Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Three Secrets of Success

Fred Wilson, the real estate phenom introduced in the previous blog article has a list of three secrets to success. This is the shortest such list I have seen. Most of these lists seem to run either seven secrets, like mine, or ten secrets. I think the items in his list reflect his background in sales and competitive sports such as tennis.

1)The Law of Action—What you do
Wilson firmly believes in a cause and effect universe where you will reap as you sow. While it obvious that a salesman has goals, Fred Wilson believes that focusing on process is more important than focusing on the goal. The goal would be winning the match. Practicing the elements of your game under the supervision of a coach or mentor, then developing a game plan specifically for each contest will, naturally lead to the goal, winning the game.

2) The Law of Attraction—Where you place your attention
We have all heard about the law of attraction. All you have to do is sit around and visualize and whatever it is that you want will magically appear. Right. Wilson puts a different spin on this popular notion. Consider this example from my life: One morning, a little after dawn, about a mile into my walk, I noticed a mushroom growing next to the trail. Suddenly, I realized this was not the first mushroom of the morning. I had seen several earlier, but I wasn’t consciously aware of mushrooms until that moment. Subsequently, I discovered a multitude of mushrooms growing in the forest. Was this the law of attraction at work? Was a change in my spiritual vibration manifesting metaphysical mushrooms in my reality or was something more mundane at work in my life? Perhaps, because I was actively looking for mushrooms in places where mushrooms were likely to be growing, I found mushrooms.

Wilson believes that the law of attraction is about passion and purpose. When you are authentic; when you are clear about what you want and how badly you want it; your visualizations will reveal what was actually there all the time.

3) The Law of Acceleration—What I perceive
The law of acceleration is always looking for a combination of opportunity and benefit. Fred Wilson recounts a memorably bad day at work that ended in an ugly unnecessary argument with his wife. In the midst of this quarrel, he thought to ask himself the question, “Where is there an opportunity in this crisis?” He understood that there was an opportunity to apologize to his wife. He reaped the benefit of peace in his house when he exploited an available opportunity. Wilson firmly believes there are opportunities at all times everywhere you care to look. The difference between success and failure is in your perception of reality. He supports this proposition with many tales of how a casual conversation led to a profitable business relationship or the sale of some property.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Are Your Internal Policemen Doing Their Job?

Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.
Deuteronomy 16:18-19

Fred Wilson is a Jewish American real estate mogul who practices Transcendental Meditation. He has a burden to teach others how to improve their lives in general and particularly their job performance. As a young man he brought the same competitive spirit that made him a successful tennis player to his job as a real estate salesman. Unfortunately, at this time of his life he was living the life of the rich and famous on borrowed money. He was such an outstanding salesman he could always make a few more calls and sell his way out of any financial problem. However, the stress of this lifestyle was taking its toll on his psychological health, his physical well being, and his marriage. When he finally reached the breaking point he told his employer he was leaving and he wasn’t sure he was ever coming back.

After a self imposed three week spiritual retreat, he decided to return, but there were going to be some changes. Taking these two verses from the Torah, he decided he needed to set up his own internal judges and policemen (here translated as officials) to keep himself on the straight and narrow. He also decided that living on borrowed money was tantamount to accepting a bribe. He reached this conclusion by reasoning buying something with borrowed money allowed him to enjoy benefits he hadn’t earned, just like a corrupt official accepting a bribe to pervert justice. It just wasn’t going to happen again in his life—and I thought Dave Ramsey was hard on debt!

As a part of his effort to judge and to improve his life, he came up with this test he takes once every three months. He gives himself a numerical score in each of five categories from 0-20 for a possible maximum score of 100.

1) Rest—This includes adequate amounts of sleep, breaks during work, and vacations to renew the soul.

2) Exercise—Appropriate balance physical exercise. In his case this meant not attempting to set a personal record every time he laced up his jogging shoes and stepped out of the door.

3) Administration—Time management, maintaining your personal financial responsibilities, and taking care of all the mundane everyday tasks of life such as cooking, housekeep chores, maintaining family automobiles, etc. etc.

4) Diet—As a competitive athlete he considers diet to be an important component of a healthy balance life.

5) Inner Work—Moving toward your goals, keeping your priorities straight, prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices, and living according to your own moral standards.

The first time he took this test, I believe he scored himself at 56, a failing grade using the traditional ten point system. His most recent score was an 82, a B-. Was he too hard on himself or too easy? Who can say? If he maintains a constant scale over time it really doesn’t matter. I gave myself a 60, a D. My wife gave me 71, a C-. In both cases my grade point total was ruined by diet. There is only one word to describe my dietary habits, abysmal.

If I could ask Fred Wilson one question it would be, “Where does family and personal relationships figure into your five categories?” It is obvious that family and helping others are very high priorities to Wilson, but which categories are affected by service to others?