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Video – Inspirational "IF" Poem
by On September 24, 2010

In this video, Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem, If , is read by tennis great Roger Federer. The poem gives lessons on how to live life, believe in yourself, act with dignity and be a leader. Words to the poem below.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or, being lied about, don’t deal in sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, and, which is more, you’ll be a Man my son.

Be Free!

How to Erase Your Fears
by On September 23, 2010

There is one thing that more than anything else, holds us back from achieving what we want and desire.

I am talking about fear. Fear, in its various forms, is the biggest killer of our quest for successes, so why is this?

In its simplest terms, fear is an emotion that we experience through a physical response. I’m sure you have felt this physical response before: your palms sweat, your heartbeat increases, your body temperature goes up. This reaction was very-very useful to us, millions of years ago, when the things that cause this reaction in us were out to kill us, such as large animals looking for dinner.

But now, that emotionally based fear response has become extremely unhealthy. I say this because, in the modern world, 90% of the things that we fear are unrealistic to be afraid of. They either will not happen, or even if they did, the outcome would not be that bad.

Think about it, imagine you want to make a big sale, but you are afraid to make the phone call because you are afraid that the person is not going to be interested or they are going to hang up on you. It is not helping you to have this fear since this imagined negative outcome is not likely to happen or, even if it does happen, it is really not that bad. It is unrealistic to be afraid of those things.

But, here is the challenge. We still experience that response anyways. So how do you get rid of it?

Very simply, through the proper use of your but – that is the word B-U-T. “But” is what we call an eraser word. When you hear the word “but” in the middle of a sentence, it erases everything that came before it mentally.

For example, when you say to your kids or a spouse, “You know I love you but….” that person did not hear that you love them, only the phrase that comes after that. When your boss says “Hey, you have been doing a great job but…” you know something bad is coming. When you look at your goal and think to yourself, “I really want to achieve that but, I am afraid.” All that your mind hears is that you are afraid.

You don’t need to change any of the thoughts, just the order that they came in. So, when you experienced a thought like, “I want X but I am afraid.” Simply reverse that to, “I am afraid but I really want X.”

Which side of your “but” are your fears on? If they are before the “but”, you can erase your fears instead of your desires.

Try it out. Do it consistently. I promise you will see great result.

Be Free!

Roger Seip

Doing What Comes Naturally – Breathe!
by On September 22, 2010

Remember to Breathe!

In this article, I’d like to share with you a very important idea I learned while at a weekend retreat at The Kripalu Center in Lenox, MA. When our group of 40 gathered on the floor, our first instruction was to take a deep breath. Now this might sound simplistic, but I’m much more used to shallow breathing and hyperventilation.

I had never taken more than one or two deep breaths at a time and here we were doing them for many minutes. It was difficult to focus on just my breath. My mind so desperately wanted to multi- task and think of other things. Closing my eyes helped. I continued to breathe deeply when instructed, which was frequently during the weekend. When the retreat was over, I felt incredibly calm, relaxed and mentally clear. I could talk without searching for the right words and my thoughts were mono-focused.

Since then, I have taken up yoga and have begun to incorporate this breath idea into my workshops on conquering overload and getting back control. It is such a simple, cost-free and effective way to find peace in this crazy world. Here’s how to do it:

Try this:

  1. Sitting erect, place your hands comfortably on your lap. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen to feel the air entering and leaving your body.
  2. Breathing through your nose, inhale steadily, first filling the lower part of the lungs by pushing out the abdomen. Then fill the middle part of the lungs, pushing out the lower ribs, breastbone and chest. Then fill the higher portion of the lungs, protruding the upper chest by lifting the chest and upper ribs. Your inhalation should feel like a continuous movement, not three separate movements.
  3. Retain the breath for a few seconds.
  4. Exhale slowly, holding the chest in a firm position, and drawing the abdomen in a little and lifting it upward slowly as the air leaves the lungs.
  5. Repeat five times.

Congratulations! You have just taken a real deep breath. As you practice this, you will be able to enlarge your lung capacity so that you can inhale more air than you did before.

Remember to take complete breaths after intense concentration, to ward off stress and/or to just relax! You just may find the world just a little easier to live in.

Abby Marks Beale

About the Author:
Abby Marks Beale is founder of The Corporate Educator, a professional speaking and training company specializing in helping with busy people work smarter, faster and just plain better. Go to


Top 10 Questions to Ask when Networking
by On September 21, 2010

The power of networking is common knowledge nowadays. What’s not so common is knowing how to consistently and effectively do it. Networking is simple, but far from easy.

Whenever I’m speaking to a group about networking at least one person asks, “But what do you say (or talk about) when you first meet someone?” And someone else will inevitably ask, “What do you say (or do) when there’s a lull in the conversation?”

My response to both questions is the same. First decide if the person is really in the mood to talk to you. If you feel like someone doesn’t really want to talk to you, it’s no big deal. Move on to someone else.

If the person seems willing to engage in conversation then remember this. It’s one of the supreme laws of networking.

Make fewer statements; ask more questions.

The timeless advice offered by Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends & Influence People is that you “allow the other person to do a great deal of the talking.”

The easiest way to keep the other person talking and loving you the entire time is to ask the right kind of open-ended questions.


Because open-ended questions require more than a yes or no response and show that you are interested in the other person. These types of questions help to build and maintain rapport.

Here are 10 powerful networking questions – listed in no particular order – to keep awkward silence and fruitless small talk at bay. The insightful answers to these questions keep conversations moving once you get past “Where are you from?” and “So, what brings you here today?”

1. How did you get involved in…?

People like to tell their story. Give them an opportunity to do so while you listen attentively and they’ll love you.

– What made you decide to major in…?
– What made you decide to attend (name of school)?
– What made you decide to go into the ___business?
– How did you get your start in the ___ business?

2. What advice would you give me if I wanted to be successful in your line of work (or major)?

This is a great follow up question to #1. It shows your humility and allows for mentoring.

– What advice would you give someone just starting in this business/profession/major?

3. What do you love/enjoy most about what you do?

This question keeps happy feelings in the air.

And just in case you’re wondering whether or not it’s a good idea to ask what a person likes the least about what he or she does, the answer is no, unless you’re in the same line of work or major.

In which case, the answer will help you to find a common enemy IF you dislike the same things. If not, then disagreement ensues. My advice is to keep it positive whenever possible.

– What do you love/enjoy most about your business/profession/major?

4. What separates you from the competition?

This question gives a person permission to tout his unique abilities. Be sure to ask this question in a polite and inquisitive tone of voice so that it doesn’t sound like you’re challenging the person.

– What separates your business/company/organization from the competition?
– What separates your school from other schools like it?

5. What one thing would you do if you knew that you could not fail?

A truly thought provoking and inspiring question to ask. (You should ask yourself this question.) It helps and encourages a person to dream and when she revisits the dream there’s a chance that you’ll come to mind often. That’s powerful.

– What one thing would you do with your business if you knew that you could not fail?
– What one thing would you do if you knew you were guaranteed to succeed?

6. What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your business?

People love to share war stories, but seldom get a chance to finish them because others interrupt with their own stories.

When you ask this question resist the temptation to interject your own horror tale. Remember – “let the other person do a great deal of the talking.”

– What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced at your school?
– What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your organization? (e.g. Sorority or fraternity)

7. What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession/area of expertise through the years?

Great question for cross-generational networking because it allows a person to reminisce about the good old days. The following variations are good for upper classmen and graduate students.

– What significant changes have you seen take place at your school since you’ve been here?
– What significant changes have you seen take place in your major since you chose it?

8. What do you see as the coming trends in your profession/area of expertise?

This is a great follow up question to #7. This shows a person that his opinions matter to you.

– How do think your school will be different in the future?
– What do you see as the coming trends in your major?
– What do you think will change about your major in the future?

9. If someone were to describe you in one sentence what would they say?

Another very thought provoking question. Normally it is best used later in the conversation. You’re not interviewing someone; you’re networking.

– If some were to describe your business/company/school in one sentence what would he say?
– What ways have you found to be the most effective for promoting your business/organization/product?

10. It’s the end of a great week and you have some free time on your hands – what would you do?

This question will take someone to a happy place and help you to know her outside of professional or academic life.

– What do you like to do in your spare time?

There is no need to memorize all 10 of these questions. Just start off with the 3 or 4 you like the most. Master them and then give the others a test run.

Keep in mind that no question in the world will help you be a better networker if you are not truly interested in the other person.

So, be interested, ask questions, and let the other person do the talking.


About the Author:
Al Duncan: The Millennial Mentor™, is a World-Class Motivational Speaker, an author, and a renowned Youth Speaker. Visit him online at

The Problem of Using Force – and the Solution
by On September 20, 2010

If you watch nature, there are many events that take place that involve a high degree of power such as storms, earthquakes, tornados, floods, and all of them cause dramatic changes to whatever they come in contact with at the moment. And all of this happens without the storm, tornado, or flood caring about the results.

Many times we try to force a result, when if we just did our job to the best of our ability then the results would take care of themselves.

How we can use this to our advantage?

It starts with faith, and it is the faith that you will be taken care of no matter what the results. Faith that you are going to be OK and that everything happens for a reason, and even if pain is the result that it will serve you in time. Faith that you are not a victim and you are in control of your destiny.

Once that faith is secure, you can be open to any of the possibilities. Then when you are negotiating a deadline, closing a sale, countering their offer, finalizing a payment plan or anything of the sort, you can begin with the optimal end result in mind and not be emotionally attached to it.

Emotional attachment to a result is the killer of all negotiation because it is the root cause of force. Using force damages the relationship because whoever feels forced in any situation ultimately feels as though they were not listened to or cared about. Someone who feels as though his or her arm was twisted or forced into doing something will eventually fight back and that does not help anyone.

Being open to all possibilities means looking for the Win-Win in every situation instead of using force to get your way.

It may require more time on the front end but it will save time, energy, and the relationship in the long run. Be open to all of the possibilities that are in front of you this month and avoid forcing square pegs into round holes. Eventually you will find the place where it all fits together.

Be Free!

Tom Weber

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Video – Find Your Great Work
by On September 17, 2010

Steve Jobs said, “Your working is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” So, how do you find great work?

This video gives you five rules to finding your great work.

Be Free!

A Personal Chinese Farmer Parable
by On September 16, 2010

Leah SimpsonWho doesn’t love a good movie? Watching a movie, we can see people fight battles, travel through time, realize they are married to a spy, etc. However, all along, we know they are just stories. We enjoy the emotion they bring for a couple of hours; if they’re really good they get us thinking, we learn something, and then we continue on with our own life.

However, I find it interesting how easy it is to get wrapped up in a story when it is my story. I think back to the parable of the Chinese farmer, watching the ebbs and flows of his life, remaining calm and present, never holding judgment over “good news” or “bad news.” He kept perspective on his reality that everything is just a story.

A recent experience with an old, dear friend brought this concept to life for me in the most incredible way. This friend had been one of my very best friends since I was 14. She was the kind of friend that I shared everything with–my struggles, my triumphs, my faith, my frustrations with faith…I can’t think of a thing I wouldn’t tell her. And then we didn’t speak for 6 1/2 years by her choice. I had no idea why, I really missed her, and I tried hard to find her. Out of the blue, I got a very long letter from her apologizing and seeking reconciliation. It happened that I was going to be in her area the next week, and we went to dinner.

The amazing experience was what happened as I updated her on 6 1/2 years of my life. In other circumstances where I haven’t seen people that long (think reunions), the stories that are shared are usually the circumstantial highs and lows–what we do, when we moved, what our friends are up to, how many kids we have, etc. But not with Sarah; with Sarah it was the emotional highs and lows. In addition to the “good” stuff, I told her about the deepest struggles that I had faced, the darkest times, and the hardest moments. Some of the things I shared with her I hadn’t even told some of my closest friends that I have spoken to regularly through these experiences. As I lived through some of those “dark” times, I had literally cried myself to sleep.

Yet as we talked, it became so clear that they were all just stories. My personal “Chinese farmer parables” of “good? bad? who knows.” They are just the stories that make up the happenings of my life. Something that had left me crying for months a few years ago was shared without tears, occupying the space between getting my water and ordering tuna. The real heartbreak of these stories would be my inability to see them as stories; taking them as defining me (or others in my life), and not letting them pass.

So I thought, what if we could live through our own stories as if we’re watching a movie? We could watch what happens, enjoy a bit of emotion (the laughter and the tears), think about the lessons, and then continue on. Does this sound like a tall order? Maybe it is. But I’m convinced that there is a way to move away from the drawn out emotions that some of us experience. And I believe that answer can be found in gratitude.

In retrospect, and before talking to her, I had come to a place of gratitude for even the hardest experiences I have faced as I have seen where they have deepened me as a person, lead to greater blessings and better relationships, and helped me see the grace of God. But at the time, they didn’t feel so easy. I think if I weren’t thankful for what those experiences had taught me or resulted in, I wouldn’t have been able to share them without the same emotions I experienced as I went through them…because I would still be living them as I did when they were painful.

Also, as Sarah and I wrapped up two long evenings of “catching up,” she really knew me again. But she had no idea what I did for a living, what kind of car I drive, how many square feet my house is, how many shirts are in my closet, or how much money is in my bank account. It’s easy to get caught up in the tangible things of the world, but there is really little meaning there. Those things don’t define me, and yet we spend a lot of our time consumed by them.

So I leave this story with a renewed mission, to find gratitude always. “Be thankful in all circumstances.” This has always been my mission, but I see it in a new light. Maybe I knew conceptually before, and now I experience it as reality. And I leave that for you to consider…

– what stories in your life are just stories?
– what things are just things?
– what would it be like if you saw your stories as stories–experienced them, learned from them, and continued on?
– how would it change how you see yourself?
– how would it change the relationships that you have with others and with God?

Be Free!

Leah Simpson

2 Types of Pain and the Choice is Yours
by On September 15, 2010

Before you start thinking I have turned into a drill sergeant, let me explain.

There are two kinds of pain: the pain of discipline and then there is the pain of regret. You do not get to choose a life of pain or no pain. Instead you get to choose if you will feel the pain of disciple or the pain of regret – there is no other alternative – but the choice is yours to make.

When you are committed to growth, in your life, career, bank account etc, you will experience pain. On one hand, the pain of discipline hurts a little and when you experience it, it makes you stronger, healthier, and tougher. The pain of regret on the other hand hurts a lot and, when we feel this pain, it can injure or crush us.

For instance, if you choose the pain of discipline in your physical life, it could mean passing up a piece of chocolate cake for desert and opting for fruit instead. Or choosing to get up and work out before work instead of hitting the snooze bar.

The pain of regret means choosing the cake and the snooze bar in the moment, but regretting that choice later when you experience weight gain, a heart attack or an injury.

How do you tell the difference?

The pain of discipline, (which I would encourage you to choose), is one that you consciously choose. You inflict it upon yourself a little bit at a time. The pain of regret is inflicted upon you – you do not get to choose when you will experience it.

Here is a good example of this. If a person is diabetic, they have to give themselves a shot of insulin. It hurts and it is uncomfortable, but they choose to inflect this pain onto themselves. If they choose not to inject themselves, their bodies will shut down and they will die. They can choose a little bit of pain now or the pain of death later.

I know this is a strong analogy, but here is the deal, you have a choice to make everyday about what kind of pain you are going to experience. Maybe the pain of discipline for you involves making those extra 10 cold calls when you do not feel like it. Maybe it involves going to the gym when you do not feel like it. Maybe it is getting up half an hour earlier everyday to meditate.

I do not know exactly what it looks like for you. But I promise you, if you are choosing something that is a little bit uncomfortable, it makes you stronger. And, I promise you, you will be moving in the right direction.

If you do not choose the pain of disciple, I can guarantee you will experience the pain of regret later on

I encourage you to choose wisely.

Be Free!

Roger Seip

3 Important Lessons from a Gardener
by On September 14, 2010

I firmly believe the adage that “when the student is ready the teacher will appear.” This has happened to us all on countless occasions during our lives and often from the most unexpected of teachers.

Whether it was a lesson learned from a perceived failure, or something a mentor shared that finally took root in our mind, or the day you learned the value of loyalty from Han Solo watching the first Star Wars movie at the age of six…. Okay, that last one might only be specific to me…, there is no way I (or anyone) would learn these lessons without being ready to finally hear the message being sent.

Last week, my teacher was a proud gardener.  Let me explain….

While I was walking in my neighborhood, I had the good fortune to come across an amazing garden. Now, I know it was amazing because I don’t spend a lot of time noticing gardens, and if I noticed it, it must be pretty good. This was the kind of garden you see in magazines. Looking at it you would guess the owner spent hours and hours of time each day to keep it in the shape it was. It was truly beautiful.

The reason this is even important is because the next house I passed had a garden that was almost the polar opposite of its neighbor. Simply put, it was a wreck. The owner happened to be at this house and was diligently picking at the weeds, which seemed to me a futile effort because they were everywhere. In passing, she said with frustration that she “waited too long to prepare the garden for the season” and that she “was going be playing a lot of catch up on this garden from hell.” I agreed, and wished her luck in her efforts, but knew she was in for a lot of disappointment.

On my way back around, the owner of the “amazing garden” (who I’ll call Mr. Gardener) happened to be out watering his plants. So, after I congratulated him on his beautiful work, I asked him what he did to keep his garden is such good shape. He chuckled and said, “this is going to sound crazy, but I don’t do much anymore.” He could tell by my confused expression I didn’t believe him, so he quickly elaborated. “Of course, I spend time on upkeep, but I only need to do a little each day now to maintain what I have created.” I asked him if there was anything else he did to keep it so sharp looking, and without a second thought he said “Don’t you know, this is a prize-winning garden?” “Really?”, I asked with excitement. “No, not literally, but I treat it like it was. I believe my garden is the best in the neighborhood and as a result it is.”

Well, I thanked him for his time and, in my mind, I thanked him for the wonderful lesson he gave me and rushed home to write it down. From the most unlikely of situations and the most unlikely of people, thank you Mr. Gardener, I learned (re-learned is more like it) these three things:

  1. Get Your Hands Dirty Early
    The main difference between Mr. Gardener and his counterpart was that he put all his hard work on the front end so, he could reap the benefits on the back end. Albert E.N. Gray says that successful people “form the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.” What made Mr. Gardener’s yard a success was that simple rule.
  2. Weed Your Garden NOW!
    Whenever Mr. Gardener saw a weed he took care of it immediately. He took action and did not let any unwanted plant take root. The more we wait to accomplish the simple tasks, whether in business or in life, the more pain it causes you in the future and the bigger and more daunting the task becomes.
  3. Treat Your Business Like a Prize-Winning Garden
    Our hero had a clear vision of what his garden was going to look like and as a result settled for nothing less than a prize-winning garden. When he got it he was not surprised because he had been treating it that way from the beginning. Here is a quote I am bringing back that was extremely helpful as I started my business. “I am the best! Some may be as good as me, but no one is better. I am the best!”

Thank you Mr. Gardener.

Be Free!

David Shoup

Oak Brook IL Memory Training Workshop September 27 and 28
by On September 13, 2010

Ever forget someone’s name seconds after meeting them? Wish you could give presentations without notes? Would your life be easier if you could instantly recall important information about your clients or materials for exams?

If you can relate, the Memory Training Workshop is for you!

On September 27 and 28, I will be instructing the Memory Training Workshop in Oak Brook, IL at the Doubletree Hotel Chicago Oak Brook.  If this date and location does not fit into your schedule, we have workshops happening all over the country – you can view our National Workshop Schedule here.

If you have not yet reserved your seat, enroll today – space is limited.

Here are the details:

Date: September 27 and 28, 2010 – Monday and Tuesday

Time: Your choice, either:
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
3:00 – 7:00 pm

Doubletree Hotel Chicago Oak Brook
1909 Spring Road
Oak Brook, IL  60521

After attending the memory training workshops, you are guaranteed to:

– Experience a 300% increase in your ability to recall information.
– Remember a list of 50 unrelated items forwards, backwards and in and out of order.
– Develop the ability to deliver presentations without notes.
– Be able to meet 20 new people and remember all of their names within an hour.

During this 8-hour workshop, Iwill teach you how to increase your memory skills a minimum of 300% as you learn memory techniques to remember names, lists, numbers, presentations, key client information, foreign languages, vocabulary, equations, school work, information from books and meetings and much more.

There are a few seats in the workshop still available, you can enroll in the Memory Training Workshop on our website or by phone 888-233-0407.

Look forwards to seeing you in class!

Be Free!

Tom Weber