By Doren Aldana
As you know, last month was “Back to School” month. As students began filing back into classrooms all over the world I couldn’t help but be reminded of how important it is to be a lifelong learner and continue to grow – not just in general knowledge, but more importantly, in character, wisdom and skill. We live in the “Information Age” where information is more ubiquitous than ever. We’re perpetually inundated with information through our TV sets, computers, radios, newspapers, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Crackberries, you name it. We’ve got info up the wazoo! One would think that since “information is power” – like they teach us in school – this rising tide of information must be lifting the human race into higher and higher levels of health, wealth and happiness. While I’d love to believe that, I still find myself confronted with the startling statistics showing a steady global increase (per capita) in cancer, AIDS, obesity, diabetes, ADHD, bankruptcy, suicide, divorce, Prozac prescriptions, etc. How do you account for all that? Is more information really the answer? As Anthony Robbins once said, “We’re drowning in information but we’re starving for wisdom.” I couldn’t agree more.
Seems to me, all indications are pointing to the fact that if we want to rise above the mire of mediocrity we’re going to need more than just information, we need transformation – an inner metamorphosis of our deep-seated values, beliefs and habits. Anything less is like putting lipstick on a pig – you can smear it on all you want but at the end of the day it’s still a pig. Case in point: studies show that approximately 80% of all lottery winners file bankruptcy within five years. You can give someone a million dollars but if they don’t have a million dollar mindset, their bound to blow it. You may be thinking, “That would never happen to me. You would have to be really dumb to lose all that money.” Yet the very reason that these individuals let their money run through their fingers is the very reason that most mortgage professionals are still struggling to eke out a meager existence – their mindset is programmed for failure not success.
With rare exception, your income will grow in direct proportion to how much you grow as a person. In other words, as your value to the marketplace increases, so does your income. Here’s how my mentor, the late Jim Rohn put it, “You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour…if you work hard on the job, you’ll make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune!” It never ceases to amaze me how two mortgage professionals, with the same level of experience and access to the exact same tools, systems, and training can have such dramatic differences in results. One will earn a meager $40,000 per year and the other $140,000. What’s causing the disparity? If I had to boil things down to one single thing it would be ATTITUDE, or their respective levels of personal development.
You see, in life there will always be challenges. The winds of adversity blow on us all, no one’s exempt. Jim Rohn said, “It is the set of the sails [your attitude], not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go… if you learn to set a good sail, the wind that blows will always take you to the dreams you want, the income you want, and the treasures of mind, purse, and soul you want.” Therefore, it’s not the obstacles without that determine our level of success or failure but rather, the obstacles within – our own fears, doubts, worries, etc. Neglecting this important truth is like the logger who had to work harder and harder each year to hit same level of production because he never takes the time to sharpen his axe. Perhaps this is what James Allen was thinking of when he wrote: “Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.”
So, what’s the best, easiest way to keep our axe sharp? Simple. Implement a daily self-improvement program. Charles Tremendous Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” I would also add the seminars you go to, the CDs you listen to and the DVDs you watch.
Here’s the BIG idea: input equals output. If you fill your mind with a daily dose of good, inspiring information, you can’t help but increase your value to the marketplace, and thereby increase your income. Likewise, if you taint your mind with all the doom and gloom from the six o’clock news, chances are you’ll be “informed” but not necessarily “empowered”. It’s not just the quantity but the quality of the information that really counts.
Starting today, make a daily commitment to fill your mind with something positive that improves your value to the marketplace. Then take daily action towards your goals. Over time, those simple daily disciplines will compound and ultimately culminate into the extraordinary life, income and YOU you’ve always dreamed of!
So, what do you think of this post? Please share your thoughts/comments below. I love feedback!