One Thing That Holds Most People Back

If you know me personally or have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I love to read books by inspirational people and entrepreneurs.  

I also love to listen to podcasts and watch videos from successful people.  

Success stories amaze me and there is one thing that sticks out to me in most cases.  Successful people believe they can be successful.

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The Importance of Practice

We all know the saying, "Practice Makes Perfect".  Perhaps you have heard a variation of this phrase as I have too – "Perfect Practice Makes Perfect".  

I don't want to get into which is more appropriate or more correct, but the bottom line is we tend to get better at things when we spend time practicing them.  

pianist

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Don’t Forget to Pray

Today has been designated by Congress as the National Day of Prayer.  From what I understand, this day has been officially observed since 1952 and each year it falls on the 1st Thursday in the month of May.

As I reflect on this observance, I get a great sense of gratitude that in this country I still have the freedom to pray on my own and in group settings with other believers.

praying

It is very easy to get caught up in the fast-paced, technology-driven society that we live in and to neglect simple blessings such as prayer, but we don't have to.

1 Thessalonians 5 encourages us to "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in everything".  

I believe we often make prayer more complicated than it has to be.  We may think of the long, lofty prayers that some people offer up or the stories that we hear of people praying for hours at a time.

That may all be fine, but I believe if we are to pray without ceasing, it means we should continually have a mindset of prayer, or speaking to and thanking God.

We can look for every opportunity during our day to pray and then we'll never forget.

The following situations might give you a few ideas:

  • Waking up in the morning – Thank God that you are still alive and have the opportunity to be with your family, to be a blessing to others, etc
  • Eating breakfast – Thank God that you have something to eat
  • Getting dressed – Thank God that you have clothing to wear
  • Leaving for work – Thank God for a way to get to work/school.  Ask God to help you get there safely
  • Arrived at work – Thank God that you made it there safely and that you are able to work
  • Got paid – Thank God for provision
  • Going to a meeting/test – Ask God for wisdom in the meeting/test

The list could go on and on, but as you can imagine, we could have dozens of reasons to pray and hundreds of situations to pray about each and every day.  Maybe we didn't have an hour to do a formal prayer with God this morning, but could we spare 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes?  

Can we remember to pray for a few seconds for the person that just passed us in the hallway?  We probably can.  

I have heard it said hundreds of times and I believe it to be true – "Prayer changes things".

We live in a world that is full of people who are hurting, confused, and suffering.  Our need for prayer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter who we are, what we drive, or where we live, we need prayer.  <Tweet This>

Lastly, I encourage you to do what it takes to remember to pray and you won't regret it.  Set a reminder on your calendar.  Add it to your to-do list.  Make a sticky-note for your monitor.  It's up to you.

Questions:  What are some ways you remember to pray?  Are you participating in some sort of event associated with the National Day of Prayer?

Rest is Important

I have always been an earlier riser.  I used to wake up no later than 6:00 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. when I was in college…even on the weekends (I know, I'm weird).

Now, my wake-up time is usually 5:00 a.m.  I say "usually" because I have learned that sometimes other factors enter the picture and our bodies get tired and need rest.

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If we choose to ignore the warning signs from our bodies, we can have terrible consequences.  

I discovered this as a junior in college.

I was used to staying up until after midnight on most nights and I would still wake up before 6:00 a.m. each day.  I found that the early morning hours were my most productive time, so I would wake up to do homework or to prepare for a test.

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The Joy of Writing Thank You Notes

Over the past few years as I have listened to podcasts and read the blog posts of creative and inspirational people, I have heard a number of them discuss the idea of writing handwritten notes for people.

Some of these authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs have talked about the effects that their notes have had on others and some of them have raved about a handwritten note that someone had written them.

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Podcasts I Listen To

Without a doubt, one of my favorite ways to get ideas and to learn new things is to listen to podcasts.

I listen to podcasts while washing the dishes.  I listen to podcasts while mopping floors (yes, I help out around the house).  I listen to podcasts while working in my office.  I listen to podcasts while taking walks.  I even listen to podcasts while cutting the grass on the weekends.

ipod

It has become a part of my professional development and I'm glad to be able to listen to such great resources that cost me a grand total of $0.00.

Whenever I discuss podcasts, I often get asked what I listen to, so I figured I would share a list in this post.  FYI: I listen to all of these using the Stitcher app or Stitcher.com

Here is a list of most of the podcasts I listen to with brief descriptions:

  • The Dave Ramsey Show – great money management advice and encouragement. The real-life stories give a spark to get out of debt and "live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later"
  • Entreleadership – business/life lessons from Dave Ramsey and interviews of great leaders by Chris Locurto
  • This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt – Former CEO/Chairman at Thomas Nelson. He shares intentional leadership strategies in an easy-to-understand way. He's a great blogger/speaker and he shares success strategies.
  • Coach Radio with Justin Lukasavige – topics vary, but sometimes listening to real-life entrepreneurs have a conversation about different topics sparks an idea of something that I want to do.
  • Podcast Answer Man – Cliff Ravenscraft shares many things about podcasting and life.  He's the go-to guy for podcasting.
  • Unofficial Linchpin – Andy Traub periodically interviews people who are making things happen.
  • Eventual Millionaire – Jamie Tardy interviews millionaires and gets real advice that people who are starting out can use
  • Focus on the Family – I listen to this great family/ministry podcast nearly every weekday morning. Great encouragement for Christians, fathers, married couples, single folks, etc.
  • The Wired Homeschool – great tech topics for homeschooling families and parents in general
  • In The Loop with Andy Andrews – Andy Traub (A.T.) hosts and shares great conversations with author and speaker Andy Andrews 
  • Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn shares his experiences and how he runs his business
  • Beyond the To Do List – Erik J. Fisher shares great interviews with entrepreneurs 
  • 48 Days to the Work You Love – Author/Speaker, Dan Miller answers listener questions about doing work they love, whether finding a job, starting a business, or both.  Just the weekly dose of inspiration that I need.

Question:    How about you?  Do you listen to podcasts?  If so, what are some that you would recommend?

Ask The Right Questions To Save Money

Whenever I go back to old family videos, one thing that I notice about myself is that I ask a lot of questions.

The truth of the matter is I still do.

question

A recognizable phrase that was developed from multiple scriptures is "you have not because you ask not".  In many cases, this is truth.  All it takes is asking the right questions to the right people.

A long time ago, I discovered that usually the worst thing that could happen when asking questions is receiving the answer "no"….or getting punched in the face or something like that…but most of the time, just "no".

Once I got comfortable with that, I made a decision to ask more questions, and not just more questions, but the right questions to more likely get the result I desire.

I have been able to barter my services, add on new features for a client, get furniture prices reduced, find out about deals that weren't advertised, and even get items free because I asked the right person the right questions.

Here are three keys to asking the right questions to save money:

1)  Make sure you have done research beforehand. If you are more informed, you can ask questions with more detail and insight.  It gives you more bargaining power.  Whatever you do, don't buy an expensive item like a car without doing the research.

2)  Ask questions to someone who has the power to do something.  If you ask for a discount or deal from someone who has no power to do it, you are wasting time.  If you ask the owner of a store or a manager who has some influence, a deal is more likely to happen.  Ask for something over-the-top and you might actually get a better deal than you expected.  

3)  Be honest but don't feel the need to reveal unnecessary information. If you're going to buy a sofa set, the store owner doesn't need to know how much you make every year. I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't lie or try to cut corners to save money, but there is only so much that you need to share.  Sometimes it's necessary to give information, such as when you're purchasing a car, but the key is to still give only what is needed when it is needed.  

Saving money is well worth the effort and the more you learn to ask the right questions, the easier it becomes.  I would love to hear some ways you have used these techniques.

Question:  What are some ways you have saved money by asking the right questions to the right people?  

Is There a Book Inside of You?

There is a quote that I have seen attributed to a few sources.  It says, "In their life every person should plant a tree, write a book, and have a child".  

When I first read the quote, I had not planted a tree or written a book, but my wife and I had several children.

At present, I have written a book and planted a tree (does planting veggie plants in my garden at home count?), so I have completed the list.

Now to the topic at hand.  Is there a book inside of you?

My guess is the answer to the question is YES.

typewriter

 

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Spending Vs. Investing

We all have the same 24 hours in our day.  How we use these hours varies from person to person.

Since our incomes may not be the same, how we use the money that we have earned is likely different as well.

In many cases, I like to focus on investing my time and money instead of spending the hours and dollars that I've been blessed with.  

Having a great relationship means spending time with your spouse or significant other.  Spending the time with them may satisfy the need for companionship, but it won't produce the same results and investing time in your relationship.

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