What Me Worry?

17 Dec

It’s been said that 97% of what we worry about never happens. And yet, for some of us, it’s seems almost impossible to put a stop to worrying. What is worry? The psychiatrist Carl Jung characterizes worry as a substitute for legitimate suffering. In other words, it’s neurotic, not helpful and a waste of time. Worry is when your thoughts run wild, sometimes to the point of being delusional and out of control. One negative thought attracts another, followed by another and so on until all you can see on your path is disaster. Everything is absolute, and everything is a catastrophe.

How does this happen? Why is worrying likely to cause a tailspin or downward spiral? When you start with one negative thought put out into the universe, the thought is like a magnet, attracting like thoughts. The level of vibration in a negative thought finds similar thoughts because they are vibrating at the very same frequency. Suddenly you have a bundle of worries, creating fear and depression. What you feel in any given moment is always the result of what you’re thinking at that moment.

Recently a friend of mine was selected to give a speech at an upcoming charity event. Betty is a highly intelligent and accomplished woman well known in her field, which is why she was asked to speak. Betty wasn’t thrilled, in fact she was petrified. Very much as I was when I was in New York to accept the Best Toy Store award for Magic Village toy store in San Jose, CA. And just like me this woman could think of nothing but catastrophe. What if I forget what to say? What if my voice cracks? What happens if I lose my place? What happens if I mispronounce a word, or worse yet, someone’s name?

In the weeks prior to the speech all she did was worry. Now think about this. She allowed herself to be consumed by fear and worry for weeks leading up to the event. Were these happy times for her? Of course not! Her worrying overshadowed everything she did in those weeks; her job, time with her family and friends, the pleasure in her romantic relationship, and her peace of mind. And, for what? Nothing. Worrying was a waste of her time, energy and happiness. Did she do well when she actually gave the speech? Absolutely, she was great. Did any of the things she worried about come to pass? Yes. Her mouth was a bit dry at the beginning and she felt a bit dizzy walking up the stairs to the podium. Then, she took a sip of water, took a deep breath and looked out at her audience. She suddenly realized she was just human, the same as everyone sitting in front of her. If she made a mistake, and she did, she still felt the thrill of getting to talk to so many people about why she supported the charity, and why the organization means so much to her.

Nobody asked for perfect, and you never have to show up perfect. We’re all human. We will make mistakes. It’s all part of life. I’ve spoken to hundreds of groups over the years and I will tell you this, not a one of those talks was perfect. I made mistakes. As long as I live I will continue to make mistakes. So what? Who cares? They don’t and I certainly shouldn’t.

Love,

Michael

It’s Never Too Late!

12 Dec

It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot

George Eliot, was the pen name used by Mary Anne Evans, a Victorian novelist.

The reason I enjoy the above quote so much is that it is a message of hope. That as long as we are alive we still have the power to change our life and become the person we have always wanted to be.

How often do we hear people say, “You made your bed now sleep in it.” It is a condemnation of the person they are addressing, that they have screwed up so badly that there is nothing left for that person to do but accept the consequences. To just live with it no matter the hurt and pain.

I don’t believe that. I believe that we are the sum total of all the choices we have made in our lives, both the good and the bad. Often, because of fear or expediency, we make wrong choices. And, each wrong choice moves us further away from the perfect path our creator wanted us to follow. Until our perfect path is just a distant memory.

But, in this one sentence, Ms. Evans tells us that there is hope for all of us. That there is nothing that we have done or said that cannot be corrected. That no matter how much time has passed and no matter what our journey, we can still become the person we have always wanted to be.

I believe it. I hope you can too.

Love,

Michael

From Failure to Success!

10 Dec

Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success. ~Napoleon Hill

It is my belief that each of us is born for greatness and that each of us deserves to have everything that we desire. But how many of us actually achieve this, our destiny? Not many I’m afraid.

In my lifetime I’ve known people who seemed to have all the attributes for success; intelligence, charisma, charm, personality, and a host of other qualities. Yet, no matter the industry or other career path they’ve chosen, they have always struggled. And I’ve known people who lacked most of what my first example possessed, yet they have risen to the top, almost effortlessly. If you managed a sales force or owned your own company you know what I mean.

Up until about a dozen years ago I was like most people, baffled why some succeeded while others of greater talent floundered. I had an inkling that it might be because of fear and the individuals inability to fight through and overpower their fears. Hey, all I had to do was look at myself, a fear based person since birth.

In studying fear I came to realize that all of us feel fear, very often the very same fears as others, but some have the ability to feel the fear, yet do what is necessary to succeed. While others allow fear to stop them in their tracks.

I came to realize that one of the greatest of all fears is the fear of failure. Most of us acquired this fear when we were quite young, probably after our egos got bruised when our classmates laughed at us for a wrong answer. As we got older this fear actually grew and we began to avoid taking risks in our lives. Risk is nothing more than giving up the known for the unknown. But the unknown almost always includes failure.

When you were just an infant you learned how to crawl, then you learned how to pull yourself up to a wobbly standing position, albeit holding on to something for support. Then you let go of that support and took your first step. Did you then race across the room doing back flips? No, you probably plopped back down to the floor. So, you crawled back to that table or chair for support and started all over again. Did you think of yourself as a failure? Of course not. This is how we all learn.

Was there a seed of success in failing and failing, and then finally learning how to walk? Of course there was; you learned to run, to jump, and to dance.  

I am now going to give you permission to fail. Yes, go ahead and take a risk. It’s OK to fail. Why do I want you to fail? Because that’s how you learn. That’s how you grow. And please remember this: Failing does not make you a failure. It just moves you one step closer to success, as long as you don’t give up.

Love,

Michael

Corporations Are People Too, Right? Part 2

6 Dec

In my previous blog we discussed the difference between a human being and a corporation; a conscience, or lack thereof. Let’s pretend that a large corporation has a manufacturing plant in a small Midwestern town. 100 years ago it was started by John Smith who was born and raised in the town. Over the years that the Smith family owned their company the company prospered and grew, and so did the town. Often a local family could boast of three or four generations who worked for the Smiths.

In the 1970’s John Smith’s descendants were no longer interested in manufacturing and decided to sell the company to one of their competitors. The company prospered under the new owners and so did the town. A decade later the new owners sold their company to Mega Corporation, one that didn’t directly manufacture any products but made their profits strictly by buying and selling these portfolio companies.

The new owners of John Smith’s company, looking to maximize their profits, and thus increase shareholder value, realized that they could increase their margins by 3% if they moved their manufacturing facilities to Mexico. To top management and the board of directors this seemed like a good plan. The company wins and the shareholders win. The only people who lose are the employees and all the local businesses in this Midwestern town that depend on the salaries of those employees.

Let’s suppose that the John Smith company had 500 employees, and the average household had 3.5 people. Laying off those 500 people directly affects 1,750 people with no means of support and few prospects for employment. With those 1,750 people having less income (or none at all) they spend less at the local stores; supermarket, pharmacy, coffee shop, clothing store, service station, local bank, etc. With less everyday sales these stores start hurting and soon start laying off workers. With less revenue from property taxes and retail sales taxes the local and county government begin reducing services and laying off workers. Fewer teachers to teach the town’s children. Fewer police to protect its citizens. Longer response times for the fire department and emergency medical technicians. Crumbling roads and bridges.

In addition, the John Smith Company bought raw materials and supplies from a wide range of regional companies. When the manufacturing plant closed these companies lost a long standing customer. If they could not replace the lost revenue, they too would have to lay off workers.

All this happens because a group of “suits” felt that a 3% increase in margins was best for the company’s shareholders, plus the CEO keeps his job for another 90 days. (If you think I don’t know what I’m talking about – I was a “suit”).

The above fictional scenario is a classic example of what has happened to America. It is an example of the Law of Cause and Effect. Mega Corporation had no qualms about moving manufacturing to Mexico for a 3% increase in margins. The survival of the town was never a part of the equation. After all, as the Mafia says, “it’s only business!”

Would the Smith family, in good conscience, have done the same? Somehow I doubt it.

Still think corporations are people too?

Love,

Michael

Corporations Are People Too, Right? Part 1

4 Dec

A Short Lesson in Economics

I have this suspicion that there are a lot of good people out there who believe that corporations are people too. I can’t begin to tell you how wrong that statement is. But I’ll try.

Yes, corporations in good standing do have the same legal rights that individuals do. They are a legal entity and can enter into contracts, pay taxes, sue and be sued and must obey all laws, local, state and federal.

The one major difference between a human being and a corporation is this: a human being has a conscience and a corporation does not. Before you start asking what’s a conscience got to do with all this. Let me explain.

Years ago, when a company placed a sign on their building it was often composed of the owner’s last name: Hewlett-Packard, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Culligan, Dayton’s, Abbott Laboratories, Nordstrom’s, Dell and thousands of others. There was a certain pride these owners felt, and a certain obligation they felt towards their employees, customers and the communities where they were located. They often donated large sums of money for the betterment of those communities and its citizens. And when it came to paying their taxes they did it proudly, happy to repay this nation for giving them so many opportunities.

That was then. And, this is now. In most of those companies I mentioned above you can search high and low for an individual with the same last name as the sign out front, but most likely you’ll never find one. Often they’re owned by an even larger corporation not even located in the same state. Maybe, not even in this country.

Corporations are run by paid managers whose sworn allegiance is to the board of directors and to the corporation’s real owners, their shareholders. And often these shareholders are large Wall Street hedge funds, mutual funds and huge pension funds like Calpers (California public employees). These managers are responsible for profits, and they are graded every 90 days on their performance. If they fail to meet their numbers they’re usually shown the door (often with a severance package that you and I could live on for the rest of our lives).

In my next blog we’ll continue this conversation: Corporations Are People Too, Right? Part 2

Love,

Michael

I Have Faith

21 Nov

I have faith that whatever must happen for me to achieve my goal, will indeed occur. ~Another Born Rich Affirmation

It is said a watched pot never boils, and there is some truth to that. When watching the pot it seems to take an extraordinarily long time for the water to boil. Much longer than you expected. And so, you become inpatient.

It’s the same thing when you deliberately attempt to manifest into your life whatever it is you want and desire. Using the Law of Attraction you ask for what you want. Then the next day when what you asked for hasn’t arrived you ask for something else. And when that doesn’t manifest you again ask for something else.

To manifest into your life exactly what you want requires patience. If you graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering one day, can you expect to get a contract to build a bridge the very next day? Probably not. You first must go to work for an engineering firm to learn how the process works. As an apprentice you start out designing a small part of a bridge and as you learn and grow in your profession more and greater opportunities present themselves, until one day you are ready to be assigned the task of designing the entire bridge.

The key to deliberate manifestation is to first ask for what you desire in your life. And then each day reinforce your thought by holding strong to your faith that indeed what you asked for will come to you. Along that path there will be some delays and detours. Accept them as part of the process and don’t lose faith.

Remember you deserve to have everything. Have faith and the Universe will give you everything you ask for.

Love,

Michael

You Only Have One Life!

18 Nov

Luckman’s Law: The bad news: you only have one life. The good news: you can start living your perfect life anytime you choose. Make that choice NOW!

How many people do you know who are always complaining about their life? Their past was a dismal failure. They grieve for all the things they should have done and could have done.  And their future is even scarier for they fear it will be a repeat of their past. You may even be one of these people.

Well, the past is gone. There is not a thing any of us can do about it. But there is good news. Each of us has been given the gift to change our circumstances and consequently the life we are living at any given moment — we decide. Yes, we all have that POWER.

You are not helpless. You have just forgotten how really powerful you are. Decide this very moment to reclaim your power. And this is how you do it.

Change your thoughts

Right now you may feel scared and uncertain about your life. And all that fear comes from the thoughts you dwell upon. When feeling down and dejected ask yourself, “What am I thinking?” My guess, it is a negative thought. Now let go of the thought. First, thank it for coming to you and then let it go. Now, replace it with a positive thought. You may say, “Thank you for this thought about (__________). I now let go of this thought and replace it with this thought (_____________).” And, don’t say it doesn’t work for you. It works for everyone. Just give it time.

At the beginning you might think it’s not working because that voice in your head says it won’t. That voice is your ego and your ego is not your friend. It wants you to fail. The more you do this the less you’ll hear from your ego.

Use these two most important words “I Am” to declare to the Universe your perfection. Repeat these positive affirmations as often as you can throughout the day.

I am Powerful.

I am a Winner.

I am Smart.

I am Talented.

I am Lovable.

I am Exceptional.

I am Perfect.

I am Deserving of Everything.

Make up your own “I am” statements. It’s easy and they work.

Love,

Michael

Could you learn to love public speaking?

11 Nov

In my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life I talk about giving an acceptance speech in New York for an award my company won and how utterly scared I was. So scared that when I returned home to San Jose I immediately enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course to learn to overpower my fear of public speaking. The classes were one evening a week for 8 weeks and were divided into three sections: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. How to Win Friends and Influence People. And my favorite (the reason I was there) Effective Public Speaking.

I loved the procedure they used for choosing the topic we would talk about each week. They would call us up one at a time and when the person before us started their 2 minute talk we picked a small folded piece of paper out of a basket. On that piece of paper was the subject of our speech. We now had less than 120 seconds to come up with what we wanted to talk about and put it into some type of order, and it had to last for the full two minutes. And believe me, those were long minutes.

Talk about tough. This was trial by fire. I remember the fear I felt in my gut each time I did it. What was comforting was knowing everyone in the class had to go through the very same thing, and I’m sure felt the same fear. But by the end of the 8 week course everyone in the class could get up and instantaneously talk for a full 2 minutes, on almost any subject.

Today I love getting up in front of groups and talking. Do I ever feel fear? Certainly. We never fully get over fear. What we want to learn is to walk through it. To overpower the fear. To not let it stop us. Feel it, acknowledge it, and then go ahead and do it anyway. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen to you? Make a mistake? So what. That’s what life is for. How else would we ever learn?

How many times do babies pull themselves up only to lose their balance and fall down on their padded little bottoms? If they gave up because of fear of failing the majority of the world would be crawling their way to work. Can you picture that? Only the fearless ones would be standing tall and walking. So, which one are you, the crawler or the walker?

Love,

Michael

 

What Do You Deserve?

8 Nov

 “I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”

-Jessie B. Rittenhouse

There is a chapter in my book Overpowering Fear: Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life entitled, Littleness versus Magnitude: Your Choice. I developed my beliefs about this choice from the book A Course in Miracles. In ACM God says that each of us are given free choice; we can choose a life of Littleness or a life of Magnitude, which I prefer to call Greatness. For most of my life I didn’t believe that I deserved greatness, and so by default, I accepted littleness. Sure, there were moments in time where I did achieve greatness, but to me they were just flukes, nothing to pin the hopes of my future on.

I am happy to say that I don’t believe that anymore.

Like me, too many people have been raised with the conviction that they don’t deserve to have everything that they want. That others are more deserving. That they have to settle for less. Or that life is a zero sum game where if they get everything they want, somewhere, someplace others will have to get less. If you’re one of these people who believe this then you are absolutely wrong. In fact, you deserve to have everything, be everything and do everything that your heart desires. You are a child of God and God denies himself nothing and he did not create you to struggle and have less than you desire.

Let the poem above be your guide. Life will pay you any price you ask if only you believe that you deserve it. I want you to take my word for it, YOU DO DESERVE IT!  Ask God, Spirit or the Universe for what you want, believe that you deserve it, and have faith that it will materialize in your life. And it will.

It is not that you ask God for too much, but that you ask Him for too little! ~ A Course in Miracles

Love,

Michael

I Don’t Know What to Say

4 Nov

A couple of months ago my mother passed away. I posted a short message to my friends on Facebook and was soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of messages of sympathy and comfort I received back. In difficult situations like this social media really comes in handy.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with an old friend about a year ago. He shared with me that he had heard that the wife of an old friend that we used to work with years earlier, had recently passed away. Neither of us had spoken with this friend for a quite a while, and, when I asked him if he had called to offer his condolences he said, “No, I haven’t but I really want to. But I never know what to say in these situations.”

This seems to be a very common occurrence. You don’t know what to say even though your heart feels the emotion you so want to express. It’s happened to me. In fact, when I was a younger man I almost always felt uncomfortable speaking with people older than myself and expressing my sympathies or just my concerns. Why, was that? I’m really not sure. But obviously I felt fear around it.

Maybe I was afraid I’d say the wrong thing. That would definitely get my face to glow red. Or, maybe I feared that whatever I said would be taken the wrong way. Then for days afterward I’d be beating myself up about what an idiot I was.

I remember once, I was on this board, and one of the members approached another and expressed his sympathies on the death of that man’s wife. I hadn’t heard that she died but I was afraid to even mention my sympathies for fear that maybe, since we didn’t know each other that well, my words would sound counterfeit and insincere. And so, to my shame, I did nothing.

As I’ve gotten older I realize how crazy all of this is. It’s was my crazy thoughts that were keeping me from reaching out to another human being with emotions that were both heartfelt and genuine. I learned to overpower my fear of doing this by just doing it. I learned not to be afraid of what to say. Just about anything you say will be greatly appreciated. I know because I have been on the receiving end.

But, if you need something to say try these. For a death: I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I know this is a very difficult time for you. So if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. For an illness: I am so sorry to hear about your wife’s illness. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know you’re probably going to be stretched thin in dealing with this. So, if I can be of any help I would welcome your call.

With just the changing of a few words either of the above statements can be altered for any situation and give voice to whatever it is your heart is saying.

Love,

Michael