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Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Strangest Secret

An excerpt from
The Strangest Secret
by Earl Nightingale 

George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

Well, it's pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.

Now, it stands to reason that a person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that's what he's thinking about. And we become what we think about.

Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety, fear and worry—his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing...he becomes nothing.

How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I'll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.

Suppose a farmer has some land, and it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make a decision.

We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant.

Now, let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand—one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds—one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted. As it's written in the Bible,

"As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

Remember, the land doesn't care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the plants—one corn, one poison. The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant...success...or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety, and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.

You see, the human mind is the last great, unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What did you accomplish in 2011?

An excerpt from
The Butterfly Effect
by Andy Andrews 

There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

Every single thing you do matters.

You have been created as one of a kind.

On the planet Earth, there has never been one like you ...and there will never be again.

Your spirit, your thoughts and feelings, your ability to reason and act all exist in no one else.

The rarities that make you special are no mere accident or quirk of fate.

You have been created in order that you might make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.

Know that your actions cannot be hoarded, saved for later, or used selectively.

By your hand, millions—billions—of lives will be altered, caught up in a chain of events begun by you this day.

The very beating of your heart has meaning and purpose.

Your actions have value far greater than silver or gold.

Your life...
And what you do with it today ...matters forever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seven Choices for Success and Significance

An excerpt from
Seven Choices for Success and Significance
by Dr. Nido R. Qubein
What is success? Only you can define it in your own life. In my own life, I have attempted to define both Success and Significance.

To me, Success is secular. Significance is spiritual.

It doesn't matter how you define your own spirituality. Spiritual matters are always finer, deeper, and longer lasting than secular matters.

Success focuses on three Fs:

Fans
Fame
Fortune

Success is focused on tasks, even goals.

Significance also focuses on three Fs:

Faith
Family
Friends

But, significance focuses on purpose. Why am I here? What do I do with the talents, experiences and skills that I have? How can I make the world a better place? How do I plant seeds of greatness in the lives of those around me? How do I make an impact in the circles of influence where I find or place myself?

To choose success and significance, you must be a strategic thinker who:

• Has a clear vision of what you want to accomplish
• Develops a solid strategy that answers three questions:
- Who or what are we today?
- Who do we want to become?
- How do we get there?
• Employs practical systems to achieve your goals
• Commits to consistent execution because in consistency, success
emerges.

When implementing your strategic plan for success, it really comes down to three "Ds":

Decide what you want most to achieve
Determine the first step to getting what you want
Do the first thing that will start you moving toward your goal.

Using these seven keys, you can choose success and significance. But keep this in mind: success is not a matter of luck, not an accident of birth, not a reward for virtue. The most successful people I know are the ones who have something to do, somewhere to be and someone to love.

No one is responsible for your success or your joy. You must search for it and be in a continual state of earning it.

To merely succeed is not an end in itself. You must use your success to impact other people...to impact the world...to Live Life from the Inside Out.

It all starts with the choices you make - they determine the person you will become.