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Scoring Success

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Learn how to manage your time to be more successful, faster!

Learn how to manage your time to be more successful, faster!

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  • 1. Richard Becker Life Changing Activity Workbook Scoring Success How to Manage Your Life to Success Copyright 1999, 2003, 2007 1
  • 2. Table of Contents Introduction..............................................................................................................................3 Time Management ...................................................................................................................7 The Ten Critical Areas ........................................................................................................... 15 Values .................................................................................................................................... 16 Emotional Stability................................................................................................................. 21 Physical Health ...................................................................................................................... 24 Intellectual Growth................................................................................................................. 26 Family.................................................................................................................................... 28 Heirloom Knowledge ............................................................................................................. 31 Friends ................................................................................................................................... 41 Love & Relationships ............................................................................................................. 43 Finances ................................................................................................................................. 58 Community ............................................................................................................................ 68 Boil Down.............................................................................................................................. 71 The Action Plan ..................................................................................................................... 81 Tactics ................................................................................................................................... 82 Scorecards.............................................................................................................................. 95 Confession ....................................................................................................................... 10101 Mentors ................................................................................................................................ 103 Behavior .............................................................................................................................. 103 Results ................................................................................................................................. 103 2
  • 3. Introduction 3
  • 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. 4
  • 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 running you. 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 progress. 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 5
  • 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 follow. 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! 6
  • 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 present.‖ 7
  • 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 life. Time Time 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 Planning 3 Quadrant 4 Quadrant Not Important Activities: Routine Activities: Wasting Time Interruptions Trivia 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 8
  • 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? Procrastination The results of a five-year study on procrastination are available five years behind schedule! 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. 9
  • 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. Managers’ To-Do 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? Everyone’s How-To 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. 10
  • 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 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 11
  • 12. 7. 8. 9. 10. 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. 12
  • 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 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. 13
  • 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 Values Emotional Health Intellectual Family Friends Love Career Finances Community Potential Activity Actual Activity Variance Average lost life= Average lost life in years= (Average lost life) x (Age) 14
  • 15. The Ten Critical Areas 15
  • 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 and wrong. 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? 16
  • 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. 17
  • 18. Personal Values Chart Rank by priority what you value most as you create this list. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 18
  • 19. My Doctrine of Faith (Write your own beliefs here.) 19
  • 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 decision tree. 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. 20
  • 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 being. 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 control? Look Within 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. Tough Cookies 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 – 21
  • 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 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 22
  • 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. 23
  • 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. 24
  • 25. Health Script Doctors write prescriptions to improve health every day. Write your own. My Exercise Routine My Dietary Guidelines Other Healthy Ideas Benefits! 25
  • 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. 26
  • 27. My Commitments to Intellectual Excellence 27
  • 28. Critical Area Five -- Family Social Connections 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? Communication Central 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. 28
  • 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. 29
  • 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 needs? 30
  • 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? Heirloom Knowledge 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 31
  • 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? 32
  • 33. What I Learned From Traumatic Events 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Benefits/Detriments of Telling These Things to Your Children/Others 33
  • 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. Locked Out 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 them. 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. 34
  • 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 children. 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, hopeful home. Now create your daily rules to live by: for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should 35
  • 36. for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should 36
  • 37. for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should 37
  • 38. for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should 38
  • 39. for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should for Must Nots Should Nots Must Should 39
  • 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: 40
  • 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? 41
  • 42. Do you talk only about sports or gossip when you are together or do you engage in deeper conversations? 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 42
  • 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. 43
  • 44. What about your love life? Let these questions help you describe the attributes of a committed partner. 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 conflict. 44
  • 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. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 45
  • 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. 46
  • 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 marriage include: 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 47
  • 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? 48
  • 49. Marriage ―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 49
  • 50. Expectations of My Spouse 50
  • 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 51
  • 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. 52
  • 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 hours? 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 work? 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 obstacles? 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? 53
  • 54. Success! 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 dreams. 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 unexpected impact. 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? 54
  • 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… 55
  • 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? 56
  • 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? 57
  • 58. Critical Area Nine – Finances Wealth gotten very quickly dwindles away, but amassed little by little, it grows. -- Proverbs 13:11 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 careful planning. 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, 58
  • 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. 59
  • 60. Monthly Expense Analysis (Example) Take a close look at this sample budget which is common in most households who never get ahead. Household Cash Flow Yearly Summary 2006 2005 2004 2003 Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Opening Cash on Hand 5847 % 6416 % 5500 % 5000 % INCOME 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% EXPENDITURES 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. 60
  • 61. Monthly Expense Analysis Household Cash Flow Yearly Summary Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Opening Cash on Hand % % % % INCOME Wage/Salary 1 Wage/Salary 2 Interest & Dividends Retirement/Other Income Total Income 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% EXPENDITURES Mortgage/Rent (Retirement) Savings Taxes Alimony Home Improvement & Maint. Home & Auto Insurance Auto Upkeep & Fuel Auto Loan/Lease Payment Credit Card/Other Loans Groceries & Other Food Health Care/Medical Costs Clothing Educational Expenses Child Care and Support Utilities (power, heat, etc.) Telecommunications Travel & Entertainment Subscriptions/Memberships Tithe/Contributions Other Other Total Expenditures Net Cash Flow Ending Balance Note: Feel free to change any income or expenditure category to fit your needs. 61
  • 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 appropriate column.  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 62
  • 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. 63
  • 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% EXPENDITURES 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. 64
  • 65. Monthly Expense Optimum Household Cash Flow Yearly Summary Current Optimum Variance New Budget Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Opening Cash on Hand % % % % INCOME Wage/Salary 1 Wage/Salary 2 Interest & Dividends Retirement/Other Income Total Income 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% EXPENDITURES Mortgage/Rent (Retirement) Savings Taxes Alimony Home Improvement & Maint. Home & Auto Insurance Auto Upkeep & Fuel Auto Loan/Lease Payment Credit Card/Other Loans Groceries & Other Food Health Care/Medical Costs Clothing Educational Expenses Child Care and Support Utilities (power, heat, etc.) Telecommunications Travel & Entertainment Subscriptions/Memberships Tithe/Contributions Other Other Total Expenditures Net Cash Flow Ending Balance Note: Feel free to change any income or expenditure category to fit your needs. 65
  • 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. 66
  • 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 Vacations Purchase of boat/plane Purchase of second home/property Business (start up) Purchase of recreational vehicle Home improvement Major medical expenses Debt elimination Children's education Adult education Retirement Other Other Other Other Other Total Expense 67
  • 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. 68
  • 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. My Obituary 69
  • 70. Boil Down 70
  • 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 it. 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 71
  • 72. the industry they call them 'liar loans‘ because the bank basically allows you to state anything you want.‖ 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 market. 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 acquirable education. 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. 72
  • 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. 73
  • 74. Ten Critical Area Successes Strength of Character Values Emotional Stability Physical Health Intellectual Growth Family Friends Love Career Finances Community Service 74
  • 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 time. 75
  • 76. Ten Critical Area Failings Wisdom Gained Values Emotional Stability Physical Health Intellectual Growth Family Friends Love Career Finances Community Service 76
  • 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. 77
  • 78. Goal Cost Timeline Values Emotional Stability Physical Health Intellectual Growth Family Friends Love Career Finances Community Service 78
  • 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 Values Emotional Stability Intellectual Growth Physical Health Family Friends Love Career Finances Community Service 79
  • 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 Values Emotional Health Intellectual Family Friends Love Career Financial Contributions 80
  • 81. The Action Plan 81
  • 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 calendar 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 82
  • 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 production. 83
  • 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. 84
  • 85. Weekly Agenda Weekly Vision Goals & Actions Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 85
  • 86. Weekly Calendar (To be formatted sideways over 2 pages) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 12 Midnight 12 Midnight 12 Midnight 12 Midnight 12 Midn 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 86
  • 87. 12 Noon 12 Noon 12 Noon 12 Noon 12 Noon 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 87
  • 88. Monthly Calendar (Insert Monthly Schedule- Manual Insert) 88
  • 89. Yearly Achievement Plan- Life Schedule Age/Goals and Milestones to Hit Age Earned Income Target Qualitative Goals Other Quantitative Goals (Major Expenses) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 89
  • 90. Age Earned Income Target Qualitative Goals Other Quantitative Goals (Major Expenses) 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 90
  • 91. Age Earned Income Target Qualitative Goals Other Quantitative Goals (Major Expenses) 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 91
  • 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? 92
  • 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. 93
  • 94. Making It All Work! 94
  • 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 Scorecards 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. 95
  • 96. Ten Critical Areas Sample Weekly Scorecard Mentor Budgeted Actual Area Check Priority Time/$ Time/$ Variance Direction Values X 2 2 0 + Learn Prayer Emotional X 45 45 0 + 2 "Go ahead’s" Health X 5 2 3 - Evening Walks Intellectual 10 10 0 + War and Peace Family X Spend time 10 10 0 + w/Elizabeth Friends 10 0 10 - BBQ/Holiday party Love X 4 2 2 - Martha Career X 8 10 -2 + Write book Finances Save 10% on -80 0 10 - insurance Community 2 & 20 2 & 20 0 + 2 hours & $20 Total 6 100% 60% 40% + 96
  • 97. Ten Critical Areas Weekly Scorecard Mentor Budgeted Actual Area Check Priority Time/$ Time/$ Variance Direction Values Emotional Health Intellectual Family Friends Love Career Finances Community Total 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. 97
  • 98. Leverage 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 Adventure Comfort Freedom Health Intimacy Love Passion Power Security Prestige 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 awful. Sample De-motivators Your Primary De-motivators Being scolded by an angry person Being alone Being penalized Being publicly humiliated Being made to feel guilty Being rejected Feeling like a failure Feeling frustrated Feeling powerless 98
  • 99. Rewards 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 Values Emotional Health Intellectual Family Friends Love Career Finances Community 99
  • 100. Penalties 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 Values Emotional Health Intellectual Family Friends Love Career Finances Community 100
  • 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 accountability. 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. 101
  • 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.‖ 102
  • 103. Mentors 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. 103
  • 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. 104
  • 105. Mentor Meeting Calendar Monthly Meeting Critical Area Mentor's Name Date Values Emotional Health Intellectual Family Friends Love Career Finances Community 105
  • 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. Complaint-Free Movement 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 solvable. 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. 106
  • 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 hurt bothered jealous too emotionally involved lonely available sad need a laugh so overwhelmed with sorting through things stressed out over blessed with (good business) tired recharging upset stimulated 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 107
  • 108. Changes I will make in my vocabulary Self-limiting vocabulary Your progress vocabulary 108
  • 109. Interrupters 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. Focus! Oh, sorry! 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 the subject. 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. 109
  • 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: uspainc@aol.com. 110
  • 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. 111
  • 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 Scoring Success. <inside jacket> 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. 112

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