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Directions that Discourage

twisted_directions We saw the results of a fascinating study over at Medical News Today. The researchers tested how the directions about a task affect the perception of the task itself. They started by trying to motivate college students to exercise.

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They gave the students directions on how to implement an exercise program. Half of the students got directions in an easy-to-read Arial font. The other half received the same directions in a Brush font (think paint brush), which is difficult to read.

Then the researchers asked these students:

  • to estimate how long the exercise routine would take
  • how easy it would be
  • if they would make it part of their regular routine

The “Arial” group thought that it would take less time and be easier than the “Brush” group, who also was less likely to make it a part of their daily ritual.

It’s amazing how something as simple as the font we choose could make so much difference. Just to be sure their results weren’t skewed by the students’ preconceived notions about exercise, the researchers performed a similar experiment with a recipe for sushi.

The outcome was similar. They concluded that if instructions are easier to read, people respond positively.

Enough about fonts, let’s put all the pieces together

We need to think about the directions we give to make sure they’re not discouraging our people. We don’t want to make a simple task sound complicated by our directions. Since people equate the ease of a given task to the ease of the directions about that task, we need to think about our:

  • Message
    Be sure you’re clear in what you’re saying. Also be concise. Eliminate the fluff. Focus on writing high-impact copy.
  • Design
    Obviously, the font you use plays a role. So does      white  space     . Graphical elements are always good. You should also use headers and bullet points when possible to make your directions easier to digest.
  • Words
    Sixteen-syllable words don’t impress many people; they have the opposite affect on far more. Jargon doesn’t help either. Use words that your audience will easily understand.

Look at the following two sentences:

You’ll save money if you buy gas today.

Buying gas today could be economically advantageous.

Which one conveys the message better to you? Which words do you like? Which structure if preferable?

We often make the mistake of thinking “fancy” words said in our passive voice make us sound smarter or more professional. Usually it’s the opposite. We’re deemed smart when we connect with the audience we’re trying to reach.                

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Next time, we’ll discuss how to be a good winner (or loser). Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Is Passion Overrated?

quote For our discussion on passion today, we talk with one of the most awesome people we’ve met since we started BIGG Success: Jim Bouchard. He’s a black belt turned motivational speaker. He does a great job helping you get in touch with your personal power. Recently, Jim turned the table on us – instead of us being the interviewers, we were the interviewees!

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take the opportunity to send a few questions Jim’s way – we love to hear his fantastic insight! So today we thought we’d share some of the highlights with you.

Let’s check into the conversation as we talk with Jim about passion …

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jimThere’s a lot of rhetoric about getting into a business that expresses your passion. The business I’ve been involved with for a long time is the martial arts business. Most martial artists will go into business – start a school – because it’s our passion, but it’s not always the best way to make money. I think that’s a very important, and often overlooked, factor when entering an entrepreneurial life. Passion is necessary, but it’s not the only ingredient that’s necessary.

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georgeThat’s a great distinction. It’s the old story – I have a hobby I love that I turn into a business. Now I don’t love my business or my hobby. Think about your hobbies, but also reflect on the elements of that hobby that you really enjoy. Teaching has been my hobby, because I had my businesses full-time. What I got out of it was the joy of helping people and seeing the light bulb come on. Bigg Success fulfills me in the same way.

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jimThat’s what people really need to look at. When you open these doors, you find passions that you never knew existed. I didn’t set out to get into the speaking business. I did always have the ambition to write a book at some point, but I never thought I’d go out into the speaking world. Like you, George, I found it was just a natural extension of the teaching that I liked to do – in my case within the martial arts world.

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marylynn You’re such a great presenter, Jim. How did that happen for you … that you ended up getting into the speaking business?

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jimThat’s a great question – it actually came from some of my martial arts students. I was sharing the martial arts philosophies that helped me create an anchor and a sense of value and worth in my life. They found themselves applying these philosophies to their business and personal life. A few of them encouraged me over the years to take my message to a different audience – not everybody wants to learn how to punch and kick, but everyone wants to learn how to develop their personal power, their capacity to act effectively. That’s how it got started. Then one of my mentors told me that I was already presenting every day anyway – I went on the floor and taught! So for me, it was a very natural transition. But I’m going to mark it this way … one of the greatest gifts that I learned from the martial arts was the idea of beginner’s mind. The whole world is open as a learning experience for us and we should never stop to pat ourselves on the back too long. Perfection is not a destination … it’s a never ending process. So I’m going through the same process as a speaker that I went through as a martial artist. I want to learn, I want to grow, and I want to be a better presenter every day. And I know you guys feel the same way!

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georgeAbsolutely, Jim! The thing that strikes me from your story – you said some of your students made a suggestion. With that one little suggestion, and you listening carefully and then processing it, you found this opportunity. That’s something we all need to be aware of – opportunity doesn’t hit you like a train. In most cases, it’s very subtle. But that’s where you’ll find that thing that you really want to do!

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

Dynamic Components of Personal Power 

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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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Is Your Mind Like a Skipping CD?

Picture this – you grab one of your favorite CDs. You slide it into your CD player, select the track you want, and begin listening to one of your favorite songs when, all of a sudden … the CD starts skipping.

It occurred to us that sometimes our minds are like that skipping CD. We get stuck in one place. We have to control our own internal chat – what we say to ourselves, what we allow ourselves to think about – so we can hear the sweet sounds of success.

 

All the points are listed here, but you’ll have more fun listening to them.
Just click the  button above.

If you are viewing our feed, look for the media file at the bottom

Skips to avoid … skips to embrace
So don’t focus on what you can’t change … focus on what you can.

So don’t focus on what you can’t change … focus on what you can.

Don’t try to change others … change yourself.

Don’t worry about what you can’t control … focus on what you can.

Don’t think about yesterday … think about today.

Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it … tell yourself you can.

Don’t focus on your shortcomings … focus on your strengths.

Don’t ask why you’re different … embrace what makes you unique.

Don’t focus on what might have been … focus on what can be.

Don’t fret about past decisions … make the best choices today.

Don’t think about missed opportunities … think about the opportunity that’s in front of you now.

Skip past the negative thoughts so you become all you want to be.

How to avoid skips

Some skips are caused by surface scratches. In the preceding section, we discussed how to avoid those – simply change what you think about!

But what do you do if it’s a larger problem? You may need to skip proof your player!

There are a number of ways to do this. Some examples:

  • Feed your mind daily.
    Fill your mind with things that encourage you and inspire you. One great way to do this is to tune in to the Bigg Success Show for a daily lesson and a laugh in five minutes or so!
  • Associate with positive people.
    They can’t motivate you, but they will lift your spirits. Look at how they approach challenges. Listen to the words they use and how they say them.
  • Adopt a balanced lifestyle.
    Get some exercise, watch your diet, and get some sleep for crying out loud! It’s easy to lose focus when you don’t take care of yourself. Recharge your batteries! 
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Our bigg quote today is a Chinese Proverb.

“If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.”

How you talk to yourself determines who you will become.

Next time, we’ll discuss how to form better opinions and make better decisions. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes.

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Top 10 Ways to De-Motivate Yourself 

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Top 10 Ways to De-Motivate Yourself

Nobody else can de-motivate you – you have to do it yourself. Be careful, though, because along the way, you could be inspired by others.

You have to keep focusing on staying de-motivated.  It’s not as easy as you might think!


#10 – Don’t work at something you enjoy. If you love what you do, you just might find yourself motivated to do it. Do something you hate and you’re bound to stay de-motivated.

#9 – Don’t get enough sleep.
When you sleep, your body refreshes. You may risk moments of motivation if this happens. So stay up late watching mindless television, stay out late with your friends, and get hammered. It’s a great way to stay de-motivated.

#8 – Be negative about everything.
Wake up and say things like …
“I hate my job and the people I work with.”
“People suck.”
“Nobody will buy from me today.”
“My boss is a jerk.”

Keep telling yourself how bad everything else is. Oh, and don’t forget to share your misery with as many people as you can. If you do this, you’ll be sure to stay de-motivated.

#7 – Work all the time.
Don’t ever make any time for fun. If all you ever do is work, you’ll soon come to resent your work. Never make time for anything else, especially things that might lift your spirits and give you a needed break. All work and no play is a sure-fire way to stay de-motivated.

#6 – Eat terrible food and avoid exercise so you don’t have much energy.
If you have energy, you might feel like doing something. You can’t have that! A diet full of junk food combined with no exercise is the recipe for staying de-motivated.

#5 – Tell yourself how much of a failure you are.
Use affirmations such as “I’m a loser.” Get out your permanent marker and write a huge “L” on your forehead. Always remind yourself how bad you are, of the goals you haven’t reached, of anything you’re unhappy with about yourself. Fill your mind with negative thoughts about yourself so you can have a positively de-motivating day!

#4 – Hang out with people who complain all the time.
We’ll warn you … positive people can rub off on you. So spend your time with people who aren’t going anywhere and are full of excuses why they’re staying put. They’ll help you stay de-motivated.

#3 – Stay away from success stories.
Reading or hearing these may just make you think you can do it, too. Don’t look to successful people for a model on how to succeed. Just dismiss their success as luck and be jealous. That will keep you de-motivated.

#2 – Don’t ever do anything to change your circumstances.
You don’t have any control over them anyway, so why try? Sure, you could spend your time trying to make a better life for yourself, but you might just succeed at it and then get motivated. You can’t have that – accept that there are no opportunities for you. You’re just living out your fate. That will keep you de-motivated.

#1 – Listen to the news.
It’s sure to keep your spirits low. Bad news is good news when it comes to keeping yourself de-motivated. 

Misery loves company! So share your thoughts on how to stay de-motivated …Click on our Comment link below
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Our bigg quote today comes from the book You are Worthless:

“Tomorrow is going to be even worse than today.”

So begin today de-motivating yourself for tomorrow and you’ll stay permanently de-motivated.

Next time, we’ll discuss the question you must answer to increase your sales. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes.

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