21. If it ain’t broke …

In my other blog, the one I write on Saturdays, I have often talked about how our beliefs – those things we uniquely and individually believe to be true– form the foundation not only of our very being, but also  upon which our present lives have been built.

So today I thought I would share one of my beliefs with you.

It is my absolute belief that it is completely impossible to learn anything at all about nutrition.

The reason I have come to this belief rests with the fact that every time I visit a bookstore there is yet another book on the shelves advancing the latest hypothesis on good health and weight loss.

Over the years these books have told us that the pathway to health, longevity, thinness, beauty and boundless energy lies in the secret sauce that comes from eating a high-fat diet; eating a low-fat diet; only eating fruit until noon; combining food wisely so as not to mix certain foods with other kinds of foods; eating a low-fat diet; eliminating all carbs; reducing carbs; eating a carb only diet; following a vegan lifestyle,; eating a high animal protein diet; eliminating all animal protein; eliminating all dairy products; eating tons of dairy products; eating a vegetable-based diet; cutting back on fruit; eliminating all wheat products; eating wheat as a good source of fiber; following a high-fiber diet; no fiber diet.

The book titles tell the story. Fit for Life, Food for Life, Eat to Live, Pritikin, Scarsdale, Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, North Beach, East Beach, West Beach.

Ok, I made up those last three but I think you get the drift.

My own personal favorite, and one I believe makes the most sense, is the Dr. Atkins program. I have never actually read any of his books, however as I have listened to friends describe Dr. Atkins protocol I have chosen his teachings as being the most sensible and intelligent for the simple reason that anyone who promotes bacon and eggs, in unlimited quantities, as a health food, automatically gets my vote.

I was recently introduced to a new book on nutrition which is now my new favorite of all time. I have not yet read this book and have no way of knowing whether I will or will not agree with a single word written by the author. The book was written by the sister of a good friend of mine and the title of the book was enough to catapult the book to first place in my list of favorite nutrition books. The book is titled “In one end and out the other.”

You gotta love that.

So it came as a wonderful surprise to me when my client and friend Robert dropped by the office for a visit last week.

It has been some eighteen months or so since I last saw Robert and it is safe to say that he is not half the man he used to be.

The last time I saw Robert he was breaking the scales at some 360 pounds and each breath he took led to a wheezy sound pouring out of his mouth.

To say Robert was moribund is no exaggeration and now a little over a year later this athletic looking guy strongly resembling Robert, sans the multiple chins, dropped by the office for coffee and to share his story.

Robert had read all of the above books. At various times he had tried Weight Watchers, Herbal Magic, Jenny Craig, Dr. Bernstein, Nutrilife and a whole host of others, all with the same result: the weight went away, then came back, then increased.

He told me he’d had enough. He was tired of learning new and improved ways to lose weight. he told me that he had done the math and the math was always the same: consume less, burn more = weight goes down.

Their math had been done by hundreds of thousands of people before him and he was simply going to follow them.

No more books, no more diets, no more programs. Do what works. 

The math, according to Robert, was really quite simple

Robert decided he was not going to eliminate anything. He was not going to eat a low-fat/high-fat/high-protein/low-protein/carb reduced/ high carb/no fruit/all fruit diet regimen any longer.

He was going to follow the tried and true and proven method of weight loss. He was going to adopt the Habit of Modeling Success. He was going to do what had worked for untold thousands of other people.

Robert simply made two small changes to his life. Each time he sat down to eat a meal he would push one third of the meal off to the side of the plate and only eat the remaining two thirds. He didn’t eliminate any particular foods; he just reduced his food intake by one third. That was the first thing he changed.

The second thing he changed was that he added a 20 minute per day walk to his daily regimen.

Prior to introducing these two changes, Robert’s longest walk each day was from his parking stall to his office – approximately 100 feet to the elevator. So adding a 20 minute walk was a substantial increase to his physical activity.

That’s all he did.

And in month one he dropped 18 pounds.

In month two he did it again.

And the weight continued to fall off his frame as time passed. And he lived by a simple rule: eat less, do more. The time-proven method of weight loss.

Robert told me that he had weighed himself prior to dropping by my office. Earlier that morning he had weighed in at 183 pounds meaning he had lost approximately 177 pounds.

Robert has always had a sweet tooth and as he was relating the story to me he reached into his pocket, pulled out a Snickers bar, tore open the wrapper, broke off one third and slid it across the table. The other two thirds went into his mouth and he slowly chewed it with an impish grin of delight on his face.

He made a profound statement. He said that it is seldom necessary for us to acquire a great deal of new knowledge in order to produce new results in our life. For the most part, he said, we already know what we need to know, we just don’t do what we need to do.

He went on to tell me that prior to commencing his new lifestyle he had interviewed more than 14 people who had lost more than 100 pounds each, and had asked them to share their secret. In every case they attributed their successful weight loss to the same thing: fewer calories in, more calories out.

In Roberts view the process is very simple. Develop the Habit of Modeling Success. Do exactly what successful people have done. That’s all there is to it.

Well not quite! As the weight came off those 20 minute walks increased to 30 minutes, then to 40 and soon he was jogging half a mile than a mile and now three times a week he hits the street and runs 5 miles.

He did one other thing. After he lost the first 100 lbs he – in his own words – “Went out and bought a whole bunch of heavy things that were delivered to my basement. Now several times each week I go down and I lift them up and put them down and then I lift them up again and put them down again and keep doing this for about 90 minutes.

“Then I enjoy two thirds of a Snickers bar.”

The Habit of Modeling Success: how often have we set out to reinvent the wheel – to create new and improved ways of doing for getting results – rather than following the tried, and true proven paths? And how often have we given up in despair and frustration?

Success leaves clues. All we need to do to enjoy success is to model success.

And if you don’t think it’s that simple my friend Robert would love to talk to you.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. I am very excited to share with you that my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at  www.lifesinksorsoars.com  and let me know what you think.

A very special “Thank you” to Condredge Dole of Sweet Little Websites for his terrific creativity in designing the site; to Kelly Martin of My Social Media Bridge for all her ideas and suggestions, and to both of them for their remarkable patience in keeping me as a client.

P.P.S. I had the privilege of doing my first ever radio interview yesterday. The topic of the interview was my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours. Here is a link to my interview. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to it. Please contact me at rael@raelkalley.com and share your thoughts

P.P.S.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, please do so by clicking here. You can also check out, or subscribe to my other blog by clicking here.

20. We all have what it takes.

I have known Jeanie for a very long time. In all that time she has served as an exemplary role model to her two children by virtue of her tireless work ethic fueled by her determination to give her kids the kind of life she and her husband had envisioned for the family before their dreams were shattered by the selfish actions of a drunk driver who stole her husband’s life around the time their youngest child was just starting to speak.

I first met Jeanie when she was working for one of my client companies. She had attended several training sessions and always stayed behind to ask questions. She was sponge-like in her quest for information and was an absolute pleasure to work with.

As the years went by we stayed in touch and I was kept apprised of the headway her kids were making as they progressed through their school years while Jeanie was always seeking opportunities to become a better provider for her family.

And so I was delighted when she called a few months ago and asked if we could meet for a chat.

Jeanie was trying to make a decision. She had purchased a few products from a colleague who had a home-based business and had been pleasantly surprised at how much and how quickly she had come to enjoy using these products.

She had mentioned her satisfaction to the friend who had sold her these products and so it came as no surprise when her friend recommended that she involve itself in this business in her spare time as a means of supplementing the income from her full-time employment.

Her friend pointed out that it was possible for her, over time, to replace, and vastly exceed her present income and that this was the opportunity to provide for her family in ways she had never imagined possible.

Jeanie told me she was quite intrigued at the prospect of building her own business but there was a nagging question in the back of her mind that would not go away.

The question she was repeatedly asking herself, while trying to make this decision was, “Do I have what it takes to be successful in this business?”

In order to answer that question I suggested to Jenny that we make a list of everything that it takes to become successful in that business.

It turned out to be a fairly short list.

  1. Learn everything you can about the products you are providing. Jenny acknowledged that she has the ability to learn this.
  2. Learn everything you can about how the business works. Jenny acknowledged that she has the ability to learn this.
  3. Talk to everyone you meet. Jenny acknowledged that she is fluent in English, is articulate and knows how to speak to people.
  4. Teach steps 1 through 3 to everyone who joins you in the business. Jenny acknowledged that she has the ability to do this.

Last week we discussed the Habit of Modeling Success. We talked about the irrefutable fact that success leaves clues and if we simply model the behaviors of successful people we will produce results similar to theirs.

Rarely do we have to blaze new trails. Others have done that for us. All we have to do is follow them.

Once we had determined that she has the ability to do all that is necessary to succeed, I suggested to Jeanie she had been asking herself the wrong question.

The question to ask is not, “Do I have what it takes to be successful in this business?”

The question is “Will I do what it takes to be successful in this business?”

This is the question that most of us need ask ourselves each and every time we set out to achieve some type of goal for ourselves.

Rarely is our likelihood of success determined by whether we have the ability to do what is necessary to achieve success. Almost always we have the ability in abundance. The question is do we have the will.

It’s not can we do it? It’s will we do it?

A simple yes or no question.

If the answer is no, we have to be honest enough with ourselves to acknowledge this is a choice that we are consciously making.  It has nothing to do with our comfort zone. Our comfort zone expands directly in proportion to our will to succeed.

If our honest answer is no, we do not want success strongly enough. It is not important enough.

If the answer is yes, we magically combine the ability we all have in abundance with an unflinching will to succeed to form an unstoppable force.

And then the Habit of Modeling Success will propel us to dizzying heights.

And that’s where my friend Jeanie is now headed.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. I am very excited to share with you that my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at  www.lifesinksorsoars.com  and let me know what you think.

A very special “Thank you” to Condredge Dole of Sweet Little Websites for his terrific creativity in designing the site; to Kelly Martin of My Social Media Bridge for all her ideas and suggestions, and to both of them for their remarkable patience in having me as a client.

P.P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, please do so by clicking here. You can also check out, or subscribe to my other blog by clicking here.

19. It’s simple; do what works.

For as long as I have known her, my friend Trina has always spouted out her favorite saying, “Success leaves clues,” at every opportune moment.

Trina is a financial planner – an extraordinarily successful financial planner – and she built her success on a very simple premise; find out what works, do it, then, do it again and again.

I remember Trina telling me, many years ago how she arrived at that spark of wisdom.

The early years of her career were a difficult struggle for her. Clients were few and far between and those she was able to obtain tended to cancel and move on as quickly as possible.

On more than one occasion Trina had seriously thought of quitting, and all that kept her soldiering on during these tough times was the memory of her father telling her repeatedly throughout her childhood, that it is OK to quit if you want, but you can only quit when you’re at the top.

Her feet were barely on the bottom rung of the success ladder and therefore quitting was not an option.

One day as she was sitting at her desk wondering how she would survive, her mind drifted back a few months to the day when she had closed what was, to that point, her largest ever sale.

Whenever we think of, or relate to, a past experience, we re-access that experience as if it were recurring right now, along with all those same feelings (to some degree) that were associated with that experience.

As her mind disappeared into the warm glow of remembering that day she had what she later called “a major life epiphany”.

While she was recalling all of the details and events that led up to that moment of victory – completing the sale – she suddenly felt compelled to write down a list of every single activity and event that formed part of the sale.

She noted how she first become aware of the client, how she made initial contact with the client, all her preparation for each meeting, all the meetings with the client, what she said, how the client responded, everything. She did not leave out a single detail in the process.

And as she read through her notes her spirit began to soar. She described the moment as one in which a long-time illusive light suddenly appears and guides you down a path you have been long seeking.

The secret to acquiring more clients had magically been revealed. She suddenly understood for the very first time, that results in our lives come from repetition – from those very things we do over and over and over again – and she instantly knew what she had to do.

She had just listed every step she had taken in closing her biggest sale so the solution was obvious. If she wanted to close another large sale, she must repeat those same steps. And then do it again. And again.

Success does indeed leave clues. Sometimes we waste inordinate amounts of time looking in all the wrong places.

That day was a turning point in Trina’s career. That moment of nostalgia proved to be life-changing for her and in the subsequent months and years she transitioned from being a person barely hanging onto her career by her cuticles, to becoming one of the superstars of her company.

If you meet Trina, she will tell you her transition was simple.

Discover what works.

Do it.

Do it again.

In other words she made the process of obtaining clients a habit. That big sale became her model for success and she simply duplicated it.

Trina discovered and adopted the Habit of Modelling Success and now looks for every opportunity to duplicate success in every facet of her life.

She tells me how she frequently watches some of her co-workers in the office waste countless hours, days and weeks attempting to re-invent the wheel. They all have access to a system that works and yet some of them seemed determined to ignore that wise old saying that reminds us that, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Over the years Trina has refined, modified and improved her process but each refinement, modification and improvement has been the result of a meticulously planned and executed strategy.

She tells me that for her, a typical day at the office involves showing up, pouring coffee, and then duplicating what she had done the day before and the day before that.

She explained that in her new stress-free life, acquiring new clients and closing sales has become a “no-brainer.”

Trina committed herself to the Habit of Modeling Success and is succeeding at a level she never imagined possible.

Success has always left clues and yet so many of us forgo the Habit of Modelling Success by ignoring its simplicity and spend enormous amounts of time trying to “find a better way”.

Most often we don’t find a better way; we simply carve a pathway to frustration and despair.

We choose to model failure, not success.

Have you ever wasted time ignoring the lessons of the past and in so doing have brought disappointment and anguish into your own life.

I have.

In her spare time Trina coaches three friends who are realtors. Two of them are doing really well, the other, not so much.

Can you guess who among them is duplicating their past successes and who is constantly looking for a better, faster, easier way?

Trina offer sage advice to those of us who may be struggling to achieve a goal; find someone who has successfully done so and just do what they do.

It’s called duplication. And when you duplicate success you don’t achieve double success you achieve MEGA success.

Just ask Trina.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, please do so by clicking here. You can also check out, or subscribe to my other blog by clicking here.

P.P.S. I have a huge favour to ask of you. If you have read my book, “Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours” please click on the link below, scroll down to “Choose your book” and type in either ‘Rael Kalley’ or ‘Life Sinks or Soars’ and vote for my book. I will be enormously grateful.

http://bestbookread.com/?books=life+sinks+or+soars&commit=

Thank you.

18. More reasons why we should not Whynot

For the past two weeks we have been discussing something called the Habit of Seeking Whynot.

My last two blogs have addressed this topic and have, consequently, led to some rather interesting conversations with a number of people, some well-known to me, others total strangers.

It seems the Habit of Seeking Whynot is a lot further reaching and, therefore, far more pervasive than I had previously realized.

A young lady described to me, in painful detail, the reluctance of her mother to forgive her father when she explained to me how the Habit of Seeking Whynot brought great bitterness and pain into her mother’s life.

She explained to me her parents had divorced when she was in her mid-teens and the divorce had been both hostile and protracted. To this day, some 25 years later, her mother still refuses to even entertain the possibility of forgiving her ex-husband for any of his transgressions – real or imagined – that may have taken place all those many years ago.

When she has asked with her mother why she holds onto so much anger and bitterness, her mother always clearly articulates why she will never forgive this man and why she will hate him until the day she dies. Her mother will not entertain the possibility of setting aside anger, while not realizing the intense damage she’s bringing upon herself. She has an endless list of reasons why she will never forgive.

She can clearly tell you Whynot.

Another conversation centered around the history of friction in the Middle East. The person with whom I was having this conversation is a recent immigrant from that region and he shared with me his views on why, sadly, that part of the world will never know peace.

He explained to me that dislike, distrust and differences in religious beliefs are so ingrained in people of that area that they have lost any willingness they may have had to attempt to reach peace. Each of them is capable of presenting reason upon reason why peace cannot be entertained, even as a remote possibility.

He said that you could stop people on the street in almost any country in that part of the world and ask them about peace in the region, invariably they would share with you their viewpoint as to why peace can only be possible if massive changes are made by others, not themselves.

He pointed out that any one of the three hundred and fifty million or so folks in the Middle East could clearly articulate Whynot.

And he explained that one cannot explore possibilities when one’s view of the world is witnessed through the distorted lens of Whynot.

All greatness has been achieved through the Habit of Exploring Possibilities for this is the only way of discovering how far we can possibly go.  Progress comes not from Whynot but from reaching for the unreachable.

Pushing ourselves harder and further than we ever thought possible paves the way for others to follow and the willingness to risk failure should never be thwarted by the unwillingness to risk success.

We are everything we believe to be true and what we believe to be true either limits or expands our perceptions of possibility.

History is filled with tales of people who accomplished the impossible and each of their feats was made possible by rigorously adhering to the Habit of Exploring Possibilities.

The possibility of doing the impossible resides in each of us and we can either run to it or from it.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

 P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, please do so by clicking here. You can also check out, or subscribe to my other blog by clicking here.

17. “I wish I could play it again,” said Sam.

For many years the old axiom of no risk equals no reward has been present to serve as a constant reminder of nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Last week we spoke of those folks who have mastered the Habit of Seeking Whynot. Those people who, regardless of ideas, suggestions or choices presented to them, instantly conjure up multiple reasons for why these are bad ideas/won’t work/aren’t worth pursuing.

I am often surprised by people who, having read one of my blogs, contact me to share their own personal experiences and a phone call I received last Thursday while I was at the airport waiting to board a flight really brought home to me the importance for all of us to invest energy in acquiring the Habit of Exploring Possibilities in order to rid ourselves of the Habit of Seeking Whynot.

The caller identified himself as being a retiree in his mid 70s who quit the workforce at age 65 and now ekes out a meager living by doing odd jobs to supplement his pension.

He told me that my blog last week reminded him of threeoccasions in his life where adhering to the Habit of Seeking Whynot has left him filled with regret.

Some 30 years ago his son-in-law approached him with the suggestion that he consider investing in a fairly new company based out of Washington State, called Microsoft.

This was the early 1980’s and his son-in-law’s proposal was he invest $10,000.

So convinced was his son-in-law in in the future success of this company that he offered to lend Sam, my caller, $10,000, interest free, on the sole condition that he repay the money over 48 months.

He told me that he didn’t believe back then that this whole idea of computers would amount to anything. He rejected the offer without even allowing his son-in-law to explain why he thought the investment was a sound one. He just knew this whole computer thing was a fad that would soon blow over.

He said that he remembered writing out a list for his son-in-law of 12 to 15 reasons why this was a bad idea, why Microsoft would fail and why he was upset that his daughter had married such a jackass.

Had he gone along with the suggestion, today he would be the owner of 137,000 shares worth more than $3.5 million.

Not bad for a fad.

Around that same time a friend approached him with the idea of becoming involved in a network marketing company called Herbalife. His friend enthusiastically explained people would “pay anything” for help in losing weight and that the early distributors in this company would clean up. The cost of entry was small, the potential returns enormous and all he would need to do would be to share this product with as many people as possible.

Once again, out came the piece of paper and pen and the list was compiled of the many, many reasons why this was a bad idea that wouldn’t work, why they were already too many people involved, the market was saturated and it was probably illegal.

Naturally Sam declined the offer and, with a twinge of envy in his voice, explained that his friend “worked like a dog” for five years and has lived like a king ever since.

Some 15 years ago his family doctor advised him to start taking care of himself. It was suggested that he pay more attention to his diet and commit some time each day to exercise.

He went on to tell me that he clearly remembered telling the doctor that his aunt Agnes had lived to be 97, ate a high-fat diet mixed with junk-food, smoked two packs a day, consumed copious amounts of alcohol, and finally died after slipping on ice and suffering a head injury. He explained to the doctor that longevity and good health were standard in his family and as such, there was no need to modify his life-style.

Throughout the conversation I listen to him wheeze with each breath. So it was no surprise when he told me the last few years had been rather awkward as his failing health had drastically impacted his quality of life, and how he wished he had listened to the advice of that young physician all those many years ago.

He’d had an opportunity to invest, on very favorable terms, in what would’ve provided him with a tremendous return, and had used the Habit of Seeking Whynot to turn it down.

Similarly he had declined the opportunity to participate in a business opportunity with low investment and high return and had ignored the opportunity of improving his health when it was presented to him.

The Habit of Seeking Whynot is an absolute method of ensuring we cannot fail. It’s also a guaranteed way of preventing success.

There are people on this planet who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Sam, my caller, is one of them and he gave me some parting advice to share with you my readers.

He said if you have any aspirations for a life of fulfillment, then develop the Habit of Exploring Possibilities right now.

That’s not to say you need to leap at every opportunity, but rather, before rejecting ideas outright, or making assumptions that have no basis in fact, examine everything presented to you with an eye for seizing opportunity.

I detected a tremor in Sam’s voice when he said he once heard the definition of narrow minded as being a person who could see through a keyhole with both eyes.  As he looks in the rear-view mirror of his life, what he sees most clearly is regret. 

Let’s take a pledge to make a habit of exploring possibilities rather than suffocating  them before they take their first breath.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, please do so by clicking here. You can also check out, or subscribe to my other blog by clicking here.