1. Richard Becker
Life Changing Activity Workbook
How to Manage Your Life to Success
Copyright 1999, 2003, 2007
2. Table of Contents
Time Management ...................................................................................................................7
The Ten Critical Areas ........................................................................................................... 15
Values .................................................................................................................................... 16
Emotional Stability................................................................................................................. 21
Physical Health ...................................................................................................................... 24
Intellectual Growth................................................................................................................. 26
Heirloom Knowledge ............................................................................................................. 31
Friends ................................................................................................................................... 41
Love & Relationships ............................................................................................................. 43
Finances ................................................................................................................................. 58
Community ............................................................................................................................ 68
Boil Down.............................................................................................................................. 71
The Action Plan ..................................................................................................................... 81
Tactics ................................................................................................................................... 82
Confession ....................................................................................................................... 10101
Mentors ................................................................................................................................ 103
Behavior .............................................................................................................................. 103
Results ................................................................................................................................. 103
4. He who plans a thing will be successful... -- Proverbs 16:20
I traveled to Nacogdoches, Texas to meet with a client. Instead of talking to me, he talked to
customers on the phone. ―Let me see what we‘ve got here.‖ He clicked away on his computer
looking up some auto part. ―93 Geo Prizm alternator...Lot 42...I‘ve got five of them, how
many do you need?‖ He could not seem to interrupt his busy day to save himself.
As he completed the order, the man shrugged and smiled at me as if to say, ―What can I do?‖
After the phone call, I asked him, ―Do those people work here?‖ I pointed to the counter
where four employees have been idly standing by for the past thirty minutes. As I finished my
question, another call was transferred to his office, and he held up his hand as he picked up the
phone again. The client smiled helplessly. I understand. Helping is my business. When he
finished, I assured him that his place would not burn down, and we went out for breakfast.
We talked for an hour, and I learned that my client had no plans or goals. He had close to $2
million in sales, worked 100 hours a week, supporting a family of four drawing a salary of
$35,000 a year. But he had no plans or goals. The family suffered from his absence. Their last
vacation was seven years ago. In addition, the $500,000 loan he borrowed from his family had
not been paid down at all. With his business and his life, he was failing.
My friend from Nacogdoches is not unusual. I see more than one hundred people like him a
year. My diagnosis of their troubles always includes disorganization and poor time
management. You cannot build without these basic tools for success. Each one of these clients
commonly lacks goals, the plans to achieve them and a system to control and monitor their
success. Developing these, specific to individual circumstances, are necessary and changing
elements of doing business well. Success will inevitably follow.
Why are this man and so many others not scoring success?
The answer, seemingly simplistic, is because they do not plan to accomplish their dreams, or as
the old cliché warns: ―Without a plan, you fail.‖ Shockingly, most individuals and businesses
have no formal plans. They operate with a survival-orientation rather than a success-
orientation focusing on the day-to-day crises rather than a future agenda. Long term planning
directs growth, and without it you will simply survive the crisis of the day rather than moving
your business and success to the next level.
5. The goal of this workbook is to teach you to direct business to score success just as the name
predicts. This is not an experiment but a proven business achievement. Thoughtful questions
explore and move people toward what they want to do (success thinking), rather than doing
what they have to do (survival thinking). You will learn to run your life instead of your life
As you work your way through the book, you will evaluate your combined personal and
business life to develop a clear picture of who you are and where you are going. Answers to
this dialogue will be the tools for achieving that end. You will use a scoring system to evaluate
your current situation. With that information, you will devise action plans to eliminate
procrastination and improve communication with associations which create results. At the end
of these exercises, you will have defined your path and own a weekly system to monitor your
How does the scoring figure into it?
The scoring system is goal-oriented and activity-centered to aid in monitoring your
performance. The plan you develop will be like a road map, showing you how to get from
Point A to Point B. On a scale of 1-100, you will know where you are on the map and where
you should be. By identifying what is taking you off course, you can act effectively to get back
on that road to prosperity.
Tools developed from these exercises encourage success seekers to speed toward desired goals.
It is the difference between taking a plane or a car. The choices available to you enable you to
fly toward success rather than cruise at driving speed. The bonus is that not only will your
business life improve, but you will regenerate every aspect of your life.
Where do I begin?
We will examine ten critical areas. They are the crux of who you are and what can motivate
change within you. These areas are: values, emotional health, physical health, intellectual
growth, family life, friendships, love, career, finances and community service.
The process may appear daunting. Examining oneself is a demanding process, but it is also
stimulating and fun, and can lead you to discover innovative ideas that will help you get more
out of life.
The questions in the workbook analysis section will bring out your personal strengths,
weaknesses, and objectives to reveal the strategy for accomplishing what you want. This
strategy will utilize inherent power to overcome personal shortcomings, along with suggested
tools and rules. The final section creates realistic plans and timeframes for accomplishing
goals. Here a mentor is suggested as a means to show you how to achieve better results by
6. modeling effectiveness and by holding you accountable. Think of yourself as interning to an
inspired life. As long as your plan is realistic and your performance monitored, success will
This book is intended to be a workbook, therefore, we have left plenty of space for the reader
in which to write notes and complete the exercises. Activities abound throughout, and I
encourage you to write, dream, plan and dedicate these open spaces to achieving what you will
discover within you. This is an activity book. I hope it actively engages you.
You will find an Appendix at the rear of the workbook. This section contains in-depth
descriptions and exercises to help foster better feedback and communication between your
mentors and your peers. As a group, I wholeheartedly encourage you to mentor each other
while exploring these exercises. They will teach simple ways to facilitate active, positive
dialogue that will spur each member to accomplish his or her goals.
I would like to offer some words of encouragement for the journey you are about to take –
small steps accomplish radical changes. Zig Ziglar, who began as a salesman and grew to be a
motivational speaker and author said, ―The difference between the scholarship student and the
student who passes is just ten minutes of studying a day. The difference between a superstar
and an average athlete is just four more wind sprints, another half-mile run, or six to eight more
weight-lifting repetitions.‖ I tell you, the difference between success and failure lies in a few
hours of planning. Plan!
7. The Basics of Time Management
‘I don’t have time,’ is the single most frequently given reason for living fractional, perpetually
indentured lives, for not living fully or freely. Because time is life, when we say we don’t have
enough time, we are admitting we don’t have enough life.
-- Sonia Johnson
All people have the same amount of time. It is how they use it that differs. Understanding
where our time goes is vital to understanding our individual time inefficiencies. Effective use
of time requires personal management. This is managing oneself in relation to the clock.
It’s About Time
Time is a finite resource, spent much like money. Imagine that your bank credits your account
each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day-to-day, and every evening, it
deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use. What would you do? Draw out every
cent of course!
Each of us has such a bank account –TIME. Every morning, life credits you with 86,400
seconds. Every night it writes off as lost, whatever you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day, it opens for business and each
night it burns the remains of the day. The loss is yours.
What is the significance of time?
An anonymous write said, ―To realize the value of:
ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth prematurely.
ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
ONE DAY, ask a daily wage earner with kids to feed.
ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed the train.
ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
ONE MILLISECOND, ask the Olympic athlete with the silver medal.‖
Time and its losses are personal. Spend time wisely, crediting each day with health, happiness
and success. Time management is not just about business, it is a life skill. Joan Rivers once
said, ―Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God‘s gift, that‘s why we call it the
8. The clock is running, but how do I keep time from running away?
Most of my clients spend the majority of their time ―putting out fires.‖ This crisis-oriented
modus operandi is an unsystematic approach, smothering current problems while ignoring the
source of the flare-ups. The daily fires are merely a symptom, not the cause of time burn-out.
The task is to focus on your reality and shape your priorities to realize your dreams. This is
Success Mentality. It centers on doing what you want or need to do rather than the fireman‘s
Survival Mentality of doing what they have to do and hoping there is time leftover at the end of
the day to do what they want. It is about making choices that deliver your desired quality of
Less Crisis and Regular Events Less Time for Desired Actions
Equals Time for Desired Actions Equals Time for Crisis and Regular Events
(Survival Mentality) (Success Mentality)
The diagram below is a representation of Stephen Covey‘s Quadrant Theory. Try portioning
your daily activities into the boxes and see where the balance of your day is spent, or perhaps,
where it should be spent.
Urgent Not Urgent
1st Quadrant 2 Quadrant
Important Activities: Crises Activities: Prevention
Pressing problems PC Activities
Deadline-driven projects Relationship building
Recognizing new opportunities
3 Quadrant 4 Quadrant
Not Important Activities: Routine Activities: Wasting Time
Mail, reports Busy work
Meetings Some mail
Pressing matters Some phone calls
Popular activities Pleasant activities
Most people find themselves caught up in Quadrants I & III because of their apparent
immediacy. The time sensitivity of these areas promotes an illusory progress that feels like
work. Quadrant IV is champion of procrastination and just plain goofing off. This is not to be
confused with a round of golf or spending time with your family. This is truly lost time.
Stephen Covey points out that savvy people spend their time in Quadrant II concentrating on
projects and tasks – a place of hard work with no structure or deadlines. These need to come
from you. Time is one of the most basic, vital and valuable human resources. However, time
moves forward. You cannot stop or rewind its passage, but you do hold the key to properly
9. managing it so that it works for you and not against you.
First things first…Are you wasting the hours on your timesheet?
Do you have prime time TV‘s schedule memorized?
Do you set unrealistic deadlines?
Are you fatigued from busy work?
Do you delegate without giving others the authority to act?
Is your attitude negative?
Do you blame other people for your mistakes?
Are you able to forgive and move on?
When 45 % of our day is spent listening to others, do you listen to input from others to get it
right the first time?
Are you over committed?
Do you keep meetings short?
Do you stick to your priorities?
Is the phone a tool for keeping conversations focused?
Are you hiding behind piles of organized clutter?
Do you prioritize your daily activities?
The results of a five-year study on procrastination are available five years behind
Piers Steel, a Canadian industrial psychologist, concluded in 2007, even by his own example
that procrastination is on the rise. In his 30-page study at the University of Calgary, he said, ―In
1978 only about 5 percent of the American public saw themselves as chronic procrastinators;
now it is 26 percent.‖
Procrastination is a reasonable worry with costly results. With too many ways to kill time –
television, Web-surfing, iPods, Blackberries and email – fun is just a click away. The financial
fallout adds up when the average cost of filing a delayed tax return is $400 and last-minute
credit purchases for holiday gifts rose five fold in the ten years ending in 2000. Who is wasting
all this time? 54 out of 100 chronic procrastinators are men, and the young are more likely than
the old to wait.
Procrastination creates other problems as well. ―People who procrastinate tend to be less
healthy, less wealthy and less happy,‖ Steel said. The causes of procrastination combine
temptation, immediacy, job worth, and belief in competency. Temptation is the siren call – and
its voice is louder than ever in today‘s world – and is the explanation for why the habit grows
worse over time.
10. Knowing you suffer from this is the first step to correcting it. Studying procrastination had a
positive effect on Steel‘s own problem, and his sheepish admission that completion of his study
took twice as long as he had planned underlines the scale of effect. It takes time to fix our use
of time. ―Something needs to be done about it sooner, than later,‖ he said as a warning to all.
Do you suffer from procrastination and indecision? It is not a question of laziness or
inefficiency. The underlying cause varies from person to person. Some people procrastinate
because they fear failure. ―If I worked at the tasks given to me, I might find that I am not as
good at them as I thought. I might fail.‖ Others avoid commitment. ―If I commit, it might be
to the wrong thing.‖ Or, ―People will have high expectations of me.‖ Some tease themselves
with the thrill of the challenge. ―I work better under pressure.‖ But it might be a battle for
direction. ―By procrastinating, I gain some measure of control over my work.‖
Do any of these apply to you? None of the reasons given justify procrastination.
Procrastination is avoidance, whether it is avoiding a perceived outcome, or avoiding trying
and failing. It is not healthy and will not help you reach your goals. Consider the questions
that follow to assess your helpless desire to pull back on the hands of time.
Do you select qualified people for the task?
Are your expectations clear?
Do you honor someone‘s ability to carry out the task?
Do you secure a commitment for follow-through?
Do you negotiate deadlines?
Do you provide latitude for imagination and initiative?
Do you perform the job for them?
Do you reward results?
How have you managed your time in the past?
How have you created optimal time usage in the past?
How did this impact your future?
Can you draw up an action plan?
How do you achieve your goals?
How did you spend your 86,400 seconds today?
How will you spend the next week? Month? Year?
The answers to these questions lead to an analysis of your time. The idea is to optimize it.
Time is not a reproducible commodity. You cannot just manufacture more when you run out.
11. Optimal Activity Analysis
In the pages ahead, you will learn in detail how to assess the ten critical elements of a vital life.
If you view the span of your adult life, the patterns will reveal optimal moments and life‘s
storms. Of course, this exercise will also reveal festering bad habits or the experience gained
from lessons learned.
Look at the spreadsheet on the following page. Use the following criteria for the ten critical
areas to assign a value to complete your own spreadsheet analysis. Numbers on a 0 to 10 scale,
with 10 as the highest rating, will be used to evaluate the recent and distant past, present and
forecast for the future. For all ten areas, enter them on your personal chart. As you review, your
health may shine in some years and your career in others, but be honest. This is not a test, but
an honest and often humbling self-reflection and assessment.
Let‘s look at the example on the next page and read the first critical area. This is data for a 40-
year old, looking back and planning for tomorrow. Reading across each line looks like this: 15
years ago -- 8; 10 years ago -- 2; 5 years ago -- 6; today -- 10; future goal – 10. Enter your
numbers likewise on the blank spreadsheet including your rank for best year (Life Best) in that
column. Continue entering data for each of the other critical areas in the same way. After
completing the chart, the next chapter will explain how to make the most of your resources at
any age or stage of life.
1. Values. Enter the number of hours per month that you do something based on your values
like go to church, temple, etc. for each time frame.
2. Emotional stability. List the ten worst times of your life. These are the top ten traumatic
events in your life such as a job loss, divorce, illness or bankruptcy. They are times in your
life that caused emotional stress. If any of these events is current to each respective time
frame, subtract 1 point for each event.
Worst times of your life
3. Health. Enter the number of hours you exercise per week. Exercise is defined as anything
from an evening walk to a work out at the gym. Include anything that is appropriate to your
individual physical condition or regime that is planned- meaning any exercise done that is
outside your normal work routine.
4. Intellectual Growth. Enter the number of hours per week that you spend studying, reading
or pursuing new knowledge.
5. Family. Enter the number of hours per month that you spend with your family.
6. Friends. Enter the number of hours per week that you spend with your friends.
7. Love Relationships. Enter the number of hours spent alone with your significant other per
week. If you do not or did not have a significant other during a specific time frame, enter 0.
8. Career. Use the following work chart:
40-44 hours/week, enter 10
36-39 or 45-48 hours/week, enter 9
32-35 or 49-52 hours/week, enter 8
28-31 or 53-56 hours/week, enter 7
24-27 or 57-60 hours/week, enter 6
20-23 or 61-64 hours/week, enter 5
16-19 or 65-68 hours/week, enter 4
12-15 or 69-72 hours/week, enter 3
8-11 or 73-76 hours/week, enter 2
4-7 or 77-80 hours/week, enter 1
0-3 or 81+ hours/week, enter 0.
You will notice that the person that does not put his or her nose to the grindstone ranks equally
low with the proverbial Jack who is all work and no play.
9. Finances. Divide your salary and/or total wages for each category by 10,000 and enter the
number. If that number is not appropriate for your situation, i.e. you are making more than
$120,000 per year, raise the divisor to equate an optimal number.
13. 10. Contribution to your community. Enter the number of hours you spend a month
improving the world in which we live.
Optimum Activity Levels- Example
Category/Time Period 15 years ago 10 years ago 5 years ago Today Life best Goal
Values 8 2 6 10 10 10
Emotional 8 8 9 10 10 10
Health 10 10 5 2 10 10
Intellectual 10 10 10 10 10 10
Family 10 0 0 1 10 10
Friends 10 10 8 3 10 8
Love 10 10 5 5 10 10
Career 8 5 8 8 8 10
Finances 2 2 3 7 7 10
Community 0 0 0 6 6 8
Potential Activity 91 91 91 91 91 96
Actual Activity 76 57 54 62
Variance 15 34 37 29
Average lost life= 31.59%
Average lost life in years= (Average lost life) x (Age)
31.59% 50 15.80 years
Opportunity is always available to us, but we need to recognize it in our midst. The chart will
help us with that.
Now that all your numbers have been entered, follow the example as I explain how to read
your own chart. Each personal column is added up, and the sum for each column goes in the
Actual Activity box. These numbers, taking stock of different periods in our life, represent the
measure of fullness of your life. A higher number means a fuller life. Now, take a highlighter
to the highest number attained in each of your categories, and enter each one into the Life Best
field. Add those numbers up, and the sum will be your Potential Activity level. Enter this same
Potential Activity number across the board to represent your compilation of Life‘s Bests. This
is your comparison for what you are capable of at your very best moments versus what you
actually managed for these points in your life.
Where there is opportunity, there is the potential for loss. Subtracting the Actual Activity from
the Potential Activity will give you the lost opportunity costs for each time frame in your life.
You can calculate the Average Lost Life opportunity by adding the numbers up for each
column and dividing by the number of columns that you filled out. The result is the average
time wasted everyday, every week and every year of your life. Don‘t be discouraged. This is
your room for improvement.
14. If you‘re feeling thick-skinned, take the average lost life opportunity and multiply it by your
age. This number will tell you how many years of your life have been potentially wasted so
far. Imagine what you could have accomplished if you had been focused! So, how will you
spend your tomorrows? That comes next through study in The Ten Critical Areas.
Optimum Activity Levels
Category/Time Period 15 years ago 10 years ago 5 years ago Today Life best Goal
Average lost life=
Average lost life in years= (Average lost life) x (Age)
15. The Ten
16. Critical Area One --Values
Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. -- Proverbs 16:3
Most people equate values with a spiritual or moral background. There are virtues that create a
safe, universal community. Values espoused by every culture and religion overlap in scope to
enhance and shape our nature.
Values find their voice in different ways. The most prevalent statement in our culture is the
Ten Commandments. But some have been around even longer, like the Buddhists‘ Eightfold
Noble Paths or Confucianism‘s Five Relationships. Some people find their truth in a modern
essay like All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.
For most, religion dictates their values, beliefs and faith. This forms the individual reliability
of our character.
However we define personal values, they inevitably define us. They determine our goals, our
associations through faith and our activities within that community. Like a lode of ore in the
earth, our values run deep within us, affecting the kind of person we are, our direction, and
those we choose for relationships. Formalizing these values tells the world who you are, how
you define success and how others can relate to you.
This section is key to your plan for your entire life! By defining our essence, we expose
limiting facets of our life, and shine the light on the greatest potential for our personal success.
Focus is achievable, and with focused efforts, timely, positive results occur. You are driving
with a map to the destination of your choosing.
Current trends market a culture that embraces a kind of ―Goldilocks faith‖. Praising acceptance
above all, it serves up a bowl of lukewarm mush that is supposedly just right for everyone. But
statistics tell a different story about those finding their value system. Numbers in mainline
denominations are dwindling as disaffected young people turn away from this kind of watered-
down faith. In fact, the fastest-growing communities today adhere to clear standards of right
Objective values common to all faiths include: honesty, kindness, consideration, compassion,
obedience, responsibility, respect and duty. Contemplate your answers to the list that follows.
What do you believe in?
What are your priorities?
What is the most important thing in life?
What do you cherish most in others?
What don‘t you believe in?
17. What are the restraining arms of your moral code?
Are you apt to violate these tenets of faith?
What are your spiritual goals?
Do you have spiritual leadership you respect?
Do you pray? Meditate?
Do you gather with a community of faith?
Do you have an accountability partner in faith?
Are you involved in spiritual activities outside of worship?
Are you in need of further personal development?
After thinking through the guiding questions, create a list of your personal values. From this
list, develop your personal doctrine of faith/belief. Take your time as this will be your map for
the way forward.
18. Personal Values Chart
Rank by priority what you value most as you create this list.
19. My Doctrine of Faith
(Write your own beliefs here.)
20. Application of Values
Applying the list you developed is easy. For example, say you ranked family as your highest
priority and money as your second. If you were asked to take a job earning even a hundred
times more than your current salary, but caused you to travel every week, you know the answer
you need to give your boss – ―No.‖ It stems from what you ranked as your highest value,
family. Especially if your spouse had seen your values chart! So a values chart becomes a
Post this guide to the decisions of life in a prominent place within view, for example, next to
your phone. It will serve as a constant reminder and reinforcement to you and others to respect
your personal code of ethics. This cuts down on wasted time and suffering. You do not say
―Yes‖ because you feel obligated, you say ―Yes‖ because requests are in line with your goals.
Your answer will then be according to what you established as rules for yourself.
Living what you believe comes easier than you think. It is sometimes a series of seemingly
small decisions that align your behavior with your core values. For instance, my Uncle Jake
wanted to make changes in his own life, one step at a time, and decided to stop lying. He had
found himself telling small lies, fibs or rounding off the truth. Uncle Jake‘s new resolve was
tested on the family‘s next trip to the movie theater. He approached the window and when
asked how many, he took a deep breath and told the attendant ages of his three children. After
Uncle Jake was given the price for each child, he swallowed the sticker-shock, smiled and
paid. Although the truth had cost him a few extra dollars, Uncle Jake felt at peace. Since he
did not fudge the truth about Suzie‘s age to score a child‘s ticket, he could sit and really enjoy
the movie without the typical guilt that accompanies these outings.
21. Critical Area Two -- Emotional Stability
As you noticed from your Optimal Analysis, the low points in life significantly impact
behavior and personal success. Traumatic events certainly impede normal life, but even a
consistent struggle wears us out over time. Emotional issues must be resolved or at least be on
track to a compromised resolution in order to work on other aspects in life. Destructive
feelings are not confined to their point of origin, but bleed into every aspect of our lives and
The critical emotional stumbling blocks that are popular to wrestle with are the 3 A‘s:
addiction, abuse and adultery. There are many kinds of addictions: gambling, drugs and
alcohol to name a few. Abuse can be characterized by either being abused or an abuser.
Physical and emotional abuse, whether active or passive, unresolved childhood issues, past or
present, block our emotional health. Serial adultery undermines time and money from families
and well intended businesses. Addiction to porn can escalate the same way. Are you
emotionally ill? Are there any blocks now? Are there any areas in your life that are out of
Questions help us to discover ourselves. This survey should make you think for a minute…
Who do you turn to for emotional support, and why? What solace does that person offer? Do
you need them often to weather life‘s storms? Can you vent your frustrations? Do they suggest
areas you need to work on? Are you able, through cost and attention, to commit to changing
these areas of struggle?
Home Sweet Home
Sometimes, life is full of the easy questions like these physical considerations: Do you like to
come home? Is your current location your ideal living situation? Do you long for a house in the
hills, a cozy bedroom community, an urban townhouse, or something completely different?
Can you create the ideal place by improving on your present situation? Or what does your
dream location cost?
Location can sometimes allow trade-offs that really make our life sing. A job without a
commute offers the chance to coach your son‘s baseball team. Or a suburban home might give
your daughter the opportunity to ride her bicycle to school. Life is full of compromises, but
those compromises should fall as closely in line as possible with your values and priorities.
The hard questions of life can make us stop in discomfort or even itch a little, but the end result
is making changes that are good for us. Get a cup of coffee and mull over this batch of Oreos –
22. questions with hard outsides that reveal our softest vulnerabilities. How do you feel at the end
of each day? Do you see yourself as a success? What is the central driving force in your life?
According to your values chart, where are you stuck and will overcoming those obstacles
improve your outlook? When you are sitting in a rocking chair at eighty years old and
reflecting on your life, will you be content with your life as it stands now?
What are the best and worst times of your life? On pages 10-11, you wrote down the ten most
traumatic events that occurred in your life. Now write down the ten happiest moments of your
life. In no circumstance should these lists have any duplication. And reflect on how these
moments have impacted your life in the past. How are these life events impacting your life
now? How will these events shape your future? Are these events limiting your potential?
How? Is there anything you can do to overcome these shortcomings?
Best times of your life
23. Central Driving Force
Steven Jobs is the CEO of Apple and was the CEO of Pixar until Disney acquired the
company. With his positions at Apple and as the largest shareholder on Disney‘s Board of
Directors, he commands the computing and entertainment industries. His path, however,
contained a few potholes.
Despite his success with co-founder, Steve Wozniak, in developing the phenomenon of
personal computing with such innovations at the mouse-driven user-interface in the 70-s and
80‘s, Jobs was ousted from power in a boardroom coup. In response, he created NeXT in 1986.
NeXT specialized in computer platform development for higher education and business
markets, catalyzing three breakthrough areas: the World Wide Web, the computer game Doom
– pioneering networked multiplayer gaming – and the renaissance of the Apple computer with
its expandable foundation as an operating system.
Apple bought NeXt in 1996 for $402 million, thereby bringing Jobs back to the fold. His
reputation as an aggressive and demanding personality returned Apple‘s flagging performance
to profitability. Jobs cut programs and increased sales through products like the iMac, and
later, the iPod. His keynote speeches – dubbed ―Stevenotes‖ – are both celebrated and
criticized as the formula for his persuasive style of salesmanship. Jobs has routinely landed on
his feet throughout his career through his tenacity and incorporation of what he knows best
within a foreseeable future.
In vice, there is also virtue. Every dark cloud holds a silver lining, but you may get wet
searching for it. That damp, risky walk is the path to new opportunities. We need to play the
hand life dealt us, championing our celebrations and growing from pain. As you review your
lists of Best and Worst Times, what force has driven you forward through them all? Putting all
this desire and contemplation into a cohesive form will divine your primary aim. Write as
much as you need. In doing so, you will find the stability that delivers peace of mind.
24. Critical Area Three – Physical Health
Media headlines confirm that many of us are fat. It is a serious issue and obese employees are a
financial burden on their organizations and impact the cost of health care for everyone. Eight
years of data on 11,728 people working for Duke University and its health system disclose the
results of this unhealthy trend. They found that the fattest worker had 13 times more lost work
days due to work-related injuries, and their medical claims for those injuries were seven times
higher than their fit co-workers.
Nothing is more sorely missed when you are sick or injured than your healthy, dependable
body. Daily exercise and a nutritional diet are fundamental to maintaining that skin we have
been comfortable in for so long. The benefits of exercise are both physical and mental. The
most successful business people have noted that physical fitness is critical to their success.
Exercise increases energy and blood flow to the brain, enabling you to think clearly. Surely if
US Presidents and CEOs can find time in their busy schedules for regular exercise, we can too!
Exercise comes in all forms and can range from daily walks to high-impact aerobics. Start
small, and you‘ll feel the big physical benefits of restorative sleep, healthy appetite and stress
reduction right away. Plan a personal exercise routine that fits your work schedule and lifestyle
and set diet guidelines that fit your needs.
As you explore a combination of playing and eating for health, ask yourself the following
questions: What you are currently doing to keep your body healthy? What are the personal
benefits of a healthier lifestyle to my current condition? Do I have any medical or dietary
needs? Am I a group exerciser or self-directed? How can I carve time out of my day to devote
to improving my health?
It might be easier than you think. Get a buddy. The odds of ditching your walking partner for a
bowl of ice cream are not as great. Join a club. Some people cannot bear to waste their money,
so they benefit by reducing their waist by showing up at the gym. Check out the many
resources available on the Internet. Play with your kids. Our obesity problem has reached
epidemic levels for children too. Spending time engaged in physical fitness as a family will
help your kids establish lifelong good habits. You will be surprised with how much fun it is,
and you might even trim your insurance costs. Besides, there is nothing like pulling on a new
pair of blue jeans over your improved shape.
25. Health Script
Doctors write prescriptions to improve health every day. Write your own.
My Exercise Routine
My Dietary Guidelines
Other Healthy Ideas
26. Critical Area Four -- Intellectual Growth
There are times in our lives when we feel on top of the world, but how do we stay there?
Brains got you there, and believe it or not, no matter what your age, the state of your mind can
keep you there. Keeping our minds sharp requires education. And it does not stop at
graduation. Maintaining a competitive edge means alert, continuous improvement.
Where mental acuity is concerned, the brain is the ultimate ‗use it or lose it‘ measure for aging.
A study concluded in 2007 by Penn State University and underwritten by the National Institute
on Aging involved nearly 3000 men and women with an average age of 73 willing to exercise
their grey matter. Participants in the study were assigned to random six-week training sessions
in speed processing, reasoning or memory. The results were astounding. In reviewing all three
groups, nearly 90 percent of the participants who practiced processing skills, 74 percent who
practiced reasoning skills and 26 percent who practiced memory skills demonstrated immediate
improvement. Five years on, follow-up exams checked the duration of the mental gymnastics,
and all showed continued heightened function. The group that received reasoning training –
scheduling, puzzles – showed the least decline in cognitive function. The bottom line is to do
that crossword puzzle, learn a language or read up on the latest trends in your field. Your brain
will thank you by helping you remember where you put those car keys.
Write brief answers to the following questions that lead to a plan for improvement.
How are you improving yourself?
How many books do you read a month?
Is there recommended reading for your business field?
How many classes or seminars do you attend a year?
Is there additional training within your field of expertise?
Is there a colleague who could also benefit from taking a class with you?
Do you read the newspaper?
Do you keep a journal?
Are you able to hold up your end of a lively discussion at dinner with friends in areas besides
work or your hobby?
Are you only interested in conversation that is centered around you?
Is there a sage friend in your midst who could offer support and ideas for stimulating growth?
What could you prune from your life that would make room for growing a sharper mind?
Now, develop a personal intellectual growth statement.
27. My Commitments to Intellectual Excellence
28. Critical Area Five -- Family
The next three Critical Areas center on internal and external relationships. Many of us might
think of our inner and outer circle. Internal relationships refer to the people living under your
roof: children, you, your partner and for some, extended family. External relationships are
your neighbors, your golf buddy, your boss and the members of the committee you chair.
No Place Like Home
Your inner circle is your immediate family whether you are related by blood, marriage or
happy circumstance. They are the greatest influence on why you work, and why you come
home. They are the source of life in your world. Take a moment to ponder the immensity of
family. Is yours a happy, safe home you enjoy? Do you delight in your children? Do you look
forward to seeing your own parents?
The dinner table is the center of activity for many families. Like the smell of food and the
Earth‘s gravitational pull combined, it draws them into a familiar circle of home. It was the
highlight of my childhood. After dinner, my family would talk about everything under the sun,
and more importantly, everything that mattered to us. Nothing has changed now that I am an
adult. Anytime family gets together, we wear out the chairs around the table talking.
My wife, Martha loves going home to visit her parents over the holidays. Holidays have
always been especially joyous for her as extended clan gathered to celebrate- her mother alone
has eighteen brothers and sisters. Growing up, her whole family (would go for a daily walk or
run to start their day. Though it was only two miles, it was a time to connect before each went
off to school or work. If someone was struggling with a problem or had a big challenge for the
day, the family would work together to solve it on the run. Over the years, they continue this
tradition, and this special time is still a way for them to connect and bond, and fill Martha‘s
heart with joy and connection.
29. My Family Time and Improvement Goals
Where does your family gather regularly to catch up on each other‘s lives?
Do you eat dinner together? Without the TV on?
How often do you see your parents, family, and children?
Do you have enough time to feel connected with them?
Where do you meet up most often with those you love?
Do you wish you could spend more time with family?
What benefit do you and your family receive from these family centers?
Are you neglecting family activities?
What one change could you make to create more family time?
What are you going to teach your children?
Is education important to you?
Does faith play a role in your family life?
Are sports and extracurricular activities a constructive part of your life?
Do you really know your children‘s friends?
What things do you want to provide your children?
Have you told your children stories of the high and the low points in your life?
What boundaries exist in your family?
How do your parents figure in your life now and for the future?
Take some time to think these issues through. This is the stuff of your life and the lives for
which you are responsible. Then, write about the parts of your life that make you smile.
Include the important and non-negotiable facets plus what you know you need to work on.
Change is scary and uncomfortable, but new habits take only thirty days to become a routine.
30. Things I need to give my children
Our children are the world‘s most valuable resource. We are wholly responsible for providing
and nurturing them. You see their wants on a Christmas list, but what do you see as their
31. Teaching Children the Important Things in Life
My seventh grade teacher was Jackie Johnson. She was a teacher in the grandest sense of the
word. She compiled a list of all the things that she wanted to communicate to her students
about life. These were things that went beyond our textbook and were often more important.
What I learned from her was the desire, thrill and challenge of learning itself. I lost the list she
made for us so long ago, but not the idea or the lessons learned. I have since created my own
list of life‘s lessons and adventures. I intend to pass on these captured tidbits to my own
children – my inheritance of life experience. This is heirloom knowledge. What do you hope to
pass down to your future generations?
32. Teaching from Bad Experiences
As adults, we are keen to tell our children stories of our past victories – catching the winning
pass in a football game, or winning the lead in a school play. They have heard it a hundred
times from you and Grandpa, and they roll their eyes as yours go misty remembering the
treasured memories. But do you continue that story of how you let your grades slip, and about
the coach who benched you for two games? Or how after winning the lead, you were so
paralyzed with fear on opening night that you vomited on the drama teacher? It is more likely
that you emerged as the solid person you are today from making grades rather than from
making that miracle catch. And your ability to withstand disappointment might stem from
disappointments that taught you to use your desire to fuel determination. You have lived. You
are the most honest example of character in motion your children will ever have.
It is time to take emotional inventory of all the high and low events at work in your life. Go
back to Optimal Activity Analysis on pages 11-12 and to Critical Area Two, Emotional
Stability and review those low points. Yes, they represent the worst times of your life, but they
also contributed to who you are today. To the side of that list, jot down the experience gained
from those tragedies. As you examine what you have written, consider the questions below.
Remember, it is a wise father who says to his youngsters, ―There are not enough days in a
lifetime to make all the mistakes, so learn from mine.‖
Will you tell your children about those difficult moments as they come of age?
Are some stories more suitable for that certain son or daughter?
How can your children learn from your mistakes?
How can these humbling events inspire your child?
33. What I Learned From Traumatic Events
Benefits/Detriments of Telling These Things to Your Children/Others
34. Boundaries for the Entire Family
Boundaries are like the fences around our home. They keep the toddler in the yard and the
neighbor‘s scary dog out. They promote respect, safety and wholeness. That is how family
boundaries should work as well.
Many of us have personally experienced divorce through our own living or through people we
love. It was hard when friends Maggie and Roger divorced because they still had two children
to parent. None of that changed how they raised their children, only how they would manage
Joey at 15 felt he needed a man‘s influence, but life in a totally male household lacked things
he had happily taken for granted before. Even getting a meal at a regular time seemed to be
beyond his dad‘s new free-wheeling schedule.
After a few months, Joey had had enough. Both parents agreed to a change of residence, and
Joey arrived needing a hot meal and a shot to his pride. First thing, Maggie sat him down at the
dinner table and told him her rules, curfew among them. Joey shoveled his food and nodded his
head up and down to all his mother had to say.
On the first Friday night at his mother‘s, Joey barged into a locked front door. Yeah, he was
late, but well, he was with the guys and things were kinda‘ open-ended. At least that is what he
told his mother from the doorstep, through the closed door.
Maggie let him in and dragged him to the couch for a talk despite Joey‘s efforts to push it off
until morning. ―We have boundaries in this house,‖ she told him. ―We promote respect in our
home. I am responsible for your sister and also for you. The rule is that you‘re off the streets at
a certain hour and safely in our home. That‘s what we agreed to. It allows all of us to sleep at
night and to depend on each other. Look, I need to be tough, if you‘re late again without
calling, you‘re going to have to move back in with your father.‖ Maggie hated the thought, but
she knew what was best for her son.
Joey was sharp and remembered the crazy meal schedule and more. He also realized he was
just doing as he pleased, not holding up his end of the bargain. It was then he recognized a bit
of his dad in him, and it scared him.
―Mom, you can count on me,‖ he said and she knew she could.
Boundaries like the fence around the yard provide us with a measure of safety and comfort. It
enables us to protect the things that are important while keeping out unwanted trespassers.
Boundaries may be in the form of rules, laws, guidelines or just an internal measuring stick.
Crossing boundary lines comes with a consequence whether real or imagined.
35. Boundaries in your family are designed to not only protect your children but to teach them the
responsibility that will be required of them in the world at large. While we are the enforcer of
our own personal boundaries, as parents we must also establish and enforce boundaries for our
The next exercise is a chance to discuss and set boundaries for familial relationships. Think in
terms of your character and your background. Describe what you ―Must be‖ – promises of
goodness to those you love – and those things you ―Must Not be‖ – tendencies to ill behavior.
This is your personal non-negotiable list. They make you the best person possible. Then,
complete the ―Should‖ and ―Should Nots‖ categories which encourage growth in the
relationships you have. If other family members join you in these exercises, compare your
answers when finished. This creates accountability for all members living in an honorable,
Now create your daily rules to live by:
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
Must Nots Should Nots
40. Your Parents
Everyone has parents. And they will always be your parents. Most of us were raised by our
natural parents, others by their adoptive parents or guardians. And because of their age,
experiences and relationship with you, they will always have more life experience than you. If
your parents are still available and amicable, take advantage of this relationship. This is a peek
into the window of your own possible parenting. It represents an opportunity to honor the
people who gave you life and benefit from their experiences. Who are those people who made
you go to school and make your bed? What are your expectations of your parents? What do
you want to do for your parents? How can your parents continue to support you? How can
you support your parents? How can you help each other with children and develop a proud
heritage for all your family‘s generations? What can you learn from each other?
Things that are important to me and my parents:
41. Critical Area Six -- Friends
Gary and Joe had been friends for twenty years. They met when both joined the university‘s
tennis team. Both were freshman and bonded as the two newest team members. They shared a
love of rock music, tennis and juicy hamburgers grilled to perfection. In their junior year,
Gary‘s brother committed suicide and Joe had been there to help him through it. Gary found
himself opening up to Joe in a way he could not do with his own family. Their late night talks
that often ended in a midnight run or game of hoops helped Gary to process his brother‘s death
and begin to heal.
Friends are the glue in the random chain of acquaintances, colleagues and neighbors that form
our life. They hold us together through college, stand up for us on our wedding day and sit
beside us at a funeral consoling our loss. They are the people that can sometimes feel closer
than family because we chose them. We could not imagine our lives without them but we
know it would be lonelier and much less fun. Healthy people crave friendship.
John Donne famously wrote; ―No man is an island, entire of itself.‖ Human beings do not exist
in a vacuum, we need other people. Friends, family and love relationships fulfill a different
part of the human experience. While each relationship fulfills a different need, together they
enable us to live healthy, whole, balanced lives.
Some people have a wide circle of friends, while others may only count one or two as true
friends. The number of friends does not matter as much as the quality of the relationships and
what they bring to your life. We may bond over common interests or by virtue of location,
such as the workplace, a social committee or your children‘s school. Sometimes these
friendships are long lasting and at other times they may be seasonal. For example, you may
have colleagues with whom you‘re friendly but you may not keep in close touch after a job
change. These seasonal or situational friendships allow you to support one another through a
shared period of time.
Understanding the various friendships in your life can help you identify what you need and
want from those relationships. It can also help you determine if certain friendships are adverse
and need to be severed or at the least curtailed.
Do you have friends?
Do you make friends easily?
Where do you look for friends?
Are you participating in any activities where you can make friends that share your interests?
Are you devoting time to cultivating friendships? If not, why not?
Are you satisfied with the amount and/or quality of your friendships?
What do you want and need from friends?
Do you get together with friends on a regular basis?
Where do you go and what do you do?
42. Do you talk only about sports or gossip when you are together or do you engage in deeper
Do certain friends fulfill specific needs in your life?
Do any friends make you feel good or bad when you are together?
Are there friends you need to purge from your circle?
Do you need friends that can help you change or grow in a new direction?
Do you need a confidant?
What would your friends do for you and you for them?
My plan for developing and enriching my friendships
43. Critical Area Seven – Love Relationships
This section deals with the romantic relationships in your life. Whether you are seeking a
relationship or are lucky enough to already be in a committed relationship, there is no denying
the power of love. Statistics even prove that men in long term relationships live longer.
Researchers are still trying to figure out what women want. Another recent study suggested
one of the two most important things you can do to live a happier and longer life was to get
married. The other was to participate in a religion.
Not making time for love is a mistake that many business people make. Human beings like
others in the animal kingdom thrive with companionship. Neglecting one part of your life
causes imbalance and can hinder your success. In this area as others, your choices should
reflect and align with what‘s important to you.
Some think love is only for romantics, but what about Einstein? Unarguably, the imaginative
thinker set the groundwork for all technological advances in the 20 th Century, but even he fell
in love. A new biography Einstein: His Life and Universe by acclaimed author Walter Isaacson
draws on a wealth of personal correspondence, including 130 private letters that explore his
history, relationships and success.
One of my students, Veronica, graduated at the top of her class in college. She secured an
entry level job in Marketing after graduation. Veronica worked hard, volunteered for special
projects and gained the respect of her colleagues and senior management. Although her career
was seemingly on track, Veronica had not invested time in her love life.
Veronica was lonely and she filled the void with work. So, it was at this time in her life, when
a friend from college invited her to a birthday party. Veronica went and met Ron a mutual
friend of the host. Veronica and Ron spent the night talking and soon began dating. Ron
encouraged Veronica to find more balance in her life.
Veronica began working a more normal work schedule which left time to socialize with Ron
and friends. She found that Ron‘s support gave her more confidence at work. Veronica‘s boss
noticed the changes. Not only did she seem happier and more confident but the quality of her
work had improved because she was able to draw on a wider range of influences. Veronica
was promoted to Manager of the Western Division three weeks before Ron proposed and she
accepted. Love really can help your career!
Love fulfills another element of the human need. Although finding love cannot guarantee a
promotion it can contribute to your overall well being. Love adds to the harmonious balance in
our life. When we are in balance we are better able to function at our optimal level. This
would explain why even the medical community advises laughter, love and physical intimacy
as a prescription for good health and longevity.
44. What about your love life? Let these questions help you describe the attributes of a committed
For single people between relationships and/or seeking a relationship
What type of person are you looking for?
What is your goal in a relationship?
What type of physical characteristics causes your heart to stir?
What are your romantic dreams and ideas?
What socio-economic status would this person have?
Do you know where to search the person you hope to find?
What friends and acquaintances can help you find this person?
From where have your best relationships emerged?
Is finding long term companionship a priority?
Or have you given up on finding a good person with which to share your life?
What kind of values are you seeking in your significant other?
Have you put aside your values just for the sake of company?
The beginning of a great marriage does not start at the altar but before the first date! Clearly
defining what‘s important to you in a relationship and a mate will help you to set boundaries in
your dating life. Of course there will be compromises in a relationship, but they should not be
about the values that define you. Compromising on what color to paint the walls is fine, but
compromising on whether or not to have children will more than likely lead to a great deal of
45. List twelve attributes of the person you would marry. Try to keep them realistic, so they are
attainable. Have fun and think of this as the desirable qualities qualifying round for the perfect
contestant in the race for your affection.
46. Singles – Write a Personal Newspaper Ad for Your Dream Relationship
If you wrote a newspaper ad to find your next relationship – and maybe you have – how would
it read? Be honest, but dream. That is where reality begins.
47. Till Death Do Us Part – Marriage at Its Best
Finding love is not simply a matter of personal chemistry or shared interests, but ensuring that
your mate shares your core values. Failed relationships can often be traced to a difference in
life values, objectives or goals. Many have described ignoring red flags early in the
relationship and pressing forward to try to make it work. While there are no guarantees,
understanding what you truly want and need can go a long way to entering into a healthy and
balanced relationship that will go the distance.
Some people want love and a partner so much, they determine to have it, instead of aspiring to
it. That sets them up to believe in something that is not real. Psychologist Robin L. Smith
debunks the myths surrounding prospective and even long-married couples in her best-selling
book, Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages. The book asks couples 276
questions that help them sort through their marriage expectations or help married couples chart
a new path. The four biggest myths Smith says people tell themselves – and others – about
1 The past is over. Truth – You have packed the past in your honeymoon luggage and it
is coming with you unless you have dealt with it and learned from it.
2 It is important to be right. Truth – Being in a relationship is more important with a
respect for differences. Leave your ego at the door.
3 Marriage magically changes people for the better. Truth – That fantasy can sabotage the
ability to create a vibrant, healthy union by focusing on what people are not rather than
who they are.
4 Anything is better than being alone. Truth – Being whole is your destiny, so alone and
free cannot compare to together and controlled. Marriage is the place to show up when
you are grown up.
There is a lot of illusion about marrying and what married life should look and feel like. First
and foremost, a love relationship demands work just like every other area of our life, but unlike
any single area, it can affect the whole in ways we cannot imagine. Love gone sour can spill
over to the office, eroding confidence or manifest itself as depression creating havoc with
physical health and more. Love nurtured, however, can sustain us through any hardship.
It is not about romance but about the power of loving and cherishing another individual.
Romance is for honeymooners, the occasional Saturday night and a Valentine extravaganza. It
cannot be sustained, only whipped up. Cherishing, on the other hand, is done in the face of
adversity, the unexpected and the painful as well as every good day including anniversaries,
Saturday nights and an over-the-top holiday. Evidence of cherishing was Nancy Reagan in
2004, experiencing a simple, recognizable gaze from her husband whose side she had not left
for the last ten years as he deteriorated with Alzheimer‘s disease. Their 52-year loving
marriage was no secret to the world and serves as an inspiration to all of what a good marriage
48. really looks like. Till death do us part is the best outcome.
For those in married/committed relationships
Answer the following questions:
Are you satisfied with the quality of your relationship?
Do you have shared values?
Is there one element that constantly causes discord?
Are you still discovering things about your spouse or significant other? If not, how can you
rekindle your interest?
What are your personal obligations to your significant other?
What are your expectations from the relationship? Your mate?
Are you spending quality time with your mate?
Are you devoting time to the friendship and romantic elements of your relationship? Are you
both satisfied with the balance?
If married, are you and your spouse spending regular time together without the kids?
What are your ideas for keeping the relationship fresh?
―The state of being united…in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law,‖ is
the first definition of marriage according to Merriam-Webster. The third definition gets a lot
closer to the heart of the matter as, ―an intimate or close union.‖ Two assistant professors of
economics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania have reported the results of
such unions in their paper ―Marriage and Divorce: Changes and Their Driving Forces.‖ Based
on a series of studies, their evidence suggests that married people – especially men – are better
off than those who are unmarried. Although marriage is at the lowest rate in recorded history,
Americans over 65 are more likely to be married than ever before. While the older generation
holds fast to marriage, many younger adults are simply living together. The one satisfies
Merriam-Webster‘s third definition without the legal binding of the dictionary‘s first, yet
people on both sides of the spectrum are still choosing intimate, long-term relationships. The
best news is that men and women today are more likely to pair off according to similar
backgrounds in education and interest, meaning modern marriage is more fun than ever.
Lord Byron wrote, "All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin." We
aspire to sharing our joys and halving our sorrows as we walk hand in hand through this world.
Make your promises new again in these charts.
Personal Obligations to My Spouse
50. Expectations of My Spouse
51. Romantic Dreams of Marriage
Whether you have been married for fifty years – and maybe because you have – or are still
looking for your soul mate, romance is the stuff of dreams. But it needs to be a part of your
reality (as long as you are consenting adults and no one is getting hurt.) All you need is some
privacy and a good imagination. Use both of those now and fantasize on a few healthy
romantic notions. And make a plan to act on them.
Your Romantic Ideas
52. Critical Area Eight -- Career
My Perfect Work Day
Some part of having the perfect day is creating opportunities to have fun while you work.
Think of all those executive gifts – trash basketball, chore dice, kinetic ball bearing swings. In
one survey, 96 percent of executives said they believed that people with a sense of humor
worked better, so conspire ways to socialize and build camaraderie. Southwest Airlines agents
hold joke-a-thons at delayed boarding gates. Recreation spaces offer stress reduction. Replace
your ho-hum desk accessories with avant-garde or whimsical items. Hold a contest like
matching baby photos to employees to get people talking. We have to work, but we do not
have to grow moldy while doing it.
Now that I have engaged your playful imagination, think of the work aspect of your day. What
are you doing for a living? Are you the boss or an integral cog in the wheel? Do you travel?
Run wild and visualize your perfect day on the job.
53. Career Plan
Now with a clear vision of your perfect work day you can begin to take steps to turn that dream
into a reality. A surprising number of people go to work everyday without a career plan. They
are happy to be employed and believe that if they show up and do a good job for the most part
things will remain the same. Some may have dreams of the life they‘d like in ten years but do
not have a definitive plan to get there.
Whether you are a factory worker in Detroit or own a franchise restaurant, career planning is
one of the most important aspects of your business life. If you want any hope of fulfilling your
dream of that perfect work day, you want to plan for your career. Having a clear cut plan turns
your dreams into actionable goals.
Your working life includes location, commitments, education, associations and more in
addition to how it fits into the other parts of your life. Wade through the stream of career
considerations below before we inventory your skills and create a plan.
Okay, we are eighty years old again, sitting in that rocking chair, what do you want to
remember as having been your working life or what amounts to the bulk of your coherent
Are the decisions that you are making accomplishing that end?
What skills do you have?
What do you consider to be your career strengths and weaknesses?
What are your past successes?
Do you have career goals? Are they short term or long term?
What do you have in your business toolbox that can build that career success?
How do you relate with your current boss? Associates?
Who can you add to your network that will help you achieve your goals?
Do you have any specialization? How can you improve your performance and productivity at
Do you have conversation starters ready to promote who you are and outline your direction?
How about scripts for work situations: opening, closing, handling resistance and overcoming
Do you keep a work journal? This tracking method can protect you from adverse situations and
plot performance for evaluations.
Are your necessary business documents and financial records up to date?
Do you have an active, up to date list of contacts in your industry?
Perhaps some inspiration would help as this self-examination continues. Remember the vital,
idealistic person you were before real living jaded your outlook. The world was your oyster
then. Well, nothing has changed except your attitude. People often forget how to dream big.
Some call that maturity. Who wants to be that mature? People need reassurance to follow their
A recent book The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers by J. M. Citrin and R. A. Smith is the
result of surveying 8000 professionals. The team sent out their survey in hopes of getting
enough respondents to compile their data and draw distinctions as to what separates the top
from the rest of the pack. A twenty-five percent return rate with cover letters and emails on
their topic proves working success is a hot button.
So, why is it that some soar – and others equally talented – stagnate? The answer and power is
within you as outlined in this excerpt.
1. Understand the value of you. People with extraordinary careers understand how
value is created in the workplace, and they translate that knowledge into action,
building their personal value over each phase of their careers.
2. Practice benevolent leadership. People with extraordinary careers do not claw
their way to the top; they are carried there.
3. Overcome the permission paradox. People with extraordinary careers overcome
one of the great Catch-22’s of business: You can't get the job without experience,
and you can't get the experience without the job.
4. Differentiate using the 20/80 principle of performance. People with
extraordinary careers do their defined jobs exceptionally well but don't stop there.
They storm past predetermined objectives to create breakthrough ideas and deliver
5. Find the right fit (strengths, passions, and people). People with extraordinary
careers make decisions with the long term in mind. They willfully migrate toward
positions that fit their natural strengths and passions and where they can work
with people they like and respect.
This is the aim of Scoring Success. Some people possess an innate sense directing their steps,
but all of us are teachable. Your introspection is a sign you welcome change. Go ahead and tell
the world what you have done right to get to this place in time.
How do you define success? Is it a title, certain hours, certain job responsibilities or a certain
salary? What are your successes?
55. Tell me a little about yourself
The most important question in any career analysis is ―Tell me about yourself.‖ How you
answer that invitation to promote yourself sets the whole tone and credibility for any interview,
networking opportunity or sales presentation whether you are employed, self-employed or
unemployed. When you get the chance to speak, this is the chance to guide your flight path.
Speak about where you are going within your company, your field and your future. Sell
yourself and you can sell anything.
When was the last time you updated your resume?
Do you keep a tape of frequently asked interview questions and best answers so that you can
rehearse before an interview?
Do you have post interview tools like ―Thank you‖ letters to follow up with after an interview
to increases your chances of success?
When is the last time someone asked you what you do for a living?
How did you answer?
Did you give them a contrite answer or something more provocative?
How do you promote yourself?
How can you make yourself stand out above the crowd?
So, go ahead, tell me about the best of who you see yourself to be…
56. Career Assessment
This is an overreaching brainstorm of what you have done in your working life. All work is
valid, and every job teaches skills. List your responsibilities and what it took to get the job
done well in order to think ahead to you who want to be in that dream job. Think of problems
you encountered and how you solved them. Your actions will highlight not only your
approach but critical skills that are valuable in the job market.
I knew David when he had already been working as a marketing analyst in a small firm for six
years. He liked marketing but was unhappy in his particular role and work environment. In
fact, his weekend downtime was often interrupted by his anxious thoughts about the work
week ahead. David wanted to make a change but was afraid that he did not have the skills to
do so. David finally consulted a career counselor. She had him make a list of all of his jobs
and the skills that he used to fulfill his duties. After seeing the list, David was able to highlight
a list of transferable skills that would help him to transition into a different marketing role.
With newfound confidence, he put together his resume and began searching for a new job.
Three months later David had landed his dream job. He is so happy now that he hates leaving
work on Friday evenings!
The first step before change is to first assess where you are today. Assessing your career gives
you an opportunity to identify your strengths, weaknesses, areas of passion, and areas of
dislike. You may find that you love your job but are unhappy with the hours, or perhaps you‘ll
find that you like the work environment but are not happy with your role. A career assessment
will help you to identify where you need to make changes in order to be fulfilled. That change
may or may not be a different company or role.
What do you like most about your job today?
What do you like least?
Do you want more or less responsibility?
Are you working in your area of strength and passion?
What problems have you solved in your current position?
Does this job offer you the opportunity to continue to grow and be challenged?
Are there other roles in the company to which you aspire?
57. Career Path
Now, let‘s go back to the beginning of this chapter where I had you visualize your perfect day.
That perfect day is your dream job. How do we take that first page and merge it with this one?
It is a matter of taking stock, setting goals and planning the benchmarks to achieve it. A
journey begins with one step and it cannot proceed to the finish without every one in between.
So, what skills do you have and what others would help you land that dream job?
How will you acquire these skills?
Is there someone who can offer guidance?
What is the most productive path to your dreams?
How will you promote yourself to achieve your goal?
With your visualization of the perfect day, your list of current and desired skills, the confidence
of your successes before you and the support of friends and family, plan your career path.
What do I want to be when I grow up?
58. Critical Area Nine – Finances
Wealth gotten very quickly dwindles away, but amassed little by little, it grows. -- Proverbs
The Ten Percent Solution
Saving money is key to financial success. It is worthwhile to begin teaching children the value
of saving so that it becomes a life long habit. Saving requires hard work and sacrifice and a
paradigm shift from instant gratification to delayed gratification. Even the wealthiest
individuals still save. They have learned the value of insuring against the future through
Live well below your means. Saving ten percent of all of your earnings is a good starting point
but it does not have to be all that you save! When you develop the discipline of putting away
ten cents for every dollar earned, you will see how quickly your savings can grow. The ten
percent you save will not be missed because often we spend much more than that without
realizing it. It is easy to make small purchases without much thought, but those small,
impulsive, unnecessary purchases add up very quickly. Consider the following advice I gave
to Barbara, a casual acquaintance who was looking to quickly change her bottom line.
Barbara stopped at the drive through for coffee on her way to work. While ordering, she
decided to purchase a bakery item to eat on the drive. She spent $6.50 before she got to work.
She arrived at work and stopped in at the building‘s convenience store to grab bottled water,
and paid $2.25 for a large bottle. At lunch, she by-passed the cafeteria and went out with her
colleagues. She spent $12.00 at lunch. At the end of the day, too tired to cook, she stopped for
Chinese Food for the family which cost her, $22.50. Barbara, because she did not plan her
expenses, spent $43.25 on unnecessary purchases in one day. We calculated that she was
spending $216.25 each work week based on her typical day- with nothing to show for it at the
end of the week. With planning and budgeting, Barbara could cut her expenses and save
$100.00 every week, $5200.00 per year- and still feed herself. That night she drew up a
budget, and now she makes $5000 more per year.
The Neighbors Don’t Know Everything
When the car broke down and it took a chunk out of their savings, a young wife said to her
husband, ―We‘ll never get ahead.‖ Without worry, he answered, ―Be glad we save and can pay
the bill.‖ She countered with her frustrations of camping vacations they really enjoyed but did
not compare to the neighbor‘s Hawaiian trip. Then, she moaned of the expense of just putting
jeans and tennis shoes on their four children, and she could not imagine how people on their
street put boats in their driveway. The husband smiled and said, ―We are saving for retirement
and the unexpected, budgeting for everyone that sleeps under this roof and contributing to
charity. Our money is in the bank. Most of what they have is cluttering their house and their
driveway. We‘ll be just fine in the end.‖ Twenty years later, trust funds paid four college bills,
59. $1.5 million gathers interest in a retirement account, and their travel now allows for hotels and
planes. He knew what he was doing, and she had long ago stopped caring what the neighbors
thought of them. In fact the neighbors were wondering how this simple couple had managed to
outpace them in the end.
These questions should make you think…
How do you save money?
Do you have a ten-percent solution or established method of setting cash aside?
When is the last time you analyzed your monthly expenses?
Were you happy with where the money goes?
Is there obvious room for improvement?
What are your financial goals and needs?
Do you have savings set aside for emergencies?
How are you planning for the major expenses in your life?
Keeping a Clean Record
Keeping finances in a healthy state is as important as the way you treat your body. They will
determine your options for the long haul. Pay bills on time. Keep the number of credit
cards and their balances low. These contribute to a clean credit report. To stay safe, consider
checking your credit report periodically to identify any discrepancies or possible identity theft.
These snags hamper your financial reputation. Credit reports function as another window into
our ability to handle and manage money responsibly. Most companies make a habit of
checking credit reports for job applicants, so poor credit says you are not a good risk to manage
their resources either. Make the numbers work for you.
60. Monthly Expense Analysis (Example)
Take a close look at this sample budget which is common in most households who never get
Household Cash Flow
Yearly Summary 2006 2005 2004 2003
Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly
Opening Cash on Hand 5847 % 6416 % 5500 % 5000 %
Wage/Salary 1 6500 6000 5500 5000
Wage/Salary 2 500 500 300 300
Interest & Dividends 0 0 0 0
Retirement/Other Income 0 0 0 0
Total Income 7000 100.00% 6500 100.00% 5800 100.00% 5300 100.00%
Mortgage/Rent 2500 35.71% 2500 38.46% 1000 17.24% 1000 18.87%
(Retirement) Savings 0 0.00% 100 1.54% 100 1.72% 0 0.00%
Taxes 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Alimony 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Home Improvement & Maint. 150 2.14% 100 1.54% 100 1.72% 150 2.83%
Home & Auto Insurance 200 2.86% 300 4.62% 225 3.88% 150 2.83%
Auto Upkeep & Fuel 300 4.29% 180 2.77% 110 1.90% 150 2.83%
Auto Loan/Lease Payment 0 0.00% 239 3.68% 239 4.12% 0 0.00%
Credit Card/Other Loans 300 4.29% 200 3.08% 200 3.45% 0 0.00%
Groceries & Other Food 1500 21.43% 1500 23.08% 1500 25.86% 1500 28.30%
Health Care/Medical Costs 400 5.71% 250 3.85% 250 4.31% 400 7.55%
Clothing 250 3.57% 250 3.85% 150 2.59% 250 4.72%
Educational Expenses 70 1.00% 70 1.08% 0 0.00% 70 1.32%
Child Care and Support 50 0.71% 55 0.85% 25 0.43% 50 0.94%
Utilities (power, heat, etc.) 350 5.00% 250 3.85% 150 2.59% 110 2.08%
Telecommunications 150 2.14% 200 3.08% 100 1.72% 300 5.66%
Travel & Entertainment 150 2.14% 250 3.85% 150 2.59% 150 2.83%
Subscriptions/Memberships 20 0.29% 25 0.38% 35 0.60% 20 0.38%
Tithe/Contributions 700 10.00% 600 9.23% 550 9.48% 500 9.43%
Other 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Other 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Total Expenditures 7090 101.29% 7069 108.75% 4884 84.21% 4800 90.57%
Net Cash Flow -90 -1.29% -569 -8.75% 916 15.79% 500 9.43%
Ending Balance 5757 82.24% 5847 89.95% 6416 110.62% 5500 103.77%
Note: Feel free to change any income or expenditure category to fit your needs.
Critical to being financially solvent is the ability to live according to a budget, but first you
need to create one. It is time to be candid about your cash.
61. Monthly Expense Analysis
Household Cash Flow
Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly
Opening Cash on Hand % % % %
Interest & Dividends
Total Income 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Home Improvement & Maint.
Home & Auto Insurance
Auto Upkeep & Fuel
Auto Loan/Lease Payment
Credit Card/Other Loans
Groceries & Other Food
Health Care/Medical Costs
Child Care and Support
Utilities (power, heat, etc.)
Travel & Entertainment
Net Cash Flow
Note: Feel free to change any income or expenditure category to fit your needs.
62. Outlining the Numbers
Did you sweat filling out that budget sheet? Discussing money is uncomfortable for most
people. It can be terrifying to admit your financial situation. However, looking at bill
statements helps you realize that overworking your paycheck is like trying to fill a bucket with
sweat. The process is slow going, the results are unsatisfactory, and it still pours out faster than
you can fill it up again.
Each category on your budget sheet is a percentage of your total expenses. Determine those
percentages and write them in. Then follow these steps.
 Take a highlighter and mark the lowest percentage in each category for the last four
years except savings.
 In savings, mark the highest percentage you have received in that category.
 On the next page, write down the current year‘s numbers and percentages under the
 Next, place the highlighted percentages in each category in the Optimal column.
 Now, take those percentages and multiply them by the current year Total Expenditures.
Write those numbers in their respective squares.
 Next, compare the current year numbers to those optimal numbers.
 Subtract the current year numbers from the optimal numbers and place them in the right
hand variance column.
 Add all those columns up.
 Now compare those numbers. This is the moment of reckoning.
 Examine what your current expenses are against their optimal. The total variance
shows how much you have overspent due to financial mismanagement. See example
again if you cannot believe your eyes and numbers.
Now remake your budget so you can sleep at night. That means adjusting your outgoing cash,
including savings, to live within your means. Buy a household expense record book to track
your expenses using this sheet and follow up on them on a monthly and yearly basis. The
questions below will help you consider proper proportions and calculations.
1. In today‘s dollars, how much money will you need to live on per year during your
retirement? Remember to factor in inflation. If you need $40,000 per year now, that
could be $53,900 in nine years.
2. Assuming a 20-year retirement per person, how much money will you need for
retirement? (Take answer from question #1 and times it by 25).
3. Amount of money that you would like to bequeath from your estate at the end of
your life in today‘s dollars?
4. What is your present income?
5. How much do you have put away in savings now?
6. What percentage of your income can you afford to save each month in addition to
63. what you are saving now?
7. Please list the financial goals that you and your family have. Give a dollar amount
and time frame for each event. Define short-term as less than 6 months, mid-term
between 6 months and 3 years, and long term as anything over 5 years.
64. Monthly Expense Optimum (Example)
Household Cash Flow
Yearly Summary Current Optimum Variance New Budget
Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly
Opening Cash on Hand 5847 % % % 0 %
INCOME 0 0.00%
Wage/Salary 1 6500 0.00% 6500 6500 6500
Wage/Salary 2 500 0.00% 500 500 500
Interest & Dividends 0 0.00% 0 0 0
Retirement/Other Income 0 0.00% 0 0 0
Total Income 7000 100.00% 7000 100.00% 7000 100.00% 7000 100.00%
Mortgage/Rent 2500 35.71% 1206.8 17.24% 1293.2 18.47% 2500 13.38%
(Retirement) Savings 0 0.00% 120.4 1.72% -120.4 -1.72% 500 3.64%
Taxes 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 18.00%
Alimony 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Home Improvement & Maint. 150 2.14% 107.8 1.54% 42.2 0.60% 150 2.00%
Home & Auto Insurance 200 2.86% 198.1 2.83% 1.9 0.03% 200 2.83%
Auto Upkeep & Fuel 300 4.29% 133 1.90% 167 2.39% 250 2.83%
Auto Loan/Lease Payment 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Credit Card/Other Loans 300 4.29% 0 0.00% 300 4.29% 0 0.00%
Groceries & Other Food 1500 21.43% 1500.1 21.43% -0.1 0.00% 1500 28.30%
Health Care/Medical Costs 400 5.71% 269.5 3.85% 130.5 1.86% 400 5.46%
Clothing 250 3.57% 181.3 2.59% 68.7 0.98% 180 4.21%
Educational Expenses 70 1.00% 0 0.00% 70 1.00% 50 1.00%
Child Care and Support 50 0.71% 30.1 0.43% 19.9 0.28% 50 1.00%
Utilities (power, heat, etc.) 350 5.00% 145.6 2.08% 204.4 2.92% 200 2.00%
Telecommunications 150 2.14% 120.4 1.72% 29.6 0.42% 120 2.83%
Travel & Entertainment 150 2.14% 149.8 2.14% 0.2 0.00% 150 2.83%
Subscriptions/Memberships 20 0.29% 20.3 0.29% -0.3 0.00% 20 0.38%
Tithe/Contributions 700 10.00% 700 10.00% 0 0.00% 700 1.50%
Other 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Other 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Total Expenditures 7090 101.29% 4883.2 69.76% 2206.8 31.53% 6970 99.57%
Net Cash Flow -90 -1.29% 2116.8 30.24% 4793.2 68.47% 30 0.43%
Ending Balance 5757 82.24% 2116.8 30.24% 4793.2 68.47% 30 0.43%
Note: Feel free to change any income or expenditure category to fit your needs.
65. Monthly Expense Optimum
Household Cash Flow
Yearly Summary Current Optimum Variance New Budget
Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly
Opening Cash on Hand % % % %
Interest & Dividends
Total Income 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Home Improvement & Maint.
Home & Auto Insurance
Auto Upkeep & Fuel
Auto Loan/Lease Payment
Credit Card/Other Loans
Groceries & Other Food
Health Care/Medical Costs
Child Care and Support
Utilities (power, heat, etc.)
Travel & Entertainment
Net Cash Flow
Note: Feel free to change any income or expenditure category to fit your needs.
66. Children and Money
James is a lifelong friend. Growing up, James‘ family was middle class – not poor, not rich –
like most people he knew. His parents made the best of everything they had. They instilled
good values and had a solid work ethic. They were average people and did not give James
everything he wanted, but they did give him what he needed. When James was 11years old, he
wanted a new bicycle. It was not an average bike. It was a dream bike – ―cool.‖ It was fire
engine red with a seat built for popping wheelies and custom mag tires – perfect for the dirt
roads of rural Colorado. When James asked his parents to buy it for him they said, ―No. We
don‘t have enough money. You‘re going to have work and save up the money to get a bicycle
like that one.‖
James complained to no avail. Since he wanted the bike, he went to work. His father helped
him line up jobs mowing yards. Each week for three months, he mowed three of the neighbors‘
yards. It cut into his baseball card and rock collecting that summer, but he was able to
purchase that bike. It was the sweetest moment of his young life but also a great life lesson
that shaped his attitude about money.
The story of James illustrates teaching children to save, and also how to spend, and is ideally
done as they begin to need money for the things they want. Lori Mackey, founder of
Prosperity4Kids guides moms and dads that were not lucky enough to have James‘ parents.
She tells of one mom whose four children get an allowance, but must contribute 10 percent to
savings and charity. She includes her children in budget discussions as well. To make her
point, she took a month‘s salary and counted it out with Monopoly money. Then, she brought
out the stack of bills. The children took turns paying bills with piles of the colorful ‗money‘.
When they were through, there was not much left. Mackey says, ―Most kids, all they know is
spending…we have to help them understand that when you invest your money, it will be there
in the future for you.‖
Teachable moments exist in explaining money. The ATM or line at the grocery store is a
chance to explain money outlay. Plastic is deceptive. Keep it simple for younger kids. And if
you give an allowance, tie it to chores to reinforce the notion of earning. Insist on contributing
to savings. You must create that good habit in them. Talk about finances. They will see your
account as a bottomless pit otherwise. Let the kids make mistakes with their money early on.
They will be more cautious by the time the dollars really add up. Finally, explain the magic of
compounded interest. You might find as you teach your children about money, you will
become more diligent and accountable as well.
67. Major Financial Planning Chart
Short-term goal Mid-range goal Long-term goal
Type of Goal (within 6 months) (6 months to 3 years) (over 3 years)
Puchase of home
Purchase of vehicle
Purchase of boat/plane
Purchase of second home/property
Business (start up)
Purchase of recreational vehicle
Major medical expenses
68. Critical Area Ten – Community
He who confers benefits will be amply enriched, and he who refreshes others will himself be
refreshed. -- Proverbs 11:25
When people think of giving, they often think of the collection plate passed through the pews.
Church books reveal who gives plenty and who has trouble parting with a few dollars, but it is
where the money goes that make all the difference. That end is largely the community around
you – feed the hungry programs, childcare, missions of all kinds. And from some of that
funding comes the pastor‘s salary. Members of the clergy complain sometimes about their
meager earnings or the blurred boundaries between work and private lives, but according to the
latest job and general happiness study, church leaders are as happy as they get.
Those results should not startle anyone as there is an honest correlation between enjoying your
work and giving back to others. The sense of community – we‘re all in this together – goes a
long way to promoting generosity and responsibility for one another.
In 2003 Karen Gordon, a recently divorced mother of two daughters, saw a video of an
orphanage in Hungary famous for its high-quality care. This inspired her to investigate and
educate herself on the conditions of institutionalized children around the globe. Using her
divorce settlement of $1 million, she began the foundation Whole Child International to change
the lives of the more than 16 million abandoned children worldwide.
Her story is unique for the giving up of her resources, but the accomplishment and teaching to
her children is something you cannot buy. And Karen is not poor by any means for her
investment. Community work comes back to you through business, connections and sheer
satisfaction. She does not look at money the same way. It is worth so much more than what is
printed on the bill.
Success shared is a world that cares. Giving back to the community that gave to you is
paramount to life‘s ultimate reward. What can you contribute?
Pledge of Contribution to making a corner of your world a better place.
69. Looking Ahead
The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and
his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
--J. M. Barrie
A minister once commented that at the end of every life there is a beginning-date and an end-
date, but the dash between these is really what mattered. The dash represents the life that was
lived, the love that was given and received, the accomplishments and failures. To see the end –
therein lies the ability to shape its course. If you do not possess the morbid fascination to daily
read the obituaries, consider opening the newspaper and look them over today. These are the
last public words that will probably be written about these individuals. What age picture did
someone choose to send in? Did it reflect a highpoint? Read a few of the longer ones,
searching for a cherished tribute. We will all amount to a column of words eventually, and
what do we hope they will say?
An introspective and interactive walk through more than 60 pages of this book should have you
thinking and beginning to act. Remember those moments of reflection in the rocking chair and
what it felt like to be looking back over your life. You probably had not considered writing
your obituary. Why not and take the chance to shape its course? Write expressively and
expressly about the celebration of your life.
70. Boil Down
71. Summary- Boiling It Down
In a recipe, everything contributes to the whole. When the meat is properly cooked, the chef
removes it from the pan, adds a little wine and loosens the bits stuck to the bottom. He simmers
this to produce a thicker, fortified sauce which is then poured over the meat to play up its
assets. Chefs call this a reduction. The Boil Down section of Scoring Success works the same
way. Here, you will infuse your life with your successes, add in the benefit of 20/20 hindsight,
distill the essence that showcases the best you, plus create a personal no-fail recipe to achieve
Let‘s look at the story of Serin as an example. He is one of many with an international
viewpoint who sees the American dream as alive and well, full of promise for hard work and
innovation that can be taken for granted when one grows up with our borders. He immigrates
to the U.S., succeeds, fails and plans to succeed again. Mistakes are learning experiences that
do not deter him.
A Tale of Woe is Me or Whoa, Look at Me!
―The market was hot, and I decided to give it a shot,‖ said Casey Serin, a current investor
prospecting for gold in the real estate market. The housing boom created an opportunity for
Serin to strike it rich through buying cheap homes to renovate and flipping them for a pay-off.
This 24-year old arrived in the United States with his family in 1994 from Uzbekistan, and he
became a citizen nine years later. Serin learned Website programming, but ultimately, he
hoped to start his own business. The lure of quick profit led him to real estate seminars where
he bought out each speaker‘s promotional goods. ―My first set of seminars were $15,000,‖ he
said. Still, he obsessed over learning more. ―I thought, ‗I need more education.‘‖ Further
investments brought the grand total of his informal real estate ‗school‘ to $35,000.
Serin made a profit on his initial house flip. ―My first deal was $30,000. I got a bit of euphoria.
I thought I could do this more and more. Exuberant feelings led me to buy more property.‖ He
was riding the crest of a wave.
In 2005, Serin combed the national Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a real estate database, and
started buying that fall. In eight months, he bought eight homes in four states. During that time,
he quit his paying job and committed himself to overseeing the contractors upgrading his
investments. ―In total I was $2.2 million in debt between mortgages and unsecured lines of
credit and credit cards,‖ said Serin. ―It was a very tough thing to face.‖
Serin acquired these homes through stated income loans. Meant originally for the self-
employed or wealthy, they offer a measure of privacy for incomes that vary from year to year.
―I ended up stating more than I was really making…‖ he said of his $50,000 computer job. ―In
72. the industry they call them 'liar loans‘ because the bank basically allows you to state anything
The price of this obscurity, according to Zach Gast an analyst for the mortgage lending
industry for the Center for Financial Research and Analysis, is, ―Borrowers were not required
to provide documentation of their income. They paid less in down payments. And they were
also allowed to have higher mortgage payments as a percentage of their income.‖
Serin said, ―It was fairly common to do stated income loans. I thought, well this must be a gray
area. It‘s kind of like speeding on the freeway. Everybody does it. As long as you do it within
reason, it‘s all right. Well, I crashed my car.‖
As any owner of a fixer-upper discovers, the fixing-up takes longer and costs more than
expected. The debts grew and the payments on the investments waned. Serin‘s ‗crash‘
occurred as the properties sat unfinished and the cash ran out. Despite interest in two of the
properties, four of the other six ended up in foreclosure.
Although his mailbox was filling up with collection notices, Serin decided to go public with his
situation. He set up a web-site – a fallback position to his original job and expertise. There he
posted his life, everything from photos of his properties to his financial numbers. ―There was a
time where I was embarrassed‖ he said, ―but after a while I decided, you know what? What‘s
there to be ashamed about? Successful people go through several of these, you know. Failure is
part of success.‖ And what started out as a place to dialogue to offer the lessons he learned
with others has turned into a possible job opportunity. ―The entrepreneur in me thought, 'Hey,
this is great. I can maybe leverage this into some other business later on.‘‖
Serin‘s story is not finished at this point in early 2007. In fact, it will not be finished until he
stops working at being a success. The computing industry is growing as more businesses go
online each day and need the services of gurus like Serin. His failure – and subsequent
education in mortgage finance – coupled with his computer savvy opens the door to business
opportunities as diverse addressing the niche software needs of the lending market to gaining a
certificate in Mortgage Finance that brokers balanced acquisitions in a sceptical housing
As Serin discovered while staring into the abyss on the terrifying edge of the learning curve,
life is hardly over though it feels like it on those sleepless nights. Actually, that place is a
crossroads of opportunity, where the path is lit with the full clarity of hindsight as you embark
on further adventure. Go back to school, used your talents to consult, write a how-to book with
your wealth of experience gained, utilize your unique skills to gap in current business
practices. The list of what is possible is as big as your imagination and application of current or
Summary- Infusing Success with Strength. Serin‘s successes lay with the support of family
making a life in the Land of Opportunity that many of us take for granted. He literally lived his
dreams by becoming a citizen, building skills and turning a profit right at the start. Being
teachable, brave, confident and focused produced a future that combined what he needed to
know as well as relying on existing expertise.
73. In the first half of the book, we pushed you to define who you are in the Ten Critical Areas.
These aspects together determine the synergy of the whole. Success in only one facet of a life
often does not feel like contented success. Often that person realizes something is missing.
Maybe, many things are missing or have been compromised to achieve success in one area.
So far, you have examined the intrinsic design of who you are. With that window into your
soul, consider your previous list of successes and look for the consistent part you played in
them. Assign the major success you have celebrated throughout your life as they correlate to
each of the Ten Critical Areas. To the side of your list, allot strength of character that you
attribute to this success.
74. Ten Critical Area Successes Strength of Character
75. Adding the Wisdom of Experience
The downturn of events that comprise Serin‘s failures arise from weaknesses. They are also the
clues to creating a brighter future. Barging into a new field without building experience was his
main flaw. But he didn‘t give up. He is merely transitioning. Many of you might be doing the
same thing as you embark on the mission of self-discovery in Scoring Success. Recognizing
what you do well, versus where you could improve and how, is the wisdom of experience.
Mistakes are merely learning experiences. What did you learned last time you fell face down?
Most failures in life are the results of ineffectiveness in one or more areas. What are your bad
habits? We need to focus on those times that things that did not go well to determine them.
They are your weaknesses – either an absence of a quality or its headstrong boldness – that
created a losing situation. Think about what bad habits cost you in each area of your life.
Do not despair; this point in the boil down is where your learning experiences offer direction
for future plans. Put on your 20/20 hindsight glasses and fill out the list of the Ten Critical
Areas that follows with those times you chose poorly or got ahead of yourself or gave in to
temptation in your life. Then, assign a nugget of wisdom gained that will alter your course next
76. Ten Critical Area Failings Wisdom Gained
77. Showcasing Objective Goals
Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to go through hell to
get it. -- Don Marquis
Like Serin, you have assessed your ‗learning investments‘ in the story of who you will become.
These are almost more valuable than those places where you have succeeded by chance or by
design. Your strengths will grow stronger through exercising them, and your investments in
trial and error will help you identify areas in which you can choose NOT to fail again. Both
contribute to the goal of living happily ever after. Consider your situation. Are you stuck in the
mud? Or is the path ahead so barren that you cannot tell whether anyone has gone before you?
The anxieties of either spot place you in the same mental location – the point for a deliberate
change of direction. By examining your previous assessments of success from strengths and
wisdom from weaknesses, you can develop goals.
Now let‘s put everything together. List your priority goal for each of the Ten Critical Areas.
Make sure that your goals are specific and exciting. Allot a price tag – $50/month, a mini
vacation or karate lessons to build confidence – where appropriate. Assign a timeline as the
finish line or to gauge progress.
78. Goal Cost Timeline
79. Now write the action steps necessary to achieve your goals. Break things down into small
attainable steps. Make sure that your action steps, like your goals, are specific and realistic.
Action Steps: One Two Three Closing In
80. SWOT Summary Chart
Let’s start putting all these exercises together. List your strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and
tactics for each of the ten critical areas that have been evaluated.
Critical Area Strength Weakness Objectives Tactics
81. The Action
82. Action Tactics
The diligent hand will govern; but the slothful will be enslaved. -- Proverbs 12:24
Events in your life do not count as much as the decisions you make about them. --Unknown
You explored where you have been, decided where you want to go, and now comes the
strategy for writing the chapters that produce that happy ending. This is where you determine
benchmarks or objectives that help you chart your progress.
Tactical strategies are as individual as you are. Most people are excellent at standing in the
light of self-examination and knowing full well what steps they need to take to get them down
the road to success. We simply avoid doing the work because it means change, and change is
uncomfortable. Now that you have made peace with discomfort by looking in the mirror for
most of this book, deciding on the checkpoints that move you to your goals will create
accountability to and for your greatest investment – you!
Planning the process works, or as Peter Drucker quoted: ―What gets planned gets done.‖
Breaking the Addiction of Time Management Mediocrity – A 12-Step Plan
1. Make time work for you by scheduling it – i.e. block out time for exercise on your
2. Sell the plan – promote your goals.
3. Admit strengths and weaknesses – recruit them or discharge them
4. Confess your missions to the world to be accountable
5. Work your personality type, playing up your strengths
6. Adjust your language and behavior
7. Find mentors
8. Set up routine meetings with mentor group
9. Set measures of performance
10. Post timetables of goals with mentors, business planners and family calendars
11. Evaluate yourself weekly, monthly and yearly.
12. Use the scorecards to keep track of your progress
If you need help or fear turning back here, a wealth of systems can assist you with writing the
script. Self-directed types can utilize life planning computer software like Life Plan Writer.
Group-centered folks might prefer the give and take formats of websites like LifeTango.com
where the like-minded brainstorm, exchange ideas and share goals. For guided direction, the
latest trend is life coaching where a hand-chosen mentor can walk one-on-one with you
through your goals and offer affirmation and concrete ways to score results.
The advantages of strategizing goals are many: effective use of time, removal of stumbling
83. blocks, new ideas to try, untold potential, discernment, charted progress and more. How you
devise objectives to meet your goals is up to you. Just set your steps and take the next one
forward. Then, take as many as you need to get you there.
Based on your analysis of the previous section in the Boil Down, correlate your goals sheet
into planning benchmark activities for the timely questions that follow.
What is your optimal use of time?
What is your vision of a perfect week?
What should your weekly calendar look like?
What should your monthly calendar look like?
What should your life plan- your yearly calendar look like?
Good Timing Business News
Latest information tells a story of a happy worker being a more productive and effective
worker. This achieving business climate is most often instigated by management. NetFlix, a
mail-in movie rental company, offers unlimited paid vacation to its employees. The only
stipulation is that the work load gets done. The company has found that employees average 25-
30 days of vacation compared to the 10 days normally used by a US laborer, but the NetFlix
staff suffers no loss of productivity.
Google, a virtual industry giant, believes that the best employees are people who are
passionate. They require workers to utilize 15 percent of their time on the clock for work on
something unrelated to their job. It just needs to be something they feel fervent about. That is
how Google News was developed. People who are satisfied as they work are more satisfied
with their work. So whether you are the boss or the worker bee, spread the honey and increase
84. Time Wasters – List Them
Lose them! They are bad habits responsible for your not having enough hours in your day.
Optimal Use of Time
Now, in order to live your dreams, we need you to put everything into time sheets. Filling in
the details of your life with purpose will make your dreams a reality. Plan your time and use it
wisely, making sure none of the aforementioned time wasters block your way.
You are about to schedule the rest of your life. It will become an ongoing task as your dreams
play out against reality, so do not let this exercise overwhelm you. Breaking it down is the
secret. Scheduling what you need to do every day, every week, every month, every year for the
rest of your life, and your program to accomplish this effectively will make you more
successful. We want as many good things for you as you can plan, but you need you to do the
important job of charting the path to where they lie on the horizon. Take everything you have
learned about yourself in the previous pages and break it down into small manageable steps.
Think not only about your goals, but the individual action steps necessary to achieve them. It is
these steps that will make you a success.
In the following pages, fill in your weekly agenda for the next week. Then, update it weekly.
This calendar breaks down your week into manageable steps. Do the same as you fill in your
monthly calendar to marking those signposts on the road to your dreams. And finally, sketch
in the yearly calendar with your life and financial plans. Together, these tools create the map
necessary to keep your life focused and on track.
92. Merging Goal Setting with Reality
Now that you have taken the time to set personal and business goals and considered the steps
necessary to reach them, review the prompts below to see if your plan is realistic and
attainable. After making any necessary adjustments, share your plans with others – mentors,
family members and business associates integral to putting the track in motion and keeping it
moving forward. Inviting objective opinions from experienced friends while making sure
family is included in the picture as well as colleagues assures more success from Day 1. An
ounce of implementation is worth a pound of planning.
Review-Points to Ponder Before Getting Out of the Gate
Is there harmony between the Ten Critical Area goals – Overlap is ideal but pitting one area
against another is a priority conflict and tantamount to failure.
Does a common goal arise for you out of the whole?
Do you have the skills to achieve your goals?
Are cooperating people and connections in place?
Did you involve all of your mentor team in the preparation of the life plan?
Did you make the plan logical, comprehensive and brief as possible?
Are you being ambiguous, vague, or unrealistic just to write something down, but have no idea
how you will manage your action steps?
Did you commit the necessary preparation time to script achievable benchmarks?
Are there foreseeable problems you will encounter?
Have you done what you can to offset or work around them?
Are there creative ideas that could help in achieving your objectives?
When will you begin?
Screen Goals with Power Filters – Knowledge, Money and Stamina
Do you have the knowledge, money and strength to achieve what you have set out to do?
Where are you lacking?
How will you make up for any deficits in education, money or support to achieve your dreams?
Is special training or school an option?
Are you physically healthy enough to accomplish your dreams?
Will the gym or military training or other stamina and mental discipline fit into your plan?
How will you incorporate all of these elements into your plan?
93. Contingency Planning
Chances are, at some point, you will utter, ―Uh oh, something‘s not right.‖ That happens in life
more often than smooth sailing. Do not look at problems as a reason to stop going forward with
what you desire. Look at them as a consideration point. Is my track still appropriate? Have I
left out a significant step? What is the quickest way to get back on the road to my goals? Who
do I know that can give me objective, knowledgeable feedback for getting from here to there?
Talk to experts in your field. Comb the Internet for innovative suggestions for trouble-
shooting. Stop your bad habits, forgive yourself and begin again right now. Do whatever it
takes. The basis for contingency planning is to anticipate problems, so they do not knock you
down. Plan on having problems. And if you do find yourself on the floor, get up, dust yourself
off and start all over again. Bursting into song is OK too.
Now, fill out the following pages with all these considerations for success and prudent action
steps that accomplish your goals through a weekly, monthly and yearly vision set down by you.
94. Making It All
95. Ready to Score?
A wise son loves correction, but the senseless one heeds no rebuke. -- Proverbs 13:1
He who loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. -- Proverbs 12:1
False scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a full weight is his delight. -- Proverbs 11:1
To make it all work, check these essentials:
 Regular evaluation of goals
 Consistent measure of performance
 Monitoring progress
 Innovations for performance
 Motivation and Incentives
 Problems and Penalties
 Feedback from integral players
 Associations and Networking
 Personality and Behavior
 Language of success
Keeping score is all part of playing. Without comparison to a measure, there is no chartable
path. Results for your planning programs should be tangibly measured and monitored often.
Using a scorecard is a way to do this. The evaluation shows your actual performance. The
scorecard uses boxes to check whether or not you stay true to each category goal. You list your
priorities for each of the Ten Critical Areas and then rate your budget versus actual input,
determine the variance and give yourself the thumbs up or down – plus or minus. Adding
these numbers up will give you a quantitative indicator for how you did during that week. See
the example and then, create your own on the following page.
96. Ten Critical Areas Sample Weekly Scorecard
Mentor Budgeted Actual
Area Check Priority Time/$ Time/$ Variance Direction
Values X 2 2 0 +
Emotional X 45 45 0 +
2 "Go ahead’s"
Health X 5 2 3 -
Intellectual 10 10 0 +
War and Peace
Family X Spend time 10 10 0 +
Friends 10 0 10 -
Love X 4 2 2 -
Career X 8 10 -2 +
Finances Save 10% on -80 0 10 -
Community 2 & 20 2 & 20 0 +
2 hours & $20
Total 6 100% 60% 40% +
97. Ten Critical Areas Weekly Scorecard
Mentor Budgeted Actual
Area Check Priority Time/$ Time/$ Variance Direction
Waste not, want not.
Scorecards are fundamental to bettering your time management and achieving your dreams.
Display them in your office and home, so colleagues and family can share in your progress, be
reminded of your vision, offer insight and ultimately, encourage you. The more people
involved in your goal chart the better because they share your world, so make sure they are on
your team. They can keep you moving honestly forward. The more you advertise your goals,
the more likely you are to arrive at your desired destination. Make copies of the blank
scorecard and fill it out as events change and goals are accomplished.
One way to better leverage your success is to determine what motivates you. Look at the list
below and ask yourself which of these values motivate you most and prioritize them.
Sample Motivators Your Primary Motivators
The next list is of those things that drag you down or stop you dead in your tracks. They are the
de-motivators. These are states of pain — things that we avoid if at all possible. Read the
sample issues shown, and list the worst things that can happen to you starting with the most
Sample De-motivators Your Primary De-motivators
Being scolded by an angry person
Being publicly humiliated
Being made to feel guilty
Feeling like a failure
Motivation is the key that turns over the engine that drives success. That impulse must be
proportional to the goal to move you forward. So, if you lose two pounds each week, maybe
you can have an ice cream cone on Saturday. No waffle cone sundae extravaganza though. The
idea is to keep making progress using the motivators to offer regular pats on the back for a job
well done. List rewards for each category that will make you jump through the hoops necessary
to attain your goals.
Critical Area Priority Goal and Deadline Reward
Use your primary de-motivators to determine penalties that will encourage you to accomplish
the things that you set out to do. It is like the Penalty Box at an ice hockey game. Bad behavior
needs to be punished, not reinforced. For example, if your are trying to lose weight and set a
goal to lose two pounds per month, also set a penalty for not achieving that goal. If you have
friends that will not undermine your progress, volunteer to eat a can of dog food in front of
them if you do not stay on track. Then, if you eat all the ice cream in your house, you will be
eating the dog food as well, but you knew the penalty – a wobbly waist equals a bad taste. To
keep yourself focused, you could even keep a can of dog food on the counter as a reminder to
keep yours and everyone else‘s eyes on your shrinking waistline.
For your Ten Critical Areas, assign creative and honest penalties for not achieving your goals
in the time frame allotted. Maybe you will not watch TV for one week. Maybe you will stand
on your head in the office break room. And maybe, their support will help your succeed. Have
fun. Be humorous. BUT, these penalties only work if you hold yourself accountable. Share
the penalties and a little silliness with your family, friends and mentors. Now make your own.
Critical Area Priority Goal and Deadline Penalty
101. Confessional Theory
He who conceals his sins prospers not, but he who confesses and forsakes them obtains mercy.
-- Proverbs 28:13
I am on a mission from God! -- Blues Brothers
We have talked about accountability and the need to take charge for the outcome of your life.
Confession however is a big part of accountability. The person who is overweight and decides
to diet may use a weight loss support group as their confessional. Another person may be more
comfortable sharing with a Life Coach, and others still may ―confess‖ their need for change to
family or close friends.
The point being that confession requires a team. The team can be one or many. You are not
only confessing your mistakes but sharing your plan for change to reinforce your
Many people think of car racing as a mostly solo sport. Jeff Gordon is a well-known, world
class driver. While Jeff can deftly navigate his car around the track to win races, he cannot pay
for the necessary resources, tune or repair the car, promote the events and all of the other
necessities needed to keep drivers on the track. Jeff Gordon needs a team of sponsors,
promoters and mechanics to help him reach his end goal. It is the team effort that drives him to
the platform to hold that outrageously large trophy while people pour perfectly good
champagne all over him. Looking at your charts, the goals and action steps are your
responsibilities as the driver, and the collaboration of your pit crew – colleagues, family, and
mentors – keeps your car running smoothly around the track
So write out your goal chart, post it where significant others can see it and share it with all the
people on your team. Tell everyone that you run into what you are trying to achieve, and ask
for their help. State your goals at the water cooler and to your loved one in bed. Tell interested
newcomers to your circle as well. They can offer objective, nothing-to-lose opinions that may
challenge your direction. Leave your dream plan lying on the coffee table for others to see.
Solicit constructive feedback and pay attention to the thread of common fears. Take all of it
with a grain of salt, but whatever you do, own your goals.
102. Your Book Tour
Take your completed workbook of goals and action steps on tour. Who are you going to show
your plans to and when? It is healthy to receive input, inspiration and support from others.
Our friends and acquaintances are able to open doors of opportunity for us if we just share our
hearts with them. I urge you to share your dreams with them. Schedule time to discuss ―you.‖
As iron shapes iron, so man sharpens his fellow man. -- Proverbs 27:17
A wise man loves correction, but the senseless one heeds no rebuke. -- Proverbs 13:1
Have you ever noticed that successful people tend to spend time with other successful people?
Can you imagine what would have become of Microsoft if Bill Gates had chosen to spend his
formative years hanging out and partying?
Like minded people inspire and sharpen one another. Young people beginning their careers are
often advised to spend time with people who are doing what they want to do. The benefit of
your associations is not simply the networking opportunities that it may create, but the value of
gaining wisdom from their mindset. Just as you can learn a foreign language by the immersion
method, you can also learn the language of success by surrounding yourself with people who
share that mindset.
Mentoring is another way to surround yourself with those who may have traveled the road you
are now on. It is beneficial at every stage of your life, for there is always more to learn. In
fact, many companies today have alternate boards. This is a group of experts outside the
company – consultants and others of various backgrounds with a common interest. They meet
on a regular basis to discuss pertinent issues and provide objective advice from their
perspective to help the company reassess or maintain direction.
The same concept can be applied to our individual goal framework. Form a group of people
who can maintain a regular interest, understand your direction and help guide you. ―Whom
you spend time with is who you become‖ so develop a mentor group and schedule regular
meet-ups. Your purpose should be to discuss your individual goals and have others rate your
performance. Use your scorecards as guidelines.
How do I find a pick a panel of experts to advise me?
 Examine your family and friends – people you trust
 Contact sage advocates in your business and personal life
 Decide on the size of your mentor group
 Choose whether to meet individually or as a group merging home and office
 Block out a regular date on the calendar
 Confirm their commitment to a usual time and place
Take advantage of get-togethers like Sunday afternoon barbecues for a catch-up session or
schedule more formal breakfast club meetings. Give your group a nickname like the
Mavericks or Moutaintoppers and invite your friends and family over as honorary guests.
104. Consider special events for your mentors like a Super Bowl gathering, a Brazilian Carnival
themed party, a Spring Wiffle Ball game, a Back-to-School Bash or a Christmas celebration.
Find as many mentors as you need to help you fulfill your potential in your Ten Critical Areas.
Select people who will honestly analyze your goals, and hold you to your word.
Schedule them below.
105. Mentor Meeting Calendar
Critical Area Mentor's Name Date
106. Behavior of Success
From the fruit of his words a man has his fill of good things, and the work of his hands comes
back to reward. -- Proverbs 12:14
A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. -- Proverbs 15:31
Last but not least, we can monitor and modify your behavior and language to achieve the
success faster. It starts by being positive about everything you do, especially about what we
say and how we convey it.
Perhaps you got wind of the movement begun in Kansas City, Missouri. It has been blowing
across a globe marred by war, disease and poverty, yet is still hungry for a positive word. In
fact, the response to the complaint-free movement is overwhelming the pastor who dreamed up
the campaign, but he is not complaining.
Reverend Will Bowen introduced the idea of turning away from complaining to his 250-
member congregation in July 2006. He challenged them to go 21 days without uttering a gripe,
criticism or gossip. They wore purple rubber bracelets proclaiming ―A Complaint Free World‖
to remind them to make communications constructive and uplifting. If a mistake was made
before 21 days were up, the bracelet was moved to the other wrist to begin the effort again. It
took Bowen, an obvious positive thinker, 75 days to reach his goal, so it is harder than it
sounds. It is a learned trait to see what good can come of a thing and to pass along
encouragement to others.
Despite being overwhelmed by the international requests for the small church‘s incentives to
change, Bowen and his congregation continue to handle the orders personally. To this point,
Bowen‘s church has blessed and shipped orders to nearly 80 countries totaling over 4.5 million
bracelets. It is overwhelmingly obvious that people do desire to hear and speak a word that
builds up over those that tear down.
The words that we use have a dramatic impact on how others perceive us. Top motivators
suggest trading negative phrases in your vocabulary to more positive ones. These work to build
confidence in you, reprogramming your subconscious to seeing things as constructive and
Exchange words that soften – might and suggest – for words that build confidence, like will.
Eliminate: try, can‘t, but, hope and if.
Profane language is unimaginative and rude at its worst, so blow off steam and keep the peace
with the Winnie the Pooh standard, ―Oh, bother.‖ Disney is full of other fun examples.
107. Lastly, keep it upbeat even when it is not going well. Change, ―I have a problem,‖ to, ―The
challenge here is...‖ And keep your word usage exciting and expressive. Use the word
passionate. Change great to fantastic, okay to perfect, good to dynamic, quick to explosive.
See other examples below. Try on the power changes in the chart and watch your mood and
performance perk up.
Self-limiting vocabulary Action vocabulary Your progress vocabulary
angry about not happy about
afraid of uncomfortable with
anxious excited about
can't wait impatient with
confused about curious about
depressed over at a crossroads
disappointed about getting through
failing at learning to
feeling humiliated had my ego bruised
feel lazy need energizing
feel rejected under-represented
hate I prefer
jealous too emotionally involved
sad need a laugh
so overwhelmed with sorting through things
stressed out over blessed with (good business)
People’s conversations and outlooks could use an upgrade, so consider these questions:
How do feel when you speak to friends? To co-workers? To strangers?
Is your vocabulary powerful or limiting?
Does your language change with the company you keep?
What are some vocabulary changes that you could make?
Cultural Coach and syndicated columnist Linda S. Wallace suggests these guidelines:
 Use language that is inclusive and respectful, not negative or stereotyping
 Make statements based on fact, not bias
 Restate others‘ positions for clarity and avoid twisting words to gain advantage
 Verify damaging information before speaking of it to others
 Do not stand for abuse
 Respect others always; differences do not need to divide people
 Mind your manners – your mother was right
108. Changes I will make in my vocabulary
Self-limiting vocabulary Your progress vocabulary
It is important to be positive and surround oneself with an environment that leads to consistent
upbeat thinking and professional behavior. The next time you catch yourself or someone else
off track in a conversation, try an interrupter. This diversionary tactic is a way to stop and
alter the conversation immediately. A question like, ―What‘s your favorite sport?‖ or the
cliché, ―Boy, the weather is terrible today. I‘d better get going,‖ are universal examples of
interrupters. This complete shift in subject is a way to derail bad behavior and change the
course of discussion, or in some cases, completely bow out of the conversation by announcing
your goodbye. Using interrupters sends a polite message that you have other things about
which you would rather talk. They work best when used consistently with people to let them
know you have boundaries, and they alert others to the fact that they crossed the line. These
interrupters come from way out in left field – like asking about the Dodgers – and are meant to
stop people in their tracks, not invite comment. The repetitive use of a standard line will
reinforce and condition appropriate behavior in a harmless way. With my 12 year old daughter,
all I have to say is, ―Orlando Bloom.‖ And I have her attention. My wife Martha in a little
silly voice just says, ―I love you?‖
Have a look at some other examples below for starters.
Aren’t the Dodgers playing here this week?
Who is your favorite hockey player?
Can I get that in red?
Okay. Not going to go there.
You look really good in that smile.
Do that again please.
Of course, non-verbal cues work just as well. Try turning off the television or just changing
Also avoid getting too involved in distractions. Keep simple focus. Keep things exciting and
challenging. Focus on possibilities not problems. Look at the big picture.
Develop your own interrupters and stop the madness of gossip, bad language, boss bashing,
whining and more. I‘ll be hornswoggled if I don‘t create laughter instead of cussing.
Life is too short not to start trying to live it better today.
110. Celebrating Results
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
How thirsty are you? If you have made it this far through the book, I am sure you are ready to
toast success. Congratulations!
You have completed a rigorous workbook. Staying motivated over the long haul will be the
challenge from here on out. Motivation must be constantly replenished. Find the things
that inspire you daily. Try placing inspirational pictures with captions on the wall of people
you admire, loved ones celebrating your success or business awards. Gather symbols and
collectables that represent and embody your desired life. Get excited. Smile because you know
a very good secret. And that secret is you. Keep your circle of support around you to listen
reflect, laugh and sing when the going gets rough. Because it will!
Many clerics have developed daily motivational mantras and prayers. The actor Tony Randall
got up every morning, looked at himself in the mirror and laughed until he felt refreshed and
positive about the upcoming day. World renowned motivator Anthony Robbins asks himself
what he can do better daily. And what does he need to focus on today to achieve his goals?
Another motivator and hypnotist, Marshall Sylver, records his own voice reading motivational
scripts on tapes and listens to them in his car to boost his enthusiasm. What creative trick will
keep you going each and every day?
Attack your day by prioritizing your work schedules into either must do’s and should do’s.
The must do’s are those actions that will promote your priorities. Read self-help books and
attend educational and networking opportunities that strengthen your position and help you
discern your best long term interests. Point yourself forward.
The plans you have made are the blueprints for your dream. You will build it using this book
as an instruction manual. Life will never be the same. Expect it to feel awkward at first, but do
it diligently until it is routine. Revisit your blueprint as events and priorities change. Confess
to all your dreams. Adjust your language and interpersonal skills to meet the demands of the
people you need to know to succeed. Keep motivated by developing outside pressure. Impose
penalties when appropriate. Interrupt unproductive processes. Work toward your goals. Show
the courage to be all you can be. Lead. Walk with decisiveness and speed to your destination.
You will succeed.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck and look forward to congratulating you. Tell me about
your amazing new life. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
111. About the Author
Richard Becker was raised in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder.
He earned a B.A. in Oriental Languages and Literature and a Master’s Degree in Education.
After becoming fluent in Japanese, he spent several years working for the Japanese Ministries
of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Education in Kyushu, Japan. Upon his return to the
States, he worked as a stockbroker. Hungering to help American business owners compete
more effectively, he became a business analyst and consultant. He has worked as a
turnaround specialist for several hundred companies and on various business initiatives for
big names such as Burger King, Burlington Freight and Culligan. Mr. Becker has assisted the
family businesses of former Vice President Gore and President Bush; performed several public
projects analyses with people of the Santa Clara Pueblo; and, has analyzed business
operations supporting the National Lab in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He owns and operates
several enterprises and the private consulting firm, US Profit Associates. Mr. Becker, his wife,
Martha, and their five children reside outside Houston, Texas.
112. <back cover>
Are you running your life or is your life running you?
It‘s a matter of working successfully versus just surviving. Life is not an emergency. Enjoy it! Stop spending your
coherent hours putting out fires and start shaping your priorities to realize your dreams.
With international business consultant Richard Becker, you will explore your inherent power to overcome
limitations and capitalize on strengths to plan for your greatest potential. Ten critical areas – values, emotional
and physical health, intellectual growth, family life, friendships, love, career, finances and community service –
comprise the crux of who you are. These facets of life are key to motivating change, and Scoring Success
explains how to:
 Turn desire into a constructive force within you
 Inventory your life to reveal the strategy to accomplish your dreams
 Find lost hours to invest in a satisfying, effective day
 Assess career skills and work smarter
 Eliminate procrastination and improve communication
 Tame your financial snarls
Recognize the opportunity in your midst- whether you are stuck in the mud or lost in the woods, you need
direction. This interactive workbook helps you create a map to the destination of your choosing.
Living happily ever after is completely up to you. Direct your business and personal life with
Meet Author Richard Becker
International businessman Richard Becker is fluent in Japanese and with a Master‘s Degree in Education, worked
for several years in the Japanese Ministries of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Education in Kyushu, Japan. On
US soil, he has been a turnaround specialist for several hundred companies and worked on various business
initiatives for big names like Burger King, Burlington Freight and Culligan. Becker assisted with the family
businesses of former Vice President Gore and President Bush in addition to analyzing public projects for the
people of the Santa Clara Pueblo and the National Lab in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He hungered to help
business owners compete more effectively and channeled his expertise to serve as a business analyst and
consultant. Becker now owns and operates several enterprises and a private consulting firm, US Profit Associates.