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Strategies for Life Success

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Workbook to compliment class at TutoringZone.

Workbook to compliment class at TutoringZone.


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  • 1. Strategies for Success by John SpenceA Handbook for Creating a Successful, Happy, Balanced Life
  • 2. Strategies for Success Thank You Thank you so much for purchasing this workbook. It is has always been my goal to deliver a product to you that is far more valuable then the small price you paid for it. I hope that when you finish “Strategies for Success” you will agree that it is a powerful, and potentially life-changing workbook and worth every single penny you invested in it. I also hope that you will enthusiastically recommend it to all of your friends, family and colleagues, as I honestly believe that taking the time to go through this workbook can have a dramatic positive impact on a person’s future. It has taken me more than 20 years to compile this workbook and fill it with the very best ideas and information I could find, I hope that it becomes a valued tool for you and something you want to tell as many people as possible about. Please be sure to visit the companion web site to my book: “Awesomely Simple - Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action”. There are a ton of free resources there to help you improve your business and career. www.awesomelysimple.com For more information on my work: www.johnspence.comWWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM To contact me directly: john@johnspence.com2
  • 3. Strategies for SuccessSetting the StageBefore you get into this workbook, I want to give you some background on how it came into being.By many different standards, a lot of people would most likely consider me “successful”. I have owned and run severalcompanies, traveled around the globe, written two books, co-hosted a TV show, been recognized as one of the top 100business thought leaders in America, met some of the wealthiest and most famous people in the world, and lived what somepeople might consider an extraordinary life. But my life has not always been like that. As you’ll see later in this book, therewas a time that I was failing miserably—a time when I was not happy and definitely not headed in a good direction. Duringthis time, I had an experience that motivated me to really take stock of my life. What I decided was that if I wanted my lifeto get better, I needed to become an “expert on success”—so that is what I set out to do. I read everything in sight, talkedto anyone whom I felt could help, spent thousands of hours studying what it truly took to build a happy, joyful, and highlysuccessful life.In my quest, I began to collect ideas, concepts, tools, and workshops that I found especially meaningful. I think it is fair tosay that I have read well over 500 books, listened to several hundred audio books and attended dozens of seminars across theU.S. - all in an effort to learn everything I possibly could about what it truly takes to create a successful and rewarding life.Because the amount of information soon became overwhelming, I decided to create my own “success handbook”. This bookwas not originally designed for anyone else but me—I just wanted a simple, clean, concise workbook that I could use to keepmyself on track, something I could read and work in to keep the very best ideas I had collected at the forefront of my mind.The result is the book you now hold in your hands.I never intended to teach this information to anyone, but one day a friend saw me carrying my book and asked what it was. Itold him that it was my success handbook, and that I was using it to build my life plan. He was intrigued and literally beggedme to show the book to him, so I made him a copy and explained what I had written. A few weeks later, he called and said hehad a dozen other friends who really wanted a copy too, and asked if I’d be willing to teach a short class on the ideas in thebook. We rented a small conference room at a local hotel, and 14 people showed up.Nearly 25 years later, I have taught this material to tens of thousands of people. From college campuses to the top companiesin the Fortune 100, I have visited classrooms and conference rooms around the world and helped people learn how to applythe ideas in this book to their lives and their careers. I am happy that many people have sent me notes and emails to tell methat this little book has changed their lives. I smile, with great humility, because I know that the ideas in this book are NOTmy ideas—they are timeless truths about what it honestly takes to create and live a successful life. I simply gathered togetherthe things that really work and put them all in one short workbook.I want to make it clear that I do not claim to be the world’s leading expert on happiness and success. Yes, some might lookat my life and say I have achieved a high level of success, and I do get up every single day excited about my future and allthe great things happening in my life and the lives of those I love - but my life is not perfect, nor will it ever be - no one’s is.What I can tell you with great confidence is that your life does not need to be unnecessarily difficult. There are specific thingsyou can do to move your life in a much more positive direction. There is a set of principles, that when properly applied, cancompletely transform your life. There are key ideas and tools that truly successful people use to build extraordinary lives. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COMThose ideas are in this book—they are ideas and workshops that can touch you deeply and have a profound impact on the restof your life. And even after two decades, I still take this book out every month and go through it again. These ideas are thatimportant.I wish you great happiness and success.John Spence 3
  • 4. Strategies for Success Please read the following paragraph and give it careful thought. Do your best to follow the prescriptions on this page— suspend your normal way of thinking, question everything, and accept only what actually makes sense to you. Do not believe what I tell you; do not believe what others tell you; believe only what you believe in your heart—what you know to be true for YOU. It is also critical that you be brutally honest with yourself in examining this information, and especially in doing the exercises. You will be asked to consider some things that may be challenging, difficult, or uncomfortable. Please face these questions with courage, and tell yourself the absolute truth. You do not have to discuss these things with anyone else, but you must be totally honest with yourself if these exercises are to help you at all. If you will do these things, today will be a very important day for you and those you love. Do not believe what you have heard. Do not believe in tradition because it is handed down many generations. Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times. Do not believe because the written statements come from some old sage. Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders. But after careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it. - Buddha (563 B.C.–483 B.C.) It is one of the great Human Absurdities, that just because we have a life — we think we know how to live.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM4
  • 5. Strategies for SuccessPLANI have studied this subject for years, and have developed a number of models, theories, and systems, but I have not been ableto create anything more elegant than the life success model described in the book True Success by my friend, Tom Morris.Tom’s PLAN model is simple and easy to remember, yet highly effective and comprehensive,so I will use it as the framework to discuss success. To be successful in life, you must have a PLAN. Prepare for the Journey Analyze, visualize, prioritize, and strategize. Carefully study the area of your aspirations. Become an expert on your success! Because you become in life what you choose as your mind’s focus, you must take the time and effort necessary to prepare a clear, compelling, and focused plan for your life. You would not build a house without blueprints, take a long-distance trip without a map, or start a business without a business plan—and building a happy, successful, balanced, and joyful life is absolutely no different. Success does NOT happen by luck, fate, or chance. You must be well prepared for your journey toward success. Not everything will go exactly as planned, but that is not a valid reason for failure to plan. You can either wait and hope your life gets better, or you can create a plan to do everything in your power to make it better—which leads perfectly into the next step. Launch Into Action There are two kinds of people in this world—people who watch things happen, and people who make things happen. No one is going to make things happen for you. No one is coming to save you. If you want changes in your life, if you want success and achievement, you must take action. The amount of success you enjoy will be directly proportional to the amount of action you apply to your plan. Many people desperately want their lives to be better, but only those who take focused action will see the results they desire. Adjust and Analyze as You Go Expect the unexpected—this is one of the best pieces of advice about life that anyone can give to you. You should never be frustrated by the inevitable, and surprises, missteps and a few failures are inevitable. Things will go wrong; you will make mistakes; other people will cause you pain and difficulty—this is as it should be, because this is exactly how life works. Some changes in our plans are unavoidable, but with a clear vision of our core values and most important goals, we can work the needed detours into our plans as we go. The key to being flexible is to keep watching and analyzing how your PLAN is developing and then, when necessary, make the appropriate adjustments to get yourself back on track. Network With Those Who Know At each and every step, we need to recognize the value of networking with people who already know what we need to learn, or whose past experience can help us gain the knowledge we need in order to make the progress we want. The people with whom you spend time—in person, in print, on the internet - or on CD, DVD, or TV—will, in large part, WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM determine who you will become! A key to success in life is to surround yourself with people who want to help you succeed—friends, family, neighbors, associates, mentors, teachers—a broad network of people who can help, assist, advise, and support you. Life is far too hard to do alone, so ask all of the smartest people you can find for as much help as they will offer. Life gets much easier and more fun with a big team of people on your side! 5
  • 6. Strategies for Success We are only a few pages into the workbook, and I have already used the word “success” a number of times. Before we continue, I want to define success as I will use it throughout this book. A definition of personal success: When you live a life in which your core values and the picture of your “Ideal Life” are in harmony with the way you actually live your life on a daily basis. Most people define success as an abundance of wealth, power, possessions, prestige, popularity, or fame —and while these things are all fine and wanting them is not a uncommon or wrong in any way, they alone do not lead to being a successful person or living a successful life. My definition of a successful life is having a set of deeply held personal values, a clear idea about the kind of life you truly want to live and the person you honestly want to be—and then getting up every day and actually being that person and living that life. If you become rich, famous, and powerful, and that is honestly what you wanted for your life—great! If you become none of those things, but you are a living example of the values you hold and your life is very close to what you hoped it would be—then I think you are extremely successful. You get to tell the truth, you do not have to pretend to be anyone other than who you are, and you go to sleep each night thankful for a life that is what you want it to be—to me and to many, many other people, that is the true definition of success. That you don’t have to have tons of money, power, or fame to be successful is a hard concept for a lot of people in our culture to accept. We have been conditioned all our lives—by society, advertising, TV, movies, school, family, friends—to believe that success means you have more of everything, you want for absolutely nothing, and you do not have to put forth any extra effort or work to get it all and have it all. » Here is the truth about that idea: It is a two-part lie. The first part of the lie is that money, fame, or power will make you happy and successful; it will NOT. Money, fame, and power can just as easily contribute to an absolutely miserable life. I personally know a number of extremely wealthy people, including three billionaires, and I absolutely assure you that success and happiness are completely independent of money, fame, power, and possessions. While those things are nice and I like them too, I can tell you with great confidence that they are definitely NOT what make people happy. This is the truth. The second part of the lie is that you can have anything and everything you want without putting forth lots of effort, without ever failing, and without ever having any difficult times. If you want to achieve significantly more than other people, you have to work longer, harder, and smarter than others around you. There is no huge monetary or material success without eff ort. While you might find one or two wunderkinds who get lucky and sell their web site to Google for $300 million each, that is literally a 1 in 100 million chance. You actually have a much better chance of winning the lottery... and you would be amazed how many people have seriously staked their entire future happiness on one day winning the lottery—with no plan at all in their lives—just $50 in tickets every week, and hopes for the best. The hard truth is that most of the people we consider overnight successes have spent years and often decades workingWWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM tirelessly in the shadows to hone their crafts, build their networks, innovate new ideas, expand their skills and put themselves in just the right positions to take advantage of lucky opportunities that might come along. And if those opportunities don’t come, these people make their own luck! If you want to achieve at a very high level, and sustain that success, it takes time, effort, planning, discipline, and very hard work. I am sorry, but this, too, is the truth. *** However, if you love what you do, it never feels like work - it feels like a life filled with fun and adventure! “Chance favors the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur6
  • 7. Strategies for Success“When values are clear, decisions are easy.”I have just made a strong case that the foundation of success is having you own personal, values-based definitionof success, so... what are your core values? Below is a short list of some possible values, traits, and ideas that you mightconsider important. Review the list carefully, and circle only the items that are truly core to you. Since this is by no means acomplete list, please add any other values about which you feel strongly.The point of this exercise is that you must choose a set of primary core values, because if you don’t have clear core values oryou have too many things you say you value, you actually value nothing at all. Some things must be the most importantthings to you, or you will not have the key beliefs on which to make the important decisions in your life. Once you canidentify, with a powerful commitment, the things you honestly hold most dear, it becomes easy to make even the mostchallenging decisions by comparing and contrasting them to your values, then determining what you should do. Honesty Independence Respect Accomplishment Discipline Adventure Security Laughter Success Truth Fun Honor Creativity Service Achievement Learning Safety Friendship Possessions Dedication Love Responsibility Exploration Boldness Humility Family Conformity Serenity Tradition Recognition God Diversity Nature Beauty Discovery Creativity Spirituality Art Contribution ImaginationList your top 5 core values below (in priority order if possible) then turn to the next page for the second part of thisworkshop.1.2. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM3.4.5. 7
  • 8. Strategies for Success My Core Values Are… Please write down each of the values you have just identified as your Core Values. Then, next to each one, write a brief explanation about why this specific value is so important in your life. Please be as completely honest, frank, and forceful as you possibly can; this is a chance for you to tell yourself exactly why this core value is so important to YOU! Why is this a value you hold so deeply? Why is it fundamental to the person you want to be and the legacy you want to leave? You should write something like: I value __________ and I absolutely MUST live this value every day because… The value of __________ is core to who I am because… I must be a living example of __________ because… Take this exercise very seriously, and be 100 percent honest with yourself. (There is more room to write on the next page.)WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM8
  • 9. Strategies for SuccessCore Values continued... WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 9
  • 10. Strategies for Success Personal Definition of Success Now that you better understand your Core Values, the next step is to develop your own personal definition of success that is based on those values. The world may value money, fame and power - and you might too - but the truth is you will never ever “feel” successful, unless you can clearly define what success means to you and how you will know when you have achieved it. In this exercise I want you to spend some time creating your unique definition of success that you will use to guide your life. Do not worry about anyone else’s definition or how others might react to your view of success, the goal is to establish a clear definition of “success” that you feel comfortable with and will make YOU happy. Be absolutely truthful with yourself, put away all preconceived notions and societal pressure and complete this thought: To me, the definition of living a successful life is...WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM10
  • 11. Strategies for SuccessThe Reality Cycle Family – Friends – School – Religion – Society – TV – Advertising – Media – Books – Work – Peers… Information Assumptions Reactions Attitudes Other People Rules, Beliefs, Mental Maps Society, Friends, Family Actions Behaviors, Focus, AttentionBased on the information you have gathered since childhood, and from numerous different sources…You form certain assumptions—whether you think an idea or information is valid or false.Based on those assumptions, you create for yourself a set of attitudes (or rules) about how you believe your life and the world aresupposed to work.After you have accepted an attitude (rule), you rarely, if ever, question or test it again.These attitudes cause you to take specific actions in your life—how you behave, what you pay attention to…Those actions are then judged by the various people around you, and…Based on their reactions to your behavior, you either continue that behavior or begin to question it and possibly decide tochange it. KEY POINTSWrong assumptions = wrong attitudes = wrong focus = wrong actions = wrong results = unhappy life.New information = new assumptions = new attitudes = new focus = new actions = new results = new life.Change your assumptions and change your rules—and you can change your life! WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COMYou created your current set of rules; you can also create new rules any time you want to do that.Two areas of major impact: Information & People » Here is probably the most important thing I can teach you: You become what you focus on, and similar to the people with whom you surround yourself. 11
  • 12. Strategies for Success Let me tell you a story that might bring the idea of the Reality Cycle into clearer view. I started college in 1983 at the University of Miami (Florida). I grew up in Miami and went to a top prep school there, so UM was close to home, friends, and my boat, a 17-foot fishing skiff. To put it in a polite language, I did not take college very seriously. The truth is, I did not even show up for classes until my first semester’s midterm exams. I bought the books and got the syllabi, but never went to a single lecture! If it was sunny, I went fishing; if it was rainy, I went drinking. I had a great tan and knew all the bartenders in town, but had never met my professors! At the end of my first year, with a grade point average (GPA) of 1.6, I got kicked out of the University of Miami. The story gets better. My dad was one of the top graduates that UM ever produced, and a board member of the university’s law school. Believe me—it is no fun to get kicked out of a school where your father is famous! Although I had a 1.6 GPA, the guys I hung out with had GPAs of 1.2, 0.9, 1.3—I actually had the highest GPA of all my friends! I was the academic stud of my peer group with my 1.6 GPA. How did my friends react if I got a D on a test? No big deal—we all got D’s, or worse. We’d just go out and get beers and complain about how stupid the test was, or how the professor was a fool, or how we did not like the class anyway—our problems were always someone else’s fault. We were giving each other positive reinforcement for negative behavior. I was doing things that were terrible for me, and failing college, and my friends were saying, “Great! We are, too!” After all, misery loves company. After I got kicked out of UM, I tried to transfer to the University of Florida (UF). I will never forget the day I went to the UF Registrar’s Office to turn in my transcripts. The lady behind the counter looked at my files, laughed, looked at me, and said, “You might want to go to the University of Florida, but we do NOT want you.” I walked out of the office, sat down on the curb, and began to cry. It was then that I realized that I was very close to screwing up my life completely. Then I realized something even more important—that if I wanted my life to get better, it was going to be 100 percent my responsibility. My mom couldn’t do it for me. My dad could not fi x it. My friends could not turn my life around. If I was going to have the great life I had always dreamed about, I was going to have to do it myself. I was going to have to take complete accountability for my actions and behaviors and become an expert on my own success. Flunking out of college was the wake-up call I needed to change my life totally. I had to re-start school completely at a small community college, and was eventually admitted to the University of Florida, on probation. By then, I had figured out the secret—that you become what you focus on and similar to the people you surround yourself with —so I created a very specific plan to be successful in college. My first step was to decide what to focus on, which led me to develop the question that drove all my actions in college: “How can I have as much fun as possible in school, while staying healthy, maintaining super grades, and setting myself up for my dream job and dream life?” I kept that question in focus every single day. Before deciding whether to skip class and go to the beach, I would ask myself, “Will this help me achieve my vision for college, or will this hurt my chances of making that vision come true?” If I could go to the beach and it would not adversely impact my grades, I’d go—otherwise, I went to class and worked hard on my grades. I was not going to make the same mistake I made in Miami, so I made some significant changes in the people with whomWWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM I chose to spend time with too. At the beginning of every semester, I’d stand up in front of my classes (that typically had about 200 students) and say, “Hi, my name is John and I want to get an A in this class, so I am going to form a study group. If anyone would like to be in the group, please see me after class—and, oh yeah, you must have a 3.6 GPA or higher to join.”12
  • 13. Strategies for SuccessMy first study group started out with about 20 people, then fell to 15, then to 12, then to 10, and eventually ended up withsix—six people who studied together, went to class together, and worked on projects together. I think college was mucheasier for me because I had five friends doing everything they could to help me get great grades. If I got a B on a test, howdo you think this group treated me? “We don’t get B’s—let’s do some extra work and go visit the professor.”We pushed each other, we supported each other, and we helped each other. When I finally graduated from UF, the PublicRelations Society of America named me the top public relations student in the Southeastern United States, and one of thetop three students in the entire country. What’s more, while most students were sending out resumes and hoping to getinterviews, I had multiple job offers and had already accepted a job as the new director of public relations and marketing atone of the Rockefeller foundations, The Billfish Foundation.Three years later, at the age of 26, I was named Executive Director/CEO of that foundation, reporting directly tothe Chairman of the Board, Winthrop P. Rockefeller III. Just two years later, I was nominated as one of the topCEOs in Florida under age 40, and recognized by Inc. Magazine’s Zinc On-Line as one of America’sup-and-coming young executives. In 2011 I was named one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America.I tell you this story not to impress you with my own success, but to impress you with this idea:If I can do these kinds of things, anyone can.I am obviously stupid enough to fail out of college, so it’s clear that I am not some sort of super genius. What I becamewas focused. I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve, built a detailed and realistic plan to achieve it, and then surroundedmyself with a group of very bright, talented, and dedicated people who genuinely wanted to see me succeed. Napoleon Hill,in his self-help masterpiece “Think and Grow Rich,” called this collection of helpful friends the Mastermind Group, and saidit was one of the master keys to the universe. Those who succeed at a high level are extremely disciplined about how they spend their time and who they spend theirtime with. They are constantly filling their minds with good books, audio books, seminars, information, ideas, motivation,stimulating conversation, spiritual examination. They gather around themselves a large group of people who support themand are committed to helping them succeed. Then they ask all of these people for help, ideas, suggestions and feedback tohelp them grow and improve.So whether it is getting good grades in college, building your career, starting a company, leading a community charity,or leading your own life successfully—one of the great secrets to success is the idea that you become what you focus on, andsimilar to the people with whom you surround yourself. This is truly one of the “secrets” to success. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 13
  • 14. Strategies for Success Focus Workshop List the top 3–5 areas in your life where most of your focus is going right now. What do you truly spend most of your time doing and thinking about? Be very honest. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. List the 5 people with whom you spend the most time, and/or who seem to have the strongest impact on your life. In space #6, list yourself. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM14
  • 15. Strategies for SuccessNow go back and review your areas of focus. Do these areas honestly represent the very best use of your time and attention?Are the things on which you focus adding value to your life? Are you spending the most precious resource you have—your verylimited time and attention—on things that make you better, happier, more successful, and fulfilled—or are you wasting time onactivities that will not truly contribute to your living an extraordinary life? Give each area of focus a score from 1 to 10: 10 = If the area is awesome—a really great investment of your time. 7 = Pretty good - but could be improved. 5 = In the middle—not really good, not especially bad. 3 = Not super good, but it probably won’t kill you either. 1 = Very bad thing to be spending time on, could lead to serious problems in your life.Next, think about the people you listed. Do they add positive value to your life? Or do they diminish your ability to achieve thethings you really want to do? Do they love and support you? Or do they criticize and condemn your behaviors? Do they trulywant you to succeed? Do they encourage you and help you? Or do they cause stress and anxiety in your life? Be extremely honestwith yourself about this question. Give each of these people a score from 1 to 10: 10 = If the person is a super influence. 5 = If no strong effect, either positive or negative. 1 = If horrible for you, a very bad influence.In space #6, score yourself. Are you your own best friend, or worst enemy? How do you treat yourself? » Give very serious thought to any area that you score lower than a 6!Now, let’s take a quick assessment of how well you are currently focusing on the major aspects of your life. Again, on a scale of1 - 10 -- with 10 being absolutely outstanding, how are you doing in the areas of:Health (fit, trim, strong, healthy diet, no smoking, moderate or no alcohol, no drugs) ______Family (loving relationships, quality time together, respect and support, positive interactions) ______Career (enjoying work, making a positive contribution, excited about the future, competent, valued) ______Financial (strong savings, low debt, living within/below your means, building for a secure financial future) ______ WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COMPersonal (good work/life balance, circle of close friends, time to relax, having fun, enjoying life) _____Personal Development (reading, study, learning new skills, attending seminars, mentors, training) ______Spiritual (studying sacred texts, attending a house of worship, meditation, prayer, spiritual growth) ______** Are you happy with these scores? Are there places you need to make improvements? 15
  • 16. Strategies for Success ? ? Decisions ? D = IO ? Op ? ? Although non-mathematical, the formula is quite straightforward: ? » Decisions = Intended Outcome / Number of Options When you are unclear about what your intended outcome is, you can be overwhelmed by a myriad of possible options. If you don’t know where you are going, any path might take you there. A lack of focus or direction is one of the greatest producers of stress for most people. For example, if I told you I was going to be in New York city and wanted to go out for dinner, and that is all of the information I gave you, how many total dining options meet those criteria? The real number is more than 20,000. What are your chances of making an absolutely perfect decision if it is a 1 in 20,000 guess. However, when your intended outcome is very clear and specific, the number of options for successful achievement of that outcome are limited. In When you are very clear about what you want to achieve, the outcome you truly want... it becomes quite obvious what you need to do—which decisions will move you toward your intended outcome. Perhaps just as important, it will also tell you which decisions will hold you back or lead you in the wrong direction... the things you should say “NO” to. “The man or woman who succeeds above their fellows is the one who clearly discerns their object and towards that they habitually direct their powers. Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fi xity of purpose.” - Edward G. Bulwer-Lynton People who lead successful lives have made systematic, disciplined efforts to pursue specific plans rather than simply drifting about aimlessly. These people have a set of personal core values and a clear direction that they use to guide their lives and help them make their most important life decisions. Conversely, people who struggle in life have no written plans, no focused directions, no senses of purpose; they are often the people who get up every day and just hope it will be better than the day before—not realizing that having clear intended outcomes would give them paths toward success and happiness and show them what to avoid - what does not match their values, what would not make them successful.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM Your intended outcome is your “vision” for the life you truly want to create. Your vision must be clear, specific, compelling, and based on your unique personal core values. Your vision guides how you live your life and all your major decisions. It tells you what to say “yes” to. Your vision also helps you do something very important: figure out what you should NOT be doing. Where to say “no” in your life!16
  • 17. Strategies for SuccessLet me tell you a true story that I think will help you better grasp the important of creating a clear intended outcome andlearning to say “no”. A number of years ago I was invited to facilitate a leadership workshop for the top 100 students atthe University of Delaware. The school had 15,000 students at that time and I had the honor of working the 100 best andbrightest for a day.In the middle of the workshop I got to the point where I was teaching the D = IO/Op chart and explaining the importance oflearning to say “no” when a young girl in the class started to cry. Now, I am not talking a little whimper here, nope, she wasfull-out sobbing. I tried to continue to teach, but her wailing and tears soon had everyone in the room distracted, so I gentlyasked her: “What is wrong?”She replied, “You have my life up there on the screen Mr. Spence. I do have a very clear intended outcome. All my life I havewanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps. I am an only child and my dad is a lawyer and I have always wanted to be a partnerin his firm. He went to school here and law school here, and has an office just a few blocks off campus, and I have alwayswanted go to school at this college, go to law school here and work side-by side with my dad, trying cases with him in his lawpractice.”She then continued, “But I have a problem with the saying “no” part. I am involved in several organizations, I am on thestudent judicial board and I am the president of my sorority. And in all of those places, whenever anything goes wrong, I amthe “go-to” girl. As a matter of fact, two weeks ago my sorority sisters asked me to help them finish the homecoming float. Itried to tell them I was too busy, but they just kept pressuring me, so I finally gave in and said I would help. Of course, assoon as I got there, they all took off and left me alone finish the float. It took me two and a half solid days - all day Thursday,Friday and half of Saturday to get it looking good. Then they showed up to pick it up for the parade -- and we actually wonwith the float that I basically built all by myself!”Now the crying really started getting heavy and through a river of tears she continued. “But I was not there to see the parade,because I was scheduled to take the LSAT (the entrance exam for law school) that afternoon. I made it to the test, but becauseI was so tired from working on the float I feel asleep in the middle of the test and failed. Now, I realize that I have thrownaway my entire college career and any chance of ever becoming a lawyer... because I did not have the courage to simply sayNO.”This is a painful story, but it is one I hear again and again. I often ask executives in my classes, “What percentage of the timedo you find yourself doing things that do not truly add value to your life, career or family? How much of your time do youspend on things that you know deep in your heart that you should be saying “no” to? The answer... 60-70%. That is right- they admit that more than half of their time -- and by default , half of their life - is spent on things that they know theyshould be saying “no” to! WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 17
  • 18. Strategies for Success Learn to Say No I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for you to discover what you need to say no to in your life, and then have the courage to actually do that. Although many people know that they are doing things that are bad for them—not helping them, not adding any value to their lives—they are not disciplined enough to say no, to walk away from those destructive situations, activities, behaviors, or people. Why is this? An extremely wise woman who has been a leading psychologist for more than 50 years shared this answer with me when I asked her why this happens People do what seems easy and convenient in their lives… not what is best for them. Of course, you don’t simply stop doing everything you want to move away from in a single day; it make take months or years to extricate yourself from some of your commitments. For example, if you don’t like your job, I am not suggesting that you walk in tomorrow and quit. The key is to stop doing whatever you can now, and then begin putting a plan together to end the other things as quickly as is reasonable. You might stop smoking immediately, but put together a specific 18-month plan to move into a new career by gaining some new skills, networking, and meeting with a career coach and employment service. You might step down from a volunteer position at the end of the year, or simply call them and tell them you are far too overextended and regretfully will have to resign right now. By the way, when you do something like that, you are not saying no to the organization or the cause -- you are instead saying yes to your life, your family and your future. But saying no can be extremely difficult, how do you find the strength? You find it by developing a compelling and exciting picture of the future you want to create. By developing a worthy purpose to dedicate your life to. You find the courage and strength to say no, by figuring out what you deeply want to say “yes” to in your life... your values, your personal definitions of success, your clear intended out come. Which brings us perfectly to the next workshop, creating a Vision of your Ideal Life...WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM18
  • 19. Strategies for SuccessVision of Your Ideal LifeIn as much vivid detail as possible, write a clear statement of your vision for your ideal life as it will be three years fromtoday. Be completely honest with yourself. Make your vision exciting, compelling and motivating... but also realistic.Include as much detail as you can imagine— some things to consider might be: what kind of job you will have; what cityyou will live in; and whether you will be single or married, have children, be starting a family, or finally have the kids outof the house. Describe, in vivid detail, the house where you’ll be living; the vacations you will take; what your hobbieswill be; what your spiritual life will be like; and how much you will have in income, savings, and investments. How willyou maintain your fitness and health? Will you be involved in a charity? What kind of car will you drive? Will you havea pet? Who will your friends be? Will you be close to your extended family? Will you be preparing for the next stage inyour career? Describe absolutely everything you can possibly think of about what your ideal life would truly be likeTHREE years from today.You can write your vision in one succinct paragraph, a series of short sentences, or bullet points. Make sure you understandEXACTLY what your vision means to you—and that you are willing to commit to making it actually happen. Again, bevery honest, frank, realistic, and specific.This is a chance for you to tell yourself exactly what kind of life you truly want to live. This exercise should be fun,exciting, and a little scary, too! You have lots of room to write on this and the next two pages - so put in plenty ofdetail and ideas—enjoy. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 19
  • 20. Strategies for Success Vision of your Ideal Life continued...WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM20
  • 21. Strategies for Success Vision of your Ideal Life continued...Observing the lives of people who are truly successful, I have seen an extremely clear pattern. They have defined a personalvision, established specific goals, and, regardless of any obstacles, committed themselves to achieving their vision. With avivid, detailed and values-based vision of life success, a person can overcome confusion and conflict over incompatible values, WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COMcontradictory desires, setbacks, unfairness and frustrated relationships, all of which lead to the absence of happiness, joy orsuccess. 21
  • 22. Strategies for Success The Happiness Workshop Please list the top 10 things that give you the most joy and happiness in your life. These things could include something as simple as listening to nice music or taking walks in the woods -- or as ambitious as international travel or buying a new jet. What are your favorite activities—the things in your life that you absolutely love to do, the things that make you feel truly happy, relaxed, joyful, excited, contented or fulfilled? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Now give each one of these activities a score between 1 and 10: 10 = I have lots of this activity in my life; I get to do it all the time.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 5 = I do this from time-to-time, but not that often 1 = I say I enjoy this, but I never get to do it; it’s not in my life at all right now.22
  • 23. Strategies for SuccessThe Stress WorkshopPlease list the top 10 things that cause you the most stress right now. What are the things that often make you angry,upset, frustrated, worked up, worried, nervous, and agitated? What makes you lose your cool, keeps you awake at night. Whatreally adds extra stress to your life?1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 23
  • 24. Strategies for Success Control Here is a very important idea: One of the greatest sources of stress that people create in their own lives, on a daily basis, comes from trying to control what is simply out of their control. There are actually only a very few specific areas in which you have control/impact/influence, in varying degrees. The key is to identify those things over which you can exert influence, then focus very clearly on taking as much control of those areas as you possibly can while learning to let go, as much as possible, of those things that you do not control. Dealing with issues of what you can and cannot control is one of life’s greatest challenges, and one of the fundamental skills for creating a happy, joyful life. Things you CAN control: Things you do NOT control: Your mind (most important of all) Other people’s behavior / thoughts / beliefs Your attitude Politics/government/economy Your beliefs Weather Your speech Traffic/lines (what you choose to say, and what you choose not to say) Accidents/illness Your general appearance Aging/death How you spend your time Prejudice/hate harbored by other people With whom you spend your time The past Where you spend your time How you spend your money The ONLY person in the world you can control is YOU. The ONLY person in the world you can change is YOU. The ONLY person in the world who believes the same way you do is YOU. The ONLY person in the world who has control over the way you feel is YOU. The ONLY person in the world who has control over how you think is YOU. The ONLY person in the world who has control over how you behave is YOU.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM These ideas are challenging, but they are also 100% the truth. Now, go back and review your list of stressors. Which can you control, and how? Which should you work on learning to release, because you will never control them?24
  • 25. Strategies for SuccessCurrent Life Assessment WorkshopYou have just completed several extremely important workshops about:Your top core valuesYour personal definition of successWhat you focus on and with whom you spend your timeThe things in life that make you happyThe things in life that give you stressYour vision for your ideal lifePlease take a few minutes to review all of your answers to these workshops; your answers provide critical information aboutwho you are and what you honestly want your life to be. Now comes a really tough question. » Does what you are doing right now—and do the people you are spending time with right now—match your core values, make you happy, and clearly lead you toward living the vision of your ideal life and achieving your personal definition of success?In other words, are your current actions and behaviors going to take you where you truly want to be in the future? Are youspending time on the right things and with the right kinds of supportive and loving people? Are you honestly living your corevalues every day? Have you built your life in such a way that it is filled with the things that give you joy, and is moving youconstantly toward living a happier and more successful life... according to your definition of success?For some of you, that answer will be a resounding YES. You are on track, things are going in the right direction, and thisexercise has just given you more confidence to keep doing the things you are doing. Fantastic!For many others of you, this exercise is a serious wake-up call. You have just realized that you are NOT doing the things youMUST do to make your life better. You are wasting precious time and attention on unimportant things, spending time withpeople who do not want you to succeed or to be happy. You are missing opportunities to bring more joy and fun into your life.You are creating stress in your own life over things that you do not and will not ever have control over. And now, you realizethat the life you are currently leading will NOT take you in the direction of the life you truly want to live. You are not on thepath to your vision of your ideal life.Use the next two pages to write yourself some very honest notes. What is working well in your life right now? What is goinggreat? What are you doing right now that makes you happy? In what areas of how you are living your life do you take pride?What do you deserve to celebrate?AND—Where do you need to make some changes? With what are you not pleased? What things in your life give you stress,bring you pain or unhappiness? What are some of the things you do to yourself that take you off track? Who are the people in WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COMyour life who are not good influences, who don’t help you move in a positive direction? What things do you need to changeand, specifically, how do you need to change them? Be very honest with yourself, because if something is not right in your life,you are the ONLY person who can fi x it. 25
  • 26. Strategies for Success Things in my life that are going well: Things that I need to do more of:WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM26
  • 27. Strategies for SuccessThings in my life that I need to fi x / change / work on:Things I need to stop or say no to in my life: WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 27
  • 28. Strategies for Success Goals Now that you have identified the positive changes you’d like to make in your life, the next step is to set goals to make sure that you actually make those changes. I am sure that you have heard and read a gazillion times, “Goal setting is the key to success—you have to set goals—blah, blah, blah, goals.” Well, unfortunately, this is 100% true! Goals are the “how to” of your big picture vision. Goals provide the step-by-step process for getting from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. Without clear and specific goals, your vision is really nothing more than a dream... a hope. Why Goals Are So Important Goals tell you exactly what you should be doing now. Goals tell you exactly what you should be doing next. Goals help you decide what NOT to do. Goals serve as a way to mark your progress. Setting and reaching goals is a repeatable process—once you achieve one goal, you simply set another. I am going to break with tradition here. Many people will tell you that you need to create a detailed plan for the rest of your life, for exactly what you want to have happen over the next 20, 30, or 40 years. I don’t buy that! Sure, you need some long- term goals, some life goals. The world is a quickly-changing place, however, and people are ever-changing creatures. I honestly don’t think that most people can know, in great detail, what they would like to be doing in 20 years. You should, however, have a really good idea of what you would like to be doing in the next 3 - 5 years. Personally, I only set goals for the next 18–24 months. Yes, I do have some very important long-term life goals—but these are functions of my short-term goals. I think it could be very intimidating to write out detailed plans for when I am old and gray. So I think that if I can focus on making the next year or two the very best possible, my long-term goals will, in large part, be taken care of by default. A reminder: Goals should be SMART S = Specific: The more detailed, vivid and clear --- the better. M = Measurable : You need to make it easy to see if you have achieved your goals, or not. A = Agreed upon: You need to get a team of people around you that agree to help you with your goals. R = Realistic: Your goals should be exciting and challenging, but reachable. Don’t set yourself up for failure. T = Time bound: A goal without a due-date is just a wish. You need a time line to keep yourself moving. Once you have set clear SMART goals, you have the opportunity to take advantage of a very powerful tool—getting up eachWWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM and every day and asking yourself this incredibly powerful question: » What MUST I do today to move one step closer to accomplishing my goals? With whom do I need to talk? What actions must I take? What must I NOT do, that would keep me from reaching my goals? Who else can help me? Where will I need to go to get that help? What is the very next step I need to take? What must I do to accomplish that step? Asking yourself over and over, day after day, “What must I do today to move one step closer to accomplishing my goals?” This one question will change your life!28
  • 29. Strategies for SuccessGoals WorkshopHere is an exercise to help you practice how to quickly establish life priorities and key goals. What are the top three roles inyour life (student, worker, father, wife, daughter, friend, leader, athlete, volunteer…) and the top three specific key goals youneed to pursue every day to be excellent at each of these roles? Here is an example:Role: College studentMaintain at least 3.7 GPA.Study a minimum of 2 hours per night and 8 hours over each weekend.Do not skip any evening or Friday classes.Now it is your turn—top three roles in your life—top three goals for each role—be specific.Role:1.2.3.Role:1.2.3.Role: WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM1.2.3. 29
  • 30. Strategies for Success Pay the Price People ask me all the time, “John, what is the real secret to success?” As far as I can tell, this is truly it: 1. Decide exactly what it is that you honestly want from your life. 2. Determine the price you must pay to achieve it. (time, money, eff ort, education, travel, people, tools, supplies, skills, discipline, sacrifice…) 3. Commit yourself to paying that price, no matter what! (as long as it is legal, fair, ethical, and doesn’t involve hurting anyone) Here is an example of what it takes to “Pay the Price” for success... Want Price Get /Give/Give up Earn a minimum of Additional 10 hours per month Go in 1 hour earlier each day $295,000 this year. at the office making calls, writing and 1 Saturday per month. personal letters and improving Put $5,000 in IRA. Join 3 professional clubs (Rotary, my work products—building my Toastmasters, Kiwanis) and attend all Invest $10,000. professional network and meetings. increasing my skills. Put $10,000 in college Cancel summer fishing trip with my fund for the kids. brother this year to attend national Take one-week vacation conference instead. with family to Disney World. Read at least 2 books every month on Keep credit card debt at zero. business or self-improvement. Start looking for a summer home on Send a thank-you note after every a lake. new client meeting and return all calls and emails within 24 hours. Hire a professional financial advisor. Why aren’t more people successful in life? Because most people do not select and pursue a clear vision with a high level of discipline. Most people shift aimlessly from one activity to another, in fits and starts, naively assuming that things will take care of themselves or will be taken care of by someone else. Many people can make lists like the one above—of exactly whatWWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM they need to do to make huge positive impacts on their lives—but very few people will actually do everything on those lists. It all boils down to this: » Unsuccessful people are unwilling to do what successful people willingly do.30
  • 31. Strategies for SuccessResponse–Ability Stimulus GAP Response Problems Ideal You Obstacles People Completely within Work YOUR ControlNo matter what happens in your life, there is always a GAP between the stimulus or the event... and how you choose torespond to it. The gap might be only a millisecond, or it might be several minutes, but it is always there—a space of timebetween when something happens and when you decide how you will react.Many people create incredible pain and stress in their lives because they are unable to control their emotions and behaviors instressful situations. How you react to the various stimuli that bombard you each day will depend upon how you have trainedyourself to react in the past! Reactions are merely habits, and habits CAN be changed. You can master a complex crisis if youcan identify the important information, refrain from acting impulsively, and simply refuse to react to the anxiety caused bythe crisis. If you cannot train yourself to behave in this way, you will be governed by your own untrained emotional impulsesthat overwhelm your consciousness and affect your potential to respond intelligently.You can train yourself to master stress. To do this, you must first recognize and then bypass all those negative thoughtsgrounded in superstition, custom, habit, and convention—all the thoughts that color your responses and attitudes, andprevent you from assessing each crisis and literally choosing exactly how you wish to respond.You must train yourself to examine the facts, to assess reality, and to correct for the distortions you introduce because of poorhabits and invalid assumptions. How you choose to respond is always 100 percent in your control.No one can make you angry; you anger yourself.No one can offend you; you take offense.No one can give you stress; you create your own stress.No one causes you to get frustrated; you frustrate yourself.Nothing comes from outside your own mind!Our thinking directly shapes our experience of life. The way we think about something—and, most importantly, the way we WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COMrelate to our own thinking about it—will determine its effect on us. Our thinking is not reality, but simply an attempt byus to interpret what we are experiencing. Our interpretations of what we think we see create our emotional responses. Ouremotional responses are not the products of what happens to us, but are derived from our own thinking. Once you discoverthat you can govern your own thinking, and that in doing so you can overcome adversity and move in the direction of yourvision, you will have gained the self-mastery necessary for creating a truly happy and successful life. 31
  • 32. Strategies for Success Ideal You Workshop When you are confronted with a difficult or highly emotional situation, there is great power in having the discipline to stop in the GAP —if only for a moment —and choose the empowering response of the “Ideal You.” To stop and make this sort of powerful choice presupposes though, that you have given some serious thought to what the Ideal You would actually be like, and are familiar enough with your vision of that person to be able to go quickly to that touchstone no matter what might be happening around you or in your mind. The exercise in this workshop is for you to write a short list of words or brief bullet-points to clearly describe the Ideal You. In the most trying of times, how does the Ideal You act, talk, think, react, manage emotions, interact with others, affect the world? What sort of behaviors and actions does the Ideal You take in an extremely stressful situation. Not the person you are now, but the person you want to become - how would that person act? Make the list very succinct and focused so it is easy to remember under pressure - just a few key words or short phrases that vividly describes the Ideal You. Now go back and score yourself on a scale of 1-10 for how well you actually live the “ideal You” in your life right now. 10 = this is me, this is exactly how I respond every time - no matter what is happening to me. 7 = I act like this the majority of the time, but every so often I slip and loose control. 5 = 50/50, half the time I handle pressure beautifully, but the other half of the time I handle it terribly. 3 = I have acted this way in the past a few time, but most of the time I loose control.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 1 = I never act this way at all, I wish I did, but the truth is I do not. The challenge is: Can you become that person? The way you become the Ideal You by holding that image of yourself clearly in your mind at all times—striving to live up to that You, to become that person one decision, one action, one word, one moment at a time. Yes, this is hard, and takes time and practice—but it is also 100 percent possible, and well worth the effort, to become a living example of the Ideal You.32
  • 33. Strategies for SuccessRules WorkshopNow it is time to discover and examine just a few of your rules. Answer the following questions,but answer them quickly. Write down what comes to your mind immediately. Be very honest. In order for me to feel loved, I must see, feel, or hear… In order for me to be successful, I must… A true friend is someone who… People are… I am really good at… I will never be any good at… I am the kind of person who… My life will be… I will always… Family is… WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM Life is… 33
  • 34. Strategies for Success Rules / Mental Maps / Assumptions All of us create in our minds a set of rules for how we believe our lives, and the world in general, are supposed to work; these are the assumptions that were described in the very first exercise. What you wrote down in the last exercise are a few examples of your own personal rules. There are two types of rules: 1. Inhibiting rules that hold you back, cause pain, and create frustration in your life; and 2. Empowering rules that help you learn and grow, have more fun, and enjoy your life. Few people ever really take the time to examine their own rules thoroughly—to explore where their rules might have originated and to determine whether their rules are valid or invalid, inhibiting or empowering—and then decide whether to keep their rules, or change them! » You created your rules, so you can change them any time you want to do that! It is critical to keep in mind that your rules for life are NOT the same as anyone else’s, and that other people have just as many rights to their silly and distorted rules as you have to your silly and distorted rules. Yet every day, we set ourselves up for pain and anxiety by incorrectly assuming such things as: My values are the right values, and you should agree with them. Your rules for friendship, relationship, love, and family are the same as my rules—or should be. You should know what I want without my asking for it. I know what is best for you, even though you might not. Because something is important to me, it should be important to you. My understanding of a term or word d is the same as your understanding. You see the situation exactly the same way I see it. You should like my friends because I like them. If you don’t believe the way I do, something is wrong with you. My rules are the correct rules. I see a lot of unhappiness created in people’s lives when they get continually angry and frustrated because they don’t understand why the rest of the world does not follow their rules! To end this frustration, you need only change your inhibiting rules and replace them with empowering rules.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM Here is the answer: Make new rules that allow you to win, and pick people who want to help you win! Yes, it is truly that easy, and you can do it at any time you want. For example, one of my rules is, “Every day above ground is a really good day,” and I surround myself with kind, loving, creative, smart, interesting, and fun people. Remember: You become what you focus on and similar to those people with whom you spend time. The choices of what to focus on, with whom to spend time, and what rules to create to guide your life are completely within your control. Yes, these things are actually within your control—you might need to make some hard choices, but you always do have choices.34
  • 35. Strategies for SuccessQuestionsThere can be no answers in life without questions.The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of the questions you ask. Every day, in hundreds of different ways, you are constantly asking questions of yourself and other people: when you need information when you need help when you don’t understand something when you make decisions when you choose behaviors when you create emotionsHow you ask those questions—the words you use, the phrases, the assumptions, the rules—has a tremendous impact on the answers you will receive. Limiting Questions Focus on... Empowering Questions Focus on... Blame Solutions Failure Growth Th ings gone wrong Learning Guilt Opportunities Fear Making problems smaller Poor decisions Future- and now-oriented No action Action based No learning Values based Why am I so bad at… How can I… Why can’t I ever succeed… What must I do to… What is wrong with me… What is great about this… Why don’t I ever win… What can I learn from this… Why does this always happen to me… What do I know that can help me… What will go wrong next… What will it take to succeed at this… Some great questions to ask yourself are: What are the core values by which I live my life? What is my vision for my ideal life? What is everything I must do to achieve that vision? What resources—time, money, education, supplies, etc.—will I need to achieve my vision? WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM Who can help me achieve my vision? Where do I need to go to get the resources/people to help me? What are the things I can do right away to start moving in the direction of my vision? Why is this so important to me? Why must I achieve this vision? What limiting beliefs or rules—that I can change—are holding me back? What can I do to bring more happiness and joy into my life, and into the lives of those I love? 35
  • 36. Strategies for Success Questions Workshop Here is an additional list of questions for you to consider. It is a great idea to sit down and quickly jot out your first responses, then look back and reflect deeply on your answers. This exercise can be very revealing. Remember: Don’t give each item too much thought; read the question, and answer from your heart. I love to… I hate to… I should… A bad habit that I know I really need to break is… The three most important things in life to me are… I am fascinated by… I am afraid to… I want everyone to know… I don’t want anyone to know… When I die, I want people to say… My greatest personal skills are… I would make an awesome… I am passionate about… I really admire people who… If I knew I could not fail, I would… I will never… I will always… My mission in life is to… Before I die, I really want to… My most valuable possession is… If I knew I had only one week to live, I would…WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM Three things I could do right away that would have a dramatic positive impact on my life are: 1. 2. 3.36
  • 37. Strategies for Success The Three Watchwords of Excellence Years ago, I had a top client ask me to give a very concise and powerful keynote speech about what it takes to achieve excellence in business and in life. I took the assignment very seriously—gave it a tremendous amount of thought and work—and eventually developed three key ideas that make up the foundation of what I believe is required to achieve and sustain excellence in any endeavor. FOCUS. First, you must have an incredible level of focus on a clear and compelling mental picture of the level of excellence you want to reach. What will it honestly take to become excellent in your chosen area? Who will help you? What skills will you need? How will you learn those skills? Where will you have to go? What price will you need to pay? How can you find the time? What will you have to say no to? You must be constantly focused on the specific details of what you must do to attain your desired level of excellence. DISCIPLINE. Once you clearly understand what you must do in order to reach your desired level of excellence, you must have the discipline to actually do the things you need to do. Having this kind of discipline is perhaps one of your hardest challenges. Many people know what they need to do, but very few have the discipline to get up every single day and do those things; this is the classic conundrum of the knowing-doing gap. ACTION. Finally, the amount of action you apply will have a direct impact on the results you achieve. A little bit of focus (not quite sure what you want), a little bit of discipline (sometimes you stay focused, often you are not), and only a little action (you try sometimes, but often don’t really give 100 percent) = mediocrity. Clear focus on your philosophy of excellence combined with the discipline to keep on task and take lots of action = unbelievable results.WorkshopLook back over the entire workbook then write some honest, clear, and specific answersto the three questions on the next page. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 37
  • 38. Strategies for Success FDA Workshop What do you need to FOCUS for the next 30 days that will have the most positive impact on you moving the direction of your values, vision and ideal life? Where do you need to have more DISCIPLINE in your life for the next 30 days? What specific ACTIONS can you take in the next 30 days to move in the direction of what you want to achieve in your career and in your life?WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM ***Once you get to the 30th day -- fill out these questions again and get to work on them.38
  • 39. Strategies for SuccessThe Secret to Career Success Jim Collins and his incredibly popular business book “Good to Great,” identified that all great companiesare focused on the intersection of three critical elements: skills, passion, value. I believe it is exactly thesame with your personal business career.To build a world-class career you must first understand deeply what your unique core competencies trulyare. What are you genuinely great at? What are you genetically hard-wired to do exceedingly well? What iseasy for you that other people find difficult? Where are the areas that you have superior talents, skills, andabilities?Next, out of all of your competencies and capabilities, which ones give you the most enjoyment? What areyou truly passionate about? What gets you up in the morning and keeps you awake at night? What wouldyou dedicate your life to doing that you know every day would be fun and exciting?Lastly, does your core competency and area of passion have REAL value in the marketplace? Who wouldbe willing to pay you to pursue your passion and competencies? Where can your unique talents, ideas,skills, and commitment add significant value in the marketplace?This same general point was made incredibly well by a good friend of mine, Tim Sanders, in his wonderfulbook “Love is the Killer App.” Tim says that a great life and successful career are built on three key areas:K - N - L.The “K” stands for knowledge. You have to be bright, sharp, smart, and highly talented at something thatis valuable in the marketplace. You have to have ideas, skills and competencies that people are willing topay lots of money for... because you add so much real value to them.The “N” stands for network. A lot of the RIGHT people need to know that you’re extremely talentedat something that is highly valuable the marketplace. By “right people,” what I mean is people who canspread the word about how incredibly fantastic you are at something that is valuable in the marketplace.I call these people “Hubs,” because they sit at the center of a network and if they are really impressedwith what you can do they can tell 600, 6,000 or 60,000 people about you and your incredible skills,capabilities and talents.The “L” stands for love. If you’re a person of honesty, integrity, clear values and… LOVE – and a lot of theRIGHT people know that about you – and they also know that you’re extremely talented at somethingthat is very, valuable in the marketplace… you have any job, at any company, at just about any salary youwant, anywhere in the world. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COMSo the three key questions are: What did I learn today? Who did I me today? Did I live my valuestoday? If you get up every day focused on improving your knowledge, increasing your skills, adding toyour competencies – and also meeting lots and lots of people who, if they are really impressed with yourintegrity and your competence, can tell dozens, hundreds or thousands of other people about you --- Youare absolutely building a strong foundation for great and lasting career success. 39
  • 40. Strategies for Success Your Day Is Your Life Vision = Focus Focus = Attention Attention = Action Action = Results Consistent Results = Destiny Until you can see, and admit, that YOU are the problem… You will be unable to realize that YOU must be the solution. We see the world not as it as, but as we are. We often talk to ourselves in ways that we would never let a stranger or even a friend talk to us. All that you achieve and all that you fail to achieve are the direct results of your thoughts. We are the producers of our own thinking. Thought is not something that happens to us, but something that we do to ourselves. Habits, good or bad, can always be traced back to your own thinking. What you do today determines who you will be tomorrow.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM If you just help enough other people get what they want, you will get everything you want.40
  • 41. Strategies for SuccessQuotes “First, therefore, we must seek what it is that we are aiming at; then we must look about for the road by which we can reach it most quickly, and on the journey itself, if only we know the right path, we shall discover how much of the distance we overcome each day, and how much nearer we are to the goal toward which we are urged by natural desire. But so long as we wander aimlessly, having no guide, and following only the noise and discordant cries of those who call us in different directions, life will be consumed in making mistakes—life that is brief even if we should strive day and night for sound wisdom. Let us, therefore, decide both upon the goal and upon the way, and not fail to find some experienced guide who has explored the region towards which we are advancing; for the conditions of this journey are different from those of most travel.” - Seneca, On the Happy Life (A.D. 58) “People are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves.” “People do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” “Man is manacled only by himself: thought and action are the jailers of Fate—they imprison, being base; they are also angels of Freedom—they liberate, being noble. Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.” “Let a person alter their thoughts and they will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of their life. For all that a person achieves and all that they fail to achieve is the direct result of their own thoughts. As one thinketh—so they become.” - William James (1864–1912) * slightly modified to be more gender neutral. WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 41
  • 42. Strategies for Success The Six Mistakes of Man I. The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others. II. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected. III. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it. IV. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences. V. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and study. VI. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do. -Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C.–43 B.C.) I find it amazing that more than 2,000 years ago, our brilliant and thoughtful ancestors were speaking and writing about the identical problems and concerns we share today! What is even more astonishing is that there are clear and specific answers that address these issues, and yet—two millennia later—we still struggle to find and embrace the truth.WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM42
  • 43. Strategies for SuccessThe Last WordThis could quite possibly be the most important page in this book.I have spent the last two decades of my life collecting, reading, learning, analyzing, and trying to practice personally theinformation that I have shared with you in this short workbook. This information has had a huge impact on me, and it forms apath that I will continue to walk for the rest of my life—always questioning, watching, studying, and having fun.But there is something very important with which I would like to leave you. After teaching this material to more than 250,000people in the past 20 years, I find that there is one final point that makes all the difference: All of this information is absolutely, completely, totally useless — if YOU don’t take ACTION.It sounds so simple, but it is really the most important lesson of all.Nothing will change in your life if you don’t make the change happen.I wish you great happiness, success, and joy.Love,John SpencePS - If you found this book helpful I hope that you will help spread the word about it by sending all of your friends, familyand colleagues to the web site: www.johnspence.com/s4s WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM 43
  • 44. Strategies for Success Books to Read It should be no surprise that much of the information, many of the quotes, and quite a few of the ideas that I presented in Strategies for Success were things I learned from reading some fantastic books. You don’t have to be a genius yourself—you can just read these books and discover what these wise people have already learned! ** You Can Be Happy No Matter What, Richard Carlson (New World Library) ** The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz (Amber-Allen Publishing) ** Living, Loving and Learning, Leo Buscaglia (Fawcett Columbine) ** A Strategy for Daily Living, Dr. Ari Kiev (The Free Press) ** Awareness, Anthony De Mello (Image Publishing) What Happy People Know, Baker and Stauth (St. Martin’S Griffin) ** As A Man Thinketh, James Allen (Barnes & Noble Books) Managing Your Mind, Butler & Hope (Oxford University Press) Life Strategies, Phillip McGraw (Hyperion) The Breakthrough Factor, Henry Marsh (Simon & Schuster) Empires of the Mind, Dennis Waitley (Morrow) Learned Optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman (Pocket Books) ** True Success, Tom Morris (Owl Books) ** Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey (Simon & Schuster) Unlimited Power, Anthony Robbins (Fawcett Columbine) ** Quantum Leap Thinking, James Mapes (Dove Books)WWW.JOHNSPENCE.COM (** = My top personal picks) If you visit my blog at: blog.johnspence.com, there is a complete list of all my recommended books.44