Personal Development: A Significant Life Demands It

Clint Fix LIFE

In 2004 I realized that the lifestyle I was leading would eventually lead to permanent health problems or even premature death. I was obese and had been for as long as I could remember. With the help of a stack of books on nutrition and exercise and some friends who were in excellent shape, I began a journey to overhaul my health. I set some goals and began the painstaking process of losing weight the healthy way (after trying out the crash diet thing.) Over the course of a few years I lost 85lbs and dropped my body fat to less than 10%. I achieved my goals. I thought I had it all under control. For a few years I thought I was “maintaining,” but in reality, I was slowly packing the pounds back on. I was still working out, but less consistently. I was still eating right…most of the time. By the time I realized what was happening my body fat percentage was peaking over 15% and I had packed on enough fat that I no longer fit in my clothes. What happened to me? The same thing that happens to us all in every area of our lives. I tried to coast on my past efforts. I didn’t have the next goal set. I wasn’t focused on moving forward. As a result I slacked in my effort and in my education on the subject. In the end, I learned a very important lesson:

If you’re not moving forward, you are going backwards.

There is no maintaining. Momentum may carry you forward for a time, but you will inevitably slip backwards. Discipline is not a choice; either we discipline ourselves now or outside forces will discipline us later. If I hadn’t done the hard work of disciplining myself with regards to my health, eventually I would have lost the freedom to eat certain foods and may have been forced to take certain medications. I use the example of my weight loss journey, but the principle is the same in every part of life. It’s my experience that if we aren’t continually focused on the hard work of improving ourselves in the most important facets of our lives, life is eventually going to get much harder.

To live a significant and successful life, I believe there are a handful of areas where it’s valuable to engage in a program to help us continually learn and grow so that we don’t slip backwards:

Faith
Relationships (marriage, parenting, and friendship)
Finances
Fitness
Leadership (people skills, conflict resolution, vision, etc)
Freedom (history and economics)

Obviously there are many other areas that you may want to work on, but the areas listed will impact every area of your life. There are many different avenues for getting education in these areas so I’ll highlight some principles and questions which I recommend that you use to weigh the different programs that are available.

1. Do the people that are teaching have the results that you want in the area in which they are teaching?

Anybody can spout theories, but if you want to get better in a certain area, find someone who has results in that area.

2. Are they currently active in the area they are teaching or are they speaking on past results?

This is an important question, especially for areas like leadership and finances. Just because someone did something once a decade ago doesn’t mean that it’s applicable right now and in this economy.

3. Is the information and teaching packaged in a format that makes engaging with it easy?

While a college course or a leadership institute may have fantastic information, usually the format requires large blocks of dedicated time which is a hindrance to most. Look for programs which allow you to plug into the information in the cracks of wasted time that we all have throughout the day: while commuting in the car, working out, cleaning the house, etc. Audio learning is is one of my favorite formats because you can listen to it repeatedly and cement it in your mind. Humans learn best through small bits of information repeated over time.

4. Does the program give you access to one-on-one coaching from someone that has the results you’re looking for?

We are all very good at deceiving ourselves. Having an outside perceptive to lovingly point out blind spots and help us correct our thinking is a non-negotiable if you want to lead a significant life. All the greatest people throughout history had mentors. Even one of the best basketball players ever, Michael Jordan, had a basketball coach.

5. Does the program have a community that you can associate with?

Building relationships with people who are on a similar journey is critical for your success. The encouragement and accountability of a community can be the difference between success and failure in any self-improvement journey.

6. Is it continuous?

One-off seminars and classroom teaching has its place, but neither one will create the consistency needed for changing the habits that are holding us back. Look for a program that is on-going. Most of us have been taught the things we need to do, but we forget easily. We need continuous reminders. On-going training programs should not only teach new information, but remind us of the things we’ve forgotten.

Obviously there are other factors to take into account, but this should narrow the choices considerably. The program that I personally plug into is the one crafted by a company called LIFE. It was founded in 2011 by Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, and Dan Hawkins. Check out some of the LIFE reviews and testimonials.

Making the decision to embark on a good personal development program will change your life. Most people are trying to coast on their knowledge from formal schooling, much like I tried to coast in my health after achieving my goal. We know how that turned out. If you want to stand out from the crowd plug into a program with a specific intent to continue learning and getting better.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

Personal Development: A Significant Life Demands It

Are You Sure That You Want to Work for Someone Else?

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” We’ve all heard this question, or perhaps even asked it numerous times, but have you ever considered what the question is asking? Typically, the question is really asking, “What do you want to do for a job?” A large portion of our society automatically assumes that you should pick something you want to do, go to college to learn how to do what you’ve picked, then go get a job in your chosen field.

To question this wisdom is near heresy, but that’s what I’m doing to do. Why? Because the results from the “go to school, get good grades, get a safe, secure job” advice are in, and they don’t look good.

Before I dive into the meat of the post, here’s a quick disclaimer: I am not against employment. There are many important roles. My reason for posting this post is to (hopefully) put a crack in the conventional wisdom that, whether consciously or unconsciously, seeks to push our youth into college and employment. This post is aimed at those that DO NOT have a passion for their job, which seems to be the vast majority of people.

An Employee’s Lifestyle

Since most people don’t think that there is any alternative to working until retirement/death, they never even question how much of their life that they are spending to make a buck. The reality is that most people spend a tremendous amount of their life doing something that they really don’t have a passion for just to make some money.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, the average employed American spends just over nine hours a day working and commuting, followed by sleeping at just under eight hours. Check out the graphic below to see how the average employed American’s spends their time.

American Time Use Survey
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Credit: Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

The normal retirement age in the U.S. is 67. To be conservative, let’s assume that the normal person starts working full-time at 22 years of age. That’s 45 years! Based on the above time study, that means that the average employee will, assuming a 5 day work week, spend 107,640 hours working, 125,651 hours sleeping, and 96,725 hours doing essential things like grooming, cleaning, eating, grocery shopping, etc, which leaves just 64,184 hours of leisure (or time with your kids/family) left. Here’s how it breaks down:

Average Employee Time Use

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to work the best hours of the best years of my life for a paycheck, especially when the paycheck is rather weak.

The BLS also publishes median incomes by age. What you’ll see here is that for all that work, the effort does not pay off at the end.

Income Over Age

Graphs like that make me wonder why retirement was ever called the golden years. It looks to me like they’re the tin-foil years at best.

Seeing information like this really just confirms the feeling of hopelessness that most of the working populous feels; the feeling of not being able to get ahead.

The good news is that this doesn’t have to be your reality. There are many ways out. The principles to follow that will get you onto the correct path are as simple as asking the question I started this post with in a different manner. Instead of picking our ‘Do’ first, we need to define the lifestyle that we want to have. How much of that leisure/family time do you want? How would you like your income to be at 35? 55? 75? Ask yourself, “What do I want my lifestyle to be like?” The next part is to find someone that has the lifestyle that you’d like. This step is perhaps the hardest, but is worth the effort. The last step is simply to ‘do’ what the person from the previous step coaches you to do. The best thing I’ve found to help people through all three steps is LIFE.

You will most likely find that to get results that are far different than the picture painted above, the coaching you’ll receive will have a foundation in three very important principles of wealth creation:

  1. Delayed Gratification
  2. Long Term Vision
  3. Utilization of the power of compounding

If you follow those principles, find the right mentors and do the work required, you will live a life that most will never experience. You DO NOT have to work for someone else the rest of your life. You DO NOT have to work until you die to make ends meet. Freedom is yours for the taking.

You have the power to define your lifestyle, so start today!

God Bless,

Clint Fix

Are You Sure That You Want to Work for Someone Else?

My Experience with LIFE’s Mental Fitness Challenge

I decided to do a detailed review of the Mental Fitness Challenge put out by LIFE.

I’ll highlight each part of the MFC (in no particular order) and give my thoughts. If you’re taking the Mental Fitness Challenge, I’d love to hear your feedback on it so far. As I get feedback, I’ll incorporate it into my review.

The Mental Fitness Challenge is a success system designed around the 13 Resolutions as laid out in Orrin Woodward’s book, Resolved – 13 Resolutions for LIFE. The 13 resolutions, broken down into three categories are,

Private Achievements

1. I resolve to discover my God-given purpose.

2. I resolved to choose character over reputation anytime they conflict.

3. I resolve to have an attitude of gratitude.

4. I resolve to align my conscious (ant) with my subconscious (elephant) mind towards my vision.

Public Achievements

5. I resolve to develop and implement a game plan in each area of my life.

6. I resolve to keep score in the game of life.

7. I resolve to develop the art and science of friendship.

8. I resolve to develop financial intelligence.

Leadership Achievements

9. I resolve to develop the art and science of leadership.

10. I resolve to develop the art and science of conflict resolution.

11. I resolve to develop systems thinking.

12. I resolve to develop Adversity Quotient.

13. I resolve to leave a legacy by fulfilling my purpose and vision through living the 13 Resolutions.

Each week focus is put on one of the resolutions starting with the first and finally making it through all 13. Check out my review of Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE.

The Components of the Mental Fitness Challenge

Self-Assessment Test

The self-assessment test included in the MFC is composed of 130 questions (10 for each resolution) in random order where you rank yourself between 1 and 10 (10 – totally describes me, 1 – doesn’t describe me at all). The results are then plotted on a circular graph. An anonymous test result is shown below:

Continue reading “My Experience with LIFE’s Mental Fitness Challenge”

My Experience with LIFE’s Mental Fitness Challenge

Climb ‘Til Your Dream Comes True – Helen Steiner Rice

Often your tasks will be many,
And more than you think you can do…
Often the road will be rugged
And the hills insurmountable, too…
 
But always remember, the hills ahead
Are never as steep as they seem,
And with faith in your heart start upward
And climb ’til you reach your dream,
 
For nothing in life that is worthy
Is ever too hard to achieve
If you have the faith to try it
And you have the faith to believe…
 
For faith is a force that is greater
Than knowledge or power or skill
And many defeats turn to triumph
If you trust in God’s wisdom and will…
 
For faith is a mover of mountains,
There’s nothing that God cannot do,
So start out today with faith in your heart
And ‘climb ’til your dreams come true!’

Quote

Orrin Woodward – Among the Best of the Best in Leadership on Twitter

Leadership coaching (or what some call self-help or personal development) is one of the fastest growing industries in our economy. Even though it is already a behemoth of an industry with estimates placing it in the multi-billion dollar a year range, it is expected to continue growing at a pace topping 6% annually. People are looking for an edge in these tough economic times and many are finding what they’re looking for in this industry. Who are some of the top producers and leaders in the field? Of course you have your well known contributors like John Maxwell and Steven Covey, but there are many up-and-coming people in the field that are making some radical changes in the way business is done and the fanfare they’re receiving is a testament to their ideas.

Today, I pulled an updated list from the Twitter directory WeFollow that lists out the top people on Twitter in the area of Leadership. Since Twitter grows followers organically, I find it as a great barometer for who’s actually reaching people and making a difference. Here are some screenshots of the results:

Continue reading “Orrin Woodward – Among the Best of the Best in Leadership on Twitter”

Orrin Woodward – Among the Best of the Best in Leadership on Twitter

Trickle Up Economics

Throughout the 2012 election cycle we’re going to see numerous arguments regarding jobs and the economy. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media falls into a demand-side or Keynesian view of the economy, which history has thoroughly disproven (even before Keynes wrote the General Theory).  Below is a quick article from Peter Schiff, who famously predicted the housing bubble years before it happened, summing up the mainstream beliefs on how the economy works and why those beliefs are wrong. He goes into detail much more in his books, which I recommend.

The political left wing has long tried to cast doubt on the fairness, and even the efficacy, of free market capitalism by branding it as a “trickle down” system.  This epithet is meant to show how the middle and lower classes are dependent on scraps of wealth that happen to fall from the buffet table of the rich. This characterization of an unfair and inefficient system has helped them demonize policies that lower taxes (if they also extend to the wealthy) and reduce regulation on business.

Continue reading “Trickle Up Economics”

Trickle Up Economics

Does Science Disprove God?

“Is evolution really true?”, “Could all of this have really happened by chance?”, “If it did happen by chance, is there any purpose or meaning in life?”, and many other questions marked the beginning of my journey to putting my faith into Christ.  Thankfully, in college, one of my fraternity brothers had the courage to hand me a book from Lee Strobel – The Case for a Creator. Being an engineer, I figured that if God is real and the Bible is true, there must be evidence to prove it. While that book didn’t answer all of my questions, it was a very important starting point for me. Recently my church, Woodmen Valley Chapel, started a series called, “Think Again – Truth, Doubt, and Questions that Matter.” It has been digging into many major questions like those I listed earlier. All of the sermons in the series are available online as a video or .mp3. Check them out here: Woodmen Valley Chapel.

As part of the Think Again series we had the privilege of having Lee Strobel in to speak live on the topic, “Does Science Disprove God?” In this talk he boils down many of the important parts of his book, The Case for a Creator, into an engaging, 1-hour journey into the universe and how it was created by God. Watch it below:

If you have more questions, there are many, many resources that can be helpful. Leave a comment below and I can point you to the resources that answered my questions to the satisfaction of a very detailed oriented engineer.

Remember, as my friend and mentor Tim Marks says, “Know why you believe what you believe!

God Bless,

Clint

 

Does Science Disprove God?

Mental Fitness Challenge Incentive Trips!

Orrin Woodward and the Policy Council have taken LIFE to a whole new level with the Mental Fitness Challenge. Not only is the Mental Fitness Challenge awesome, but they added unbelievable incentive trips that people can qualify for very early on in their journey in LIFE.

Here’s a quick 3 minute video about the Mental Fitness Challenge:

More Info: Mental Fitness Challenge

Mental Fitness Challenge Testimonials

What’s even more exciting?!

FREE WORLD CLASS TRIPS!

These aren’t ordinary trips. These trips are luxury, first-class trips. Here’s some details and pictures:

Incentive #1: 6,000 for 6 Trip

Qualifications

  1. Trip Tracker – 200 Personal/Customer PV each and every month. For existing LIFE Members, Trip Tracker can start in April or May. For new Members, Trip Tracking begins with the first month in business.  If one month is missed, including even the first month for the new member, then the member is no longer eligible for this trip.
  2. PV – 6,000 Total PV for 6 consecutive months with a minimum of 4,000 PV in Team #1 and an additional 2,000 PV, including personal and customer volume, outside of Team #1.
  3. For example, a new member that was enrolled in May would start trip tracking in the month of May and continue to do 200 PV each month through the six month consecutive PV requirement.
  4. If in the months of January – March 2012 a member has not met the PV requirements, they are eligible to qualify for the 6,000 for 6 trip.

Trip Options

1. Disney World, Orlando, Florida – 4-day/3-night stay at Disney’s Beach Club Deluxe Resort. Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a New England-style Disney Deluxe Resort, shaded by broad oak trees and lapped by the gentle waters of the 25-acre Crescent Lake. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit, Disney Park Hopper Passes, Disney dining meal plan, transportation to and from the airport, and transportation to all Disney properties and theme parks.

Mental Fitness Challenge Incentive Trip

2. Arenal, Costa Rica – 6-day/5-night stay at the Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa hotel.  Perched one thousand feet above the Arenal Valley, the Arenal Kiori allows for incomparable views of the Arenal volcano, the lush valley, and the surrounding towns that sparkle at night. This trip includes an airfare credit, daily breakfast, canopy tour, volcano hike, and safari boat floating. Tim Jarvinen did an awesome post digging into more of the detail of this trip. Check it out: Tim Jarvinen – Mental Fitness Challenge Trips

Mental Fitness Challenge Incentive Trip

3. Oasis of the Seas, Bahamas Cruise – 8-day/7-night balcony cabin cruise. Experience the ship that revolutionized cruising; its revolutionary and breath-taking design includes seven distinct neighborhoods tailored to create the ultimate experience of enjoyment for all passengers. This ship is the largest in the world, watch the video for all the details.

Incentive #2: Leader 6 Trip

           Qualifications

  1. Trip Tracker – 200 Personal/Customer PV each and every month. For existing LIFE Members, Trip Tracker can start in April or May. For new Members, Trip Tracking begins with the first month in business.
  2. PV – 15,000 PV for 6 consecutive months with a minimum of 9,000 PV in Team #1 and an additional 6,000 PV, including personal and customer volume, outside of Team #1.
  3. If in the months of January – March 2012 a member has not met the PV requirements, they are eligible to qualify for the Leader 6 trip.

Trip Options

1. Disney World, Orlando, Florida – 6-day/5-night stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Deluxe Hotel. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Victorian-style Disney Deluxe Resort distinguished as the flagship hotel of the Walt Disney World Resorts and offering world-class dining, entertainment, and luxurious accommodations in its six striking red-gabled buildings. This magnificent hotel sits along the white-sand shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit, Disney Park Hopper Passes, Disney dining meal plan, transportation to and from the airport, and transportation to all Disney properties and theme parks.

Mental Fitness Challenge Incentive Trip

2. Maui, Hawaii – 5-day/4-night stay at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, which is located between two beautiful beaches with pristine white sands and endless blue water. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit, transportation from the airport to the hotel, Lei greeting, and a helicopter tour ride.

Mental Fitness Challenge Incentive Trip

3. Ocho Rios, Jamaica – 5-day/4-night stay at the Beaches Boscobel, which takes advantage of its stunning seaside locale to infuse all of its accommodations with the flavor of Jamaica. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit and access to Pirates Island Water Park. Parent magazine voted Beaches Boscobel among the Top 10 Best Beach Resorts.

Mental Fitness Challenge Incentive Trip

4. Celebrity Cruise – 10-day/9-night trip package, including a 7-night cruise from Seattle on the Seattle Celebrity Solstice, 3 nights at a 4-star hotel, and a Mount Rainer sightseeing trip.

5. Princess Cruise – 10-day/9-night Alaskan cruise on the Coral Princess. This trip includes a 7-day voyage of the glaciers cruise, 1 night at Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, 1 night at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, a natural history tour, and a 1-night Fairbanks with Sternwheeler Riverboat Cruise. This cruise is perfect for witnessing all that Alaska has to offer. Check out the video for all the details.

This is so much FUN, Definitely shows off the Have Fun part of our Have Fun, Make Money and Make a Difference motto. LIFE gives you information to challenge yourself in many areas of leadership and help you Live The Life You’ve Always Wanted.

On top of all of this there are One Time Cash Awards, which the first one will arrive at the same time as the Leader 6 FREE Trip…how does a $3000 BONUS sound on top of a FREE TRIP? It’s available!!!

We are so excited for everyone that is going to run and earn these trips and rewards, which they can go and spend time with their families, when they choose, with who they choose, and with no financial stresses. Absolutely Incredible.

I would love to hear what trip your running for and where you see you and your family spending time together.

See “YOU” on the beaches and waters of the world,

God bless,

Clint

Mental Fitness Challenge Incentive Trips!

Politicians: Masters of Shifting the Burden

As the 2012 election cycle caries on, the more I’m convinced that no matter who is elected, no fundamental change will take place. The system in which our politicians work will not allow for real change. Ultimately, our elected politicians are a reflection of the society that elected them. Unfortunately, our society is addicted to instant gratification. We are transfixed with real-time statistics, quarterly reports, last month’s unemployment figures, and yesterday’s public opinion polls.

Our society cannot hope to get better from top down policy change because politicians will nearly always seek symptomatic “solutions” instead of fixing the underlying systematic problem. Our politicians are experts at what Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline would call ‘Shifting the Burden.’ Senge captures the current political climate perfectly:

An underlying problem generates symptoms that demand attention. But the underlying problem is difficult for people to address, either because it is obscure or costly to confront. So people “shift the burden” of their problem to other solutions — well-intentioned, easy fixes which seem extremely efficient. Unfortunately, the easier “solutions” only ameliorate the symptoms; they leave the underlying problem unaltered. The underlying problems grows worse, unnoticed because the symptoms apparently clear up, and the system loses whatever abilities it had to solve the underlying problem.

Even worse, many of the symptomatic solutions have a whole host of their own side-effects, or unintended consequences that can be worse than the original problem. We’re seeing this play out very clearly in the economy right now. The public’s almost religious focus on short-term metrics creates a hostile atmosphere for any politician that is calling for any real fundamental changes. Why? Because, fixing the underlying problem is usually very painful in the short-term and would almost certainly cause the politician to lose their re-election to someone that promises an easy, painless ‘fix’. The longer that the underlying causes of the problems goes un-fixed, the harder it will be to fix them. Senge explains with the following example:

If a problem was caused originally by an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, drinking, poor eating habits, lack of exercise), then the only fundamental solution lies in a change in lifestyle. The drugs (the symptomatic solution) make the symptom better, and remove pressure to make difficult personal changes. But they also have side effects that lead to still more health problems, making it even more difficult to develop a healthy lifestyle.

As long as our society is focused on what the government can do for them and because the public has no sense of delayed gratification, our government and politicians will never take the necessary steps to correct the health of our country.  Rather than fixing overspending (the unhealthy lifestyle) by making difficult and painful cuts to entitlements programs like medicare and social security along with  defense nation building (exercise and no more smoking) they would rather just have the Fed print money and inflate its way out of the mess (take drugs); kicking the can down the road for future generations to deal with. As a result, the nation both publicly and privately takes on more and more debt. Eventually, the debt and the interest on the debt will become unmanageable.  The longer we wait to fix the chronic overspending, the harder it will be to fix. This very well done video does a great job highlighting short-term vs long term solutions:

The answer to the problem isn’t some politician. The answer lies in the general public. The solution is a public educated in history, economics, finances, and the ultimate source of our freedom. We need a people who understand personal responsibility; who don’t expect any sort of handout from the government. A people who are devoted to personal mastery. A people who refuse to get drunk and leave the tab for the next generation. It’s time to sober up as a country and deal with our problems head on!

God Bless,

Clint Fix

Politicians: Masters of Shifting the Burden