Monday, December 26, 2016

What Will 2017 Be Like?

What Will 2017 Be Like?

Before you write your New Year resolutions, read to the end, take action on these 7 steps, and maybe this year your resolutions will stick. What will the New Year be like for you? It will be up to you to determine what kind of year 2017 will be like. One year from now you will look back again and realize 2017 was another average year or it was the best year you have ever had. For another average year you don’t need to do much just keep on doing what you have been doing, keep on going with the same kind of thinking that has taken you to today. The world will tell you that being average is better than being obsessed. I am here to tell you that it is another big lie so you can continue to be part of someone else’s plan. Choose to live life instead of allowing life to live you. However, if you want a great year, you will have to change a few things in your life. What is easy to do, it is even easier not to do. Never forget that you will have as much time to accomplish anything as you allow yourself the time to complete anything. 

Here are some thoughts to make 2017 your best year yet:

1.    Clear purpose and mission in life.
Make sure your subconscious mind has the right programming. The HOWS always become obvious and easier once the WHYS are clear and strongly pursued.

2.    Crystal clear vision to the destination.
See the path to where you are going. Create strong mental images of the finish line. Mentally live and relive the emotions of crossing the finish line.

3.    Achievable dreams and goals.
Keep the goals in front of you and date your dreams on a daily basis.

4.    The burning desire to possess the wants.
Let the positive strong tension inside you drive your actions.

5.    Solid plan to get to your destination.
Execute the plan and drive doubt out of your routine.

6.    Stellar attitude and professional work ethic.
Have a positive uplifting attitude backed by an exemplary work ethic. Kill procrastination and get the little things done well consistently.

7.    Keep eyes on the scorecard.
The scorecard is critical to track progress and make appropriate adjustments.

                        Pray like it all depends on God, work like it all depends on you.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What You Can Afford = What You Cannot Afford Not To

7 Reasons To Be Self-Educated

In the fast paced world we live in today it is paramount we continue to learn, adapt, change, and transform the world in and around us. Self-education has never been as important as it is now. Self-education is the only true education; it is the way to transform ourselves to achieve the levels of success and significance we desire. We all have different learning styles. Some of us learn by reading, others by listening, others by watching, and others by associating with likeminded people. Champions use all forms of learning. The best way to learn comes from doing, experiential learning, the application of what we already know. Significance comes from being a hungry learner and quick at applying what we learn. Be the fastest from problem identified to problem solved and you will be a big winner in anything we pursue. If we know and we do not apply what we know, then the knowledge we have is of little or no value at all to us and to those we serve in the world we operate.  The investment in the right self-education brings 100 fold return, yet most people lack the will to be self-educated because they lack a strong enough reasons to do so or they allow their excuses to overpower their reasons. The world is full of starters (full of reasons) but also full of quitters (full of excuses). Why not be a finisher in a world of starters? Here are the 7 reasons to be self-educated and to finish big, finish strong in life:

1.    Expand your mind
Feeding our minds with the right information is critical to expand our thinking ability. Our brain is the most valuable asset we have, yet most people disregard this truth by feeding their minds with frivolous information. Once a mind is expanded it will never go back to its smaller size. Social media is flooding our brains with information of little use thus robbing our time (our second most precious asset) each and every day. A self-educated mind is a healthy and productive mind. Expand your mind to contain the right information, better knowledge, and more wisdom.

2.    Program your thinking for success
We can program and re-program our thinking for success and significance. All it takes is continued feeding of right bite size pieces of information which becomes knowledge once being processed by our brains. Applied knowledge turns into valuable experiences to accomplish bigger and better things. Proper thinking is hard work and that is why so few do it. Many people are losing the ability to think properly due to over feeding their brains with wrong information. We satisfy and entertain our minds with information that actually kills our ability to develop the proper thinking and reasoning. Develop the ability to continuously improve your thinking.

3.    Fall in love with learning
There is no more powerful habit than that of continuous learning and application of knowledge. Learning is the best form of leisure. Opposite from entertainment, leisure leads to a great life, while entertainment leads to higher levels of craving for what will eventually lead to a smaller and less significant life. Entertainment has its place but it should never be at the center of anyone’s life. Make learning your life long pursuit and live the life you once dreamed to live.

4.    Develop self-discipline
We either discipline ourselves or the world will discipline us. Self-discipline is a trait found in all champions. Champions do what others are not willing to do thus the chief reason they achieve what others will never achieve. Champions are not smarter or even talented; they have the discipline to do more than others on a consistent basis. Little can be accomplished by those who allow the world to discipline them. Go on the offensive and develop the self-disciple required to win at the game of life.

5.    Achieve your true potential
We will never know and achieve our true potential if we don’t develop our talents and abilities through practicing and mastering the skills required to become what we were created to be. The continuous feeding of our brains with the right information produces better thinking and better quality of decisions. The right decisions compound over time producing the desired results. Success is a habit that can and ought to be developed by everyone. Success comes from a direct attack at our current reality. A productive loop is another trait in the lives of champions. Never allow another day to go by without doing something that reveals or refines ability.

6.    Develop the winner mindset
Winners are not smarter than anyone else, they just think different because they fed the right information into their minds. Most individuals think they know how to choose the right information yet their results in life proves otherwise. In an information flooded world, there is a very high return on investments made to get the right information. Quitters never win and winners never quit. Persistence and tenacity prevail when it comes to getting the right self-education. Develop the right mindset so you can see the world around you with a new set of lenses.

7.    Find the right associations
We become the average of the people we associate with. Every human being has the right to choose the right or the wrong associations so choose wisely. Choose to associate with people you can learn from. Choose to associate with people who will uplift you to higher levels of success. Technology has the ability to bring us together or drive us apart. We either leverage technology or technology will leverage us.
Is technology getting the best of you or are you getting the best out of technology?
How is technology helping you to be a better person and a better professional?

I hope the above inspires you higher levels of achievement.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Going Anywhere?

How Far Do You Want To Go?

Going somewhere? Read it and profit from it!

Yes, you can get anywhere you want to go if you …
Ask the right questions to the right person at the right time.

I am sure you heard about this powerful truth and as you think about it you are probably wondering how I do that. If you become good at applying this truth in your life you can go anywhere you want to go. You can get to the essence of others, to their core, and then be able to help and serve them. You can make friends and you can find needs in others. Above all, you can establish trust and communicate effectively with others. Effective communication is a transfer of felling that often leads to action. Asking the right questions is more important than having the right answers. Always make your questions bigger than your answers.

The quality of our experiences in life is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves and those we associate with. Ask the right questions to learn what makes someone tick. Ask the right questions at the right time and watch them come alive. The skill of asking the right questions to the right person and the right time is a great skill to have; this skill only comes with extensive practice. Read the following and takes a few minutes to internalize it and it will change the way you conduct yourself during the next conversation.

Let me help you by breaking this powerful statement into 7 nuggets that will set you on a course to get anything you would like in your life. Of course, before you do anything you must know where you want to go.

1.    Know what questions to ask them.
Start with simple questions others can and will answer. This is the key to start any conversation or relationship. Some folks call it small talk; I call it the smart talk. Great and lasting things are built on the right foundations. Listen carefully to their answers and they will give you clues for what questions to ask next.
Where did you grow up?
Are you from around here?

2.    Ask important questions about them.
Ask open ended questions they will be glad to answer. This is important so they will start telling you key information to build a foundation of trust for any successful conversation or relationship. Ask why questions.
What is new in your world?
Who is your hero?

3.    Ask questions to get to know them.
Don’t get too personal in your questions until you have established a connection with them. Start with questions that are already public knowledge to bring information to the present conversation. Here you are building a foundation for the next level of questioning. Their answers will help you know what their most important issues are.
How did you get started doing what you are doing?
Why did you decide to move to this city or state or country?

4.    Ask questions that are important to them.
Ask the simple personal and professional questions. Listen carefully and you get the clues for the next questions to ask. This is critical as you get more specific about the questions you will ask next. This has to flow naturally as part of any great conversation or new relationship.
Why do you like being an engineer?
Why do you like working in the medical field?

5.    Ask questions that arouse interest in their wants.
You can only ask this type of question after you know what is important to them. Here you can ask questions to establish common ground, things of common interest. When do you feel most valued and appreciated?
What makes you come alive?

6.    Ask appropriate questions at the right time.
Timing is everything when it comes to asking questions. Best questions are part of the conversation flow. Never ask any question you would not gladly answer yourself. The timing of a question is important to move to the next steps in questioning. This type of question helps to summarize the progress made in any conversation.
Where do you see yourself one year from now?
Why do you think you can live wonderful dream?

7.    Ask questions that leads them to action.
Lead them to come up with answers to the questions by asking sequential questions.  Help others to come up with their own answers based on their own values and beliefs. Questioning values and beliefs has a place but only after you have established high trust in a relationship. The best way to get anyone to do anything is because she or he wants to do it.
What would a day in your life look alike if you achieve such worthy goal?
What did you learn today that you can apply in your life immediately?

                                                         The more you learn the more you earn!

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

How To Become a Pro

The Value of Professional Development
Carlos Fontana

If you knew the true value of professional development you would fully embrace becoming the journey to become one. We humans are all born with hundred of talents a abilities in us. Yet most will go to their graves with their potential undetected and undeveloped. At some point it can be too late for you to become what you were created to be. Being a true professional is becoming essential and necessary to succeed in the fast changing business environment all of us live in today. I must tell you right off the bat that being a pro is a lifetime assignment. Proper thinking is the hardest yet the most rewarding work a professional does. To me life is a daring adventure that must be embraced with the entire muster we have. If you are looking for a safe and secure professional life, then you must keep reading this to the end. Security is no longer where it used to be. Safe and secure jobs no longer exist. Security today is only found in high quality thinking, in high speed learning, and applying the right knowledge. We must leave the safe and secure for the amateurs! Have faith and become a pro at your craft. True pros don’t wait for their treasure to come to them; they go and get them, no matter what challenges, obstacles, and resistance they face.  

We live in such prosperous times, in a world full of opportunities, yet most people sit and wait for the world to bring them whatever they wish and desire. We cannot take our grubby old selves to a bright new future; positive personal and professional growth is required. While speaking to a high school psychology class recently, I raised one of the greatest books on my hand (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey).  Once I had the full class attention, I asked the students; who wants this great book? A few students raised their hands. I asked again and a few more hands went up. I asked again, who wants this great book for free. Asked and again and only after asking 7 times, one young man got up, came to me and grab the book from my hand. What does that tell you?
There are many advantages to becoming a true professional. Are you looking for the big material rewards, recognition and respect, finding your purpose and leaving a legacy for centuries to come? Pros make a lot of money because money follows excellence; it always did and always will. If you can be a pro in your chosen profession then why are you settling with being an amateur? If great is available never settle for good. Are you being an average amateur or are you striving to be a true pro? Becoming a pro requires practicing the right skills over and over, and then, over again, hundreds or even thousands of times. Practice does not make perfect; the right practice does!
The advantages of being a true professional are many and the disadvantages are few. There is great value in mastering your craft in every possible way. The key is to get the right information from the right sources, study the information, and turn it into applicable knowledge.  The best knowledge comes from experiences, not theories. The right knowledge is practical and applicable. The internet is full of misinformation. What can you learn from someone who wants to help you but doesn’t possess the results in life in the areas to help you with? That MBA professor may be a nice person, but how can you learn business from someone who has never built a successful business or is financially broke?  Follow those professionals that have achieved the success in the areas of business that you are looking for and learn from them. Then, and only then, follow their advice and do what they did.

Success, even in technical areas, depends mostly on the ability to deal with people, the so called soft or people skills.  Are you accepting full responsibility to be a top performing professional in your field or are you waiting for others to do it for you?

Yes, there is a great return in the investments you make in your professional development. Here is a list (not all inclusive) of many specific advantages:

1.      Taking full personal responsibility for your professional development
2.      Better working opportunities and higher compensation
3.      Learning how to be a visionary long term thinker
4.      Learning the power of compounding and creating momentum
5.      Learning how to achieve long term desired results
6.      Understanding the value and being part of creating the right work culture
7.      Understanding the value and being part of creating the right systems
8.      Performing more enjoyable work
9.      Learning how to set goals and achieving them
10.  Increasing emotional intelligence and learning how to deal with adversity

11.  Improving leadership ability (character, results, relationships)
12.  Improving attitude and focusing on what can be controlled
13.  Improving skills to work with others, especially difficult people
14.  Improving ability to build trust everywhere
15.  Learning how to work with others and lead teams
16.  Having faster, bigger, deeper, and better quality of thinking
17.  Higher ability of linking different people and their ideas
18.  Higher levels of creativity and innovation
19.  Better problem solving and conflict resolution skills
20.  Mastering the art and science of communication

21.  Expanding the network of business relationships
22.  Making better decisions and making the decisions right
23.  Improving ability to create lasting professional relationships
24.  Increasing self-awareness, self-confidence, competence, and credibility
25.  Higher sense of purpose via meaningful contributions
26.  Higher focus, energy, and effectiveness
27.  Higher motivation and inspiration
28.  Learning from mistakes and how to deal with failure
29.  Greater resilience and tenacity
30.  Increasing influence by helping others achieve their goals and dreams

And the list could continue… So why aren’t more people investing in their professional development? This shorter list sounds more like excuses than reasons.
1.      I don’t need it! Or I can get by without it! My job does not require it!
2.      I don’t have time! I am really busy now! I will do it later!
3.      I am too old! I am still young!
4.      I am not a good reader! Or I would rather watch sports
5.      It takes too much time, money, and effort!
We can make many excuses or we can have many reasons but we cannot have both and be successful; what is your choice?

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."