Recommended Books

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
by Larry Bossidy

Staying Focused in the Age of Distraction
by Elizabeth Hanson Hoffman, Christopher Douglas Hoffman

The Power of Focus
by Jack Canfield, Leslie Hewitt, Mark Victor Hansen

Look for the authors above on, at book sales, or at your favorite web site. Amazon and others offer used books and tapes as well as new.


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See related articles on our web site:

From Values to Actions

Assigning Priorities

Building The Future

Balance is the key to personal and professional success.


Knowing your goals and the path to achieve them is essential.


Being successful takes practice and dedication.



Pith. n. The essential part; gist. Pithy. adj. Terse and full of meaning.

"Don't confuse distraction with action. Distraction is reaction."

-- Karl W. Palachuk

"Contemplation is the highest form of activity."

-- Aristotle

"Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live."

-- Margaret Fuller





"It takes relaxation--and focus--to create and understand the balance in our lives."

-- Karl W. Palachuk



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What Readers Say . . .



Relax, Focus, Succeed was written for me… well… for anyone “like” me who’s ever had more to do or fires to put out than hands to pull out your own hair with. And since we’ve all been there at some point; this book will speak to you. Karl’s book reveals an escape from the ‘powering thorough’ that we do every day to get through a multitude of life without ever really ‘living’.


Relax, Focus, Succeed takes the reader down to the core of what makes us who we are and walks us through figuring out what we really want in life, how to maintain our center and create a well-balanced, happy, successful life. Karl is motivational and inspiring.

Hannah Welch
Marysville, CA
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I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Karl Palachuk and found myself taking notes. His philosophy is that we need to slow down, take care of ourselves, and reprioritize our lives. I am guilty of being a workaholic and never feel like I'm accomplishing as much in a day as I should. But this is the first time I have ever given myself permission to take care of myself first--not to mention to enjoy my family and friends more.


And Karl was right, the work isn't going anywhere and the world won't stop spinning if I let it sit for awhile. This book is a true inspiration! I now schedule workouts into my schedule every day--something I never considered before. But I realized that I will be more productive in the long run if I'm taking care of myself. This is GREAT STUFF!

Stephanie Chandler
Sacramento, CA
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Karl has outdone himself in this book. I started reading this at a stop light and had to pull over and finish two chapters before halting my day and going home to finish the book. There are many practical and meaningful applications that are just helpful. I was pushing the limits of bad health and very bad overwork habits. This book has helped me tremendously. This book ranks with the quality of the E-myth.


You will pick this book up and have a hard time putting it down!

B. Vincent "Ben"
Auburn Hills, MI
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Put a Fork In It: 2006 is Done! - December 2006

Welcome to the end of 2006 and the birth of 2007.


As I look up on my wall next to my computer, I read two flyers. One is framed in glass so it can't be messed with. The other consists of scribbles, cross-outs, and some occasional hand-written stars. The first is my goals for 2006. Set in January and posted where I will see it every single day. The second is a list of major achievements as they occurred.


Goals for the year: Wrote a book. Reorganized my corporation and created another company. Got billing under control. Spent more time with my wife.


Major goals I achieved but didn't know I had in January: Wrote another book. Traveled to a dozen U.S. and six European cities to teach seminars and sell books. Hosted some major seminars. Bought a company. Got a much larger office and moved all operations there.


Goals are wonderful things.


Without goals we can't be successful. We can make money and do things we want. We can look around and say we like where we are. But that's just dumb luck. If you didn't plan to be where you are, then you can't really say you're successful. Do you think people really stumble their way to the top?


Goals are our measuring sticks. It could be that the level of success you enjoy is 10% of what it could be if you focused your energy. But without a goal -- without a measuring stick -- you have no way of knowing.


So goals are great and good and necessary. But so are flexibility and openness to opportunity.


It takes a combination of these to move ahead. We can plan for success in some areas and plan for openness to opportunity in others.


And the best part is: You can start right now. Carry a notepad with you for the rest of the weekend. Make notes to yourself about what you want to do in the year ahead. Makes notes about your strengths. How can you use those to advance your goals? Make notes about your weaknesses. How can you get help or hand off those activities to someone else?


For more tips on getting started with goals for the new year, see our Articles Page at


And have a Great New Year!


I welcome your feedback. Thanks.

-- Karl P.

Living While Distracted

by Karl W. Palachuk

I heard a new phrase on the radio a few days ago: Blackberry Orphans. These are the poor children of parents who own Blackberry personal information managers. You've seen these folks. They are "texting" and playing with their Blackberries all the time, everywhere, to the total exclusion of human interaction.


A friend of mine refers to these devices as Crackberries because they are (apparently) as addictive as crack cocaine and users can't help themselves.


Not too long ago I was in a sales meeting and the prospect was listening to voicemail messages while trying to hold a conversation with me. He was actually pretending that he wasn't playing with his Blackberry, but he clearly missed half of what was said. 


Perhaps you've heard the phrase "Driving while distracted." This refers to operating a car while using a cell phone, fiddling with the radio, looking at a stock ticker, and so forth. More and more research shows that almost any activity you do while driving distracts you from the job at hand -- driving.


The reason is quite obvious: distraction means that you are taking your focus off the one thing you're supposed to be doing.


This is the same problem most of us have with our lives as a whole:


We're living while distracted.


While we're in one meeting, we're thinking about the next. While talking to someone, we're thinking about someone else. And while we're working on one project, we're totally interruptible. Which means we're almost never



on the task at hand.


Some people say that their family comes first, but they're not able to leave work at five or six PM. Ever. Day after day, week after week, year after year. And once they're home, the TV dominates the scene. Or, if they own a Blackberry, it's always on, always in reach, and always available to interrupt whatever's going on.


In our personal lives, living while distracted means we never take the time to relax and enjoy our families as we should. We don't give people the attention they deserve. And we pay the price in relationships.


At work, living while distracted means that we rarely have the opportunity to focus our energy on one project at a time and to give it our best effort. So we become interrupt-driven. We never quite complete a project, or do the best job we can, because something else comes along.


The fix for distraction is simple and obvious.


Focus. Get in the habit of focusing on one thing at a time. Don't pretend that you can multi-task.


Set boundaries for others. Have times and places and routines in which you are uninterruptible. Period.


Set boundaries for yourself. You don't have to answer every phone call. 98% of the time it's just an interruption. If it's important, they'll leave a message


Get out of crisis mode. And don't let others throw you back in.

Disciplined, focused activity can be extremely productive. Interrupt-driven activity can never be very productive. You have to choose. And if you're a manager, you need to choose for your staff.


Distractions get bigger all the time.


As technology advances on one hand (making our lives better), it encroaches on the other.


It's a wonderful thing that I can fly half way around the world, open my laptop and cell phone, and they just work. People call me and don't know I'm on vacation. But my wife has a different perspective. "Do these people know you're on vacation?"


Living while distracted.


With a "Crackberry" I can answer emails in the hot tub, during my child's play, at the Thanksgiving table, and in the movie theater. I can be "on" and "available" all the time and never -- ever -- give 100% of my attention to anyone or anything.


As technology advances, we need to make sure we set some boundaries. Because the ability to be always on and always available will increase every year.


And don't think you have to be a techno-goober to suffer from distraction. Oh, no. Technology makes it easier to be distracted, but living while distracted has been around forever.


Medieval monks went away into isolation in order to escape the distractions of daily life and focus on what's important. Jesus and Moses both went up in the mountains to get away from the crowds and pray.


We all need to etch out time and space to tend to ourselves as humans.


We all need time and space to nurture our relationships with family and friends.


We all need time and space to contribute in a positive way to our community.


We all need time and space to focus our attentions at work so we can be more productive and our company more profitable.




Balance is Not Something You Achieve Once.


Balance is An On-Going Process


Of Determining What's Important


In Your Life




The new year is always a great time to begin work on the new you. Just remember that the entire world keeps changing. Every person and organization will be different a year from now.


You will be The New You one year from now.


Now you have to decide whether The New You will be the result of responses to outside activities and distractions or something you choose and focus on.


You can choose whether The New You is the result of intentional choices or just the unintended consequences of the world around you.


99.9% of the people you meet will choose the second. Or, I should say, they will let it happen to them because they don't participate in choosing and molding their own future. 99.9% of the people you know will simply bounce through the new year like pinballs, reacting rather than acting.


You can be different.


Try it. It will dramatically improve your life!



"Who is going to give you permission to take the step you need to take?"

-- Laurie Beth Jones

The Path

If you like pithy quotes, check out the Pith Page at

### RFS ###

Thank You!

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I welcome your feedback.

-- Karl W. Palachuk


Of Interest



This is one of the best books I have ever read, I have many on business motivation as well as many for your personal life and these seem to contradict each other. Karl shows you how to create the necessary balance in your life. I did not realize how much unnecessary stress I was causing myself until Karl pointed it out, this made an immediate impact in my life in all three areas Personal, Family and Business. I highly recommend this book especially for anyone trying to run their own business.

Bret Meche

Opelousas, LA
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The most important thing Karl's book did for me was to remind me of how important it is to relax in order to be successful. Too often we get so busy that we forget to take time to relax in order to focus our minds and thereby succeed. Karl's exercises throughout the book are very practical.

Sue Lynn Canfield
Roseville, CA
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I love the way Karl's book makes powerful and grounded statements. He is motivational, informative and hits the nail on the head. I recommend his book highly and I recommend it to my clients who are working toward more balance and relaxation in their lives.

Jenifer Novak Landers

Folsom, CA
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I will be rereading this book constantly until I get every habit fully ingrained in my head. I am off to buy a notebook for my "quite time".

Thank you Karl!

Brielle Beard
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I have read, and re-read this book from cover to cover. Its a fantastic book.
This book shows you how to do as the title says Relax, Focus and Succeed.


Brilliant book . . . highly recommended.

Chris Timm
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