Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lessons from the Cross


Yes, He has risen and conquered death. 

There is life after death just like there is spring after winter.

What lessons can we learn from His life, especially during His last few days?

My mother used to tell me that we all have our own crosses to carry. Boy isn’t that the truth? The choice is ours to be victors or victims from our struggles in life. There is no victory without struggle. The next time you face something that seems unbearable, stop for a minute, reflect, get some perspective, it could be the biggest blessing preceding the biggest victory of your life.

Here are 7 lessons we can learn from what happened 2,000 years ago:

1.       Our problem today is not lack of information; our problem today is lack of mental fitness, lack of emotional strength to endure the valleys of life.
2.       True victories only come after struggles. It takes vision, faith, and courage to understand what is happening as we go through our own crucifixion.
3.       We will reap the harvest as long as we endure our struggles and don’t give up.
4.       Suffering is a divine favor. Carry your own cross with grace for there will be immense rewards at the end. Yes, you will be tempted to quit. Quitters never benefit from their struggles.
5.       A life full of struggles is preferred over a life full of half struggles, the life of a quitter . Have you seen a statue raised for a quitter?
6.       Allow yourself to be led or be a follower as you go through the struggles. He conquered death to give us strength to conquer our struggles. Stay the course and know that it is ok to ask for help to carry your cross. Christ needed help too.
7.       Never believe experts who have not carried their crosses yet. If they have not been in the valleys of life, they may have little you can learn from.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reflection to Wisdom


Those who take the time to reflect become wise. 

No better day to reflect than today, Holy Saturday.


No matter what religion you belong, we can all learn from reflecting on the life of Jesus Christ. His life, death and resurrection left a wealth of teachings for us to reflect on. As a kid I remember the Easter week being a time of reflection. I remember vividly one time taking a walk around the farm and thinking about why people would kill people. Negative thoughts would come along positive thoughts. I remember fighting negatives thoughts early on in my life. I also remember having such peaceful moments after reflection. Later in life I always reflection of the many mistakes I made throughout my over 50 years of living. Every time I came out with a few things I could do differently to learn, grow and live a better life. Reflection is a lost art in the fast paced world we live in today. Take a few minutes today to reflect on the life and death of Christ. You will undoubtedly learn a few things that can help you live a more meaningful life.

What can reflection do for you?

1.       Reflection gives a full perspective on our actions, behavior and life.
2.       Reflection gives us focus on the areas we need to improve.
3.       Reflection gives us a better foundation, a stronger platform for the future.
4.       Reflection is an action that helps us to take better actions in all we do.
5.       Reflection helps us to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.
6.       Reflection allows us to realize the good and courageous things we have already done in life.
7.       Reflection gives us the strength to go on and live a better life, a life modeled after Christ.

Have the courage to reflect a few minutes today, every day, and you will develop the habit of reflection. No better time to pick this habit up. We all need it, the world needs it more than ever. Reflection is truly PRICELESS. In my book you will find 22 simple, yet powerful stories of reflection that will help you reflect on your life and realize you too have stories worth reflecting and sharing with others.

 Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Microwaving Ourselves


Instant gratification is a lot more than lack of discipline. 

Instant gratification comes from the microwave thinking that there is a quick fix solution for everything, a pill solution, for every problem. It comes from the broken thinking that there is a quick fix for a complex problem. Get rid off your stress in 10 seconds!












Just look at the popularity of lotteries and casinos! Why do we buy lottery tickets? Research shows that 95% of lottery winners at worse off 10 years later than prior to winning the lottery. Why is that? The simple truth is that the winners do not have the proper thinking and understanding of money to go along with a large sum of money.

Albert Einstein wisely said that in order to solve problems we need a different level of thinking than when we created the problem. The inability to delay gratification causes enormous loss of energy and money and ultimately failures in every aspect of our lives. It also causes a lot of pain and consumption of pills and drugs without solving the underlying problems. We in fact become train wrecks. You know what I am talking about.

Let’s take a look at what made us such instant gratification seekers, quick fix junkies:
1.       Insatiable desire for quick fixes, from dieting to relationships due to our inability to see that work ethic, behind long term thinking, is the key for every long term, sustained solution.
2.       Hunger for money and power. Easy credit and low cost of technology has compounded the problem. We want it and we want it now mentality. Imagine mortgaging the future for a quick fix.
3.       Inability to learn from the past. Failing to learn from history is planning to fail. Expansion of faulty, broken thinking at a fast and ferocious pace.
4.       Increase of exploiting and decrease in earning and deserving. Increase of welfare and entitlements. Increase in size and centralization of governments. Popularization of the idols of mediocrity at the expense of education and sacrifice.
5.       Lack of reflection time from busyness without purpose and meaning.
6.       Desire to express the me and me, microwave thinking. Getting something for nothing. No wonder Facebook is so popular!
7.       The dumbing down and the lowering of standards in our society; the focus more on rights than responsibilities and the increase of pessimism, negativity, and cynicism.

Never accept an excuse as a reason for not delaying gratification and truly earning what your heart desires. There is an enormous opportunity to create wealth by moving from instant to delayed gratification. Long term thinking and strong work ethic is required!

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Commonly Uncommon


We can only make a difference by being different.


How can a person become uncommon in a common world?
What separates the common from the uncommon person?
How can a person live and uncommon life?
Here are 7 ways you can become uncommon:
1.       Consistently work on yourself.
2.       Set and achieve your goals.
3.       Chase freedom by chasing your dreams.
4.       Serve others and help them find and live their purpose, their cause.
5.       Love others for who they are and see greatness in them; they will match your expectation.
6.       Help others overcome the resistance to change and grow.
7.       Develop strong relationships and help others do the same.

The common man achieves little. 
There is no competition for a dream chaser and freedom fighter.
Be uncommon and leave a legacy for centuries to come.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Powerful Habit


Our thinking creates our habits. 


We are the product of our thinking. 

How about creating the habit of setting and achieving goals? 
Think you can and you will; think you can’t and you will not.

Goals are dreams with deadlines. 
Develop the habit of linking your goals to your dreams. Attach your dreams to your goals.

Brian Tracy has helped many people achieve their goals and dreams. 
Here is Brian Tracy’s Seven Step Process for Setting and Achieving Your Goals.

First, decide exactly what you want in each area of your life. Be specific!
Second, write it down, clearly and in detail.
Third, set a specific deadline. If it is a large goal, break it down into sub-deadlines and write them down in order.
 Fourth, make a list of everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. As you think of new items, add them to your list.
Fifth, organize the items on your list into a plan by placing them in the proper sequence and priority.
Sixth, take action immediately on the most important thing you can do on your plan. This is very important!
Seventh, do something every day that moves you toward the attainment of one or more of your important goals. Maintain the momentum!

Now you know the necessary steps to set and achieve your goals and dreams. 
Follow a proven process to get the results so you too can live an uncommon and a significant life.
The life you always wanted to live is still possible. Go forth and live the life of your dreams.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Attitude Check


If you are not reaching altitude, check your attitude.

Courage sometimes skips a generation; let’s not allow it to be our generation!


1.       Take responsibility for your own thinking. Focus on the positive. See the sunny side of life. See the glass half full instead of half empty. Turn the positive voice up. Have the courage to act like a leader.
2.       Talk to your conscious mind covertly. Act enthusiastically. Fire up your neurons; have excitement on fire and knowledge on ice. Act like you will not be denied of your dreams.
3.       Stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself. Pattern-interrupt your thinking. Dream-build all the time. Take a mental shower as often as needed. Stretch your thinking.
4.       Get rid of that civil war in your brain. Harmonize your thinking. Focus on what is important next. See a mile go a mile; set stepping stone goals that are dated and attach dreams to them.
5.       Put all your allied faculties together. Create that cognitive resonance as you hum along your dreams. Success is only available to those who change and grow.
6.       Dream big and long. Affirm yourself that you are indeed going to the land of your dreams. We only get what we think we can. We only get what we picture.
7.       Prepare and your chance will come. You can reach the mountain top to get that magnificent view.  Your life only becomes better when you do. 

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Monday, March 25, 2013

IF NOT YOU WHO?


Apathy leads to dependence.
Dependence leads to bondage.

Whining, complaining and blaming are killing our nation! Let’s take more responsibility for fixing ourselves first.

1.      There is no success without sacrifice. Pain is an indication of what we need to fix.
2.      Champions are born in the valleys. Never sacrifice what you need in the future for what you want now.
3.      Success is achieved in centimeters not kilometers. The road of a champion is paved with the right pebbles, nuggets of wisdom, carefully applied over time.
4.      The enemy of today’s success is yesterday’s success. Good is the enemy of great.
5.      Be content with what you have not who you are. Always be working on the next and better version of yourself.
6.      No advice works unless you do. Take action. Action kills all fears.
7.      Act like the people you want to attract. Be someone worthy of others to follow.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

IF NOT YOU WHO?


Apathy leads to dependence.

Dependence lead to bondage.

Whining, complaining and blaming are killing our nation! Let’s take more responsibility for fixing ourselves first.

1.      There is no success without sacrifice. Pain is an indication of what we need to fix.
2.      Champions are born in the valleys. Never sacrifice what you need in the future for what you want now.
3.      Success is achieved in centimeters not kilometers. The road of a champion is paved with the right pebbles, nuggets of wisdom, carefully applied over time.
4.      The enemy of today’s success is yesterday’s success. Good is the enemy of great.
5.      Be contentment with what you have not who you are. Always be working on the next and better version of yourself.
6.      No advice works unless you do. Take action. Action kills all fears.
7.      Act like the people you want to attract. Be someone worthy of others to follow.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Choices to Destiny


Why aren't you  achieving more?

Are you learning to take action to achieve the impossible?

1.      Are you building your self-esteem by setting and achieving demanding goals?
2.      Are you always displaying an uplifting and positive attitude?
3.      Have you established good habits for the rest of your life?
4.      Are you mastering the art of communication?
5.      Are you learning from great mentors?
6.      Are you ferociously persistent so you can thrive under pressure?
7.      Are you learning from adversity, victories and defeats so you can survive your own success?

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Role Models


Modeling is how we learn in life!

Do you have the right role models to emulate?

1.      We all role model those around us, often doing it without even knowing.
2.      Are you confusing celebrities with role models?
3.      Role models are people we can emulate, people we can learn from to live a better life.
4.      Who is your role model for your faith?
5.      Who is your role model for your finances?
6.      Who is your model for building relationships?
7.      Who is your role model for living your purpose, for excelling in what you have been called to be in life?

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Friday, March 22, 2013

About Excellence


Excellence is a habit of the mind, the soul, the spirit, and the heart.

1.      Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of your services.
2.      Are you always looking, daily, for ways to improve your services?
3.      Effective communication is the best problem solver in the world and most of it is nonverbal.
4.      Listening is the best way to gain trust and make other people more comfortable with us.
5.      How good a listener are you and can you listen to what is not being said?
6.      If your goal is to always be right, you will never be a good communicator.
7.      Do you want to be right or do you want to positively influence others?

Additional nuggets from Justin Kaplan (thanks Justin for sharing):

Nothing is easy but who wants nothing.
Success is equal to standing up one more time than falling down.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winning Habits


Develop good habits and become their slave!

1.        Are you developing good habits and using them to your advantage?
2.      Are you using the right techniques during your practice?
3.      Are you writing down everything that is important or just leaving to memory?
4.      Did you know that memory often gets you in trouble by betraying you?
5.      Are you buying into the excuses your memory is giving you?
6.      Do you get up every morning excited about the opportunities the new day is bringing?
7.      Are you in the habit of doing the more unpleasant things first?

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)