Archive | March, 2013

In This Moment Your Future Begins!

29 Mar

I’ve got a high school pal and every time we talk it’s always about the girls we used to date, the fun we used to have and the things we used to do. As if nothing of great import was accomplished in the intervening years.

I’ve got another friend that is always reliving the wrong choices she made in her past, the men she dated and married, and the opportunities she missed.

And then there’s my buddy who always does well but is constantly worried about something in his future that will probably never come to pass. And in doing so never really enjoys what he has now.

What I’d like to tell them is what my friends in New Jersey would say, “fugged aboud it!” And after that I’d like to tell them that the Universe always gives them exactly what they think about, worry about and give emotion to. With their minds consumed with past mistakes and worries of the future they are missing two vital components of life; one, the ability to enjoy their life now, in this moment, and two, using this moment to create the future that they truly desire.

Life must be lived in the moment. Only this moment counts. Your future is created in this moment. What do you think happens when you live in the past? You recreate your past, mistakes and all their baggage, in your future.

And what do you think happens when you spend your time worrying about the future? You create in your future the very things you worry about. Your worries come to life.

Because you create your life in the moment, and through your thoughts, choose those thoughts carefully and wisely.

Life is a gift when lived in the present. That’s why it’s called the present. And like any gift, just unwrap it and enjoy it.

With Love,

Michael

Failing Does Not Make You a Failure

28 Mar

Missing the mark does not make me a failure; it only means that my plan did not work out as I had anticipated. ~From the Book Born Rich

It is said that the fear of failure is one of our greatest fears. But why is that? We certainly weren’t born with the fear of failure. In fact as infants and toddlers we were pretty much fearless. We needed to be, because there was so much to learn, and if we were afraid of trying we would never have learned to crawl, to stand up, to walk or even to speak.

So who taught us to fear failing? You can say society but I think it came a little closer to home. Failing, and the fear of failing, are learned responses taught to us by our parents, siblings, friends, classmates, teachers and others who interacted with us when we were young. It usually came when we took a risk and tried something new.

Have you ever watched a baby learn how to stand on their own? They’ll crawl up to a low table and with chubby hands and fingers reach up to the tables edge, and then using all their strength pull their body up, only to find that their little legs couldn’t hold them. So they plop back to the floor and within seconds their hands will be reaching out to the table’s edge to try again. And they’ll continue to try over and over again until they succeed. At this age no one taught them to feel embarrassment and shame at failing to succeed.

I recently gave a keynote address to a corporation’s international sales team about our fear of failing, and this is what I said:

“In 2nd grade your teacher may have asked you to come up to the front of the room and read your essay on what you did that summer. At first you were confident, but then as you began reading you struggled over some words, or lost your place. The kids all started laughing and the more they laughed the more embarrassed you felt, and the worse you did. As you looked over at your teacher you saw on her face that she was disappointed in you, and when she admonished you by saying, “Next time I expect something better,” you were praying that there never would be a next time. But oh there was.”

Fear of failing is a social fear and has absolutely no basis in fact. What we fear is not the thing we are attempting, but the laughs and jeers of others if we don’t succeed. Our faces will flush with embarrassment. We may even feel some shame. Our “friendly ego” will flood our mind with vivid memories of all the other times in life we failed, repeating every taunt we heard from those who were present.

The older we get the more failure adverse we become. Some of us actually believe that we should know the answer to every question we are asked. And when we don’t we fear we’ll look stupid to the asker. Others are totally risk adverse. Avoiding at all costs learning or doing something new, because they fear being a newbie or a novice. Every time we do this, we lose. We lose the joy of doing something or learning something new. We lose the opportunities that come with a new skill. Sometimes we may even lose the perfect life partner – because we were afraid to go to a dance or party where we would have met them.

Is this any way to live our lives? Absolutely not. Just remember that when you do fail it is an expected part of the learning process. And failing does not make you a failure.

With Love,

Michael

Don’t Listen to the Critics!

27 Mar

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt

I’m not crazy about critics. From the professionals, like the political pundits, to well-meaning friends and family. I have always had tremendous respect for the doer, the one who has the idea, believes in themself and risks fame and fortune to follow their dream. I’ve always thought of critics as those who stand on the sidelines, scared to death to get into the game, but more than willing to criticize and condemn those that had the guts to try.

Have you ever had an idea for a new business or a new product or service? If you have, then you know how thinking about your new venture brings incredible feelings of joy, enthusiasm and confidence. That is, until you share your idea with others; co-workers, friends and close family members.

You’re waiting for them to agree with you and tell you how great your idea is and how it will revolutionize the world. But instead you hear things like this; “You’re going to do what? Start a business? What makes you think you can start and run a business? Especially in this economy.” Or, “That’s the stupidest idea I ever heard. Nobody would spend money for something like that.” And then what happens. In a split second your joyful emotions are dashed on the rocks. Your self-confidence drops in free fall, and you begin to doubt yourself.

With friends and family like this you certainly don’t need any enemies. But why are they saying these things to you rather than sharing your excitement? I believe it is because they’re scared. You see they too have dreams of what they want to accomplish in their lives. But for them they’ll always be just dreams, because they’ll never overpower their fears and get into the arena.

But, you’ve made the choice to enter the arena. You have your fears but you’re willing to face them, overpower them, and do everything within your power to succeed. And so they’re jealous. Jealous you just might succeed while they never will. And it’s more than they can bear. So instead of supporting you they prefer to destroy your dreams.

Don’t listen to them. Follow your heart. Overpower your fears. And, you will not only change yourself but you will change the world.

With Love,

Michael

You Are Not What You Think You Are!

26 Mar

Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself. ~Michael Luckman in Luckman’s Laws

Tony Parinello, bestselling author of the Selling to VITO books, often talks about what level a salesperson sells at. Does he or she call at the top, the Very Important Top Officer (VITO) level that Tony refers to as the carpeted level, or do they call at the buyer level, where the floors are covered with linoleum. For those who have sold at the linoleum level and the carpeted level they’ll tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that it is easier and more productive to sell where there’s carpeting on the floor. So why don’t more salespeople call at this level?

The answer is quite simple, although very disappointing. Most salespeople call at the level they see themselves at. If you see yourself living your life at the buyer’s level you will be more comfortable among buyers. And will often be afraid of calling at any level above that. If you see yourself as executive material, then you will want to sell at the top level of an organization because that’s the level you aspire to and can easily see yourself attaining. You might still feel some fear but your drive and ambition will give you the courage to overpower it.

T. Harv Ecker, founder of Peak Potentials and author of the bestselling book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, has been quoted as saying that you can take an average of all of your friend’s yearly income and the number would be close to what you are currently earning. So what does all this mean?

It means that until you begin to see yourself differently you will continue to unconsciously live your life similar to what your parent’s life was like, and what your friend’s lives are like. Rich and successful parents typically produce rich and successful kids. Average parents beget average kids and average earners. And poor parent’s children will often live lives where there is never enough.

You can best be described as a setting on a thermostat. If you are set at 72° and for some reason the temperature drops to 68° your internal furnace (mind) will bring the temperature back up. Conversely, if the temperature rises to 74° the air conditioner (mind again) will come on to bring the temperature down 2 degrees. Your comfort zone is always set at the level your subconscious mind sees you at. Now does that mean it can’t be changed? No!

Most of how we view ourselves was not of our choosing. It came from our parents, teachers, siblings, friends and other family members. They may have told you that you wouldn’t amount to much. That you weren’t college material. That you should be happy with what you have, considering. That when brains were being passed out you were at the back of the line. These were things these people impressed upon you, and right or wrong you believed them and accepted them as the truth.

You, are so much more powerful than you think you are. You have the power to literally change your mind and I‘m not talking about making a different decision. I’m talking about seeing yourself as you truly are. Not how somebody else defined you. Start by writing a list of what others told you was true about you. Then take each one and write “the real truth.”

With Love,

Michael

Master Your Fear!

22 Mar

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. – Mark Twain

Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life completely free of fear. Where we could and would try anything new because we would not be constrained by those awful, uncomfortable feelings fear causes us. Well, it’s not going to happen.

Nor would we want it to. Without fear, some of us might decide to do some pretty stupid things in our quest to posthumously receive the Darwin award. So in some instances experiencing fear is a good thing.

But most of the fear we as normal human beings experience daily is not real. It is created by the delusional negative thoughts we entertain. Something like 54,000 of the 60,000 thoughts the average person thinks in a day are negative.

So, as Mark Twain said, we are never going to reach a place of total absence of fear. But, we can stop fear from negatively affecting our lives by resisting fear and mastering it. And we do that by changing the fearful thoughts we think to positive ones.

How you feel at any given moment is a reflection of what you are thinking. Thinking  positive thoughts generate good feelings like love and joy. Negative thoughts generate bad feelings like fear and worry.

So the first thing we must do is identify a negative thought. And here comes the tricky part, and I know you’re going to ask, “Michael, how do I identify a negative thought that I am thinking?” Actually, it’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it.

Recognize when you’re feeling afraid, uncertain, doubtful or worried. Then stop and identify what you were just thinking. You’ll soon realize that what you are thinking are negative thoughts. The next step is to then let go of those thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. Something that typically brings happiness to you like thinking of a child, a spouse or other loved one. Or even a memory of a joyous occasion or event, or just a wonderful moment in your life. Concentrate on that thought and you should immediately find yourself feeling happier and more carefree.

Learning how to do this simple exercise will give you the courage to overpower and master any fear.

With Love,

Michael

Arrogance and Your Ego!

21 Mar

Arrogance has its roots in the ego. Get rid of your ego and you’ll no longer believe you’re a legend in your own mind. ~Michael Luckman in Luckman’s Laws

I admit it. I have been accused of being a little arrogant in my past. Well, perhaps more than a little bit. And maybe more times than I care to remember.

Arrogance can often be mistaken for self-confidence. But if you read my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life you would know that my arrogance caused me some very difficult, uncomfortable and unhappy times in my life.

Where did my arrogance come from? I believe it came from my ego. You see your ego, which has never been your friend, compares you and your possessions, to others. Very often with disastrous results, especially when in comparison to another you don’t measure up.

Arrogance is really the hard protective shell on the outside that protects the fear, doubt and uncertainly you feel on the inside. The shell becomes your “false front” or the face and personality you show the world.

If you’ve been branded as arrogant first look to your ego and then past it to your fears. Focus on those fears and then overpower them. Once those fears are gone you’ll see that with their departure they graciously took your ego with them.

No ego, No arrogance.

With Love,

Michael

No Regrets!

20 Mar

Recently I was made aware of a wonderful book written by an Australian palliative care nurse by the name of Bronnie Ware, entitled, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. Each of the five regrets is monumental, but I would like to talk about regret number one which seems to be the most common; I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

I have written about this very subject many times before and had discussed my father as an example in my book Overpowering Fear. My dad was a complicated and frustrated man. He loved his father dearly (and so did I), but his mother was a totally different story. She was without a doubt a dark and angry woman, dissatisfied with life she made the lives of others around her barely tolerable.

My dad grew up to be a very demonstrative and loving man. Easily manipulated by the women in his life to be the perfect son, the perfect husband. Not necessarily because he wanted to be but because it was demanded of him as he grew up. But underneath all this was a frustrated man with a simmering rage buried just below the surface. A rage that could turn him in an instant from a Dr. Jekyll into a Mr. Hyde. Living with my dad was like constantly walking on eggshells. You never knew when one would break and he’d fly into a rage. And then watch out.

As my father got older he seemed to mellow. He realized his rage and apologized many times for the father he was. I accepted his apologies and sort of minimized all the pain he caused me by telling him, I knew his mother. You see, both my two brothers and I became rage-a-holics too. You might say it was in the genes, but I believe it was learned behavior.

I wished my dad and I talked more. I was so afraid of him that our conversations never really scratched the surface. I never really got to understand him, but like I said, I knew my grandmother into my twenties, so I can easily imagine where his anger and frustration came from.

My dad would often preface his desires by saying, “Someday, I’m going to have this.” Or “Someday, I’d like to do that.” But the somedays came and went and none was ever accomplished. In looking back I think he was afraid to tell my mother and us kids what he would really like in his life. In fact, I don’t think he even knew what he wanted in his life, because his dreams and his goals were never part of the equation. He was raised to be the obedient son and husband, and the demanding but uninvolved father.

My dad has been gone for nineteen years now and I miss him every day. I wish I’d gotten to know him better. If I could offer one piece of advice to my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, it is this: You have but one life to live. It is yours to do with as you please. Let the lies others have told you about yourself dissolve into nothingness, and leave your mind forever. They were never true to begin with. Overpower your fears and recognize that you are perfect as you are. In fact, you are God’s greatest miracle. You were created to follow your own heart and to live your own dreams, never another’s. May you never have to die with a single regret.

With Love,

Michael