Lesson #3 – Giving to Get

–Leaders work on giving more than they work on getting

The famous statesman and prime minister of England, Sir Winston Churchill, once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Do you spend more time on what you are getting out of your job, such as your salary, or on how much you can give to the receptionist, to your boss, to someone in another department, going that extra mile for your customer?

Do you spend more time on what you are getting out of a personal relationship or on what you can give to it?

How can you give more this week? Take a moment now to think of all you can give to people.

If you are in networking, you have a product, service, and a business opportunity to give people. If you are a partner, manager, or employee, you can give to people on your team by giving them encouragement, assistance, and support.

You can give to people who are stumbling or stuck by giving them a nudge to take action when they are scared or complacent. You can give to people by really listening to them. You can give to people by stretching them in what they believe they can be, and do and have. You can give someone money or time or knowledge.

Remember that giving or being of service is giving to others what they truly need and want, and not simply what you want to give them.

You can also give to yourself. Sometimes–many times–we overlook that in our giving to others. Maybe you give time to family, church, community, but don’t take any time for yourself. Perhaps taking an hour walk just for you would be a great gift to give yourself.

Can you give more this week to others and yourself than you did last week? Keep track of your giving this week with a simple list or a “Giving Journal.” Remember, you make a living by what you GET and you make a life by what you GIVE.

Remember to make a life, not just a living. Ask the people you meet how it is that you can support or give to them, instead of assuming what it is they want. Give time, money, respect to yourself as much as you give to others.

Action Step #1

Take one day this week and focus on giving to people who you do not expect to receive anything from in return.

An Example
If you are in the field operations of your company, call the corporate accounting department and ask how you can support them or send a gift (like a pizza for lunch) to the people in customer service. Write a “thank you” note and include it in a bill you are paying. Put a dollar bill in an envelope and send it to a stranger. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Notice how this giving with “no strings attached” makes you feel.

Action Step #2

Take a significant part of one day this week and give it to yourself. Any needs or demands from family, business, and the community should go on a different day. Write down how you felt about what you did and how you felt at the end of the day.

An Example

Pick something you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while, such as reading for pleasure, going for a walk in a park, watching a movie, having coffee with friends, or simply spending quiet time by yourself.
“If love is the answer could someone repeat the question”
–Lily Tomlin

Lesson #2 – The Desire for Air

–Leaders create needs vs. waiting to be imposed on by a need

Plato’s mentor was Socrates. Plato thought Socrates was the wisest person of this time and he passionately desired to learn all of Socrates’ wisdom.

Legend has it that one day Socrates and Plato were walking down the beach deep in conversation. At one point, Socrates said to Plato, “Walk with me into the ocean.” They turned and walked into the sea together.

Now, in your imagination, picture that happening: Student and teacher, two of the greatest philosophers of history, striding into the surf side by side.

The water started out around their ankles, then rose up to their knees. As the water got higher Plato wondered, “What is the lesson my master is trying to teach me?”

When the water was about shoulder height, Socrates abruptly grabbed Plato’s head and pushed him down under the water. As Plato was held down, he undoubtedly wondered again what this lesson was all about.

After a time, when Plato ran out of air, he began to struggle to get his head above water. He punched and kicked and grabbed to get free, but Socrates was a strong man and held him down. Finally, Plato blacked out due to lack of oxygen. Socrates pulled him ashore and resuscitated him.

When Plato regained consciousness, he angrily accused Socrates of trying to drown him. Socrates matter-of factly explained, “If that had been my intention, I would not have pulled you ashore.”

“Then why did you do that?” Plato demanded.

Socrates calmly replied, “When you desire my knowledge like you desired that breath of air, then you shall have it.”

So many people desire things, but they want them only at an intellectual level. They wish for a wildly romantic long lasting relationship, for financial independence, for fame, or to make a difference in other people’s lives, but for most people, they do not desire it like Plato wanted that breath of air.

Leaders allow, and even encourage, themselves to desire. They create a hunger for things that is as strong as Plato’s desire for air.

Only with a large hunger will you put up with the large discomfort and inconvenience required to be successful. This is the single biggest reason why people aren’t more successful in life and work. They don’t truly NEED it.

The answer is to first create the NEED, then you shall have it.

This is a practical reason for thinking bigger. It is too easy to provide for yourself and even your family. You must go on a hunt to find something more or better that moves you.

Open up to how awful it feels to not be able to read and how you can do something about it, and you will be compelled to take action. Go to a third world country and actually watch someone die of starvation and know that your commitment and cash could have stopped that child from dying.

What spark of desire will you ignite this week? How will you fan those flames into a bonfire of desire?

Develop a hunger for something important. Challenge and test the people you are mentoring or who are your next layer of management or leadership.

Action Step #1

Pick something that truly matters to you that you desire. Visit it. Literally, spend time with that desire and recall all the specific reasons you want that. Share your desire and reasons with select family members and friends.

An Example

Let’s say you want a new home. Write down the tangible reasons (i.e. investment value, shorter commute, etc.), pleasure reasons (i.e. recreation, relaxation, etc.), and emotional reasons (i.e. how it will make you feel in terms of freedom, security, self-esteem, etc.).

Action Step #2

Pick prospective leaders from among your key business partners or teammates and give them a test. Individually, have them tackle an ongoing problem. Perhaps it is a negative person or a situation that isn’t being resolved. Give them something meaningful to do, but put them in over their head, too. This is how they get stronger and build muscles. You can be their lifeline if they start to drown.

An Example

The major mentor in my life for eight years was a man named Tom Willhite. He died in a plane accident at the age of 43.

Tom’s dream was to build a college, but he didn’t live long enough to see that. To pay him back for all I learned from him, I committed to raising $4 million dollars and putting up an educational facility.

To build my desire into a bonfire of passion, I started by looking at the original plans Tom had and later at the actual architectural drawings. In the middle of the fund-raising campaign, I brought many of the key donors to the actual land and we walked around as the building was going up. I visualized memories of conversations Tom and I had about his dream and I pretended I was showing him the completed buildings in my mind. I imagined his satisfaction and my pride.

This fanning of the flames of desire is crucial, especially when you hit tough spots where things aren’t working as planned or going as well as you want. It helps you refocus and recommit and gives you renewed energy to complete your project.

“The more thou dost advance, the more thy feet pitfalls will meet. The Path that leadeth on is lighted by one fire-the light of daring burning in the heart. The more one dares, the more he shall obtain. The more he fears, the more that light shall pale–and that alone can guide.”

Lesson #1 – Carrots, Eggs, and Coffee

–Leaders change the situation instead of being changed by the situation

What are you most like: a carrot, an egg, or coffee?

A carrot starts out firm, but when you put a carrot in boiling water it becomes limp. An egg starts out with a hard shell and is soft in the middle, but place it in boiling water and the inside becomes hard. And when you put coffee in boiling water, it changes the water completely.

What challenges have you been experiencing in your career, family life, physically or spiritually? Think of any of those situations as the boiling water.

Some people are like carrots. Oh, they act tough enough, but the challenges of life soften them, they wilt and won’t stand up for themselves any more.

Other people are like eggs. As they confront challenges they get hard on the inside. They’re calloused, they become unable or unwilling to feel and do not allow themselves to connect and relate with other people.

Leaders are like coffee. When thrust into the challenges of life they actually change the situation.

Have you been a carrot, egg, or coffee? Buy some coffee, even if you don’t normally drink it, and put it in a bowl on your desk. Let that “trigger” you to be a leader who, like coffee, changes the situation you are in for the better.

As a child, I saw people as one of two types: There were the nice caring compassionate people. They didn’t seem to make much happen, didn’t date the nicest girls or guys, and weren’t movers and shakers. Then there were the people that made things happen, but they were often arrogant, hard, and self-centered.

It didn’t seem fair. I wanted to be compassionate and caring and yet able to change the world. I wanted to be what I now call a “Compassionate Samurai:” a warrior with a heart for service and contribution.

That’s what it will take to change things, like the fact that one out of every eight children drops out of school in the USA, rampant illiteracy in the world, a marriage that is not working, or a satisfying career in an uncertain economy.

Carrots and eggs won’t do it. This week, be like coffee. Be a Compassionate Samurai, a warrior with a heart for service and contribution who alters the world you live in.

Leaders change the situation, so even after they leave, things are different than when they arrived.

Action Step #1
Buy a bag of coffee and put it on your desk as a trigger device.

Action Step #2
Write a brief paragraph describing the biggest challenge you face in your life right now. Then, write another short paragraph on exactly how you’d like your life to be in that area right now. And finally, write a sentence that describes one specific action you will take this week–no matter how big or small it seems to you–to change your life to being exactly how you’d like it to be.

An Example
Early in my career in the seminar business, my mentor sent me to San Diego to save the failing market there. The seminars were so poorly attended they were considering closing down our San Diego office.
When I arrived, I noticed that a lot of teenagers were hanging around the office. The environment and feeling created by all those kids was driving away the more conservative, successful business people we also wanted to bring into our seminars.
Like attracts like.
The teenagers were good people who deserved to be supported and served, but it was hurting our bigger market. So I created another place for the kids to hangout and made it clear they were not to be around our office.
It was not an especially popular action for many of our seminar graduates, but it changed how the rest of us thought about the organization and who we attracted. Within a short period of time, San Diego was a thriving market for our seminars.
That is what coffee is all about!

“What we are depends mainly on what we look for”
–John Lubbock

Effective Affirmations

A major key to transforming belief systems comes from emotional experiences, which we strive to provide at Klemmer seminars. But another way to change belief systems, as we discussed in our last newsletter, is accomplished through the persistent reading of books and listening to tapes. Affirmations, the daily repetition of a positive belief you want to become true for yourself, is another way to increase personal growth. Like reading books and listening to tapes, one downside is that affirmations don’t carry much emotion. As a result, they take a tremendous amount of repetition – sometimes months and months. Unless a person is aware that this is part of the process, they may become discouraged, lose interest and give up. But affirmations do work, as I detail in CD #5 in the series The Pursuit & Practice of Personal Mastery.

Presently, I have several affirmations. One is that I weigh 171 pounds and have a 36-inch waist. When I’m not traveling, I work out on a bike almost every day. While doing so, for five minutes I repeat that I weigh 171 pounds and have a 36-inch waist. For the next five minutes I repeat that I eat healthy and exercise at least four times a week. Over time – and it does take a lot of time – these beliefs become part of my subconscious, and then I begin to see changes.

For instance, I have been able to stay on a powdered drink meal replacement for one of my meals. And then recently, Roma and I visited our neighbors across the street. We were going to watch a video together, but first the man offered me an alcoholic drink. In the past I would have accepted it. He then offered me a biscotti and I passed on that. What gave me the fortitude to stay on the meal replacement shake and not accept food and drinks that would have made me gain weight? I believe the above-mentioned affirmations helped to clarify and intensify my intent.

Affirmations can be a valuable tool to reshape your belief systems. As you make them a part of your life, just be aware that they require a long-term commitment. Knowing this helps you to have patience and persistence to stay on course until you see the results.