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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”.

 

The Powers of Two

May 23, 2015 by  
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So how do you make your world bigger and really live ‘large’? Probably the very biggest key to living large is through other people. Unfortunately there is a big misconception when it comes to seeing other people that seem to be living very large and have achieved super success. When we see someone who has come up with a great new invention, a super creative piece of artwork or, for that matter, a new and very successful business, most people think it came from a single person’s mind who has been working alone and has had a mental breakthrough. I certainly used to believe and think that, but if you and I take a closer look, we’ll see that it just ain’t so.

Recently I heard Joshua Shenk on NPR radio talking about some very famous people and world changing technological breakthroughs along with great works of art all of which came not from one brilliant person working alone but from 2 or more people joining their brains and forces to come up with heretofore unheard of successes. Shenk has written a book called Powers of Two and what a great book it is! He talks about great people like Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs, George Lucas and Vincent Van Gogh along with a number of others. It turns out that the key to their super success was hooking up with another person and the power of what those 2 brains could come up with equaled genius and huge breakthroughs.

Those breakthroughs Joshua talks about may never have happened if those people had not met the right person at the right time. For Paul McCartney the breakthrough came when he met and worked with John Lennon which later spawned the Beatles. For Steve Jobs it was hooking up with Steve Wozniak when one was a teenager and the other was only 20 years old. And for filmmaker George Lucas, it was his wife Marcia Lucas who was his secret weapon. Lastly, there’s a very good chance that you and I would probably never have known the name Vincent Van Gogh if it were not for a guy named Theo, Vincent’s brother.

The author goes on to make an undeniable case that most great and important breakthroughs that we think came from one genius working alone came from the ‘Powers of Two’. Later Joshua Shenk talks about how critical it is for you and I to go out and find our “tribe” and to hook up with others that we truly connect with. Sometimes it’s people like ourselves and sometimes people that are very different from us but they hit certain of our hot buttons that lift us to a much higher level and push us to fulfill our great potential. Next week I’ll talk about ways to find our “tribe”, those people that we really connect with and where to go to hook up with those than can help us create and benefit from the ‘Powers of Two’.

 

A Passionate Book Report

March 13, 2015 by  
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Last week I had lunch at Duke’s on Kalapaki beach in Kauai.  If you have been to Kauai you probably know the place. A friend of mine in Salt Lake City, Tom Roughton, told his cousin, Jeff Rahill, that I was on the island and suggested we have lunch since we both had done extremely well by buying beat up properties and fixing them up.  At the end of our delightful lunch I gave Jeff a copy of my latest book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living and jokingly told him there was a  book report, double-spaced and graded on a curve, due in 2 weeks.  We both laughed but then would you believe, two weeks later there it was a 5 page, single-spaced, book report on my computer screen!

I was very surprised how well it was written and how it was spot on in commenting on the most important points of the book.  Reading Jeff’s comments reignited my own passion.  Of course part of it may have been the fact that he loved my book and that stroked my ego but it also motivated me to refocus on the book’s lessons—to do more, be more and stick with my big goals and even add more goals to my list.

So I thought I’d share with you some of Jeff’s comments and wisdom and see if it stirs you up as well:

“I wanted to tell you that I just finished reading your book and will at least give you my comments–even though it’s not exactly a book report.”

“I’ve believed for many years that goal setting is the key to getting what you want, so your book resonated with me in its premise and in many of the details.”

“’Return to Exuberance.’ Yes, I would like to get back the exuberance I felt at a young age, probably sixth grade, or in my twenties, for me. I agree that the dreams or goals have to be big.”

“’Short Life Needs Big Passion.’ The older we get, the more we realize how short life is.  We are here, and gone, in a speck of time.  I didn’t have a goal as a young person to have a million dollars or anything like that. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I even started to keep track of what I had, and at that point it was more ‘keeping track’ than setting a monetary goal. I kept track of my net worth every year, but didn’t hit one million until I was 50.”

“…..we all need a dream list.  I’ve often put pictures up on my bulletin board, in front of me all day, of the things I like. It keeps me dreaming, and that’s the first step toward it becoming reality.”

Next week I want to share some more of Jeff’s thinking and wisdom from his ‘book report’. Think on these initial comments in the meantime and see if it starts a spark of motivation in you. You can order the book as well right here on our website. Just click!

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.

 

Our Circle of Very Special People

September 14, 2012 by  
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A couple weeks ago we drove to the annual Stein Eriksen “Trollhaugen Tennis Tournament” in Montana. Before I went I worked my buns off. Okay … some of what I had to do might not fit your definition of work since a lot of it was using the tennis ball machine to work on and improve my backhand and forehand but  I also did cram in a bunch of office work. In that time I wrote up a complicated contract, worked on a refinance of my Kauai house and made an offer on 3 new Family Dollar stores. All that office work and the tennis workouts were crammed into two days which made it a couple of frenzied days but it also make the tennis tournament all the more rewarding–even though I didn’t win. It was a ‘break’ that was all the more prized because of that hard work, just as I’ve been saying the last couple weeks.

Going to this tournament is actually not so much about the tennis as it is about the wonderful friends and great conversations. I mention this event on page 134 of my book “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living“. There is even a picture of the Eriksen’s and us in the book. Most of the people we see at the tournament are friends we only see once a year but still those once a year friends have become very close and dear to us over the last 15 years that we’ve been going.

Stein Eriksen (the 1952 Olympic ski gold medalist and world cup champ) along with his wonderful wife Francoise and son Bjorn are an inspiration to me. They have such an incredible ability to surround themselves with many very dynamic, successful, kind and gentle friends. I just hope over the rest of my life I can come even close to doing the same thing that the Eriksen’s have done.

There are few loftier goals, in my opinion and experience, that a person could set for themselves than to have many great, successful and kind people as friends. Surrounding yourself with these types of people is inspiring, motivating and so very fulfilling. You can never have too many so I say let’s go out and work on increasing our circle of very special people.

Gold Medal Friends

August 17, 2012 by  
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I am sure all would agree there is nothing in the world more precious than family and good friends. Here is the story of a true “Gold Medal Friend.”

To my 96 year old super step mom Merle and our many, many great “Gold Medal Friends!” I hope you enjoy this great story that ran in the Salt Lake Tribune on Monday about another gold medalist, this time it was an Olympic Gold Medal In Friendship and it may have even saved my wife Kimberly’s life.

A friend always, Mark O.

We Make a Wonderful Life Together

May 25, 2012 by  
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Last week I mentioned going to your family and friends for help as you try to figure out what you need in your life to be successful. These very important people in your life know you, sometimes a little better than you do, and their support is so very important to keep you motivated and keep your spirit up when things get rough. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this past week.

Yesterday, my wife Kimberly and I flew out to Boston in order for her to get surgery from the best medical team in the country for what she’s dealing with. We’ve had such overwhelming support from family and friends as we’ve prepared for this. One of our dear friends, Dr. Kellee Shea, wife of the 2002 Olympic gold medal winner Jimmy Shea, is flying out to Boston to be with my wife and be her advocate at the hospital. Isn’t it just wonderful when friends will go to that length to support you?

It’s not just Dr. Shea though. We have all kinds of friends from all different backgrounds and beliefs–Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, Methodist, Buddhist, Hindu etc. putting Kimberly’s name in their prayers, temples, synagogues, and meditation rooms. All I can say to them is thank you so very much for caring and with all that spiritual power I am sure all will go well.

It’s times like these that make you stop and think … how would we ever make it in this life if we were all alone without the support of family and friends? These people are so valuable to you, to your goals, and to the quality of your life. So go to these people and get their help. And, to improve your life even more, be there when they need you and be sure they know you are there for them. We make a wonderful life for ourselves, not on our own, but together.

What topics would you like to read more about? What are your favorite posts you’ve read so far? Help me make this blog as helpful as possible to you and the other readers by letting me know what you’d like to read more of at marko@reincome.com. —MOH.

The Right Kind of People

October 28, 2011 by  
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We are in Portugal cycling this week. What a great place, great wines and great people. Earlier in the week we spent a fantastic evening with Julio Bastos and wife Isabelle at their incredible estate. The Bastos are maybe the 3rd richest family in Portugal. They wined and dined us in their castle-like home, complete with waiters and cooks that waited on us hand and foot.

If you Google Julio Tassara de Bastos you’ll find an impressive list of endeavors and success primarily in the production and export of wine. Although I don’t deal in wine myself (I do, however, drink my share!) I jumped at the chance to meet this successful couple and speak with them because they are the right kind of people to know. I was even more assured of this after our evening together. They were very warm and friendly people–not at all stuffy like some super wealthy people–and they even expressed sincere enthusiasm about eventually reading my books. It’s that kind of openness in people that make them so valuable as business contacts as well as friends.

I guess the real lesson here is not what you know but who you know, and what kind of people you come to connect with. It’s rather simple. Hang out with the right people and they will lead you to more of the right people and who knows what may come from that.

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