A Contract With Yourself

June 24, 2011 by  
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Last week I talked about getting back up when things get tough. You just can’t let yourself get beat down and give up. It got me thinking about the importance of making contracts with ourselves, a promise to accomplish what we are after. Making it so serious that we write it out, date it and sign it is another way to keep you going.

Lisa Walford in her great book “The Longevity Diet” talks about this in detail (see page 159). She begins the contract with these words that you and I could use for just about any goal we set:

“From today onward and for at least the next (insert a time period you set for yourself), I choose to (fill in a description of what you plan to do)”

Continue with a breakdown of what you are going to do and when you are going to do it, including breaking it down by the month, week, day, and even hour and minute if necessary. Then date your new document and sign it. Make a copy (or two or three) and put it in strategic places–in your car, office, on the bathroom mirror … anywhere you are often enough to see it regularly–and review it often to keep yourself on track.

Contracts are binding, right? So if you’re serious about your goals, make this kind of contract with yourself. By doing this you increase your chances of following through and reaching any goal you set by a huge factor!

Kiev: The City that Never Gave Up

June 17, 2011 by  
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This week I’ve been traveling in Europe and spent a very pleasurable couple of days in Kiev, Ukraine. Kiev is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe. The city has existed on a roller coaster of great prosperity and prominence as well as near obscurity.

It’s thought that Kiev was a commercial center as early as the 5th century being on the route between Scandinavia and Constantinople. The city was seized by Vikings in the 9th century then was demolished by Mongols in the mid-13th century. The city made a comeback during the Russian Empire’s Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s then was chosen as the capital of the newly formed Ukrainian National Republic in 1917. It weathered the sweeping communist reforms of the early 20th century only to be greatly damaged in World War II. Yet it recovered to become the 3rd largest city of the Soviet Union and eventually the capital, again, of an independent Ukraine in 1991.

The history of the city is amazing as are its people. We all go through great challenges and sometimes great defeats. Being knocked down is only a temporary state though. If this city which has been invaded, demolished, controlled by its neighbors, and beaten up multiple times can recover to claim and reclaim its prominent position after all its been through, there is no reason why we as individuals can’t weather our losses and come out on top in the end.

Just a little lesson from a city that has been through it all.

Your Life’s Biggest Stars

June 10, 2011 by  
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In my home office I have a bunch of pictures of me with famous people including the Dali Lama, President Bush, Michail Gorbochev, Lech Velessa, and many more. In the middle of these photos, there is a big sign that reads “PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW ME” because I want to make it clear, I’ve meet these people and it’s kind of cool to share that moment but the fact is, they don’t know me and aren’t the important people that have really affected and changed my life.

Being famous is really no more than a characteristic of a person’s life, like having kids or knowing three languages. Famous people are just people working through the trials and tribulations of life, just like the rest of us. But there are people that we meet that truly are important and touch our lives. These are often our friends, colleagues, family and even strangers. The fact is, the only people that are truly exciting and amazing to meet are the ones that enrich your life through their friendship, knowledge, and/or inspiring actions.

So, who have been the real stars in your life? What have they done that have made them shine in your mind? These are the kind of people you want to meet. Just keep in mind, to meet more of these kinds of people you need to get out there, network, and give serendipity a chance to bring them your way.

Recognizing You Own Stardom

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under blog, Chapter 3

Last week we went to a great concert and, using a few connections I had, we got backstage and meet some amazing people, like, well, Bono, as you can see in the picture here. Was I thrilled to meet him? Sure. But meeting that big of a star really isn’t what you might expect.

U2 009

It’s strange that we all kind of feel that if we meet a famous person it will somehow make us more important or more interesting or will somehow change our lives. It really doesn’t do that, except maybe in our own heads. In the end, they are just people, like anyone else you run into.

Knowing that they are just people tends to make you realize that these, essentially, regular human beings could be you. So what is the difference between you and famous people? Some of them were just lucky but more often they were persistent, highly motivated and had a great support system–all things that you can or do have.

So are there really any superstars? Well, yes. You. You are the superstar of your life. What you do, what you accomplish, even what you attempt, are all reasons to be proud and ‘star struck’. Your actions are what will differentiate you and your life, for yourself and the people closest to you, not meeting someone who has reached the kind of success that simply gets them noticed.

If you feel like success has been eluding you though, take a look (or another look) at my book, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living, for some in depth ideas on setting and accomplishing your goals and get to work on your own life of stardom.