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Motivation in Words

April 19, 2019 by  
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It happened at the airport. I was in big hurry-I had to get a 13-year-old German boy on his plane back to Berlin. As I ran down the concourse, a handsome, 40ish stranger said as I hurried by, “Hey Mark, good to see you.”  I had no clue who he was, but I waved and kept running. Five minutes later, after they boy was on the plane, the stranger approached me again. This time he put out his hand and introduced himself.

He told me how he bought my first book How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You and gave me credit for making him tons of money and dramatically improving his life. The chance meeting was a catalyst and a huge motivator for me to keep writing so that I might help more people with their financial lives. There are not many things that make me feel more content and satisfied as being told that I helped a person make a fortune which lifted their lives to a new level.

I’ve had so many people thank me for writing my books, my blogs, for sharing my methods, formulas, and experience, that I am sometimes overwhelmed. But it also motivates me to write more. I’m a total believer in the power of setting goals, but there is a critical part of goal setting that many people don’t use and that critical part is a pretty simple process that almost guarantees that you will reach the goals that you set: it’s the simple act of writing your objectives and goals down on paper or on your iPad or computer. By doing that, you more permanently plant the goal in your mind and the likelihood of reaching that goal increases exponentially.

Anne Klauser, in her great little book, Right It Down… Make It Happen, talks about the huge power of writing your goals down and what it does that pushes you to follow through and reach the goals that you’ve set for yourself. Quoting her, she said, “Writing it down feeds the inner mind… the other than conscious mind.”  There is something in that inner mind that drives a person to go after and reach the goal that was set.

She goes on to say, “Create your own list of what is meaningful to you. List your intentions and begin your day by writing them down.” Do that enough and it will become a habit that you don’t even have to think about.

Personally, I’ve noticed that when I write down my goals—long term or even just a to do list for today—it’s like my brain won’t leave me alone and it coaxes me to follow through and do what my list tells me to do.  It’s almost like magic, the way it works in my head. It doesn’t seem to matter whether my goals are putting aside time to work out, taking my 20,000 steps a day, a list of people I need to talk to, or even taking time to write this blog, my brain works overtime to make sure I get it done.

If you haven’t been writing down your goals and to do lists, try it and I think you will be impressed and pleasantly surprised how much more you’ll get done and how much progress you’ll make towards your big goals not to mention finishing your daily list of goals, which always feels great.

 

Refilling Your Social Life in a Fulfilling Retirement

February 8, 2019 by  
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The great thing about regular work or a job is that it gives you a good reason to get out of bed each morning and get going, and it is very important when you retire is to set something up that replaces that for you. One way to do that, as I mentioned in last week’s post, is put yourself to work in a way that can better the world.

As you push yourself to get involved with a charity, or whatever it is that you choose, you will find that you can replace what your work gave you in terms of structure and routine with the activities of your new mission. This will give you something to get you out of bed but, just as important, that structure and routine will also give you a new social aspect to your life.

Most of us develop a significant social life that revolves around work, but then, when we retire, this is often lost. So, getting involved in a charity or other organization can replace what you are missing when you leave your job or no longer work. It will do all that while you do a little something to make the world a better place.

Most of us humans really don’t realize how very important our social contacts are until they disappear or are greatly diminished when we retire. It’s not that you won’t know those same people or continue to have great friendships with some of them, but when you’re no longer working together, you are suddenly not nearly as involved in each other’s lives and you don’t see each other nearly so often. Most people will greatly miss the regular social contact if they do not replace it with another purposeful and regular activity that also involves time connecting and interacting with other people.

Each of us will have our own plan but here is what I plan on doing to push myself to create a new routine, structure, and source of social connections in my life that will make me get out of bed every morning and look forward to the day: I would like to teach grade school, high school, and university students in classes on writing, marketing, public speaking, financial methods and strategies, and maybe even tennis, on a regular scheduled time and day. I know quite a bit about all those subjects, and I do love to teach others how to do these things and show them how they can have great success and a huge sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from learning these new skills.

So, my challenge to you is to start thinking about your own retirement and start making plans on what you will do to create routine, structure, and social connections. Make a list now, even if you are many years away from retirement. You can change up that list as things come to you but just being aware of the necessity will help you create a fulfilling plan. You won’t be sorry if you do that now!

BE YOUR OWN PR AGENT–How To Easily Get Free Publicity

June 20, 2014 by  
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On my June 7th blog entitled “Write your way to Credibility” I talk about how writing a simple book and using that book as a business card gives you instant credibility and believe me that has worked wonders for me for many years.  There is another easy “trick” that anyone can use to get tons of free publicity. I learned this lesson from my father, Dr. Edwin O. Haroldsen, who was a great man that came off a farm in Idaho to not only get his PhD but went on to be a big time newspaper man and editor of the national magazine U.S. News and World Report.

I began to learn this “trick” (or lesson) when I was just a kid.  I would go with him to his newspaper office frequently and observe all the hustle and bustle of the writers and editor as they worked away with the noise of the teletype machines in the background.  It was during these times he told me that editors and writers of newspapers, magazines, T.V. and Radio were always on the lookout for good stories and like most people they would like these stories done the quickest and easiest way possible.  He then told me about the “publicity people” that are hired by big companies and celebrities and very wealthy people, but he then said you really don’t need these people because you can do the job yourself.  You do just what they do–you write up a story, your story of success or what’s happening around you that is interesting and unique, and you send it to the media—papers, magazines, TV and radio.  In other words you help out those writers and editors by doing some of their work for them and delivering the story all packaged up and ready to run.  Editors love a good unique, interesting and well written story because it saves them a ton of time.  If it’s a good story they only need to make a few edits to then, bingo, your story appears in print or on the air!

“Really?” you say, “It’s that easy?” Yes, I am saying exactly that!  No, it doesn’t work every time so it’s smart to send to multiple newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. But, most importantly you better have a good intriguing, well written story. This can take some time as a well written story will take some time and re-writing.  Re-write it over and over until it’s not only exciting and appealing to you but will also be for other people. Find a few people whose opinion you trust and ask them for their honest feedback—if they find it exciting, editors will too.

I’ve used what my dad taught me many times and had my business and personal stories on the front page of local and national newspapers and yes, even on national TV! These stories increased my credibility but also my business and profits by huge numbers and all that for free. You can do the same thing to enhance and increase your business, a new invention or idea of a product you may have or for your family or your favorite charity. Give it a try!

Writing Down Your Goals

January 4, 2013 by  
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Since we’ve just started a new year I must say something about renewing and re-dedicating ourselves to our life goals. And there is one super strong and time proven aid I would strongly suggest you use to increase your odds of hitting your goals. It’s something I talk about in my book “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living” but I have another source to show you just how powerful it can be.

For Christmas my son David gave me a book called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and WOW what a great book. Duhigg relies on scientific studies to dissect what it takes to form a new habit or dump a habit that you don’t like. In future blogs I want to talk more about “The Power of Habit” but for now I want to address one simple but profound Scottish study that is Duhigg addresses.

In this study a psychologist recruited 60 patients that just had hip or knee replacement surgery. Having personally experienced double hip replacement in the same surgery I know just how painful this kind of surgery can be. Most people don’t want to even move afterward, let alone start walking even though their rehabilitation requires it. This psychologist gave each patient a booklet after their surgeries that detailed their rehab schedule, and in the back were 13 additional pages –one for each week–with blank spaces and instructions:

“My goals for this week are ________________? Write down exactly what you are going to do. For example, if you are going to go for a walk this week, write down where and when you are going to walk.”

Patients were asked to fill in each of those pages with specific plans. After their rehabilitation period the psychologist compared the recovery results of those that filled out the pages and those that did not. Duhigg notes that “It seems absurd to think that giving people a few pieces of blank paper might make a difference in how quickly they recover from surgery.” But it did. Those patients that wrote down their goals recovered much faster than those who didn’t write down a thing.

The great lesson and a lesson that I’ve preached to myself and others for years is we greatly improve our chance of success many times over if we simply write our goals down!  Financial goals, physical goals, family and social goals … it works on all of them. I would also add that you shouldn’t forget to put down the date by which you want to accomplish those goals.

You can read more about goal setting and how written goals can help you in my book  “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living” which is on sale right now on my website.