This past weekend was the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, 2001. As I reflected back on the event and all the years since, I was reminded of all the heroic efforts from so many on that day and the days since. I've compiled several examples to inspire you.
7 Incredible Stories of Heroism on September 11th
Your whole life, you've been told to be confident in yourself and develop self-confidence. I've been guilty of promoting this and sharing thoughts on how to develop yourself and your mind to create more success through believe in yourself and abilities. But, one thing I've never really mentioned is where this comes from. Maybe I've taken it for granted that people just know and understand that the underpinning of success and confidence in your ability to reach it comes from faith - not in yourself, but in God, the higher power to guide you.
One of my favorite passages from the bible is from Philippians 4:13 which says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." For me, I can be confident in myself because I believe I have the backing of Christ to strengthen me and I just assume that others know this. But, many don't and it is their confidence only in themselves without understanding that it comes from a higher power that is their downfall.
I was reminded of this in a good way last week from a daily devotional I get. Here is the message:
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
— Psalm 20:7
Self-confidence is not the virtue that modern man has made it into. In fact, there have been no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of books written on self-confidence and how to obtain it. Do you have self-confidence? The Bible has little to say about it other than the fact that it is a curse, not a virtue.
The word “confidence” is a combination of two Latin words: con (with), and fides (faith), so “Self-confidence” means “with faith in yourself,” and that is misplaced faith. Our faith should be in Christ. What we need is not self-confidence, but Christ-confidence. If you have self-confidence, you are always going to run into somebody bigger than you are, stronger than you are. You are going to run into a problem that is bigger than you can handle; your self is going to give way and the result of that is often despair and despondency.
But if you succeed, that’s even worse. What do you get then? You get pride. The Bible tells us “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). It can be deadly for the spiritual life. Sadly, in America today, we have hundreds of books teaching people how to have self-confidence, and thousands of parents are teaching their children to “Be proud.” (James Kennedy Ministries)
Be careful that you don't have blind self-confidence that leads to pride and destruction.
There are a lot of people out there that I would consider "Lost." They don't know what they want and therefore, don't get what they want. The tend to go through life like a rudderless ship, drifting listlessly.
In many ways, they are just "there." And they know it. They know they are not reaching their true potential. They know there is more to life than what it is currently is for them. In short, they are "lost." But, they don't know what to do about it - or more importantly, lack the will to do what needs to be done to pull themselves out of this zombie-like state.
I have felt this before and had times in my life like this. You question yourself. You question almost every aspect of life. And if you are not careful, this can become your normal state and how you live if you do not break out from it. It sucks. No one wants this for themselves. But they don't know what to do and they desperately, even if they don't show it, are looking for the answer.
Here is my answer based on my experience and it is a challenge to anyone who is stuck lost in this way: Get a mission and get it now. It doesn't have to be anything huge - just something that you will not stop until accomplished. This mission, whatever it may be, is your everything for now. It will be very hard to do this. First, starting will be extremely tough as you will have to break out from the malaise of your life and it may require starting a new habit or doing things differently. People hate change, but change is the only way. Once you start, then you have to commit and force yourself to keep going until the mission is completed. No excuses. Every day that you get closer to your mission's goal, you get further away from being lost. If you stop and go backward, you will default to the state you were in. The secret is that the act of accomplishing your mission is the key to breaking out from being "lost."
This happens because when you accomplish something, it fuels you. When you see that can reach a goal or do something you previously thought was too hard or maybe not possible, it activates you and activates your soul in new way. From there, you will find purpose and more missions and begin to become who you are possible of being.
Don't believe me? Try it. Create a mission that you can accomplish in one week. Don't make it super easy. Make it one that will stretch you to accomplish and that is just outside your comfort zone. Then pursue it with everything you have. Don't give in even a little. If you commit and go all in on this, you will see the power of this process and in one week, you begin to change for the better. And once you've done it, don't stop. Set your next mission and your next and so on. Tom Ziglar once told me that the fastest way to success is to replace a bad habit with a good habit. Imagine all of the good habits you will have created and all the bad habits you will leave behind if you continue to set missions for an entire year. You will be in a completely different stratosphere. This your challenge. Get your mission and get going, NOW.
What are you feeding yourself? Really, what are you feeding yourself? Our future self stems from what we feed ourselves today. And by feeding ourselves, I don't mean food and bodily nourishment - although what you feed your body absolutely impacts its future was well - No, what I mean is "What are you feeding your mind?"
What are you putting into your mind right now? Today? This week?
Is it good, bad, positive, negative? Is it worthwhile? Is it wasteful? What are you reading? Who are you listening to? Why?
What you put into your mind will directly impact your future. If you are putting negativity into your mind, it will keep you down and hold you back. If you are not growing, learning, and stretching your mind, you will be passed up by those that are. If you are listening to those that hold you back or are not what you aspire to be, it will be detrimental to your growth.
Conversely, if you are filing your mind with positive, truthful wisdom and striving to learn from those that have succeeded and have done what you want to do; you will grow and reach those levels. If you are listening to those that are pushing you forward and themselves forward, it will be positive for your growth. If you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with, who are those people? What are they thinking about, discussing and focused on? Does it align with where you want to go?
It may be one of the greatest breakthroughs in human development that what we feed our minds directly impacts our future, our success, happiness, and all areas of our lives.
So, I will ask you again, "What are you feeding yourself?"
As we go through life, we will have a lot of conversations. Many of them meaningful and many of them meaningless in the grand scheme of things. And there will be times we must have hard conversations whether in business or our personal lives. A hard conversation is the one you don't want to have because you know it may challenge you or the other person(s). It may also be unpleasant or in some ways confrontational. No matter what, these conversations will happen one way or another and it is best to be ready for them. Here are 3 pieces of advice for when you must have a hard conversation.
1.) Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Do not have a hard conversation on a whim. Take the time to prepare and make sure you understand both yours and the other person's point of view. Make sure to understand that emotions drive people and you must understand the potential emotional toll on both you and the other person the conversation can have. You must come from a place of solid ground and truth/fact and build from there. The only way to do this is to prepare.
2.) Check Your Emotions
Even with preparation, a hard conversation can give way to emotional responses, opinions, and perceptions that are not rooted in truth or fact. Feelings are not facts or truth, but they do matter and drive people's responses. You must make sure to control your emotions and stay grounded in the truth and fact, not getting into a battle over opinions or emotions because this leads to poor outcomes for both parties.
3.) Give a Little
No one is ever 100% right or wrong and no one is perfect. Resist the urge to have to win absolutely on your side and be mature enough cede own up to things you are responsible for in the relationship that you can do or be better at. Be willing to give a little to the other person as neither of you are 100% perfect. Admit it and own your side and ask them to own theirs. Then go to work together to make things better.
Hard conversations are am opportunity to learn and get better in the end - as long as you are willing to do so. And you should be willing to do so. Use them as such and don't be afraid of them, but don't take them lightly. Prepare, check your emotions, and be willing to give in and admit where you fall short. Then get better.
This won't be a long post. In fact, it is more like a gut check - one that we all need from time to time.
Are you being truthful to yourself? Are you?
Before you answer, stop and really think on this. Are you living the way you want and know you should be? Are you living by the principles you believe in? Are you compromising them in any way? Or more importantly, are you settling in any area of your life where you know you should not be?
Most people are living a lie in some area of their lives. It may be in a relationship, their work, or internally within themselves. Most of the time, they are complacent and settling in an area they know they should not be. They know what they should be doing or the choices that need to be made, but they avoid them and keep the lie going because it's easier to do that than face the truth and potential consequences - even when they know by doing so, they will be better off in the end.
Don't be one of these people. Face your lie(s) and breakthrough. Act. Do what you know you need to do and push forward.
Free yourself by telling yourself the truth and living in it.
Life is so precious. We forget that. While, for those of us that have accepted Christ as our savior, we are just passing through on our way to our eternity with our maker, this life still is a wonderful, incredible gift that we have been given. And it goes by very fast. A blink of an eye and someone is there, then gone.
Mark Eaton was a guest on Misfit. I did an interview with him about a year ago, but the audio came out bad and I was never able to release it. I had reached out about scheduling another interview, but Mark and I had not been able to pin down a time. If you don't know Mark, he was a top former Pro-Basketball player with the Utah Jazz - a future Hall of Famer, who had retired and had taken the lessons learned on the court and applied them to business. He was a top rated speaker and consultant who was really becoming big in the space. He died just over a week ago from a bike crash. He lived in Park City Utah and had gone out for a nice summer ride for some exercise. Somehow, he ended up crashing his bike and was found by a car driving by. He was rushed to the hospital but didn't make it.
As a competitive Ironman triathlete, I spend a lot of time on the bike and know how just one wrong move or someone not paying attention while driving can cause severe injury or death. Just like that, Mark was gone and he had a lot more to share and give to the world.
I share Mark's story because it is a great reminder of how precious things are. It is sad to see someone's life end before we think it should (although we must trust in God's plans) and it should spur us to think deeper about how much we need to cherish our lives and those around us. And it should bring us closer in our relationship to our maker and learn how to use the talents given to us to be what we were born to be to the world. We must not go through life without giving our best to the world to make it a better, more meaningful place. I know Mark's impact will live on and you can learn more about his teachings at https://www.7ft4.com/
Cherish it. Cherish it all, because we never know when our time in this short life is up as we pass through.
When is the last time you sat back and contemplated this wonderful world and life in which we live?
When was the last time you listed all the things you were grateful for? Or the blessings you have and/or been given?
As I watched the sun come up over Mauna Kea as I stood inline to start my Ironman race on the Big Island of Hawaii this last weekend, I could not help but think of the beauty all around me and in our lives.
Here are 10 beautiful things about life...
It's time to become Un-Common. Most people live their lives in a comfort zone and don't ever realize their potential. This is common and they are common, but this is a call for all reading to throw off the status quo and become the Un-Common among the common. It is a call for you to stand out and to be better. It is a call for you to push yourself and answer those questions deep down that have been nagging at you about who you are and who you should be.
The Un-Common person is someone who creates high standards and lives into them. They are someone who is never finished and never "makes it." No matter what level of success they reach in every area of their life, they know there is another level possible and it is this possibility that drives them, energizes them, and gives them un-relenting, un-matched passion for life. But, they are also confidently humble. They know they are Un-Common, but they also know that to be Un-Common is something that everyone else is capable of being in their own way and are excited to help others tap into this potential.
To be Un-Common is to go above and beyond and stretch your limits. It is not only striving and becoming the best, but also redefining what it means to be "the best." It is an ethos, a mentality, and a lifestyle. And it is asking the questions, "What am I willing to do? What limit can I breakthrough next? Are there really any limits?"
Lastly, and most importantly, the Un-Common know that the biggest battle they will fight are the limits in their own mind. And they go to war every day to defeat the enemy of self-doubt, complacency, and self-imposed limitation. They are committed for life, hungry, and never give in.
So, how about it? Are you ready to become Un-Common? The Un-Common don't start out being the best, they work their way there over time. Pick one thing today that will break you out of comfort or push you beyond you limits. Do it. And then once you've done it and proved to yourself it is possible, start asking what is possible? Are there really any limits? Then go.
It's time to become Un-Common.
Academic qualifications are important and so is financial education. They're both in important and schools are forgetting one of them. - Robert Kiyosaki
We do not teach financial education in traditional schooling, other than maybe an elective class that is very basic. I believe this is one of the worst injustices of our school system. Personal and business finance are critical to succeeding the real world and we hardly talk about it. Part of me wonders if it is done on purpose, because it is so glaringly obvious that it is needed and yet, it is give little attention. Or maybe, it is because our school model is made to churn out employees who live off a W2 and those in power don't think they need to know finance.
Setting aside the cynicism, regardless of school, you should make it a priority to self-educate on personal and business finance. To help you get started, here are 3 money habits you should adopt starting today.
Understand Your Cash Flow
"Cash flow" is just a term to define where you money goes. First, you start with how much you make. If you are an employee, you cannot just take your salary. You have to look at your "take home pay" after taxes are taken out. Once you know that number, that is the amount you have to spend on supporting your life and needs/wants. From there, take inventory of your expenses and list them out. If they are less than your "take home," congrats you have a surplus. If your expenses are more than your take home, then you have a deficit. Obviously you want a surplus and it seems like common sense, but most people rarely if ever go through a basic cashflow and budgeting exercise, even as simple as this. As a habit, you should review your cash flow monthly and have a written budget of your take home income and expenses and watch it over time to make sure you keep a surplus. And you should do everything you can to increase your take home and lower expenses where it makes sense. Once you have a surplus going, that brings us to the second habit you put into practice.
Six (6) Months Expenses Saved
The second habit I personally do and advocate is the save 6 months expenses and keep it in an interest bearing account that at least keeps up with inflation. Why 6 months? It's pretty simple. If something bad happens, you will have enough to carry you through for a good while and not have to stress. Most advocate 3 months, but in really bad times, it can take longer to get back on your feet if you lose a job or like many during Covid, their business. A 6-month cushion would get most through the rough times. The hard part is finding an interest bearing account that can either keep up with or beat inflation. Right now, it is almost impossible to find an account or even a CD that pays enough to beat inflation. But, if you don't have 6 months saved, focus on that and then once you are there, you can search things TIPS, 1 Year CD rates, High Interest Checking, or even look at things GetLinus which pays 4% or more.
One important note is that if you have high interest debt like credit cards, etc., focus on paying that off first and then save for your 6 months. The only debt you should have is things like mortgage and car loans at the lowest possible rates you can get.
Start Your Financial Self-Education NOW
While you are doing the above to get yourself on solid ground, start your third habit, educating yourself in finance. As you learn and grow and get more of a surplus, you can then invest it and begin to really see the benefits. For example, the day I wrote this, I sold an Iron Condor trade on the Nasdaq 100 index which made me $500. I entered the trade around 11am and exited around 3pm. Not bad for a few hours while I was doing other work.
If that sounds like Greek to you, I understand. When I first started out, I had no idea what any of this stuff was, how it worked, or how to do it. But, years later after continuous financial self-education I do and use it to my advantage. I have learned to create income in the stock market, real estate, through private placements and small business funding, and of course by building and growing my businesses. In fact, the tax laws are written to benefit business owners and investors, not a W2 employee. They are written this way because those areas are where jobs are created and a W2 is the highest form of income the government can get.
Back to my cynicism - maybe that is the reason we don't teach financial education in government run schools, because those that get educated, pay a lot less in taxes and are don't become W2 employees. But, that is not you - at least I certainly hope not, and after reading this, I hope you are inspired to self-educate and learn the amazing benefits that await you from financial education. Get started NOW!
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