Category Archives: Motivational - Page 2

What is Self-Esteem?

by Joseph McClendon III

Self-esteem creates the feeling of confidence. Napoleon Hill once said that great self-esteem comes from simply taking the successes of the past, focusing on them, and projecting them into the future. When we do this, we use those references as the foundation of whom we are and what we think we are capable of. It is this focus that makes us feel better about ourselves and the actions that we will take.

Imagine you were in charge of a newborn baby boy. It was your duty to make sure that his little soul got all of the nourishment, love, education and physical attention that he needed to grow up happy, healthy and successful. Imagine that for your efforts you also would receive health, happiness, love and riches beyond your wildest dreams.

Very young children at play are the most confident beings and have an abundance of self-esteem.

You wouldn’t go to the child and say, “OK kid, unless you do everything right, and be cute and smart and witty, and everybody likes you all of the time, then you’re not going to get anything from me.” Instead you, like most of us, would probably just do it. We would make sure that the baby had all that he needed whenever he needed it. Most of us would probably do it just out of caring alone, regardless of the rewards.

At feeding time, would you feed the baby with no strings attached? Of course you would. You wouldn’t say, “OK kid, unless you do something clever, or sit up, or recite your ABCs, or perform flawlessly, you won’t get your food.” You’d feed the baby because he deserves to be fed, and loved and cared for. He or she deserves it because they are a human being and a part of this universe. When the child tried to walk or talk and failed at first, you would praise him for the effort given, thus teaching that child’s nervous system to keep trying.

You deserve exactly the same treatment and consideration from yourself. You deserved it when you were born and you deserve it now. You are that child and you respond the same way. Too many people get the idea that unless they are clever, attractive, witty, or as highly paid or attractive as other people, that they know they are un-deserving of love and respect. They somehow believe that unless they get it right all of the time, then they are not deserving of praise or acknowledgment.

Self-esteem is NOT pervasive. It does not have to mean anything about your whole life. It’s just a feeling about a particular occurrence that happened in the past, attaching it to now and projecting it into the future. The feeling that is produced by doing that is a feeling of negative or positive esteem.

A life often self-appreciated is a life well lived.

Being Fruitful

by Jim Rohn

Over the years I’ve learned to challenge my audiences to turn their response to the ideas and information they receive into results. According to the Christian story, the first couple, Adam and Eve, was instructed to be fruitful – produce some results. Fruitful is kind of an interesting word; it denotes abundance. Here’s what I think fruitful, abundance and productivity mean – to go to work on producing more than you need for yourself. I think we fulfill that command given to us so long ago to be productive, to produce far more than we need for ourselves, by blessing others, blessing our nation and blessing our enterprise.

Challenge yourself to produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. Produce more in terms of substance and all things valuable to human beings, far more than you need for yourself.

I am reminded of R.G. LeTourneau’s story, the man who built the big earth moving machines; it was his goal to someday give away 90% of his income, giving away far more than anyone could possibly imagine. Ninety percent is an awful lot to give away, but you should have seen the 10% that was left. Once abundance starts to come, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it’s amazing what the numbers turn out to be. So make sure when you are given the opportunity, that you turn your response into results, thus the chance to be more fruitful and more giving.

The Law of Expectations

by Brian Tracy

I’ve found that whatever you expect, with confidence, becomes your own self-fulfilling prophecy.

When you confidently expect good things to happen, good things usually happen to you. If you expect something negative to happen, you are usually not disappointed.

Your expectations have an inordinate effect on the people around you as well. What you expect from people and situations determines your attitude toward them more than any other factor, and people reflect your attitude right back at you, like a mirror, whether positive or negative.

Dr. Robert Rosenthal of Harvard conducted dozens of controlled experiments over the years to test the power of the expectations of teachers on student performance. In his landmark book, “Pygmalion in the Classroom,” he tells of case after case where teachers were told that a student, or sometimes a whole class, was extremely bright and was predicted to make a quantum leap in academic performance in the coming year.

Even though the students were chosen from the school population at large, as long as the teacher believed that the student or students were exceptional, and the teacher expected the student to do well, the students performed vastly better than other students in the same or similar classes, and vastly better than could have been predicted by previous grades or behavior.

In your own personal life, your expectations of your staff, your boss, your customers and even of your own future tend to come true. Your expectations exert a powerful influence on people and events, for good or for ill, so be careful!

The Ant Philosophy

by Jim Rohn

Over the years I’ve been teaching kids about a simple but powerful concept—the ant philosophy. I think everybody should study ants. They have an amazing four-part philosophy, and here is the first part: ants never quit. That’s a good philosophy. If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them, they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over, they’ll climb under, they’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way. What a neat philosophy, to never quit looking for a way to get where you’re supposed to go.

Second, ants think winter all summer. That’s an important perspective. You can’t be so naive as to think summer will last forever. So ants gather their winter food in the middle of summer.

An ancient story says, “Don’t build your house on the sand in the summer.” Why do we need that advice? Because it is important to think ahead. In the summer, you’ve got to think storm. You’ve got to think rocks as you enjoy the sand and sun.

The third part of the ant philosophy is that ants think summer all winter. That is so important. During the winter, ants remind themselves, “This won’t last long; we’ll soon be out of here.” And the first warm day, the ants are out. If it turns cold again, they’ll dive back down, but then they come out the first warm day. They can’t wait to get out.

And here’s the last part of the ant philosophy. How much will an ant gather during the summer to prepare for the winter? All he possibly can. What an incredible philosophy, the “all–you–possibly–can” philosophy.

Wow, what a great philosophy to have—the ant philosophy. Never give up, look ahead, stay positive and do all you can.

Enterprise is Better Than Ease

by Jim Rohn

If we are involved in a project, how hard should we work at it? How much time should we put in?

Our philosophy about activity and our attitude about hard work will affect the quality of our lives. What we decide about the rightful ratio of labor to rest will establish a certain work ethic. That work ethic–our attitude about the amount of labor we are willing to commit to future fortune–will determine how substantial or how meager that fortune turns out to be.

Enterprise is always better than ease. Every time we choose to do less than we could, this error in judgment has an effect on our self-confidence. Repeated every day, we soon find ourselves not only doing less than we should, but also being less than we could. The accumulative effect of this error in judgment can be devastating. Fortunately, it is easy to reverse the process.

Any day we choose we can develop a new discipline of doing rather than neglecting. Every time we choose action over ease or labor over rest, we develop an increasing level of self-worth, self-respect and self-confidence. In the final analysis, it is how we feel about ourselves that provides the greatest reward from any activity.

It is not what we get that makes us valuable; it is what we become in the process of doing that brings value into our lives. It is activity that converts human dreams into human reality, and that conversion from idea into actuality gives us a personal value that can come from no other source.

So feel free to not only engage in enterprise, but also to enjoy to its fullest along with all the benefits that are soon to come.

The Qualities of Skillful Leadership

by Jim Rohn

If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills, and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a parent. I call leadership the great challenge of life. What’s important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders keep working on themselves until they become effective. Here are some specifics:

Learn to be strong but not rude. It is an extra step you must take to become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

Learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not deal in delusion.

Learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness to win the day. To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first sign of trouble.

You’ve got to learn to be humble, but not timid. You can’t get to the high life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. Humility is almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of the human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is something unique about the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars. So humility is a virtue; but timidity is a disease. Timidity is an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem.

Be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to win the day. It takes pride to build your ambition. It takes pride in community. It takes pride in cause, in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without being arrogant. In fact I believe the worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. It’s when you don’t know that you don’t know. Now that kind of arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take.

Develop humor without folly. That’s important for a leader. In leadership, we learn that it’s okay to be witty, but not silly. It’s okay to be fun, but not foolish.

Lastly, deal in realities. Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony. Just accept life like it is. Life is unique. Some people call it tragic, but I’d like to think it’s unique. The whole drama of life is unique. It’s fascinating. And I’ve found that the skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community, and at home.

Jim Rohn reveals how to implement these qualities of skillful leadership in “The Art of Exceptional Living,” available on CD at JimRohn.com.

Problem Solving

by Zig Ziglar

Fortunately, problems are an everyday part of our life. Consider this: If there were no problems, most of us would be unemployed. Realistically, the more problems we have and the larger they are, the greater our value to our employer.

Of course, some problems are small, like opening a ketchup bottle. Others are monumental like a seriously ill or injured child or mate, which present ongoing, daily complications. Successful living comes when we learn to handle those business and personal problems with as little fanfare as possible.

The successful business executive can handle challenges and solve problems at a remarkable clip. He/she makes quick and final decisions as a result of years of experience.

Many people use counterproductive methods to deal with problems: They refuse to recognize them, deny responsibility for them, pretend they will go away if they ignore them, or are just flat insensitive to them.

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist. Next, we determine whether the problem is our responsibility. If the answer is yes, we must determine how serious and/or urgent it is. When that last determination is made, we either take immediate action if the problem is simple and quickly solvable or develop a plan of action and prioritize it if the solution is more difficult and time-consuming.

Problem solving becomes a very important part of our makeup as we grow into maturity or move up the corporate ladder. I encourage you to take the time to define the problem correctly, learn the skill of quick analysis, and remember—if it weren’t for problems in your life, your position might not be necessary in the first place. Ironing out the wrinkles and solving the problems is what most jobs are about.

Creating Your Character is Like an Artist Creating a Sculpture

by Jim Rohn

Could creating your character be likened to an artist creating a sculpture? In my opinion, I believe that character is not something that just happens by itself, any more than a chisel can create a work of art without the hand of an artist guiding it. In both instances, a conscious decision for a specific outcome has been made. A conscious process is at work. Character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you make that gradually turn who you are, at any given moment, into who you want to be. If that decision-making process is not present, you will still be somebody. You will still be alive, but may have a personality rather than a character.

Character is not something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. In fact, because you weren’t born with it, it is something that you must take responsibility for creating. I don’t believe that adversity by itself builds character and I certainly don’t think that success erodes it.

Character is built by how you respond to what happens in your life. Whether it’s winning every game or losing every game. Getting rich or dealing with hard times. You build character out of certain qualities that you must create and diligently nurture within yourself. Just like you would plant and water a seed or gather wood and build a campfire. You’ve got to look for those things in your heart and in your gut. You’ve got to chisel away in order to find them. Just like chiseling away the rock in order to create the sculpture that has previously existed only in your imagination.

But do you want to know the really amazing thing about character? If you are sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you’ll not only create those qualities, but you’ll continually strengthen them. And you will recreate them in abundance even as you are drawing on them every day of your life. Just like the burning bush in the biblical book of Exodus, the bush burned but the flames did not consume it. Character sustains itself and nurtures itself even as it is being put to work, tested, and challenged. And once character is formed, it will serve as a solid, lasting foundation upon which to build the life you desire.

Dare to Dream Again

by Chris Widener

Do you remember when you were a child and no dream seemed too big? Some of us thought we would walk on the moon; some dreamed of riding with Roy Rogers; others imagined stepping to the plate in a big-league game. Every one of us, when we were young, had a common trait: we were dreamers. The world hadn’t gotten to us yet to show us that we couldn’t possibly achieve what our hearts longed for. And we were yet still years from realizing that in some cases we weren’t built for achieving our dream (I realized about my junior year of high school that I was too short and to slow to play professional basketball. The dreamer is always the last to know).

Eventually we started to let our dreams die. People began to tell us that we couldn’t do the things we wanted. It was impossible. Responsible people don’t pursue their dreams. Settle down, get a job, be dependable. Take care of business, live the mundane, be content.

Do you know what I say to that? Hooey! It is time to dream again! Why?

Avoid regret. The facts are in, and someday we will all lie on our deathbed looking back through the history of our lives. We will undoubtedly think about what we wished we had done or accomplished. I for one don’t want to regret what could have been, what should have been. So I am deciding today to pursue my dreams.

The world needs people like you to dream of something great and then to pursue it with all of your heart. Maybe you belong to a business, school or organization that started out with good intentions but has settled into the same ol’ same ol’. Shake them up and remind them of how they could really help people if only they would dream!

Personal and family fulfillment. One of the things that happens when we stop pursuing our dreams is that a little piece of us dies and we become disheartened, if only in that area of our lives. Stepping up and pursuing your dream rekindles that passion and zeal that everyone has the capacity for and lets us experience fulfillment. Having a purpose puts the zip in our step and the zing in our emotions!

Making the world a better place. All of the great accomplishments that have ever happened began with a person who had a dream. Somebody rebuffed the naysayers and said to himself or herself, “This can be done, and I am the one who will do it.” And in many instances they changed the world for the better. It isn’t just the Martin Luther King’s and the J.F.K’s either. Think of all the people we have never heard of who have started things large and small that help people worldwide every day.

Leaving a legacy. How will your children remember you? As one who sought all that life had to offer, using your gifts and talents to their fullest extent, leading the family with a zest for life, or as an overweight couch potato who could have been? Our children need to see that we dream; that we search for something better. They in turn will do the same!

The Rose

by Jim Rohn

Lifestyle is style over amount. And style is an art—the art of living. You can’t buy style with money. You can’t buy good taste with money. You can only buy more with money. Lifestyle is culture—the appreciation of good music, dance, art, sculpture, literature, plays and the art of living well. It’s a taste for the fine, the unique, the beautiful.

Lifestyle also means rewarding excellence wherever you find it by not taking the small things of life for granted. I wanted to illustrate this with a personal anecdote:

Many years ago my lady friend and I were on a trip to Carmel, California, for some shopping and exploring. On the way we stopped at a service station. As soon as we parked our car in front of the pumps, a young man, about eighteen or nineteen, came bouncing out to the car and with a big smile said, “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” I answered, “A full tank of gas, please.” I wasn’t prepared for what followed. In this day and age of self-service and deteriorating customer treatment, this young man checked every tire, washed every window—even the sunroof—singing and whistling the whole time. We couldn’t believe both the quality of service and his upbeat attitude about his work.

When he brought the bill, I said to the young man, “Hey, you really have taken good care of us. I appreciate it.”

He replied, “I really enjoy working. It’s fun for me and I get to meet nice people like you.” This kid was really something!

I said, “We’re on our way to Carmel and we want to get some milkshakes. Can you tell us where we can find the nearest Baskin-Robbins?”

“Baskin-Robbins is just a few blocks away,” he said as he gave us exact directions. Then he added, “Don’t park out front—park around to the side so your car won’t get sideswiped.” What a kid!

As we got to the ice cream store we ordered milkshakes, except that instead of two, we ordered three. Then we drove back to the station. Our young friend dashed out to greet us. “Hey, I see you got your milkshakes.”

“Yes, and this one is for you!”

His mouth fell open. “For me?”

“Sure. With all the fantastic service you gave us, I couldn’t leave you out of the milkshake deal.”

“Wow!” was his astonished reply.

As we drove off I could see him in my rear-view mirror just standing there, grinning from ear to ear.

Now, what did this little act of generosity cost me? Only about two dollars—you see, it’s not the money, it’s the style.

Well, I must have been feeling especially creative that day, so upon our arrival in Carmel I drove directly to a flower shop. As we walked inside I said to the florist, “I need a long-stemmed rose for my lady to carry while we go shopping in Carmel.”

The florist, a rather unromantic type, replied, “We sell them by the dozen.”

“I don’t need a dozen,” I said, “just one.”

“Well,” he replied haughtily, “it will cost you two dollars.”

“Wonderful,” I exclaimed. “There’s nothing worse than a cheap rose.”

Selecting the rose with some deliberation, I handed it to my friend. She was so impressed! And the cost? Two dollars. Just two dollars. A bit later she looked up and said, “Jim, I must be the only woman in Carmel today carrying a rose.” And I believe she probably was.

Can you imagine the opportunity to create magic with those around you, and all for the cost of a few dollars, some imagination and care? Remember, it is not the amount that matters but the thought and care that often has the greatest impact upon those you love.