Read time: 12 min

September 1, 2020

Good morning. It’s officially September. This means it’s closer to Sofia’s birthday, closer to pretty leaf color changes, and all the Fall activities.

Although the days are getting shorter, there’s apple cider and pumpkin pie on deck. We can’t complain.

INSPIRATION

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

-Oprah Winfrey

ADVENTURE & LIFESTYLE: Live the life you want

Let Yourself Be Blessed

A good friend of The Achiever’s team is a big, jolly pastor named Phil that always lightens up a room whenever he enters one. He comes from down south and has a singing voice to melt hearts all over the place. Phil often tells people, “let yourself be blessed.” Without getting too spiritual, the message here is beautiful and one we can all adopt more in our lives.

When Phil tells people this, what he means is that you should be open to receiving the blessings of others, whether a simple kindness, a small favor, or an act of gratitude. If someone offers to buy you a cup of coffee, let them “bless you” as he would put it. If someone offers to help you with a project, take you to a sports game or give you extra gas money, take their kindness with a grateful heart, and let yourself receive a gift without guilt.

Many of us feel bad or guilty when this happens, feeling as if we’ve put someone out by accepting their favor. If this were true, then why would they have offered? If they’re being nice, then let them be nice. Don’t feel guilty for accepting the kindness of others. Instead, live a life where you can readily accept small gestures of generosity from others. It’s a pleasure to give favors out and help others, and it allows the other person to feel they’ve contributed positively to your life.

SOCIAL CAPITAL: Build a powerful network

The Golden Rule of Networking

Completely comfortable or totally terrified, where do you fall on the networking spectrum?

Wherever you fall, we’re going to let you in on a well-known secret: network without keeping score and with a give-to-hopefully-get mentality.

Most of us think of networking as a mutual exchange, a reciprocal relationship beneficial to both. In actuality, you should network without keeping score, meaning you as questions because you are genuinely interested in learning and helping out. Seek to provide value and, even if you aren’t in a position to help someone meet their goals today, the likelihood is that someday, you will be.

You can probably think of many people who said they were going to help in some way, but they didn’t. Maybe they couldn’t, they forgot, or never intended to. It doesn’t matter.

If you’re smart, you already surround yourself with talented people and want to connect with those you don’t know. With every “reach-out” to someone in your sphere, sincerely ask what you can do to help them. Most of the time, they’ll thank you for asking and tell you there’s nothing they need. However, if they do ask for a favor, you should take the opportunity. Fulfill the request to the best of your ability and expect nothing in return. Do the favor because you like and respect the other person and honestly want to help.

Easy ways to help others and connect are: commenting on a LinkedIn post, resharing content, checking in on a connection, or giving some advice. The good juju will come back to you in spades, just don’t expect it, have that be your motivator, or keep score.

ACHIEVERS’ ARMORY: Equip yourself with proven tools & tactics

Publish With Confidence

If you are going to start a business, you will need to get comfortable with writing. Writing is everything and everywhere, including your website, social media channels, sales e-mails, and various pieces of marketing content. You may not be the best writer, but you at least need to get your message out to your target audience accurately. To avoid typos and grammatical errors, and to gain more confidence when publishing your writing, we suggest trying out WhiteSmoke.

WhiteSmoke is an on-line tool that allows users to proofread their text before sending it out into the world. This platform scans your writing to ensure there are no errors, and that is as clear as possible. It is like having your own professional proofreader working for you. It also has a plagiarism checker, which, if you are accepting work from third-party freelancers, is incredibly helpful.

One of the many functions that separates WhiteSmoke from the competition is its ability to review or translate text in over 50 languages, the perfect solution for any emerging business that is looking to enter international markets. It also fully integrates with Microsoft Word and Outlook and will notify you when it detects an issue in your writing.

To WhiteSmoke in action and read their positive customer review, click here.

MINDSET: Train your brain to win

There’s No Place Like Home

At the end of the Wizard of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch of the North points with her wand to Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, which have been on her feet the whole time she’s been in Oz. “You had the power all along, my dear,” she tells Dorothy.

We’re all a little bit like Dorothy. We have all of this potential and purpose within us; we just need a little nudge sometimes.

We tend to take things for granted. We lose our joy, power, and purpose. You let things pass you by, don’t appreciate the little things, and lose yourself in the mix.

But when you experience and make gratitude and joy a priority, you flourish.

Here are two reasons why taking things for granted robs you of your joy:

  1. Negative Emotions: Research shows that gratitude reduces depression and increases happiness. Dopamine and serotonin are released, making you feel joy. A simple act of appreciation can change your perspective of a situation and change your life outcome. Your emotions can teach you to stop chasing what you don’t have and see what you do have. Appreciate how far you have come and the journey you’re on.
  2. You’re less “in the moment”: When you realize that the “right now” is all you’re promised, you tap into that moment, you make it count, and you appreciate it more. If you take things for granted, you’ll find yourself less present and realize that you miss out on things that matter and are happening. Part of gratitude is being mindful- mindful of your current moment and focusing on the now. Living in the moment brings clarity.

You feel your best when you know what you have and what it took to get here- you’re grateful. You’ve had this power the whole time. Sometimes, it takes a little reminding (or a long journey on a yellow brick road) to appreciate life. There’s nothing like who you are or what you have. There’s no place like home.

SELF-DISCOVERY: Unleash the Achiever within

I’ll Show You Out Of Order!

Remember that scene in “Scent of a Woman”, where Al Pacino screams at the disciplinary committee in Charlie’s defense? Charlie is accused of criminal activity while the perpetrators of the crime are hidden in the audience and another hides behind his father’s influence and protection. Frank Slade (Pacino), a blind army officer who Charlie had been spending time with, stands up to the academic board for Charlie, who doesn’t have the courage to do it himself.

The scene is beautiful in its emotional intensity, something Pacino is great at, and conveys what we feel for Charlie when put up against a bully trying to damn him and ruin his reputation. Slade (Pacino) does for Charlie what he cannot do for himself, defend his honor without restrain, hesitation or apology. Why is this important? So often we don’t stand up for ourselves, don’t get what we want, or hide behind the “niceness” we believe we’re required to uphold.

We’re definitely not telling you to be mean or rude, but don’t be constrained by the need to be overly nice when you’re in a corner or standing up for something you want. If there’s one last piece of cake that you want, say so! If someone tries to take credit for your idea, don’t sit back and take it. If you don’t think something is in your best interest, don’t suck it up for the sake of niceties.

There’s a huge difference between being an asshole about taking advantage of someone or a situation, and making sure you don’t get the short end of the stick. Channel Pacino the next time you think you’re being taken advantage of and let them know that just because you’re being nice, if they won’t’ return the same courtesy, you’ll show them out of order!

FUN STUFF – FEELING GASSY

Which elements of the 5 elements with four-letter names is the only one that is not a solid at room temperature? Answer below.

NEWS BREAK: Stay informed

1% BETTER: Improve each day

When you’re shopping on Amazon, make sure you click the coupon underneath the price. Sometimes the discount is more than 30% off, which, if you shop on Amazon as much as us, adds up over time.

Trivia answer: Neon.