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Video – Author of the Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
by On July 31, 2009

In this video, Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, talks about the legacy we leave for our children, grandchildren and the world.  He speaks on how we can leave a legacy of joy, freedom and love. 

Read a Review of his book by the Freedom Personal Development Staff

Be Free!

By Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, at Amazon.com

Book Review – The Four Agreements
by On July 30, 2009

the-4-agreementsThe staff at Freedom Personal Development just finished reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and absolutely loved it. We highly recommend that everyone buy or borrow a copy (I have lent my copy out numerous times.) We loved it so much in fact, we are now reading the Companion Book.

The subtitle of the book gives the reason we enjoyed it so much, “A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.” Working at a company where Freedom is a Core Value, we felt this book was right on target for teaching how to live a life free of self-limiting beliefs that rob people of joy and create needless suffering.

The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that, when practiced, can rapidly transform your life into a new experience of freedom, true happiness, joy and love. It is a very short book at only 138 pages and presented in a language that is very easy to understand.

Here is an outline of the 4 Agreements:

  1. Be Impeccable with Your Words
    Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using your words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally (this agreement was one of our favorites)
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions (life changing agreement)
    Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always do Your Best
    Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick (physically, mentally or spiritually.) Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

To live out the agreements takes discipline and practice, but once you are aware of their power, your life will immediately change for the better. Once they become a habit you life will never be the same.

If you are looking for a personal development book that is provides simply, practical and easy to implement advice, this is the book for you.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this book too.

Happy reading and Be Free!

Buy the book at Amazon.com

PS – tomorrow we will have a video of the author of The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz, speaking on the legacy we leave the world.

To Win the Sale, Engage 3 Key Decision Makers
by On July 29, 2009

This article was recently in the Workplace Issues section of Monster.com and thought it would be of interest to all of the sales superstars that read our blog. I would love to hear how this technique works for everyone.
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Many sales reps think that somewhere inside their customer’s headquarters is a single decision maker. But today, even CEOs reach consensus with their direct reports before making important decisions, according to Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling.

Meet the Decision Makers

In a recent Selling Power magazine article, Rackham observes that decision making for the purchase of any significant product is shared by three individuals:

  1. The Access Owner
    This person is prepared to talk to you and give you inside information and access to the other decision makers.

    His/Her Key Question for You: Are you a credible solution provider?

  2. The Problem Owner
    This person owns the problem that your product addresses and will not normally be willing to spend time educating you about the organization.

    His/Her Key Question for You: Will your solution fix my problem?

  3. The Budget Owner
    This person has control of the money the problem owner needs to purchase your solution.

    His/Her Key Question for You: What’s the return on investment (ROI)?

Most major sales decisions are made if and only if the access owner says, “This guy can be trusted to deliver,” the problem owner says, “This product will fix my problem,” and the budget owner says, “This purchase makes sense financially.

Getting the Decision Makers’ Buy-In

Here’s a five-step guide to how you can set up this situation:

  1. Approach the Access Owner
    Access owners tend to be technical types. To recruit one, you’ll need to demonstrate that you offer significant value by providing dramatic insights into his company and industry. Here’s an example of what you can say to engage him:

    “I just read your white paper about framistats and was wondering if you might be interested in some thoughts about why sales of framistats have leveled off. I’d love to come by and talk with you about that and see if there’s anything that my company can do to help you get ready for the increased demand…”

  2. Convert the Access Owner into a Sponsor
    Once you’ve engaged the access owner, trade your expertise for additional information about the prospective customer and for access to the other decision makers, namely the problem owner. Remember, when you try to get the access owner to gather information and contacts for you, you’re essentially asking him to put his career and credibility on the line. Your goal is to act and sound like a consultant who adds value, as opposed to a talking brochure.
  3. Sell a Solution to the Problem Owner
    Problem owners tend to be managers responsible for a segment of the company’s business. Therefore, to complete the sale, your goal is not only to convince the problem owner that you have a workable solution but also to convince him to give you access to the budget owner. Ideally, your solution shouldn’t be based on what you have to sell, but rather on what the customer actually needs. The idea here is to play the role of such a great consultant that the prospect will feel as if he should be paying for the sales call.
  4. Sell the ROI to the Budget Owner
    Budget owners tend to be finance specialists. Forget about chitchat or product/solution presentations. Instead, focus on how much your product will cost, how the problem owner is convinced it will work and how long it will take to achieve an acceptable ROI. Stress the potential ROI impact of your product, and calculate and express this impact in multiple, valid ways.
  5. Close the Sale
    Once you have successfully worked through the previous steps, gather all three decision makers and confirm the sale.

By Geoffrey James, Monster Contributing Writer

Source:
http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/win-sale-engage-decision-makers/article.aspx

Be Free!

Dave Denis

Top 10 Words to Delete from Your Vocabulary
by On July 28, 2009

deleteWords are powerful because they shape our thoughts, determine our actions, and chart the course of our lives. This is true whether the words are positive, giving hope and encouragement, or negative utterances that steal our joy and confidence.

Wherever we are in our lives, personal relationships, or our careers, the words we have used consistently are partly responsible.

This fact can prompt us to become more aware of our words, and when needed, to change them, so that we can begin to get the results we really desire.

Recently, during a particularly challenging period, I discovered that I was using some of the following words far too often to get the favorable results I wanted:

  1. Can’t
    The use of this word is responsible for countless hopes and dreams lying dormant on the drawing boards of our lives. Completely eliminate your use of this word and you will see your life change for the better.
  2. But
    When used as a conjunction, “but” negates what ever statement precedes it. “I want to study medicine, but it will take a lot of hard work.” Your mind doesn’t focus on your desire to be a doctor or nurse; it only focuses on the hard work you need to put forth. Replace this word with “and.”
  3. Should
    Any statement that uses the word “should” elicits guilt. “I should have gone to the gym,” makes you feel guilty for not going. Replace this word with “choose,” as in, “I chose not to go to the gym because…” There is no such thing as should – it is or it isn’t.
  4. Maybe
    This word indicates indecision, doubt, or uncertainty as to a course of action. For example: “Maybe, I’ll better wait to…” for those of us interested in personal development, choose to use “maybe” sparingly. Replace this word with “I will” or “Will not.”
  5. Soon/Later
    Both of these words are indefinite in referring to time, it also shows a lack of commitment. Replace with a definite time or date.When someone tells you he or she is going to do something “soon” or “later” there is no way to determine when “whatever it is” will get done. Imagine what can happen to deadlines and you integrity when the words soon or later are used frequently.
  6. Someday
    This word, like “soon” or “later”, is too indefinite, and when it is used, it shows the same lack of commitment. Replace with a definite time or date.
  7. Never/Always
    These words are absolutes. There are only limited circumstances when “never” or “always” is absolutely true. The use of these words, in my opinion, suggests a closed mind, and personal growth is seriously hindered when “never” or “always” is used on a regular basis. Replace these words with a non-absolute term.
  8. Won’t
    The word “won’t” implies an unwillingness, reluctance, or closed mindedness, and, like “never”, it is quite harmful to our personal development or self-growth efforts. Using the word “won’t” closes the door on many of the action steps needed to advance our goal.
  9. If
    This is a small word that carries large doubts and uncertainties, and when used often, it gnaws away at our confidence and intended actions, two qualities necessary for any type of success.
  10. Try
    I don’t know about you, but each time someone has said these words to me, or when I have used them in conversations with others, whatever the subject of “I’ll try,” was, it rarely got done. Replace this word with “I will.”

Give these words serious thought before they are used in our “self talk,” conversations we have with others, or the written word.

We must remember this: Our words affect our thoughts, our actions and ultimately our lives, and because of their power, we must choose them with the utmost care.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Barbara J. Henry is a published author, (Journaling: Twenty Plus Reasons Why You Should Start Now), personal development expert, and avid reader of books on self-growth, self-help, and spirituality, which are the subjects of her blogs. Barbara has journaled daily since June of 1995, and as a result, she describes herself as “the journaling lady.”

Visit her web site: http://www.barbarajhenry.com to read and comment on some of her blog posts. Visit the Titles and Products page for a free copy of her very effective tip sheet: “9 Write ways to Solve Problems.”

Sorry, What's Your Name Again? 6 Steps to Relieve the Most Common Memory Worry
by On July 27, 2009

If you live in fear of forgetting people’s names, sometimes within mere seconds of being introduced to them, you’re not alone. Surveys show that 83% of the population worries about their inability to recall people’s names. Ironically, while most of us hate having our names forgotten or mispronounced, the majority of us claim we just “aren’t good at remembering names” or putting faces together with names when we meet people again.

If you have difficulty recalling names, you know that the two most common scenarios are forgetting the name instantaneously upon being introduced to someone new, and failing to recall the name of someone you’ve met and interacted with in the past and should know but just can’t pull up from your memory bank.

Forgetting names becomes more than just an embarrassing social faux pas in sales. Straining to recall a name can so preoccupy you that you are unable to fully pay attention to your client or prospect. He or she may perceive you not only as unfocused and easily distracted, but also as not very bright if you’re unable to devote your full attention to him or her. Even worse, if you forget the name of a client with whom you’ve worked in the past, he or she may view your memory lapse as a betrayal of trust, which can cost you a great deal of money if that client severs the relationship.

Integrating Learning Styles to Improve Name Recall

While common, this frustrating phenomenon of forgetting names can be relatively easy to overcome when you commit to taking steps to improve your memory. The most important key to really effective learning of any kind is understanding that there are three learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (physically interactive). The more you can apply all three of these styles to a task, the more quickly and solidly you will learn anything.

Practice each of the following steps to improve your name recollection in every sales and social situation.

  1. When you’re first introduced to someone, look closely at his or her face and try to find something unique about it. Whether you find a distinctive quality or not is irrelevant; by really looking for a memorable characteristic in a new face, you’re incorporating the visual learning style. And a word of advice: if you do find something that really stands out about someone’s face, don’t say anything! Within minutes of meeting someone new, it’s generally a bad idea to exclaim, “Whoa! That’s a huge nose!”
  2. The next step utilizes both auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. When you meet someone, slow down for five seconds, and concentrate on listening to him or her. Focus on the prospect and repeat his or her name back in a conversational manner, such as “Susan. Nice to meet you, Susan.” Also make sure to give a good firm handshake, which establishes a physical connection with the prospect.
  3. Creating a mental picture of someone’s name incorporates the visual sense again. Many people have names that already are pictures: consider Robin, Jay, Matt, or Dawn to name just a few. Some names will require you to play with them a bit to create a picture. Ken, for example, may not bring an immediate image to your mind, but a “can” is very close. Or you might envision a Ken doll. The point is not to create the best, most creative mental image ever, so don’t get caught up in your head during this step of the process, thinking, “Oh, that’s not a very good picture. What’s a better one?” The worst thing you can do when learning is to stress yourself out and overthink the process. If an image doesn’t come to you right away, skip it and do it later. You’ll undo all of your good efforts if you’re staring dumbly at your prospect, insisting, “Hey. Hold still for a minute while I try to turn your name into a picture!”
  4. Once you’ve identified a mental image that you associate with a person’s name, the next step is to “glue” that image to the person’s face or upper body. This bridges the gap many people experience between being able to recall faces but not the names that belong to those faces. If you met a new prospect named Rosalind, for example, you might have broken her name down into the memorable image of “rose on land.” Now you must create a mental picture that will stick with you as long as you need it and pop into your head every time you meet her; this should be something fun, even a little odd, that will bring “rose on land” to mind when you see her face. You might imagine her buried up to her neck in earth, with roses scattered around her, for example. Because you created the image, it will come up next time you see her and enable you to recall her name.
  5. At the end of the conversation, integrate auditory learning by repeating the prospect’s name one more time, but don’t ever overuse someone’s name in an effort to place it more firmly in your mind. Use the prospect’s name only right at the beginning of the conversation, and then again at the end; if you feel like you can do so naturally, you might insert someone’s name once or twice in a natural fashion during the course of the conversation, too. But if you’ve ever had a stereotypically pushy salesperson use your name a dozen times in a five minute conversation, you know how annoying, even weird, this can be, so don’t overdo it.
  6. Writing is a form of kinesthetic learning – you’re getting a part of your body involved in the learning process – so if you’re really serious about wanting to remember people’s names for the long term, keep a name journal or a log of important people you meet, and review it periodically.

Forget Me Not: It’s the Effort That Matters Most

The most important thing to know about this memory process is that even when it doesn’t work, it still works! For example, if you get stuck trying to make a picture out of someone’s name, skip it for now. The next day, when you have a chance, give the matter a few minutes of concentrated thought. If you still can’t get a picture, stop and take up the matter a week later. Even if you’re still unsuccessful at creating a mental image, you’ve thought about the prospect’s name so much, there’s now no way you’ll ever forget it! So you’ve actually accomplished what you set to do in the first place.

People can’t remember names for one main reason: they’re just not paying attention. This process forces you to think. If, for example, you struggle with the step of creating a mental picture, the other steps – looking at the prospect closely, shaking his or her hand confidently and repeating the name a few times – are easy to do, will solidify the name in your memory, and will ultimately convey a positive image of you to clients and prospects. That positive image will certainly make you memorable to prospects, enabling you to close more deals and increase your bottom line.

Be Free!

Roger Seip
Instructor

Video – Stephen Covey on Choosing Success
by On July 24, 2009

Click to Watch the Video

7 Habits of Highly Effective People author Stephen Covey on the role choice has in accomplishing and attracting what we want.

Can people truly change? Revinent themselves into more balanced, caring, productive individuals? Stephen Covery says, “Yes!!”

Covey’s first lesson to leaders is thay they are the productive of their own choices.

For instance, when asked, “Are you a product of nature or nurture,” Covey argues that neither is true. In reality, you are a product of your choices. You have the freedom to choose your response to both nature and nurture.

Leaders are not born or made, they are self made.

Be Free!

2 Time Management Questions to Keep You on Track
by On July 23, 2009

Time Management. What a funny word. In many ways it doesn’t really exist because time continues, we can’t manage it. We can only use it.So, how do we insure that we are using it effectively?

In my experience coaching people, there have been two simple questions that helps to guide people on how to use their time.

I encourage you to write these down. Pull out a piece of paper, right now, and a big marker and write these down and then post it right next to your desk.

#1 Is this the most valuable use of my time right now?

When confronted with that question, it’s usually not a difficult answer. Honestly, you know. You will know if you’re wasting time because the question is geared to you. Is this the most valuable use of time right now? By asking yourself this question, answering honestly and adjusting your focus when necessary will keep you on track.

In case there is any doubt if what you are doing right now is the best use of your time, ask yourself the second questions, which is:

#2 Is what I’m doing, right now, moving me closer to my goals?

One, this implies that you have goals. Hopefully, you do. If not, read some of the goal setting articles on this blog. You can also download a free copy of our goal setting worksheet.

For those of us who have goals, this question is very pointed. Again, you know if what you are doing is moving you closer to your goals. This helps you to weed out the things that waste your time. Sometimes we have projects that we believe need to get done, and honestly, they’re not that important in terms of the goals and directions that we want for our career and life.

Putting these questions in front of you and periodically checking in with yourself will keep you on track. It will keep you moving in the direction of hitting your goals and achieving the things you want in your life.

Is this the most valuable use of my time right now?
Is what I’m doing moving me closer to my goals?

Simple questions. Keep it simple. Move forward. Create solutions.

Be Free!

Leah Simpson
Instructor

PS – Be sure to enter our Time Management Contest to win 3 one-hour sessions of time management coaching.

How to Live a Life of Freedom and Grow a Business – Interview with Eric Plantenberg
by On July 22, 2009

Freedom Personal Development Freedom Personal Development’s president and CEO, Eric Plantenberg, was interviewed last week by Joe Abraham on Blog Talk Radio

Jay wanted to know how you can run a successful business and not let it run you.

As a business owner, Eric is a prime example of an entrepreneur that has walked the talk of not letting your business run your life. He has had the freedom to take months away from his business to travel the world while still maintaining an impressive record of sales growth. He shares a system for dismantling stress and living a life of freedom.

Eric walks you through the 4 questions that are essential for every business owner to ask and answer to cultivate joy and freedom while dealing with stressful day-to-day business challenges.

Many business leads have said that they quality of questions you ask yourself determine the quality of answers you will find for your business. Participating in the exercise and questions Eric shared during the interview will change they way you see your world.

Eric applies these 4 questions to an everyday business challenge – not being able to motivate your sales people. If you are having the same challenge in your business, Eric’s unique method will alter the way you approach solving this common problem.

Enjoy this interview and Be Free!

PS – Feel free to post any questions or comments for Eric.

25 Tips to Make You Smarter (Scientifically Proven)
by On July 21, 2009

Today’s Top Tips comes from www.psychologydegree.net.  They have done the research and have proven (and some surprising) ways to make yourself smarter.

Enjoy and Be Free!

What You Can Do

These activities all offer ways to improve your cognitive abilities, so pick up a crossword puzzle, drink some water, and listen to some music to make yourself smarter.

  1. Watch specific types of TV shows.
    Outlined in the book Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson, TV shows that include certain elements such as many overlapping plot strands, a relatively large number of primary characters, moral ambiguity, and no narrative hand-holding produce benefits for the views that build intelligence. Some examples of these types of shows include E.R., Alias, The West Wing, Six Feet Under, and 24.
  2. Play video games.
    Not all video games may qualify for this, but researchers showed that 9 and 10 year-olds who played Dr Kawashima’s More Brain Training on the Nintendo DS displayed “dramatic” results when looking at math improvement and classroom behavior. The number challenges, problem-solving, and memory puzzles are likely what makes this game different from some others.
  3. Social networking.
    According to a study reported in Discover Magazine, social interaction boosts synaptic activity, then sleep helps eliminate any unnecessary synapses, thereby boosting the positive ones. Granted, this study was done on fruit flies, but the idea is that by interacting socially, humans are creating more synapses, therefore increasing brain power.
  4. Ride a motorcycle.
    The developer of Nintendo’s Brain Training software, Ryuta Kawashima, conducted an experiment on Japanese men in their 40s and 50s who had motorcycle licenses but hadn’t ridden in years. The men were split into two groups-one riding a motorcycle to work every day and one not. The motorcycle riders showed improved cognitive functioning and they also indicated that they made fewer mistakes at work and felt happier.
  5. Age.
    Researchers have discovered that as the human brain ages, several processes begin to occur to improve the way the brain functions. Older brains have learned more, use more complex modes of processing, and the two hemispheres of these brains begin to work together more efficiently. The result is that when people reach their 40s and well beyond that, their brains are just beginning to work at peak efficiency, resulting in more wisdom and intelligence.
  6. Drink water throughout the day.
    Just about everyone has heard that drinking water is good for your body, but some researchers say that drinking water throughout the day keeps your body hydrated more effectively, thereby providing more of the benefits of drinking water-including carrying nutrients and oxygen to your brain.
  7. Get enough sleep.
    Getting the right amount of sleep (generally between 7 to 8 hours a night) allows your brain time to process the day by strengthening memories, and the connection between neurons, resulting in better recall. Find out your optimal amount of sleep, then engage in healthy sleep-promoting behaviors such as getting exercise and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed to help boost your intelligence.
  8. Listen to music.
    Several studies have shown a connection between listening to music can improve memory and boost skills in math and science. Listening to music also works to improve listening skills and focus as well as promotes relaxation.
  9. Practice dual n-back exercises.
    These exercises were created by psychologist Susanne Jaeggi specifically to improve intelligence and are now available in several games, such as the open source version from Brain Workshop or a paid version for the iPhone called IQ boost.
  10. Learn a foreign language.
    While most research focuses on teaching languages to young students, learning a new language at any age will provide your brain the opportunity to make new neural connections, which increases intelligence.
  11. Practice Transcendental Meditation.
    This form of meditation requires practitioners to sit quietly with eyes closed while chanting a mantra. Studies have shown that Transcendental Meditation can improve the performance of high school and post-secondary students.
  12. Stretch your memory.
    Learn from London taxi drivers, who must memorize all the streets in the city before taking on their job. Researchers have learned that these taxi drivers have a larger than normal hippocampus, suggesting a strong link between using memory and growing intelligence.
  13. Work crossword puzzles.
    Working crossword puzzles on a regular basis keeps the mind sharp and holds dementia at bay as well. Don’t worry if you think you aren’t good at them, start easy and work your way up to more difficult ones.
  14. Play chess.
    If you don’t already know how, learn how to play chess to help boost your intelligence. While many studies look at teaching students the game in order to help raise intelligence and problem-solving, it is also an excellent way for adults to do the same.What You Can EatGood nutrition is tied to both a healthy body and a healthy brain, but some aspects of nutrition have been shown to improve intelligence and protect brain function. Find out what you can eat (and drink) to make yourself smarter.
  15. Vitamin B.
    Vitamin B helps improve memory and mood. Studies have also shown a connection between mental decline in the elderly and a lack of B vitamins in their bodies. Eat plenty of foods high in B vitamins such as bananas, turkey, beans, lentils, and potatoes.
  16. Fish oil.
    Whether you take high-quality supplements, eat fish such as wild salmon, or both, getting fish oil in your diet is an excellent way to make yourself smarter. Research has shown that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are the best type of oils for the best brain function.
  17. Avoid artificial colors and flavorings.
    A study of one million students in New York showed that students who ate lunches that did not include artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes did 14% better on IQ tests than students who ate lunches with these additives. Eating naturally is not only better for your body, but helps raise intelligence, too.
  18. Matcha.
    This stone-ground, powdered form of green tea is a super-concentrated version of the green tea that comes in tea bags. This form of green tea is an excellent way to increase mental alertness, improve focus, and is incredibly healthy.
  19. Antioxidants.
    Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help improve focus, problem-solving, and memory by combating free-radicals in your body. The best sources of antioxidants include blueberries, red kidney beans, cranberries, artichokes, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
  20. Breakfast.
    It may be known as the most important meal of the day, but it is now considered the b
    est meal for your brain too. Those who eat breakfast each day show improved focus, memory, creativity, and overall performance.
  21. Ginkgo Biloba.
    This herb has been used since ancient times and increases blood flow to the brain and has been shown to reduce dementia, increase short-term memory, and improve focus.
  22. Avocado.
    Avocados have monosaturated fat (the good fat), which increases blood flow. Increased blood flow promotes brain health. Avocados also help lower blood pressure, and high blood pressure is associated with reduced cognitive function.
  23. Meat and fish.
    Eating a diet with lean meat and fish provides creatine for your body, which has shown to boost both memory and intelligence. There have been reports of athletes and students taking high levels of creatine supplements to get more mental and physical benefits from it, but naturally occurring creatine from meats are the best source for your body and brain.
  24. Ginseng.
    Long used in the east as a mental stimulant that improves memory and brain function, a study done at Baylor College of Medicine indicates that ginseng actually may protect the brain. In this study, ginseng protected the brains of rats from toxins that replicate the effects of diseases such as Huntington’s and may also hold a clue to treating Parkinson’s.
  25. Vitamin E.
    Vitamin E is beneficial to brain health as it works as a mild antioxidant. It also has been shown to reduce depression and to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Find vitamin E in nuts, leafy green vegetables, kiwi, and mango.

Source:
http://www.psychologydegree.net/2009/06/14/25-scientifically-proven-ways-to-make-yourself-smarter/

5 Steps for Creating a Reading List for Success
by On July 20, 2009

By creating a reading list, your reading will automatically become more directed, focused and intentional. By simply creating a list, you stop reading randomly, and start reading with intent. This alone will increase your enjoyment and comprehension.

1.  Ask yourself this question: what do you want to know more about? It could be sharpening skills for your professional career, a trend in your industry or a personal development topic. List all the subjects you are interested in.

2. Review your list and pick the top three subjects.

3. Now just for fun, add two more categories – fiction and biography. Why? Because all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. This makes 5 categories.

4. Select the actual titles to fill your categories. Here are some suggestions to get great books that are worth your time:

I suggest that you begin with just a few titles in each category. Three titles per category will give you 15 books. Plan to finish all 15 in a 12 month span. That’s a good start. If want to make a bigger list, go ahead. If you want a smaller list, that’s great too. It’s your list. But you need to have some kind of reading plan.

And certainly go with books that interest you and that get you excited. But don’t let yourself get too narrow. Select from a range of genres. Expand your soul by reading great fiction. If fiction just bores you, then read biographies of people you admire. Hey, if you are feeling very brave, you might even try out some poetry.

If you start a book and just can’t get into it…don’t sweat it. You won’t love every book you read any more than you become friends with ever person you meet. Just pick up the next book on your list and keep on reading.

So…your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to create your reading list. At least 15 books that you want to read in the next 12 months. Get your list together and post it below. I am sure we will get some great suggestions from people.

Be Free!

This article was written by David Denis owner of http://www.rocksolidwriting.com

David is a freelance writer for hire offering article writing, sales letters, training manuals, speech writing, seo content, sales writing, blog articles, copy-writing service, sales scripts and business name ideas.

To learn more, or request a quote visit http://www.rocksolidwriting.com/freelance-writer-quote