Saturday, April 26, 2014

Inspiring Books


I surround myself with all kinds of books that it becomes impossible for me to say that I am running short of ideas to write about. The issue is not about having nothing to write about, but what I have to read about before I write something interesting for others to read.

The trouble with not having anything to write about is that I have not been reading any books at all. Of the many books that I have in my house and office I have not read all of them. Some of them, I just collected them to add to my personal collection so that I can read them at a latter time.

One of the books I had purchased some years ago is a book that three of the world’s influential motivation speakers have written.  Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Lew Hewitt wrote The Power of Focus: The Secret (2000), in which they shared some of their ideas that has influenced millions of people in the world.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the creators of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which sold more than 50 million books worldwide! They won numerous awards for their marketing genius, business acumen, and entrepreneurship. Les Hewitt is one of North America’s top performance coaches. He is the founder of the Achievers Coaching Program, a long-term focusing system that helps business people maximize their income while enjoying an excellent balance between work and family.

From time to time I return to The Power of Focus to find something I need to get me out of the feeling of nothingness.

In their final words the authors begin with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“To laugh often and much; to win respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

The impression I have after reading the above quote is that one must be prepared to endure a lot of challenges, deal with more irrelevance, contradictions, and find a way out of them is what makes a better person.
The authors continue to make the point more philosophically.

“We are faced with tough decisions. It’s part of the human dilemma. Which path do you take, this one or that one? Certainly, there are no absolute guarantees when it comes to charting your personal course for a better future. However, the fundamental habits…will go a long way to ensuring that your business and personal life will be blessed beyond measure. They have worked for us and for thousands of others. So take up the challenge. Make a decision now to refocus and become the best you can be, one day at a time.”

Sometimes we feel that we have moved far beyond the safe paths to treacherous zones where danger awaits us. In most cases we take no notice of that move until it is too late. 

If we are lucky we refocus on the best strategies that work for us and produce the results we want.

For me I have learnt that best strategies that work for me include the following: (1) reading new books, articles, or materials; (2) keeping a personal journal consistently every day; (3) keeping a day planner; (4) using the Things-to-Do List every day; (5) managing time in a way that works for me; (6) allowing time for rest, family, and church; (7) writing new works of literature; (8) plan, take action, and complete all assignments; (9) read motivational books; (10), learn to relax, smile, and be happy.  These ten strategies have worked for me all the time.

The key is that we must learn to take our challenges one day at a time. It is important to remain focused on what is important, to keep the eye on the prize, or simply remaining in control of the things we do to stay on track.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying: “The miracle power that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application and perseverance, under the promptings of a brave determined spirit.”

The authors of Power of Focus agree that achieving high results is from maintaining consistency through a persistent manner.

“We call it Consistent Persistence. At first glance, the words consistent and persistence may seem similar. That’s true, they are. We have double-barreled them to emphasize the importance of this habit…you will never achieve big results in your life without consistent and persistent action.”

It is easy to lose focus on a lot of things when we are inconsistent and allow complacency to become internalized in our lives and work environments.

In this year’s graduation are some of the students with whom I have worked with as their lecturer for four years. Some of them have gone through some of the tough times for young people in their age group.  Yet, the result of remaining focused on the purpose has seen them complete their degrees.

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