16 March 2010
is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you
do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
The human body
experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient's
hopes are the physician's secret weapon. They
are the hidden ingredients of any prescription.
If you look for ugliness, you
will find it
everywhere. When you look for beauty,
you will find that everywhere.
The refuge from
pessimism is the
good men and women
at any time
in the world,
faith and happiness alive.
Charles E. Norton
teach my children that words have powers.
"Stupid" and "shut up," for instance,
close doors. "Please" and "thank
you" open them. As my children grow up and move
into the world, I'll also teach them a few phrases that,
in my experience, can unbolt shut doors, leave open doors
ajar, and cut passages where none existed. For
my opinion. . ."
field is public relations and my role is to dispense
counsel, but the advice I give often comes down to
opinion, and I tell my clients that. I wish we heard
those three words more often from our leaders, but I hope
you always hear them from me.
saying "in my opinion" show weakness? On
the contrary, in my opinion, those three words signal
strength--for what I'm about to say, I take full
responsibility. That shows confidence, and listeners
take their cues from the signals we send. In fact,
the more certain I am about something, the more likely I
am to preface, or conclude my words with "in my
Do You Think?"
the greatest business textbook ever written, one proverb
says, "Where there is no counsel, the people fall,
but in the multitude of counselors there is
safety." The best counsel givers, in other
words, are counsel seekers.
president of a small, twenty-employee PR firm, my judgment
and decisions are colored by the counsel of relevant
people--employees, friends, industry peers, my wife--and
sometimes counselors less obviously relevant. Only
arrogance would overlook advice because of a person's job
years of work with more than a hundred organizations, I
have often seen leaders make major decrees or decisions
without the benefit of much more than a counsel of
one. Certainly a leader is free to override
advice--ultimately he or she is left with final
judgment--but to form that judgment without seeking
information, news, and opinions, and without listening to
the dissenting side. . . well, the wisdom of one is not as
wise as it could be.
Me Ask You a Question"
stupidity of people comes from having an answer to
everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from
having a question for everything." In an
interview on his writing, award-winning Czechoslovakian
author Milan Kundera parted the curtain on his technique
and offered a tip to everyone who wants the full
story: he asks questions. The writer
continued, "It seems to me that all over the world
people nowadays prefer to judge rather than to understand,
to answer rather than to ask, so that the voice of the
novel can hardly be heard over the noisy foolishness of
else put it this way: knowledge has right answers;
wisdom has right questions. So let me ask you
something: do you employ the power of a question?
speaking, it is almost impossible to disregard a good
question. Just the phrase "Let me ask you. .
." arrests attention. Try it in your next
meeting. Used wisely (only you know if you're using
it to manipulate), a question is your passage to new
information, more time to think, and the regard of the
people you're talking to. In our culture, questions
show interest; they flatter. As a business leader, I
also observe that good questions sharpen my employees' own
thinking, and we're all better for it.
Billy Graham turned seventy, a Newsweek interviewer
asked him why, given his mighty public influence, he never
ran for political office. Mr. Graham told the
reporter he wasn't smart enough. Away from
headlines, a brilliant attorney acknowledged that he
avoided a certain branch of law because he had failed at
it miserably. Unfortunately, though, these men are
men and women, accomplished artists, gifted leaders, I
observe, who are confident about their strengths are
equally comfortable admitting their weaknesses. In
fact, show me an expert willing to say, "I don't
know," and I'll show you a constituency who trusts
what he or she does know.
not advocating a string of shrugs, needless ignorance, or
lack of preparation. But I do suggest that, along
with the phrases "In my opinion," "What do
you think?" and "Let me ask you a
question," is the confidence-inspiring habit of
refusing to blow smoke. I would even suggest that
people who say "I don't know" usually know more
than it might appear, while those who don't ever
acknowledge it almost certainly know less.
of the best things leaders can do for their children,
spouses, employees, clients, and anyone else is to make it
acceptable not to know. In an atmosphere of honest
questioning, people are more likely to collaborate--to
shoot out suggestions, think out loud, and discover
information no single know-it-all could have developed
things often make the biggest impact--thinking like a
customer, admitting to not knowing everything, asking for
help. Just take a look around then join the minority
who understand and practice these simple principles.
Little Red Book of Wisdom
principles for professional and personal
Mark DeMoss gathers insights for
living wisely from history, Scripture,
and a lifetime of listening. The result
is a handy, accessible book that gives readers
a new way to enjoy lasting
success in the work world and beyond.
Topics include finding and keeping
your focus in life, building a winning
corporate culture, and setting aside
time for good thinking.
attitude is your choice. It always is. We live in an
age that has developed
the art of shifting blame to very high
levels, and sometimes we get caught up
in that same
tendency. "Well, if you had my job you wouldn't be so
positive." "If you had my kids, you wouldn't feel
so good." "If only my boss were different,
be a positive person." In other words, "My bad
attitude is not my fault!"
The truth is, however, your attitude and mine are
always our choice. No matter
how bad things are, no one can
force you to have a bad attitude if you don't want to. Now
that should come as really good news because it says our attitudes
don't have to be victims of our circumstances or of other
people. We choose our responses.
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
Threshold of Deservingness
Most people complain that they don't have enough money.
look at their bills, they look at their wants and needs,
they look at their checkbook, and then they look
will they pay their bills?
will they feed their family?
will they attract more money?
sure you know the feeling. We've all been there. You may
be there right now. But what's really curious
to me is this:
movie The Secret and many of the teachers in it
offer proven ways to attract money and other material
things. This obviously works, given the thousands of
testimonials from people who now have money when
previously they couldn't find it in a bank with the
vault door open.
some people are complaining that the focus of the movie
is only on money or material things. They say it's
self-serving. They say it's egotistic.
hear the cultural programming at work?
care of yourself is bad."
things are not spiritual."
note the discrepancy: When you want money and at
the same time say focusing on it is bad or selfish, you
are pushing it away.
the fans of the movie are doing this.
Some of the very people who use the Law of Attraction to
get out of debt or attract a new car, at a later point
only attract so much money before they begin to think
they are being selfish. At that point they
unconsciously turn off the flow and wonder what
happened. They then begin to criticize the movie,
strange thing to see.
people scramble to find money and worry and fret about
they actually learn how to attract it, get some, and
begin to complain that money isn't spiritual.
minute. Weren't these the same people who wanted
money in the first place? Why was money good when
they didn't have it and bad when they finally got it?
this is because of people's beliefs. They hit what
I call their threshold of deservingness.
father plays the lottery. But when the lotto gets
to a hundred million dollars, he quits playing. He
says that amount is "too much" and "that
much money will ruin you."
ninety-nine million is OK but one hundred million isn't?
we're dealing with beliefs. We're dealing with
thresholds of deservingness.
at an event once when a fellow called his wife and
handed me the phone. He wanted a star of The
Secret to surprise her. I took the call, said
my name, and heard her scream. She was talking to
a celebrity. She was giddy with excitement.
But then she started asking me what I was doing to save
woman had gone from being a fan of The Secret
and using what she learned to manifest a few things, to
hitting her comfort zone and now not wanting anything
a blog at http://www.mrfireblog.com. I sometimes
write about one of my favorite cars, named
Francine. She’s a 2005 Panoz Esperante GTLM, a
hand-assembled exotic luxury sports car. I love
Francine. But not everyone loves me writing about
her. One person who reads my blog regularly wrote
used to get upset when you wrote about all your cars,
but now I see you were simply pushing my button.
The button is inside me. It had nothing to do with
you or your cars. I wasn’t OK with wealth, and
so I didn’t like to see it flaunted by others.
Now I enjoy hearing you talk about Francine. Thank
you for helping to dissolve my inner limits.”
reader recognized his threshold of deservingness.
Once he was aware of it, he was able to easily raise it
to a new level.
example is this: Many of the teachers in the movie
The Secret create products and services to help
you achieve your goals. I just created an
audioprogram called The Missing Secret to do
this. When your mindset is open, you thank them
for their services. When your mindset is closed,
you say they are just "selling."
are they selling or serving?
both and it's neither. It depends on your
beliefs. It depends on your threshold of
deservingness. If you think they are taking
advantage of you, you call it selling (because you think
selling is bad). If you think they are helping
you, you call it serving (because you know serving is
it's all about beliefs, and particularly your belief
about what you feel you deserve. That
belief creates a threshold that you won't get past
without some work using clearing methods. Getting
clear is the missing secret to your success. Until
you get clear of the limiting beliefs within you, almost
nothing you try will work. Until you raise your
level of deservingness, you will stop short of
reminds me of a question a therapist used to ask
good can you stand it?"
us can't stand it really good.
will the neighbors think?"
will my family think?"
it's too good, surely something bad will
don't deserve it too good."
it's too good, it won't last and I'll be miserable
I'm happy, I won't do anything to save the planet."
are all limiting beliefs. You need to get clear of
them. The missing secret is that once you remove
those counter-intentions, you can have, do, or be
anything you can imagine.
life can be fantastic. Truly amazing. But
very often we hit a comfort level and won't go past
it. Why? Because of our self-imposed limits.
Because of our threshold of deservingness.
deceive yourself with rationalizations and criticisms
about The Secret, me, others, the world, etc.,
but the end result is, you limit your own
reminding people that once you get clear using The
Missing Secret, there's not much you can't have,
do, or be. In fact, I doubt there are any limits
at all. The only limits we have are based on our
current understanding of reality, and that keeps
changing as we keep raising the bar on what’s
possible. Your goal should always be happiness,
what I call spiritual awakening, but the only limits
along the way are your own.
good can you stand it, anyway?
Beauty of Silence
was younger, silence was something that was pretty much
unknown to me. I liked music too much to want to
spend time in silence. I enjoyed listening to all
types of music in all types of situations, and whenever
I had time alone to myself, I automatically put on a
record to listen to, or turned on the radio. When
I was with the family in the living room or in the car,
the radio or TV was always on, so there really was no
room in my life for silence.
days, I still listen to music a lot, but I far more
often make the choice not to turn on any music at all
when I'm sitting alone in a quiet room. These
days, I'm much more likely to notice and appreciate the
healing power of silence, the calming effects it shares
with me, the incredible fullness of its emptiness--a
paradox that fascinates me and makes me wonder just
what's behind silence.
what I've read and studied, it seems that most people
who are uncomfortable with silence feel that way because
of the way that their minds race with uncontrollable
thoughts when there are no distractions around to keep
their minds occupied. The silence becomes
something negative when they're not able to still those
thoughts, when they don't feel the peace of mind that
they long for.
longest time in my life, I never really experienced
silence, mostly because of my love for music. I
would always turn on some sort of music as soon as I
woke up in the morning, as soon as I got into the car,
as soon as I got home. Even though I wasn't doing
this to avoid the silence but to enjoy the music, the
end result was that I never really had much of a chance
to enjoy silence in my life. I never had the
chance to pick up on the nuances of silence, and to see
and feel the effects of enjoying silence in my life.
listen to music a lot, but I also now choose very often
to leave the music off, to allow the silence to permeate
whatever situation I find myself in. When I do
this, and allow the silence to be for an extended period
of time, I start to understand better the concept of
"Peace and Quiet." I'm able to hear
things that I don't normally hear, and I'm able to tap
into the silence and allow it to become a part of me for
that particular time period. I don't miss the
music, and I don't miss the noise, and I find that
silence isn't at all empty, as I used to think it was.
compare silence to a clear blue sky--there's nothing
there to catch your eye, but it certainly is beautiful,
and it certainly is not empty. Beyond our view in
the middle of the day lie millions of stars and planets,
some of which probably contain life that's much
different than ours. Silence is like the smooth
surface of a lake--beautiful and peaceful, but teeming
with life and activity just below its surface. The
silence that I feel is just like that surface, seemingly
empty and inactive, but full of life and activity.
in the silence by ourselves can be much like diving in a
lake, exploring what's beneath the surface. Just
as our sense of sight can help us to see what's beneath
the lake if we make the effort to venture there, other
senses that we have can help us to recognize that
there's more to silence than emptiness. We can
actually hear silence if we try hard enough. Once
when I was in the desert with my son-in-law, we took a
short walk while the generator in our RV was
running. A short distance from the RV, we realized
something astonishing--there in the desert, where the
silence was almost complete, the silence itself drowned
out the sound of the generator. The silence was,
so to speak, louder than the other sounds.
also been deep in caves, where there were no sounds but
my own breathing and heartbeat and movements to hear,
and one thing I always notice in that situation is that
there is substance to the silence. It feels as if
it could be felt and touched in a tactile manner.
This fact also leads me to believe that there is much
more to silence than we give it credit for.
only explore the beauty of silence, though, when we
experience silence deeply. It can't be something
that we allow to occur for a few fleeting moments; we
have to immerse ourselves in it and let it be, not
driving it away with the noises that seem to be so
comfortable to us. Silence can be a great treasure
to us, or we can treat it indifferently--the choice
truly is ours. And given the many benefits of
silence that have been well documented by others (see
our page on silence),
it seems quite obvious to me that the more I allow it to
be a major part of my life, the more I'll benefit from
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need to find God, and he cannot be
found in noise and restlessness. God is
the friend of
silence. See how nature--
trees, flowers, grass--grow in
see the stars, the moon and sun, how they move in
Silence. . . . The more we receive
in silent prayer, the
more we can give
in our active life. We need silence
able to touch souls.
in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason to feel sorry
for himself and mad at the world. But then he gives
a ride to Hector and learns life isn't as negative as we
sometimes see it. The friendship between this young
man and his 70-year-old passenger is an inspiring story of
love and of dealing with obstacles in life. It's a
story that you'll treasure long after you're finished
Cavaliers is now available in book form!
Click on the image to the left to order.
|Seven Ways to Cultivate a
That Will Bring You Peace and Happiness
Rule 1: Let's fill our minds with
thoughts of peace, courage, health,
and hope, for "our life is what our thoughts make it."
Rule 2: Let's never try to get
even with our enemies, because if we do
we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them. Let's
do as General
Eisenhower does: let's never waste a minute thinking about
people we don't like.
Rule 3: A. Instead of worrying about ingratitude,
let's expect it. Let's remember
that Jesus healed ten lepers in one day--and only one thanked
him. Why should
we expect more gratitude than Jesus got?
B. Let's remember that the only way to find happiness is
not to expect
gratitude--but to give for the joy of giving.
C. Let's remember that gratitude is a
"cultivated" trait; so if we want our
children to be grateful, we must train them to be grateful.
Rule 4: Count your blessings--not your troubles!
Rule 5: Let's not imitate others. Let's find
ourselves and be ourselves, for
"envy is ignorance" and "imitation is
Rule 6: When fate hands us a lemon, let's try to make a
Rule 7: Let's forget our own unhappiness--by trying to
create a little
happiness for others. "When you are good to others,
you are best to yourself."