Friday, 30 November 2012

The Riches of Life and How to Find Them

This is a must read for anybody wanting to improve their lives. Regardless of what you want to improve, Napoleon Hill shows the "Master-Key" works. Hill died in 1970, but the research he did was far ahead of his time. Did you know he mentored Charles Schwab? Carnegie also commissioned Hill to profile him and other successful people to see if there was a pattern. This book, along with "Think and Grow Rich," is a combination of that research. 

This book is important because Mr. Hill explains the 12 riches of life and how to achieve them. Are you where you want to be or do you need help defining true happiness? This book will give you the blueprint for these things.

The 12 Riches of Life are:

1. Positive Mental Attitude,
2. Sound Physical Health,
3. Harmony in Human Relationships ,
4. Freedom from Fears,
5. The Hope of Achievements,
6. The Capacity of Faith,
7. Willingness to Share One’s Blessings,
8. A labor of Loves,
9. An Open Mind on All Subjects,
10, Self-discipline, 
11. The capacity to Understand People, 
12. Economic Security. 

All 12 riches are important but for the sake of time we will dig into three of them in this summary.

1. Positive Mental Attitude – Mental attitude is important because it converts the brain into the equivalent of an electro-magnet which attracts the counterpart of one’s dominating thoughts, aims and purposes. It also attracts the counterpart of one’s fears, worries and doubts. This basically means that you will manifest in your life that which you focus on regardless if it is positive or negative.

2. Sound Physical Health – This one is self-evident and should be number one. In my humble opinion, without health, you cannot create anything. Health is the ultimate gift because with it, everything else is possible. This can easily be taken for granted but once it is taken from you then life changes instantly. This needs to be a priority for everybody.

3. The Capacity to Understand People: The person who truly understands people knows that we all come from the same core. The nine emotions common, according to the book are: love, sex, desire of material gain, self-preservation, freedom from body and mind, self-expression, desire for perpetuation of life and death, anger and fear. The capacity to understand others eliminates many of the common causes of friction among men. The Master-Key is a combination of 17 principles when used in combination will allow you to achieve the 12 Riches of Life.

But how do you obtain these? You're going to have to dig into the book to learn the "Master Keys" that will lead you to the 12 Riches I just highlighted and discussed.

The Master-Key consists of:
1) Habit of going the extra mile
2) Definiteness of Purpose
3) The Master mind
4) Applied Faith
5) Pleasing Personality
6) Habit of learning from defeat
7) Creative Vision
8) Personal Initiative
9) Accurate Thinking 
10) Self-Discipline 11) Concentration of Endeavor
12) Co-operation
13) Enthusiasm
14) The Habit of Health
15) Budgeting Time and Money 
16) Golden Rule Applied
17) Cosmic habit force.

For the sake of time we will profile three of the seventeen.

I hope you have found this blog post useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. I always say habits form in as little as 21 days. I highly recommend you read this book and put the principles in place. To take one thing away from the summary and make it habit will be the “Habit of Going the Extra Mile”. Put this front and center and it will help you in everything you do.

Do the thing and you shall have the power!!!! 

Joe Mosed


Friday, 16 November 2012

Brain Up, Age Down

We are just scratching the surface on brain research. The power of the brain is absolutely awesome. Dr. Amen is a leader in this field and this book is a testimonial of his research results. Alzheimer's, Dementia and Depression are all horrible diseases that really do not get much attention yet they destroy lives. In my opinion,Dr. Amen’s research will continue to bridge the gap and hopefully help people reduce their chances of getting these diseases.

My goal in doing this book summary is to provide value because I do not want to waste your time. A picture is worth a thousand words. If you were to look at two brain SPECT images comparing heavy alcohol use with Alzheimer’s, they would both look like Swiss cheese. A normal brain SPECT scan looks whole. What this is depicting are areas of non-activity in the brain.

The effects of alcohol use and Alzheimer’s look very similar. Brain health is directly tied to overall health. The brain uses 30% of the energy consumed by your whole body and through proper nutrition and exercise, we can enhance brain health.

"Use Your Brain to Change Your Age" is a collection of real patients and real results. These patients typically were overweight and had horrible diets. We will examine the what, why and how to brain health. I think this title is telling because most people are pretty vain when it comes to age and if it helps sell books then so be it. This book needs to be read and taught to the masses. The problems with our sick care system are only getting worse and the real solution lies with the individual taking control of their own health. This book is a great stepping stone in that direction.

1. What is it SPECT imaging? Dr. Amen uses brain imaging to show his patients their brains vs. a normal brain. A normal brain SPECT scan shows a solid brain in all directions. This signifies brain activity. If the scan looked to be filled with holes then those holes represent non-activity centers in the brain. Additionally, brain health typically can be reflected on the outside. Obesity has a major negative effect on the brain. Most of the patients Dr. Amen profiles in the book were overweight and had negative looking brain scans. Dr. Amen argues that your brain health can be enhanced and effectively reverse aging. Aging in this sense is sharpness of mind and body. One way to be younger is have more energy and increase your activity. These are looked at in the how to section.

2. Why is it important? The answer to this question is self-evident unless you want to die a horrible death. Brain disease is hard on the patient and really hard on their families. The responsibility for your health falls on your shoulders. Most people are looking for a miracle drug or somebody else to take care of them. This is not going to work and has not worked in the past.

3. How does it work? Dr. Amen goes into great detail on the how to but for the sake of time let me summarize the majors. First, diet is a key component to brain health. Dr. Amen recommends low Glycemic foods which he details in the book. For simplicity, eat vegetables and cut down on sugar/junk food, alcohol and soft drinks. Drink a lot of water and increase your daily activity. Exercise is a big deal and has a positive effect on brain health. The brain runs on Glucose and Oxygen so if you increase you oxygen intake through exercise and activity, your brain will benefit. Also, protect your head. If you do high impact sports then wear a helmet. Dr. Amen has worked with several NFL players and the damage to their brains is significant. Through diet, exercise and in some cases Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, he has been able to improve brain function significantly. The brain is a muscle so it needs to be exercised as well. Continuous learning is critical for proper brain function.

Read this book. Each "How To" is very straight forward and easy to do. One thing I recommend for all the people who work out of their house and have a treadmill, set up a treadmill desk and work from there. If you work 8 hours per day then work for 2 hours on the treadmill at a slow walking pace. This will increase circulation, reduce inflammation and increase oxygen to the body. 

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday next week!


Friday, 9 November 2012

Focus First

Leo Babauta has an excellent mind set. To accomplish high value task and achieve goals, focus is required. To help in my quest to understand focus, I read this book. 

If you are investing your time reviewing this summary then it has to be worth it for you. Marcus Aurelius said, "Most of what we say and do is not essential." If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment: is this necessary? Pablo Picasso said, "Without great solitude no serious work is possible." These two quotes have real power once they are implemented. 'Focus' is divided into 4 major parts. For the sake of time, I will touch on a concept in each section. 

1. Step Back – Email, web browsing, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. All of these mediums spell one thing – Distraction. Distraction creates stress and wastes time. In May 2011, Americans spent 53.5 billion minutes on Facebook. On average people spend 24 hours per week watching TV and surfing the web. That equates to three full time working days per week. Needless to say, these stats clearly show that people are distracted.

2. Clearing the StreamFocus requires setting a schedule. So one way to clear some of the distractions is to schedule your internet time. Once you put this on the calendar, you can monitor how much time you are truly spending on these activities. This also consolidates your usage and makes you more productive because you are focused on just the internet. Once the time is up then disconnect and tend to your other tasks.

3. Simplify - One excellent technique to simplifying your life is to de-clutter. This means eliminate the non-essentials. Clear off your desk and have a clean working environment. This will eliminate distractions. If you have a stack of crap on your desk then go through it and make a decision – File, Trash or Donate. Make the decision quick and move on. You can do this in your house as well. Having a minimalist life style reduces stress so you can use the same process for your house as you do your desk at work.

Focus is a quick book to read and provides functional “how to” tactics so that you can accomplish high value tasks. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you eliminate the non-essentials.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. Hope you all have a great weekend!

-Joe at Success Progress


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Think Smart, Stay Sharp

"Think Smart" is a book about the brain and improving your performance. There are highlights on how to significantly reduce your chances of Dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
To pursue your passion in life and achieve real meaning, physical and mental health is required. The benefits of physical exercise are numerous including, lower blood pressure, stronger heart and more energy. If you have ever been sick then you know firsthand that performance and ambition don’t mean anything because you cannot perform.
Mental health is even more important than physical health. Your brain functions just like a muscle, if you do not use it, you lose it. When your brain is firing on all cylinders, you can accomplish nearly anything. The more you exercise your brain the more you grow.

Here are 3 key points that I will point out for the sake of time:

1. Brain Axiom – The brain runs on Oxygen and Glucose. The greater the activity, the more blood flow to the brain to compensate. Plasticity allows us to sculpt our brains according to our activity. This means that when the average person spends 5 hours per day in front of the TV, the brain compensates for it. This is very interesting axiom because your habits and activities will dictate your brain function over time. This is great news because with a smart plan of daily activities, you can improve your brain performance on purpose. 

2. The Basics – Diet, exercise and sleep all improve/decline the brains performance depending on what you do. Things to do to improve brain performance: maintain low weight, eliminate saturated fats, eat fish (watch mercury levels), decrease red meats, drink moderate red wine and take in more fruits & veggies. Exercise increases blood flow which increases oxygen and glucose to the brain. Exercise daily based on where you are at physically and continually increase the exercise as you improve. The last key to the basics is sleep. Sleep reduces stress, energizes the brain and processes new information. Cortisol is released in high stress times; too much Cortisol is bad for the brain so reducing stress is critical to brain health. 

3. Cool things – You can improve your brain performance on purpose. Using your brain and consistently challenging it will increase performance. Reading, thinking, puzzles and some video games can improve performance dramatically. Some video games have shown improved reflex actions along with visual performance improvements. 

I hope you have found this short video summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is use it or lose it. I have read several books on the brain and all of them postulate that the brain does NOT decrease overtime like muscle mass. The exercised brain continually improves with age. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. You see this when people retire and don’t fill their time with constructive & challenging activities. The brain atrophies and performance withers. 

Joe Mosed