First Things First
by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill
The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way
by Wayne W. Dyer
The Essence of Success
by Earl Nightengale
Look for the authors above on Amazon.com, 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:
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.
"Consistency across the roles we plan in our lives is the greatest stress reducer available."
-- Karl W. Palachuk
"With regard to essentials, I have never had occasion to change my mind."
-- Henry David Thoreau
"A capacity to change is indispensable. Equally indispensable is the capacity to hold fast to that which is good."
-- John Foster Dulles
"It takes relaxation--and focus--to create and understand the balance in our lives."
-- Karl W. Palachuk
Thank you, everyone, for your support.
With the release of the new book, I did a little review of the web site and past newsletters. This newsletter has been published regularly since December 2002. That's almost five years! Time flies when you're having fun.
The web site remains very popular. Several people are now providing links to the Relax Focus Succeed® web site. I just posted three new articles, so the site continues to have fresh content.
As with most things we build, this "resource" was not created over night. A little writing (almost) every day. A little work to build the site. A little attention here and there.
As Tom Peters says:
The essence of sustainable competitive advantage is:
1) The obvious;
2) The little things;
3) The accumulation of little things over the years.
We also started revamping the Recommended Reading List. It was just too darn big. So now we'll have two lists: the big monster list; and the focused list of just a few very key books and CDs.
This month we look at several aspects of consistency.
I hope you'll find something interesting and useful in this month's newsletter . Please remember to pass it on to a friend. I welcome your feedback. Thank you, as always.
I have been interviewed by a
few magazine reporters recently regarding
Relax Focus Succeed®
(the book, the newsletter, etc.). It's very
interesting to me where people have
confusions about the RFS philosophy.
Granted, most of these folks haven't read
the book, the newsletter, or the web site.
Still . . .
One theme seems to keep coming up: Consistency.
Believe it or not, these really are related
to one another. Let me recap the related
First, I argue that we are all many people. That is, we play the roles of spouse, employee/employer, parent, member of the community, etc. So we spend our days putting on one mask and taking off another. This is a natural growing field for stress.
Second, there is a tendency to actually work toward different values in these different roles. At work we need to maximize efficiency and watch the budget. With the kids we need to focus more on understanding and nurturing. With the spouse we focus on love and support.
These goals are not necessarily inconsistent with one another. But the values that need to be stressed in each setting are not set in any overall framework for your life. So they become like completely separated boxes.
Third, one of the most universally accepted values is integrity. What does integrity mean to you?
Integrity is a complex concept. It is a combination of honesty and completeness. Works of art and computer databases have integrity when everything works together the way it's supposed to.
The opposite of integrity is actually easier to define. The opposite of integrity is a two-faced liar. Two-faced means someone who tells a different story to different people. And a liar, of course, lacks honesty.
But we need to be careful. Integrity has strong moral overtones. I want to be a person of integrity because I want to be honest, and I want to be the same person with everyone I meet.
There is nothing morally wrong with having inconsistencies in your life.
Quite the opposite: it is completely normal to have these inconsistencies. It's a natural bi-product of our modern, complicated lives.
But inconsistency creates stress. Inconsistency creates a tension that makes integrity more difficult. And, to the extent that integrity is related to wholeness and completeness, inconsistency reduces integrity.
So what do you do?
Here are some thoughts on where to start.
First, go through the value setting process. See this article on the web site: Value Setting: The Essential Task That Makes Goal Setting Worthwhile. If you've already got a nice, concise, written list of values, then review them.
Second, begin to construct goals and a personal vision statement based on these values. Important point: set such goals for each role you play (employee, parent, spouse, church member, etc.).
This process sounds simple, but it can be difficult and emotionally draining.
It can also be extremely rewarding. The result will be a series of goals that are completely consistent with your core values. So you can look at daily activities and draw a line directly to your goals, your vision, and your values.
If you don't start at the base (the values), it is very difficult to force consistency upon your daily activities and goals. But if you rebuild these goals and activities from the foundation up, then consistency will simply be built into your daily activities.
Some people place no value on consistency because they equate it with abstinence, refusal to change, and a foolish desire to never change one's mind. Hence:
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
And while it's true that you should not be afraid to change your mind from time to time, a consistency borne of your core values and principles is an honorable and difficult achievement.
When the entire world is swirling around us with change, what can we cling to? The answer is: Our values and principles. But we need to articulate these with a calm mind, not in times of turmoil.
Just as with any other muscle of success, working on your values and principles today will prepare you for success in the future. You can create a great deal of change that brings your life more in line with the values and principles you hold.
The rest of the world might think you're changing. In truth, you're just putting things into alignment with goals and values that those people don't see.
Hard work. But worth it.
### RFS ###
That's it for this issue.
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