Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How To Be Happy

Have you ever asked "how do I become happy?"

Do you often experience times when you are sad, lacking fulfillment, or simply seeking more purpose? I've pondered this question over the past ten years and discovered a process to help me reconnect with my own happiness to be a happy person that, frankly, works better than any antidepressant medical doctors can prescribe.

How WE Can Be Happy People:

Most people agree that there is either (a) a creator who created this Earth who is an infinite being and omniscient (often referred to as "God") or (b) an energy in science that runs through all things that causes all mystery and things to be connected (quantum physics). For the sake of this article, let's just call both of these energies the SAME energy, or "God" consciousness. Although I recognize other people's choices in deciding to call energy or science "God" or even to call themselves "atheists" who don't believe in any God at all, I find that at the crux of my own happiness is a faith in such a divine being. I also find my own path to happiness is usually connected with finding ways to connect with that source of power. If you can find faith in God, you will typically begin discovering happiness, or light, from whatever darkness you might be experiencing. Just as our eyes must adjust to the sun when we emerge from a tunnel underground, it may take a little time to adjust to the light. After you blink a little, you can see the brilliant colors all around you! In fact, your greatest happiness may follow the deepest trials and tribulations. But this energy is all around you, at all times. Faith in that energy is the first step on the path to happiness.

This "God" energy is everywhere. It is omniscient.

This energy is both the light and the darkness - it comprises the whole of everything. This concept of both side comprising the whole is an Eastern thought - in Western religion, we've been told that these two energies are separate. But in my opinion, the Eastern viewpoint is much more in alignment with the nature of how things actually WORK in the world. In order to have energy flow through our electric current that supplies light in our households, we need both a positive and negative terminal. This is also proven by a simple Duracell battery, with the + and - terminals. Our own bodies have positive and negative energy flow. The light and dark are required for a full day on Earth. Even in basic elements of life energy, there is a positive and negative, but they are both required in order for the ENERGY to flow.

Take positive WITHOUT the negative, there is no flow of energy. Therefore, both are required elements. Within each person is a light and a dark side. When we embrace both sides of our self, we are more complete and the love energy within us may flow more fully.

Let's also consider that this energy is ALIVE. Not only alive, but that one word: LOVE, can be used to define it. Therefore, our life form is comprised of LOVE. God is LOVE. We are at ONE with GOD when we focus our energy on LOVE.

In Algebra, we are taught that if A = B, and if B = C, then A = C.

Applying Algebra to LIFE, consider this:


That means no matter what life currently holds for you, love is all around you. Whether you are happy or sad, love is right next door to you. If you are feeling fulfilled or lacking, either way, love is right next to you. Love is around you whether you're seeing it or not. Love is actually WITHIN you even when you are unaware of it, too.

Consider this equation again as a possible formula for the Meaning of Life: if GOD is LOVE, and if GOD is EVERYWHERE, then LOVE is EVERYWHERE.

If love is all around you, and you, yourself, are filled with love, then you are connected with and can connect to that love. Embrace that love and happiness is immediately yours to discover. This is the secret meaning of life so many grapple for years to discover.

1. Connect with the source.

What are ways to connect to the love around us? I'll share a few ideas with you.
  • Meditation. Meditating is focused intention of quieting our "chatter" mind so that we might HEAR more clearly and in a more profound way. Find a way to get yourself quiet and then listen. Meditating and breathing allows the energy to flow through the natural chakra source in our body.
  • Walking (playing) in nature. Go into a garden. Go for a walk on the beach at the ocean or at a lake or river. Hike a mountain. Walk through a field of flowers. By getting into nature, we can find the source.
  • Music. Music is a form of connecting to our chakra, as well. When we play each note of the scale, we are playing each natural tone in throughout the chakra. That is why music makes us feel... to the extent that music is harmonious we will feel the connection of source through our chakra energy.
  • Paint or draw in color. Each chakra location in our spiritual energy is not only a note on the scale, it is also demonstrated through color. By focusing on various colors, we can attune our body with our spirit and be one with source. Try painting your dark side or things that make you feel dark. Then paint things that make you feel happy, joyful, and vibrant. Notice the colors you use. You may experience cathartic release and connect more deeply with your spiritual source and discover happiness through that activity.
  • Connecting with another being. When we connect with an animal or person, we can connect to the source. A friend of mine shares coaching through experiencing connection through horses. It is amazing what we can learn through an animal, or through another person. Be open to possibilities! Another friend loves her kitty cat and finds when holding a cat on her lap, with the cat purring in content happiness, she becomes more happy from the experience. What ways can you connect through animals? It is different with other human beings, but there are numerous ways to connect to spirit through other people. Whether a gentle touch of the hand, a hug, a kiss, or even more intimate gestures may lead us to happiness, as long as the readiness and willingness is present and appropriate.
  • Dance or Yoga. Through movement, we are able to connect to source. It depends on the type of dancing that you do. Partner dancing is a form of connecting to another person and source simultaneously. If you are seeking connecting to source on your own, dance solo like nobody is watching. Literally, when you move your body as if dancing for the universe you will open and unlock things you had not idea were closed off. I perform at a dance tribe with my sax every couple of months called the "YUM SESSION" - I do this because it is amazing to play music that helps people connect to that source - I love to help make it happen! (This is also why I'm writing this article!)
I love playing music to help people discover happiness. In working the energy of the room, I've discovered people experience the greatest release of happiness and joy when I first play something a little outside the scale - or discombobulated - causing their energy to shift and vibrate with the dark side...which would include the use of minor scales, then shift that back to positive energy, major scales. In doing the switch from minor to MAJOR, people experience joy and release! This brings happiness through music!

2. Consider others as yourself (The Golden Rule).

This may sound basic. The Golden Rule directly helps create happiness. If you want people to reach out to you, reach out to others. If you wish to play music with others, ask them to play music with you. If you wish to create wealth, help others create wealth. happiness starts with your first thought that may benefit another. Happiness grows stronger as you speak that which you think that is beneficial for others. Then happiness manifests with your actions that match the thought and speech.

The amazing thing about life, is that you often have to give some, to get some. In dating, a man will often show up with a present for his suitor. His gift is a symbol of affection. In sustaining the human body, we eat food in the form of animals or vegetables to maintain our energy. When we don't eat, we shut down and wither away. Energy from one life form is required to get more energy for our life form. GIVING is a secret to success. Sharing with each other helps us build happiness.

I recall reading a story in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, a book by Dale Carnegie, about a man who visited a woman who became despondent with worry and loneliness. While the man visited her, he noticed beautiful African Violets throughout her home. He suggested to her that she start to make new starts of her plants and then give them away to people in her community. When the woman passed away, hundreds of people attended her funeral. What happened to this lonely woman that she connected with so many people? Through her gifts of African Violets, she became known as the "African Violet Queen" - who touched so many people with the beautiful flowering plants for their celebrations and various life occasions. She gave love through her care with the flowering plants, and in return she received love from these people. 1

This is how life works. When we put aside our concerns over our fears and anxieties and embrace ways to love one another, our life truly rocks!

I'm not suggesting to love everyone without boundaries or without regard for "yes" or "no" - but to simply give when you have the thought to give. Reach out, connect, and share beatiful moments with each other and your life will be happier.

Spend time in nature. Embrace your artistic side. Find ways to transform from the dark side to the light through art and forms of expression. Then share your insights with others, remaining open to how others might share with you. Do all of this and watch how your happiness grows through repeat experience over time.

1 - Carnegie, Dale. How To Stop Worrying and Start Living. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984. Print.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maximize Dining Out Experiences


As with any tip in Elegant Simplicity theory, I always look at things we use or do often, and evaluate the way to get the VERY BEST EXPERIENCE from these action or possession choices.


In this case, let's evaluate dining out. When we dine out, we often wonder what to eat. We're presented a menu we hope is attractive to our palate. If we're restaurant shopping, we might even look at their menu BEFORE sitting down to eat. That is usually not the best way to pick a restaurant. Not only that, but once we're inside, how can we know our choice is the BEST choice on the menu?

Answer: poll people who eat there!

There are three ways you can poll the people who've dined at a restaurant.

1. Stop someone coming out of the restaurant you're intending to dine at and confirm they enjoyed their meal. You can ask a simple question "Excuse me - we're trying to choose a good place to eat for dinner and evaluating this restaurant. How was your dining experience, was it enjoyable for you?" and then decide after you hear their on-the-spot review.

2. Read a review. I love reading reviews about a restaurant. You can usually find reviews on the Internet, in food journals, in the newspaper, in special print newspapers, in books, and in travel coupon books. The reviewer will often describe their full meal experience, from service, to food quality, and anything special. If you're looking for something unique, a review will often give you insight into new ideas of where you might go to find a fun and enjoyable meal.

3. Ask friends. Your friends, if they have similarly good taste, we can hope will recommend good restaurants to you. I like to ask people "what are your favorite three restaurants you like to visit" and then ask them to take me there. Sometimes, people will have established relationships with the ownership and staff at their favorite restaurants. And, these relationships often end up in getting something extra - extra portions of wine, food, perhaps an item left off the bill - you just never know. So, take advantage (with dignity, of course) of opportunities when friends invite you out to their favorite haunts.

Okay, so these are all good ways to choose your restaurant.

But what about increasing the experience of pleasure while you're there?

1. Picking optimum time to dine. I like to be either slightly ahead of the rush hour, or slightly behind it, so as to ensure the wait staff will have the time to serve me. When placing a reservation with a maître d', ask them when is a good time to receive optimum service. First, this places in the maître d' mind that service is important to you. Second, they'll recommend times AROUND when that big corporate party is there, or times when they know their staff can best serve you. Too many people make the mistake of setting a reservation around THEIR needs, and forget that the establishment serving you has their own schedule they're trying to manage, too. Ideally, work around the host establishment's schedule and you'll optimize your experience. If a maître d' offered you especially good service, or routinely gives you an optimum seating table, consider slipping them a $5 or $10 spot through a handshake and say "thank you" on the way out the door. (Don't tip them before you get seated, as that may be looked at as a bribe and is a bit tacky.)

2. Knowing the menu. If, at all possible, you can preview the menu BEFORE you visit the restaurant, you will have an advanced idea what you might order. This is good, because you really don't want to spend much time ordering your food. Save the chit-chat for the back half of the meal so that your food is ordered as quickly as possible when you first arrive. Otherwise, you run the risk of hitting their rush hour traffic, or their "dead time" when they just want to go home. By knowing the menu, you also make it easy to order first.

3. Order first. This might sound odd, but people will generally choose what sounds best FIRST if they're given the opportunity to order first. However, when they order second, they are more likely to order something DIFFERENT just to prove they are "unique" in their choices. In his book, Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely mentions that the person who orders first is usually satisfied with his choice, while the person who orders second or third, sequentially, might be dissatisfied with their order and experience regret. The other way to handle this problem of expectation is to allow everyone to order with a piece of paper without telling everyone else what they are eating. Maybe that is going too far. So, my rule of thumb is to look at a menu immediately, choose what I most want, and decide that is what I am ordering.

4. Go with your first choice. Typically, you'll be happier with your first choice than any choice that might follow.

5. Read the reviews. Usually, in a restaurant review, the person reviewing the restaurant will recommend a meal, too. Keep in mind that the meal they recommend was also often recommended by the OWNER of the restaurant. The owner knows what they cook the best (usually). So, reviews are highly useful. I like to read three or four reviews before visiting a new restaurant to give me a well-rounded look at possible dining experiences.

6. Ask other patrons. Asking patrons is useful if you're already sitting, and you look over and SEE their food, and it looks particularly scrumptious. In that instance, asking them "Hey, that looks great, I'd love to know what it is to help me decide ordering, what is it you're eating there?" may not be rude, depending upon whether you're in a five-star french restaurant or some place a bit more casual. If you're dining formally, refrain from asking. I've made new friends simply by asking someone if they enjoyed their particular order. My guess is the introverts will probably pass on this one.

7. Ask the staff. I like to ask the staff what their favorite dish on the menu might be. Then I ask them if they're a vegetarian or some other question to determine if we have similar dining taste. If they don't have the same taste as me, I'll order something different. Otherwise, I follow their recommendation. Be careful asking the staff, though, because they're paid to serve you, and also guided not to play favorites, in many instances. If they say "everything is good here" which obviously doesn't help decide, follow up with the question "What would you order for your best friend if they were here?" This will give you a more accurate insight into their favorite dish.

8. Outside in. When dining at fancy dinners such as corporate meals or wedding dinners, I used to struggle with which utensil to use for which dish. Can you relate? There's a rule about how they set your table for you, and as long as you know that rule, you'll never grab the wrong fork again. Top utensils are used for the soup and desert. Left utensils are used for the spoon and fork, right utensils are used for cutting and spreading, such as knives. Always work OUTSIDE IN. As long as you grab a utensil on the outside first, you'll be doing fine. Soups are usually before the salad, so that's what that big spoon is doing there. The desert will usually be the small fork or spoon on above your plate.

9. If you a coupon to present, ALWAYS tell the waiter about your coupon up front before they bring your bill - otherwise, they might have to re-ring this and that is extra work for them. Don't be rude to your server! In addition, make sure you have the coupon with you. A friend of mine became upset at the restaurant for not honoring a coupon that she FORGOT to bring! I told her she was silly to get upset as it was her fault in forgetting it. You'd be surprised the number of times that restaurants print fine details of their coupon offer on the back - such as hours, restrictions, and such. Read them BEFORE going to the restaurant to eliminate arguments with their staff. There is no reason to create a bad experience by demanding something that is not reasonable to the ownership.

10. Events and meals. If you're attending an event after your meal, ALWAYS tell the waiter (the person who takes your order, not the bartender or table server who brings water) about your event, so they can help keep an eye and not serve you slowly. Also, if your event is cutting it close, you might ask to order your meal to go, right from the get-go, so that you can eat it later if the meal is served too close to the time of your event. Don't make the restaurant responsible for your schedule. They might try their best and still cut it too close for you to make it on time.

11. Order water. You will eat less if you drink a glass of water prior to your main meal. Try not to fill up on bread and butter, or on chips and salsa, as these food choices are higher in carbohydrates and more likely to make you gain weight from dining out. Order wine if you truly want wine, but do not feel compelled simply because they ask you if you'd like a drink. Keep in mind that the prices on wine are marked up between 2.5 to 5 times the cost of the product. The restaurant's best margins are on the bar tab. Any time you can minimize your bar tab, you're likely to get a better value for your meal.

11. If you do order wine, and like "good" wine but not "excessively expensive" wine, I've usually found that the second wine up on the list (by the glass) is the best value for the money. If you're unsure which wine to choose, because you're unfamiliar with the winery, for example, then just choose the second from the cheapest. You'll pay between $8 and $10 a glass, which isn't too costly, and it will probably taste pretty good.

12. Doggie bag or "to-go" boxes. It used to be considered "tacky" to ask for a doggie bag. Not any more. Today, you can simply request "I'd like the rest of this to go, please" and any decent restaurant ought to help accommodate your request. If they bring you the box, you dish it up yourself. If they take it and do this for you, express a "thank you" for their effort. I often take half of a meal with me to eat later. There is no reason to overeat just because the food is served right then.

What are your ideas on maximizing dining out? Share them and help us all improve our dining experiences!


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Is Success Worth To You?

Regarding how you view success, may I ask you a simple question?

"When you consider the PRICE of success, what is it WORTH to you?"

Why do I ask this?

Well, the fact is you will usually have to give up something to get something in life. Success is no different. Either you'll have to give up your steady job to focus on that part-time company, or you'll have to take time from sports, hobbies, or maybe even family in order to do it.

Case in point: back in the 1980's and 1990's a receiver played for the San Francisco 49ers who broke all of the receiving records in the NFL. You probably remember Jerry Rice. I loved Jerry for many reasons. He knew that if they could get the ball in his hands, that he could help them win games. And, win a lot of games is exactly what the 49ers did! What made Jerry different? If you stacked up all the tall, slender, fast receivers in the NFL with "good hands" he probably would have stood out as just one of the many if it weren't for two things:

1. Work ethic.
2. Execution.

Most people fail because they lack either of these two qualities. Jerry succeeded because he began his workout campaign in both strength, endurance, and speed exercises running up hills, bicycling, and running sprints when the others guys were taking time off playing and messing around during the "off-season". To Jerry, he didn't have much of an off-season. As soon as one season finished, he'd take a quick break, then immediately get back to work to prepare for the next year. Jerry also was the best I've seen at running specific patterns and being in the right place at the right time. This increased the chances that he would be in the right spot to make the catch. Then, he used his athleticism to make moves to run after the catch and make more yards than any receiver ever before or after!

If you are not currently *feeling* successful, the odds are likely something is not happening yet in your path to live your dreams. That something is the *release* of what is blocking you from walking (or running) on the path you need to take in order to realize your personal journey. Usually, what is blocking you is your work ethic: the way you spend your time is not conducive to you winning the way you intend. Or, you are not executing on your plan. Either you stop and give up or change directions so often you never master any one thing.

If you take anyone great, the reason they become great is usually because they spend a lot of time, energy, and focus mastering their subject. Their sole intention is to master this area and know it better than anyone else. Usually, this mastery leads to higher pay, more options in career choice, and higher rewards in other ways, too.

Can you dig what I'm talking about?

How does your thinking match your ability to manifest what you want? I recently spoke with someone about a job they'd interviewed for the preview week:

"Did you get the job?" I asked. "I'm not sure yet... but I like the pay!" She replied. "The pay is good, then?" I continued, trying to pry without prying. "Hey - it beats social work!" She finished.

Well, yeah! What doesn't beat social work pay, right? So, I don't think she'd exactly set the bar high for what she considered high pay. But, if she was happy, then she'd factored the value of pay, time, and lifestyle into her choice of employment.

I once asked a group of seminar attendees a question regarding money.

Please write down your answer to this question:

"How much money do you feel you are worth an hour?"

Okay, did you write down your own answer?

Here is an interesting chart that will show you what you think you're worth:


Most people will identify with this chart (above) in relation to money and the hours they work. Keep in mind, if you're working 12 hour days to make that same money, you might as well reduce your hourly worth by 1/3 because you're working that much harder to earn your keep.

But what if your goals are to make $1 Million a year? If you want to earn $10 Million a year, then what are you worth per hour?

Well, I don't even have to break out my calculator to tell you that if you make $1 Million a year then you'd better think of your hourly worth as $600 an hour, approximately. If you want to earn 10x that, then your hourly worth is about $6,000 an hour! If your time was worth $6,000 per hour, how would you spend it? What things do you do now that you would hire someone else to do? Can you make any of those changes NOW? (Hey - this is called AspireNOW for a reason!)

Have you ever thought of money like this before? If not, now is the time to start rethinking how you approach money.

If you are going to have a "millionaire" approach to money, then your worth per hour is now, from this day forward, $600 per hour.

When I, personally, made this shift in mindset, I started to say:

"I am now worth $600 per hour."

Does this change how you feel about housework? Playing that game of solitaire during your lunch break? Talking to that friend who just chatters away time meaninglessly every day? I'm not saying to become a jerk and never help out around the house, never have fun playing, or cut out every friend who isn't rich. I'm just suggesting that you consider your time WISELY. Make it count: every second of it! And, make your money count, too! Because the money you make will make you more money if you use it to work for you, rather than against you (accumulate assets rather than debt).

Next, consider the intrinsic value you receive from the activities in your life. For one week, break down how you spend your time. Each day, write down how many hours you spend on each activity. For example:

Working For Someone Else's Dreams
Working Towards Your Dreams
Getting Kids Ready
Sports/Working Out
Education - In Class
Reading A Magazine
Reading A Book
Personal Care
Sexual Proclivity
Talking On The Phone
Religious Activities - Praying, Meditating, Attending Service
Computer (break down time surfing, social networking, playing, or working)
Watching TV or a Movie
and so forth...

After a week or two of tracking, you'll have an idea what is important to you, based upon how you spend your time. After you've done this exercise, consider: does this way I spend my time match how I see myself in success? If the answer is "no", consider remapping how you spend your time!

The majority of people who do not accomplish their dreams often spend a considerable amount of time doing things like mowing the lawn, shopping, watching television, laundry, or driving to and from work. Obviously, while you're doing these things, you are typically not doing the things that can help you accomplish your dream(s).

When you're considering what is success worth to you, factor in the money, and factor in how you define success in time, people, and lifestyle. Then start to plan for your future with that revised understanding and mentality. Here's to our mutual success!

Bonus Time Management Section:

Interactive Chart: How Americans Spend Their Time

According to the NY Times: "At 9 p.m., nearly two-fifths of people are in front of the television. But at almost any hour of the day, a larger share of unemployed people are watching television or movies."

Bonus tip:
How to be twice as effective as the average person in America?

Stop watching television and spend that time networking, developing a company, or bettering YOU. My comment: Don't be "typical" - be unusual! Cut out the stuff that burns time like television and your productivity will increase. Plus, you'll have more of a social life!

The average American with High School education spends almost as much time watching television as they do working! (Note: The American with an Advanced Degree spends only 1/4 the amount of time working watching television, but this is still over an hour a day, on average.)

Related articles:
Value of Our Time
8 Tips for Healthier Living
Create More Financial Success

Related products:
Keys To Discovering Your Purpose

Copyright © 2009 AspireNow. Chart by NY Times - see article there for interactive chart - it is interesting to see where people spend time.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Success Leaves Clues - 20 Questions to Help You Find Success

I just heard this quote while listening to a teleconference about the top five mistakes people make online and how to avoid them:

"Success leaves clues."

I believe the first person I heard say this was Tony Robbins. It's an interesting quote. The point is to look at how people or companies become successful and see if there are techniques used in their line of business that might be used in your line of business.

Some of the best ways to ensure success is to master techniques of those who win.

For example, to succeed online, you don't start and stop. You keep going no matter what. It is not easy to do when the rent is due and the bank account is low. SO, figure out your plan to ensure your success before you ever launch.

If you want to be successful, you've got to DO it. You can't just TRY it, you have to DO it. Remember Yoda (Star Wars) said "there is no try; there is only do or not do."

Commit! Don't start and stop. Get in and stay in.

What are you doing? Are you following the clues of those who blazed a trail before you? Even if you're blazing a new trail (a good idea) are you taking techniques used by people who succeeded in similar businesses?

I'm a sucker for documentaries, but especially documentaries about how great people, bands, companies, and leaders became great. What did they do? What challenges did they face? How did they overcome their struggles to succeed?

So, now, let's apply this right now in our own life.

Pick a mentor, say, Amelia Earhart. Or a leader of a company you admire, such as Steve Jobs and Apple. Now, start looking at what that person did when they succeeded.

Ask these 20 questions to identify the clues to your mentor's success:

  1. Challenges: what challenge or need were they trying to fill or meet?
  2. Commitment: when did they commit to meet the challenge and how did that decision impact their success?
  3. Obstacles: what obstacles to success stood in their path?
  4. Tools: what tools did they use to succeed?
  5. Values: what were their values?
  6. Differentiators: what made them different? How did they use their uniqueness to their advantage? What did they do that was NEW in their industry?
  7. Copy/Creation: what did they copy or need to learn in order to create their solution?
  8. Coaching: who were THEIR mentors?
  9. Money: how did they finance their project or pay their bills when times were rough? How did they use money or create systems to fund their operations?
  10. Value: what value did they give? At what standard did it match - 2x? 5x? 10x?
  11. Public Relations: how were they unique in the way they spun their story?
  12. Timing: in what ways did they put themselves in position to win?
  13. Team: what type of team did they build? What made it unique or particularly adept at meeting the challenge? Who coached them?
  14. Network: what type of network were they leveraging?
  15. Competition: who were their primary competitors? How did competitors impact their ability to succeed?
  16. Product (or service): in what ways was their product superior to any other product?
  17. Failures: in what ways did they fail?
  18. Coping: how did they cope with failure? What did they learn from their failures? How did they remain persistent when things looked bleak?
  19. Wins: in what ways did they win? How did they capitalize on that success?
  20. Gratitude: how did they express gratitude? How did they celebrate their wins?
Go back and study your leader and plug in the answers to each of these questions as you find them. See what I mean? These questions will help you succeed by identifying the key aspects of performance exhibited by WINNERS.

Take any great leader, team, group, company, or organization, and you can break down their success by asking these questions. Within the answers to these questions lie the clues for your own success.

Now, you'll be armed with INFORMATION to succeed.

But information is not enough. You must ACT.

When we don't just look for clues but actually use them, we're likely to find new success. So DO. Commit. Be who you want to be.

Bonus tip: look at ANY world class performer, leader, or player. Look at what they do to be successful. Look at who makes the least money. Look at who makes the most money. In almost every case, the person who makes the most money HAS A COACH.

Do you have a coach? I offer coaching, on a very limited basis one to one, but mostly in groups these days. Contact me through scott [at] aspirenow (dot) com to discuss coaching. Find someone who can mentor and coach you. Make sure that coach is someone who has been there and done that successfully. Get that person on board with you and start to use their pearls of wisdom.

P.S. this is NOT the way people should write articles!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dating: Is It All About You?

Here's a funny video to get us started on this topic:

Is it all about you?

I hope not.

I've always felt that good dating ought to be a mix. But, let's face it, if you're trying to ATTRACT someone, it might be more about THEM than it is YOU. If you're focused so much on how you look, what you're going to say, what you're going to do, you might miss out on the fact that there's a beautiful person over there, dying to share some of their own joy with you.

I made this mistake myself on a date probably more than once. You know, where you start blabbing about stuff you're doing, then ten minutes later stop talking and realize they're thinking "oh my God, this person is a selfish A@@!" Have you done that? Now, here's the trick - if you're trying to be funny, you have to say SOMETHING. I've also heard nightmare stories from women who say "the guy looked okay, he seemed nice on the phone, but in person, he just SAT THERE and LET ME DO ALL THE TALKING! It was SO AWKWARD!" I've felt that way about a couple of women, but then again, I'm pretty good at getting people to draw out what they're into after being a life coach for such a long time.

The point I'm trying to make is this: dating (and relationships) are a two way street, not a highway and a dirt road. In other words, there ought to be mutual sharing. If one person is dominating, the other ought to speak up and pipe in.

Remember, dating isn't all about you. It also isn't all about them, either.

Don't let people dominate the conversation too much. A little, okay, but too much you might end up feeling resentment down the road that can contribute to a break up. Instead, share your part, then ask them. Listen intently when they answer. Share together. That's what relating is all about! It doesn't have to be EQUAL. Some people are extroverted, others introverted. Keep in mind this MIGHT be why you're attracted to them. They help fill in the gap of what you keep quiet about. Just try to make sure that when you've got something to say that they listen, too.

Dating can be fun, when both parties are learning and sharing about each other's lives. So, let's share with our partners and experience a deeper and more meaningful relationship.

You can also find more dating articles at: AspireNow: Smooth Sailing

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Living Life My Way

The first part of living our life purpose is to know what we want to do with our own lives.

After we've figured that out, we sometimes are left asking the question, "Now what?"

Can you relate?

Well, I think this problem has to do with living life on our terms; or, living life my way. That's the song Frank Sinatra used to sing, My Way. For example, you may have already decided the next step for your life. You know what actions you will take. You know what you need to do to be successful. And at least you have a grip on the daily things you feel will best take you there.

Then, the voice of a friend, a parent, an authority figure, or even a random stranger enters the picture and says the dreaded: "You should do this...(fill in the blank)"

Do you let this comment confuse you? It is hard when people who we've trusted to raise us, protect us, have fun with us, or even help us make money in the past offer advice counter to that which we believe best for our own life.

If we're going to be successful in living our own purpose, then we need to listen to OUR voice. We need to listen to the voice of SPIRIT (God) in our life. We need to listen to nature. But listening to these other people is actually to live according to THEIR AGENDA for us. Perhaps you owe someone money. Or, someone else struggles to imagine the risks you take. Or, they just don't understand what you're trying to do.

In any event, I encourage you to put your full resources into your life purpose. Do not go about this bashfully. Do the things you must do to earn money to provide for your family. And, if that is this new purpose, you've got to figure out how to bring in money as quickly as possible, or risk putting the ones you love in jeopardy. I don't recommend doing that. It is best to moonlight until you have enough money saved up to launch, or until the second business is proving it can sustain more than the first. Otherwise, you may have to downsize expenses to make sure you can make ends meet. Whatever the case, do whatever you have to do to take care of business.

In the case of many people, they choose a path and then struggle to figure out ways to earn money. Look at the people who are most successful in this business you are entering. Examine how they succeed. Copy those things that help them succeed. Then be different in the ways you must to provide your own unique services.

Focus on living life YOUR WAY. In career, hobby, relationships, and family, the actions we take in how we manage our daily affairs determine much of our success. So set up your schedule and take action in such a way to create immense success in your endeavor(s). Don't be your own worst enemy; instead, be your own best ally. Then, ally others to your cause!

Living life my way is an extraordinary feeling. It is much more satisfying than living life for others, or according to the agenda of others. So, do it YOUR WAY. And enjoy the journey!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love The Secret - But Unsure How?

If you're like me, you might be sick of hearing all about the movie "The Secret" but never learning HOW to do any of the manifesting they talk about.

Bla, bla, bla! Talk, talk, talk! RIGHT?

Okay, but show me the MONEY! I know, I'm an eager-beaver.
But tell me, honestly, are you any different?

Here's some good news: Tom Murasso, one of the better kept secrets in the personal development (self-help) field, recently created a new online audio course entitled, "Art of Conscious Creation" which will knock your socks off.

Seriously, there's got to be some area you'd love to sit down with a life coach and talk about - love, money, health, success - on YOUR schedule, right?

What I like about Tom's course is that it is DIFFERENT! People are paying up to $1,500 to attend this course in person. I know, I know, every guru on the block does *that*!

Maybe, but Tom's course includes 5 professionally recorded audios, course worksheets, a copy of his how-to guidebook to the LOA, "Born to Manifest" and...

...a Freeeee coaching session with Tom!

And, you'll find he's a mix of spirituality blended with love, compassion, and humor. What matters most to me is Tom's a "real guy" and also why I'm comfortable recommending his audio workshop. Plus, I personally love audio workshops, because they can be something I listen to casually while staring at the ocean, or intent with a notepad in hand. It's my choice.

The best part? All of that is only $97.00. That's only 27 cents a day if you look at it as something you can listen to over and over again the next year to really get a bang for your bank! The online audio workshop is for folks who want to finally understand EXACTLY how to utilize the Law of Attraction to their benefit and manifest more and more 'good' in their lives... and less stuff they don't want!

It's for people already working with the Law, and having limited success.

It's for those who totally get the LOA, yet have no success at all!

It's a "Do This – Then That" kind of workshop/course!

So, please take a look. I'm thoroughly convinced THIS is the secret to the Secret!

Click this link to BUY NOW: The Law of Attraction Step-By-Step Audio Workshop

You were BORN TO MANIFEST. It is so simple to do it now! Change your life!


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Friday, October 9, 2009

Self-Love Fest 2009 - Sign up Now!

Discover how loving yourself more can bring more health, wealth, love and happiness into your life!

Join us for a FREE five-week intensive teleseminar series featuring some of the top women in self-help and personal development

For one incredible month, leading experts share their insights on how to have, do or be anything you want in life. Treat yourself to this amazing, information-packed teleseminar series for improving self-confidence and building self-esteem. This is presented by Michelle Casto and ten other top women in the field of personal development.

Imagine the top life coaches, spiritual advisors, transformational experts all in one place.

Relationships * Life Purpose * Spirituality * Wealth * Entrepreneurship Reaching Your Dreams * Body Image *Addictions * Motivation
Sexuality * Feng Shui *much more...

This wonderful seminar is starting SOON so don't miss out! (First class is October 10, 2009.)

Make one month your own personal Self-Love Fest and join us for this unique opportunity to jump start your life in amazing ways. We want to make this information accessible to everyone so we are offering the live calls for FREE!

Note: mp3 recordings can be purchased by upgrading to the Platinum Option, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND - Do it now (after November 1, 2009, prices go up) and you'll get not just the CD's from these incredible speakers and life transformation coaches, but you'll also get over $1,000 in special bonus products from these incredibly wonderful speakers.

Do it for yourself as your own "gift of Thanksgiving" to show yourself some love heading into what will likely be a busy a stressful holiday season for many. But not for you: you'll have all the information you need to strut your glide seamlessly through this holiday season loving yourself with advice from Self-Love Fest!

Or, want to give a special gift to a friend who is perhaps a little down on their luck? Why not tell them they can get this:

FREE five-week intensive teleseminar series featuring some of the top women in self-help and personal development!

Here's the link: Self-Love Fest 2009

Or better yet, buy them a gift of the Platinum Option. You'll be glad you did!


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Random Manifestation Events Discussion

Do you ever discover random events to help manifest dreams?

A crazy thing just happened to me! While posting the most recent 3 articles at AspireNow's blog:

Manifest Your Dream In Eight Words

Why Most People Fail At Job Hunting

Astounding Book Gets Burned

Facebook offered me a chance to type in "captcha" words proving I'm human and not a spam-bot. Normally, these words are totally random and mean nothing.

But these two words stood out like a total "aha" moment to me:

$190-Million Antibody

Now, mind you, I've never worked on an antibody. I don't really know that much about science. In fact, science is probably my education weak spot (although I've been working to strengthen that knowledge). But, as someone who helps people launch products, companies, and services (see, this one stood out.

Perhaps a scientist is going to approach me in the next month, quarter, or year with an idea for an antibody that will help cure a disease or something. Whatever the case, $190 Million is nothing to sneeze at, no pun intended!

What random events of manifesting dreams are happening around you? Are you paying attention? Join my discussion on random events either here on this blog or at AspireNow's Facebook group and share your experiences!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Manifest Your Dream In Eight Words

Do you remember the television show called "Name that tune?" I used to love watching it and trying to guess the song in even fewer notes than the contestants could guess!

Well, this article is kind of like that show, but I'm calling it "Manifest Your Dream In Eight Words." This is the shortest article I'll ever write on MANIFESTING your DREAMS. In fact, I can say all that really needs to be said about manifesting in just eight words!

How to Manifest Any Dream In EIGHT words:

Focus and Act Only Upon What You Want

There. That's it. It's all you need to know. Just go do that, do only that, and do it to the best of your ability. You will manifest many more dreams following the advice of these eight words than any other words I could give you.

It is almost like Nike's saying: "Just do it" except this is more specific - exactly what you want the most, there is where you must focus. Only upon what you want is how and where you must act. Now, go focus and act accordingly!!

Happy manifesting!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

AspireNow: Chosen for Top 100 Inspiration Sites on The Daily Reviewer

AspireNow continues to get noticed online and in the press for website achievements.

Today, I received an email from Angelina Mizaki, who is a part of the selection committee for The Daily Reviewer, to notify me that AspireNow was chosen as a "Top 100 Inspirational Blogs" by their team.

It is nice to receive accolades! I thought I'd share the good news with all of you, my readers, as I'm a big believer in sharing good news.

Also, I'm curious to see if you have any ideas for how we can make the blog or better for you? As always, you're welcome to provide me public or private feedback (if you feel discretion is warranted).

I'm always striving to improve AspireNow. In fact, I'm going to be making some significant changes to the website and blog in the days ahead, so stay tuned!

Scott Andrews, Founder

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why Most People Fail At Job Hunting

I'm working on a new book called "How To Get The Dream Job You Really Want, Need, and Deserve." If you like the title, let me know!

In doing some preparation for this book, I've come to realize that MOST people are actually working at jobs they DON'T LIKE very much. How about you? Do you like your job?

If the answer is somewhere between "as much as I like watching butter melt" and "as much as I enjoy being told to go play on the freeway" then the odds are high you'll be job hunting very soon. My Dad used to tell me:"If you want to go look for a new job just start talking about how much you hate the one you have and it will be a matter of time before you'll be out of your job!"

That leads you to something that terrifies most people: INTERVIEWING. It's almost as bad as public speaking, isn't it?

But before you can even GET an INTERVIEW (which most people dread) you've got to somehow GET IN to the RIGHT PERSON (hard to do if you want to work at Apple, Cisco, GE, or Ford, right? And, once you get in front of that person via phone, letter, or email, then you've got to convince them to at least meet with you. Most people find their job opportunity on Craig's List, Monster, HotJobs, or in the classified section in their local newspaper. They hear about a job that sounds sorta interesting, and call the number. Rather than ask "who is this?" They instead ask about the job and say they're calling to apply for the job #15304. (Damned classifieds never say enough, huh?!)

So, you put together a cover letter. You work on revising your resume. You have a friend or two edit your resume. You do have friends edit, right?

The cover letter is generic. You didn't research the company or know what they might be seeking. Your resume is written with an objective like "To find a job in the computer industry using my talents and skills."

You then carefully call HUMAN RESOURCES. Human resources then kindly asks you if you've submitted your cover letter and resume, so you do. You then call back in a week and/or receive a letter kindly informing you that if they are interested they will get back to you.

In other words, you lose and don't even have a clue whether anyone saw all that work you put in to this opportunity.

Grade: F = FAIL


Is this the way you think about job hunting?

If so, you're taking the road highly traveled and setting yourself up to be a LOSER. Seriously, besides sitting at home on the couch doing nothing at all, this generic approach to job hunting is the most pathetic way to job hunt I've ever heard. Why? Because it is REACTIVE. Do you want to hire someone who waits for things to come to them (REACTIVE)? No, right?

Nope. I don't either. Therefore, the vast majority of people who send in their generic resume, email, or call human resources are SCREENED OUT as opportunities to actually HIRE because they were REACTIVE and showed POOR INITIATIVE into getting a job.

Does that make sense to you?

If you're nodding, then you'll be a candidate for my upcoming book. I'll be sharing a lot more about job hunting in the days ahead. Hope your hunt, in the meantime, is proactive, focused as what you want, and something you're PASSIONATE about doing!

Legit online jobs: click here!

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Astounding Book Gets BURNED

What would you do if the #1 book in the world that could help you live your dreams was getting BANNED from all libraries? Well, it's not quite that severe, but there's only two days left to get your hands on a simple & easy to use book, filled with exercises to help you life the life of your dreams!

Are you in college trying to figure out what to do with your life? Or an "empty nester" facing changing home lifestyle? Or perhaps you're staring down the barrel of a career change? Whatever your situation, let's face it: you'll either win or succumb to failure. Do you want help?

You still have a chance:

I'm pulling my best-selling: "Methods To Discover Your Purpose" e-workbook off in two days...I've been told that the information in this book is ASTOUNDING. One friend (albeit, a little biased) told me it was better than Tony Robbins' best-seller. Hey - their words, not mine.

I've had a goal to pull this off the site once it got close to selling out and there are only ELEVEN copies left.

So, if you're at that spot where you're just not sure about your future, well, don't waste time! It costs less than a tank of gas to get your very own copy and make sure you're on the path that reaps the rewards you deserve.

Just thought I'd give you all a heads-up!

Here's the link for you:

(just click the buy now button)


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Monday, July 20, 2009

#1 Way to Improve Relationships

I've read quite a few relationship self-help books over the past ten years. As an author, coach, and speaker on the subject of improving relationships, I find it useful to check out other people's thoughts on the subject.

However, this next tip is something that I wish I'd learned thirty years ago. It is a tip I learned through my own interpersonal relationships. It is wisdom to improve any relationship. In fact, I feel strongly enough about this tip to claim it is the #1 way to improve your dating relationship, marriage, friendship, or even work relationships.

The #1 Way to Improve Relationships:


They say it makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me" to assume. That is when you assume the worst from your friend, lover, partner, or co-worker. Assuming the worst is a bad thing, right? So, what's a good thing? In this case, assuming the BEST is a good thing. If you assume the BEST in others, sure, you may be a little gullible, and you might occasionally be taken advantage of... BUT you will also set ground rules for interacting that many other people do not follow: you're seeking the best in them and giving them the benefit of the doubt that the best is what they are offering to you.

Why would we treat relationships any other way?

I encourage you to give your friend the benefit of the doubt! You'll get along with people so much better when you allow people to be their best by simply looking for the best in them and the best in their actions.

When I look back upon my past relationships, I can say that the reason communication broke down, or the friendship went sideways, was almost always because they stopped assuming the best in me, and thought I said something to hurt them or did something to be selfish - or worse - mean to them. Or, perhaps I was the one who started seeing what they did as selfish, hurtful, or non-caring. Whichever, when either party readjusts their point-of-view lenses to see the best and look at the other as trying to give their best, the hurt feelings fade away much easier and resolution is found without strife.

Just this past Friday, an ex-girlfriend saw me and commented to a friend that she was surprised I'd walk right by her and not say anything. She then followed that up by saying "I'm so over Scott, anyway." She probably said it because she felt hurt and figured my friend would tell me, which would in turn hurt me. But the reality is when I walked by her I didn't even SEE her. I did not even know she was there. Had she said "hello" to me, my nature would naturally be to say "Hi" back. She assumed the worst, and in turn, probably felt hurt by it. By assuming the best she could have reached out and changed the situation and at least walked away feeling that she didn't have an enemy or whatever. I still think of her fondly, so that's where I'd leave it.

That's just one interaction. Eight years ago I was head-over-heels in love with someone who I'd gone to high school with. I can remember the day I wrote a letter trying to improve upon the things that I felt could be better in our relationship. My girlfriend, instead of seeing the letter as what I'd intended, felt criticized, and felt that I was putting her down. That was completely not my intention, but due to previous relationships where everyone assumed the worst in each other, she immediately went to that place. From that day forward, we never got the ship righted in the water again. It was too bad, because today we're not even friends anymore.

On the contrary, I recently let someone down by not delivering what I'd promised to them, in terms of a work project. Rather than get down on me, the assumed the best in me, and knew I'd deliver as soon as I was able, which I did. As a result, that work relationship remains vital, alive, and filled with mutual respect. See the difference?

Assume the best in others and YOU become happier with your relationships!

I share from this topic from personal experience.

People going through divorce or other separation could benefit from this advice. Be nice, assume the best, and ask for what's best for them. Hold to the things you need to hold to, and give on the things you don't, and even in those most difficult of situations you can process easier than through fighting or assuming ill of each other.

Recently, my guitar player and lead singer in my band quit the band to form his own band. Now, while he may have needed to do that anyway, he didn't need to trash our friendship. After all, we'd talked on the phone almost every single day for a year, and played music together going on six years! But he took an email I wrote the wrong way, and rather than assume the best, assumed the worst. I hoped he would talk about it, but he chose not to talk and to simply leave it and stop returning calls and emails. As a result, he trashed the band, trashed our friendship, and now does not communicate with me in any form. It hurt me for this to happen, as I was only seeking what was best for the band. If he had received my email differently, and assumed that I only wanted the best, he would have at least communicated better and kept the friendship as he exited the band. What's weird is had he talked with me about wanting to leave the band, I'd have supported him in that endeavor completely. I support him in his music and preferred to keep the friendship, but it is what it is.

If someone is being abusive, that's one thing - get out and get help! But if someone is just being who they need to be there is no reason to assume the worst in them, right?

If you want to improve your relationships, don't be afraid to take the chance to assume the best in someone else, even if it looks like they're not being nice, or like they might be putting you down, or whatever. In most cases, they are trying to improve or offer the best. They may be offering this to you from their perspective. And, they have a right to their perspective. So, consider this #1 way to improve relationships the next time you feel hurt, adjust your viewpoint to give your friend, partner, or lover the benefit of the doubt, and see if you don't roll through the challenge with ease instead of conflict.

I wish you the very best with your relationships. If you need professional counseling, I recommend you seek that therapy rather than relying on this article for help. I provide relationship advice for entertainment purposes only and do not expect you to hold me legally reliable for the choices you make with your life. Fair enough? All the love, success, and happiness to you today in living the life you want, finding the love you seek, and manifesting your dreams.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lower Your Stress With Free e-Book from Michelle Casto

Are you a bit stressed out?

Well, you know I like to give you cool stuff for free whenever I can, right?

So you can imagine how excited I am to help you lower your stress levels with an exciting free offer from my pal, Dr. Michelle Casto.

Michelle, who is also an Aspiration Advocate and Life Coach, is offering free access to her e-book called "41 Ways to Alleviate Stress" for a limited time only. I recommend it personally. Just click here to enter in your basic email to receive this power book informing you how to lower your stress:

Let me know how you like it!

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lance Armstrong - Inspiring Us Again - Lessons from the GREATEST

When you're great, you're great. Some people excel at certain things. In sports, I like to study the greats in matches that require individual greatness, such as tennis, golf, bicycling, skiing, etc. And, often, the greats perform at their best in the most difficult of circumstances, such as major tournaments.

For example, of his 14 major championship tennis court victories, Pete Sampras won Wimbledon 7 times.

I recall watching Pete Sampras defeat his nemesis, Andre Agassi in the last of his major victories, in 2002. Andre is another great I loved watching. Today, Roger Federer is the man to beat, who is also racking up the victories.

Can you think of people in your field of interest who are great? What made them great?

Continuing with my sports greats, how about Tiger Woods?

Tiger, currently age 33, achieved more victories in less time than any other golfer in history. The previous great was Jack Nicklaus, some thirty years ago. Then, along came a Tiger who changed the history of golf. Being a multi-racial golfer is something I recall that stirred up the pot when Fuzzy Zoeller made some comment about telling Tiger not to order "fried chicken" or "collards and greens or whatever" at the Master's ceremonial dinner - the racism was ridiculous (although it was argued that Fuzzy was a jokester just trying to be funny). Tiger rose above it and won the tournament by something like 18 strokes. He is noted as the first African-American descendant to win the Masters. Yet, here's this amazingly talented golfer just cleaning up the field, time and time again. Clearly, race had nothing to do with it.

It's about vision, training, goals, coaching, and performance. In all of these things, Tiger prevails again and again. He sets his vision upon being the greatest ever. He trained in unique ways, and developed an incredibly powerful swing, chipping, and putting style that could dig out of holes that would bury most good golfers. I've seen him make shots that simply defy the eyes. Then, he double-pumps his arm in a victorious celebration indicative of his winning intensity.

Since his record-breaking win in the 1997 Masters Tournament, Tiger went on to become the youngest player in history to win the Grand Slam (considered the golfing world's most difficult tournaments). Currently, Tiger is ranked third for career victories, behind the other great golfers, Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus.

1Career Wins on the PGA Tour

Sam Snead - 82
Jack Nicklaus - 73
*Tiger Woods - 68
Ben Hogan - 64
Arnold Palmer - 62

From the players playing, Tiger Woods is at such a fast pace it is easy to see how at his age he is likely to become the greatest PGA Tour golfer of all-time. Jack Nicklaus, the player who Tiger most sought to emulate and surpass, is now only 5 wins ahead of him for career victories. According to Wikipedia as of the date of this publishing, Tiger Woods is currently ranked #1 in the World and achieved more earnings at $110 Million this past year. But from among his tour championships, he is ranked #2 in MAJOR tournaments, which receive the bulk of attention on the PGA Tour. He is only four victories behind Jack Nicklaus for most Major victories, career.

Some people are just great.

Saying that, I turn my attention to Lance Armstrong, who once again is making headlines by pushing the field at the Tour De France and creating a likely scenario where he will capture the yellow jersey in this famous bicycling race, yet once again. Coming out of retirement, he now is on pace to not only amaze us having won his seventh Tour (having survived cancer), now four years later he is back doing it again!

Kudos to Lance Armstrong!!! I am pleased to say I saw this one coming:

If you want to be great at something, study those who are great. Find out what they did to become great. Did they practice a certain way? How did they study or train? What did they do to create a unique "winner" mindset? Did they hire a coach? What type of coaches did they use? Can you break down the elements of their greatness and incorporate those elements into your own "game"? These are all questions that start you on the path to your own greatness.

I can guarantee you that a great general studies other great generals. In addition, great leaders study other great leaders.

What makes Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other leaders able to achieve the success they do?

For example, Warren Buffett is known for making very good investment choices on Wall Street.

This makes Warren's advice highly valuable, because anyone who can pick winners is likely to help you make more money, right? According to the CBS News, investment firms paid $2.1 Million and $1.68 Million in an eBay auction each of the past two years for the rights to have lunch with Warren Buffett.

Last year, Pureheart China Investment fund won the bidding, this year Salida Capital came in with $1.68 Million to win the lunch.

Can you imagine, someone paying $2 Million dollars to have LUNCH with YOU? WOW. Amazing, wouldn't you say? That's how valuable an experience like that can be, if you're at that level.

What can you imagine to accomplish, as an aspiration, for your own life? Winning a trophy? Accomplishing a rare achievement? What can you do to rise above the pack with your unique gifts, dreams, and capabilities?

Set a goal. Study the greats. Hire a coach. Then do the hard work to become great. And, don't be shocked when you surprise everyone else around you when you become the one who future greats study to learn how to be great in the next generation. Be the very best you can, with what you've got, and you just might do something truly stellar. We all have the capability within us to accomplish great things. I encourage you to develop, research, and take action to be your own great self!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Life In The Craziest Places

Have you ever found life in a place that surrounds you?

As I write this question, I remember this photo my brother took in the California desert, where he illustrated this one yellow flower, shooting up from the desert floor, somehow finding a unique and barren position to proudly spring forth a lovely bloom of yellowish white petals. No other flowers competed for attention. This one flower not only survived, but apparently flourished in such an odd place!

Well, last week, I noticed the swallows seeking out the eaves and rafters (in lieu of trees) for their nests. They build nests in the same places annually. My condo resides right where they like to lay their eggs to hatch in the nests. They make nests out of sticks, leaves, dirt, and water (they make a mud-pack using the water from the pool). For a look at what their nest is like, check out this video:

Pretty funny, huh?

Anyway, I encourage you to seek out life and interact with it. I talk to my swallows every day when I come and go. Every part of life is there for us to enjoy, if we merely take the time. It is a valuable aspect of "life purpose" to interact with other creatures in nature. Enjoy!

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Okay, faithful readers and posters! I've just rejected three comments that were purely "spam-links" in disguise as a comment. If you're going to post to someone's blog, please make it a legit comment. You can put your return link in your name - if people like your post, they'll follow it, trust me.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Life Ends Now - Are You Happy?

I watched a very inspiring movie last night called The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Good movie with an interesting perspective about life (no, I won't spoil it here). My favorite part is when the character of Brad Pitt asked "If your life ended now, would you be happy?" He then followed that up with "If the answer to that question is 'yes', then okay, keep living the way you want!" and then "But if the answer to the question is 'no', then start over."

So, how is your life, right now? If you were to die and transition from this Earth right now, would you be happy?

Yes ________ No ________.

If your answer is YES - RIGHT ON! I love empowered people!

If your answer is NO - I'd like to ask you to immediately write down the three things you feel are missing from your life. Or, if the list is longer, take as long as you need to write your list. But do it now. Do not delay.

After you KNOW for SURE what is MISSING or NOT RIGHT I'm going to encourage you to CHANGE IT RIGHT NOW. Start a new direction towards what you want, right now. That's right, DON'T WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW or HOPE for a BETTER TIME. The time to make change when you don't like what is happening is right now. *

*The only exception to this is if your job sucks, you might want to make sure you get another job before leaving your existing job - especially if you're supporting a family.

Okay, now, if you've made a decision to make a difference, but you're still SCARED, I want you to email me your list. Send it to Scott [at] AspireNow (com) take out the brackets and spaces, and your email will reach me. If you're interested in coaching, let me know, and I'll hook you up. If you just want to share, indicate that. If you want feedback, please indicate that, too.


If life ends now, how do we live within our truth to live on purpose and be happy with our life?

The answer is comprised between two words: perception and choices.

How we perceive our situation (predicament) and our attitude (based upon perception) may dictate how we see our possibilities and how we choose to act.

What we choose to do with our time also is what dictates our life path and happiness.

The truth comes when we follow our path and take action towards our dreams, every day. Whether your dream is to be a good golfer or swimmer, take action now towards that goal and sign up for golf lessons, buy a Jack Nicklaus golf video (helped me), or start swimming at your pool or a local pool nearest you. Or whether it is to share more joy with each person we meet, take action with each new person you meet towards that goal. Or whether that truth is to start that hobby or turn that hobby into a career, then take steps towards that, right now. Perhaps your dream is to start a new business, then take action towards starting that business (one way I recommend is to contact, a company I created out of AspireNow who helps you launch your product or service).

Whatever is not yet decided, whatever is not a "done deal" -- that is what we've got to go after, if it truly is what we want.

Last, I want to examine our perception more closely. What is blocking you? Is your internal and external language you speak SUPPORTING your dream or BLOCKING it? Tape record a conversation with a coach and/or a friend and pay attention to things you say. If you use words like "I feel stagnated with... " or "I hate..." or "I would if only..." whatever follows those types of negative statements is what is blocking you. Or, at least, your PERCEPTION of those things is blocking you.

If you then notice when you say "I love..." and "I enjoy doing..." and "I'm most happy when..." and ".... makes me smile and feel good..." those types of statements are the things you MOST WANT TO DO and MAKE YOU HAPPY. Pay attention to these, do them more often, and make sure you prioritize these things.

If you do not know what you truly want from life I suggest you hire a coach to help you out.

You can also start with a workbook on discovering your purpose.

The good news about life is that we are always seeing life from INSIDE OUR EYES so we truly CAN start a new life from where we are, at whatever age, when we believe and take action towards that dream. I encourage you to start immediately. Your happiness depends upon it.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Being Safe Or Being Great?

Are you a great leader?

Right now, many people are retreating into their shells in order to be "safe". However, I'd like to pose the question: "Do you want to be SAFE? Or do you want to THRIVE?"

If you want to be safe, okay, do that. Just don't complain to me in ten years that you never really lived your dreams and never reached your full potential!

But if you want to THRIVE, you must take a risk every now and then.

Two years ago, a friend of mine was launching a consulting business. At the time, the real estate market was at an all-time high. She had a secure (safe) job. She was making good money. And, she knew she was going to leave the secure job for the unknown. She asked me for my advice. I told her to sell her house, sell her expensive car, and downsize everything, then build from that smaller expense base for her new business.

She told me that such an idea was unthinkable. She played it safe.

Wind the clock forward. The real estate market collapsed. She's been out on her own consulting and no longer has the "safe" harbor of her job AND she now needs to refinance the house in order to keep it. With the real estate and lending market tightened up, she cannot qualify to refinance her house unless she has a secure job. However, getting a job in this market is not an easy thing to do. She now has herself backed into a much more difficult position. In this market, if she were to sell her house, she would actually lose money.

Do you see the risk you take by being safe? When you have the position of equity, and you want to launch a new business, that is the time to cash out, lower expenses, and then build your business with the equity in the form of cash, rather than asset. Normally, I'd say build assets, and then use that cash for growth. That works great until you're launching something new. And, even when you're launching something new I recommend this approach. But if the market turns south, you must first have a secure fort, then venture out to forage.

"The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." - Tacitus

As you can see, wise leaders in the past took a stand against being safe and promoted taking risks if you want to be GREAT. When I play a military strategy game, I've noticed that if a general is attacking one of my cities, I can react a few different ways. First, I could take a strike at the general's attacking army. Second, I could wait for him to attack me. These are both defensive postures. Or, I can be bolder and leave my city to defend itself (risky) and attack one of the general's cities with my roving army. More times than not, I end up fending off his attacking army with my smaller defensive force left behind, then win the battle against his city with my attacking army. When I do this, I not only keep my city, but gain one of his. This is the bold strategy and the quickest path to being great in the strategy game. Taking the risk produces the reward. Now, there is the risk that my attacking army could be defeated, and that the defending city could be surprised by an even greater foe and fall to his attack, in which case I'll have to double back to defend the next city he will attack. But, more times than not, I prevail using this strategy of attacking with part of my defensive army. General Lee used this very same strategy against General Hooker at Chancellorsville when he split his army and sent General "Stonewall" Jackson in a flanking maneuver around Hooker's army in one of the greatest victories for the South during the American Civil War.

In order to be bold, you must have a superior strategy. When your strategy is superior, you will win even when the odds in numbers are against you. If your strategy is weak, you will lose if all else is equal. So, if you are losing more than you are winning, rather than pull back ALL your forces, why not evaluate your strategy. Discover where you are weak, and improve upon that position.

This is my recommendation for us, in life, too.

When my band was struggling to get gigs, I evaluated our CD. The song I was sending out did not position the band as "feel good, happy music" so we missed out on the festival season's gigs. The next time I went into the studio I focused on the songs that create a feel-good, happy vibe. Those will be the songs I release next.

When Bruce Springsteen released Born To Run, he already released two albums. While the critics thought the albums were good, they still did not sell. When he released Born To Run, the song was about breaking free, with the protagonist positioned as a motorbike and a woman named Wendy the person going on the journey. The idea was to break free down the turnpike, strap in for love, and go for it! This is the energy that SELLS! It is the energy of GOING FOR IT that people will be drawn to. The energy of making SAFE, SOUND decisions might bring you SOME success but most likely will not propel you to stardom.

If you, like me, seek to go ALL the way, then you must look at the ways you're playing safe, and then break free from those safety nets to GO FOR IT! Let others know how you're going for it and that you want them to come with you, buy from you, taste the excitement of the journey. It is an invitation that is hard to resist. And, as they join in with you, watch your abundance flow!

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