Just imagine yourself standing in front of thousands of people in a live audience. And then add the hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions, watching on TV.
Would you feel fear? Would you be able to perform? How about a recovery after you stumble?
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Wow….just imagine doing that at 9 years old like Malaki Paul!
An interesting thing that this video demonstrates is how much the audience is pulling for Malaki.
In fact, everyone wants him to succeed. You can see it in their faces….the compassion that they feel for him and the greatness that they see within him.
Believe it or not, that’s how your crowd sees you as well. They are pulling for you and want the best for you.
FEAR steps into all of our lives sometimes. It’s no different for seasoned veterans and world-renowned performers. They all still experience fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough.
The difference is that they have learned to deal with the fear. They learned that no matter how much they would like to let the fear overtake them, the reward for breaking through and seizing opportunity is where their most energized life resides.
I know from my own experience that I still get butterflies when I step in front of a room to do a presentation. I still feel that twinge of second-guessing and hoping that it will work out ok. And you know what? It does. It always does.
When you decide to take a step out on faith and put it all on the line, the people around you respect and admire your courage and are naturally pulled in to become your cheering section.
That’s the reward for making a decision for success and trusting in yourself.
The Olympic Games have once again drawn to a close. As always, I was amazed and thrilled to see the champions of sport from all over the world gather in London for a magical time.
I don’t know what it is about seeing people performing at their best that moves me. But I find myself choked up, even holding back tears, when I know that I’m witnessing something extraordinary.
But this guy…..Oscar Pistorius…was something else altogether.
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Talk About Beating the Odds
I mean, here’s a guy who had the whole deck stacked against him. He lost both legs when he was 11 months old. He was told he’d never be able to achieve what “normal” people could achieve. Over and over again….
But there he was, running in the 400 meter race in London. At the Olympics! And he was keeping up with the best runners in the world. This was no charity case or special pass. This was a guy who overcame the toughest of odds to perform at the top level of the world.
My hat’s off to you, Oscar. You’ve inspired me and millions more around the world.
I had an experience like this one time early in my professional life that cemented two concepts in my mind ever since.
The first is that little things do make a difference.
The second is in the power of a simple thank you.
Early in my sales career I was presented with an opportunity that drastically changed my outlook on the world. I was coming off of my first professional defeat. You see, I had taken my first sales job on a car lot in the middle of January.
I knew that I wanted to get into the work of professional sales even while I was finishing my degree at University of Oregon. As a young guy, I found myself on a car lot every now and then and out of curiosity I’d ask the salespeople details about their job.
Inevitably I would be met with the bravado that salespeople on a car lot many times develop and I’d hear how they were just crushing it – making big money and life was good. Well, that sounded pretty good to me.
So I got married in December and moved up to the big city during the week between Christmas and New Years. Needing to pay the rent that would be coming due, I immediately went out to apply for a job. Amazingly enough, I got hired at the first car lot I applied to! What luck!
I started the next week, dressed in a suit and ready to sell. Then I found out how few people were on a car lot in January. In fact, there were less customers than there were hungry salespeople…..and the veterans were pretty clear that they were entitled to every one coming on the lot. I also found that I just wasn’t comfortable with the shark-like sales tactics and hard-sell approach that the auto industry required.
Needless to say, within a week I was leaving the car lot with my tail between my legs. My hopes were dashed. This was my first big failure.
Seeing as how I needed to still pay the rent and our savings would soon be vapor, I looked in the paper to get a job. I found a classified ad listing a sales position for a small spa and stove store paying $8 per hour. Plus I’d get a $50 spiff on any spa or stove I sold!
After taking the job and working for two weeks I got my first paycheck. After taxes and fees it was just under $300. Believe it or not, I sat in my car and cried. My hopes and dreams were shaken and I was scared that I’d never reach the financial goals I had set, let alone some financial stability for myself and my new wife.
The Opportunity is Presented
Late one afternoon a gentleman came into the store and asked about a pellet stove. We had a number of models on the floor and I went about showing him the benefits of each one. In the course of our conversation (and using the personal persuasion and sales skills that I’d been reading about) I found out that Kenn and I went to the same high school in a small town a few hundred miles away. Using that point of commonality to build some rapport, I successfully sold Kenn a stove and he asked me what I was planning to do when I finished school.
“I want to get a professional level sales position”, I told Kenn confidently.
“Have you ever considered mortgage lending?” he asked.
Now, at 23 years old I’d never even looked into buying a home, let alone knowing anything about mortgage lending or even what a mortgage was! Since I was totally unfamiliar with the industry, and I’d just come off a devastating experience in the auto industry, I made some excuse about “needing to finish those few classes and wanting to keep my current job until then.”
After Kenn had left the store, I sat down to call in the 90 Days Same-As-Cash financing application that he had submitted for the stove. He was clearly successful. He had a six figure income, drove a Jaguar and lived in a very nice home on acreage – kind of a gentleman’s farm. He had a prestigious title. Vice President of Mortgage Operations. As I looked at that application and pondered my $8/hour and pending $50 bonus, I immediately remembered something my father told me starting when I was a little kid.
“Mikel,” he said, “if you ever want to know how to do something in life, just go find someone who’s already done it and ask them for advice. They’ll usually be happy to share it with you. Then do what they say, and more importantly, do what they do. That’s the surest way to success.”
Well here I was with the offer to learn from someone who had the results I was looking for and I’d just passed it up for the security of my hourly wage!
I made a decision then and there that I should call him back and take him up on the offer. After a few weeks of interviews and paperwork, I got the job as his executive assistant with the agreement that after three months I would be able to transition to become a full-fledged mortgage loan officer.
I spent the next three months learning everything I could. I listened to the conversations at the office. I traveled to the sales meetings to hear everything they were talking about. I went to industry functions to educate myself. And I asked for more responsibility every chance I got.
When my three months were up, Kenn called me into his office. “I have a proposition for you, Mikel.” he said. “This has been working out so well I’d like to keep you on as an assistant. How about I give you a raise and a nice bonus schedule and you can stay on as my assistant for another year?”
Although I was thankful for the offer and a little bit proud of my performance, I thought to myself “Here’s your opportunity again. Are you going to go for it, or take the safe route and possibly miss out?”
“Thanks Kenn,” I said, “but I really think I can be a good loan officer and I want to take a shot. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll come back and be an assistant for you. Would that be O.K.?”
Kenn said “Of course! And I’ll help you in any way that I can.”
So I started the next week on my own.
The next months became a blur as I learned more and more about the mortgage industry and how to sell effectively. It really was the training ground that led to the next decade and a half of a very successful career.
And this leads me to the two lessons that I mentioned before.
A number of years later, after I’d left my original company for a growth opportunity in management, I was reflecting on how I got started on the career path and how influential Kenn was to me and my mortgage business. It had been a few years since we talked and I decided to pick up the phone and give him a call.
“Mortgage Market, This is Kenn. How can I help you?” came his voice after he answered the phone.
I have to admit that I was a bit nervous since it had been so long since we last talked.
“Hey Kenn, this is Mikel.” I said. “How are you doing?”
We went on for a few minutes catching up and the conversation was great. It was good to re-connect with him.
Toward the end of the call as the conversation was coming to an end, I nervously said,
“Kenn, there is another reason that I wanted to call you today.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Well,” I said, “the mortgage business has been really good for me and my family. I’m very thankful for everything I’ve been able to accomplish throughout my years originating loans. And I just wanted to call you back and thank you for sharing the opportunity with me. Your leadership and friendship changed my life in a profound way and I thought you should know it.”
Silence on the other end of the phone seemed like it lasted for days.
“Wow,” Kenn said. “I’ve trained hundreds of loan officers getting started in the mortgage business over the years and you know what? You are the first person who has ever called me back to just say thanks. I really appreciate it.”
The conversation ended shortly after that, and Kenn and I have been friends and have maintained a professional and personal respect for each other for nearly two decades now. I like to think that the simple act of a thank you was critical in forging that long term relationship.
So it comes back around to the fact that little things DO make a difference. It was a simple phone call that took just minutes. It was the simple act of offering someone thanks that cost nothing and yet made a lasting impression.
And it will work wonders for you if you just employ this simple strategy too!
Leave a comment below if you have a special story about someone who’s made a difference in your life.
Share something simple that has made a profound impact on you, or something you’ve done that might have cost you nothing, but made a profound impact on someone else.
What is it that makes some people succeed while others fail?
Why do some people experience so much success while others are stuck in a maze of never-ending mediocrity, or worse yet, failure?
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Well, one thing is certain. It’s not that they are some kind of superhuman born with skills that just aren’t available to anyone else.
Time and time again we have seen that ordinary people with an extraordinary idea or dream and a whole lot of focus and determination are able to overcome the odds that stop most people dead in their tracks.
I’ll tell you one thing that distinguishes all of the people in the following video, along with everyone I’ve ever known or read about that have achieved great things in their lives:
They weren’t afraid to make a decision and stick with it.
In fact, they believed so strongly in their vision that they stayed at it throughout criticism, mockery and failure after failure.
It was by tempering themselves, like heat tempers steel, that they earned their distinction as extraordinary human beings.
Check out this video of ordinary people who accomplished amazing success and extraordinary things in their lives:
What choices can you make right now that, when stuck with and pursued passionately can lead you to become extraordinary in the eyes of the world?
More importantly, and more immediate, what can you do today to become more extraordinary in the eyes of the ones you love?
Share or Like this post to spread the message that each person can choose to make their lives extraordinary too!
Q: What famous storyteller had to write a new story for himself after a near-fatal crash crushed his dream of becoming a race car driver?
A: George Lucas
Director, writer and producer George Lucas was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, CA. He originally set sights on becoming a race car driver, but a near-death car accident just before high school graduation radically changed his views on life. The force was definitely with him that day–the car rolled and the racing harness snapped, throwing him from the car. Had he not been thrown he would’ve been crushed to death by the steering column when the car smashed into a walnut tree, uprooting the tree.
While earning his associates degree from a local community college he channeled his love for racing into a new passion–cinematography. After transferring to the University of Southern California he produced several short films including a futuristic Sci-Fi film called THX-1138, which won a student award and later became his first full-length film. Shortly thereafter he was awarded a scholarship by Warner Brothers where he met Francis Ford Coppola. They became fast friends.
Lucas drifted a bit after getting his bachelor’s degree in 1966. He was turned down by the Air Force because of his many speeding tickets (you can take the girl out of the city!), then had to drop out of the Army after being diagnosed with diabetes. In 1967 he re-enrolled in USC’s graduate film production program.
His suburban upbringing and early love for motor racing served as inspiration for American Graffiti, released in 1973, receiving Academy Award nominations in five categories. Lucas is probably best known for his Star Wars series which was inspired by Flash Gordon and Planet of the Apes. Surprisingly, it was turned down by every major Hollywood studio. 20th Century Fox finally gave him a chance, even though they thought it’d flop, after he agreed to waive his directing salary in exchange for 40% of the box-office sales and all merchandising rights. According to Lucas, he didn’t take control over the merchandising to get rich but, rather, as a commitment to safety and quality. He didn’t want the name ‘Star Wars’ to end up on a piece of junk. It paid off–the movie broke all box office records, earned seven Academy Awards and Lucas became rich almost overnight.
Despite the stellar success of the Star Wars trilogy, Lucas resorted to making money doing TV commercials until Jurassic Park came into the picture. The technological advances renewed a spark to create three new Star Wars prequels. Lucas also wrote and produced the Indiana Jones films–all huge box office hits. He got the idea while vacationing with friend Steven Spielberg in Hawaii.
On the personal side, Lucas has always been passionate about kids. He gained custody of his adopted daughter, Amanda, after he divorced in 1983 and has since adopted two more kids–Katie and Jett. All three appeared in his Star Wars prequels. In 1999 Lucas told a NY Times reporter, “Children are the whole point of life.”
Although George Lucas writes in longhand in a loose leaf binder, his name is synonymous with technology and innovation. In 1975 he created a state-of-the-art special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and a sound studio, Skywalker Sound, so he had more control over the finished product. His THX System revolutionized the movie theatre experience. Lucas received a medal from President George Bush for outstanding achievements in movie technology and in 2005 was recognized with The American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Today, George Lucas’s moviemaking empire, where he routinely makes technological magic, sits serenely in the midst of 3,000 acres in the hills of Marin Country, CA. The complex includes a baseball field, vineyard, three restaurants and a fire station.
Lucas’s storytelling skills are legendary. Here are just a few highlights of where his inspiration came from and how he shared parts of his personal story on film:
THX-1138, the name of this first real movie, appears in many films. The license plate number on Milner’s deuce coupe in American Graffiti was THX 138. A battle droid had 1138 written on his back. Luke Skywalker said, referring to Chewbacca, “Prisoner transfer from cell clock 1138.”
The character Han Solo was based on Francis Ford Coppola.
His nickname in high school was Luke which became the name of his Star Wars hero, Luke Skywalker.
His wife was upset when Lucas failed to use their dog, Indiana, in the night scene in American Graffiti (he wanted a white dog).
He agreed to put Indiana’s spirit in the next movie which is where the Wookee, Chewbacca, got his good looks. He was also the inspiration for the name of the Indiana Jones character.
He sold Lucasfilm’s Computer Graphics Division to Steve Jobs and it later became Pixar Studio
According to special-effects wizard Lucas, “A special effect is a tool, a means of telling a story. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.”
Lesson: Never underestimate the power of the story. People want to be entertained and your story is the perfect way to connect with them on an emotional level. Don’t be afraid to include quirky little pieces or yourself in everything you do. Be authentic–that’s all the differentiation you need.
If you have your own business and you work from home, it can be challenging to form the right habits that you need to be productive.
Working from home provides its own unique challenges, and it is very easy to get distracted by many things around you in the house.
You might start tidying your desk and then decide you should also do the laundry and end up several hours later with a perfectly clean house but no work done.
You can also lose hours of your time surfing the net, responding to emails, and reading clever and funny blogs before you realize how late it has become. When you work from home, you are also susceptible to being distracted by the dog, kids, your partner, and much more.
So how can you improve your productivity and learn to focus on your work when you are working from home? Here are some helpful tips:
Create a good working environment which makes it easy to focus. It should be far away from the television and other distractions, and in a quiet area of the house. If you have a room to yourself where you can close the door and tell everyone else not to disturb you, this is even better.
Don’t get too comfortable. One mistake you might be making when working from home is working while curled up in a comfortable chair with your pajamas and fuzzy slippers on. While you can wear whatever you like when you work from home, it’s easy to get slow and sleepy in this environment and you will be more efficient when you get dressed, and sit up on a chair at a desk in a well lit environment.
Keep a piece of paper next to you, and if you think of something that you should be doing such as putting the dishwasher on you can write it down so that you can push it out of your mind while you focus. When you finish your work, check your list and complete the tasks on it.
Give yourself short and frequent breaks. When we work for too many hours on the same thing, our brains can become burnt out. Concentrate on a small task and set yourself a goal of when you will complete it.
Reward yourself. When you finish each small goal, allow yourself to get a snack, a cup of coffee, or do something else for five or ten minutes. Set a timer for your break to remind yourself to get back to work.
These are just a few ways that you can fine tune your working habits to become the most productive you can be!
The turning over of the calendar usually inspires us to resolve to make positive changes in our lives, but more often than not we fail to follow through on our promises to ourselves.
If you struggle to keep your New Year’s resolutions, perhaps these tips will help you stay on track:
Be more realistic.
If you set goals for yourself that are completely unattainable, you will become discouraged and give up quickly. For example, if you want to start losing weight and gaining muscle, don’t expect to look like a body builder two weeks into the New Year.
Make a goal to visit the gym every second day instead, and if you stick to this reasonable goal you will eventually start to see results.
Make a plan.
If your New Year’s resolution is to pay off your credit card debt, you won’t get far if you keep on spending in the same way. You need to make a plan to do things differently to get different results.
Your plan could include creating a budget to see where you can save money, and then paying off a set amount per month until the debt is gone.
Talk about it.
If you keep your resolution a secret, there is no one to keep you to your word if you decide to give up. If you tell your friends about your goals they can encourage you and motivate you.
Break the goal into small manageable chunks.
Losing 30 pounds seems overwhelming, but losing five pounds is not so daunting.
However, if you focus on these small goals and lose five pounds six times throughout the year, you will be down to your goal weight of 30 pounds less!
These are just a few tips to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
Experts say that it takes approximately three weeks for a new habit to form. If you can stick to your resolution for this long, your positive habits will soon become second nature.
The longest distance between where you are now and the success you want in life is six inches. Six inches is all you have to conquer in order to have every dream, goal and aspiration that you can imagine in your mind. Half the distance of that little wooden ruler that you used all the way through grade school, while you weren’t slapping your friends on the hand with it, is the total distance that must be covered on your journey to success and the fortunes of your dreams.
Isn’t it interesting that people travel thousands of miles. They literally travel all around the world in search of the “one thing” that will lead them to their own highest achievement. Some people risk life and limb to climb the highest mountains in the world to prove to themselves that they can do it. Some prefer meditation with religious and spiritual thought leaders in the Far East to bring them enlightenment. Some people just turn away in frustration and lose themselves in the day to day struggle and never become what they were uniquely created to be.
Well, the interesting news of the day is that the six inches that is so important to yours, mine, and everyone’s success is the six inches resting between their ears. That bundle of gray matter laced with neurons and dendrites and pyramidal cells and synapses is literally the pathway to success. It’s all tied up in the dopamine and norepinephrine and acetylcholine and endorphins which are continuously batting around and bouncing into each other that determine how high you go and how fast you get there.
How Can I Gain Success Using Positive Self Talk?
So how can you navigate that six inch trek which 95% of all people fail to tame and settle for mediocrity in their lives? Well it all comes down to brain re-training. You have the capacity to teach your brain to believe anything you want it to believe. You can choose to make your brain lead you to your own personal success like an electromagnet can lift tons of metal once the electricity is turned on. It’s all about what you feed your mind and how you condition is to feed information back to you in your life.
Henry Ford made the point this way:
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
So what are a few steps that you can take to get your brain on board with where you want to be?
1. Determine a very clear picture of the goals that you want to achieve. You must be specific. This is one of the most critical elements of getting to what you want. Studies have shown that the average person puts more time and attention into planning their annual vacation than they put into a concrete plan for the results of their one opportunity at creating a fantastic life.
2. Write personal affirmations that state the achievement of these goals in the present tense. In other words, if you want to earn $100,000 per year and you are not there yet, you would not say “I want to earn $100,000 per year.” You would say “I’m so thankful that I’m earning $100,000 per year and am able to have the time freedom and stress-free life that comes with this income level.” It’s also important to write affirmations for the different areas of your life. It’s not all about money, but let’s face it, I’ve had it both ways and it’s easier having money than not.
3. Dedicate yourself to reciting these affirmations on a daily basis every morning and every night. You may think it gets repetitive and boring, but your brain doesn’t know the difference. The reason most people fail is that they let outside influences program their brain for failure. Most of the outside information that you are fed on a daily basis is negative in nature and shows you why other people succeed and why you can’t. You must overpower those voices that are speaking directly to your one great brain with the positive statements of achievement that will dictate your life’s success.
Being a professional in any industry starts with your passion for your work. If you love what you do, that energy shines through to all of the people that surround you. Most importantly, your clients automatically pick up on the positive aura that surrounds you like a glowing ring of goodness. Believe me, that is half the battle in establishing trust and rapport which lead to greater sales success.
I remember one of the greatest experiences that I had with a professional who lived by this paradigm. My geology professor at Southwestern Oregon Community College was the great Don Stensland. Don’s claim to fame was that he was the single scientist who most closely predicted the eruption of Mount St. Helens just north of the Columbia River in Washington. He would tell us again and again how he had the only key given to a civilian to access the blast zone after the eruption.
This guy oozed excitement. He LOVED rocks! It was a pleasure to go to class every day just to watch him get lost in his work. There was nothing that he enjoyed more than bringing the power of geology and what that science meant to his young college students. He was a treasure and is missed by students who have spread all over the globe. In fact, you could say that he left a legacy of enthusiasm with anyone who came into his realm. He even has a hall at the college named in his honor.
Please understand this very important point. Don Stensland did not go without ridicule. He was so focused within the geologic world, and became so immersed in what he loved, that other people sometimes snickered and sometimes pointed fingers at him as he didn’t “fit in” in various ways with the daily culture of college life. Being passionate about something doesn’t always mean life is easy. Sometimes you have to deal with the detractors while you are sharing your passion with the world. If more people were like Don Stensland the world would be a more joyful place.
I saw this video as I was doing some research for a logo and it was awesome. It shows the idea of passion perfectly. Believe me….this guy is in his own world and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. My wish for you is that you find that one thing that you can get lost in and enjoy every minute of it!
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Mark Bartikoski, Real Estate...