“Inquire within” to achieve greater success in business

blog-innquire within-business“Inquire within” to achieve greater success in business

“Brain researchers estimate that your unconscious data base outweighs the conscious on an order exceeding ten million to one. This data base is the source of your hidden, natural genius. In other words, a part of you is much smarter than you are. The wise people regularly consult that smarter part.”

Michael J. Gelb

Author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Discover Your Genius

When it comes to achieving greater success in business, most people look beyond themselves for insight on what steps they should follow to take their business or career to the next level.

They attend conferences, consult with colleagues, watch webinars, sign up for new training, and read books written by experts.

All these are great things to do – but if you only turn to outside experts for answers on what to do next, you could be overlooking a very powerful source of wisdom: YOUR OWN INTUITION.

Successful people trust their own intuition

All of the most successful people I know inquire within and trust their own intuition first and foremost when it comes to finding answers or making any important business or career decisions.

They understand that all the ideas you need to complete any task, solve any problem, or achieve any goal are available inside you.

For example, when Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels Corporation, wanted to buy the Stevens Corporation at auction, he submitted a sealed bid for $165,000. When he awakened the next morning with the number 180,000 in his head, he swiftly changed his bid to $180,000 and successfully secured the company.

The next highest bid was $179,800 – which means Hilton bid just enough to barely edge out a competitor. And that acquisition generated an easy $2 million in profit for him!

This is an excellent reason to study the habits of successful people.

Or consider how Mark Victor Hansen and I came up with the title for our best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series…

We had almost finished writing the first book but still didn’t have a title for it. Because we both meditate, we decided to “inquire within.” Every day for a week, we asked our internal guidance for a bestselling title.

On the third morning, I suddenly saw a hand write the words “chicken soup” on a blackboard in my mind. My immediate reaction was, What does chicken soup have to do with our book?

I heard a voice in my head respond, Chicken soup is what your grandmother gave you when you were sick as a child.

But this book isn’t about sick people, I thought.

People’s spirits are sick, my inner voice replied. Millions of people are depressed and living in fear and resignation that things will never get better. This book will inspire them and uplift their spirits.

During the remaining minutes of that meditation, the title evolved from Chicken Soup for the Spirit to Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit. When I first heard Chicken Soup for the Soul, I got goose bumps. I have since learned that giving me goose bumps is one of the ways my intuition tells me I am on track.

And over the last 20 years, Chicken Soup for the Soul® has become a brand responsible for more than $2 billion in sales of books and many licensed products including pet food and greeting cards.

So, how can you tap into your own intuition to unleash your creative genius, make better decisions, solve problems faster, create winning business strategies, and make more money?

Here are my suggestions:

1. Meditate regularly

In order to be able to listen to your intuition, first you need to be able to “hear” it. This is where regular meditation comes in. It will help you clear out mental distractions and teach you to recognize subtle impulses within. This is especially important when you’re about to make a big business decision.

I recommend meditating every morning as soon as you wake up. It doesn’t have to be for long – even ten or 15 minutes each day will have a significant impact on your life.

As you learn how to meditate and become more spiritually attuned, you can better discern and recognize the sound of your higher self or the voice of God (or the universe, or however you want to describe the power that flows through all things) speaking to you through words, images, and sensations.

When I meditate, I’m able to see connections that were previously not clear to me. I’m able to understand my motivations, fears, and desires at a deeper level.

If I’m dealing with a challenge in my life, solutions come pouring into my mind – clear thoughts and images of the steps I need to take, the people I need to talk to, and what I need to do to transcend the obstacles in my way. It’s a truly magical experience.

 2. Get clear on the questions you want answered

If you’re looking for answers, first you need to get clear on what it is you’re asking.

I recommend that you take the time to figure out exactly what truth you’re trying to uncover, or decision you need to make regarding your business or career – and write it down on paper in the form of a question.

Then, before you go to bed at night, speak that question aloud at least three times, to embed it into your subconscious. Then put it out of your mind and go to sleep.

When you wake up to perform your meditation the next morning, you may find that your subconscious mind has been busy while you sleep, and ready to provide you with the answers you’ve been looking for.

3. Cultivate mindfulness so you can receive messages in whatever form they arrive

Your intuition can communicate with you in many ways. It may come to you in a vision or appear as an image while you are meditating or dreaming. It may speak to you as a hunch, a thought, or a voice actually telling you yes, no, go for it, or not yet.

In order to hear it when it speaks to you, practice mindfulness whenever possible. Mindfulness is the act of bringing your complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis in an open, accepting, nonjudgmental way. By remaining mindful in the present moment, you open your awareness of what you’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing, so that you can recognize your intuition when it communicates with you.

4. Listen to your body

Your intuition may speak to you through your physical senses.

A negative message or warning may come to you in the form as a chill, the creeps, a sense of restlessness, discomfort in your got, constriction in your chest, tightness or pain in your head, even a sour taste in your mouth.

A positive or “yes” message might come in the form of goose bumps, a dizzy feeling, warmth, a sense of opening or expansiveness in the chest, a sense of relaxation or relief, or a letting go of tension.

5. Listen to your emotions

Maybe your intuition will speak to you through your emotions.

If it’s trying to caution you or warn you against taking a particular course of action, you may feel a wave of uneasiness, concern, or confusion when you think about taking that action.

If, on the other hand, when you think about taking that action you feel a rush of joy, excitement or euphoria or profound inner peace, that could be your intuition telling you you’re on the right track.

6. Write down your answers

Whenever you access your intuition, make sure to immediately write down any impressions you receive. Intuitive impressions are often subtle and therefore “evaporate” very quickly, so make sure to capture them in writing as soon as possible.

Recent research in neuroscience indicates that an intuitive insight – or any new idea – not captured within 37 seconds is likely never to be recalled. And in 7 minutes, it’s gone forever.

So make sure you always have your smartphone or memo pad with you so you can record any intuitive insights or ideas that emerge.

7. Take immediate action

You know the saying, “the universe rewards action?” It’s true!

When you act on the information you receive, you’ll find that you get more and more intuitive impulses. After a while you will be living in the flow, and it will all seem easy and effortless as the wisdom comes to you and you simply act on it. You will learn to trust yourself more, and receiving insight from your intuition and acting on it will become automatic.

Experts agree that your intuition works better when you trust it. The more you demonstrate faith in your intuition, the more you will see the results of it in your life. So I strongly encourage you to listen to your intuition, trust it, and follow it.

Trusting your intuition is simply another form of trusting yourself, and the more you trust yourself, the more success you will have. This is a crucial factor in personal development for those interested in learning how to be successful.

Practice and be patient – Rome wasn’t intuited in a day

If you have never meditated before or practiced “inquiring within” to receive guidance from your intuition, be patient with yourself. It can take time to learn how to quiet the mind and recognize what your higher self is telling you to do.

There are ways you can accelerate the process, however – and one I encourage you to consider is to join me for Breakthrough to Success next year – either in Newport Beach, California in February or Scottsdale, Arizona in August.

During this transformative five-day event, I will teach you how to look inside yourself to find the wisdom that’s already there – so you can get clear on what you really want in life and what you need to do to not only achieve more success and career in your business, but also create the joyous and meaningful life you desire.

To learn more, visit: Breakthrough to Success

What is your intuition telling you to do? 😉

 


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FALL CHALLENGE: Redefine your time – and redesign your life

blog-redefinetimeFALL CHALLENGE – SETTING LIFE GOALS:

Redefine your time – and redesign your life

I don’t mean to alarm you, but did you know that there are only 12 weeks left in 2015?

(Scary, right??)

If you still have goals for the year that you haven’t achieved – or if you simply want to crank up your productivity so you can get more done this fall and set yourself up for greater success in 2016 – I have a challenge for you:

Implement the 5 simple time management techniques below – and take charge of your schedule so you can accomplish twice as much in half the time while enjoying plenty of free time and maintaining your sanity.

Are you ready? Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Start thinking in terms of Focus Days, Buffer Days, and Free Days

This idea is based on Dan Sullivan’s Entrepreneurial Time System®* It’s a unique planning system that structures time into three very different kinds of days that are prescheduled to assure the highest payoff for your effort efforts while still allowing abundant amounts of free time to pursue your personal interests.

Many of the most successful people I know use this system to create superior results while still maintaining balance between work, family, and recreation in their lives.

Here’s what the three different kinds of days look like:

FOCUS DAYS

A Focus Day is one in which you spend at least 80% of your time operating in your core genius or primary area of expertise.

When you focus on your core genius, it tends to give you the highest payoff for the time you invest. For example, my core areas of genius are speaking, training, conducting seminars, coaching, writing, and editing. I do these things easily and well—and when I do them in a focused way, they’re the things I get paid the most money for.

Depending on your profession and core genius, your Focus Day might be spent designing a new line of clothing, making sales calls, negotiating deals, producing a loan package to send to a mortgage lender, painting, performing, or writing a grant proposal for a nonprofit organization – whatever you most enjoy doing that will give you the greatest return on your time.

BUFFER DAYS

These are days spent preparing and planning for a Focus or Free Day—either by learning a new skill, locating a new resource, training your support team, delegating tasks to others, and so on.

Buffer Days are important because they ensure that your Focus Days are as productive as possible. The key is to group all your Buffer Day activities into the same day so you are not diluting your Focus Days and Free Days with tasks that distract you from your core genius or prevent you from truly enjoying your time off.

A Buffer Day for you might be spent on monthly planning, organizing your workspace, developing a new sales presentation, writing a brochure, training an assistant, or attending a professional workshop – whatever you need to do to clear your plate of distractions and get the job done better and faster.

FREE DAYS

A Free Day extends from midnight to midnight and involves no work-related activity of any kind. It’s a day completely free of business meetings, business-related phone calls, cell phone calls, emails, or reading work-related journals and documents.

On a true Free Day, you’re not available to your staff, clients, or students for any kind of contact except for true emergencies—injury, death, flood, or fire. These off days are important because they allow you to relax, enjoy yourself, and spend quality time with your family and friends, so you can come back to your work refreshed and ready to tackle it with renewed vigor, enthusiasm, and creativity.

2. Write down what your ideal Focus, Buffer, and Free Days look like

When you have a clear idea of the kind of day you want to have, you’re more likely to make it a reality.

When envisioning your ideal Focus Day, think back to days when you managed to accomplish an incredible amount of work in a short time. What conditions allowed that to happen? Did you turn off your phone? Unplug from the Internet? Delegate more responsibility to your staff? Have a pre-made lunch in the fridge that required no cooking? Work at a coffee shop instead of at home?

Take note of the factors that helped you be more productive and incorporate them into your vision of an ideal Focus Day, so you can leverage their positive impact on your productivity.

When imagining the perfect Free Day, think of the recreational activities that make you happiest and do the best job of making you feel refreshed and energized. Maybe it’s spending quality time with your kids outdoors, going fishing with your pals, reading a great book, getting a massage, or going for a hike. Whatever your favorite free-time activities are, write them down so you can make sure you spend your free time doing what you love instead of just mindlessly watching TV or surfing the Internet.

When envisioning your ideal Buffer Day, think about the planning and preparation activities that are most likely to significantly accelerate your progress. What tasks will do the best job of freeing up your time and make your focus days more productive? What gaps in your knowledge and experience need to be filled to make you even more effective at what you do?

By visualizing yourself taking these actions and acquiring these skills and knowledge, you’ll be far more likely to make it happen – and this is going to have a HUGE impact on your performance.

3. Set aside 2 hours to plan your fall schedule in detail

Once you’ve visualized what you want you want your ideal Focus, Buffer, and Free days to look like this fall, it’s time to mark them on your schedule and create a work-plan-rest rhythm that helps you to achieve everything you hope to accomplish this fall.

Depending on how ambitious your goals are, you may choose to schedule 3-5 Focus Days, 1-2 Buffer Days, and 1-2 Free Days a week. The more dedicated Focus Days you have, the more you’ll be able to accomplish.

Once you’ve determined the rhythm that will work best for you, plan the next 12 weeks accordingly. Be sure to schedule Buffer Days for doing things such as cleaning your house or office, getting ready for Halloween/Thanksgiving, doing your Christmas shopping, and so on. This way you eliminate unexpected time obligations and ensure that your Focus Days and Free Days are spent doing exactly what you want to do.

4. Use up your holiday time

If you have any vacation days that will expire if they’re not used before the end of the year, make sure you use them. This is important! A Harris Interactive survey found that 57% of Americans had unused vacation time—up to two weeks’ worth—in 2011. Why? Because they weren’t sure if their job would still be there when they returned.

But the fact is, taking time off is essential to your productivity and your effectiveness as an employee. Holidays give you valuable time to rest and reinvigorate yourself so you can come back to work more rested, more productive, and more valuable to your employer.

And if you happen to be transitioning from an office job to working as an entrepreneur or freelancer, your vacation days could give you the time and space you need to develop your business so you can become your own boss that much faster.

5. Review your schedule every week and stick to it

Once you’ve planned your schedule for the fall, put it somewhere you can review it at least once a week to ensure you’re staying on track. This will make it easier for you to plan ahead and guarantee that your Focus Days and Free Days remain sacrosanct.

Yes, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance – and still get a mountain-load of work done.

It just requires a bit of careful planning. When you intentionally structure your time to take full advantage of your talents, you will find it so much easier to maximize your results. Remember, YOU are the one who’s in charge of your life. By creating a schedule that allows you to dramatically increase your productivity, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in 12 short weeks.

Ready to take the challenge?

Visit my Facebook Page and make a public commitment to take control of your schedule this fall – and maximize your results! Bonus points for publicly stating the goals you most want to accomplish in the next 12 weeks.

You can find me on Facebook here: JACK’S FACEBOOK PAGE

I look forward to reading about your goals and commitments!

If you need any help, let me be your personal mentor…


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Put the Success Principles to work in your life. It’s called the Success Principles 10-Day Transformation – and it’s completely free… Start your 10-Day Transformation here.

 

Canadian soldier: How the Success Principles helped me overcome my mental illness

blog-CanadianSoldierCanadian soldier: How the Success Principles helped me overcome my mental illness

One of the best parts of my job is reading letters sent to me by people who want to let me know how the Success Principles have changed their lives.

I recently received such a letter from Lex Stockdale, a graduate from my popular Train the Trainer program. Lex was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces when she developed a mental illness called depersonalization/derealization disorder.

This is how she describes her experience:

“At that time I was not allowed to be left alone. I would often forget who I was, where I was and what was going on. I would have no memories for long stretches of time. And it was unclear if I would ever return to normal.

This put me in a bad way as I felt completely helpless and dependent on those nearby. I lived in constant fear of being locked in isolation again. By no means was I a danger to myself or anyone, but nobody really understood what was going on and nobody wanted to understand either. I was shunned as an outcast and a burden by those who I thought were friends. My family pretended nothing was wrong or that I was just faking it. I was at the lowest point in my life.”

Then she discovered my book, The Success Principles, and her life changed. As she read through the book, she started to apply the principles to her life and saw improvements right away:

lex-stockdale“Noticeable positive changes occurred. This condition I have no longer controlled me. With the help of the principles and my doctors I started to get better at an alarming rate. I started to take responsibility of myself, figure out what I wanted to do, and remove the toxic people.

Now I’m building the life I want to live and filling it with all the people and things that bring me joy. My doctors now believe that I will be normal in a few years. And there is no doubt in my mind that that is due to The Success Principles.”

Lex was so moved by the impact the Success Principles have had on her life that she decided to become certified to teach them to others. That’s when she enrolled in my Train the Trainer program.

“Now I’m able to share the principles with others and help them experience those wonderful ‘a-ha’ moments, too,” she writes.

Not only that – but by incorporating the Success Principles so deeply into her life, she has also managed to overcome the crippling fears brought on by her mental illness.

“Two years ago I never would have thought it possible but now I’m not afraid of anything. Sure fear pops up every now and then but I recognize it for what it is: a tool to help me.”

Lex says that the greatest insight she has gained from studying the Success Principles and learning how to share them with others is that it’s all about “taking ownership of your life.”

“You are your own biggest roadblock and once you stop getting in your own way, anything and everything is possible. Fear, like any emotion, is just a tool to help you protect you. You are in control, so take control and stop being passive.”

I’m so proud of Lex for taking charge of her life and healing process in the way that she has. Her courage and desire to help others is humbling, and I’m thrilled that she has become certified to share the Success Principles with others! She is a bright light in the Canfield Community and I know she will continue to achieve great things in her life.

If you know anyone who is suffering and not living a life of deep joy and abundance, please tell them about The Success Principles – it could be the solution they’ve been searching for.

And if you have ever felt called to share the Success Principles with others, please check out Train the Trainer Live or my new self-directed Train the Trainer Online program – and learn how you can help others while achieving something remarkable with your life!