The Power of Focus

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9780091876500: The Power of Focus

The No 1 reason that stops people from getting what they want is lack of focus. People who focus on what they want, prosper. Those who don't, struggle. In The Power of Focus you'll discover the specific focusing strategies used by the world's most successful men and women. Find out how to: -Focus on your strengths and eliminate everything that is holding you back. -Change bad habits into habits that will make you debt-free and wealthy. -Create an excellent balance between work and family life - without guilt! Your ability to focus will determine your future - start now!

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About the Author:

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are bestselling authors and motivational speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the professional and personal development of others. They are the co-authors of many bestsellers including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Chicken Soup For The Teenage Soul and Chicken Soup For The Woman's Soul.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

FOCUSING STRATEGY #1

Your Habits Will
Determine Your Future

"It's so hard when contemplated in
advance, and so easy when you do it." —Robert M. Pirsig

Brent Vouri knew he was going to die.

The severe asthmatic attack had deteriorated into adult respiratory distress syndrome. To put it simply, his lungs had completely seized, just like a car engine when it finally runs out of oil.

The last thing he remembered that night was the hospital floor rushing up to meet him, then, total blackness. The coma lasted for fifteen days, during which time his weight dropped by forty pounds. When he finally awoke, he was unable to speak for another two weeks. That was good, because for the first time in years it gave him time to think. Why, at only twenty years of age, had his life almost evaporated? The doctors had done a miraculous job keeping him alive, when others thought he had no chance for survival.

Brent reflected deeply. The asthma had been a part of his life since birth. He was well known at the hospital after numerous visits to stabilize his condition. Despite having lots of energy as a child, he was never able to participate in any physical activities like other kids, such as skating or hockey. At age ten, his parents divorced and all of his pent-up frustrations finally boiled over. The next few years were a continuous downward spiral leading to drugs, alcohol abuse and a smoking habit that consumed thirty cigarettes per day.

He didn't finish school and aimlessly drifted from one part-time job to the next. Even though his health was steadily getting worse, he chose to ignore it—until that fateful night when his body said, "no more." With time to reflect, he came to this all-important conclusion: "I brought this on myself through years of making bad choices." His new resolve was, "Never again; I want a life."

Brent gradually became stronger and was eventually released from the hospital. Soon after, he mapped out a positive game plan to improve his life. First he enrolled in a fitness program. One of his initial goals was to win a T-shirt for completing twelve sessions. He did it. Three years later he was teaching aerobics. The momentum was building. Five years after that he competed in the National Aerobics Championships. Along the way he decided to further his education—first, completing his high school diploma and then successfully working his way through university.

Next, he and a friend started their own manufacturing business, Typhoon Sportswear Ltd., www.typhoonsportswear.com, specializing in producing apparel for retail chains. Starting with only four employees, the company recently celebrated its fifteenth anniversary.

Today it's a multimillion-dollar enterprise with sixty-six people and an international distribution network supplying high-profile clients such as Nike. By deciding to make better choices and create better habits, Brent Vouri turned his life around—from yesterday's zero to today's hero!


Isn't that an inspiring story?

Here's what's important: Life doesn't just happen to you. It's all about choices and how you respond to every situation. If you are in the habit of continually making bad choices, disaster often occurs. Your everyday choices ultimately determine whether you end up living with abundance or living in poverty. However, life never completely closes the door to opportunity.

Consistent choices lay the foundation for your habits, as youÆll find out in the next few pages. And your habits play a major role in how your future unfolds. This includes the habits you display to the business world every day, as well as the variety of behaviors that show up in your personal life. Throughout this book, you'll find strategies that can be applied to both work and home. Your job is to review all of them and implement the ones that will give you the greatest rewards. By the way, all of these strategies work equally well for men and women. They are not gender specific. If you havenÆt noticed, one of the most exciting developments in the marketplace today is the rapid growth of women entrepreneurs.

In this chapter, we've laid out the most important elements about habits. First youÆll discover how habits really work. Then you'll learn how to identify bad habits and how to change them. This will allow you to check out your own specific habits and determine which ones are unproductive. Finally, we'll show you a unique Successful Habits Formula, a simple but powerful strategy that will help you transform your bad habits into successful habits. Using this technique will ensure that you stay focused on what works, instead of what doesn't work.



Successful people have successful habits

Unsuccessful People Don't!

How Habits Really Work

Your habits will determine your future

What is a habit? Simply stated, a habit is something you do so often it becomes easy. In other words, it's a behavior that you keep repeating. If you persist at developing a new behavior, eventually it becomes automatic.

For example, if you learn to drive a car with a standard gearshift, the first few lessons are usually interesting. One of the big challenges is figuring out how to synchronize the clutch and accelerator pedals so you have a nice, smooth gear change. If you release the clutch too quickly, the car stalls. If you press down too hard on the accelerator without releasing the clutch, the engine roars but you don't go anywhere. Sometimes the car jumps down the street like a kangaroo, surging and stopping as the new driver struggles with the pedals. However, with practice, the gear change eventually becomes smooth and you don't think about it anymore.

Les:

We are all creatures of habit. When I drive home from my office every day, there are nine traffic lights along the route. Often I get home and donÆt remember any of the lights. It's like I'm unconscious as I drive. If my wife asks me to make a detour to pick up something on the way home, it's not uncommon for me to totally forget because I've programmed myself to take the same way home every night.


The great news is that you can reprogram yourself any time you choose to do so. If you're struggling financially, this is important to know!

Let's say you want to be financially independent. Doesn't it make sense to check your money-making habits? Are you in the habit of paying yourself first every month? Do you consistently save and invest at least 10 percent of your income? The answer is either ôyesö or ôno.ö Immediately you can see if you are moving in the right direction. The key word here is consistent. That means every month. And every month is a good habit. Most people dabble when it comes to growing their money. They are very inconsistent.

Suppose you start a savings and investment program. For the first six months you diligently put your 10 percent away according to plan. Then something happens. You borrow the money to take a vacation, and you tell yourself you'll make it up in the next few months. Of course you don't—and your financial independence program is stalled before it even gets off the ground! By the way, do you know how easy it is to become financially secure? Starting at age eighteen if you invest one hundred dollars per month compounding annually at ten percent, you will have more than $1.1 million tucked away at age sixty-five. Even if you don't start until you are forty years old, there's hope, although it will take more than a daily dollar to do it.

This is called a no exceptions policy. In other words, you commit to your better financial future every single day. It's what separates the people who have from the people who don't have. (In chapter 9, Taking Decisive Action, you'll learn a lot more about wealth creation.)

Let's look at another situation. If maintaining excellent health is high on your list of priorities, exercising three times a week may be the minimum standard to keep you in shape. A No Exceptions Policy means you will maintain this exercise habit no matter what happens, because you value the long-term benefits.

People who dabble at change will quit after a few weeks or months. And they usually have a long list of excuses why it didn't work out for them. If you want to distance yourself from the masses and enjoy a unique lifestyle, understand this—your habits will determine your future.

It's that important. Remember, successful people don't drift to the top. It takes focused action, personal discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen. The habits you develop from this day forward will ultimately determine how your future works out. Rich or poor. Healthy or unhealthy. Fulfilled or unfulfilled. Happy or unhappy. It's your choice, so choose wisely.



YOUR HABITS WILL DETERMINE
YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE

Many people today are concerned about their lifestyle. Phrases like, "I'm looking for a better quality of life," or "I just want to simplify my life," are now commonplace. It seems the headlong rush for material success and all the trappings of a so-called successful life are not enough. To be truly rich includes not only financial freedom, but developing rich, meaningful relationships, enriching your health, and enjoying a rich balance between your career and your personal life.

The nourishment of your own spirit or soul is also an essential requirement. This takes time to explore and expand. It is a never- ending process. The more you learn about yourself—how you think, how you feel, what your true purpose is and how you want to live—the more your life will flow.

Instead of just working hard every week, you will begin to make better choices based on intuition and instinctively knowing the right thing to do. It is this higher level of awareness that determines your daily quality of life. In chapter 10, Living On Purpose, we'll show you a unique system that will make all of th...

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