success

The basics of motivational books

English: Motivational speaker Tony Robbins at ...

Tony Robbins at a Twitter conference in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I started this blog, people love giving me motivational books. They are packed with great advice on how to achieve one’s dreams and how to overcome obstacles, but after you’ve read one you’ve read them all. From Tony Robbins to  The Secret, the same rules apply because they are truths that really work. So, I’ve decided to save you time and share the key tips they all have in common.

  1. The easiest way to make money is to tell people how to make money. Most of these motivational books start off with the author describing how they were down in the dumps but then they learned a few things, made millions of dollars, and now they’re going to share those few things with you so that you too can make millions of dollars. But first, give them $29.99 so that they can share those tips. Success begets success.
  2. You cannot control the timeline of your success – all you can do is prepare for it. You don’t know when you’re going to meet a crazy inventor who loves your idea and wants to give you $50k to get started, but don’t you think that investor will be more likely to give you money if you’ve already built a prototype and written a business plan? “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca
  3. You can’t get what you want until you know what you want.You know those times when you walk into the kitchen and then realize you forgot what you wanted? You stand there like an idiot scanning every surface, hoping it will trigger your memory. When you do finally remember what it was you wanted, you see it immediately. It’s usually in the most obvious place. The thing that you wanted was always there, but you won’t find it until you know what it is. Start writing down what you want out of your life, and reread those lists constantly. What you want should always be on the tip of your tongue.
  4. Create a community of support. Find mentors who inspire you and do what they have done. Find colleagues who challenge and motivate you and give them the amount of help that you would like in return. Cherish your friends who are positive, and weed out the people who stomp on dreams or fill your life with unnecessary, distracting drama.

If you would like further reading on this matter, here is a wide variety of motivational books I’d recommend. Each of the books have an amazon link, so if you buy from the link, I’ll make money and then I can achieve the first point in this post 🙂

    

Show up

Woody Allen

Woody Allen (Photo credit: ThomasThomas)

“80% of success is showing up.”

I always thought that was an Einstein quote, but apparently it was Woody Allen. One of the things that I love about Woody Allen is that he’ll try anything. Some of his jokes are really stupid, but there are others that make me cry from laughing, and he seems to deliver both varieties with earnestness. It’s like he throws as many darts as possible hoping at least one of them will hit the target. I really respect that level of effort and candor.

I’ve been a big fan of this quote because I see it’s truth all the time.

The other day was a perfect example. While volunteering with Defy, there was competition to see which team of two could do the best presentation. Every team was going to have two minutes to make this presentation and since there were 50 people in the room, there would be five rounds. We had ten minutes to prepare our speeches.

When they asked for five teams to volunteer to go first I raised my hand immediately. This is not my usual mode of operation, but since I’m a mentor I thought it would be good to exemplify leadership behavior.

When the five teams went to the front of the room the moderator announced that competition was over and that the first group automatically won. The people who hadn’t volunteered were upset, but it was such a valuable lesson.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re actually being judged on. One of my friends described an interview at Google where they asked a ridiculously hard question and it turns out they were judging how he reacts to pressure and not his actual answer. It turns out the competition was not about who can give the best presentation but about who was willing to take risks and step up to the plate.

How many times do we sit back and wait to be called on? How much time do we waste perfecting our arguments and never saying them out loud. This little social experiment was the epitome of Woody Allen’s quote. It doesn’t really matter if your the best, smartest, funniest, whatever. It matters that you’re eager, and ready to get in the game. The more time I spend with successful business people the more impressed I am not with their amazing intelligence or insight, but with their willingness to dive right in.

While we’re on the topic of Woody Allen, here are some other quotes of his that I love:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”

“My one regret in life is that I’m not someone else.”

How many HeSos does it take to screw in a light bulb?

I’m paraphrasing here, but when it took Thomas Edison a 1,000 attempts to make a decent light bulb he said “I have learned yet another way not to make a light bulb.” That’s a pretty healthy way to look at your failures.

As I enter the fourth month of blogging, I decided to review my blog to see if I am maintaining the original spirit of the HeSo project and following through on my goals (This is all very meta, I know). I promised to be “brutally honest” about all my successes and failures. So here goes.

In August, I set a goal of publishing a piece about the similarities of Madrid and NYC. While I was in Madrid I took extensive notes, and made lots of good comparisons. When I got back home I started the article about six or seven times, and I never got past the intro.

I learned something…I don’t like writing when there’s a clear assignment. It brings me back to high school English. But I did learn that I love writing fiction!

As I was trying to write the Spain piece, a new character for an old short story I wrote came to mind. Instead of laboring on an article I didn’t want to write, I let myself rewrite the story. I finished the 20 paged short story and I’m very happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to get it published.


In my post about using your enthusiasm, I wrote that I would give a more thorough review of, Start Something That Matters and have a free give away of the book. I haven’t done that yet, but the second I have more time to reread it – it’s on. I just have a really hard time rereading books because there are so many great books that I’ll never get a chance to read even if I live to a million 😦 So this is a temporary failure, BUT I know it will soon be a success.

Riding my Flying Pigeon in Astoria Park

One of my goals was to meet people who are following their HeSo and this has been a great success! I got to meet, and interview Lisa Bourque, founder of Wild Heart Coaching. I got to learn about my friend’s new bike career and I got a bike (which I rode to Astoria park Sunday! I love my bike so much!!!). I met someone at a Halloween party who just wrote a book and we’re planing to do an interview together! Having a goal to meet and learn from people who are following their heart has made me a lot more proactive in my friendship making. I’m meeting more people than ever before, listening more closely, and appreciating the tips they have. This has been one of the best successes for me.

from geektyrant.com

When I started this project, Ifully intended to start a pie making company. I envisioned future blog posts of my I Love Lucy-esque mishaps in the kitchen. However, when I really started the planning I realized it wasn’t for me. I love to make pies, but what I love the most is making them for someone special and seeing or hearing how much they love it. It just wouldn’t be the same making them in mass. Plus I don’t even have a dishwasher. I did, however, come up with another business idea that I love and I’ve been completely psyched for it!

Overall, I’ve been volunteering more, reading empowering books, getting out of my comfort zone, meeting more people, and thinking positively. I’m looking at my slip ups constructively and learning from them rather than letting them hold me back. Because I’m public about my goals I feel a sense of accountability to my fans out there (yes, I’m a rock star). My friends are actually using HeSo as a word now! Having the blog has motivated me beyond words. I never thought anyone would read what I had to say. I never thought I would have more than a paragraph to write. But here I am on my 40th post and I’m in a much better place than when I started. My light bulb is shining bright!