"The Power of Focus" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt 

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Highlighted text added by Graham White


Life doesn’t just happen to you.  It’s all about choices and how you respond to every situation.  Do you know how easy it is to become financially secure? Starting at age eighteen, if you invest one hundred dollars per month compounding annually at 10%, you will have more than $1.1 million at age sixty-five! (...but $1 million dollars will only be worth 10% of what it is today in 65 years if history repeats the rate of inflation from the past 65 years)

 

Simplify your life in order to be able to have the energy to focus on what needs your attention. 

The main reason most people struggle professionally and personally is simply lack of focus. They procrastinate or allow themselves to be easily distracted and interrupted.  Successful people don’t drift to the top. It takes focused action, personal discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen. 

 

The results of bad habits usually don’t show up until much later in life. 

More people than ever are living for immediate gratification. They buy things they can’t really afford and put off payment as far down he road as possible.  Cars, furniture, appliances, entertainment systems, or the latest “toy,” just to name a few.  People in the habit of doing this have a sense of playing catch-up all the time.  There’s always another payment next month. This often results in working longer hours or taking an additional job just to make ends meet, creating even more stress. 

 

There are no magic formulas. 

Those who live paycheck to paycheck have not studied how to acquire financial intelligence.  They have focused more on spending instead of acquiring a strong asset base for the future. 

 

Developing Successful Habits Takes Time 

How long? For simple adjustments in your behavior it takes three to four weeks.  After doing it consistently for this length of time, it’s harder not to do it than to do it.  If it is something you have done repeatedly for twenty years, you may not be able to let go of it in a few weeks.  Acknowledge the fact that a deeply entrenched habit has long roots.  For these types of habits, you need to be prepared to work on it up to ten time, so it may take you as long as a year. 

For more complex habits, it may require a number of years of consciously focusing and reminding yourself about the new habit you are developing. There is a high potential to slip back into your old patterns, especially when under stress.  The trick is setting up fail-safe systems with support and accountability. 

Imagine if you only changed four habits every year.  Five years from now you would have twenty positive new habits. 

 

Study Successful Role Models 

Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen: 

We talked to best-selling authors and did everything they told us. We made a habit of doing a minimum of one radio interview a day, seven days a week, for two years.  We retained our own publicist.  We sent out five books a day to reviewers and other potential opinion molders.  We gave newspapers and magazines free reprint rights to our stories.  We offered motivational seminars to all of the people responsible for selling our books.  In short, we asked what our best-selling habits should be and we put them into action. As a result, we have sold fifty million books to date worldwide. 

The trouble is, most people won’t ask, they come up with excuses instead about how they’re too busy or successful people won’t talk to them.   In addition to interviewing them, you can read their biographies and watch their documentaries on TV. Jim Rohn says, “If you read one book every month about your industry, in ten years you’ll have read 120 books. That will put you in the top 1% of your field.” 

 

Focus on what people want to buy that you are GREAT at. 

In a typical week, what percentage of your time do you spend on what you do brilliantly? For most people, the answer is 20%. What if you got this up to 80%? Remember, your bottom-line income is directly linked to the amount of time spent on your areas of 

 

How do I end up with more time to focus on what I’m great at? 

1.      Dump it – Learn to say, “No, I choose not to do this.” And be firm.  To avoid drifting away from your focus, ask yourself at regular intervals, “Is what I’m doing right now helping me to achieve my goals?” This takes practice. It also means saying “No” a lot more.

  1. Delegate it – These are tasks that need to be done, but you are not the person to do them.  Hand them over to someone else, with no guilt or regrets. Simply ask, “Who else could do this?”
  2. Defer it – These are issues that you do need to work on, but not right away.  They can genuinely be deferred.  Schedule a specific time at a later date to handle this type of work.
  3. Do it – Do it now.  Important projects need your attention right away, so get started today. Move forward.  Give yourself a reward for completing these projects. Don’t make excuses.  Remember, if you don’t take prompt action you’ll end up with all the unpleasant consequences.

(Excellent worksheet on pages 54 & 55, a tool on how to prioritize your goals on page 75 and a Master Plan tool on page 86, 87) 

 

SHAPING YOUR FUTURE 

The mind thinks in pictures, not words.  As we vividly picture in our minds what we desire, it will become a reality. Create an exciting picture of the future.  Most people don’t have a clear picture of what they want. At best it’s fuzzy.  Write down the most important reason that you want to accomplish each goal, and the biggest benefit you will receive upon completion. Big reasons are the driving force that keeps you going when the going gets tough. 

Creating a successful future takes energy, effort and concentrated thinking. That’s why it’s important to be connected to what you’re working towards and it’s not money! 

Top-10 Goals Checklist

To maximize your results remember your goals must be: 

  1. Yours
  2. Meaningful.
  3. Specific and measurable.
  4. Flexible.
  5. Challenging and exciting.
  6. In alignment with your core values.
  7. Well balanced.
  8. Contributing to society.
  9. Realistic.
  10. Supported

 

CORE VALUES EXERCISE – Record yours (Honesty, integrity, connection to community, etc.) 

Work ethic of the successful – If you are going to do a job, do it at 100% to the best of your ability.  Brilliant people do brilliant work.  They do it on time and they do it consistently. They make you feel good in the process and they charge a fair price.  These are people you can always rely on to get the job done right. 

Do you enjoy a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle, doing work that you love, and that gives you an excellent financial return and allows you to have significant time off to pursue your other interests? The answer is either “Yes” or “No.” 

Work hard and smart at your business.  Take time for fun.  That, combined with a habit of consistent investing, minimizes any pressure.  Don’t be consumption oriented, spending a lot of money on typical consumer goods.  Instead, save for memorable vacations. 

 

PREPARE FOR THE DAY – The better you do this, the more successful you will be. The amount of action you put into your day will determine your results.  There is a major difference between being busy and taking specific, well-planned action. You can have a busy day with nothing to show for it. 

 

There are two options for preparing for the day: Either you do it the night before, or early before your day starts.  You only need ten to fifteen minutes to do this.  If you do it the night before, research shows that your subconscious mind works on the plan while you sleep. 

 

Set specific time limits for appointments. Go over what projects must be worked on and determine if you have enough time to deal with them. 

 

Find a system that works best for you, whether that is a paper journal or electronic organizer. 

It is better to invest your time in what you do best. Concentrate on the activities that produce the greatest results for you.  Set limits on what you will and will not do.  Delegate effectively, and be alert to stepping outside your boundaries. 

LEARN FROM EVERY SOURCE 

Listen to educational CD’s in your vehicle. Read the best books you can find. There are really two things that will make you wiser, the books you read and the people you meet.  Interview the must successful people you know, particularly in the field you want to excel in.   

 

If you really want to rise to the top, invest one hour of your day to learn more about yourself and your industry. Developing this single habit can make you a world expert within five years.  Remember, the use of knowledge is power.  And powerful people attract great opportunities. This takes self-discipline, but won’t the rewards be worth it?

 

SAY “NO” TO TOXIC PEOPLE 

No matter how well things are going, there are people who focus on the negative. They complain, they gossip and they tear others down. They prefer to see themselves as victims.  Make a list of your friends and acquaintances. Put a check mark next to those who nourish your energy and an “x” next to those who are toxic, they drain your energy. Stop spending time with those who drain your energy.

 

Surround yourself with people who move you forward. Ask yourself, “Do I like them? Do I trust them?  Do I respect them?”  Those are the questions that Warren Buffet asks. If any one of the questions is a “No,” don’t spend time with them and don’t do business deals with them.  

WIN-WIN 

A lot of people talk about the “Win-Win” but simply pay it lip service. In business, win-win means having a genuine concern for the other person; that they win as much as you do, whether it’s a sale, employee contract, negotiating, or strategic alliance. 

EARN A MENTOR 

You can have several mentors.  You can select people for any area of your life that you want to improve.  Don’t take up too much of their time.  Demonstrate that you have completed a significant portion of the work already.  Get right to the point. Stick to a well-prepared script using a relaxed conversational tone.  Say what you want to say, ask your closing question and then shut up. 

 

THE CONFIDENCE FACTOR

 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. 

 

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  

 

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others. 

 

As quoted by Nelson Mandela

  

STEP INTO YOUR FEAR 

Do what scares you. Develop a habit of challenging your boundaries every day. Fear consumes your energy.  You can’t afford to have all that vitality bottled up, it restricts your capacity.  

 

THE INTEGRITY FACTOR 

1.      When you always tell the truth, people trust you.

2.      When you do what you say, as promised, people respect you.

3.      When you make others feel special, people like you.

 

CREATING WEALTH AND SUCCESS – Art Linkletter 

1.      I’m going to do the work I enjoy.  You only live once, so do what you love.

2.      There will always be difficulties, setbacks and challenges along the way.

3.      The margin between mediocrity and success is very small when related to time and effort, over and above what is expected. Success in life is like success in investing – small amounts over time.

4.      I will use pull whenever I can to open the doors to opportunity, but I will make sure to work when the door is opened for me.

5.      I will recognize and be alert to my own weaknesses, and find people who excel in the things where I falter.

6.      I will consider an opportunity to advance more important than the immediate money and fringe benefits of the situation.

7.      I will always stretch my abilities and goals a little further than my comfort zone, within reason.

8.      I will learn from my setbacks and then put them behind me.

9.      I will follow the Golden Rule.  I will not do a deal where someone else is short-changed, cheated or taken advantage of.

10.  I will use other people’s money provided I feel certain the money itself can grow at a faster rate than the interest charges. I will not be greedy.

 

  • Do what you love with passion and excellence and the money will follow.

  • Read all you can, attend seminars, listen to tapes and put what you learn into action. 

  • Always strive for constant and never-ending improvement in everything you do.

  • Invest first in your business. Stay away from deals and industries you know little about.  That’s how Warren Buffet has done so well. 

  • Develop an expertise in some area that has an ability to create good financial return.

LIFE’S FUNDAMENTALS 

Know what you want.

Know why you want it.

 

Discover your talents.

Use them daily.

 

Work smart.

Work hard.

 

Give unconditionally.

Love unconditionally.

 

Find your purpose.

Live your purpose.

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