Live Your Life to the Fullest

One of my brother’s life long friends died a week ago, just two days after his 45th birthday. Nigel died less than four months after his diagnosis of oesophogeal cancer.

It made me reflect, especially as I head to my half century, on how important life is. What would my legacy be if I died today? Could I honestly say I had lived life to the full?

The answer to those questions is not enough and no.

What are you planning to do with your friends and loved ones this weekend? Have you told your children how much you love them?

Live today like it’s your last.

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My Three Words for 2014

Inspired by a blog post last New Year by Chris Brogan, I have chosen three words that I will focus on during 2014. They are

  1. Plan;
  2. Discipline;
  3. Execution.

Plan

The old saying goes, that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I have been guilty of winging it in meetings in 2013. I know that I did my best work on those occasions when I did properly plan my day. For that reason, I intend to put a focus on planning this year. As we head to the start of the new year, I am spending some time on clarifying my goals and setting annual, quarterly and then some monthly goals and plans to achieve my BHAGs.

Discipline

There are two types of pain: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Jim Rohn always told us that the pain of regret is far worse than the pain of discipline. Allied to my first word (plan) for 2014, I want to make sure that I focus on applying the right disciplines this year, so I do not look back in regret. That discipline will be in many areas of my life: eating the right food; working out when I would rather slump on the sofa; paying myself first and saving, rather than spending. In my professional life the discipline will be spending time to plan, to review my day, to perform my weekly review and to write in my journal.

Execution

The third word is about making things happen; getting things done. Never leave the scene of a good idea without taking action. I will eat the biggest and ugliest frog first.

Last Year’s Words

My three words for 2013 were

Focus
Audacity
Lid

What are your words for 2014? Let me know.

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Turn your Adversaries into Allies

#aiabook

Adversaries into Allies

I had the honour of taking part in an interview with Bob Burg alongside my friend Pete Evans from Altum V.

Every single day we are faced with the task of persuading others. It could be as simple as dealing successfully with a rude customer service rep. It might be closing the sale with the big but elusive client. It might be something as mundane as getting your spouse to take out the trash!

And every single day, we face resistance. We might even see the other person as an adversary and tend to resort to manipulation and coercion in an effort to win, to get our way. But this mentality will net only short term results… if even that! Leaving the other person feeling coerced or taken advantage of will only cause their resistance in the future and possibly even elicit their sabotage in the present.

Bob Burg

Bob Burg

There’s a better way. A much better way that creates both immediate and long-term sustainable results. Helping people make decisions that are not only in your best interest, but in alignment with their best interests as well, is the way to go.

Doing this effectively, consistently, and predictably, however, takes influence.

Great influencers — whether CEOs, entrepreneurs, sales professionals, clergy, parents, teachers, etc. — seem to have a knack for getting the results they want from people, but in a way that everyone is happy. And, these leaders are persuasive in the most positive and benevolent sense of the word.

And, while, for some it might be natural, for most of us it’s a set of learned skills. Fortunately, they are both simple to learn and easy to apply.

In this chat, Bob Burg, best-known as coauthor of the international bestseller, The Go-Giver shows us how to take our influence to an entirely new level utilizing his:

Five Principles of Ultimate Influence

  1. Control your own emotions
  2. Understand the clash of belief systems
  3. Acknowledge their ego
  4. Set the proper frame
  5. Communicate with tact and empathy

The technical skills of any profession are vitally important. Without them, you’re not even in the game. However, even with them, you’re only in the game. Those who have mastered the people skills obtained through the Five Principles of Ultimate Influence are nine steps ahead in the game…in a ten-step game.

And their lives, and their business, are a lot more fun, a lot less stressful, and a lot more profitable. And, that can be you!

You can watch the interview on YouTube or download an MP3 version here.

Bob Burg can be contacted at www.burg.com or via Twitter at @bobburg

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Gratitude and Receiving

I had an interesting conversation with my mentor the other day about The Law of Receptivity from Bob Burg and John David Mann’s book The Go Giver.

The fifth law from The Go Giver is the Law of Receptivity:

The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving

Jim Rohn said something very similar:

Giving is better than receiving, because giving starts the receiving process

Zig Ziglar famously said:

You can have everything you want in life if you will help enough people get what they want

Being a Go Giver is all about giving value to others. Receiving can be a little counter intuitive at first, until you realise some that, in order for something to be given, it must be received. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body. If we focus that law on giving, it means that if I am to give something to you, then you have to receive it.

When we focus on someone else’s needs, we push aside any negative emotions we are feeling and feel a “Helper’s High”. We can feel good about ourselves for having given – but how do we open ourselves to receiving?

One way to make us ready for receiving is to practice gratitude. Let me give an example of gratitude in a personal relationship. It is all too easy to focus on the little annoying things like the toilet seat left up or a dirty cup not put in the dishwasher and develop an unhealthy spiral of negative thoughts. Focus instead on the great things your partner does right – the smile, the hot cup of coffee they brought you or the nice meal they cooked. Some time ago, having been inspired by Darren Hardy’s suggestion in his book The Compound Effect, I started journaling about gratitude. Every day, I jotted down one or two things that my wife did for which I was grateful. Very soon, my whole attitude changed to one of thanks. I rediscovered how amazing she is! Once I began to focus on gratitude, I began to receive more love. The love was always there – I just wasn’t open to receiving it.

The same principles apply in other aspects of life – in business, with friends and with other family members. Zig Ziglar told the story of a woman with hardening of the attitude. She hated everything about her job until Zig opened her eyes to all the aspects to be thankful for.

When someone gives you a gift, how do you express your gratitude? Do you say “that’s too much” or “you shouldn’t have”? When you respond in that way, not only do you fool yourself into valuing the gift less (receiving lower perceived value) but you put out a negative signal to the giver. Instead, be open to receive. Say a genuine, heartfelt “thank you, that is so generous” or “thank you, I love it”. You will feel better about receiving and you will make the giver feel more appreciated. Going back to our friend, Newton, what goes around, comes around. Be grateful, truly grateful, and you will open yourself to receive and then you will be in a better place to give, as well.

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Never Quit

dontstopbelieving

My friend Pete Evans interviewed Rugby League legend, former England Captain, Jamie Peacock this week. Pete wrote an excellent summary of the interview which you can read here and listen to the interview through this link.

Jamie told Pete that he has a poem stuck on the inside of his changing room locker door. He doesn’t read it every day, but on one of those days when he has lost his mojo, he reads it. I don’t know who the author is (so I can’t give him or her credit), but I think it is a wonderful poem.

Copy it, print it out and read it when your day needs a little more fire!

It is when things seem worst you must not quit
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill;

When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns;
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he struck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow;
You may well succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the Victor’s cup!
And he learned too late, when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are
If may be near, when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit,

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Deliver a Flawless Presentation

One of the most common habits which detract from a good presentation (whether delivering a formal presentation or in some kind of formal talk) is the erm count.

helpforheroes

I’m sure that you  have been listening to someone speak and been distracted by the ums, ers, erms and um-ers from the person who is talking.at you

A simple remedy is to buy a rubber wristband. Every time you say an erm, pull back the wristband and let it slap you. The shock will rapidly make you aware of your erm count and help you to eliminate it.

The other good thing is that, if you buy a charity wristband, you are doing it for a good cause! If you can’t afford a wristband, a rubber band will do!

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Life’s Juggling Balls

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. The balls are

  • Work
  • Family
  • Health
  • Friends
  • Spirit

You are working hard to keep all these balls in the air. You will soon realise that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. 

The other four balls, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit, are made of glass. if you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. 

They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

The moral is: work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family and friends and take care of your health by eating well, exercising and resting properly.

Value has a value, only if its value is valued.

 

This idea is attributed to Bryan Dyson, former CEO of Coca Cola.

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