implementing ideas to test our new theories including some new Amazing System Autoresponder campaigns, some new Google Adwords campaigns, and a few other actions that we agreed would remain exclusive to our group.

But there is a reason I’m sharing this with you.

We scheduled our mastermind session in Dallas to coincide with a marketing conference that overlapped our group session by 3 days. During that time it became clear that success falls on a continuum. At one end, inability to pay bills and at the other end complete financial freedom and everything in between…well, in between!

When looking for the commonalities we were hoping for something revealing. Smart people at one end, dumb people at the other end. But that was not true. Friendly at one end, rude at the other? Not particularly true. But across the board we noticed that implementation seemed to be a distinguishing factor.

Smart, nice people who failed to take action were overshadowed by dumb, ugly, rude people who consistantly implemented the tactics that supported their goals.

What lingering ideas have you been thinking about but have failed to act on? Choose THREE of them (no more) and work on them until they are fully functioning. You’d be surprised what you can do with just a few working tactics.

Getting Things Done, Success

Pump Up Your Business!

May 4th, 2010

Okay, watch this video closely. There are some funny things to catch. The opening scenes of us working out were filmed at the END of our workout, so you get to see me struggle to lift 25 pound dumbells as my arms were totally exhausted.

You also get to see “Mr Disney” himself, Brad Ross as he totally flubs his lines. If you know “One Take Brad” you will find this as shocking as seeing me unable to lift 25 pounds.

Marketing, Success, Video

Video clip from a November speaking engagement

April 18th, 2010

Here’s a video clip from a talk I delivered November 2009 to a group of professional performers (magicians, speakers, entertainers, etc.).

Down Economy, Embracing Fear, Goal Setting, Success, Video

2010 Resolution: Fail More

December 31st, 2009

While everyone else is telling you that now is the time to get ready to succeed in the new year I’m going to offer my bit of contrarian advice:

This new year, plan on failing more.

Many years ago, when I wanted to become a writer, I signed up for a correspondence course from an ad I saw in the back of Writer’s Digest Magazine. One of the first lessons covered was getting over the fear of rejection. “For every magazine article you publish, you should expect to receive one hundred rejections.”

To some this might seem discouraging, but in fact the opposite is true. When you realize that failure is an intergral part of success then it is no longer something to be feared. I began to see rejection letters as a measure of forward progress. If I got one and quit then I would NEVER reach my goal. I needed to stumble and fail at least ninety-nine more times before I had any right to expect a byline.

And so I kept fearlessly submitting articles and proudly collecting rejection letters like feathers in my cap. Where some would see failure, I saw markers of forward progress. Fast forward twelve years and  I have 20 books and mor ethan 100 published magazine articles. I no longer collect (nor save) rejection letters, but neither do they get me the least bit dejected.

“Failures are milestones, not tombstones.”  –Julian Franklin

I have many great plans in the works right now, some of which are sure to face hurdles and set backs, some already have. I welcome these challenges as a part of the game.

I don’t know what great ambitions you have for this year, but as you set goals, mentally prepare for the fact that you might not make them all on the first try. If, by some strange fluke you do make them all easily then you didn’t set high enough goals to begin with. Push yourself this year and then forgive yourself when success is not simple and easy.

If the stock market doesn’t cooperate with your investment goals, don’t give up. Have you been getting discouraged showing your business plan to prospective downline memebers because no one seems interested? Good! That’s a sign of forward progress. It’s much better than sitting at home not showing the plan because of a fear of rejection. Been going to the gym and not seeing the results you want? Keep going! Has the economy affected your business? Are sales down? Are you feeling forced to try new things in order keep up? Fantastic!

This year, instead of paring down your resolutions to one or two really important ones, I suggest you pile your plate high with all manner of goals, dreams, resolutions and promises. Dream as big as you can, gather lots of intermediate goals and then plow into them head first. If you want to succeed more in 2010 than you did in 2009 then you are going to have to accept more failure. The only way to fail more is to try more.

Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the president of IBM from 1914 – 1956 and the man who propelled the company to the incredible success that it became and still is was quoted as saying “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”

“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”  –Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

Don’t get too comfortable with failure, but for goodness sakes don’t avoid it! The sign of a great achiever is a long list of past failures. Get out there and start failing!

Embracing Fear, Failure, Goal Setting, Success

How NOT to Get Hired in a Recession

December 6th, 2009

Unemployment has been kept under ten percent nationwide and everyone is celebrating about that…except those in the ten percent (thanks @bradmontgomery)

But for a very long time in this country there has been a trend that has crippled and undermined the people who most need to be helped right now. For the past few decades there has been a growing quest to celebrate victimization. As each socio-ethno-political group and sub-group strives to prove that they are more put-down, held-back, shut-out and suppressed than the other socio-ethno-political sub-groups (or at least more so than the other gender in their own sub-group) people have slowly come to believe that rewards go to the most down-trodden. The sadder and more pathetic you can appear, the more likely you will be to gain favor from those in a better position.

It is as if we have lost our identity as a nation of survivors and instead adopted the idea that we are a nation of victims. Every news report tells about the victims of crime and the victims of a storm and the victims of automobile accidents, even when these people are NOT victims but SURVIVORS. The difference is much more than semantics. It is about how we internally identify ourselves. And our self-identity is a critical element in how we address problems. It affects how we relate to others and even how others relate to us.

This is point number one. If you want to get a job during a recession or to move forward in any endeavor at any time, begin thinking about yourself as a survivor and not a victim; in all situations, no matter what. And here is another, even more important insight about human behavior: People place a higher value on things that are in-demand or that are scarce enough to not be easily obtained.

Among those who are unemployed right now there is an almost uncontrollable urge to let others know how bad things are for you. I was listening to a radio segment where callers can offer their “verbal resume”. One of the questions the DJ asked each caller was “How long have you been unemployed?”, and each caller seemed to want to out-do the caller before, with greater tales of woe and hard times.

In spite of the fact that society lately has been training people to believe that the more down-trodden you are the more entitled you become, the truth about the way humans actually behave is the opposite. Human beings are attracted to those who are successful, active, engaged, in-demand, and even those perceived as “lucky”. There are countless studies that reveal our natural disposition to want whatever others want. Robert Cialdini, in his book “Influence” calls this phenomenon “Social Proof” and it is a double-edged sword. Not only do we want what others want, but we will avoid what others are avoiding.

The callers on the radio segment I listened to who were recently let go seemed like a far better catch than the ones who had been looked over and refused employment offers for eight, nine, or ten months. This seemed true not because they were more convincing or even more skilled, but because there was a natural inclination to wonder what was “wrong” with those who had been unemployed longer. Logically I KNOW there is nothing wrong. We are in the worst recession in at least 80 years and it might eventually prove even worse than the Great Depression. Very competent, qualified, dedicated people are unemployed through no fault of their own.

But even as an author and expert in human behavior I am not immune to the effects of humanity. I am as susceptible to the natural psychological triggers as all of us are. I recently brought on a very highly skilled person who had been laid off from a job that paid quite a bit more than I was willing to pay. One of the things that attracted me to having Paul on our team was the fact that even after being laid off, he was still very much in demand, in large part because he created the image of being in demand. He took on jobs that many people with his background and education would think would be “beneath” them. He even volunteered at places just to keep his schedule very full.

I don’t know if he did it consciously and strategically, or if he is just naturally driven to stay busy, but regardless I wanted him on my team. In fact, when he first approached me I wasn’t even in the market to take on a new team member and told him so. But like a survivor, he kept the conversation going and now I find myself worried that someone is going to hire him away from me.

This is not about playing “hard to get” games like a teen-ager in angst. It is not about posturing to pretend you are in demand. It is about filling your schedule with real, meaningful activities so that you ARE in demand. It is about taking charge of your situation. It is about becoming a survivor, which means you have to act like a survivor.

Down Economy, Scarcity, Social Proof, Success