Words Can Kill

Words Matter

When tragedy strikes, especially ones caused by evil behavior like the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, the initial reaction is to look for a motive. Most people are not murderous psychopaths, so our ability to understand why someone could hate their fellow man enough to indiscriminately kill and injure hundreds of them is limited. We understand the tools they use to kill so many, so it’s easy for us to target those tools and weapons. But weapons have no feelings. They have no motives. Law enforcement will attempt to figure out a motive, but I’m proposing that all this type of behavior begins early in life when we all form the beliefs, values and philosophy that forms who we become and how we act. I’m suggesting that something as simple as an “innocent” phrase can plant the seed of hatred towards others. After all, the one thing common in all mass murderers is a blatant disregard the value of human life. We know this is true because often times the killers commit suicide, showing they do not value even their own lives.

Below are common phrases that can be heard in nearly every culture and country on the planet that I believe contribute to the devaluation of human life and mankind as a whole. When reading the list, think to yourself how many times you’ve heard these phrases. Think also, whether you have ever uttered one. Who was around when you did so, or who were you speaking to? What did you mean by what you said? As we will see, words matter. More than you may know.

“Don’t trust anyone.” How many times have we all heard this phrase? Most of us began hearing it when we were children and it drilled into us a sense of fear and hatred towards humankind as a whole. If we can’t trust other people, how are we supposed to live? The answer is a life filled with fear, anxiety and paranoia that can push people over the edge.

“Don’t talk to strangers.” This is a difficult one to stop saying because we all want our kids and loved ones to be safe. However, while this phrase may have good intentions, when combined with the other phrases on this list can and most likely will lead to a hatred of others.

“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” I must say that I’m guilty of this one. Part of the reason for it is that I’ve had experiences, which reinforced a belief that others are not reliable. The truth however, is that by uttering this phrase, I’m simply choosing to focus on negative experiences involving others rather than all the benefits I have received in my life from humans cooperating with each other. The truth is, if you are reading this, it’s because of the incredible capacity for humans to cooperate and create new things for the purpose of increasing the standard of living for everyone.

“You’re all alone in this world and then you die alone.” This is just patently false, but I continue to hear it. If you feel alone, again you are choosing to focus on negative human interactions in your life rather than ones that have brought you joy, income, housing, food or just about anything else in the modern world. You are not alone. Others have been through what you have. Others feel what you feel. It took me a while to realize this truth, but once I did, hundreds of opportunities opened up to me in my life.

“People suck.” Except for you, right? I think this is probably one of the most common negative phrases I encounter. Sure some people suck. Sometimes we suck. Generic, ignorant statements like this do more to create a philosophy of hatred in people than almost anything else I can think of. Be very careful when uttering phrases like this, even if you’re just kidding around. Others who may be in your presence, who look up to you may not understand that. You just may be a cause of their distrust and possible hatred towards mankind.

“You can’t depend on anyone but yourself.” This is much like the “do it yourself” phrase that is so prevalent. Both statements are patently falsely and serve only to reinforce a philosophy of hate.

“Human nature is evil.” Sure. It is also kind, selfless, caring, greedy. It’s all those things and more. It just depends what you choose to see and focus on.

“Mankind is dangerous.” This is true, but nature itself is dangerous for all living things. Anything mortal faces constant danger from its environment.

“Rich people are evil and greedy.” You can replace the word rich with whatever you like—whites, Jews, bankers, business owners… It doesn’t really matter. What you’re doing by perpetuating these types of slurs is to create a lack of harmony between groups of people. In reality, there are no groups of people. There are just people. Any person is capable of certain behaviors or characteristics. The color of the person, their financial situation, their sexuality, all of that has no bearing on who they are as a person. The only thing that truly matters is the set of beliefs and philosophy they live and act by.

“Marry inside your own race.” This may seem like an “old school” belief, but it’s still found in the world today. I’ll say it again, your race has no bearing on who you are as a person. Your philosophy and values do. These phrases are so destructive, especially to impressionable young people. They serve to create discord and fear towards those we see as “different.”

“They are not like us.” Really? Do “they” eat, sleep, work, bleed, love and die? Oh! Then they really are more like us than you think.

Most of us have heard or even uttered some of these phrases. Let me pose a question: what good has it done? Another question: what harm has it done? The harm is unknown because everything we see and hear affects us to a degree. This is especially true among young people who are just beginning to develop their philosophy for how to live. Let me be clear, saying these phrases doesn’t not make you a bad person. It doesn’t mean you hate people. It only means that you hold certain beliefs that cause your to be distrustful of other people. My request is only that you not let your distrust of others plant the seed of hatred of mankind in others. We cannot always know how our words affect others. Let our words be those of harmony, love and strength rather than hatred, violence and fear.

Finding a Great Partner part 2.

Finding a Great Partner…. Part 2.

What follows may seem like a love note to my wife. It is. Bear with me….

I’ve written about the importance of harmony in human relations and building a mastermind group in your own life. I’ve also written about having a partner dedicated to realizing your goals as well as their own. This is vital in the gym. Having someone to watch over you, care about you and push you past your own perceived limits will create a huge level of progress for you. The problem of course is finding someone who you harmonize with most of the time as well as having your best interest at heart at all times. It’s easy to make acquaintances. It’s hard to develop real relationships that last and make both parties stronger. If you’ve read Finding a Great Partner part 1, you know that my wife Holly has been my partner in life through marriage and raising a family but also in the weight room. She helps to motivate me to do better than I would do on my own. Because she’s watching, I push harder.

I’ve achieved pro bodybuilder status because I found a great partner, who also led me to finding other great people to surround ourselves with so that we could grow. Indeed, my wife is so special it’s beyond words. She’s not just special because she’s a great wife and mother, she literally makes everything just a little more special. She will go out of her way to make a decoration for a cake because the detail will bring a smile to someones’ face. She will send flowers to her grandparents on their birthday across the country every year. As I write this, I’m reading through a book she created of our family vacation just two weeks ago. The trip was already special, but this book is like the icing on the cake. Now whenever I see it, I will experience the emotions I had on the trip along with the gratitude for having a wife that cares about going above and beyond.

Many think they have someone special in their lives. Here’s how I know; regardless of how long we have been together or where we are in our lives as far as business and parenting, Holly never stops trying a little harder than she did before. She is always looking for ways to make others feel special. She’s the best partner I could ever ask for. I sincerely wish for everyone reading this, that you find someone to partner with in different aspects of your life so that you may grow in those areas. I’ve grown in business because of my wife. I’ve grown in bodybuilding because of my wife. I’ve developed a philosophy on life because of my wife. Most of the times I’m smiling, it’s because I’m thinking about her and how great of a partner she is. I try harder daily because I don’t want to disappoint her. That’s the truth.

So go out and find that partner that loves you AND forces you to grow as a person.

In health,

Sean

What You May Be Lacking

What’s the most important thing in life? Money? Family? Love? I’ve often said in my writings that personal philosophy—a set of guiding principles—is the biggest determining factor in the quality of your life. I’ve said this for years, but it wasn’t until this year that I realized what truly underpins the development of philosophy and fulfillment. I have had more personal development this year than in the last 10 years. After really focusing on why, I’ve come to the realization that I discovered the most important thing in life, and took advantage of it. So what is it?

The most important thing in life is the relationships we develop with others. Simply put, our associations with others develops in us our philosophy, sense of fulfillment, joy, frustration, depression, ecstasy, anxiety, fear—nearly every emotion we experience as humans stems from our interactions with other people. Humans are social creatures. The reason we have survived so long as a species against larger, more powerful creatures, against the forces of nature, against disease, is because of cooperation and the development of language and communication. We tell stories and write about our experiences and discoveries so that other generations may learn. The length of human existence will depend largely on the harmonious relationships that can be sustained.

This is also the case with all our individual lives. The quality and harmony of the relationships we build will affect the quality of our lives more than any other aspect of life. This year I have been lucky enough to develop incredible strong relationships with people that have solidified my faith in others and myself. These relationships have also led to incredible experiences that have helped transform my philosophy towards life. All of this has led to an increase in fulfillment in my day-to-day experiences because I am grateful most of the time. Before I focused more on expectation. Today I focus more on appreciation. And that has made all the difference.

So, my advice would be to get out in the world and develop quality relationships that serve you and shape you into the person you’d like to be. Look for honest, gracious and humble people that you admire. Look for mentors you can learn from. Don’t just look in your local area. Relationships can by built across the world today, something not possible even just a few decades ago. Look for people you can be in harmony with, so that you may work together to build something greater than yourselves.

P.S. Don’t allow just anyone into your life. Make sure they have your best interest at heart. Even if you’ve known someone for years, make sure they fit your criteria for a harmonious relationship.

In Health,

Sean

The Quiz On Life

Want to evaluate your philosophy towards life?  Take the quiz….

The Quiz on Life
1. The number 1 factor in your success and fulfillment in life is:
a. Your family history
b. The amount of money you make
c. How many friends you have
d. Your personal philosophy
2. The number #1 reason for failure in any endeavor is:
a. Fear
b. Lack of persistence
c. Complaining
d. Lack of confidence
3. The biggest reason for failure in an organization or relationship is:
a. Anger
b. Shyness
c. Poor thinking habits
d. Lack of harmony
4. You are responsible for everything that happens in your life
True / False
5. If you want to earn more money:
a. work harder
b. think better
c. add more value to yourself and the marketplace
d. stay at a job for a long time

6. Great leaders:
a. take extreme ownership
b. are compassionate
c. understand what others’ needs are
d.have vision
e. all the above
f. a and b only
7. Don’t ask for it to be easier:
a. ask that you become better
b. ask that others help you
c. ask “why did this happen to me”?
d. just keep going
8. There are only 3 things you have total control over in life
TRUE / FALSE
9. You can learn the most from someone by learning:
a. their family history
b. what they do for a living
c. what their metaphor for life is
d. what they majored in
10. Focus, Meaning, “What Do I Do Now” are:
a. the only three things you have total control over
b. total B.S.
c. a product of your upbringing
d. none of the above

11. You may not be at fault for something:
a. so you shouldn’t worry
b. it’s the Democrats fault
c. Republicans are racists
d. You still should take responsibility for it
e. always blame others
12. Your life is affected mostly by:
a. your past
b. your purpose
c. how you think things are, not how they are
d. what you watch on TV
13. You are your thoughts
TRUE / FALSE
14. In business:
a. a “broken window” can cause great damage
b. the culture of the business is extremely important
c. cash-flows and production matter a great deal
d. the customer’s perception is the reality
e. a spirit of harmony must exist among all associates
f. a burning desire to achieve an outcome matters most
g. all of the above
h. none of the above

15. Biography equals destiny
a. true
b. false
c. if you let it
d. the future matters more than the past
15. Success is a science and fulfillment is an art.
TRUE / FALSE
16. Even if terrible things happen to you:
a. suffering is your choice
b. life’s a bitch
c. it’s because you’re a bad person
d. others will never understand you
17. Life is both a miracle and a struggle for some, but:
a. it all depends on what your personal philosophy is
b. No, it’s just a struggle
c. Life is easy
d. Life has no purpose
e. how people think about life determines how happy they will be
f. A and E
g. A and C
18. It’s best to ignore the bad in life and think about only the positive
a. Yes, that is correct
b. Depressed people focus only on the bad
c. You must recognize the negative and deal with it
d. It’s best to see life as it is, but not worse than as it is.
e. A and B
f. C and D
19. Bad things happen in life and that means there is no God and no purpose to anything.
a. if you believe that, it is true for you
b. expect bad things, but don’t focus on them only if you want happiness
c. to be fulfilled in life, acknowledge that problems are a part of life, but not all of it
d. None of the above
e. All of the above
20. Lack of following up:
a. is a major problem in business, parenting and relationships
b. following up is someone else’s job
c. don’t bother me, I’m busy
21. If you want to increase your value to others and the marketplace
a. work harder on your self than you do on your job
b. work more than you get paid for
c. you reap what you sow
d. the law of compensation is an immutable law over time
e. All of the above.
22. Stress, anxiety, worry, are all code words for

23. You are in control of mind:
a. if you want to be
b. you are not
c. you can only control it if you’re rich
d. it’s the only thing that humans have over other animals
e. none of the above
f. A and D

24. There are two basic fears that hold us back from accomplishing ANYTHING
a. the fear of death
b. the fear of poverty
c. the fear that I won’t be loved
d. the fear that I’m not enough
e. the fear of what others think
f. A and B
g. A and C
h. C and E
i. C and D

BONUS
ANYONE IS CAPABLE OF ANYTHING BECAUSE:
a. even billionaires and bums have the same 24 hours in a day
b. there is no limit on the value you can add to others and yourself
c. by choosing a Definite Chief Aim, you control the course of your life
d. true, but you have to be wise and careful
e. true, but you have to acknowledge problems while identifying solutions
f. yes, but only if you focus on an outcome and make decisions accordingly
g. of course, but you have to take ownership of everything in you life first
h. only if you can stop complaining and blaming others
i. humans can choose which direction they want to go, we are not geese
j. success leaves clues
k. ALL of the above
l. None of the above
m. A, D only

EXTRA BONUS
The biggest “addiction” problem in America is:
a. People addicted to alcohol
b. People addicted to narcotics
c. People addicted to prescription drugs
d. People addicted to their problems

Life and Death

These are troubling times. Not that there haven’t always been troubling times, it’s just that more of humanity is aware of problems in various parts of the world thanks to technology. Unfortunately, there will be more troublesome events to come. It is unlikely bad things will stop happening. However, it’s important to remember that you choose where you get to live emotionally. You can live in despair and fear. You can live in gratitude and abundance. The choice is yours. Do you want change in the world? Change yourself first. Specifically, there are two things that must change for positive transformations. The first is having a productive philosophy towards life. The second is to live in harmony. If you have these two characteristics, you will thrive. These are the traits needed to maintain life. If you lack these, you will begin to break down and devolve. Life needs harmony and clear thinking. Death does not. Death must be staved off–the death of the business, the relationship, the organism. It is the natural consequence of not having a philosophy of productivity and being in harmony with those around you. Growth or death—it is all very simple.

Those who develop and maintain a positive, productive philosophy will always do well because they take responsibility for everything in their life and control their emotions and responses to the world. These people will also have a natural tendency towards harmony with others. Those who have a productive and positive philosophy understand that harmony is essential for life. Your body must work in perfect harmony to sustain energy and life. If not, it begins to decay and the damage may be irreversible. The same is true with a business culture. A relationship is perhaps the clearest example of why philosophy and harmony are necessary to life. Both people in a relationship must give 100% effort for it to work. They must each have a philosophy of love, responsibility, and compassion. Each must strive to be in harmony with the other. Yet, half of all marriages end in divorce. It’s so simple to see why. It’s the lack of harmony and maintaining a philosophy of positivity. The same goes for the violence so prevalent amongst mankind. All of it can be traced back to the lack of the fundamental characteristics needed to grow and maintain life.

I urge all of my employees to strive for harmony with each other. Most workplaces are toxic and a majority of polls taken of employees show that most have significant issues with their coworkers and managers. This is all due to a lack of harmony. There must exist a desire to be in harmony with all those in your workplace (and in your life) to realize an incredible workplace. Without that desire for harmony, the natural tendency towards problem and decay will occur. If this continues in a business, it becomes part of the workplace culture. Once it’s a part of the culture, it’s nearly impossible to stop without replacing every individual. Often, even the great employees cannot free themselves of the damage done to them by a toxic environment. It warps their philosophy to see the worst in others and seek out problems. If people only knew it was within their own power to change this. An incredible workplace, an incredible relationship—an incredible world begins with each person acting incredible and developing an incredible philosophy. Be mindful of your own personal philosophy. Is it geared towards harmony and growth? Or are you letting your mind erode with the problems of life? Are you thinking clearly—thoughts leading to positive consequences for those around you and your loved ones? If not, change it. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Harmony=Success

“Success is the knowledge in with which to get whatever you want from life without violating the rights of others and by helping others to acquire it.” Napoleon Hill

Though it may be brief, this is likely one the most important blog post I will ever write. This realization came to me after pondering a series of questions over the last few weeks. Some of these questions were: What is the cause of the most tragedies and failures in the world? What leads to violence, stress and negative attitudes? Why do some couples stay together and stay happy while others break up? Why do some companies thrive and others fail? Why do some people love their job and others hate theirs? Why are some people able to create amazing things while others struggle with creativity? Why does the world still struggle with war?

The answer to all these questions is a lack of perfect f harmony between people. Throughout history, most of the problems we have experienced as humans can be traced back to a lack of harmony between people.   On the flip side of the coin, harmony is the reason for any major lasting success. Every enterprise, every country, government, marriage or other organization must face the reality that the determining factor in how long lasting and successful they will be is whether the people directly involved are working together in perfect harmony, or there is consistent discord between people. Harmony between people has led to every major success in history.

Once harmony exists in an organization or relationship, an alliance can be formed. No one can succeed on their own without the help of others. Alliances must be formed to achieve anything worthwhile. Every couple, every business, every nation must have a mastermind alliance. A mastermind alliance consists of two or more minds working actively together in perfect harmony toward a common definite objective. This is perhaps the most important ingredient in achievement. A star player cannot win a game on his efforts alone. An alliance between ALL team members must exist. If not, the team will crumble when problems arise… and problems will always arise. But those working together in a spirit of harmony will continue to thrive. If not, the problems will win.

What does it take to operate in a spirit of harmony? A change in consciousness must occur. A person must be consciously aware that harmony can exist if they seek it out. Moreover, a person must believe that when the energy created from harmony is focused into a mastermind alliance, no problem is unsolvable.   In my business, I demand that harmony exists between all associates and with customers. If a lack of harmony exists, the problems that will arise will not be solvable until there is a return to perfect harmony. Often this requires the person unwilling to be in harmony with others is removed. What the takeaway? You must be willing to be in harmony with others. A willingness must exist within every individual in an organization to act in harmony with everyone else. If that exists, anything is possible. Sound simple? It is. But simple is not always easy.

I believe that most people are, in fact, good. However, many people do not have the desire to be in harmony with those around them. They point out the flaws of others, gossip, and berate their fellow man. Humans inherently distrust others because most believe that their problems have been due to others. In reality, the lack of harmony between themselves and others is the cause of the problem. Humans need other humans. We are social creatures and we have dominated the earth and increased the standard of living because of alliances between people working in harmony. The number one cause of failure is lack of harmony between people. The number one cause of success is perfect harmony. The choice is yours.  I urge you all to choose harmony. Your life will be more fulfilling if you do.

The Right People

The most important aspect of any organization is the people in it. People build the culture. People build and operate the systems. People interact and provide value to customers. People determine the direction and speed the business travels. People spread the culture and the culture of a business (or relationship) determines how successful and long lasting it will be.

Because people are so important to any enterprise, it goes without saying that having the right people will make or break a business. Having the right people ensures harmony within the business. Having the right people will ensure the systems are being operated correctly. Having the right people will ensure sales and retention of customers is high. The right people will know what to do without being told. The right people will understand the importance of Make-You-Happy Customer Service. The right people do not need to be motivated; they already are motivated, and they will motivate others. The right people want to learn and improve to be the best at what they do. The right people want to be around the best, so they are constantly analyzing their environment to make sure they are in the best place and they are contributing enough to making it great.

Having the right people in a business will eliminate old problems and create new opportunities (also known as new problems). The right person wants to be in harmony with their environment and fellow coworkers. The right person produces incredible energy. The right person is one of good character. The right person reads everything they can on improving themselves. The right person has a positive mental attitude. Bottom line, people are the heart, the mind and the lungs of any business and society. There is one question I ask myself daily: am I the right person for this? Are you the right person?