Archive for the 'Leadership' Category

“Am I going to make it?”

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An Entrepreneur’s Most Frequently Asked Question. “Am I going to make it?”

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” – Anonymous

 

“Am I going to make it?” This is a question we all ask at least once in our lives. We all have goals and aspirations that we wish to achieve, but the question that needs to be asked instead is “What do I need to make it?” As an entrepreneur, I along with many others, face this question on a regular basis. In order to alleviate these doubting thoughts, I have lived and developed a foolproof criterion that assures the success of an entrepreneur. If you meet all five points of the criterion listed below, then I can undoubtedly assure you that YES, you will make it!

Dream

 

First and for most, do you have a dream? Your dream will be the destination of your entrepreneurship. Is your dream crystal clear? A crystal clear dream shows you exactly where you want to be. Having this type of a dream becomes uncontainable. It is something you can’t wait to share with others. The excitement is contagious, resulting in others wanting to to be a part of your dream. In sharing my dream with others, I have gained a sense of purpose and direction as I leverage building a successful team and business around me.

In order to stay focused on my dream, I use a “Dream Board.” A “Dream Board” can be a physical and or mental manifestation of your dream’s details and characteristics. I love to hear people describe theirs. Often “Dream Board” objectives are focused on getting a dream car, a home, a vacation, or some form of monetary gain. My “Dream Board” was like that until I received coaching and identified that the objective needed to be changed. It shifted from measuring success with possessions to measuring success with my personal growth.

My “Dream Board” objective became about WHO I WANTED TO BECOME. My perspective and thoughts on success had been transformed. This transformation of objectives is an amazing journey. I recommend that you take your dream to a whole new level. Review your perspective and challenge yourself to project 5 to 10 years into the future in your “Dream Board.” With this move, you will experience an incredible shift in your outlook. I believe that the number one reason for my success up to this point as an Entrepreneur is that I constantly challenge myself to be the person I want to become. I am striving towards a better me, every day.

 

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”  C.G. Jung

 

Purpose

 “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”  Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Brothers Karamazov

        Do you have a purpose? If your dream is filled with purpose, you are one step closer to its manifestation. Your purpose will act as the fuel that will propel you towards your dream’s destination. It is crucial to understand that your dream is the destination you are journeying towards, but your purpose is your momentum that fuels your life eternally. Ultimately, not only should your dream be filled with purpose, but your life as well. A purpose driven life is a productive life.

The next step would be to ask yourself, why is your purpose important? Understanding the WHY factor of your purpose can help you attain the WHATs and the HOWs. For example, what do you want to fulfill with your purpose? What impact do you want to make? What transformations do you want to ignite? And lastly, what drives you and your dream? Once you have identified what your purpose is composed of, then you can easily act on how to implement your purpose in your life. Identifying these things will help develop a solid foundation for your purpose. As an entrepreneur, every step you take should be purpose driven and bearing fruit.

“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.” 
 Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

Passion

       Do you live your life with passion? A successful life integrates passion into one’s work and personal life. The passion in your life is the fire that lights and warms your way towards your purposed filled dream. Nothing significant has ever taken place without passion. As an entrepreneur, I must love everything I do; otherwise, I have set myself in the opposite trajectory of success. With love and passion, anything can become attainable, bearable, and possible. If you put your heart into your work and into your dreams, I can assure you, you will succeed. When living and working with passion, your life and life’s work is filled with value. Not only are you gaining and building value for yourself, but also you end up adding value to other peoples’ lives. This is the power of a passion driven dream. When gold is put through fire, it comes out purer, brighter, refined and even more beautiful. Treat your work, goals, dreams and even yourself as such, put your self through the fire of passion and bear witness to the remarkable results.

“I try to live my life where I end up at a point where I have no regrets. So I try to choose the road that I have the most passion on because then you can never really blame yourself for making the wrong choices. You can always say you’re following your passion.” – Darren Aronofsky

Ability

       Are you able to bring your dream to fruition? Is it in your power and capability to take on the tasks at hand to make your dream a reality? Here is the moment of truth. You must be honest and self-reflective. Being reasonable and realistic is key. Your abilities are the tools you need to use to attain the success you are striving for. It is like the engine you will utilize to reach your destination. If you are not built for a specific cause, then it is futile to reach from something that isn’t meant for you. For example, at church, I like to sing loudly; nevertheless, I do not have the vocal cords to sing nicely. My daughters always taunt me humorously and request of me not to sing with such fervor. I am not designed to sing. No matter how hard I try and how ever much time I spend on developing my voice, it could never become excellent. Working on weaknesses can only result in small changes; with all my efforts I could only become an average singer. Therefore I believe in developing one’s strengths. If you are already well equipped with certain abilities and gifts, then why not invest in them. When in pursuit of success, realize this fact, identify your abilities and act accordingly. With the right engine, you can reach your destination.

“Ability without dependability is a liability” -Shiv Khera

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

Attitude

       Last but not least, do you have the right attitude for success? I am always emphasizing that you need to work more on yourself than on your job. This increases the value you put on yourself and thereby affecting the value that others are willing to put on you. The best way to improve your own worth is by enhancing your own attitude. When on the road towards success, your attitude will be the speed at which you travel. With the right attitude and mentality, you can make all the right choices, make all the right impacts, meet all the right people, and gain all the right advantages. Ultimately, you are your own greatest challenge. If you can overcome your own weakness with the right attitude then success if a given.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us.” – Earl Nightingale

If you were able to identify with all five points of this criterion, then I would like to say Congratulations! If you have a dream, a purpose, a passion, the ability and the right attitude, then you are set for success. If you found in yourself an area of weakness from within this criterion, then focus on that point and strengthen it. Stop looking and start doing. If you meet and exceed these five criteria, you are unstoppable. You will make it, assuredly as an entrepreneur, or anything else you wish to be.

Please share the article and leave your comments for me.

Farshad Asl

Building Relationships #NoExcuses

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“Few things will pay you bigger dividends than the time and trouble you take to understand people. Almost nothing will add more to your stature as an executive and a person. Nothing will give you greater satisfaction or bring you more happiness”. ~George Kienzle and Edward Dare (from Climbing the Executive Ladder)

Some things to think about:

“How are you doing when it comes to being relational?

Do you spend a lot of time and energy building solid relationships, or are you so focused on results that you tend to overlook (or overrun) others?”

Do you know what motivates the members of your team? How can you help them to achieve their goals and desires?

What can you do to help make our “team” experience better and more enjoyable?

We humans are social beings. A great deal of our happiness, success and experience in life rely on interaction with other people. It is through our contact with others on a daily basis that we acquire knowledge, learn skills, develop our goals and capture the chance at a better future. Meeting one person can unlock possibilities we never knew existed. Unfortunately, in today’s world, socialization is becoming less and less common. We create excuses that stand between us and other people; excuses that separate us from the happiness and the prospects these people can present. In my upcoming book “No Excuses Mind” you will learn how a “No Excuses” mindset can help achieve our goals in different areas of life, but how can a “No Excuses” mindset in social relationships change our lives?

What’s your excuse?

I frequently go to Starbucks and find people standing in line waiting for their coffee. They are surrounded by many people they could connect to, but instead of discovering these people, they are glued to their phones. Everybody is more focused on updating their Facebook profiles than on interacting with those around them. As gripping as modern technology is, it has made it very easy for us to forget to connect to people. We have become addicted to social media, and we let that addiction distract us from pursuing real relationships with real people. These technologies and ‘social’ outlets are excuses keeping us from getting out there, connecting with others and seizing the opportunities that come with socialization.

In our fast-paced culture, we have even found ways to take socialization out of social events! Instead of going to church or temple, many watch the services on television. People buy a seminar tape and watch it instead of attending the seminar. These alternatives don’t feed our human needs to socialize, be part of the community, form relationships, and make friendships. Our dependence on technology causes us to miss on that important part, and we find ourselves unhappy and unfulfilled.

When I go to Starbucks, I high five people. I go there and I enjoy people just like I enjoy coffee. I connect to several people during these few minutes I spend waiting for my coffee. Not only is this rewarding to me on a personal level, it is essential to my growth professionally. It’s all about relationships and your ability to build them.

Relationships and Career:

Take a step back and think about the best sales people you have met. What makes them good? The best enterpreuners have one thing in common: they connect with their clients. A good sales person customizes her approach to make a connection, to communicate and to form a relationship. I have been a sales professional for 17 years, and I can tell you that sales are all about relationships. People don’t only buy the product, they buy you as a salesperson. You sell them the relationship you form with them. Sadly, people are losing the touch, the ability to connect and socialize with other people. With that loss, they are losing chances at a whole new level; they are losing the horizons that entering a social circle can open up.

Social media may be a great marketing tool, but it is personal connection that benefits a relationship. Mass emails are perfect for business, but one-on-one contact is what really builds a professional relationship. Each of these things has its right time and place, and recognizing the difference is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, what we do is use one of these communication tools to replace another. We often create relationships for purposes that benefit our business goals. In the process, we fail to recognize the benefits of friendship, and relationships. I had the honor few years ago to have the CEO of our company visit our offices in CA. We had a great time discussing some of our successes and some of the challenges in business. After a few days, I was absolutly amazed when I received his handwritten note, thanking me for the time I spent with him. I still talk about it even today with my team members, and talk about the impact of his beautiful gesture.

Although modern technology has opened up so many possibilities to business, it has also created one of the biggest traps we fall into in our relationships. We falsely believe that email, text messages and social media can replace the personal touch.

Social media and texting are simply not enough. When I have the chance to meet the person or make a phone call, I will. I will do that because texting and using social media cannot replace the value of the relationship; they are good things, but not good enough.

Adapting to new forms of communication is essential, but it doesn’t mean that giving up the things that work, the things that give the most effect. We have to make the distinction between the situations that call for each method of communication.

I believe the misuse of these new communication methods is an obstacle. Before these tools were invented, people had fewer psychological problems; they were more relaxed. Professionally, we saw more success stories.

What do I want in my day-to-day relationships with others?

How can I relate better to others? What steps can I take to invest in people’s lives?

What will my life look like when I invest in relationships?

“A relationship without trust is like having a phone with no service. And what do you do with a phone with no service? You play games”

“A good relationship is more than something we want—it’s something we need to be our happiest, healthiest, most productive selves. But at home or work, supportive, fulfilling relationships don’t come automatically. They take an investment in time and energy as well as social skills that can be learned.” Trust and relationships are the currency of leadership.

Farshad Asl, Bankers Life, Regional Director

How to Make People Feel Like A Million Bucks

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I remember after I first read this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a long time. It was in my mind for months and it slowly became part of me. It was so fascinating to learn about people and different ways to connect and add value to them. This book is a must read, and I recommend it to all the leaders, managers, parents, teachers, and to anyone who works and interacts with people on a daily basis: “25 Ways to Win With People.” By Dr. John C. Maxwell. This book gave me some simple ideas with big impact that I would like to share with you today. Here are some of the notes I was able to gather on the book this weekend. I hope you enjoy reviewing them.

  1. Start with Yourself.

“Your relationships can only be as healthy as you are.” – Neil Clark Warren

Make yourself more valuable. “Increase your value to others by solving as many of your   problems as you can.”

  • Identify areas you need to improve in order to be more valuable to others and develop a plan to accomplish them.
  1. Practice the 30-Second Rule.

“He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.” – Samuel Johnson.

Give Others the Triple-A Treatment; Attention, Affirmation and Appreciation.

  • Within the first 30 seconds of a conversation, say something encouraging to a person.
  • To be successful at this, you have to plan to do it.
  1. Let People Know You Need Them.

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” – Henry David Thoreau

People need to be needed. They need to know they helped at a meaningful level.

“I have a dream and I need your help.”

  • Give up or get help…When your dream is bigger than you are, you only have two choices: give up or get help.
  • Inspire others to join in the dream by letting them know they are needed.
  1. Create a Good Memory and Visit it Often.

“Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.” – Cicero

Few things bond people together like a shared memory. Soldiers who battle together, teammates who win a championship together, and work teams that hit their goals share a connection that never goes away.

  • Revisit existing positive memories with people.
  • Plan experiences to commemorate milestones and create mementos.
  1. Compliment People in Front of Other People.

“Admonish thy friends in secret, praise them openly.” – Publilius Syrus

“Encouragement is oxygen to the soul” ~George Matthew Adams

When you compliment someone’s attitudes you can reinforce that attitude and make it more consistent.

  • Find/create opportunities to do so.
  • “Who can I spotlight in front of others?”
  1. Give Others a Reputation to Uphold.

“Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.” – Goethe

Old negative names, labels, or nicknames can block a person’s growth and progress. Give people a new name that can give them hope, and speaks to their future.

  • Start by asking “What is special/unique about this person?”
  1. Say the Right Words at the Right Time.

“No man has a prosperity so high or firm, but that two or three words can dishearten it; and there is no calamity which right words will not begin to redress.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Forget about what you want to say and ask yourself what you would like to hear if you were in the other person’s shoes.

  • “… the wrong words said at the wrong time .. discourage me ..
  • … the wrong words said at the right time .. frustrate me ..
  • … the right words said at the wrong time .. confuse me ..
  • … the right words said at the right time .. encourage me.”

Proverbs 25:11 (NCV) …“The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.”

  1. Encourage the Dreams of Others.

“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

Ask others to share their dreams with you.

Affirm the person as well as the dream.

Ask about the challenges they must overcome to reach their dreams. (RWG: This helps them solidify the steps they need to take to get there. Most people aren’t good at this.)

Offer your assistance.

Regularly revisit their dream with them.

Return to Step 1.

“Death’s not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live” ~ Norman Cousins

  1. Pass the Credit on to Others.

“If each of us were to confess his most secret desire, the one that inspires all of his plans, all his actions, he would say: ‘I want to be praised.’ ” – E.M. Cioran

Check your ego at the door…Pass the credit ASAP!

  • John Wooden, a UCLA coach, taught his players when they scored a point to smile, wink, or nod at the player who gave them the pass.
  • Verbal praise in front of others is powerful, but written praise lasts.
  • Passing on credit changes the recipient’s brain chemistry and creates “an emotional stamp that forever associates you in their minds with their success.”
  • Ask yourself, “Who has made me more successful than I would have been on my own?”
  1. Offer Your Very Best.

“I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.” – Abraham Lincoln

Make the most of your gifts and opportunities.

Everybody appreciates a person who gives his BEST!

  1. Share a Secret with Someone.

“Conceal not your secret from a friend, or you deserve to lose him.” – Portuguese Proverb

Sharing a secret makes people feel special and includes them in your journey.

  1. Mine the Gold of Good Intentions.

“To err is human; to forgive is not company policy.” – Unknown

People generally give you what you expect from them. Assume the best in the others…and see things from their perspective.

Forget about justice; instead, focus on grace and forgiveness.

  1. Keep Your Eyes off the Mirror.

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer

Serving others from a place of emotional health is a source of contentment.

” If you want happiness for an hour—take a nap. If you want happiness for a day—go fishing. If you want happiness for a month—get married. If you want happiness for a year—inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime—help others. ” – Chinese Proverb

  1. Do for Others What They Can’t Do for Themselves.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”         – John Bunyan

No matter how much or how little you think you have, you have the ability to do for others what they can’t do for themselves.

  • Introduce others to people they can’t know on their own.
  • Take others to places they can’t go on their own.
  • Offer others opportunities they can’t reach on their own.
  • Share ideas with others they don’t possess on their own.
  1. Listen with Your Heart.

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” – Peter Drucker

Unclog your ears and focus on the person. Listen aggressively…

Listen actively, create the win win situation.

  1. Find the Keys to Their Hearts.

“Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who succeed are those who get inside their players and motivate them.” – Vince Lombardi

Accept the fact that people are different.

Ask questions

  • What do they dream about, cry about, find joy in, value, and believe to be their strengths?
  • Establish common ground.
  • “Turn the key only when you can add value to that person.”
  1. Be the First to Help.

“After the verb ‘to love,’ ‘to help’ is the most beautiful verb in the world.” – Berth Von Suttner

Zig Ziglar said it very well:

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get

what they want.”

A good question to ask is “How can I best serve this person?”

  1. Add Value to Others and Yourself.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

Make yourself more valuable.

Value people.

Have a growth plan for yourself and others.

  1. Remember a Person’s Story.

“Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.” – Phillip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield

The time taken in asking for and listening to someone’s story:

  • Will be entirely focused on them: their dreams, disappointments, interests, etc..
  • Will be enjoyed by that person.
  • Will give you insight into that person.
  • Will build a stronger relationship with that person.

If asking these types of questions is awkward for you, start practicing on people you’re not likely to see again, like cab drivers, waitresses, people in line.

Don’t interrupt: replace “That reminds me of…” with “Go on” or “I see”

Repeat back what you heard, “Let me see if I understand…”

Bring up some aspect of the person’s story the next time you see him.

  1. Tell a Good Story.

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser

“People may not remember your name but they will always remember your story” ~Farshad Asl

Tell us a story rather than just relaying the facts.

The goal is connecting and sharing yourself, not just making yourself look good.

  1. Give with No Strings Attached.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I would not be where I am if others had not given freely to me; others need me to do the same for them.

See the big picture and have an abundance mentality.

  1. Learn Your Mailman’s Name.

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie

S – Say the name 3 times in a conversation.

A – Ask a question about the name (eg. spelling), or person.

V – Visualize the person’s prominent physical or personality feature.

E – End the conversation with the name.

A person’s mood and self evaluation improve when another man remembers him personally.

“Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names..” ~Proverb

  1. Point Out People’s Strengths.

“The praises of others may be of use in teaching us, not what we are, but what we ought to be.” – August W. Hare

People add the most value in their strength zones.

People are more highly motivated when working in an area of strength.

  1. Write Notes of Encouragement.

“The power of words is immense. A well-chosen word has often sufficed to stop a flying army, to change defeat into victory, and to save an empire.” – Emile De Girardin

Notes are remembered long after the writer has forgotten them.

  • Take the time to handwrite personal notes on a regular basis.
  • A handwritten note is evidence of your investment in that person.
  • Written notes can have a long lasting effect; longer than an email.
  1. Help People Win.

“The most important measure of how good a game I played, was how much better I’d make my teammates play.” -Bill Russell, winner of more NBA championships than any other player

Give people HOPE

  • When you help somebody win, you will be that person’s friend for life.
  • Focus on the process, not just on the win. Don’t just hand him the win, help him win so next time maybe he can win on his own.

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Standing On The Shoulders of Giants

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As far back as the twelfth century, we trace the use of this wonderful metaphoric expression:

“Standing on the shoulders of giants” which was a way to say, “Discovering truth by building on previous discoveries.”

Bernard of Chartres use to compare us to puny dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants. He pointed out that we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature.”

  • Bernard of Chartres was a twelfth-century French Neo-Platonist philosopher, scholar, and administrator.

Sir Isaac Newton also wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

  • Born December 25, 1642 – an English physicist and mathematician who is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution.

Did you know that most successful leaders stand on the shoulders of giants?

It’s true. It applies more than ever in the current transformation of leadership. Leadership is handed down from one coach to another, building the continuation of leadership going back to the time of Christ.

When I was 19, I was coached by Mohammad Hasan Naser-eddin SAHEBZAMANI, researcher, writer, psychologist, teacher, speaker and linguist. He was considered to be one of the most brilliant philosophers in my native country who was not permitted by the government to write, speak or teach.

Despite the censorship, I was fortunate to attend some of his private, small group sessions, and in time, got to know him. He enriched my thinking and helped me understand the value of critical thinking, challenging the status quo, expanding the thought process, not accepting things at face value, learning to explore and delve deeper, and remain humble throughout life. I owe him my gratitude because he enabled me to understand my core values. Eventually I had to leave my country, but will always cherish the wisdom he shared and the path that has led to where I am today. His books are timeless and I still enjoy reading them despite the fact that they were written 35-40 years ago.

My quest for growth and coaching has taken me worldwide to include inspirational leaders such as Les Brown, Brian Tracy and Nick Vujicic. In the last few years it has brought me to know Dr. John C. Maxwell and his team. Dr. John C. Maxwell fuels my passion for transformational leadership and teaches that “you cannot just grow older, you got’ ta grow yourself. Stand on the shoulders of giants and learn from the best.”

“A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see and who sees before others see.”

Leroy Eims

Now the question is who is coaching you? Do you believe in having a coach? Do you see a need? Do you have time to be coached? Can you afford not to have a coach or mentor?

In our rapid paced society, where there isn’t enough time for any one thing, too many distractions, oversaturation, with too many options, maybe it’s time to evaluate what is needed to reach your next goal.

See if any of these indicators apply to you.

  1. If you feel overwhelmed and never seem to catch up
  2. If you are not achieving your goals year after year
  3. If your relationships are affected because of too much work
  4. You feel you lack getting things accomplished – working harder and not smarter just to survive

If your answer is YES to any of these situations, get help. This isn’t a sales pitch, it’s identifying a common challenge that many people share, with a simple solution.

What is the solution?

  1. Become a lifetime student. Stay open to learning.

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ~Chinese Proverb

  1. Become part of a likeminded, positive group who can share in your ambition to succeed and get ahead. Be accountable to one another, challenge and share ideas.
  2. Hire a coach and stay with it.
  3. Take action and stop procrastinating.   Too much time is lost and only you can take ACTION to begin your success.
  4. Be intentional with your time. It’s okay to say NO to the things that are not getting you closer to your mission in life and say YES to the things that do.

The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning you’re not old.

– Rosalyn S. Yalow

Let me share what I have learned, standing on the shoulders of giants:

  1. They are lifelong learners
  2. They give more than they get…they are like a river not reservoir
  3. They form good habits and they stay laser focused
  4. They put others first
  5. They stay humble
  6. They feed their soul, spirit and body and maintain a balanced life

Find a successful mentor, coach or a role model and start investing time on your own growth. You will be amazed with what you can accomplish in just the first year.

Please contact me if you need assistance.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl

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New Year’s Resolutions and the 8% Achievers

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I remember making my first New Year’s resolution which I promptly forgot by the second month back in 2007. This was the beginning of my writing things down. It was interesting how easy it was to make excuses, lose direction and sight of my vision. I let procrastination kick in, never feeling satisfied with the level of achievement. In 2009, I made up my mind to stop making excuses. It also meant trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone. The challenge was on.

I started to take a closer look at how I did things, challenge myself to trust that I could meet my objectives and realize I truly had passion for what I believed in. It was about adding value to everything and everyone around me.

By the middle of 2009, I formed the habit of writing articles, blogs, quotes, and journals, resulting in the publication of my first book in 2013. Since then, I have two additional books in the works, to be published in 2015. One of the rewarding New Year’s resolutions was starting a blog. Over the last two years, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my thoughts and comments, reaching more than 5000 readers.

So take a moment and rank your Top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2015. Some might include:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Get Fit and Stay Healthy
  6. Learn Something Exciting
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Help Others Achieve Their Dreams
  9. Fall in Love
  10. Spend More Time with Family

 

A few facts**:

45% of all Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions

17% of all Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions

38% of all Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions

8% of all people who are successful in achieving their resolution

49% of all people are infrequent successful

24% never succeed to achieve their resolution each year

Typically, people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. Out of these people, 8% are successful.

What does it take to be one of the 8% who succeed? Here’s my list.

  1. Burning Desire

They all have “Burning Desire” to do whatever it takes to get the job done. There’s no hesitation or excuses regardless of circumstance.

  1. Visualization

They visually see what they want to achieve in their mind. If you can’t picture the outcome, it will be difficult to achieve desired results.

  1. Life by Design

They believe in “Life by Design” versus life by default. You gain so much more if you carefully plan rather than let circumstance take over. Without “Life by Design”, it’s hard to break out of the viscous circle that takes over, causing you to feel you’re too busy solving problems and playing catch up.

  1. Power of Three

They understand the value of being laser focused on 3 tasks/projects each day. Keep a list of three things to be accomplish in a timely manner. This includes a “To Stop List” which intentionally works on ridding yourself of bad habits that are time consuming and reduces productivity.

  1. No Fear Mindset

This is the mindset that must be developed at all costs.

  • No fear of sharing your resolution
  • No fear of taking risks
  • No fear of going the extra mile
  • No fear of taking on challenges that may make you, leading to a comfortable life
  • No fear of waking up excited and inspired
  • No fear of being responsible for your choices
  • No fear of working hard
  • No fear of helping others succeed
  • No fear of failing and moving forward
  • No fear of being the best that God wants you to be
  1. Bold Print

They have the resolution in BOLD PRINT and visible everywhere and at any time.

  1. Reward Driven

Making sure that they list all the rewards to achieve the resolution by the deadline and the list of consequences if not met.

Your challenge is to take your New Year’s resolution to a whole new level. Write your list down in “BOLD PRINT” with everything you want to accomplish in 2015. Make it visible and be sure to share your resolutions with everyone. Keep the rewards and consequences in front of you and enjoy achieving them. The feeling to succeed is amazing rather than the excuses and guilt of falling short of your dreams. Make this the beginning of a truly great year.

Wishing you a Happy New Year for 2015!

** University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology

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S.M.A.R.T. Goals aren’t SMART anymore

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In fact, I say S.M.A.R.T. Goals are dumb!

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Time-bound

I used to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for myself and guided others in the process for years. Why I say this is because, despite going through the exercise of developing and setting these goals, I began to notice that the result seemed to fall short of the expectation. The goals, by definition, limited the efforts. Instead of trying for the ultimate result, everything seemed to be driven toward a finite number, with constraints and limitations. That’s when the reality hit me that S.M.A.R.T. Goals weren’t keeping up.

We live in a society of change, a time of rapid evolution breaking records in longevity, with technology that flash changes faster than we could hope to stay current. Education can be obtained in all capacities at all times through online, mobile, podcast, and cyber conferencing. We buy, sell and market ourselves through social media, MLM (multi-level marketing), internet, branding – all at the click of a mouse. All-in-all, we are reaching to levels out of this world with limitless opportunities.

So time to shift the paradigm.

My feeling is that we need to create a platform with a new purpose of goal setting and expand the potential, accomplish beyond imagination and achieve extraordinary results.

So begins “P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E” Goals™ 

Passionate: to believe you can do anything and go beyond the realm of expectation. Reaching deep inside and believing that this is the most important goal to accomplish in your life every day. Your goal should create that burning desire within…the LOVE of waking up in the morning and going to take action.

Outside the box: allow yourself to be pushed out of your comfort zone and take risks. Grow from new experiences. It will require thinking, planning and taking ACTION.

Significance: to enrich the lives of somebody besides myself (customers, community, etc.) and to live a life of significance.

Innovative: delineating new opportunities to creatively reach and surpass my goals.

Time-sensitive: remain mindful that my goals require a sense of urgency. This is key to achieve great results.

Impactful: to be empowered to move feelings, influence, and thinking positively. Positive goals have positive impact.

Visionary: to identify your goals and look beyond the limits to obtain the ultimate result.

Evolving: developing new skills to achieve significant results for your goals. Find a way to shift your paradigm and evolve yourself. Look within yourself to put your best into all that you do to grow yourself.

“We often settle for what’s available, and what’s available isn’t always great. YOU are destined to achieve GREATNESS!” Farshad Asl

I would like to challenge you to plan your P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. goals™ this year and live your life with the passion and fire to achieve extraordinary results. Create an environment to grow consistently and to impact everyone around you positively. Today is a NEW day! Your future doesn’t have to equal your past. You are designed to achieve greatness, to be happy and to live the life you deserve.

“Set your objectives high, and don’t stop till you get there. It’s time to make your dream a reality. It’s your time to live your dream. LET’S GO!” ~Farshad Asl

Click HERE to download the POSITIVE GOAL SETTING WORKSHEET

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The Advantage of Adversity

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“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”

-William Arthur Ward

It was a couple of days before Christmas, and I was driving to one of the offices when I received a call from my doctor insisting I see her right away. A couple weeks prior, I had a very small bump removed from my thigh as part of a routine check-up. I’d had this small growth for some time and didn’t think anything of it. Despite the doctor’s insistence, my reaction was to put her off, not taking her request seriously. I was focused on getting to the branch and reminded her that I was very busy going so far as to suggest seeing her next year. Against my better judgment, I drove to her office.

Adversity can signal a coming positive transition IF we respond correctly to it.”

I was told that the small bump I’d ignored for so long was cancerous and could have possibly spread throughout my body. To make matters worse, I couldn’t see an oncologist until after the holidays and New Year’s. I felt like everything had come to a complete stop and was sitting in a void without sound or feeling. This was the first time I’d heard of anyone in my family having cancer, let alone where to begin or how to deal with it. I had been so focused on work and now it was the last thing I could think about.

“You need to know yourself to grow yourself”

Saying I was overwhelmed with the situation was an understatement. All I could do was worry and reflect on life. I wondered if I had told my wife and daughters often enough or how much I loved them. Had I told my team members at work how much they meant to me and that I valued working with them? I also realized that a tremendous shift was occurring within me. I began to realize that I’d been too busy to think about my life. My entire focus had been on others and work. Now the paradigm was shifting and a new perspective was unfolding.

“I feel God wanted me to reflect for the two weeks before finding an oncologist. It was much more than removing cancer, it was an important life changing opportunity as well.” 

What once seemed important didn’t matter anymore. Previously being busy at work had changed to being efficient. Communication had transitioned to connecting with people. I realized that striving for quality time and not quantity, was the best time spent with my family. It became crystal clear that spending time being busy with others was empty and now wanted the time to create memories. I was taking a stern look at how I had placed a lot of value on success. That too had changed with my need to live a life of significance.

“There are seasons in a leader’s life when adversity, failure and hardships seem to be the only thing we encounter. It may feel like we can’t catch a break.”  

Fortunately, I had the cancer removed and learned it had not spread throughout my body. From this experience, I had a profound life change.

I’ve learned to think of challenges not as being bad or a setback, but as an opportunity to grow and take action. For some, challenge is a roadblock and an easy way to give up. Challenges are part of our everyday life, some greater than others.

Lessons Learned From Adversity:

When you encounter adversity, take a step back, assess the situation and determine best next steps.

Remember why you started on the path in the first place.

Overall, “Adversity writes our story and if our response is right, the story will be good.

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