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The Anatomy of Results
by On June 21, 2012

This TEDx presentation was released several days ago and is already one of the most viewed new TED talks on the internet today.

Eric Plantenberg breaks down the Anatomy of Results and highlights why some people are able to consistently create terrific results, and why most people do not.

If you are not familiar with – here is a brief overview of their mission as posted on their website.

Our mission: Spreading ideas.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched in April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you’re an important part of it.

At Freedom Personal Development, we are thrilled to promote as we believe that ultimately we share the same purpose: to deliver the Freedom to Choose. Good ideas make that possible. Congratulations to Freedom Personal Development president, Eric Plantenberg, for being invited to share his ideas along side of the planet’s “most inspired thinkers.”

Please post your comments about his talk on YouTube or this blog.

Be Free!

Freedom Personal Development

Grinding It Out
by On December 6, 2011

We all know what makes the best succeed in business.  Brilliant with the basics, educate yourself, listen to those who have succeeded, stick to your schedule, smile and bring energy and value to your clients and simply follow proven systems.  When we interview those who have led the charge for the month, the answers always seem to be relatively the same.  The answers that we hear mostly are in line with these same ideas.

What I am going to share with you has helped me get through tough, challenging times repeatedly in our business.  It is the idea of “Grinding it Out”.  I had heard this concept Grinding it out a couple years ago when I was watching The Masters and Tiger Woods was playing injured.  He was scheduled to have some type of surgery soon after this tournament.  So of course all eyes were on him from the beginning.  He was playing in what he later explained to be excruciating pain.  Pain that was so bad that after most shots, he buckled over and was clearly in a lot of pain.  This went on for 4 days of 18 holes a day.  Tiger won the tournament despite all of this pain that he experienced during the match.  He nearly fell to his knees and collapsed when the tournament was over.

By far the most compelling part and the main lesson for me is that when he was speaking about this experience afterwards, he said that he KNEW that his pain was coming.  He just did not know when is was coming.  So in his back swing ( the beginning of his shot) somewhere in his mind, he knew that there was possibly going to be some serious pain to follow.

When interviewed afterwards, he used the phrase “Grinding it out”.   I think what that meant to him was that even with the fierce competition AND his injury, he knew that he was still the best golfer out there and he just needed to play through the it.  He just needed to Grind it out.  Play through the pain and forget the pain he experienced on his last shot.  This is extremely difficult to do.  Mentally, this could be one of the toughest challenges that any of us will ever face.  How do you play on, how do you move forward with pain?

You Grind it out, that’s how.  Play on with pain knowing that you are bending the law of averages in your favor.  Play on with pain knowing that where dry desert ends, green grass grows.  Play on knowing that at the beginning of your day, after all of your HUGE swings, you may experience some pain.  You may experience pain on your next swing and the next one after that. Keep taking HUGE swings, keep swinging.  Grind it out.

Be Free!

Alan Mong

Overcoming Being Overwhelmed
by On November 6, 2011

I have re-learned something this week that has really helped me look at my time and how to take more control of my time.  For most of us we have a lot to do and it sometimes seems that we do not have enough time to accomplish those things.  Whether it be on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.  This article will help you take control of the emotions and feelings that you have about your time to then get more things done.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the amount of tasks, duties, etc. that you need to get done?  Are you being stretched in too many directions?  Are you thinking about other tasks while performing the task that you are in?

Guilty, we all are.  For me, this week was all of the above.  It was a piling on affect for me because I had not been able to get things done leading up to this week.  I had been constantly thinking about other things that needed to get done while I was performing work tasks.  Scatterbrain is a great way to describe me last week.  Almost like being a novelist.  Someone who knows a little about everything however they know nothing about anything specific.  A jack of all trades but a specialist in nothing.

What I found is that NOT being focused on the task that I was presently performing, I was not performing any task to the level that I am capable of.  I was spinning my wheels.  Putting in a lot of effort and going nowhere.  Frustration is the end result feeling.

I got punched in the face yesterday, woke up and played out the events of this past week.  I got a voice mail from my mother saying that my father was in the hospital with stomach pains and had been in the hospital since Sunday.  He lives alone and had recently overcame pancreatic cancer, so we are always worried about him.  A weight hit me in my chest.  Not because he was in the hospital but because I knew that he was in the hospital.  I had spoke with him and his nurse on Tuesday.  He is just fine, nothing serious.  Thank God.  I felt heavy because I had this information on Tuesday and did not call my mother or my sister to let them know.  Looking back on the situation, the only reason that I can think of why I did not make those phone calls is because I was “too busy”.

This is where my learning comes from and why I say that “You are not that busy”.  Wow, such a reality check for me to look back and think about where my priorities had been for the past week and possibly longer.  This situation with my dad has put things into perspective for me.  Sometimes it takes something like this to happen before we take ourselves out of the situation and really look at it.

I had been so consumed with ME and the things that I needed to get done, that I missed the biggest task of the week.

OG Mandino says in his scroll from “Greatest Salesman in the World”.  I am master of my emotions.  So I started telling myself that I am master of my emotions, I have plenty of time, I have enough time to get everything done, I spend quality time with my wife and my family, I use my time to it’s fullest potential, I am master of my time.  This is the first thing that I recommend that you do, tell yourself what is truth.  The truth is that there is plenty of time and it is up to you to control it and not let it control you.  Knowing that you DO have plenty of time, you are able to prioritize tasks and accomplish them.

The other lesson here is to take the time to simply RELAX.  When you feel yourself getting worked up and spinning, RELAX. Great thing is that it only takes a couple minutes to RELAX.  Take some deep breaths, feel that calmness around you, feel the abundance, feel the love, feel the power you have over your time.  When you take small breaks throughout the day, actually take that time, clear your head and simply relax.  You can do this even when you going to the kitchen to get something to drink, let those arms go limp, relax your head and take some deep breaths.  When you relax, your ideas and thoughts are flowing more free, which leads to remembering more things that need to get done or better ways to get them done.

Schedule it and JUST DO IT.  When you are doing your weekly planning, put everything that needs to get done on your calender.  When that time comes to perform that task, don’t think about it, JUST DO IT!

I have an abundance of TIME, I get things done, I am a man of action.

Be Free!

Alan Mong

Four Keys to Busting Loose
by On September 14, 2011

During the past several weeks (actually months) I have been doing a great deal of soul searching and have been attempting to parse out what the difference has been between the times of feast and famine in my business. I believe I have come up with something that may be beneficial to those of us either experiencing a similar challenge or are interested in reducing the duration of the famine.

Looking back to the time in my business when I was really rolling, particularly my first two years as a speaker at FPD. Here are my top 4 Keys that allowed me to break records and bust loose.

1) Attitude:    Simply put, from the beginning I believed that I was the best. I would be willing to wager one of the reasons Alan Mong kicks so much tail is because he has a very healthy belief in his skills. I actually, stole this idea from Roger, who is responsible for teaching me the phrase: “I’m the best, I’m the best. Others may be as good as me, but none are better. I’m the best.” I challenge you all to find your own phrase or mantra and say it everyday for an entire month and than see how much it impacts your performance.

2) Work Harder than Anyone: This does not necessarily mean work more hours although at the time, I have confidence I put in more hours than the majority of our company if not all. The difference is I focused on putting in as much productive hours as possible. That meant if I was not doing speeches, making booking calls or visiting offices prior to the presentation I was listening to recordings of my work and talking to those in the business who were top sales people. What in your business can you do to be more productive in your work hours?

3) Have a Target: Some of you know that my 1st two years I spent my time focusing on beating the stats of the top salesperson in our company. At the time, it was Brian Qualls. Specifically, I focused on four major categories: Dials, Bookings, Kept Speeches & Referrals. I charted Brian’s numbers for every single week of the year and my only focus was to try and beat each of those four categories. I figured if I matched or beat each one of those weekly targets I was bound to have a pretty good year. Feel free to check the stats of your favorite top salesperson and work to match their work efforts. I bet you’ll be glad you did.

4) Focus on Service: I could write an entire blog article on this one point but, I will keep this brief and quote one of my mentors, the great Zig Ziglar: “You can have everything you want out of life if you help enough others get what they want.” This idea of service has calmed, excited, relaxed & at times focused me during my presentations cause the saying is true, “It is hard to be nervous when your mind is on service.” I will close with asking, who are you being of service to?

I hope these 4 Keys have been helpful. Let me know your thoughts and if I can be of any help as you break your own records.

Be free.

David Shoup

Clean Your Home & Clear Your Mind
by On September 12, 2011

Have you ever returned from a trip and found your home to be a disaster? Have you looked at the sink in your kitchen, piled with dirty dishes and told yourself “I really have to clean that” only to walk right past it? Is your office so cluttered with papers, post-its, bills and junk that you can no longer use that space? How about your bathroom? Is it difficult to find a space to put your hairbrush without having to move the hairdryer or facial soap? When you walk across your bedroom floor do you trip over shoes and pair of pants? In your living room, do you need to move over books, toys, magazines and misc stuff just to find a place to set your drink on the coffee table?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of the above questions than you are essentially hand-cuffing your ability to function optimally in your business. This was the story for much of my last quarter and it clearly showed in my results. You may be thinking, “wait a minute David, my business was booming last quarter and I lived in a tornado zone at home. What do you have to say about that? Booya!!” Okay, maybe the “booya” part is a little over the top…

I’m not saying you can’t be successful while you are living in disorder. In fact, I am sure many can be extremely productive with a little clutter. What I am trying to convey is that when you remove the concern and stressful thought of “I need to clean this” you free your mind to focus on other more useful business pursuits. For example, when we see the same mess in the garage week after week on continue to neglect mowing our lawn, for whatever reason, this causes us more stress and occupies a space in our brain that would be better suited for higher payoff activities.

According to author, John Medina we are incapable of dividing our attention. In his book, Brain Rules he says, “… the brain naturally focuses on concepts sequentially, one at a time.” So, unless we have supreme control over our focus we will find ourselves continuing to gravitate to those things that cause us the most stress as in the situations explained above. In other words, by default we will place them higher in our sequential order until we can remove them.

This same principle applies, not only to how clean our home is but, to disorganization in our business, our relationships, school etc… All of these scenarios are competing for space in our brains and the more we can reduce or eliminate these scenarios from our thoughts, the higher our brain function and focus will be. As a result our business cannot help but reap the benefits and improve.

So, what is the solution, you may ask? Here is my 2 step solution to clearing your mind.

1) Create a Cleaning List – By walking through your house and noticing all the things or tasks that need to be accomplished and then writing them down you will now have a point of reference to work from. You will also be getting it out of your mind which will help to open up more space for you to focus your energy on better things.

2) Delegate or Do It Yourself – Decide what you can either accomplish yourself or that you can pass along to someone else to take care of it. For example, you can hire a cleaning service once a month to clean your home or recruit the services of a neighbor kid to mow your lawn etc… Be creative. Whatever you haven’t delegated be sure to take care of it as soon as possible. Don’t allow your brain to split it’s energy and focus on silly activities that can easily be handled with a little effort.

Have a great time cleaning your home and get excited about the benefits you will experience as a result. I know it has definitely had a big impact on my production.

Be free.

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


Stress Management Content Winners Announced
by On August 3, 2010

Wow! Thanks for all the wonderful entries in this month’s contest. I’d like to add a suggestion to the stress management contest–whenever a person is feeling stressed, a great option would be to read all the comments in this post and follow what rings true at that moment. The entries go to show that there isn’t ONE correct answer for everyone, or even one option that works every time for the same person. However, there are LOTS of great ideas.

First place and winner of an Expect Success book is Jeff Johnson (#10). 

I reduce stress by praying and reading the Bible. I also find that surrendering my life to Jesus Christ has given me great strength and hope in times of high stress. He said that I will not add a day to my life by worrying. He is right, I will actually reduce my life expectancy if I worry or stress out!

Another thing I do is pretend that I am in a grand production called “life” and that everything going on around me is basically a play in which I am a character. Stressful situations definitely make for interesting theater, so I have to look at them like a good drama.

 I mentioned that not every answer is what every person would say, but since I get to choose the contest winner this month, I chose someone whose answer resonated with me deeply: surrendering to Christ and finding the strength and hope in Him. I also appreciated Jeff’s comments about watching the “life” drama and seeing himself as a character because I just wrote an article that said the same thing. So Jeff, you win the prize!

Second Place and winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is Sharon Esterly (#61).

Two very wise people gave me advice at different times in my life when I was super-stressed: one said, “Stay in the day,” which helps me to not look back at “shoulda’s” nor forward at “what-if’s”, and the other told me I had incredible power–too choose. “You are choosing to be stressed, and instead, you can choose to be un-stressed.” The minute you choose the latter, you begin to think more clearly and then can plan a strategy to deal with the stressors.

The two points she summarized are keystone ideas around Freedom Personal Development and have helped many people find relief from stressful situations–staying present and making choices.

Third Place is tie between John Misch (#44) and Michelle Kooi (#51)! John and Michelle have each won a Happy Highlighter and Tangle Puzzle. Here is what they said:

John Misch: 

My stress is triggered by events in my life that may or may not be real or in the present. I can be stressed out by something in my past or future real or unreal – think physical / mental / emotional. But it is my stress and I have full ownership. So how do I cope with stress:
1) Don’t blame someone else or pin it on an event – boss / wife / kids / work / money / whatever / economy / politics
2) Try to stay in the present – don’t deny the stress , it is what it is – denial will only give it more life
3) Random acts of kindness – stress makes us so full of ourselves – start giving back / sharing / mentoring
4) Prayer and Meditation – an exercise for the mind and spirit
5) Physical exercise / yoga –
So, I have tried all of the above and even drugs and alcohol aren’t working. Put your wounded ego on the shelf and ask yourself if being stressed our makes you feel important or alive or helps with self recognition? Seek out help.

Michelle Kooi:

Yoga helps calm my mind and release stress. Eating healthy and avoiding caffeine helps keep emotions steady. Being outdoors in nature really helps me relax and appreciate God’s beautiful design. Prayer helps me focus on what’s really important. Planning and being organized does wonders for preventing stress in the first place. Music – listening (and singing along sometimes) takes you to a different place.

 Both John and Michelle summarized a lot of ideas that were prolific in others’ responses. I personally appreciated Michelle’s comments about nature and music as both are so helpful for me. I also appreciated John’s thought that putting your ego aside and getting help–from someone…anyone–can be a big step in de-stressing.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest.  Watch for the next contest on our blog this Thursday.

Be Free!

Leah Simpson


Video – Stress Relief Tips
by On July 2, 2010

Ever notice your neck and shoulders hurt after a stressful day? You’re probably holding a lot of tension in those muscles. Here are some stress relief tips and exercises for your body after a rough day, from family and lifestyle correspondent Ylonda Caviness.

Stress Relief Tips and Exercises – How to Relieve Stress

Stress not only makes you feel lousy and ill-tempered, it can literally be a killer. It’s important to find outlets for stress relief and identify its sources as well.

First, you must recognize that you are stressed. It’s more than likely just you and not everyone around you who is stressed as that moment. To relieve stress, you need to identify the source of it. Often just your day-to-day tasks can cause a great deal of stress.

Stress Relief Techniques

1. If you are in your car rushing to get somewhere and trying to beat a light, simply stop and let the light catch you. Take deep breaths while sitting at the light and tell yourself “The tension is flowing out of my body.”

2. You can also simply shrug your shoulders and hold it for 4-5 seconds. A lot of tension is held in your shoulders.

3. Listening to music can help relieve stress. Put on some silly music that will allow you to have fun and lighten up.

4. Laughter is the best prescription for stress relief – even try to laugh at yourself.

5. Recognize that its not just you who is stressed out—everyone goes through stressful situations.

Be (stress) Free!

Stress Management Contest
by On July 1, 2010

In our everyday life, we often run into stress events ranging from deadlines at work, traffic jams and dealing with uncooperative people.  Life events such as a new baby, a death of a loved one or moving can add even more pressure.

Unmanaged stress can lead to high blood pressure, ulcers and even heart attacks.  Often times we cannot control the events that lead to stress, but we can control our response to it.

For this month’s contest, we want to know your advice on how to deal with the stressful events – big or small.

To enter, simply type you name, email and your answer to this question below:

How do you effectively manage stress in your life?

You can also give examples of stressful events you have overcome.  Winners will be based on the quality of advice.


First Place – Expect Success Book
Second Place – Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle
Third Place – A Happy Highlighter and Tangle Puzzle

All winners will also get a “Be Free” Sticker and a Personal Development Blue Light-up Pen

Winners will be emailed and announced on our blog Tuesday, August 3, 2010.
Deadline to enter is Thursday, July 29, 2010.

Be (Stress) Free!

Leah Simpson

Top 10 Tips for Stress Management
by On June 15, 2010

recommended intake and helps you to function better physically and mentally.

(9) Talk to a friend

Sharing your worries with someone allows temporary relief of burden and helps you feel cared for.

(10) Cultivate a hobby

Your hobby should be something you’re passionate about- it helps to take your mind off the stress and gives you a sense of renewed awareness.

The next time you feel stressed out; remember that you are in control and try to practice the steps above!


About the Author: Francis Murphy

Learning to relax and reduce stress in your life is crucial for maintaining a healthy body and mind. These 10 tips for stress management will help you to achieve a state of balance to live a better life. Visit us to get your free Stress Relief Tips ebook download today.