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The Ironic Starting Point of BIGG Success

starting point on road to BIGG Success

The starting point of BIGG Success is part gratitude, part discontent. Find out why in this BIGG Success Show Podcast.

The starting point of all BIGG success is a paradox. We’ve become convinced of this, based on studying the research but also from personal experience. We’d like to share what we learned with you today.

BIGG success starts at the intersection of gratitude and discontent.

These two attitudes, seemingly in conflict, work together to create the success you crave. Let’s look at them one at a time before we talk about how they partner up for your BIGG success.

The starting point of BIGG success is part gratitude

Robert Emmons is considered the world’s leading scientific authority on gratitude. He has found all kinds of amazing benefits of gratefulness. But we want to zero in on gratitude’s effect on achieving your goals.

His research shows that participants who habitually kept a gratitude journal made 20% more progress toward their goals than participants who didn’t. At the end of each week, the first group simply listed five things they were grateful for.

Yet this simple act – which can be done in less than five minutes – led to significant returns on the investment of time. Gratitude is the input. Progress is the outcome.

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How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

We were pleased to visit with Jim Bouchard on The Bigg Success Show today. Jim is the author of Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Success the Black Belt Way. Jim turned his love for martial arts into a thriving martial arts business. From there he started his own publishing company and is now a successful author and speaker.


Jim shared 3 tips to get from where you are to where you want to be:


#1 – The only person responsible for you is you.

You don’t need, and shouldn’t depend on anybody to guarantee you anything. It’s nice when they offer and it’s nice to be helpful yourself. You become a much better resource to others and do more good in the world when you make yourself powerful. So get out there and do it!

#2 – Start with power.
Martial arts is all about developing power (e.g. power for a kick or a punch). Those same techniques work in life and business as well. Power is your ability or capacity to act or perform effectively. So perfection isn’t a destination; it’s a never-ending process. The more you embrace that process, the more prepared you are to take advantage of opportunities.

Of course, at times it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling powerless. There may be conditions and circumstances beyond your control. At some point, though, you have to put on the brakes and take personal responsibility. Then focus on improving your ability and capacity to be open to opportunities.

#3 – Gratitude.
Jim says this could be first of the three in order of importance. He has a morning ritual that he practices no matter what’s he’s feeling that day. He doesn’t focus on what he doesn’t have; he spends a few moments expressing gratitude. Start your day being thankful for what you have.

For example, Jim says it’s wonderful for him to wake up every day and know that he’s in business with his wife and that she’s an extraordinary partner – both personally and n business. No matter what adversities they face, they can face them together and succeed. That’s a lot to be thankful for by itself!

George said he really hoped Mary-Lynn paid attention to that!

Download four chapters of Jim’s great book,
Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Success the Black Belt Way.
It’s FREE! Click Here.

Our bigg quote today comes from Jim Bouchard himself:

“You only stand on the mountain top for a moment.
It’s the journey that provides all the best memories.”

So even when the going gets tough, enjoy every moment of your climb to the top.

We thank Jim for sharing his time and wisdom with us!

Next time, we’ll look at how one young man made a bigg difference at work by adding his personal touch. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image from jimbouchard.org

The Two Most Powerful Words You Can Use

We were pleased to welcome Steve Harper, author of The Ripple Effect: Maximizing the Power of Relationships for Your Life and Business, to The Bigg Success Show today.

Steve shared the two most powerful words you can use … thank you.

People take these two words for granted or don’t use them enough. Steve said that in his work of helping people create bigger and better relationships, he has noticed that relationships accelerate when you recognize people who have helped you out. People want to feel appreciated for what they’ve done for you.

It’s sad to say that this simple philosophy of thanking people can set you apart from all of your competitors. But because so many people fail to show any appreciation, it will if you regularly show your gratitude.

We discussed three specific groups of people that you should thank. Now don’t think this list is all-inclusive. It’s just all we had time for!

Customers
One of the most important times to say thanks is when someone does business with you and your company (or the company for whom you work). Show your sincere appreciation to your customers. Making this a habit will open doors with that customer, and with people that customer knows.

People who introduced you to someone
Another important time to say thanks is when someone connects you with someone else. If you show them your appreciation, you’ll make an impression and reinforce their belief that you’re a good person to introduce to others.

Co-workers
This is so important today with good help increasingly harder to find. You should show your appreciation when the people you work with (or who work for you) go above and beyond their normal duties. They are far more likely to do it again when you recognized them for a job well done. They appreciate that you appreciate what they do for you.

As we told Steve … now we understand why Elvis was so popular. He didn’t just say, “Thank you.” He said, “Thank you very much!”

Steve’s #1 secret to success: Be a resource to others.
This goes along with the “thank you mentality”. Steve says that one mantra that he has always lived by is “The Treasure Chest Principle”.

The Treasure Chest principle holds that people are an unbelievable treasure chest of opportunity if you just take the time to pick the lock, lift the lid, and look at what’s inside.

Gain a true appreciation of the people that cross your path in life. One of the best, and quickest, ways to build better relationships, move up in your career, or build a better organization is to have this “resource mentality”.

You have to connect with the people who cross your path and engage them so you can find out how you can help them. If you do that with no expectation of anything in return, the ripples will come back to you.

Steve offers you a great resource
You can download a FREE chapter of The Ripple Effect at Steve’s site and learn about other services that he offers as well.

And in case you’re wondering, we didn’t forget to say “thank you” to Steve for sharing his time and wisdom with us today!

Our bigg quote comes from G.B. Stern:

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”

So don’t just think “Thanks”, thank out loud. 

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Next time, we’ll share three things to make your banker less intimidating. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by joka2000, CC 2.0)

Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving

In our last blog, we talked about ‘taters and asked the question: “What kind of ‘tater are you?”

Today we’ll put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving. 

Be thankful for the benefits
Robert Emmons, a Psychology professor at the University of California Davis, did a study to determine if there are benefits in being grateful.

He divided the study’s participants into three groups:

  • Group 1 recorded that day’s most significant events
  • Group 2 recorded minor complaints and hassles of the day
  • Group 3 recorded things they were thankful for that day.

After ten weeks, Emmons found that Group 3 had more energy, viewed life more positively, and had fewer physical ailments when compared to the other two groups.

Sounds like we should all be thankful for this study, doesn’t it? Emmons didn’t stop there. He wanted to know if there were any long-term differences.  Here’s what he found:

Group 3 members were more likely to achieve their goals.

So if you’re grateful, you’ll be healthier and you’ll reach more of your goals!

Make giving thanks a habit
We all remember the old saying “Practice makes perfect.” So, if we practice complaining, we’ll get pretty good at it. So how do you stop complaining?

Be grateful for what you have; quit complaining about what you don’t. It’s really a matter of attention. We tend to give attention to bad things. Many people shine stadium lights on their problems, and flashlights on their blessings.

You should do the opposite – be thankful everyday for all that happens to you. We recently wrote an article about John Bramblitt. Here is a young man that lost his sight, but didn’t let it conquer him. He became a painter. In his adversity, he found his gift.

The most precious thing in the world
Just like John Bramblitt, your life is a gift. You and only you are the single most unique thing in the world. There is only one of you. Your genes and all of your experiences have come together to make you who you are.

Don’t you have a lot for which to be thankful? Being thankful on Thanksgiving is great. We challenge you to make it a part of your life everyday. It pays big dividends!

Our quote today is from over 2000 years ago. It’s by Cicero, the great philosopher.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Greatness begins with gratefulness. Make giving thanks a daily habit. We promise that you’ll thank yourself for it. 

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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3 Steps to Solve an Ethical Dilemma

By Bigg Success Staff
08-05-08

Leadership Skills

dilemma

One of the most important leadership skills you can possess is a high moral intelligence.
It may appear that bad behavior is rewarded in the corporate world, but it is usually a very short-term phenomenon. In the long-term, good behavior tends to pay off.

What makes ethical dilemmas particularly difficult is that they often involve conflicts between two or more deeply held beliefs. Consider this admittedly simple example …

A friend of yours just had a baby. He’s the most homely baby you’ve ever seen. While holding her new baby boy in her arms, your friend asks, “Isn’t he the best looking baby you’ve ever seen?”

Now you value honesty. But you also believe you shouldn’t needlessly hurt someone’s feelings. You have an ethical dilemma!

Ethical dilemmas flow upward
All of us are leaders, even if it’s just personal leadership. However, when you start managing others, it’s crucial to have a framework in place to deal with ethical dilemmas. Leaders must learn to apply their values, aligned with the values of their organization, to these situations. Ethical decisions are often trade-offs between:

  • Utility – the value delivered to the stakeholders in your organization
  • Rights – entitlement to something
  • Justice – equitable sharing of pain and pleasure

Because of these trade-offs, leaders must be prepared to deal with ethical dilemmas because these decisions tend to flow upward. So leaders must develop a framework to handle these inevitable challenges.

The benefits of an established framework

There are at least four benefits to putting a framework in place for making ethical decisions:

  • Efficiency – decisions can be made more quickly
  • Consistency – results in more systematic outputs
  • Payback – builds emotional goodwill with your constituents
  • Self-respect – you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror

3 steps to solving ethical dilemmas

#1 – Know your values
There are certain values about which society agrees. For example, we tend to value honesty. Our discussion here isn’t designed to change your values – instead, it’s about applying them. Before you can apply them, you have to know what they are.

If you haven’t formally contemplated your values, or even if you haven’t thought about it for awhile, check out our article on core values.

Application: Create your list of core values.

#2 – Select a model
According to the book, Moral Issues in Business, ethical theories can be divided into two classifications: consequential theories (the formal term for these is teleological theories) and non-consequential theories (formal name is deontological theories).

The following is not a complete list of ethical theories, but it certainly covers the most significant ones for business people.

Consequential theories
With consequential theories, actions are judged by outcomes. If an action results in a positive result, it is morally right. If not, it is wrong.
Egoism – An act is moral if it promotes your best long-term interest.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decision-making – Ignores wrongs
– Flexible – Ignores interest of others
– Doesn’t build relationships
– Inconsistent (i.e. right for me, wrong for you)
– Can’t resolve conflicts of interest

Utilitarianism – An act is moral if it produces the great ratio of good to evil for everyone.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decision-making – May ignore wrongs
– Flexible – May conflict with justice
– Recognizes interests of all – Difficult to design rules
– Resolves conflict of interest

Situational – An act is moral if it creates the greatest amount of love.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Humanizes decisions – Lacks definite criteria for decision-making
– Rejects moral legalism

Non-consequential theories
According to non-consequential theories, a factor (single rule non-consequential theories) or factors (multiple rule non-consequential theories) other than the outcome should be considered when faced with an ethical dilemma.

Single rule

Golden Rule – An act is moral if you treat others the way you would wish to be treated.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Personalizes decisions – Needs modification to fit commerce
– Brings fairness into play – We can’t know how others feel and think
– Carries childhood teachings into business

Categorical Imperative (Kant) – An act is moral if you would wish that everyone behaved in the same manner.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decisions (i.e. do your duty) – Doesn’t resolve conflicts of duties
– Recognizes responsibilities – Subject to misinterpretation of duty
– Provides humanistic dimension – Results of acting on duty can be disastrous
– Respects rights of others

Multiple rules

Prima Facie Duties (Ross) – An act is moral if you fulfill your duties; if there is conflict, fulfill the duty to which you are most obligated. Prima facie duties include, but are not limited to: fidelity, gratitude, justice, beneficence, self-improvement, and non-injury.

Strengths Weaknesses
– List of duties is educational in itself – Difficult to determine weight of duties
– Sensitive to consequences – No basic agreement on moral principles

Maximin Principle of Justice (Rawls) – An act is moral if it provides an equal amount of liberty for you and others, except when social or economic inequalities exist. In that case, the worst-off in society should benefit more from the act.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Shows inherent respect for individuals – Concerned only with justice
– Encourages social responsibility by all – Assumes a high level of rationality
– Shows concern for less fortunate – Assumes acting without self-interest

Proportionality (Garrett) – An act is moral if, in engaging in it, you don’t will a major evil to you or anyone else and if you don’t will, risk or permit a minor evil to yourself or anyone else without a proportionate reason.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Synthesizes most useful theories – Definitions are vague
– Provides flexibility without immorality – Highly subjective

You probably noticed that all of these theories have weaknesses. So you may think that selecting an ethical theory is an exercise in futility. However, once you select the ethical theory that you feel is most closely aligned with your core values, you’ll find solving ethical dilemmas much easier. You can recognize the weakness of your method, while feeling confident in your process.

Application: Choose the ethical theory which most closely aligns with your values.

#3 – Use a problem-solving process

Now you know your values and you have a model with which to apply them. The remaining piece is to follow an orderly process to solve the problem, because not all ethical dilemmas are as simple as your friend and her baby that we discussed earlier.

We recommend that you SOLVE IT! That’s our acronym for the timeless problem-solving process. When you follow a process such as this to solve an ethical dilemma, or any problem for that matter, you feel good about your ultimate decision. You know you’ve considered all of the alternatives and chosen the best alternative under the circumstances.

Happiness is Freedom to Spend Your Time How You Want

By Bigg Success Staff
03-25-08

Timeless Principles

flowers 

We probably have more today than any generation since the beginning of time. Yet are we happier?

According to news reports, the answer is no. Research seems to support that notion. So why aren’t we happier?

It seems that many people relate happiness to monetary success. As a bigg goal-getter, you may be one of those people. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you realize its limitations.

Its limitation is that happiness from monetary success is short-lived. You’re happy when you reach that level. Then you start looking at all the people who are at a yet higher level. All of a sudden, you’re unhappy again.

Define your desired destination
A better approach is to clearly define the lifestyle that will make you happy. How much money will it take to support that lifestyle?

Create a plan to invest your money wisely so your money makes enough to support that desired lifestyle. Now you’re free to spend your time however you choose. Now wouldn’t that make your happy? Happiness is freedom; freedom is happiness.

Then resist the temptations (and there will be many) to want more than that, unless you clearly understand why it will make you happier. And getting to boast about your bigg new you-name-it to your neighbor probably isn’t sufficient!

It’s a very short-term thing. You’re seeking long-term happiness. What makes you happy? Define it. Get it. Enjoy it.

The journey has its rewards
You don’t have to wait to be happy until you reach your final destination. Enjoy the journey as well! You’ve determined what will give you the freedom to spend your time however you want. You’ve mapped out a plan to get there.

Now, celebrate each accomplishment along the way! Stop and smell the roses!

Appreciate how far you’ve come. Be thankful for what you’ve learned. Be grateful for all the people who have helped you get there.

As you develop this attitude of gratitude, you’ll find that you’ll be happier now. You’ll enjoy the journey more because you’re taking time to appreciate what you’re experiencing – both the good and the bad. These experiences are building a better “you”.

If you’re happy and you know it … 

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Don’t Worry! Be Happy …. And Healthy!

By Bigg Success Staff
01-09-08

Work-Life Balance

000071_happy_door_jpg

Are you happy? It turns out that your answer to that question may determine, in some part, how healthy you are.

A recent study, published in American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that there appears to be a link between positive emotions and body chemistry. The study was conducted by Dr. Andrew Steptoe, a professor of psychology at University College in London, along with researchers Katie O'Donnell, Ellena Badrick, Meena Kumari and Michael Marmot.

Specifically, the study showed that people who reported being upbeat had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone may contribute to high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and reduced immune functions when it’s persistently elevated.

Women who are happy may experience lower levels of C-reactive protein and interlukin 6, according to the study. These two proteins indicate inflammation, which is believed to contribute to heart disease and cancer.

So, if you want to be healthy, be happy!

Happiness is related to enjoyment, contentment, willingness, and gratefulness.

Enjoyment
Spend more time doing things you enjoy. Spend less time on things you don’t. You’ll smile more, which is very infectious! No pun intended! Ah, who are we kidding? Of course, the pun was intended!

Contentment
You can be happy without being content, but you can’t be content without being happy. Contentment is an inner feeling, related to peace of mind. Peace of mind comes from knowing you did your very best to reach your full potential.
 

In case you missed it, in our inaugural blog, we said that
our favorite definition of success comes from John Wooden,
who says you’ve succeeded when you have peace of mind.

So do everything you can to become all that you can be. You’ll be happy … and healthier!

Willingness
Be willing to lend a hand. To be a friend. To help someone who can never pay you back. To give back. Develop a willingness to help others in need. Strive to make it part of your essence.

Research shows that people who give are happier … and healthier! Be willing to help someone today. You’ll be thankful you did, which leads us to …

Gratefulness
Just like a willingness to give has its health benefits, so does an attitude of gratitude. We all have so many things for which to be thankful. So many things that we take for granted. From family and friends. To talents. To blessings. The list could go on and on …

So spend some time today reflecting and being thankful. You’ll find it makes you happier … can you feel that smile coming?

Because it’s hard to think about happiness without thinking about a smiling face, isn’t it? Doesn’t that make you smile? Happiness flows outward and affects others. So tell us …

What makes you happy? Share it with us … you’ll be happy you did. Can you see our big smile?

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Related Links:

Define Success For Your Peace Of Mind

Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving

Putting The Giving In Thanksgiving

(Image of happy door by oskay, CC 2.0)