Public Speaking: The Power of the Pause

If your aim is to be successful then mastering the art of public speaking will be an essential skill you must develop.  If you’re a successful, high profile individual you can’t avoid speaking in public at least occaionally. However much you might try to resist it I afraid it’s like trying to hold back the tide. It can’t be done.

Public speaking can be a bit daunting even for people who are otherwise quite confident. So if you lack confidence in this area then don’t worry. You’re not alone I promise you. Most people feel just like you do when they find themselves standing in front of a crowd faced with the expectation that they will say something meaningful and present it in an interesting way too.

Key to being interesting is developing your public speaking technique. The more you practice and develop your technique the more confident you will feel when you step up to the lectern.

One way to improve your public speaking technique is to learn from some of the best speakers around and then copy what they do. One excellent speaker to study is Brian Tracy. Personally I find him both interesting and inspiring. So if he has something to say then listening to him is worthy of your time.

In the short but excellent video included with this post, Brian Tracy offers some useful advice on the subject of public speaking. In particular using the power of a pause to emphasize or reinforce a point being made.

An important element of public speaking is making sure that the underlying messages resonate with your audience. If they take away three or four powerful messages then you will have done your job and done it well.

If you want to improve your public speaking skills then I recommend you watch this video. You will learn some helpful tips, as well as one of the little known secrets used by top public speakers. Once again, Brian’s short video is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Further Reading:

There are some excellent books that will help you with developing your public speaking technique. Four books you should explore are as follows:-

  1. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo
  2. TED Talks: The official TED guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson
  3. Speak So Your Audience Will Listen: 7 Steps to Confident and Authentic Public Speaking by Robin Kermode
  4. Public Speaking: How to Lose the Stage Fright and Win the Audience by Collin C Young

These are all excellent books on the subject, particularly the two associated with TED Talks.  TED have some of the finest speakers you will hear anywhere, so you’ll definitely learn something from them.

You can explore these books by clicking on the links. Go ahead and do it now whilst it’s all fresh in you mind.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Your philosophy for life matters. Here’s why

Do you believe your own philosophy is important? I’m not referring to the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence and people like Aristotle. By philosophy here I’m referring to your mind-set, whether it’s positive or negative, and the way you see the world around you.

I believe our personal philosophy for life influences our life experiences to a significant degree. And my own philosophy for life is simple.

I accept the world around me is the world around me. It is what it is. Stuff happens and I have little or no control over most of what happens. Politicians come and politicians go. They promise much then deliver little. Philosophically I accept that which I cannot influence directly. I see little point in worrying about any of it.

In my experience people look after their own interests first. That’s fair enough, why would they do otherwise? If they don’t then no one else will.

The underlying point here is that most of what’s happening around us is just noise really. All we can do is work around it. And that’s what I do.

I focus on my own interests and those of my family and I do my best to protect what is mine. My family will always come first.

To do the best for my family I recognise that I have to be the best that I can be. So I’m a keen learner and I’m constantly working to add to my skillset and knowledge. Learning for me is a lifelong process, and I’m a keen reader. I believe that the better informed we are then the better prepared we will be to excel in our chosen field of work.

Work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. We work in order to generate income. And we generate income to put bread on the table and a roof over the heads of our loved ones. Whilst work gives us a sense of purpose and adds value to our lives, we should not live to work. The idea is to work to live. Work hard when we’re at work of course but enjoy life with family as much as possible.

My aim ultimately is to be financially independent with multiple income streams. Having multiple income streams reduces risk and it means we don’t have all our eggs in one basket. And to be financially independent it means using money wisely; saving; investing; and building capital.

Essentially I see life as a game. And my aim is to become a master of the game of life.

We must look after our own interests because no one else will. Be prepared to be ruthless when necessary. By that I don’t mean being nasty or mean to others. My point is that we cannot afford to be overly sentimental and on occasions in making the right decisions for us it may prove to be less favourable for someone else. If that happens, that’s life. We must still make the right decisions for us.

Sometimes you’ve got to be prepared to use your elbows if you’re going to grab your fair share of life’s pie. Don’t be too willing to let other people go first. You might find there’s nothing left for you. As always there’s a balance to be struck but never lose sight of your own interests and never do anything which works against your own interests.

There is no utopian place where all is well and the sun shines every day. Life is life. Some of it is good and some of it is not quite so good. However in the end it’s what we make it. We get out what we put in. There’s no free ride.

All you can do with life is deal with it as best you can. Enjoy the good times and when life gets difficult all you can do is take it on the chin and move on.

Worrying about anything you cannot control just steals your joy and spoils your day. Life’s too short. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are and most of all enjoy every minute because the years all go by in the blink of an eye.

Other Articles:

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Life is short and it’s later than you think

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

What is the most effective time management tool?

How good is your time management? Do you have a reputation for being efficient and productive or are you someone who’s always struggling to keep up? If you’re asked to do something, do you simply accept the request and add it to your ‘to do’ list?

How often do you question whether a particular task should be requested of you? In the world of work it’s easy to confuse being busy with being productive but these two concepts are not the same thing at all. And reputations are built by being productive not merely by being busy. It’s the result delivered not energy expended that matters most.

Frequently we’ll hear people say, if only I had the time. And yet we all have the same amount of time, i.e. 168 hours per week. Time is simply a resource like money, albeit it’s more important than money. You can get more money but you can’t get more time. So you must use time wisely. It is your most precious resource.

Modern pressures mean it’s easy for us to try to do too many things. Our lives are cluttered with too many activities, too many objectives, too many distractions and far too many demands on our time. The result is that we tend to lose focus on what really matters and in the end we don’t do anything as well as we might have done.

In most jobs you’ll find that 90% of productivity is down to completing the top three or four major activities within that job. If you take the top three activities associated with your job and focus on those to the exclusion of just about everything else you’ll almost certainly maximise your productivity and efficiency.

However when working we seem to find it easier to focus on minor tasks and random actions requested by other people. We feel obliged to accept requests from others. Whilst tidying up those minor tasks make us feel like we’re achieving some quick wins. However by the end of the day we’re left with a sense that we haven’t done all we should have done and that leaves us feeling stressed. And that’s when we start to think about how we might improve our time management.

People tend to think of time management as a skill which allows them to work faster. It’s not. Good time management is a skill which allows us to work smarter. Instead of getting lost of the minutiae of everyday life, with good time management, we focus on and prioritise those things that will add most to our productivity.

If time management is an issue for you, start by taking a good hard look at your list of daily activities and ask yourself this question. “What single task can only I do and when completed by me will add the most value to the business?

When you’ve identified that task, ask the next question. “What’s the second task on my list only I can do and when I’ve completed it would allow me to add the most value to the business?

And then once you have your second task identified, consider the third question. “What is the third task on my list only I can do and when completed by me will add the most value to the business?

Once you’ve identified your list of three major tasks then that is where your focus should be each day before you touch any other minor tasks or accept random requests from other people. The point of work is to deliver results. You’ll deliver the most if you concentrate on your top three major tasks first.

Just because someone asks for a piece of your time doesn’t mean you’re obliged to give it to them at the expense of your own productivity. Never be afraid to deploy the most effective time management tool.

And what is the most effective time management tool? It’s the word NO.

Think of the word NO as a baseball bat. Whenever someone makes a request of you then NO is the means by which you can whack that request right out of the ballpark. You’re not obliged to agree to a request even if someone asks nicely. It’s reasonable to be working to your own priorities.

All too often we feel obliged to do things for other people when actually we should have just said, “No, I’m sorry but I can’t do that right now because I have to deliver this by 5pm.”

If our personal productivity matters to us, and it should, our focus should always be on our own major deliverables.

Unfortunately we allow ourselves to be driven by the agendas of other people. However that’s not good for our productivity, nor is it good for our well-being.

Other people will take everything we give and more besides. However if we fail to deliver what we’re actually being paid to deliver, no list of incidental work completed for other people will be accepted as an adequate plea in our defence.

If you’re painting my house I’ll measure you on the quality and timeliness of your work, not the amount of help you gave to my neighbour by, say, looking after her dog. What you do for other people is irrelevant, should you fail to deliver what I’m paying you to deliver.

In reality if people can’t get something done by us they’ll simply get it done by someone else. So why worry? Just be polite when faced with a random request but say NO. It’s a habit well worth developing. You have to be disciplined.

We expend far too much energy helping other people achieve their aims, at the expense of our own interests. To achieve anything of significance in life we must be focused on our own major activities. We must concentrate on completing our big three major deliverables daily and on our own goals generally.

If we’re asked to do something then it’s perfectly reasonable to say NO as far as I’m concerned. Yes occasionally there will be tasks we are obliged to accept. However mostly being firm in declining a request is a sign that we’re assertive and in control of delivering as much value as possible.

Another polite but firm response to a request might be something like, “Sorry I would love to help you with that but I cannot right now because I have my hands full with the deadline for this project.

As with everything there is a balance to be struck of course. Sometimes it’s in our interests to do someone a favour because one day we might need them to return that favour. That’s reasonable, providing we always retain a primary focus on keeping our main things, the main things.

We should always ensure that we’re making progress towards achieving our big three deliverables and our own goals generally. It’s perfectly reasonable to have your own agenda and a desire to achieve your own goals and add the value only you can add.

If you want to make a difference, focus on your big three major activities. Activities only you can do. And to ensure that you’re doing that, don’t be afraid to use the most effective time management tool whenever necessary. The word NO expressed politely but firmly.

Further Reading:

In writing this article the aim was to convince you of the importance of your need for a transformation, should one be necessary for you to achieve better time management. However you might feel you could use a little extra help. That’s fine and it’s always useful to add a good book to your personal reference library. And one book you might consider on this subject is:-

How to set your Personal Boundaries: Learn to say No and Protect Yourself from Overwhelming Stress by author Josie Baxter

In this book the author Josie Baxter explains in digestible chunks how we can learn to set boundaries and be able to say no when necessary. She recognises that what should be a simple thing is in fact often quite difficult. She acknowledges that it’s natural that people care about other people but potentially that can put us at risk if our tendency always is to say yes. The risk being that we take on too much which can add to our stress levels and stop us from achieving our own goals. In turn this can lead to exhaustion and burn out.

Josie Baxter explains that it’s not selfish to care for ourselves first. In fact she notes that it’s actually quite sensible. The advice in this book is useful for all areas of your life and you’ll find it invaluable if you’re someone who struggles to set firm boundaries. It’s an excellent book and well worth considering. You can take a look at it if you CLICK HERE.

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What is the key to success?

Visibility: Does it matter?

Life is short and it’s later than you think

Powerful words change lives

11 tips for improving quality of life

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Can we be damaged by our schooldays?

Can we be damaged by our schooldays? Were those days spent in school generally a positive experience or could they have been detrimental to our self-esteem? Well let’s just think about that for a minute.

Certainly some people will have had mostly good experiences during their schooldays I’m sure. However there will be some for whom their schooldays will have left them with a sense of failure. That much is philosophically self-evident, surely?

For instance, perhaps at school they never quite achieved the grades parents or teachers thought they should? Perhaps they were last to be picked for a sports team? In either case, how did the experience make then feel? Not quite good enough? A little bit bruised and embarrassed by their inability to achieve what they believed was expected of them?

Adults may have thought that by putting pressure on them it would motivate them to do well, yet it probably just left then feeling a little bit inadequate perhaps? Do you recognise such feelings?

The problem with the school experience is that the age range of our classmates is spread over a year. Someone whose birthday is at the beginning of September therefore will be a year older than someone whose birthday is towards the end of August, despite both being in the same class academically. One year at that time of our lives is a huge difference in terms of our development, both mentally and physically.

So what does this mean?

It means that if our birthday is at the end of the school year then we were at a significant disadvantage relative to some of our older classmates. And that disadvantage extended not just to our academic studies but also to sport and physical activity too.

And it’s not just the fact that we’re behind in terms of our development. Success breeds positive reinforcement. So our older peers will have benefitted from the constant reinforcement of ‘Well Done!’ whilst we were struggling to keep up.

Even if people are of above average ability for their age they can still be at a disadvantage relative to older classmates during their schooldays, particularly if they were of above average ability too.

Inevitably at school people are compared to their classmates and statistics show that the older ones tended to do better during that period because of an inherent age advantage. That’s true with sport as well as academic subjects.

If younger students appeared to perform less well then many will have interpreted that as them being not quite as good as their older contemporaries.

And few people, least of all our parents, will have recognised that the system essentially does not favour the younger members of the class. It puts them at a disadvantage.

The obvious question then is how many people have gone through life feeling like a bit of a loser due to their experiences of a school system which works against them simply because of the month in which they were born?

And how many people never fully recover from the inevitable damage done to their confidence and self-esteem during those all too important developmental years?

More importantly our school days not only affect how we feel about ourselves. They also impact on how others perceive us to be as well.

A reputation for being a ‘Straight A’ student beats being a bit of an academic ‘also ran’. No one questions whether the former had an inherent advantage over the latter.

And how we’re perceived by others does matter because their perception of us often results in all the negative talk we often hear whenever we express ambition. This in turn wears down our self-esteem a little further.

I’m sure you know what I mean, as no doubt many readers will be familiar with the experience. Something like:-

You:Oh, I’d like to be a doctor.

Parent:Oh, don’t be ridiculous, with your grades?

And so on. People always give you reasons why you’re not good enough. When what you actually need is encouragement. With encouragement you could make it in whatever pursuit that makes you feel truly energised.

If you’re someone who experienced disadvantage for whatever reason then let me tell you something. You’re as good as anyone and you should acknowledge that. Your schooldays represent a very small part of life and they were significant only in so far as they are one on many experience in life. Certainly they don’t define you.

If your schooldays were a good experience then fine. If not, so what? You can still achieve your ambitions with sufficient determination.

It doesn’t matter whether others believe you can do it, just as long as you believe you can do it.

And remember; there’s no such thing as a failure. That label does not belong on people.

Failure is just an unwanted outcome and a learning opportunity. It’s not a person.

You have enormous potential. We all do. Everyone is capable of achieving much more than they could ever think possible. With determination and hard work we can all achieve great things.

Your attitude is much more important than your aptitude when it comes to achieving your goals in life.

However you feel about your past, it’s not too late to become something more than you are currently. You should embrace failure as nothing more than an opportunity for learning. It does not define you, nor should it.

Recognise that just because you didn’t set the world on fire during your schooldays it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great things now.

It’s not about how many times you get knocked down that counts but how many times you can get back up and keep going until you get to where you want to go.

Victory is sweeter when it has been achieved following the experience of defeat.

You cannot achieve anything without the experience of at least the occasional failure along the way. Before anyone was a success, they all started out as beginners and they all made mistakes. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either lying or deluded.

If you really want to succeed, then work hard, make mistakes and learn the lessons as you go. If you’re determined you will find a way to achieve your goals or realise your dreams.

Don’t be overwhelmed by any perceived failure. It doesn’t have to be fatal, nor does it imply that you’re not capable of achieving great things.

Never, ever give up until you get to where you want to go. Success can be yours if you want it badly enough. And remember this; it is better to try and fail than never to have tried at all.

Never be afraid to try because there are only outcomes we didn’t want and lessons to be learned.

And repeat this mantra daily: I’m as good as anyone; I’m better than most; I will achieve great things; And nothing with stop me!

Get started now. What are you waiting for?

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Daily Habits of Successful People

We are what we do on a daily basis. Anything we achieve is brought about by the habits we develop over time. Everything we do is as a result of our habits, good or bad. Ideally we should form good habits and make them our masters.

Habits, good or bad, are formed through repetition. Good habits can be hard to form but they are easy to live with. Whereas bad habits whilst easy to form they tend to be very hard to live with. Our lives can become a battle of good habits versus bad habits. Don’t let the bad habits win.

Good habits can be learned and bad habits can be replaced by good habits. Yes, it requires self-discipline on your part but it can be done and people do.

Decide on the habits you want to develop and focus on achieving them one at a time. Start with one good habit you’d like to form and then force yourself to repeat the necessary actions daily. After around three weeks that habit will be formed and it will just become part of your routine. You’ll start to repeat it with little or no thought. Essentially you’ll do it on autopilot.

If you have a bad habit you wish to replace with a good habit then each time you find yourself about to perform the actions of the bad habit, stop yourself and perform the actions of the good habit instead. Again after around three weeks the good habit will be programmed into your brain.

Successful people are driven to develop good habits. Habits like self-discipline which is the necessary ingredient for good habits to form and for bad habits to be replaced.

Successful people also establish the habit of goal setting on a daily basis. You cannot hit a target unless you can see that target. Setting a goal is the first step in achieving that goal. Successful people are results oriented.

Successful people are also people oriented. You get what you want in life by helping people get what they want. Every product is a solution to a problem. Even if your goal is to sing or dance, to succeed you must always recognise that you perform to and for people. They need to be entertained and your aim is to fulfil that need. To solve their problem if you like.

In dealing with people you must be honest and show integrity if you are to win the respect of others. So honesty is a good habit to develop. Dishonesty and cheating will catch up with you and will be a permanent stain on your reputation. You don’t need that now, do you?

And above all, you must look after your health. You have one body and one mind and they must last you a lifetime. So develop the habit of taking good care of both.

To reinforce the message of the importance of repetition and routine I‘ve included this excellent video from Brian Tracy. Brian is always a source of great advice for anyone seeking success and aiming to create a successful life for themselves and certainly he’s one of my main sources of constant inspiration.

The video is short but well worth your time and I recommend you watch it now.

Further Reading:

Regular readers will know that I am keen on building a personal reference library of books and audiobooks which I use to inspire and motivate me and to help me achieve my goals. And I would encourage you to do the same dear reader.

In the video Brian Tracy refers to his book Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income. This is an excellent book and would be a good addition to your library. You can take a look at the print and Kindle editions if you click on the link in this paragraph.

However I must be honest and tell you that actually I decided to purchase Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income (AudioBook). Personally I find the audiobooks really useful because I can listen to them whilst I’m driving which means I’m making better use of what would otherwise be dead time. If you’d like to take a look at the audio version of the book then, once again, just click on the link in this paragraph.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved

Grit and why it really matters

Have you ever noticed that the smartest people are not always the most successful? Now obviously success can be defined in different ways but for most people their measure would usually revolve around money. If we take money as the measure for success, then you’d think the smartest people would easily come out on top on that score, surely? Yet you’d be wrong. We hear stories frequently about college professors who struggle financially whilst at the same time tradesmen like bricklayers and plumbers become millionaires. How can that be? Surely the smartest people have a natural advantage? Well, no they don’t. The people with an innate advantage are those with that quality known as grit.

What do I mean be grit? It is an inner steeliness. It is courage and resolve. It is strength of character. It is drive and desire. It is passion and motivation. It is a willingness to persevere until the desired result is achieved. It is determination to achieve a goal and a willingness to take calculated risks.

It is a fact that doing well in life depends on much more than academic ability and your capacity to learn quickly and easily. Having those qualities is useful of course but in the absence of grit you’d still be at a disadvantage. Someone of average academic ability but with a shed load of grit will be better placed to achieve real success.

People with grit intuitively recognize that life is a marathon not a sprint. They are willing to experience failure because they know that that failure is a temporary outcome not a permanent position. They are willing to fail and then start over using the lessons they’ve learned from the experience.

So what’s the key to success? It’s the need to get grittier!

Angela Lee Duckworth makes this point admirably in this excellent TEDxTalk video and it’s well worth a few minutes of your time. It’s an interesting video and I think she nails the point perfectly.

That’s what I think but what is your opinion?

Could there be such an easy answer or is it all much more complicated? I’d be interested to hear your views.

Further Reading:

If you’d like to know more about grit and Angela Lee Duckworth’s ideas about the secret of success then read her excellent and Number 1 best selling book Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success.

It’s well worth the cover price and you can check it out if you CLICK HERE

Other Articles:

Encourage kids to fail if you want them to succeed

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Life is short and it’s later than you think

Powerful words change lives

11 tips for improving quality of life

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Build the courage to break out of your comfort zone

Do you live a life where you feel fully engaged? A life where you feel energised and stretched to the limit of your potential? If that’s you then you’re definitely in a minority. Most people never have the courage to step outside their comfort zone. They prefer to live where they feel safe.

Staying within your comfort zone is fine if that’s what you want but you can’t really call it living, can you? It’s existing perhaps but not living. You cannot grow from within the safety of your comfort zone. Real life starts when you take the first step beyond your comfort zone. That’s living on the edge. That’s feeling truly energised. That’s where you’ll feel a sense of exhilaration.

Yes of course, it involves risk, that’s true. However risk and reward go hand in hand. No risk; not reward.

Stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t guarantee success and you might fail. In fact you will experience failures along the way. Experiencing failures is an inevitable part of chasing success because success lies on the far side of failure. However to get to second base and beyond, you must take your foot off first base.

Successful people don’t always make the right decisions. However they are willing to challenge themselves and they’re willing to persist long after everyone else has given up. They may fail but they learn from failure and they use what they’ve learned to work towards achieving their goals.

You have enormous potential. You are capable of achieving great things. However you must set yourself challenging goals and you must be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. If you can face that discomfort and keep going then you can become the person you’re destined to be.

It’s easier to stay within your comfort zone and feel safe of course but nothing beats the feeling of winning and achieving those challenging goals you’ve set yourself.

If every obstacle must first be overcome before you start then you will never achieve anything. Playing safe is actually a bigger risk than stepping beyond your comfort zone. By playing safe you take the risk that you’ll never experience the satisfaction of real achievement. It’s better to try and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been.

So go on, live a little. Step beyond your comfort zone right now and take that tiger for a ride. You’ll be glad you did.

To reinforce the message in this theme, you might find the video from Brian Tracy inspiring. In it Brian offers some wise words on building the courage to break out of your comfort zone. It’s well worth your time and I recommend it to you.

Further Listening:

If you found this video useful then you might be keen to hear more from Brian Tracy. I think he’s a fantastic motivational speaker and I listen to his audio programmes all the time. One I can highly recommend is Eat that Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.

I bought my own personal copy about two years ago and I’ve found it extremely inspiring and useful. I listen to it frequently when I’m driving and every time I listen I learn a bit more. It is definitely worth adding to your own personal development library. You can check it out if you CLICK HERE.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Life’s Only Disability: Letter to the Baltimore Ravens

Have you experienced a lot of adversity in your life? Maybe you’re feeling a little bit sorry for yourself? Life hasn’t been fair to you? So you feel you’re entitled to have a bad attitude? Well if you’re trying to get people on your side with a negative attitude then think again. No one will be joining you at the pity party. If there is one genuine disability in life it’s a bad attitude. Negativity never impresses anyone.

Life isn’t fair. If never has been and it never will be. Life doesn’t care about what we want. It doesn’t care about any sense of entitlement we may have either. Nor does life care that we feel that we should have a bigger piece of the pie.

Life is what we make it. Nothing happens by accident, unless we’re very, very lucky. And no one is that lucky consistently.

Life is our attitude. Life is how we respond to everything that happens to us. No matter how tough life gets, a positive attitude will take us further than a negative one ever will. A positive attitude is the most powerful response to life’s misfortunes. It says, you can knock me down but you won’t keep me down. And that does impress people. Life responds positively to those with a positive attitude. A positive attitude will always get people on your side.

In the video included with this post, Matthew Jeffers, a senior acting major at Towson University in Maryland, provides us all with an inspiring message with the letter he wrote to the Baltimore Ravens, his favourite NFL team.

The letter was entitled “A Reason to Win” and it’s all the more impressive when considered against Matthew’s own struggles with Skeletal Dysplasia.

The ultimate lesson is that life’s not going to cut you any slack just because you’re feeling sorry for yourself. Attitude is everything. If you believe you can, you will; if you believe you can’t, you won’t. It’s that simple.

Many people experience very tough lives and however hard your life may be there will be plenty of people out there whose lives are far tougher than yours. Many people experience disabilities of varying degrees of severity but actually, as Matthew Jeffers observes, the only real disability in life is a bad attitude.

So if you’re feel a bit chippy right now, take a good hard look at yourself and think about the positives you have in your life, rather than constantly focusing on the negatives.

This video will inspire you so take a look at it now.

Further Reading:

Now you might feel that in order to improve your attitude you could use a little extra help. Well if that’s the case you might be keen to add a reference book or two to your own personal development library. That’s a great idea and three you might consider are as follows:-

How to Change Your Life & Improve Your Attitude: Secrets to Reprogramming Your Mind for A Better Life by L.F. Scott

Get Off Your Attitude: Change Your Attitude. Change Your Life by Ryan C. Lowe

Attitude for Life: How to Achieve Success and Happiness by Changing The Way You Think by Kristen Bishop

These are all good books and well worth considering. If you’d like to check them out then all you have to do is click on the individual links now.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Time: Are you making the most of yours?

When you’ve been working hard all day, don’t you find it so easy when you arrive home in the evening, to have a bite to eat and then just sit in front of the television? You just watch whatever’s on offer because it’s your time now, right?

If you’ve worked hard you deserve a rest, surely? Most of all you’ve got a nice television and of course it cost you a lot of money, right? As a result you want to make the most of it, don’t you? Why would you want to waste the money you’d spent on such a fine piece of technology by not using it? In what way would that make any sense?

However have you ever given any serious thought to the real cost of that television to you? I’m not referring to the price tag in the store when you bought it. I’m referring to the opportunity cost of the time wasted. That time could be used much more profitably. Deep down I’m sure you know that don’t you?

How often have you said to people, I’d love earn more money of course I would; I’d love to have a better job but I just don’t have the time to work on improving my knowledge and skills? Do you recognise yourself there?

The simple fact is we all have the same amount of time, 168 hours each week. Successful people recognise that time is a precious resource and they use it wisely. Successful people have a sense of purpose. They know what they want and they have a plan as to how they’ll get it.

Do you have a sense of purpose? Do you know where you’re going? Do you have a clear idea about what it is you want out of life? Perhaps life is something that is just happening to you and you’re going with the flow? Yet you’re not really happy with your life, are you?

Well let me tell you that, if you don’t have a clear sense of direction and your own plan, then you’re destined to be used as part of someone else’s plan but only for as long as you can serve any useful purpose to them. Once you no longer serve any purpose to them you will cease to be part of their plan. And then you’ll be scratching around looking for another way to earn a living. The world can be an unforgiving place, that’s for sure.

Work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. Yet we don’t just get paid for the hour. Our pay is dictated by the value we put into that hour. The more value we can add the more we will earn. And to add more value we must be increasing our knowledge and skills constantly. We reap what we sow. Fail to reap and we cannot sow.

In my experience we get out of life what we put in. The more we put in the more we’ll get out. So how can you get more out of life?

If you’re happy to go through life struggling to make a living then that’s fine, keep doing whatever it is you’re doing. Waste as much time as you like.

However if you want more than that then it’s time to start designing the life you want. It’s time to decide where you’re going; what you want out of life; and it’s time to develop a plan. You can be a winner. Anybody can. It just requires some effort of your part and a clear sense of direction.

However if you’re going to be a winner, in addition to a plan, you’ll also need a constant source of inspiration to keep you motivated.

One of my greatest sources of inspiration still is the late Jim Rohn. I love Jim Rohn’s philosophy; I love his presentation style and wit; and I wished I’d stumbled upon him years ago. And despite having sadly now passed on, Jim Rohn has left us with a wonderful legacy of his work and speeches.

In this video he reinforces the message that anybody can. Listen to him and you’ll get a great insight into how you can improve your life and gain more success.

I recommend that you watch this video, it is well worth your time and is essential viewing for anyone keen to improve themselves.

Further Listening:

If you found this video inspiring then you’ll find plenty more videos featuring the late Jim Rohn on YouTube. However you might consider buying one of Jim Rohn’s audiobooks to listen to in your car.

One I can highly recommend is The Art of Exceptional Living.

I bought my own copy a year or so ago and I still listen to it when driving and each time I listen I get something out of it. This audiobook is an exceptional source of inspiration I think.

You can check it out on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

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Money-Making Tips from the 50 Smartest People

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

How will your life be measured?

Just recently I attended the funeral of someone whom I’d known quite well professionally but not at all socially. Someone I really liked and respected but I wouldn’t claim to have known well. Nevertheless funerals are a time to reflect on someone’s life and the impact they’ve had on other people throughout their lives.

The funeral service was held at a large, traditional church and it was absolutely crowded. Listening to the eulogy and the readings by various people I began to fully appreciate just how much my late colleague had meant to so many people. It’s fair to say that she meant a lot and many people’s lives had clearly been blessed by her presence in them.

The experience really made me think. I recognise as people we are all driven to achieve and leave our mark on life before we pass on. However we tend to measure our impact in terms of career progression and money. With those it’s easy to keep score.

Obviously careers provide tangible evidence of achievement. So climbing the greasy pole and increasing our income and wealth tend to be the measures we use when we consider success. However as I sat and listened that day I had to ask myself, it that the most appropriate measure really?

Anything we do that only has a long term payoff is not something we tend to measure at all because there is no immediate evidence of achievement. We can’t see the immediate impact of the small things we do, so we don’t believe they matter much.

However I realised then that they matter a great deal. For instance, a random act of kindness might not mean much to us at any given time but to the recipient our action could have meant the world. It might have had a profound effect on that individual. It might even have been life changing for that person.

How will any of us be remembered? People won’t talk about the size of our house or our car but they will talk about how we made them feel. They’ll talk about how we helped them and how they’re a better person because of the impact we had on their lives. When you think about it, why would we want to be remembered in any other way?

Let’s face it material possessions and successful careers are as much a reflection of good fortune as they are of anything we actually did to justify them.

That’s not the case when it comes to the impact we have on the lives of other people. The help we give; the kindness we show; that’s all down to us I think. How many people we’ve helped seems like a much better measure of success than the size of our car. Real success in life comes down to the difference we make. How we’ve touched the lives of other people. Certainly that’s how I think we’ll be remembered.

And I remembered my thoughts that day at funeral when I stumbled upon this video of a presentation given by Clay Christensen at TEDxBoston. It offers a great perspective on how your life will be measured.

I recommend you watch the video as it’s well worth your time.

Then reflect on this question; should the measure of our lives be just about money and achievement or should it be more about the lives we’ve touched and the people whose lives are better for us having been in them?

I’d be interested to hear what you think.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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