Love is in the Air

Michael & Dawn AngierHappy Valentine’s Day! As people around the world shower one another with hearts, candy and flowers, I trust you and your valentine will make this day special—even if that valentine is only you.

Eighteen years ago today, I asked Dawn to marry me. She must have seen some potential in me and in us because, at the time, I had no job, no business and no money. I’m fortunate she accepted my proposal and I’m grateful to spend my life with her.

Since that time, we’ve done our best to practice love. I think love really is a verb. I know it’s much more than an emotion. Love is what you give your time and your attention to. It’s an action, even if that action is one of thought—and thoughtfulness.

I also think that to love someone, we must first love ourselves. If we don’t do that, we have little, and maybe no love, to give anyone else. And loving ourselves, just like loving another person, requires action.

What do you do to love and nurture yourself? How do you treat yourself on a regular basis? What things do you do to actively bestow love upon yourself? I hope the answers are not hard for you to find, but I think for many people they are. Loving ourselves is not a selfish act, it’s a generous one. And it allows us to have more capacity to love others.

And while we’re on the subject of love, how about loving what you do? I haven’t always loved my work. But I’ve always worked to be able to love what I do. And I love writing, sharing, serving, learning and teaching what works. And I’m very appreciative of being able to do so.

If you don’t love what you do, I encourage you to find something you do love. Because I believe that if you don’t love what you do, you’ll likely lose out to someone who does.

Life is too short to work mostly out of obligation and need. You deserve to be doing something you truly enjoy doing. You, and the people in your life, will be better off for it.

So again, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Make it a great one.

  1. February 14th, 2012 at 13:51 | #1

    BEAUTIFUL picture of both of you!:)

    Every day I love myself by surrounding myself with wonderful people who enrich my life in all kinds of ways….like you and Dawn! What a tremendous gift you two are each and every day in our lives with the lessons you teach, the gifts you share, the belief you have in me and what I do. Love ya! Deb:)

  2. February 14th, 2012 at 14:05 | #2

    We think the same, Debbie. Such a nice sentiment. You make our life better.

We Teach Best What We Need to Learn

Our theme for this month is Focus and Concentration. And one of the things we all need to focus on is increasing our knowledge and improving our skills. Investing in personal and professional development has lifelong pay-offs.

I believe that one of the best ways of learning and integrating knowledge is to teach it. When you organize and deliver information, you learn it at a much deeper level.

It’s one of life’s better deals: What knowledge we give away we get to keep. And with spaced repetition, we get to own it even more than when we first acquired it because it penetrates deeper into our psyche, and our brain makes more connections.

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Not My Best: 2011 Was a Challenging Year

I’m an optimist. I always look for the good in everything. But I’m also a realist. I’m a big believer in the Stockdale Paradox: “Maintaining a firm belief that we will prevail all the while brutally confronting what challenges we face.”

I think it’s important to acknowledge what’s not working as well as focusing on what is. Not to dwell on what’s not working—but to recognize it, learn from it and move on.

In 2011, I lost my way on several fronts. It was a challenging year. And I don’t mean to trivialize any challenges you might have had last year by recounting my own. I would never presume to speak for you—only myself.

Last summer I reached my highest weight ever. I rented a tux to a formal event to which I could have easily worn my own. But mine didn’t fit. I was disgusted.

Several of our investments were not only disappointing but downright dismal.

In October, my mother was diagnosed with an inoperable and untreatable form of cancer. She lasted 10 weeks and passed away on Christmas Day. I miss her every day.

And in the process of writing my book (the first one in over 5 years) I realized I wasn’t walking my talk—at least not 100 percent. What I was writing about were things I believe in, know to be true and have done. But I saw several places where my priorities were off and my focus and concentration were lacking.

In 2011, we blew several promotions, had bad timing on a couple of others and because of writing my book, I backed off on writing and publishing my articles. Not good.

I know many people had it much worse. Maybe you did. We have so very much for which to be grateful—and we are. In comparison to others and to some years I’ve had in the distant past, it was a good year—just not a stellar year.

So why am I sharing this?

I’m doing it because it’s important for you to realize that not everything I try actually works. I struggle sometimes, too. We all get off track. We all lose focus. Nobody wins 100% of the time.

I’m happy to report I am 13 pounds lighter than last summer; and I’m refocused and recommitted to the things that work. As I was writing my new book, The Achievement Code, about the 3 Cs: Clarity, Concentration and Consistency, I realized on a very personal level just how important all three of them are—no matter how successful one may be. If you’re committed to important things, you have to have all three in place and working for you.

I’m optimistic and expecting great things for 2012. And I hope you have similar expectations. Rest assured that we’re ready and willing to help you achieve your most important goals in this New Year. If you want more purpose, passion and prosperity in your life, you are in the right place with SuccessNet.

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  1. January 17th, 2012 at 06:22 | #3

    Michael thank you for this thoughtful and truth telling entry. I left the year feeling weary. Had started many things and they didn’t gain the traction I had hoped. Many things felt like a struggle. My truth was the year ended up ok but it felt sluggish. The first two weeks of the new year are great reminders as to why we should never give up.:) Things that began last year are taking legs and are moving briskly. New opportunities are presenting themselves and we are ready. The weariness is waning and I feel the energy surging again to my Energizer Bunny full throttle status.:) I love how we can all hang in together!:)

  2. January 17th, 2012 at 14:34 | #4

    Thank you so much for your vulnerability and sharing your story. It’s a great reminder that no matter what – we’re all human. I’m deeply sorry to learn about the loss of your mother and send my love to your family.

    Know that I’m cheering you on now as you get back to commitment and focus. I KNOW you will have a great 2012. All the best to you, Michael!

  3. Dianah
    January 25th, 2012 at 19:07 | #5

    Michael, I appreciate your willingness to share things with this community that are obviously close to your heart. It is one thing to experience the down side now and then; it is another thing entirely to put your vulnerability on the line.

    My intuition tells me that 2012 is going to be a GREAT YEAR! Starting it with The Achievement Code is an excellent first step to realization of those goals I outlined for myself on January 1st. I missed last week, but will listen to the download before next week’s session.

    I’m so sorry that you lost your mother. Even if they live to be 100, it is never long enough, is it?! We all look for things to soothe our souls and I have a couple I want to share with you. I have a framed saying that I see every day and it is a reminder of my precious mother who I lost in 2007. The saying is this: “When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.” The other thing I do that helps is that I write a letter to Mom every week and have been doing so since she died. I love to write and this is a nice way to remember and share.

    Blessings to you and your family.