The Upside of Problems

Michael Hyatt recently posted an article on why we should welcome problems – well at least some problems. He included this quote from Max Lucado’s book, Great Every Day:

“You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid. So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles.”

Sure, I do not break out in glee when a problem arises. Not many do. Though I’ve read about two people who often did. One was Theodore Roosevelt. He often greeted problems with his favorite word, “Bully” and then got down to addressing it. He saw problems as challenges to be conquered. Another was Andrew Carnegie. One day one of his aids came to him very upset and announced that one of their steel mills had burned down. Carnegie grinned and replied, let’s get to work designing a new one.

Problems on the job especially can have several advantages. They can stir us from complacency when all is going well. As Hyatt says they can stretch us, force us to do more or do things differently. As we successfully solve problems our confidence increases.

Problems can deepen our understanding of how things work or how the world is changing.

Problems are often not welcomed. They take extra effort, often extra money, and they can frustrate us. But they also make us grow. They can open doors to new opportunities and ideas. So before you lament the next problem too quickly consider what you might learn from it. Maybe when a problem creeps up on us we ought to smile and say “Bully!”

Read the rest of Hyatt’s article here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Getting Stuck in the Negative

Do you get stuck in negative thinking? Even most self-described optimists have negative thoughts. We all have self-limiting thoughts. A few of these are very good. I know I cannot fly like a bird therefore I do not jump off buildings. That is a self-limiting thought that saves my life.

But your brain does not distinguish well between those self-limiting that are good for us and the many that are not. Those thoughts that we could never do that; we are not smart enough; we are not talented enough; etc. Is there something about our brains that causes us to get stuck in negative thinking.

Alison Ledgerwood gave a great TED talk on this subject. Watch her video below. What do you think?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

We Made the Top 100! just released its list of the top 100 motivating blogs and made the list! A big thank you to Larry Wentz who is the author of the site. See the list here.

It is always nice to get recognition. Check out the site for great motivational images and short messages that help to motivate.

How to Think Big

Highly successful people usually think big. Michael Hyatt observes:

“I get it. When we’re young, parents and teachers tell us we can do anything. We can become whatever we want! Then we grow older, and these same people tell us we must become more realistic.

Usually, that’s just code for small thinking.

Pretty soon, their collective voices becomes The Voice in our head. As soon as we have a big thought, we check ourselves: C’mon. Get real. That will never happen. You have to be more realistic. And so it goes. We mistake The Voice for wisdom.”

Hyatt read The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. It was written in 1959 but is still very relevant. From this Hyatt identified seven steps to thinking big.

  1. Imagine the possibilities. I do this all the time. I imagine or envision what I think I might achieve. Before I wrote my first book it seemed a lot just to imagine having one book done and for sale. Now I have four of them and am working on number five. But it was that dreaming about the first one that helped me think big enough to get it done. I repeated that process for every book since.
  2. Write down your dream. There is something almost magical about writing it down. It becomes an actual goal once it is written. Nothing motivates you better than having written goals.
  3. Connect. What is your rationale for your goal? You need to identify that to stay engaged.
  4. Outline what you need to do. What do you have to do to achieve your goal? These are the first steps toward attaining your goal. You may need to do some research to find out what is required.
  5. What will make it happen? Here is where you clearly define the steps you need to take to achieve your dream.
  6. Determine when this will be achieved. You need to set a deadline. Effective goals are time bound. Write down your deadline. This makes it very real.
  7. Review goals daily. This takes some self-discipline but it keeps you on task. It reminds you what must be done each day to achieve your giant goal. Try to do something each day to get you closer to achieving it. In addition to writing my blog posts I also work on the book outline, research for the book, and then one chapter at a time I write it. A bit of it every day.

As Hyatt reminds us you cannot listen to those little voices in your head that say you cannot do this, it is too big, it is too difficult, etc. Ignore those self-limiting thoughts. Keep focused on getting it done. This is how people turn big dreams into reality.

What is your big dream?

Read the rest of Hyatt’s post here.
Learn how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Plan for the Blog

My last post was about having a plan so here is the plan for this blog for 2017—

I want to focus my energy on this blog and things related to it. To do that I am consolidating my other site content here so you can find it all in one place. My site called will be phased out this year. To accomplish that I will be moving its content to this blog. That will take some time as I will be moving the content over here page by page. In a few months that transfer will be complete and I will close the books2wealth site and create a redirect so that when people go looking for books2wealth they will be directed here.

My aim is to make finding things easier for you. No more moving from one site to another. You will be able to find it all here: my interviews with expert authors, articles, and book reviews. All in one place. It will also be easier and cleaner for me to maintain one site.

My second goal is to update my books as needed and make them all available both on Kindle and in print. I stared that process last year and should have it done in the first half of this year.

Additionally I will continue adding high quality content here with blog entries at least twice a week.

My third goal is to create some higher value courses for you. I already have the Effective Time Management Lessons available but will also be working on courses to delve deeper into success, personal development and related areas. Those will take longer to complete and should be launched later this year.

I would love to hear from you about how I can do any and all of this in ways that serve you better, so contact me either by commenting on this post or at the contact link below if you wish it to be private.

I look forward to another year of exploring with you the newest and latest there is to learn about how we can achieve more and succeed.

Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to post your comments or questions below or if you want to contact me privately you can do that here: CONTACT ME HERE.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

You Must Have a Plan

From The Success Essentials

“Plans are Nothing; Planning is Everything” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Proper planning is essential to success. Once you have clearly identified what your goals are it is important to carefully plan how you will achieve them. Many people skip this step in their excitement to pursue their goals. Failure to plan adequately however will lead to failure and disappointment. Repeated disappointment can suck your enthusiasm dry and lead you to abandon your goals.

It is true that no matter how carefully we lay out our plans reality will require us to change course during their implementation. Often the final path to success is quite different than we originally planned. This does not mean however that the planning process is not useful. To the contrary, the process of planning prepares you to take the steps necessary to realize your goals and aspirations.

An Example of How Planning Leads to Success

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the primary architect of the invasion of Europe during WWII said, “Plans are nothing, planning is everything”. Eisenhower and his allied staff spent thousands of hours planning every detail of the invasion of Europe during WWII. Their task was unimaginably formidable.

To understand how difficult this challenge was for Eisenhower and his staff it is necessary to review a few facts about that challenge. The Nazi war machine was at that time the most powerful and successful military force in the world. It had conquered nearly all of Western Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, much of the Mediterranean, much of North Africa and much of the Middle East. Its armies were threatening to conquer the Soviet Union and take control over its European and Asian territories.

The Germans had years to fortify their control over France, the Low Countries and much of the rest of Europe. Millions of mines had been laid on land and at sea. German U-boats had made the oceans treacherous. Its air force was formidable. And the Germans were pioneering new forms of war technology including radar, rockets, and were even working on the atom bomb.

The allies had a small window of time to strike at the German empire and win before it attained greater strength and hegemony.

While the allied forces were also formidable they had the giant task of assaulting the beaches of France and invading a land occupied by this powerful enemy. Furthermore, this had to be accomplished by an alliance of multiple armies, navies and air forces working together. Some of these nations had been adversaries among themselves. To make matters worse, many of the allied commanding officers possessed strong egos, wanted to claim credit for the victories to come, and distrusted one another.  This was the task that lay before Eisenhower and his staff.

You know the outcome of course, and you know that the war did not go exactly according to plan. Many things went wrong. Many plans had to be changed. However in the end the allies won and destroyed the Nazi war machine. Eisenhower understood the importance of planning not because he thought his plans would be followed in every detail, but because he understood that by careful planning his armies would be prepared to respond to what the enemy threw at them.

Planning alone did not win WWII. Planning alone does not win any war or achieve any success. It takes courage, resources, coordination and persistence. But planning is the crucial first step.

Learn more about how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

My New Year’s Gift to You

Happy New Year!

It is a brand-new year. This is a great time to take stock of where you are and where you are headed. You might want to spend a little time today thinking about that.

To start things out this new year with a bang I have a free gift for you. You can get my free lessons on Effective Time Management. Learn how to use your time most effectively. Learn how to take control of your time. Get more done and achieve what you want to achieve.

These free ten lessons come to your email in-box just by signing up for them.

Could you use your time more effectively? Could you achieve more if you did use your time more efficiently? Absolutely, and these lessons will show you how. Sign up today and start making the most of those 24 hours you get every day.

Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Learning From 2016 – Planning for 2017

successHow was 2016 for you? I hope it was good or at least mostly good. Did you achieve your goals? Did you make progress on them. This is always a very good time to take stock of where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you are going.


Every year of our lives teaches us things. We merely have to listen. I hope you keep some form of journal. Reviewing a journal is an excellent way to see what you have accomplished and what you may have fallen behind on.

What you write down you will remember and learn from more effectively. Write down a list of the goals achieved, the important things accomplished, and of course the places where things did not work out as hoped.

From this list, and after some reflection, make a list of what you have learned. What works and what does not? How must you adjust your approach in light of your results?

If you suffered some setbacks analyze them. Did you set expectations too high? Not high enough? Did you plan adequately? Did you stay focused? Did you make needed changes to adapt to external change? What might you do differently? Where might you learn skills or information that would help you do things differently?


Now that you have assessed the past year you can plan for the coming year. You can use what you learned from 2016 to do better in 2017.

Create your new goals for 2017. Some may be to complete unfinished goals from 2016. If so re-establish your date of achievement and your mileposts – those things that you plan to achieve monthly, quarterly, and at year’s end.

Do you have new things you would like to achieve? Create new goals then. Just remember not to have too many goals. One to three is ideal. More than that and you can easily overwhelm yourself and achieve little on any goal. It is OK to have more than 3 goals if you work them in succession: get the first three done and then work the next three. Or as one goal is achieved start on another.

It is always exciting to plan for the new year. It will motivate you. The possible is inspiring. Where do you see yourself on December 28, 2017? That is your bearing. Make your plans to move in that direction.

I wish you success and happiness in 2017. I hope to see you here on the blog next year.

Learn how to formulate goals correctly to gain control over your life and achieve your dreams in my book, Goal Power!

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Hemerling: 5 Ways to Lead in an Era of Change

Jim Hemerling is a leadership expert who gave a TED talk in May 2016 about what he calls the 5 imperatives of successful leadership in an organization. His idea is that to be successful an organization must be in a continuous state of transformation that focuses on people.

Put People First—using these five imperatives:

  1. Identify and Connect to a Sense of Purpose
  2. Go all in – not just cutting costs but develop initiatives on how the organization operates.
  3. Enable people with capabilities to succeed during a transformation
  4. Instill a culture of continuous learning.
  5. Leaders need to have vision, a roadmap and willing to hold people accountable. They need to be inclusive.

To learn the details of Hemerling’s ideas here watch his 13 minute TED talk:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.