The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car... a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little - Ben Sweetland

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We’re all going to die!

Look at everythingas though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.then your time on earthwill be filled with glory.Betty Smith, novelist (1896-1972)Today as I was eating lunch, a shiver ran through my body. My mother used to say that when this happens, someone has walked over your grave. Not a pleasant thing to say, you might imagine, but it got me thinking (again) about death, something I haven’t done for a very long time.You’re going to die. Of course you are. Everyone over the age of about ten knows that. And today we are nearer to our own death than ever before. Last week we were further away. Yesterday we were further away. But today is the closest we have ever been to that moment when life finally gets snuffed out.We don’t know when death will come to greet us. It’s quite possible that today will be our last day on this Earth. maintains a meter which clicks up how many people are dying all over the world – I can’t keep up with it: it’s more than one per second anyway. Only two things re certain: one day we’ll be one of those numbers, and we have no idea when that will be.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

The 80/20 Rule

Joseph Juran died on 28 Feb 2008 at the age of 103. He was the man who coined the ‘Pareto Principle,’ named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population.

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To compete or cooperate?

The world seems to be full of competition. Kids at school sit exams, compete for grades and try to get into the best universities. Universities compete for the brightest students. Sports teams compete for the trophy or cup. Political parties compete for power. Democrats compete to become the presidential candidate. Businesses compete for customers and market share. You get the picture.

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Going Against the Flow

Change happens so gradually, we almost don’t notice it. It ripples outward in a series of connected events. One day we wake up, look around, and no longer recognize what we thought to be true. That’s change in effect.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Increasing your net worth


Being rich is a state of mind. Your mind is like a garden which contains rich, fertile soil, and it will bring forth whatever you sow in it. You can sow a mentality of lack and poverty or a mentality of abundance. The harvest will be a life of poverty and struggle or one of ease and comfort. Which one would you prefer? The answer is obvious, but it is surprising how many people choose the former. The rich have sown an abundance mentality, and here are ten ways you can start to tend your own garden of riches.

Think more about money. Our experience of the world starts in our mind, and what we focus on will expand and push its way out into the physical world. If we focus on lack and poverty, this is what we will experience, but if we concentrate on wealth, it will start to appear in our lives. I have noticed that the rich spend a lot of time talking about money. So do the poor, in fact, except that they are talking about the lack of it.

Admire people who have money and associate with the wealthy. How do you feel when you see someone who you know is rich? Whether it be a movie star, the boss at work or a guy who lives down the road, if you are jealous about the success and wealth of others, you are never going to attract it into your own life. You need to admire these kind of people and ask yourself ‘what can I learn from them?’ The best way to learn from the wealthy, of course, is to be around them, so you should try to associate yourself with successful and wealthy people.

Be comfortable carrying money around. What do youy find when you open your wallet? I used to withdraw money from the ATM only when I needed it and I was habitually running short of money. The message an empty wallet sends to your subconscious is ‘got no money.’ So sure enough, this will play out in your life. Maybe you say to yourself ‘I can’t carry money around or else I’ll spend it!’ Well, if you can’t trust yourself with cash on the hip, you’re never going to be rich.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ten Tips for Healthier Living


I do not usually write about health, but our health is part of a balanced, life. Without your health, you cannot enjoy your career, your success or your relationships, so you must pay attention to this area. Here are ten simple things anyone can do to make a real difference to your level of health and fitness. Doing all thee simple things will probably add years to your life, too! As with all things, good health starts in the mind and then takes form in the real world - opportunities arise naturally and we must take them, acting in a natural and easy way to achieve our goals.

Know that you are in control

In The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Steven Covey tells us that between stimulus and response there is a gap, and within this gap lies all our happiness. Between what happens around us and our response to it, there is a choice. Yes, we have been scripted through our childhood to respond automatically in certain ways to certain events, but we can unhook from our scripting and switch off the autopilot. We can assume manual control and take charge of our own experience of life. Realizing this can be frightening, but it is also immensely liberating and, ultimately, it is the fist step to a successful, abundant and healthy life. You must decide to get up and do something!

Live in ‘Easy World’

‘Easy World’ is a phrase I have borrowed from Julia Rogers Hamrick. In her blog, she writes, ‘when you are in the Easy World reality, harmony and ease prevail and things work out as if by magic’ and ‘as long as you relax and allow yourself to align with Easy World, you are there.’ This is a nice way of saying that life should not be a struggle. Effortlessness is our natural state and, whatever our circumstances, we should relax and go with the flow of things, not out of laziness and apathy, but out of a realization that to swim against the tide is tiring and futile – there is a grain to the universe and we should go with it. The benefits of a low stress life are enormous and scientifically validated – those of us with less stress in our lives live longer, healthier lives.

Exercise three times per week

It’s vital that you take some time to exercise several times per week. Do some weights and then either some cardio or interval work. This will build muscle and increase your metabolic rate. The benefits of exercise are astonishing. You will be less prone to diabetes and, since your gastrointestinal transit time will be reduced, it lowers your risk of colon cancer. Exercise strengthens bone making you les prone to osteoporosis and you will also be less likely to suffer lower back pain. It also increases your HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers your blood pressure. People who exercise regularly live several years longer than those who do no exercise.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Why write a mission statement?


What is the difference between people who are successful (however you might define success) and those who are not? Well, there is a long answer and a short answer. I know the short answer, but I'm not going to tell you (just yet - this is for another article!) but one of the key differences is that successful people have a compass. They have a clear direction, a sense of where they are going and, as importantly, why they are going there. This compass is a mission statement and, like all successful organizations, individuals who aspire to success need this guidance system. I have written about the importance of a personal mission statement elsewhere. Here, I would like to expand a little on why mission statements are so important.

Steven R. Covey, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, tells us that ‘all things are created twice,’ once in the mind, and once in the world. Although this idea that ‘thoughts become things’ (to use Earl Nightingale’s expression) has been widely disseminated by self-development books and movies such as ‘The Secret’ in recent months and years, most people do this without any conscious awareness of the process. It is happening all the time, but most of us simply create our experience by default through reactive and habitual thought patterns that we have picked up from parents, friends and society at large.

Successful people are conscious of this process and use it more deliberately, but there is another, vital aspect to our ability to orchestrate our own experience, and it is this – life is all about flow. We need to give and we need to receive, and Covey tells us that ‘paying attention to the development of self in the greater perspective of improving one’s ability to serve, to produce, to contribute in meaningful ways’ will enable us to create in a sustainable way. To ignore this give and take is to cause stagnation and decay, like a pool with no outlet stagnates and dies. I am reminded here of the story of the goose who laid the golden eggs. The farmer focused too much on the eggs and, in his greed, killed the goose. We need the eggs (what we create) but we also need to keep the engine of creation going, and we do this by honoring the fact that all life is about giving and receiving.

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