Archive for the ‘Success Principles’ Category

Best Life Tip: Think Big, Start Small

Think Big Start Small

Are you a fan of the Think Big, Dream Big crowd?

I love big ideas, and I love being around big thinkers. But I’m an even bigger fan of people and companies who ACCOMPLISH big things. Many people who consider themselves big thinkers are mostly just big dreamers. And they either fail to get started or they crash and burn by taking on too much.

I know because I’ve done it.

When I was 25 years old, I was a farmer with big dreams in agribusiness. And I planned and built a state-of-the-art meat processing plant in Middlebury, Vermont. I literally bet the farm I owned on a new enterprise that I and a number of others thought was an idea whose time had come.

My failed strategy was to be diverse in our product and service lines and then eventually focus on those that we found to be most profitable and the ones we were the best at doing. Totally opposite of what I would do today.

My inexperience and my attempt to GO BIG created my first major failure. I learned a lot, but it was painful and costly. Going broke isn’t so bad, but when you end up owing tens of thousands of dollars and nothing to show for it except the experience, it hurts.

I’ve met many people over the years who truly wanted to make a difference in the world. Or, as Steve Jobs said, “put a ding in the Universe.”

But I remember hearing Rich DeVos, the president of Amway Corporation say to a convention of Junior Achievers, “Before you go out to change the world, make sure you clean up your bedroom first.” Good advice.

We have to walk before we can run. And it’s best to learn making smaller, less costly mistakes so you build experience and resources to take on bigger challenges.

Think big. but start small.

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Best Life Tip: Suffer the Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret

BLT: Suffer the Pain of Discipline or the Pain of RegretMy mentor, Jim Rohn, often said, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

Discipline is rarely easy, and much of it is a pain—at least at first. But regret is a much bigger price to pay.

To me, part of living your best life is living a life with no regrets. Sure, there are things you might want to do differently, but regret is a heavy burden to bear. Jim said discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

With discipline, we get stronger and progress gets easier. And it rarely has to be the Marine Corp Boot Camp kind of discipline. Good, solid, everyday habits result in consistent progress. In fact, being inconsistent in doing the right things is where most people fall down.

“Things that are easy to do, are also easy not to do.”

In my book, The Achievement Code, I go into depth about the 3 Cs to getting what you truly want. The 3 Cs aren’t very complicated and not even that hard to master. But they are critical keys to achievement. And lack of clarity and lack of concentration (focus) are big challenges to living your best life. But I do think that lack of discipline and consistency are the biggest stumbling blocks.

A few bad habits repeated regularly over a period of time may very well lead to regret. The aggregate of over-eating, over-drinking, not enough exercise, not saving for retirement, spending more than you earn all adds up. And the price can be high. Regret is the unwelcome reward.

But likewise, the discipline of good habits practiced consistently adds up, too. Better health, more financial freedom, greater income, better relationships result from proper practices. A much better reward.
I hope you’ll agree that the pain of discipline is far better than the pain of regret.

What disciplines do you need to establish or get better at doing regularly? What small pains are you willing to trade to prevent the gnawing, gut-wrenching regret of not having done what you needed to do?

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Invest In Yourself Now—or Pay Later

We all know that we have to invest in our retirement in order to have money to live on when we’re no longer working. And yet, as important as that is, 36% of Americans aren’t saving anything for retirement (according to And a majority of those reaching retirement age—even the ones doing some saving—do not have enough to live on.

I hope you’re consistently saving and investing (enough) for your retirement years—and you probably are. But there’s another kind of investment that’s just as important—if not more so—than your retirement. And that’s an investment in yourself.

Here’s the thing . . .

Unless you invest the time, energy, and money in creating a life you truly want, you’re going to be spending a lot of time and effort supporting a life you DON’T want.

Your best life doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t automatically unfold, and it’s not given to you. You have to design and create your best life yourself. Because if you don’t, other people and outside circumstances will do it for you. And guess what other people and outside circumstances have planned for you—not much.

An investment in yourself will pay dividends for the rest of your life. It won’t depreciate; it will appreciate. It will never be devalued or stolen. Clearly, your inner portfolio is the best investment you can make.

As you become better, as you upgrade your attitude, skills and knowledge, you will always be able to form the alliances, make the connections, create the opportunities and generate the income you need. You will breathe the rarified air of true mastery. You will live a life of no regrets and feel the joy and satisfaction of living your BEST life. You will, as Thoreau said, “live with a license of a higher order of beings.”

I urge you to plan your investments in yourself as carefully and as consistently as your retirement portfolio. Dedicate yourself to CANI—Constant And Never-ending Improvement. And you will never be bored, because growth is stimulating and often fun. There are no limits.

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