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    December 2009

    Classic Movie: The Dash

    December 17, 2009 2646 Views

    "For it matters not, how much we own,

    the cars...the house...the cash.

    What matters is how we live and love

    and how we spend our dash."

    -Linda Ellis, The Dash

    How have you been inspired today?

    Simple Truths of Life

    December 11, 2009 4251 Views

    031678I was reading through our newest title, The Simple Truths of Life. I was surprised to come upon chapters about worry, disappointment, regret and other similar topics. I thought, "That doesn't sound very inspirational at all!" When I read the chapter, though, I understood how important it is to look at negative events in a positive light. I don't know about you, but there are only so many times that I can think to myself, "the glass is half full"... sometimes I need someone to show me other ways of being optimistic. Here is a chapter full of quotes that I found particularly insightful titled, "A Simple Truth about... Disappointment."

    "I've learned that it's easier to cope with closure or rejection when you recognize each asa simple detour guiding you in a new direction." -Linda Ellis"Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments." -Joseph Addison"The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way." -Robert Kiyosaki"Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it." -Eliza Tabor"If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment." -Henry David Thoreau"Disappointment is often the salt of life." -Theodore W. Parker"Was yesterday a disappointment? I am sorry. But this is another day. The earth has turned around since yesterday. Face the New Day with good cheer!" -Henry F. Henrichs

    What are some difficulties that you have experienced in life? How did you make the most of them?

    New Movie: Heart of a Teacher

    December 8, 2009 4156 Views

    We are proud to present our newest movie, The Heart of a Teacher by Paula Fox. We took a heartwarming poem by Paula (below) and put it to images that I think many of us remember from our childhood. Here is the video, and below is the poem:

    The child arrives like a mystery box... with puzzle pieces inside some of the pieces are broken or missing... and others just seem to hide But the HEART of a teacher can sort them out... and help the child to see the potential for greatness he has within... a picture of what he can be Her goal isn't just to teach knowledge... by filling the box with more parts it's putting the pieces together... and creating a work of art The process is painfully slow at times... some need more help than others each child is a work in progress... with assorted shapes and colors First she creates a classroom... where the child can feel safe in school where he never feels threatened or afraid to try... and kindness is always the rule She knows that a child can achieve much more when he feels secure inside when he's valued and loved... and believes in himself...and he has a sense of pride She models and teaches good character... and respect for one another how to focus on strengths...not weaknesses and how to encourage each otherShe gives the child the freedom he needs... to make choices on his own so he learns to become more responsible... and is able to stand alone He's taught to be strong and think for himself... as his soul and spirit heal and the puzzle that's taking shape inside... has a much more positive feel The child discovers the joy that comes... from learning something new... and his vision grows as he begins to see all the things that he can do A picture is formed as more pieces fit... an image of the child within with greater strength and confidence... and a belief that he can win! All because a hero was there... in the HEART of a teacher who cared enabling the child to become much more... than he ever imagined...or dared A teacher with a HEART for her children... knows what teaching is all about she may not have all the answers... but on this...she has no doubt When asked which subjects she loved to teach, she answered this way and smiled... "It's not the subjects that matter... It's all about teaching the CHILD."

    I remember my 7th grade social studies teacher, Mrs. Oppenborn, and the valuable life lesson she taught me one day. One day after Halloween, Mrs. Oppenborn brought in candy for my class. We all rushed up to take it, and then were on to the next activity. Mrs. Oppenborn stopped us with the following observation, "I noticed that none of you said 'thank you' when you took the candy." She went on to say, "You're probably not going to hear many people tell you this, but remember to say 'thank you' when you receive something you didn't ask for. I didn't have to bring in candy for you all, and you didn't have to say anything. But, I did, so you should consider showing your gratitude."

    That profound statement planted a seed of gratitude in me and made me realize how blessed I am to to receive gifts I did not deserve. How have teachers made an impact in your life? How do you plan on living out their lessons?

    Finish Strong Movie

    December 3, 2009 3203 Views

    "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

    -Anatole France

    To encourage you in the end of this week, we are proud to share one of our most popular videos, Finish Strong. We hope that you take these stories to heart as you overcome the final challenges of 2009 to Finish Strong!

    Success Magazine Features Dan Green!

    December 2, 2009 1925 Views

    Dan Head Shot 2008In honor of Finish Strong week, we'd like to share with you a column that Dan Green, the author of Finish Strong wrote for Success Magazine. Dan is an entrepreneur with a passion for finishing strong in everything he does. Over the past twenty years, he has excelled in a wide variety of endeavors, including his roles as salesman, sales leader, sales trainer, patented inventor, race car driver, author, husband, and father. The personal adoption of the finish strong attitude has been a driving force in Dan's life and a key catalyst for helping him to achieve his goals in business, sports and life. Enjoy his column below!

    Selling can be one of the most rewarding professions. After all, how many other professions offer you the ability to make money in direct proportion to your efforts? For me, even more rewarding than the money was the thrill of the hunt: seeking out a prospective buyer, trying to engage them, finding a need and ultimately providing a solution. The money that followed was a nice byproduct of finding a solution to a problem.

    But it can also be one of the most frustrating professions. Trying to find prospects, trying to get them to open up and, heck, sometimes just getting them to call you back can all be extremely discouraging. In my 20 years as a selling professional, I've experienced just about every emotion you can imagine. In fact, you can go from the lowest lows to the highest highs in a single phone call.

    A critical factor to my selling success is my commitment to finish strong in all I do. That's right, to finish strong. Those two words stuck in my brain in my early selling days, and they have provided me with my own personal platform for achievement. As we near the end of this challenging year, I can think of no better advice than to finish strong.

    "I find myself accountable to not only myself, but also to the world around me. To quit with 30 seconds left is simply not an option for me. In sales, I have leaned on my commitment countless times to reach my goals."

    Early on, I struggled to get my selling career going. The finish-strong mentality helped me stay accountable to my goals, objectives and tasks. Let me explain.

    In life, sports and business, you're certain to encounter barriers to your goals and objectives. Sometimes, these moments come in a split second, and sometimes they come over a long period of time. Regardless, you, and only you, have the power to choose how to respond to the challenges in front of you. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, "It's not what happens to you, but how you respond that matters." When you adopt the finish-strong mentality, you create a level of personal accountability that guides you through critical decision points. I call these decision points finish-strong moments—the points in time when you must decide which path to take. Will you lie down, settle and quit, or will you move forward toward your goal to the best of your ability?

    I was in the gym last week boxing. We were doing three-minute rounds and I was exhausted. With 30 seconds to go in the last round, I thought I was going to pass out. Partners know about my commitment to finish strong, and I find myself accountable to not only myself, but also to the world around me. To quit with 30 seconds left is simply not an option for me.

    In sales, I have leaned on my commitment countless times to reach my goals. I've got some examples to share with you, but first, one point about goals: Write them down and keep them visible. I know you've heard this, but the power of writing a goal down is paramount to maintaining focus and ultimately reaching your goal. I first learned the power of this from an exercise at a sales training course I attended early in my selling career. One night, we were instructed to list our blessings, beliefs, objectives and desires. Without going into the entire list, let me share a few of the things I wrote down:

      Blessings: I am healthy, strong and have great family support.
      Beliefs: Hard work yields results. I can accomplish anything.
      Objectives: Double my income and cut my debt in half by the end of the year.
      Desires: Learn to race cars. Provide for a future wife and a family.

    The next thing I did was to type the list on a piece of paper the size of a business card and laminate it. Then, I carried it with me in my wallet. I would read it in the morning, during the day and before I went to bed at night. This ritual created a focus like I never had before. It helped me stay positive and helped me to keep my eye on the prize.

    After attending the sales course, I took a new strategy back to the sales front line. Basically, I got back to basics.

    First off, I needed to build a solid pipeline. I'd taken on a new territory, and there was no significant pipeline to speak of. In order to begin building it, I committed to making 25 prospect calls per day via the telephone. But I struggled to meet my daily goal for several weeks. I needed something to help me. Being a visual person, I got an idea. I took 25 paperclips and set them on a drink coaster next to the phone. For each meaningful sales call, I would put one paperclip back in the holder. I resolved to never leave the office until all of the paperclips were gone—to finish strong each day. My territory spanned east to west, so I could call until late into the night if I needed.

    For the next six months, I stayed focused on the goal of 25 calls. There were many times at the end of the day when everyone else was leaving and I had a paperclip sitting there staring at me. It was tempting to leave and ask myself to make 26 calls the next day, but that was not part of the plan. I can honestly say I never left a paperclip on the coaster and I never put one back I did not earn. In that first year, I tripled my income and stuffed my pipeline to the point that I never had to make a cold call again.

    As I sat down to finish this column, I was overcome with emotion. My mother passed away without warning, and I'm currently with my family planning the memorial service. For some, writing a motivational piece could easily be put aside for now. However, I made a commitment to meet a deadline, and I'm eager to share this concept with you. So I'm leaning on my commitment to finish strong right now as I write. I know that's what my mother would want me to do.

    So I don't want to paint this rose-colored picture that when you decide to finish strong, all of a sudden, your world will change and good things will come easy. The fact of the matter is, living a finish-strong life is hard—rewarding, but hard. You see, when you adopt this mindset and hold yourself accountable to it, you'll find yourself being more committed, more disciplined, more enthusiastic and more focused. This puts pressure on you to perform to the best of your ability. If you can't handle this pressure, then you're resigning yourself to mediocrity. But, if you resolve to finish strong in all you do, I can promise you that you will gain much more satisfaction in life than if you choose a different path. Oh, and, yes, I did have the opportunity to drive race cars. But that's a whole 'nother story.

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