Gratitude: It May Be Harder Than It Seems

My kids and I left the house about 9:30 this morning.  It was a beautiful 70 degree day and we had great plans. As we pulled out the driveway and started up the street, I saw that my neighbor two houses down had a yard completely full of stuff.  His stuff.  Apparently the mortgage company had moved everything his family had on to his front yard and changed the locks. I live in a nice neighborhood.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a view of all of a neighbor’s possessions on the front yard.  Times are hard for a lot of people. But today it struck me really differently than it has in the past.  I’ve been doing a lot of work on the practice of gratitude, and on changing the way I judge people. Judging others as not as good as me in some way has been a lifelong habit (I’m embarrassed to admit).  It’s not an easy one to break. But I feel like I made a real breakthrough today.  My initial reaction when I observed my neighbor’s plight was to feel really blessed to have what I have. I spend a lot of time giving gratitude for the people in my life.  For all things “non-physical.”  But giving gratitude for my “stuff” feels like it places too much emphasis on material wealth.  Today, I gave gratitude for my stuff.  Lots of gratitude. In previous days, I would have thought something like –  “how much of a pathetic loser can you be to go from a big house in a nice neighborhood to THAT?”  Today, ...

Can Making Your Bed Make You Wealthy?

Yes, making your bed CAN make you wealthy.  Well, it’s a start anyway.  No, I’m not introducing a new “system” that pays you to recruit a team of people who all make their beds. This is a lesson in understanding one of my favorite Jim Rohn quotes — “For things to change, you must change.” I used to think this meant I needed to change how much money I made, that I needed to change from being paid by the hour to earning passive income.  If I could change those things about me, then I was certain that yes, things would change. I spent a few years spinning my wheels.  Wondering why nothing was changing.  I was persistent.  I kept working.  Buying every new course.  Trying every new thing.  Failing. Eventually I figured out that making more money and creating passive income streams was the end result, not the path to change.  I needed to change me.  Because I was never going to dramatically change my income doing what I was doing anymore than a hamster is going to escape his cage if he just keeps running on that wheel. “For things to change, you must change” means that you need to change from the ground up.  You need to change your habits.  The way you live your daily life. This likely has little or nothing to do with your business.  It’s about you.  You don’t need a new course, or a new website.  You don’t need to change your tracking methods or tweak your adwords ad. You need to change your habits.  To become more responsible, more productive,...

Goals Check: Who’s Still Going to the Gym?

We’ve made it through February.  Time to check up on those New Year’s Resolutions you reluctantly made.  Most people have long ago lost that piece of paper. I go to a fitness club.  I have for over 20 years.  So I know this little graph to the right to be absolutely true. I curse the full parking lot every January.  But take solace in the fact that it will only last a month or so.  And always, every year, it proves to be true.  By the end of February, we’re back to the old crew. A few weeks ago during an aerobics class, I looked around at some of the people who had been attending regularly since the new year began.  And they were getting it.  They had gone from stepping on the wrong beat and looking around the room in frustration, to being in sync with the regulars in the class and in step with the instructor’s calls. I also thought about the dozens of new faces that I’d seen once, and then never again.  They cared enough to show up.  But it was hard.  Others made it look easy.  But the newbies gave up in frustration, often even before their first class was over. It occurred to me that my aerobics class mirrors life.  Those who show up — who keep showing up — succeed.  And, it becomes easy for them.  I wrote this article in my head while doing a fairly complex aerobics class.  Because I’ve been doing it for 20 years and it’s easy for me.  It became easy for me a long time ago. The “just...