Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Lifetime of Achievement" by Jordan Maylea Ramirez {1st Chapter}

About the Book:

There are too many people going through life content with mediocrity.  People going to jobs they hate, to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. People who are dreading Monday, looking forward to hump day and praying for Friday; and let’s not even talk about those two weeks of paid vacation… those are gold!
How long have we been this way? Is this really what life is all about? I don’t believe we were created to be content with a mediocre lifestyle we never wanted in the first place. What happened to being a rock star, an astronaut, or an actor? What happened to the hopes and dreams we each had as children? Perhaps, over time, our dreams have changed… but our propensity for dreaming is still inside us.
Lifetime of Achievement outlines seven goal-setting strategies to help get you from where you are to where you want to be. In its chapters you will find knowledge from some of the worlds most popular personal development masterpieces, taken down to a level that is easy to read and simple to understand.
Learn the steps to discovering who you truly are, creating goals in perfect alignment with that discovery and implementing an action plan that, when followed, has been proven to produce results. Learn how to conquer fear, to activate the powers of the human mind and discover two of the most important factors shared by virtually every successful individual throughout history.
This book takes proven strategies and puts them into an easy-to-read, easy-to-implement format that can be read in as little as a few hours. Discover the steps, put them to work, and become prepared for a Lifetime of Achievement!

About the Author, Jordan Maylea Ramirez:

Jordan lives with her husband Robert in Lubbock, Texas with their 3 dogs and two horses. Because both her parents have always been self-employed, she had an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age and began her first business at the age of 17. It was at that time that she first became fascinated with the subject of personal development and the impact a personal education can have on a person’s life. She grew up riding horses and competing in Dressage shows all across Texas and New Mexico. The sport continues to be one of the primary passions in her life and if she is not working or spending time with her family you can usually find her at the barn. Jordan has two younger siblings, Clayton and Paige, whom she is very close to, and she greatly enjoys spending time with her family. She and Robert enjoy entertaining friends at their home (especially during football season – Go Red Raiders!) and they love to travel the world and experience new countries and cultures together.

Her latest book is Lifetime of Achievement.

First Chapter:

1 clarify your goals

As I mentioned in the introduction, goal setting is so much more than thinking about what you want to get out of your life “someday”. If it were that simple everyone would be living the life of their dreams… but it’s no secret that the majority of the people in this world are not even close. 
So what separates those who create their life by design from those who live their life by chance? 
Those who have created a successful life for themselves know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, exactly WHO they are and WHERE they want to go. 
Let’s start with WHO you are: 

Core Values:
You can set as many goals as you want, but if they aren’t in line with your core values (who you are as a person) then you won’t get anywhere. You have to believe at the very core of who you are that the goals you set are taking you to a place of happiness, peace and fulfillment. What creates those things for one person may not create them for another. Everyone’s core values are different – they are as unique to you as your fingerprint. 
Chances are, you share many core values with people who have influenced your life: mentors, parents, community leaders, etc. Hopefully you also share many core values with your spouse – it is a part of what drew you to one another. 
You also have core values that are all your own: some shaped by your life experiences, and how you responded to them and others that you were born with. 
Being able to determine your top 5 core values is an essential part of beginning the goal setting process.
Over the next couple of pages I have included some questions to help you jump-start the process of determining your core values. As you go through these, take care to write down the first word or words that come to mind. Don’t think too much about your answers… go with your gut. This is not about what you should say, or what your family would want you to say, or what is the socially acceptable answer. Be true to yourself… the only wrong answer is a dishonest one:
Who is the person I respect most in life and why?
If I could have one quality instantly, what would it be?____________________________________________
What are three things I hate? (Dishonesty, tardiness, impatience?)___________________________________________________________________________________
What personality trait or quality do people compliment me on?_____________________________
As a parent, which 3 qualities do I wish most for my children?______________________________________________________________________________________
What qualities do I see in the “ideal” man or woman? 
If my daily choices and habits were observed by no one but myself, which qualities would I continue to hold? (It is said that “character” is who you are when no one is looking!) ______________________________
Take a look at your answers and make note of any recurring themes or ideas. What personality traits and words seem to repeat themselves most? _______
Write down your Top 10 Core Values (see Core Value Memory Jogger on page 95): 
0. 1. _____________
2. _____________
3. _____________
4. _____________
5. _____________
6. _____________
7. _____________
8. _____________
9. _____________
10. _____________Now, narrow that list down to 5: 
0. 1. _____________
2. _____________
3. _____________
4. _____________
4. 5. _____________
If you took the time to work through this list properly, to answer the questions I listed for you, to ponder your answers and give the exercise some honest thought and consideration, then the 5 values you wrote down are the very core of who you are. 
Write them down on a note card and keep them with you as you continue working through the goal setting process. 
Each and every step of the way stop and do a check: make sure you never set a goal that is contradictory to the items on this list. If you will do that, then you are well on your way to creating a life you truly desire.
The Root Issue
Now that you have determined your core values it is time to move on to the next step, which is understanding the root issue of goal setting. 
The reason so many people set goals but fail to reach them is because they begin with their actions. 
A person wants to lose weight so they cut all carbs and sweets out of their diet and begin going to the gym 5 days a week. This works great until the holiday season rolls around and they suddenly become too busy for the gym and find they lack the will power to just say no to grandma’s peach cobbler. 
They vow to get back on that diet… after the New Year, of course. But when they step back onto that scale on January 1st they realize not only have they gained back the 7 pounds they lost, but they appear to have brought 3 more pounds along with them. 
Undaunted, they jump back into routine by cutting those sweets and carbs and going back to the gym… this time, 6 days a week! After all, Spring Break is just around the corner and they are taking their family on that cruise to Jamaica. 
Everything is going great again until that cruise… but the all-you-can-eat buffets and endless activities that are MUCH more entertaining than the onboard gym facilities get them back out of their routine. 
One week later they are back home and the scale is leering at them from the bathroom floor. Willpower sufficiently silenced they pick up the scale and move it to the back of their closet… “Maybe I’ll start back in time to get in shape for the holiday season…”
I’m sure this story tugs at an all-too-familiar chord for many of us. The problem with the person in the story is they failed to begin at the beginning. They began where most of us believe we should – with our actions. However, beginning this way is omitting some of the most important steps.
So if ACTION is not the beginning, then what is? Follow me as I explain: 
At the core of any goal we set is one word: Lifestyle. Your ideal lifestyle is what your life looks like when the achievement of your goals has aligned with your core values. It’s as simple as that. 
Your Results are what form together to create this lifestyle for you. They are a culmination of the achievement of the goals you have set. 
By earning more money (result) + losing weight (result) + carving out time each week to spend with the family (result) = you have created a LIFESTYLE of your liking.
Your Actions, when compounded together over time, create your results. That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? It sounds like that actually could work… and it could, IF your actions were the only driving force at work here.
So what determines your actions? 
Your Attitude – or, how you feel. You FEEL out of shape, so you decide to take ACTION and go to the gym to create the results you want to gain a better lifestyle. 
You FEEL discouraged when paying your bills each month, so you begin searching for additional income opportunities.
You FEEL guilty for not spending enough time with your family, so you add designated family time to your calendar each week. 
That is all well and good, too – except for one thing: Your attitude is forever changing. 
Let’s go back to our person who wanted to lose weight. On the first day of their diet what do you suppose their attitude was? 
Fed up: tired of feeling unhealthy. Motivated: ready to get to work. They probably shot out of bed at 5am and happily headed to the gym before coming home and fixing themselves a healthy breakfast of eggs and wheat toast.
What do you suppose their attitude was on day two? Probably similar to that of day one. 
But the days went on… and on… and on…. And before long 5am wasn’t looking so perky anymore. Those eggs were looking pretty bland. And the donut store on their way to work was calling their name just a little bit louder. 
We’ve all felt that way at one point or another which is why we absolutely cannot rely on our ATTITUDE to get us to our goals. Our attitudes change. We need to go deeper. 
By basing our decisions on our attitudes we will be getting no where fast. Our attitude (how we feel) is just another word for our emotions. As humans, we are highly charged emotional beings, and when left unchecked, emotions can run our entire life! Part of successful goal achievement is learning to dig deeper than just your emotions… we will never win the battle of controlling our emotions (attitude) 100% of the time. We have to go deeper.
So, the question to ask now is: What determines our attitude? 
The answer, my friend, is our Philosophy – who we are and what we know and how it affects us. 
It is one of my mentors and friends, Michael Clouse, who first explained to me that your philosophy will ultimately lead you to the achievement of any goal you wish to achieve in life. It MUST begin there – no exceptions. 
Your philosophy will ALWAYS determine your attitude, which will determine your actions, which will determine your results which will determine your Lifestyle. 
Let’s go back again to our person who wanted to lose weight. What do you suppose their philosophy was, and how does it differ from someone who is able to maintain a healthy lifestyle? 
The person in our story had a philosophy that they did not want to be overweight for a specific event (the holidays and that spring break cruise.) They wanted to lose weight. They knew they needed to lose weight. But when something came along that made the necessary actions inconvenient and difficult their attitude changed. All of a sudden they didn’t “feel” like taking those actions anymore, and they bailed. 
So what is the philosophy of a person who is able to maintain a healthy lifestyle regardless of holidays, vacations, etc.? 
Their philosophy is that health is a marathon, not a sprint. They believe their health should be associated with long-term benefits rather than short-term bursts of activity followed up with periods of inaction. They know that in order to be healthy they need to eat right and exercise on a consistent basis. They understand that moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. This philosophy leads to a positive attitude about health which drives them to take the little actions each day to get the results they desire. They eat smaller portions and have only one cookie for dessert instead of two. They choose water over coke and watch their favorite television show from the treadmill instead of the couch. Their actions are not drastic, but they are maintainable. They lead to positive results which in turn create a healthy lifestyle. 
Does this make sense to you? Your philosophy will always be the root cause of your success or failure in any area of your life. Look at areas in which you are successful and I can guarantee you have a positive philosophy in that area. 
What about things we need to work on? How can we improve our philosophy in order to create a more positive lifestyle? 
The answer is simple. Easy to do, easy not to do:
Go to work on yourself. 
If you want to lose weight, pick up a couple of books on healthy living or take a healthy cooking class. Want to be financially free? Attend a seminar on investing or read a book on long-term wealth (“The Richest Man in Babylon” is a great one!). Want to be a better parent? Read some articles on creative ways to spend time with your children or take a parenting class. 
Going to work on yourself will always have a positive effect on your philosophy because it affects what you know, how you feel about it and how it works in your life. 
Learn to change your philosophy and you will change your life. A fantastic book to help you do that is “The Slight Edge”, by Jeff Olson. 
Set Clear Goals
Now that you understand your goals must be in line with your core values, and that in order to achieve your goals you must begin with your philosophy, it’s time to get to work on setting clear goals for your life. 
There are 7 essential areas of a well-rounded life. I recommend working on just a couple of areas at a time so as to not become overwhelmed.
They are: 
· · Spiritual
· Family
· Career
· Finances
· Health
· Social/Cultural
· Fun
Think of each of these items as a spoke on a giant wheel of life. If any one area is much too long or too short your wheel will NOT roll properly along the ground. Well-roundedness is an essential key to happiness. 

Once you have chosen an area to focus on you are ready to get serious. As an example, let’s use the area of finances. When you think of your finances, what do you want to see? What does success in that area mean to you?
A life of financial freedom where you aren’t constantly stressed about bills to pay? A life where you are not living paycheck to paycheck? A life where every decision is not determined by your wallet?
The most accurate description of wealth I have ever heard is this: Wealth is determined by how long you could maintain your standard of living if you were to completely stop working. 
Whoa. That’s a little scary, isn’t it. 
It is this definition that helped my husband and myself create our #1 goal in terms of finances: We want to be able to stop working and still maintain our standard of living for the rest of our lives. 
That is achievable by putting your money to work for you, which is another subject completely separate from the purpose of this book. If you want to learn more about that though, then I recommend picking up Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. 
Now, back to the subject of goal setting, I personally like to have long-term goals which are broken down into mid-term goals and short-term goals. For example, when my husband and I first established our long-term financial goal, he was just out of college and I had just begun a new business. That goal was HUGE – and completely unrealistic in a short-term time frame. 
It has remained there though and, just like our core values, our mid- and short-term goals are always in alignment with it. Following this formula and taking the appropriate action has enabled that once inconceivable goal to loom closer and closer with each passing day.
I like to take each long-term goal and break it down to the point that I have created something achievable within one year. That is a short enough period to get you excited, but long enough to create a plan, which we will talk about later. 
Once you have reached this point you have arrived at another pivotal step on your way to goal-setting success; this step is as important as determining your core values and working on your philosophy. It is this step that often separates lives created by design and lives lived by chance:
Put your goals on paper.
I believe the simplicity of this step is what causes it to be overlooked so often. Ask anyone and they will tell you they have goals. Ask them to “show” you those goals, and it becomes a whole different ball game! Everyone has an idea of where they want to be in each area of their life in the future, but it is those who have their ideas written down on paper who are successful. 
Let me say it again: Write down your goals. On paper. In your own handwriting. Take pen to paper and WRITE IT DOWN. 
Okay – now that we have that covered, let’s move on to HOW to write them. 
Always write your goals in present tense, as if they  have already become a reality in your life. This detail will become more relevant to you once we talk about activating the mental laws later in the book. I like to write my goals in the form of I AM statements: I am doing ________, I am earning ____________, etc. 
Once you have determined a couple of goals you are going to focus on, write them in present tense statements on the same note card as your core values. Refer to this card DAILY. It will be a constant reminder of not only WHO you are, but also WHERE you want to go!

* Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Pump Up Your Book and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Pump Up Your Book, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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