Transform Yourself Over Night!

One of the all-time most popular Christmas movies is Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. The main themes are widely considered to be redemption, compassion and forgiveness.  I certainly agree that these are important and obvious lessons in the movie.  
One other lesson that can easily be missed is transformation.  Notice how it is that Ebenezer Scrooge transforms his thinking, beliefs, and feelings in one night. And, by changing his thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, his actions change accordingly.
This is right at the heart of what I have been learning and studying. When we change our thoughts and our beliefs, we directly affect our feelings. Whatever our thoughts and beliefs and feelings are, will dictate what our actions are. And of course, what follows from our actions are RESULTS!  The most amazing part of this is that we can indeed change our thoughts and beliefs in an instant– just as Ebenezer Scrooge did that faithful night.
Scrooge changed the results in his life for the better by changing his thoughts that did not serve him. The old thoughts gave him negative results. By changing his thoughts to those that served him better, he was able to change his results.  Are there areas of your life that you would like to change the results in? Financial, Career, Personal, Health, Family, Spiritual—any area at all. I invite you work backward and consider the actions (or lack of actions), that caused your results. Then consider the feelings you are having that are causing those actions. And last, what thoughts and beliefs do you have that are causing those feelings.  Once you change your limiting beliefs, you may find that much like Ebenezer Scrooge, your results will change in an instant.

Things That Fascinate and Motivate

Things That Fascinate and Motivate

I have written in the past about Warren Buffet’s strategy of making a list of 25 goals and then circling the five most important goals from the list. The “Oracle” recommends you eliminate the other 20 completely. This is an excellent approach. I certainly am guilty of working on too many goals at one time. His strategy will force you to  focus on your most important goals and you will likely experience better results.  It certainly seems to have worked for him.

There is a somewhat similar strategy that I recently learned from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. Dan is perhaps the number one business and entrepreneur coach around. Dan has developed a program that not only helps you focus on what is important to you (as he describes it, “things that fascinate and motivate you”), but goes beyond that by helping you eliminate what irritates you the most.   

Take a moment and think about that concept. Can you imagine eliminating things that irritate you and instead focus on things that fascinate and motivate you.  Imagine the fun you’d have. Imagine the satisfaction and joy of working you’d have if you could pull that off.

I think the combination of eliminating irritating things and focusing not necessarily on 5 important goals as Warren described, but rather on things that actually fascinate and motivate could be a breakthrough concept.

Take a listen and/or read the show notes of a recent podcast by Dan Sullivan and Joe Polish from 10X Talk. It’s useful and interesting.

Here’s a glance at what you’ll learn from Dan in this episode:

  • A tool for getting clear on where you are in your business, increasing your cash flow and growing your business 10x
  • Dan reveals the greatest way to engage another person
  • The secret to eliminating perfectionism and procrastination
  • The A-B-C Breakthrough Business Model: How to eliminate irritants and focus on those activities that fascinate and motivate you
  • Identifying the one game changer activity that can transform your business over the next 90 days
  • The 25-Year Transformation: A simple way to create a future full of breakthroughs
  • One action you can take to increase your capabilities and confidence
  • How to make your competitors your biggest customers and promoters
  • The 4 C’s Formula for achieving bigger and better results
  • What to do when your children face failures and setbacks
  • Becoming An Entrepreneurial Hero: “There is nothing that makes us more a hero in the eyes of other people than c________ and c_________.”

STAYING IN THE MOMENT

STAYING IN THE MOMENT

So, you’ve gone ahead and set big ambitious goals for yourself. Perhaps in your business, your health and fitness, your family, or community. Congratulations!Setting goals and thenstarting a plan of action are critical. However, I’m going to talk about what I call “staying in the moment”. This means not over focusing on the end goal during your day to day activities. Over focusing on your goal will only causes stress and anxiety. The goal may soon appear too far out. You may get fatigued, stressed, and discourage if you concentrate on how far you have to go. Rather the trick is to have confidence in your plan and then focus on the simple, achievable every day activities in the plan.

What do I mean by this? For example on your business/income– perhaps you’ve got a goal to double your income this year. You’ve set about designing a solid and well researched plan of action that you believe can accomplish this goal. Next, you’ve broken it down into smaller tasks, that will lead to the goal’s accomplishment. Key in on what you need to do today only to move down the right path. Maybe that means making three sales calls today. Or, perhaps it means completing a new course that gives you a new marketable skill.  Focus on just that activity. Do it and log it. “What we measure we accomplish!”  Develop “daily habits” around this activity. Do not focus everyday on the goal of doubling your income, that can cause you to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Have faith that executing the small details will result in the successful completion of your goal. You almost have to block out the bigger goal as you go down the path. Develop a dual mind set- intensive focus on the task at hand or daily work, while reserving focus on the bigger picture for later.

As another example, perhaps your goal for health and fitness is to lose 30 pounds or more this year. What is your plan to get there? What can you do in small increments to ensure success of the plan. Focus on eating a healthy breakfast. Eating a low calorie light lunch. Drinking 8 glasses of water. Counting your calories and going for a walk. Then log this every day. Remember– “what we measure we accomplish!” Do not focus on how far you have to go or how slowly it seems to be progressing. Have faith that your small daily habits repeated day in and day out will dictate your success.

Of course there will be a time when you will need to evaluate your progress and adjust the plan if needed. Be aware of the difference between a plan that doesn’t work and your failure to properly and completely follow the plan. Often, it is our activities, or lack of activities, that need adjusting.

Here’s what I want you to take away from this:

“Staying in the moment” will energize you day in and day out. It will allow you to develop, manage, and focus on the daily habits that result in the successful accomplishment of your goals– no matter how big. (And please, please, please… make them them BIG, BIG, BIG!!!

Iron Mike Stone 12/7/17

THINKING –> FEELING/BELIEVING –> ACTIONS –> RESULTS

THINKING –> FEELING/BELIEVING –> ACTIONS –> RESULTS.
 
1.  CHANGE YOUR THINKING ~ MANAGE YOUR THOUGHTS.
2.  SLOW/STOP YOUR ACTIONS/RE-ACTIONS AS YOU ADJUST. YOUR THINKING. CHALLENGE YOUR ASSUMPTIONS.
3. THINK-THINK-THINK: DREAMS, GOALS, WANTS.
4. BELIEVE-BELIEVE-BELIEVE: DREAMS, GOALS, WANTS.
4. RUN AWAY FROM NEGATIVE INFLUENCES– RUN, RUN,RUN.
5. TAKE ACTION STEPS. START. DO SOMETHING THAT MOVES YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
By: Iron Mike Stone www.imhighperformance.com

NEVER STOP LEARNING

NEVER STOP LEARNING

  I am going to suggest that one of the greatest benefits we have living in the current times is the ability and access to learn absolutely anything we can think of. Think about that for a while. You can learn absolutely anything you can possibly think of, relatively easy and probably for free. Never before in history has this been available. Consider what that could mean for you.

Imagine your life in 10 years from now if you started learning a new skills or new subject every six months.  How much could the quality and depth of your life have if you did this? How much more success would you have- however you choose to define success. How much more valuable of a friend, or family member, or citizen, or volunteer, or employee would you be. How much more money would you have — yes- knowledge pays! 

But, you may ask, what should I learn? The great news is that post formal education, no one is going to force feed you. Learn about what excites you and makes you curious. Take a chance. Stretch yourself. Discover new worlds. You’ll likely find that as you start learning new things again (maybe for the first time in a while), that it gets easier and more ideas start developing in your mind.

Here are a few broad categories that might spark an idea. Perhaps history, mathematics, English literature, foreign languages, computer programming, sciences, social skills. How about, family and relationship skills, public speaking, writing, the arts, music appreciation, trade skills, communication skills? What if you deepened your understanding of your faith and religion?  What if you learned new software applications and technologies like artificial intelligence? How about new hobbies- wine tasting, photography, gourmet cooking, coin collecting, firearm training, to name but a small sampling. How about a new sport or fitness pursuit- Zumba anyone? Yoga? Tai chi? Fishing? Perhaps learning a new instrument- the piano, guitar, drums? How about investing knowledge, trading skills, business management skills?  

The list is endless. It only stops where your imagination stops. But think of the person you will become if you simply take advantage of the wonderful opportunity and good fortune of living and the current Times. You most likely can find anything you want to learn available for free on the Internet.  My challenge to you is to try learning something new right now. Have fun with this. Pick something that would surprise people who know you. Be careful to not just re-learn things you already have done. The key is to step out of your comfort zone. Just imagine how great your life will be in 10 years if you do! I promise you, it will exceed all expectations in satisfaction.

  “A life well lived is a life of growing and learning”  ~IMS

RESOURCES

Here are a several established online schools offering thousands of courses:

Khanacademy
Udacity
Udemy
Coursera
Edex (Harvard)
Skillshare
Open2study
Theopenuniversity
Alison
Plralsight
Class Central Top 50 Rated free Courses
Open Culture 1250 free online from top universities
Open Education Database 10k free courses (yes 10k!)

And if you still need more suggestions take a look at this article from the USA Today “45 free online classes you can take (and finish) by the end of the year”  It’s useful and interesting!

-Iron Mike Stone
mike@imhighperformance.com

 
Book I’m Reading:

Switch – Chip Heath & Dan Heath –Surprised me- really useful  

Quote of the Week:

“There are two ways to get enough: One is to accumulate more, the other is to desire less.” – GK Chesterton

 
 What I Found Useful & Interesting this Week:

Habits vs. Goals: A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life

 

Weekly Radio Podcast
The Art of Entrepreneurial Living:

 

Engineer, Lawyer, and Author Terri Lynn Coop on High Performance with Mike Stone

Practicing Gratitude

PRACTICING GRATITUDE

I Study a lot of personal development concepts. Perhaps the most simplistic and surprising discovery I have made is the enormous power of actively “practicing gratitude”.  Some of you may be thinking, “yea, yea… be grateful… I’ve heard it before… I’m grateful.”  Although “being grateful” is a good thing, it completely misses the life changing power of “practicing gratitude’.

By practicing gratitude, I mean setting aside a 5 to 10 minute block of time and immersing yourself in thoughts of gratitude. This could be in the form of prayer, or meditation, or simply a quiet solitude thinking session. Try as hard as you can to do nothing but think about things you are grateful for. Small things, like your favorite food or something you enjoy. Big things, like health and family and friends. Nature things, like sunshine or the wind.  Personal things, like your job, a talent, or an opportunity you have.

The key here is to immerse yourself. Keep out any distracting thoughts or interruptions. Let the gratitude fill your mind, body, and soul. Be receptive to how your body feels as you concentrate on being thankful. Allow the feeling of gratitude to consume you. Think it and feel it. When you are done with your 5 to 10 minute session, you will have changed your state of mind.

I have found that it is impossible to feel angry or worried or depressed when you are feeling grateful. The mind cannot think these opposite thoughts at the same time, and more importantly, the body cannot feel these opposite feelings at the same time. When I am stressed out and at my wits end, instead of acting out in frustration and anger, I try to remember this exercise. It has never failed me; though sometime I don’t remember this exercise soon enough! That’s where habit comes in. Why not make practicing gratitude a daily habit.  Tony Robbins starts every single morning with a “priming” session that begins with thinking of three things he is grateful for.  Robbins explains the reasons he starts with gratitude is because of its ability to overpower the dangerous emotions that can sidetrack us. Those emotions are fear and anger. Robbins says, “you can’t be grateful and fearful simultaneously, and you can’t be angry and grateful simultaneously. They don’t go together.”

The benefits of practicing gratitude extend from psychological to physical. Dr. Robert Emmons a leading psychologist, has studied the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude definitively increases happiness and decreases depression, by actually reducing multiple unhealthy emotions from envy and resentment, to frustration and regret.  Further, a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky found those who ranked higher on gratitude scales, experienced more sensitivity and empathy towards other people and were less likely to retaliate or seek revenge against others, even when provoked. A 2014 study by the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology found that gratitude increases personal self-esteem. The study found that grateful people are able to appreciate other peoples’ accomplishments, rather than becoming resentful or jealous towards others– a key component in increasing one’s own self esteem. Finally, a 2012 study titled “Personality and Individual Differences”, found that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report an overall healthier feeling. It also found grateful people were more likely to take care of their health by exercising more, eating healthier and receiving regular checkups–contributing to their longevity and quality of life.

 Here’s what I want you to take away from this:

There is a very simple and scientifically proven method to change your state of mind. By taking 5 to 10 minutes and actively practicing gratitude you can change your life for the better.  The benefits of this are increased well-being, both psychologically and physically. You can positively impact your mood and your health by making this a daily habit.

Gratefully yours, Iron Mike Stone 11-23-2017

What is Your BULLSHIT Story

       

 

People often ask me about why I study personal development– ‘what does it have to offer’, they ask. What they really want to know is the magic 30 second short cut. Of course, like anything worthwhile, there is no magic short cut. We struggle. We learn. We forget. We try.

And that is what matters- we try to be better.  Better at what?  That’s different for every person in the world.  Better at whatever we, as individuals, want.   Because if we don’t try,  what the hell is the point?

If I did, however, have a magic 30 second short cut, it would have something to do with our thoughts– the thoughts we tell ourselves about– ourselves.  The thoughts that are the “story” we believe about who we are.

What is Your Story

What is an area of your life you are happy or pleased with? When your life conditions match the “Blue Print” or the “Story” about how you believe life is supposed to be.  You experience satisfaction.

What is an area of your life you are not happy or pleased with? When your life conditions do not match the “Blue Print” or “Story” about how you believe life is supposed to be. You experience pain.

When your “story” about life does not match your results and you feel you have no control to change it. You feel helpless. You experience suffering.

Three options:

  1. Blame something— an event, someone else, yourself. Very unhealthy and destructive.
  2. Change your life— change something– get a new career, relationship, place to live, etc.
  3. Change your Blue Print— Change the story you tell yourself. Make a shift!

GO TO WORK ON YOURSELF — WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?  WHAT FEELINGS ARE THOSE THOUGHTS CREATING? 

You Can Do Anything!

You Can Do Anything!

1886 – Carl Benz  invented the first automobile

 I have recently been working my way through several new ventures. Anytime we try something new there is a natural hesitation that can develop. Trying something new requires some level of courage. We often can feel nervous because we are not sure what to expect. We worry if we will succeed or if we will fail. Will we embarrass ourselves? What will others Think of us? These concerns are actually common even when we try to accomplish anything—even when it’s not something new. Just the mere act of trying to accomplish something can make us feel like we are not in control and that can be pretty scary.

 During this recent activity on a new project, when I was showing some hesitation, someone said to me, “You’re Iron Mike—you can do anything”. Although I generally think of myself as a disciplined self-starter who doesn’t need a push, I have to tell you the sincere encouragement went a long way. It energized me to persevere with a new determination. It helped me to believe in myself. It also got me thinking about encouragement.

Support: Tolerate or Encourage

 We all probably think we support the people we care about and associate with, but what does supporting someone really look like? And what is the critical role we can play when we are in a position to support someone with their endeavors? More often than not, when we attempt to support someone, we actually end up simply tolerating them and their attempt to achieve a goal by not interfering with them or by trying to stop them. We might even try to be polite by asking about their endeavors and by trying to keep our negative comments to ourselves. This is a big mistake and a missed opportunity to make an incredible difference. What we are missing is the critical role we can play when we are in a position to support someone in achieving their goals. One of the greatest things you can do for someone is help them live up to their highest unique potential. Whether we realize it or not, we automatically influence the people we associate with and care about with everything we say and do. Why not make a conscious and deliberate effort to influence them in a more powerful and positive way?

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up”  Thessalonians 5:11

 How can you encourage and build up your friends, associates, and loved ones? Here are a few tips:

Believe in them— We all have self doubts and lack faith in our abilities from time to time. It is amazing what can happen when someone believes in you, even when you don’t.

Cheer them— You can do it, I know you can! Remember when you did this… Said sincerely it is empowering.

Expect a lot from them— Many times when a parent, teacher, spouse, or friend expects more of us– we find a way to raise our standards and do more than we thought we were capable of.

Provide Vision to them— Sometime we don’t see our own potential. Help the dream bigger dreams.

I always remember the inspiring story of Bertha Benz and the profound encouragement she gave her husband Carl Benz. Despite his many repeated failures, Bertha constantly pushed him to trust in his abilities to make his vision of a “vehicle powered by a gas engine” come true. She believed in him even, when he lost belief in himself, helping him through numerous difficult times. With every challenge she encouraged him to try harder and harder. Although his invention received a great deal of attention and enthusiasm, it was not an economic success. At one point Carl Benz was beset with doubts that it could ever become commercially viable and was about to give up. Unbeknownst to her husband, Bertha believed in him so much that she decided to take the car on a long distance publicity road trip, the pioneering trip proved to the world that the vehicle was suitable for everyday use. Her unending belief in him and his capabilities resulted in Benz & Company becoming the leading producer of automobiles at the turn of the century.

Here’s what I want you to take away from this:

 Whether we realize it or not, with everything we do and say,  we are influencing the people we care about. We play a vital supporting role for these people. Encouragement is empowerment, and it comes in two parts.  First is pointing out what you believe is possible for the other person. Second is challenging them to succeed at it despite inevitable setbacks. Tell them what you believe they can do, and challenge them to do it. This is much more than motivation, because you can motivate anyone, but you can only encourage someone you truly believe in—and therein lies the power. It requires you to get  very specific and encourage them to try to do some precise activity that you think they are capable of. “I think you’d be good at this” or “You can do that”. Then give them a little direction and guidance– here’s how you should try it.  Behind most every successful person are people who said to them, you should try this—I think you can do it– I think you would be great at it—and here’s how you should try it!

When you step up and encourage someone you change the way they perceive themselves and their abilities. This allows them to go farther than they alone could have imaged. This will massively change their life– and your life, for the better!

-Iron Mike Stone 11.10.17

mike@imhighperformance.com

 

TIME TO START THINKING

TIME TO START THINKING

How much time do you spend thinking? It’s kind of an odd question and it’s one you may not have “thought” about much.  Certainly, if you’re like most people, you have a constant flow of thoughts, ideas, responsibilities, worries and the like racing through your mind at all times.  This is not at all what I’m referring to.  I’m referring to time spent by yourself in quiet, reflective, and deliberate thought.

I have started to become more aware of my “thinking” as I have been writing more. The more I write, the more time I find I have to first spend thinking.  It actually has become my favorite part of writing- an opportunity to let my mind wander in any direction. Even in writing this simple blog post, I took three or four times the amount of time thinking about it, then I did in the actual amount of time writing it.  I have also been adding more “thinking time” into my businesses. I am finding I am able to make better decisions and see more opportunities than I did when I was constantly busy multi-tasking.

Time spent thinking, with no boundaries or parameters opens up the mind to new possibilities. When our minds are cluttered with an active to-do list of things, we crowd out the creative side of ourselves. By actually allowing ourselves to think freely, we break away from limited thinking. New ideas, perspectives, possibilities are able to flow to the top. Almost magically, new solutions present themselves once our mind is freed to simply think and reflect. Sometimes we can try to think of a solution to a problem logically for hours on end, but when we finally let go and let our mind wander, inspiration can strike seemingly out of the blue. 

All Minds that wander are not lost.

In recent years, numerous business executives have gone on record about how essential thinking time is. Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and arguably the savviest investors of our time, estimates he has spent 80% of his time reading and thinking. His partner, Charles Munger, says that’s how Warren created such a great business— “he had a lot of time to think about it”.

Mr. Buffet is not alone. Many other great business leaders spend many hours just thinking.  In fact, many of them set side time in their schedules for nothing but thinking.  Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of 1-800-got-junk, often spends his Mondays wondering around his home town of Vancouver. He meanders through coffee shops, sits on a park bench, walks in the forest or heads to the beach. This day of thinking sets himself up for a productive week ahead. 

Jack Dorsey, CEO of two fortune 500 companies, Square and Twitter is famous for wandering around, lost in thought. Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, was known for taking two weeks a year of to think. Tim Armstrong CEO of AOL makes himself and his executive team commit to four hours a week of just thinking time. In fact, a recent study of CEO’s revealed a majority of them spend 20% of their time alone- much of it in thought.

Here’s what I want you to take away from this:

Time spent doing nothing but being alone and thinking is time well spent.

Here are a few suggestions to help you implement this. Schedule thinking time right into your calendar, be it one day a week or just a few hours a day. Make it a habit and stick with it.  Get yourself out of your office or home and venture out to new locations and place. Like many CEO’s you’ll likely find it a wonderful source of creative inspiration.

 –Iron Mike Stone 11.2.17

 

Coach/Consultant ~ Speaker ~ Writer/Author ~ Podcast Host ~ IronMan ~ MBA/RFC/ 32yrs in Finance ~ Entrepreneur #learning #trading #training #health #writing #triathlon