Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a huge believer in setting goals. Of course that’s the major them of my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. Goal setting grabbed my attention in a very big way even back when I was in high school.
As a pole vaulter then and in college my goals were in feet and inches. As soon as I reached a certain height, I would set a new goal a few inches higher–from 10 feet 6 inches to 10 feet 9 inches then 11 feet. After a ton or work, trying over and over again, I finally was consistently clearing 12 feet and eventually I peaked out at 14 feet 1 inch. Back then, in 1962, the world record was just over 16 feet, so I wasn’t doing too badly. But, no, I didn’t set the world record. Still setting those goals kept me completely engaged and excited about life. Such physical, self-competitive goals aren’t the only goals that can do that for you. Just about any goal will do that for you if it’s something you really want.
To get that jazzed feeling every day, be sure to constantly set goals for yourself. It will keep you passionate about your life and living and of course there is a Big Bonus in that you end up accomplishing so many things. So my message this week is push yourself to set more goals, and tough goals, in all parts of your life –physical, mental, family, charitable and, yes, don’t forget financial goals. I promise you as you do this you will enjoy each hour and each day more.
By the way, as you may already know, it helps to tell people that are close to you (as long as they are positive people) what goals you have set for yourself because when you know they are watching, you are more likely to stick with them and they also can act as a cheer leader for you. I myself have been sharing with you my goal of working out every day until I turned 70 and just knowing I told you about that makes even more dedicated. I just can’t let you down.
So you know. I am still on track with that goal which is 46 weeks from now. I was sick one day last week and hurt my back on another day but I still got a work out in. Yes it hurt physically but, wow, I sure got a huge mental boost from sticking with my goal! That’s 83 out of 84 days that I have kept up my work outs. Pretty good! Now, what goal do you have?
Last week I talked a bit about how you think about death, how it can affect your health and how you live now. Your brain is a very powerful organ, operating beyond your conscious thoughts. You can use its vast abilities to feel better as well as live better.
In the book “Super Brain” Deepak Chopra and his co-author Rudolph Tanzi write that you need to train your brain to do what you want it to do. “The minute you say “My memory isn’t what it used to be.” or “I can’t remember a thing today.” You are programing your brain to “live up to your diminished expectations.”
The authors go on to say “The 1st rule of Super Brain is that your brain is always eavesdropping on your thoughts.” So the lesson here is we all need to be very aware of our thoughts. We need to monitor them and then move them to the where we want them to go so our brains operate on healthy and positive ideas.
Lately I have been saying to myself “I’m starting to feel younger and healthier by the day—frickin’ A!” and I am actually beginning to believe it! My brain is overhearing these thoughts and operating based on them.
Our wise authors also say “You are not your brain.” When you are acting as the leader of your brain you can actively reprogram your own neurochemistry and even genetic activity, no longer indentured to mood disorders. So the huge key here is:
Be aware of your thoughts and direct them the way you want!
I got a very shocking and sobering email from the wife of a very dear friend a few days ago, a good friend, who is a doctor and in excellent health. His urine had turned very dark and his skin was jaundiced. At the hospital he found out he had a tumor in his bile duct that leads out of the pancreas. Not good! A few days ago he had a very complicated 9 hour surgery in which they took out part of his pancreas, stomach, duodenum and the gall bladder. It was shocking to hear this since my good friend kept himself in great shape. He has, from all his friends and family, wonderful support and encouragement. We know he’s a tough guy and are hoping and praying he’ll be ok.
Quite naturally this got me thinking about my own health and that inevitable end of the road for myself and yes, every one of you who are reading this blog. “Ouch,” you may say. “I don’t want to think about that.” But we all do—and we should—only there is a good way and a bad way to think about death. One way helps you and the other hurts you.
In the book “Super Brain” Deepak Chopra and his co-author Rudolph Tanzi write “If you are afraid of death, it is bad for your body– not because death looms so darkly but because the fear of anything is toxic.” They go on to say “Some cultures, such as Tibetan Buddhism, offer extensive preparation for death and a highly detailed theology of various heavens and hells.” Which they use to help people face and accept their own death. The authors say the path to making peace with death might look something like this:
1. “I don’t think about death. It’s pointless.”
2. “The main thing is to live your life right this minute.”
3. “Anyway, I secretly don’t believe I will grow old and die.”
4. “To be honest, I don’t think about dying because it’s too scary.”
5. “I’ve seen death of a friend, family member, or pet. I know I have to face it someday.”
6. “I am beginning to feel calmer about the whole issue. I can look at death without running away.”
7. “Dying happens to everyone. It’s better to approach it calmly with eyes open.”
8. “I’ve felt the first serious twinges of mortality. It’s time to face it.”
9. “I find I am actually interested in what death is all about.”
10. “It’s possible to embrace dying as a natural stage of life–and I have.”
As you the read through these stages of thinking about death, try to think back to when you were young (assuming that you are no longer in that category) and notice how close these 10 stages may come to your own thinking back then and now. Have your thoughts changed dramatically?
The bottom line is you don’t need to fear death. It will come so fearing it is rather pointless. Instead, focus on the now, on what you are doing every moment of your life, filling it with purposeful, gratifying thoughts and activities. Living a good life makes fearing death unnecessary.
Next week, we’ll talk a little more about what Deepak and Rudolph have to say about keeping your mind young so you can get the most out of every moment of your life.
Last week I gave you the first step you need to take towards making your fortune. I hope you’ve started that first step or at least put in place a savings plan you can get started with in the New Year!
Now onto your next step …
Step 2. Go out and make offers on dozens of potential bargain properties.
Remember last week how I told you that timing is so very important? Well, this is what I mean–right now we are at a 50 year low when it comes to mortgage interest rates and as everyone knows home prices have dropped by 30% to 50%. At the same time rental vacancies have dropped which has pushed rental rates up. All that adds up to perfect timing and great opportunities.
This step is key to taking advantage of that “Partners Capital” concept that I hope you are seriously considering as part of your first step. The key to getting good partners to join you is to have a property “tied up” before you pitch the deal to them. Why? Because it’s so much easier to ask someone “Would you join me and take on a 50% (or 75%) interest in this property I found?” if you are giving specifics on the property as well. If you can start a pitch by saying “I’ve found a great 4 unit apartment building” or “I’ve have a beautiful little rental house under contract” as well as being able to tell them you can buy the property for 30% under it’s real value or that it’s all rented up and will show a fat positive cash flow from day one, it will be hard for them not to consider joining in your little venture.
Now back to making offers. How do you find those great deals?
Finding the great deals is largely a numbers games. What I mean by that is if you make dozens and dozens of low ball offers you will eventually have some of them accepted. What I have done in most cases is to make those offers before I even take time to visit the property. This gives you the opportunity to write up the offer but make it “subject to” or conditional on your full inspection of the property and on the condition of the approval of your partner, even when you don’t have a partner yet. By using the “subject to” clause you are not obligating yourself and by using the internet and several brokers or agents it’s possible to make hundreds of offers without a huge expenditure of your time.
So get going on Step 2. Remember, you won’t be obligated to buy a property just because you’re making an offer but you do have to get out there and start looking and eventually there will be a property that you’ll want to jump on. It’s easier than you might think.
Make it your New Year’s resolution … take those first steps. Make this your year of success!
It is not usually the moment we are in that worries or upsets us. Yes, a certain moment can get us riled up but if you think about it, it’s our dwelling on the past or worrying about the future that keeps us from enjoying life, from enjoying the moment we have at hand.
Dwelling on the past or possible future does you no good. What has happened is no longer in your circle of control and as for the future, do the best you know how and the future will play out the best that it can. What you have at any given moment is the only thing that matters, the only thing you have any real control over. And the control you have is choosing to enjoy and appreciate what you have right now or ignoring it for the pointlessness of the unchangeable and the unknowable.
Be thankful for the good things you know are part of your life as it exists now, for the friends, family and talents you have. Regret and worry do nothing but cause you to conjure up dissatisfaction in what has already happened and what might happen, clouding your perception of the wonderful things you do actually have. There is a saying, “Past is History, Future is a Mystery and Today is Gift and hence it is called the Present”. Enjoy the present, as a present to yourself and all those around you. Find your joy, make your own happiness in the one certain and controllable thing you have … the moment you are living right now.
I ran across this quote on the net recently …
Something about this statement sticks with me. With my recent health scare I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals. I don’t usually set easy goals but I do usually set goals that fit with who I am at the time. However, I have been thinking more about who I want to be and what I want to change in my life so when thinking of my challenging goals, I need to focus on not what my present self wants but what the future version of me should do.
The thing is, sticking with what is easy – with what we know is comfortable and safe – isn’t usually very fulfilling. Challenging yourself to be, and do more, than you think you can is not only exciting but gives every day a unique and motivating reason to get up in the morning. If you stick with it. taking on the challenge will make you change and grow until you become the person you need to be to accomplish that goal.
How much do you push yourself? You are never so far down the road that you shouldn’t keep trying to make yourself better. Keep challenging yourself with big goals!
I’ve had a lot of time and reasons to really think about all I want to do with my life these last few weeks. I’m pretty ambitious and some people, after hearing about my recent death scare, might think I should slow down or that my ambitious goals aren’t realistic. But you know, I’m not going to let other people’s pessimism and nay-saying stop me from finding a way to accomplish whatever it is that I want to do.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that you should listen to other people’s suggestions … their positive suggestions that can show you options to make things happen. But there is one thing you don’t want to listen to … the pessimists and naysayers that tell you it can’t be done, that you’ll fail, and/or criticize you for even trying.
If someone has nothing but negative responses to your dreams and ideas, walk away. All ideas will have cons as well as pros and any true friend should be able to give you a little of both. A true friend will support you in aiming for your dream and help you find sensible ways to accomplish them.
People who do nothing but aim to discourage you are not telling you what they think of you or your dreams but of theirs. These are the people who cannot or will not allow themselves to dream or are threatened by the success of others. Pay them no mind. Simply go out and accomplish your dream. Then maybe, seeing you succeed where they were certain you would not might just strike them in such a way that they will eventually dare to dream for greater things for themselves.
You probably know this person, the one that asks for advice or help but then when they are offered an answer they do nothing but list all the reasons why it won’t work. And they do this over and over again for each possible solution they are presented with. A person like this doesn’t want an answer; they want the responsibility of having to take care of the problem lifted from their shoulders. Of course, this is not how things work.
For most of us, we are this person too at one time or another. It’s not that we are wimpy or lazy, we just get overwhelmed. Our reaction is to complain, bemoan our situation and ramble on about the impossibility of the difficult thing we are faced with. But let me ask this–What has complaining ever done to help you? Absolutely nothing. What you need to do is ignore that initial negative reaction and don’t let yourself fall into the nay-saying trap by being positive first.
If you want to have a seemingly impossible issue removed from your life or at least lessened, you have to look to the possibilities not the impossibilities. There is always a solution. Asking others is truly a great way of finding an answer because another person’s view can open up possibilities you hadn’t considered. And when you are overwhelmed, it’s so hard to see the possibilities. The key is to be ‘open’ to other people’s suggestions. If someone offers you a possible solution try first to imagine that it truly might work before you let all the reasons why it won’t work rise up and squash it. It’s that initial negativity that will kill your motivation to really weigh the options. Be positive first and you are far more likely to come up with a feasible solution and a way out from under a difficult situation.
I recently saw this anonymous quote making the rounds on the web:
“Don’t place your mistakes on your head, their weight may crush you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as a platform to view your horizons.”
What a great quote. Isn’t it more often true than not that we let our mistakes weight us down and crush our motivation? Mistakes are nothing more than learning opportunities. We learn best by the mistakes we make because it’s not so likely we’ll forget them.
Every one of us will make mistakes. A lot of them. They will make us feel idiotic, incompetent, and imperfect. But we are all these things at some moment (or two or ten) in our lives. And it’s wonderful! It means we always have something to work on, something we can look forward to doing better the next time.
So certainly, use your mistakes as blocks to step up on, to build the stairs you use climb to success. Don’t carry them around. When setting goals and taking those steps to reach those goals, know you will make mistakes along the way. Tell yourself,” I will screw up sometimes but that’s okay. I will learn from my mistakes and will be that much more competent and successful because of the knowledge I gained from those experiences.” This way when you make a mistake, you’ll be ready to move forward, not let it slow you down or stop you all together, which of course, would be the biggest mistake of all.
**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?
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.