Monthly Archives: November 2013

How do you change somebody – without them knowing it?‏

VERY INTERESTING, CHECK IT OUT. (not an affiliate link, just good info)

Can you create change in somebody… without them knowing about it?

Of course you can!

You see, when you’re in a relationship with somebody, you’re in an interactive pattern with them. When you change what you’re doing, the other person has no choice but to change. If nothing is changing in your relationship, it means you’re not changing the right things.

This isn’t just about romantic relationships – it applies to relationships with family, kids, bosses, employees, friends, colleagues, business partners, you name it.

This is the thing: many of the patterns in any relationship in your life are set by YOU, not just the other person. You are actually doing things to keep that interactive pattern in place. So the way to change what they’re doing… is to change how you’re interacting with them.

As Strategic Interventionists, this is the kind of work we LOVE doing! When someone comes to us complaining about someone in their life, we use a strategy for understanding the interactive pattern. And it becomes very clear what our client needs to do. We use one of our strategies for creating interactive change – and the results speak for themselves.

Here’s an example. Tony Robbins is giving a live seminar when a young woman stands up to share her relationship challenge. We learn she has a young baby and is living apart from the father. She feels helpless to change things, and she cries. Watch how Tony quickly figures out the interactive dynamic and gets her to shift things from her end.

I probably use this strategy once a week – just in helping people in their work relationships!

Check it out

Mark Peysha
CEO and Cofounder
Robbins-Madanes Training

Simple Stuff – weddings & marriage

(SImple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. –Socrates 

If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love. –Michel de Montaigne

Only choose in marriage a man whom you would choose as a friend if he were a woman. –Joseph Joubert

In a marriage, it’s especially important to see through the day-to-day stresses so you can nurture the bond that first brought you together. If your spouse is feeling pressure from work and vents frustration, it doesn’t mean that your marriage is over. It does indicate that you need to be more attentive and to focus on supporting this person you love. People are not their behaviors. Understand what drives them, and you will really know them. Robbins


My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me. –Winston Churchill


So I think you have to marry for the right reasons, and marry the right person. –Anne Bancroft

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave. –Martin Luther


When you marry, just make sure it’s the right one, because it’s tough enough with the right one. – L. James Frey


People should spend as much time and effort on their marriage as they do on their wedding day. – James A. Frey


Men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage – they’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.-Rita Rudner


If It Is Important To You

Churchill once said, “Never give in-never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” As members of ETR, we all have goals and dreams, but many of us cast them aside for a silly reason – because of the criticism given by others. That’s a mistake. Criticism is, as Mark Ford explains today, a price of success, and he’ll show you how to deal with it.

Craig Ballantyne

“There is great virtue and glory in never giving up and never giving in! Make this a day of accomplishment, one where you demonstrate gritty perseverance and work to finish the year strong.” – Gary Ryan Blair

Criticism Is the Price of Success

By Mark Morgan Ford

One of the most surprising and disappointing things about reaching an important goal is that many people won’t share your happiness when they hear about it. Some will even criticize your achievement.

This has happened to me a lot in my success-driven life. The criticism always hurts – but it hurts less now than it did when I was younger. Moreover, I’ve learned to profit from it. You can too.

What’s important, I’ve found, is not the criticism itself but how I react to it. Praise motivates me to do more of what I’m doing. Criticism – which used to make me want to quit – spurs me to examine what I’m doing and see if I can do it better.

This happened just recently after I published an article in my Ready, Fire, Aimnewsletter about the economy. Two of my most esteemed colleagues read it, didn’t like it, and chastised me for bad writing. That set me aback. I consider myself to be a pretty good writer, but they made me wonder if I was really just a shallow-minded pundit of mediocrity.

After doubting myself for a few days, I set to the task of profiting from their comments. I reread what they said and made notes on those points I thought were valid. I circulated my notes to Jason, Suzanne, and Judith, my editors. That began an ongoing discussion about how we could improveReady, Fire, Aim. And we came up with a few good ideas.

I then wrote to my two friends who were nice enough to honestly critique my article. I thanked them for helping me make the newsletter better. And I meant it.

In What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, Marshall Goldsmith talks about how important feedback is to success:

Feedback is very useful for telling us “where we are.” Without feedback… we couldn’t have results. We couldn’t keep score. We wouldn’t know if we were getting better or worse. Just as salespeople need feedback on what’s selling and leaders need feedback on how they are perceived by their subordinates, we all need feedback to see where we are, where we need to go, and to measure our progress.

Goldsmith acknowledges that negative feedback “can be employed by others to reinforce our feelings of failure, or at least remind us of them – and our reaction is rarely positive.” Worst of all, negative feedback can sometimes shut us down. “We close ranks, turn into our shell, and shut the world out.”

When Goldsmith was a child, his mother told him he had no mechanical skills. He went through high school believing that, and, when he was 18, scored at the bottom of the entire nation in a test given by the U.S. Army.

A few years later, a professor persuaded him to take another look at his mechanical abilities. That’s when he realized his mother was wrong, and he was “just living out the expectations [he] had chosen to believe.”

So that might be the first thing to say about profiting from criticism. Recognize that a negative comment about you or your abilities cannot damage you unless you let it.

Goldsmith says that he wasted years, convinced that he was mechanically inept. But he didn’t blame his mother. He blamed himself. “I was the one who kept telling myself, ‘You can’t do this!’ I realized that as long as I kept saying that, it was going to be true.”

Here are some useful techniques for profiting from criticism.

1. Remember that criticism is the price of success.

As writer Elbert Hubbard said, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” So if you do something, you’re going to be subject to criticism. President Obama gets criticized. Clint Eastwood gets criticized. Even Mother Theresa was criticized. The more success you have, the more criticism you will engender. Some of it will be helpful. Most of it will be useless. But don’t be afraid of it. It won’t kill you. It will only make you stronger.

2. Dump your failure-support group.

This group includes jealous friends, professional enemies, and habitual critics. These people get their kicks from kicking you when you are up. They want you to be down where they are. Don’t go there. Just ignore them.

3. If you can’t ignore your critics, frame your responses strategically.

Sometimes, you won’t be able to ignore your critics – if, for example the criticism is coming from your boss or your family. That’s when you need to stay calm and respond strategically.

In Self-Esteem, Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning recommend a technique they call “clouding.” “Clouding involves a token agreement with a critic. It is used when criticism is neither constructive nor accurate. When you use clouding to deal with criticism, you are saying to the critic, ‘Yes, some of what is on your screen is on my screen.’ But to yourself you add, ‘And some isn’t.’ You ‘cloud’ by agreeing in part, probability, or principle.”

Agreeing in part – finding one part of your critic’s comments to agree with or acknowledge.

The Criticism: You’re not reliable. You forget to pick up the kids, you let the bills pile up until we could lose the roof over our heads, and I can’t ever count on you to be there when I need you.

Your Response: You’re certainly right that I did forget to pick up the kids last week after their swimming lesson.

Agreeing in probability – acknowledging that there’s a possibility your critic could be right. The chances may be a million to one against it, but you can truthfully say, “It’s possible you’re right.”

The Criticism: Starting a business now is a terrible idea. The economy is in the crapper, and you’re just wasting time and money.

Your Response: Yes, it’s possible that my business won’t work out.

Agreeing in principle – acknowledging the logic of your critic’s argument, but not necessarily agreeing with his assumptions. This clouding technique uses the conditional “if/then” format.

The Criticism: You’re really taking a chance by claiming all these deductions you don’t have receipts for. The IRS is cracking down. You’re just asking for an audit. It’s stupid to try to save a few bucks and bring them down on you like a pack of bloodhounds.

Your Response: You’re right. If I take the deductions, I’ll be attracting more attention to myself. And if I get audited, it will be a real hassle.

4. Take helpful criticism seriously.

Helpful criticism is sometimes harsh but it’s always well intended. It’s not hard to identify it. The hard thing is to accept that it is helpful and use it to improve yourself.

In Succeed for Yourself: Unlock Your Potential for Success and Happiness, Richard Denny says, “Constructive criticism is not negative, so be enthusiastic about it. Remember, you are very fortunate if you receive it. Encourage others to offer constructive criticism.”

5. Thank your critics.

I make it a habit to send a personal “thank you” to anyone whose criticism has helped me do better work.

6. Solicit criticism – from people you respect – while there is plenty of time to make changes.

One of the most successful publishers I know does this regularly. When considering the launch of a new product, he sends a memo to a small group of more experienced publishers explaining his concept and asking them to poke holes in it.

By getting their criticism early, he doesn’t feel its sting. After all, it’s not his baby that is being criticized. It’s just an idea. And ideas, as we all know, are not worth anything until they are put into action.

Another benefit – and this is a big one – is that it saves him time and frustration. By getting input on an idea before he’s done a lot of work on it, it is much easier for him to make changes.

Share Rate today’s article

Craig Ballantyne
Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.

We want your feedback! Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue. Visit us at

Simple Stuff-Education

(Simple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.-Nelson Mandela

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. –William Butler Yeats

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. –Aristotle


My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.-Maya Angelou

I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.-Walt Disney

Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. –Malcolm Forbes

Change is the end result of all true learning. –Leo Buscaglia

Formal education is often too passive. We must engage our children and ourselves to actively participate and become more involved. – Tony Robbins


Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves. –Ernest Dimnet

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Education without action is often a waste. – Jim Frey

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. –Albert Einstein

Sex education may be a good idea in the schools, but I don’t believe the kids should be given homework. –Bill Cosby

Veterans Day

It is with gratitude that I offer up wishes of happiness, peace, healing, good health and prosperity to our Veterans and those who still serve.

May you recover quickly from injury and find ways to make it work in life and career.

May you heal emotional and mental challenges left over from combat and traumatic situations.

May you enter and assimilate easily back into society and family life so that you can grow and have a good life.

May you find rewarding, enjoyable work that supports your spirit as much as it supports your family.

For those that gave their service years ago and are now retired, thank you again and may you enjoy every day and continue to share your wisdom with those of us that need it.

Thank you to all service men and women, past and present.


Simple Stuff – Present and the Now


(Simple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

I’m grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes.-Eckhart Tolle

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.-Jim Rohn

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.-Buddha

I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following. –Mahatma Gandhi

Confine yourself to the present.-Marcus Aurelius

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.-Henry David Thoreau

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present. –Albert Camus

Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.-Denis Waitley

People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.-Eckhart Tolle

There’s no present. There’s only the immediate future and the recent past.-George Carlin

Suggested books:

The Present: The Gift That Makes You Happier and More Successful at Work and in Life, Today! by Spencer Johnson M.D

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Reward Yourself

Get Started by Rewarding Yourself

By Mark Morgan Ford
When I was first getting into the business of selling educational programs, a famous zero-down real estate guru asked me, “Do you know the thing people who take my courses want most?”
I had a sneaking suspicion I was about to get it wrong, but I gamely answered: “To be successful real estate investors?”
He laughed. “You’ve got a lot to learn, my friend.”
I took the bait. “So what do your customers want?”
“They want to avoid taking action.”
I told him I wasn’t sure I understood. He was kind enough to clarify. “Most of the people who take my courses and who will be buying your programs want to feel like they are on the road to success. But they don’t want that road to end. They like the journey. They fear the destination.”
“And why would that be?” I asked.
“To tell you the truth,” he said. “I don’t know. But I can tell you this. After our real estate students have gotten the knowledge they need to succeed, few of them get out there and get to work. Most of them just buy more programs. If they don’t buy them from us, they will buy them from someone else. So we sell them extra programs.”
“That’s sort of depressing,” I said.
“If you give one of my customers – someone who has completed his real estate education and is fully prepared to start investing profitably – a choice between actually getting to work and buying another course to learn more, he will buy the course.”
“Are they afraid of failing?”
“Could be that,” he said. “Could be they’re afraid of success. As I said, I don’t know.”
Since then I’ve thought a lot about this failure-to-get-started problem. I’ve read dozens of books and talked to many of my colleagues and posed the question to hundreds of my customers. The theories as to why people don’t take action are many and varied. The three that make most sense to me are:

  • Lack of Confidence: People who haven’t yet been successful in life don’t believe they can be, even if they are fully prepared to succeed.
  • Fear of Pain: Some people see taking action as work and work as a form of pain. These are usually people who have never experienced the pleasure of working on something they value.
  • Laziness: Besides the fear of work, human beings are programmed to be lazy. Being lazy means trying to get what you want with the least amount of effort. Some people don’t take action because they want to find an easier way.

If these are the main reasons why so many people don’t take action when they are ready, what is the solution?
There’s no mystery to that. Behavioral scientists know that the way to change a person’s behavior is by motivating them through positive reinforcement. This is what B.F. Skinner had to say about it in A Brief Survey of Operant Behavior:
“It has long been known that behavior is affected by its consequences. We reward and punish people, for example, so that they will behave in different ways. … Operant reinforcement not only shapes the topography of behavior, it maintains it in strength long after an operant has been formed. Schedules of reinforcement are important in maintaining behavior. If a response has been reinforced for some time only once every five minutes, for example, the rat soon stops responding immediately after reinforcement but responds more and more rapidly as the time for the next reinforcement approaches. … Reinforcers may be positive or negative. A positive reinforcer reinforces when it is presented; a negative reinforcer reinforces when it is withdrawn. Negative reinforcement is not punishment. Reinforcers always strengthen behavior; that is what ‘reinforced’ means.”
Positive reinforcement is a big part of my life. I reward myself constantly and for almost any sort of accomplishment, big and small. By attaching rewards to my desired behavior, I increase the likelihood that I will repeat that behavior in the future.
When I “master planned” my life for the first time, I had to spend some time thinking about how to reward myself. I gave myself all sorts of incentives for all sorts of objectives. Some of them worked. Some of them didn’t.
Some success coaches suggest big rewards for big accomplishments. You might, for example, reward yourself with a sports car when you make your first million dollars. Big goals like that never worked for me, because they were too far off in the future. What motivates me are short-term goals. And I have a feeling that short-term goals will be better for you, too.
Over the years, I developed a reward system that works very well for me. Here it is:
I keep a daily list of every task I want to accomplish. When I complete each task, I cross it out (or change its color on my screen) to “signal” that I have accomplished it. This little gesture is like a tiny shot of adrenaline. It picks me up and gives me energy to attack my next objective.

  • When I’m working at the office, I set an egg timer for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on my workload for the day. When it goes off, I get up from my chair, walk outside, and spend a minute or two stretching out my back. I’ve found that 30 to 60 minutes flies by – especially when I’m writing – and so these half-hour or hour-long periods seem very short.
  • After I sprint in the morning, I reward myself with 10 to 15 minutes of yoga. Doing yoga might seem like more exercise to some, but to me it feels like a reward since it is so much more relaxing than sprinting.
  • After completing my first half-hour of writing fiction or poetry in the morning, I reward myself with breakfast.
  • After wrestling at noon, I treat myself with a tasty protein shake.
  • At 5:30, I take my laptop to the cigar bar down the street, and work on my writing there for another two hours. When I walk in, they have an espresso and water waiting for me. I look forward to this. I’m still doing work, but it’s a reward because I’m doing it in a new place.
  • After two hours of writing at the cigar bar, I reward myself by going home, breaking open a good bottle of wine, and having dinner with K.
  • If I do any work in the evening, I reward myself afterward by reading a good book or watching a movie.
  • I reward myself every evening by climbing into a great bed with silky sheets and a pillow that fits my head perfectly.

These rewards, as you can see, are pretty mundane. But that’s the thing about rewards. They don’t have to be big or even special. They need only be enjoyable.
It would be easy for me to consider these little things – my breakfast, the stretching, the protein shake – as simply an ordinary part of my ordinary day. But by looking at them differently, by seeing them as pleasurable rewards for specific, desired behavior, they motivate me.
I think that is the key – identifying little pleasures you already have in your life and using them as behavior-changing rewards. It’s very easy to do once you recognize that these little pleasures are blessed gifts. Truly speaking, you are lucky to be able to enjoy them. Be happy about that. Use them pragmatically.

Simple Stuff- problems & solutions


(Simple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

When the solution is simple, God is answering.-Albert Einstein

Every successful person I know has the capacity to remain centered, clear and powerful in the midst of emotional “storms.” How is this accomplished? I’ve discovered that most of these individuals have a fundamental rule: Never spend more than 10 percent of your time on the problem, and always spend at least 90 percent of your time on the solution. – Tony Robbins

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.-Milton Friedman
No solution can ever be found by running in three different directions. –Deepak Chopra

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. –Albert Einstein
If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.-Abraham Maslow
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.-Mahatma Gandhi
Inside of every problem lies an opportunity.-Robert Kiyosaki
A problem is a chance for you to do your best. –Duke Ellington

To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? –Jim Rohn

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. –Isaac Asimov

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. –Soren Kierkegaard

The World Toilet Organization was founded in 2001 as an international platform for toilet associations, government, academic institutions, foundations, UN agencies and corporate stakeholders to exchange knowledge and leverage media and corporate support in an effort to influence governments to promote clean sanitation and public health policies.
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