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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.

Who Are They To Judge

Matt does a great job here summarizing my favorite points in the book. I LOVE the After Action Review! Read on!

Matt Mielke

I just finished reading a short book from the LIFE Leadership development system titled “Get Er Done – The Green Beret Guide To Productivity” by Michael Martel, a former Green Beret (as I would expect).get er done book

It is a short, easy-to-read book with a lot of good wisdom. One section in particular is titled “Who Are They To Judge.” I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was not a typical chapter on critics and how to deal with them, as I had originally assumed.

Have you ever attempted to do something and have been questioned by someone, probably negatively, why you would do that? Prior to your friend’s query, you probably spent time in thought and prayer, studied the potential reward and consequences, acquired special insight and information and, with all positive intentions, decided to move forward and then, WHAM!  You get hit with seemingly unwarranted criticism, rejection and negativity.

In sports…

View original post 712 more words

You’ve Always Been Different . . .

. . . done things your way; sought your own path; and chased your own dreams. In fact, deep down, you’ve always known you were made for something great.

Now you’ve got different information, too.

Get ready for different results.

LIFE Leadership

LIFE LOGO Test 2

 

 

Life Business Approaches First Birthday

If it were a human, it would still be wearing diapers and maybe not even walking yet. If it were a dog, it might still be chewing the furniture.  But LIFE is a business and wasn’t forced to go through the awkward infant phases of existence. Instead, it’s first year is shaping up to be a very adult, mature one.

Here is what I mean:

1. The LIFE business launched on November 1, 2011 on an interesting premise: produce world-class information products that change peoples’ lives, and make those products available to anyone as a significant home-based business venture.

2. With it comes a compensation plan that returns in excess of 70% (with all incentives included) to those in the field who market the products (an industry high), and rewards performance, allows anyone to “pass” anyone else in accomplishment, and is excruciatingly fair. It can no longer be said that “life is unfair,” because “LIFE is fair!”

3. Also instituted right at the launch of the LIFE business was the 3 for Free customer program, allowing not only LIFE members, but also LIFE’s customers themselves to receive their product subscriptions for free once they acquired three equal or higher subscribing customers of their own!

 4. One Time Cash Awards (OTCA’s) were then rolled out for the start of the 2012 calendar year, giving thousands of additional dollars to performers throughout a wide range of business sizes.

5. Next, in April of 2012, Paid Incentive Trips were announced. Again, the shockingly low business level requirements to earn these trips is another industry first. Destinations include Disney World in Orlando Florida, Arenal Costa Rica, the Oasis of the Seas Bahamas Cruise, Sandals Resort in Negril, Jamaica, Maui Hawaii, Ocho Rios Jamaica, a Celebrity Cruise, and a Princess Cruise to Alaska!

6. Then, the LIFE business rolled out its flagship product, the Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC). Designed with complete life transformation in mind, the MFC encompasses many different media including books, audio, video, self-assessment testing, 360 degree feedback, accountability partners, goal setting, progress tracking, and more. The Mental Fitness Challenge is already receiving rave reviews!

7. Next came lower prices! The barrier to entry for starting a business out of one’s home was driven even lower by the founders of the LIFE business. One can now begin his or her own home based information marketing business for just $49.99!

All of this excitement has caused record growth in the LIFE business and is shaping up to be a first year to remember! As November 1, 2012 approaches, there may be only one little candle on the LIFE business’s birthday cake, but it represents a flame that can light the fires of many dreams as people have the courage to dream. May yours burn brightly!

You’re Not Special

Someone sent me the transcript from a commencement speech.  The title and beginning featured a slightly shocking pattern interrupt. In other words, they caught me by surprise. I found myself so intrigued I read further, and eventually realized that, unlike 99% of everything else I ever receive, I could not stop reading this. I have included it below in its entirety for your enjoyment and pondering. I love how it concludes, and think there are many, many fine points made along the way. Oh, if we could only think and behave thus!

Here it is!

Here’s a new one in the annals of commencement speakers. A teacher at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts gave his address to the Class of 2012 and blasted the students, telling them over and over, “You’re not special.”

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(Dennis R.J. Geppert/AP)

David McCullough Jr., an English teacher at the school, delivered his rather unusual speech:

Dr. Wong, Dr. Keough, Mrs. Novogroski, Ms. Curran, members of the board of education, family and friends of the graduates, ladies and gentlemen of the Wellesley High School class of 2012, for the privilege of speaking to you this afternoon, I am honored and grateful. Thank you.

So here we are… commencement… life’s great forward-looking ceremony. (And don’t say, “What about weddings?” Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective. Weddings are bride-centric pageantry. Other than conceding to a list of unreasonable demands, the groom just stands there. No stately, hey-everybody-look-at-me procession. No being given away. No identity-changing pronouncement. And can you imagine a television show dedicated to watching guys try on tuxedos? Their fathers sitting there misty-eyed with joy and disbelief, their brothers lurking in the corner muttering with envy. Left to men, weddings would be, after limits-testing procrastination, spontaneous, almost inadvertent… during halftime… on the way to the refrigerator. And then there’s the frequency of failure: Statistics tell us half of you will get divorced. A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)

But this ceremony… commencement… a commencement works every time. From this day forward… truly… in sickness and in health, through financial fiascos, through midlife crises and passably attractive sales reps at trade shows in Cincinnati, through diminishing tolerance for annoyingness, through every difference, irreconcilable and otherwise, you will stay forever graduated from high school, you and your diploma as one, ‘til death do you part.

No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism. Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue. Normally, I avoid clichés like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same.

All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.

You are not special. You are not exceptional.

Contrary to what your soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.

Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet. Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman! And now you’ve conquered high school… and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building…

But do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not.

The empirical evidence is everywhere, numbers even an English teacher can’t ignore. Newton, Natick, Nee… I am allowed to say Needham, yes? …that has to be two thousand high school graduates right there, give or take, and that’s just the neighborhood Ns. Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That’s 37,000 valedictorians… 37,000 class presidents… 92,000 harmonizing altos… 340,000 swaggering jocks… 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs. But why limit ourselves to high school? After all, you’re leaving it. So think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you. Imagine standing somewhere over there on Washington Street on Marathon Monday and watching sixty-eight hundred yous go running by. And consider for a moment the bigger picture: your planet, I’ll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe. In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it. Neither can Donald Trump… which someone should tell him… although that hair is quite a phenomenon.

“But, Dave,” you cry, “Walt Whitman tells me I’m my own version of perfection! Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!” And I don’t disagree. So that makes 6.8 billion examples of perfection, 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus. You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another — which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality — we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole. No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it… Now it’s “So what does this get me?”

As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans. It’s an epidemic — and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune… one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School… where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement. And I hope you caught me when I said “one of the best.” I said “one of the best” so we can feel better about ourselves, so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg up on the perceived competition. But the phrase defies logic. By definition there can be only one best. You’re it or you’re not.

If you’ve learned anything in your years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning. You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness. (Second is ice cream… just an fyi) I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know… how little you know now… at the moment… for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.

As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.

The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on YouTube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone… I forget who… from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression–because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once… but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)

None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

Because everyone is.

Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.

 

Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC): Challenge Yourself!

What is the Mental Fitness Challenge?

I was in the middle of my run yesterday and fighting to stay at it. If you’ve worked out much at all, you know what I’m talking about. You hit that point where your heart is beating, your sweat is flowing, your lungs are working, your legs are throbbing, and you just want to quit. It’s as if a little voice in your head says, “Go ahead, wimp out, slow down, stop, no one will know. What difference does it make, anyway? Just a few less steps here or there aren’t going to make THAT big of a difference in your health!” And on it goes.
To me, physical exercise is one of the best analogies for living life well. To be fit physically requires discipline, mental toughness, commitment, and persistence – in short, all the things that are required for living an excellent life, as well. Being healthy requires the ability to challenge yourself. And so does being successful in any category in life. And really, it’s at that sticking point, when you want to quit, when that little voice tries to talk you into wimping out, that your mental toughness must kick in and rescue you. As Orrin Woodward likes to repeat the famous phrase, “When the going gets tough the tough get going!”

This is what the Mental Fitness Challenge is designed to do to your whole life. Not just in the area of physical fitness, to which it most certainly applies, but also to every aspect of your life. The principles of successful living are the same no matter which category we care to consider.

How good are you at challenging yourself?

Perhaps the Mental Fitness Challenge is just what you need to give yourself the staying power to once-and-for-all develop healthy, happy, successful principles for life.

As Orrin Woodward says, “We don’t promise easy, but we DO promise worth it!”

Enjoy! And don’t forget to Challenge yourself!!!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady