Archive for March 2005

Overcoming Fear

Here’s a nice article on overcoming fear by Brian Tracy. I especially like the story about halfway through the article where Brian Tracy explains how he dealt with his fear of poverty as well as the “Corridor Principle.” Life is perverse in the sense that, the more you seek security, the less of it you…

Speech Contest Recovery

Last night I competed in my Toastmasters division speech contest. I took third place. While I was certainly aiming for first, I feel good that I did my best and ran up against my limits again. The first place winner was George Gilbert, a professional speaker/comedian who’s been speaking and performing about as long as…

Hard Work vs. Laziness

This material was originally part of a productivity debate about the merits of hard work vs. laziness. The website that hosted the debate in 2005 has long since gone offline, so I’m resharing my contributions to the debate here. Being lazy Being lazy will only allow you to accomplish a subset of the interesting goals…

Cultivating Burning Desire

When asked during an interview how he managed to reach the top as a professional bodybuilder and Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger replied with a single word, “Drive!” All great success ultimately begins with an idea, but what makes ideas become reality is the fuel of human desire. An idea by itself can give you a…

Cycles of Life

A reader suggested I write about this topic: Explore the tension between being satisfied with what you have and your accomplishments vs. the desire to do better. Being too complacent would yield suboptimal results because you’re drifting and not getting close to your true potential. But push too hard, and you may never enjoy what…

The Power of Clarity

H.L. Hunt, a man who rose from a bankrupt cotton farmer in the 1930s to a multi-billionaire when he died in 1974, was once asked during a TV interview what advice he could give to others who wanted to be financially successful. He said only two things are required. First, you must decide exactly what…

Master the Basics

If I could say that I have a superpower, it would be that I learn very quickly. More than any other skill, this one has been the most valuable to me over the longest period of time. Even when I’m not particularly good at something initially, I’m usually able to learn it and pick it…

Triple Your Personal Productivity

Have you ever had the experience of looking back on your week with the sinking feeling that you didn’t get as much done as you’d hoped? When building a successful career or a business of your own, your time is perhaps your most valuable asset, and your income is a direct result of how you…

Powerhouse Pros

Ron Lewison, a very experienced fellow Toastmaster, noted that a valuable career lesson he learned was to join groups or organizations where you just barely qualify for membership. They’ll pull you up to a whole new level. This is outstanding advice. On one hand it’s uncomfortable being in the bottom 10% of any group. But…

Efficient Email

Checking email too often is a significant productivity drain. Email by its very nature isn’t usually urgent unless it’s your entire job, such as answering customer support emails. Here are some tips to prevent email from taking too big a chunk out of your day. 1. Decide in advance exactly when you’ll check email. Don’t…