Saturday, August 12, 2017

He Is Talking About Me!

OMG; HE IS TALKING/ABOUT ME!
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, August 10, 2017




I have become a reader/lover of all things written by Orison Swett Marden who wrote his books in the late 1890s early 1900s.  Most of his books deal with how to become successful and what holds most people back from achieving that objective. 

This book, Why Grow Old? is different.  As I began reading it I felt like Marden and I were sitting at a coffee shop enjoying a cup of coffee and then it his me – Oh My God (OMG), he is talking about and to me!  I am at a point in my life where he has described some of my thoughts.

Let’s first set the stage.  I am 72 years old.  I have a lot of physical issues that were created many years ago through my involvement in sporting activities.  I have had 9 surgeries just on my left knee.  I have had both shoulders repaired.  I have had cateract surgeries on both eyes.  Plus several other issues the latest of which is spinal stenosis of the lower back making it difficult to walk any distance without experience pain in my lower back and lower legs.  I have a lot of reasons to think about how I have grown old as Marden writes about in his book.

From the book on the opening pages, emphasis is mine:

“The face cannot betray the years until the mind has given its consent. The mind is the sculptor," "We renew our bodies by renewing our thoughts; change our bodies, our habits, by changing our thoughts." In those phrases, the author summarizes a way of living, full of self-healing and vitality.  In the end, we don’t need all the money in the world, if we lose our health and the joy of living.

Most of Marden’s books are about how to become successful through character building and thinking in a certain way.  As the above excerpt indicates, all the success in the world won’t mean very much if we lose our health and subsequently our capacity for enjoying our success and wealth or even prematurely die all due to ill health.  More importantly he talks about that when we think about growing old we then begin to act old in the way we dress and the activities we engage in or not engage in.  In other words we become the mental picture we have created of what an older person looks like and acts like.  But it need not be so!

Marden’s advice on growing old is quite simple and is in keeping with what a lot of other people have already said.  We become more of whatever it is we think about most.  Therefore if we think about growing old, we grow old.  If we think about sickness and ill health, we experience sickness and ill health.  On the reverse side of that thought process; if we think about success, we become successful.  If we think about great health and staying young we experience great health and we stay young.  BUT HE DOES NOT STOP WITH JUST THE THOUGHT.  He goes on to explain HOW science supports his believe in how to stay young in our looks, in how we act and the activities we engage in.  Young people reading this may think the book is not for them but they would be wrong.  Marden further explains that to be able to think in a certain way first requires  the knowledge behind the why that our thoughts are important and then suggests that we create the habit of thinking in a certain way.  The best time to begin this process is when we are young, not wait until we begin to grow older physically and mentally before we begin work on creating the correct mental thoughts.


It’s a short book, it’s a great book and best of all it costs only 99 cents on Amazon.com as a Kindle read.  In my opinion, the book is priceless!  For just 99 cents, what have you got to lose?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

To Help People Do What They Do

To Help People Do What They Do
To Do It Better!
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, August 10, 2017

Do you have a Life Mission Statement?  If not why not?  What do you do?  Why do you do it?  If you can’t answer these basic questions, do you really know what you are doing and what your future holds; or not?  If you don’t know where you are going, without a plan you can get to a whole of places you may not want to go!

Several years ago I created a Life Mission Statement for me.  It is “To Help People Do What They Do, To Do It Better!”  It is that simple.  I felt my calling was to first learn things and then to take the things I have learned and offer that knowledge to others to help them “do what they do, to do it better.”  This Mission Statement has served me well over the years.

One of the “things” I discovered came from Joe Tye, my friend, teacher and mentor.  He calls it the Direction-Deflection-Questin or DDQ.  I have talked about it in several of the Nuggets for the Noggin I have written.  It is so simple to use but is one of the most effective tools you could ever have to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.  You ask AND answer yourself a question.  In my case, it works like this:

Is what I am about to say, do or write
consistent with my desire to help people
to do what they do to do it better?

Then is becomes a matter of YES or NO.  If YES, I say, do or write it.  If NO, I don’t!

Look at another example - losing weight.  What would happen if your desire was to weigh 150 pounds but you currently weigh 180 pounds.  Meaning you have to lose 30 pounds to hit your goal.  What are you doing now to make that happen?  Is it working?  Try this question:

Is what I am about to eat or drink taking me to my ideal weight of 150 pounds?

If YES, eat or drink it.  If NO, don’t.  You will know if it is in your best interest.  If you want to lose 30 pounds, would you consider drinking a sugar infested soft drink as being in your best interest to hit your goal?  You know it is not so why drink it?  The trick is to keep the DDQ in front of you at all times so as not to forget when it matters most.

With that in mind, I write Nuggets for the Noggin.  For the most part they are one to three typed pages of information that people could use or at least think about.  Initially they were almost all related to sales and motivation.  After I retired in 2012, some of the Nuggets were more about whatever I was thinking at the time.

What am I think about today?  I am almost finished reading Orison Swett Marden’s book, Prosperity: How to Attract It.  What is so special about this book?  Thought you would never ask.

I have read a lot of books, well over 1000.  I do not tell you that to impress you but to emphasize that out of all the books I have read, Marden’s books are very special and therefore I want to tell you about them.  I have to keep reminding myself that Marden wrote his books back in the late 1890s through 1911.  What is so shocking to me is that as I read them, I can see the exact same subject matter in other books I have read over the years.  Occasionally these later books would make reference to Orison Swett Marden but not that much.  I looked him up by searching on Amazon and was shocked at the number of books he wrote.

I don’t recall which of the many books I read first but I can tell you that I was so impressed with one overriding thought that appeared in all of his books.  He wrote about events throughout history and how they related to the life and times of the 1890 – 1911.  I was shocked to discover that what he wrote about then, what he tried to teach was no different in his time than they are today.  All of his books talk about men and women becoming a success and just how that happens and more importantly how it affects the world for the good when people become self-sufficient and successful.  He also describes how the opposite of that is also true, how it adversely affects the lives and futures of those people who lie in wait of something better to happen to them and it rarely if ever does.

How is reading Marden’s books in keeping with my Mission Statement of helping people to do what they do, to do it better?  I can assure you that IF you or your children or their children want to be successful in life, they need to read what I have read – Orison Swett Marden’s books.  If you read one, you should be caught up in his writings and want to read more.  You can open any one of his many books to any page and you will see a paragraph, paragraphs, sentences or simple phrases that could be used as a quote that people would want to hear and remember.

If you take nothing else away from this Nugget, I want you to take away the thought of encouraging your children and by extension their children to read Marden but not only just read it, actually study it.  What are they doing right now in their early years that would set them up for a successful future and ultimately retirement in their later years.  I can honestly say that growing up in the 1950s no one ever talked to me about becoming a success.  About finding my passion.  About finding my vocation.  About setting out a course of action, a plan, to achieve whatever it was that I wanted to achieve.  Then in the 1960s as I graduated from High School and attended College, still no one came forth with suggestions or recommendations on a career path or planning for my future or how whatever I did could eventually change the world.

The lesson I learned late in life was that your children and their children “may” find that special person that will help them identify their passion and future career path but I am both afraid and certain that those mentors are few and far between.  If your children happen upon one they are indeed fortunate provided they learn to value what they have happened upon.  It has been my experience that most parents and their children fail to look upon people who have already done what they want to do as a source of tremendous value and expertise.  In fact that is one thing in my life that concerns me deeply.  It is impossible to read as much as I have read without acquiring a great deal of knowledge.  When I die, that knowledge dies with me except for the over 400 Nuggets for the Noggin like this one that will live on forever.  The Nuggets and the 3 books I have drafted will become my legacy but a legacy unto itself is useless unless people discover what I will be leaving behind and find some use for the Nuggets/Books.

The Lesson of THIS Nugget is to read Marden’s books and then get your children and their children to also read them.  They contain a tremendous amount of information on becoming a success where others have failed.  Time apparently has shown us nothing as his books have been around for over 100 years and his lessons are more true today than in his time.  It makes me ask the question, exactly what are our schools teaching our children if they are not teaching them how to become successful?

The following is a list of Marden’s book I have read.  I will continue to read the remainder of his books because they are hard to put down.  My biggest regret?  Finding them as I turned 70 years old.  They could have and most likely would have opened my mind and my future had I read them when I was 12 to 18 years old.  They are like a GPS system showing you where the next turn in your life is and that will eventually lead you to the destination you have chosen.  What more could you possibly ask for?  The list is in no specific order except for the first two.  Pushing to the Front is truly exceptional but long; as such unless you create a plan for your children to tackle the book just one chapter at a time, they may not want to read it all.  The second book may be the best book on which to start – Self Investment.  This is the book the emphasizes that everyone should create their own educational plan for success or in other words, Self-Help.  No one is going to do it for them, they MUST learn to create a plan for themselves.  First identify a long-range target for your life and then create a plan on just how you intend to get there.  It is no different than taking a trip where you plug in your final destination into your GPS system – your goal.  Then you fill up your gasoline tank (education) that will take you to your goal.  But just like the tank of gas in your car, you have to continually replenish the gas (education) otherwise you will stop dead in your tracks and your destination will never be achieved.  So here is the list of books available on the Amazon.com site where they can be found.  But wait…here is the best part.  Several of his books are FREE as a Kindle read and you can download Kindle to your smart phone, tablet, notebook, desktop or Kindle Reader for FREE as well.  The remainder of Marden’s books as Kindle reads are just 99 cents each.  They are worth far more than FREE or 99 cents but at that price there is no excuse for not looking into them – NONE!

Pushing to the Front
Self Investment
Cheerfulness as a Life Power
Eclectic School Readings; Stories from Life
Every Man a King
He Can Who Thinks He Can; How To Succeed
Hints for Young Writers
How They Succeeded; Life Stories of Successful Men Told by Themselves
How to Succeed, or Stepping Stones to Fame and Fortune
An Iron Will
The Joys of Living
The Miracle of Right Thought
Out of the Ashes; The Story of Orison Swett Marden
Selling Things
Prosperity; How to Attract It
The Victorious Attitude
The Wisdom of Orison Swett Marden

MARDEN BOOKS I INTEND TO READ

Wisdom and Empowerment
Be Good to Yourself
Masterful Personality
Character; the Greatest Thing in the World
How to Speak in Public
Thrift; How to Cultivate Self-Control and Achieve Strength of Character
Keeping Fit
Peace, Power and Plenty
The Secret of Achievement
Why Grow Old (I need this one!)
Not the Salary but the Opportunity
Making of a Man (Woman)
How To Get What You Want
The Crime of Silence
The Young Man Entering Business
Success Nuggets
The Hour of Opportunity
Making Life a Masterpiece
Rising in the World; or Architects of Faith
Ambition of Success
(There are even more)


SPECIAL NOTE:  Given the time in which these books were written, it was commonplace for speakers and writers to use the terms “man”, “men”, “boys” but they were used to reflect both men and women, boys and girls. For example, Making of a Man also refers to Making of a Woman.