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Contentment is in the Right Now

July 24, 2022 by  
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There are so many things in our lives that we view as priorities — many, many things. There are obvious ones like getting an education, finding a good job, staying in good health, and taking care of the ones you love, including parents, siblings, your spouse, kids, grandkids, and friends. And you want to be sure you have time and energy to pursue the things you love in life as well.

All those things are so important and critical to a good life and even a great life. But many of those items can be thrown off track if we lack contentment and satisfaction. And, I think, there’s one big thing that gives us great contentment — living in the “right now”.

Of course, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to always “live in the now”. Our busy lives distract us, causing us to worry and contemplate what’s coming next. But, I think, our greatest contentment and satisfaction comes from living in the now, so it’s important to make that a priority, too. Luckily, there are easy ways to help us spend more of our mind time living in those right now moments.

  • On a regular basis, ask yourself, “Am I at ease at this moment and living in the now?”
  • Visit the future but don’t stay there. Keep coming back to the right now.
  • Visit the past but don’t bring back any regret or guilt.
  • Make a habit of monitoring your mental and emotional state through self-observation.
  • When you are stressed, stop, pause, take a big deep breath and count in your mind. That’s right. Just count numbers. You can start at 1 and count to 500 or start at 100 or 500 and work backwards. Then refocus on living in the now.
  • Buddha said, “The root of suffering is found in our constant wanting and craving…” so let’s all work at reducing our wanting and craving so aren’t as anxious and can be more present.

Of course, living in the now should be a priority, but you also want to prioritize those things that require planning. The question is, how do you stay in the moment while planning, dreaming, goal setting, and doing all those things that help you get what you want out of life?

Well, you can go ahead and set future plans, dreams and goals, but once they are determined, write them down. That way, when you don’t need them, you can physically set them aside until you want to work on them or need reminders to keep focused. So, as you see, it’s not that you can’t think about the past or the future, but rather that you need to be aware of how much you do think about things that are not part of the moment you are living right now.

Awareness of what your mind is doing is a big part of living in the right now moment. When you are aware of what your mind is doing, you can steer it back to the right now after you give yourself the time to plan future things or momentarily ponder the past. Once you have, try to become totally absorbed in what you are doing, thinking, or being right now and enjoy the contentment that comes with it.

Surprising Reminders

June 5, 2022 by  
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It had been quite a few days since I’d been to my office, but when I went in recently, I was surprised to find 3 books on my desk from years ago, all signed by the authors. I took them home with me to refresh my memory as to why they were out.

The book that really caught my attention was Leadership Fitness by Homer Rice, so I re-read parts of this great book. I didn’t remember Rice from past years, although I’m pretty sure I did meet him. I was, however, very pleased to see that the foreword was written by my very good friend Paul J. Meyer. Paul was a very smart guy who made a fortune and became my hero and mentor. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.

Paul really liked Rice’s book. He made this statement about it: “Homer identified, from his comprehensive reading, the significant elements of success: attitude, desire, belief, visualization, spaced repetition, habits, and focus.”

I was super surprised at how much I learned going through Homer Rice’s book. He reminded me of things I knew but had stopped using. Oh yes, he wrote about things that I had been writing about and preaching at my seminars, like how critically important it is to set goals and how super critical it is to write down those goals with a time limit on them. But what I hadn’t done in the past was to set goals in all the many other areas of my life.

Homer Rice writes that a person should set goals in every part of their life, not just in regard to business and money. Goals for family, friends, donations, traveling, and more should be included. For example, travel goals for me would include going to different cities and neighborhoods, as well as different countries, especially since the mind and the body really crave novelty and making lists. Putting a time limit down to accomplish those items helps tons in seeing them get done.

Reading through Rice’s book, I became really motivated to set more goals and go after them with energy and passion. Although I was surprised at how inspired I became re-reading this book, the real surprise came at the end of the book where he listed “Suggested Titles to Read”. In that list of books, I found Financial Genius by Mark Oliver Haroldsen. I was surprised and even a bit shocked to see my name. Remember, I’m not sure I ever met him, but he knew me, or at least knew of me.

I’ll try not to get a fat head over his recognition of my book. I totally love helping people and seeing so many people become super successful or more successful is just as much of a thrill as having that success myself.

So, I do encourage you to pick up Homer Rice’s book, Leadership Fitness. It’s very helpful in many ways that go way beyond just making money. You might also want to look up some of the work by Paul J. Meyer. These are two really smart men who have a lot to teach us.

A Sign for Unconditional Self-Acceptance

May 15, 2022 by  
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A few weeks ago, I wrote about “USA”, an acronym for Unconditional Self-Acceptance, discussing how we should think about what that stands for anytime we are down on ourselves for doing something stupid or worrying about tomorrow. When a psychologist introduced me to that term and encouraged me to think about that when I’m down on myself, I put that to work on my brain. It turned out to be very, very mind boosting.

After a while, however, I realized I wasn’t thinking about that as often as I used to, so I did something to help me remember it, putting it into regular use when needed.

What did I do different? Well, I kept in mind that when I set a goal and write it down, I am so much more likely to work on that goal. I figured I could make writing things down work for this too. I took a large piece of paper and a black magic marker and wrote in big capital letters: USA. I put it on my bedroom wall where I could see it every day, many times a day.

That little step has helped a ton. The human brain can be so fantastic and little things like posting a reminder on my wall really helped my brain to keep it at the front of my mind as well as helping me to not be so hard on myself. 

Yep, positive self-talk is such a great thing for us humans and little things like a piece of paper with a message on it can help more than you might expect.

So, if you are being hard on yourself for some mistake you made, or worrying needlessly about something in the future, just take time to think about “USA”. Go a step further even and post a reminder in a location where you’ll see it often. Go ahead and do it now and see how well that works! 

2022: A Year of Action

January 2, 2022 by  
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Here we are again. We have a whole new year in front of us and many of us are making plans, renewing commitments, and generally trying to figure out what we want to accomplish this year. I know I have more than a few things that I’m ready to get to work on!

Regardless of what any of us plan to do, there is one thing we all have in common. We MUST take action, real solid action, for any plan, goal, or dream to become reality.

That first step, the one that shows true action and commitment, is more important than any other step you take because it will be the impetus and motivation for every step afterwards. But don’t fool yourself about what a first step is.

Reading a book, looking stuff up on the internet, or asking your friends’ opinions may feel like first steps, but they are really just part of the planning, and planning is not what actually makes things happen. The first real step occurs when you invest something valuable or take a real risk with your money, time, or ego.

For example:

  • Throwing out all the junk food in your house is a true first step to a better diet.
  • Paying a lawyer to draw up your business organization papers shows a real commitment to starting on your entrepreneurial path.
  • Joining a writer’s group that requires you to write 10 pages a week makes you accountable and shows yourself and other how serious you are about writing that novel.

So, what is that first important, substantial, and invested step you need to take to get your plans rolling? If you’re not sure, take the time to write out what your first steps are. Then ask yourself which of those steps require so kind of personal, time, or financial investment. The ones that do are your first real steps, the ones that will get you truly get you on your way. So, make those your priority.

If you feel like you might still need a little push to take those first substantial steps, or you need some additional inspiration, try reading my book again, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. If you haven’t read it, then definitely get a copy and read it. Then get to work.

Let’s see what wonderful things we can make happen in 2022 by taking action now!

Mindful Aging

December 26, 2021 by  
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Wow, the end of 2021 is already here, just a few more days. Time is such an interesting thing and I find it fascinating that the passage of time seems to change its speed depending on your age and/or things you have planned in your life. When most of us were young, anxious to be old enough to get our driver’s license, time seemed to be moving so very, very slowly. I remember counting down the days until I could get mine. But things do change, especially when you get older.

At my age now, just a little more than 3 months until I hit 78, the years seem to speed up. I can remember, easily, the new year’s celebration I was at last year at my good tennis friend Al Ficker’s house in Kauai. It’s like it was just a couple of months ago. Wow, this year just flew by in a flash.

I am re-reading the great book by Jo Ann Jenkins called Disrupt Aging. I’ve written and talked about her book in previous posts. There are so many good and smart things she says about “really owning your age” and being proud of whatever that age number is. I loved her quote about a woman who said, “No one’s going to deprive me of my age.”

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, and author of The Big Shift wrote, “In Disrupt Aging, Jenkins offers the generational call to action we’ve been waiting for—to break free from outmoded ideas about age, to embrace the rich possibilities present in the decades opening up beyond fifty, and to join a growing movement of individuals determined to live lives infused with purpose. Beautifully written, full of humor and inspiration, and powerfully argued, this book offers the definitive map for making the most of the longevity revolution, as individuals and as a nation.”

Jo Ann has so many good thoughts and ideas for our lives as we age, such as:

  • The best life includes contributing to the well-being of others.
  • Try new things and take chances…don’t live in fear of aging.
  • Focus on health, wealth and self. 
  • This is a time to shift from “mindless aging” to mindful living.

If you are retired now, take a hard look at your life and determine your thoughts about aging. How can you age more mindfully? And if you are not retired yet, then it’s a good time to start making plans for what you are going to do when retired. Yes, write it down, make lists, set priorities and write down your future schedule. You’ll be glad you did when you finally retire.

And when you do retire, as well as right now, be sure to strive for always living in the right now moment!

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.

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!

The Power of Book Notes

August 22, 2021 by  
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When I read books, I almost always write notes on the blank pages. I jot down a quote that strikes me or I write my own thoughts that were stimulated by what the author wrote. This week, I’d like to share some of my notes from a couple of great books. I hope they strike and motivate you the way they did me.

In Patrice Jenkins PhD’s great little book What Will I Do ALL DAY?, I wrote down a number of thoughts. Here are a few:

1. Structure can be and should be a very important part of our lives and now that I’m retired, I must push myself for more structure.

2. Set more deadlines and make more commitments and goals and always write them down with a time deadline.

3. Set my alarm and schedule time for working out and stretching.

4. Make a big deal out of small things in my life.

5. Remind myself often that, now that I am retired, I have time to turn molehills into mountains.

6. Remember that it’s very important when retired to find work for yourself.

7. Make a list of new places, cities and countries to visit — at least 6 more countries to add to my 94 already visited.

8. Write down my intentions for each and every day.

9. Take time to make a list of those things I love to do and push myself to concentrate on those items.

And here are a few gems I scribbled down when reading the book Write it Down and Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser.

1. Don’t forget that writing down my intentions works better than just speaking them.

2. Remind myself that I can’t have what I want most until I know what it is.

3. Writing is a good way to force my negative emotional reactions into words and not stomach churning.

4. I need to write down my intentions, my passions, my talents, then write down what actions I should, and can, take.

5. I need to take time to write down things that are not working for me in my life and let them go. Klauser ‘s suggested that you make that list then ceremoniously dispose of that paper, as in burn it or bury it.

Do these notes inspire you to make a few of your own now? Taking down notes as you read a book makes it a much more active and, ultimately, more productive read!

Writing Down the Urgent Stuff

February 16, 2020 by  
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Last week I wrote about how important it was to write down your goals, your intentions, your dreams, and your to do lists. Why do that? Because if you do, the odds that you will follow through and complete those tasks and dreams increases big time.

There are many other benefits to writing. If you commit your dreams to paper, or on a document in your computer, for some strange reason, the act of writing your fears and negative thoughts down helps you  deal with those bad thoughts and then you can more easily  overcome them.

So, getting into the habit of not only writing your good dreams and goals down but also those fears and negative feelings we all have, can become a huge asset in your life.

Here’s 17 questions from a list in Ilchi Lee’s wonderful book I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years. Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers.

  1. What things have I achieved in my life?
  2. When was I most joyful?
  3. When were things most trying?
  4. How did I overcome hardship in those trying moments, and what did I learn through them?
  5. What moments in my life do I regret?
  6. When did I do things that made me feel proud and that I found rewarding?
  7. What momentary choices became opportunities that changed my life?
  8. What values did I try to remain true to throughout my life?
  9. What goals have I had so far?
  10. What motivated me to establish those goals?
  11. Which of my goals have I had so far?
  12. Which of my goals have I achieved?
  13. Which goals have I failed to achieve?
  14. Who has had the greatest impact on my life?
  15. With whom have I shared my gratitude?
  16. With whom do I have emotional issues that I need to resolve?
  17. Which of my habits do I want to keep and develop?

Lee goes on to say, “If possible, write down your thoughts about these questions. Organizing them in writing and not just thinking about them will help you unravel the tangle of thoughts rolling around in your head.”

Like Mr. Lee’s book, Henriette Klauser’s book, Write It down, Make It Happen, makes some of the same points. Klauser likewise emphasizes how absolutely critical it is to get into the habit of writing your goals and dreams down, explaining how, “putting it on paper alerts the part of the brain known as the reticular activating system to join in the play.”

She goes on to explain this mechanism. “At the base of the brain, about the size of a little finger, is a group of cells whose job it is to sort and evaluate incoming data. This control center is known as the reticular activating system (RAS}. The RAS sends the urgent stuff to the active part of your brain and sends the nonurgent to the subconscious. The RAS awakens the brain to consciousness and keeps it alert.”  So, if you write something down, then it becomes the urgent stuff and your brain will keep it accessible to the active part of your mind.

Hope I’m not getting too scientific but knowing all about the RAS and what good it does all of us should be good motivation to keep writing our goals and dreams down. So now we know, when it comes to bad feelings, ideas, or worries, paper is a good place to park those negative mind games.

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