Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

By Paul Allen Powers

Many years ago, I read my first book on personal development. Chances are, anyone who has ever wanted to “be someone” has already read this book. The person who encouraged me to read this book was a very successful business man, a multi-millionaire many times over.

The book was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. As a spirited fifteen year old with visions of living the American Dream, I collected the golden nuggets Hill had to offer.

Prior to reading this book, I was already an avid reader of many other works by and about successful entrepreneurs. I read about Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Howard Hughes, and many other entrepreneurs. I read as well about the new breed of entrepreneurs that has come to replace the greats of the past: Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg, to name a few.

One common thread that I found in the lives of all these successful people is that they had mastered their mindset and the internal language in which they spoke to themselves on a daily basis. They thought and spoke to themselves in encouraging, successful ways.

What are you saying to yourself on a daily basis? Are you simply reacting to what you don’t want versus going after what you do want?

Many people have a habit of reacting to unwanted circumstances in their lives by stating out loud or internally what they don’t want. For example: “I don’t want to be broke anymore,” “I wish I wouldn’t have such poor health,” or “Why can’t my life be easier?” Far from bettering our situations, these little messages play little tricks on our subconscious mind and in fact bring us more of the same trouble. The mind is a very powerful thing, and by dwelling on such negative thoughts we attract more negativity towards ourselves.

Now imagine instead what might happen if, instead of concentrating on what you don’t want, you concentrate on what you do want. For example: “My finances are improving on a daily basis,” “My health is getting better and I feel great,” or “My life is so much fun! I am surrounded by many great people who are contributing to my life in a positive way, allowing me to in turn provide value to them.”

Now some of you reading this might say, “Oh this sounds like some of that mumbo-jumbo like ‘Positive Mental Attitude,’” referred to as “PMA” back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. So many people started talking about having a positive mental attitude that many people started to dismiss the entire concept as a joke. The “rational” thinkers started to treat those PMA-ers as dreamers. Rather than taking them seriously, they told these people that they needed to “get real” and “stop dreaming.” But having a positive mental attitude isn’t just about “dreaming”—it’s about focusing on what you want and making it happen.

I am coming from the place of someone who grew up in this country as an immigrant. Growing up, my mother told me that we were living in the greatest country on earth. She also taught me that what I say to myself on a daily basis is more important than the food I eat. To this end, everyday we would speak of what we wanted for our future. We were excited about the potential of what could be. We were thankful for everything we had, even though we didn’t have any material belongings that would classify us as affluent. We weren’t even middleclass; yet rather than telling myself all the things I didn’t have and thinking about that lack, I talked to myself about all the wonderful things that were mine to earn. My mother taught us to be thankful for what we did have and made sure we spoke and thought about what we wanted rather than about what we didn’t want or have.

Books have been written about the concept of a positive mindset. Movies have been made about it. I am sure many of you have watched or read The Secret. Many of the concepts in The Secret are applicable to what I am writing about in this blog. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you pick it up.

Now here are the hard facts. It doesn’t matter how many books you read about becoming successful. It doesn’t matter how many wealthy or affluent people you manage to temporarily surround yourself with. Unless you master your mindset and the language you use to speak to yourself on a daily basis, you will not be able achieve and maintain true success or meaningful relationships.

Here are a few action steps to take:

1) Put your affirmations in writing. Affirmations are anything you want to be saying to yourself on a daily basis. For example: “I am a leader of leaders. Every day in every way, I am getting stronger and healthier. I am providing value to others and in return I am receiving abundance and value from others.”

2) Print out your affirmations and laminate them. Put your affirmations everywhere! Put them in the bathroom, in your daily planner, in your car—anywhere that you can see them.

3) Most importantly, read your affirmations three to four times a day at minimum.

4) Update your affirmations as needed. Remember, you will be growing, and as a result your mindset will be in a constant state of renewal and change.

5) Read as many personal development books as possible, but also remember to read the most important book of all: the Bible. True enlightenment can only come to those who work on their spiritual growth as well as their mental growth.

6) Most importantly, have FAITH. The key to a positive mindset is having faith that the affirmations you are saying to yourself will come to pass.

Let me leave you with a quote from Margaret Thatcher: “Watch your thoughts because they become words. Watch your words because they become actions. Watch your actions because they become habits. Watch your habits because they become your character. Watch your character because it becomes your destiny!”

You’re probably thinking to yourself that the correct spelling is “Keyser” Söze instead of “Kaizen” Söze. Although the movie is the kind of a movie a blog could be written about, this isn’t about that. This blog is about the word Kaizen.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that means a system of continuous improvement. This system includes continues improvement in quality, technology, processes, company culture, productivity, safety, and leadership. Kaizen is a philosophy that provides peace of mind for anyone in any trade and in any economy.

Put simply, Kaizen means constantly improving in all areas of your life. You may not be great in sales or as an entrepreneur; you might not be the best father, husband, brother, or sister; or you might not be great at cooking or taking care of your body. But wherever you are weak, you can improve. You won’t ever be perfect; but as long as you’re improving on a daily basis, you will have very little to worry about. Kaizen is a way of life.

This blog would be pointless if you finished reading it and walked away only thinking about watching The Usual Suspects. The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to make a list of things that you can do right away to start improving all aspects of your life and commit to acting on that list. This certainly is not easy, or else everyone would be constantly improving and we wouldn’t be where we are today as a nation. Kaizen challenges us to take responsibility for our lives and find out how WE can improve instead of expecting our spouse, our neighbor, our boss, our parents, the economy, our customers, or our relatives to improve. You’ll know you’re living a life committed to Kaizen when your relatives start saying things like “I don’t recognize you anymore” or “you’ve changed.” Remember: These are compliments.

So in closing, my challenge to you is to be an “Unusual Suspect” instead of a “Usual Suspect.”

We’re living in competitive times. Exercise can give you an edge to help you succeed in today’s business world.  In life, principles of success never change.  The same qualities that it takes to win in sports helps you win in business. High achievers understand the importance of exercise and proper diet because the same mentality applies to success.

The benefits of exercise can be seen in the mind, body and spirit. Here are six reasons why exercise will help you succeed in business:

1.       Increased Energy – Do you ever get tired at the end of business day?  Ever wonder why some people seem to have boundless energy?  More often than not, if you study high-energy people you will find that they eat healthy foods and they make time for exercise.  Becoming the best you can be in any industry requires the extraordinary energy to take it to the next level. Studies have been done to prove that exercise fights fatigue and boosts energy. If you feel too tired or over-worked to exercise, you probably need more exercise.

2.       Sharper Mind – Have you ever been in a long meeting where you were having trouble concentrating or brainstorming the next great idea?  Those who achieve greatness approach every challenge as a problem to be solved. This takes mental energy as well as physical energy. Exercising increases both.      

3.       Valuable Associations – The gym can be a great place to meet people. Typically you find driven, energetic people at the gym.  As I noted in my earlier blog on the value of networking, the connections that you make and the network that you build are essential components of success. Next time you are at the gym, start up a conversation with the person on the treadmill next to you. You never know where that introduction will lead.

4.       Look Good, Feel Good - People usually want to do business with folks who feel good about themselves. It’s amazing how much confidence we built up when we feel good about the way we look. You may find that getting in shape gives you the boost of confidence to achieve other goals as well.

5.       Lower Stress Level - Exercise has been proven to relax the body and mind, improve cardiovascular system, bring in more oxygen and lower blood pressure, just to name a few health benefits. Exercise reduces stress on a physiological level and it also gives you an outlet for pent up tension. If you take your stress out at the gym, on the tennis court or with a nice long jog, you will be less likely to take it out on a spouse or your children. 

6.       Get More Out of Your Personal Life – The increased stamina that comes with exercise will actually give you more quality time with your family and friends. Having the energy to play with your kids or go out with your spouse or friends will mean a more dynamic personal life.  Having a fulfilling life outside of work will increase your energy and motivation to succeed at work.

Most people are very busy working to pay the bills and raising a family. It’s easy to feel like there is no time for exercise. The reality is that by fitting regular exercise into your life, you will improve many other areas of your life. Learn to push yourself to the next level in fitness and you may find yourself at the next level of success.

I often think about the common thread between great achievers.  For example, Alexander the Great, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan; what qualities did they share? They were certainly all focused on a goal and driven to succeed. All three had larger-than-life personalities. Each possessed a very strong work ethic. In addition, all three men had great mentors in their life: Alexander learned from Aristotle, Ali had Angelo Dundee in his corner, and Jordan was coached by the great Phil Jackson.

So, are these the qualities that unite all great men and women? No doubt those attributes were important to their success, but there is more to it. Many others had this same formula without achieving greatness. Many generals have won great battles, but Alexander won seven major battles and conquered two million square miles of the globe. Many NBA players have won a championship, but Jordan won a NCAA Championship, six NBA championships, and was a five time Most Valuable Player.  Many boxers have won a title, but Ali won his first title in 1964 against Sunny Liston, did it again in 1974 against George Foreman, and, finally, again in 1975 against Joe Frazier.

Perhaps the most important quality found in all three men was that none of them stopped at one moment of success. The names that history remembers are the ones that were never content to rest on their laurels, but instead pushed forward to achieve the improbable again and again.  These three men did not live a single moment of greatness and spend the rest of their lives recounting their moment in the spotlight. For them, greatness was a state of being; an intensity and hunger that isn’t satisfied with one great victory.

This kind of endurance comes from staying energized. Napoleon once said, “Sometimes death only comes from a lack of energy.” Lack of energy comes from lack of inspiration. If you are taking on more than you ever thought possible in pursuit of a dream, you will find more energy than you ever knew you had.  Sometimes people lament the loss of the looks they had in their youth, but what they should seek to hold onto is the energy of their youth. That energy can be maintained with a passion for greatness.

The great achievers throughout history maintained an intensity and enthusiasm that made each victory a stepping stone to the next. Equally important, they made each defeat a learning experience for the next victory. A loss or even a knockout reinvigorated them as much or more as a great victory. Then, like all champions, they got back in the ring.