Archive for May, 2010
What Time is It?
As many of us approach the age where retirement becomes a real option and not just a far-reaching goal, the notion that we now have to make new choices can be a daunting one. No longer being content with just planning small pond fishing trips or a weekly visit to the quilt-making class, we must seriously face some new and exciting choices.
If ever there is a time when we baby-boomers should be forging new pathways, even in the midst of a still stagnant economy, this is it. What hobby that you have long wished to have more time to devote to can now be given full attention? Reminding yourself of that class you sought to take, if only you had the time…and that is the beauty of this new area of our lives. We have more control over our time than ever before.
When I began my business full time in January 2000, I recall telling friends and others that my respect for the freedom of my time would always be a focal point. So, the television never was on during daytime working hours. I minimized other distractions and held myself accountable for productivity, just as if I had been working in an office for someone else. I’d like to think that my current success is evidence of that commitment to the pursuit of profits over the need to watch The Young and the Restless.
So, take inventory of what you enjoy and could lose yourself in, since time and money are less critical for you. Whether you know what it is you want to do or need a gentle push, be open to new and fresh ideas. As boomers we are now seeking to play a bigger role in the green environment movement, which is a great way to live a legacy filled retirement. Your grandchildren will have a healthier planet to live upon.
Now, go do something and let us know how it feels.
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Many of us in January made a commitment to a number of things. Almost to a person we said that it was important to exercise, eat better and strengthen our bodies. Without the guidance and, when necessary, kick-in-the-butt from a fitness expert, we will not have the proper understanding of how to get results without bringing on injury.
After a back injury in 2004, I have been committed to a regimen of thrice-weekly gym workouts, which include cardio work, weight lifting, and a core muscles strengthening program. Because we all have heard that your abdominal muscles are as important to your posture as your back. I found a site with a few videos that may help those of you who are slipping backwards…and I won’t let that happen. So check this out and let me know what you think; http://www.livestrong.com/video/1464-strengthen-core-muscles/.
The summer months are upon us and even in a stagnant economy we will want to have some fun with our family and friends. Let’s not be afraid to put on those shorts and swimsuits. Make today the day that excuses are put away and results are what we seek.
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How interesting it is that even in these days where we can access the Internet on a wireless handheld device, (IPhone, iPad, not that I am a shill for Apple), we still often require a set top box at home to convert an analog video signal into a digital image. Maybe it is my audio-visual background, but it struck me tonight that the goals that we set to improve our lives are quite similar.
You started out this year with high expectations to rise above your previous career, personal and spiritual levels. And as most times, by the time midyear rolls around, your old mindsets have resurfaced and welcomed you back into the safety of the life you know. That is where the converter box is required to make the signal change from what the world is sending, to what you need to hear, see and know can be different.
Here in the last 10 days of May, are you still willing to make this year the breakout year you boldly predicted in January? Or are you resigned to another year of failure? If you are still committed to breaking out of your box, then revisit those goals. Revise them if you must. But do not allow them to gather dust in your mind or spirit.
Here is my suggestion, read a book that has inspired me again; The Answer. It is a provocative and mind-stirring adventure that asks numerous questions about what it is that you/me/us really want out of our lives and businesses. I am now rededicating myself to the things that I have deemed important going forward toward a new stage in my life journey.
Stay on your new health regimen. Start a new business or hobby. Cut up those credit cards and really live debt free. Get that prostate or mammogram examination. This year we won’t make any more excuses; this year we get results. I look forward to hearing from you.
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One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is that I have control over my time. Oh what a feeling of freedom that is. The other day I had the opportunity to attend a track and field meet where one of my Goddaughters is a member of her high school team. It had been a few years since I had attended a meet, and it brought back fond memories of my youth. Though I have enjoyed success in various sporting endeavors, running fast or for long distances has not been one of them.
Something I witnessed during a relay race gave me reason to remain hopeful for the future. The race began with all of the first leg runners making their way toward the waiting teammates…to hand off the baton. In relay races the most important component is the proper exchange of the baton from one runner to the next. All the exchanges went as practiced except for the girls on my Goddaughters team. The second runner had left too quickly and had to practically stop and look back to grasp the baton, losing precious momentum and seconds.
The remainder of the race was uneventful, and with my Goddaughter running a swift anchor leg, their team actually came in fifth place out of the seven teams. Their determination to overcome their initial mishap was encouraging to witness. However, that was not what really touched my heart. Though that was plenty. No, it was when the girls who had botched the baton exchange came around to the finish line and were greeted with hugs by their other teammates…a true gesture of sportsmanship and friendship.
How often in our daily lives do we see past the missed handoffs with our family, friends and business associates, and remind ourselves that we will all have times where we fall short of perfection? How do we handle those moments? Will we continue to remind them of their failure? Or will we encourage them in a loving and supportive manner, knowing that we all are daily seeking to be better at our chosen tasks?
I hope that you and I will be like those high school athletes who saw the possibilities and the chance to make improvements, and refused to blame or make excuses for a less-than-perfect performance. It is just my belief, but I am willing to bet a dozen donut holes that when they race their next track meet, the exchange will be perfect. And then the real lesson will have been learned…
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“We who are in this race for riches, should be encouraged to know that this changed world in which we live is demanding new ideas, new ways of doing things, new leaders, new inventions, new methods of teaching, new methods of marketing, new books, new literature, new features for the radio, new ideas for moving pictures. Back of all this demand for new and better things, there is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning DESIRE to possess it.”
“Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill
I believe that we are in such a similar position today, in the year 2010, as existed when Mr. Hill wrote this passage from the book that has sold millions of copies worldwide. The Great Depression had devastated the country and the economy was in ruins. Yet, there were people who saw that time as one of great opportunity to create new products and services that would not only serve people, but would create prosperity and wealth for many.
The passage above is from the chapter discussing persistence. In my business career in health care and now as an entrepreneur, people have asked me what is one of the most important traits that I possess…and I always answer that I will persevere until the end. It is my belief that most people quit the race a few strides before their success was about to unfold.
This is a time in history that our grandchildren will read about and, I hope, will admire those of us who did not buy into the fear that is spread in the media, but found the courage to dream and create new ways of living and making this human experience more rewarding. Some of us will become wealthy during this time of new growth, while others will languish in despair. Which will you choose?
Start today to live fully and be the catalyst of change in your family, business, church…and DON”T QUIT!
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Don’t Drown in Debt…
It is amazing that in a time such as this where financial matters are in the forefront of everything we read, hear and discuss, that consumers knowledge of debt is at an all-time low. Known to be a rather fiscally responsible person, both personally and professionally ( not cheap ), I am glad to share an article by Dave Ramsey that may help you rethink your position on the matter of debt.
Check it out here and let me know what you think: The Truth About Debt
We are truly in a time which will require us to reevaluate our understanding of how we are to use money for the things we really NEED, not for everything that we are being SOLD. I have long been amazed at how people are led to buy things that will be out of style and/or tossed into the back of the closet before it has been fully paid for.
If you truly seek to have a better outcome for you and your family with regards to money and how to best use it, learn to walk away from at least one thing this week that you feel compelled to purchase; especially if you have to finance it by credit card.
Now, grab that life preserver and I’ll pull you back to safety.
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I am preparing to watch the movie, “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It is based upon the story of two men who have terminal diagnoses and are now setting out to do as many things as possible before they “kick the bucket.”
This caused me to think about the things that I have long desired to do in my life; skydive, hot air ballooning, visit the Great Pyramids in Egypt…and no, I do not have a terminal illness. Well, at least none that I know of yet.
If you have been a part of this blog since January of this year, you know that I am committed to getting results in my personal, professional and spiritual life. And not to make any excuses this year as to why I have not changed my way of thinking, which all of the success-oriented models show is the key to having better outcomes.
So, I ask you, what is in your bucket? What things do you really want to see, do and have this year? What are you willing to let go of to have a different/better outcome? That might mean a person who does not support your efforts to improve. It might mean your taking a class that you have put off for more years than you can remember. Maybe even making a phone call to that person whom you no longer communicate, but miss dearly.
Make your bucket list today…and check off some items. Before you lose the chance to have a say in the matter…I am off to watch the movie now. And making the phone call to schedule a hot air balloon excursion.
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