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Narrow Your Focus

January 9, 2022 by  
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I know I’ve been talking a lot lately about acting on your goals, but there are smart ways to go about that and not so useful ways. So, this week, I wanted to talk about a really important part of taking action that makes the action you take not only more productive but makes it far more likely that you’ll achieve those goals. What I want to talk about is summed up really well in this quote:

Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets. — Nido Qubein

How true. Trying to work on all of your goals at once requires that you split your time and resources among them. That makes it far less likely that you’ll accomplish what you’re after, or at least not to the extent that you might have hoped. But what if you spend all your time and resources on just one goal?

For example, maybe you’d like to be a great at a bunch of sports like tennis, baseball, hockey, and football. Can you imagine trying to work out, learn, practice, and play all four of those sports at the same time? You might be able to do it, but you wouldn’t be great at any one of them. Now, if you picked just one sport and put all your energy and practice time into improving your skills and stamina in it, don’t you think you’d be very good, if not great, at it in a fairly short span of time?

If you have set multiple goals this year, take a step back and choose just one or two to work on for now. Pick the most important or the most urgent. If you choose two, try to pick ones that are in two very different areas of your life. For instance, you can work on jumpstarting a new career while aiming to do some sort of exercise every day. With those goals, you won’t be trying to focus on more than one objective during any one part of your day.

I’m not saying you need to put aside or forget your other goals. You can always work a little here and there on them, preparing for the time when you can give them the focus needed to work on them productively. You just need to keep in mind that you should concentrate on a “limited set of targets” so you have enough energy and enthusiasm to take the action needed and be super successful!

The Responsibility of Knowledge

December 19, 2021 by  
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Here is a very simple thing to think about for our lives as we head into a new year. 2022 is going to be a good one for you, especially anticipate having the best for you, your family, and your friends and then work hard to make it that way.

I just read a great little piece by Carlos Castaneda about what it means to be “a man of knowledge”. I wanted to share it with you, my readers. I did change it a bit to make it a “person” of knowledge as I this applies to all humans, not just men.

A [person] of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what [they] will think when [they have] finished acting… [They] know that [their] life will be over altogether too soon… [they] know, because [they] see that nothing is more important than anything else… Thus a person of knowledge endeavors, and sweats, and puffs, and if one looks at [them, they are] just like any other ordinary [person], except that the folly of life is under control. Nothing being more important than anything else, a [person] of knowledge chooses any act, and acts it out as if it matters to [them. Their] controlled folly makes [them] say that what [they do] matters and makes [them] act as if it did, and yet [they know] that it doesn’t; so when [this person] fulfills [their] acts [they] retreat in peace, and whether [their] acts were good or bad, or worked or didn’t, is in no way any part of [their] concern.

So, what are you doing, or will you be doing, with the knowledge you have? I think that would be a great focus for the new year. Let’s look at our lives and consider the things that we know but aren’t acting on and make it a goal to act on all this great knowledge we have.

Stimulating Passion

December 5, 2021 by  
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Most every human being loves their passion. There are so many ways to go after and build such passions. Some of these come easily and automatically, such as when we were young and everything was new. Those new things made our passions rise. That first day of school, seeing old friends and new, could be a quick and huge hit on the passion button.

In my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living, I make the point that, from my experience, passion can start to fade a bit as we age. But, thankfully, passion can be manufactured. All you need to do is put something together in an unusual, better, or at least new-to-you way.

One of the keys to manufacturing passion is to set difficult objectives and work towards them. I clearly remember when I was 27 years old, and I set a goal to make a net worth for myself of $1 MILLION by the time I hit age 30. What a huge turn on that was for me. It raised my passion level big time. I was one year late in hitting that goal, but having that huge and exciting goal really kept me and my passion going.

From about age 25, your brain produces less and less dopamine and serotonin, the hormones that help you feel good and fan the flames of passion. Although a child’s body is awash in these hormones, we need to work on stimulating our system to produce more of these hormones as we age. We can do this by eating the right foods, exercising, and, most importantly, setting the right goals that keep us going after them.

Renewing your passions can really show you what you and your brain can do. It can give you a ton of energy as well as raising the quality of your personal and business life.

One of my biggest passions is travelling. I’m talking about everything from huge international travel, like going around the world on my honeymoon, to just driving through a neighborhood that I’ve never visited. I’ve been to 94 countries and still feel my passion rising just planning a trip to a new place, even if it’s a small country or an old neighborhood.

Passion for living comes and goes. Our big challenge then is to figure out what our passion is, what turns our lights on and gets us excited. When we figure that out, we can do it more and more. And it’s always a good idea to write down our passions and the goals that keep them going so it will stick in your brain, pushing you to do it and to keep doing it.

Your Book, Your Life

November 14, 2021 by  
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In my previous two posts, I wrote about my great younger brother Scott who died a couple weeks ago and how devastating it was to me and his kids and grandkids. However, he did something recently that has helped me and others a ton. He wrote a book about his life as a cop, and it was published just a few days before his unexpected death.

Now I’m reading his book, Cop Living On The Edge. It has lifted me so much since his death. It’s very well written and tells of his many dangerous and exciting experiences as a cop living in Denver, Colorado. It brought him back to life for me. That’s the power of books. They can really lift your spirts and your mind.

And this, my friends, is a very good reason for people to write a book. It doesn’t matter whether you can find a publisher that will print and distribute it because you can do that yourself. You can even print just a few copies.

Why would anyone want to do that? Because you could be helping your family, your kids, your grandkids, and, yes, even your great-great-great-grandkids. The book will be there long after you’ve passed on to whatever comes next! (I sure hope there is a “next”!) All those humans can benefit from your words and life experiences. And those that didn’t know you when you were alive can be inspired by your life and your legacy. The book can teach others through the things you’ve learned and experienced, showing them what motivated and pushed you to bigger and better things in this life.

Don’t think you can’t write your own book just because you never thought of yourself as a writer. You simply take it small and easy at first. Just write a little at a time and I think you’ll be surprised with what you come up with.

Personally, I started by writing in a small diary. Back then, I never saw myself as a writer and certainly not a writer that would sell 2 million copies of my first book and write 8 more books since then. I then changed to writing in a journal and, from time to time, I would go back and reread what I had written and make improvements and changes to make it better. I would strongly suggest you do the same. I think you will be surprised and pleased with what you come up with in the long run.

Just think of how your family and friends will be lifted to a higher level and love you even more long after you have checked out of this world because of your book. It doesn’t have to be a how-to or motivational book, just the story of your life, what you have learned that helped you enjoy and lift your life to higher levels, and insight into the things you loved that made you very happy and satisfied!

I challenge you to start on your own book. Take that first step today. I’m pretty sure you’ll be very glad you did!

Let Your Mind Take Over

September 26, 2021 by  
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This week, I want to continue with more revelations buried in the Bunker Bean story.  

If you read the previous posts about this book, you might recall that the character Bunker Bean was tricked into believing that, in his former life, he was the great Napoleon Bonaparte. Believing this really lifted his life to great new heights. But then, later on, he discovered that his friend, the spiritualist, the one that convinced him of his past life, was revealed to be a fraud, a man who lied to others to obtain their money.

Bunker Bean was crushed by this revelation. So, he hadn’t really been Napoleon in a previous life after all! He was just plain old Bunker Bean. But the news came too late—in a good way! Bunker realized that it didn’t matter who he’d been in a former life. What mattered was what he had allowed himself to become in his present life.

His spiritualist friend had helped Bunker to believe in himself enough to change some of his attitudes, habits, and behavior. Bunker had learned to form a game plan based on what others had done in the past that made them super successful. He had learned the value of studying the thoughts of great men. He’d learned how to make those thoughts of success his own thoughts. He’d also learned the need for a goal and the need for a detailed method to reach that goal. And he found out that one must follow his method religiously.

The story of Bunker Bean is told as fiction, but, actually, his story is as true as any told. The principles of his success, as outlined above, can be the principles of each of us and our success. But to make those work, we must learn the truth about ourselves and the truth is this: each of us has the potential and ability to succeed if we believe in ourselves enough to make it happen. We are what, and who, we think we are.

How much do you believe in yourself? Are you a great person? If you answer “no,” then ask yourself why not? Your answer needn’t be no. Each of us has the potential and ability to succeed if we are willing to pay the price. Start by setting goals. Set those goals high, then let your mind take over. Let it figure out how those goals can best be accomplished and be sure to write them down and put a time frame on them. In doing so, you may see yourself turn out like Bunker Bean!

For Love of Work

September 19, 2021 by  
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Last week, I said I would tell more of the story about Bunker Bean who I spoke about in the last couple of posts. However, I am going to do that next week as I have something else I want to share with you first.

Recently, I was thumbing through a great book that I read years ago entitled When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough by Harold Kushner. As I always do when I read a book, I wrote down many of the most interesting, helpful, and motivating quotes and comments that the author made. These notes are a great way to go back and easily refresh my memory since they highlight those points that hit me the hardest and helped lift my thoughts, actions, and life to a higher level.

Here are some of the points in this book that really helped me, especially the comments about work and how important it is for all of us:

l. Work can be the scaffolding that holds up our adult lives. (I need to keep remembering this as being retired makes it more difficult to find and do the best kinds of work for me.)

2. The key to one’s happiness is to find pleasure in our work and to use our abilities–no wasting them!

3. Our souls are hungry for meaning.

4. We work for meaning. We work so our days will not be empty of meaning!

5. Do not expect that life will always be fair.

6. For ultimate satisfaction, lower the level of what you want to what you already have.

7. The affliction which drains so much of the sense of meaning from our lives these days is that disease of boredom.

Kushner makes several other notable points in this book that are not easily summarized and put into a list. For example, he writes, “Asked, “’What do you do?’ we invariably respond in terms of our work, not our hobbies or organizational commitments,” implying that work is often our identity.

About himself, he notes that, “I work because I have a family to support and bills to pay. But I work also because it puts me in touch with people and helps me think of myself as a competent, contributing person.”

Kushner also writes that “there is something satisfying about being challenged to do something hard and then doing it. I think it must have been what Ecclesiastes had in mind when he said to us, in effect, ‘If you are not going to win a Nobel Prize for your work, if it is not going to make you rich and famous, it can still give meaning to your life if you take it seriously and do it with all your might.’”

I think the author makes many wonderful comments and offers some very helpful advice. It’s a great little book and I highly encourage you to get it and read it but, most importantly, LIVE by the advice that you think will make a big difference in your life, a difference for the better.

Powerful Duo: Belief + Goals

September 12, 2021 by  
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As I said many times before, “Your first step should be to set a goal.” That’s what Bunker Bean, the character I’ve been talking about in the book Bunker Bean by Harry Leon Wilson, did. He was determined first to learn all he could about Napoleon, who he had come to believe he had been in a past life. (See the last two blogs where I detail more about the Bunker Bean story.) Then he was determined to practice the principles that Napoleon followed and, as he did, he moved up the ladder in the company he worked for. 

Without a goal, you and I cannot go very far, which is exactly how far Bunker Bean was going until he met the spiritualist who made him believe he had been Napoleon. However, once you set your goal, funny things start happening in your head. Your point of view starts to change and suddenly you find yourself on a new, and much more productive, path. 

The process can be rather automatic. When you set a goal (and write it down) your mind starts working overtime, trying to figure out how to reach that goal. The mind will work on the problem even while you are asleep. It will work on it anytime it’s not otherwise engaged in important thought. 

So, the bottom line here is to set your goals high. Some things may seem impossible to achieve, but put your mind to work on the problem anyway. If you let it cook long enough in your head, a solution will be found. 

Whatever you do, don’t be like those who live well below their capacity. Set your goals high and then expand your capacity to meet them!  

Next week, I will talk about Bunker Bean finding out that his friend, the spiritualist, was revealed for what he really was — a fraud! I think you’ll be surprised to hear what happens to Bunker then!

Believing in Yourself

September 5, 2021 by  
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Scene from the movie adaptation of Bunker Bean.


Last week I wrote all about the story of Bunker Bean and how he was such a loser until he met a spiritualist who convince him that in his previous life Bunker Bean was none other than Napoleon. Bunker really bought into this and that belief change and lifted his life to new and wonderful heights. How exactly did that happen?

Well, the day after the spiritualist convinced Bunker of his past life, after he had finished his duties as an assembly line worker, Bunker went directly to the local library and checked out a book on Napoleon Bonaparte. He took it home and stayed up late into the night, reading it cover to cover.

The next day, he returned to the library for another book and stayed up reading that one as well. Then he did that again, day after day, until he had read every book about Napoleon, the emperor of France. Bunker considered and digested everything Napoleon did. He wanted to know exactly what had made Napoleon great. His spiritualist friend had told Bunker that his life was in an ascendancy, so Bunker Bean made a firm resolve to incorporate into his present life some of the qualities that made Napoleon great. His belief in his ascendancy and the power of his previous life was so great that he had no doubt that he could do it. 

He recalled reading that for Napoleon, to think was to act. He went to his supervisor at work and told him of some ideas he had for the company and of the benefits they would bring. 

His superior was skeptical. “It will never work,” he said. 

“Just try then for a few days,” Bunker begged, “and see if they work.” 

The supervisor relented and three weeks later, the cost saving improvements on the assembly line were so great the supervisor was given a raise and a promotion. When the supervisor was asked to recommend his replacement, without hesitation, he suggested Bunker Bean. Within two years, to the amazement of everyone, Bunker Bean was the president of the entire company, which was worth over $100 million. 

And all that happened because Bunker really believed that he was a brilliant and famous man in a previous life. People really believed in him. And why did they believe in him? BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HIMSELF!

There is a great lesson here for all of us. If we push ourselves harder to totally believe in ourselves, it really makes a difference in how other people believe in us. Think about that and push yourself to believe in yourself more and more each day, each week, and each year. It will change your life because if you do push yourself, it lifts your mind and your actions follow and that will make you a better person!

Before We Lose It

August 15, 2021 by  
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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I had no idea how important the social aspect of my life was until the pandemic hit. That made me realize just how much I valued my face-to-face conversations and hanging out with my friends. It also hurt that our annual trip to Europe and other counties was gone. We’ve met so many wonderful people and made so many new friends on those trips as well.

Most of us take way too much for granted and don’t take the time to be as grateful as we should be for what we have. But when one of those great things in our lives is suddenly taken away… wow, we certainly notice how much we appreciate those things when they are gone. 

Something that I took for granted for far too long was my daily long walk and comparing my daily steps total to my previous daily steps. As I’ve written before, I have given myself a minimum goal of 20,000 steps a day, although I usually go well over that. I use a super great gift my wife gave me years ago, a Fitbit, that counts each step I take and gives me weekly totals. That little device enhanced and lifted my life. It’s helped me stay fit, even now as the ripe age of 80 approaches, less than 3 years away.

Well, that little device that pushed me to regularly walk my 20,000 plus steps a day was a big deal and I totally took for granted what it was pushing me to do until recently. I got hit in the head several months back, which laid me up for a while. 

Then, just this last week, I had a big trip and fall at 2:30 in the morning. I hit my right knee so hard that I could hardly walk the next day and for many days to follow. The few steps I did try to take were too painful, so I would find myself in bed or sitting in a chair all day long. Ugh. Even taking a pain pill didn’t help much. Double ugh! 

That is when it hit me like a brick that I’ve taken the ability to walk without pain totally for granted. I know this happens to many of us when we get injured, but shouldn’t we start to appreciate what we have before we lose it?

I think all of us should take time to consider all the great things in our lives that we are just taking for granted. I talked about that here on my blog before. Back then, I made a list of the many things that I was taking for granted, but perhaps it’s time for an update.

I suggest now, as I did then, that all of us consider making or updating a list of that kind so we have time to enjoy and appreciate what we have while we have it. Doing so has the potential to make us more content as we begin to truly recognize all the great things we have in our lives. 

You can look at my prior list to help you start building your own. It’s in my post from 4/16/2020. You might also want to read or re-read what I posted on 11/29/2020 for an additional reminder. 

Focusing on the Kids

July 25, 2021 by  
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Kids, kids, kids! Don’t you love them? Maybe not all of them, all the time, but for the most part. When I watch kids play, I can’t help but smile and chuckle a bit, especially watching the toddlers or a newborn.

Last week I was overwhelmed and thrilled that my daughter Cammy gave birth to her 2nd child — an absolutely darling and beautiful baby girl weighing 5 pounds 13 ounces. That brings my grandchildren count to 20! As I held the little girl in my arms and looked into her face, I shed a few tears. Tears of joy.

When I look at kids and how fun, playful, and darling they are, I am stunned and sickened by the thought of those adults that physically or sexually abuse these wonderful, innocent kids. I’m always appalled when I see or read about this kind of thing. It motivates me to go out of my way to do more kind and good things for kids.

I really need to spend more time with my own children and grandkids as well as go out of my way to help kids that have suffered abuse or neglect. Those are some of my new goals. I also would challenge my readers to go out of their way to protect kids and be on the lookout for adults who may be hurting kids either physically or mentally. Let’s all be more aware of this kind of thing and take action when we see or hear of such questionable activity.

I’ve set a few more goals for myself as it relates to my children and grandkids and even their friends:

1. Take them hiking

2. For those who can ride, take them biking.

3. Give those that are old enough tennis lessons.

4. Read to them.

And that’s just the beginning of my list. Assisting kids and giving them a bit of direction on what to do with their lives is something else I’d like to help them with. I think helping kids can help change the world for the better, not just for them, but for all of us.

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