When I woke up a few weeks ago to the news about the mass killings at the showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, it reminded me of some of the feelings that I thought on a Tuesday morning back in September, 2001. It was shocking and horrific, but even more so when considering it happened at one of the last places a person would expect that kind of violence to take place.
And then the events happened in Wisconsin this weekend. Another shooting, more wasted lives.
Never again will I complain again about cold popcorn and high ticket prices, or a church service running a few minutes late. RIP to the victims.
In this day and age, when we’re consistently being bombarded by bad news from the media, it’s nice to see inspirational stories like that of Spencer West, the man with no legs who just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. West used his hands to scale the mountain, which left some members of his team sick from the climb and even kills a number of climbers every year.
It’s human nature to complain about our circumstances, or to not tackle challenges because of fear of failure. The example set by West shows that there aren’t any good reasons to hold back. If a person with no legs can scale one of the most dangerous mountains in the world, what can you do?
Growing up in the 80′s, it was tradition for my family to settle in front of the television on Friday nights and watch Dallas. It had a lot crammed into every episode – business deals, backstabbing, feuds, and of course, the man everybody loved to hate, JR Ewing. I was hooked.
So I was glad to hear last summer that a remake of Dallas was in the works. Not a comedic motion picture starring John Travolta (which thankfully was scrapped), or a reboot, but a continuation of the old show that ended more than 20 years ago. They even got some of the old regulars, including Larry Hagman as JR, to sign on. The long wait is almost over, and this Wednesday the new Dallas kicks off on TNT (Canadians can watch it on the Bravo channel).
I’m sure there will be criticism that there are no new ideas out there anymore, just stale rehashed ones, but I don’t care. This Dallas caters to the people who watched the old series but also has a new cast and new storylines.
Is the show realistic? Not really – but in this era of reality television, it’s refreshing to have a show where you can turn away from the outside world for an hour and enjoy a good story. Welcome back Dallas!
In just a few days, New Brunswickers will be heading to the polls to elect our mayors and councillors. However, there are other races taking place for the province’s publicly funded health care system (RHA, or Regional Health Authority), and the elected candidates will be responsible for 12,000 employees and a $1.2 Billion budget. That’s “billion”, with a “B”!
Dr. Erik Klein is a chiropractor with offices in Hampton
and Saint John, and he’s been campaigning hard to be elected to the RHA. However, what he’s also doing is working to bring a lot more attention to the race itself … most people are consumed with the municipal council races and don’t realize this election is even going on!
We require people who understand and respect the needs of the people with regards to their health, but especially from a business point of view. Erik is the Chief Medical Officer for the 2013 Women’s Tackle Football Championship, has built up four clinics around rural and semi-rural populations in New Brunswick, and has attracted highly-trained practitioners back to these small communities to practice.
He has been pushing for preventative health care policies, a reduction in the bureaucracy, and for allowing health care providers to make decisions for us and keep politicians out of it. From my conversations with Erik during the campaign, I can see his strong belief that we need to change how
money is spent and we need to treat people BEFORE they get sick. This message is not only important, but essential.
On a personal note, I’ve known Erik since we both were at Saint John High School (go Greyhounds!), and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done in the health care industry and in business. I fully support his campaign and encourage any readers in his riding to vote for him this Monday, May 14th!
Note – Erik’s blog can be found at http://thetownchiropractor.blogspot.ca/ and he can be followed on Twitter (@Town_Chiro)
I was recently watching an old episode of The Twilight Zone, a classic one titled “Time Enough At Last”. Watching it got me thinking of the concept of time in today’s fast-paced society.
“Time Enough At Last” is the story of a nerdy fellow named Henry Bemis, who loves reading books but can never find the time to do it. One day, while frustrated at the lack of time he has to read, he locks himself in the vault at the bank that he works at to finally get some reading done. However, a hydrogen bomb goes off outside, and he emerges from the vault as the lone survivor in the world.
For most people, the world being blown up by a hydrogen bomb would be a problem, but not for him! While sifting through the rubble of his neighbourhood, he comes across the remains of the town’s library and is overjoyed at discovering all of the great books ever written are still intact, just waiting to be read. And he finally has the time to do it (I won’t ruin the ending, you’ll have to watch it to see the twist).
Henry is experiencing what most people in today’s society feel – a lack of time to do the things we want to be doing. That episode took place in the 1960′s, and the pace has gotten infinitely faster since then. Regardless of whether a person is using time to create a business, master a talent, or to simply recharge their batteries, people should make an effort to control how they spend it.
Here are some of my favourite quotes on time and time management;
“Lost time is never found again” – Proverb
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot” – Michael Altshuler
“Your greatest resource is your time” – Brian Tracy
“The great dividing line between success and failing can be expressed in five words: I did not have time” – Franklin Field
“Don’t say that you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein” – H.Jackson Brown Jr.
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” – Anthony Robbins
(My friend Nick Pereira sent the following note out to people who subscribe to his email newsletter, at www.nickpereira.com. I took a lot from it, so I asked for Nick’s permission to repost here. Enjoy!)
As I reflect back on the past years building my business and personal brand, the journey has been very interesting, that would be the honest truth. Entrepreneurship is truly an opportunity to grow and expand, to experience new thoughts and a gate way to changing your present reality. I am a huge believer and advocate in entrepreneurship, whether full time or building a part time business after work hours. As I continue to grow, I have noticed a key element to my expanding business, that is it correlated by expanding personal network.
I ask who you spend most of your valuable time with. What kind of people do you associate with and most importantly, what are the conversations like? I had to take a personal inventory on my circle and when I did, I was shocked to find out I was just like them, I even made the same money and developed the same beliefs and values of those around
me. My group was not the type to inspire to be; we weren’t changing the world or making big plans for the future. We never spoke of the community or ways to better our lives and situation.
We did however, party lots, and spends all the money we made on things that brought us instant gratification but would quickly be forgotten and regretted when rent was due. I remember a few years ago, as I was painting my room with a friend, I just moved into a house that over 10 other people were living in. It was on York University property but not one person in the house was going to university. We were all there because it was the cheapest rent we could find. However that day,
while painting that tiny room, my friend introduced to, through audio cd of course, to a gentleman named John C Maxwell.
John C Maxwell spoke about leadership and making a difference, he spoke words of personal responsibility and leading others by being a servant. He spoke of relationships and associations. I became aware that I would become like the people I hang out with the most and that I do not attract what I want, but rather attract who I am. As I dig deeper into this truth, I sought out new associations, not eliminating my friends, but rather limiting the amount of time I spent with negative people, who lives I did not want to acquire.
Of course, when I first decide I would expand my circle of people, I was in an unknown territory, I was told to hang out with people whose lives I wanted to have. I did not know where to begin but as I pursued building my businesses and I grew, I noticed I did not have to seek these people but rather they were attracted to me as I learned. I learned about breakfast networking groups to expand my business, so I joined and there, I was introduced to many successful people, some of which I am still friends with today, some even started to mentor me, they were honest and told me I needed to change the way I presented myself and as time went on, my friends slowly changed to other entrepreneurs and business professionals.
I continued to grow and work on myself and as I did this, all the people started changing in my life, I was attracting a crowd and network of positive, happy people. They were working out, building charities, businesses, getting promoted in their jobs and served as an amazing support group. I challenge you to take inventory on your friends and always remember, you will become like the people you hang out with the most, do not forget, The Power of Association!
I’m currently reading an entertaining book about the famous automobile entrepreneur, Henry Ford (“The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century”). One story struck me about the importance of seizing opportunity when it presents itself.
In the early 1900′s, Ford went to work on a racing car – the Ford 999, to run a series of races essentially for publicity for his commercial automobile efforts. Although Ford had driven in a number of races himself with other vehicles, he was fearful of his creation and decided that he needed a more experienced (and some would say “crazy”) person to handle the 999:
Up to this point, Ford had driven his own race cars, but the new models were so powerful that, like Dr.Frankenstein, he grew leery of his own creation. Bluntly put, Ford was scared to drive his own car. After several test runs around Detroit tracks, he had sensibly concluded that he had neither the nerve nor the skill to operate them at optimal level … so he turned elsewhere, and (his business partner) Cooper’s friend entered the picture …”
Enter Barney Oldfield, an Evel Knievel-type daredevil who had previously only raced bicycles. He saw an opportunity in the new sport of automobile racing, for steady work and the chance to make a lot of money. I love what he said when he received the invitation from Ford and Cooper to drive their car – “When opportunity knocked in that letter from Cooper, I jerked the door open so quickly that she almost fell on her nose in the middle of the room”.
In “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill stresses the importance of jumping at opportunities by writing; “… life is a checkerboard, and the player opposite of you is time. If you hesitate before moving, or neglect to move promptly, your men will be wiped off the board by time. You are playing against a partner who will not tolerate indecision!”.
I’m not suggesting that you go out and start racing dangerous machines for a living. But opportunities come in many different forms, and there are likely things that you’ve held off doing in your life. When debating whether to jump at those opportunities, inject a little bit of Barney Oldfield in your life and go for it!
As New Brunswick was getting battered by a snowstorm today, I thought back to the record-setting, beach weather that we had back last month (with temperatures that reached a balmy 26 degrees Celsius in March!). When I woke up this morning and looked out at all of the white stuff outside, my first thought was to curse it … I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
But as the day went on, I put things in perspective. The weather man is calling for temperatures of about 10 degrees all week, with a mix of sun and rain, so the surprise that hit us today should be gone within a few days. It’s almost mid-April, so we’re getting very close to consistent nice weather. Golf season has started at some courses, and the campsites and beaches aren’t far away.
I think it’s natural for people to first look at things negatively, or “the glass being half-empty” as the old saying goes. Back in March when many of us were delighted at the beautiful weather we were having, some people on my social media streams were complaining that it was too hot! I’m sure some of it was in jest, but the point being that some people will always look at the bad side of things, regardless of the situation.
I’m sometimes guilty of that. We’ve had times when we’ve offered on two properties at the same time that we want for Grand Slam Property Buyers, and only get one of them. I was disappointed for awhile at not getting one, but reminded myself that one came together. The glass is half full!
There will always be chances to be a pessimist in life, but as poet Kahlil Gibran once said; “The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose”.
If there’s one book that all entrepreneurs should read, it’s “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Written in 1937, near the time of the Great Depression, it’s a handbook on personal development that has been a major influence on a number of successful people. It highlights the 13 success principles according to Hill: desire, faith, auto-suggestion, specialized knowledge, imagination, organized planning, decision, persistence, the master mind, transmutation, the subconscious mind, the brain and the sixth sense.
It says something about the material when a book is just as popular now as it was over 70 years ago. If you haven’t read it, I’d recommend picking it up. For a more in-depth experience, get the boxed set which includes the book, a Think and Grow Rich workbook and a success journal. I recently got this expanded set and it’s great at keeping you on track for your goals.
As an aside, here’s one of my favourite parts of Think and Grow Rich – a poem on the power of positive thinking;
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will -
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
I’m currently re-reading a great book, “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude” by Napoleon Hill and W.Clement Stone. I came across a story about former US District Court judge Irving Ben Cooper, and a certain challenge that he faced as a child (and how he got tough and fought his fears). I wanted to share it here;
Victory is built in to every living person. Take the case of Irving Ben Cooper, who was one of America’s most respected judges. But this was very far from the way young Ben Cooper thought of himself as a young boy.
Ben grew up in a near-slum neighbourhood in St.Joseph, Missouri. His father was an immigrant tailor who earned little money. Many days there simply wasn’t enough to eat. To heat their small home, Ben used to take a coal scuttle, and walk down to the railroad tracks that ran nearby. There he would pick up pieces of coal … There was one gang of boys in particular who found great sport in ambushing Ben on his way home from the tracks and beating him up. They would scatter his coal all over the street and send him home with tears streaming from his eyes. Thus it was that Ben lived in a more or less permament state of fear and self-despising.
Something happened, as it always must when we break the pattern of defeat. The victory within us does not assert itself until we are ready. Ben was inspired to positive action because he read a book. It was “Robert Coverdale’s Struggle” by Horatio Alger.
In it Ben read the adventures of a youngster like himself who was faced with great odds, but overcome those odds with the courage and moral strength which Ben wished to possess … the boy read every one of the Horatio Alger books he could borrow. As he read, he lived the part of the hero. All winter he sat in the cold kitchen reading stories of courage and success, unconsciously absorbing a Positive Mental Attitude.
Some months after he read his first Horatio Alger book, Ben Cooper was again making the trip down to the railroad tracks. Off in the distance he saw three figures dart behind a buiilding. His first thought was to turn and run. Then he remembered the courage that he had admired in his book heroes, and instead of turning, his hand gripped the coal scuffle more tightly and he marched straight ahead, as if he were one of the Alger heroes.
It was a brutal fight. The three boys jumped Ben all at the same time. His bucket dropped, and he started flailing his arms with a determination that caught the bullies by surprise. Ben’s right hand smashed into the lips and nose of one of the boys – his left hand into his stomach. To Ben’s surprise, the boy stopped fighting and turned and ran. Meanwhile the other two boys were hitting and kicking him. Ben managed to push one boy away and knock the other down. He jumped on the second boy with his knees, while he plowed punch after punch into his stomach and jaw – as if he were mad. Now there was just one boy left. This was the leader. He had jumped on top of Ben, Ben managed to pull him aside and got on his feet. For a second the two boys stood and looked each other squarely in the eyes.
And then, bit by bit, the leader stepped backwards. He, too, ran away. Perhaps it was the righteous indignation, but Ben picked up a chunk of coal and threw it at the retreater.
It wasn’t until then that Ben realized that his nose was bleeding and that he had black and blue marks on his body from the punches and kicks that he received. It was worth it! It was a great day in Ben’s life. In that moment he overcame fear.
Ben Cooper wasn’t much stronger than he had been a year earlier. His attackers were no less tough. The difference came in Ben’s own mental attitude. He had faced danger in spite of fear. He decided that he was no longer going to be pushed around by bullies. From now on, he himself was going to change the world. And, of course, this is exactly what he did.
We all see various types of bullies, and challenges, every day. We can choose to run and hide, or to fight back. If a small boy can take on three “stronger” challengers at the same time and win, what can you do?