Daily Archives: November 30, 2013

It Is a Challenge to Succeed

by Jim Rohn

It is a challenge to succeed. If it were not, I’m sure more people would be successful, but for every person who is enjoying the fruit from the tree of success, many more are examining the roots. They are trying to figure it all out. They are mystified and perplexed by what seems to be some strange, complex and elusive secret that must be found if ever success is to be enjoyed. While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily engaged in designing and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them, while the much larger group sits in awe at how life can be so unfair, complicated and unjust.

“I am a nice person,” the man says to himself. “How come this other guy is happy and prosperous and I’m always struggling?” He asks himself, “I am a good husband, a good father and a good worker. How come nothing seems to work out for me? Life just isn’t fair. I’m even smarter and willing to work harder than some of these other people who just seem to have everything going their way,” he says as he slumps into the sofa to watch another evening of television. But you see, you’ve got to be more than a good person and a good worker. You’ve got to become a good planner, and a good dreamer. You’ve got to see the future finished in advance.

You’ve got to put in the long hours and put up with the setbacks and the disappointments. You’ve got to learn to enjoy the process of disciplines and of putting yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. You’ve got to be prepared and willing to attack the challenges if you want the success because challenges are part of success. Now that may sound like a full menu of activities, but let me assure you that the process of going from average to fortune isn’t really all that difficult. Thinking about it is the difficult part. Anticipating all the effort and the changes and the disciplines is far worse in the mind than in reality. I can promise you that the challenges you’ll meet on the road to success are far less difficult to deal with than the struggles and the disappointments that come from being average. Confronting and overcoming challenges is an exhilarating experience. It does something to feed the soul and the mind. It makes you more than you were before. It strengthens the mental muscles and enables you to become better prepared for the next challenge.

I’ve often said that to have more, we must first become more, and to become more, we must begin the process of working harder on ourselves than we do on anything else. But in addition to gathering new knowledge, new skills and new experiences, it is also important to discover new emotions. It is how we feel about what we know that makes the biggest difference in how our lives turn out. How we feel about the chances we have and the choices we have determines the intensity of our effort. Whether we try or don’t try. Join or don’t join. Believe or don’t believe.

I’d like for you to discover some strong feelings about your life and about what you want to do with that life. You probably have much of the knowledge and a lot of the experience and perhaps most of the skills that it takes to become successful. What you may be lacking in are the strong feelings about what you want and what you want to do. You may be one of those who have become so involved in the process of earning a living that you’ve forgotten about the choices and the chances you have for designing your own life.

Let these strong feelings help you take a second look at your life and where you’re headed. After all, you’ve only got one life, at least on this planet. So why not make it an adventure in achievement? Why not discover what all you can do and what all you can have? Why not discover how many others you can help and in the process how that can help you?

U.S. Housing Price Rise Slows; Consumer, Investor Confidence Down

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor – CommercialPropertyExecutive.com

S&P Dow Jones Indices reported the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices on Tuesday, which cover the three months ending in September. According to the company, the National Home Price Index was 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and 11.2 percent over the last four quarters.

In September 2013, both the 10- and 20-city composite indexes gained 0.7 percent month over month and 13.3 percent since the same time last year. While 13 of 20 cities posted higher year-over-year growth rates, 19 cities had lower monthly growth in September than August. Prices are still rising, in other words, just not as rapidly as they had been, a trend that might mean that the current run up isn’t a much of a bubble.

“The second and third quarters of 2013 were very good for home prices,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement. “Housing continues to emerge from the financial crisis: the proportion of homes in foreclosure is declining and consumers’ balance sheets are strengthening. The longer-run question is whether household formation continues to recover and if home ownership will return to peak levels since in 2004.”

Consumer Confidence Drops

Consumers were feeling a little more uncertain this month, according to the Conference Board, which said on Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped from 72.4 in October to 70.4 in November. The Present Situation Index edged down to 72.0 from 72.6, and the Expectations Index declined to 69.3 from 72.2 last month.

Consumers’ assessment of overall current conditions decreased slightly. Those claiming business conditions are “good” edged up to 19.9 percent from 19.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 25.2 percent from 23 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market didn’t change much, with those saying jobs are “plentiful” ticking up to 11.8 percent from 11.6 percent, while those saying jobs are “hard to get” decreasing to 34 percent from 34.9 percent.

Conference Broad chief economist Lynn Franco noted in a statement that “Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed. When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions. All in all, with such uncertainty prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers.”

Investor Confidence Down Too

The State Street Investor Confidence Index was released on Tuesday as well, and it came in at 91.3 in November, down 4.2 points from October’s reading. The decline was because a relatively steep drop in European investor confidence, down from 111.3 last month to 101.5 in November. Investor confidence in North America and Asia improved slightly.

Wall Street had a lackluster day on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining a hard-to-see 0.26 points, or less than 0.01 percent. The S&P 500 managed to gain 0.01 percent, while the Nasdaq was up considerably more, 0.58 percent.