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Make This Year Count!

It’s New Year’s Eve. A night when everyone is looking forward with excitement and hope, ready to start fresh and praying this year will be better than last. We lift our glasses and toast for more success, more health, more love, more peace…we sit with friends and discuss the year that’s over, reviewing the laughter and the tears, the crazy things we did and all the difficult moments we endured. We list the things we never did that we meant to do and the things we did that we wish we’d never done.

Soon, what began as a night of celebration transforms into a melancholy ritual where we become introspective, reflective and somber. The more we try to look to the future, the more stuck we get in reviewing our past – and feeling badly about the picture we’ve painted.

Isn’t amazing how easy it is to make ourselves feel bad?!

So how about this year, we do it differently? How about this year we focus on change. Real change. The kind that takes into account everything you truly want and establishes a clear plan to make it happen.

Begin by asking yourself one question:

Are you living the life you want – or the life you’ve got?

If your answer is “I’m living the life I’ve got,” then the next step is to break it down into segments:

  • Are you doing work you love – or simply grateful to have a job?
  • Are you serving the people you want to serve – or settling for whatever customers walk through your doors?
  • Are you hanging out with friends you really like – or saying ‘yes’ just to avoid being alone?
  • Are you liking what you see in the mirror – or quickly turning away?
  • Are you feeling strong and powerful – or pushing yourself to get out of bed?

Life is too short to settle for less than you truly want. NOW is the time to figure out what you truly want – and make it happen!

The problem is that most of us are so busy trying to live our lives that we rarely take the time to figure out if we’re headed in the right direction to get what we truly want. But how are you supposed to figure that out when you barely have time for lunch?

It’s SO much easier than it seems. So, I’m going to give you a New Year’s Gift: Here is a piece of the formula I introduced in my bestselling book, Shatter Your Speed Limits. Simply grab a pen and write down your answers to these 3 questions, then I’ll show you what to do next:

Question #1:

If you woke up tomorrow morning and magically found that you had everything you truly wanted, how would your life be different?

Question #2:

If your life were the way you’ve just described it, what would that get for you?”

Question #3:

What would THAT get for you?

Now here’s the key: Keep repeating Question #3 until you burst into laughter or tears or feel a jolt charge through you – then you’ll know you’ve discovered something that’s far too important to let go.

Whether your DESIREs involve your business, your family, your friends or your health, I urge you to make a decision right here – right now – that THIS is the year you’ll make it happen!  In fact –  if you really want to fast-track your success, then I hope you’ll take advantage of the free training I’ve uploaded to the Shatter Your Speed Limits Website. Begin with the first video on the home page, then type in your information to get immediate access to the rest.  I’ll walk you through the entire Action Formula and you’ll know precisely how to get what you want in 2011!

I’m committed to helping you Shatter Your Speed Limits in 2011! So, if you have any questions along the way, please leave them here in the comments section. And please be sure to visit me on my Facebook Fan Page! I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, enjoy your New Year’s Eve Celebration and know that together we’ll make 2011 a year that brings you closer to getting everything you truly want – for your business and your life.

I’ll look forward to seeing you on the Fast Track in 2011!


December 31, 2010   5 Comments

In Search of Santa

I was at Trader Joe’s last week reaching for my favorite balsamic vinegar when I heard a child crying. It didn’t sound like a tantrum for candy. It sounded serious. I turned and there he was, right behind me, hunched over with his head buried deep into his mother’s belly.

As she stroked his head, I heard her ask, “So he looked fake to you?

The boy picked up his head and for the first time, I saw his face.  He couldn’t have been more than 7 years old. Huge tears rolled down his red-blotched cheeks and as he opened his mouth to speak, his whole body began to shake. He started sobbing all over again and burrowed deeper into the folds of his mom’s sweater.

I knew this was none of my business and thought I should give them privacy. As I turned away, I heard his mom say coldly, “Yeah. I remember when I learned there was no Santa.

From behind me I heard his tears and felt my own swell up in my eyes. I knew I’d just witnessed a profound moment in that child’s life: the moment when he had lost the magic of Santa…the moment when a truth he’d been told by his parents was exposed as a lie…the moment that would forever change how he viewed the holiday season and launch an all-too-common process where he, like millions of other children, would begin to question other things he’d been told by grown-ups and wonder, “Who can I trust?”

I found myself getting angry at his mom for how she’d handled his discovery. I wished she had been gentler and couldn’t help but wonder if she’d done to him what had been done to her. So I decided to ask a few of my girlfriends to tell me about the day when their children had learned about Santa. I got a range of responses from a wistful, “They found out in school. The older kids told them and they had already suspected it” to a joyful “Wait – There’s no Santa?!”

My favorite answer was given to me by my friend, Lisa who shared a profoundly moving story. Lisa works with children and every year she used to help them prepare for the holidays by getting them all excited about getting ready for Santa’s arrival. One year, 2 of her kids who weren’t as privileged as the others came back from their holiday break and told her, “We waited all night long but Santa never came.” Lisa felt horrible, knowing that she had set these children up for disappointment by building unrealistic expectations. As she told me her story, I could feel the pain she felt thinking about those kids.

So, what are we to do? Should we stop encouraging our children to dream? Should we squash their imaginations and correct their fantasies? Should we help them be more “realistic” so as to protect them from disappointment? And if we do all of that, what harm will we cause them later, when they need their creativity, imagination, optimism and hope to succeed in life and to build a better world for future generations?

I think the answer is simple. the more we can encourage children to dream and hope, to see the possibilities and explore their creativity, the more we will build a world that is filled with greatness.

But what about Santa? What do we do about the jolly man who is here to remind us about the spirit of giving, kindness and joy. What do we do about the bearded guy who encourages us to be playful and hopeful, to hold onto our dreams and keep on saying “Ho-Ho-Ho” – especially when times are tough.

Is he real? Does Santa really exist? Well, here’s my take:

Until someone can show me hardcore proof that there is no Santa, then I’m going to keep on believing what my mom told me over half a century ago. My mom told me to dream and believe – to be creative and hopeful and above all, to keep on giving.  She told me to believe in Santa and every year there were gifts whose tags read, “From Santa with love.” And by the way – we are Jewish. But clearly my mom felt that Santa’s message was important enough for me to learn it. And that has always served me well – in my life as well as in my business.

So if you’ll excuse me…I have to go now to prepare the cookies and milk.

Happy holidays everyone!


December 19, 2010   9 Comments

FISHing for Growth

I was standing at my booth signing books after a speaking engagement last week and when I looked up to greet the next in line, standing two feet away from me was John Christensen! For those of you who don’t know, John Christensen is the FISH! guy. It was his film that captured the story of the Seattle Fish Market and brought it’s passion to life. The end result is that millions of people worldwide have delighted in the story and the message of FISH!

I gave John a signed copy of my book to thank him for all he’s brought to the world and he returned my gift with a signed copy of one of his books. It was a very cool moment for me because I have a great deal of respect for his message and the work he has done. Even more cool was what I learned about him over the next 3 days.

Think about this for a moment – if you had the opportunity to speak at a conference, what would you do after your speech? Would you stick around? Would you jump on a plane and go home? Would you take some time to vacation in the area?

Ok, now whatever your answer, consider another scenario: what if you had sold millions of copies of your book in 35 different countries? What if you had been a huge success and had helped millions of people around the world? Then what would you do after your speech?

Well, here’s what the FISH! Guy did…he went fishing! For three days, he observed, he asked questions and played the role, not of a guru, but of a student. I ran into him several times during the conference and every time he had more questions for me. His curiosity and drive, coupled with his vulnerability and willingness to ask for help were simply inspirational.

So what’s the guru lesson? Stay focused, never rest on your laurels and always be willing to keep learning! Every guru I know continually goes to seminars, buys every new book that comes out, belongs to masterminds and is constantly staying on top of his or her field. Clearly, one of the biggest secrets to success is to keep on fishing!

Remember – Life is too short to settle…so keep on fishing and I’ll see you on the Fast Track!


December 6, 2010   2 Comments

Your Assets

Brian Tracy is one of my favorite gurus. I first learned about him in 1995 when I was on the road speaking in 4 to 6 cities per week. His audio program, “The Psychology of Achievement” was among several that I promoted and sold to my audiences. Today I still recommend his programs to my clients and was unbelievably honored when he endorsed my newest book, Shatter Your Speed Limits.

By now most of you know me well enough to know that I tend to question the gurus and I encourage you to do the same. Don’t just take everything they say at face value. Listen to their words and then ask yourself, “Does this fit for me and my family?” “Is this a good plan for my business?” “Will this get me where I want to go?” Here’s an example:

This week in his newsletter, Brian wrote: “Wealth and opportunities are contained more in the person you are and the way you think than in the assets you have acquired in life so far.”

You can read this and say, “Yeah, that makes sense.” Or you can look closely at the words and ask, “What does that mean and does that fit for me?”

The key word in that sentence is “assets.” I’m guessing that Brian is using the word to refer to “financial and material” things. And if that’s the case, then what he said of course makes sense. But I think our “assets” include far more.

An asset is everything you have that is of value.  Your assets include your skills, your knowledge, your friends, your family, your clients, your connections in the community, your notes, your talents, your books, your experiences and your ability to use all of those things to help others. It’s easy to forget about these assets but I urge you not only to remember them, but to find a way to use them effectively!

Your assets comprise 33% of your ability to succeed!  In my copyrighted Action Formula, I refer to them as RESOURCES:

Desire + Resources + Permission + Action

If you remember in Shatter Your Speed Limits, Ted teaches us that where so many people go wrong in goal achievement is they fail to count their assets as part of their RESOURCES.  In fact, we do just the opposite. When trying to figure out a plan to achieve our goals, we tend to look at everything we don’t have and get discouraged. The secret is to look at the assets we do have and ask  “How can I maximize my assets to get what I truly want?”

Your assets are crucial to your ability to succeed in business and in life. As we move closer to Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to make a list of all of the assets you have in your life and give thanks. In fact, when is that last time you expressed thanks to all of the people on your list of assets?

I consider you on my list of assets – and I want to thank you now for reading my blog and for everything you do to help others. Together we can make a difference.

See you on the Fast Track!


November 15, 2010   2 Comments

Are you true to yourself with family and friends?

One of the biggest joys of the holidays is also the most challenging: holding on to who you really are while hanging out with family and friends who demand a different “you.”

When I was a little girl, we spent every holiday (and most weekends) at my grandparents’ house. I loved going there, but my mom? Not so much. We would leave our apartment in NYC, singing and laughing as we drove. But as soon as we’d cross over the Throgs Neck Bridge, the atmosphere in the car would change. By the time we pulled up in front of my grandparents’ house, the mom I loved was gone. In her place would appear a pseudomom. She looked like my mom, she dressed like my mom, but her voice was tighter, her sentences were clipped and her sense of humor was nowhere to be found.

Walking through the front door, she’d kiss everyone hello and then disappear downstairs to do the laundry that she’d brought in several suitcases. She told me that doing the laundry at Grandma’s house was easier than riding the elevator into the basement at the apartment. But as I grew older I realized – this was her cleverly fashioned escape from our family.

Of course, she would ultimately emerge from the basement to eat (nothing kept her away from Grandma’s cooking), but the woman who sat at that table bore no resemblance to my mom.

I never understood that – until I spent my first Thanksgiving at the home of my boyfriend’s parents (I was in my late 20’s). I walked through the door and automatically went into the kitchen to help but…his mom refused my help. She told me to just go sit in the living room and relax. Relax?! Me?!

She was insistent, so I went into the living room where everyone was just sitting there staring at the TV and not talking. Ok, definitely not me. I tried to engage them in conversation but they hushed me. TV time was serious time.

I sat quietly munching on whatever I could find to put in my mouth and forced myself to smile.

By the time we sat down to eat, I was afraid to move. Little by little I drew inside myself. I refrained from making comments, took smaller portions than I wanted, avoided eye contact and did my level best to be invisible.

Now here’s the worst part: At the end of the day, my boyfriend’s mother complimented me! I still remember her words, “You fit perfectly with us, Wendy!”

Should I have been flattered? I wasn’t. I was horrified.

What will you do this year as you gather with family and friends for the holidays? Will you lose yourself or hold true to who you are?

Leave your comments here and I’ll be back soon with some tips to help you get more of what you truly want with your family and friends during the holidays this year – and always.

See you on the Fast Track!


November 8, 2010   10 Comments