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Simple soul part 2 Forrest Gump keeping his word

Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 4: Word – day 7.
Part 2 of 2.
We’re back looking at ways Forrest Gump teaches us about keeping our word.
if you missed part 1 you can read it here.
let’s get straight back to the story: the scene is a bar in New York for a new years party 1973.
Forrest Gump: I gotta buy me one of them shrimpin’ boats as soon as I have some money. I made me a promise to Bubba in Vietnam, that as soon as the war was over, we’d go in partners. He’d be the captain of the shrimpin’ boat and I’d be his first mate. But now that he’s dead, that means I gotta be the captain.
Lt. Dan Taylor: A shrimp boat captain.
Forrest Gump: Yes, sir. A promise is a promise, Lieutenant Dan.
[Lt. Dan starts to chuckle and shouts]
Lt. Dan Taylor: Now hear this! Private Gump here is gonna be a shrimp boat captain. Well, I tell you what, Gilligan. The day that you are a shrimp boat captain, I will come and be your first mate.
Forrest Gump: Okay.
Lt. Dan Taylor: If you’re ever a shrimp boat captain, that’s the day I’m an astronaut!
You’ll see above I’ve highlighted all the references to a promise in bold.
But Gump is still in the Army and doesn’t have any money to buy a boat.
He finds himself on the All American ping pong team and plays in China. upon his return he finds himself discharged from the Army – and so, he simply goes home.
Once home he finds that his ping pong exploits in China have attracted some attention and he is asked to ‘endorse’ a ping pong paddle.
PAYDAY! Gump is given 25,000 USD for his trouble endorsing the ping pong paddle.
So –  he goes down to Louisiana and buys a boat.
soon enough, Lt Dan is on the dock as Gump is bringing his boat back in.
here’s how it goes:
Forrest Gump: Lieutenant Dan, what are you doing here?
Lt. Dan Taylor: Well, I thought I’d try out my sea legs.
Forrest Gump: Well, you ain’t got no legs, Lieutenant Dan.
Lt. Dan Taylor: Yes, I know that. You wrote me a letter, you idiot. Well, well. Captain Forrest Gump. I had to see this for myself. And I told you if you were ever a shrimp boat captain, that I’d be your first mate. Well, here I am. I’m a man of my word.
Forrest Gump: Okay.
Lt. Dan Taylor: Yeah, but don’t you be thinking that I’m going to be calling you “Sir.”
Forrest Gump: No, sir.
Actually, I think the most interesting character in the Forrest Gump movie is Lt Dan.
if you haven’t seen it recently maybe have a look and see what I mean.
So, we can see, Gump kept his promise to Bubba, and Lt Dan kept his promise to Gump.
Some might say that there was no ‘obligation’ behind either of those promises but I’m afraid that’s not quite true.
When we say we will be there for someone and we don’t follow through, a little bit of trust and love dies.
it’s a little bit like the story of the boy who cried WOLF! when there was none, thinking it very funny, but when the wolf really came to eat his sheep no-one came to the rescue because they thought it was another false alarm.
Don’t let it happen to you.
So maybe this week it’s been hard to understand how keeping your word helps build your character, confidence and self esteem but I think some of the examples we’ve looked at do just that. I hope you can begin to recognise places where your habits in this area are holding you back and that you’ll be able to work on them, excuses, of course is a good place to begin.
Tomorrow we roll over to week 5 of the current cycle: Waste and will be looking at ways to run a ‘tighter ship’, that’s ship, not shrimp boat by the way.

 

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Simple soul part 1 Forest Gump keeping his word

Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 4: Word – day 6.

Part 1 of 2.

“Hello, My name is Forrest, Forrest Gump”

Is the opening line to the 1994 Movie starring Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump was one of the most popular movies of the 1990’s Grossing over 320M USD.

The movie can actually teach us a lot about keeping your word.

Anyway – it won 6 oscars including best picture and best actor.

Currently it is #13 on the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) list of top 250 movies of all time.

Though if you are in India you might disagree with this because the Indian movie scene is massive and dwarfs the output and popularity of Hollywood.

Anyway – here’s the story.

Forrest Gump is a simple soul, not gifted with great intelligence but he has a strong sense of right and wrong and is single minded when given a task.

This works to his advantage throughout his life.

Running – Ping Pong – Shrimp Fishing, he finds a way to excell in everthing he does.

During the course of the movie he is sent to fight in a war and meets his “best friend in the whole wide world” Bubba, and his commanding officer Leiutenant Dan.

Bubba has a dream of one day owning a shrimp boat and the two hatch a plan where Bubba would be captain and Forrest would be first mate. They would be partners 50/50.

This is the cornerstone of some of the most significant parts of the movie.

Have you seen this movie? Can you think of some ways that people kept their word?

in part 2 tomorrow we’ll see what happens and look at different ways in which people keep their word.

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On TV in your undies – keeping your word.

Keeping your word.keeping your word on tv

Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 4: Word – day 1.

So today we’re talking about ‘keeping your word’ – what does that mean?
Let me tell you about a man who appeared on live mainstream television in his underwear!
Now, let me say right away that I’m not a soccer fan myself.
No Ma’m, Not Me!
Many People, however, love it and in some archaic tribal throwback to prehistoric times it can be very ‘them and us’ between teams.
Fans even more so – almost like going into battle against an enemy – though mostly friendly.
Anyway.
Born in the City of Leicester in 1960 Gary Lineker played 194 games for his local team Leicester City, scoring a total of 95 goals for them in his seven years as a profesional player at the club. He then moved on to play for Everton, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and a Japanese Team called Nagoya Grampus Eight – before retiring in 1994.
He also pulled on the white shirt of England a total of 80 times, scoring 48 goals for his country.
He is still England’s top goal scorer at the World Cup with 10 goals to his name.
The point is he had a lot of credibility and a large following and so…
After retirement he became a TV presenter with the BBC – most notably presenting their flagship soccer show ‘Match of the Day’ (MOTD).
But he never lost his support for his beloved Leicester City.
Poor Leicester, they always tried – they were the most earnest triers out there – never won a thing though. Every season between August and May the English league operates and poor old Leicester City never won a thing.
On Monday 14th of December 2015 (just halfway through the season) Leicester City beat Chelsea to go top of the League.
Lineker sent out a tweet:-
“YES! If Leicester win the @premierleague I’ll do the first MOTD of next season in just my undies”
9:54Pm 14 Dec 2015.
That year, for the first time in it’s long history Leicester actually won something!
Yes, they were still at the top of the league at the end of the season meaning they had won the championship.
So this week is about keeping your word.
and Lineker did just that; presenting the first show of the new season in his undies.
Did he look foolish? Yes.
Did he feel humiliated? Yes.
Did he gain the love and respect of millions of people? Yes.
You see, by keeping his word he showed the world that looking foolish and feeling humiliated weren’t as important to him as keeping his word and by doing what he said he would do when he said he would do it raised his profile and esteem.
Look for ways this week to keep your word:
if you say you will do something, make sure it gets done.
if you say you will be somewhere at a certain time, be there.
avoid the temptation of falling into the ‘everybody does it’ excusitis.
IMPORTANT BIT: you do what you say you will do when you say you will do it because; if you don’t, you will know it.
think about that.
People tell me they want to raise their self esteem and be happier but have this laissez faire attitude to things – turn up when they want and do something late they said they would do.
People respect people who keep their word, and you should practice it too, but only for your own sake.
YOU will know it

This article is one of a series sent out daily.

The aim is to build confidence and self esteem using a method devised by Benjamin Franklin to build his own character and I think most people know the result of his efforts.

He Called it ‘The 13 Virtues’.

Click the ‘join’ button below to find out all about it and take part.

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Homing in on the one Goal

Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 3: Order – day 6.
As you will know by now this week is about planning, – you see what we’re trying to achieve here is CLARITY.
What we’re trying to avoid is:
“I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure” – Boscoe Pertwee.
We’re trying to eliminate indecision ‘should I have the red one or the blue one’ ‘tea? or coffee?’ ‘this direction or that direction’.
Indecision! everywhere! – this, incidentally is a big contributor to self confidence and esteem issues.
Coming back to list of goals; you should have been able to eliminate all but your top 2 goals and laid out your positive/plus negative/minus grid.
if you need a template for that you can download one here.
What you need to do is to put down all of the positive things about obtaining this goal and all the negative things that are about getting this goal.
Once you have done this you should have items in all 4 columns.
What you need to look for is ways to eliminate something on one side with another.
for instance; say your decision is about a new job in a nearby town but you have no transport (negative) but then the job comes with a car as an added benefit. (positive) one cancels out the other.
you need to carefully go through your list and eliminate as much as possible and only leave things behind that are ‘must haves’ not only ‘wishes’ if you can’t find a way to cancel something it must stay, don’t just eliminate things because you don’t like or want them, they are facts and unless considered could mean that your whole goal could fail, and no-one wants that.
Remember your two goals may be very different, so this elimination stage is only simplifying the decision.
Tomorrow I’ll show you how to use what is left to decide which will be your goal – exciting isn’t it?

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Weigh the positives and negatives for goal setting

Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 3: Order – day 7.
Dear Friend
The Average Pencil can write about 45,000 words or draw a straight line 56Km Long it can also be sharpened about seventeen times.
Well, you’ve probably used at least half a pencil with all the hard work you’ve been doing this week and even if you’ve only been following this in your ‘mind’ I want to acknowlege that it’s not easy and by coming this far you have done extremely well – you’ve kinda proved to yourself you can do it – and I feel that’s important. I’m excited for you!
Let’s move on, again this is a little complicated – sorry, but bear with me on this, it is the final step.
Are you familiar with negative numbers?
Imagine a horizontal line with -100 to the extreme left and +100 to the extreme right with 0 in the middle.
The 0 represents neutrality – something that doesn’t matter.
The -100 represents a big NO!
I’m sure you’re waaay ahead of me here but then the +100 is a big YES!
Go through the remaining items on your lists and ask yourself how big a yes or no is this thing.
if it’s a positive thing give it a + number from 0 to 100 according to how strongly positive you feel it is
for instance, in a new job; more pay might be an 80.
do the same for the negative side remember to put the – next to the negative numbers.
again for our new job; less annual leave might be -60
Next: add together all the positive numbers and all the negative numbers – then take the negative one from the positive one.
you might end up with numbers like positive: 460 negative: -220
your final figure for that particular goal would then be 460-220 = 240
Maybe your other goal might be; positive:380 negative:-260 = 120
Clearly here the first goal is the stronger one and this would be your choice.
You can always come back to the other goals on your list once you’ve completed this one.
VERY IMPORTANT BIT; Take MASSIVE ACTION on this goal, immediately.
Ever pushed a car? pretty hard to begin with isn’t it? but once you get it rolling – much easier.
Overcome the resistance of inertia and dive deeply into making your goal happen.
Here’s a few examples:
Say your goal is to lose weight; go through your cupboards and fridge and give away all the ‘bad’ foods you have, join a gym/fitness group/slimming club – somewhere that will encourage you to move your body more that also has people with a similar goal to yours – preferably connected to a qualified trainer who can help you. tell everyone you’re serious about losing weight and ask them to help you.
say you want to save money; sell everything you haven’t used in the past 6 months, cancel any subscriptions that are unnecessary, cut up your credit cards – look for ways to economise on your household bills – get the rest of your family to ‘buy in’ to the scheme – make it a game. Consult a financial advisor.
If you want a new job – smarten yourself up, update your CV and refresh your skills. Find out every company in your area that employs people with your skills – learn about them, discover ways you can bring VALUE to them – call them up – be ENTHUSIASTIC – GO and GET YOUR JOB don’t wait for it to come to you.
ok, we’ve covered a lot of ground this week and it’s time to wrap it up – thank you for staying the course and I truly hope this week makes all the difference to you, you should now have a ‘mission’ to focus on, everthing else in the Virtues hinges on this key factor.
Next week is cornered on something most people are a little elastic with and that is ‘Keeping your Word’ but mastering this skill raises the way you are seen as well as the way you see yourself.

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Your shot at the stars – the importance of goals.

Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 3: Order – day 5.

On Average the blue-banded bee, head bangs flowers at the rate of 350 times a second.

I mention this because although this seems random and chaotic it is with one specific goal in mind.

Yes even the humble bee has a goal – to obtain pollen.

It seems to me that we’ve been so deep into our planning phase that we could use a little perspective on why it is so important.

Allow me to illustrate with a personal story:

When I was younger I was fortunate enough to earn a place at University studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

I was desparate to change my status from ‘unskilled’ to ‘skilled’ worker – I had spent too many long depressing days working in a factory – arriving in darkness and leaving in darkness.

I wanted a job that would involve different situations and different places.

As part of the course I was on, Students were expected to produce a ‘project’ for their final year.

It should be something they could demonstrate their knowlege and skills with and would make up a very large proportion of their final grade for the year.

Not only that but these projects were to be shown as part of an ‘open’ day where prospective employers could be invited along to see the students work.

We all knew this because they kinda made a big thing of it – I guess it made them look good too – having students ‘snapped’ up even before graduation!

This, I recognised, was the opportunity I had been looking for – my ticket to a better job and increased prospects.

My only problem was that at this open day would be showing the work of 80 other students – I would really have to stand out.

I resolved to produce the very best project I could and then invite prospective employers along to the open day.

If I’m honest I chose a project that on the face of it, was far too complex. I should have listened to my tutor and everyone else who said that it was ‘too much’.

But I didn’t – sometimes you have to be a stubborn old fool.

I feel it would be unfair of me to explain too much detail about this project suffice to say that it was to decode and display weather satellite pictures. – just like you see on the TV weather show.

I had just one year. – gulp.

But I wasn’t going to let that stop me: for that entire year, I lived, breathed and swam in satellites – every moment I had I was doing something towards ‘the project’ – I always had in my mind; my Goal – this new job – this new life. – I asked for help from everybody I could find to talk to me about it.

Without this burning desire – this mission – this ‘thing I had to do’ my project would probably have looked a bit like the other 98% on that project day – a jumble of wires and a flashing light. – I daresay that this reflected on the amount of planning and time they devoted to their projects, but in all other respects they were every bit as clever and qualified as I was.

Not only did my project give me a distinction in my grades I also got 3 job offers right off the bat and I also won the project prize for the entire year.

I hope you can see the power and necessity of having a ‘definiteness of purpose’ a ‘mission’ a ‘goal’ for YOURSELF – you will be ASTOUNDED at what you can achieve with such power of focus – get after it my friend.

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Use Smart goals

Where we are: 2017 - cycle 2 - Week 3: Order - day 4.

"If I had 60 minutes to cut down a tree, I would spend 40 minutes sharpening the ax and 20 minutes cutting it down."

This is Attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but only appears after 1960 so it's unlikely to be Lincoln.

The point is that; in planning - in refining our purpose and focussing on it; we can take a more direct route and acheive our goal in a much shorter time with less effort.

So, you have your goals list, and you've scored each item.

you can easily eliminate 80% of the items on the list.

Just select your top 2 (or 3 if it's really close).

The goal we select should follow the 'S.M.A.R.T' rules. I guess you may not know what these are so here's a quick rundown.

S = Specific, the goal should be specific like 'I have x job' or 'I earn xx'
M = Measurable, the goal should be measurable, it's no use having a goal of 'being loved more' or 'looking younger' because these are intangible things.
A = Attainable, is it a realistic goal? are you beyond yourself.
R = Relevant, is this goal relevant to you? or is this someone-else's goal? it has to be your goal not one someone else would like you to have.
T = Time-bound, is there a clear time you want to acheive this goal by? eg I want to lose xxx lbs/kg in 1 year.

for instance a goal might be "In 28 weeks I will have lost 28lbs of weight."

Research shows that setting goals that follow the SMART rules have a much higher chance of succeeding.

Notice also that it is written as if the goal was already acheived.

let's break it down:

It's specific (28lbs in 28 weeks).
It's Measurable (weight).
It's Attainable (if you have 28 lbs of excess weight to lose then it's possible).
It's Relevant (only YOU reap the benefit)
It's Time bound (28 weeks).

check that your two (or three) follow these guidelines.

Then put them on a piece of paper with four columns.

Put goal one above the first two columns and goal two above the second two columns.
each of the two columns then gets it's own title

PRO | CON

Remember, your two chosen goals should be so close together that you can't decide between them.

Clearly you want to achieve both eventually, but we're trying to select just ONE so it can be focussed on and conquered. before moving on to other goals.

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Use your smart goals

“If I had 60 minutes to cut down a tree, I would spend 40 minutes sharpening the ax and 20 minutes cutting it down.”
This is Attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but only appears after 1960 so it’s unlikely to be Lincoln.

The point is that; in planning – in refining our purpose and focussing on it; we can take a more direct route and acheive our goal in a much shorter time with less effort.

So, you have your list, and you’ve scored each item.

you can easily eliminate 80% of the items on the list.

Just select your top 2 (or 3 if it’s really close)

The goal we select must follow the ‘S.M.A.R.T’ rules. I guess you may not know what these are so here’s a quick rundown.

S = Specific, the goal should be specific like ‘I have x job’ or ‘I earn xx’
M = Measurable, the goal should be measurable, it’s no use having a goal of ‘being loved more’ or ‘looking younger’ because these are intangible things.
A = Attainable, is it a realistic goal? are you beyond yourself.
R = Relevant, is this goal relevant to you? or is this someone-else’s goal? it has to be your goal not one someone else would like you to have.
T = Time-bound, is there a clear time you want to acheive this goal by? eg I want to lose xxx lbs/kg in 1 year.

for instance a goal might be “In 28 weeks I will have lost 28lbs of weight.”

let’s break that down:

It’s specific (28lbs in 28 weeks).
It’s Measurable (weight).
It’s Attainable (if you have 28 lbs of excess weight to lose then it’s possible).
It’s Relevant (only YOU reap the benefit)
It’s Time bound (28 weeks).

check that your two (or three) follow these guidelines.

Then put them on a piece of paper with four columns.

Put goal one above the first two columns and goal two above the second two columns.
each of the two columns then gets it’s own title

PRO | CON

Remember, your two chosen goals should be so close together that you can’t decide between them.

Clearly you want to achieve both eventually, but we’re trying to select just ONE so it can be focussed on and conquered. before moving on to other goals.

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The Power and Glory of Benjamin Franklin

Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 3: Order – day 3.

Today it’s time to hear from our mentor and guiding light.

Yes, Benjamin Franklin.

Often, people use the quotation “if you fail to plan you plan to fail” which is atributed to Franklin but I’m afraid that someone paraphrased him and the new paraphrased quotation stuck.

What he really said was:-

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to Fail”

Nevertheless there is something of value in both of these quotations however paraphrased they may be and that is – Planning and Preparing.

And, that is where we are today – attempting to determine your ‘mission’ your ‘goal’ your ‘Raison D’etra’

Something, one thing, you can focus all your power, influence and determination on.

So, you’ve done your list? Please tell me you’ve done your list? if you haven’t you may as well unsubscribe now – because without it you are going to stay where you are. And this is not what we’re about here, we want to be the very best happy, successful and fulfilled people we can, not having a mision makes this almost impossible.

What we’re going to do now is to take your list and and go through the items on it one-by-one. giving each a score from 1 – 10.

How you score is up to you but here’s some useful thoughts you can use when deciding.

let’s start with our simple little phrase: I Can, I will, I Do, I DARE!

For each item on your list – consider it, what would this goal mean to you if you had already attained it?

I can, I will, I do, I DARE!

Score each. 1 – 10 – really resist the temptation to give everything high scores, use the whole of the 1 – 10 spectrum, think, meh, or so what, who cares? about this goal.

Take your time – don’t rush it, consider each item on your list.

Once you are done you’ll be taking the top 2 or maybe 3 scoring things these should be the ‘must haves’ that mean the most to you.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to decide between these last few and decide which of them should be your mission.

Take your time and enjoy it a bit. Go through your list.

Taking the time for yourself to do this will put you Waaaaay ahead of most people and set you on a road to a happier more sucssesful life.

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