Guest blogger: Free to choose a better life

NOTE — Today’s blog post was written by Jason Lewis, who gives his thoughts on the power of choosing our own path in the world.

When I think about what makes life so great, my mind always comes back to the same thing — freedom. The freedom to live our lives however we choose is in my mind, without a doubt, the most exciting thing life has to offer us.

Bald Eagle Mid Flight
Creative Commons License photo credit: thelastminute

We have the power and the privilege to live our lives however we see fit and that gift should never be taken for granted. We, as Americans, live in a world where much is provided for us at a reasonable rate. As long as one possesses a job of some sort, one can have the basic necessities of life without very much trouble at all. A roof over your head, food, running water, electricity, as well as the added luxuries of television, cell phones, internet and transportation can all be afforded, to some degree, on even the most meager of incomes due to the society we’ve built in this country.

While one might say that that’s a good thing, I would strongly argue the other side. I believe that because of this, too many people have lost their drive, their desire to be great and achieve things others thought impossible. The world we live in today was built on the shoulders of great men and women who used their minds as tools to discover ways to make a positive, lasting impact on the world and to help better the lives of those around them. But sadly, that all seems to be changing.

Television, movies and the internet reach the vast majority of the free world and influence our decisions more than ever. We’re consumed by these things and we’ve become slaves to them. They tell us how to dress, how to talk and what to think. Because of this, more and more of us are becoming insecure and fearful, causing us to express our creativity less, for fear of what others will think, and that is stunting our individual growth as well as our growth as a society. Instead of thinking for ourselves and encouraging others to do the same, we’re afraid to express new ideas and we often ridicule those that do.

This type of behavior will be our undoing if we don’t do something to change this terrible culture we’ve adopted and start helping others realize their unlimited potential to be and do whatever it is they want to be and do. But just talking about this won’t be enough to change. Gandhi taught us that in order to induce change, we must become the change we wish to see in others.

These are powerful words when carefully considered. Many of us recognize that something is wrong but lack the drive, determination and thought to actually do something about it. And that brings me to my original point – we all have the power to choose the direction our life goes in and I choose to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Network Marketing provides everyday people with an opportunity to control not only their own life, but to help others live the life that they deserve as well. In order to succeed at it, you must first work on yourself and turn yourself into the person you desire to be and by your guidance and example, you will help others do the same for themselves. When this happens, not only does it help to create better people, it provides us with the freedom to live our lives any way we see fit.

No other industry on the face of this Earth can provide such a thing to anyone who chooses to reap its rewards. I am proud to be part of that culture and I look forward to the journey that lies ahead. To be a network marketer is to have the power to change lives in the palm of your hand. There is no substitute for that gift and it’s one I will not waste.

Change your life – It’s your decision

Have you ever given any serious thought to how you ended up in the job you have?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. I was talking with a friend about it the other day and he was telling me about the path that led him to his current position. I didn’t tell him this for fear of offending him, but his description unnerved me quite a bit.

It seemed he ended up where he was because of a series of unrelated events that had little to do with his strengths, talents, gifts or desires. What made it worse was his apparent reluctance to consider any alternatives at any point along the way or even now.

I was just about to question him about it, when I realize that until recently my life was much the same. I thought that I was where I was and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Fortunately, I’ve come to realize that I am where I am because of my past choices, and I can change direction by making different choices.

It’s not easy, but it can be done. Think about it. If you want something different, change direction. Decide and do it.

Steve DeVane

Now is the time

posted in: coaching, life lessons, softball | 1

When I was young, I loved to play sports. Basketball was my favorite, but I liked other games, too.

Most of the games I played were pick-up games in the backyard or in the street. One of my friends even painted yard lines on our street so we could play football.

But I also played some organized sports. Some of my favorite memories came from playing church-league basketball and softball games.

One year, my cousin’s father, Jack Llull, said that he’d coach our softball team. Now, most of the guys on the team were pretty decent athletes, but I didn’t think we were going to be that great.

That year I found out how much difference a coach can make. Mr. Llull knew softball (and I found out later most every sport) like no one I’d ever known.

He’d pay attention to the smallest details. When a player on the other team hit the ball we always had them played perfectly. It seemed like they’d always hit the ball right where we were playing.

When we were at bat, Mr. Llull had a rule. We could never hit until we had a strike and we could never hit if we had three balls and only one strike.

There was only one exception to the rule. We could hit away when Mr. Llull, who always coached third base, would say, “Now’s the time.”

I loved it when I’d come up to hit and I’d look down at Mr. Llull and he’d say, “Now’s the time, Steve.

I’d almost always get a great pitch to hit. I was so excited, I usually knocked the tar out of the ball. I think I hit better that year than ever.

One day I asked Mr. Llull why he only let us hit like that in certain situations. When he explained it, I understood it immediately.

When he was coaching third base, Mr. Llull was studying the pitcher. He first determined whether or not the pitcher could control where he pitched it.

If the pitcher didn’t have much control, we had to keep waiting until we got a strike to hit it. We usually walked a lot, which helped us score runs.

But sometimes, the pitcher was pretty good and could pitch strikes and balls whenever he wanted. After a while the pitcher would start figuring out that we were never swinging until we got a strike. So he’d start grooving the first pitch down the middle trying to get ahead in the count.

That was when we’d hear Mr. Llull say, “Now’s the time.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Mr. Llull taught me about more than just softball.

First I learned to be observant.

I had played a lot of softball and had never paid much attention to what the pitcher was doing until I got up to bat. It didn’t occur to me that what happened to the batter before me or even several batters before me might impact what the pitcher pitches to me.

In life, opportunities sometimes come along in unexpected ways. If we’re not paying attention, we might miss them. We can learn from our mistakes, but we can also learn from our successes. And we can learn from the experiences of others.

Next, I learned that there are times to be patient and there are times to act.

We were always excited to hear the words that meant we could swing, but often it was just as important that the batters before us had walked because they didn’t swing when they shouldn’t have.

There are times in life when planning and analysis are needed. But there are also times to act, times to move forward and do what needs to be done.

Finally, I learned how everything fits together in softball and in life. That year, we won the regular season softball championship. We didn’t have the best players, but we were the best team.

In life, we often get too focused on ourselves and our situations. To be successful, it takes a team. As we help others, we often help ourselves.

After that year, I was a better softball player and a better person.

Coach Llull, I never told you that, and now it seems like I might not get that chance. I’ve got a feeling you knew anyway.

Steve DeVane

Use whatever life gives you

posted in: blueprint for life, life lessons | 4

A friend of mine is a huge Tony Robbins fan. He told me the other day that Robbins says that one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure you long-term happiness is to decide to use whatever life gives you in the moment.

According to my friend, Robbins says there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if:

1. You clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving,

2. You are willing to take massive action,

3. You notice what’s working or not, and

4. You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.

I think Robbins provides an excellent blueprint for living and for life.

First, decide where you want to go. I’ve come to see one of my purposes in life is to help people decide where they should go and how best to get there. Don’t just take off without deciding where to go. If you don’t you might be headed in the wrong direction.

Next, take action. The best plans aren’t worth squat if you don’t do what it takes to carry them out. Robbins takes it a step further, suggesting “massive action.” If you want to live your dreams and own your life, you have to go after it in a big way.

Then, assess the situation as you go. Notice what’s working and what isn’t, Robbins says. When you start taking massive action, invariably some things will work and some won’t. Keep doing the things that work, but jettison the ones that don’t.

Finally, continue to adjust until you’re getting the results you want. Think of it like taking a trip in your car. You never go in a straight line from your house to your destination. That would take you through houses and trees and all kinds of things.

Instead, you make turns and take curves, constantly adjusting your path, but staying on course throughout the journey.

For more thoughts on Tony Robbins and his philosophy, check out this thread at Your World Your Life, a personal development forum.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book helped get my business and my life headed in the right direction.

Lessons from high school athletes

posted in: life lessons, teamwork | 2

I went to my daughters’ school athletic banquet tonight. Team after team went to the stage as their coaches told about the seasons they had this year.

Each coach told about how his or her team came together, each in different ways.

Some coaches talked about adversity that their teams faced. Some had injuries. Some had other challenges. Each had worked their way through them.

One coach talked about nicknames that his team had adopted for each other. Clearly this brought the team closer together.

Another coach talked about the goals the team had strived to reach.

But the most inspirational words of the night came from seniors who had played their last high school games.

One talked of how he was grateful to have had a school that allowed him to participate in athletics.

Another talked about how sports had taught her the power of teamwork.

Another talked of how athletics taught her leadership skills.

All this got me thinking of how each member of each team gave up part of their individuality for the good of the team.

A star basketball player had to learn how to make the other players better.

A softball player had to switch positions to make the team better.

All this got me thinking of how I can improve the teams of which I am a part.

First I can look at the overall goals of the team instead of just my goals. If the team is doing well, I’m doing well.

Next, I can decide how my talents and my gifts can fit into the team. I’m on each team because I contribute to it. I can look at what part of my strengths will fit into the needs of the team.

Finally, I can look for ways to improve myself in every situation. The seniors athletes didn’t just go through the motions in their sports. They looked at how they could improve themselves in each game.

If we’ll look, we can find ways to improve ourselves in the situations we face. Do that and we’ll be winners no matter the score.

Steve DeVane
This network marketing system constantly teaches me how to improve my life and business.