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Want to get more from life? Want to have more of the things? Here is the simple (but not easy) process. The late, great Zig Ziglar was right when he said you can get anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want. However, the real crux of the matter is "How do you help enough other people?" What do you do to help them? What value can you provide for them that they are willing to pay you serious money?
That is where you have to be prepared. Zig would be the first to have told you that blind enthusiasm by itself will get you nowhere. It is nice to feel good for a while, but eventually we have to produce. We have to have something of lasting significance that will help us to achieve what we need.
So what are the steps to help others — and by that help you?
Ayn Rand, the 20th Century philosopher and author of books such as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, had it right. We can help others by first helping ourselves. Her philosophy was one of empowering the individual. You succeed in life to the level that you think and create excellence in your life.
Here's a simple process that can help as you reach for greatness and the things that are most important in your life.
1. Commit to being the best. You have to pay the price. Vince Lombardi Sr. told us that being the best means paying the price. Anyone can do the push-ups and the sit-ups when it is easy. But the real winners, the real champions in life, are those who do what needs to be done — especially when it is hard. That means getting up early, before the sun rises, when its cold outside, when it's too hot, when it's raining, when you just flat don't feel like doing it and doing it anyway! This is paying the price, and you have to commit to it.
2. See the vision you want. You have to see the goal. It has to be real in your mind. It has to be something that you can see, taste, feel, hear and smell. You have to have vivid, rich details of what that goal will be like. Is your goal to have your children educated? See them graduate with honors. Is the goal to pay off your debts and be free of financial encumbrances? See what your life will be like when that is accomplished. Is your goal a better body that is fit, slim and trim? Paint a vivid picture of that as the first step to attain it.
3. Determine the cost. Find out what it is going to take to achieve your goal. If you want to become a medical doctor, you have a long road ahead, but it is worth it if that is your goal. Get outside help and expertise because none of us is as smart as all of us. Determine what course of action you'll have to take.
4. Constantly acquire new skills. We're in a world where things change very fast. To just stay even you have to continually pour rich, new ideas into your head. You get these best through readying, studying, listening to quality instructional audios, attending lectures and seminars, hanging around successful people and never giving up. It is never-ending. Too many people look on education as if it is an inoculation. You'll hear losers say things like, "Oh, I took that in school and don't need it anymore." Education is ongoing and never stops. Reading a minimum of a book a week is one of the components I regularly hear from outstanding people. Make it a point to stretch your mind with new material in some way every day.
5. Find what others want. You might be an expert in areas that are nice, but if there is no demand for that, you'll have a hard time in the marketplace. You have to provide what people want. To get the things you want, you have to study and constantly look for what others want.
This requires constant, never-ending devotion to helping them achieve their goals.
6. Work to make people want to be around you. The more you can make other people happy and feel good around you, the more they'll want to be around you and buy your ideas, your concepts, your services and your products. Laughter and humor are great tools for opening up relationships. This doesn't mean telling a bunch of jokes. It doesn't mean being silly either. It means making a serious business of studying funny. Learn it and use it. Humor is one of the most powerful tools you'll have on your side to achieve your goals in life.
7. Anticipate their Needs. This is what Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer did. They created products that people would need. In the late 70s, you didn't see a lot of people running around asking for an operating system. Yet, slowly and persistently the folks at Microsoft created, improved, had setbacks, improved, failed, improved and kept learning to make what they had better. They anticipated that everyone would have a computer on their desk to accomplish everyday tasks. The rest is history. Think about what your customers will want, even if they're not asking for it yet. Be prepared to have some setbacks, but more importantly, be prepared to learn from your experiences.
8. Grow rhinoceros skin. Anyone in sales (and that is all of us!) knows that the world is not a very nice place. People can be rude. They don't return phone calls. They take advantage of you. Hey, welcome to the planet! This is the way it works here. You have to be tougher than all that. The best sales trainers tell us to not take rejection personally. Step back from it all and smile, thanking the person for educating you. Even if someone is rude, you have learned some lessons. You've learned to watch out for that person. You've learned that maybe this person is just having a bad day. You've learned that you are better than that and don't have to succumb to their problems. This is being smart. John Wayne said it well, "Life is tough. Life is tougher if you're stupid."
9. Remember Eric Idle's words. You might remember one of the actors in the British troupe Monty Python who wrote the song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." It was a hit a few years ago and is a classic. Sing a few bars of that song, and you can't help to put things into perspective, smile and enjoy. Life is too dang short as it is. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the journey.
Pat Vivo was good friend of mine who was a professional speaker. She demonstrated caring, compassion and passion. After her passing I spoke with one of her sons, and he told me that her philosophy of life was very simple, yet profound. Everyday we should do three things: Laugh, Think and Cry. I think that sums up living the good life and getting what we want.
In business and in life the formula is simple. You've probably seen these before. However, it is not easy. It takes diligence and work every day. You can never give up.
Develop your vision and stay with it. You'll find that it is the best way to live and the best way to get ahead. Being in a positive state of mind attracts others to you and that helps you to achieve your goals both in business and in life.
Terry Brock is a Hall of Fame speaker and marketing coach who works with organizations to help them leverage technology and build powerful business relationships. He's the co-author of the McGraw-Hill book on social media, “Klout Matters: How to Engage Customers, Build Your Digital Influence – and Raise Your Klout Score For Success!” He can be reached at www.TerryBrock.com or via Twitter - @TerryBrock.