15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.

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You Don’t Need To Sprint The Whole Way, But Don’t Stop Walking

Yes, that’s me racing a turtle on a black sand beach. Yes, it is illegal to be that close to a turtle. How do I know this? Because there is a sign posted. Want to know where it’s posted? About ten feet in front of me–facing the water. Which is a dumb place to put that sign because it only warns the tourists as they are LEAVING the beach. Unless the intent was to warn the turtles ahead of time and inform them of their rights.

Everyone is familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race, right? That is not the entire truth. Actually it is steady that wins the race. There is no inherent value in slow.

I’ll defer to another story that I read in elementary school, although I don’t recall the title of the book, but I think it might have been The Great Brain Does It Again.

Kid A was talking smack because his parents bought him a new champion quarter horse. Kid B challenged him to a race with his parent’s broken down nag. Except that Kid B challenged him to a race that was two miles long. For those unfamiliar with the term “quarter horse,” it’s a racing horse that is trained to run short sprints, say… a quarter mile.

Kid A galloped out strong at the start, easily out-pacing Kid B’s old workhorse, but Horse A exhausted itself and eventually stopped despite his owner goading him to keep sprinting. Horse B jogged across the finish line.

Kid B won a lot of money on that race. But being something of a swindler, gave everyone a chance to win their money back the next day. Except this time Kid B agreed to race riding the quarter horse and Kid A could ride the winning nag.

The next day, Kid B won. Because he didn’t race his horse, he paced his horse. Rather than trying to force the champion quarter horse to sprint the entire two miles, he would let him run, then let him rest, let him run, let him rest. He didn’t push the horse past the point of exhaustion. He went at a steady pace and ran in occasional bursts of speed.

That’s my message for you today. In whatever venue you are planning for, whether your finances, your fitness, your relationships or your spiritual walk: Do a little bit every day, but do a lot when you can.

  • If you have never started saving for your retirement, don’t try to sprint by allocating 50% of your salary and 100% of your discretionary spending starting now. You will get exhausted and you will stop.
  • If you’ve been neglecting your spouse or children, don’t try to make it up by sprinting; by devoting every waking hour of your attention on them. It’s a little bit creepy and clingy.
  • If your relationship with God is not where you want it to be, don’t sprint by wearing a hair shirt, then fasting and praying for 48 hours straight. You’ll hallucinate. And itch.
  • If you want to get in shape, don’t start by racing a cheetah.

Stay steady. Don’t exhaust yourself.

The hare would have won if he just walked the entire race. His crime was that he stopped.

Devote a little bit of time and resources every day towards your goals. That’s your walking. And if you occasionally feel like running, then run.

  • Financial walking is setting aside a small percentage of your paycheck towards long term and short term savings (say $100 a month). Running is when you get a Christmas bonus and throw half of it into your portfolio (an instant $500). Notice though that sprinting is no substitute for steady walking.
  • Relationship walking is eating meals with your family, asking about their day, being available to talk. Running is taking them on a vacation! And I think we all know that trying to be Superdad for 1 week out of the year when you haven’t been around for the last 51 weeks is a little pathetic.
  • Walking with God is reading the bible for 15 minutes every day (I used dailybiblereader.com to read the entire bible in one year for about 15 minutes a day). Running with God is going on a missions trip or building orphanages in the Philippines.
  • Walking for fitness is… well, I guess is actually just walking. And when you’ve built up some stamina you can actually do some running.

Small investments compounded over time yield vast rewards (I think I may have written a book on this subject).

Have planned, daily activities that move you forward in some area of your life. That’s your daily walking; your good habits that make every day a growing day. Even just investing 15 minutes a day will result in huge long-term growth with very little effort.

Then every so often, you will have the opportunity to run. And when you do, you won’t pull a groin muscle.


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If You’re Failing It’s Because the Universe is Against You


Too harsh a title?

Well, here’s my reasoning. The universe was designed to punish our inactivity. Our universe follows certain laws that never change and one of those is a Law of Thermodynamics also known as “Entropy.”

Entropy is synonymous with degeneration. All things that are not growing, that are not in use, that do not have energy being applied to them begin to deteriorate. That is the natural state of the universe.

Ships that remain in port for too long are soon no longer seaworthy.

The athlete that stops exercising becomes fat, and possibly bitterly nostalgic.

A relationship that no one puts effort into stagnates and dies.

When you stop using your mind regularly you lose your smartness (that’s me taking a dig at myself for not blogging for so long).

Before you collapse under the crushing weight of the Universe working against you, there is hope. There is another physical law of the universe known as Inertia. That law says two things:

  1. That an object at rest tends to remains at rest.
  2. An object in motion tends to remain in motion.

It takes an expenditure of energy to create change. But once you initiate change and expend some energy into sustaining it, you shed off part 1 of inertia and become an inertia-2 person.

Your fit neighbor that runs every day. It probably takes her very little discipline to get up every morning and run TODAY. It was hard to start, it took some discipline to keep going, but now it would probably be harder for her to not run than to run. She’s an object in motion that tends to remain in motion. The universe is now on her side.

If you want to change something in your life, the hardest thing for you to do is to start. So don’t think about it, just start. Give yourself a chance to get the universe on your side.

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Step One Action, Step Three Success!

thoughtsLast post I discussed developing a passion for your dreams and goals. Developing mental clarity in your goals is a good start. It helps you to visualize success, it builds your belief and confidence, it opens your mental awareness so that you recognize opportunities. But no amount of daydreaming about your goals will convert them into reality.

Faith without works is death.

Here is a three step plan to realize your goals:

1. Take Action. Start. Act. Move your body. Do something. The biggest objection that I hear from people is “But I don’t know how!” When people say that they don’t know how, what they really mean is that they don’t know how to finish. But everyone knows how to start. I guarantee it.

  • Want to lose weight? First action step: put on your shoes.
  • Want to make more money? Ask someone who makes more than you what to do.
  • Want to marry a pretty girl? Open your mouth and say something to her. If it’s something embarrassing, she’ll probably think it’s cute.
  • Want to write a book? Find a piece of paper and write. I know something about this. I started writing my book, then two weeks later came up with a subject and title.

There is no point in worrying about the endgame when you haven’t started playing. (that’s probably suitable for tweeting)

The second objection is, “What happens if I come across obstacle X?” You cannot anticipate every setback on a new endeavor. Why? Because it’s new. Yes, some force will try to keep you from changing your life. Most of them are minor problems that are given enormous weight through the fertilizer of procrastination. Remember, often our anticipation of problems is worse than the problems we actually face.

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” ~Mark Twain

Which is why you are better off just starting with some activity of any kind. As you progress and run into a problem, face it there rather than battling an imaginary future phantom. You cannot beat an imagined problem.

2. Adjust. Evaluate. Aim. Once you start, you develop momentum. Once you have momentum, you don’t stop and re-aim. You simply adjust and improve along the way. Now is the time to seek advice and counsel from qualified people. And the simple fact that you have already started gives you much more credibility.

If you seek advice from an expert in any field, they will have more respect for you if you say: “I’ve started doing X, what do you think…?” than if you can only say: “I’m thinking about starting X, what do you think…?”

Why such a big difference? The world is full of people that have thought about doing something. The expert knows that if you’ve already started–even if you’re going about it in a sporadic, disorganized, possibly crazy method–you’ve already overcome the hurdle that stops most people.

3. Persevere. Keep going. Continue. Never quit. If you move towards your goal, if you adjust your path along the way, then you will reach it as long as you do not stop.

My favorite quote on the subject of perseverance:
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. ~Calvin Coolidge

The good news is that once you reach a certain point (I’ll go ahead and say 21 days), inertia begins to work in your favor. When you first start out, passion is the driving force that gets you moving. Eventually your daily activity becomes a habit. Once you have a habit, it requires less and less energy to keep going.

Yes, people still quit after 21 days. If you feel your energy and enthusiasm waning, then it’s most likely because you stopped doing the thing that motivated you to start the process. Revisit your goal. Are you still thinking about it and talking about it? If you are, you’re not becoming weary. Slogging along for the sake of activity is just being stubborn. Slogging along to achieve is rewarding.

Remember, all of this began with thought. Guard you thoughts because your thoughts become words. Your words become actions. Your actions become habits. Your habits determine your character.

One final observation, if you will turn your attention to the white board. When you change your character, your thoughts will change. Achieving goals itself becomes a habit. Once you are on a track to success, it becomes a track that leads to continual success. There is a reason why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Everyone participates in this process, whether they know it or not. We are always in the process of growth or decay, and the thing that determines the direction we are headed is our thoughts.

Have you made a conscious decision anytime recently to grow in some area of your life?


How Do You Like Them Tomatoes?

When I was in elementary school we had a garden (interesting side note, no matter what you plant in Hawaii you will yield mostly eggplant). My dad took care of it and I, being a kid, I carefully avoided it. From high school until today I’ve only lived in a town house with no lawn space, and have had no particular interest in potted plants so I’ve never grown anything.

A few years back I had the urge to start an herb garden (when I had a turkey and basil leaf sandwich that was really good). And since I haven’t had a normal 9 to 5 job in quite a while, a few months ago I thought I’d try it out. I got some plastic trays, some soil, some seeds and started flexing my farming muscles.

Basil is easy to grow, so those seeds sprouted quickly. Then I decided that fresh basil tastes gross and let them die.

I planted some Rosemary seeds, most of which never broke the soil surface. When one of them finally did I was overjoyed. My next discovery was that a kitten will eat a newly sprouted Rosemary plant right down to the roots.

That brings us to today. Check out my tomato plant:

Not bad for someone that never grew anything in his life. When I actually get my first tomato, expect a five-part blog detailing the process from harvest to sandwich-eating.

Why am I rambling about my mini-garden? Here, I’ll quote from David Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big.

Most of us have friends who grow things for a hobby. And we’ve all heard them say something like “It’s exciting to watch those plants grow.”

I’ve read this book several times before but glossed over that section because I never had any personal experience with it. In this particular season of my life though, it was pertinent to me so it jumped out at me.

Now let’s take a look at the next paragraph (of the book and my blog)

To be sure, it is thrilling to watch what can happen when men cooperate with nature. But it is not one-tenth as fascinating as watching yourself respond to your own carefully administered thought management program. It’s fun to feel yourself growing more confident, more effective, more successful day-by-day, month-by-month.

Here are my insights taken from my recent experiences in farming and reading:

  • First, Dr. Schwartz sums up nicely the reason that I am so passionate about personal growth. It’s fun. It’s challenging. And when you are growing yourself, it is significantly more rewarding than having a fresh tomato. (See my past blog on Always Choose Growth)
  • Second, you should always re-read books in your success library. Certain phrases and principles will speak to you more strongly in different phases of your own life. Compare what you highlight in a book today to what “college-You” highlighted the first time you read it. It’s a great yardstick to see how much you’ve grown.
  • Third, great things come from tiny seeds (I mean, just look at that photo! That plant is like 5 cats tall!) Metaphorically, words are seeds. Ideas are seeds. Thoughts are seeds. My life’s ambition is to spend it planting good seed and yielding a great harvest in the form of adding value to people’s lives.
  • Fourth, good seed is timeless. This book was written in 1959, but the wisdom in it is as valuable today as it was then. So is the wisdom found in the Bible. Seeds discovered in Egyptian tombs were found to still be viable after thousands of years. The same is true for principles of success. Policies change. Techniques change. Popularity is fickle. Principles endure.

These points seem a bit scattered to me, so let me try to bring them all into focus with a few questions:

Do you have principles in your life that you value? Of course, everyone does.

What are you doing to reinforce those principles in your life? In your child’s life?

What good seeds can you plant now to yield a great harvest in the future?


Always Choose Growth


Consider two farmers. Farmer John has a thousand acres of land that he inherited. But because he neglected his crops throughout the year, his harvest wasn’t quite enough to cover his expenses, so at the end of the year he sells one acre of his land to farmer Mike. Farmer Mike only has twenty acres of land, but because he produced a bountiful crop, at the end of the year, he used his extra cash to buy another acre from Farmer John.

Which farmer would you say is a better influence on young, impressionable, farmers-in-training? Farmer Mike, right? Go back and read the last paragraph if you forgot which farmer is which.

Even though Farmer John is worth 50 times more, everyone wants to be a farmer, own a business, or play basketball like Farmer Mike. That’s because of the success principle: “where you are is not nearly as important as where you are going.”

We really only have two options. Growth or decline. Stasis is a myth. If you are not moving, you are like water that is not moving. You become stagnant. If you do not use muscles, they atrophy. If you do not use your brain in a regular and stimulating way, it begins to decay.

When we are infants, every experience in life is brand-new. Every muscle movement, every sensory input and every emotion is something that we are learning for the first time. As youngsters, we are placed in an environment where we are assigned reading, math, history. We are learning through our school years. Even when we get a new job, we need to learn new skills, new routines, a new driving route. When we stop learning, we start losing our mental edge. We get bored. We get lazy. That is when we start getting older.

That is why even though Farmer John is worth 50 times more than farmer Mike, we view Mike as the more successful of the two.

Always choose growth. As an adult you have to be intentional about your own growth, since nobody is assigning you learning material anymore. No matter how dismal your current circumstances, if you’re always in the process of growing, you are more successful than someone with much more money that is stagnating.

Stop staring at your feet, start staring at the horizon. <– Tweet that.

What are you doing today, to grow you to a new level a year from now?

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Find a Balance Between Polish and Publish


I was listening to a free webinar by marketing expert, Steve Harrison, and one of the points he made was to not be paralyzed by perfectionism. One of the key traits that is shared by very successful people (what he calls “million dollar” experts and authors) is they develop the instant action habit. (Confirmation for my previous article on Leap Before You Look)

To be a successful author, you need to produce work. Yes you want to produce quality, and yes you want to avoid mistakes and typos and logical contradictions in the body of your work; but you need to determine a balance between polish and publish. Some people will never publish anything because they spend all their time polishing their manuscript with the goal of perfection.

Some thoughts on perfection which you should dwell on like a Zen master:

Perfection is a fine goal. When you are practicing anything, you should strive for perfection. At soccer practice, you should try to make every pass perfect. When writing you should try to make every sentence flow perfectly. But ultimately, perfection is not attainable.

What is more important than attaining perfection is striving towards perfection. Because then you are constantly in a state of growth and improvement. Then even if your work is flawed at the time of publication, your next work will be better. And your next work even better than that one. But your next work will never be better than your first if you never finish your first.

In any learning or improvement process there is a diminishing return. There is rapid progress in the beginning, but the more you improve the less improvement you see from later practice. You will reach a point when any further polishing in one specific area is not a good investment of your time, and you’ll just be better off moving on to a new area.

In soccer, for example, you need to move on from polishing your passing skill to dribbling, kicking, heading, trapping, and running. If you refuse to move on to a new aspect of the game because you are obsessed with perfection in passing, you will be worthless on the field. Same thing in writing. If you spend a lifetime perfecting one manuscript, the world will never know how great your second and third work would have been.

In this digital age everything is increasingly temporary. Everything is in a stage of constant flux and change and evolution. If you publish your work today, then realize that something needs to be changed, you can publish a new version. In fact, in five years you may want to print a second edition anyway, incorporating all the things you learned while working on your last two books. Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, says to develop the mindset of “perpetual beta.” You, your work, your writing, and your brand are constantly being upgraded.

Lastly, perfection is subjective anyway. If it’s perfect in your eyes, someone else won’t like it. So don’t sweat it.

Shortly after publishing my first book I posted this statement on my Facebook fan page: “Just published my first book. I hope 10 years from now, I’ll read it and think it’s terrible. Because that will mean I’m still growing.” I still stand by that statement.

Also, to my European readers. When I say soccer, I mean football.

Final question: “Have you ever been afflicted by the paralysis of analysis?”

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Hurry Up and Wait

hourglassThis may come as a shock, but I am not an expert on everything I write about. When you write a book, there comes along with it the perception of expertise, of mastery, of wisdom. But the fact is I (and most authors) are human; and as humans we are imperfect.

I write about being productive with time, but there are times when I am lazy. I write about taking action immediately, but there are times when I procrastinate. In fact, I used to be an expert at procrastination. Now there is something I could write a book about, but (you know what, insert your own punchline here…).

Today, I thought I’d write on a subject that I am an expert in, and that is: Patience.

Patience has always been one of my strengths; probably because of my quasi-Zen philosophical upbringing and the fact that I don’t have children yet. But I never thought of patience as being something of any particular value until later in life.

1. Patience keeps us focused on the present. We are only impatient because we want something to happen that hasn’t happened yet. The promotion, the traffic light, the bag of popcorn in the microwave. Just realize, that what you are waiting for is going to happen, and very rarely can we do anything to speed up the process. Being anxious or worrying about it will not affect the future, but it will hurt us in the present.

Since worrying about your promotion will not help you, just focus on performing your work right now with excellence and enthusiasm. Let the promotion take care of itself. Since swearing at the red light will not help you get to your destination any faster, why not enjoy the song currently playing on the radio? Since standing next to the microwave staring at it will not make the popcorn pop faster… Actually, that’s a bad example since microwave popcorn requires your attention so you can stop it before it burns. Don’t sweat over your burrito though.

Don’t try to pull the future to you faster.

2. Patience helps provide emotional stability. When we are impatient, we have shorter tempers, we are stressed, we fret. When we are patient, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care about things, just that we have the fortitude to wait. (“Patience is passion tamed.” Lyman Abbott).

Patience eliminates a great deal of stress, which in turn allows the patient person to maintain calm and balance even under stressful circumstances. Just recognize that time will eventually overcome a current problem or hardship. Now, I am not advocating inactivity or passivity. Just realize that all we can do, is all we can do; and once we do all we can do, the rest requires patience.

3. Patience helps to nurture growth. John Maxwell, expert on leadership and personal growth writes that “Leaders develop daily, not in a day.” The mentality of growth by lottery, or sudden inspiration, or through instantaneous quantum leap transformation is a myth not a reality.

To grow mentally, physically or spiritually, requires consistent and persistent activity compounded over time. Impatient people want the results now and maybe they will promise to do the work later. But unfortunately life does not work that way. Patient people recognize the need to put the work in now and reap the results later. This allows them to focus on the immediate work; the process rather than the results.

Those are my thoughts on patience.

“But I never got around to it!” That was the punchline for that sentence. Scroll back up if you don’t remember what I was talking about. Sorry, I couldn’t wait…


Compulsory Farm Service

There are some people that believe that we should require compulsory military service in the U.S. before you can become a citizen. While I admire the men and women of our armed forces past and present, and I would not hesitate to serve myself if it were required of me, I’ve always felt that a good alternative would be to require citizens to work on a farm for two years.

First, because farmers are some of the hardest working people in the world (read this Hillbilly’s Letter Home from the Army). And second, because it would help to reintroduce some laws of nature that many people raised in the Age of the Internet have never learned: The Laws of the Harvest.

I know the concept of a harvest may need to be explained to the youngsters out there. Here are some general principles behind farming.

1. When you plant corn in the ground, you receive back corn. In other words, you get back, what you put out. This is known as the Law of Reciprocity.

This is a practically universal teaching of every world religion. The golden rule, you reap what you sow, what comes around goes around, karma is a mafia princess (paraphrased). From a purely selfish standpoint, it would be a good idea not to be a jerk. People will treat you like a jerk. If you speak in a way that is energetic, empowering, and optimistic you will live a life that is full of energy, power, and optimism. It’s better to speak words of honey not of bile in case you need to eat those words later.

2. You receive more corn out of the ground, than you plant into the ground. Or, you get back more of what you put in. This is the Law of Increasing Returns.

How viable would our system of agriculture be if for every ear of corn you planted, you received back exactly one ear of corn. Why bother planting it? Just eat the one you have. Fortunately, the earth was designed to provide abundantly. A single kernel of corn has the potential to yield hundreds of millions of ears of corn.

And so does a single act of kindness. Or a single harsh statement. Or a single lie. Or a single blessing. Our words and actions when sown out in the world have the power to multiply and increase in power a thousandfold. Being a little bit of a jerk can sometimes result in you being run over by a busload of jerks.

3. Once you plant the corn, you need to wait for it to grow. You cannot keep digging up your kernels to check on them. You plant seeds, you water them, but you also must wait for nature to allow them to develop a life of it’s own. This is The Law of Delayed Gratification.

You can’t expect to reap rewards without putting out seeds of effort first. That would be like expecting your fireplace to provide you heat before you give it wood. It doesn’t work with inanimate objects and it doesn’t work with people either. Try telling your boss that you will work harder after he gives you a raise.

Also, we need to understand that a harvest completes on its own schedule, not on ours. I may have already spent some time complaining about the microwave mentality that people have these days. But anything worthwhile requires nurturing. Raising children, forming a relationship, developing a talent. Be willing to put forth the effort, even if you don’t see the results immediately. Have faith, that the laws of nature will not make an exception just for you.

These are basic lessons about life and nature, sorely missing in today’s education standards, all because of our lack of agrarian society. (Full disclosure: I’ve never worked on a farm and probably couldn’t handle the physical labor, but the philosophy of the farm I am totally down with).

What other laws of man and nature can be learned on a farm?

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Be the 5%, Do the 5%

  • Overall, about 5% of people work in management and 95% work in labor.
  • In the typical church, 5% of the congregation account for nearly 95% of the tithes and volunteer hours.
  • Roughly 5% of Americans are entrepreneurs while 95% are employees.
  • Only 5% of people ever set life goals for themselves (and fewer than that ever write their goals down).
  • Only about 5% of people in the U.S., the most prosperous country in the world, describe themselves as “successful.”

I want to focus on that last point for now, and encourage you to be one of those 5%. The self-proclaimed successful people in life. Decide for yourself, right this moment, “I am going to be one of the 5%.”

The way to do that, is to do the 5%.

“What does that mean?” I hear you cry.

In church this morning the pastor explained the 5% rule:

  • 85% of what you do in your life could be done by anyone.
  • 10% of what you do requires some kind of training or expertise (probably your job stuff)
  • 5% of what you do in your life can only be done by you.

What did he include in that 5% category? Developing your faith, your marriage, your family, and your own personal growth.

When I say that you should do the 5%, I mean that you should expend your mental energy and creativity on the important things. Invest your time and effort into those things that only you can do. You will have a much more rewarding life, and become more successful not by the world’s standard of success, but by your own standard.

Develop a stronger faith, marriage, family, and self. Live with the 5%

What are some of the 85% things in your life that you can get rid of to make room for the 5%?

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Get Ripped Mentally

This just happens to be on my mind because I’ve been away for a few days and need to get back into my workout habit. Training yourself mentally is not that different from physical training. A lot of the same principles apply to personal development that you would include in your exercise regimen.

1. Vary your workout

How to Win Friends and Influence People is an awesome book that will help you in just about every aspect of life. I recommend that everyone read it in the 4th grade then reread it once a year. But there are hundreds of other books that are available to help you no matter what your vocation or calling. You should be reading from a broad range of books, just like you should work out different muscle groups. Limiting your mental development to one book is like limiting your workout to just the bench press.

Not only should you read, but you should listen to audio recordings of seminars and lectures of successful teachers. Think of that as the cardio portion of your workout.

2. Get a trainer

There is a world of difference between working out on your own and having a personal trainer. Just as there is a huge difference between learning from a book and having a tutor.

You should seek out a mentor to help and guide you. A mentor is like a coach. They can see things from a perspective that you cannot and help you correct mistakes. A mentor can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. A mentor can help you to develop a regimen to maximize your effectiveness and push you or encourage you when you need it.

3. Track your progress

A lot of personal development tools and seminars are targeted specifically for professional sales. One thing about salesmen, is that they tend to measure their success only by their sales, which is why so many of them quit before making a breakthrough.

The problem with only counting sales, is that closing the sale happens at the end of the process. What about progress and improvements along the rest of the steps of a sales call. Tracking allows you to look back and see how effective you were on invite, approach, rapport, rebuttals, etc..

If you’re not in sales, then figure out some other way to track your progress. Many personal development tools come in the form of kits that include DVD’s, CD’s and workbooks.

4. Rest

I think most people understand the concept of working out a muscle. You exercise, you push the muscle to the point of fatigue, then the muscle rests and becomes stronger. Your brain also needs time to replenish. A mind given a chance to rest is sharper, while all work and no play makes Jack into a psycho killer.

These are my tips on personal growth and development from the point of view of a personal exercise trainer. Disclaimer: I am not a personal exercise trainer.

Any personal trainers or fitness gurus have anything they want to add or correct?