OLDER ARCHIVES OF THE "LOU TICE" PAGE
 
   

OLDER ARCHIVES FOR THE
"LOU TICE" PAGE

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
  Frankp@chiro.org
 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"The Importance of Language"


One of the most important ways we communicate is with language. However, if our language is fuzzy, our communications will be too.

If you want to communicate effectively, you'll also want to make your language as effective and clear as it can be. One way to do this is to be very careful about using words we call "universals" or "absolutes" - words like "always," "never," "all" and "every."

Now, universals are fine, when they're true. If you say, "Everyone must die someday," or "All the people in our family have brown eyes," you're talking about facts. But what about when you see an old person struggling with a walker and you say, "Gosh, it's awful to be old!" Or you read about a Senator who's convicted for fraud and you say, "Politicians are all crooked." In both cases, you've moved from a specific truth to a general untruth. You've generalized from particulars, and in so doing you distort a fact that is true, into an opinion that isn't.

So the next time you hear a universal term, ask yourself, "Is this a fact or an opinion or a generalization?"

Listen for the words "all," "every," "always," "never," and "none," and let them serve as red flags for you. Ask, "Is this strictly true? Are there exceptions?" If you avoid these universals except when they're really true, you'll dramatically improve your communications.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Passive-Aggressive Behavior"


Do you know what it means to behave in a passive-aggressive way? Let's talk about passive-aggressive behavior today, and maybe you'll recognize yourself or someone you know.

The term passive-aggressive came into being during World War II, when an Army psychiatrist used it to describe soldiers who ignored or resisted orders. According to clinical psychologist Scott Wetzler, passive-aggressive behavior is not being passive one minute and aggressive the next.

It's really sugar-coated hostility, or aggression with an escape clause. Passive-aggressive people are invariably an hour late, a dollar short and a block away, armed with an endless list of excuses to deflect responsibility. To make matters worse, they then turn the tables on you, making themselves the hapless victims of what they'll call your excessive demands and criticism.

Folks who behave this way often feel powerless and believe nothing they do makes any difference. They think they're getting a bad deal in life, they're mad as heck about it, but scared to let their feelings out. Often they have suppressed their true feelings for so long that they are quite unaware of them. If you recognize yourself in this description, what should you do?

Well, start by reminding yourself that it's important to resolve, not suppress, your interpersonal conflicts and to find appropriate and constructive channels for expressing your anger. A reputable counselor can help you learn how. It's also important to develop your sense of personal power and mastery, and there are many good programs that can teach you to do that.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

"Control Over Your Life"


How much control do you believe you have over what happens to you in life? Today, let's talk about how our feelings, about who's in control, affect end-results.

Some people believe they have very little control over what happens to them. When good things occur, they believe it's mostly a matter of luck or circumstance. They don't set goals or plan very far ahead because they think that how things turn out is beyond their control.

Their tension and stress levels are generally very high, as you might expect, and they often feel overwhelmed, helpless and hopeless. Strangely enough, when bad things happen, instead of blaming circumstances or luck, they tend to blame themselves.

Now, the bad news is that how much control we believe we have over our lives is generally a direct result of the way we were treated when we were very young. The good news is that this condition, which has been called "learned helplessness" doesn't have to be permanent. You can learn to take charge of your life and to look at things differently, and the fact is that when your attitude changes, the results you get change, too. Yes, that is a fact, not just my opinion. The research is there to back it up: Your attitude is learned and the results you get depend as much - or more - on your attitude, as anything else.

If you're interested in putting an end to feeling like a victim, pick up Martin Seligman's book "Learned Optimism" as a start or get involved in a reputable personal growth program. What are you waiting for? Why not do it today!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Self-Directed Change"


If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

Now, I'm not talking about magic, because some things - such as how tall you are - simply cannot be changed.

But, you know, there really isn't much that you can't alter if you want it badly enough - assuming you know how to go about it, and assuming that you take action as needed. Wanting to badly is a great start, but it won't get you anywhere by itself. Neither will affirmations or visualizations, if that's all you do.

I you want to get started making changes in yourself, pick one thing to begin with. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's doable. Then go after it with everything you've got. Visualize how you'll feel and behave after the change is made. Write affirmations to support the visualization, and repeat them every day, over and over. Make an action plan with sub-goals, and daily and weekly tasks. Make yourself accountable to follow the plan and reward yourself every time you achieve a sub-goal.

Enlist help if you need it, and don't worry about how long it takes. If you keep moving toward the end-result you want, and you keep tracking your progress, you'll get there, believe me.

There's an extra added bonus. When you see that you can do it, you'll inspire others - and yourself - to do even more.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Climbing Mountains"


You know, high achievers are a lot like mountain climbers.

When you think about mountain climbing, maybe your stomach does a little flip-flop like mine. But, you know, people who are successful in life are really a lot like mountain climbers. They don't start out climbing Mount Everest. Instead, they train and practice on smaller slopes until they build the skills and confidence to move on to bigger challenges.

When they choose a goal, they map out a plan and, as much as possible, they follow it. They equip themselves as well as they possibly can and they learn from the competition. They fully expect to run into problems, so when they do, it doesn't throw them. They deal with them as best they can and move on.

They keep their fear and negative thinking under control because they know that these things will defeat them more certainly than any avalanche. They also understand the importance of persistence and tenacity. And finally, every now and then they bite off a little more than they are absolutely certain they can chew.

Like a mountain climber friend of mine once said, when there's no place to go but up, you go up.

Now, you may not want to conquer Everest, but I'll bet there's a mountain in your life just calling out to be climbed. And, you know, I'll bet you can do it.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Children Coping with Disaster"


It's hard on everyone when young kids have to go through a natural disaster or other very traumatic experience.

What can parents do to help their children cope with a disaster or other traumatic experience? First and foremost, parents should encourage children to express their feelings. Help them talk, draw or play out their emotions.

Don't be surprised or critical if, for a while, they revert back to behavior they had grown out of. Reassure them that it's OK to feel scared or sad or mad because of what happened. Reassure them, too, that they are now safe and will be well taken care of, and help them re-establish a routine as soon as possible to restore structure to their lives.

Teach them how to handle future emergencies, and after they have had time to adjust, help them begin to look toward the future in a way that is positive and hopeful. Help them visualize and talk about how things will be when everything is OK again.

Children may need special help if they continue to have difficulties for a prolonged time or if their upset is severe, so keep a watchful eye. By the way, parents should take good care of themselves too, and find ways to deal with the stress they are feeling. It's OK for grownups to cry when they're sad, and it's fine for kids to see them expressing natural feelings in appropriate ways.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Relationships"


How important are your relationships to you? Does your behavior support your answer?

You know, most of us spend most of our lives living with other people or otherwise involved in close relationships. But have you ever had any formal schooling in relationships or even thought much about how they work? Most people would say not.

And most people, when you ask them if they feel happy and fulfilled in their present relationships, will give you wishy-washy answers like, "I guess so," or "Some of the time," or "We have our highs and lows. What more can you expect?" Very few people will answer, without hesitation, "Yes, absolutely, you bet!"

I can't help but wonder if these folks would ever consider taking a long trip to a foreign country without looking at a map or learning something about their destination. Yet they remain, year after year, in so-so relationships when life could be otherwise.

Relationships can change and grow, just like people. A loving relationship can nourish and stimulate more than any other form of human behavior. It is loving relationships that ultimately give our lives meaning and purpose.

However, relationships are nothing more or less than the product of what the people in them do and think and say. So, if you value your relationships, let me ask you again. How does your behavior fit with that feeling? Where could you improve?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Intimacy"


Are you in an intimate relationship? Would you like to be? If so, how do you define intimacy? In many cultures, the true meaning of intimacy has been distorted, equating it with sex. However, sex is not necessarily an essential component of intimacy.

I think intimacy is listening to another person's disclosures and caring about their meaning to the other person's growth. Intimacy is also caring enough to disclose yourself to others - making the effort and taking the risk involved in opening yourself up to another human being.

It is this mutual disclosure that enables us to share emotional closeness, and it is this mutual caring that provides a receptive climate for helping each other to make self-discoveries and to express our feelings and experiences in words.

If we help each other to understand our individual meanings and feelings in this way, we are helping each other to grow and to find new ways of action and interaction that will lead to greater growth.

There is also an intimacy that does not require words. In this kind of intimacy, we do not pretend to know the contents of the other's thoughts, yet we share compassion and affirmation through silence, companionship, and gentle, respectful touch.

Considering intimacy in this manner, let me ask you again. Are you in an intimate relationship? Would you like to be?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Crisis"


When you find yourself navigating your way through a crisis, what can you do to come out on the other side stronger for the experience?

Every crisis involves risk. They are fraught with danger, but also an opportunity for tremendous learning and growth. Crisis is a time of testing, but it's also a time of renewal. Many people, when faced with crisis, tell themselves that they have failed and convince themselves that there's no point in trying any longer.

For example, if a young man tries to become a professional sculptor and fails, it doesn't mean he's a failure as a person or that his life is a failure. It simply means that, at this particular time in his life, his attempts at sculpting for a living are not working out. There are many other possible choices he can make, including trying again at some point in the future. He hasn't failed, and he doesn't have to give up his dream. But he does have to learn from his attempt and, perhaps, rethink his strategy.

Is there another way he can go about it? Does he need more education? More experience? More exposure? Help promoting his work? Failure is only failure if you let it cause you to quit. If you choose to let it help you, it is merely information you can learn from.

It is in meeting each crisis with determination that we measure up to life and its challenges. In so doing, we develop tenacity and great inner strength.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Optimists"


Why is it that optimists seem to be so much happier than pessimists?

There is something really wonderful about optimists. They're fun to be around, aren't they? No matter how bad their situation, optimists can always find something to enjoy - usually simple things like the taste of a good cup of coffee, the smell of the air on a fine spring day, the sound of a wind chime tinkling in the breeze.

Now it's important to understand that optimism is not saying everything is getting better every day in every way. Nor is it saying that the worst is behind us, or seeing sweetness and light, when what's happening is evil and ugly.

But optimists know that for all its faults, the world is also filled with good things to be savored and enjoyed. These positive people know that our experience in life is largely determined by where we choose to focus our attention and how we choose to respond to what happens to us.

Optimists understand that happiness is not so much a matter of what we have and what's going on around us, as it is a choice we make. The wonders and beauty of life are all around you, right now, right where you are. All that is required is for you to be attentive and open to them and that you make a conscious choice to see and hear and experience them.

So I ask you, do you choose to be happy today?.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Team Player"


Are you a team player?

If your answer is "No," take a moment and think again. If you are alive, you're on a team. Maybe it's your family, your relationship, your business, or your community. Maybe it's your country or your planet. But no matter how you look at it, you are a member of a team.

If you ask people about the richest experiences in their lives, they will usually come up with something they did as part of a team. Sometimes it's a sports team, but more often it's a business team, or family members, or some other group that was helping each other achieve a common goal.

You can sit on the bench and watch, or you can get up and play. My advice to you is be a player. Get involved. Have a say in calling the plays. Participate! It's a lot more fun and, yes, you're right, it's more work, too. But the more you give, the more you'll get.

What do you care about? What's important to you? There are other people out there who care about that, too. Why not join with them in a common cause?

You know, personal power is a fine thing, but the ultimate power is the tremendous energy created by people working together. No one can make your unique contribution, and no, they won't get along just fine without you.

So, what are you waiting for? You are a team player. Now all you need to do is find your team..

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Attitude"


Do you know what a self-fulfilling prophecy is? If you do, do you know how it works?

Most people know that a self-fulfilling prophecy is an event, which, because it is predicted and expected, is therefore more likely to happen, and even be caused to happen.

Here's just one example. According to "Success Magazine," two different groups of psychologists were asked to observe the same child at play. One group was told beforehand that the child was emotionally disturbed. The other group was told that the child was a genius. When the psychologists were asked to report on their observations, each group had found evidence to support their preconceived ideas.

Now, it is important to realize that self-fulfilling prophecies are everyday experiences - not just laboratory experiments. What do you expect your day to be like when you get up in the morning? How do you expect your kids to behave? How much success do you expect for yourself?

If you predict failure, failure is generally what you'll find, and if you expect excellence, excellence is very likely what you'll see. How we think about a situation determines how we behave, and how we behave, more than anything else, determines the results we get.

That's how self-fulfilling prophecies work - there is nothing magical about it. What you get in life is pretty much what you think and believe coming back at you. To me, it makes perfect sense.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Continuous Learning"


How's your education coming along? I know you are probably out of school, but I hope you haven't stopped learning.

When I think about the people I've known, who are most fully alive, invariably, it is those who have never stopped learning who come to mind. It is also those who have developed creative strategies to keep themselves from becoming stuck in a rut, no matter how comfortable that rut may seem.

For example, I know a retired couple who felt that their evenings at home in front of the TV were becoming dull. So, they agreed to turn off the television every night for an hour and spent the time taking turns reading aloud to each other. They decided magazines and romance or detective novels were off limits, but everything else was open. They read some philosophy, some theology, and a great deal of biography. They really got into Churchill's history of World War II. After doing this every evening for a few weeks, they found that their powers of concentration had increased. Most evenings, they never turned the television set on at all.

Many large organizations require some of their staff members to take a certain amount of continuing education every year. Many corporations help their employees pay for tuition. Is education a line-item in your personal budget? If it isn't, should it be?

Education is a lifelong endeavor. If you are serious about personal growth, you will take time to nourish your intellect as well as your heart and soul.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Law of Entropy"


Have you heard about the Law of Entropy? Whether you have or not, keep reading, because we'll talk about how this law can help or hinder you.

In physics, the Law of Entropy says that all systems, if left unattended, will run down. Unless new energy is supplied, every organism deteriorates. In my opinion, the same law applies to individuals and relationships.

A marriage doesn't continue to thrive simply because two people love each other, are compatible, and get off to a fine start. You and I, no matter how good our lives seem to be, won't continue to enjoy those good lives if we don't work to maintain them and pump new energy into them.

We cannot assume that our internal system, if left unattended and unrefreshed, will go on ticking smoothly. Machines don't work that way, and neither do we. Albert Schweitzer once wrote that some people, "harm their souls... without being exposed to great temptations. They simply let their souls wither, not realizing that thoughts, which meant a great deal to them in their youth, have turned into meaningless sounds."

What do you do to counteract personal Entropy? What do you do to make certain that your relationships with others, and with yourself, are well nourished and flourishing?

With proper attention and care, you can keep the energy in your life flowing and growing for the rest of your days.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Determination"


How badly do you want to succeed in life? Let's look at the importance of passion and determination in getting what you want.

Do you know anyone who is afraid to want something very badly for fear that they may be terribly disappointed if they don't get it? Maybe you feel this way sometimes yourself. This kind of negative thinking can sabotage your efforts and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Many years ago, a young man, who wanted to become a lawyer, wrote to Abraham Lincoln for advice. Lincoln replied, "If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already. Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing."

You see, one of the qualities that separates many successful people, from extremely talented people who fail, is the sheer force of their will, their passion, and their overwhelming desire. Tommy Lasorda is fond of saying, "Races are not won by the fastest athletes. Fights are not won by the strongest men. But the races are won, and the fights are won, by those who want to win most of all."

I agree. Willpower may not always override talent, but it is the factor that causes people of ordinary ability to accomplish extraordinary things.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"


A newly popular game show in the United States asks, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" It's current ratings suggest the final answer is, "A lot of people!"

According to Success Magazine, every 60 minutes, someone in North America becomes a millionaire. How come one of them isn't you? No, it's not because you aren't well enough educated, and it's not because you're the wrong color, sex or age. It's not because you weren't born into a wealthy family, and it's certainly not because you couldn't get on the game show.

If you're not rich, it's probably because it never occurs to you to become a millionaire. You don't personally know any or associate with any, and you never actually decide to do it. If you do decide, you procrastinate or you want instant gratification and spend everything you make or borrow. You focus on the short-term rather than the long-term picture, and you don't develop the mental stamina that will keep you going when things get tough.

Do you want to be a millionaire? The answer to that one may be easy. Now, ask yourself, are you willing to do what you need to do to get there, and never give up? This is the all-important question, and what separates the wishful dreamers and lottery ticket buyers from the risk-takers, goal-setters and hard-workers who will make their million and then some. One of them could be you.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Waiting"


How well do you wait for things? Today, let's talk about what happens when we're forced to wait for something.

These days, everywhere you look people are in a hurry. Timesaving devices are cropping up as fast as weeds, because, as we all know by now, time is money, and we're all in a mad rush to either save it or spend it. But what happens when you are forced to wait for something? You have a 4:00 dental appointment, but you don't get in until 4:45. You are on the end of a line that is ten people long at the supermarket, or a couple of hundred people long at the movie, waiting for your turn. Or, and here is a growing problem in our cities, you are stuck in traffic.

Now, as I see it, there are two ways to look at waiting. You can spend the time fuming, working yourself into a tizzy about all the valuable time you're being forced to waste, raising your blood pressure and your stress level as you sit or stand there. Or, you can regard waiting as a gift of time. What can you do with this gift? Here are just a few suggestions.

Use it to develop possible solutions to personal problems. Do mental gymnastics - commit something to memory or see how long a list of things you can remember. Get creative. Make up life histories for the people around you. Carry a book with you, one that you find difficult to read for more than a short period at a time. Set goals for the rest of the day or week. I heard of an actor who, when waiting at a stoplight, would hold in his stomach until the light turned green. Think of something unexpected you could do to please the people you love.

Don't waste the time you spend waiting. Use it to create a better life.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"The Power of Focus"


One of the most powerful forces in the world is under your complete control. How you use it determines what happens to you in life. Let me explain what I mean.

If you're a parent or a teacher, how many times have you told your kids to "Pay attention!" I'll bet you do it all the time, because you know it's important. I wonder, though, if you really understand the power of your focused attention.

Have you ever been playing a game, for example, tennis, and when your time on the court is almost up, you say to your partner, "OK. We've only got a few minutes left, so let's really do our best!" Suddenly, instead of volleys that last for five or six returns, they go on for five or ten minutes! Or perhaps you've put off working on a project until the last possible moment. Then, you amaze yourself with how much you get done in an incredibly short space of time. I think we've all experienced similar things. However, it is not the deadline itself that boosts your productivity and effectiveness. It's the incredible power of your focused attention.

The point I want to make is that there is absolutely no reason why you can't perform this well all the time. All of us have the potential to be peak performers. Unfortunately, only some of us have learned to control and focus our attention, harnessing our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and directing them toward what we want, when we want.

You can learn this skill. I teach people how to do it all the time. Once you've learned it, you'll be amazed at how much your life will change for the better.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Rights"


We know what civil rights and copyrights are, but have you ever thought about your rights as a human being?

You know about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that the United States' Bill of Rights guarantees. You have many other rights, too, though you probably didn't learn about them in school. And they're not usually listed or written down.

You have the right to make mistakes, to be less than competent, less than perfect. You have a right to ask for what you want and to get what you pay for. You have the right to feel good about yourself and to make choices that will cause you to grow. You have the right to decide how you will use your time and to limit other people's demands on it. You have the right to be taken seriously and to be heard when you have something to say. You have the right to be recognized for your accomplishments. You have the right to express your feelings of anger and pain as well as those of pleasure and approval, as long as you respect the rights of others at the same time. You have the right to question authority, to ask for help and support, and to have privacy.

Finally, you have the right to stand up for your rights and your beliefs, and to direct the course of your own life as you see fit. In other words, to use -- or not use -- as much of your potential as you choose to. Are there other rights you'd add to my list? Which ones? Why not make your own list and share it with your family and friends.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Illness"


Today I want to talk a bit about positive thinking and life-threatening illness.

If you have a serious or life-threatening illness, chances are that you'll be hearing a lot about the value of positive thinking. Progressive doctors, nurses, family and friends will tell you how important it is that you think positively. My wife, Diane, who won a fight with cancer, would be the first to agree. But she would also tell you that if you don't achieve a miraculous cure, if the course of your treatment is long and slow or filled with ups and downs, you have nothing to feel guilty about.

Too many people blame themselves for getting sick, then blame themselves even more if they aren't able to think themselves back into health. They may push down painful feelings about being ill and may have a long list of "shoulds" about what they ought to be doing. Here's my advice: let go of the shoulds, guilt and blame. Look for the want-tos, the love-tos, and put them in place of the shoulds as much as possible.

Don't lose touch with current reality, but focus on what you want for the future. Don't go to any doctor who isn't optimistic about your ability for a successful treatment. Read books or listen to tapes that put a smile in your heart, and stay away from people who pity you.

Finally, it's not how long, but how we live that truly matters. Make every day of your life, sick or well, as good as you can make it, and the rest will take care of itself.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Personal Growth"


Today, I want to share with you one of the most powerful techniques I know for personal growth.

It is a simple technique that has incredible power to change lives and expand potential. In fact, I don't know of anything that has more power. It's a technique you can use to help your own life grow richer and to help others, as well.

When you can see yourself, not as you are, but as you can become, you stimulate incredible growth, incredible change. People who find life exciting and who continue to grow and expand their accomplishments are people who have an expanding self-image.

Now this doesn't mean that you go around completely out of touch with reality. But it does mean that you have a vision of reality that includes not just past and present, but also future. It also means that your primary focus is not on what you are today, but what you can be tomorrow. It is this technique, this ability, that motivates people to grow, to surpass themselves, to break records, to change in positive, exciting ways.

After all, if you can't see it, how can you be it? This is what you want to do for your children, friends, and relatives. Keep painting a vivid mental picture for them of all that they can be and do. Let them know you believe in their abilities, and watch them move toward that picture!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Fear of Success"


A lot of people are afraid of failure, but do you know anyone who's afraid of success? Let's talk about this rather common problem.

Abraham Maslow, one of the 20th Century's great psychologists, called it a "Jonah Complex," because Jonah chose to turn his back on the great things God had planned for him. Of course, the Bible tells us that Jonah eventually found himself inside the belly of a great fish, but most people who fear success eventually find themselves consumed with regrets for things that might have been.

We turn away from the challenges that will bring us success for many reasons. Mainly, we just don't believe we have what it takes to pull it off. Our self-efficacy is low, which means we have a low estimation of what we can cause or bring about.

However, self-efficacy can be improved. You can do it by remembering successes you've had in the past and imagining yourself repeating similar successes in the new situation. Make a list of all the qualities you possess that you consider to be strengths, and surround yourself with people who believe in you and what you can do.

You see, you can take on challenges that are bigger than you are right now and then grow into them. And you can control your self-talk and your negative thinking so that you don't stop yourself before you start. Live your life in the present so that you'll have no regrets in the future.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Peak Performance"


Today, I want to say a few words about peak performance to everyone who'd like to improve at a sport or game.

People are finally starting to realize that "the right stuff" isn't something you have to be born with. The fact that we can learn to tap previously unexplored potential has been quickest, perhaps, to take hold in the world of professional sports. However, the principles involved will work just as well for weekend and high school athletes, too.

One of the best-known techniques, for what sports psychologists and counselors call "performance enhancement," is visualization. Now, visualization is simply a form of mental practice. It's doing your sport over and over again in your mind, with all the right moves and the desired end result. You can do this with your eyes closed in a quiet room, riding the bus, in the shower, while you're waiting to see the dentist -- virtually any time.

All that's required is that you see yourself performing -- driving the ball, throwing the javelin, clearing the bar. It doesn't matter what the action is, as long as you are doing it perfectly. Because, you see, your subconscious doesn't know the difference between a vividly imagined picture and the actual event. And while mental practice can't replace the discipline and hard work of physical practice, in some ways it's even better. It guarantees that you are practicing perfection, and when you practice perfection, you are far more likely to perform perfectly.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Tips for Change"


Are you planning to make a change in yourself? If you were, I would like to share some tips on how to go about getting the best results.

Maybe you want to lose weight, get into good physical shape, or quit smoking. Maybe you'd like to learn to do something new, or do something you already do better. Whatever it is you want to do, there are three things we now know about self-directed change that can help you.

First, set goals that aren't too big, difficult, or distant. Your long-term goal may be to lose 50 pounds by next summer, but a better goal might be to lose 5 or 10 this month.

Next, carefully monitor yourself so you always know how you're doing. Record your weight daily. Keep track of everything you eat and what you do to burn calories.

By the way, don't waste energy beating yourself up when you slip or fail. It turns out the kind of feedback that works is the kind that emphasizes what you're doing right, not how you blew it.

Finally, reward yourself for reaching minor goals and give yourself meaningful incentives to keep going. Short-term goals, careful monitoring, and rewards and incentives are three things that help you to change.

I would add one more thing, and it may be the most important of all: believe in your capability to achieve your goal. If you don't believe you can lose five pounds in 30 days, you won't put much energy into trying.

So go ahead now. Get after those changes!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Anger"


Do you find yourself feeling out of sorts or angry a lot? What do you do when you get angry? Let's talk about this powerful feeling.

Anger is a powerful emotion that reveals itself in many different ways. Some folks seem to go through life with a chip on their shoulder. They are quick to find things to be angry about, always fix the cause of their anger as somewhere outside themselves, and occasionally erupt into rage. Other people seem to run on a pretty even keel most of the time, but when they get angry they explode and feel completely out of control.

One of my seminar participants once described it as like jumping into a powerful sports car, gunning the motor, taking off at high speed, and then discovering that the brakes don't work. But you know, it is possible to do some work on those brakes, and while you may want to get professional help, you can learn to be your own mechanic too.

You can learn to accept yourself and others as they are at the same time you focus on and move toward a new way of dealing with anger. You can learn to think constructively about what you'd like to have happen, rather than destructively about what you don't want. And you can learn to channel the energy that now goes to fuel your anger into building an exciting future instead.

If you decide to use your enormous potential, you can put the brakes on anger, shift gears, and take charge of your life.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"The Power in Your Goals"


Some interesting information came across my desk recently, and I'd like to share it with you with some personal reflections.

Now that the excitement of the new century has settled down, some fascinating, but not entirely unexpected data has appeared concerning death rates in the month of January. You see, they went up - higher than any January before. It seems that many desperately ill people goal-set to see the 21st Century. Through sheer force of will, they extended their lives. Once the goal was reached, they let go and passed on.

Charles Schulz, creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip died this past weekend, the night before the publication of his final Sunday strip. His son claims it was no coincidence. "He had done what he wanted to do, and that was it for him."

Now, I don't mean this column to be depressing. We've all known, or heard of, people who willed themselves to either live or die. My wife, Diane, is a classic example of someone who goal-set to survive cancer, and not just survive but thrive and continue to make a contribution to the world. You see, we are dealing with the strongest entity on earth - the human mind.

My question today is this: If one can goal-set to live or to die, what else can we be goal-setting to accomplish? If the mind has the power of life and death, what is holding us back?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"Family and Self-Esteem"


The family is the main place where we develop our self-esteem. It can also be a place where self-esteem withers. Virginia Satir was a family therapist who influenced and touched people all over the world. She was a pioneer in the study of self-esteem, and had this to say about families, "Feelings of worth flourish in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible -- the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family."

But if you grew up in a family where one or both parents were abusive, where there were unresolved mental health problems, or where alcohol or drugs were an issue, you know that family life can be very different from this description. In fact, it can be downright damaging.

Now it's time for you to take on a parenting role, and maybe you're wondering if you can break the cycle. Or maybe you've been a parent for a while and realize you haven't been doing such a great job. Whatever your situation, you'll benefit from taking an honest look at your strengths and limitations.

You see, when you acknowledge and accept the past, reach out for new understanding (as you're doing now), and then decide you'd like to raise your kids in a better way, you are breaking the cycle. And you are building your own self-esteem -- the first step in helping your own kids do well.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Self Efficacy and Training"


Why do some people seem to do things quickly and easily while others struggle or simply give up? How we do things, perform on the job for example, often depends on how we were trained. But you know, most of us are trainers as well as trainees. You're a trainer when you show someone how to run a piece of equipment, how to behave, or how to tie a bow.

But what makes training take? What's to say that the people we train will be able to do what we teach them to do? Well, many studies have shown that four things are needed for effective training:

First, the skill needs to be taught. Then there must be an opportunity to practice, a supportive environment that rewards performance, and self-efficacy.

Now, self-efficacy is a concept I have been teaching for some time. It simply means our judgment about whether we can do specific things, our belief about whether we can influence our environment.

Dr. Albert Bandura of Stanford University is an internationally recognized expert on self-efficacy who works closely with my company and me. He tells us that when our self-efficacy is low, we avoid difficult tasks, give up quickly, and are slow to recover confidence after failure or setbacks.

Self-efficacy is built when we practice enough to develop competence or mastery and when we interpret our success as due to our own efforts rather than luck or circumstances.

So when you train others -- your kids, for example -- break tasks down into manageable chunks, arrange for practice that leads to success, and give feedback that emphasizes progress rather than shortfall.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"Positive Thinking"


If you think positively, does that mean that you shouldn't pay any attention to things that are negative?

I was giving a talk for a business group recently, and someone in the audience had the following comment and question. He said, "People who think positively are OK, but too much of the time they're out of touch with reality. They're so busy thinking positively that they ignore the danger signs The next thing you know they're in big trouble. When you point out that they could have seen it coming, they don't like it one little bit. How can you pay attention to both positive and negative things at the same time?"

I thought his question was important enough to share with you. Here's what I told him. Take physical health, for example. If I'm a positive thinker, I am nevertheless alert for signs of disease, and if I find it, I take corrective action, fast. Now, while I'm taking the corrective action, I focus on getting the best possible results, and I know that even if I don't get them, I will use the experience to learn from and to grow.

Negative thinking, on the other hand, is worrying so much about a possible negative outcome that you don't bother to check for danger signs. And, if you find them, you don't go to the doctor because you're afraid of what he or she may tell you, because you expect nothing but disaster.

The same things are true for corporations, families, anyone in any situation. You don't ignore current reality, but you keep your focus on a positive future.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"Reticular Activating System (RAS)"


Did you know that you have a built-in screening device that either admits or blocks information?

The human nervous system contains a marvelous network of cells called the Reticular Activating System, or R.A.S. Its function is to screen out unimportant information that comes to you through your senses.

A mother with a new baby in the next room will sleep through jet planes screaming overhead, but she'll wake in an instant if that baby starts to cry. The airplane is louder, but not important, so it doesn't get through because her R.A.S. keeps it out. Only information that is important -- valuable or threatening -- gets through.

Now when you set a goal, you declare a new significance -- you make something important. And suddenly, information that never got through before is all around you. Did you ever decide to buy something -- maybe a new television, and the next day all you see are advertisements for TV's? They were there all along, but now they're important to you, so you notice them. My daughter tells me that she never realized how many pregnant women there were until she became pregnant, and suddenly they were everywhere.

So when you set a goal and declare its importance, you'll find yourself noticing opportunities to help you achieve it that you never knew were there before. Try it. I think you'll be surprised at how efficiently your R.A.S. works.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Dealing with Financial Pressure"


Can you take it when the pressure is on? How about when the pressure is financial? Let's talk about coping with money problems.

If you're interested in becoming successful in a material sense, you've got to be able to handle financial pressure. By that I mean knowing how to give, receive, earn, spend, and save.

Being broke is one kind of financial pressure, but if you think it ends when the money starts coming in, you're wrong. In fact, the more you earn, the more the pressure builds, and you've got to be able to handle it.

There's a wonderful book by George S. Clason called, "The Richest Man in Babylon" and it's all about how to handle and accumulate wealth. One of the things it teaches is to take 10 percent of all you earn up front and give it away. Then, take another 10 percent to reduce your debts, and a third 10 percent to build up capital to invest. That's right, what's left is 70%, and while many of you may say you couldn't live on that, most of you would be wrong. Furthermore, you'll find yourself on the same financial treadmill years from now, going nowhere.

Think of it this way. If you do as well in the next ten years as you have in the last ten, where will you be? Does something have to change? If so, what?

Why not pick up a copy of "The Richest Man in Babylon" and see how you feel after reading it. If nothing else, it will get your wheels turning.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Great Leaders"


What makes great leaders great? Is it the number of people following them? Or could it be something else? What do you think a good leader does? Run the show? Tell others what to do? My friend Chris Braiden, who was Superintendent of Police Services in Edmonton, Canada, has some interesting ideas about leadership.

He believes, and I agree, that great leaders are really servants. Their function is not to command, but rather to remove barriers so that those around them can do their jobs better. Leaders don't start out leading. They start out serving others, and because of their character and effectiveness, others push them forward to lead.

Something I've noticed as I've studied leadership over the years is that great leaders naturally develop those around them and teach them to be leaders too. They do it all the time, because competition or the new generation coming up behind them does not threaten them.

Great leaders earn the trust of those who follow them. It wouldn't occur to a great leader to think of the people he or she leads as subordinates or in any way inferior. They respect the unique talents and worth of every individual, and can step aside and allow someone more qualified to lead when the situation calls for it.

Great leaders are not in a quest for personal power. They are, though, passionate about their purpose and can inspire others to feel strongly as well. What do you think? Who qualifies as a great leader in your book?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"Mentors"


What is a mentor? What is that mentors do? Can having a mentor help you succeed? Today we're going to be answering these questions.

These days, there are many sophisticated tools available to help those who want to be successful. But one of the most valuable assets anyone can have is also one of the oldest. I'm talking about a mentor - someone who can help you learn the ropes, find your way around obstacles, and chart a course that will get you where you want to go.

Just about every successful person I've ever met, whether they are in business or one of the professions, sports, the arts, or any other field of endeavor, has had the benefit of at least one mentor. Very often, they've had many more than that.

Mentors are people who have achieved success themselves and want to pass along what they've learned to others. They don't usually tell you what to do - that's not their role - but they do help you weigh your options and think through decisions.

Who are you mentoring and who is mentoring you?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Dealing with Complex Problems"


When you have a complex problem to solve, how do you go about solving it? Today, I'll give you some information that might help you.

Sometimes, when we have complex or difficult problems to solve, our feelings of being under pressure cause us to push so hard for solutions that we wind up spinning our wheels. We study the problem from every possible angle, collect huge amounts of information, struggle hard and do lots of analysis. Still the answer evades us.

Some of this is because it's hard for us to tolerate feeling confused for very long. We want certainty, and we want clear answers. But sometimes it's better not to push it. Dr. Peter Carruthers, head of theoretical physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said that our unconscious is an important factor in solving complex problems.

This means that while you certainly need to collect all the information you can, and sometimes literally immerse yourself in the problem, at some point its important to back off and leave it, trusting that creative, productive mental work will continue even if you're not aware of it. Peak performers of all kinds demonstrate this and researchers confirm it: analysis and intuition are partners in creative work.

People who won't relax their dependence on concrete, countable information often just can't see possibilities that don't fit into what they already know. But, if you're willing to let go for a while and let your creative subconscious have a turn, you may be surprised and pleased at the results.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"What Makes People Want to Change?"


What makes people want to change? Notice, I didn't say "think they should change." Let's talk about the answer to this question today.

There are many things that make people think they should change, and all of them add up to pressure from outside themselves. It may be disapproval from a family member or friend. It may be social or cultural norms or even prohibition. It may be fear of punishment or humiliation.

But when pressure to change is coming from the outside world, our desire to change is probably going to disappear as soon as the pressure is removed. The results of our change efforts are not very likely to last. What makes people really want to change is pressure coming from inside. Most important is the desire to move toward greater experiences of pleasure.

Next comes the knowledge that if we don't change, we will be violating our own standards, failing to live like the person we know ourselves to be. It also helps if we realize that the results of not changing will be far more painful than any discomfort we may create for ourselves if we do change. A technique that's really useful when it comes to creating positive and lasting change is to use the power of your imagination.

Create vivid mental pictures linking pleasure and rewards to the behavior you want and pain and discomfort to the behavior you want to get rid of. Play these "mental movies" for yourself several times a day, every day. If you really focus your attention on them you'll be creating new associations in your brain, associations that will make it much easier for you to change your behavior in a lasting, positive way.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Self-Efficacy Part II"


Today I'd like to tell you more about self-efficacy by looking at the profile of someone who is highly efficacious. Perhaps you've heard me say that self-efficacy is our appraisal of our own ability to do something. Self-efficacy varies from task to task, and situation to situation. For example, I may feel very efficacious about my ability to teach people how to set goals and achieve them, but I may not feel efficacious at all about my ability to operate a computer.

Did you know that in any given situation, people with high self-efficacy tend to perform better than others? That's because they don't let the outside environment dictate their inner feelings, and they place a high value on themselves because they believe they are worth it. People with high self-efficacy also have a high need for achievement.

They enjoy learning and growing and doing well. They also believe that they have a high degree of control over what happens to them. In other words, they don't feel like helpless victims, even when things happen to them that they can't control, because they know that they can still control their response.

They don't give up easily, either. In fact, they see all setbacks as temporary and they never think of themselves as failures. Instead of dwelling on their mistakes, they use them as teachers.

How about you? You know, you can learn to have high self-efficacy, too. You have the potential waiting inside you. All you have to do is use it!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Self-Efficacy"


"Self-efficacy" is a term that's being heard more and more these days - in business, in social science, in education. What in the world does it mean? What difference does it make to you?

Self-efficacy is your own judgement of your ability to do something - sell a car, play golf, solve a problem, whatever. But self-efficacy isn't so much about your skills as it is about your appraisal of your ability to use those skills.

Here is something that is very important. Research has shown that people who see themselves as efficacious generally perform better than people who don't, even though their skills may be similar. How come? Well they hang in there when things get tough. Instead of giving up, they try something different. They don't get uptight under pressure, because they believe they are going to come through just fine.

Efficacious people have more options in life. People usually avoid things they think they can't handle, and efficacious people just think they can, and they do! There it is in a nutshell: We behave not in accordance with the truth, but with the truth as we believe it to be.

If you would like to raise your self-efficacy and your self-esteem, start today by setting a goal and creating the vision. You will figure out how as you go along. I know you can do it!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Accountability"


Today, let's talk about accountability and why some people think it means fixing the blame for what goes wrong.

When I am giving a talk or a seminar and I get to the part about accountability, I find that some people begin to feel defensive. Maybe they are struggling with a life-threatening illness, or maybe they have been in a severe automobile accident and are feeling like victims. They say things like "Are you trying to tell me that I am to blame for this? Do you want me to believe that this is my fault?" And I say, "No, the accountability I am talking about has nothing to do with blaming or faulting."

You see, the word "accountability" is an ancient Roman term that meant "to stand forth and be counted." What I am talking about is standing up more in your life, and making it count. And if you realize that you might have had a hand in creating something - yes, even an accident or illness - without blaming yourself, you will also realize that you have the power to do something about it, to change it.

Everything you see in your life is something you had some part in creating, even if it was just to stand by and do nothing and let it happen. When you decide to take accountability, you make this creation a conscious process. Winston Churchill once said that, "The price of greatness is responsibility." So take that responsibility for your life, and great things will happen.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"That's the Way I Am"


Do you know anyone who explains their behavior by saying "That's just the way I am?" Let's look more closely at this statement.

I happened to overhear a conversation recently. One man said to another, "I suppose I shouldn't be so suspicious, but that's just how I am." Now, what does it mean when someone explains their behavior by saying "That's just the way I am?" Isn't there an implication -- something left unsaid -- something like "I'm not responsible for my behavior," or "I can't really help it because I can't change?"

When I hear "That's just the way I am," I always want to say "Why? Were you born that way?" Because you know, there is very little about ourselves that we can't change if we want to. Every time we say "That's just the way I am," we give up accountability and power.

Now, if you say this is how I want to be, this is what I choose to do, you take responsibility, and when you take responsibility, you empower yourself.

As long as you believe that you are the way you are, and that's that, you'll stay that way. It's something like arguing for your right to keep your limitations. Of course you have a perfect right to keep them -- but why in the world would you want to?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"Visualization Techniques"


Today, I want to talk about how athletes and other people who take performance very seriously -- bring out the best in themselves.

In more than 28 years of teaching people how to use more of their potential, I have worked with many professional athletes and sports organizations. Athletes began to use leading-edge techniques like mental rehearsal and focused concentration years before the general public had even heard of them.

We weren't sure how these techniques worked, but we knew they did. Jack Nicklaus, for example, said that he would "watch a movie" in his head before each shot.

These days, thanks to many researchers, we know more. Peter Fox and his colleagues at the University of Texas monitored people's brain activities as they performed various body movements and also as they imagined performing the movements. They found that the actual physical movement consistently involved the interaction of several specific areas of the brain. Imagining the movement activated those same areas of the brain. In other words, mental rehearsal of an actionputs the mind through a neural workout that is very much like the real thing.

So whether you're trying to break your own personal best record in a sport or sell a new car to an ambivalent customer, mental rehearsal, or visualization, can help you prepare for peak performance by walking you through successful strategies and potential pitfalls.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"See Yourself as Wealthy"


Today, let's talk about becoming mentally -- and financially -- wealthy.

We have talked about the fact that in America, for the last fifty years or so, the rich have been getting richer and the poor have been getting poorer. We also talked about the role that beliefs, attitudes and expectations play in the accumulation of wealth and the necessity of becoming mentally wealthy before you can become financially wealthy.

In other words, you have to be able to see yourself as wealthy, feel capable of generating and managing wealth, and feel comfortable associating with other people who are wealthy. Because if you can't see it, you certainly aren't going to be able to be it. If some accident should occur, such as winning the lottery, and all that money just doesn't match your picture of who you are, you'll find yourself broke again in no time.

You have to expand your comfort zone. One way you can do that is by visualizing and affirming it several times a day, every day, until your subconscious takes over.

You see, your subconscious can't tell the difference between reality and a vividly imagined experience. When you very specifically visualize and affirm in the present tense, you feel the feelings that go along with it. Soon, you will begin to feel mentally wealthy, and the behavior that will, eventually, bring you financial wealth will naturally follow.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"Attitudes on Wealth"


What do you believe about people who have lots of money? Today I'd like to look at attitudes about wealth and how they can affect us.

You know, people have many strange ideas about money. Some folks believe that people who have a great deal of money are not to be trusted. They figure that if you're wealthy, you must have done something dishonest. However, in order for people with this belief to succeed financially, they have to sacrifice their integrity.

Sometimes people believe that there's just so much money to go around, and that folks who have quite a bit of money are somehow taking it away from those who have less. As you can imagine, people who hold this belief have to become pretty hard-hearted if they want to do well financially, and the fact is that they don't usually rise above poverty.

But what if people believe that money is a measure of success that enables you not only to live comfortably, but to help others as well? What if people believe that we live in a world where there is more than enough to go around, and that money flowing freely empowers people?

In the final analysis, the amount of money you can generate and help others with is directly related to what you believe about wealth.

Think about it. What were you taught about money? How has it helped you or stopped you from doing well? Is it time you changed these beliefs?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

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"Goal-Setting for a Well-Balanced Life"


When you set goals for yourself in one area, do you check to see how they fit with goals in other areas? Let's talk about goal-setting for a well-balanced life.

When you think about growing as a person, there are many distinct areas you can consider. Do you want to grow as a spouse or parent, in your social relationships, in your job or career? What about your physical and mental health, your intellectual pursuits, your spiritual life? You can also grow in the things you do for fun or in your involvement with your community.

Did you ever know anyone who put so much energy into growth in one or two areas that they ignore or neglect the others? This is what you want to avoid. A good way to stay both on track and in balance is to write out goals for every distinct area in your life. While you are at it, check to be sure that your goals fit together in a consistent manner.

For example, you have a goal to become a better father. However, your career and personal goals take you away from home a great deal, or leave you too preoccupied to function well when you are at home, you might want to take another look at your priorities and adjust your balance.

This is a good way to help you clarify your values too. Make a list of your values and match them to your list of goals. Do they match or is there unbalance? What is most important to your life? Why? Is that where most of your time, energy, and attention are going? Do you feel that your goals are helping you become a well-balanced person?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Broadening Your Comfort Zone"


Ever wonder why people who suddenly come into money, like lottery winners for instance, often end up flat broke?

All of us have a picture of the person we believe ourselves to be. And we have a comfort zone, a physical or psychological area where we feel at ease, that matches our picture.

Suppose, for example, you are a salesperson who usually makes about $2,000 a month. Now suppose that suddenly you have a $4,000 month. What do you think will happen? If your self-esteem is less than it could be, you will probably say to yourself, "Wait, I am really a $2,000 a month person" and you won't feel comfortable at the higher level. What do you want to bet that somehow, someway you will soon find yourself back at the $2,000 level, because that is where you feel at ease.

So what is the answer? Raise your self-image, your self-esteem! Once you do that, you won't be comfortable at the $2,000 level any more. Instead, you will find all sorts of creative ways of getting up to $4,000 and even higher.

You see, when you raise your self-esteem, you expand your comfort zone. That is why so many lottery winners seem to be amazingly creative at losing their money. They don't have comfort zones that will allow them to be wealthy. Take a look at your comfort zone. Could it use broadening?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Thinking Makes It So"


Here are some things that don't exist: A bad day, a boring book, a demeaning job, and an ugly dress.

Now why do I say that there is no such thing as a bad day or an ugly dress? Shakespeare had this idea in mind when he said, "Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so." You see, if the dress was truly ugly, every single person we asked would say, "yes, that is ugly." But what are the chances of that happening?

And if the day was truly bad, then no one could possibly be having a good day on that date, could they? And even if two people share the very same experience on the same day, one of them may call it bad and the other one may say, " Now wait a minute. There is another way to look at it."

And that is exactly my point. There is always another way of looking at things, so why in the world would you voluntarily choose a way that is negative, devaluing or that makes you feel badly. You have the ability to control your thoughts and your emotions.

The first step is believing that not only is it possible, but it is possible for you. And when you feel you can do it, then you try. And the more you try, the better you get at it. Negative feelings that once dominated you can be made to go away, and the time it takes you to banish them will grow shorter and shorter. Until one day you may surprise yourself by saying, "Golly, I can not remember the last time I really felt angry or depressed!" I know you can do it!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Your Dream Environment"


If you could live and work in an environment that was absolutely perfect for you, what would it be like? What type of environment would bring out the best in you as a person?

Where would it be? Would it be in the middle of the city's hustle and bustle, or in the cool silence of the woods? Maybe it would be on a beach somewhere or maybe even in another country.

What style would it be? Would be ultra modern, rustic, English Tudor, or a teepee? How would it be furnished and decorated? What would the surroundings look like?

Can you really picture this place? Can you see it, smell it and hear how it sounds? Can you feel exactly how you'd feel when you walked in the door? Now I am asking you this because if you don't have a clear idea of what your ideal environment is like, you are not likely to create it.

Your mind has the power to give you what you want. But first it must have very clear, very intense, very frequent signals from you. If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big because if you really want to make that dream come true, you can. I guarantee it.

That is, unless you stop yourself before you start. Unless you quit when the going gets rough. Unless you are not willing to ask for help. Unless you don't believe you can.

So, ask yourself: What is my dream environment? Do I believe I can make it come true?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"The What-If Game"


Today, I would like to tell you about two words that can unlock your imagination, help you make decisions and help you create the kind of future you deserve.

Those two words are, "what if." If you have children, get in the habit of playing the "what-if game" with them while they are still very young. Ask them questions like, "What if you could grow up to be anything you want?" or "What if you decided you didn't want to go to school anymore?" and then help them explore possible results or consequences.

Help them learn to "try out" possible futures and make choices based on the answers to the "what-if game." While you are at it, why not play the game yourself?

What if you decided to go back to school? What if you asked for a raise or quit your job? What if you wanted to have the best marriage you could possible have? What if you chose to get help for a drug or alcohol dependency? What if you began to use affirmations and goal setting to help you improve your self-esteem?

You get the idea. The "what-if game" is an easy way to help you visualize some of your many possible futures and choose those that you want to pursue. What if you started what-iffing today?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Invent Your Future"


Today I am going to tell you an easy and reliable way to predict the future.

If you want to predict the future, if you want to know what is in store for you, take a look at your thoughts. What do you think about? What do you dwell on and picture? What do you expect and believe you can cause?

You see, it is your present thoughts that determine your future. Now I am not saying that if you imagine yourself walking on water, you'll do it, or if you think about winning the lottery, you will. But if your thoughts are predominately pessimistic, if you expect to fail, if you believe you don't deserve success or don't have what it takes to have a loving relationship, then you'll behave accordingly. Your subconscious will do what it needs to do to create a reality that confirms your thoughts.

If you are an optimist, on the other hand, and most of your thoughts are positive, if you trust yourself and others and think a lot about how good it will feel when you achieve and become what you want, changes are very good you will succeed. You will do what you need to do to make your life match your picture, your thoughts. So you see, although you can't always control what happens in the outside world, you can control your inner one, your thoughts.

And when you do that, you unleash tremendous energy and tremendous drive. When you choose to respond to the world in positive, productive ways, it is easy to predict a positive, productive future, one you create yourself, day by day.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Motivation and Pay Value"


Do you ever have trouble motivating other people? Maybe I can help you figure out why that happens.

Here's a tip that may help you change your tactics and experience greater success. The first thing you need to do is understand and accept that you can't motivate someone else. You see, people don't motivate other people.

There is only one thing that can motivate someone, and that is an idea. A book doesn't motivate, but the ideas in it certainly can. Money doesn't motivate either. It's the idea of what you can do with the money that is a motivating force.

So, if you want to motivate other people to do certain things, you need to present them with the ideas that will stimulate them to action. And you need to do it as vividly as possible. Paint a picture for them of the benefits they, not you, will receive from doing what you want. Show them the personal pay value, what is in it for them.

Maybe it is a good feeling that they will receive from the end result. Describe that feeling and tell them why they will love feeling it. Maybe it is a specific accomplishment. Describe how accomplishing it will make their life better. And remember, what seems like a good idea to you may not ring someone else's bell.

Find out what matters to them and build it into your idea. Top sales people know this and use it constantly. They don't sell products or services, they sell ideas. You can too.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Listening to Experts"


If a doctor told you had a year to live, what would you do?

Some time ago, my wife Diane and I were in a group that was discussing how to get the most out of life. The question arose about what would one do, if they had only a year to live. Some people said they would travel around the world, others said they would try to heal relationships, and others said they would spend time in meditation and prayer.

But Diane had the best answer of them all. She didn't hesitate a moment before she said loudly and clearly, "Get a second opinion!" And then she added, "And maybe a third and fourth one too."

You see, when Diane was told she had terminal cancer years ago, that is exactly what she did. She said, "Maybe I have cancer, but it doesn't have to be terminal," and she went looking for doctors who would join her in developing an effective strategy to beat the disease. And she did beat it. Diane doesn't give her power away to anyone just because they are suppose to be experts.

If you want to read something eye opening, get hold of a copy of "The Experts Speak." It is a 392-page collection of noted experts being wrong about almost everything. The section on doctors will astound you.

Don't ever accept a death sentence from a doctor or a pronouncement of doom from a so-called authority. According to the experts, the sun goes around the earth, smoking is good for us, and the Titanic is unsinkable!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"The Secret to Success"


Today, I am going to give you the secret of success - in one word.

For more than 28 years, I have been studying success. Some of the most successful people in the world have been my students, and I in return, have learned a great deal from them. I have also spent a lot of time in the company of some of the world's most respected research psychologists, talking about what makes some people succeed and others collapse - the difference, in short, between the cans and the can-nots, and the dos and the do-nots.

So after all these years of studying and researching, I can tell you one thing with the utmost confidence - the secret of success is attitude. That's it - attitude. And it isn't really a secret.

People who succeed don't have fewer problems than other people. They don't start out with greater brainpower, or better parents, or more money, either. As a matter of fact, sometimes they start out working against incredible odds. But they have a way of looking at things, a way of seeing obstacles as possibilities, and a way of hanging in there, and making the most of every opportunity, that almost guarantees success.

They are flexible, optimistic and hard working. If you want to sum it up in a word, it is not difficult to do: success is, more than anything else and without a doubt, a question of attitude. What is your attitude?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Tough Times"


Is there anything good about bad times? In case you've never thought about, let's talk about the positive uses of adversity today.

Bad things sometimes happen to good people, and while it is impossible to always understand why that may be, one thing is clear: No matter who you are and how bad things seem at the time, some good can come from every bad situation. Yes, I mean every bad situation.

You know, no matter how hard we try, we can't possibly control everything that happens to us in life. We can control our responses to what happens. In the long run, our response is what matters most.

When we are forced to navigate the rough waters of adversity, we have an opportunity to develop aspects of our character that a smooth sail through good times just doesn't give us.

Some time ago, the title of a very popular book was, "Tough Times Don't Last -- Tough People Do." We need to understand that going through tough times is how tough people get that way. They avoid hopelessness and helplessness, they keep going when others give up and quit, and they roll with the punches. But believe me, and they weren't born knowing how to do these things.

They've learned to use adversity to their advantage, even though they may not have known exactly what they were doing at the time. So, if times are tough for you right now, hang in there. After you've made it through to the other side, it is entirely possible that you'll discover a depth of character you never knew you had.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Change Your Comfort Zone"


What have you gotten use to in your life, and why?

It has been said that people can get use to almost anything. If it happens gradually over time and in small enough increments, I believe this is true. And when you become use to things being a certain way, you develop what we call a comfort zone around them. When you are in your comfort zone, you don't really have to think too much about it.

If you are use to cleaning up your house every day because you like things neat and tidy, it will put you out of your comfort zone to wake up in the morning and see a sink full of dirty dishes. You will generally make sure that doesn't happen. If, on the other hand, you are use to seeing a sink full of dirty dishes every morning when you get up, it won't bother you at all.

If you are expecting company though, the things you've gotten use to and comfortable with may suddenly become very un-comfortable. "That's okay for me," you may think, "but I don't want my company to see it like that." Do you know people who go on crash diets before a school reunion or other special event? It is the same sort of thing.

Take a look at your life. Are there things you have gotten use to bit by bit that surprise you a little now? Don't just put on a facade for company. You are worthy of the same consideration and the same high standards you display for others. What are the things in your life that you have gotten to use to, which are not to your standards? It is time to make a comfort zone change!

Do it for yourself - because you deserve it!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Education and Society"


What does the quality of education have to do with some of today's serious social issues?

Education is a lot more than just reading and writing, or getting into college. High school dropouts are three times as likely to be arrested, twice as likely to be unemployed, and six times as likely to be unwed parents.

Education seems to be a key in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty as well. In the past, success in school wasn't required to move out of poverty. Between 1959 and 1973, the average annual income of high school dropouts increased by 18 percent. But since 1973, the average income of high school dropouts has fallen by 37 percent and continues to fall.

What makes kids drop out of school? A better question might be what keeps them in school? Many studies indicate that kids who participate in good early childhood programs have greater school success down the line. But did you know that less than one in three children, who are considered poor, have the opportunity to attend a preschool?

One of the reasons early childhood education works is that it creates and fosters self-esteem, and a good education requires good self-esteem. If we want a better future for our kids and our communities, all our children must have equal opportunity to a good education.

And along with the old 3 R's of "reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic," let's teach them about the new 3 R's of responsibility, self-respect and relationships.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Beliefs and Expectations"


What does the sugar pill have in common with potential? Plenty, I think.

A placebo, sometimes called a sugar pill, is a substance sometimes given, to people who are sick, in pharmaceutical research studies to compare against the "real" medication. It has no medicinal qualities at all, but quite often people who are given placebos get better anyway.

This is powerful testimony to the strength of beliefs and expectations.

People are healed of illnesses because they strongly believe they are being healed. It is not just in medicine that the power of expectations is apparent. School children perform up to the expectations of their parents and teachers, or down to them. Employees perform up to the expectations of their employers, and elected officials perform according to the expectations of their constituents. Most important of all, you perform up or down to what you expect of yourself.

As Henry Ford said, "If you think you can, you will. If you think you can't, you won't." It is that simple. Beliefs are that powerful. Fortunately, as adults we have the ability to choose our beliefs and to reject the ones that stand in our way or that curtail our performance.

What do you believe to be true about yourself? Try making a list and marking the ones that are holding you back. Why keep them if they don't do you any good? Put positive, helpful beliefs in their place. You can do it.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Personal Growth & Relationships"


If you are interested in pursuing personal growth, does this mean you are a selfish person? Today, let's look at how personal growth affects relationships.

There's no question about it. We have to have a caring relationship with ourselves before we can expect others to do so. However, being interested in personal growth doesn't mean you're selfish. Quite the contrary.

In his book, "The Psychology of Romantic Love," Nathaniel Brandon said "The first affair we must consummate successfully is the love affair with ourselves. Only then are we ready for other love relationships."

You see, no matter how concerned we are about others, we are ultimately responsible only for ourselves. If we feel inadequate and victimized, then we have no power to offer another person security and strength.

Self-development means being the best you can be and giving the best you can give. It means asking yourself, "If I were living with me, would I want to stay around?" Then, you change what you need to change according to your answer, without making a big deal about it.

You see, although there are tremendous personal benefits to self-development, it is, perhaps, in your relationships with others that a commitment to personal growth will bring you the most gratifying changes.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Visualization and Your Goals"


How important is mental preparation when it comes to achieving a goal that is within your reach?

When you decide on a goal that you want to achieve, when you know it is possible and you feel strongly committed to getting it done, what is next? What can you do that will help ensure positive results?

Well, the first thing you need to do is remind yourself not to get bogged down in figuring out "how" you are going to achieve it. The "how" is important, but it doesn't come first. First, you want to clearly and vividly visualize the end result. The more clearly and more often you see it (and when I say "see it," I mean feel it, taste it, smell it and make it 100% real in your imagination), the more likely it is to become real in the world.

It takes energy to create reality from a vision or idea, but it happens all the time. Every single person-made reality in the world first started out as an idea inside someone's head. The more thought, the more energy - and the more energy, the more likely the reality.

Professional athletes know this and use visualization techniques all the time. I've been teaching it for more than 27 years. Now, there is research accumulating to back it up. Nowadays these techniques are used in medicine, psychology, and education and by more and more folks just like you and me.

Where the thought goes, energy flows. If you can clearly see it, you are far more likely to really be it. Keep that in mind as you move toward your goals.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Motivating Others & Values"


Knowing what your personal values are is important. But knowing what other peoples' values are can be important too.

Are you interested in knowing how to motivate other people? If so, how much do you know about what these other people value, what they hold near and dear?

When I was coaching football, I worked with three quarterbacks. I asked each one what was important to him about playing the game.

One said he did it for the glory of God and to make his mom and dad proud. The second said it made him feel powerful, because he liked the idea of breaking through limits and defeating opponents who were trying as hard as they could to stop him. The third player said that football was his ticket out of poverty and the ghetto, because he hoped to get a football scholarship that would pay his way through college.

Now, there was no way that I could motivate all three of these kids in the same way. The things that were important to one didn't matter at all to the others, and vice versa. In the final analysis, it is values that motivate us to do what we do.

So if you want to motivate others, whether it is your team, your employees, your kids or your spouse, you have to present the motivation in terms that mean something to them, not necessarily to you. That means you have to understand what their values are.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Purpose & Self Worth"


If your life has an important purpose, does that make you a more valuable human being?

If you're a regular receiver of the Winner's Circle Network, or if you are familiar with my work at The Pacific Institute, you know that I think a strong sense of purpose is important.

I think it is so important that I spend a lot of time urging others to develop a sense of purpose. But don't make the mistake of confusing purpose with worth, as many do who are continually looking outside themselves to feel worthy.

You see, when you determine your personal worth by your job, career, family, social position, income or appearance, you create a dilemma for yourself. The dilemma is that you must constantly work for approval, love, acceptance and control in order to feel worthy.

So if you lose your job, or your children grow up and leave home, or you retire and begin to look and feel older, you may find yourself feeling worthless or even depressed. You can spend a lifetime looking outside yourself to feel worthy, but all of us have an inner value.

Every human being is worthy, simply because he or she exists.

A sense of purpose will help you live a more satisfying life, but always remember that you give meaning to what you do, what you do does not give you meaning.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Starting the Day"


How do you start your morning? Does it have an effect on how the rest of your day goes? Today, let's look at the importance of getting a good start to the day.

Everyone knows how important it is that kids get off to a good start in life. How a horse comes out of the starting gate can often make or break a horse race. And your first experience with something will often color what comes afterward.

Similarly, the way you start out in the morning can influence and affect your entire day.

Do you leap out of bed before your eyes are really open, begin a mad rush to leave for work on time, and spend your whole day trying to get ahead of a schedule that always seems too busy?

Why not try setting your clock a few minutes early for a week or so and spend your waking moments giving thanks to your idea of a higher power for the blessing of a new beginning and visualizing the way you'd like the rest of your day to go.

Then try to bring your full awareness to each morning activity: showering, brushing your teeth, selecting your clothes -- do each thing thoughtfully and deliberately paying complete attention to just that one thing.

Don't let your thoughts leap ahead into the future or slip back into the past. Just try to be fully present in the moment.

This approach is similar to the Buddhist art of mindfulness, and if you practice it for a while, it will change the pace and the feeling of your day!

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Working on Personal Growth"


Do you ever feel discouraged because your work on personal growth isn't going as quickly as you'd like? If so, I'll give you some advice that may help.

Many people are interested in doing all they can to develop strong and positive self-esteem, and that's a very good thing. But sometimes there is a tendency for folks who have just started the process of deliberate personal growth to take themselves a bit too seriously.

They may find themselves going abruptly from relative non-awareness to total and complete introspection. They hold a magnifying glass up to every thought, feeling, act and relationship.

My advice to these folks is to relax and take it easy. Take it a step at a time, a day at a time. Developing high self-esteem is a gradual process, so don't pressure yourself to get there all at once.

Great craftsmen work steadily on their creations, but they don't get frantic over completion. So give yourself time and space to develop and rework your self-picture. Meantime, relax and enjoy yourself. Get involved in activities you like and have fun.

If you are tempted to measure you progress, use a broad time range. See yourself today as compared to five or ten years ago. And remember the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. As long as you work consistently, you'll get there!

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Building Self-Image"


Everyone has a self-image, but how does a self-image get built? And what does your self-image have to do with who you are?

Your self-image, in other words, your idea of who you are, is a package you put together from how others have seen and treated you, and from your conclusions as you compare yourself to others. Primitive people build homes from available materials -- blocks of ice, animal skins, adobe, and logs. In just this way, when you were a child you built your self-image from what was available.

Your construction materials were the reactions of significant others toward you. So your self-image is simply a belief system you created, but these beliefs may or may not be accurate.

Now, your essential nature, the real you that exists apart from your behavior, your opinion, your habits, etc., is really quite wonderful because it is a storehouse of energy and potential that can do and be great things.

But if people who didn't have much self-esteem themselves raised you around constant put-downs, you won't be able to use much of this amazing potential. You see, your behavior always matches your inner picture of yourself, so it makes sense to look at your beliefs, get rid of those that hold you back, and learn how to affirm and tap into your potential.

For more than 27 years I have taught millions of people to do this, and I know you can do it too!

 
   

Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

"Who Do You Associate With?"


The people with whom you associate can have a substantial effect on your self-esteem.

How does it make you feel when someone asks how you are, but obviously couldn't care less about your answer? How do you feel when someone who says they care about you belittles your efforts or puts you down?

If you're like most people, things like this hurt your feelings. But did you know that if it happens enough, it could also damage your self-esteem? It's true. It's hard to maintain a high opinion of yourself when those who are closest to you are always trying to pull it down.

Of course, the reason they do so in the first place is because of their own poor self-opinion, not because there's anything wrong with you. But when you're experiencing their judgements and criticisms, it can be hard to keep this in mind.

Obviously, if you have a choice, you want to stay away from these kinds of people -- the ones who are always evaluating how you look, how well you do things, how moral you are, how witty you seem, and letting you know that you never quite measure up.

I have found that the best people to associate with are those who do two important things at the same time. They act as a mirror that reflects your good points while accepting you just as you are. They also expect excellence from you and continually encourage you to use your full potential. In other words, they see the good in you that sometimes you don't even see, and they tell you about it, often.

These are the people that bring out the greatness in others and these are the people you want to make a regular part of your life. Who is that person in your life? Who is the person who you need to avoid?

 
   

"Choosing Good Health for Life"


What is the most important investment you can ever make? To me, it is a simple question.

The best investment you can make is the time and energy you spend developing and maintaining good physical and mental health.

Mickey Mantle once said, "If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." So an important question to ask is how long do you expect to live?

If your answer is a few weeks or months, well maybe you can go ahead and eat what you like, don't bother exercising, keep on drinking and smoking, and don't wear your seatbelt in a car... because it really won't matter much.

But if you are like me, you want to live to be at least 100 years old - provided you can get there in good health and with a sound mind. Now, to some extent, how long we live is determined by heredity, but it is mainly a question of choice.

Have you chosen how long you want to live? Are you committed to the lifestyle and self-discipline it will take to get there? Do you eat a well-balanced diet and keep an eye on your weight? Do you exercise regularly and get regular medical checkups at least once a year? How about getting enough sleep? Do you keep toxins like cigarette smoke and excessive alcohol out of your body? And most important of all, do you take accountability for your own health?

If you do, and if your answers to these questions are "yes," you are making a risk-free investment in yourself today that will pay great dividends in the future.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute
http://www.loutice.com

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