7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness by Jim Rohn

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness by Jim Rohn

Synopsis of Content:

7 Strategies is Rohn’s synopsis of his complete philosophy as it applies to wealth and happiness. He found the two inextricable. One could not likely find true happiness without some financial success and if done right, the pursuit of financial success can be fulfilling.

Rohn sets forth his core philosophy here of the fundamentals. He teaches you how to unleash the power of goals, the importance of continually seeking knowledge and why this is critical, and the need to learn how to change.

He teaches the importance of controlling your finances, mastering how you use your time, the importance of surrounding yourself with winners rather than whiners, and the art of living well.

In a mere 156 pages Rohn discusses all the fundamental skills, habits and beliefs that are required to succeed with money and to be happy. His last chapter, on living well, focuses on how to be happy without constantly seeking more.

This book is the summation of a lifelong search for the fundamentals, a word Rohn loved to use, which are essential to the genuinely good life.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This is a very readable book. Rohn’s style is conversational, much like his audio presentations, and yet is concise.

Notes on Author:

Jim Rohn loved to talk about how he started in life as a humble farm boy in Idaho and came to be rich and famous. At 26 he was broke and going nowhere fast. He teaches how his first mentor, Mr. Earl Shoaf, began his education on these fundamentals. For over 40 years Rohn learned more and more about success and building wealth. He spent those years teaching what he learned to thousands of audiences and millions of people through an exhausting speaking schedule around the world, through his small books and mostly through is famous audio programs. Many of today’s success authors such as Anthony Robbins and Success Magazine editor Darren Hardy got their start studying under Rohn.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Surround yourself with people who will not tolerate mediocrity. Associate with people who are successful and who strive for success and improvement. This association will have a great influence upon you.
  2. Follow the wise words of Rohn’s mentor, Mr. Shoaf, who said, if you want to be successful study success; if you want to make money study the acquisition of wealth; if you want to be happy study people who are happy. Only by continuous learning do you open the doors of success.
  3. If you want to be wealthy and happy learn this well: learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.

Publication Information:  

7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness by Jim Rohn

(c) 1985, 1996 by Jim Rohn

Published by Prima Publishing

Learn More About Jim Rohn here.

Buy the book here:

 

Wishing you well,

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

Living Your Legacy

Briana Wiest, blogger, recently wrote about the importance of living for the future. Living for your legacy.

Wiest writes about how principles control the outcomes in our lives. She observes that our little habits, repeated daily, create the legacy of our lives.

I’ve written here before on how important it is to your financial success, and success in general, to be aware of this – to cultivate those habits that build over time – build your skills, your health, your bank account and your legacy. As Weist observes the big things in our lives are the small things done repeatedly. By being aware of how these daily habits create our future and our legacy we can exercise considerable control over where we are headed.

Beginning each day with a beer and a cigarette are likely to create a much different future for us than beginning each day with sensible exercise and a healthy breakfast. The beer and the cigarette may provide an immediate pleasure but they do not build health and a good future. This is what Weist means when she says we should live for our legacy rather than for the moment.

People often rebel at following the rules or living in a way that leads to a better future. We often hear people say they want to be free to do as they please and to enjoy life. In response Weist observes, “Freedom is not the ability to act on any given impulse, it is the ability to choose what you want to act on, and why. It is not the absence of commitments, values, or discipline, it is the ability to choose them at will”.

Everything we do has consequences. Our actions influence our future. To understand this and act accordingly is an attainment of wisdom.

Read Briana’s post here.

Wishing you well,

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

The 10/10/10 Rule

We all have to make tough decisions. Hopefully not every day, but often enough that it would be useful to have a process to use to make those decisions. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a post on Fast Company.com about the 10/10/10 rule as an approach to making these hard decisions.

The Heaths suggest that a primary impediment to making good tough decisions is our visceral emotional response. They suggest that our initial emotional reactions will fade with time, which is why people say if you have a big decision to make you should sleep on it. Suzy Welch, a business writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and O magazine developed a strategy to avoid poor decisions driven by initial emotional reactions. She calls it the 10/10/10 method. She wrote a book about it.

The gist of this method is to think about our decisions and how we will likely feel about them in three time frames:

  • How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now?
  • How will we feel about it 10 months from now?
  • How will we feel about it 10 years from now?

In their Fast Company post the Heaths offer a fact scenario to describe how the 10/10/10 method might be used. It is about a woman who is trying to decide whether push her relationship with her boyfriend to the next level through a commitment of love. However the system can be used for any difficult decision.

The Heaths also suggest that our short term emotional response is not always wrong and at times may lead to the right decision. They offer that using the 10/10/10 method puts things in greater perspective for most difficult decisions. The post comes from the Heaths’ book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work (published by Crown Business, a division of Random House).

The 10/10/10 method offers us some perspective that can help us make difficult decisions. It does not necessarily make the decision making easier, but can force us to think about the decision for the long term.

Wishing you well,

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

Ethics in a Chaotic World

Blogger Ron Mercer recently posted an interesting article about maintaining your ethics in a chaotic world. Mercer points out that for many people today’s world seems more chaotic. He observes, “Watching the news, reading about Fortune 500 companies that disregard the public trust, politicians that cannot get anything accomplished except destroying their counterparts, countries poised to fire long-range missiles into other countries’ territories, stock markets that keep rising on the back of world central banks printing every more money to keep a false narrative alive seem normal any more.  It’s not! Yes, what is up seems down.  Sometimes good old common sense is lost in decision-making.  The world seems to be upside down.”

We surely live in a world of rapid change, more rapid than at any time in human experience. For many, especially for older people, it seems like increasing chaos. Mercer’s message is the importance of maintaining your ethical behavior in such chaos – despite the chaos and because of it. He reminds us of 5 key things we must do consistently to maintain that ethical standard:

  • Just because it is popular does not mean it is right – do what is right not necessarily what is popular.
  • Obey the law.
  • Beware of too much convenience – ethical behavior keeps an eye on long term benefits which are not always gained through convenience.
  • When no one is watching behave as though everyone is watching.
  • Beware of unnecessary complexity.

These are good guidelines for maintaining our values and ethics. I suggest you check out Mercer’s post to get the details – his explanations are very well done.

Wishing you well,

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

Raising Your Line – Success is About a Higher Line Mentality by Robert Stevenson

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:   Raising Your Line – Success is About a Higher Line Mentality by Robert Stevenson

Synopsis of Content:  

Raising Your Line is about making improvements in yourself and in your organization. The author is fascinated by words and how they convey ideas. This book focuses on the many ways that the word “Line” expresses aspects of achievement and success.

The fundamental ideas in the book are not new. They are all very conventional and well established principles about personal development, mindset, success, leadership and organizational improvement.

The book is divided into sections on the Right Mindset for success, improving your ability as a leader, improving your company, and improving yourself. Each of these is expressed as raising a line or level of achievement.

Throughout the book at the end of each chapter the author provides what he calls a “Line Raiser” – a summing up of the lesson that the chapter illustrates. Some examples of those line raisers:

“To survive in this ever changing marketplace, to deal successfully with whatever life or business throws at you, I suggest you become a … Realistic Optimist.”

“Ask your customers this question: In a perfect world, if we could provide you with perfect service… where do you feel we are falling short?”

“Always remember, success is Never final.”

“It takes years to build a great reputation and only moments to destroy it. Always base your decisions on maintaining the highest level of integrity.”

“At the end of the day, our happiness and the happiness of our family is all that matters. Everything else is commentary.”

What I found useful about this book:

This book is about potential and how to reach it. It is about improving oneself and through that improving your organization. This is one of the best books on personal development I’ve read in a long time. The author cites many good sources and quotations.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written and clear. It is well organized. There are many stories in the book that make it especially readable.

Notes on Author:  

Robert Stevenson is a best selling author, public speaker, and trainer. He has owned 5 companies. One way to describe Stevenson is dynamic. As a speaker and a writer he is dynamic. His writing punches through ideas and lays them out concisely.

Other Books by This Author:

How to Soar Like and Eagle

Related Website:   

http://www.robertstevenson.org/

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:  

  1. Success is never final. Two hundred and thirty of the Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1980 are gone. Both individuals and organizations must continually learn and adapt to survive.
  2. To get ahead you must do more than average. You must astonish your peers, your boss and your customers.
  3. The single most important things for success are discipline and integrity. Without discipline you cannot excel. Without integrity you cannot last and you cannot influence others.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Raising Your Line – Success is About a Higher Line Mentality by Robert Stevenson
Copyright holder: ©2015 by Robert Stevenson
Publisher: Seeking Excellence Publishing, Clearwater, Florida

Book of the Month for May 2016

Wishing you well,

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

Limits to Science

Science is a wonderful thing. It saves us from communicable disease, puts a microwave oven in our kitchen and put a man on the moon. There is no doubt that science done well can produce wonderful results for us.

There are, more or less, two types of science that are commonly used: so called hard science and social science. (There are other more theoretical forms, such as theoretical physics, but I leave that for another time.) Hard science is based on concrete observation of the results of repeatable experiments. No matter how many times you do it, if you apply heat to pure water at sea level it will boil at 100 C. Chemistry, physics, basic biology and various combinations of them (e. g. bio-chemistry) are all examples of the hard sciences.  Soft sciences or social sciences are those that seek to measure human and animal behavior: psychology, sociology, economics, etc. I most often reference social science in my blog posts.

The problem with social science is first that it is often based on correlations of data that may or may not demonstrate an actual causal effect. Second, because culture and human dynamics change with time what social science declares as “fact” in one generation can change in later times. Human behavior can be very changeable.

Well Done vs Sloppy Science

There is a more important distinction in science: that which is done rigorously and carefully and that which is not. Seth Godin recently wrote about this difference between well done science and sloppy science. He cites as one example of sloppy science Eugenics, a science that was well accepted in scientific circles in the 19th century but has been found to be wrong. Sloppy science lacks rigor and lacks sufficient and reliable data to support is conclusions. Seth does a good job of illustrating the difference and providing some good examples.

Scientists are humans. As humans they make mistakes, they can be driven by human weaknesses such as greed, hubris, arrogance, and catering to special interests. When that happens the science that results can be sloppy or just plain wrong, like Eugenics.

Another aspect of good science is that it is subject to continual challenge and revision. Scientists consider this the great advantage of science – it constantly tests our assumptions and changes them as the data requires. Sometimes this is because the rigor is greater, sometimes it is because the technology behind the science is improved. The result is that there is rarely a final scientific fact or conclusion that cannot be challenged. Hard science more often achieves this immutable conclusion, like the boiling point of pure water at sea level. Softer science, or social science, is more subject to refinement and change over time.

For this reason, although we can learn a lot from well done science, including social science, it is almost always subject to change and for that reason we must be very careful about drawing ultimate conclusions based on the current state of science. It can always be refined and improved. We must remember that science has often been wrong. The promise of science is that it will in time correct itself. Science allowed us to fly in heavier than air machines when many scientists said that was impossible. Scientific research and experimentation proved those in science that thought that flying faster than the speed of sound was not possible for living human, as well as those who thought it impossible to enter earth orbit.

It is very dangerous for us to believe that what we currently think is the absolute truth. The hubris that convinces each generation that they have discovered the truth is later overturned by the next Einstein who is not fettered by this belief. Like all human endeavor science is imperfect. It has the capacity to be wrong, even very wrong. I suggest that for this reason we must constantly question what is currently accepted in science. I do not suggest we ignore all science because it could be wrong, but that we maintain a healthy skepticism and curiosity about what is today claimed to be the truth.

Skepticism vs Denial

I do not mean to say here that denial of science is justified. Having a healthy skepticism about what science currently teaches is not the same as denying what the overwhelming evidence demonstrates. To simply deny that the climate is changing or to deny that the theory of evolution has validity are examples of this. One can reserve judgment on every aspect of these scientific findings, but there is no value in denying a large body of good science.

I offer these thoughts with humility because I am often citing science in some of my posts here. While I do believe we can learn much from the science that I cite I also remain aware that there is nothing absolute about that science. It may be right, or partly right, or at times all wrong.

Let us take advantage of what science has to teach us. But let us never be arrogant about it. We can always be wrong.

Wishing you well,

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

We Can Turn It Off

Seth Godin

Seth Godin recently wrote one of his typically pithy posts about the negative aspects of today’s television and social media. TV has always incited envy and discontent, but never close to what it does today. Social media does it far more.

Throughout most of human history we did not sit in front of screens and watch things designed to “entertain” us for hours. We conversed, we read, we thought. We corresponded.  Today social media and TV do less to innocently entertain us and more to incite us and depress us. News programming is often highly biased and unreliable.

Seth observes: “Today, though, marketers have turned television into an instrument of dissatisfaction. The shows alienate many, because they bring an idealized, expensive world into the homes of people who increasingly can’t afford it. And the ads remind just about everyone that their lives are incomplete and unhappy–unless they buy what’s on offer. Worse, cable news is optimized to shock, frighten and divide the people who watch it.” He is correct.

His recommendation is also spot on. We can and should turn it off. One need not turn it off completely, though there is little down-side to doing so. We would all be better off if we turned it off for long periods of time.

I stopped watching TV news many years ago. I do not miss it. When I stay in a motel I will turn the news on to see if it has changed any. I am never disappointed, it remains bad or even worse.

Try a TV fast for a day or a week and see how much less stressed you feel. Significantly limit your social media diet and see how much extra time you have to do better things. If you do read on-line find sources that are uplifting, genuinely informative and often positive. You have control over the things you watch and listen to. Read a good book instead. Play with your children. Talk to a friend. Take a walk. Treat yourself to a break from this nonsense. You will reap the benefits and in time you will see less and less need to spend time with TV or social media. You may even find yourself abandoning them altogether.

Read Seth’s post here.

Learn how to manage your time to achieve more of what you want to do in my book, Effective Time Management. 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.
www.danielrmurphy.com

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Synopsis of Content:

In Defense of Food Michael Pollan has given us the most important book on nutrition in this decade. He strikes back at the deluge of diet books and nutritionalism that has confused Americans now for two generations. He uses science to attack the “science” behind the nutritionalism that has so distorted the American attitude toward food and has left Americans as the most over fed and under nourished in the world.

After poking generous holes in the various theories and diet fads of the past 40+ years Pollan gives us some very decent guidance about what we should be eating and how we should be thinking of food. His fundamental thesis is simple: we should eat food, not too much, and mostly plants. By that he means:

Eat food:  the evidence is overwhelming that we should eat food in as natural a state as possible. We should eat whole foods, not processed foods or refined foods. We should eat more like our ancestors of a century or more ago. If you cannot pronounce or do not recognize the ingredients on a package don’t eat it. If there are generally more than five ingredients don’t eat it. If it contains highly processed and refined foods, including grains, sugar and oils, don’t eat it. If your great grandmother would not have recognized it – don’t eat it. Eat everything else. Eat fresh and frozen (but unprocessed) fruits and vegetables. Eat meat that is not processed or filled with hormones, chemicals, etc. There is a bit more to it than that, but that captures the essence of eating “food”.

Not too much: Americans eat on average 700 calories more per day than they did just 50 years ago. We are bigger, fatter, more obese, and have more disease arising from poor nutrition than ever. We have more diabetes, heart disease and cancer from eating junk food. We also have too much fat on our bodies because we exercise too little and eat too much. Portion sizes are too large and our food is more loaded with fats and sweeteners.

Mostly plants: while one does not need to be a vegetarian to eat healthy, the more meat one eats, especially fatty and processed meats, the less healthy we are. Plants provide the healthiest nutrients and the least unnecessary calories for our body if they are fresh and wholesome.

Pollan points out that various ethnic diets, especially in the Mediterranean and Asia are far healthier because they follow these three simple guidelines. The modern American diet, on the other hand, with its processed foods, high fructose corn syrup laden drinks and quickie pizza and burgers is a short road to disease.

Our youth, who have grown up on this diet, and will less exercise than Americans traditionally got, may be the first generation to have a shorter life span than their parents.

Pollan is not a radical. He does not say you have to eat tofu and raw food all day. There are many very healthy, delicious foods that you can and should eat. His indictment is against the highly processed and inadequate foods that dominate our diet today.

This is not the first book to send this message – but Pollan does a very good job as a careful journalist to bring us the facts to support the position he takes. By adhering to the simple guidelines he suggests we can regain health as well as our waistlines. His arguments are compelling as well as reasonable.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This is very well written. He writes in an engaging style and yet provides the footnotes and sources that support his position.

Notes on Author:

Michael Pollan is an accomplished author and journalist and is the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. He writes for NY Times Magazine. He also authored The Omnivore’s Dilemma among others.

Related Website:

http://www.michaelpollan.com/

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Eat food that is wholesome, as natural and whole as possible and with as little processing as possible. Stick to the outside of the supermarket, if you must buy food in supermarkets, aiming for in season produce, fresh unprocessed meats and dairy with as little processing as possible. Avoid artificial ingredients and “convenience foods”.
  2. Make sure to get exercise every day.
  3. Eat slowly and intentionally, and only eat until you are full or nearly full. Reduce the size of portions that are all too common in the Western diet today.

Publication Information:  

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

©2008 by Michael Pollan. Published by Penguin Books. 205 pages not including Sources and Index.

Wishing you well,

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

Follow Up on Blowbirthdaycards.com

A few days ago I wrote about a new service that allows you to send a “personally written and signed” birthday card using digital technology to save time. I sent the card to myself and now for some follow up. See that post here.

The card was delivered right on time, one day before the birthday for my brother. I then hand delivered the card to him. He liked the card and thought it clever.

The envelope appeared to be hand addressed. I suspect they do that using a print font but it looks very much like the real thing. I was impressed that it was mailed on time.

As I mentioned last time the one flaw I found was that when they print your handwritten note and signature if you are careful on how you space it in your photo to them it will appear written over the printed message in the card. The one suggestion I have for them is to mention this in their instructions.

If you want to avoid a trip to the store to send a personalized card this is a good way to do it. I have no affiliation with this company and have posted this just for your information.

Check it out at www.blowbirthdaycards.com .

Wishing you well,

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

Managing Your Time: Digital vs. Analog

There are countless gadgets, apps and paper products available today to manage your time, keep a calendar, etc. In addition to the traditional journals, calendars and day books on paper (analog) there are hundreds if not thousands of digital products that do the same things but somewhat differently.

Michael Hyatt recently posted on his blog a good article comparing some of the advantages of digital and analog time management devices. He is selling a paper planner he calls the Full Focus Planner, so his article is aimed at promoting that product a bit. Hyatt uses both analog and digital approaches and explains why.

Pros and Cons

Technology has its advantages for sure. It is very efficient. You can schedule a repeating event once and it will continue to appear on future dates where you want it, for the rest of the year or many years to come. You can use most digital products on all your devices: phone, tablet, computer. Most of them have reminder features that will alert you in advance about a deadline or appointment. Web based products allow multiple people to use and have access to the same calendar. Most digital products have search capability that will help you find that future (or past) event, appointment or reminder that you cannot find.

Technology also has its disadvantages. It depends on electricity: either hard wired or batteries which can run down. It often depends on access to the internet. Digital devices can be distracting. Entering information on them can be more difficult. It is much more difficult to preserve a permanent record of what you have done – all digital memory is vulnerable. Digital devices are more delicate than paper products if dropped, crushed or rained on.

Paper products or analog as it is now called has advantages. There is a comfort in using pen and paper that cannot be duplicated on a device. Perhaps more importantly is that recent scientific studies show that writing things down engages the brain in more effective ways then entering information on a digital device. These studies show that the mechanical process of writing engages different parts of the brain, may cause you to think about things more fully, creates better memory and recall and can enhance understanding. Paper products do not beep and do not distract.

Analog products cannot be as easily shared by others. Repeating events must be manually entered one after another for all future dates and most of them only allow planning out for one year. Paper is vulnerable to water damage (as are digital products), and there are no search systems, you have to manually look through the paper product to find things which can take some extra time.

The last factor the distinguishes technology from paper is what I call the trust factor. Yes, you can lose your paper planner and if you do lose it (and cannot find it) you are out of luck. Everything in it, except for what you can remember, is lost for good. You could also lose your digital device but they are usually backed up (perhaps on the cloud) which makes it easy to recover the contents. In over 40 years of carrying around paper planners and digital devices I’ve never lost either. I keep track of them. For me the risk of losing them is very small.

What is not so small is the risk of dysfunction. If I enter information in a paper planner it will always be there. And the planner will always display the information when I open it. There are no batteries to run down, no system failure, no crashing, and no loss of connection to the internet, all of which can plague a digital device.

One last thing: small digital devices display information in a relatively small space. You cannot look at an entire month and clearly see everything planned out as you can with a paper planner. I use an iPhone and have until recently used the calendar that comes with the phone. Recently I converted to the Google Calendar and I prefer it. It still does not show a full month of events in a way that clearly maps out day long events contrasted with hourly events. They all look the same. I wish the Google Calendar would allow you to color the entire day to show it has a daylong event.

The Best of Both

Hyatt advises that we use both to gain the benefits of both. The digital device is better for repeating events and appointments in general. The paper planner is better suited to thoughtful planning, reflection, goal setting, etc. I have at times used a paper planner as a backup to the digital device. The disadvantage to that is one must enter everything twice. The advantage is a sense of security – you are not likely to lose information if it is in both.

I like Hyatt’s suggestion of using paper (analog) for planning, goals, etc. and using the digital device for reminders, appointments and repeating events. This method is more expensive and requires more time but more time planning and thinking about how we use our time is not necessarily a bad thing.

Each person will have their own needs and their own preferences. Many people will not want to have two systems. If you are open to the idea though I suggest you try it. You may well find Hyatt’s suggestions useful. Read Hyatt’s full article here. Try using both a paper planner to capture big picture ideas and planning and your digital device for appointments and repeating events. You may find it very useful.

Learn how to manage your time to achieve more of what you want to do in my book, Effective Time Management. 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.
www.danielrmurphy.com