Week 10 – Stop rearranging chairs on the Titanic

In the past when something happen that I didn’t like, I like most people tried to change it.  My focus was on that event.  I thought I was doing what I should do, I thought I was doing all that I could do.  What I now realize is that I was just rearranging chairs on the Titanic.  I was focused on the event and not the cause and by focusing on the event I was taking the wrong action, action that could never change the event that has already happen.  What I was not doing was focusing on the cause, and the cause is the only thing that can change the event.

Now imagine that you where one of those ill fated folks that was on the Titanic.  The cruise is going great till the iceberg is hit and then what would you do?  Do you still go to the dinner seating?  Do you still attend the shows, would you rearrange the chairs on the deck?  Of course not, you would be looking for a way off the ship, and if you got on another ship, you would start looking for icebergs so you could avoid them.

A sinking ship is a bad thing and no one wants to be on one, but that is just the effect.  The cause was the hitting of the iceberg.  So you don’t need to avoid sinking ships, you need to avoid being on ships that hit icebergs.

Now let’s make this personal, is your life where you want it to be?  Is your future heading the way you want it to go?  If not is very easy focus on the events of your life and not on the inner life.  Our outer life is a reflection of our inner life.  Where you are today is a direct reflection of where your thoughts where six months to a year ago and where your thoughts are today will be reflected in your life in the future.  If you want to change where you are learn to focus on the causes and not on the events.

 

 

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Week 9 – Thanksgiving should be an attitude and not just a holiday

We all enjoy Thanksgiving in this country. It is a down day to relax to be with family and prepare for crazy shopping season. But for many of us, Thanksgiving is just a holiday and not a habit.

Yet, being thankful could change your life. The more you are thankful for, the more things will seem to appear in your life that you should be thankful for. So the more thankful you become, the more things you can be thankful for. It is a cycle that is awesome once you start it.

It is the law of expectancy and action. The law of expectancy says what you look for you will see more of. So when you look for things to be thankful for, you see more things that you can be thankful for. Many years back, I rented an RV to take across country. When I rented it, I was told by the people I was renting the RV from, that Walmart would allow us to park overnight in any of their stores as long as we parked in the back of the parking lot and they encouraged us to go in and buy some supplies. So as we drove cross-country we made several stops in Walmart’s. We’d parked the RV, rest, and buy some supplies. What was amazing is I started seeing RVs in all of the Walmart parking lots, in the past I had not seen them. But on this entire trip, it seemed every Walmart we pulled into had RVs parked there. That trip was more than a decade ago, but guess what? I seem to always see RV’s parked in the parking lot of Walmart’s when I drive by. Now, did these RVs just all of sudden appear? No. They’d always been there, but I had never looked for them before.

Once you become aware of something and you start expecting to see it, your subconscious is on a pursuit to find it. Can you see why the habit of Thanksgiving is so important?

If you can learn to look and be thankful for the things in your marriage, your job, and your health, you’ll be amazed at how you will see even more things to be thankful for. So make sure that Thanksgiving is not just a holiday, but a habit in your life. Start everyday thinking of the things you are thankful for, and can I suggest that you write it do? You may be amazed at how this one habit can change your life.

Week 8 -Break free from bitterness

We all will have things in this life that happen to us that hurt us. Some of these things will happen on purpose, where someone we know hurts us and sometime we hurt by people and they don’t ever know what they have done.

The question is what will we do with these hurts? We have a choice, we can forgive and move on or we can get bitter and stuck. It has been said, “bitterness is a poison that we drink expecting others to die.” That is such a good and simple definition. When we become bitter, the damage does not happen to the one that hurt us but it happens to us. Most time they have went on with their life and are not even thinking about us or what they did. We are the one that is stuck, we are the one who is being poisoned not them. This event becomes an emotional focus in our life, one that we cannot move on from.

We forgive because it frees us. We forgive before we are asked. We forgive even if the person does not deserve it. We forgive not because of what it does for that person but because of what it does for us. The bible says “do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.” That is a simple concept to understand but can be a hard one to apply. If we become bitter we will be controlled by that event and we will be stuck unable to move forward with our lives. If we forgive and do good we are freed from that event, it becomes part of our past. It no longer controls us but we have the control of it. You must forgive so you can greet each new day with love in your heart. Without forgiveness you cannot have love.

Week 7 – The mental diet

Diets are a big topic today.  The Atkins Diet, sugar busters, protein powers – I could go on and on.  What we have learned is, what goes in us affects us.  Change your diet, change your life.

There’s a second type of diet, your mental diet.  And what we think about affects us.  Change what you think about, change your life.

I’ve been on a mental diet this last week.  One that has been more challenging than any physical diet I’ve ever been on.  The challenge has been not to allow a negative mental thought to come into my mind, or at least not let one stay in my mind.  Negative thoughts can just pop in your head.  I’ve never had food just pop in my mouth on a regular diet.  People can try to make you go negative.  I’ve never had someone try to force feed me food in the past.

Changing to only positive thoughts and not letting negative thoughts into your head is a real challenge.  Emment Fox, in his great work The Seven Day Mental Diet, used the metaphor of an ember from a fire landing on your sleeve.  If, instantly, you blow the ember off, there is no damage.  If you let the ember sit there, it will ruin the sleeve.  I’ve always liked what Martin Luther said.  We’re not responsible for the bird that flies over our head, but we are responsible if we let it build a nest in our hair.  That has been one of the challenges; that, when a thought does pop into your mind, to quickly displace it with a positive thought.

This week has been a challenge and I’ve had many resets, but I’m learning to take captive every thought.  And by keeping the birds from building nests in my hair, I know that, over time, I will change what I think.  And when you change your mental diet, you will change your life.

Week 6 – The Power of Focus

Who could have thought sitting for 15 minutes could be worth so much?

One of the daily exercises in MKMMA is to sit for 15 minutes.  That is right just to sit. Now what good can it be to just sit?  That was the thought that I had at first, but over time I started seeing changes in my life just spending time each day sitting.

Now don’t get me wrong this is not as easy as it sounds.  We live in a time when there are more and more distractions. The noise is everywhere, and finding a place and time to be still and be quite is much harder than you think.  As I started, I would find my body not wanting to be still.  I don’t think I had fidgeted since I was a kid but I sure was now.  However, over time I learned quite my body.  I thought that was the hard part till I saw how it was to quite my mind.  You would be amazed at how many thoughts could pop into your mind and how hard it is to keep your thoughts under control for just a few minutes.  But over time, I could go longer and longer keeping my thoughts under control.  I was learning the power of focus and it has great power.

As I have done this the first thing I have seen is  my focus being increasing in everything I was doing.  It made me think of a time when I was a child and I had a small plastic magnifying glass. I used it to burn holes in leaves which demonstrated the power of focus. If I moved the magnifying glass it had no effect but it I held it still it burned the leaf quickly. That is what this sitting time was a time was doing for me, it was creating focus.  I now see the benefits in my life, I am less distracted, I have better follow through and I’m getting more and more done each day.

So maybe it’s time for you to take a sit.

Press Release

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I was very excited when I got the call from Simon Chan asking me if I would be willing to be interviewed for his podcast MLM Network. Simon Chan is a multimillion dollar earner in network marketing and has one of the largest podcasts for network marketers. Below is a transcript of the interview I did with Simon. It was an amazing time and I felt truly honored.

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This Simon Chan, today we’re interviewing Steve Lacy who is a multiple six‑figure earner in his network marketing company. He lives in Huntsville Alabama with his wife; he has developed over 20,000 people in his down line and is financially independent through what he is doing.

Hi Steve, welcome to the podcast. Are you ready to bring it?

Steve: I’m ready to go, Simon. Thank you for the opportunity to share.

Simon Chan: Steve let me ask you what is your motivation for doing what you’re doing?

Steve: Well Simon, I think financial freedom and time freedom is an awesome thing to have. The fact that I can do what I want to do when I want to do it is really amazing. The fact that I could build a business where I work for a short period of time and is paying me the rest of life, that’s awesome; but honestly, one of my motivations is I can help others. I’ve owned a business before, I owned a Merry Maids franchise and I couldn’t help somebody come up with $100,000.00 to invest in a Merry Maids franchise, nor would I want to, knowing what it took, but I can help someone spend just a little bit of money, develop a system, and become financially independent and that really motivates me to help others.

Simon: Steve can you tell me about your habits? What’s helped you become successful?

Steve: Well Simon I have to be honest. The first 4 years I really struggled. I only signed up 14 people and I got in what’s called management mode. I wanted to manage people and make them successful and I realized that I couldn’t do that; that I needed to be in the trenches prospecting. So every day I prospect. Matter of fact, I even do it now as an example.

Simon: What was your biggest aha moment?

Steve: Well Simon, I guess it came when I joined what was called the Master Keys Mastermind Alliance and it just helped me realized how my thinking was all messed up. I really had a failure mindset. I would have never said that but I did. I constantly would visualize negative things and be looking at negative outcomes and I really learned that your mind creates a future in a sense you act accordingly. So if you’re expecting someone to say no, they’re almost always going to say no. If you’re expecting you sign up to do nothing, they’re going to do nothing. And I found by changing the way I thought, I could change the way I act and believe it or not, it changed the way others acted and I realized that success was always within my grasp, I was just walking by it.

Simon: What are your favorite prospecting tools?

Steve: Well Simon, I really kind of created a new system. Our system was based on one person just absolutely being sold out and spending a ton of time and it was like a full-time job and then some. It paid you well, but it was exhausting. So what I did is create a kind of a sorting system. I remember reading Perry Marshall’s book on sales and marketing from an 80‑20 method and so what I did is set up a really simple little 60‑second message on a phone call. And I could give out a tool, a magazine; I could give someone a card that would say do you own your life? And they would make a call. And during that 60 seconds, it would kind of sort, were they interested in owning their life or not? If they had interest, then they left their name and number. If they didn’t have interest, they didn’t. And then what I did is I would make a phone call to that person. I would sell myself to them; let them know who I was and you know, people buy from people they know, like and trust.   So I wanted to build a little bit of trust and if again I like them, and things seemed positive, I would send them to a website. The website would give them a short video that explained kind of the system we were using and what we’re doing and it was up to them. They left again, an email address, phone number and there was another follow up where I would do the full presentation. It allowed me to go through a whole bunch of people and spend my time only meeting with those who were available. So just my best prospects, who was just a phone number, where people get basic information.

Simon: Self development. I know leaders grow, so how have you developed? What would be a favorite book of yours?

Steve: Well, I think for me the best book I read is “Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. Every time I read that book I get something new from it but I think Jack does a great job of talking about the mental aspects but also what you have to do to succeed so I think that was probably the best book.

Simon: What makes you most excited about the network marketing industry?

Steve: Well Simon, I think what really makes me excited is that this is an industry that’s becoming more and more accepted. It’s one in which you can get information to people faster. I think some people have messed up by trying to make this an online business where you’re doing everything by links and you’ve got to connect to people. You have to pick up the phone call. People need to not just see a video. They need to talk to you, then see a video. There needs to be a human side of it but I think there are less people negative than has ever been negative before.

Simon: Alright Steve, I’m now going to ask you my million dollar question. If you started over again, and knew no one, what would be the first thing you would do to grow your MLM business from scratch?

Steve: I would go for a niche. I think again if I knew no one, I would look for a niche. For me, I’m a pastor, so I would look for pastors because pastors already know me; I know them. They are like me because we have similar likes, and they would trust me. So I would call pastors and I would work in that niche to help pastors and when they signed up, I would work as normal within their warm markets and help present to people but I would go talking to pastor s and if I signed up someone who is a real estate agent, I’d have them talk to real estate agents; a teacher to teachers. I think everybody has a niche of people they already know, like and trust because they have similarity. So I would do that.

Simon: Well Steve, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate you investing with this. You have given us great content and it was a joy to interview you today. Hope you have a great future. Thank you for your time

 

Week 5 – Can you define Success?

What is success?

“Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words; yet failure is always described in one way.  Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be” Greatest Salesman in the World.

If so few could define success the same way how can we hope to define success?  The reason we can is because we are the only ones who can define success for ourselves. For many of us we are living others dreams, maybe it is the dreams of our parents or peers but is not ours.  When we try to live someone else dream it can become a nightmare.

In the past few weeks I have been thinking more about where I want my life to be in the future.  This has been a bigger challenge than I thought.  I have been trying to define my “Definite Major Purpose.”  If I could build my perfect life what would I want it to be?  If there were no limits to my hopes and dreams what would my life look like.  That may seem like a simple task but it is harder than you think.  It seems that my dreamer was out of practice, and it was a challenge get it to work again.

The good news is that it is working and I’m seeing a future life that is more than a dream, it is a reality that is getting clearer each day.  It started with words that I wrote on paper, but it has grown to a movie in my mind, a movie that is full of emotions.  So I have now defined success for myself, my definition and not someone else’s but mine, one that I’m very excited about.

That is step one and it is the most important step, but it is just step one.  The great thing about MKMMA is that giving me the other steps to go from where I am to where I need want to be.  It is only week 5 and the journey is far from over but it is a journey I’m excited to be on and one that is changing the trajectory on my life.

Week 4 – I’ll try

I have used the words “I’ll try,” so many times but I never understood the negative powers behind those words.  I thought when someone ask me to do something and I said, “I’ll try” that was a good answer.  After all it sure was better than saying no, right?

What I didn’t understand was when I said, “I’ll try,” I was giving myself a free pass to fail.  After all there is no commitment in trying so if I didn’t get it done there was nothing wrong with that.  I had not failed since I never said I would do it.  But to try is to fail, because there is no commitment and without a commitment I will never get it done.

This week I learned how important it was not to try but to do and how vital it is that I never start something or commit to do something if I am not absolutely committed to getting it done.

Charles F. Haanel says it this way in his great book The Master Key System, “Unless you do this, you had better not start at all, because modern psychology tells us that when we start something and do not complete it, or make a resolution and do not keep it, we are forming the habit of failure; absolute, ignominious failure. If you do not intend to do a thing, do not start; if you do start, see it through even if the heavens fall; if you make up your mind to do something, do it; let nothing, no one, interfere; the “I” in you has determined, the thing is settled; the die is cast, there is no longer any argument.”

See here is the key that I was missing, when I was saying “I’ll try”, I was making no commitment to the task, and therefore giving myself permission to fail.  I was “forming the habit of failure” I didn’t even know it.

I have learned this week that I should be very careful what I commit to do and once I commit I MUST DO IT.  So no more “I’ll try,” my “yes” will be “yes” and my “no” will be “no.”  I always keep my promises and I don’t make flippant promises or weak commitments.  In the past I had taught myself to accept failure but no more, I will only accept success, and I not try, I will do.

Week 3 – Habits, they rule our lives

If you would have asked me a few weeks ago what a habit was, I would have said something you do without thinking.

I now see that was good definition but I didn’t realize that I was the one who was in control of all of my habits. I was their slave because I had allow them to master me.

No one says if better than Og Mandino in Greatest Salesmans In The World, he talks about the power of new and good habits, “for when an act becomes easy through constant repetition it become a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often.  When I perform it often it become a habit and I become its slave.”

Now lets break that down.  Good or bad, habits are easier to do than not to do, so bad habits open doors to failure and good habits to success.  For example, I had a habit of allowing my car to become messy with stuff.  My back seats became so packed with stuff no one could even sit there.  My floor board became my trash can and I just let my trash pile up there, it was a mess.

It had become a bad habit, but it happen because I let it become a habit.  I would toss books, papers and magazines that I knew I would need in the back set of my car every day, I would just drop hamburger wrappers or receipts in my floor board and because I did it daily (constant repetition) it became a “pleasure to perform.”  Pleasure may seem like a strong term, but let me just say it became the easy thing to do and we always enjoy doing the easy thing, so it is a pleasure.  The result, my car was a mess.  My wife was always commenting on it and I was embarrassed with someone saw it.  I did clean it out from time to time but it never stayed that way because I had formed a habit and I was it’s slave.

But this week it all changed, I cleaned my car out as I had before, but I didn’t stop there.  I now have started a new habit of keeping it clean.  I bought a briefcase to keep the books and papers I needed organized and in one place not just tossed in a set.  I no longer put my trash in my floorboard, instead I throw it away at my first stop.  When I arrive home for the evening, I will not allow anything to stay in my car that is not in the briefcase.  I throw away trash, and I either place thing in the briefcase or bring into the house, I make sure it is clean before I go into the house.  Now this is a new habit, and so at this point I’m still developing the habit through constant repetition but I am developing the habit and I know that soon it will become a pleasure to preform and then it will become my nature to preform it and I will become a slave to this new and good habit.

Now will a cleaning car change my life?  No, but learning to replace a bad habit with a good habit will.  This is only the first habit of many I will change, and over time these changes will change my life.  As Og says, “Good habits are the key to all success,” and I now know how to change ANY bad habit into a good habit and this is why my life will never be the same.  I am a new man with a new life.

Week 2 – The Power of Habits

This week I’ve been learning a lot about the power of habits. Habits can be our greatest friend or they can be our worst enemy. Most of the habits that I have developed over the years have not been purposeful. I made choices, some good and some bad and overtime these choices have become deep ingrained  habits in my life.

I never realized how powerful these habits were or how hard they could be to break . I had changed habits that affected me physically but felt helpless to change habits that were affecting me mentally.

Last year I chose to run a marathon. I’d never ran one before and it was on my bucket list, being 53 years old I thought this was one I did not need to put off any longer, but needed to get it off the list. So I made the choice to run the marathon.

After doing the research and talking to many who had successfully completed a marathon. I knew the course of action and had a plan to follow to complete my first marathon.

My life radically changed as I went from a couch potato to running four times a week. My Saturday runs, were my long runs and they grew to over 20 miles as the weeks went on.  These long runs where tough but the other three shorter daily runs were tougher, because I have to make time for them.  See I was not in the habit of working out and to find fours time a week to do this was a very tough task, but I was committed and and willing to pay the price. It all came together in December of 2014 when I completed the St Johns marathon.  I didn’t set any records but I got it done.

As I am studying the Master Keys, I’ve realized the same principles that applied to running the marathon applies to changing other habits in my life.  In the past I’ve always felt I was a stuck with habits I’ve had since I was young, like being messy, not finishing task on time, and avoiding conflict, to name a few.

It is been so freeing to realize that I was wrong. And that any bad habit, can be replaced by a good habit, and the Master Keys give me the steps to take to change any bad habit I now have by replacing it with a good habit.  I will be new person in next year because of bad habits that will be replaced with good habits, habits that will service and not the other way around.