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What Is Your Daily Practice?

Saw a wonderful little book called Manage Your Day-to-Day
on a stack of books at my sister’s this past weekend, and
glanced through a couple of the short posts from various
business & thought leaders. One by Seth Godin caught my eye,
including this thought that is still bouncing around in my
head after returning home and continuing to coach my business
team:

professionals all have a daily practice.

It’s easy to create when you feel like it…the difference
between an amateur and a professional is that professionals
have a daily practice that they engage in consistently –
even when they don’t feel like it…and that’s led to their
productivity and results.

So my question for you (and myself) today is this:

What is your daily practice?

Manage Your Day-To-Day

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Creating Your Future A Few Minutes A Day

Took a moment during a break with family to share these quick tips on creating new results in just a few minutes a day. Special thanks to the “cameraman” – my wife, Rachelle! Enjoy!

Posted in Law of Attraction, Personal Transformation.

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What Are You Creating With Your Words?

Just recorded this brief video message for you — Enjoy!

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Opportunity — What do you see?

Read this poem recently in a collection my oldest daughter
received from a friend…a powerful picture of two men facing
identical circumstances, but with very different perspectives…
and that made all the difference.

Kind of makes us reflect on how we’re looking at what’s before
us…what we’re saying to ourselves…and what we’re choosing
to do…

Enjoy!

Opportunity

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:—
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel—
That blue blade that the king’s son bears,— but this
Blunt thing—!” He snapped and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king’s son, wounded sore bested,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down
And saved a great cause that heroic day.
–Edward Rowland Sill

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5 Keys for Networking…and For Life

While driving home from a networking event the other night and reflecting on my experiences of the evening, I thought about the 5 key tips below.  I quickly jotted them down in my notebook before going to sleep, then filled them in over the next couple days as a reminder to myself…and to those of you on the path of life with me — here you go:

1)  Be Yourself — you fill a unique space in the universe. No one else can be you.  Your story and your journey add another unique hue to the rainbow of stories being created, and will have a unique impact on others’ lives.  Owning your own value and becoming comfortable with yourself is a great starting point for connecting with others, and in itself is a gift to those around you.

2)  Develop Yourself — continually invest in and develop yourself.  Always be learning, practicing, & developing new insights & skills as you master your craft & the arena you’ve chosen to play in.  This practice will build your self-confidence, effectiveness, and the tangible value you can contribute to others.

3)  Connect & Contribute Value — become a person of value — someone who’s interested in others and sincerely seeking to add value to their lives, even if simply by noticing & affirming them.

Asking this simple question, “What can I contribute to this person’s life (or business) today?” is powerful.  The answer may simply be a listening ear, a warm acknowledgement – a sense, as I heard Dave Blanchard mention recently, that “you matter” — or it could be something tangible such as a referral, a book or resource, or a practical tip or idea.

4)  Invite with Abandon — this one is key to network marketers, but also applies to anyone who’s looking to invite partners or followers to an event, experience, or cause.  There is a certain freedom to opening a door of possibility for people and then letting them decide whether they want to walk through.

5)  Be unattached & joyful — this one complements #4 — being “unattached” to how a person will respond enables you to be joyful & continue moving forward regardless of potential disappointments or unexpected negativity, and a joyful attitude is always uplifting and attractive.  In addition, people appreciate having their own freedom and autonomy honored, and that can actually draw them closer to you rather than pushing them away.

Finally, here’s a “Bonus” tip:

**Be Appreciative**

This tip alone will serve you both in life and business and especially in relating to people.  Being appreciative is something you can practice just like a golf swing.  Begin with your attitude and the words you say to yourself, and then extend this practice to the words and attitude you share with others.  Being appreciative will put you in a state that’s attractive and a joy to be around…and no matter what, you’ll feel better…which is what all of us are seeking daily, anyway — to feel good about ourselves and others.

So there you have it — five keys and a bonus one for networking and all of life.

Which one do you choose to focus on today?

 

Posted in General, Law of Attraction, Personal Transformation.

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Morning Inspiration

Here’s a quick video message from The Silver Spoon in Valparaiso after a morning run with my wife Rachelle at a local county farm. Enjoy!

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A “New” Definition of Success

My wife shared this wonderful affirmation from a card on her
desk with me this morning, “Success Is About the Joy I Feel”.

Reminded me of some reflections the past few days as we’ve
just moved into a wonderful new home –- some of our friends
and business partners have been calling it our “dream home”,
and it is indeed the next phase of manifesting a new chapter –
and space, both literally and figuratively –- in our lives.

But what I’ve noticed after moving into our new home, and with
this affirmation in particular giving me the words to express it
–- is that we carry our joy with us…and within us…

If we depend on a new home or some other “outer” thing or
circumstance to bring us joy, we may be setting ourselves up
for disappointment –- because when the newness wears off, we
may find ourselves even worse off than before, because what
we’ve been working toward doesn’t bring the lasting joy we
thought it would…

Conversely, if we realize we carry our joy within us –- and we
practice finding appreciation, joy, and wonder wherever we are –-
then we can move into new spaces and new situations and
fully enjoy them…while not depending on them for our joy.

So here’s to finding joy in your journey, and to creating more and
more joy around you because you realize you carry your joy within you.

And here’s to wonderful new “spaces” and new experiences for you
in the days ahead!

Dr. Ben

Rachelle's Desk

Rachelle's desk in our new home

Posted in Law of Attraction, Money, Personal Transformation.

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Letting Go of Fear…

Last night while looking up a resource for a friend who has
several people in his life facing a serious health crisis, I
came across this “Dr. Ben” letter I had written a few years ago
and realized it could still speak to those of you today who
are facing a serious crisis — either in yourself or a loved one –
and so I’m re-posting the letter here for you.  May it bring
you peace.

****

Today I want to speak to those of you who may be facing a serious
diagnosis — in yourself or a loved one.  I went through this when
my second daughter was born blind, and again when my mother faced
cancer. Besides the emotions of fear, stress, and despair that can
come up, I also know the anguish and exhaustion that come from trying
to figure out the right thing to do.  Consulting experts, reading,
researching, praying, discussing — all seem to be part of the process
many of us feel compelled to walk through.  Yet even in the midst of
this, it is possible to have an inner sense of peace, and that’s what
I want to assist you with today.

In our culture, many of us have grown up focusing on “doing”, and
especially in a crisis, I know my first tendency is to want to
know what to do.

Well, in serious matters where there is not always an immediate or
obvious solution, a “doer” can get so caught up in “research” and trying
to make the right decisions — about treatment, care, travel, and so on –
that the doer becomes totally cut off from their heart and their sense of being.

What I want to encourage you to “do” today, no matter how serious a
situation you are facing, is to take a moment right now simply “being” –
and affirm that “all is well.”  Though the surface of your life may be
being tossed about by storms, at a deeper level you can connect to a
sense of being that exists beyond your crisis, and it is from this
connection that you can find the peace to hear, see, and receive
what really matters.

Yes, this is a spiritual matter — one of faith.  Our beliefs and our
spiritual energy are actually the most powerful in the universe in
affecting our lives and our health, though many of us get consciously
cut off from this awareness when we’re stressed wondering what to “do”.

Whatever crisis you’re facing on the surface of your life, let go of your
fear and find that inner place of trust where “all is well.”  From there
you can re-enter your situation with a new perspective that will allow you
to receive good even in the midst of hardship, as well as be a blessing
to others.

Peace to you.

Dr. Ben

P.S.  For further assistance with facing your fears in any health crisis,
as well as practical steps to take, you can take a look at
Your Journey to Wellness with Dr. Ben

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How Twitter Has Enhanced My Business…& Enriched My Life.

I remember reading about Twitter a few years ago in an alumni magazine from MIT…and
the speculation as to whether people would really use it…and find it useful…

I now talk regularly with people who have hundreds of thousands of followers,
as well as sometimes with people who wonder what Twitter is all about…and again,
whether it’s truly useful.

While many enjoy Twitter for personal use — a source of connecting with people and
exchanging ideas and interests — I also know many who seek to use it as a business tool.

As I sit here listening to a Mozart piano concerto on my i-pod while typing (a great way
to “tune out” a noisy environment and focus :) ), I’ve found Twitter to be an amazing tool
for connecting, for creating new relationships – often with people I never would have “met”
otherwise – and for sharing resources and ideas. In addition, Twitter has been a direct tool
for expanding my business — though still through the process of connecting and the
exchange of ideas and resources rather than “advertising” or “marketing” through twitter.

So to begin, I’ve used Twitter as a tool to “meet” new people, and to begin
new relationships.

When I find someone with similar passions or interests, or who’s shared something
on twitter of particular interest or impact to me, I often see if I can at first
engage them by an exhange of “tweets”.

Next, periodically I reach out to a person and see if I can “meet” them briefly
by phone. This allows another level of connection beyond what can be established
in 140 character tweets, and adds another dimension to the exchange of tweets
in the future.

Here’s a few examples of where this practice has led…

Through Twitter I’ve had the privilege of “meeting” and then getting to know
Dr. Mollie Marti, periodically exchanging ideas and resources that impact both
our personal and professional lives, and in particular, I’ve had the chance to
get to know her mentor through her eyes via her wonderful book Walking With Justice,
which now has a special place in our family library, and from which I read
to my family periodically.

Next, when our daughter Emmanuelle recorded her song “Night of Our Lives”,
I found that sharing it with people I’d built a specific connection with on Twitter
led to its being shared well beyond my own circles (and many shared on Facebook
as well, which is a whole other arena for building connections).

Lastly, here’s two examples for how Twitter has directly helped me expand my business:

First, in the process of building relationships with people, I’ve been able to connect
some of them with solutions my business could offer that were of personal interest to
them.

Second, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Dr. Fern Kazlow (aka “Dr. K”). Our “paths”
crossed on Twitter, and after reading her story on the website she had at the time,
I decided she was someone I wanted to meet. So I picked up the phone and called
her directly.

Over the next few months we engaged in an ongoing business dialog which has since
developed into a major partnership, opening up a whole new world of people,
business connections, and experiences that have blessed us both…and many others
through us.

So there you have it — how Twitter has enhanced my business, and enriched my life.

I hope these brief examples may trigger some steps you can take, whether it’s with
Twitter, or some other mode of expanding your connections with people.  And a special
“thank you” to all the wonderful people who’ve crossed my path, and with whom I’ve
had a chance to personally connect both through & beyond Twitter.

I guess the bottom line is that behind every tool and piece of technology, remember
there’s a person…and it’s ultimately connecting with people…and building relationships
that lead to enriching each others’ lives…including our businesses if
we have one…that’s the greatest reward.

Enjoy!

Dr. Ben

P.S. If you’ve been using Twitter, feel free to share how you’ve used it and what
the biggest benefits you’ve found to be in the comments below – I look forward to
hearing from you!

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Navigating the Digital World with Erik Qualman and Digital Leader

I had the pleasure of meeting Erik Qualman and hearing him speak
at a book signing for his new book Digital Leader at House of Blues in Chicago last night
(many thanks to Brickfish who sponsored the event).

I’m always curious to hear what someone will share in a limitied “general” talk like this,
and though Erik shared ideas that many may have heard before, he articulated them in a way
that was very impactful and useable – and in particular, he raised great questions
we can ask ourselves as we begin 2012, and specifically as we navigate our relationship
with the digital world which now impacts us all.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the “take-aways” I walked away with:

First, what do you want your “stamp” to be online?

I love the visual and action-imagery this word conveys, and the simple yet clear question
we can ask ourselves – and which we can apply to our entire life.

As applied to the digital world — What do you want your kids and grandkids to find of you online?

And here’s a challenge Erik gave us – to write what you want your “stamp” to be in 140 characters or less
(the maximum number of characters that fit in one “tweet”). This challenge definitely requires some
thought and ultimate clarity.

And here’s what “S.T.A.M.P.” stood for in Erik’s talk:

S – Simplification. Something we could all practice is this day of information and attention overload.

T – True to yourself. This is where true flourishing, fulfillment, and impact can happen.

A – Act — take the steps you can take.

M – Map — create a clear map for where you want to go.

P – People — find out what’s of interest to the individual, and choose who you surrouned yourself with…

Here’s a great focus point for all of us who have many emails, messages, and other things
calling for our attention every day – focus on “output” rather than “input”. In other words,
rather than going straight to all the messages calling for your attention today,
begin your day by asking yourself,

“What are the two most important things I want to do today?”

This may seem very basic, but how many of us are practicing this on a consistent basis, and
really being intentional about where our time and energy goes each day?

Next Erik shared a concept called “LIFO” – last in, first out – again something you may have
heard before, but a great reminder and simple, clear way of articulating a very practical concept.
When you have a “pile up” of emails or messages to get to…besides “arbitraging” the most
important ones you want to address right away…for the rest of them, you have a better chance
of making an impact by responding to something that just came in than by trying to answer
something from 48 hours ago…and always being 48 hours delayed in your responses.
You can even “train” people – especially if you’re traveling or otherwise occupied –-
to re-email you if something urgently needs to be addressed.

And here’s a new way of describing goals – set laughable ones.

Set goals big enough that most people will laugh at them…and then when you find the ones
that don’t laugh – realize that those will be the people who will support you in attaining them.

Which brings us to another great question Erik asked last night – Who do you surround yourself with?
This will have a tremendous impact on your experience and “output” for 2012.

So there you go. Hopefully one of these tips or questions struck a chord in you and
you’ll begin acting on them right away to enhance your enjoyment of 2012,
and you’re experience of the “digital world”.

Meanwhile, I’m heading over to Amazon to buy Erik’s new book.

Dr. Ben

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