Well, did you start doing it? Did you start looking for a house to buy as an investment or a place to live and profit from today’s super low interest rates? If you don’t know what I’m talking about go read my blog post from last week entitled “Money Money Money”. Maybe I should have called it “Low Rates Low Rates Low Rates”.
If you are already in a very comfortable place financially and either don’t need to or don’t want to make some easy money (I probably shouldn’t call it “easy money” it’s more like “simple money” because it does take work!), then may I suggest you talk to your kids or friends that may not be so comfortable but have the drive, desire and energy. You can be a major financial mentor for them and they will love you for doing it and you will get a ton of satisfaction knowing that you directed them and helped them.
I receive so many messages from people coast to coast and even from foreign countries, thanking me for my financial advice, for giving them the motivation to get up and get moving and for making good financial things happen in their lives. There are not many things in the world that give a person more satisfaction and contentment than knowing you’ve helped someone make major improvements in their lives.
And I’m not talking just about money. Just helping people believe in themselves and motivating them to be proactive in any and every part of their lives is what it is really about. Having a solid financial situation is certainly a good thing and can help in a myriad of ways but there is more to life than money. Bottom line … help others to reach their goals with encouragement and constant support. You will get your reward in the happiness it brings you to see them bring about what is important to them into their lives.
Well, I’ve been traveling again–Paris and Serbia and Montenegro. As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I love to travel because of the stimulation it gives my mind and my spirit. The newness of the experiences and the variety of the places and cultures all combine to inspire and energize me. But there is one thing I don’t find much different from place to place … people.
As much as we might want to imagine it, people around the world are, at their center, pretty much the same. I know that in my experience most people are good and kind and want to help regardless of race, religion or country. We all have this binding similarity that is all too easily forgotten—we are all human and we all want the same basic thing … to be happy.
That’s why it’s so upsetting when I read in the news about people segregating themselves from each other. Whether it’s Muslims feeling hurt by what they are told about the US or the 99% trying to make it look like the 1% are another species, what would really help is for us all to stop and think that each person has the capacity for love and caring as well as hate, each individual is someone’s child, each of us are struggling with pain and misunderstanding and desire. That is who these ‘other’ people are.
Knowing this I am not at all surprised as I travel to meet smiling faces and kind gestures in every country and every culture I get to experience. I think if we expect animosity we will find animosity but if we expect compassion and generosity, it will be there for us to find.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. —MOH.
The Dalai Lama said two very profound things in his book The Compassionate Life
“The moment you think only of yourself, the focus of your whole reality narrows, and because of this narrow focus, uncomfortable things can appear huge and bring you fear and discomfort and a sense of feeling overwhelmed by misery”.
Then next he said, “The moment you think of others with a sense of caring, however, your view widens. Within that wider perspective, your own problems appear to be of little significance …”
That difference, a singular shift in how you choose to look upon the world, influences both your mental and physical health. There, in a nutshell, is one of the biggest and best lessons of life—keep everyone and everything in a positive perspective.
But how do you gain that perspective, if you find you are dwelling mostly on you and your problems? You program yourself through the use of positive affirmations.
I began repeating the following every morning and I immediately noticed a difference in my conversations and relationships — it gave me a new and immensely genuine level of interest in other people’s lives and challenges and it’s a very simple statement: “I love people and I carefully listen to them.”
Loving and getting along with other people is so very critical. The effect on your mental health is probably easy to imagine but there are also studies showing a strong connection between how we interact with people and our physical health. The more positive you are about others and how you relate to them, the more positive an impact this will have on you both mentally and physically.
Choose the above PA or create one that truly strikes you and repeat several times every day. Keeping focused on others will make life better for both them and you.
On the eve of our Christmas weekend, I have to say my thoughts are very much with my family. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive, fun, and loving family. I know many of you feel the same way. But on the other hand, I have known too many people that don’t have strong bonds with their relatives. The reasons for this are all over the map but in the end, these reasons aren’t as relevant as realizing what family really means and being with your true family on the holidays.
The phrase “Home is where the heart is” can be easily transformed into “Family is where the heart is”. It’s the same thing. I saw a news segment this week about a gentleman who won the lottery but without even a bit of hesitation has already determined he will not be leaving his job. Why? Because, he says, his work crew is his family. That is where he feels he belongs and no amount of money is going to buy him that feeling anywhere else. I thought that was great.
I hope you all are able to be at the place where your heart lies this weekend, where the people who make you feel loved and that you belong among them are gathered around you. If it’s not actually your relatives, then hopefully you are surrounding yourself with those friends who know you well, the people you laugh with and the people who are there for you 24/7. This weekend, I hope you are exactly where you want to be and make sure all those around you know how much they are loved and appreciated.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.
Last week I was at Wal-Mart and a single mom in line just in front of me was holding a few extra items as the clerk added up the bill. She kept asking what the total was as she anxiously clutched the extra possible purchases. When the total got to 40 dollars she told the clerk that would be all and she laid the other items aside saying she only had 40 dollars.
As she paid for her purchases, I reached over and pushed the items she was leaving behind over to my pile. “I want to buy those items for my new friend,” I told the clerk. I bought them and handed them to her and, wow … she thanked me over and over again. And so did the clerk!
I walked out of the store feeling on top of the world. You’d think I had given her 1000 dollars although it was in reality only a $7.49 gift. On the other hand, it felt like a million dollars in satisfaction and warm feelings for me.
Even though I have done this type of thing many times before and for a lot more money, it never fails to feel like a unique and special experience. This last experience felt especially wonderful. Maybe it was that look in her eye that let me know this truly made a difference for her this holiday season–not just because of the few dollars I spent but because a complete stranger cared enough to help. She said Merry Christmas to me several times as she took her 7 year old daughter by the hand (who, of course, had a new 2 dollar bill that I had given her for “good Luck” like I so often do.)
I know a whole lot of people who do this same thing–there was a report on the news recently about a rash of anonymous people going into Wal-Marts and paying off layaways for complete strangers, some spending thousands of dollars so they could help multiple families! What I did was not unique but it might be for some of my readers. So I thought I ought to remind you all, once again, that if you have never done this type of thing to go out and give it a try. You will be so surprised at the great feeling that it gives you and the stranger that receives your gift. Try it at least once. I promise you’ll love it.
I wanted to mention this book that Craig Horton, who I shared a letter from in my post last week, recommended. It’s a powerful book about mentorship titled “A Game Plan for Life-The Power of Mentoring” by John Wooden and Don Yaeger. Craig considers this one of the most powerful books he’s ever read. He’s not the only one.
The retired basketball player and coach mentored and inspired unknown numbers of people through his work as a coach and through his publications and lectures. In this, his last book, he first focuses on the people who helped foster his values then, through interviews excerpts, he turns the reader’s attention to number of his most successful mentorees, giving us an inside view of the affect good mentoring can have on an individual, not just as athletes but as human beings. Wooden is particularly focused on being successful without having to sacrifice principles. That is a focus I am behind 200%.
I really like Wooden’s philosophies and know you’d get something out of reading this book if you take what he says to heart. You see, how well you live is not purely about the success you have, even though in your mind and actions, it sure seems like it. The real measure of a successful life is how much you improve the lives of others. You can do this by sharing your success—be it monetary, career, personal, emotional, relationship, etc.–with others in ways that help them achieve and fulfill their lives as well.
This past week, a very influential woman died. She was influential not because she had a direct impact on your life or mine, but because she shaped the life of someone who does have a direct impact on people all over the world–that was Hilary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham.
It’s truly amazing, when you think that the actions of one person can have affected the entire globe. I am certain Secretary Clinton would not be where she is today if her mother had not been the kind of person she was. Hilary Clinton has said that her mother had taught her to stand up for herself and to stand up for those who needed help. Instilling those values in her daughter is a huge reason why we have this very strong and determined US Secretary of State right now. I doubt Dorothy Rodham thought to herself, as she was raising her kids, “I better make sure they know how to stand up for themselves because some day they may have to do it in front of the whole world.” But the fact that she did has had an effect on our world’s history.
I just wanted you think about that. You never know what kind of effect you are going to have. You affect your kids, colleagues, friends and even strangers you run into and you have no idea how huge or small your influence will be. So consider that what you do, how you impact the people around you, and what you teach those that look up to you may very well have long reaching consequences. Knowing that, don’t you think we all should really concentrate on having a positive, uplifting and encouraging demeanor and when we pass on any bits of wisdom, be sure that we are more likely to push people to do right by those they know and for themselves?
I can think of several people I have meet through the years that affected me greatly including Curtis Carlson and Paul Meyer who I write about in my book, “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living”. My books, this blog, and all the little projects I have going on that aim to help others are a result of the influence of great individuals like these. If you haven’t read about them yet, get the book here and be influenced then go out and influence other is a huge, positive way.