Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Get Motivated"

Nuggets for the Noggin
"Get Motivated!"
Review of the book “Get Motivated” written Tamara Lowe
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, March 2009
Everyone needs to have a personal library of great books and this is one of those books everyone should not only read but study.

Why would I recommend such a thing? Thought you would never ask. What motivates you? Do you know? I thought I did until I read Ms. Lowe’s book. The book describes Motivation in terms of having a Motivational DNA; character traits that define what motivates you and what de-motivates you. More importantly it shows you how to recognize the various Motivational DNA of people in your personal and business life.

I have been involved in several personality type evaluations and have been qualified to administer two different types. This is what I know about other types of evaluations; you have to know what you are doing and you have to do it on a regular basis to fully understand it and how to evaluate people. I have never felt very comfortable with the process since it is so difficult to understand and administer.

Within a minute or two you can take the online Motivational DNA evaluation and have the results in a clear, remarkably “on target” and easily understood format; at least in my case. I challenge you to go to http://www.getmotivatedbook.com/ and take the online evaluation to prove me wrong. If it does not nail your personality types I will be shocked. Notice I said “types” because there are several.

Why is that important? Again, I am so glad you asked. I can read your mind and I can also see you via your computer video cam; you look unusually nice, got an important date? Since the online evaluation will identify what motivates you, most people, and that would certainly include you, would benefit by intentionally putting themselves in situations and environments that would support and stimulate their personal motivation compared to a combative environment. This would automatically increase the odds of reaching your goals and objectives especially when it involves working with other people.

What if you could identify the Motivational DNA of your spouse, your children and grandchildren or your co-workers, customers, competition or whomever? Would you act and treat people just a little differently if you knew almost certainly what would motivate them and/or de-motivate them? I know I would. If you-know-who is reading this, maybe not.

If you and I work together, here is another reason to read the book. Like General Patton said as he was defeating General Rommel in the deserts of Africa, “I read your book your magnificent *&#$!” I am going to use the techniques laid out in Get Motivated to manipulate, sorry, motivate you to do the right thing. Now that I know what motivates you and de-motivates you – I can’t wait to jump in. However I feel I am safe because as Get Motivated points out, over 80% of all Americans never read a book once they leave high school or college. “That means that I have an 80% chance that only 20 of you will know what I am doing and since I know what I am doing I will immediately recognize those 20 who may have read the book, that will give me a leg up on the 80”, Gymbeaux said with a slight chuckle in his voice and a sly grin on his face. If I had a mustache, I would be twisting it at this moment. Don’t know about you but if I thought someone was going to read a book that would enable him or her to manipulate, sorry, motivate me, I would read the book!

For you-know-who - I am kidding (no I’m not). The book really is that good. Seriously, I don’t believe in manipulating people but doesn’t it make sense to work with people to accomplish good things rather than work against people and not accomplish good things? I’ll wait for your answer… times up! (For you-know-who, it makes sense in case you were wondering.) When you and the people you know have conflicting personality styles and different motivational characteristics you work at cross-purposes without even knowing it. Miraculous things happen when everyone is on the same page, wouldn’t you agree? Of course you would.

By the way, is it just me or did that mysterious 80/20 rule rear its head again? 80% of 100% never read a book beyond high school or college. Sounds like the 80/20 rule to me. That also means that 20% read at least one book. Is it no wonder then that 20% of the people do 80% of the work and achieve 80% of the success? So while we are making good sense, if each of has a choice and we do (except for maybe you-know-who), does it not also make sense to enhance your odds by engaging in self-education – or as I like to say - Read For A Change! Think about this while you are thinking about this, if you can understand your buyers’ and sellers’ Motivational DNA, would it not be much simpler to communicate with them when you both are thinking alike? Again, I’ll wait for your answer…time’s up! YES!

If all this is insufficient reason for you to read Get Motivated, consider this, Tamara Lowe explains how you can motivate your children and grandchildren by understanding what motivates them and then responding to their Motivational DNA needs rather than reacting to their behavior. This alone would cause me to want to read the book but then…that’s just me.

Here’s the kicker – there is a Leader’s Guide available where groups of like-minded people, that would be you and me, who want to form a group to work with the book can meet for six weeks to better understand the Motivational DNA principles. If this sounds good to you, it sounds good to me, let’s do it. I have the guide, you only need to get, and read, Get Motivated. Not only will it be fun, it will help you to become more productive.

For what it’s worth, I’m a PVI. If you want to know what that means, you’ll have to read the book; you won’t regret it. And consider this, if you one are part of the 80% and you read the book, you will become part of the 20% and have a great start to your personal self-improvement library – what a deal!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Nugget for the Noggin
By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, Octoer 5, 2007

Inspired by a passage in Dan Klatt's Ebook, "Law of Attraction Manifestation Process"

Who amongst us has not heard a small child from the back seat say, “Are we there yet, are we there yet?” What is he or she really saying?

I’m bored.
I’m tired.
I’m cramped up from sitting too long.
I’ve read all the books and colored all the pictures.
Why is it taking us so long to get where we are going?
Why have you done this to me; what have I done to deserve this?
Do you have any idea how much fun I could be having with my friends right now?
Are we having fun yet?

So are we any different?

We drive fast
We eat fast
We eat fast food
We use instant dry glue
We use instant dry paint
We print our own color photographs
We hire people to cut our grass
We hire people to wash our cars
We hire people to walk our dogs
We use airplanes to get their quicker yet it takes longer because of security restrictions
We look for a pill to lose weight, to gain weight, to run faster, to think better, to see better, to go to sleep, to wake-up more alert, and just to feel better.

Aren’t we all saying by such actions, “Are we there yet?” Well are we?

We all seem to be racing to get somewhere and it would be my best guess that most of us have no idea where that “somewhere” is. If you don’t believe that, let me ask, where do you think you will be in five years? Most people don’t know where or what they will be doing a week from Tuesday let alone five years from now. They can’t think that far in advance because they know it will take a long time to get there so they concentrate on what is right in front of them at this very moment. That would be the rear end of a beige 8 year-old, four-door sedan going 40 in a 55 mile per hour zone. (Have you ever noticed that slow cars are usually four-door sedans and brown in color? Check it out; you know I’m right on this one. It will be driven by a little old guy with both hands on the wheel afraid to look either left or right and of course in the fast lane. If I were President I would pass a law prohibiting the painting of cars brown or beige for that very reason; that should solve the problem.)

Do you remember the term “starter home?” At one time couples would look for an inexpensive starter home that was a little bigger than an apartment and yet affordable. These starter homes were on small lots, probably 25 years old, 3 bedrooms with one and a half, maybe two baths and the “starter home principle” worked. Couples would live in them for 2 to 4 years and build up their equity and their income and then look for a slightly larger home and either sell or rent their present home. People would work two jobs, maybe three, to raise enough money to put down on a home. A starter home today is new, 4 bedrooms with a pool in the back yard and a mortgage that would choke a horse. The young couple both work and both have good incomes and never dream what would happen if one of them ever found themselves out of work. They want it now so they get a 100% loan thinking surely our home will increase in value and we will make a fortune from the sale in the future. Then comes the nail in the coffin – their equity increases and they refinance and take their equity out in cash. Next the housing market bubble bursts. KA-POW! They find themselves in a home they cannot afford, a home they cannot sell, and a home that is not worth what they just paid or refinanced just one or two short years ago. And let’s not forget the relatively new BMW in the garage. Why? Because they want it now without any planning or forethought. “Are we there yet?”

You can’t get into better shape by having someone else do your pushups! (I only wish I knew who initially said that to give them credit for a brilliant one line analysis of what is wrong with our society today.) You can’t get to where you want to go by simply wishing or hoping you get there. As Dr. John Maxwell often states, “Hope (or wishing it so) is not an effective strategy.” The now famous movie, The Secret, would at first lead you to believe that you can have all you ever want in life by just thinking about it. Thinking about it is your starting point. For anything to actually occur, you must then take action of some kind – anything – as long as it is movement in the direction you wish to go. Are we there yet? Of course not and you never will be as long as “thinking about it” is all you ever do. The real problem is that we tend to think about it and then we want it right now; not a year or five down the road.

You might think this Nugget is in response to the economic problems of 2009 but if you look at the date at the top, it was started in October of 2007. I put it in a file for “drafts” and discovered it today, March 12, 2009. I was shocked at just how prophetic this Nugget was at that time.

Credit has been both a blessing and a curse. A blessing when it comes to putting a roof over our heads and being able to pay for unexpected and unbudgeted but necessary expenses like health issues and home/auto repairs. A curse when it comes to buying that jumbo flat panel television set with credit rather than cash.

It’s never too late to make changes in the way we think “are we there yet?”, in order to “how can I get there?” mentality. I am not without serious issues regarding finances; after all I am a product of our public school system and was never taught about money through 14 years of formal education. Never! Still, it's not too late and it is deinitely not too late for our children. There are some excellent books on the subject. I would recommend the following:

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, http://www.butler-bowdon.com/the-richest-man-in-babylon.html
The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton, www.wealthybarber.com
21 Distinctions of Wealth by Peggy McColl, www.destiny.com
Financial Peace Revisted by Dave Ramsey, www.DaveRamsey.com
True Wealth, Your Values and Your Money, 12 CDs by Joe Tye, http://www.sparkstore.com/index.html

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"What You Think Of Me Is None Of My Business"

Nugget For The Noggin
By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, March 3, 2009

The title of this Nugget, “What You Think Of Me Is None Of My Business” is also the title of a really great book written by Terry Cole-Whittaker. www.TerryColeWhittaker.com. When you think of it, what you think of me REALLY IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS! I can’t control what you think, be it right or wrong and perception IS reality. And who is to determine what is right thinking or wrong thinking on the part of another person; certainly not me.

Last evening I had an epiphany of sorts. In case you-know-who is reading this, an epiphany means a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something, or what I might call an AHA Moment! The epiphany came after reading a free excerpt from a book by Byron Katie entitled Loving What Is and who said nothing free is ever good? If “what you think of me is none of my business” then what if the reverse were also true? “What I think of you is also none of my business!”

Hold the fort! Like most people, certainly not you, I judge people and lately I have been judging people more and more and not very favorably I might add. After reading the excerpt last evening I realized just how much I have been judging people and I think I know why. I’m 64. What does my age have to do with it? Glad you asked.

The older one gets the more evident you are of your own mortality and the more you think back about your life and where you are now and where you have been. What could you have done differently? What should you have done differently? Then you look at other people you know and people you don’t know and you make judgments and you ask questions. I remember watching an NFL Football game where John Madden was announcing the game. The camera zoomed into the stands an focused on an Oakland Raider fan who was dressed up in Oakland Raider type clothing (not necessarily a good thing) with his face painted silver and black, spikes protruding from all parts of his body armor, a Raider type helmet and hair flowing all over the place. Madden asked, “What do you think goes through his mind as he looks in the mirror just before he leaves for the game?”

Is that not what most of us think when we see other people, some more than others? Don’t some people just melt into the background and become non-descript while others stand out from the crowd in either a good way or a bad way? And don’t we judge them accordingly? I’ll be honest, I do. And if you can show me someone who says they don’t, I’ll show you somebody who will lie about something else as well. It is human nature. Most of the time we judge others by comparing them to our own life, beliefs and standards. For example, I cringe every time I see a teenager dressed in baggy pants hanging down beyond where they should be, tee shirt with some obscenity on it and body piercings everywhere you can see and probably in some places you can’t see. Who has not judged people in situations such as this? I’ll tell you, someone who thinks that is normal. Normal for them, not for me and if you are reading this, probably not normal for you as well.

In her book, Loving What Is, Byron Katie explains that reality is what it is. The youngster described above IS reality and he is what he is and nothing that I think will change what is. So I have three choices, I can argue with reality, I can accept reality and be judgmental, or, I can accept it and be non-judgmental. Until reading the excerpt, I usually selected the second choice; accept it AND be judgmental; at least that is what I thought I was doing. In fact I would actually worry about the youngster’s future. I would have thoughts like, who is ever going to hire this person? What kind of future will he have? Does he know what he is doing to his body? Does he even care how he is perceived?

I was actually engaged in the first choice - I was arguing with reality; I was not accepting it, I was fighting it. I wanted to take the youngster by the throat and shake some sense into him. Whose sense? Mine? What gave me the right to think I was right in my thinking? Of course I gave myself that right, the right to be the judge; don’t we all? I was imposing my standards on someone I didn’t even know. I spent time “thinking” about things that truly had no value and was a complete waste of my time; nothing would change because of the way I was thinking.

Then last night as if right on cue and after reading the excerpt, I watched a Chris Botti, www.ChrisBotti.com concert on the public television channel. I love the way Chris Botti plays the trumpet and his music. During the concert he introduced a young singer who obviously was famous but who I had never heard of or seen before. Chris was dressed in a suit and tie which by itself is unusual for today’s performers. The young singer came on stage with tattered jeans, floppy shirt and hair past his shoulder that looked like it had not been washed in days, maybe even weeks. You can tell by my words, I was forming opinions, I was being judgmental. The sad part is this - nothing I could think about would change the reality of this person’s appearance on my television screen. He was what he was. And then he sang in accompaniment with Chris Botti and the music was wonderful. It was wonderful because instead of getting upset to the point of turning off the program because of the singer’s dress that did not meet my standards, I simply let it be and just listened and more importantly, enjoyed what I heard.

I would highly recommend that you check out Byron Katie’s web site at www.TheWork.com and download the free 20 page excerpt but more importantly read it. In my case, when the student is ready, the teacher appeared (a Chinese Proverb) and last evening Byron Katie, the teacher, appeared and I was ready. Changing the way you think is not an instant transformation, it requires constant awareness of what you are thinking and then simply telling yourself to “stop it!” Then just let the thought pass. The excerpt reminded me of the serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr