From Robin Sharma

1. Exercise daily.
2. Get serious about gratitude.
3. See your work as a craft.
4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst.
5. Keep a journal.
6. Read “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”.
7. Plan a schedule for your week.
8. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life.
9. Say no to distractions.
10. Drink a lot of water.
11. Improve your work every single day.
12. Get a mentor.
13. Hire a coach.
14. Get up at 5 am each day.
15. Eat less food.
16. Find more heroes.
17. Be a hero to someone.
18. Smile at strangers.
19. Be the most ethical person you know.
20. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence.
21. Savor life’s simplest pleasures.
22. Save 10% of your income each month.
23. Spend time at art galleries.
24. Walk in the woods.
25. Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you.
26. Forgive those who’ve wronged you.
27. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades.
28. Create unforgettable moments with those you love.
29. Have 5 great friends.
30. Become stunningly polite.
31. Unplug your TV.
32. Sell your TV.
33. Read daily.
34. Avoid the news.
35. Be content with what you have.
36. Pursue your dreams.
37. Be authentic.
38. Be passionate.
39. Say sorry when you know you should.
40. Never miss a moment to celebrate another.
41. Have a vision for your life.
42. Know your strengths.
43. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack.
44. Be patient.
45. Don’t give up.
46. Clean up your messes.
47. Use impeccable words.
48. Travel more.
49. Read “As You Think”.
50. Honor your parents.
51. Tip taxi drivers well.
52. Be a great teammate.
53. Give no energy to critics.
54. Spent time in the mountains.
55. Know your top 5 values.
56. Shift from being busy to achieving results.
57. Innovate and iterate.
58. Speak less. Listen more.
59. Be the best person you know.
60. Make your life matter.

Take Reponsibility for your Life - Part 1

So what does it mean to take 100% responsibility for your life?  This post is the first of I-don't-know-how-many articles on this subject.  I thought it would be fun to tackle one fundamental of personal responsibility at a time.
One way that it means to take 100% responsibility for your life is to read books that are written specifically to teach you how to grow yourself as a human being and live happier, healthier, and wealthier.  Such books are basically called personal development books and are usually found under the "Business," "Health," and "Inspiration," sections at your bookstore.

It seems that for some people (or most people!), they would much rather complain about everything that's going wrong in their lives and feel like victims instead of reading a book that has the potential to help them create a new reality for themselves.  When a person comes up with a remark like, "Oh, I don't like reading," then they have lost all right to my humble opinion.  This makes me wonder how in the world such people expect to get answers, to find solutions, to make tomorrow better than today.  It is as if they are waiting around for some one else to drop out of the sky and fix their lives for them.  And this is definitely the opposite of taking personal responsibility.   

Did you know that over 65% of adults never go on to read another book after graduating?  This is...ugh.  Well, if I've had to read the types of books most high school kids have to work through, than I would probably not have an enthusiastic attitude about reading or learning either.  Thank goodness my homework consisted of reading books like How to Win Friends and Influence People, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and The Magic of Thinking Big.  Most people aren't even exposed to books like this.  Still, there's something quite unsettling about a grown adult who would rather nurse their misery than crack open a book that can add years of problem-free happiness to their lives.

Answers to common objections excuses:

Excuse:  But this book is so expensive!
Answer:  To quote Jim Rohn, "Think not about what the books costs.  Think of what it costs you if you don't read it."  Aside from the fact that you can buy used books on Amazon starting at $0.01, why would you think twice about buying a book that can help you live the life you want?  Are you telling me that possessing the knowledge and power to create your best life isn't worth $14.95?  C'mon, I know you spent more than that at McDonalds yesterday.

Excuse:  But I don't like to read.
Answer:  Mark Twain said, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."  Can you tell that Twain was more than a little irritated with people with such an excuse?  We live in a time when anyone and everyone has access to wisdom that has been accumulated over thousands of years.  People with this excuse are literally choosing ignorance.  And when this is the case, then they probably deserve every one of the problems that they are dealing with.  I do have a measure of understanding and patience for people with this mindset because of the likelihood that their experience with books and study in school was probably far from exciting or positive, but...well...I don't know what else to say other than it's time to grow up!  Read the book and I bet you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Taking 100% responsibility for your life = Reading books for your personal development.

Lord! when you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life.  Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.  ~Christopher Morley

 I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage.  ~Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, Pensées Diverses

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.  ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

What do you do when you feel stuck?

Okay, so you're on the path of personal development and then it happens.  You feel like things aren't really moving fast enough and you're beginning to doubt whether you're even making any progress in your life at all.  You see other people who you know are not putting themselves through the process of personal development and yet they look like they're enjoying more fun and progress than you are.  You're thinking: "What's going on?  I'm putting in all this reading time, doing the daily sacrifices and disciplines, working on my project and business...where's my payday?"  This is when you have to remember the principles of...THE SLIGHT EDGE.
Do you see how the arrows appear to be going along a horizontal line before suddenly shooting out in a vertical direction?  Understanding this will help you realize that as long as you are on the path of personal development, as long as you are reading, growing, and doing the daily disciplines, you can never really be stuck because things are happening...we just don't get to see it right away.

"Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space."

You just have to utterly believe and accept that your "EFFECT" will happen.  As Jim Rohn says, "Keep the faith."  Successful people understand the process of THE SLIGHT EDGE.  They know that if they just stay committed to the daily disciples with no thought about whether or not things appear to be happening, they will reach that point in time when effect kicks in and sky-rockets them into unbelievable success.

OWL Workshop Recap on Failing Forward

Hi OWL team, here is the recap on what we learned at our OWL meeting last night:

OWL Principle #3:
Failing is part of the process of achieving success.

“I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan

“You always pass failure on the way to success.” - Mickey Rooney

“Failure is only postponed success as long as courage coaches ambition” - Kaufman

“If you're afraid to fail, you don't deserve to be successful." - Barkley *Michelle here: This quote is about people who are so afraid of failure that they won't PAY THE PRICE of success.  There is a difference between being afraid and not doing anything and being afraid and doing it anyway.  Just wanted to clarify because there was some misunderstanding about this quote.

“The line between failure and success is so fine that we often don’t know when we pass it.” - Emerson

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” - Edison

"A successful person is simply someone who has fallen down 7 times and got up 8." 

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Churchill

Then we wrapped things up with an awesome talk by Jack Canfield who is the the creator of The Chicken Soup for the Soul series and author of The Success Principles.  

Like any really successful person, Jack Canfield is a product of personal development and the principles of success taught therein.  In this interview with SUCCESS Magazine publisher Darren Hardy, Jack shares his knowledge on goal achieving, taking action, maintaining momentum, and developing the right attitude and mindset about our relationship with money.

I took a truck load of notes, but I'm not going to share them here because I'd much rather you listen to the talk for yourself and take your own notes. 
So sit down, relax, and listen to this great audio.  C'mon, you can do this one thing for your better future can't you?

OWL Assignment: Ask better questions

If you're looking for better answers, all one must do is ask better questions. Think of a problem or challenge (or what you want next in your life)... what question can you ask, that if you had the answer, would solve your problem or bring you decidedly closer to what you want?
- Mike Klingler via Facebook status update

Book Review: Poke the Box by Seth Godin

I'm in the middle of listening to an audio book called Poke the Box by Seth Godin.  It reminds me of the book ReworkI learned the key points of both of these books a few months ago thru the book summaries and interviews that SUCCESS Magazine produced and I'd say both works were highly influential in the development of the OWL blog and project.

Basically, Seth Godin is a big fan of people who start stuff.  Why is this important?  This quote by Seth says it all:
"What would the world look like if more people 
started projects, made a ruckus,
and took risks?"

Don't worry - Seth promotes finishing what you start as well.  Here's my notes so far:
  • Quit waiting for someone else to give you a map.  Draw your own.
  • "The most common way that people give up their power is by thinking that they don't have any." - Alice Walker
  • Everyone is sitting around waiting for someone to pick them.  Stop waiting.  Pick yourself!
  • Poking the box means jumping in and taking action again and again and again.  It means throwing your fears and excuses out the window and just start, GO, and keep going.
  • Soon is not as good as NOW.
  • Does your goal, project, or idea scare you?  Good.  It's worth doing then.
  • "Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you couldn't do.
    If you lived in that world, what would you do?
    Go. Do that." 
  • If you're not failing, then you're not doing, starting, going.  Avoiding failure is counterproductive.
  • Make a habit out of starting.
  • Get off your butt and try something.  Take ACTION.  Go.  Change the world.  ;)
 "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

OWL Assignment

This week's OWL assignment comes from Mike Klingler's facebook update:
When you notice you're procrastinating on the development of your "dreams" - feeling overwhelmed or frustrated or just running on empty. Don't think about EVERYTHING you have to do. Here is what you can do: FOCUS on just the ONE THING, the NEXT THING to do. Do that. Repeat.

A new book is coming to town

The Secret OWL Society is pleased to announce that we will soon be integrating the SUCCESS for TEENS book program into our monthly workshops.  This excellent book is the product of a collaboration between SUCCESS MAGAZINE and Jeff Olson who is the author of The Slight EdgeWe will start the Slight Edge program as soon as the books arrive in the mail - hopefully in time for our next workshop next Saturday.  I encourage all team members to purchase their own personal copy which will be made available at only $4 each!  Let's keep moving forward together! :) -Michelle Rohr

OWL Assignment: Make a Change

This is from Robert Pagliarini's weekly email.  We'll use it for this week's OWL assignment.
Richer Life's Question of the Week

Where have you developed the idea that you, another person, or your problem situation cannot change?  How can you challenge that?

Workshop Recap on Fear

Hi OWL team.  Here is the recap on what we learned at our mini workshop this past Saturday.
OWL Principle #2: 
"Your greatest life lies on the other side of your fears.  
You have to run toward what frightens you."

We reviewed "The Five Truths about Fear":
The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow!
Every time you take a step into the unknown, you experience fear. There is no point in
saying, "When I am no longer afraid, then I will do it." You'll be waiting for a long time. The fear
is part of the package.
The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it!
When you do it often enough, you will no longer be afraid in that particular situation. You will
have faced the unknown and you will have handled it. Then new challenges await you, which
certainly add to the excitement in living.
The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and…do it!
With each little step you take into unknown territory, a pattern of strength develops. You begin
feeling stronger and stronger and stronger.
Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!
This should be a relief. You are not the only one out there feeling fear. Everyone feels fear when
taking a step into the unknown. Yes, all those people who have succeeded in doing what they
have wanted to do in life have felt the fear - and did it anyway. So can you!
Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes
from a feeling of helplessness!
This is the one truth that some people have difficulty understanding. When you push through
the fear, you will feel such a sense of relief as you feeling of helplessness subsides. You will
wonder why you did not take action sooner. You will become more and more aware that you can
truly handle anything that life hands you.

 We listened to (and took notes on) Robin Sharma's excellent podcasts on fear.  Check it out:

Podcast #7:  Run to Fear
Podcast #22:  You are Caught by what You Resist

Notes from listening to podcasts:
  • What we'll regret the most on our death bed are the things we didn't do.
  • Always run toward what you fear.
  • Acknowledge your fears; befriend your fears.
  • Name your fears (write them down) to develop awareness of them.
  • Your fears are governing you and limiting you.
  • You are caught by what you are running from.
  • What you resist persists.
  • Take responsibility.  Show up at your best.
  • Own your fears; climb your limitations.
  • To see new things in your life, you need to take new actions.
  • Speak your truth.
  • When you change, your world begins to change.
  • Awareness -> Choices -> Results -> Lifestyle
We answered these questions:
1. What are you afraid of?
2. What are you resisting?
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