Monthly Archives: November 2014

5-Minute Technique You Can Use to Change Your Life

A good quick article From: “Craig Ballantyne” <>

The 5-Minute Technique You Can Use to Change Your Life

I can still remember the day when I first discovered this secret that changed my life.

It’s quite simple really…a strategy that you can use starting today to change your life. It takes just 5 minutes.

It’s brought an amazing amount of calm and focus into my life.
Without a doubt, it is one of the secrets to my success.

If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about using a journal.

The 5 minutes I spend journaling each day have led to amazing business insights, personal breakthroughs and more.

I wrote you a short essay about my daily practice. But before you read it, I want you to know that I had a small order of special journals created just for you. The journal is beautiful, simple to use and an absolute pleasure to hold. It’s the best tool for doing this daily practice.

I recommend you read my short essay below and then order a copy for yourself…I promise it will change your life.

There I was, sitting at my kitchen table, and suffering from severe writer’s block. I had no idea what to say. The clean, white pages of my first Gratitude Journal were too clean to spoil with any old random thought.

You might feel the same way when you first open this book. Stumped about what to write. But trust me, not only will the feelings of gratitude, thanks, and appreciation for who and what you have in life soon flow freely, but this (seemingly) small daily ritual will have a big, positive impact on your life.

It did for me.

After I first heard my friend Vishen Lakhiani, the entrepreneur behind, discuss the idea of a gratitude log years ago I immediately began attempting my own version.

Eventually I stumbled across a formula that you’ll be given in this book. I owe deep gratitude and thanks to both Vishen and one of my mentors, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach fame, for helping me put this system together.

The Early To Rise System of Gratitude comprises two main components.

In the first component, you will start by listing your gratitude for “one big thing” in your life.

Then you list an opportunity that you are grateful to have. Third, you’ll list something that you did that day – or yesterday – that you are grateful for having the chance to have done. Next you’ll list something that you are going to do that day that you are grateful to have the chance to do. And finally, you finish with appreciation for all of the people in your life that you want to list.

For example, one of my recent entries went like this:

For the ability to write out on the farm on a beautiful sunny day.
For the chance to interview one of my most successful coaching clients.
Completed this month’s Financial Independence newsletter.
Film 10 YouTube videos for Turbulence Training.
My mom, Bally the Dog, my business partners Matt Smith and Bedros Keuilian, my best friend Jeremy, my assistant, Amy, and the nice customer that posted an amazing success story on my Facebook page.

It’s always the gratitude for complete strangers or “first timers on your list” that will bring a smile to your face. After all, it’s like you’re talking about them behind their back – but in a GREAT way!

The second component of your Gratitude Journal involves listing 5 things you accomplished that day.

This idea comes from Dan Sullivan (and he recommends teaching it to your children, so that they learn the power of positive momentum early in their life).

At first it might seem difficult to come up with five accomplishments. After all, it was just another ordinary day at work, right? But then you’ll remember how you had a great call with your manager or a colleague. You might have stuck to your diet plans at lunch, even though your department went to Appleby’s and everyone else shared the high-calorie appetizer. Or it might simply have been that you had a 5-minute conversation with your spouse or child.

All of these are accomplishments.

For some reason we’ve become immune to being grateful for the small miracles and wonders in day-to-day life. Well, no longer.

It’s time to boost your mood through gratitude journaling. Write them down, and be grateful for them. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you have a hard time limiting yourself to just five items. And that will be when you start to maximize the positive momentum of this little daily ritual.

So back to my virgin Gratitude Journal. What did I write on my first day of this journey?

I thought and thought, flicking the top of my ball point pen, fiddling with the journal, and staring into space. Suddenly, it came to me, and I wrote down what was, and continues to be, the number one thing that I am grateful for every day. I don’t write it down every day or even every week, but rarely a month goes by when I don’t list, “This fortunate life” as my number one item to be grateful for in my life.

I truly am blessed. And so are you. Never forget it.
Use this ritual to remind yourself of all the great things in your life.
It will reduce your blood pressure, brighten your mood, make you more patient and positive with other people, and will bring a smile to your face no matter how cloudy the day.

I think you’ll agree that we are both living lives of luck and prosperity if we’re even able to have this conversation at all.

If you’re not in agreement yet, a few sessions of Gratitude Journaling are sure to change your mind.

Enjoy the journey to becoming a better person through this simple act that requires only pen, paper, and an open heart.

From: “Craig Ballantyne” <>

Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measurement

Here is a great set of ideas created by the founder of, Marc Benioff.

A good, quick list to remind you of the power of good questions and thoughts, each day….


It stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measurement

1. What do I really want? (Vision)

2. What is important about it? (Values)

3. How will I get it? (Methods)

4. What is preventing me from having it? (Obstacles)

5. How will I know I am successful? (Measurements)


Frey Freyday-Adversity

(Frey Freyday 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..)

The perfection of your every “issue” is beyond human comprehension. Don’t be fooled. You’ve made no mistakes. The territory behind you and the challenges at hand were precisely crafted to deliver the wisdom and insights that’ll make possible the most joyful time of your life, so far. You didn’t come here to face hurdle after hurdle after hurdle. It’s not as if by mastering your issues today, more issues will be added tomorrow. That only happens when you deny them today. Master your issues, today, and be free. Get through what you must get through, today. Understand what troubles you, today. Do what you can, today. And all the rest will be made easy. So little can yield so much. A new perspective, an admission, a surrender to truth – however painful – changes everything. You are so deserving of everything you now want…The Universe (

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.-Abraham Lincoln

All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.-Walt Disney

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.-Lee Iacocca

When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.-LL Cool J

Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.-William Arthur Ward

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.-Stephen Covey

I haven’t always acted or reacted in a way that made me proud, but I didn’t make that same mistake twice, and I think that’s what I love about adversity is that it always reminds me of what’s really valuable in life.-Sandra Bullock

Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.-Zig Ziglar

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.-Aristotle

Bonus: Ted Talk on Adversity

3 Decisions That Will Change You

The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Life

From Nov 19, 2014

Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on.
At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.

Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.

Which area do you tend to focus on more: what you have or what’s missing from your life?

I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.

Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional well-being and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to deeply feel grateful with your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfillment can be found.

Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?

If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.

When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:


Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?
Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.

Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.

When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?

If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?

Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?

Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.

I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85 percent to 90 percent of those assembled raise their hands.

How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side effect.

But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like “life is not worth living,” that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.

Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.

When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit on what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.

So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.

Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:
Decision 3: What will you do?
The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.

If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.

Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.

Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.

Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behavior on those they respect, enjoy and love.

The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.

Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by.

It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.

Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.

It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.

This piece was adapted from Tony Robbins’ new book, Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.

How do you handle criticism

Here is a great video and audio that I think we may all need to reflect upon from time to time……from Joe Polish

What’s more important…The criticism of someone whom you respect and know, or the opinion of someone you don’t know?  Of course, you should put more weight on the opinions of those you know, but most of us let the opinions of the “haters” bother us…

This quote by Johannes Kepler says it all…

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”

This episode is part 2 of the awesome interview that Joe and Dean did with Sean Stephenson.  This time, he shares a really interesting perspective on how your marketing may provoke “haters” and what you should do about it…

Here’s what you’ll learn…

  • Sean shares his definition of marketing and how it helped him heal after having a terrible accident
  • Joe asked Former President Bill Clinton, “How do you handle criticism?” Here’s what Bill told Joe…
  • Sean explains why “haters hate” and his 3-step system for handling them
  • The 5 dials of A Perfect Life (This is how to have REAL wealth in your life)
  • How to use marketing and advertising to win the game of life and get what you want
  • Dean gives you a safe, easy way to create a quick cash windfall in your business

Check it out now and share your thoughts in the comments section.  

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure

My daughters are big fans of the Harry Potter series. I respect the wonderful, huge, imaginative world that J.K. Rowling has created, yet I never really heard her speak.

While trolling around TED, I found this video, and I encourage anyone to view it.

Very worthwhile

Check out “J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement” by Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

The video is available for your viewing pleasure at

At her Harvard commencement speech, “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling offers some powerful, heartening advice to dreamers and overachievers, including one hard-won lesson that she deems “worth more than any qualification I ever earned.”

JK Rowling penned the bestselling Harry Potter page-turners — a spellbinding, seven-installment fantasy of wizards, warlocks and decidedly British texture that brought her from rags to riches.


Frey Freyday- Patience

(Frey Freyday 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..)

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.-Carl Jung

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.-Joyce Meyer

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.-Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.-Heraclitus

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.-Napoleon Hill

All we need is just a little patience.- Axl Rose

With love and patience, nothing is impossible.-Daisaku Ikeda

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.-Helen Keller

Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.-Saint Francis de Sales

How to Make New Habits Stick for Good –

How to Make New Habits Stick for Good –By James Clear

Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits.

  • How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits.
  • How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits.
  • How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.

What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.

But what if you want to improve? What if you want to form new habits? How would you go about it?

Turns out, there’s a helpful framework that can make it easier to stick to new habits so that you can improve your health, your work, and your life in general. Let’s talk about that framework now…

The 3 R’s of Habit Change

1. Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)

2. Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)

3. Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)

I call this framework “The 3 R’s of Habit Change,” but I didn’t come up with this pattern on my own. It’s been proven over and over again by behavioral psychology researchers. I first learned about the process of habit formation from Stanford professor, BJ Fogg.

More recently, I read about it in Charles Duhigg’s best–selling book, The Power of Habit. Duhigg’s book refers to the three steps of the “Habit Loop” as cue, routine, reward. BJ Fogg uses the word trigger instead of cue. And I prefer reminder since it gives us the memorable “3 R’s.” Regardless, don’t get hung up on the terminology.

+ It’s more important to realize that there’s a lot of science behind the process of habit formation, and so we can be relatively confident that your habits follow the same cycle, whatever you choose to call it.

What a Habit Looks Like When Broken Down Before we get into each step, let’s use the 3 R’s to break down a typical habit.

For example, answering a phone call…

1. Your phone rings (reminder). This is the reminder that initiates the behavior. The ring acts as a trigger or cue to tell you to answer the phone. It is the prompt that starts the behavior.

2. You answer your phone (routine). This is the actual behavior. When your phone rings, you answer the phone.

3. You find out who is calling (reward). This is the reward (or punishment, depending on who is calling). The reward is the benefit gained from doing the behavior. You wanted to find out why the person on the other end was calling you and discovering that piece of information is the reward for completing the habit. If the reward is positive, then you’ll want to repeat the routine again the next time the reminder happens.

Repeat the same action enough times and it becomes a habit. Every habit follows this basic 3–step structure.

How can you use this structure to create new habits and actually stick to them? Here’s how…

Step 1: Set a Reminder for Your New Habit- If you talk to your friends about starting a new habit, they might tell you that you need to exercise self–control or that you need to find a new dose of willpower. I disagree. Getting motivated and trying to remember to do a new behavior is the exact wrong way to go about it. If you’re a human, then your memory and your motivation will fail you. It’s just a fact. This is why the reminder is such a critical part of forming new habits.

A good reminder does not rely on motivation and it doesn’t require you to remember to do your new habit. A good reminder makes it easy to start by encoding your new behavior in something that you already do. For example, when I wrote about the secret to sticking to little healthy habits, I said that I created a new habit of flossing by always doing it after brushing my teeth. The act of brushing my teeth was something that I already did and it acted as the reminder to do my new behavior.

To make things even easier and prevent myself from having to remember to floss, I bought a bowl, placed it next to my toothbrush, and put a handful of pre–made flossers in it. Now I see the floss every time I reach for my toothbrush. Setting up a visible reminder and linking my new habit with a current behavior made it much easier to change.

No need to be motivated. No need to remember. It doesn’t matter if it’s working out or eating healthy or creating art, you can’t expect yourself to magically stick to a new habit without setting up a system that makes it easier to start.

How to Choose Your Reminder

Picking the correct reminder for your new habit is the first step to making change easier. The best way I know to discover a good reminder for your new habit is to write down two lists.

In the first list, write down the things that you do each day without fail. For example…

•Get in the shower. •Put your shoes on. •Brush your teeth. •Flush the toilet. •Sit down for dinner. •Turn the lights off. •Get into bed.

You’ll often find that many of these items are daily health habits like washing your face, drinking morning tea, brushing your teeth, and so on. Those actions can act as reminders for new health habits.

For example, “After I drink my morning tea, I mediate for 60 seconds.” In the second list, write down the things that happen to you each day without fail. For example…

•Traffic light turns red. •You get a text message. •A commercial comes on TV. •A song ends. •The sun sets.

With these two lists, you’ll have a wide range of things that you already do and already respond to each day. Those are the perfect reminders for new habits. For example, let’s say you want to feel happier. Expressing gratitude is one proven way to boost happiness.

Using the list above, you could pick the reminder “sit down for dinner” and use it as a cue to say one thing that you’re grateful for today. “When I sit down for dinner, I say one thing that I’m grateful for today.” That’s the type of small behavior that could blossom into a more grateful outlook on life in general.

Step 2: Choose a Habit That’s Incredibly Easy to Start

It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to make massive changes in your life. We watch incredible weight loss transformations and think that we need to lose 30 pounds in the next 4 weeks. We see elite athletes on TV and wish that we could run faster and jump higher tomorrow. We want to earn more, do more, and be more … right now.

I’ve felt those things too, so I get it. And in general, I applaud the enthusiasm. I’m glad that you want great things for your life and I want to do what I can to help you achieve them. But it’s important to remember that lasting change is a product of daily habits, not once–in–a–lifetime transformations.

If you want to start a new habit and begin living healthier and happier, then I have one suggestion that I cannot emphasis enough: start small. In the words of Leo Babauta, “make it so easy that you can’t say no.” How small? BJ Fogg suggests that people who want to start flossing begin by only flossing one tooth. Just one. In the beginning, performance doesn’t matter.

Become the type of person who always sticks to your new habit. You can build up to the level of performance that you want once the behavior becomes consistent. Here’s your action step: Decide what want your new habit to be. Now ask yourself, “How can I make this new behavior so easy to do that I can’t say no?”

What is Your Reward?

It’s important to celebrate. We want to continue doing things that make us feel good. And because an action needs to be repeated for it to become a habit, it’s especially important that you reward yourself each time you practice your new habit.

For example, if I’m working towards a new fitness goal, then I’ll often tell myself at the end of a workout, “That was good day.” Or, “Good job. You made progress today.” If you feel like it, you could even tell yourself “Victory!” or “Success!” each time you do your new habit. I haven’t done this myself, but some people swear by it.

•Floss one tooth. “Victory!” •Eat a healthy meal. “Success!” •Do five pushups. “Good work!” Give yourself some credit and enjoy each success.

Related note: Only go after habits that are important to you. It’s tough to find a reward when you’re simply doing things because other people say they are important.

Where to Go From Here

In general, you’ll find that these three steps fit almost any habit. The specifics, however, may take some work. You might have to experiment before you find the right cue that reminds you to start a new habit. You might have to think a bit before figuring out how to make your new habit so easy that you can’t say no. And rewarding yourself with positive self–talk can take some getting used to if you’re not someone who typically does that. It’s all a process, my friend.

[Ed Note: James is a writer, photographer and avid weightlifter. His mission is to help as many people as he can by showing them simple but effective ways of changing their habits.  ]

Dogs of War and Paws & Stripes

Are you a dog lover?
Do you know someone that was in combat?

Here’s a cool show starting on A & E

service dogs


Paws and Stripes, the shelter they work with at Animal Humane New Mexico, and lots more.

What is Paws and Stripes?

Paws and Stripes was founded in 2010 by Jim and Lindsey Stanek after Jim was injured during his third deployment to Iraq. During the nine months he spent at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Lindsey noticed how therapy dogs at the hospital eased the effects of his disabilities.

Their mission now is to assist U.S. military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as local shelter dogs, by providing integrative service dog training and mental health support to veterans and their families.

15 TED Talks That Will Change Your Life

I love TED Talks.

Then I found this link.

Check it out!

15 TED Talks That Will Change Your Life

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