I didn’t become Asia’s #1 time management expert or a #1 Amazon best-selling author by accident. It was by design.
One of my favorite business books of all time is Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant. I clearly remember the story of two men who volunteered to provide water to a village. Ed worked tirelessly carrying buckets from the nearby lake to the village, while Bill was nowhere to be found. Then one day, after many months, Bill returned and brought with him a construction crew which built a large-volume stainless-steal pipeline to connect the village to the lake. The result was cleaner water, that could be supplied 24/7 at 75% less than what Ed had charged. You can imagine the rest.
Early on in my career, I was Ed. I worked hard. I only had Sunday afternoons off for many years. Thankfully, one day, I realized that the Eds of the world would always struggle to succeed. So like Bill, I went away. I invested over 10,000 hours in my own personal development studying from legends such as Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar and Gary Halbert. I made the choice to sacrifice short-term success for long-term happiness.
I knew that I wanted to be able to spend time with my son as he grew up, and on the path I was on, it probably would have been tough.
Back in 2004, I survived the tsunami that devastated South East Asia. But that wasn’t my first brush with death, I’m actually on my 5th or 6th life, so I’ve learned just how precious life is. It’s one of the reasons I write, so that if for some reason I don’t make it, at least a part of me will remain.
Last week, I shared with you some time management tips. Today, I’d like to share eleven things that I think every man (and woman) should keep in mind in building their dream.
#1 Strive for continual improvement.
We demand our children work hard to get better grades, then shouldn’t we demand the same from ourselves? In order to get a promotion, grow a business or have better relationships we need to work hard on ourselves.
#2 Record your life stories.
My father got a clean bill of health from the doctor, went home and proceeded to have a heart attack in his sleep. You never know when your time will come, but capturing your life lessons and stories via audio is a fabulous idea that can be shared with future generations. Trust me, this has best-seller written all over it one day.
#3 Swimming isn’t just a sport.
I absolutely love the ocean. It’s so beautiful. I love snorkeling and scuba diving in exotic location, but what we must never forget is how dangerous water can be. That’s why I think every man, woman, and child should learn how to swim, because one day it may save your or your loved one’s life.
#4 Martial arts teach much more than fighting.
Parents often want kids to learn martial arts to protect themselves, but my son has learned so much more from Karate and Aikido – discipline, respect, courage, concentration – are just a few of the things he’s learned.
#5 Yoga is actually pretty cool.
Getting injured sucks, especially when you’re older. I remember the days when injuries would last days, not weeks. Back pain, like sciatica, can be particularly painful and long-lasting. Crazy as it sounds, but yoga helps keep us young. It’s also much more challenging than you might think.
#6 Attitude is what people remember.
You’d be surprised what people remember. Teachers forget grades. Adults forget their age. Couples forget anniversaries. But I’ve found there’s one thing people don’t forget – people’s attitude. Be sure people remember yours in a good light.
#7 Failure is not permanent.
We all make mistakes. Failure is part of life. What we can’t do is let our mistakes and failures define us. Here’s something to consider, Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times in creating the electric light bulb, but no one cares because he’s remembered for the one time he succeeded.
#8 Learn how to sell.
We are all salespeople. In business, we sell our products and services. Personally, we have to try and sell ourselves to people we like. The techniques are very much the same. We could all benefit from learning how to sell ourselves a little better.
#9 If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow, but a no, frees us up to focus our energies on those people that may say yes. Whether it’s a big client or the girl of your dreams, never be afraid to ask.
#10 Invest in great teachers.
A great teacher can save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. They might not be cheap, but great “teachers” are worth their weight in gold.
#11 Be willing to work for free.
I’ve often heard people say they don’t have enough money to buy a certain product or attend a special event. You don’t need money. What you need is resourcefulness. Offer to work for them for free.