Aug 13 2015

How you start determines how your day is likely to finish

Category: UncategorizedJosh Hinds @ 12:26 pm

Here is an excerpt from my book, It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG

“The way I choose to start my day sets its tone. When I make the decision to begin by giving thanks for the positive things in my life, no matter how seemingly few or bountiful they might be, I am setting the flow for new opportunities to come my way. Each and every day I will remind myself that I can steer my outcome in any direction I wish by the actions I take. The steps I take day in and day out are the determining factors as to whether or not I achieve the success I desire. I take comfort in knowing that I have control over the actions I choose to do or not do.”

Being intentional is huge. We must keep in mind that the daily decisions we make ultimately lead us to or away from what we want. Therefore it is worth spending a little time each day planning and making sure we are working our plan. Choose choice over chance.

Live BIG,

Josh Hinds

Apr 28 2015

How to go for your dreams with all you’ve got

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 11:41 pm

Friend, heading out in the direction of ones dreams is not for the faint of heart. At times it is true that you may well experience fear and doubt. You may feel as though the result you long for is nowhere in sight. Don’t succumb to your fear of failure — stay the course, because very often you will find that it is just beyond the point where you experience the most doubt that opportunity opens up and literally pulls you in the direction of your dreams.

Every night when you lay your head on your pillow — before drifting off to sleep run through your mind the life you want. Visualize your definition of success and affirm in your mind that you are going to do what is necessary to make your dreams a reality.

It’s your life, LIVE BIG
Josh Hinds

Feb 16 2015

Networking Skills – How to Be the Most Valuable Person in the Room

Category: Business,Relationship MarketingJosh Hinds @ 9:50 pm

Relationship marketing and networkingOften the word networking conjures up images of someone running around frantically trying to shove his or her business cards into as many hands as possible. If this describes you — stop doing this now. If it describes anyone you know — then share this article with them. Believe me, they’ll thank you for doing so. Trust me, paper-cuts make a terrible first impression.

If we are really honest what I described above isn’t that uncommon an occurrence is it? It’s enough to make one want to just avoid the business meeting or mixer altogether isn’t it?

These drive by networkers can really give the art of networking, connecting, or plain old meeting and building relationships (if you’re not into professional buzzwords) a bad name can’t they?

As a general rule, there are two reasons people take this broken approach. One, in the rarest of cases they are just rude, and really don’t give a rip what you do, nor do they care to make the interaction a two way, win / win connection. Fortunately, that’s rare, but we have to be real here. Sadly, there are the few who just don’t get it. These folks are looking out for themselves first (and really, just themselves). The ideas I’m going to share with you here are not for those people.

Frankly, a person has to get beyond the “what’s in it for me only” approach to networking before anything will really work for them. In most cases you will find that people who are ineffective in their approach to professional connecting is because they just haven’t ever been taught a better way to go about things. For those that fall into this camp, the ideas that follow will be immensely helpful. You must apply what you learn, but as you do, you’ll see incredible results.

Change your mindset from “me, me, me” to the person who introduces others and creates winning interactions…

This works for a very simple reason. Because pretty much everyone else in the room is thinking about one thing, how they can start a conversation focused on sharing what they have to offer. While that’s not totally a bad thing, after all, in most cases it is the ultimate purpose for being at the meeting, especially if it’s a professional one. It doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure out there’s going to be a challenge if everyone in the room is simply focused in on getting their point across.

Therefore, one of the simplest things you can do is to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. The best way I found to do that is to become a valuable resource. And in a room where everyone is focused on getting their message across first — the easiest way to become more valuable to others is to take it upon yourself to be an introducer of everyone else in the room.

Here’s how it works — rather than making things about you, lead the conversation and make it a priority to introduce different people to each other. Especially where their knowing each other might be of some mutual benefit or synergy to their connecting. Yes, it is that simple.

This works for a number of reasons. One being that it takes the pressure off of you which can often build up when you’re focused on meeting strangers and pushing your own message to those you don’t know. Plus the two people that you connect will be appreciative to you for having introduced them. That in itself makes you more valuable to both those people.

Lest you think you’re going to be left out make no mistake that both those people are not only going to appreciate you but probably also think about you on a higher level — because you went above just thinking about yourself. You put their greater needs above yourself. This is far rarer than it should me. I can assure you this is a good light in which to be viewed by your peers.

You better believe that the people you put first will absolutely want to know who you are, and what you have to offer. And one of the best parts about this approach is that you were able to get your goal of sharing about yourself and what you have to offer delivered in a very low key way. Zero pushiness involved.

I’ll readily admit the idea above is unconventional, but make no mistake that’s exactly what makes it so effective. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in a professional setting or for that matter any type of meeting where the opportunity exists for you to be a matchmaker putting the wants and needs of others above your own. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

It’s also worth pointing out that inevitably during the conversation even though you’re focused clearly on connecting the other two people for their benefit the conversation will turn towards you where you have the opportunity to share a bit about what you do. Again steer the conversation and keep the focus on the two people you connected but don’t completely resist the opportunity to share a little bit about yourself as well. After all in the context of the conversation it’s only normal that you do so.

Use props to initiate conversations — and as conversation starters…

For some people even knowing how to start a conversation with someone they have never met is difficult. One simple thing you can do is to get creative with stick on name tags. Generally these will be provided for people attending the particular event (you might even consider keeping some handy in case they aren’t provided). Most people will simply include their name. What I will often do is go a step farther. For example, I’ll write something that’s more likely to begin a conversation. I’ll include my name on the name tag and then something else such as asking a question.

Here are a few examples I would write on the name tag:

  • My name. Tell me about your business.
  • My name. What business are you in?
  • My name. What do you love most about your company?
  • My name. What is the name of your company?
  • My name. Tell me about your company so I can potentially refer you business.

Those are just some random examples, but it will amaze you how effective such a simple idea can be in getting people to initiate a conversation with you. Think about it, in most “networking events” people are looking around to meet and share what they do, and talk about their companies.

Just like you they are probably not completely comfortable with the idea of walking up to strangers and starting a conversation either. Much less getting that conversation to a point where they talk about their business or companies offerings. Friend, you have made it completely easy for them. Most people are looking at everyone’s name tag anyway. At the very least it’s a conversation starter.

You’re doing something different. You are different because unlike the majority of people in the room or at the event you’re making it clear that you’re more interested in learning about others first. And believe me, when you take the time to put the interests of others first, they will engage you in conversation about what you do as well. Everything is just a whole lot more comfortable taking this simple approach. Give it a try and I’m confident you’ll find it to work very well.

Be awesome and have fun in business!

Josh Hinds

Nov 30 2014

You’re Meant to Live Full Out

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 7:55 pm

Live Life to the fullestWhether anyone has told you lately or not, you’ve got unique GOD given talents. I’m talking about talents that make you truly special. I will readily admit that can be a hard thing to accept, especially if you didn’t have the benefit of growing up hearing such truths, or if you find yourself at a point where you’re feeling beaten down from life’s ups and downs.

Friend, no matter where you find yourself I hope that you will accept what I shared above as truth. Amazingly, the moment you do, you’ll find that things begin to take shape. Good or bad, we tend to live out the reality we set for ourselves. If we see the world as a place where everyone is conspiring against us, that’s exactly what we will receive more of.

Conversely if we can see opportunity, even when it may be a little harder to see in the moment, that’s precisely what will appear. More good will make its way into your life, when you go looking for it — when you allow yourself to be open to it. This isn’t magic or rah, rah thinking. It is really just good old common sense.

Friend, good people want to seek out those like themselves. Be honest with yourself for a moment. Don’t you want to associate with others who make the choice to see the positive side of life? Of course you do. Given the choice, wouldn’t you opt to work with those who give a little more to the task at hand than what’s expected of them? Don’t you naturally gravitate to those who tend to be encouraging, and build up those around them? Sure, we all do.

The key is to avoid victim thinking with all your might. It’s easy to accept that you’ll never get ahead, that others far more powerful than you are conspiring to keep you down. However, the main problem with this line of thinking is that overtime the truth reveals itself, it wasn’t anyone, or anything that kept us from better, greater lives, in the end it was ourselves… our own broken thinking that kept us from living out the greatness that we were meant for.

The last thing in the world I’m trying to do is convince you that everything in life is going to be easy. In fact, at times life can be downright hard! What I do want to get across is that the journey is well worth the effort.

Because when you are in the trenches, fully committed to doing the best you can day in and day out you find that it isn’t really about the rewards nearly as much as the empowering feeling you get from setting out and trying to live full out, being the absolute best YOU that you can be. Consider the wise words of Jim Rohn, “Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”

Friend, when you’re at your best — then others are blessed as a result. I love the simple saying, “I am GOD’s hands and feet.” it always reminds me that if I’m willing, and open to it I can allow GOD to do good things through me (now I’m the first to admit far more than I wish, I get in the way of that happening). You see, when you are your best others benefit immensely and are blessed as well.

You create a life well lived by setting out to be the best you can be, day in and day out. Start your day with the simple mantra: “Today I’ll do my best to leave the path I take just a little better and brighter than I found it.”

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
Josh Hinds

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Aug 12 2014

Sometimes You Have To Disconnect In Order To Move On

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 5:14 pm

Sometimes you have to Let go of lovePerhaps one of the most difficult things in the world is accepting that sometimes you have to disconnect from relationships with people which no longer serve you in a positive way. A better way of saying it is, where the relationship no longer serves the both of you.

For some, this comes easier than for others. Letting go is hard. At times, downright painful. For better or worse, I’ve always been the type of person who, while I may not jump easily into a romantic relationship, when I do — I can’t just turn my feelings on and off with ease. Sure, I can move on, but on some level the emotions still exist. I don’t consider this a bad thing. It is just the way some folks are wired… Of which I am one.

It also means I tend to be more aware (perhaps even more cautious at times) of getting into serious romantic relationships. Right or wrong, I guard myself against what might otherwise be a string of broken relationships that take me longer to get over, or work through than others might experience. By the way, I’m fully aware that this has probably cost me what might otherwise have been some truly wonderful life experiences.

However, as the saying goes, “it is what it is”, and I should point out that I am aware of it, and am intentional about working through it. I’ll get there. I’m not there yet, but I’ll get there.

So with all that said, I realize this article may not be for everyone, but, if like me, you can relate to what I just shared, or know someone who can, you may very well find the ideas that follow helpful.

Often times it is difficult to let go of relationships — romantic or purely platonic. After all, irrespective of where things are currently, there are good memories attached. A whole host of reasons may exist as to why you resist letting go, and moving on with your life, the life that lies ahead of you.

Perhaps you lost the person unexpectedly to some tragedy. That can be excruciatingly painful because there’s nothing to distance you from your feelings for the person. You just cared deeply for them, loved them with all you had, and then they were gone. How do you reconcile that in your mind? You don’t. Plus, it is natural to assume that had we not lost them, we would have continued uninterrupted in the state we were prior to their passing. Blissfully happy. In love.

A romantic relationship that comes to an end can be altogether different however. There is a near endless stream of possibilities as to why they come to an end. Yet, whatever the reason we mourn the loss in different ways.

While this in itself is nothing new, that is, dealing with the loss of either a close friendship or a romantic love interest, what is different are the highly connected times we live in.

For example, in my early twenties I was in what was in a pretty serious relationship with a girl who I still consider to be one of the “ones that got away.” While I’m not under the illusion that she feels the same of course (but for me, as my closest friends will tell you I didn’t think I’d ever get to a point where she’d be “a memory” at the time).

I had a heck of a time letting the love I felt for her go dormant. A lot of that is because of the way I’m wired as mentioned above. When I give my heart, well, it is given 🙂 And it just takes time for me to readjust. So while it took time to move on emotionally the healing did happen. And eventually I got to a place where I took that painful experience and grew from it.

I believe a key factor in me being able to move on past that experience was that there was distance, and separation from that person. Aside from the memories in my head, and notes, and pictures I had, there weren’t constant reminders of what could be — like exist now with all the Social networks, and the interconnected world we live in. We are as close as the computer screen, whereas before search engines and social networks didn’t allow for the opportunity to reconnect us near as easily as they do now. We moved on because the disconnectedness allowed us to more easily do so.

In the hyperconnected times we live in now it is much more difficult to disconnect from those we need to in order to shift our heart centered feelings to those of a more platonic nature. It is worth noting that when we make the decision to disconnect, we want to be careful not to do it from a place of anger or mean spiritedness. While we may be disappointed, even hurt by the other person (for good reason or not) that doesn’t mean that the way we see things is right and they’re wrong.

As hard as it may be to accept, there’s a lot of truth in the old saying, ” there’s my story, then there’s your story, and often, somewhere in the middle is the truth.” So it isn’t about anyone being the bad guy. It is just about us disconnecting so that we can let those strong feelings morph and expand into a different place. And of course, in some instances, hopefully rare instances, that we simply realize we have to remain removed from the other person because it is too difficult, and emotionally painful to be reminded of the good times gone bye.

I am fortunate that for the most part, even though I tend to “fall hard” — even though I’ve been told I’m terrible at showing it sometimes, I have maintained some wonderful friendships with past romantic relationships that didn’t work out. That said, I have certainly had those that I have had to disconnect from in order to get to a place where I can move on, and be fully open to all that life has in store for me with regards to love. Fortunately, it is rare that I have had to, but it has happened.

If the idea of needing to “disconnect” at times sounds ridiculous, or even mean-spirited, I want to assure you that isn’t my intent at all. In my own life I have been the one that was disconnected from as well. It does hurt, and it is a feeling of rejection that really breaks the heart, but I have found that when I accept that it really isn’t about me, as much as that the other person needs it in order to move on in their life, it helps immensely.

I’m reminded of a relationship I had with a woman whom I loved with a capital L. As in L – O – V – E. Truth be told, I suspect part of me always will. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. To this day part of me still mourns the fact that we can’t at least be friends. We went from incredibly close, she was truly one of my best friends, to her cutting me out of her life completely. It was painful. It still is.

However, I found that when I stopped making it personal, telling myself that I wasn’t good enough, or searching for a reason beyond what it was, that she just needed to move on with her life, and that I wasn’t part of the plan, and be genuinely OK with that, then I gained a peace.

You see, I wasn’t rejected, rather it is just a distance she needs in order to move on with her life. That isn’t to say it is easy to accept, but honoring her decision allows me to take a strange sort of comfort that in time my heart will continue to heal, and I will find that person who is willing to love me where she wasn’t, or couldn’t allow herself to.

Friend, take comfort in knowing that life has love, and great things in store for you. No matter what heartache you might have endured, better days are ahead. Even if you don’t see it as a possibility from where you are now, stay hopeful, and keep the faith.

And remember…

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG
Josh Hinds

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Aug 03 2014

A Pirate Looks at Forty – Lessons Learned From Navigating Life’s Ups and Downs

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 8:30 pm

Josh Hinds - Author and EntrepreneurOK, so I’m not a pirate, but I was inspired to write this while listening to Jimmy Buffett’s classic, ‘A Pirate Looks At Forty’ — so I hope you’ll humor me.

It’s crazy to think that I used to listen to that song on tape cassette as a teenager (suddenly I’m realizing what it must have been like for those who grew up listening to 8 track tapes) and now, at the time of this writing I am 40 years old myself.

I’ll let you decide whether you want to listen to the song or not. That’s not really the point of this article anyway. Besides I’m certain Mr. Buffett will continue to do quite well without me promoting his music.

Instead, I want to share some of the things that came to me as I reflected on my life thus far. Isn’t it amazing how hearing a particular song can cause us to take a trip down memory lane?

Looking back on 40 years …

1. I used to place value on things differently. I got started in business fairly early. I was doing telephone sales in our family business at 15. As a result I was fortunate to begin reading personal development books, and listening to audio tapes around the same time. Anyway, when I was younger I remember equating “success” with how much I could earn, or the “toys” I could buy. That’s not to say I didn’t feel a sense of achievement for a task well done. Just that I distinctly remember always striving to attain “things”.

I didn’t enjoy the journey, or realize as I do now that the path is very much an important part of the equation. Perhaps the most important part in fact. When it is all about reaching the “summit” of your endeavors, there’s a very real danger of experiencing some extreme lows if, and when the results you’re seeking don’t happen as quickly as you may hope. Embracing the journey keeps you in the game so to speak. Life is to be lived after all.

2. A life well lived is best measured over time. I used to believe the “success journey” was like a statistics chart that just went up, up, up as we got older, and subsequently stacked on new life achievements. I had certainly seen enough, and read enough to know there would be challenges and setbacks along the way. I guess I just felt like somehow I would be exempt. That most certainly hasn’t been the case.

I realize now, every setback, truly has been a setup for something greater. I have had times in my life where things were slow and I didn’t even feel like I was on the right path. At other times I was riding high and I’d have to pinch myself to be sure I wasn’t dreaming. Life is slap full of ups and downs. Take heart though, because if you can accept that uncertainty is part of the journey at times, then before you know it you’ll find yourself riding high again.

I strongly recommend keeping a journal. This will allow you to track your life over time. As a result you will be able to more easily see all the successes and positive life experiences you have had over the course of your life.

3. I was lucky to have my mom reminding me from a very young age that GOD gifted me with unique talents. As I’ve gotten older I can honestly say that I have seen that to be absolutely true. Not only in my life, but the lives of countless others as well. Truly, GOD made us all for greatness.

Friend, whether you choose to believe that about yourself or not, doesn’t do anything to diminish the fact. Therefore I hope you will just embrace it as truth, and spend time each day looking for opportunities to live out that greatness that is a part of your very being.

4. It’s absolutely true what they say about it being better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. Sure, it can hurt like heck when things don’t work out, but given enough time we almost always come to realize there were good times and positive experiences along the way. As well as opportunities for growth and such.

The good memories we get to keep and cherish, even after both people have moved on in their respective lives. I have been fortunate to have loved and been loved in return by some truly amazing women in my life. Without a doubt I’ve experienced my share of hurts, but I can honestly say for the most part I would do it all again given the chance. Of course, that’s not to say I wouldn’t correct a few missteps given the opportunity.

5. Being nice pays dividends. One thing I have seen first hand is that the old saying about nice guys finishing last is absolutely wrong. That isn’t to say that you aren’t going to experience your share of let downs or disappointments from people if you choose to help them. That said, being so guarded that you hold back your kind gestures isn’t going to protect you from occasionally being disappointed by people either.

The reality is we can’t control how others react or behave. Here’s a truth to consider. If you are doing something with the agenda, or belief that it has to come back to you in some way you’re likely setting yourself up to be disappointed, and at the least blocking yourself from experiencing the true joy that is derived from serving another person without expectation. That is, your reward is the doing of a thing for another human being. Spreading kindness. Plain and simple.

Years ago I read a quote by Zig Ziglar which said, “you can have everything in life you want if you’ll only help enough other people get what they want.” Over the years I have tried to live out that idea in my life. I’ll readily admit that at times I have fallen short. Still, at this point in my life I can clearly see how everything that I have accomplished of any worthwhile measure stemmed from my trying to help others get what they want first.

I could go on and on with this, but instead I’d love to hear some of your own reflections that you have come to believe over time. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the ideas above.

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!

Josh Hinds

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Apr 01 2014

Life’s Storms Prepare us to Lead More Fulfilling Lives

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 10:22 am

Josh Hinds - Author and EntrepreneurIn life there will be storms. Certainly there will be sunshine and rainbows, but make no mistake, there will be storms — and they will bring with them the winds of change.

One moment we are humming right along. Life is good. As the saying goes, all is right with the world. The next thing you know you’ve lost your footing somehow and everything appears to be spiralling out of control. It’s scary. It makes no sense. How do you regain control? That of course is the million dollar question.

The answer is no where to be found. You roam aimlessly with no answer in sight. The solution, as it turns out, is that we need to give in to the idea that we need full control (or that full and total control is even possible for that matter). I would submit that total control, in every instance is an illusion.

There will always be times in our life where we experience a lack of control. That isn’t to say everything is, or that we need just sit idle during life’s challenging times. Rather than sucumbing to the idea that all is lost, keep in mind the importance of spending your time working on the parts of the puzzle you can, and the things that are out of your control, well, have faith that a much higher power than you is on your side, working out what needs to be worked out for the greater good.

I realize that not everyone is going to agree with the point I just made — which is perfectly fine. I share it based on my own life experiences of having seen on many an occasion, where the pieces I could not control came together. Not always as I’d have initially envisioned them, nor even always preferred them to be, but always, in every way, ending up better off than they would had I attempted to be 100 % in control — and not been willing to relinquish control of the things I couldn’t. I’m fond of the old saying, “control what you can and let go of the rest.” If you can do that, you’ll undoubtedly find that life has an incredible way of filling in the details.

Friend, it is true that every challenging time we pass through, brings with it an opportunity to emerge stronger, better in some way for having overcome the challenge. I have seen it enough in my own life to know that without a shadow of a doubt it’s true. And I bet if you will be completely honest, you would acknowledge it is true, and that you have seen it to be the case in your life as well. Right?

Whatever turbulent times you may be experiencing in your life right now, I hope you will take comfort in knowing that all storms eventually subside, and their ending brings with them sunny days, and beautiful rainbows.

Consider that even the great flood as told of in the Bible, the story of Noah and the Ark, eventually came to an end. Remember, the great devastation that was incurred because of the flood isn’t the only thing we remember about the story — far more powerful is the opportunity that came with its ending — when the final rains fell — the promise that things would begin again, to start over, to begin anew, better, with a brighter future. Greater opportunity followed the storm. And so it is the same in our lives.

Friend, strive to look beyond where you are now, no matter how difficult things may appear, remind yourself that this too shall pass, and clear skies are ahead.

Now get out there, to the best of your ability and set out to make it so!

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG
Josh Hinds

PS. If you have a dream, but aren’t clear how to make it a reality, contact me about a consulting call and let me help you get clear on how to get started.

Feb 08 2014

How You Spend Your Time Shapes Your Future

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 10:13 am

Josh Hinds - Author and EntrepreneurIt’s a wonderful thing to set goals. To plan for the future. But you have to be cognizant of the fact that no amount of planning alone will guarantee the outcome you hope for.

The difference, whether you see things come to fruition or not will be determined by the effort you put into what you have planned for. Interestingly, you can’t have one without the other. Planning & action. They’re twins of sorts, in that they feed each other. And make no mistake, you need a balance of both.

Planning Alone Will Not Get You The Results You’re After. You Need Consistency of Action too…

You find that balance by embracing consistency of action in your daily routine. Overtime even the most insurmountable of undertakings can come to pass. As proof consider the following examples:

The Brooklyn Bridge, which what must have been considered an unattainable idea at the time, at least initially, yet through planning, revision, and execution of the plan not only was built, but still stands to this day, having served countless people in the city it resides. Perhaps what is taken for granted today is that the actual construction of the bridge took some 13 years to build. That my friend is a lot of “consistency of action required”, on a whole lot of ongoing tasks to see it through. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built.”

Consider the career or job path you’re currently on, or think about someone you know who might be viewed as an expert in their profession. How do you think they attained that level of mastery? It didn’t happen through osmosis. It certainly didn’t happen by magic. Rather, it happened because he or she (or you perhaps) spent time in the activity of their given profession. Observing, learning, and participating in the very things which make up the particular profession.

In short, we would be hard pressed to find anyone who achieved mastery over a subject without “doing” it over a particular period of time. You can be the most studied in a subject, but until you’ve gone from academic, to applying action in the given area, you’re just not going be able to have grasped the level of those who are “in the activity” on a regular basis do.

Don’t wait for permission to get started. Ultimately you’re the only one who can grant you permission to go for your dreams…

Years ago when I first decided I wanted to be a writer, long before I ever aspired to write a book, much less get a traditional book deal and have it published (though I have now) one of the important things I managed to avoid was falling victim to the idea that I somehow had to follow a set of rules put into place by the purveyors of conventional wisdom. Perhaps you know the one I’m referring to.

The idea that I’d need to gain formal training from some college, or higher learning institution, who needed to bestow a degree on me prior to becoming a writer. Or that I would have to be more studied to get started. Or that I’d have to be flawless in my grammar, and english composition skills. Fortunately, perhaps a bit naively, I didn’t give those things a second thought.

Instead, I just did what seemed the natural first step. I fired up my computer and began to write. I wrote just as I would if I were speaking what I wanted to say. The funny thing is this is very much the same way I do it today. I wasn’t a great writer to begin with. Then again, who is ever good at what they do when just getting started? It’s the consistency, the doing of the thing overtime, which allows us to improve, to get better, to gain mastery. Consider times in your own life where you have found this to be true.

You Attain Mastery by Taking Right Action…

Friend, if you wish to excel in your given profession don’t just hope you’ll pick things up over time that will allow you to improve. Be intentional about it. Pick up a book, or audio program, attend a seminar, work with a mentor or coach, anything that can directly allow you to improve your skillset. Don’t leave things up to chance. Decide what you wish to excel in, and introduce the things into your routine that will allow you to attain the results you want to see.

Anything worthwhile isn’t going to just happen. It takes effort, but then again, isn’t that at least part of the reason we value having met with achievement? When things come easy, we don’t place the same value on them as we do those we had to work at.

Consider the 10,000 Hour Rule…

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book titled, Outliers: The Story of Success discusses the 10,000 hour rule. The basic premise is that mastery, and or greatness in a given area or endeavor takes time, a good bit of it, to excel, or attain true expertise. That isn’t to say that there aren’t exceptions to the rule, just to say that for the most part, in even the examples of the most “gifted” among us, you can identify that they put in their “10,000 hours.” I suspect you have found this to be true. Either in your own life, or the lives of those you look up to or consider experts.

The point above isn’t to scare you away, or make you feel bad if you haven’t put the time into the areas you want to excel. After all, it’s not about where you start, nor even where you are now, but where you finish that counts in the end. My hope is that you’ll realize that whatever you wish to do, to accomplish, to be, or become, will require giving your time to it. That isn’t a bad thing. In fact, that should excite you — in that effort and time on a given endeavor is a great equalizer with regards to your attaining mastery & expertise. And that my friend, is something to be excited about!


It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
Josh Hinds

– What are your thoughts on the ideas above? Share your feedback in the comments below.

Jan 28 2014

Gauge Your Personal and Professional Growth by Keeping a Journal

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 6:27 am

Josh Hinds - Author and EntrepreneurI’ve learned much in the years I’ve been a student of personal development. I’m certain I have become more than I would have, had I never begun this journey so many years ago. By far, one of the most important lessons I picked up was taught to me by Jim Rohn, on the importance of keeping a journal.

The benefits are vast. One of the many reasons for keeping a journal is that you not only want to take in information that you hope can help you in some way, you also want to look for opportunities to apply it in your life, and be able to review how doing so worked out for you.

Friend, you want to be able to save the experiences that helped you grow, learn new skills, the times that served you. And in some cases, you even want to be able to record those things that didn’t quite work out as you would have hoped, so you can reduce the risk that you’ll have to repeat them. Your journal, if you will keep one, can serve you greatly in this capacity.

Imagine having a resource that not only you, but your loved ones, or friends and colleagues can look back on and learn from. Keeping a journal allows you to not just float through life, but better learn from each and every experience. It helps you be an active participant in creating the life you live.

Here are a few more of the reasons journaling can be such an important tool to implement in your personal development (btw. I wrote an entire chapter on this in my book)…

– It is a wonderful place to keep score. In life, where things are often happening at what seems like breakneck speed, it is important to know whether you’re moving forward, standing still, or backing up. The best way to know is to track your results (unless, unlike me, your mind is such a steel trap that you need only refer back to it to know the answer. Doesn’t describe you? Yeah, me either). It’s the same principle of following a budget, or a marketing plan, or even just working a to do list. You can either let things float around in your mind, or you can have a simple system you can refer back to, just to make sure you are making progress.

– A powerful source of validation. We all have times where we just don’t feel like we are doing as well as we would like. It is easy to get lost in the moment, losing sight of the fact that if we could see things in totality, we have actually made great progress overall. It can help balance the line between what needs to be done, and the due credit you deserve for the progress you have already made.

– Your journal is a great “catch all” for the things you learn, whether in books, audio programs, seminars, just about anywhere, that you know if you could just recall at a later time, or somehow internalize you would be the better for it. If you’re making the effort to journal then you get the benefit of being able to refer back, and apply these nuggets of wisdom at a later time.

– Record your legacy. We all want to feel like we’ll be remembered beyond our time. We want to leave a legacy of some sort, even if we don’t give a whole lot of thought to it. And here’s something you might be surprised to consider. You are in fact going to leave a legacy of some sort. Now that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to be proud of it. It just means that the fact that you have lived upon this earth, and interacted with someone other than yourself, you’re going to, in some way have an impact on folks outside yourself. For this reason alone, it’s worth considering your legacy a bit.

Why not strive to leave a positive impact in some way. You don’t have to think about this in monumental terms. What I’m saying is, because you’re going to be leaving some sort of legacy anyway, why not give it the old college try as they say. When you journal, you have the opportunity to share the things you believe would be worthwhile with those who come behind you. You get to control, at least to some degree, where others go to read about your legacy.

I have been keeping a journal for years, and when I began, I wasn’t sure that I would have anything worthwhile to share. However, the interesting thing is as the years have gone by, and I’ve grown, those journals have been filled with years of thoughts and ideas that I hope will impart a little wisdom to others.

These are just a few reasons you should be keeping a journal. Hopefully the ideas above have prompted you to begin this practice yourself. It can have a real impact on your life.

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
Josh Hinds

Jan 20 2014

Don’t Allow Your Past to Dictate Your Future

Category: MotivationJosh Hinds @ 11:04 pm

Josh Hinds - Author and EntrepreneurI find that many people have a frame of reference which dictates how capable they believe they are at a particular task, skill, or thing — and in-turn plays a role in what they attempt, which as you can imagine has an effect on what they end up achieving — be it personally or professionally.

You Are Far More Capable Than Any Shortcoming From Your Past…

Your frame of reference is often shaped by your past accomplishments, as well as those times where you’ve fallen short of your intended outcome. For example, in my own life I would definitely NOT be described as a math whiz. In fact it’s fair to say that I was not very good at math at all in school. To this day I can tell you that my frame of reference (which was created in large part based on my past experiences) left me with the belief that I am not good at math which still sticks with me to this day. I don’t let it hold me back, but it does pop up in my mind from time to time.

If I’m really honest with myself, I have to confess that the reality is, for all I know, I might actually be good at math, if I were willing to put in extra time in study, or learn via different learning techniques. With all that said, my past experiences formed my frame of reference. The point here isn’t whether or not I could change this line of thinking. Perhaps you too have had past experiences which have shaped your frame of reference (both positively and negatively).

Whatever may have happened in your past, if it doesn’t serve to make you the person you want to be, you have in you the ability, through action and effort, the opportunity to change it to one that will serve you for the better.

Your frame of reference is important for several reasons — not the least of which is that it determines what you are willing to attempt in the first place, which of course is the starting point of everything with regards to the success process. If you don’t get started you can’t ever hope to succeed at any worthwhile endeavor. No amount of wishing alone will get you there.

Break Through Your Limiting Beliefs…

I love the story of Roger Bannister. The first man to ever run a sub-four-minute mile. For years, many amazing athletes before him tried to break the elusive 4 minute time, but fell short. Interestingly, once he broke the record, before long, other athletes began doing the same, as well as breaking his time record. What had kept all the athletes before Roger from breaking the 4-minute mile? Their own frame of reference that was built around the idea that “it couldn’t be done.”

It took Roger to come along, and by overcoming the barrier, “reframe” the way everyone saw the 4-minute mile, from one that couldn’t be broken, back to one that, like all goals, could be worked at, trained for, and eventually attained.

Friend, commit right here and now to go beyond those who stop just short of wishing for bigger and better results, and those who wake up everyday and set out about doing the daily work necessary to get where they want to go in life.

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
Josh Hinds

PS. Add my Why Perfect Timing is a Myth audio program to your personal development library. It’s designed to take you from “need to do” to “got it done!”.

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