Archive | January, 2013

Am I Good Enough?

31 Jan

It saddens me whenever I hear somebody say they’re not good enough at some thing or task. I think, who’s really telling them that? The person saying it or someone in their past who convinced them that this was true?

Each of us carries with us these deep seated beliefs that we are in some way inferior to others. That “others” are better than us, smarter than us, more talented than us, more skilled than us, prettier than us, thinner than us, richer than us, and a host of other negative not enoughs. And, of course, the granddaddy of them all, not deserving enough.

As if there were two separate societies; the less deserving one that we live in and the privileged one for all those who are “enough.”

The fact is, everybody has this fear of being not enough in at least one area of their life, and it doesn’t matter how educated they are, or how rich, or even how talented they may be.

The fear of being not enough prevents each of us from attaining what we truly desire and believe we deserve. All too often it stops us in our tracks and prevents us from even trying. A Course in Miracles tells us that it is God’s wish that his children have everything. And who are we to argue with God.

The fact is; YOU ARE ENOUGH! Always have been. Always will be.

With my love,

Michael

 

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Giving Your Own Eulogy!

30 Jan

Studies have shown that people’s #1 fear is speaking in public. Fortunately you won’t have to give the eulogy at your own funeral. ~Michael Luckman

As many of you know, I closed my sales training business several years ago to follow my passion. For the past twenty plus years I have been studying why we as human beings experience fear when faced with a threat of bodily harm. Well that’s an easy one to answer, survival. Okay, that’s not the question. The real question I have been trying to answer is; why do we experience the same fear, the same physiological responses when facing an imaginary fear, like walking up to a complete stranger or getting up front of a group of people to share with them something that is important? Unless you’re in the wrong neighborhood, why do we tremble at introducing ourselves to a stranger? Or, why do we fear our mind will go blank when we get up to speak?

The reason I have made a study of fear is that fear has been my nemesis since I was a child. Not a day went by that I didn’t experience fear. As I looked back on my life I realized that although I felt fear almost constantly, I had this ability to push through my fears and do what was necessary, whether it was walking onto a sports field, or knocking on a neighbor’s door to sell them something.

But I didn’t always overpower my fears. There were many times I gave into fear and allowed fear to win. And when fear won, I lost. It could have been closing a large account or failing to take advantage of a new opportunity. As a sales trainer I recognized myself in most of my students. Typically they were afraid to use all that I taught them because fear stood in their way.

After ten years of this I felt it was time to write my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life. The book opened up for me the opportunity to fulfill my real passion, and that is to travel the world doing corporate keynotes and workshops. Overpowering fear was not only for salespeople, but for every employee in an organization who let’s their fears stand in the way of their success.

This has led to a second passion, speaking to college students. I have always believed a degree will get you a job, but it is these five life skills that will get you a successful career.

  • Learn How to Sell – Even Rich-Dad Robert Kiyosaki said everyone needs this skill.
  • Learn How to Network – Not on the internet, but in person. The stronger your network the greater the chances for success.
  • Learn How to Speak in Public – Nothing will get you noticed in your industry quicker than public speaking.
  • Understand Cause and Effect – Knowing this universal law will keep you out of trouble and if you’re lucky, put you in the right place at the right time.
  • Learn to Tell Stories – From our tribal past people love to learn through stories.

If you know a college looking for a speaker with a different message I would appreciate an introduction to the right person. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and know a high school that would like me to speak about Overpowering Fear and learning these five life skills, please let me know that too. Colleges are fee based. High schools are free.

My best to you always,

Michael

The Winter of My Life!

29 Jan

My sister sent me this today. I found it so true and so beautiful that I had to pass it on. I searched the internet for its author but could find no one to attribute it to. But I know that you’re out there and I want to thank you for bringing me this joy that is in my heart, and the tears on my cheeks.

You know. . . Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.

And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all.

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams…But, here it is… The winter of my life and it catches me by surprise…How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well.

Seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like…But, here it is…My friends are retired and getting grey…They move slower and I see an older person now.

Some are in better and some worse shape than me…But, I see the great change…Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…But, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will…I will just fall asleep where I sit.

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…Things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime…So, if you’re not in your winter yet…Let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly!

Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life…So, live for today and say all the things you want your loved ones to remember…And hope they appreciate and love you for all the things you have done for them in all the years past!

Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

And remember, live your life in the moment. The past is gone and the future just a dream.

My love to you,

Michael

On the Other Side of Fear

28 Jan

“Everything you have ever really wanted in your life has always been on the other side of fear!”

When I first heard those words, sitting in a seminar audience, it struck me like a ton of bricks. I thought it was the most profound statement I had ever heard. It was so true. Think about it for a moment.

When you were little you wanted to ride a two-wheeler just like your older brother or sister, but when your dad removed the training wheels and you first mounted that unsteady bike, what did you feel? FEAR of course. But the humiliation you would feel if your dad had to put back on those training wheels drove you to overpower any fears you had of falling down and hurting yourself. You got to the other side of your fear.

When you were in grammar school, you or maybe it was your parents, wanted to get you into sports. Youth soccer, T-ball, flag football, maybe even the swimming team. Now you knew that everyone would get on a team, but your fear was how good or bad would you play. If you were good most of that fear would disappear, but if you were like me, several notches below horrible, you would be consumed by fear at every practice and every game. There was never any joy for me. Only the constant voices in my head, yelling “Don’t screw up. Don’t screw up. Don’t drop the ball. Remember who to throw the ball to. Don’t run the wrong way.” Because if I did what would I hear? All the taunts and jeers from my team mates and even a few win-at-all-cost parents. And believe me, those taunts hurt. And, I still remember them today. And maybe in this situation I never got to the other side of fear, because as an adult I did everything I could to avoid participating in sports.

Remember when you were in junior high and began to notice that you didn’t hate the opposite sex like you used to. In fact you thought it might even be fun to get to know the boy whose locker was next to yours, or that pretty blond who sat in front of you in civics class. Even with your friends egging you on, you still couldn’t get up the nerve to say hello and begin a conversation. Your fears might have been, “what if they don’t like me?” “What if my mind goes blank and I don’t know what to say?” “What if I come across as a loser?” “Or, a creep.” What if? What if?

And it didn’t get better in high school. And it didn’t get any better in college. And when you were single and out of college it still didn’t get any better. And if unfortunately you got divorced and found yourself single once again, you still couldn’t overpower your fear of walking up to a total stranger; introducing yourself and carrying-on a conversation.

Fear is fear. And unless you do something about it you will feel the same fears when you’re ninety years old that you did when you were five years old. Just ask my mother. Does that make any sense?

To getting to the other side,

Michael

Common Sense — Not Always So Common

24 Jan

It seems we just can’t get away from it. With all the scary things happening around the world and across our great nation, everyone; the press, TV pundits, op-ed writers, the person in front of you in the grocery check-out lane, and all our elected representatives, are clamoring for something to be done. They either want new laws, new rules and new regulations, or they believe everything is perfectly okay just the way it is.

The change that is always sought is a common sense solution to whatever the problem. Who can argue with that? Really no one, as long as everyone’s common sense is the same. But here lies the problem; we don’t always see the challenges we’re facing in the same way.

I’ve spoken about this before. Each of us is different. We think and respond to situations differently. Even identical twins think differently. And each of us is a product of our birth. What order we were born into our family? Our religious affiliation? Our culture? Are we an optimist or a pessimist? Our level of education? Are our politics liberal or conservative? Which generation are we part of? These and a myriad of other beliefs filter what we see and hear, and what we believe. The way you see things may not be the way I see things, and thus your common sense solutions may make no sense to me at all. In fact, to me, they may be downright scary. And maybe my common sense solutions will cause you to build a bomb shelter in your back yard.

Is there a solution? Yes, there is. It’s another “C” word and that word is compromise. It is mandatory that we insist that our elected officials, all our elected officials, from both parties work together to craft the best solutions for all our citizens.

Remember from our fear of alcohol we created organized crime. From our fear of communism we lost over 58,000 of our youngest and brightest in Vietnam. From our fear of weapons of mass destruction we entered the Iraq war.

We thought we were using common sense. The question was, “whose common sense were we using?”

To compromise,

Michael

Impossible to Fail

23 Jan

I must live my life as though it were impossible to fail. – From the book Born Rich

I’m sure that sometime in your past someone mentioned this all important affirmation to you, and you might have responded, “Well that sure sounds good, but how exactly do you do that?” And there lies the dilemma. Do you picture in your mind a life of not failing, or do you hold a picture in your mind of what success would be like?

As many of you know, I prefer not holding any picture in my mind of what failure would look like. Considering the fact that you manifest into your life exactly what you think about, give emotion to and expect it’s probably best to not entertain any thoughts of failure. So the obvious answer would be to see a picture in your mind of the successful life you would like to lead. Which brings up another challenge: Before you can picture in your mind a successful life you first have to create an outline of what you would consider a successful life. And that’s easier than you would think.

To reach any destination you always need a starting point. Even the best GPS system could not route you to a destination if it had no idea where you currently were. It’s the same with the desire to have a successful life. You must take inventory of your failures and even what you fear failing at.

Here is what I’d like you to do. Take a legal pad and draw a vertical line from top to bottom. On the left, title that column “Fears and Failures,” and title the right column “Successful Outcome.” Now find a quiet space where no one can disturb you.

Now I want you to ask for help. No, don’t pick up your phone to call a friend. I want you to ask your higher power for help. It could be God, Universe, Infinite Spirit, Jesus, Allah, it really doesn’t matter what you call your higher power. My belief is that God answers to every name. Now this is what I want you to ask, “Infinite Spirit, guide me and tell me my failures and the things I am afraid to fail at. And please show me in each situation what success would look like.” Now quiet your mind and wait. The answers will come and may even surprise you.

Suppose that one of the things to pop into your mind is a fear of public speaking. Write that down. If you remember a time in 2nd grade where you were asked to come to the front of the classroom and share an essay you wrote, and you were so scared that you couldn’t even get the words out, and the class laughed and you were humiliated, write that down too. Now in the next column write a successful outcome for your life in the present. We’re not going to correct the past, just create the future.

Your successful outcome might be you seeing yourself in your mind’s eye at work making a presentation to the board of directors. You are calm, relaxed and in control. The presentation goes so well that you are invited to make a presentation at the annual meeting with all the shareholders, and instead of fear you feel only joy and excitement. Write all of this down. You now have your first picture of what a successful life would look like.

With this and your other successful pictures you can now picture in your mind a life where it is impossible to fail. Oh, did I mention that what you think about is what you become.

To a successful you,

Michael

 

Ignorance + Confidence = Success

22 Jan

All you need is ignorance and confidence and success is sure. -Mark Twain

I would like to use the above quote to talk about starting your own business. I have started a number of companies over the years and I can attest to the validity of Mark Twain’s quote. Although I cannot necessarily agree that “success is sure.”

It takes a fair amount of guts to start one’s own business and a lot of naiveté. I wish I could tell you that I had the guts when I started my first company, Michael Luckman and Associates, but if you’ve read my book you know that’s not true. I started my company after I was fired from my marketing position at National Semiconductor.

I’ve always had tremendous admiration for anyone who started their own business. But especially for those who have a dream and then leave the security of regular employment to start their own enterprise.   But it really doesn’t matter if you leave a secure life voluntarily or involuntarily, you will still be faced with the most awesome and debilitating emotion, FEAR.

Starting any new venture, no matter what your experience, is scary. You will be faced with many new situations that you have never faced before, but you learn as you go. Simple things like should I incorporate or be a sole proprietor, to borrowing money from friends, family and banks. Everything you do will be cloaked in fear. But that’s to be expected. After all, you’re only human.

So, moving past the ignorance part, let’s talk about confidence. Nobody can instill you with confidence. Yes, others can motivate you. They can tell you that you can do it. That you’re smart, intelligent and that you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. That you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. But when everything is said and done, your confidence in yourself must come from within. This is why I have such a strong belief in God and the Universe.

I believe that each of us is a part of God. And that part dwells within us. It speaks to us in ways that we don’t fully recognize and often ignore. Some refer to it as our sixth sense or our gut instinct. There are times we wish it would just scream out to us, DON’T DO THAT!!! But because God gave us free choice he will never give you more than you ask for. And there lies the problem. Most of us don’t ask. I certainly didn’t at the beginning.

I think perhaps I was overconfident. I believed I could do it all with just sheer willpower. I wasted a lot of time and energy swimming upstream against the current believing this was the way to go. It wasn’t. Once I asked for guidance everything changed. I entered the water and let God and the Universe guide me. Instead of going in the direction “I felt” was right I allowed myself to go the other way. I did not panic, but let the current take me to where God wanted me to go.

My advice: Know that you can do it, and never be afraid to ask for help.

May you always be blessed,

Michael