1. Sleep less. This is one of the best investments you can make to make your life more
productive and rewarding. Most people do not need more than 6 hours to maintain an
excellent state of health. Try getting up one hour earlier for 21 days and it will develop
into a powerful habit. Remember, it is the quality not the quantity of sleep that is
important. And just imagine having an extra 30 hours a month to spend on the things that
are important to you.
2. Set aside one hour every morning for personal development matters. Meditate, visualize
your day, read inspirational texts to set the tone of your day, listen to motivational tapes
or read great literature. Take this quiet period to vitalize and energize your spirit for the
productive day ahead. Watch the sun rise once a week or be with nature. Starting the day
off well is a powerful strategy for self-renewal and personal effectiveness.
3. Do not allow those things that matter the most in your life be at the mercy of activities
that matter the least. Every day, take the time to ask yourself the question "is this the best
use of my time and energy?" Time management is life management so guard your time
with great care.
4. Use the rubber band method to condition your mind to focus solely on the most positive
elements in your life. Place a rubber band around your wrist. Each time a negative,
energy sapping thought enters your mind, snap the rubber band. Through the power of
conditioning, your mind will associate pain with negative thinking and you will soon
possess a strongly positive mindset.
5. Always answer the phone with enthusiasm in your voice and show your appreciation for
the caller. Good phone manners are essential. To convey authority on the line, stand up.
This will instill further confidence in your voice.
6. Throughout the day we all get inspiration and excellent ideas. Keep a set of cards (the
size of business cards; available at most stationary stores) in your wallet along with a
pencil to jot down these insights. When you get home, put the ideas in a central place
such as a coil notepad and review them from time to time. As noted by Oliver Wendell
Holmes: "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original
7. Set aside every Sunday evening for yourself and be strongly disciplined with this habit.
Use this period to plan your week, visualize your encounters and what you want to
achieve, to read new materials and inspirational books, to listen to soft soothing music
and to simply relax. This habit will serve as your anchor to keep you focused, motivated
and effective throughout the coming week.
8. Always remember the key principle that the quality of your life is the quality of your
communication. This means the way you communicate with others and, more importantly, the way you communicate with yourself. What you focus on is what you get.
If you look for the positive this is what you get. This is a fundamental law of Nature.
9. Stay on purpose, not on outcome. In other words, do the task because it is what you love
to do or because it will help someone or is a valuable exercise. Don't do it for the money
or the recognition. Those will come naturally. This is the way of the world.
10. Laugh for five minutes in the mirror each morning. Steve Martin does. Laughter activates
many beneficial chemicals within the body that place us into a very joyous state.
Laughter also returns the body to a state of balance. Laughter therapy has been regularly
used to heal persons with varied ailments and is a wonderful tonic for life's ills. While the
average 4 year old laughs 500 times a day, the average adult is lucky to laugh 15 times a
day. Revitalize the habit of laughter, it will put far more living into your life.
11. Light a candle beside you when you are reading in the evening. It is most relaxing and
creates a wonderful, soothing atmosphere. Make your home an oasis from the frenzied
world outside. Fill it with great music, great books and great friends.
12. To enhance your concentration and powers of focus, count your steps when you walk.
This is a particularly strong technique. Take six steps while taking a long inhale, hold
your breath for another six steps, and then exhale for six steps. If six steps is too long for
the breaths, do whatever you feel comfortable with. You will feel very alert, refreshed,
internally quiet and centered after this exercise. So many people allow their minds to be
filled with mental chatter. All peak performers appreciate the power of a quiet, clear mind
which will concentrate steadily on all important tasks.
13. Learn to meditate effectively. The mind is naturally a very noisy machine which wants to
move from one subject to another like an unchained monkey. One must learn to restrain
and discipline it if one is to achieve anything of substance and to be peaceful. Meditation
for twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening will certainly
provide you with exceptional results if regularly practiced for six months. Learned sages
of the East have been advancing the many benefits of meditation for over 5000 years.
14. Learn to be still. The average person doesn't spend even 30 minutes a month in total
silence and tranquility. Develop the skill of sitting quietly, enjoying the powerful silence
for at least ten minutes a day. Simply think about what is important to you in your life.
Reflect on your mission. Silence indeed is golden. As the Zen master once said, it is the
space between the bars that holds the cage.
15. Enhance your will-power; it is likely one of the best training programs you can invest in.
Here are some ideas to strengthen your will and become a stronger person:
a. Do not let your mind float like a piece of paper in the wind. Work hard to keep it
focused at all times. When doing a task, think of nothing else. When walking to
work, count the steps that it takes to get all the way to the office. This is not easy
but your mind will soon understand that you hold its reins and not vice versa. Your mind must eventually become as still as a candle flame in a corner where
there is no draft.
b. Your will is like a muscle. You must first exercise it and then push before it gets
stronger. This necessarily involves short term pain but be assured that the
improvements will come and will touch your character in a most positive way.
When you are hungry, wait another hour before your meal. When you are
labouring over a difficult task and your mind is prompting you to pick up the
latest magazine for a break or to get up and go talk to a friend, curb the impulse.
Soon you will be able to sit for hours in a precisely concentrated state. Sir Issac
Newton, one of the greatest classical physicists the world has produced, once said:
"if I have done the public any service, it is due to patient thought." Newton had a
remarkable ability to sit quietly and think without interruption for very long
periods of time. If he can develop this so can you.
c. You can also build your will-power by restraint in your conduct with others.
Speak less (use the 60/40 Rule = listen 60% of the time and speak a mere 40%, if
that). This will not only make you more popular but you will learn much wisdom
as everyone we meet, every day has something to teach us. Also restrain the urge
to gossip or to condemn someone who you feel has made a mistake. Stop
complaining and develop a cheerful, vital and strong personality. You will greatly
d. When a negative thought comes to your mind, immediately replace it with one
that is positive. Positive always dominates over the negative and your mind has to
be conditioned to think only the best thoughts. Negative thinking is a conditioned
process whereby the negative patterns are established over and over. Rid yourself
of any limitations and become a powerful positive thinker.
16. Make an effort to be humorous throughout the day. Not only is it beneficial from a
physical viewpoint but it diffuses tension in difficult circumstances and creates an
excellent atmosphere wherever you are. It was recently reported that members of the
Tauripan tribe of South America have a ritual where they awake in the middle of the
night to tell each other jokes. Even tribesmen in the deepest sleep wake to enjoy the laugh
and then return to their state of slumber in seconds.
17. Become a highly disciplined time manager. There are roughly 168 hours in a week. This
surely allows plenty of time for achievement of the many goals we desire to accomplish.
Be ruthless with your time. Set aside a few minutes each morning to plan your day. Plan
around your priorities and focus on not only those tasks which are immediate but not
important (i.e., many telephone calls) but especially on those which are important but not
urgent, for these allow for the greatest personal and professional development. Important
but not immediate activities are those which produce long-term, sustainable benefits and
include exercise, strategic planning, the development of relationships and professional
education. Never let the things which matter most be placed in the backseat as compared
to those that matter least.
18. Associate only with positive, focused people who you can learn from and who will not
drain your valuable energy with complaining and uninspiring attitudes. By developing relationships with those committed to constant improvement and the pursuit of the best
that life has to offer, you will have plenty of company on your path to the top of whatever
mountain you seek to climb.
19. Stephen Hawking, one of the great modern physicists of the world, is reported to have
said that we are on a minor planet of a very average star located within the outer limits of
one of a hundred thousand million galaxies. Are your problems really significant in light
of this? You walk this Earth for but a short time. Why not become devoted to having only
a wonderful experience. Why not dedicate yourself to leaving a powerful legacy to the
world? Sit down now and write out a list of all that you have in your life. Start first with
your health or your family - the things we often take for granted. Put down the country
we live in and the food we eat. Do not stop until you have written down fifty items. Once
every few days, go through this list - you will be uplifted and recognize the richness of
20. You must have a mission statement in life. This is simply a set of guiding principles
which clearly state where you are going and where you want to be at the end of your life.
A mission statement embodies your values. It is your personal lighthouse keeping you
steadily on the course of your dreams. Over a period of one month, set a few hours aside
to write down five or ten principles which will govern your life and which will keep you
focused at all times. Examples might be to consistently serve others, to be a considerate
citizen, to become highly wealthy or to serve as a powerful leader. Whatever the mission
statement of your life, refine it and review it regularly. Then when something adverse
happens or someone tries to pull you off course, you quickly and precisely return to your
chosen path with the full knowledge that you are moving in the direction that you have
21. No one can insult or hurt you without your permission. One of the golden keys to
happiness and great success is the way you interpret events which unfold before you.
Highly successful people are master interpreters. People who have attained greatness
have an ability which they have developed to interpret negative or disempowering events
as positive challenges which will assist them in growing and moving even farther up the
ladder of success. There are no negative experiences only experiences which aid in your
development and toughen your character so that you may soar to new heights. There are
no failures, only lessons.
22. Take a speed reading course. Reading is a powerful way to gain many years of
experience from a few hours of study. For example, most biographies reflect the
strategies and philosophies of great leaders or courageous individuals. Read them and
model them. Speed reading will allow you to digest large quantities of material in
relatively small periods of time.
23. Remember people's names and treat everyone well. This habit, along with enthusiasm, is
one of the great success secrets. Everyone in this world wears an imaginary button that
screams out "I WANT TO FEEL IMPORTANT AND APPRECIATED!".
24. Be soft as a flower when it comes to kindness but tough as thunder when it comes to
principle. Be courteous and polite at all times but never be pushed around. Ensure that
you are always treated with respect.
25. Never discuss your health, wealth and other personal matters with anyone outside of your
immediate family. Be very disciplined in this regard.
26. Be truthful, patient, persevering, modest and generous.
27. Soak in a warm bath at the end of a long, productive day. Reward yourself for even the
smallest of achievement. Take time out for renewal of your mind, body and spirit. Soon
all your more important goals will be met and you will move to the next level of peak
28. Learn the power of breathing and its relationship with your energy source. The mind is
intimately connected with your breathing. For example, when the mind is agitated, your
breathing becomes quick and shallow. When you are relaxed and focused, your breathing
is deep and calm. By practising deep, abdominal breathing, you will develop a calm,
serene demeanour that will remain cool in the hottest of circumstances. Remember the
rule of the Eastern mountain men: "to breathe properly is to live properly."
29. Recognize and cultivate the power of autosuggestion. It works and is an essential tool in
maintaining peak performance. We are all performers in one way or another and it is
particularly valuable to use such techniques of athletes and public figures for our own
enhancement. If you want to become more enthusiastic, repeat "I am more enthusiastic
today and am improving this trait daily". Repeat it over and over. Purchase a legal
notepad and write out this mantra 500 times. Do it for three weeks with regular practice
and feel that this quality is developing. Very soon it will come. This is a strategy that
Indian sages have employed for thousands of years to aid their spiritual and mental
development. Do not be discouraged if the results are not immediate, they will certainly
develop. The spoken word is a powerful influencer of the mind.
30. Maintain a diary to measure your progress and to express your thoughts. Writing out not
only your successes but your troubles is one of the world's most effective methods of
erasing the worry habit, staying in optimum state and developing precision of thought.
31. Stress is simply a response which you create in the interpretation of an event. Two people
might find that a given event results in quite different responses. For example, an after
dinner speech might strike fear into the heart of an inexperienced speaker while a strong
orator views it as a wonderful opportunity to share his thoughts. Understanding that the
perceived negative effects of an event or task may be mentally manipulated and
conditioned towards the positive, will allow you to be a peak performer in all instances.
32. Read "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. It contains a
wealth of wisdom and powerful insights into further developing your character and
enhancing your personal relationships.
33. Become a committed audio-tape user. Most personal-mastery programs and books are
now offered in this format. Listen to these inspirational materials on your way to work,
whilst waiting in the line at a bank or while you wash dishes in the evening. Make your
car a college on wheels and use the drive time to make knowledge your best friend. All
down time can be very effectively used in this productive fashion. Use such opportunities
to learn and continually expand your mind and its vast potential.
34. Try fasting one day every two weeks. During these fast days, drink fruit juice and eat
fresh fruits only. You will feel more energetic, cleansed and alert. Fasting also has a
salutary effect on your will-power as you are subverting the otherwise pressing impulses
in your mind calling on you to eat more.
35. Keep a radio-cassette player at your office and listen to soft, soothing music throughout
the day. Place pleasant scents and inspirational pictures in your workplace. By the magic
of association, your work will become something you enjoy even more and arouse a very
pleasant feeling within you. Budget your time on trips such that you can spend half an
hour in the airport bookstore. They always contain the latest and best self-mastery books
and tapes given that those who travel by air are of a group that finds value in these
36. Read "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen. And don't just read this little book once, read
it over and over again. It contains an abundance of timeless wisdom on living a fuller and
37. Remember that forgiveness is a virtue that few develop, but one that is most important to
maintaining peace of mind. Mark Twain wrote that forgiveness is the fragrance the violet
sheds on the heel that has crushed it. Practice forgiveness especially in those situations
where it is seemingly difficult. By using your emotional forgiveness muscles more
regularly, petty wrongs, remarks and slights will not touch you and nothing will penetrate
your concentrated, serene mindset.
38. Empty your cup. A full cup cannot accept anything more. Similarly, a person who
believes that he cannot learn anything else will stagnate quickly and not move to higher
levels. A true sign of a secure, mature individual is someone who sees every opportunity
as a chance to learn. Even the teachers have teachers.
39. The Two Minute Mind is an excellent exercise for developing concentration. Simply
stare at the second hand on your wristwatch for two minutes and think about nothing else
for that time. At first your mind will wander but after 21 days of practice, your attention
will not waver during the routine. One of the greatest qualities a person can develop to
ensure his success is the ability to focus for extended periods of time. Learn to build up
your concentration muscles and no task will be too difficult for you.
40. Drink a cup of warm water before a speech. Ronald Reagan employed this strategy to
ensure that he maintained his honey-smooth voice. Mastery of the art of public speaking is a noble goal. So dedicate yourself to it. You will be judged by the calibre of your
41. When you stand and meet someone, stand firm and steadfast. A telling sign of an
unfocused, weak mind is constant fidgeting, shifting of the eyes and shallow breathing.
42. Act tough and you will be tough. Have courage and inspire others with your actions. But
always be considerate.
43. Ask not what this world can do for you but, rather, what you can do for this world. Make
service an important goal in your life. It is a most fulfilling investment of time.
Remember, in the twilight of your life, when all is said and done, the quality of your life
boils down to the quality of your contribution to others. Leave a rich legacy for those
around you to savour.
44. Once a week, arise at dawn. It is a magical time of day. Be still, go for a walk or simply
listen to an old Ella Fitzgerald recording. Take a long, hot shower and do 100 pushups.
Read one of the classics. You will feel alive and invigorated.
45. Remain slightly aloof. Do not let everyone know everything about you. Cultivate a
46. Master the art of public speaking. There are few natural speakers. One great trial lawyer
stammered dreadfully but through courage and strength of conviction, he developed into
a brilliant orator. Role model anyone you think is a highly effective, influential
communicator. Visualize a picture of this person. Stand like him, smile like him, and talk
like him. The results will startle you.
47. Seek out motivational speakers committed to character training and lifelong success.
Make it a point to attend inspirational lectures each month to consistently renew the
importance of personal growth in your mind. In a two hour seminar, you can learn
powerful techniques and strategies that others have spent many years learning and
refining. Never feel that you have no time for gathering new ideas, you are investing in
48. Read the wonderful book "Discovering Happiness" by Dennis Wholey. It will certainly
open up new horizons for you in your quest for an optimal state of health and happiness.
49. To enhance your concentration, read a passage in a book you have never explored. Then
try to recite it verbatim. Practice this for only 5 minutes a day and enjoy the results which
follow after a few months of effort.
50. Try entering a 5 km running race and then a 10 km event. The adrenaline that flows from
the experience of racing with several hundred other fitness-minded people is exhilarating.
By constantly pushing the envelope of your capacity, your potential will quickly unfold.
Remember, the body will give you only what you ask of it.
51. Aromas have been proven to be an effective means of entering a state of relaxation.
Scents have a very noticeable effect on your mindset and moods. Purchase the essential
oils of orange and clove bud from your local health food shop. Put a few drops of either
oil within a cup of boiling water and inhale the sweet smelling steam for a few minutes.
Then let the mixture sit in the room where you are resting. You will gain a sense of peace
and serenity. A little apple spice in the air has recently been shown to induce a far more
52. Cultivate the art of walking half an hour after you have finished eating your evening
meal. Walks in natural settings are the very best. Walking is, perhaps, nature's ideal
exercise. And when you walk, do not think about work or about the bills or about the
challenges you might be facing - this will neutralize many of the benefits. Simply enjoy
the walk. Notice the richness of your surroundings. Let your senses drink in the beauty of
nature and the crispness of the air for a change. So many people who have mastered the
art of growing younger have also mastered the habit of a daily walk.
53. Start a program of weight lifting at the gym. Strong people are mentally tough people. As
you age, you need not lose your physical nor your mental strength. 75 year-old men are
running marathons, 80 year-old women have scaled mountains and 90 year-old
grandparents are living rich, productive lives. Whether you are 19 or 93, stay fit, stay
motivated and stay passionate about life.
54. Never argue with the person you work for - you will lose more than just the argument.
55. In terms of business attire, dark suits (navy blue and charcoal grey) reflect power,
sophistication and authority. Have you ever seen a prime minister or president in a tan
56. Regularly send handwritten notes to your business clients and your other relations to
strengthen the bond. Develop a system which reminds you to send something valuable to
this network at least once every four months. Send them postcards when you are away on
vacation. If you have to buy a few hundred postcards and spend an hour writing, don't
worry. This is an exceptionally good investment of your time. Another idea is to send a
recent article of interest to your contacts with a handwritten note saying that you thought
this would interest them and that you continue to value their friendship. Relationship
building should always be a central focus whether you are a CEO, a student, a
salesperson or a parent.
57. Two of the fundamentals for a happy, joyful life are balance and moderation. One must
maintain a balance of all activities and do nothing to extremes.
58. Drink Jasmine tea which can be obtained from any Chinese herbal shop. It is excellent for
your general health and is very relaxing. Also try placing a few slices of fresh ginger in a
cup of hot water for a superb tea that will restore vitality and keep you in a peak physical
59. Remember that effective time management makes you more rather than less flexible. It
allows you to do the things that you really want to do rather than the things you really
have to do.
60. Do not take personal development books as gospel. Read them and take whatever useful
ideas you need. Some people feel they must do everything suggested and take the
techniques to extremes. Every book has at least one tool or strategy of benefit. Take what
you need and what works for you and discard what doesn't suit you.
61. Become an adventurer. Revitalize your spirit and sense of playfulness. Become a kid
again. Once every few months, plan to enjoy a new, thrilling activity such as white water
rafting, scuba diving, windsurfing, rockclimbing, joining a martial arts club, sailing, deep
sea fishing or camping. This will keep your life in perspective, bring you closer to those
you share the activity with and keep you feeling invigorated and young.
62. Spend time with Nature. Natural settings have a powerful effect on your senses which in
turn will lead to a sense of renewal, refreshment and peacefulness. Peak performers
through the ages have understood the importance of getting back to Nature. Start camping
or simply taking quiet walks in the forest. Rest by a sparkling stream. Cultivate your own
little garden which will serve as your personal oasis in the middle of a crowded city. By
cultivating a friendship with Nature, you will quickly find more serenity, contentment
and richness in your life.
63. Recall the wise saying "mens sana in corpore sano" which means in a sound body rests a
sound mind. Never neglect the body which is intimately connected to the mind. This is
your temple. Feed it the finest fuels, exercise daily and care for it as you would your
prized possession - because it is.
64. Be so strong that nothing interferes with your peace of mind. A well-known boxer was
once unhappy. When asked why, he said that he had allowed himself to think a negative
thought. Curb your desires and stay centered and focused - it gets easier with practice.
You truly cannot afford the luxury of even one negative thought.
65. Do not eat three hours before sleep. This allows for smoother digestion and a more restful
sleep. For deeper, more renewing sleep, remember that a daily dose of exercise promotes
good sleep as does a period of relaxation an hour before bed. Also do not bring work to
bed with you or think about anything which might agitate you. Ease yourself into sleep
like a baby being sung a soft, soothing lullaby. And finally, as Leonardo da Vinci said: "a
well-spent day brings happy sleep."
66. Be careful about your reputation. If it is good it will take you to the highest of heights.
But once tarnished, it will be difficult to retrieve. Always reflect on your course of action.
Never do anything you wouldn't be proud to tell your mother about. Have fun always but
temper it with common sense and prudence.
67. Find mentors to model who will guide you in your progress. The mistakes of the world
have all been made once before - why shouldn't you have the benefit of the experience of
others? Find someone who has both courage and consideration for others, someone who
is therefore mature. Your mentor must have only your best interests in mind and should
be sufficiently senior to offer you good guidance on the subjects you seek assistance
with. Everyone needs to feel appreciated and even the busiest of executives will find time
to assist a person who respects them and values their advice.
68. Make a list of all your weaknesses. A truly confident and enlightened person will note a
weakness and seek to methodically improve. Bear in mind that even the greatest and most
powerful people have weaknesses. Some are better than others in hiding them. On the
other hand, get to know your best qualities and cultivate them.
69. Never complain. Be known as a positive, strong, energetic and enthusiastic person.
Someone who complains, is cynical and always looks for the negative in everything, will
scare people away and rarely will succeed at anything. From a purely psychological
viewpoint, things are always created twice: once in the mind and then in reality. Focus on
the positive. Be so mentally tough that nothing takes you off your planned course to
success. Visualize and firmly believe in what you want. It will most certainly come true.
70. Overlook the weaknesses of your friends. If you look for flaws you will most surely find
them. Be mature enough to ignore the petty failings of others and see the good that each
one inherently possesses. We can learn from everyone. Everyone has a story to tell, a
joke to share and a lesson to learn. Open your mind to this and you will learn a
tremendous amount. Friends are so very important to a happy existence - especially those
who have shared many experiences and laughs with you. Work hard to make friendships,
and all your relationships for that matter, stronger and richer. Call your friends, buy them
small gifts of books or other items you believe they might enjoy. The "law of the farm"
applies to relationships as well as to the rest of life - you reap what you sow and to have
great friends you must first be one.
71. Be kind, considerate and courteous. But also be shrewd and know when to be tough and
courageous. This is the mark of a well-defined character and you will surely command
respect. It is most useful to read books on friendliness and enhancing relationships by
being a good listener, showing others sincere appreciation and refining other interpersonal
skills. But, to truly succeed, one must also recognize that worldly wisdom and
shrewdness are essential skills to foster. Become an expert in human psychology and be
able to read the essence of people. Never be taken advantage of and be aware of the
politics around you. Stay above petty gossiping and office politics but appreciate that
they indeed exist and know what goes on behind your back. Every great leader does.
72. Create your image as a highly competent, strong, disciplined, calm and decent individual.
Find that crucial balance between working on the image that you project to the rest of the
world and your inner character. Create a sense of mystery about yourself as the truly wise
never show their hand. Do not tell everyone everything about yourself, your strategies
and your aspirations. The successful citizens of this world think thrice before they speak because a word uttered can never be retrieved. Make things look easy and people will say
you are naturally gifted. Speak only good things and people will flock to you. Never
speak ill of others and all will know you will not malign them behind their backs. Build
your character and live a highly principled life.
73. Familiarity breeds contempt is a very good rule. The stars remain far above the Earth.
You must keep a distance from all but your closest of relations. Once people see
everything of a leader he loses his aura and with it the authority and mystique he may
have created. For example, Ronald Reagan was known to many as an excellent leader. He
carefully cultivated his image of a folksy, considerate politician who kept the interests of
the United States first and foremost in his mind. At gatherings of world leaders, he
commanded attention and respect in his dark suits, surrounded by the trappings of power
such as political aides, security officers and a convoy of limousines. As soon as he
appeared, thoughts of authority and power came to our minds. Did you ever see the
President with his shirt off swimming at his pool? How about in his dressing gown after
waking up after one of his long sleeps, hair tousled and beard grown? Reagan's handlers
never allowed such glimpses because they detract from the perception of authority. The
American nation was not exposed to these sights. In the Clinton Era things changed and
you saw the President eating Big Macs and wearing baseball caps with a full business
suit. Whilst these scenes may be endearing to the public, there is little doubt that
President Clinton was more familiar to us, merely another one of us and, unlike the stars
above, much closer to the ground.
74. Learn to organize your time. It is incorrect to say that by becoming a meticulous time
manager and living by a carefully defined schedule you become rigid and nonspontaneous.
Rather, proper organization allows one to accomplish those goals which are
truly important as well as enjoy leisure time. Good time management offers more time
for fun and relaxation - not less. These important periods are scheduled into the week just
like other commitments which may appear more pressing. Neither are sacrificed. Also,
discipline yourself and stop wasting time on all those immediate and pressing but
unimportant tasks (i.e., the ringing phones) and concentrate on the activities that are truly
meaningful to your life's mission. Such activities include time for self-renewal and
reflection, time forging relationships built on trust and mutual respect, time for physical
fitness, time to read and think deeply and time serving others in your community.
75. Keep well-informed about current events, the latest books and popular trends. Many peak
performers read five or six papers a day. You don't have to read every story of every
paper. Know what to focus on, what to pass by and what to clip out and read at another
time (many successful people scan scores of magazines and papers, clipping out articles
of interest; these articles go into a file folder which can be read in your down time).
Knowledge is power. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a corporate leader or someone
leading a family, you can profoundly change your life and the lives of those around you
with a single idea. Just ask Gates, Edison and Bell.
76. When choosing your life partner, remember that this is the most important decision of
your lifetime. The marriage relationship offers 90% of all your support, happiness and fulfillment so choose it wisely. Consider qualities such as affection, sense of humor,
intelligence, integrity, maturity, temperament, compatibility and that indescribable
characteristic of chemistry. If these are present, your relationship stands an excellent
chance of great success. Move slowly and let no one press you into an uncomfortable
77. Never discuss your personal development activities with anyone. Your strategies for
expanding your mind and spirit are your own. Others might not understand the value of
personal-mastery and, further, will take away your credit when you meet with success by
saying that you relied on techniques. Keep these self-development activities to yourself.
78. Schedule relaxation time into your week and be ruthless in protecting it. You would not
schedule another activity into the time planned for an important meeting with the
president of your company or your best client so why would you put off a period to invest
in yourself? We must have time for ourselves to reflect, unwind and recharge our
batteries. These are the renewal activities that allow us to maintain peak performance and
are exceptionally valuable periods.
79. 83% of our sensory input comes from our eyes. To truly concentrate on something, shut
your eyes and you will remove much distraction.
80. Be the master of your will but the servant of your conscience.
81. Develop the wonderful habit of a daily swim. It will promote excellent health, keep you
relaxed and concentrated, lean and trim. Swimming is not stressful on the body, provides
a great workout for the lungs and requires little time to do effectively. Remember that in
a fit body resides a fit mind.
82. People who are doing good today are ensuring their happiness for tomorrow.
83. The key to successful time management is doing what you planned to do when you
planned to do it. Keep your mind fully on the task at hand. Only then will you achieve all
your goals and have time for the things that matter most. Although it is imperative to be
flexible (a bow too tightly strung will soon break), following your planned schedule
requires no more than simple discipline.
84. An excellent visualization technique: if you are worrying about something, picture the
words of your worry on a piece of paper. Now ignite a match to the paper and watch the
worry dissipate into flames. Bruce Lee, the great martial arts master employed this
mental control device regularly.
85. Compartmentalize your worry. Set aside a certain amount of time to ponder over a
problem and map out an effective plan of attack and your options. Once this is done, have
the mental fortitude not to come back to the problem and go over it again and again. The
human mind is a strange creature - things we want to forget keep coming back and those
things we want to remember are not there when we want them. But the mind is similar to a muscle and the more you flex it the stronger it will become. Make it your servant. Feed
it only the best nutrition and information. It will serve you well and perform magic if you
believe in it.
86. Peak performers are physically relaxed and mentally engaged.
87. To be at your performance peak mentally, your body must be loose physically and
relaxed. It is now beyond dispute that there is a mind-body connection and when the body
is supple, free from tension, the mind is clear, calm and focused as well. This is why yoga
is such a beneficial activity. It keeps the body relaxed so that the mind can follow. Basic
stretching for 15 minutes a day is also an excellent way to release tension that builds up
as a result of our life in this highly complex and fast moving, but wonderful world. Try
having a massage or power lounging in a Jacuzzi. Relax the body and you relax the mind.
88. Prepare a detailed financial plan for the next few years and follow it. Seek out financial
advice if you need it. A powerful strategy for financial mastery is also a simple one: save
10% of all you make for long-term growth (take this off the pay cheque before you have
a chance to spend it). If you can invest $200 a month for the next 30 years at an annual
return rate of 15%, you will end up with $1.4 million dollars. Being wise with your
money is one of the very best investments to make. Financial security leads to personal
89. Readers are leaders. U.S. President Bill Clinton read more than 300 books during his
short time at Oxford University. Some top performers read a book a day. Seek out
knowledge and information. We have truly entered the age of massive information and
those who are proactive can use this to their advantage. The more you know, the less you
90. Get into the excellent habit of reading something positive and inspirational before you go
to bed and as soon as you awake in the morning. You will soon note the benefits as these
thoughts will be supporting you throughout the day.
91. Make it one of your goals to develop a dynamic, charismatic personality. Such a quality
is something each one of us has the potential to develop but few do. President Kennedy
was a sickly youth but rose above his physical problems to be the most charismatic and
exciting political figure in the history of the United States. Start off small. Take a Dale
Carnegie course on public speaking. Go to the library where you will find books on the
fine art of conversation and personal grooming. Learn three clean and witty jokes and get
in the habit of socializing. You will have fun and build a lasting network of friends and
92. On the subject of conversation, a Chinese proverb states as follows: "a single
conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month's study of books." Seek
out the wise and learn from them. They are just waiting for that small spark of interest to
tell you all that you need to know.
93. Lao-Tzu prized three essential qualities for a person of greatness: "the first is gentleness;
the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before
others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting
yourself before others and you can become a leader among men."
94. "When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action
you should take - choose the bolder," said W. J. Slim. There is no substitute for courage
and though the chance of stubbing your toe increases the more you walk, it is always
better than going nowhere by standing still. Take chances, take smart risks and you will
meet with success beyond your dreams.
95. Become your spouse's number one supporter, the one who is always there supporting and
fueling hopes and dreams. Develop together and march confidently through the world as
an army of two.
96. Think of three people who can provide you with inspiration, motivation and support for
your goals and aspirations. Plan to meet with each one of them over the next few weeks.
Listen enthusiastically to them and brainstorm with them. Map out a strategy and take
their wise counsel.
97. Make every one of your days a true masterpiece. Remember the old saying: "it's not who
you think you are that holds you back but what you think you're not."
98. Just as valuable energy is wasted by spending time on activities that are of no value,
energy can be wasted on loose thinking. Imagine that your mind has an energy measure
of 1000 watts at its disposal. Each time your mind wanders off the project at hand, to a
nagging worry, to all the things to do by the end of the day, 100 watts is lost. Quite soon
the entire energy supply is gone. This is the nature of the mind. Fail to discipline it and
your energy levels will be depleted and your accomplishments will be minimal. Control it
and you will see great things happening. You will feel more powerful and achieve
difficult tasks with ease. The 19th century philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel summed it
up nicely: "for purposes of action, nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought
combined with energy of will."
99. It has been rightly said that "you sow an action, you reap a habit. You sow a habit, you
reap a character. You sow a character, you reap a destiny." The essence of a person is his
character - make yours unique, unblemished and strong. Do not say you will do anything
unless you will indeed do it. Speak the truth and measure your words wisely. Be humble,
straightforward and peaceful.
100. Remember the overriding law of nature: positive overcomes the negative.
101. A contented mind is a continual feast. Greed and material desires must be curbed to
achieve lasting happiness and serenity. Be happy with what you have. Do you really need
all of those material possessions? One can develop contentment just as one develops
patience, courage and concentration - with daily practice and sincere desire.
102. Make a new friend or acquaintance every day. Keep an updated list of all contacts close
at hand. Rich relationships are the DNA of a rich, rewarding life.
103. Remember this ancient Indian proverb: "if you conquer your mind, you conquer the
104. Place greater importance on staying happy than amassing material possessions. A zest for
life is developed and carefully nurtured through thoughtful activities and pursuits.
105. Contrary to popular opinion, stress is not a bad thing. It allows us to perform at peak
levels and can assist us through the flood of chemicals it releases within our bodies. What
is harmful is too much stress, or more particularly, a lack of relief from stress. The times
of stress must be balanced nicely with times of pure relaxation and leisure for us to be
healthy and at our best. Many of the great leaders of our time were exposed to crushing
workloads and the burdens of high office. But they prospered by developing strategies to
balance the challenging times with fun and calming times. President Kennedy would
have regular naps in his White House office. Winston Churchill had the same practice
and slept for one hour every afternoon to stay alert, focused and calm. Not only is it
essential to be physically relaxed to maintain optimal health but one must couple this trait
with mental serenity. Too often people think that vigorous exercise, good nutrition and
pleasant leisure activities will be the panacea for all ills. These pursuits must be
combined with positive thinking and peace of mind for true happiness and longevity.
106. Get into the habit of taking mental vacations throughout the day. Visit Bermuda for five
minutes in the morning. Visualize a swim in the Mediterranean in the afternoon and
skiing down the slopes of the Alps just before you head for home at the end of your busy
and productive day. Try this for two months and schedule these rest periods into your
agenda just as you would your essential meetings or tasks. The rewards will be
107. A change is as good as a rest. Whether this change is as major as a change of
employment or as minor as a leisure pursuit which occupies your entire attention for an
hour three times a week, these changes in routine, and mindset are entirely beneficial. In
selecting the activity, try to find something totally engaging which requires deep
concentration so that your mind is free from the mundane but seemingly important
aspects of your day. Many executives are becoming involved in the martial arts for just
this reason. If your mind wanders for even a split second, a harsh lesson is soon learned.
Pain is a great motivator and always will be.
108. Study these 10 fundamentals of happiness:
i. Pursue a productive, exciting and active life
ii. Engage in meaningful activities every minute of every day
iii. Develop an organized, planned lifestyle with little chaos
iv. Set realistic goals yet keep your mark high
v. Think positively - you cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought vi. Avoid needless worry over trifling matters
vii. Devote time to fun
viii. Develop a warm, outgoing personality with a sincere love of people
ix. Get in the habit of giving more than receiving
x. Learn to live in the present. The past is water under the bridge of life.
109. Strive to be humble and live a simple life.
110. Read "A History of Knowledge" by Charles Van Doren which chronicles the history of
the world's ideas. In this one book is an absolute wealth of knowledge. Get it, read it and
111. Read "The Art of the Leader" by William A. Cohen. It is both inspirational and practical.
112. Develop that elusive quality known as charisma. The following are ten qualities of a
• Be committed to what you are doing
• Look like a winner and act like one
• Have big dreams, a vision and reach for the sky
• Steadily advance in the direction of your goals
• Prepare and work hard at every task you do
• Build a mystique around yourself
• Be interested in others and show kindness
• Have a strong sense of humour
• Be known for the strength of your character
• Have grace under pressure. (John F. Kennedy said that "the elusive half-step between
middle management and true leadership is grace under pressure.")
113. In work, love and life, play hard and play fair.
114. Do not talk when you are listening. Interrupting is one of the most common discourtesies.
Listen aggressively with the full scope of your attention. You will be amazed at what you
learn and how your counsel will soon be sought by many.
115. "Anybody can become angry - that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to
the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way -
that is not within everybody's power and is not easy." - Aristotle
116. Knowledge is power. People who have achieved great success are not necessarily more
skillful or intelligent than others. What separates them is their burning desire and thirst
for knowledge. The more one knows, the more one achieves. Great leaders have
techniques to allow them to arrive at the top of the mountain. Read the biographies of the
world's leaders and learn from their habits, inspirations and philosophies. Cultivate the
important practice of active role modelling.
117. All the answers to any questions are in print. How to improve as a public speaker, how to
improve your relations with others, how to become fitter or develop a better memory - all
aspects of personal development are dealt with in books. Therefore, in order to achieve
your maximum potential, you must read daily. But, in this age of information, you must
be ruthless in what you consume. Focus on your goals and read only those materials that
will be an asset to you. Do not attempt to read everything for you are busy and have other
tasks at hand. Choose what is important and filter out what is of no value. Begin with a
solid newspaper every morning for an excellent summary of the key events of the day.
Also ensure that your readings are broadly based. For example, perhaps you may wish to
read history, business, Eastern philosophy, health books etc. Then go to the library and
develop the habit of making regular visits. Read the classics from Hemingway to Bram
Stoker. Read history, with all its lessons on life and read biology for a new perspective.
Look under the heading of "success" at the library and you will be amazed at the
literature you will find: inspirational stories of people who developed greatness in the
face of adversity, strategies for improving yourself physically, mentally and spiritually
and texts to tap the unlimited power for success that certainly exists within us. Drink
deeply from such books. Surround yourself with them and read them constantly whether
on the bus each day or before you go to bed. Let them inspire and motivate you.
118. Get into the habit of breakfast meetings. An early meal to touch base with a friend or
business associate is a most pleasant way to start the day and allows you to maintain your
contacts in the face of a busy schedule.
119. If you live in a flat, always ensure that it is very bright and has a swimming pool. A pool
is especially important because it will allow you to exercise no matter how busy your
schedule. There is nothing like a refreshing swim after a long, productive day. You will
feel excellent and sleep like a baby.
120. "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we
have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are
what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
121. "Today is yesterday's pupil." - Benjamin Franklin
122. If you have a choice of taking two paths, always take the more daring of the two.
Calculated risk taking often produces extraordinary results.
123. Every day, get away from the noise, the crowds and the rush and spend a few hours alone
in peaceful introspection, deep reading or simple relaxation.
124. That which any person who has walked this Earth has achieved you can achieve with the
right mental attitude, perseverance and industry. Limiting thoughts and weak mental
images must be banished. One's focus must be on the attainment of goals that are truly
125. Get into the habit of memorizing beautiful poetry. Not only will it be a great source of
entertainment but it will quickly lift your intellectual functions to a higher level by
improving your memory, concentration and mental agility.
126. Keep your words soft and arguments hard.
127. Break the worry habit by putting things in perspective and laughing over small setbacks.
Repeat to yourself that "this will soon pass". Then take a sheet of paper, write out the
worry on your mind. Allot a certain period of time to think on it, isolate the precise
problem and formulate a powerful line of attack. By this practical technique, your
negative, energy sapping habit will soon be a faint memory of the past.
128. Be known as that person who goes the extra mile. The person who works longer than
others. The one who takes on the extra assignments and follows them through with great
success. Be the person who always has concerns about others and who makes family
members feel truly special. Be a standout, the one with a balance in both personal and
professional excellence. Be a star that shines brightly for all others to admire.
129. Become a committed and sincere networker. Cultivate new friendships. You will truly be
surprised where people end up over the years and how small, kind gestures will help you
later on in life. Treat everyone who crosses your path as if they are the most important
person in your world. You will certainly meet with great success.
130. When you look for something you will find it. If you constantly expect exceptional
success, you will surely have it. Peak performers attract success. You must keep the goals
you desire to achieve at the forefront of your mind throughout the day. Repeat your
ambitions at least five times a day and visualize yourself achieving them. If your goal is
to be rich, picture the house you will be living in, the car you will be driving, what it will
feel like to be rich and the pleasure of attaining your goals in life. Repeat your ambition
over and over until you have complete certainty that you will attain your desires and
eventually you will.
131. Develop a sense of wonder about the world. Be an explorer. Find pleasure in the things
that others take for granted. Stop and actually listen to that wonderful street musician
playing the trumpet. Read that classic book your father loved so much. Plan to get away
from the city next week and visit a secluded, powerfully natural place for a few days.
Take a mini-retreat and care for your mind, body and spirit. It will profoundly improve
the quality of your life.
132. Send cards on birthdays and little notes from time to time showing that you care and were
thinking about your relations. We are all busy but if you spend just five minutes a week
to send a card to a friend or family member, by the year end you will have sent out 52
cards. This is a small investment for the dividends that are guaranteed to follow.
133. Remember and use people's names when you talk to them. A person's name is a uniquely
sweet sound to them.
134. Go outdoors and look up into the blue sky for half an hour. Note the supremely strong
feeling that you get when you are connected to Nature. Get away from your rigid
schedule today and spend the afternoon in a beautiful setting. Walk in the woods and sit
by a cool stream. Go fishing or rent a canoe. Getting away from your routine will provide
a refreshing release and make you feel wonderful when you eventually return.
135. Once every few weeks, leave your watch at home. In this society we often become bound
to the clock and soon it governs our every action like a rigid taskmaster. Go through the
day doing precisely what you wish to do and for however long you wish to do it. Spend
time with that special person without having to run off to your next appointment. Savour
the moments and focus on what is truly important rather than those mundane things that
somehow take on a greater importance than they really deserve. Lose the clock and gain
some quality time.
136. Laugh at work and be known as a positive achiever.
137. An idea gives rise to a mental image. A mental image will then generate a mental habit
out of which a mental trait ultimately blossoms. Master your thoughts and you master
your mind; master your mind and you master your life; master your life and you master
138. Recognize the tremendous power of opposition thinking. This simple technique simply
involves the substitution of a positive thought each and every time a negative or limiting
thought enters your mind and begins to detract from your focus. For example, on a
Sunday evening, you may think "I wish I did not have to return to work tomorrow after
such a pleasant and relaxing weekend." Immediately replace this defeating thought
pattern before it begins to take hold by thinking the opposite. For example you might
think "I cannot wait to return to the office given the exciting projects on the go and the
wonderful sense of accomplishment I receive after a productive, challenging week." Then
think how fortunate you are to have a job and one that you can advance in through your
own efforts and productivity. Make a list of all of the positive attributes of your position
and repeat them over and over. Soon the negative pattern will be broken and you will
look toward the exciting week ahead with that most fabulous of qualities: enthusiasm.
139. Get deep into the habit of personal introspection. Ben Franklin called this one of the most
important strategies for personal effectiveness. Spend ten minutes every night before you
go to bed in self-examination. Think about the good things you did during the day and the
bad actions you may have taken which you must change in order to excel and grow.
Successful people are simply more thoughtful than others. Daily reflection will soon
allow for the eradication of your negative qualities (ranging from procrastination to
gossiping to insulting others) and will sharpen the mind. After steady practice, a time will
eventually arrive when the mistakes you make are few indeed and your personal power
will move to the highest level.