Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Astrology Forecast on AspireNow Radio

Join Scott Andrews, Host of the AspireNow: Seriously Fun Self Help Radio Show this Wednesday at 6PM PST / 9PM EST with special guest Benjamin Bernstein, astrologer at both http://www.itsallgoodastrology.com/ and http://www.aspirenow.com/.

Topic: Spring Astrology Is In The Air!

Description: Learn what's in the air for your Spring astrological projection - Join in on this internet call and telephone call show with Benjamin Bernstein, from It's All Good Astrology and the AspireNow AstroGuide.

Call in to ask Benjamin questions! The show is live online and via telephone Wednesday night from 6PM PST - 7PM PST. Learn ways to maximize your Spring Season with insights from one of the top Astrologers we know. It's fun, educational, and easy to join in!

When: Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 6PM PST (1 hour Internet Talk Radio Show)

How to Participate:
1. Visit http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/37792 - this enables you to text questions and see questions/live chat during the show, and hear Scott & Benjamin on the show.

2. Dial (724) 444-7444
3. Enter 37792 #
4. Enter: 1 # or your Talkshoe PIN

(Steps 2 - 4 enable you to call in LIVE and ask your questions or listen.)

Note: You can also download Talkshoe's Classic player to use the "Classic" version of the show format for text comments and show hosting, although this step is no longer necessary to join.

If you MISS the show, visit http://www.aspirenow.com/ and listen via the Talkshow player, or visit: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/37792. Simple as that.

Also, make sure to click the "follow the show" box if you're listening from the TalkShoe link: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/37792. See you there!!

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Are You A Workaholic?

Have you ever met a workaholic?

In the 1960's Japan, a term was coined:

According to Wikipedia, Karōshi (過労死, karōshi: which quite literally means "Death From Overwork", is occupational sudden death. The major medical causes of karōshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.

Does karōshi (death from overwork) sound fun to you?

Yeah, not to me, either. Yet, I've met many people who are definitely victims of overwork, and quite possibly on their way to a karōshi.

Just yesterday, I met a manager of an aerospace company who shared with me that he oversees a division of 30 direct reports, and 300 more underneath that team. He bragged that "I decide when I can come and go. I decide where I travel." Okay, great. But, guess what? He also confided, "I took only 6 vacation days in the past three years." In my opinion, this fine gentleman is suffering from a karōshi addiction to work.

According to a Wikipedia article:
Usually, Japan's rise from the devastation of World War II to economic prominence in the post-war decades has been regarded as the trigger for what has been called a new epidemic. It was recognized that employees cannot work for twelve or more hours a day, six or seven days a week, year after year, without suffering physically as well as mentally. A recent measurement found that a Japanese worker has approximately two hours overtime a day on average. In almost all cases, the overtime is unpaid. The recent international expansion of Japanese multinationals has also led to an export of the Karōshi culture to countries such as China, Korea and Taiwan.
While this problem may be lesser-known in America, nevertheless it is not unknown in other countries, as well. In the Netherlands, workers are known to overwork. Check this out: according to WebMD's Sid Kirchheimer, people have actually developed "leisure illness," a phenomenon that occurs from getting ill while trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to relax on vacation. The problem? They're so used to overwork that they simply cannot relax. Crazy, huh?
In the United States, the average worker takes 12 vacation days a year. If you ask me, that's nowhere near enough time to balance a person's life. We need at least three weeks - probably four weeks at minimum - to re-balance our lives from our work schedules.

Yet, employers routinely dole-out only two weeks vacation. It's disgusting. Workers need to request MORE vacation and point out how much their health suffers when they don't get to take a break. It's our life - it is up to us to stand-up and speak-out!

In Europe, they seem to have a better handle on work-life-balance. Europeans average 4 to 8 weeks of vacation a year. Clearly, they have a better understanding of the important things in life: experiences with friends and family. The only way to have these quality experiences is to take VACATIONS and TAKE TIME for these important people. Not only that, but it is critical to take a break just to recharge our batteries and refresh our soul.
(Please note: I need to fix this chart - Stress is on the X axis and performance on the Y-axis, but otherwise, everything is correct here.) The point is that our productivity drops dramatically when we are fatigued.

Are you a workaholic?
Are you spending enough time with your loved ones?
Another way to ask this is: are you taking enough vacation and time for life?

If you're a workaholic, you may be heading for a stroke, heart-attack, or stroke. In any event, you're probably more stressed-out and more difficult to be around, because you're not balancing your life.

Do something about this before it is too late. If your loved ones have been expressing worry about how much you work, take a break. If you notice that you're getting more stressed-out than you used to, why not build in a few more vacations each year and take more weekends away from the Blackberry, computer, and cell phone?

Sometimes, the answer isn't to take Prozac but rather to take a vacation.
Remember: in the end, we do not take our company with us, our paychecks do not go with us, nor does the debt, nor the toys, when we pass away. In the end, the only thing that matters most is the quality time we spend with those we love the most. Most often, those people are our friends and family members.

In the military, there are obvious results from stress and fatigue. Officers frequently report that "exhausted men offer little more worth than dead men" in many cases. I've seen this first hand. When, in a strategy game simulation playing "Rome: Total War" I noticed a huge difference in performance in my troops when they were stressed. For example, in examining the difference between a "fresh" unit, a "warmed-up" unit, a "tired" unit, and "exhausted" unit, my "fresh" units far outperformed equally equipped, talented, staffed, and trained "exhausted" units. In addition, units placed in unfair position (downhill vs. an uphill force), units "surprised" by an enemy, and units in fear of a superior force (such as infantry vs. cavalry or cavalry vs. elephants) also fared poorly. When mismatched, it is obvious that troops will suffer undue stress, and that stress will cause the unit to break, flee, and become routed by the enemy.

How are we any different in our work life?

If you are a workaholic, I suggest you seek out professional assistance from a doctor, career therapist, or other professional. Also, why not seek out a "life coach" to help you rebalance your life before you die of karōshi? Ultimately, your life will be far more balanced and you ought to experience higher happiness.

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Bring In By Clearing Out

Q: How can I bring in new things for my life, my family, or myself?

A: Bring in new things by clearing out the clutter.

Are you reaching your goals? Do you feel stagnant? Are your relationships struggling? Is your work thriving? Or, is one part of your life thriving, but you find your home is becoming a shambles?

A yes to any of these questions can be frustrating. Why not examine the sources of what causes us to feel stagnant and blocked? Often, when I find part of my life is in disarray, I can also see that I'm lacking organization, there is dust on the shelves, and I'm holding onto things I need to clear out. Basically, I've allowed my life to become cluttered. One thing I've learned in life organization is that you can always bring in by clearing out. In other words, a key to manifesting is CREATING SPACE for what you want to bring in. The best way to do that is to CLEAR OUT CLUTTER in the current spaces you COULD fill up with the new things, people, or ideas.

Clutter blocks our mental and spiritual energy and makes it harder to create. Therefore, I decide to clear out clutter on a regular basis - as creation enables us to think clearly, be more artistic, and have an open mind.

There are many books and advice methods on clearing clutter. I've read many of them. The first thing most will recommend regarding clearing clutter is first and foremost, have a system. Here is the system I've devised to help clear clutter and create space for growth and new ideas, love, and happiness in our life.

AspireNow's Clutter Clearing Process:

1. Evaluate it. Decide which clutter is bothering me the most.

2. Clear it. Give it a home. Declare the proper home for the clutter culprits.

a. This may mean creating a temporary home, such as for things which truly no longer belong in my life or I want to give away to a friend or goodwill, take to a yard sale, or simply throw away. Take these things to their place within a week, if at all possible.

b. If this is a permanent item or something I wish to keep, I put it in the home I've declared for it. This requires common sense. Clothes belong in drawers and closets or hampers, not on the floor.

c. Start with the obvious. Things which are just laying around, like magazines or newspapers, clothing on the floor, bills/paperwork, or things out of place are the easiest to tackle first. These are also the things that will make you feel the most out-of-sorts.

d. Create ownership. Who owns the item? If children are making a mess, they need to own it. Also, children can be assigned weekly tasks, such as vacuuming or dusting, to help keep on top of their part of the process of maintaining clear space. In my own house, if I discover something I don't own or no longer want to own, it goes to the temporary home space until I designate time to ship these things away. Time activate sending the things off within a week though, or else you might procrastinate.

3. Clean it. This includes cleaning the clutter item and cleaning the space where the clutter was located. If you're moving clothes on the floor and they are dirty, well, then why not take them to the cleaners or throw them in the washing machine? If the drawer is empty, is there a better time to clean it than now? This is the best time to clean out the dust, mold, and other things that cause visible (and often invisible) health problems. If you ever doubt whether a room builds up dust or molds, just put a de-ionizer in the corner of a room for a week, then look at the rods while you clean it. If dust collects on the de-ionizer, it could also be collected in your lungs. I personally recommend the Ionic Breeze Quadra, by Sharper Image.

4. Focus. Do one thing at a time. Focus on one drawer, one shelf, or one room. Even if your day is quite hectic, you could find 30 minutes in one room if you just eliminated watching that T.V. show or something else from your schedule that day.

5. Be consistent. If bills don't belong on the coffee table, then don't ever take them to the coffee table.

6. When it doubt, throw it out. Do I want this in my life, today? This is a good rule; however, I also believe in asking if something is helping us create or maintain something we truly want in our life, today. If the answer is no, toss it.

7. Use it or lose it. If we aren't using something, then something we keep is at risk of becoming a clutter-bug. When did I last use/wear this? If I can't be happy with my answer to this question then the answer is clear that the item must go bye-bye.

8. One person's junk is another person's treasure. But we really are only caretakers of our possessions. We truly do not own any of our clutter, because when we die we do not take it with us. Yes, my "clutter" once seemed to be a cherished possession. I like to ask if I am not using it, could someone else use it better? If the answer is "yes" then it is time for the clutter item to go to become a "treasured possession" for a new caretaker.

9. Creating. If the item helps us create, then we may need it. Does the item help me become great at something I am aspiring to? Does it make me feel good? If so, then keep it. Otherwise, dump it/sell it/give it away.

10. Something in, something out. One way to keep life simple is to make a rule that anytime I buy something new, something old must go. This is a great rule with clothes - especially if we already have a full wardrobe. The "do I truly love this?" question is great both for determining new clothes to buy and to determine which clothes to give away.

Now that we've cleared our clutter, cleaned the space, and focused on what helps us create, it is time to get down to business: time to be the master artist/creationist we truly are.

Learn more about clearing clutter at these links:

See similar articles in Elegant Simplicity

Recommended program: Get Organized Now: Finally Free!
Recommended program: Franklin Covey Organization Systems
Recommended program: 7 Lessons From Masters of "The Secret"

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How To Test Out Of College

I Finished College In 5 Years.

Had I exited a year earlier, I figure that in my industry I would have earned an extra $40,000. Well, I can tell you that I didn't gain that many more friends by staying in college (in fact, I'm no longer in contact with any of the friends made that last year). Not only that, I can also tell you that finishing a year earlier would have put me ahead of the curve on problems coming up in the economy that made my life quite a bit more difficult. In addition, by earning $40,000 more, and not PAYING more for college, I could have significantly impacted my ability to buy a house sooner, by a better car sooner, and even more.

Simply put, I feel that I could have improved my life by finishing college at least a year earlier.

Do you agree?

Whether a parent, advising their child on career choices, or a student facing more education, this advice may benefit you.

Opportunities Can Pass You By...

Question: What's unique about this list of billionaires?

Sir Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin companies, and CEO of Virgin Airlines), Dean Kamen (Inventor of Segway and holder of over 80 Patents), Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Founders of Microsoft), Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple Computer), Ralph Lauren (Founder of Polo Ralph Lauren), Larry Ellison (CEO/Founder of Oracle), Michael Dell (Dell Computer), Kirk Kerkorian (Casinos).

Answer: they all quit college early.

I wonder what would have happened had these guys not opted out early.
Is is possible to learn from a Rich Jerk? Possibly. (I know, these guys are all great, but doesn't part of you wonder...?) Personally, I'd rather test-out than opt-out.
Now, even more importantly, you have an opportunity to get out of college early by TESTING OUT rather than DROPPING OUT. What's great about testing out? Well, you complete the mission. It's important to finish what we start. Below, I've put together an even more extensive list of why this would matter for most college students.

More reasons to test out early:

1. You save money through reduced tuition costs.
2. You get in less debt through fewer student loans.
3. You save money on living expenses.
4. You start making money sooner.
5. You get a jump-start on your career.
6. You still get a degree.
7. Spend less time sitting through boring classes.

Learn How to Test Out Of College

Are you anxious to get out of college more quickly and start taking on the world with your dreams? Why sit through boring classes, waste more money, and loose out on opportunities that could be yours when you could finish college and get your degree by testing out early?
Learn how to finish college FAST! 98% of participants in this program test out at least 1 year early. Skip a full-year of college or more with advice from this program:

Here are a few testimonials from this program:

"Thanks to your guides, I earned 15 CLEP credits and I am in my last class! You all have great stuff. Thanks! " -Dana

“Your guide was extremely helpful, even more so than the more expensive CLEP study guides I also purchased..I passed with flying colors.” - Gail

"..You saved me about $700 and an extra semester in college!" - Lisa

"Excellent Study Aids. Best I have Used! Thanks!!" - Hale

"The guides are very well put together...all I could ask for!" - John
If you're considering exiting college early, why wait another day?

Sure, there are programs discussing ways to "get rich quick" by alleged college dropouts. Rather than follow a dropout "guru's advice" you might want to just consider testing out. It's the ethical way to finish college early AND get your degree.

I'm always interest to know about people who dropout of college early - the ethical way! Please let me know how the program works for you.

Advice provided is for entertainment purposes. We recomment you consult your career counsellor before decided what choice is best for you with your education. Photo of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at D5 is courtesy Wikipedia.

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Are you RACIST?

What does it mean to be racist?

Is this really a problem in America, today?

Yes, it is. People close to me have mentioned being VERY upset about affirmative action. Over the past thirty years, many highly qualified people lost their jobs to LESS qualified people because they were the right color. People in that camp are resentful that minorities took their job and feel justified in being racist due to that.

Today, Barrack Obama suggested that we put aside these resentments.

I've also talked to people who told me that they were called "N.......r" just walking down the street. This gentleman worked at a major technology company. I recall him explaining how these threats led him to buy a hand-gun and keep it under his seat in his car! Let's face it: it wasn't so long ago that Billie Holiday sang the song "Strange Fruit" (written about the black man, hanging from a tree). Even Nat King Cole, just one generation ago, drove home to find that "N" word BLEACHED into his LAWN, of all things. African Americans struggle to overcome the feelings from racist comments made about them, or their forefathers, and probably rightfully so.

Barrack Obama suggested that this man put aside his fear. Perhaps he is the best person in the country to make such a suggestion. He also made a suggestion that we put aside reverse-racism and resentments on both sides. Today, a speech was made that might influence improvements between racial dividers for years to come. The speech encouraged people to acknowledge their past, and embrace the future from a higher ground. No matter what our political affiliation, this speech ought to inspire people to dig deeper into their own SELF and consider this candidates plea. Politics aside, are you going to take the speech for what it could mean in your own life?

Are you racist?

All this talk about "he should disown this person" and people who are saying "a black man against a white woman" in this election, is not that, in itself, a bit racist?

Are you racist?

Have you ever put down another person based upon the color of their skin?

Are you racist?

Do you find yourself uncomfortable in the presence of people of different races or cultural backgrounds?

Are you racist?

Are you putting down people based upon your own cultural background and perceived slights towards you by a race other than your own?

Perhaps we are all racist, to some extent.

You know, it is easy to call other people racist. We can only answer that question for our own self.

I've found myself the victim of "reverse-racism" on more than one occasion. I bristle over talk about "putting down the white man" when what did I do? Did I hang, insult, slur, enslave, or treat anyone improperly? I've not treated any of these people who are displaying reverse-racism towards me in a racist way, to my knowledge.

Yet, in spite of this bristling over reverse-racism, I'm not sure I've been perfect, myself.

I've been guilty in the past of making silly jokes or even an improper comment on more than one occasion. I can only ask for forgiveness and hope to do better in the future.

It is about a choice.

For myself, I decided today to renew my decision to NOT be racist to the extent possible within my conscious choice. I've decided not to judge others based upon their skin color. I've decided not to make off-color jokes based upon someone's racial or cultural background. I am choosing the HIGH ROAD, or as Stevie Wonder says, the HIGHER GROUND of rising up to the best self I can be.

Can you do the same? If I fail or fall down, I can only hope you will not judge me. If you fall down, I will do my best to not judge you.

What happens when we judge others?

If you ever judge others and point the finger at someone, have you ever noticed how many fingers are pointing back at you? So few of us are innocent in this matter.

May we all live according to our highest self, stop condeming others, and live out of a spirit of love. Can we move from a land of anger and resentment, to a land of hope, love, acceptance, unity, and courage? Each of us - the choices we make in each moment - can decide if this dream of a future can become reality.
Special link for people seeking to manifest more of their dreams:
Click here to get your own OrangePeel: Vision Board software.

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You Call The Shots: Succeed Your Way

A new book for entrepreneurs just came to my attention. This book was written by a guy who made his first $15,000 by the age of 9 and started an internet site more successful than most internet marketers by the age of 15. Inspiring?

You Call the Shots: Succeed Your Way-- And Live the Life You Want-- With the 19 Essential Secrets of Entrepreneurship By Cameron Johnson, John David Mann

One of my friends, Chris Howard, had this to say about the book:
"I really love the full title, though, because it really describes what Cameron is all about: "You Call the Shots: Succeed Your Way - and Live the LifeYou Want - With the 19 Essential Secrets ofEntrepreneurship." That's right, it's all about Living the Life You Want, and that's what Cameron will help you do through reading his book."

Click here to order your copy of You Call The Shots now: http://www.cameronjohnson.com/bookbonus?11"

Note: that link that Chris Howard provides is cool - they give you a bunch of BONUS products AFTER you just provide your Amazon order number. So, if you're like me, you'll keep your Amazon order number, then input it with your other email information in the bonus link at http://www.cameronjohnson.com/bookbonus?11. And, no, I don't get anything from the Bonus Link (maybe they'll throw back some kudos my way? hint, hint!).

I just ordered my own personal copy, so you know I'm intrigued!

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved.

The Secret In 10 Minutes

I recently wrote about how you can discover your purpose or start new your dream job or even lose weight by implementing the "10 Minutes A Day To Success" strategy. Obviously, some of these things take longer than 10 minutes! However, I like the idea for one simple reason: by focusing on something 10 minutes a day you're putting energy toward it, rather than procrastinating, endless planning, or just talking about doing what you want to manifest in your life.

Here's another resource that helps you manifest "The Secret" in 10 minutes, by the creators of that other site I was telling you about:

The Secret In 10 Minutes, DVD, by Entelekey

They've got a whole DVD that takes you through the process quickly that could be useful to you in discovering your own purpose and living the secret to manifesting abundance in your own life.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about re: The Secret, click here to learn more:


or here:


Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. Note: Entelekey is not affiliated nor representing the people behind the movie "The Secret", thesecret.tv, nor their affiliates. No infringement is intended. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Better Ways To Read Books

Are you seeking better ways to download your favorite blogs, e-books and things of this nature?
I am. And, particularly, I've been really curious about Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader.
I'm surprised Apple hasn't come out with an i-Reader or something like that which would blow Amazon away. But, as it turns out, Apple IS coming out with an i-Reader in July... so stay tuned on that one (I'll review it after it comes out)! Anyway, if you're interested in downloading AspireNow's own e-books, you can do that, but now you can read them with the Amazon Kindle!
What's great about Amazon's Kindle? Take it on the subway, take it in your car, take it to bed. Whatever is convenient for you. It doesn't run as hot as a laptop computer, plus, it's more convenient to hold in your hand and just scroll through your document, which is what you'll do, anyway. If you're a gadget geek, Amazon Kindle is for you. If you want to learn more about the Amazon Kindle, here's an interesting (and clearly unbiased review):

Although the Amazon Kindle has been backordered quite a bit since release, I do offer it through the AspireNow Amazon Store:
There's also a list of groovy accessories there, too:
Let me know how the Amazon Kindle works for you. I'll be reviewing the i-Reader once it hits the shelves, too. One concern I have is that the Amazon Kindle is outside of Amazon's product focus. Instead of selling other people's products, they're trying to sell their own. That can be risky. Ultimately, I predict this product category may indeed shift to Sony and Apple. But, in the near term, Amazon Kindle is definitely something to check out.

Copyright © 2008 by Scott Andrews, Founder of AspireNow. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Friends Rock

I recently dug through a forum discussing life happiness until I came across this question:

"Why do my friends suck?"

While this may be perceived as a common challenge for teenagers; however, this is actually more of a prevailing question in society, at large, than we might realize. When polled on satisfaction regarding how we rate our friends, this was the result:

How We Rate Our Friends (Source: 2006 AspireNow.com poll of 1,325 respondents):

38% - I have a close family and loving friends.
17% - My family could be more supportive, but I have loving friends.
21% - My friends are not supportive, but my family is supporting me and shows me love.
24% - My friends and family are both not very supportive and I feel disconnected.

Most people seem to rate their family and friendships as being pretty good. Personally, I'd say, MY FRIENDS ROCK (I'm definitely not someone in the "my friends suck" category).

Taking Another Look At How We Rate Our Friends :

38% - I have a close family and loving friends.
17% - My family could be more supportive, but I have loving friends.
21% - My friends are not supportive, but my family is supporting me and shows me love.
24% - My friends and family are both not very supportive and I feel disconnected.

That means 45% say their friendships could be better! Yikes. Well, that's why I'm writing this - to help give ideas to help you improve your friendships and relationships.

Now, let's take a look at how you rate your own friendships.

How are my friendships, in terms of closeness and support:

My Friends Rock! ______
My Friends Are Good ______
My Friends Could Be Better ______
My Friends Suck. ______

If you chose the "my friends suck" category, you're probably not a very happy person right now. And, if you chose "my friends rock" category, you're probably much more satisfied overall with your life situation and happiness.

According to Professor Ed Diener, University of Illinois, people who score high on life satisfaction tend to have close and supportive family and friends, whereas those who do not have close friends and family are more likely to be dissatisfied.

Character matters more than looks, wealth, and popularity:

In a study among girls from smartgirl.org, the three characters we exhibit in friendship that meant the most were as follows:


Note: Popular, Smart, Money, Athletic didn't rate NEARLY as high as loyalty.

Using the Golden Rule (reap what we sow), it would make sense that we ought to give what others want. So, if we want good friendships, we first ought to be loyal to others. Second, we need to show we care. And, last, we need to listen well. If I were writing that survey, I'd have added "funny and creative" to the list. Maybe it's me, but I just like fun and funny people. After all, if humor is the best medicine, then I want more of it!

Reach out and touch your friends often:

As much as we love IM, EMail and modern technology, the TELEPHONE is still the #1 way to reach out to our friends. So, if it has been a while, send an email, then follow it up by phone. You'll find your friendship quickly reconnected. I did this recently with many of my friends after my truck accident (see I'm So Grateful).

My personal rule for attracting great friends is to set the following intention:

1. My friends and people in my inner circle are in support of my highest good, and I am in support of their highest good.

2. I like friends who are well-rounded, with successful lives, and a good sense of humor.

That's pretty much my criteria for friendships. I've found that since defining friendships in this way, I've attracted and maintained really strong, happy, and healthy friendships.

The biggest difference was when I set the criteria for #1 (above), using "highest good" as a defining principle, I have found that friends don't lie to me, they don't disrespect me, nor do they use me or treat me poorly. The reason is that anyone who WOULD do this quickly either eliminates themselves from my life or I see who they are and eliminate them. I'm an extrovert, and by nature easily make new friends, but of all my friends who stick, they ALL now exhibit the features of both #1 and #2. It makes life much more rewarding, and for sure, I can truly say that my friends ROCK!

I was just having a chat with my brother yesterday, and the one comment we both shared that stuck out is that our friendships and experience with friends and family are what matter the MOST in life. It's a good idea to set an intention for more of these experiences.

Thank you for being my friends!

If you want better friendships, first be the friend you wish to attract back to you.
Disclaimer: This material is intended for informational purposes only. Any financial, legal, health, or other information given is not to be interpreted as being financial, legal, health and professional advice. If you need advice, guidance, or counsel of any kind you should seek out a qualified and experienced professional in that field.

Written by Scott Andrews, Founder of AspireNow and CEO of ARRiiVE Business Solutions. Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 10, 2008

10 Minutes A Day To Success

Are you too busy to start work on that new dream you've been thinking of?

I recently received an email from someone saying you can start a new company with just 10 minutes a day. Really? Is this possible? Perhaps, if it is, then other goals may be accomplished, too:

If you've been saying to yourself:

"SOMEDAY... I'll start my own business. SOMEDAY... become wealthy. SOMEDAY... I'll start that website I've been thinking about. SOMEDAY…I'll lose weight. SOMEDAY…I'll find my soul-mate. SOMEDAY…I'll discover my purpose in life. SOMEDAY... I'll live my dreams.


Well, perhaps this isn't a bad idea. Taking 10 minutes a day, and working on each of these things. Often, it's harder to find 10 quality minutes than we realize. But, without a doubt, 10 minutes a day is a lot easier than 10 months, 10 days, or 10 hours, right?!

So, why not implement a 10 minute plan for your own life?

There's a company that's basing it's consulting and coaching services around this concept, which you can find at: http://www.take10now.com/whoweare.html. I've contacted them to see if they have an affiliate program, but as of this writing I'm just referring you without compensation because I think they have an interesting concept.

Here's why I like the 10 minute a day to success program:

1. If you haven't been doing anything about any type of dream, whether it be to get in shape, start a blog, write a business plan, or start a company, it is most likely because the whole thing seems too daunting. By looking at it in 10-minute segments, you can start to put INTENTION towards the projects and thoughts TOWARDS your dream. What's good about that? It's the Law of Attraction in action: the more you focus intention on a particular aspect of life, the higher the chance you'll attract that from the Universe.

2. Just putting 10 minutes will require you to clear your mind and focus on this dream for a specific period of time, every day. 10 minutes a day is 300 minutes a month. And, if you're anything like me, you can get considerable work done in 300 minutes if you know what you're trying to accomplish. So, start with 10 minutes a day, and see if you don't start to knock down small tactical elements of your goal. After all, 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes.

3. 10 minutes is realistically possible for almost anyone. The reason I like starting with 10 minutes is because it is so easy to lose commitment, get distracted, and stop doing what we intend. Therefore, by blocking out 10 minutes a day, you'll have a commitment to something simple, easy, and yet enough time to accomplish a few things. For example, I had a goal to get more prospects for business planning this week. I just spent the past 10 minutes emailing three companies I had noted as leads from my business network. I'll follow-up those emails tomorrow, and hopefully have a conference call scheduled later in the week. Those three 30 minute segments will likely produce at least one new customer, which, as a return on time investment is very high.

4. 10 minutes grows into more minutes! What you'll start to notice when you do 10 minutes religiously is that over time, you'll naturally want to expand the things most profitable and rewarding to you into more than 10 minutes. This helps you eliminate the goals that really don't align with your core being and focus more on the goals that you really need to accomplish. That's the ultimate objective of the 10-minute program: that you'll expand the 10-minutes into something like 30 or 60 minutes, and if it's something like a business, it may even expand into your full-time vocation.

Why not start your own 10-minute program today? You don't have to go crazy and do it with every part of your life. Just choose ONE THING you really have been putting off but KNOW you WANT TO DO. Do that! Start setting aside just 10 minutes a day to focus on an activity related to that goal. If lose weight, maybe stretching for 10 minutes a certain time of day. Or, if starting a company, dedicate 10 minutes towards research or building your business plan each day. If you don't get everything done in 10 minutes, that's okay, set-up your next session as the next step in your to-do.

For more information about the Law of Attraction, visit these sites:

Good luck, and let me know how 10 minute dreams works for you!

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How To Be Unique

What Makes You Unique?

What really makes you a unique person?

When you think of the simple fact that you're one of billions of human beings walking around on this Earth, consider asking yourself "What small details of your personality, your drive, your love of certain things (or discernment), your own gifts and talents, and other aspects of what defines "you" to the world, and what makes you unique?"

Are you stumped?

You may not be alone. It is sometimes difficult to dig into the crux of what defines us. However, this might be a time to look at what defines you and figure out how to embrace more of those elements.
Now, with many of my posts, I'll "Google" the topic and see what else pops up in my browser.
One of the interesting recurring themes about how people are defining themselves - especially in school - is through the way they dress. Other topics that came up often include "what do we surround ourselves with", such as furnishings, our car, and other external ways to define our look and feel. But I feel that we are unique not just through how we look, but how we feel, what we do, and how we impact other people. Our "look" and our image is just a part; in fact, mostly an external expression of what makes us truly unique individuals.
What we are that makes us unique must be embraced if we are to succeed in creating maximum impact with our life experience.

Four Ways To Be Unique

Here's my list of four ways to be unique:
1. Think and Speak in a unique way.

Frank Sinatra developed a whole way of speaking that became known as "Rat-Pack Speak" through his career. Expressions like "ring-a-ding-ding", "How's your bird?" and quotes like "You gotta love livin', baby, 'cause dyin' is a pain in the ass." Other greats, like John Lennon, were known to give sound-bites to the press. One that probably backfired was when he said "The Beatles Are Bigger Than God." Politicians, too, often make their mark through being unique.

Ronald Reagan was successful largely due to his sense of humor. When his opponent was rattling on about an issue he didn't want to deal with, he simply responded, "Well, there he goes again." People who become famous usually do so through their ability to think different, and then convey that. While your own personally calling may or may not be fame, it is still vital to think and speak in a way that resonates with your spirit and emotes who you truly are in the most unique way possible.

Don't be afraid to take chances. Be you. Be real. Be the person you need to be. What we think, feel, and say ought to be a reflection of our values.

2. Live according to a higher purpose.

Whether it be to have fun, to make the best xyz product, to be the best musician, to create a nurturing home environment for your family, to write a book about your experiences, or any myriad numerous things we may aspire to, the key with our life is to live according to a higher purpose.
What I mean is to live according to your most natural spirit, to embrace the force of life, energy, and being that is within you. This is tricky for many people. If you don't know what this purpose is, I created an e-book about Life Purpose and audio program to help you find it. You can find that at AspireNow's product section.

The key is in the questions we ask of ourselves. If you don't know the questions to ask, you can't get the answer you seek. I just help guide you through the path of questions. So, learn to be a seeker. As written in the Bible, "As you seek, so ye shall find," or something like that.

Are you being you? A terrific woman I know (pictured in Cat In the Hat costume, above-right) is great at dressing up, being a bit silly, and showing kids she teaches how to have more fun.

More Ways To Be Unique
(right: Elvis Live In Hawaii)

3. Your image matters.

THE WAY YOU DRESS CAN DEFINE YOU: Before you yawn and say "So what?" think about this for a minute. Almost everyone who makes it in the music business has a "look" to their band. The Beatles: funny hair and tight-fitting suits with skinny ties. The Who: wild flaring clothes and the original "rock" look. Elvis Presley: when you think of Elvis, do you remember the white suit from the Hawaii/Aloha show the most?

Madonna: her look captured in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan was copied by thousands of girls during the 80's. Johnny Cash: the man in black defined himself through a unique color at the time. Donna Karan, many years later, copied the trick. I recall a DK interview: "I just love black. I look good in black. Who doesn't? Black is both slender and mysterious and a little edgy." After reading that, I upped the amount of black in my wardrobe!

(Left: Geek is chic)

Even business people have a "look" to what they wear. At IBM, it was navy suits, white starched shirts, and a red or blue tie for many years. That worked for them. I've noticed that the quick upstart service firm utilized at Best Buy stores also has a look of black slacks, white short-sleeved shirts, and skinny black ties. This service company started by a savvy marketing man is called "The Geek Squad" and is enjoying phenomenal success. And, the counter-culture also has success by being different in their look and feel: Apple Computer became known for Steve Jobs wearing blue jeans. Years later, Jobs wears jeans with Black Turtlenecks. Again, have a look that says "you" to you and to people who know you, then use it to your fullest.

4. Who do you love?
Have you ever heard the expression: "He was a product of his environment"?

There seems to be a correlation between who we surround ourselves with and what happens in our lives. If you surround yourself with toxic people, you'll probably end up with a dis-ease of some sort. If your friends are mostly negative, you're probably a lot more negative than you realize. If your friends are all about making money, you're probably all about making money, too.

Consider who you surround yourself with. The ole' expression "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" also holds somewhat true with friends. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, was buddies with Henry Ford, the inventor of the model-T Ford car.

(right: My friend, Brian Narelle, who offers groovy cartoons.)

Entrepreneurs like to hang out with other entrepreneurs. Why? Because they like creativity. Musicians, same thing. It is more fun hanging with people who love, play, and appreciate music.
What do you want more of in your life? If you can define that, then you can seek out people DOING that activity or BEING that way! It's as simple as that. Now, another guideline I put in place a few years ago that I recommend to you highly is to seek out those in support of your HIGHEST GOOD. Therefore, if you have a friend in support of your highest good, they probably wouldn't lie to you, steal from you, or otherwise mistreat you.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Another thing I will add in here as a bonus is that I think it is good to surround yourself only with the possessions you like that make you feel good and reinforce your beliefs. Mine: elegance and simplicity. So, everything I have is designed to be elegant, yet simple. At least, that's the objective. What and who are you surrounding yourself with?
You will discover more about what makes you unique when you seek out others who are also embracing their unique nature.

Do you want to know how I do this myself?

My values: I believe we ought to live large every day. I believe in being honest and sincere in my dealings with others. I believe in laughter - as often as possible. I believe in sharing our ups and downs, but focusing more on the ups. I treat others with respect, so that I may be treated equally. I try to show love in each moment. I take time to balance my life with work, fun, and family moments. I love having fun with my friends and family (pictured left: yours truly).

What I wear: I wear suits for business and jeans with untucked button-down shirts for music and casual wear.

What I drive: (pictured, right) I drive a Toyota Tundra (mostly because I like the way I feel driving it) but I also have received numerous compliments on the way the truck looks. The truck is practical (except for the gas mileage) and being a big guy, I fit in it nicely. It also drives like a car, but rides a little higher on the road. That fits me.

What my house is like: I won't show a picture here, but I can tell you that my style is a mix of modern-eclectic-Italian. I have a blackberry velvet chaise lounge that everyone coos over, a cool bar with pop-up top that has a retro-mirror, lots of wood styles, clean furniture with a minimum of knobs, and a few other odds and ends. It's a beginning of a larger vision of things to come...

Who I surround myself with: I like interesting, funny, creative, and soulful people. I like people who are successful. I find people who have faced challenges more interesting than those born with a spoon in their mouth. Make me laugh, then say something witty and smart, and you'll have my attention. Be respectful and show you're doing something interesting, you'll hold my attention longer. If you demonstrate that you're in support of my highest good, you'll become my friend for a long time. I love spending time with musicians, artists, dancers, entrepreneurs, and highly successful people.

My purpose: I am here to advise leaders. I am here to show we CAN have fun AND be successful at work. I am here to help bring more love into our work. I am here to bring more love into our life. Am I succeeding with you? Please let me know how I can make a difference for you...

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Am So Grateful!

Are you grateful?

We often take our life, our job, our vehicle, our health, our family, and our friends for granted.

I've done it myself. But this past Sunday, I experienced a nasty accident on the freeway after hydroplaning through a huge puddle on the freeway. The slippage sent my Toyota Tundra 4x4 spinning, then slamming into the divider embankment. After hitting the embankment, my truck then flipped at least once, maybe twice, and finally came to a rest on the driver's side. It was very strange to find myself sitting there with the engine still running, in a tremendous amount of pain on my left side from slamming into the seat belt door jamb upon both first and last impact.

Upon retrospect, I think I'm quite blessed. You see, my vehicle could have been hit while I was trying to get out of the truck. In addition, I could have been hurt far worse. That Tundra is one very safe truck, I can say now! I feel my truck saw me through this well. But, more than that, I had an Angel over my shoulder.

I am so grateful to be alive today! Considering the damage (over $17,000 - they totaled the truck) it could have turned out different:

Seven reasons I am grateful today:

First, I am grateful for each breath of life.

Second, I am grateful for all the beauty and amazing things in this world and universe.

Third, I am grateful for all of the love from my family and friends. Thank you...

Fourth, I am grateful for my health. This pain in my neck and shoulder is a reminder to always be grateful for good health.

Fifth, I am grateful for everyone I come into contact with - even those who challenge me. Each of you make my life more meaningful. I am grateful for all of the experiences we can share together. Laughter, walks in nature, making music with my saxophone, speaking about blogging or business, writing about ways to improve our life, or just sharing a meal together.

Sixth, I am grateful for the wheels that get me to work and get me places to go.

Last, I am grateful for God, the Spirit which flows through all things, and life itself.

It would have been strange to die... (I'm not finished yet!)

It would have been strange to die last week. I don't think I am ready. It isn't as if I am not right with my maker, or that I haven't lived a good life. Actually, I think I've lived quite well. The reason I say it would have been strange is that I feel I have SO MUCH MORE TO GIVE!

This accident was a blessing in disguise. It was a reminder to be grateful for friends, life, family, and all of my blessings. It was also a reminder to remain focused - or even focus more - on my purpose for being on this planet.

I am here to help advise people how to bring more love into their work, their life, and live their dreams. I am here to provide advice how to do that. If often comes with perspective, asking the right questions, and then going down the natural path that comes from the answers to those questions.

If you are not being grateful for your blessings, take it from me: gratitude is the right attitude!

Each day, we get a new sun, to greet with a smile - if we choose to:

It is our choice to choose an attitude of gratitude for life, for love, for all of the beauty and good things in the world.

If you are grateful, send me a comment and let me know why. Thanks for reading my words today. Please feel free to share them with your friends if you're touched by any of these stories.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here to share this with you!

Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. Want more? Subscribe to the A-Blog.

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