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Appreciating Human Beings

August 5, 2016 by  
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My weekly blog started out showing people how to make tons of money–I do know how to do it having made millions of dollars myself. I have also shown thousands of others how to do it and many have gone right out and used that knowledge to make their own fortunes. However, life is about so much more than making money. Having lots of money certainly does give a person a lot more choices and can enhance one’s life and those around them greatly. But the older I get the more clearly I can see the huge and lasting value we get from other human beings.

Imagine for a few minutes what it would be like if you found yourself all alone in your city wondering if you were the only human on the planet earth. How would you function? I mean other than gathering food and finding shelter, what would you do day to day? I think, like most people, I would spend all the rest of my time trying to find other human beings.

I don’t know about you but I think I would go absolutely crazy after a while if I didn’t find anyone else! Yet, I think it’s so very easy for most of us to take other human beings for granted and not fully realize how very important other people are to our lives. Other people give our lives so much meaning and happiness and push us to do great things. And let’s not forget about the love that we receive and have the chance to give to so many others. Can you imagine doing something utterly fantastic with an invention or an accomplishment and wanting to tell or show someone what you’ve done but there is nobody around for you to share it with?

I couldn’t help but think of Tom Hanks in the wonderful movie Castaway where he ended up on a deserted island and his only so-called friend is a Wilson ball that floats ashore that he constantly has conversations with just like it was another person. It just shows how desperately we need other people.

I think we all need to take time and observe and appreciate the fact that we need other people. And I’m, not talking about just people we know and love but also total strangers and even people we don’t like. If you thought you were the only person left on the earth and you came across another person, I think you would be absolutely thrilled even if that person wasn’t very likeable. Being all alone really can be miserable. The prison system knows that and uses solitary confinement as a huge punishment.

Ever since I began thinking about being the only person on earth and all the implications of living that way, I’ve really started appreciating other people–even people I really don’t care for. When I’m around those people I sometimes find miserable and ornery I quickly choose to think that if I had their upbringing and past life I’d probably be an ol’ grouch just like they are, but they still are human beings and they are important to all of us and the world.

So yes, I will continue to blog and try to share what I know about making millions but I want you to know that I greatly appreciate other human beings and I am going to work harder to go out of my way to show and demonstrate that appreciation.

 

Powerful Daily Questions

July 29, 2016 by  
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In the last few posts, I’ve been talking about Marshall Goldsmith’s great advice that you can read about in his book Mojo. He reveals ways to greatly improve your odds of lifting your Mojo (your personal happiness and fulfillment in life) and increasing your chances of making greater progress toward your goals and what you want your life to be.

One of Goldsmith’s very effective methods was to ask his friend, Jim Moore, to pose a daily list of questions that Marshall had put together. These questions included want Marshall wanted to get done and how he wanted his life to be. Both men were amazed at how well that daily questioning worked. Even though they lived miles apart and Marshall does a lot of traveling, their commitment to this has them connecting on the phone and going through the process of asking those same questions about 85% of the time. The process has kept Marshall focused and moving forward.

So if you want to greatly increase your Mojo and reach your goals, write a list of what you want to get done and how you want your life to be and then find a good friend or a close relative to ask you those questions on a regular basis. Remember that it’s important to keep track of your progress as well so you can be inspired by your success and work on the areas that might need a boost.

Although you will want to come up with your own questions, I thought Marshall’s basic 6 questions might be helpful:

“Did I do my best today to …

  1. Be Happy?
  2. Find meaning?
  3. Build positive relationships?
  4. Be fully engaged?
  5. Set clear goals?
  6. Make progress toward goal achievement?

After this list, Marshall goes on to list questions he specifically needs for himself such as, “How many minutes did you spend writing?

Then there are some health questions such as,” How many sit-ups did you do?” To which he gets to answer with statements like “Today I did 200 sit-ups at once. Not bad for a 64-year-old guy.” You know that has to be encouraging!

As for work, it might be “With how many clients are you current on your follow-ups?”

Then there’s family and relationships. “Did you say or do something nice for your wife? How about your son or daughter?”

In the book he also asks himself, “Why does this process work so well?”  The answer is that it forced him and his friend Jim to “confront how we actually live our values every day. We either believe that something matters or we don’t.  If we believe it, we can put it on the list and do it! If we really don’t want to do it, we can face reality and quit kidding ourselves.”

The above is just a brief sample. Your list should be much longer but how long depends on what you want to get done in your life.

Marshall asked his wife, Lyda, a psychologist, if she thought this process would work as well with a computer-generated list of questions instead of sharing with another person.  She said, “No, it is a lot easier to blow-off a computer than another person.”

So the bottom line for you and me is to start making our list and then find a friend to help, the kind of friend that you trust and one that won’t criticize you when you fall short of your goals and ambitions. You can do likewise for your friend and together you can really build up your Mojo!

 

 

Small Things and Metrics for Increased Mojo

July 22, 2016 by  
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I’ve got a little bit more to share with you about building your Mojo—that level of happiness and zest for life you have. As I mentioned in the last couple posts, there are a number of things you can do to greatly increase your Mojo as described by Marshal Goldsmith in his book MOJO, How to Get it, How to Keep it and How to Get it Back.

One particularly great Mojo builder for me is to be proactive and make things happen that can lead to greater happiness and more fulfillment in your life. For instance, the other day I asked my old friend Lynn Lehmann to go to lunch. Lynn is a great guy and has done many big things in his life including being a talented radio announcer and both writing and producing for TV. At lunch, our conversation and interaction raised my Mojo by stimulating my mind and enhancing the friendship we have. I think the meeting helped increase his Mojo as well.

In this case, having a great conversation was a relatively small thing I did to increase my Mojo but it only happened because I made it happen. Being proactive by asking people to go to lunch, planning a party, or setting up a golf or tennis outing is pretty simple and the interaction can do wonders for your Mojo.

Another trick that helps all of us improve our Mojo is to use metrics. Metrics are measurements of our progress and, yes, even our failures. Goldsmith says, “We all employ personal metrics to measure our progress during the day. If we’re on a diet, our metric is stepping on the bathroom scale each morning. If we’re trying to quit smoking, we’ll count the number of cigarettes we light up each day. If we’re training for a marathon, we’ll track our weekly mileage. If a number can be attached to it, we’ll measure it. The most pervasive metric, of course, involves money: how much of it we’re earning, how much we’ve saved, how much others are earning, and so on.”

Goldsmith goes to say that, for the most part, we tend to ignore and not measure the negative stuff that is not to our liking and that’s not good for us. He suggests that measuring the “bad numbers” is precisely what we need to do more often. Measuring only positive progress is like surrounding ourselves with sycophants as it is “good for the ego perhaps but not the most accurate picture of how we’re doing.”

So my bottom line advice is for all of us to be more proactive and to start using metrics of both the positive and negative things to see how it ramps up our Mojo. Then next week we’ll talk about Goldsmith’s great advice when it comes to having another person give you feedback and how it greatly increases your chances of success.

 

Celebrating Life

February 5, 2016 by  
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I just flew from Kauai into Salt Lake City. Yep from the beach and palm trees to snow and cold—brrr! We are staying in Utah for just a few days. We made this special quick trip from paradise to the snow country of Park City and Deer Valley Utah for the grand celebration of the life of the legendary world champion skier and our dear, wonderful friend, Stein Eriksen.  In my January 2nd blog I talked about my 2016 New Year’s Resolution to follow Stein and Francoise example of being a great friend; my goal is to be a much better friend and cultivate more and more friends.

When you live 88 years as Stein did, a celebration of life makes so much more sense than that thing they call a ‘funeral’.  My message this week is a simple one.  Life is so very short and no one knows when their life is going to end but we all know that it will end at some point.  So to have a fuller life, we all need to celebrate each and every day. Or as my license plate on my new Tesla reads, “CARPIDM” which is an abbreviated version of ‘carpe diem’ which, of course, means ‘seize the day’.

Let’s set a goal to make every day count and make every day a celebration of our lives and spread that celebration and up beat feeling to all those around us. And do more of that celebration with our family and friends.  Live in the now! We all know we should do that so let’s be more aware of the importance of living in the now and in today and do it every day.  Remember, even if you live to be 100 years old that’s only 36,500 days and for me that only leaves 10,160, so I certainly need to practice what I am now preaching to you!

 

 

A DIFFERENT TYPE OF NEWS YEAR RESOLUTION

January 2, 2016 by  
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In most years past I, and probably you too, have set new year’s resolutions to make more money, get in better physical shape, or to scratch off another item on your bucket list but I had a major brain change a couple of days ago because of a very sad event. A man I consider my older brother passed away on December 27th. I had wanted an older brother ever since my actual older blood brother died right in front of me when I was all of 15. Stein Eriksen was Norwegian and maybe because of me being part Norwegian we hit it off big time many, many years ago. He was no doubt the most famous skier on the planet and was considered the founder of modern skiing. He won a silver and a gold medal in the 1952 Olympics and 3 gold medals in world championships in 1954. But all that fame and the money that followed was not the best part of this man. He the nicest, gentlest and kindest guy you would ever want to meet and you couldn’t ask for a better friend.

Stein was 88 years old and still full of life until the very end. In fact, 16 days before he passed we spent the evening with him celebrating his birthday along with his wonderful and beautiful French wife, Francoise, their son Bjorn and 2 other friends. He was the life of the party. My wife Kimberly and I had also had the great privilege of traveling the world with Stein and his wife. We skied together in Park City, Utah, and played tennis everywhere from his cabin in Montana to Gstaad, Switzerland. We often played with the famous tennis champion Roy Emerson, the very man who introduced Stein to Francoise many, many years before. We even cycled around the islands of Croatia when Stein was in his early 80’s. And I will never forget the long barge trip we took on the scenic Seine river in France. Francoise, being French, made it even more special and, yes, we did tip back a few glasses of good ol’ French red wine.

This past Saturday we got a call from Francoise telling us that Stein had been in the hospital. She said they were sending him home to live his last days and we had better come to the house as soon as possible. By the time we got to the house he was semi-conscious. We tried to communicate with him but the most he could do was wiggle his toes trying to answer some yes and no questions. The next day he was totally unconscious and with his family and a few of his friends at his bedside, this great and wonderful man slipped into what lies next. My incredible friend and big brother was gone.

Stein’s death really didn’t hit me until the next day. Those last two days in his bedroom I found myself being the comforter to his wife and family to the best of my abilities, but the day after he died I fell apart and a piece of me died. I had lost another big brother.

Now as I face a new year when I usually set new year’s resolutions that revolve around money, health and travel, I have a totally new perspective. I want to follow in Stein’s footsteps and gather more friends and, most importantly, be a better friend to others. Money, success, and fame are little tiny things when compared to good friends. Yes, these resolutions are hard to quantify but that’s ok. I’m going after them with all my heart and all my energy.

Next week, I am going to talk about why so many people set resolutions but fall short virtually every year. You might be surprised at what science has found when it comes to this subject.

Accountable Goals for 2016

December 26, 2015 by  
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As pretty much everyone knows, this time of year is so super busy it can be the most stressful time of the year.  There is an automatic built in deadline for all of us and as you read this we’ve just past that automatic deadline that’s called Christmas. The 25th of December is a goal that the world has set for all of us. That date pushes all of us to get many tasks done and in a way that is a good thing.

So now as we finish this year of 2015, most of us start thinking what the next year will be like and what is it that we want to accomplish.  We start thinking about what goals we want to set for ourselves and, if we are wise, we put deadlines on our goals which pushes us to reach those goals within that self-imposed deadline.  If we tell other people what our goals are and the deadline dates, that is usually very helpful because those friends and relatives can help push us and keep us on track by asking how we are doing and if we are on track for completing our goals on time.

I couldn’t help but think of that late last night at a party, when I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t written this week’s blog and I had told my editor that I would have a draft to her by last night. Ouch.  So first thing this morning I got right on the task of writing this blog that you are now reading. Outside help can really keep us on track.

Additionally, last night someone asked me what my goals were for 2016. They knew I was big on goal setting and they also set goals for themselves and push their kids to do the same. My answer was that my biggest goal for the new year was to push myself for better and better health.  Now that I’m almost 72 years old I see, more and more, how important health is. I’m already in darn good shape and came so very close to a 10 mile a day goal I had set for myself in 2015 that included running, walking and playing tennis. But in 2016 I’m going to raise the bar to an even higher level and add some tough weight lifting goals since I know that extra muscle will increase my metabolism and of course make me look and feel better and stronger.

So my challenge to you is take time to think through what you want to accomplish in this coming year and be sure, as I’ve preached over and over again, to write down what those goals are and then be sure to put a time frame or a deadline on your goals. To help yourself along, tell friends and or relatives what those goals are and ask for their help. That combination is a sure fire way to make your goals a reality.

 

The Magic of Nature and the Human Connection

July 10, 2015 by  
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I’ve been hiking up Millcreek Canyon ever since it turned so very hot here in Salt Lake City. It’s been 100 plus degrees on many days.  And let me tell you, the Millcreek Canyon hike is something to behold and as a big plus the trail I take has a wonderful canopy of trees blocking the sun for probably 80% of the hike. There is something magical about the great outdoors and for me it’s even more magical in the mountains or on the beach.  I don’t know what it is but I’m sure scientist have an explanation for what nature does to our brains that lifts and jump starts our spirits to a much higher level.  If you don’t believe me, the next time you are a bit down in the dumps, just take a walk outside, preferably in the mountains, on the beach, or at least out in the country side, and see if you don’t find your mood changed.

For me there is an extra boost to my mind, mood and spirit when I hike trails where others are hiking.  As I’ve talked about before, I love to drop $2 dollar bills on the trail when I see a father or mother hiking with small children–ideally in that 6 to 10 age range.  If you give a 3 year old a $2 dollar bill they don’t know what it is and usually drop it in a short time. They need to be old enough to understand what they’ve found.

My normal routine is to say to the parents as they are approaching, “Hey, have you taught your kids to pick up paper or litter when they see it on the ground?” and then I drop the money and keep walking and I hear the kids shouting out in delight and almost always the kids also scream out a big “Thank you!” Wow. Does that ever warm my heart! The kids love it but I think I love it more and get more out of it than they do.

I also love to meet people when I am out on my usual 2 or 3 hour hikes and that also lifts my spirits.  I have some standard lines that I use over and over because they usually work to start a short conversation or a quick exchange of pleasantries.  For instance, as I am approaching couples, whether young or old, with the guy in front and the gal behind, I say to the guy as I pass, “Hey, don’t look now but there is a beautiful lady following you.” That always brings big smiles and an exchange of upbeat comments.  They love it and so do I.

With these few words and small gestures, spirits are lifted. Plus it sometimes leads both parties to stop and have a short upbeat chat.  Yesterday I used one of my other standard lines when I’m on a particularly steep part of the hike and passing people.  I simply ask “Hey, how much further to the 7-11?” It usually brings a big laugh but yesterday it also lead to a conversation and a big coincidence.

After saying this to two ladies who laughed at my comment, I noted the younger woman had a French accent so I asked her where she was from. After telling me she lived a couple hundred kilometers north of Paris, I told her we love Paris and France and have a very, very good friend from Normandy by the name of Franchoise and she is married to the skiing legend Stein Eriksen. When I mentioned this, the older lady said “Hey, I know who you are, Mark Haroldsen, the author. And I know Franchoise. Her son plays tennis with my son.” So again that brief encounter lifted our spirits with a nice conversation and a fun coincidence and we all walked away with smiles on our faces.

The bottom line here is that I think all of us should get out in nature more and go out of our way to meet other human beings.  It’s a win-win and as I preach this to you, believe me, I am preaching it to myself to do more of that!

 

 

 

A Profound and Particular Connection

June 12, 2015 by  
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My wife and I recently visited the home of the famous painter Rembrandt, here in Amsterdam. Rembrandt was quite an astute businessman as well as a gifted artist. Unfortunately he wasn’t home when we stopped by—ha ha–but his beautiful artwork was everywhere and it was pretty darn impressive, I must say.

I also had a very short but interesting conversation with a friendly guard at the Rembrandt home.  It all started with a favorite comment of mine that I made as we parted ways. It really seemed to get to him but in a good way.  I said “Have a nice life!” And he enthusiastically said “Wow. Thanks a lot. I think I will plan on doing just that”.  That started the short conversation. But my next comment seemed to really hit a nerve, again, in a good way as he went on to say he’d never thought of the life of human beings in the way I said it.

What I said was simply that I think that all of us humans, even though we are from different countries, cultures, religions and speak different languages, we are all so very much the same. We all share at least one thing in common that should bring us even closer together as humans, especially in today’s world with the killing of so many innocent people in the name of “belief” or different world views.  He wanted to know what that ‘one thing’ was that we all share no matter who we are, what we believe or where we live.

What I said was, “No matter who you are, whether you are rich or poor, educated or not, as powerful as king or a president or as helpless as a new born child, we all are going to die.”  I know that is obvious but it’s something we should think about more often when we are feeling high and mighty or are judging other people and what they are doing with their lives.  The fact is that not one person out of the 7 billion people on the earth right now will be here in another 120 years or so. We all are in the same boat so why not make that the best possible boat in the universe and treat others as our brothers and sisters with great love and respect?

As we walked away from this very kind and interesting Dutch man, I think both he and I thought, “I think I have a new friend”.

 

A Kindness in Flight

March 6, 2015 by  
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A few weeks ago I clicked on my dear friend Richard Paul Evan’s blog and read the story of a flight he was on where he observed a random act of kindness. His story brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to share it with my readers as well. So please click here to read the story. You will be so very glad that you did.

Richard Evans blog header 030315

 

Fast Track to Billion$ with Friends

February 20, 2015 by  
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I hope you saw the great wisdom of Brian Tracy’s words of advice of to surround yourself with the ‘right people’ aka RP.  (See my February 13th blog post.)  Those ‘right people’ are, for you, the people that have excelled in an area of life that you want to be super successful in as well.

When I was young it was all about money and, yes, a little bit of fame too. I must admit that excelling in the money department and my path to multi millions couldn’t have been done without the help, coaching and direction of certain RP in my life.  Those people were a god send. Knowing them paid off really big time for me.

But my climb up the money mountain has been eclipsed by a young man who read my first book, How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You.  This university student started with nothing but quickly saw the genius behind the RP idea and was smart enough to approach a his own set of people. His RP helped push him to buy income producing property now worth3 billion dollars. Whereas I mainly approached people that could coach me and direct me this young guy approached super wealthy people and brought them in as partners.  In addition to his real estate empire he paid north of 70 million dollars in cash for the professional soccer team Real Salt Lake. This young man’s name is Dell Loy Hansen.

Part of the key to Dell’s success was taking good care of his partners. He made these great deals with them and so they in turn told others about their success including people with money. Having more people willing to invest with him allowed him to buy more and bigger properties.

So whatever your dreams are, if you want to hit it big, the path is much shorter and faster if you find the RP to surround yourself with and to work with. I also want to stress that there are many, many other good reasons to seek out and associate with those RP and for reasons much more valuable than money. I’m talking about the great life-long friendships you make and the wonderful warm relationships and experiences those alone can bring.

 

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