Power of Intention

Intention is the ultimate power that can lead to success. The power of intention comes from the force of focus. We have all that we need. We are the perfect invention but made imperfect by our own distractions. We are the grand design. But if we are the grand design then why do so many of us fail to reach our full potential? I believe, in many cases, it is our own doing, our own making and maybe, just maybe, our own plan. A plan to fail. Seems unthinkable doesn’t it? Maybe not.

The Power of Intention means that we will create whatever we think about most. I want you to think of the human mind as an airplane with two pilots. The first is our conscious pilot. Hands on the controls, eyes on the screens, mind focused on the path and thinking through each course change. The other is our subconscious pilot. The flight plan has been programmed, the controls are out of our hands and the direction is largely unknown to us. The conscious pilot is in the Captain’s seat maybe 10% of the trip. So, only 10% of the time are we really in control of the trip. A trip through life where we don’t know what or why or even how. We sit in our seat and try to enjoy the ride but we never see behind the locked door to the cockpit. The trip’s over before we know it and the destination is still unknown. If I can be blunt, it’s not a trip I wish to take. I want to control of the flight plan. So how can I get more control of the plane?

First, it’s the Power to Understand. We have the power to make thoughts into words and words into ideas and finally ideas into pictures. Pictures in our mind begin the process of understanding.

Next, we link these pictures together with other pictures born of our experience. Then we link our understanding with that of others and close the circle. But there’s even more. We can take our understanding of one thing and compare it to our questions about another but similar thing and better understand them both. Our ability to understand is limitless, unless we limit it ourselves. Think of what man understands today that was a mystery just a short time ago. But without our focus on understanding  and our power of intention to uncover what is hidden, there is no new knowledge. There is only the status quo. Our desire to focus on understanding puts the conscious pilot in the seat for just a little more of our flight.

Next of our powers that comes from Intention is the Power to Create. But not just to create the standard or the average, which can easily be created by the subconscious pilot but to create the innovative and unique. These can only be created when our conscious hands are on the controls. To make something from nothing and build where the space was empty. We are able to see the whole by only seeing the parts and by assembling them, create more than anyone could imagine. But we imagined it. We saw it as we opened up our mind to the possibilities and the conscious pilot took over. The Power of Focus. The Power of Intention.

The next of our powers is the Power to Build. To understand the concept, create the innovation and assemble the pieces into towers of accomplishment. To build we must master putting piece after piece together in a way to withstand the winds of time and the storms of change. You cannot build what your mind’s eye cannot eye. Open your eyes. If we are distracted by the static around us and our detractors that doubt our ability, we will lose sight of what we came to build. The subconscious pilot will take over and the destination is again out of our hands. Remember, our intention is to build and our focus cannot stray.

Next is the power to solve problems. Problems are a natural part of life and a necessary part of growth. In fact, without problems, there is no growth. Uncovering the solution to a problem requires using your Power of Understanding to define the problem. Your power of creation to innovate an approach and your power to build to put the pieces together. The solutions to great problems will take concentration, focus and the power of Intention.

A critical part of the Power of Intention is the Power to Overcome. Every great journey is met with obstacles. In the world I live in, chemical sales, objections are a way of life. I read a study once that made the impact of objections very clear. When trying to reach our goal we meet the first objection and less than 60% of the individuals overcome that objection and are even around to see if there’s another objection that follows. For the talented group that successfully handle the first objection, only 30% will handle the second objection and be there to challenge the third obstacle. So only 10% of the original group is still in the game. If you make it here, you’re better than 9 out of 10, better than 90 out of 100. So how does this elite few overcome so much to accomplish such great things? The Power of Intention!

The last power we should discuss is the power to succeed. You know how to unleash this power but let me remind you. We work hard to understand the world around us so we may create, innovate and build a solution to the problem. We do not give up but overcome the obstacles that are always part of any great adventure and by overcoming we succeed.

We are the Perfect Invention, capable of almost anything. We need just to focus the Power of Intention and BE what we were meant to BE.

Take control of your life and pilot it to great adventures!

Steve Haberly

Just a little more Time

IMG_0924The whole concept of just a little more applies across many areas of our personal lives as well as in business and government. Many of the world’s greatest accomplishments as well as the worst atrocities were powered by the desire for just a little more.

My earlier blogs include Just a little more money, Just a little more health, Just a little more success and Just a little more love. But today’s topic supersedes them all. It’s what most of us want more than money, health, success or even love. Just a little more time. 

Many years ago I was a partner in a deep sea fishing charter boat. After 10 hours on the boat, in the hot sun, with lots of fish in the cooler, the fishermen always asked, “Can’t we have just a little more time?”IMG_0930Then there was my neighbor, being three months behind on his car payment, who begged the repo man, “Please, I need just a little more time.”

In the new Wonder Woman moviepilot Steve Trevor sacrifices his life to save others. He and Wonder Woman have become very close and as he leaves her for his appointment with death he says, “I wish we had more time.”

IMG_0926I spent an evening with a friend whose father had terminal cancer. He said, “As my dad lay on his deathbed, he whispered in my ear, I wish I had more time.”

We can always earn more money or exercise to get healthier. We can even work smarter and create more success. Maybe we can become a better lover. But how do we create more time? The sands pour through the hourglass and stop for nothing.

IMG_0935A depressing thought, isn’t it? But wait a minute. Would you be interested if I could show you how to get just a little more time? We usually talk about the time in our life being seconds, minutes, hours, days and years. Instead, maybe we should be talking about the life in our time and not the time in our life.

If that’s a good approach then let’s make sure we agree on the definition of life. There is a little life and there is a big life. A little life might be doing the same thing every day without knowing why. A little life might be never understanding your real purpose on this planet and therefore not knowing what actions to take to realize your destiny.

What about a life lived so well that it made a positive difference in the lives of others? That would be a big life. What about a life lived in forward gear and not in neutral? That would also be a big life. What about a life spent breathing in everything? Now that would surely be a big life. 

To have a big life we must make our life more impactful. We can’t reach that goal and make a difference if we don’t pay attention. We must focus on what’s important. Instead of counting all the time we spend, let’s divide that time into time spent in gear and time spent in neutral. Time driving toward your destiny and time spent coasting. If real living is having a big life and a life in gear, then more time isn’t really the answer. The real goal is just a little more life.

To get just a little more life you need to realize that 80% percent of the time we go through life with our subconscious guiding what we do and where we go.  You might even call it autopilot.

IMG_0937When we are in autopilot the world goes by without us noticing, without our conscious control. Only 20% of the time do we take control of the stick and experience the exhilaration that comes from piloting our own life. Conscious control gives us freedom, freedom to have a big life, a life full of purpose and meaning. When I talk about this to friends they always tell me, “I want more of that life.”

How do we get the freedom that comes from being involved, in gear and at the controls? Let’s look at the math again. If 80% of the time we are in autopilot and 20% we are in control, a small difference could have a big impact.

IMG_0928Let’s look further at the math. If we sleep 8 hours a day that equals 480 minutes. Our awake time would then be 960 minutes. In that 960 minutes, we are in autopilot 768 minutes and at the controls just 192 minutes. What if we could make a small shift in time? Let’s imagine that out of every hour we took back control of 5 extra minutes. Five minutes when we are fully aware and involved. That would give us 80 minutes a day more life time. This increase in your life time is 42%. The big life, not just coasting.

Research says that our thoughts wander to four areas.

IMG_0936The first is the past. The past has but one purpose, to teach us. Dwelling on the past brings little value and wastes precious time. The second is the future. If you are always hoping the future will be better, you are focusing on something you do not control. The third is what some writers have called elsewhere. Our thoughts wander from here to there without much meaning or value. The fourth, and the most important, is the present. The key to living in the present is PMA. Present Moment Awareness is the time when we take charge of our thoughts and actions. It’s living life right now. Living in the present and even in the moment allows us to experience life real time.

Life real time. What a concept. To live life real time you must be alert. Turn on all your senses. Experience the sounds and the colors of life bustling all around you. Life presents itself to us constantly, but we don’t listen and we don’t see. Listen to the song and experience the melody of life. Close your eyes for just a second and hear what was unheard. Now, open your eyes and really see. Everything around us is saying, “Look at me. See how wondrous I am.” We are surrounded by miracles. All we need do is see. By really seeing and listening we take control of those moments and they become ours. Really ours. No more autopilot.

The next step is to become involved. In many cases, the difference between a little life and a big life comes down to playing instead of watching. Get off the bench and get in the game. There must be a strategy prepared to play the game, but in the end, the game is won on the field. As Trevor said to Wonder Woman, “I’ve tried doing nothing and that didn’t work, so I’ve decided to do something.”

You want to have a big life? Do something for others who can’t do it for themselves. You can’t do that in autopilot. Decide to live in the present just 5 minutes more per hour and you will expand your conscious life by 40%. When you get involved and your conscious pilot takes over, you live life real time.

Can you take just a little more time to get just a little more life? Yes! Can you do something to make your life a big life? Absolutely!

Get started today!

Steve Haberly

 

Never Stop Dating

Once you’ve felt the magic of love, it is something you’ll always remember.The rush of the touch. A kiss that never ends. The fever. Even the fear. It is the connection that only love can bring. Each partner giving all, but receiving more. Every time feeling like the first time. Running to the same place together and sharing the destination. Dying, but being born again. Swimming in a sea of soft words that only lovers know. Falling asleep in that wet tangle of bodies and waking with all the rough edges of the world polished smooth. It’s what we want, but often times we don’t find it and we don’t know why.

Sounds great doesn’t it. As the words I just wrote left my mind and flowed through my fingers to the page they were so real I had to stop typing and walk away just to cool off. If that kind of passion is intoxicating, I want to be drunk with it all the time.

If this is the drug we all want, the rush we crave, then what the hell happens? To understand the end we must go back to the beginning. Dating is a word from my generation. Today I think they call it hanging out. What do you do when you’re dating or hanging out? You find someone who has the same interests. Someone who likes the same things. Someone who is pleasing to look at and fun to talk to.

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It might start as friendship or maybe lust, but it starts. How do you keep it going and growing? You feed the fire. You tell her how great she looked when you picked her up. But you just didn’t say  ‘you look great.’ That’s not enough. You wanted her to know how special she is so you said this instead,  “You look so great,  I’m not sure I want to go to the movies tonight. I don’t want to share you with anyone else.”

IMG_0835Too much, maybe, but you get the point. If she really cares about you then she wants to be beautiful in your eyes. If he really cares about you, he wants to be strong and capable in your eyes. If your words and actions tell her she’s beautiful and desirable, then she will be.       If your words and actions tell him he’s a giant in your eyes, he will be.

But if her beauty is defined by how the world sees her, then she’s the wrong partner and you will never be the center of her world.

IMG_0834We know the world can be very cruel. When worldly beauty fades, the eyes of those strangers will turn away and search for beauty in someone else. The same is true for his confidence and self worth.

Relationships are like clay. We mold them by our touch and define them by our words. Then we live with what we have created. Does she get tired of hearing how pretty she is or how much you want her touch? I don’t think so. Ladies, am I wrong? Men, you better listen. If you stop telling her that she’s beautiful and desirable will you lose her? Maybe not, but you will lose the magic and it’s the magic that makes it all work.

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What happened? You stopped dating. When you were dating, did you surprise her with little gifts? Probably. Flowers, candy or even better, something unique that she could not have guessed. How about tickets to the concert she thought was sold out.

IMG_0833It might even have been her favorite band and not yours. Now that’s a real selfless gift. But was it really selfless? I don’t think so. What did you get in return? You kept the magic alive

Remember when you left notes stuck under the wipers on her car, or IMG_0845you dropped clues to where that night’s date would be? You were deliciously unpredictable and that was part of your charm. Ladies, when was the last time you wrote I Love You with lipstick on the bathroom mirror? IMG_0827

If I told you what my wife secretly put in my suitcase, for me to find when I was out of town, it would make you blush. Or would it make you envious? Keep fanning the flame and the fire will never go out.

If the flames have gone out in your relationship, do you know what happened?

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You stopped dating. In an earlier blog I wrote about fidelity. The magic may temporarily lost, but if the fidelity is not broken, then even the coldest embers can be reignited.  A friend of mine once said, “Even the sex in my marriage has lost its magic.” I think sex is the destination of a wonderful journey and is a precious gift that lovers give each other. When it becomes less than that, it’s because we’ve focused on the destination instead of the journey. Don’t let that happen to your relationship.  Don’t stop dating.

When you realized that she was the girl, you thought about how you could win her. What did that look like? You probably kept looking your best and did the things that made her smile. You said the right words and followed up with the right actions. But more than words, you were a good listener. One of the biggest reasons women have girlfriends is that girlfriends know how to listen. When did you stop listening? Was it about the same time that the magic began to fade?  Then it’s time to start doing the things that helped convince her to make that commitment to you. Never stop winning her. Never stop dating.

What about her friends and your friends?

Never allow these so-called friends to criticize her in your presence. If they don’t support your relationship they are not real friends anyway. Let them go.

The passion that comes with real love can make your life amazing. But, it will not flourish without attention. Keep the magic alive.  Never stop dating!

Steve Haberly

Just a little more Love and Passion

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How can I hope to explain, in only a few words, what might be the most powerful force in world? It’s a huge topic. In many ways you might say it’s the Holy Grail of subjects. It’s what we all search for, love and passion. But maybe the real issue isn’t love but passion. Are they the same? I don’t think so. Love seems selfless and has a giving nature while passion is often selfish and all about taking. But without passion is real love even possible? Maybe not. But let’s deal with these one at a time.

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Psychology Today talks about the different types of love. The first is Eros or passionate love. You can also think of this as romantic love. It’s a madness that comes over us and carries us away, but can also cause need and dependency.

IMG_0646 The second is Philia, commonly called brotherly love;  a relationship based on trust, dependability, and friendship. Psychology Today mentions that Philia, born from Eros, in turn feeds back to Eros, strengthening each. Friends are able to live fuller lives by teaching and supporting each other.

It’s been proven that most relationships start with physical attraction.

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First, a glance, then some words and next a touch. But we often mistake this Eros love for the kind that lasts. I believe without Philia love, Eros will fade and might not come back. So we chase it from partner to partner.

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We light the fire, it warms that part inside that yearns for someone to fill our emptiness. The flames are so bright that we’re sure it’s eternal, but alas, it’s not. Is it our fault or maybe our partner’s fault? We’re not sure who’s to blame, but we know it’s gone. Physical love is only temporary, but maybe it can be made permanent if you understand the secret. If I tell you the secret, it won’t be a secret, now will it? But I guess it could be our secret. So if you promise not to tell, I’ll share it with just you.

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Erotic or physical love burns so hot that no fuel can keep it burning at such intensity. It bursts into flame, has its moment and then dies back to embers. In fact, if that intensity continued we would all be devoured by the fire, left as ash to be swept away by time. So how can this magic, that is so temporary, be rekindled? Although the flame may die down but the glow from the embers can last forever, if fanned from time to time. To have the opportunity to rekindle the flame, love based on friendship must reside.

Let’s talk about friendship and why it’s the glue that holds the relationship together and allows the fire to burn again. Friendship is all about trust. Trust creates the foundation from which embers can again become an inferno.

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If friendship requires trust, then building and maintaining trust is necessary for passion to return. Trust is built as promises are made and kept, not just big promises but ALL promises. Each promise made, and kept, goes in the trust bank account and as the bank account builds, trust deepens and the friendship is built. But remember, trust is not given, it’s earned. Something that is given can come quickly, but that which is earned is built over time.

A relationship built slowly one brick at a time, one promise at a time, can withstand the storms that will surely come. A relationship built too quickly may not weather even the first winds that life can deliver. A relationship built on trust and fashioned over time into a solid foundation becomes the platform on which to build a lifetime of passion.

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Passionate love is like walking on the high wire; exhilarating but frightening at the same time. There is danger but there’s also an amazing rush; a pounding of your heart and a quickening of your breathing but don’t fear, your friendship is your safety net.

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Lovers that aren’t friends are like leafs on a tree. For most trees, they’re only temporary. They look beautiful but when the season is done, they are gone.

Think of it this way. The flames burn bright but die to a glowing ember. Trust allows you to protect the ember and gives you the foundation to fan the flame again. In great relationships this happens again and again and again. Passionate love is temporary but returns again as trust is rewarded with passion. A lasting relationship needs to be built on a foundation of trust and friendship.

Lovers are usually focused on their own satisfaction but the explosion that comes with passionate love is something we all want and desire. On the other hand, true friends are focused on the needs and wants of their friend. It would seem to be a perfect combination. A loving couple who can combine the fire that comes from passion with the caring, giving nature of their friendship has the magic.  They provide a safe place from which to experience passionate love. A place where each person is focused on the pleasure of the other. A tight wire with a safety net.

That’s why I am absolutely convinced that lovers who have and keep the magic also have a strong friendship as their foundation.

Steve Haberly

 

Just a little more Happiness

In my last blog I promised the next one would deal with Just a little more Passion. I started it but then I erased it. Several times. I must be honest, there is nothing more important in my life than to live every day with passion, but putting down my feelings on paper was difficult. More difficult than I had imagined.

I believe life without passion is a chocolate chip cookie without the chips, an Oreo cookie without the filling or Simon without Garfunkel. Life without passion just leaves you hungry. So, if you will allow me, I’ll deal with my addiction to passion in a future blog. I’ll talk about how to find passion or even how to rekindle it when you think the flame is out. That topic is coming, I promise, but not this time and not this blog. I’ll save that for later. So for now I want to talk to you about happiness. Just a little more Happiness.

After reading past blogs on Just a little More, you have learned how to achieve greater success both personally and professionally. You know that eating right and implementing an exercise program can improve your health. Now that you have the knowledge to be wealthier, healthier and more successful, shouldn’t that mean happiness is easier to find? Maybe not.

If you are wealthy but aren’t happy, your money brings you no joy and with it you do no good for yourself or anyone else.

If you are successful but not happy, your success brings you no pride or pleasure.

If you are healthy but have no joy, your health is wasted, as you take no advantage to build a wonderful life.

But if you have discovered the secret to happiness, then even the smallest accomplishment brings joy and that joy lifts the lives of those around you.

I attended an interesting seminar a few years ago that focused on happiness. The professor, Dr. Crum, listed some things she felt were critical to achieving happiness. Here are a few and I’ve added my own:

🚩Live in the present

🚩Live with a purpose

🚩 Live with passion

I will delve into each of these topics in a separate blog. When thinking about the first objective, we really only have three distinct possibilities:

♦️Live in the Present
♦️ Live in the Past
♦️ Live in the Future

THE PRESENT

Being in the present means focusing on what is happening right now. It means appreciating the opportunities you are offered every day. But, it also means accomplishing those tasks that are in front of you, today.

What can keep you from focusing on the important tasks that must be done today?

Distractions . There are so many distractions that it’s a wonder we ever get anything done. You have to tune out the distractions and focus.

Remember, trying to find your favorite station on the radio you had as a child? When you were not quite on the station what did you get? Static! It was constant noise until you found the perfect frequency and then and only then did the voice come through loud and clear. Learn to tune out the noise in your life.

Other distractions include: Toxic people, tune them out. Negative people, tune them out. Complaining people, tune them out. Whining people, tune them out. You can only focus on the present if you tune out the distractions.

THE PAST

Some people spend their whole life lamenting times gone by. They carry the mark of their past mistakes like a scarlet letter. They’re regrets hang like a weight around their neck that makes lifting their head so difficult they rarely see what’s right in front of them.

Some would refer to this as The Ghosts of the Past. Ghosts that haunt us, follow us and influence how we see the world. However, the past can have a positive effect, if we allow it. The past is there to teach us and I believe that it’s the only real purpose. I believe guilt is only there to remind us of what we have learned, so we don’t go that way again. Living in the past is a waste of the gift of the present. You can never be truly happy living in the past. What has been, has been. Let it go! Move on. Let the Ghosts haunt someone else.

THE FUTURE

The other possibility is to live only in the Future. Living for what might be. Thinking that happiness is just around the corner. Waiting for your share of the prize or your share of the punishment, both are life lost. What might be, might be. That’s true. But hoping to be happy or worrying about being sad has very little value in a life that is short anyway. Some would call this The Goblins of the Future. The future is largely unknown to us and worrying about what might happen only punishes us twice. Worrying about the future and regretting the past can cause us to overlook The Gift of the Present. We have to learn to be. You create your own present by what you give your attention to today.

Here’s another of looking at how to be HAPPY. We create whatever we think about most. This is at the core of how I live my life. It is our gift and our curse.

Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.

– Mahatma Gandhi

Years ago I heard an old Indian legend about two wolves. You may remember it from the movie Tomorrowland. There are two wolves that are always fighting.

One is darkness and despair.

The other is light and hope.

Which wolf wins?

The one you feed. Feed the right wolf and focus your energy and positive thoughts on the gift of today, the present.

Steve Haberly

In my next blog I will focus on the happiness that comes from living life with a purpose.

Just a little more Success

Learn the secrets to achieving Just a little more Success in your life.

IMG_0489I had a friend once that told me he felt stuck. He had been in his current job for 5 years and his performance had never been more than average. That could also be said for his compensation. When he joined the company the sales job looked really exciting and the compensation seemed unlimited. Others around him were progressing nicely in both title and money, but not my friend. He wasn’t the type to judge his success by his pay, but it would sure be nice if he could earn Just a little more Wealth. He thought he might be more successful if his manager spent a little more time with him or if the products were a little more unique, or if the customers were a little more accepting.  Before achieving success he needed to take responsibility and quit blaming others for his mediocre results. IMG_0490One day I was in his office, peering over his shoulder as he examined a spreadsheet. After a few minutes, I asked, “What are you looking at?”

“Another month of average sales numbers.”

“Are you happy with those results?”

“Not really.”

“What do you want?”

He thought for a moment and said, “I want to be more successful. I want to feel like I’m getting somewhere. I need help, how can I achieve Just a little more Success?”

Since my friend was willing and ready to learn, I began talking to him about how to achieve his goal. Setting goals is a good first step in achieving success.  But make sure goals are really goals, and not merely wishes. Let me tell you what my mother told me when I was a kid. “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” At my young age, I’m not sure I really understood the significance of what that meant.  Now I realize  that setting a realistic goal is the cornerstone of success.

The other thing she often said was a little more confusing. “If frogs carried guns they wouldn’t be afraid of snakes.” I’m a lot older now, and I hope much wiser, but I’m still unsure about the frogs and the snakes saying!

The goal of being more successful isn’t specific enough to be a good objective. Your goals should focus on the most important things.  Having too many goals dilutes your attention.  Divided attention means divided success. A goal needs to be stated clearly, and be achievable.  A clear goal that is measurable and has a time limit is a good start toward achieving positive results.  Make sure you understand the goal and then measure your progress by keeping score.  Comparing last year’s new accounts or commissions to the current year’s numbers does measures progress, but it is not enough.  There are critical behaviors that are the building blocks of your desired outcome.  Focus on those critical behaviors and keep score of your improvement. If you do more of the right things, you will get more of the right results. IMG_0491I’ve found the thing most people fear is the unknown. We know a lot about the past. The past is the past and it has one purpose: to learn from. It can be a heavy weight to carry, but can be valuable if we learn from our past mistakes. The next step is to let go of the past.  Learn and then move on. We know a little about the present. The present is the moment in which we are living. Cherish every moment for we don’t pass this way again. But what do we know about the future? The future is right around the corner and just over the hill. We can’t control it and we don’t know what it holds.  We fear that which is unseen.

If you want some control of the future, you need to have a plan. The plan should contain your goal, the strategy to achieve that goal and the actions to be implemented.  Each action should move you closer to your goal. Think of it like steps on a stairway that lead to the top.

Maybe if the frog had a plan, he wouldn’t have needed a gun to defend himself against the snakes!

What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail? That is a challenging thought that most people don’t consider.  For those that do start with a plan but fail, it’s because their plan is never fully executed. A plan without the actions necessary to support the strategy always fails.

Success takes goal setting, planning and implementation, but it also takes one more thing. Attitude.  A true American success story, Zig Ziglar often said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, controls your altitude.” Before others will believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. If you want to be more successful, act like someone who has achieved success. People like winners.

How to achieve Just a little more Success:

Take responsibility for your actions and their outcomes. Making an excuse gives you a free ticket to fail. It is the drug of underachievers.

Control the future by making a plan that focuses on the important things. 

Set goals that are reasonable, achievable, and time sensitive.

Implement the plan and execute the actions that support the strategy.

Keep score to measure progress.

Believe to achieve. Find out how winners act and do just that. In other words, be the hero your dog thinks you are.

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Next week I will focus on how to have Just a little more Passion.  Don’t miss it!

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Steve Haberly

Epilogue:  The first component, taking responsibility for your actions, will be thoroughly discussed in a future blog called No Excuses.

 

Just a little more Health

IMG_0438Some of the richest men I’ve ever known never really enjoyed the full measure of their wealth. They worked really hard and pushed their minds and bodies to the limit. They had reached a point in life where their poor health, not money, was the limiting factor. Money means nothing in the end without good health.

At some point in life we all realize that health is everything. But what’s good health? This is what the World Health Organization says, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Are any of us ever as healthy as we would hope to be? I think not. I remember a good friend of mine saying, “I just wish I felt better. I want to play the sports I always enjoyed. I wish I was healthier instead of wealthier. In fact, I would trade wealthier for healthier in a heart beat.”

Here’s some disturbing statistics on poor health in the United States.

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*        Coronary Heart Disease (12.6 million)
*        Heart Disease kills one person every 30 secs
*        Heart Attack (1.1 million)

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*        Diabetes (17 million)

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*        High Blood Pressure (50 million)

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*        Obesity (50 million)

Frightening, isn’t it? I hate to put it this way, but we are all SICK.

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Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing happens until something moves.”

Most people lead a very sedentary life. Even though research has proven that regular exercise adds six healthy years to your life.
*        1 out of 4 people don’t exercise at all
*        3 out of 4 people exercise less than five hours per week

So what do we do? Here are two possible solutions: regular exercise and eat right.

Okay, so what would regular exercise look like? Warm up by stretching to increase flexibility. Run, walk, bike, hike or swim 30 minutes a day for cardio or 2 to 3 times per week if you are older. Strength Training 2 to 3 times each week (but remember, your body needs 48 hours to recover.)

But how do we eat right? First we need to accept this fact, we are what we eat.
A basic rule: if the item didn’t exist in the 1800’s, it probably isn’t really food. It’s JUNK.

Eat the right way
*        Eat slow
*        Eat small portions
*        No second helpings
*        No unhealthy snacks

Eat the Right Things
–        Spinach
–        Yogurt
–        Tomatoes
–        Carrots
–        Blueberries
–        Blackberries
–        Walnuts

5 rules to live by to get Just a Little More Health.

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Eat right: fruits, vegetables, fiber. Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!

IMG_0475.JPGGet moving: stretch and exercise 30 minutes every day. Enjoy the rush.

IMG_0470.JPGDon’t smoke. Don’t poison your body.

IMG_0473.JPGWear sunscreen. Don’t destroy your skin.

IMG_0471Manage stress. Don’t worry so much.

But the most important thing is to develop a plan. Get started right now, and before long you will achieve Just a Little More Health.

Steve Haberly

After reading the this and the previous blog , you now know how to get Just a little more Money and Just a little more Health. 

Next week, learn how to get Just a little more..Success…in your business. After that, don’t miss Just a little more Passion and then Just a little more Time. They are life changers!

 

Just a little more Wealth

It’s what we all want, just a little more. Today I’ll show you how a coffee, an apple, and a cigarette will help you get just a little more Wealth.

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A few years ago I had a customer that influenced my life with his philosophy on money. Realize, I grew up in a conservative family that only had one credit card and it was from Sears and Roebuck. We used it to buy my clothes at the beginning of the new school year. I got two pairs of Levy jeans, a pair of sneakers, one or two shirts, plus socks and underwear. My mother also sewed a few shirts for me. She was the type of woman who would also wash out zip lock bags and reuse them. As a family, we had enough, but not more. I grew up thankful for what I had and not really focused on having more.

Back to my customer. He showed me another way to look at things. I must admit, it seemed very foreign to me at the time. One day, he and I were talking about money and wealth. It was obvious he had achieved a level of affluence, nice home, fine cars and all the trappings. When I asked him, “How much money is enough?” He said “Just a little more”. Just a little more, what an interesting thought. He also believed money was the driving force that makes the world work.

Over the years, that concept of just a little more has come into play again and again. It can influence our lives in both good and bad ways. It’s the driving force for continuous improvement in everything from space exploration to pharmaceuticals. So, is good ever good enough? Fast ever fast enough? Is effective ever effective enough? What we want in almost every part of our life is just a little more. In the next few blogs, I’ll be addressing how to get just a little more health, success, love, and life, but for now I will focus on just a little more money.

In some countries a measure of a person’s success is calculated by the number of languages they can speak. In other countries it is the amount of land they own, and in others it’s the level of education. But in this country, the United States of America, most people would agree that the measurement of success is money. I believe that’s unfortunate but for the most part, true. The wealth in America varies widely from none to much. Let me give you some data and some examples:

U.S. poverty level $22,350
Average family income $49,777
Top 10% earn $93,000 or more
51.2% have no retirement savings
44% of households have credit card debt
Average credit card debt $14,743
People spend 47% more money when buying with a credit card than with cash
47% live pay check to pay check
More Americans will file for bankruptcy this year than will get a college degree
Consumer debt is over $2,500,000,000

IMG_0431Who Pays the Taxes?
Top .01% pay 33% of the taxes
Top 25% pay 82% of the taxes
Top 50% pay 96% of the taxes

The 10 wealthiest Congressman, who have more than $3,000,000,000 in net worth, all voted to keep the Bush tax cut (three were Republicans and seven were Democrats)

Who’s making the money?
Secretary: $30,000
High School Teacher: $43,000
Construction Worker: $70,660
Attorney: $76,610
Senior Chemical Engineer: $88,510
Family Doctor: $143,615

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So the money isn’t spread evenly, nor in my opinion, should it be. I believe in pay for performance. A person’s income should reflect their impact on the good they do. If my theory were implemented, good teachers would make as much as good doctors. Why not? Look at the impact. I don’t want to use this particular blog post to preach about inequity in compensation. Instead I want to make you a wager.

If I were to ask my doctor, my attorney, a teacher I know and a secretary in our office, “How much money is enough?” Not one would say they have all the money they need or want. I wager they would say instead, “Just a little more, I could use just a little bit more.”

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So maybe the question is: “How can I make more money?” I have some opinions I will share with you in a later blog, but for now I want to pose another way to look at money. Is making more the same thing as having more? I don’t think so. I think what you have left to save or invest to better your life is far more important than what you make. If I’ve peaked your interest, than let’s talk about having more. I believe the easiest way to have more is to SPEND LESS. Let me give you a plan to financial independence

Step 1 Latte Parley
One of the most successful companies in the world sells gourmet coffee. This company has amazing brand recognition and sells premium coffee at a premium price. Instead of buying a Venti Latte every day for 30 years, you decide to invest that money. At the end of 30 years that investment would be worth over $225,000. A
nice start but there’s more.

Step 2 Apple a Day Swap
We all enjoy a nice lunch, but in most cases we spend too much money on lunch and don’t usually eat a healthy lunch anyway. Instead of buying that expensive lunch let’s switch to an apple for lunch and invest our lunch money. At the end of 30 years that investment would be worth over $300,000.

Step 3 Reefer Madness
It’s unfortunate, but approximately 15% of the American population and 30% of the world population continues to smoke cigarettes. The impact on health is huge and results in nearly 500,000 deaths in America every year. What if you stopped smoking and invested that money? At the end of 30 years that investment would be worth over $275,000.

The total impact of these three life style changes would be a savings account worth over $800,000. If you invested that at 8%, the result would be an annual income of $64,000 per year for the rest of your life. You would be wealthier and healthier.

Another real life example: an administrative assistant invests 10% of their gross income every month into an investment account. This account is partially matched by the company or even the government in some situations. In 30 years, at historical earning levels, that investment is worth $1,000,000.

You can’t always affect your income quickly, but you can start spending less and saving more right now. What are you waiting for?

Take control ➡ Pay yourself first ➡ Start saving now ➡ Enjoy having just a little more money.

Steve Haberly

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Next blog will reveal how to have Just a little more Health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business Connection

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There is an interesting word that I hear more often when traveling outside the U.S. than I do at home. But  I have a feeling it was once an important part of our vocabulary as well. The word is honor. There is no doubt that honor is a personal thing that has many meanings. Honor is being true to your beliefs or as they would say in Total Quality Management Speak, “Walking the Talk.” To walk the talk, your actions and your beliefs must be consistent. You must do the right thing even when it might not be the best thing for your personal benefit. When we are honest, have integrity, do the right thing, and think of others first, we can be called honorable.

When I think of the great small businesses I have been fortunate to work with, the word honor seems to fit. Small businesses often put honor over profit and put doing the right thing over financial gain. This is a rare quality in our pay for play society.

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It was a beautiful Friday in a hot Texas summer and I promised the family a lake vacation. We had been looking forward to this for months and had rented a small house at a lake 4 hours from Dallas. I had an old boat but it had served us well in the past, yet I thought I should take it to a local lake to start the engine and make sure the boat would still float. All went well, so I loaded it on the trailer and headed home.

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As I drove down my street I could see smoke from the back wheel on the right side of the boat trailer. I pulled in the drive way and got out to look at the wheel. It was too hot to touch. Now what? It was about 4:00 p.m. and the vacation wasn’t looking too good. The kids would be so disappointed.

Since I had no idea who fixed boat trailers in our area, I asked my wife to do a Google search. She found The Trailer Man. Sounded like a good place to start, but being late on a Friday made my chances bleak. I called him and assumed he would say, “Bring it by Monday. “

First, I would need to cancel the vacation. Second, with a smoking wheel, how was I to get it to his shop anyway? But he didn’t say bring it in Monday.  He said, “I’ll tell you what, I don’t live too far from you. I’ll come by your house in about an hour and take a look.”

There he was, a stranger, lying on his side in my driveway looking at my old boat trailer.  He looked at the wheel and told me the bearings were shot.  They’d actually gotten so hot they’d  fused the wheel so it didn’t turn at all. It was a trailer with 2 axles and 4 wheels, so he showed me how to block up one wheel to keep it from touching the ground. That meant the boat was only riding on 3 wheels. Before he left, he told me to bring the trailer in Saturday morning and reminded me to drive real slow.

Saturday morning started off okay, two wheels on the ground on one side and just one on the other. It looked funny but it worked just fine. I backed into his shop and he began working on the wheel. Soon he said, “We need to heat up the wheel with a torch and break it loose,  but Steve, we close at noon today.”
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I told him I understood.  His team was  still working hard on the stubborn wheel as the clock struck 12.

IMG_0328I asked him about the rest of his day. To my surprise he said he was running one of his cars in a drag race that evening.

IMG_0330About 3:00 p.m. he asked one of his crew to call the race track and tell them he wouldn’t make the race that day, but that he looked forward to racing the next weekend.

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By 5:00 p.m. the wheel was fixed and the trailer was ready to roll. We left for the lake the next morning and the vacation was saved. The family was happy!

The Trailer Man sacrificed his personal time to save my family’s vacation. I’d have been happy paying almost any price for the work, but it was more than reasonable. In fact, it was a bargain.

So let’s add up the score for The Trailer Man:
He came to my house to help get the job started. (I thought house calls were a thing of the past)
Honesty A
Integrity A
Quality A
Fair Pricing A+

He gave me his personal cell number in case I had any issues. Wow! Have I been back to The Trailer Man in Richland Hills, Texas?  Yes, two more times over the years. And yes, the price, the quality, and the attitude were still the same. I have recommended him to many others and will continue to do so. He is an example of how business should be done and why we must protect small business in America. Small businesses are the Canary in the Coal Mine.

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Steve Haberly

My next blog will continue to tell real stories to show you that honesty and integrity aren’t dead. In fact, they are very much alive, in small businesses, in this great country.

 

Small Business Connection  Part 2

In our communities, it’s the small businesses that embody the principles we hold dear: honesty, integrity, fair pricing and a commitment to excellence. Small businesses that operate by these principles have earned our respect and they need our loyalty. BUY SMALL.

IMG_0316Let me give you an example of such a business. My wife drives an old red truck. Even though the odometer says 250,000 miles the truck still runs pretty good. It has big wide tires and is jacked up 4 inches so everyone can see her driving down the street. A pretty lady in a big red truck is not a bad way to be recognized.

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We put about $500 a year in truck maintenance to keep it on the road, but that’s cheap when you compare it to a new truck payment. When we look at the truck, we think it still looks good except for one thing: the front bumper. It’s tilted down and looks like we had an accident and never repaired it. We kept saying we should get it fixed, but just hadn’t done it. We finally decided it was time and took Big Red to a local small business called Hollywood Finishes in Keller,Texas. I’d used them before to repair my daughter’s Jeep. The owner had suggested a repair that looked good and also saved us a lot of money. That was especially good since the problem wasn’t covered under our insurance. Hollywood Finishes had already shown that they were focused on making the repair fit my needs and my pocketbook.

Back to the red truck. The owner took a look at the bumper and said, “We can straighten it by adjusting the supports.” I asked “How much?” He said “Not too much, $85.” Sounded great to me. After a few days, I went to pick up Big Red and was ready to pay the $85.  That’s when the owner said the price had changed. I winced. Then he said, “The total is $70.” I said, “That’s not enough. You told me $85.” He smiled and said, “That’s right, but it was easier than I thought.” I was amazed. He did a great job, at a lower price than I was quoted and lower than I was prepared to pay. He could have charged me the $85 and I would have still been happy, but he didn’t. He put his honor above profit and honesty above gain.

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When I talked to him about it he said, “It’s just business, the old school way.” I just can’t get that comment out of my head. Business the old school way. If the old school way is good quality work at a reasonable price then what’s the new way? My fear is that the new way may be poor quality at an inflated price. I don’t believe that as businesses grow they need to leave their morals and ethics behind. Please don’t misunderstand, there are many large businesses that have stayed true to what they believe. They are great examples of truth and honor in business. I am just suggesting that we should all seek out those companies, whether small or large. We should spend our money where we believe in the ethics of a company. Our purchases are our votes. Vote your morals and ethics with your purchasing power.

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So how did Hollywood Finishes score?

Honesty A+
Integrity A+
Quality A+
Fair Pricing A++

Since small businesses are the most sensitive to toxic practices in the marketplace they require our close attention and feeding. They live and die by reputation and word of mouth. If you agree that our dollars are our votes of confidence, then you probably would also agree with my rule.

🔺 SPEND YOUR MONEY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE YOU LIVE

Seek out the small local companies in your area and use their products and services. Find the local restaurants and sample the local dishes prepared by local hands. Frequent them regularly and be sure to compliment them when the food and service excel. But there is another way to help these establishments, tell them when there are ways they can improve. Helping them to continuously improve is good for them and great for the neighborhood. If they fail,  you will have an empty store front and another dead canary.IMG_0324Another example.  In the back of my property there is a small creek. Near the creek we built a treehouse. Now don’t jump to conclusions, this is just a few boards and a wooden ladder, but my grandsons love it. The grass and weeds can grow up pretty high back there so it needs to be mowed from time to time.

IMG_0319I have an old riding mower that has definitely seen better days. One day it just stopped working. It  wouldn’t start, wouldn’t even make a starting sound. Advantage went to the grass and  weeds for the time being.

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In my neighborhood, there’s a small repair shop, Gary’s Small Engine Repair in Keller,Texas. It is a family run business, with the wife in the front dealing with customers and the husband in the back, repairing everything from chain saws, to leaf blowers, to mowers. I dropped in to see what they thought. The wife said the waiting list to work on riding mowers was about 3 weeks long.  She could have said “Put your name on the list and we’ll call when you can bring it in.” But that’s not what she said. “Tell me what it’s doing and maybe you can repair it yourself.” Was I dreaming? Instead of focusing on the profit they could make from repairing my mower, she was helping me diagnose the problem and suggested I fix it myself.

I kept thinking about what my other small business said, “Doing business the old school way. Maybe I’ve discovered something. The old way must mean putting the customer first. She laid out some things, step by step, that I could go back and try. But there was another thing she did that surprised me. She said, “After you try that, come back and tell me what you found and then we can look at the next step.”

Expert advice with no talk about money, is this the old school way? I followed her steps and eliminated the possible problem areas one by one. I decided it must be the starter, so I removed it from the mower and went back to see my new friend. As I was standing there talking to her, the husband came up from the back. He asked me to hand him the starter and follow him around to his shop. There, he tested the starter and said, “Nope, starter’s just fine.”

He could have handed it back to me and gone back to his work, but he didn’t. He said, “Follow the starter backwards and check each component until you finally check the switch itself. Don’t forget the safety switches. One under the seat and another under the lever that activates the blade. If those aren’t working the mower is locked out.” Again, customer first. I did what he suggested and sure enough the safety switch under the lever was out of alignment. I moved it so that the lever and switch touched each other, held my breath, and turned the key. The mower started and I felt great. I did it. Well, we did it. What did this small business get for their unselfish advice to me? I’ll tell you what they got. My loyalty and whole hearted endorsement to all my friends and neighbors.

How did Gary’s Small Engine Repair score?

Honesty A+
Integrity A+
Quality A+
Fair Pricing A++

Many years ago when I first started working in Water Treatment, I spoke to an esteemed colleague and asked him his secret to success.  He thought for several minutes and relied, “Put the customer first, the rest will take care of its self.”

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Putting the customer first might be old school to some, but there are businesses that follow this principle. Small businesses can be a great example of meeting the needs of the customer with honesty, integrity, quality, fair pricing, and follow up.
Spend your money in your neighborhood. Seek out and support those small businesses that do business the old way, the right way. Do your part. Save the canaries.

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Steve Haberly