Archive for February, 2009

Is This the Way You Talk to Yourself?

tennisThe discipline to focus on the task at hand rather than on what’s already happened or what might happen in the future is a critical skill for success in any endeavor.

I witnessed something recently on the tennis court that made quite an impression on me. And it’s a technique that can be used in instances other than tennis.

On an adjacent court to the one on which I was playing, one of the local tennis pros was instructing a girl about 12 years old. He was feeding her balls from across the net and she was attempting to return them to his side of the court.

What he coached her to do was say out loud, “Good job!” every time she hit the ball well and it landed where it was supposed to land. Sounds like good self talk, right?

But when she DIDN’t stroke the ball well, he told her to say, again out loud, “Focus.”

I found this very interesting. What it did was get her mind off from the missed shot and onto the next ball coming over the net.

And it was working for her, too.

Whether you’ve played tennis or not, I’m sure you can understand how easy it is to get down on yourself when you miss a shot. But when you do, your focus is on your mistake rather than on hitting the next shot well.

Thinking about what happened–especially if you are upset about it–takes you out of the game. You’re no longer in present time, and you’re thinking about what you don’t want instead of what you DO want.

When you make a mistake or something doesn’t happen the way you would like, instead of saying something negative to yourself, say, “Focus” and then focus on what you want.

It’s great training for improving your self talk and we can all stand to improve on that.

I believe that most people would be unable to keep any friends if they talked to their friends the way they talk to themselves.

So start saying “Good job!” and “Focus” where appropriate and see for yourself how much better you will do–whether hitting tennis balls, working on a project or writing an article.

And if you want to become and remain fiercely focused on achieving your goals and growing your business, I recommend you become a Gold Member or upgrade from Gold to Diamond today.

Full details on Gold here.

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PS: Did you see our Top Ten Services List? It’s a short list of the services we use and recommend. It’s on our home page as well as in our List of Top Ten Lists (use the Top Ten menu item under Resource Center).

Question of the Day: Questions

What kind of questions do you ask yourself?

Do they focus you on where you want to go or on what you would like to avoid?

Good race car drivers say, “Focus on the road, not on the wall.”

All too often, the questions we ask ourselves are unhelpful and even counterproductive.

“Why does this always happen to me?” doesn’t produce very good answers. “What can I do to overcome this setback?” produces much more useful results.

Monitor your questions today and you may be surprised as to the kind of questions you are asking.

545 People

Michael’s Note: This column by Charlie Reese was originally written in the 1980s and has since been updated. Charlie is a former columnist for the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper. He’s currently a registered Democrat, but has previously been a Republican. In light of the fact our congress has approved the largest spending bill in America’s history—without reading it and with most American’s against it—it seems to me we need to take a hard look at where we are.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget.  The president does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.  The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

100 senators, 435 congressmen, 1 president, and 9 Supreme Court justices—545 human beings out of 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress.  In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority.  They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.

The politician has the power to accept or reject it.  No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault.  They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.  No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.  The president can only propose a budget.  He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.  Who is the speaker of the House?

She is the leader of the majority party.  She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want.  If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted—by present facts—of incompetence and irresponsibility.  I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.  When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in IRAQ

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.  Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like ‘the economy,’ ‘inflation,’ or ‘politics’ that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

What you do with this article now that you have read it is up to you, though you appear to have several choices . . .

1.  You can send this to everyone in your address book, and hope they do something about it.

2.  You can agree to vote against everyone that is currently in office, knowing that the process will take several years.

3.  You can decide to run for office yourself and agree to do the job properly.

4.  Lastly, you can sit back and do nothing, or re-elect the current bunch.


“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

—Albert Einstein.