10 Secrets to Having Your Best Year Ever

We have so much to be grateful for and live in a time where we have the total ability to create our own destiny.

In order to create the life you were meant to live, I am including a great piece written by my dear friend Dr. Ken Druck for your benefit.

10 Secrets to Having Your Best Year Ever
By Dr. Ken Druck

There’s no better time than right now to think about how you’re going to make this year YOUR BEST YEAR EVER. Regardless of how good or bad last year was for you, we all have an equal opportunity to set the table for success and happiness this year. Here are 10 secrets to help make it happen:

1. Think of this year as ALREADY being Your Best Year Ever

An elderly comedian I know starts his show by joking about his age with the line, “When I wake up, it’s already a good day.” This moment/week/month/year is all you and I really have. The past is gone, the future is promised to no one and the present is here for us to live and hopefully enjoy. Making this your best year ever begins with the understanding that the most we can do is to take care of THIS moment, and the next, and the next. When we take care of this moment, the future takes care of itself.

2. Give birth to your “Vision” for the New Year

What do you see as the greatest expression of your life in the coming year? What could happen to make your life more satisfying, or simple, or prosperous, or healthy, or sweet – beyond your wildest dreams? Once you’re clear, write down your “Vision” on a piece of paper and/or bulletin board. Creation often begins with a simple, divinely inspired idea. Cultivate and nourish that idea daily. Now, try to imagine if your vision were to come true for the entire world.

3. Put Your Heart into It

“You gotta have heart,” as the song goes. Without heart, even good ideas rarely thrive. Take a deep (cleansing) breath, place your hand softly over your heart and finish the sentence: “My heart’s deepest desire is __________.” Keep asking and answering that question (alone or with a trusted friend) until it starts becoming clearer and clearer. While you awaken your heart’s desire (for yourself and for the world), allow it to crack your heart wide open. Now let’s gently shift the focus to getting your mind in “game shape.”

4. Get Your Mind in “Game Shape”

Again, take a deep (cleansing) breath, clear your mind and get mentally prepared for a fresh start. It might take a little deep relaxation, lighting a candle, taking a bath and/or listening to a soothing CD. Or try a little vigorous activity, like going for a hike or venting your frustrations and doubts to a trusted friend in order to get your mind ready for what’s to come.

Once your mind is clear, set it to “My Best Year Ever.” Dial in on what that might look like, using your imagination. See yourself feeling completely satisfied, excited about the future and loving what you’re doing. Take a snapshot of this imaginary moment. Allow yourself a glimpse into what is happening in your life that makes you feel satisfied and complete. Once you have a picture of what is going on, you are ready to make a plan.

5. Make a Plan

Masters of good strategy will tell you: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll get there. And if you don’t know what you want, you’ll get it.” Ask yourself, “If all goes well, what will happen? What do I dream about being and/or achieving? What do I really want in my life? As the desired outcome becomes clearer and clearer, sit down and make a list of “the 25 things I am going to do to accomplish this result.” Read your plan (and a backup plan just in case) to 3 trusted advisors for their feedback.

6. Get Started!

Put your big toe in the pool. Get your hair wet. Immerse yourself in your passionate pursuit without making excuses, justifications, delays and seductive distractions. Action and commitment build confidence and drive a result. Do something every day that brings you closer to what you want. Launch your intention, take action and direct your passion accordingly.

7. Work Diligently and Steadily

Reaching your goal takes as long as it takes, and often longer than you expect. Something almost always goes wrong and something almost always goes right. Count on it! Pace yourself and work diligently with fierce determination each day towards your goal.

8. Stay Flexible

The best-made plans and strategies have “what ifs” built into them. Set your expectations and establish a critical path to your goal with the understanding that life is not fair or orderly. It will take longer than you thought and you will likely need to improvise somewhere along the way. Flexibility will help you shift gears, explore the options and make good decisions.

9. Comparing Apples and Oranges is “Fruitless”

This year is this year. It cannot rival the memories of yesterday or dreams of tomorrow. Let this year unfold with its own special and sacred character. Comparisons fail to recognize the uniqueness and novel opportunities of THIS moment.

10. Show Self-Compassion

Nothing is ever gained by beating yourself up. Learning self-compassion is one of the most significant accomplishments of adult life. When your “best year ever” master plan has a hiccup, as it probably will, making the best of it. Giving yourself unconditional support can result in a healthy attitude of self-compassion and faith.

If you’d like to take this year to the next level, check out my FREE guide below.

Is the Las Vegas Syndrome hurting you?

One night I was channel surfing looking for something intelligent to watch on TV.

After several full rotations and Maria begging me to stop, I decided to stop at a station airing a Vegas poker tournament.

I know what you are thinking, however, on the TV screen I watched the commentators discuss whose odds were better than whose and why. Their in-depth analysis was amazing, especially since I didn’t realize how much you really needed to understand about the game if you were a serious player.

I was fascinated that even though 5 players were in the game, the announcers knew who had the best chance of winning after each card was dealt. They knew by the exact percentage point what the odds were of winning.

The cards dealt were totally random, yet each card altered the game by only one of two ways.

The first was obvious and could easily be seen because they showed them to you and discussed them to help you understand what was going on.

The second card however, was totally up to the players. Once they understood the cards on the table they could do whatever they wanted. They could do nothing and wait, they could up the ante, they could bluff, etc.

In any case, the player with the best hand who understood when to bet, when to bluff and how to calculate the odds usually did the best. This should not be a surprise.

What this made me think of is why do so many people go to Vegas unprepared in understanding the real odds of winning if they really want to win?

I think most people would like to win but expect to lose. If they really wanted to win, wouldn’t they become more talented and educated? I know I had a wake-up call because I have lost tens of thousands of dollars at the tables and each time my excuse was “I’m just having fun” or “How do you think they build these places”. I was justifying why I was losing even before I got to the tables!

The point I’m trying to make is this… what is your REAL attitude about making more money, having better health or having a better relationship?

Do you really want to do better to but never expect to?

It’s a question worth asking and worth pondering because it’s the truth. A lot of people hope and pray but never really believe that they can.

Please accept this post as my way of suggesting that you and I should hope and pray and expect to achieve everything we want.

Let’s not ask “if I can”, instead let’s start to ask “how I can”.

Create a magical life because you deserve it!

John

Go after your dreams despite uncertainty – A true story of mine

As the reporter left, I sat there with my head in my hands wishing I hadn’t opened my big mouth. Here I was, just 26 years old, telling an old home town reporter that I was going to build the most successful real estate company in the state in just 5 years, from scratch.

It really hadn’t occurred to me that the most respected and successful company in Indiana had been around for over 100 years. I had just moved to Indianapolis for the opportunity to build my own company and I didn’t know a soul. I was young, cocky and ready to claim my stake even though I didn’t know the difference between a profit and loss statement vs. an accounts receivable statement.

I had never balanced a checkbook let alone build and run my own company.

In any case, it was November 1986 and that’s what came out in the paper the next week because of the lack of control between my head and my mouth.

In the past when I got a bit ahead of myself, I just put my head down and starting selling. Selling was easy for me, building and running a company was a whole different animal.

At the time, our RE/MAX Of Indiana headquarters consisted of one executive office in a shared office suite setup, with a shared secretary that answered the phone for 15 or so different businesses.

Up until that time, I was a pretty successful real estate agent in Toronto Canada. I had moved to Indiana to try my hand at building something for myself, something that if I did it right, would provide me with a bright future and hopefully a chance to become the millionaire I so desperately wanted to become and wrote about in my goals 5 years earlier. Although I only went to grade 11, the wonderful mentors I had told me that I had within me more than school could ever do for me. For whatever reason, I decided to believe them, more than the insecure feelings I felt about myself.

So, with my insecure head up high and the RE/MAX concept as my ally, I started to set up appointments with managers and owners of every real estate company in the state. I started with the big boys first, the guys who were already #1 and #2 in the state and who were already doing billions in sales and had over 1,000 sales people.

The first meetings were disastrous, they politely laughed and escorted me out of their offices. Their attitude was, we already have what you are trying to build from scratch so why do we need you?

They couldn’t see past their own success to the future and hence were closed minded from the get go.

It wasn’t more than 4 months of daily prospecting and sharing my vision and story that I got a call from one of the top managers in the state. After our first meeting I knew I was onto possibly the first and biggest deal of my very young career. After several months of discussions we snagged one of the biggest fish in the pond and were on our way. Within 30 more days another unhappy manager called from the #2 company and he expressed interest as well. It wasn’t before long that he and another group purchased the franchisee rights to several more areas. This allowed us to gain credibility and traction.

At the end of the first, year we had 97 sales people at our awards banquet and we were off to the races.

No matter where I turned, everyone thought that we were going to go bankrupt within short order. That made sense since I later found out that two other people prior to me had owned the RE/MAX region of Indiana and both failed!

Regardless, in this case my ignorance proved a strength as I didn’t really care what had happened in the past. I was prepared to surge forward and build my company.

For me it was simply a matter of sharing with enough people the vision of a better future for themselves and then exceeding their expectations month in and month out.

The next challenge for me was to learn how to run a business and to understand all the moving parts. At first it was overwhelming, especially since I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

For a while it seemed as if I bought myself a job that was strangling me. Not only did I have to sell, I had to deliver all the promises I made, take care of legal, and make sure finances were in order. That was just the beginning. What it takes to build and run a 100 person operation is vastly different than a 1,000 person operation.

To help me deal with the growth and education I needed, I formed a mastermind group made up of some very successful regional owners in the RE/MAX organization. These individuals helped me shave years off my learning curve and saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars in mistakes. It also helped me build an organization that does 6 billion a year in real estate sales today.

I learned a very valuable lesson, specialized knowledge is worth its weight in gold.

From those early days of not knowing what to do, to today where I feel comfortable on stage teaching business owners how to build their companies while living an extraordinary life, it all boils down to finding what you love to do, becoming excellent at it and as you do, telling the whole world about it.

What’s the point of the story?

Go after your dreams with passion and purpose even if you don’t know how you’ll achieve them. The answers will show up along the way.

Wishing you the very best,

John

Your Powerful Brain

You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.
— Albert Einstein

Your brain—that three-pound hunk of matter located between your ears—is the most sophisticated, complex, and miraculous piece of equipment ever known to humankind. It controls everything you see, say, feel, and do. With such a powerful tool at your disposal, isn’t it your responsibility to understand how it works and how to make it work optimally?

Let’s start with some fundamentals.

…To finish reading, download the chapter, Your Powerful Brain with my compliments, from my  book- Having It All: Achieving Your Life’s Goals and Dreams.

Larry King and the San Diego Wildfires

I was once on a flight back from a speaking engagement in Edmonton when I got the call from Larry King’s office saying he wanted me back on the show to help people deal with the mental anguish of the trauma you go through when a life-altering event occurs. Even though I was asked to be on the show last minute, it turned out great. This was the third time in less than a year I had been on the show.

The interesting fact is that everyone has a different response when they are subjected to these types of life-altering events. Some people rise to the occasion and become stronger immediately. Others are in absolute shambles and may go into depression. What is the difference then between the two?

The main difference is how we have been conditioned to react to life’s ups and downs and the meaning that we give the event or circumstance.

While we were on the show Larry had one guest who was devastated at losing her home while another was grateful for having her life. She had also lost her brother in 9/11 and in contrast, losing her home now was insignificant. I had to ask myself how I would have felt had I lost my home. After careful reflection my thought was that I would be ok with it. I have learned not to get attached to my materialistic possessions and live my life in constant gratitude of the important things like my health, family and God. My wife on the other hand did not share my feelings, she was very distraught at the possibility of losing our home.

Can it be as simple as what we focus on is what we feel? The answer is yes, however, when we are dealing with loss, tragedy and pain, it’s easier said than done.

Our brains go into an automatic mode of protecting us and release neuro chemicals that enter our bloodstream and cause us to feel the effects of those chemicals.

As everyone has different reactions to trauma, the most important part for us to realize is that love, compassion and empathy is the best solution and to allow anyone who is experiencing their feeling to do so with absolute freedom and without judgment.

Time does heal and the right environment of friends, family and a great community helps.

I take my hat off and give thanks to the firefighters and thousands of other people who have helped all of us here in San Diego.

God Bless,

John