by Charly Mann
No matter who you are, and how hard you try to overcome them, you cannot escape the fact that you have faults. They are your defects and what make you human, but by your intelligence, you can recognize them and keep them in check. They will sometimes mar your decision making, and from time to time even make you irrational, but the more you remind yourself of them, the less they will affect your growth and your talent.
It is a weakness to ignore your faults, and can often lead one to do evil. Let your faults just be blemishes on your path to perfection, instead of warts that not only repel others from you, but tarnish your abilities, and take you down the road to ruin.
George Washington (probably the greatest man who has ever lived)
One SONG can spark a moment
One FLOWER can start a dream
One TREE can start a forest
One BIRD can herald spring
One SMILE begins a friendship
One HANDCLASP will lift a soul
One STAR can guide a ship
One WORD can frame your goal
One VOTE can change a nation
One SUNBEAM will light a room
One CANDLE wipes out darkness
One LAUGH can conquer gloom
One STEP can start a journey
One WORD can start a prayer
One HOPE will raise our spirits
One TOUCH can show you care
One VOICE can speak with wisdom
One HEART can know what is true
One LIFE can make a difference.
by Charly Mann
Aristotle said, "The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learned from others; it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an eye for resemblance." A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses one thing to mean another, and makes a comparison between the two. Carl Sandberg’s poem FOG is a beautiful example of the use of metaphors.
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Great metaphors like Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage”, compares two unrelated things that make sense when brought together in a phrase. Metaphors are not meant to be taken literally, but they should be substantively descriptive. Bob Dylan’s line, “the harmonicas play the skeleton keys in the rain”, from his song Visions of Johanna, paints a hauting image of someone playing a harmonica.
Unlike a simile, comparisons are made in a metaphor without the use of the words “like” or “as”. So the expression “The pen is mightier than the sword”, is a metaphor, while “ he is sly as a fox”, and, “the wind howls like a hammer” or similes.
Using metaphors will make your writing and speaking much more lively and interesting. Readers and listeners usually understand a subject better when a metaphor is applied, because the phrase can communicate a great deal of meaning, and forces them to think more about what they are hearing or reading.
I hope my article has gotten to the bottom of the advantage of using metaphors. I have tried to shower this piece with some good examples. Now I hope it bears fruit with you, and is not too difficult to swallow. If you practice for a while, writing metaphors will be a breeze, and your writing and speaking will really shine.
A few of our favorite metaphors:
Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
Modern English is the Wal-Mart of languages: convenient, huge, hard to avoid, superficially friendly, and devouring all rivals in its eagerness to expand.
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that something agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
by Charly Mann
There is a golden songbird that lives in my backyard. It spends most of its day singing beautiful songs. Recently a large orange tabby cat caught this bird as he was eating seeds off the ground. The little bird begged the cat to release him, and promised to tell the cat three great secrets if he would let him go. The cat immediately released the bird. The bird flew up to a branch, a safe distance from the cat, and said, "Thank you for letting me live. The three great secrets are, never believe all that you hear; never regret what you have lost, and never throw away anything that is worth keeping." The cat said that he already knew these secrets, and that he should not have let him go. My golden songbird replied that if the cat had really known these secrets he never would have let him go.
"You see," Sherlock Holmes explained, "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such information as you choose. A fool takes in all the facts of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge, which might be useful to him, gets crowded out. Now the wise person will have nothing but information which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones."
by Charly Mann
Abraham Lincoln said that if you want to be successful “your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” Umesh Ramakrishnan in his new book There's No Elevator to the Top asks a wide range of top CEOs what it took them to get to the top of the corporate ladder. Not surprising, hard work, dedication, passion and preparation, are all essential ingredients. Just as important is being a great team player once a corporate decision has been made. Also important is being a great communicator, and to take on a wide array of difficult assignments in different areas and global locations of your company. Another common trait of those who made it to the top is they always focused on their current responsibilities instead of maneuvering for their next move. You should also accentuate your strengths, while always working to improve your weaknesses.
In today’s tough economic climate, the people who get ahead are those who can make difficult cost savings decisions, even though they can affect the jobs of many other people. When the economy is flourishing, leaders who are more sensitive and people-oriented do better. For those who want to have a life outside of work while making it to the top, there seems to be consensus that one has to sometimes dedicate entire years on one's ascent in business, forgoing friends, family, and a social life.
For me success is being able to spend most of my life the way I want to. As Albert Schweitzer said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
In a field one summer's day a Butterfly was flying about and eating nectar from flowers to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, dragging along with much effort an ear of corn he was taking to his nest.
"Why not come and chat with me," said the Butterfly, "instead of working so hard?"
"I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you do the same."
"Why bother about winter?" said the Butterfly, "we have plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued taking food to its nest.
When Winter came the Butterfly had no food and found it self dying of hunger, while it the ant ate well from the food it had stored.
by Charly Mann
The fundamental cause of the current economic meltdown is the United States Baby Boom generation. These 79 million individuals born between 1946 and 1964 were the economic engine of the world economy. They make up just 28% of the population in America, yet accounted for more than 50% of its consumer spending. As the boomers are nearing retirement their spending is sharply slowing down, and they are trying to sell their large houses. The problem is there are not enough financially capable Americans to make up for their consumption power or buy their houses. While Baby Boomers' net worth on average increased 97% over the last fifteen years to over a quarter of a million dollars, the generation coming behind them actually saw their net worth fall 28% to just under $50,000. The mortgage crisis, which precipitated the current economic crisis we are in through a rapid fall in housing prices, was caused primarily by the glut of boomer homes on the market.
The boomers lived better than any generation in history, but the fall in stock prices has wiped out more than 2.5 trillion dollars, close to half, of their retirement savings. The irony is they will now have to live far more frugally than their parents did in their retirement years.
by Charly Mann
Your genetic makeup, intelligence, and hard work have little bearing on whether you will be great at something. It is instead the kind of focus and practice you use that will determine whether you master a skill. Most practice and repetition we use in trying to succeed at something actually only helps us become mediocre. Geoff Colvin in his book, Talent is Overrated, makes a convincing case that becoming really good at something comes primarily from many years and thousands of hours of what he terms “deliberate practice”.
Deliberate practice includes the following steps. First, setting goals each day for a specific process you will work on toward mastery of a skill. Second, critical observation of your progress and how your mind is reacting as you work on your goal. This is called metacognition and it allows you to quickly adapt to a better method when you recognize something is impairing you from getting optimal results. Finally, after practice, carefully evaluating how well you progressed toward your goal, and developing new goals and strategeies for improvement the next day.
Only the people with the focus and discipline to do years of daily deliberate practice for hours each day succeed in achieving true mastery of a skill. The younger you start developing skills in an area you want to master, the better. It takes ten years of hard work with deliberate practice to achieve excellence in almost anything.
by Charly Mann
It is great having a mind, particularly one you can control. There are many ways to put your mind to good use if you discipline it. For example, suppose you are down in the dumps about something and your mind is making you feel sad or anxious. That is the time when you can do some positive mind control for yourself. Find something that makes you feel good and is also healthy for you. Do you have some music that will lighten your mood? What about a warm bubble bath? For me, a walk on my favorite trail, unless it is too hot or cold, works wonders for improving my disposition. Often talking to a good friend about anything other than what is bothering you will make you feel a lot better.
You really can do almost anything if you can control your mind. Most of our problems, insecurities, and failures are a result of our minds sabotaging us. Why do we allow ourselves to be careless, choose bad friends, get angry, or not stay focused on getting what we want? We can greatly improve our chance of success in anything we desire if we force our mind to be disciplined and positive in our quest. The best thing you can teach your mind to do is eliminate negative thoughts.
Always put a strong image in your mind of how you want to behave. If you find yourself being uncomfortable in a situation, plant a mental picture of yourself acting comfortably in that scenario. If you have a bad eating habit, create a strong mental image of yourself eating correctly no matter how intensely your body craves something else. Your mind is your greatest asset if you can control it.
by Charly Mann
Consumerism is a contagious disease that is sweeping the world. The symptoms of this disease are anxiety, living in debt, and being wasteful. We have natural needs such as food, shelter, companionship, and feeling part of a community. However, we have created an artificial need for craving things, which we falsely believe will make us more secure, happy, and better liked. The disease of consumerism impairs our ability to satisfy our inner needs and make authentic friendships. In the United States, the wealthiest country in the world, more than 75% of the population feels some form of distress related to not being able to satisfy their material desires. On the other hand, in Nigeria, one of the poorest countries in the world, only 3% do.
Replacing our true needs with material cravings is making us crazy. There are now more than 2.2 billion sq ft of self-storage space in the United States to hold the stuff we cannot fit in our houses. That’s an area three times the size of Manhattan. If we did not have this extra space we would have to stop buying those things we don’t really need.
Americans are bombarded with ads and images of things that convey that owning them will make us sexier, more popular, and happier. We spend hours every day connected to the artificial world of television that survives by spreading the gospel of consumerism through advertisements and the glamorous lifestyle of its stars. We can never satisfy our true inner needs for friendship, community, and internal growth through passive entertainment and trying to replicate that glamour and the promises made by commercials by buying more things.
Our basic needs are good for us. Our cravings are not. If you are hungry, there are many things that are healthy and nutritious that will satisfy you. It is the foods we crave, such as anything containing sugar, that are bad and make us unhealthy and overweight. To have a great life, control and eliminate your cravings, and focus on satisfying your needs. Most things that really make our lives better cannot be bought. Don’t waste your time trying to buy things you don’t really need.
by Charly Mann
There is a proven magic formula for getting anything you want. It begins with you being highly aware of exactly what you want. You then need to make sure you do not spread yourself thin with too many goals. I recommend no more than three at a time. The next step is beginning each day by writing and rewriting down these objectives in a daily journal. Each goal should include a date by which it should be attained that is within two years. Goals that will take longer than this to reach should be broken down into steps that can be met in shorter intervals. After writing down your goals, you should spend five to fifteen minutes each morning visualizing yourself reaching these goals.
The critical ingredient to making these dreams come true is your own dedication to fulfill your daily visualizations. For example if you decide you want to develop a habit of keeping your kitchen spotless within three months, you would write this down every morning, and then spend time visualizing yourself cleaning the kitchen and picture what the s will be. To make this a reality you have be reliable in executing your daily goals and visualizations.
If you follow this magic formula you will be unstoppable. The secret lies in something called the Law of Attraction. The fact is like attracts like. It starts with desiring something and then totally believing that is possible for you to get what you want. Writing down your goals and visualizing attaining them each day produces an incredible power by which the Universe gives you what you have the confidence and commitment to attain.
by Charly Mann
The answer is yes. Countries have gone bankrupt, and as I write this, Iceland is on the verge of this calamity. It can happen in the same way it occurs for an individual or business, when the United States owes more than it has the ability to repay.
Today the United States total gross domestic revenue is about $14 trillion dollars, and the current debt we owe according to the government is $10.2 trillion dollars. However, in this number the government is not including its huge liabilities that it owes in future social security and Medicare obligations. When these are figured in, our national deficit becomes more than $46 trillion. That is the equivalent of $375,000 for every full-time worker in the United States today.
Even with our strange government accounting that excludes Social Security and Medicare costs from the deficit, the United States Congressional Budget Office states that the ratio of federal debt to gross domestic product will increase from 37% today to about 100% in 2030. After that date Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the deficit will “grow exponentially”.
Today, the federal government spends 20 cents of every dollar Americans earn to pay for its expenses. By 2050, that amount is expected to rise to 50 cents of every dollar in order to cover the increased interest on our debt as well as Social Security and Medicare. Remember, state and local governments will also still need our money. To finance all of this, Americans would face a tax rate of more than 75%!
A big problem now is that we are being kept afloat by other nations, who are buying 80% of our national debt. As our nation’s credit risk increases with an ever growing debt and a population unable to save due to high taxes, foreign nations are likely to stop lending us money and asking for repayment of the trillions that they are owed. At this point a person or businesses would declare bankruptcy, since they would owe more than they have, however a government tries to solve this problem by printing more money. By doing this, it pays back what it owes with money that is worth just a small fraction of what it was originally worth. Think about a million dollars then being equivalent to $100 today, and you get the idea. This will eliminate much of the wealth of the countries who loaned us money, and it will also wipe out the savings of all Americans. If Social Security continues, retires would be receiving checks with little buying power by today’s standards.
How did this all happen? Is it those greedy financial people on Wall Street or the Oil Companies? No, the fault is squarely on our shoulders. We, like most of the world, live in a democracy. We generally vote for people who promise to have government do the most for us. The problem is, these benefits grow well beyond what a country can afford, and no candidate can get elected by promising less. A family or business often sees that it is spending too much and learns how to make do with less, but that is not a characteristic of democratic governments.
Will the U.S. declare bankruptcy? I doubt it. More than 20% of Americans work for the government, including the Armed Forces. I don’t think these people would allow it. Instead, we will have very high taxes and a much lower standard of living than we enjoy today. It will not be the end of the world. There are many things that money will never be able to buy, and I do think the best things in life are free.
By Charly Mann
Most people find it difficult to define themselves. On the other hand almost every self-realized and successful person can tell you who they are and what their plans are for life. The best way to define yourself is to write down how you would like to be remembered. To start this exercise think about whom you would like to be positively remembered by. Then decide what kind of person you want to remembered as. Next imagine some of the good things you want to be remembered for. Finally write down the characteristics you would not like to be associated with.
When I did this exercise for myself I wrote down the following: “ I would like to be remembered as a positive person who is able to easily reinvent myself as I learn more about life and encounter new challenges. I want to have been thought of as optimistic cheerful, sensible, discreet, confident, curious, witty, wise, passionate about learning, and compassionate. I would not like to be remembered as stubborn, selfish, or opinionated.”
Now is this really me? No not entirely, but after I wrote it down and now review it several times a day, I have become much like this than I was before.
I have a friend who always wanted to be successful in business. Even though he was not well educated and had little background in business, he exuded total confidence in himself, and the various businesses he started always succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations. When I asked him how he would define himself, he immediately said “as a winner.” He went on to say that this meant he would not accept failure and would do whatever it took to succeed.
Self-awareness is essential when defining yourself. If you know who you are and what you have a passion for, you will realize what attributes are necessary for these s. Think about who you want to become. Almost everyone wants to be a good person and successful at something, but what does that mean to you. Suppose for example you want to excel in corporate management. This would require that you have the attributes necessary to succeed in this field. You would have to be dependable, resourceful, a team player, a great motivator, a problem-solver, and most importantly someone who listened and spoke well.
Finally, define yourself by who you believe you are really capable of becoming. The more you act like the person you define yourself as, the more like minded people will be attracted to you and offer their support and help. You will soon be surrounded by the kind of people you want to become. It is a challenge to define ourselves and then live our lives by that definition, but it is far better than accepting yourself as you are now, and not becoming what you are capable of.
Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.
William Jennings Bryan
To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan but also believe.
Watch your thoughts, they become words, your words become actions, your actions become habits, your habits become character and your character becomes destiny.
Nurture your mind with great thoughts for you will never go higher than you think.
Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors where there were walls.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
If you change your thoughts, you will change your life.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Peter F. Drucker
You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work at it, however.
by Charly Mann
The most important thing you can do to have a rewarding and successful life is to have long term and short-term goals that you write down. A Yale University study found that only 10% of their students had defined goals, and just 4% had actually written them down. More than four decades later it was discovered that the 4% who regularly wrote down their goals had a combined net worth greater than the 96% who did not.
From my own experience over the past 40 years, I can attest that when I have been disciplined about writing down my daily and long-term goals, I have almost always been successful in reaching and surpassing my goals. When I did not, I rarely even reached my goals.
Setting and writing down goals on a daily basis helps make us organized. People are not naturally organized, but it is a talent one can attain. Surveys have found that people who achieve the greatest success and run our largest companies are very well organized.
An organized person is in control of their life. If you make a habit of writing down your daily goals, and organizing them into a schedule you are taking an enormous step toward becoming a proactive and responsible person. You are actually planning how to accomplish everything you need to do from the important to mundane. You are also constantly aware of what you need to be doing if your scheduled goals are in view. Always knowing which goals are most important allows us to better manage our time even as events change.
Being organized means not creating chaos. This means never leaving something where it does not belong, whether it is a drink you sit next to you as you read a book, or a bill that needs to paid and filed. Everything should have a place where it is kept. An organized person does not allow their house, car, or office to be messy. Don’t allow things to accumulate, or your clutter will overwhelm you.
Curiosity is becoming a rare trait among adolescents and adults. Cultivate your curiosity. Keep it sharp and always working. Consider curiosity your life preserver, your willingness to try something new. Curiosity is a state in which you want to learn more about something. If somebody is curious, it reflects a lot about their personality. A curious person can also think far better than most people because they know more and can connect different facts together for more logical reasoning.
Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers.
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.
Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.
I keep six honest serving-men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
As long as you know what it is you desire, then by simply affirming that it will be yours -- firmly and positively, with no ifs, buts, or maybes -- over and over again, from the minute you arise in the morning until the time you go to sleep at night, and as many times during the day as your work or activities permit, you will be drawn to those people, places, and events that will bring your desires to you.
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To give of one's self; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. A mild form of insanity that focuses all your attention on making a single business idea successful.
2 Such single-minded focus that you have no time, and little concern for your family.
3. To view your business competitors as the enemy, and focus on undermining them as much as possible.
4. More than anything, you need a great idea with the stamina and overwhelming persistence to make it highly profitable.
by Charly Mann
We are usually our own worst enemy in life. The enemy is, more precisely, our lack of willpower to do what is right. That is why most people are overweight, in debt, and unhappy with many aspects of their lives.
You can correct most of your problems by firmly asserting your determination to reach your goals. For example, you can really lose a lot of weight if you refuse to let yourself eat anything more than a light salad in the late afternoon and nothing after that for the rest of the day, for eight straight months.
Willpower is a focused and committed mind that knows what it wants and controls itself to ensure that no action is taken which could sabotage that goal. Think again about dieting; it is often hunger that makes us break our commitment to eat less. With willpower, we can trump hunger, because we have the intelligence to know our hunger will eventually subside and the joy of not succumbing to temptation will give us personal satisfaction, as well as instill a habit of hunger management.
There is no more fulfilling activity in life than making yourself do something that is driven by your inner strength rather than laziness or thoughtlessness. For most people, however, the concept of willpower is just a myth, because they lack the emotional ability to stick to their commitments.
Willpower is a demonstration of your character in action. Confirm your strength, self-discipline, and ambition to improve your life by asserting your willpower. There is no greater attribute for success in life. With it, you can overcome temptations and negative habits by rejecting what makes you feel comfortable in the moment for a much greater reward that will come when your goal is achieved.
Willpower gives you not only control over your life, but tremendous satisfaction and peace of mind.
The stock market has been on the skids this year. However, over the course of the last seventy years the average diversified stock portfolio has appreciated between 9 and 12% per year. If at age 22 you started investing $1,000 a month in a balanced mutual fund or stock portfolio, you could expect to be a millionaire in only 26 years, at the age of 48, assuming a historically conservative 8% appreciation of stocks.
On the other hand, you could buy $1,000 worth of bonds or CDs a month, now paying about 3.5% annually, and you would have to wait an additional fourteen years, until you were 62, to be a millionaire.
by Charly Mann
You can be almost anything you want, if you are self-disciplined. With discipline, you can solve almost any problem, including losing weight, overcoming addiction, and saving money. Despite the benefits, few people ever incorporate this into their lives. We all know the problems we want to overcome, but because of procrastination and disorder, we are unable to fix them.
Discipline is your ultimate tool for personal empowerment. It means taking control and getting your life in order. You need to commit to doing this, now, and honor that commitment to yourself. Life is too short to put it off any longer.
Once you become self-disciplined, your life will improve dramatically. You will be able to plan your days and have time set aside for being creative. You will be much more focused, which means your brain will work better and faster. You will also have a lot more time for relaxation, because you will use your time efficiently.
Your life will never blossom until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined. Success, you will discover, is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Combine self-discipline with passion for what you are doing, personal goals, and good organization, and you will reach your human potential.
The following are my favorite quotations for inspiring self-discipline:
"One-half of life is luck; the other half is discipline - and that’s the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck."
"The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything."
"Discipline is remembering what you want."
"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments."
"No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined."
Harry Emerson Fosdick
The most important thing that money can provide is time to pursue something you feel passionate about that gives your life meaning. It can also allow for an abundance of quality time with friends and family, which most people find very enjoyable.
Money can give you financial security, and should therefore free you from worrying about money. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not experience this peace of mind no matter how much money they have.
Money can’t buy happiness because what money buys are material possessions. A life in a mansion, surrounded by expensive things and luxury cars loses its buzz very quickly. Worse still, a life without purpose, filled with nothing but leisure time, is boring and unfulfilling.
The truth is that if we live below our means, save prudently, spend regular quality time with our family and friends, and have a purpose for our lives, we are much better off than most people who accumulate large fortunes.
How well you communicate determines how well you will do in your personal life as well as your career. Communication skills are always at the top of the list of traits that companies use when hiring and promoting managers. It is also the single most important factor for how much other people like you.
The most powerful tool for successful commication is the ability to listen well. Nothing will better connect you to another person than this ability. Few people listen well, but it is a skill that you can learn if you work hard at it.
The most important aspect of listening is to make sure your mind is totally attentive to what is being said. For many reasons, our mind rarely focuses on what is being said to us for very long. Sometimes we are thinking of how we will respond to what is being said, but typically the problem is just that we are allowing our mind to wander instead of paying attention.
Rules for Becoming a Perfect Listener:
1. Focus on trying to understand what is being said to you. This means figuring out the substance and merit of what you are hearing.
2. Confirm to the speaker that you are listening, by regularly restating, in your own words, the main points he or she is trying to convey.
3. Take notes whenever you can. It forces you to summarize and prioritize what you are hearing. It also demonstrates that you consider what is being said important.
4. Ask as many questions as you need in order to clarify what is being said. Focusing on understanding is a good way to prevent yourself from formulating a response or letting your mind wander.
5. Maintain eye contact with the person talking to you, and make sure you don’t send a non-verbal message that says you are not paying attention. This means no fidgeting and especially no yawning. Instead, you can offer a smile or a nod to ensure he or she knows you are listening.
6. If someone seems to be upset or expressing an idea that you believe is contrary to your own, make sure to not show any reaction until the person has finished. Often if you don’t judge too quickly, you will find some common ground on which to build your response.
7. Learn to listen with enthusiasm. The better you listen, the more you learn and therefore grow as a person. Enthusiastic listening will help you better empathize with the person talking, and thereby gain a much better understand what is being said.
8. Always be aware that listening is not a passive act, but a mental challenge. You need to make your mind concentrate by being actively engaged in hearing the speaker's message. Keep checking yourself to make sure you understand it.
Remember that as a listener you have a huge advantage over the person who is talking. That is because we speak at a rate of between 110 to 200 words per minute, but our brains can process words at 400 to 3000 words per minute if we find something interesting. This is a huge gap which you can use to think about and restate what is being said.
If you learn and use these techniques you will find listening well is often a more powerful tool for ensuring your success and influencing others than speaking.
We seem to live like we have all the time in the world, yet few of us are satisfied with where we are in life. We have habits, issues, and character flaws we wish to fix, yet we believe we will solve these problems in the future. The truth is, people rarely change for the good and usually just accentuate their bad habits over the course of their lifetime.
Weight gain is a perfect microcosm for this reality. As we age we begin to put on pounds and constantly resolve to eat differently to fix this problem, yet look around and you will see that in spite of all the diet foods, books, and exercise equipment, most people are just getting larger as they age. Albert Einstein said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” and that is exactly how most of us live.
Right now, we should start living as if this were our last day to be alive. This mindset would ensure that we could not put off till tomorrow what we should do today.
"Success in any endeavor requires single-minded attention to detail and total concentration."
This is a male Baltimore Oriole.
The word oriole is derived from the Latin word for gold. The female Baltimore Oriole is a yellow-gold color. This bird spends the winter in South America.
"People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot, nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life's circumstances to push them down and hold them under."
Charles R. Swindoll
There is a great solution to almost every problem you encounter. One of the most exciting things about life is that there are always problems which we can use our creativity and energy to solve. You will rarely fail if you are determined to remain focused on finding the perfect solution to your problem.
The optimal efficiency for gas mileage on most cars is achieved while driving 60 miles an hour on the highway. Your cost per gallon of fuel increases by 20¢ for each additional 5 mph you drive over 60. So driving at 75 mph is the equivalent of paying 60¢ more per gallon for gas.
Removing a hundred pound of weight from your car by clearing our your trunk will save you around $60 or 12 gallons of gas a year.
If it is recommended to use premium fuel in your car, check your owner’s manual to see if it will also run on regular gas.
The United States has 37 of the top-rated universities in the world; China its main economic rival, has three.
Twenty of the top fifty companies in the world are American. China does not have one.
52 of the top brands in the world belong to American companies. China does not a single brand in the top 100.
The United States spends more proportionately on research and than any other country.
Half the patents issued each year in the world are to U.S. companies. Chinese registration of patents is exceptionally low.
The United States is the number one exporting nation in the world. (Exports are up more than 13% this year.)
Even though the United States has a huge import trade deficit, more than two-thirds of its imports come from companies producing goods for an American company, which means much of the profit on those imported goods goes to U.S. companies.
If you think Europe might be a significant challenge to the U.S. economy in the future, the following fact is indicative of the coming generation of Europeans. A recent poll showed that 70% of American high school students hope to start their own companies someday. In France 70% of high-school students hope to get a government job.
Going to law school may be a waste of time and money. Unless you graduate in the top third of your class from one of the top rated law schools a law degree might give you little more than a job paying $20 to $30 an hour. Many recent law school graduates complain they are saddled with debts after graduation of more than $125,000, yet struggle to find a job as a lawyer where they can make $32,000 a year. More and more lawyers are doing temporary contact work at between $20 and $40 an hour with no benefits.
The Temporary Attorney blog describes the appaling condition of what it describes as sweatshop lawyers.
Here is a salary chart for those who are able to find jobs as Insurance Lawyers in New York City.
According to the fascinating and information packed Who's Your City by Richard Florida deciding where to live is as important as choosing a mate or a career. He argues convincingly that most economically successful people are part of a creativity-based economy. He then shows that these people are clustered in less than fifty cities or, as he calls them, mega regions around the world. In the United States this includes Northern California, Austin, Seattle, and Boston. He demonstrates with charts and statistics that these areas are ripe with opportunity for the well educated and creative.
The following is a brief excerpt from the book:
“Today’s key economic factors—talent, innovation, and creativity—are not distributed evenly across the global economy. They concentrate in specific locations. It’s obvious how major new innovations in communications and transportation allow economic activity to spread out all over the world. What’s less obvious is the incredible power of what I call the clustering force. In today’s creative economy, the real source of economic growth comes from the clustering and concentration of talented and productive people. New ideas are generated and our productivity increases when we locate close to one another in cities and regions. The clustering force makes each of us more productive, which in turns makes the places we inhabit much more productive, generating great increases in output and wealth.
“Because of the clustering force, cities and regions have become the true engines of economic growth. No wonder these locations continue to expand. Today, more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas. In the United States, more than 90 percent of all economic output is produced in metropolitan regions, while just the largest five metro regions account for 23 percent of it. And cities and their surrounding metropolitan corridors are morphing into massive mega-regions; home to tens of millions of people producing hundreds of billions and in some cases trillions of dollars in economic output. Place remains the central axis of our time—more important to the world economy and our individual lives than ever before.”
from Who's Your City by Richard Florida
Rent-to-own businesses like AARONS & RAC Rent-A-Center are popular throughout the United States. Instead of paying cash for something you want you finance (“rent”) it on a monthly or weekly basis. Typically you will own your item in about a year, but by the end of that time you have paid 300 to 400% more than if you had just paid cash. As an example, the Sony Playstation 3, sells for $399.00 from most retailers in the United States (Wal-Mart even has a promotion that includes $100 worth of Blu-ray DVDs with the purchase of one). From Aarons you would pay $89.99 a month for twelve months or $1187.87. From RAC your monthly payments would be $129.00 for a twelve-month total of $1548.00.
Most of what we buy is not a necessity, and even necessary items can often be delayed until we have the money to pay for them. The problem is we want it now, and must have instant gratification. The average American family now carries $8,000 in credit card debt, and the average American spends 22% more than what they earn.
If you simply develop patience and become determined not to buy something until you have the money to pay for it, you will save yourself the high expense of financing and you will greatly reduce your stress.
The great economist Adam Smith said "It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy." Free trade applies this same principle to countries. Thus goods that that are produced cheaper in one nation can be bought in another without additional duties. With free trade consumers always get the most for their money. Unfortunately companies that cannot produce comparable products as cheaply as ones in another country usually go out of business.
Some see protectionism as a good way to save companies that cannot compete against foreign manufacturers. This usually means imposing tariffs to increase the price of foreign products. This however makes these goods more expensive to the consumer, and often s in a trade war where the country whose goods have the tariff placed on them puts a retaliatory tariff on goods from the country that placed one on them.
Most economists support free trade and believe that protectionist policies can cause severe recessions and even depressions. Many believe the Smoot-Hawley Tariff that the United States enacted in June 1930 was the real cause of our Great Depression. During the Depression the stock market fell 89% in value in less than two years, and did not recover those losses for twenty-five years.
You should have constructive relationships with everyone you interact with. Always be complimentary and encouraging with your colleagues. Start conversations with a smile, and ask questions so you can really get know what is important to the people you work with. Likewise, always be engaging and attentive when someone talks to you.
If you are ever in a position of leadership, make sure you treat everyone with integrity and respect. Let all your subordinates know you seek their feedback. Listen to others and never dominate meetings or conversations. Encourage and thank people for their input. Try hard to get them to understand your ideas and concerns, and you theirs. Also, avoid sarcasm and be prepared and punctual.
Well if you look at the public debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio of your country you can get a good idea.
Our source is the CIA World Factbook for 2005
So what does this show? Well simply how much debt a country is taking on beyond what it can pay for now. A solution would be to cut back spending, or just raise taxes to cover the shortfall.
There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
The great breakthrough in one's life comes when you realize that you can learn anything you need to learn to accomplish any goal you set for yourself. This means there are no limits on what you can be.
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
We're not meant to fit in. We're meant to stand out.
If you love life, life will love you back.
Life isn't about finding yourself; it's about creating yourself.
Making a living is not the same as making a life.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think of you.
I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod, my shadow does that much better.
If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.
Judge yourself by your actions and not your intentions.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.
Call it Nature, Fate, or Fortune; all are names of God.
Remember to work hard. Look to the future with enthusiasm and hope. Accept responsibility, not only asking for your own rights, but also accepting responsibility for yourself, for other people, for nature and for future generations.
Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it�s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.
Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.
Ethical existence is the highest manifestation of spirituality.
My desire for knowledge is intermittent; but my desire to commune with the spirit of the universe, to be intoxicated with the fumes, call it, of that divine nectar, to bear my head through atmospheres and over heights unknown to my feet, is perennial and constant.
One-half of life is luck; the other half is discipline - and that's the important half, for without discipline you wouldn't know what to do with luck.
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.
Adults are obsolete children.
You will never be the person you can be if pressure, tension, and discipline are taken out of your life.
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.
Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take chances.
Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
We can't measure out goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, or by what we resist, and who we exclude; but we should measure our goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include.
Evil (ignorance) is like a shadow. It has no real substance of its own. It is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.
The difference between adults and children is that adults don't ask questions.
No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.
You must live for another if you wish to live for yourself.
Why is there something rather than nothing? We do not know. We will never know. Why? To what purpose? We do not know whether there is a purpose. But if it is true that nothing is born of nothing, the very existence of something - the world, the universe - would seem to imply that there has always been something: that being is eternal, uncreated, perhaps creator, and this is what some people call God.
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
The shortest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
A life, if well lived, is long enough.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.
The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.
If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.
Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of humankind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.
When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease.
Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings.
Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you're generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make.
The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they're still alive.
Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
Overcome your fears and you can reach your potential.
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.
Only Ideas have long and lasting consequences, and ideas come mainly from books not television, movies, or video games.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.
It's not how much money you make that's important - it's how much money you keep and how long you keep it.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.
The only way to change your life is to change your mind.
No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway to the human spirit.
To say that a man is your Friend, means commonly no more than this, that he is not your enemy. Most contemplate only what would be the accidental and trifling advantages of Friendship, as that the Friend can assist in time of need by his substance, or his influence, or his counsel. Even the utmost goodwill and harmony and practical kindness are not sufficient for Friendship, for Friends do not live in harmony merely, as some say, but in melody.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
I have six great friends that taught me all I knew; their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.
Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.
If you cannot accept fear of failure, you will never be successful.
The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
A certain degree of physical harmony and comfort is necessary, but above a certain level it becomes a hindrance instead of a help.
Nothing is as weak as a relationship that has not been tested under fire.
Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.
Money can contribute significantly to happiness if spent wisely.
Money often costs too much.
Passion is the genesis of genius.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who treat you spitefully. When a man hits you on the cheek, offer him the other cheek too; when a man takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to everyone who asks you; when a man takes what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Again, if you do good only to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do as much. And if you lend only where you expect to be repaid, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to each other to be repaid in full. But you must love your enemies and do good; and lend without expecting any return; and you will have a rich reward: you will be sons of the Most High, because he himself is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.
We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.
Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.
If a problem cannot be solved, then you need to find the best way to manage it.
The greatest wealth is health.
Modesty forbids what the law does not.
Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness.
You may think that you are the product of events that are largely beyond your control, but you do control the moment. The present is the time you take control of what your future will be.
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
Self-pity is our worst enemy.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely.
Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.
An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.
Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.
An intellectual is a person who is always seeking knowledge and has the ability to change his mind when he learns new information.
Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss.
To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.