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From:WPROUTY@aol.com  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 10:51:39 EDT
Subject: Essays on Excellence # 423
To:Benefits2001JnT@aol.com
Good Morning Freedom Fighters and Truth Seekers,

Strategy is a powerful word and concept.  It is broad and deep.  Tactics are also a powerful word and concept but they are the stuff of which strategy is made.

In these days of sounds bites and rhetorical commentary, be cautious as you listen to separate the wheat from the chaf.  Look for the substance and learn to assess the form.  Substance is the stuff that success is made of.

Take what you hear and filter it with your personal strategic plan.  Ask lots of questions and lay out your tactical game plan for achieving the success you seek.

Another Political Literacy 101 lesson will be coming your way in the morning and the next Essays on Excellence on Friday morning.  Hope it will help you strengthen your filtering system as we enter the last 30 days of this election cycle.  But look for the substance and remember Clara Peller's famous question, "Where's The Beef?"  It is not what someone is going to give that is important but that which provides the OPPORTUNITIES for you to pursue your dreams and goals.


Strategic Thinking
by Brian Tracy


The Quality Of Thoughtfulness

The ability to think and plan strategically is perhaps the most important single skill of the effective executive. In a longitudinal study of leaders who, in retrospect, made the best and most effective decisions, the single quality that stood out from all others was the quality of "thoughtfulness." Thoughtfulness may be defined as a careful concern for the secondary consequences of each decision and each action. This is the essence of strategic thinking. 


Your Most Powerful Tool

The most powerful tool that you as an executive have to bring to bear on your work is your mind - your thinking ability. Everything you do that sharpens and hones your ability to think with greater clarity before acting, will benefit you and help you to move upward and onward more rapidly in your career. 


Use A Two Pronged Approach

The best way to approach strategic thinking is two pronged. This means to work simultaneously on the personal and the corporate. 
The purpose of strategic planning is to increase return on equity. The guiding principle of strategic planning and strategic thinking is to organize and reorganize the resources and strengths of the individual and the organization so as to produce the highest amount of quality and quantity of outputs relative to inputs. The central focus is always on bottom line results. The key question is always, "How can we best deploy the assets and resources of this organization so as to achieve greater and better results than we are achieving at the present time?" 


Increase Your "Return On Energy"

In personal terms, strategic planning is an exercise in increasing "return on energy." Your greatest single asset is your earning ability. And your earning ability is nothing more than the total of the mental, emotional and physical energies that you can apply toward getting valuable results for yourself and your company. Anything that you can do to increase your return on energy invested will increase your overall levels of effectiveness and contribution in every area of your life, especially, and most importantly in your work. 


Action Exercises

Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action: 

First, keep your thoughts on your dreams and goals, and keep them off of the things and people that cause you stress and negative emotions. This is not easy, but it’s very important. 

Second, preserve your emotional energy by staying calm and positive.



Give Me a Break!

by Kevin Eikenberry

Parker, my 11 year old son, has worn glasses for several
years and wanted contacts.  On his last eye exam a few
months back, the doctor told him he could have contacts. 
He was elated, and I felt helpless.  His mother has worn
contacts as long as I have known her.  The closest thing
to corrective lenses I've worn are sunglasses.  He had a
whole new set of skills to learn - putting in the contacts,
taking them out, and caring for them.

Over the first few days he got lots of coaching and help
from his mother.  I would stand and watch, but couldn't
be much help, except to provide encouragement.  Over time,
I hardly thought about it anymore - he seemed to have the
task well under control. One day recently, that temporarily
changed. 

Parker had finished getting ready for school and I was
elsewhere in the house.  I hadn't heard him for a few
minutes but didn't think much more about it, until I heard
a frustrated scream.  I rushed to his bathroom to find him
very upset.  After consoling him, he told me that he
couldn't get the second contact in.  One was in but he had
been trying to get the second one in for several minutes. 

I held him and told him to relax.  Then I asked him if it
bothered him to walk around with only one contact in.  He
looked at me warily, as if he were thinking, "Are you
going to tell me to go to school with just one contact?"
then replied tentatively, that it wasn't a problem.    So
I encouraged him to finish getting ready for school - to
take a break from that stubborn right contact.

After some convincing, that is what he did.

A few minutes later, he popped into my office beaming from
ear to ear.  "When I went back to it Dad, I got it in
first time!"  He asked me how I knew that would work (he
clearly, and rightfully so, doesn't see me as a contact
expert), and I told him the lesson of "Give Me a Break."

The Lesson

We see this lesson everywhere in our lives. 

Parker was successful with his contact after walking away
for a few minutes then coming back to the task.

Basketball coaches sometimes call timeout less for
tactical reasons than for a chance for the players to
catch their breath.  Often after these timeouts the team
plays better, switches the momentum and has more success.

Students working on a test, skip a problem they are
stumped by and come back to it later.  If they are well
prepared for the exam, often on the second try, the
solution becomes clear.

We rack our brains trying to solve a vexing business or
personal problem.  When we set it aside, the solution will
often come to us later.

Many times when I'm not traveling I take a quick "power
nap" after lunch.  These are most effective for me when I
enter my 5-10 minute slumber with a specific issue I want
to work on when I wake up.  Usually, upon awaking, my
energy level is up, and the solution I need is clear in my
mind.

I could go into all of the reasons this lesson works, but
that is for another article (or book).  The point for us
is that it does work; whether for crossword puzzles, tough
business problems, athletic events, parenting or putting
in your contacts.

When hitting a brick wall on your task, take a break.  The
break may be literal like Parker's, or it may be more
mental, like the timeout, or closing your eyes and taking
a deep breath before continuing your task. 

It is important to remember that this isn't a message
against staying focused; rather taking these sorts of
short or longer breaks are in support of focus, because
we give our brains and our muscles a chance to refocus in
a productive way on the important task.

As you finish this article think about times when you have
applied this lesson, whether consciously or not.  Think
about other times when perhaps this lesson could have
helped you move towards success more rapidly.

In your busy day today, don't be afraid to take a break,
for the break may be just what you need the most.



You are a Genius - Unlocking the Power of the Mind
by Jim Rohn

Hi, Jim Rohn here. This month we focus on accelerating our learning processes. How exciting! First, understand we possess the ability to improve and accelerate our learning curve. And second, this creates the potential of what we can continue to become. Wow! So let's get started. Here is an overview of the month.

1. You are a Genius. In week one, we discuss ways to unlock and tap into the incredible powerful potential you have in your mind. We will also cover the attitudes of successful learners and show how your attitude about learning will determine how far you go in your life and career.

2. Six Stages of Learning. In week two we will talk about how to accelerate your learning and discover what your unique learning strengths and weaknesses are. We will also cover the topic of finding your particular learning style, and how to best tailor your learning to fit your unique needs.

3. Improve Your Memory. In week three we will talk about how the mind and memory works and how to train it to remember more. We will also cover basic speed reading techniques and show you the importance of reading and how to develop a basic reading plan.

4. Life-long Learning. In week four we will discuss the importance and benefits of being a lifetime learner. In addition, we will talk briefly about a basic plan for life-long learning and how to keep your mind tuned for success, as well as how to win the battles of thought that take place in our minds.

You are a Genius - Unlocking the Power of the Mind

This month we focus on the learning that comes through the power of the mind. Take care to feed and stimulate your brain, and you will expand your mind. A healthy brain is central to a healthy mind. Because the two are inextricably connected, I would like to start this month by giving an overview of the astounding complexity of the brain. Many of these facts may be familiar to you, but they are important reminders of this incredible tool God gave us. We again need to see the human brain and mind with wonder, awe and inspiration.

But first, what do we mean by "learning?"

Here are how some dictionaries define it:

--the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill
--knowledge or skill gained through schooling or study
--behavioral modification especially through experience or conditioning
--to gain knowledge, comprehension, or mastery through experience or study

Keep this in mind as we go through the month. Learning is gaining knowledge through various means.

Now, a little about the brain:

The brain is the equivalent of a human supercomputer. Your brain is more complicated than any computer mankind has ever made. Maximizing your brain's ability is essential to becoming the success you desire to become - because it controls who you are. It is the command center involved in and controlling absolutely everything you do. Your brain determines how you think, feel, and act.

Simply put: When your brain is working at peak performance, it allows you to be your best, because it controls the rest.

Here are some facts about the brain:

It is about 2% of body weight.
It consumes about 20-30% of the body's energy.
There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain.
Each neuron or nerve cell is connected to other nerve cells in the brain.
There are over 1,000,000,000,000,000 connections in the brain.
Each one of these neurons is a little "learning center" capable of storing knowledge.

Needless to say, most of us have barely scratched the surface when it comes to tapping into those neurons!

There are some basic influences on the brain that shape how it functions and how far it develops. Some of these include genes, health, injury, self-talk, life experiences, stress, and study (or lack of it). Notice I said that these influence the brain, but they do not determine how far you can go or what you can learn, except perhaps in the case of severe injury or mental retardation. In other words, you have the incredible opportunity to go as far as you desire!

So with such a tremendous tool at our disposal, what keeps so many from experiencing the possibilities that this tool can bring? There are some simple barriers that many people face that can have the potential to wreak havoc on our learning if we allow them to.

Barriers to Finding Your Genius

Lack of Belief. Many people do not believe that they can learn, master knowledge, or become "smart." These are deeply held beliefs for many, and ultimately if you do not believe it, you will not achieve it.

Lack of Knowledge. What keeps some people from learning is that they choose not to access or do not have access to knowledge. Knowledge comes from experiences, books, people and other "knowledge dispensers." We must tap into that knowledge.

Lack of Desire. Some people simply do not have the desire to learn. They may be lazy, or they may not see the positive impact that learning would have on them. They have no passion inside that drives them to learn.

Lack of Hard Work. Gaining knowledge--learning--is hard work and takes a lifetime to master. It is an ongoing discipline that is never complete. I am getting on in years and I am still learning. I am still doing the hard work to expand my mind. It would be easy to give up and coast, but I love the challenge of continuing to learn.

So how do we overcome or break through these "barriers?" The key to breaking through these barriers is to do the opposite.

Let's look at how to knock down those barriers:

Change Your Beliefs. It is up to you to do the work of changing your beliefs. And when you do you will be opening up new worlds - literally! This month Chris is going to talk about winning the thought battle, which will help you keep negative beliefs out and positive beliefs and thoughts in. Feed your mind with information that will change your belief. By taking part in this One-Year Plan, you are doing just that. But also ask yourself if you are doing that with belief. The truth is that you have an amazing mind with a capacity for learning that is beyond your comprehension. You must believe this. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind!

Get the Right Knowledge. Words--if they are not true--are meaningless. I hear children say, "I read it in a book." But is it true? Just because someone says it or writes it, doesn't mean it is true. As learners, we want to get the right knowledge, not just information or opinions. It is our job to seek out information and knowledge and then test it and run it through our minds to see if it is true, and if it can be rightfully applied to our lives in order to make them better and help us succeed. We need to weigh and measure what we learn in order to gain the right knowledge. And when we do, we will be unlocking the potential of our mind!

Become Passionate about Learning. This will take some work, but the only way to do it is to begin learning about things that have an immediate impact in your life. When you learn about a new financial concept that helps you earn money or get out of debt, that will get you fired up. When you learn about a way to communicate that helps you sell more product, that will energize you. When you learn about how to interact with your family in a healthy way and your relationships get better, that will inspire you! Become passionate about learning. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind!

Discipline Yourself Through the Hard Work of Study. Learning will take work. Until someone comes up with modules that can plug into your mind and give you instant access to knowledge, you are on your own, and that takes work. The process of learning is a long one. Yes, we can speed it up, but it is still a process of reading, listening, reviewing, repetition, applying the knowledge, experiencing the outcomes, readjusting, etc. Simply put, that takes time. Slowly but surely, when you discipline yourself, you gain knowledge and learn. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind!

Learning is possible, no matter what your age. You are never too young or too old. Your mind was created to learn and has a huge capacity to do so. This week, make a commitment to unlock the potential of your mind!

Until next week, let's do something remarkable!



William Prouty, CLU RHU CEC MBA PhD
CEO and Founder
Champions For Life Foundation
PO Box 989, Sun City, CA 92586-0989
909-301-0605  Phone
909-301-0606  FAX
wprouty@aol.com


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