The Top 10 Mistakes People Make With Their Finances

The Life Wealth Habits subscription was created to supplement the information taught in the Financial Fitness Program. It provides monthly, on-going training sessions to help people develop the long-term habits of the wealthy, and equips students with the knowledge needed to thrive in any economy.

wealth

In a recent Wealth Habits talk, Chris Brady shared some of the financial lessons he has learned over the years and formulated a list of the top 10 mistakes people make with their finances.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. People don’t understand what money is actually for.
    • Many people think that money is something that you earn and then you’re suppose to spend it on something that you want.
    • In America, we use something called credit in order to amplify our buying power in order to live a life bigger than what we’ve actually earned.
    • Money is actually security!
      • Money can buy you safety. It can bring you prosperity for the future. You can actually make money that goes out and gets you MORE money. You can have money be your slave instead of you being a slave to money.
    • Money is a stewardship.
      • Money is a tremendous gift and it can do great things in people’s lives. We should be generous with our money in order to help others.
    • Money is the fuel that helps you live your life’s purpose.
      • Money is an enabler of your God-given purpose, and if you waste it, you won’t be able to do the things you are destined to accomplish in life.
  2. People GET IN and STAY IN consumer debt.
    • People fall for short-term gratification.
    • People fall for materialism and status (everyone around them is doing it).
    • People buy-in to the middle class mania that says debt is not only acceptable, but it’s actually necessary.
      1. For example: mortgages, student loans, credit cards…
    • When you get sucked into consumer debt, you become somebody else’s asset.
  3. They listen to the wrong people.
    • Be careful who you listen to. They might be broke.
    • Your income and lifestyle will be an average of the 5 people you hang out with the most.
      • You don’t want to adopt broke thinking.
    • Even worse, sometimes we can get caught into listening to people who are incentivized to give us advice that isn’t in our best interest. Their agenda may not match our agenda.

      “Be careful who you listen to. They might be broke!” – Chris Brady

  4. People spend where they should economize, and they economize where they should spend.
    • They don’t invest in themselves.
      • More often than not, people aren’t doing anything to invest in themselves. They aren’t growing personally, they’re not involved in increasing their skills and ability to do better in life.
    • People let things fall through the cracks.
      • For example: Some people don’t have the proper insurance in their life. They have children but they don’t have life insurance. They’re driving around without auto insurance. BUT, they have the latest iPad.
      • People skip or go delinquent on their taxes.
      • People don’t set money aside to try to generate more cash flow.
      • People will sometimes skimp (tighten up) on little purchases and then binge on a big purchase.
        1. For example: They’ll put their wife on a $5/wk allowance and then go splurge on a Corvette.
  5. They don’t respect and cultivate cash flow.
    • Cash flow is much more important than capital gain and it’s more steady and reliable.
    • You should always look at the ways money can generate more cash flow. Get money working for you.
  6. They don’t save enough and they don’t have an emergency fund.
    • Some statistics:
      1. According to a Federal Reserve Report, nearly half of Americans couldn’t cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing the money or selling something.
      2. More than half of households have less than one month’s worth of income in a readily available savings account.
      3. Many people have no savings account at all. In fact, almost 30% report having a $0 balance. 62% of people have less than $1,000 in savings. An additional 21% (1 out of 5 people) report having no savings account at all.
      4. More than 25% of people between the ages of 50 and 64 have not even begun saving for retirement.
      5. An estimated 38 million households in the United States live hand to mouth. Meaning they spend every penny of their paycheck.
  7. They don’t save the RIGHT way.
    • They don’t diversify their savings. They have a 401K plat at work and that’s all they have.
    • People hand their money to someone who doesn’t have the same agenda that they do.
      1. They save and put money away but then they pay too much in fees and expenses. They buy into the pop literature of the latest mutual fund and they end up paying huge front-end dollars. Or, they hand their money to some slick guy in a suit who promises to manage their money for them but in the fine print it ends up costing them a lot of money.
  8. They get fleeced by “experts.”
    • They put their money in the hands of someone who has more control over it than they do (because it may be in an area they don’t have any expertise in).
      1. NO ONE will ever care as much about your money as you do!
      2. Don’t ever turn your back on your own money- no one will ever watch it like you’ll watch it.
  9. They don’t stay with an investment plan long-term.
    • The power of compounding gets amazing over time. You want to give it “that time” for it to work. But, for most people, short-term thinking creeps in and people take their money out, move it around, or change strategies.
  10. They don’t start saving early enough, go in hard enough, or stick with it over time.
    • For the older generation, you may think it’s too late to start saving…but it’s never too late.
    • “The single most important thing you can do to achieve financial security is to begin a regular savings program and start it as early as possible. It’s critically important to start saving now! Trust in time, rather than timing.” – Burton Makiel
    • You can only get poor quickly. To get rich (by investing or saving money), it will go slowly, and you have to start now. Slow and steady wins the race.
    • Maximize how much you invest or put in. There is power in putting in as much as possible, as soon as possible, because the power of compounding takes off even more.
      1. For example: One person puts in $20/month for 40 years into an investment and another person puts in $100/month for 40 years- both with a 9% return. The person who put in $20/month will have $94,330 at the end of 40 years. However, the person who invested $100/month for 40 years has $471,650!

We’ve all probably messed up in one of these, but every one of these is under our control. If you can gain control of all 10 of these, you will not only beat the Financial Matrix, you can beat the investment matrix and you can live the life you’ve always wanted.

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)

The information presented on this blog and in any of its videos is for general educational purposes only, and provides information the authors believe to be accurate on the subject matter covered.  It is presented here with the understanding that neither the authors nor the publisher are providing advice for any particular portfolio or for any individual’s particular situation, or rendering investment advice or other professional services such as legal or accounting advice.  If expert advice in areas that include investment, legal, and accounting are needed, please seek a competent professional’s services.

This publication may make reference to performance data collected over various periods of time.  Remember that past results do not guarantee future performance.  Performance data, as well as laws and regulations, change over time, which could affect the applicability of the information presented on this blog and its videos.  Any data presented herein is used merely to illustrate the underlying principles.

This blog and its videos are not to serve as the basis for any financial decision or as a recommendation of any specific investment.

No warranty is made with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, and both the authors and the publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this blog and its videos.

Developing Kids Who Love to Read

As I was packing up boxes and boxes of books for their move across town last year, a thought struck me several times, I don’t think I have ever met anyone with so many books!

delilah-on-book-boxes

Delilah on top of the book boxes

Literally thousands of books filled the bookshelves of their basement library, with boxes stacked from floor to ceiling. A week into the project, just when I thought the book packing was complete, I was told there was another library…upstairs. I couldn’t imagine! Hundreds more books overflowed on the shelves of the kids’ library; amazing!

My position as a 3rd party writer for this article is truly unique in that I have seen Chris Brady and Terri Brady live exactly what they teach. Not only are they fervent readers themselves, but all four of their children LOVE to read!

It seems appropriate then that one of the most popular Life parenting audios the Brady’s have recorded to date is about reading.

So, for those of you who have children (or plan to have children one day), Chris and Terri Brady offer some tips below that may be helpful to you on your own parenting journey of developing kids who love to read.

“It goes beyond just getting kids to read. The real goal is to help them fall in love with reading. Not just become kids who read, but become kids who LOVE to read.” – Chris Brady

Here are some of the things we did to help our children learn to love reading.

First, what we didn’t do:

  • We didn’t make TV or video games a first option for entertainment. We made books the #1 thing!
    • We had to make the decision to change our habits to ‘not have visual media’ vs. the habit to ‘have visual media.’
      • Once in a while visual media as a treat is okay, but not as a habit.
  • We didn’t let our children watch TV or play video games which then opened the door for them to entertain themselves with reading as their first option when they were looking for something to do.
    • Reading isn’t just part of their lives, but a BIG part of their lives – to the point that they want to grow and change with it.

Some of the things we did do:

  • We read to them even as babies. It created a habit where they just became used to the concept.
  • Regardless of whether they were even paying attention, we just READ (out loud)!
  • When they grew out of the nap time stage, we developed a ‘quiet time’ in their day.
    • cb-and-cmWe would read two books together and then leave the pile of books on the floor for them and walk out of the room.
    • The kids were then able to make the choice themselves- did they want to nap or read books? 
  • Once they grew out of quiet time stage, we created a habit of ‘reading time’ instead.  
  • We would take our kids to used book stores, and we still do even as they’ve gotten older. 
  • We ask questions about the books that they are reading. 
  • We set reading goals with our kids.

How YOU can personally impact your kid’s love for reading:

  • Be the example.
    • Instead of picking up your phone when you are waiting in the car, at a doctor’s appointment, or at halftime of the soccer game- pick up a book. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
  • Read a book out loud as a family.
    • In the car, by the fire, etc.
  • Don’t worry so much about how organized your bookshelves are. The books that get read are the books that are on the table.
  • Set a timer.
    • For example: 15 minutes of “mom’s choice” books and then the rest of the hour “your choice” books.
  • Take trips to the library.
    • There’s so much fruit in the library that you can harvest.
    • Set a timer here too, if necessary.
  • For road trips, instead of watching DVD’s in the car, buy your kid’s book lights so they can read at night.

“When I got rid of all my excuses I had for NOT reading and made them reasons TO read, I learned that it helped me influence my children to love reading.” – Terri Brady

nate-and-casey

A few more thoughts…

  1. Be sure to elevate reading as a great concept in and of itself and make reading the reward (and not the drudgery) that leads to a different reward.
  2. Our reading should be guided by our desire to grow as leaders fashioning us into becoming better people, and that should be the goal for our children as well.
  3. Helping your kid’s learn to fall in love with reading is one of the most important tools they will need to be successful.

Finally, by implementing a few of these behaviors, your kid’s will eventually discover on their own that reading is a joyous and rewarding activity. Once you lead the horse to water and you get him drinking, he will keep drinking, and that’s what we have seen with our own children.

Reading is important in the life of adults for sure, and if that’s true, then we should strive to cultivate reading in the lives of our children as well. We will then reap the blessing of watching the fruit grow as a result. Developing kids who love to read is a great stewardship, a great responsibility, and a great blessing and joy all by itself.

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)

 

Life Leadership’s “You, Inc.” Financial Hierarchy or Pyramid

Proper Financial Fitness begins with mastering the Defense, Offense, and Playing Field of money.  For the many satisfied customers (click here and scroll down for textual, audio, and video testimonials) of Life’s Financial Fitness suite of products and services, this is exactly what they have discovered and put to good use.

But there IS more.

Just what do you do with the money once you stop being scammed as a victim of debt and start to instead enjoy the thrill ride of having extra money at the end of the month?  Where do you put it? How do you go about determining which investments might be right for you?

In this quick video shot several months ago in the hot Florida sun, I try to give a quick fly-by of how we present the answers to these questions in our new addition to the series: the Beyond Financial Fitness program.  It covers the concept of the “You, Inc. Hierarchy” or Pyramid of priority for your money.

I hope you enjoy the video, and more importantly, that you find the information useful!

God bless!

Chris Brady

The information presented on this blog and in any of its videos is for general educational purposes only, and provides information the authors believe to be accurate on the subject matter covered.  It is presented here with the understanding that neither the authors nor the publisher are providing advice for any particular portfolio or for any individual’s particular situation, or rendering investment advice or other professional services such as legal or accounting advice.  If expert advice in areas that include investment, legal, and accounting are needed, please seek a competent professional’s services.

This publication may make reference to performance data collected over various periods of time.  Remember that past results do not guarantee future performance.  Performance data, as well as laws and regulations, change over time, which could affect the applicability of the information presented on this blog and its videos.  Any data presented herein is used merely to illustrate the underlying principles.

This blog and its videos are not to serve as the basis for any financial decision or as a recommendation of any specific investment.

No warranty is made with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, and both the authors and the publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this blog and its videos.

How to Master the Skill of Not Quitting

chris-brady-quoteChris Brady gave a talk recently that laid the foundation for a basic skill that all leaders must learn if they wish to succeed at anything; it’s the skill of Not Quitting.

Brady states, “If a person can master the skill of not quitting, they will ‘make it’ in any endeavor they pursue in life.”

Orrin Woodward has a similar mantra to define this concept: Start Starting and Quit Quitting! Woodward states: “The biggest breakthroughs occur when a person refuses to quit notwithstanding the present dismal results. Persistence in a just cause through numerous failures builds character and determines whether a person joins the ranks of perpetual winners or perpetual quitters in life.”

To further this discussion, I am going to borrow a parable taken directly from Chris Brady’s leadership blog, which is a perfect parallel to introduce the subject: How to Master the Skill of Not Quitting.

There is an old story about a fisherman who believes he has died and gone to Heaven as he catches one perfect 2 lb trout after another.  As he sets his fly and hooks into yet one more, he can’t fathom his good fortune.  The sky is blue, the weather ideal, the fish biting like he’s never before experienced, and everything is absolutely perfect.  It is not long, however, before the realization dawns on him that he is not in Heaven at all.  Instead, as the boredom and the pointlessness settle in on him, he realizes he’s actually in Hell.

It’s hard to describe just how hard this little parable hit me the first time I heard it.  In one moment it erased all my whiny complaints about how difficult and elusive success seems to be.  The trout fisherman in Hell story is so extreme, so seemingly ridiculous, that we are confronted with a strange and brutal fact: we may hate opposition and struggle, but it is critical for our mental health.  Without the struggle, we would feel no joy in victory.

To transcribe and somewhat summarize Brady’s words, here is the basic premise, taken directly from his talk:

The truth is, we think we want everything to be roses and sunshine all of the time; we think that we want to cast our line and catch a trophy trout every single time; we think we want our life to be smooth and easy. And we try to do all of these things to eliminate obstacles and pain from our lives. We recoil from stress and calamity, thinking that somehow we should avoid it. However, what we think we want and what we actually need are two very different things. What we actually need is resistance, obstacles, and challenges, in order to appreciate the triumph.

“Adversity is the canvas upon which you paint your greatness.” – Chris Brady

Not quitting in the face of adversity is actually a skill; the ability to persevere against all odds is a skill; and quitting is a natural temptation for any worthwhile endeavor you’ll ever pursue. You’ll be tempted to quit any business you ever start and any relationship you ever find yourself in. So how do we protect ourselves from the temptation to quit? First, it’s important to define the different types of quits in order to develop awareness for ourselves.

Here are the 3 different types of quits to be mindful of:i-quit

  • The temper tantrum quit
    • The dramatic: “That’s it; I’ve had it; I’m done!!”
  • The slow fade quit
    • You slowly let your light go down to a dim and you just back off slowly.
    • You don’t admit to yourself that you’re quitting, but you’re backing off.
    • You start to make little compromises that start to stack up.
  • The just for now quit
    • Just until the kids get done with hockey season…
    • Just until after the holidays…

So now that we’ve identified the different types of quits, on a deeper level it’s even more important to be cognizant of the reasons that make you feel like quitting. Here are just a few:

  • You get to a point where you feel like you can’t do it anymore.
  • Someone else quit and it influences your decision.
    • Don’t let their decision undo your decision when your decision to start didn’t even involve them.
  • Justification (I gave it my best shot)
  • I’m not as successful as I thought I’d be by now.
    • You may have started with an unrealistic expectation of what you could do and/or an over-confident expectation of what you were capable of in the beginning.
  • I’ve invested so much already.
  • It’s harder than I thought.
    • It may be because you don’t come from a language of excellence. Excellence is always harder than you thought!
  • Criticism (Someone made fun of me)
  • Someone hurt my feelings OR I’ve been wronged.
    • These are usually little tiny rubs that start to stack up in your head about people. Somehow your rights are being violated and you get offended and your feelings get hurt (different than criticism).
  • I came across some negative and now I have doubts.

Have you ever succumbed to one of these reasons for quitting? I know I have. So we dig deeper…

Brady identifies three phases of mastery: ignorance, immersion, and intelligence. To paraphrase, he says that in order to protect yourself from the temptation to quit in the face of adversity, you have to learn how to personally manage yourself in the immersion phase.

Think about it, once you get immersed in something, that’s when you start to get hit with reality. He shares the example of marriage; in the ignorance phase you are excited and everything is bliss. You don’t see all of the potential calamities that are about to arise. But, immersion is different. It can be overwhelming; it can become unsettling and complex. And it’s how you manage yourself in the complexity and pressure that will determine how far you make it. Further, he says that the secret to maximizing your success in the immersion stage is to stay in touch with the wonder of your discovery.

Unfortunately, the direct result of what happens when you don’t have proper personal management is……….quitting. And it’s a travesty.

The travesty of quitting:

  • You pull yourself out of the immersion stage and you put yourself back into some new ignorant stage, thereby surrendering any of the value, progress, and distance you made through the previous immersion stage. Essentially, you have to start over new somewhere else.
  • Quitting is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
  • Quitting starts a pattern in your life that gets hard to stop. Naturally, people follow down the same path with the same patterns in everything they start to do. The loss of time after quitting in the immersion step is never redeemable. You can’t get that time back. When you quit something, you’ve lost your investment.

“The key to long term success is to cultivate and keep alive that sense of wonder at the immersion step. If you can master that, you can master your craft.” – Chris Brady

Here are 9 practical steps Brady gives that you can do to prevent yourself from quitting (or to quit quitting, as Orrin Woodward describes):

  1. When you’re feeling down, when your tank is low, take positive action immediately!
  2. Listen to informational reinforcements (audios)
  3. Refresh the “deep” dreams (cause, purpose, and legacy)
  4. Envision your future – you only get what you picture.
  5. Don’t fall for the false illusion of unknown alternatives.
  6. Get around other leaders.
    • You don’t just need informational reinforcements, you need relational reinforcements!
  7. Focus only upon what you can control and disregard all the rest.
  8. Know how to repair yourself.
    • In times of being down, sometimes you need to get around people because people charge you up, others of you may need to get away from people because people drain you. You need to know which one you are.
  9. When you need to repair yourself, postpone all decisions. Allow yourself to not make decisions when you’re tired, sick, hungry, or frustrated, no matter how impending the decision is or what the deadline is. Don’t make any decisions until you’ve resurfaced as yourself once again.

There you have it. Learn to develop the skill of Not Quitting by applying some of Brady’s advice and you will be on your way to achieving success in every venture that you ever pursue.

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)

A Rascal’s Battle Plan: The Productive Loop

In Chris Brady’s book, Rascal, he lays out the foundation of a leader’s journey toward success and some of the roadblocks that can happen along the way. Brady calls this process: The Productive Loop, and it can be found in greater detail in Chapter 4 of his book. Here is an overview of the Rascal’s Battle Plan, as explained by Chris Brady. May it bring clarity and encouragement to your leadership journey!


There is a pattern of success for any Rascal choosing to be a force for good and seeking to achieve excellence and significance. It is called the Productive Loop.

the-productive-loopRascals start out ignorant like everyone else. They simply don’t know what they don’t know about a certain subject, and they may not even realize they are Rascals. But then new information finds its way into their consciousness, either through a good book, a friend, a life experience, or whatever. This new information suggests a path toward accomplishment, a route of opportunity, an idea to be tried. Immediately, though, upon receiving this new information, most Rascals, being Rascals, are skeptical. They take a mental step back to consider what they are learning with a critical eye. Eventually, however, that new information starts to make sense. This leads to curiosity. The Rascal begins asking ‘What if?’ questions, considering possibilities. From there the Rascal digs into the learning process. The learning curve is steep because the Rascal is learning quickly, happily gaining knowledge in the direction of this new possibility. Learning becomes extremely fun, because it is so relevant. This leads to excitement. The Rascal can feel the enthusiasm rushing into everything he does. This excitement, in turn, leads to the overcoming of fears. Things that in the past, without this purposeful direction would have held the Rascal back are now no match at all. Small trees are smashed down in front of him, hills are scaled, rivers forded, and mountains climbed as the Rascal is now in hot pursuit of a brighter tomorrow.

This spirited action leads to progress. Progress is one of the best encouragers known to man. Progress builds belief, confidence, and momentum. Progress lets the Rascal know he is on track; his efforts are making an impact, and his learning has merit. Therefore, he learns even more. He applies what he learns, analyzes how it affects his actions, makes adjustments, does more, learns more, and accomplishes more. He is in the Productive Loop. He is in “The Zone”.

Life in the “The Zone”

“The Zone” is a concept that describes a peak performer in a moment all their own, where they are doing exactly what God built them to do, to the best of their ability, with all of their faculties aligned and intensely focused. It is Michael Jordan in the closing seconds calmly hitting the outside shot to win the game. It is those moments when a champion gets to call on all the hours of preparation, planning, and practice and put it all together. It is a rare, true moment in life.

“Being in ‘The Zone’ is when one’s actions are perfectly in line with one’s purpose.” – Chris Brady

bradyThose in my audiences who don’t understand what I am talking about can barely even relate to a Rascal. They don’t speak the same language, feel the same impulses, or have the same magnitude of dreams and aspirations. They don’t live in The Zone. Instead, they live zoned out, and it’s a shame. The great news, though, is that nobody gets to choose for you. It’s all up to you. Anyone can choose to do what it takes to be a Rascal and perform to such a peak as to find himself in The Zone.  Don’t think that Obstaclès isn’t actively at work trying to stop Rascals everywhere from succeeding as a force for good. He is poised and ready at every step of their journey to throw up barriers and dig potholes. Obstaclès particularly hates it when Rascals are in The Zone, because he knows that in those moments his weapons have the least effect. As the old saying goes, “A dog in the hunt doesn’t know it has fleas.” Rascals are not bothered by Obstaclès’ tactics when they are in The Zone, focused and entirely committed to their task.

The Wimpification Process

Obstaclès succeeds in coaxing a Rascal out of the zone. It could be any of his weapons to do the trick, from fear of distraction to low self-confidence, to a failure in character, relationship challenges, or any of the others. Where once the Rascal was overcoming fears and learning and doing with excitement and enthusiasm, now the Rascal caves in to fears and falls into inaction.

The less action he puts forth the more his mind intellectualizes, becoming some elite thinker and never accomplishes anything. This leads to paralysis as fear sets in even further. Paralysis then leads to frustration. The Rascal starts looking at his or her lack of results.

Frustration is the moment of truth, of peak danger, a fork in the road. It is at moments of peak frustration where many Rascals leave the path of excellence never to return. This is where Rascal “wanna-be’s” turn into Rascal “has-beens.” They slip back into old ways, embracing the old vices and convincing themselves that it really isn’t so bad.

The final steps are justification and blame. Losers must always provide an excuse for their lack of winning. This begins with justification. It is a search for an excuse plausible enough to hide behind, first for the quitter, then for everyone he’ll tell. This justification rarely involves any responsibility on the part of the has-been Rascal. It is always someone else’s fault, or at the very least, it’s a situation that’s to blame.

“People will justify almost anything to themselves, when it serves their cowardice and covers their failures. Justification is the door through which character departs.” – Chris Brady

There is a name for people who were once on the path to becoming an official Rascal, but instead succumb to the slippery slope of the wimpification process and scorn Rascals and the principles for which they stand: Jackals.

jackal-for-productive-loop-article

Jackals become the natural enemy of Rascals everywhere because a Rascal’s example eliminates a Jackal’s excuses; the bigger the Rascal’s accomplishment, the more obvious the Jackal’s failure.

Revisiting the Fork in the Road

Let’s go back to the fork in the road where it all went wrong to see that even when things appear their darkest, a true Rascal still has a choice. Remember that the Wimpification process was caused by inaction, over-intellectualizing, analysis paralysis, and peak frustration. That is what brought the Rascal to the fork in the road. But by definition a fork has two options. It’s the other option chosen by the Rascal that makes all the difference. Understand: there is no shame in getting frustrated, falling into inaction, or having doubts and discouragements. It happens to everybody. Champions, however, keep these moments to a minimum and always find a way to pull out of them. How do they do this? By taking the other side of that fork in the road. At this moment we see the courage of the Rascal tested to the limit. They remember why they started out in the first place and refresh those dreams and causes in their minds until they reconnect with them emotionally. Having made the choice not to Wimpify, a Rascal seeks the association of other Rascals within whose company he can be strengthened and rebuilt.

Rascals encourage themselves by remembering that the worse the odds and the bigger the opposition, the better the drama and the more fascinating the story.  He goes back to the basic reasons he began this journey in the first place. He plugs back in to the learning cycle and starts to gain new information about the fundamentals of what he does while learning new techniques and methods that can improve his performance over what he did before. This new information leads to renewed excitement and the overcoming of fears. Then, action steps invigorate him and he feels his old strength returning. The more action he takes the more progress he sees as evidence that he’s made a wise and courageous choice. This progress fuels further learning and the Rascal has chosen himself back into the Productive Loop. Taken far enough with enough commitment, his renewed vigor might even lead him back into the highest level of the Productive Loop, that wonderful place called The Zone.

At this point, the Rascal is back! Obstaclès is forced back to the drawing board in frustration, planning his next attack with renewed hatred. And so the cycle goes throughout the life of a Rascal. Always tempted, always maligned, a Rascal knows his path is fraught with danger. He is a Rascal, though, because he presses forward boldly.

Rascals wage their individual battles against Obstaclès gallantly, knowing that their fight in the trenches has a tremendous impact on the overall battle raging in society.

“Rascals know that one person can and does make a difference, and strive mightily to do their part.” – Chris Brady

This will involve criticism and resistance, and may even result in the opposition throwing fruit! Undeterred, Rascals become a force for good and attack the status quo, striving to leave things better than they found them.

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, written by Chris Brady)

Focus on Abilities, Not Obstacles – Trystan Willems

My friend recently shared the story of a professor who handed out an exam to all of his students – one plain piece of paper with a black dot on it. There were no questions – nothing but a black dot. He then told them to write about what they saw. At the end of the exam he collected all of the papers and started reading each one out loud. Without exception, every student was focused on the black dot, what it meant, how it was positioned on the paper, etc.

After all of the reading was done, he said: “I’m not going to grade you on this; I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives.”

We all have this tendency to focus on what is wrong, what is different, and all of the obstacles in our lives, rather than focusing on the enormous white space – our blessings, our potential, and our abilities.

tystan-and-cb

At a Life Convention earlier this year, a young man named Trystan Willems provided a true picture of what it looks like to focus on the “white space” of life. Trystan overcame an enormous obstacle when he spoke to an audience of thousands of people… without even having the ability to move his lips.

Trystan was born with Cerebral Palsy which is a neurological disorder that affects body movement, muscle coordination, and impairs motor function. It affects all people differently. For Trystan, it affects his speech, his legs, his muscle tone, and his trunk. For years, he has been trapped in his own body.

Trystan would have every reason to focus on his obstacles, but he chooses not to. Instead, with the help of an advanced communication device that detects eye movement using pictures and words, Trystan is now able to speak and inspire the world with his positive attitude and outlook on life.

“Once in a great while someone comes along who deeply inspires us; smiling in the face of adversity, overcoming obstacles, and choosing to live a life of contribution despite the circumstances. Trystan is one of finest in that class of people who make us better just by being around them.” – Chris Brady

At almost every junction on the road of your life, both personal and professional, you have a decision to make. Will you let your obstacles stop you and dictate your life? Or will you charge forward focusing on your abilities?

Trystan Willems is a true living example of a person who is charging forward and changing the world because he has decided to focus on his abilities. Here’s his story (in his own words).

(Written by Kristen Seidl on behalf of Chris Brady)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Leadership Reviews

The Top 10 Reasons Not to Join Life Leadership

One thing I learned a long time ago was that we should never take ourselves too seriously.  I love the Life Leadership business, and I love building it.  I also enjoy working with the many fine people who make up Life Leadership around the world.  In a busy season, with lots going on, it’s good to remember to enjoy the journey, too.

As usual, when Orrin Woodward and I get together, no matter how busy we are or how many issues are pressing, we always seem to have some good old fashioned fun.  At a recent Policy Council meeting in Florida, we took a little time to shoot a fairly spontaneous video.  This was (obviously) a one take wonder.  It was inspired by some research I had read in a book by Adam Grant discussing the idea of “front running one’s weaknesses.”  I won’t play spoiler here, and will instead let the video speak for itself, but these really are legitimate reasons someone should consider before getting involved selling our products.  We think what we do is great, but of course, it’s not for everyone!

I hope you enjoy it.  I think it embodies our slogan of Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference!  Thanks for watching.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady