05-MAY 15-2021

Struggling … how to break bad habits?

“Nothing is impossible.  The word itself say, ‘I’m possible.’” –Audrey Hepburn

There’s no one single reason why we struggle — to break bad habits, achieve our goals, or excel in our desired domain — but more often than not, the biggest challenge is sitting between your two ears.

Yes, your mind is incredibly powerful, and quite frankly, it’s a double-edge sword.  The stories you tell yourself, the things you believe about yourself, and the way you talk to yourself can either be the limiting factor holding you back or the key to blossoming.

According to Stanford University researcher Carol Dweck, the difference may come down to your mindset, or more specifically, whether you embrace a “fixed” or a “growth” mindset.  Here’s how Dweck describes the difference between these two mindsets and how they impact your performance…

In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities — their intelligence, their talents — are just fixed traits.  They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.  In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence.  They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.

Believe it or not, most of us are guilty of having a fixed mindset — at least in certain situations.  And that can be incredibly dangerous and destructive because a fixed mindset can prevent skill development and growth, which can be disastrous for health and happiness over time.

I can do it!If you believe things about yourself like…

  • It’s hard for me to lose weight.
  • I’m not good with numbers.
  • I’m not a natural athlete.
  • I’m not creative.
  • I’m a procrastinator.

It’s pretty evident that those fixed mindsets will lead you to avoid experiences where you might feel like a failure.  As a result, you don’t learn as much, you don’t try as hard (in those areas) and it’s harder to get better.

What can you do about this?  How can you change the things you believe about yourself, eliminate your fixed mindset and actually achieve your goals?

The formula is simple albeit not necessarily easy.  For starters, realize that skill is something you can cultivate, not merely something you’re born with.  You can become more creative, intelligent, more athletic, more artistic and more successful by focusing on the process — not the outcome.

Instead of worrying about winning the championship, commit to the process of training like a champion.  Instead of worrying about writing a best-selling book, commit to the process of publishing your ideas on a consistent basis.  Instead of worrying about getting six-pack abs, commit to the process of eating healthy each day.

It’s not about the result; it’s about building the identity of the type of person gets to enjoy those results.  Sustainable, long-lasting change starts with building a better identity, not by focusing on results like your performance or your appearance.

To your better life!

May 15, 2020

I get so tired of jousting with that guyGood morning.
It was trending ugly on Thursday.  The weekly jobless claims had the bulls on the ropes, but then it started happening and kept happening until the market was green on the day and then closed near the high of the session.  This was one of the bigger intraday tests that we’ve seen for a while, and it passed.
The reason isn’t easy to peg and is probably unnecessary.  If we run back to $2950 on the S&P 500, we will have another hurdle to overcome for the market.  It’d be good to see it pass coupled with a more aggressive reopening of the economy.  That will give participants something real to point to.

In other news…

U.S. Manufacturing Output Takes Biggest Hit in 100 Years: Virus?  What Virus?  Wall Street’s Denial.

Sigmund Freud coined a term for Wall Street’s attitude right now: denial.  It’s a defense mechanism in which the truth is intellectually denied because it’s too painful to accept.
By my reckoning, the current rebound in stocks seems unwarranted, judging by dismal economic data and corporate earnings results.  Bullishness is premature and actually serves as a contrarian indicator.
Below, I’ll steer you toward an industry that’s poised for outsized growth, regardless of the broader markets’ shifting sentiment.  But first, let’s survey the investment landscape.
Stocks closed higher Wednesday, as all 50 states started reopening their economies and easing coronavirus lockdowns.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.52%, the S&P 500 was up 1.67%, and the NASDAQ rose 2.08%.  As of this writing Thursday morning, all three indices were trading in the green.
Oil prices are climbing on indications of resurgent demand and a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories.  At the same time, a spike in the shares of mega-cap tech stocks, due to better-than-expected earnings, has boosted the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite to within 5% of its all-time high.
Global equity benchmarks have been rallying as well, amid a falling number of COVID-19 cases and reopening national economies.
Wall Street is bullish again…and that’s bearish.
I’m an optimist by nature and I disdain the perpetual doom-and-gloomers, but I feel compelled to throw some cold water on these overheated hopes.  It’s improbable for the stock market rally to sustain its momentum in the face of brutally bad economic data.  A second wave of infections could send the market crashing again.

May 15, 2019

“Least likely to succeed?”

Tom “Big Al” Schreiter here.

If there was a “least likely to succeed” award in school, I could have won that award.  Clueless.  Directionless.  Unmotivated.
Not your ideal prospect.
But then …
I stopped giving people information.  I stopped presenting facts.
I learned how stories can change people’s lives.  And in that instant, my life changed.  The thoughts inside my head became their thoughts inside their heads.  There is no way to describe that magic.  It is an experience.

        • Stories are how we learn.
        • Stories are how we communicate.
        • And stories move people.

Sound like something we should get good at?

Quick Lesson: How to start a story.  Blue CHECK Mark inside a circle

Certain words prepare our prospects to receive our stories with open minds.  Start with these phrases:
        1. “Once upon a time …” (Okay, only for children’s stories.)
        2. “When I was young …”
        3. “Here is what happened …”
        4. “Can I tell you a secret?”
        5. “I have to tell you …”
        6. “This didn’t turn out like I thought it would …”
        7. “You won’t believe this …”
        8. “My mother explained why she was late …”
Test: Go back now and look at the eight opening phrases again.
Which of these eight phrases ticks off the rapport program and puts it into overdrive?
Obvious, isn’t it?
If we don’t know story basics, how can we create powerful stories to make our businesses grow?
So … which one of the eight choices did we choose?

       →   #2!    ←

“When I was young …”

Why does this phrase create instant rapport with our listeners?

        • Everyone was young once.
        • Everyone was a child once.
        • Everyone was a teenager once.
In just four words, we bond with listeners.

Amazingly simple, right?

Children beg us to tell them stories.  Could that be a hint of the power we can wield when talking to prospects? Certainly.

The human mind desperately wants to put our business opportunity offer … into a story.  Stories can be understood.  Stories work. 

Come From Aways, Do You?

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