The High Value of a Hard Won Success

October 30, 2009 by  
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A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going back to compete in the Men’s Singles Tennis Tournament at the Huntsman World Senior Games. Two years ago I won the gold, last year I won the bronze. I am very happy to let you know that this year I won the gold, again. I was as happy about winning the gold this time as I was the first time primarily because I have worked so hard to regain my first place position.

If I won the gold year after year in this competition, the excitement would diminish quickly. But because the tournaments are still challenging for me, I knew I would have to work hard to regain a first place position. If it was too easy, the win would have been far less valuable and not nearly so satisfying.

That’s why I tell you to push yourself and choose goals that will challenge you and test your abilities and determination. Besides the fact that lofty goals will encourage you to go farther than you would if you set moderate goals, the intense feeling of achieving something you had not accomplished before is amazing and as well as being an extremely strong motivator to keep going. A win with no effort will feel empty. Just look at all the lottery winners who have ended up being miserable. Personal success that is accomplished after long, hard hours of work and persistence will always have an intrinsically higher value than anything that just drops in your lap.

You can read more about setting goals for higher personal satisfaction in Chapter 9 of my book. And remember, you can now buy the books for below wholesale when you buy 10 or more at a time. Just write Michael Hansen at with your order to get this huge discount.

Share your great discoveries + book discounts

October 23, 2009 by  
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Human beings naturally like to share, but at the same time, we tend to share frugally. We like to share our good news, our bad encounters, our opinions, our troubles, our workload, our days off and the latest gossip.

On the other hand, we tend to hoard valuable finds if we think it will cost us money or time. This kind of thinking is rather backwards. As they say, talk is cheap. If you are going to take the time to tell someone about something so that they really understand and believe in your convictions, it will usually take a lot less time and energy to just show them.

For instance, telling people at work that you found the best bakery in town just around the corner will never have as much impact as bringing in and sharing a box of the baked goods.

This kind of thinking is what is behind the writing of How to IGNITE Your Passion for Living. I wanted to share my formula for success. But rather than just talk to people about it, I put it down in a book that people could use to follow my steps to success and see for themselves how well it works.

I am always looking for more ways to share these ideas. I have noticed that many of my readers write to tell me that the book helped them so much, they have bought copies for others as well. I’d like to encourage all my readers to share the valuable insights in the book by doing the same. But to make it easier, I’m going to start offering significant discounts for ordering multiple copies.

You can still get a single copy of the book for just the cost of shipping and handling through this site but the offer for a FREE copy of the book ends in just a few days. The retail price of a single soft bound book is $14.95 plus shipping and handling.

But from now on, I’ll offer you a bulk discount so you can pass the book on to people you’d like to share these techniques with:  $5 a piece for orders of 10-19 copies or $4 for 20 or more. And I’ll even cover the shipping and handling for you.

Just send my personal publisher, Michael Hansen, an email at with your book order requests. He’ll get in touch directly, and personally handle all the details.

As Norman MacEwan said,

“Happiness is not so much in having, as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Steer your thoughts down a bright road

October 16, 2009 by  
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The mind is an incredible force. With it we can change how we act or feel or even what we are able to accomplish. Some people believe that they can’t do anything about how they feel or what they think about. But that’s just not true. You are in control of your thoughts and feelings through your mind. It’s all a matter of what you will your mind to do.

My daughter, Kristin, died tragically at the young age of 16. I don’t need to tell you that it was a very difficult time for me and my family. For quite a while afterwards, my thoughts would constantly turn to her and the pain I felt at her loss. I couldn’t find joy in my life anymore and it took all my energy to focus on the things I had to do day in and day out. I knew though, that she would not have wanted me to go on that way.

So one day, when that unbearable loss swelled up again, I just willed myself to think of the things in my life that I truly enjoyed, choosing tennis, seeing myself playing and winning match after match. I imagined how happy Kristin would be to know that I was out enjoying life. I focused on these thoughts until I felt the sadness lift. From then on, I kept myself from heading down that despairing path by imagining myself doing the things I loved.

You can do the same thing to get through painful times, increase your confidence, increase your happiness, and accomplish what you want to accomplish. Simply turn your focus away from the dark, judgmental, and pessimistic thoughts that keep cropping up. Choose to think of the things you truly love to do, the things you’ve already accomplished, and the wonderful things you have, and will have, in your life. Choose to take your thoughts down the bright and positive path.

You can read more about the power of the mind and what I call “Mind roads” on page 112 of my book, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. You can get your copy or get a copy for someone who you think would benefit from the book’s sure-fire formula for getting what you really want.

Using goal setting to become a better person

October 9, 2009 by  
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Do you ever wish you could just better yourself as a person? Do you feel overly pessimistic, especially judgmental, or too self-involved? If you aren’t happy with who you are, you can improve this just as you can improve your financial situation, health, or skills. Although it is less common to hear that someone’s goal is to be a nicer, better person it isn’t any less important or admirable. In fact, it might be one of the most important goals you can have.

The approach to bettering who you are is not much different than any other goal. The most important thing to remember is to take it one small step at a time. You became who you are over a long period of time and were affected and changed by many small influences and experiences.

Changing your attitude towards others and how you live your life will likewise take many small gestures and encouraging encounter. Start by taking note of the things you do that make up the behavior you want to change. Then take on just one of those things and focus on eliminating and transforming it into something positive for others and yourself.

If you’ve read my book you know about the power of the ‘Bite Size’ approach to reaching your goal. If you haven’t read it, you can get your copy here, then go to Chapter 6 on page 57 for the story of how this method kept a man alive and helped him rescue himself when everything was against his survival.

If something so simple can be so powerful as to save a man’s life, it can certainly help you to improve the person you are and better your life and the lives of those around you.

Putting your time in

October 2, 2009 by  
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Next week I head off to the Huntsman World Senior Games where I will play in the Men’s Singles Tennis Tournament. In 2007 I played and won the gold for the 60-64 age group. This adventure in tennis competitions started as a goal to reach the top of the tennis rankings for my age group in my state of Utah. And I did that, last year. How did I manage this, after dealing with arthritic hips that hardly allowed me to bend or run even half way down the block? Well, surgery helped but mostly it was just simple hard work.

The process of attaining a goal includes more than just defining your goal and planning your steps. Reaching a goal requires time–the breadth of time it will take for you to amass the knowledge & experience you will need to attain your specific goal and, most importantly, the hours you put in working at it, practicing what you know, until you’ve mastered what you need to reach it. Nothing happens without those many hours of work.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers, he spends a entire chapter discussing what he calls the 10,000 hour rule. The idea is that you need to concentrate your energies for 10,000 hours to be the very best at whatever it is you have set as a goal. That’s 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year for 5 years. That is quite a commitment, concentrating on that one thing for that long. Most people won’t go that far and that’s why anyone willing to put in that kind of time will find themselves the very best in the world!

Being smart or having a particular talent is certainly helpful, but the most successful people aren’t necessarily, or even usually, the smartest or most talented. They are the ones who put in the time and mastered the skills they needed to succeed.