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Where to Start in Your Search for Health and "Self-Help" Knowledge

“How Old Would You Be if You Didn’t Know How Old You Wuz?” – Satchel Paige.

More often than not, whenever I have gone to the gym, I see people typically running on treadmills. Some of them are watching TV, others are just listening to their iPod’s while others are reading. When they are reading, many times they’re reading a self help book. Most of the time it’s for health, but other times it’s been for other topics. One time, I was curious about a particular book I saw and struck up a good conversation with the reader. Obviously, I was surprised that she was able to keep a conversation going on the treadmill as well as she did. But what was really astonishing was how we ended up talking about how most men are not interested in self-help. Ultimately we determined that men tend to not pursue self help because they don’t want to show signs of weakness.

I mean, this kind of makes sense because for the most part. Because everyone is in charge of their own lives. However, most of the time people, especially men, find themselves in a state of denial. The problem is that, “He who buries his head in the sand leaves even more open to vulnerability”. Think about it, whenever you see an ostrich putting its head in the sand… it’s still vulnerable, right? It’s not realizing that its far greater at risk now because it’s a.) not moving and b.) it can see the danger now.

Are you an ostrich or are you going to seek help? To acknowledge the problem right away and recognize ones’ vulnerability is not only a powerful means of self-protection, but it’s also showing strength in that you’re realizing that the solution is better than the current situation. Especially if it’s health related as the solution might mean for you to have a longer and more prolific life than not seeking help.

First Steps In Seeking Help

Now that you’ve chosen to seek out help (congrats), where do you start? Well, obviously it depends on what you’re having issues with. Many of us have problems with confidence, general people skills, and all kinds of health issues. These are just a few of the topics, obviously, but it will definitely get you started. However, with so many books out there with “so-called” experts, where do you turn? Well, here’s some criteria:

1.) Read material from people recognized as experts. Don’t put all your faith in someone that hasn’t been declared as an expert by other sources or isn’t highly recommended.

2.) If you have mentors in your life and want to be like them in that aspect of your life, find out what their sources are. Let those be a guide.

3.) Do your own research. Combine what multiple experts say. Draw your own conclusions – not what others tell you the answer is.

4.) Time tends to verify information. Just like bad theories are thrown out over time, so is bad advice. Just like new theories, new advice hasn’t had the time be proven. Self Help books that have stood the test of time (such as “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie which is going on 80 years old) are more often than not still the best practices. Remember that humans really haven’t changed that much for at least 2000 years. Health information changes more often, so make sure you check with newer resources that has older information as its foundation.

Tip #1 for Young Entrepreneurs: Know What YOU Want Out of Life

Imagine, if you will, that you’re a basketball player. You have all the talent you need to be successful and you’ve come up with a regiment for yourself to succeed at your current level. Part of that regiment is just showing up. Another part of that is having someone there for accountability purposes and helping you progress – a coach. But a major MAJOR part of it is having a vision of where it is that you’re going to go and how you’re going to get there (a coach helps with this too!) Because you can run drill after drill, and shoot free throw after free throw – that’s true. But why are you doing that? If you don’t have a picture of yourself winning the game, then there’s not too much incentive to actually do that. To be frank, if you don’t choose to win, you automatically choose to lose.

In life, most of us believe we have a great plan that will get us what we want out of life. Usually it goes like this: Go to school, get good grades, go to college, get good grades there, (some random event???), get a well paying job, be able to support for your family of 2.5 kids and own your white picketed fence house.

That’s one scenario.

Here’s another scenario: Instead of your parents telling you that you should want, or what your boss thinks you should want, or even caring about what your buddies think of you, you should actually do what you want to do. Crazy, huh? Is that previously mentioned lifestyle what you want? Or did someone else give you that goal?

Most people who want to start their own business do it for one of two reasons. They have a great idea and they want to make it a reality. Another reason is that they want to live like a “rock star”. For me, the second was the case. Is yours? If the answer is yes, then would you mind doing a lot of work over a short period of time, that in the end, you’d have a lifestyle with time AND money? Maybe? Depending on what it is, huh?

Well… while you said you might do that, many of those that are considered great at life have already done that. Players in the NFL and NBA – they’ve spent their dues practicing day in and day out. Did they really want to spend all that time playing ball? Hip hop and rock stars? Yeah – they had to practice their talent as well and build up a fan base. Did they really want to do that show in that small town in that crappy bar? Probably not. But the entire time they had a visual for what they were seeking to accomplish. And that’s why they were willing to put the time in. Stardom just doesn’t happen. The lifestyle that goes with it – that just doesn’t happen.

The simple truth is this: right now, whether you know it or not, you’re putting together a picture. Like the picture on the front of a puzzle box. Each decision you’re making in life is a piece of the puzzle – right or wrong. What does your picture on your puzzle box look like? If you figure out out what you want that puzzle picture to look like, decisions in life get so much easier. You stop living just for the now, but you start living for the future.

When you start living for the future, then your best days aren’t behind you – they’re in front of you. That right there should help you get up every day because then you have something to live for. You have a vision. Start making every decision based on where you want to be in 5 years. A wise man once said, “A man without vision shall perish.”

Three Failure Diseases of Successful Time Management

What do you want, when do you want it? That’s often a question I ask people as I’m starting to work with them. It’s a very simple question, but many times very hard to answer. The main reason for this is simply the fact that people in today’s world have so many distractions that they lose focus on what they really want. Simple time management practices are key in getting any long term projects done. But even with knowledge of these principles, at times things don’t get done.

In his book, the Magic of Thinking Big, Dr. David J. Schwartz suggested that there are three key diseases that affect effective time management. It is as true today as it was 50 years ago when he wrote about it:

The first disease, Excusitis, is simply the disease of having what seems to be valid reasons for not achieving a particular goal. For example, say you’re looking to increase your income by searching for a higher paying job. A person suffering from excusitis might blame the economy, or suggest that the person who is in The White House is the sole reason they have not been succeeding. When you focus on areas that you have absolutely no control over, you might as it’s like suggesting that it’s not the team’s fault they lost the game, it was yours for not watching. There’s two questions that you can ask yourself. Think, “What does this really have to do with the current state of my current situation?” Are the economy and politics a factor? Absolutely. Are they the deciding factor to the success of whether you get that next opportunity? Absolutely Not. Focus on the solutions, nothing else.

The second disease, Detailitis, is I think definitely the trickiest of the three diseases. I know I have problems with this one myself and I always have. Detailitis infects those people who get frozen on making decisions because they don’t feel they have enough information. Me being a very analytical type person, the more information I have about a given subject, the easier it is for me to make that decision. However, if you feel like the information is trickling in or if you’re waiting for all your ducks to line up in a row, sometimes a mental paralysis occurs that will get stronger over time. Uncertainty turns into frustration which eventually turns into fear. Action is what cures fear, not more and more information. Get the vital pieces to make a sound decision and then move forward. Let action, not indecisiveness control your results.

The third and possibly the most powerful of these diseases is Procrastination – akaWhy do it today when you can do it tomorrow?-itis”. I covered this disease in the initial post for NI, but I’ll mention it here again. This is a major killer of getting things done. When poor time management and lack of knowledge come to a head, this is the ugly outcome. Again, if you hear yourself say this, tell yourself: “What am I saying? Today’s as good a day as any to get this done! It won’t take forever. Plus, I can have a break if it starts taking too long.” Personally, I relate it to this statement: “When do you tell your parents you appreciate them? Before it’s too late and you can’t anymore.” The catch is this: if you want to position yourself for continued success in the future, you need to learn how to gain control over your time management by avoiding these 3 failure diseases. The future is yours. Grab ahold of it today!

So What Do You Think? Are there any other failure diseases that you can think of that get in your way of achieving your goals?

Innovation in Indiana 001: Techpoint Innovation Summit 2010

In the past year that I’ve been in Indianapolis, one of the groups that I’m glad to be plugging in with is Techpoint. Essentially Techpoint’s goal is to help foster up-and-coming companies from around the state. Also, they act as a podium to bring together speakers from various backgrounds to come and give their two cents on given topics.

On a yearly basis, Techpoint holds two large events that recognize entrepreneurship in Indiana. One, the Mira Awards, features companies from around the state that have done well in their respective field. It is generally sponsored by several schools including Purdue, Indiana, and Ivy Tech as well as several other key names within the state such as Indiana Business Journal, Barnes and Thornburgh, and ExactTarget. While seeing the companies being recognized for their achievements is great, the networking opportunities are awesome. And considering that this is a site dedicated for helping you with your new path(s) in life, if you are in Indiana and specifically Indianapolis, don’t pass up next years Mira Awards!

Secondly, the Innovation Summit is a place where a collection of speakers and business owners can get together and share ideas. In a way, you could think of it as Indiana’s Innovation TED. While I have not attended the Summit, I am looking forward to attending it next week on October 27th. Here’s a video for you to get a glimpse as to why I’m looking forward to it!

Link to the full story via their Blog.

If you’re an Indiana based Entrepreneur/business owner who would like to mix with some of the best minds in the area, I would say it’s in your best interest to make it to a Techpoint meeting in the near future!

Handling Your Bad Memories and the Emotions They Trigger

Recently I’ve been studying NLP (Neural-Linguistic Programming) as a way of controlling my senses. There’s multiple reasons reasons why someone might want to control their senses, but let’s just say that it helps in a lot of situations. These can range from communicating with others better to improving first reactions. One of the things that I have learned through NLP is what is called the New Behavior Generator.

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