The Don’t Quite Poem

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown




KK Chin 陈求广

Unit Trust Consultant
012-201 8375
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas A. Edison

Obstacles to Manifestation: Procrastination – By Laura B. Young

When we procrastinate, we put our dreams, our hopes and our yearnings on hold. We put things off under the illusion that we will get to them someday, when there is more of time. We deny fears and postpone action while covering ourselves up with layers of excuses, like an onion. We deny the biggest obstacle holding us back. It is us! So how can we lick that “old devil” called procrastination that allows us to squander so many precious minutes, hours and even days? Delaying what we need to do feeds our fears instead of our courage and passion for life. An old proverb says, “The habit that becomes prevalent in one’s life is the one we feed.” Where we focus our attention grows stronger and will manifest.

If procrastination is your nemesis, recognize how this undesirable trait began by reviewing your life and how the habit of it shows up. Has it littered your path with false starts, broken promises, or possibly weakened your resolve. Have there been missed opportunities as well as the feeling of guilt over lost time? Do you feel stuck? If you do not change the trajectory of your starts and stops nothing you really want will be manifested in your life. Have you lost faith in your ability to follow through? Have you ever wondered how procrastination got started?

Although most parents do the best they can for their children, their upbringing greatly influences how they parent. In addition to what they already know, parents have to adjust to the changes inherent with raising a child in a new generation. Due to fear, a desire to protect their children, and do things the “right way,” parents are often unaware of how their behavior impacts their children. Parents’ beliefs, rules, fears and limits, are projected, which produces a “boxed up” way of life. This is often referred to as “fear based” parenting.

Children are like sponges, absorbing everything without the judgment to decide what is right. In addition to what is being passed down by parents, children also are immensely influenced by churches and schools, which require that their teachings be accepted as gospel. A child’s natural curiosity, creativity and freedom to question are suppressed in order to fit in, be accepted, or just get by.

To escape those small boxes, rules and beliefs, children claim a little bit of freedom by delay. Small personal victories are won and momentary freedoms are claimed through those delays. They say “later”, “in a minute,” “in the New Year,” etc. These tactics become entrenched in our unconscious as automatic habits or responses to life’s requests upon us. Although it gives momentary freedom from the demands placed on us, the habit sabotages our potential for authentic freedom, forever. The early pattern of experiencing a reward in the delay (an attempt to assert control over one’s environment) lays the foundation enabling other fears to attach. Once we identify and eradicate the basic pattern, the other fears or attachments organically lose their power.

Some of those other fears inherent in procrastination are:

Fear of Success: At a deep level many of us are afraid of success. On the surface we declare we are going for the gold, but that which manifests may be something quite different. You may read more about this subject on my Self-Growth Expert Article: Obstacles to Manifestation – Fear of Success.

Fear of Failure: When we list our desires, wants and life goals, we often omit “failure”. Not only will we fail, we must fail if we are to risk having passionate lives and manifesting what we desire. This fear is more adequately addressed in my Self-Growth Expert Article: Obstacles to Manifestation – Fear of Failure.

Fear of Freedom: Everybody wants it! Freedom must be an inside job. In order to have authentic freedom, responsibility for everything in life as it is at this moment must be accepted. When you arrive at this point you can be free even if the external situation finds you locked in a prison cell. My article on the Self-Growth, Obstacles to Manifestation – Fear of Freedom further discusses this fear.

Fear of Change: Since change is the only constant in our lives, why is it so frightening to accept change? So in-grained is this fear, I devoted an entire chapter to it in my book The Nature of Change. You may also find articles discussing change on my website Life Resource Center – Change. Keep a lookout for my next Self-Growth article “Obstacles to Manifestation — Fear of Change”.

Although Fear of Success, Fear of Failure, Fear of Freedom and Fear of Change are inherent in procrastination, additional fears such as perfectionism responsibility, criticism and judgment feed the habit of procrastination. These additional fears seem to come later and attach to habits formed earlier.

In order to break the habit of procrastination, our first step is intention. We have to make a determined decision that we have had enough of dawdling, avoidance and fear of being responsible in our lives. An intention to break the habit is a beginning. This beginning may cause uneasiness, as there is a strong pull deep within that resists change. The “same” is the familiar; we may not be happy with the familiar but we know how it goes. There is an old Irish proverb that translates to say, “A good beginning is half the work.”

In order to recover from procrastination — address one small area whereby you habitually procrastinate. Often we tend to set the bar too high, get overwhelmed and delay. If we want to lose thirty pounds it seems too much to tackle unless we break it down into manageable steps. Pick something that may not have an emotional pull and start with baby sized steps to overcome the habit of procrastination. When we follow through in one area we absorb confidence and positive feelings towards ourselves, which gives us the courage to move to another area. Exponentially changing one habit can be the foundation for many more changes. One shift is rarely just one shift. You will have slip ups, but be patient with yourself. Overcoming procrastination brings you closer to manifesting the life you want. Remember, “There are risks in life one cannot afford not to take.”

** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.
About the Author:

Laura Young, the SelfGrowth.com Official Guide to Manifestation, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (CCH) devoted to helping people become more of what is possible for them. She draws on almost thirty years of clinical experience, with the last sixteen at Life Resource Center, a Private Practice, she established in 1992.

Escaping the Matrix – By Edwin Harkness Spina

The Matrix was one of the most popular and thought-provoking movies of all time. Viewers all over the world were captivated by the film’s primary message: People get into deep trouble when they mistake what they perceive for reality.

What most viewers do not realize is that prior to the release of this groundbreaking film, western intelligence agencies were already using the term “the Matrix” to describe today’s world. This was in contrast to their work with remote viewers, who would “escape the matrix” to gather intelligence. Art truly does imitate life.

In the movie, the Matrix is an elaborate Artificial Intelligence computer simulation that’s so captivating that people mistake it for reality. People perceive they are walking about and interacting with others, but their physical bodies are actually submerged in fluid-filled pods, “plugged into” the Matrix, while their vital life force is harnessed to power the Matrix.

After Neo (Keanu Reaves) learns the truth, with the help of Morpheus’s (Lawrence Fishburne) training, he is able to overcome his misconception that the Matrix is reality. Neo rebels against the machines that create his false reality and, eventually, he escapes the limitations of the Matrix. To others, he has developed superhuman abilities, but, “in reality,” he has merely recognized the truth.

Escaping the Matrix is a metaphor for the mystic path to enlightenment.

The Matrix can be defined as the world that we perceive, which includes the physical world, as well as higher planes of emotions and thoughts, which also affect us.

Within the Matrix, are countless fear-based thoughts and emotions that condition us to accept limitations. We are taught that we have little power, and what little power we do have, we are advised to delegate to authority figures and experts. Swimming in a sea of negative thoughts, we are prompted to use our creative ability to imagine even more negative thoughts. Without introspection, the Matrix gets darker and more dense. Anyone who blindly accepts these prevalent, negative thoughts will have his or her life path dictated by the Matrix.

But those who recognize that it is our collective thoughts and beliefs that power the Matrix will recognize the way out. When we incarnate on earth, we temporarily forget the higher truth of who we are. Our life mission is to remember, to connect with our innermost self, so that we may transcend the Matrix.

The reality we perceive with our senses is not the true reality, but merely a small portion of reality, masquerading as the whole. But, unlike the “alternate reality” that Neo must extricate himself from, in our “reality,” there is no need to rebel. Rather, our goal should be to transcend. We want to “be in this world, but not of it.”

The outer world is a reflection of our inner thoughts and beliefs, whether individual or collective, which have been conditioned by our experience in the Matrix. Consequently, the Matrix is a learning environment, where we get feedback on how our thoughts manifest. Thankfully, our negative thoughts do not (typically) manifest instantaneously. Otherwise, we would risk the spontaneous destruction of our world by thinking negative thoughts.

Clearing yourself of negative energies through daily meditation can provide a direct link to the “ultimate reality,” i.e., the pure consciousness residing within each of us. As your negative beliefs are purified through regular contact with the “light” of your divine nature, unhealthy emotions, such as fear and anger, will naturally begin to diminish, and you’ll be free to transcend to higher states of consciousness. You will “download” more of your own true self, while simultaneously and automatically attracting others of similar vibration.

Your world will become more synchronistic. You will repel angry, fearful people, and those who stick around will become calmer and more centered. You will radiate love. By simply being in higher consciousness, you will have a greater effect on the world than the most gifted orators and political leaders.

The higher your consciousness and energy are vibrating, the faster your thoughts will manifest. When you align with your innermost self, you are aligned more closely with the Source of all creation. At the apex of your individual consciousness, you are connected with The One. You then have at your disposal the entire universe to help you manifest the highest good for all.
In actuality, we are single points of awareness in the Oneness that is Reality. What we interpret as the physical world is the projection of this awareness, which is taking place in the Mind of God. We are, as Shakespeare pointed out, merely “actors” in a divine play.

When we wake up to this knowledge, the play does not stop. We are free to act or interact, in bliss and peace, unattached to the Matrix. We have within us the power to create “heaven on earth.”

To prepare for your escape, please visit Energy Center Clearing.

** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.


About the Author:

Edwin Harkness Spina is the author of the award-winning, visionary thriller, Mystic Warrior, a contributing author to the bestseller, 101 Ways to Improve Your Life, and the developer of Energy Center Clearing. Relieve stress, overcome fear, eliminate anger and connect with your true self with a free 5-lesson e-course at http://www.EnergyCenterClearing.com.

Where are Your Habits Leading You?

by Jack Canfield

Your Habits will Determine Your FutureYou are an accumulation of your habits. From how you get out of bed, how you shower, how you dress, how you walk, sit, and talk, how you respond to the world, how you act in front of others, and how you think; you’re living out your habits.

Habits are necessary.

They free up your mind so you can concentrate on how to survive day to day. You don’t have to think about how to drive your car so you can be on the lookout for danger while you are driving. You don’t have to think about how to walk so you can concentrate on where you’re going.

Unfortunately, habits can also keep you locked in self-destructive patterns, which will limit your success.

Is there something you want to accomplish in life that requires you to up-level your game? Whatever it is that you want to achieve, you will need to drop those bad habits that are lead to a dead-end and develop new ones that are in alignment with the life you want to live.

People don’t suddenly appear in the life they want to live… their habits play a large part in determining their outcome.

What are the habits you have that are keeping you from achieving your goals?

Really be honest with yourself here…

Are you always running late?
Do you return phone calls within 24 hours?
Do you get enough sleep?
Do you follow through on your promises?
Do you plan out your day?

Imagine what your life would be like if all your habits were their productive counterparts!

  • What would your life be like if you ate healthy meals, exercised and got enough sleep?
  • What if you saved your money, stopped using credit cards and paid cash for everything?
  • What if you stopped procrastinating, overcame your fears, and began networking with people in your field?
  • Would your life be different? I bet it would!

So, my suggested action step for you is to write down some productive habits you could adopt and visualize in your life. Step two is to ‘act as if’ you were living these new habits right now!

I’d like to help you get moving toward creating more successful habits, so I’d recommend you develop four of your new success habits each year, one for each quarter.

Once you pick the new habit you’re ready to adopt, next you’ll want to create a method that will support your new habit.

Here are some ideas… You could write it down on a card that you keep with you and read several times a day. You could make it a part of your daily visualization. You could also enlist the help of an accountability partner who has habits to change, or work with a personal coach who can keep you on track.

It’s important to make a 100% commitment to your new habit, so be specific about the steps that you’re willing to take in order to drop an old habit and adopt a new one. Don’t be vague about how you will change your habits. Spell it out for yourself so you can recognize situations that motivate you to act out your new habit.

Just developing four new habits a year will dramatically shift your life to be more in line with your vision. And the more in line it becomes, the easier the other habits are to replace because your perspective is shifting and you can see more clearly how your old habits aren’t serving you anymore.

Make the decision. Make the commitment. Then watch your new, positive life unfold!

I’ll see you in another two weeks in the next edition of Success Strategies. In the meantime, take the time to implement just one of the strategies discussed in today’s issue.

© 2010 The Canfield Training Group
All Rights Reserved

Pay Yourself First

By Brian Tracy

Resolve today that you are going to save an invest at least 10 percent of your income throughout your working life. Take 10 percent of your income off the top of your paycheck each time you receive one and put it into a special account for financial accumulation.

Save Throughout Your Career
The fact is that if you save just $100 a month throughout your working lifetime and you invest money in an average mutual fund that grows at 10 percent per annum, you will be worth more than one million dollars by the time you retire. This means that anyone, even a person earning minimum wage, if he or she starts early enough and saves long enough, can become a millionaire over the course of his or her working lifetime.

Lifelong Habits
Developing the lifelong habit of saving and investing your money is not easy. It requires tremendous determination and willpower. You have to set it as a goal, write it down, make a plan, and work on it all the time. But once this practice locks in and becomes automatic, your financial success is virtually assured.

Practice Frugality
Practice frugality, frugality, frugality in all things. Be very careful with every penny. Question every expenditure. Delay or defer important buying decisions for at least a week, if not a month. The longer you put off making a buying decision, the better your decision will be and the better price you will get at that time.

Million Dollar Habits
“Change Your Habits…
Change Your Life!”

Do you ever wonder how it is that people just like you become millionaires? Would you like to know the secrets that turned others into financial successes? It’s easier than you think.

If you are willing to alter the course of your life to accomplish your deepest desires—Then Brian Tracy and his proven methods will help you achieve the business and personal success you’ve always dreamed about! Learn more here>>

Parkinson’s Law
A major reason that people retire poor is because of impulsive buying. They see something they like they buy it with very little thought. They become victims of what is called “Parkinson’s Law,” which says that “expenses rise to meet income.” This means that no matter how much you earn, you tend to spend that much and a little bit more besides. You never get ahead and you never get out of debt.

Don’t be a Victim
You don’t have to be a victim of Parkinson’s Law. If you cannot save 10 percent of your income, start today by saving 1 percent of your income in a special savings and investment account. Put it away at the beginning of each month, even before you begin paying down your debts. Live on the other 99 percent of your income. As you become comfortable living on 99 percent, raise your savings level to 2 percent of your income, then 3 percent and 4 percent, and so on.

Grow Your Savings and Investments
Within one year, you will be saving 10 percent and maybe even 15 or 20 percent of your income and living comfortably off the balance. At the same time, your savings and investment account will start to grow. You will become more careful about your expenditures, and your debts will begin to be paid off.

Change Your Financial Outlook in a Year
Within a year or two, your entire financial life will be under your control and you will be on your way to becoming a self-made millionaire. This process has worked for everyone who has ever tried it. Try and see for yourself.

Open a special account for financial accumulation today. Make a deposit in this account, no matter how small. Then, look for every opportunity to add to this account. Begin to study money so that you understand how to make it grow. Read books and magazines by experts on the subject. Never stop saving, learning, and growing until you become financially independent.

Listening Power

By: Brian Tracy

The art of good conversation centers very much on your ability to ask questions and to listen attentively to the answers. You can lace the conversation with your insights, ideas, and opinions, but you perfect the art and skill of conversation by perfecting the art and skill of asking good, well-worded questions that direct the conversation and give other people an opportunity to express themselves.

Ask Open Ended Questions
Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Open-ended questions encourage the speaker to expand on his thoughts and comments. And one question will lead to another. You can ask open-ended questions almost endlessly, drawing out of the other person everything that he or she has to say on a particular subject.

Be Content to Listen
In order to be an excellent conversationalist, you must resist the urge to dominate the discussion. The very best conversationalists seem to be low-key, easy-going, cheerful, and genuinely interested in the other person. They seem to be quite content to listen when other people are talking and they make their own contributions to the dialogue rather short and to the point.

Communicate With Power
“Influence People and Get What You Want – Using Only Your Words”

It’s a simple fact–the most successful people in the world are also the best communicators. Your ability to communicate with others will account for fully 85% of your success in your business and in your life. My CD will teach you how to persuade and influence others by speaking to them.
Click for more >>

Share the Opportunity to Talk
In fact, good conversation has an easy ebb and flow, like the tide coming in and going out. Whether it is between two people or among several, the conversation should shift back and forth, with each person getting an opportunity to talk. Conversation in this sense is like a ball that is tossed from person to person, with no one holding on to it for very long.

If you feel that you have been talking for too long, you should stop and ask a question of someone in the group. You will be tossing the conversational ball and giving that individual an opportunity to converse.

Learn to Listen Well
Listening is the most important of all skills for successful conversation. Many people are very poor listeners. Since everyone enjoys talking, it takes a real effort to practice the fundamentals of excellent listening and to make them a habit.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, make a habit of asking good, open-ended questions of others in every conversation and in response to problems or difficulties. This shows interest and increases your understanding.

Second, take a deep breath, relax and let the other person talk more. Practice over and over until you become an excellent listener.

How To Predict Your Future

by anthony on May 3, 2010

For thousands of years people have been searching for a way to accurately predict their future.

Some believe that the motion of the stars and planets somehow influence our destinies. Others speculate that the lines on an individual’s palm or the arrangement of tea leaves in the bottom of a cup can provide an insight into what lies ahead.

Unfortunately, none of these systems have a very high success rate. However, there is one way to predict your future with incredible accuracy.

Crystal Ball

The most effective technique for predicting your future does not involve creating a Numerological Chart. Instead it involves creating a Habitual Activity Chart.

Here’s how it works.

A Habitual Activity Chart contains 21 cells that each represent a specific block of time outside of your working hours.

Habitual Activity Chart

More than anything else, it is the regular weekly activities that you pursue during these blocks of time that will determine the nature of your future.

Let’s take a look at an example so that you can see exactly how this works.

When Lucy sat down to predict her future by creating a Habitual Activity Chart, she thought about the activities that she pursued on a regular basis during the week.

Her initial chart looked like this:

Habitual Activity Chart

As Lucy’s Habitual Activity Chart shows, her main weekly habits outside of work hours involved stopping off for a coffee and croissant each morning, having lunch with her fellow teachers at lunchtime and relaxing in the evenings in front of the television.

When Lucy assessed her Habitual Activity Chart, she asked herself the important question:

“What will my future look like if I continue to pursue these habits?”

Lucy realized that her current weekly habits were leading her towards a future that she didn’t really like the look of.

She was also surprised to find that her habits were in no way aligned with the most important goals in her life which were:

(1) To write a children’s book
(2) To get fit
(3) To find her life partner

Lucy therefore decided to make some changes. Her revised Habitual Activity Chart looked like this:

Habitual Activity Chart

Lucy changed her morning routine to spend an hour each day working on her book. She also decided to use the school gym at lunchtime three times a week and set aside some time to make dating a priority.

By changing her Habitual Activity Chart, Lucy was able to change directions and establish the habits that would lead her to a new future that was more in line with her most important goals.

Now it’s your turn…

To download a blank Habitual Activity Chart, please Click Here.

By creating your own Habitual Activity Cart and learning to analyze your weekly habits, you too can quickly gain a powerful insight into what the future has in store for you.

The most exciting part about this technique is that if you don’t like the future that your current habits are leading you towards, all you have to do is change your habits.

Remember, your weekly habits crystallize to form your character, and ultimately it is your character that determines your future in life.

Until next time,
Dare To Dream,
Anthony

Cold Calling Sales Tips by Jim Meisenheimer

Cold calling sales tips is something I decided to write about
after reading an article in Inc. Magazine.

The article was about David Rosen. He sells $500,000 worth of
wine a year to private individuals across the country.

This guy loves and lives on making cold calls.

David is extremely enthusiastic about his work and about the
wine he sells.

Aside from his enthusiasm I really like the simplicity of his
approach and that’s what I want to share with you.

Now get this, his first question to his sales prospect is, “Do
you like wine?” It’s elegant simplicity – isn’t it?

Look, I realize unless you sell wine, you can’t use this question.
What you can do is create a question that works like David’s
question in your business.

Among other things, I sell sales training programs emphasizing
No-brainer selling skills. If I am talking with the sales prospect
I certainly wouldn’t ask a question, “Do you like wine?”

However, I could ask, “Are your salespeople overtrained?” Another
way to ask this question is, “How many of your salespeople are
overtrained?”

It took me five minutes to create these questions. I’m sure I
can think of even better questions to ask and the point is so
can you.

Where do you find your leads in your business? You should give
this serious thought and maybe even take a page from David Rosen’s
book.

Rosen reads the letters columns of wine magazines, searches wine
blogs, and does creative Google searches for new leads. He’s good
at doing his homework which the Internet makes a lot easier.

Another cold calling sales tip from David Rosen involves
gatekeepers. He says, “Don’t feel the need to get past the
gatekeeper the first time.”

He uses this first call to collect information. After several
attempts to reach a person you might leave a voicemail message
introducing himself as that “persistently optimistic wine guy”
before leaving his elevator speech and his telephone number.

I believe this next sales tip is extremely important. Rosen says
“You should learn your script then ditch it.” It’s impossible
to sound professional when you’re rambling.

Here’s something else Rosen does that you might be able to adapt
to your business. He promises to send an e-mail follow-up restating
his services. He also tells the prospect it will come from “David
your wine guy!” That’s a clever way to brand yourself during the
first phone call.

He also knows how to get referrals from his customers. He must
because 81% of his sales in 2009 came from referrals.

He knows exactly how to ask for referrals. He simply says, “Now
that you’ve got a feel for what I do and my style, who else do
you think might be interested in The Wine Guy?”

Here are a few more cold calling sales tips for you.

Imagine just before your next cold call you turned on the switch.

=> You turned on the switch to smiling.

=> You turned on the switch to positive thinking.

=> You turned on the switch to positive expectations.

=> You turned on the switch to solving your customer’s problems.

=> You turned on the switch to high energy and lots of enthusiasm.


You see it’s because very few people are always smiling, always
thinking positively, always have positive expectations, always
focused on solving problems, and always have high energy and
lots of enthusiasm – that you have to turn it on, you have to
turn the switch on.

This switch is not automatic – it’s manual and you have to turn
it on. Using this switch turns cold calling into warm calling.

The secret to attracting more business is as easy as A, B, C!

The next time you’re cold calling, try saying “SHOW TIME” before
you pick up the phone and see what a difference it makes.

It’s “SHOW TIME!”

You’ll have success written all over your face – as soon as you
say “SHOW TIME.”

Do this and you’ll discover how cold calling can be fun and
profitable for you.

Remember – you gotta look good and you gotta sound good too!

Sell Like John Lennon – Darren Hardy

SoFi-2John Lennon is my real estate agent in South Beach, Miami. Seriously, that is his real name.

John sells exclusively on a single street called South Pointe Drive, located in an exclusive area called SoFi (South of Fifth). His sales territory consists of six über-luxury high-rises along the cruise ship waterway and Miami Beach front.

In the past 15 years, John has sold more than $3 billion in real estate on this street (do the math on 3 percent commission—that’s almost as much as the other John Lennon made!).

John took Georgia and me to lunch a couple days ago to give us an update on our property and the market. I took the opportunity to try and pry out the secret to his extraordinary success.

I found it! And now I will pass it along to you too…

I asked, “John, there are hundreds of agents who (attempt to) sell in this market, how do you sell 100-times more than most everyone else?”

John explained, “When I started out I was in an office of four other agents. We all took turns handling incoming foot traffic. We all had the same number of prospects to work with. Each of them would close a deal once every three to four months; I was closing 31 per month. The difference was I wasn’t selling what they were selling. Sure, the same building and same apartment units, but I was selling something different for every different person.

“One time, the building developer called me to ask what I had sold that day. I said, ‘I sold a $4 million parking space, a $2.8 million gym and spa access pass and a $6 million closet. And each came with an apartment included. The developer was perplexed, ‘What do you mean you sold a $4 million parking space?’ I explained that I had discovered that was what was most important to that person. He had vintage cars and had a bad experience in a previous building. I spent an hour explaining the security, safety and cleanliness of our underground parking and he couldn’t write the check fast enough.”

John went on to explain to me, “Most salespeople try to sell everything to every person every time. Huge mistake. A realtor will show all the units available in someone’s price range pointing out all the features and everything they like about each place. Even if a client points out something they like, they continue on showing more units (selling), ‘Oh, you also need to see this unit, the view is spectacular.’ All the options create a blur of complexity extinguishing their desire to make a decision and buy. All the while it was simply the parking space they would have been most interested in anyway.

“I don’t sell at all (of sorts); I ask questions, listen and observe. I find out what’s really most important to them and focus my education on those features. That way they discover what they were really looking for…  and they buy it.”

How you too can sell like John Lennon:

1. See everyone as unique. What you assume people are most interested in is mostly incorrect. Start with that assumption.

2. Ask questions. You’ve heard this a hundred times, but you are still making more statements than you are asking questions. Stop it.

3. Watch and listen. If/when you finally do ask questions, listen closely and continue to probe until you discover their real hearts’ desires.

4. Restrain yourself. This is the hardest step—to stop selling. Insecure sellers make a sale and then ‘buy it back’ because they keep talking, showing presenting or selling. Once you discover their core motivation, connect it with your solution then stop and ask them to buy.

5. Serve, don’t sell. There are countless times when John was servicing my unit, performing functions well below his pay grade. The result? Well, I am writing about him now. No wonder he doesn’t have to sell! There is a clue in that.

And lastly, as the other John Lennon would say, “Only people just know how to talk to people. Only people know just how to change the world. Only people realize the power of people. A million heads are better than one, so come on, get it on!”

Life Balance: The Urgent vs. the Important by Denis Waitley

Of all the wisdom I have gained, the most important is the knowledge that time and health are two precious assets that we rarely recognize or appreciate until they have been depleted. As with health, time is the raw material of life. You can use it wisely, waste it or even kill it.

To accomplish all we are capable of, we would need a hundred lifetimes. If we had forever in our mortal lives, there would be no need to set goals, plan effectively or set priorities. We could squander our time and perhaps still manage to accomplish something, if only by chance. Yet in reality, we’re given only this one life span on earth to do our earthly best.

Each human being now living has exactly 168 hours per week. Scientists can’t invent new minutes, and even the super-rich can’t buy more hours. Queen Elizabeth I of England, the richest, most powerful woman on earth of her era, whispered these final words on her deathbed: “All my possessions for a moment of time!”

We worry about things we want to do, but can’t, instead of doing the things we can do, but don’t. How often have you said to yourself, “Where did the day go? I accomplished nothing,” or “I can’t even remember what I did yesterday.” That time is gone, and you never get it back.

Staring at the compelling distractions on a television screen is one of the major consumers of time. You can enjoy and benefit from the very best it has to offer in about seven total hours of viewing per week. But the average person spends more than 30 hours per week in a semi-stupor, escaping from the priorities and goals he or she never gets around to setting. The irony is that the people we are watching are having fun achieving their own goals, making money, having us look at them enjoying their careers.

Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire today. If you’ve just frittered away an hour procrastinating, you will still be given the next hour to start on priorities. Time management contains one great paradox: No one has enough time, and yet everyone has all there is. Time is not the problem; the problem is separating the urgent from the important.

Every decision we make has an “opportunity cost.” Every decision forfeits all other opportunities we had before we made it. We can’t be two places at the same time.

Even though we all are aware of the tradeoffs of “quality time vs. quantity time” in our relationships, we are not used to thinking specifically about how our decisions cost us other opportunities. Without this understanding, our decisions will often be unfocused and unrelated to helping us achieve our most important goals.

You may have heard the story about the analogy of the “circus juggler” to each of us as we try to balance our personal and professional priorities. I have heard the story repeated by many keynote speakers and have used it in previous books, but have never been able to trace the identity of the original author.

When the circus juggler drops a ball, he lets it bounce and picks it up on the next bounce without losing his rhythm or concentration. He keeps right on juggling. Many times we do the same thing. We lose our jobs, but get another one on the first or second bounce. We may drop the ball on a sale, an opportunity to move ahead, or in a relationship, and we either pick it up on the rebound or get a new one thrown in to replace what we just dropped.

However, some of the balls or priorities we juggle don’t bounce. The more urgent priorities associated with self-imposed deadlines and workloads have more elasticity than the precious, delicate relationships which are as fragile as fine crystal. Balance involves distinguishing between the priorities we juggle that bounce from the ones labeled “loved ones,” “health,” and “moral character” that may shatter if we drop them.

The reason I always ask my seminar attendees to list the benefits of reaching their goals is so they can arrange them in the true order of importance to them and give them a sufficient amount of attention as they juggle them within their time constraints. Handle your priorities with care. Some of them just don’t bounce!

To live a rich, balanced life we need to be more in conscious control of our habits and lifestyles. Actualized individuals have a regular exercise routine. They pay attention to nutrition, with lean sources protein and fiber-based carbohydrates as their basic food choices. They relax through musical, cultural, artistic and family activities. They get sufficient sleep and rest to meet the next day renewed and invigorated.

In addition to blocking periods of time for recreation and vacations, they also schedule large, uninterrupted periods of work on their most important projects. Contrary to popular notions, most books, works of art, inventions and musical compositions are created during uninterrupted time frames, not by a few lines, strokes, or notes every so often. Every book or audio program I have written has been done with the discipline of 12 to 15 hours per day during a specific block of time.

True enough, I may have sacrificed a ski trip or an escape vacation once or twice. But by trying to focus on prime projects in prime time, the opportunity costs have been outweighed by the return on invested resources.

With your material, time and energy resources allocated well, you should be able to use your innovative powers to focus on goal achievement. Effective priority management creates freedom. Freedom provides opportunity to make decisions. We make our decisions and our decisions, over time, make us.

Freedom from urgency… that’s what will allow us to live a rich and rewarding life. You may have thought your problem was “time starvation,” when in truth, it was in the way you assigned priorities in your decision-making process. Have you allowed the urgent to crowd out the important?

Each day we will continue to encounter deadlines we must meet and “fires,” not necessarily of our own making, we must put out. Endless urgent details will always beg for attention, time and energy. What we seldom realize is that the really important things in our life don’t make such strict demands on us, and therefore we usually assign them a lower priority.

Our loved ones understand when we are preoccupied with our urgent business, but it’s hard for us to understand, many years later, when they appear preoccupied when we finally find some time for them. Harry Chapin’s classic song “The Cat’s in the Cradle” is still a mirror reflecting our priorities.

All the important arenas in our life are there awaiting our decisions. But they don’t beg us to give them our time. The local university doesn’t call us to advance our education and improve our life skills.

I have never received a call or e-mail from the health club I joined insisting that I show up and work out for 30 minutes each day. My bathroom scale has never insisted that I lose 30 pounds. The grocery clerks have never made me put back on the shelves the junk food I put in the cart, nor has a fast-food restaurant ever refused me a double cheeseburger and large fries because of my high cholesterol.

Nor have I ever been subpoenaed by the ocean or the mountains to appear for relaxation and solitude. Yet I receive hundreds of urgent phone messages and e-mails each week from people with deadlines.

You see, it’s the easiest thing in the world to neglect the important and give in to the urgent. One of the greatest skills you can ever develop in your life is not only to tell the two apart, but to be able to assign the correct amount of time to each.

Beginning tomorrow, throughout the day, and every day thereafter, stop and ask yourself this question: “Is what I’m doing right now important to my health, well-being and mission in life, and for my loved ones?” Your affirmative answer will free you forever from the tyranny of the urgent.

When it comes to peak performance, Denis Waitley has for many years trained high-performers, teaching them the secrets to optimal health, greater self-esteem and stronger self-discipline. And here’s the great news for YOU. With The Platinum Collection—his 18-CD “portable coaching system”—the secrets of these elite performers are now within your grasp! Click here for more details or to order.

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