If there’s one “truth” about a successful physical fitness routine, it’s that you must have a disciplined diet to accompany any exercise or fitness plan. In other words, all the working out in the world will be useless if you continue to eat junk food. When building a Financial Fitness Routine, the same can be said about spending. One of the cornerstones to building a plan toward financial freedom is to understand the kind of spender you are - being very aware of how, where and when you spend your money. It doesn’t matter what plans you make toward a stronger financial future if there is no restraint in your spending habits. We’re all guilty of reckless spending. Whether it’s being the first to get the latest iPhone, gaming platform or those Manolo shoes, we all have our guilty pleasures where self-restraint is thrown out the window. I remember when I was younger, I insisted on rewarding myself with a new Harley-Davidson – beautiful bike, but I would only drive it 2,000 miles in four years! Just like any nutrition program, a small indulgence once in a while is not the end of the world. For example, going out for a nice dinner on a special occasion or splurging for popcorn at the movie on a date night won’t necessarily take you off the tracks of your Financial Fitness Routine. But these must be the exceptions rather than the rule. So, what kind of spender are you? Are you naturally prudent and thrifty? Or are you a YOLO (You Only Live Once) type of spender? Are you the kind that likes to “live large” or “live within your means”? I launched a new website earlier this year with the idea to help people figure this out. GoAskNewton.com is a non-commercial website designed to help everyday people get more comfortable understanding personal finances. Two of the tools on the site are quizzes designed to gauge your personal spending habits. I’d like to invite CAREEREALISM readers to try one or both of these quizzes. The regular Spender quiz is here; but if you’re in your teens or 20s, you might like to try the YOLO quiz here. Either is designed to give you some insights into how you approach money management, with multiple-choice questions like:

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There’s always a reason that someone starts a physical fitness routine or a new diet. Maybe it is clothes that fit too tight. Or it’s the huffing and puffing after climbing a flight of stairs. Or maybe even it’s the looks you get from people who haven’t seen you in awhile. Whatever the reason, it leads to gym memberships, New Year’s resolutions and grand pronouncements of fitness goals. Recognizing the need for a Financial Fitness Routine can be just as obvious. It starts by asking yourself some key questions and giving some honest answers. The same way no one likes to admit they need to firm up or lose some weight, no one likes to admit they have financial deficiencies. But just like physical fitness, the first step to being financially fit is recognizing there is a problem.

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NOTE: This is a book excerpt with minor edits from Doing The Impossible: 25 Laws For Doing The Impossible by Patrick Bet-David.

How To Succeed In Life

Every one of us has a bit of an obsessive personality. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself if you’ve ever done any of the following or something similar:
  1. If you have kids, do you notice that you are constantly thinking about them throughout the day, no matter what you are doing?
  2. Do you ever catch yourself watching ESPN Sports Center over and over again knowing it’s the same highlights coming up?
  3. Do you check for new e-mail on your phone every five minutes, even when you are on vacation?
  4. Do you have thirty pairs of shoes but you’re still excited about shopping for the next pair?
  5. Do you constantly think about what you can do to make your car faster?
  6. Are you a person who checks your Facebook or Twitter ten times a day for updates?
  7. Do you stay up until 1:00 am to beat the last level of your favorite video game?
We all have obsessions in life. The difference is that those who do the impossible get obsessed with something productive that can make an impact. It’s not necessarily that they are more obsessive than everyone else; they just channel that focus into a project or goal to change their lives and the world around them. As a young adult, I made a decision to channel my obsession into reading. If my high school buddies could see me now, they’d be shocked that the guy who wouldn’t even read the CliffsNotes to a book in high school now reads dozens of books a year. I’ve never been a big fan of teachers telling parents that their kids have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and automatically getting doctors to put them on medication. If you study the people who have invented breakthroughs and changed the world, many of them would be diagnosed with ADHD or OCD. Kids get obsessed with building model airplanes or accessorizing their Barbie doll. That focus and tenacity can be a positive thing later in life. The Wright Brothers were obsessed with flight; Mozart was obsessed with creating music. What we call a disorder today was likely the same trait that made possible many great achievements. Psychology Today reported that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to become entrepreneurs. Here is a list of famous people you may recognize who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or OCD:

OCD

  • Howard Hughes
  • Donald Trump
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Michael Jackson
  • Harrison Ford
  • Howard Stern
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • Albert Einstein
  • Michelangelo
  • David Beckham
  • Sir Winston Churchill
  • Martin Scorsese

ADD / ADHD

  • Justin Timberlake
  • Will Smith
  • Glenn Beck
  • Michael Phelps
  • Jim Carrey
  • Sir Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin Airlines)
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • Paul Orfalea (Founder of Kinko’s)
  • Pete Rose
  • David Neeleman (Founder of JetBlue)
  • Bruce Jenner
Did their obsessive or hyperactive personalities actually contribute to their success? Many say it did. Many of the people on the list did not have their disorders diagnosed until much later in life. Several of them decided to forgo medication and to view their disorder as a positive factor rather than a negative one. Sometimes a little obsession or hyperactivity, pointed in the right direction, is a vital part of achieving the impossible. “I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas.” — Albert Einstein Action Item: What three things are you obsessed with in life? Are they positive or negative obsessions? Action Item: What’s one positive thing you can get obsessed with?

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NOTE: This is a book excerpt with minor edits from Doing The Impossible: 25 Laws For Doing The Impossible by Patrick Bet-David. We all remember the story of Alice, the curious child whose inquisitive streak led her down a rabbithole and into Wonderland. The book explains that Alice had to follow the White Rabbit because she was “burning with curiosity.” That same curiosity led Alice to down bottles that said “drink me” and cakes that said “eat me” and enter a strange world that became “curiouser and curiouser.” Her desire to uncover every mystery is one of the things that most children reading the story can relate to. There are some things that we do as children that we unfortunately stop doing as much as adults. Children are constantly learning and growing. They are curious about the world around them and anxious to learn and try new things. Curiosity is a gift from God that shouldn’t disappear when we become adults. Learning is something that is just as important at age seventy as it is at age seven. Too many of us stop asking questions in life as we get older; we simply lose that childlike thirst for knowledge. Part of the reason for that is the fact that we are afraid of being embarrassed, looking foolish or ruffling feathers. But at the end of the day, the worst question is one that is never asked. Curiosity is not just about learning new facts or information. The great ones don’t just want to learn; they want to learn to do. They become students of those who do things better or differently and learn what those people know. Once they have one thing down, they move onto something new, always learning, ever evolving their abilities. Let me give you a great real world example: Kobe Bryant. When Kobe Bryant first came into the league, he wanted to learn every part of the game: foot work, outside shot, defense, closing, turn-around shot, posting up, and every other tool of the game. Kobe was a great player even then and a sought-after draft pick. However, critics thought that he made a mistake by not playing college ball to refine his game before going to the NBA. But Kobe understood that he didn’t know everything, and he became one of the best students ever to play in the NBA. While his peers and competitors were excited just to be in the pros, Kobe wanted to be the greatest of all time. One of the biggest differences between Kobe and other players who enter the NBA is the fact that Kobe has never stopped learning. Even after establishing himself as one of the great ones in the NBA, Kobe kept evolving his skill set. In 2009, with four championship rings already on his finger, Kobe went to Hakeem Olajuwon to master his footwork. Here’s what Kobe said about working with Hakeem Olajuwon: “I got a chance to work with the greatest post player ever. I’ve always been a student of the game, and he was very patient with me.” Phil Jackson said of Kobe’s drive to learn, “Kobe always comes back with a goal, he doesn’t go through summer playing golf or going fishing. He’s got something in his mind he’s going to work on with his game during the offseason.” Kobe Bryant is just one example. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs kept asking “what if” questions that first enabled and then revolutionized personal computing. The secrets of the universe or the secrets of better footwork and everything in between are all available to those who want to learn. You just have to start with the desire to learn and grow. Then get in touch with your inner Alice. Ask why and how and who can I learn from? The great thing about curiosity is that it doesn’t ever need to be satisfied; you can keep learning and trying new things as long as you live. Action Item: What are some areas of your life where you can use your gift of curiosity to increase your learning?

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Join us for this special presentation on these 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance. Presenter: Patrick Bet-David, author of Doing The Impossible: 25 Laws For Doing The Impossible.   WATCH NOW ►   Photo Credit: Shutterstock
NOTE: This is a book excerpt with minor edits from Doing The Impossible: 25 Laws For Doing The Impossible by Patrick Bet-David. Many things that we take for granted today were once considered impossible. Visionaries know that what can be imagined can be achieved. Although people cross the world today in giant jetliners, one hundred years ago the Wright brothers had to first believe that human flight was possible. On May 6, 1954, Roger Banister became the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. It had never been done before and was therefore considered physically impossible. But since 1954, many runners have accomplished the same feat. Roger Banister’s legacy is that he had faith that this act was possible before anyone else dared to believe. No one ever thought that Buster Douglas would beat Mike Tyson. The odds were 42:1. Prior to the sixties, no one ever thought we would land on the moon. Back when mail was delivered via the Pony Express, who could have imagined a machine that sends mail electronically in seconds? What would this world be without washing machines, cars, cameras, the Internet, cell phones, planes, televisions, or computers? Ask yourself this: What if Armageddon happened tomorrow and everything was disintegrated except for you and ten other people? There’s nothing left. How would you build a washing machine? A car? A computer? How would you create the Internet? Do you ever pause to think about that? We don’t consider what that really means, to build the Internet from scratch. It seemed impossible to most people until it was invented. Now, imagine that it is twenty years after Armageddon and you’re trying to explain to all the young people what the world was like with cars and computers and all the things that they have never seen. Would they think you’re crazy? What if they asked you to rebuild that lost technology? Rebuilding might take a long time, but at least you would get to start out knowing for sure that such technology is possible. These are all things that we need to think about to understand that nothing in this world is impossible. The only limits are the ones that we place on ourselves. Whether it was the first automobile, the idea of electricity, or the moon landing, the believer who first imagined the impossible made it possible for others to believe it and achieve it. If the impossible throughout history has become the imaginable, and then the actual, why do we think that our dreams are impossible for us to accomplish in our own lives? Are we afraid to try for fear of failure? Isn’t refusing to try the only real guarantee of failure? Remember, you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take. The first step to achieving the impossible is having the courage to attempt it. To dare, according to the dictionary, is “to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; [to] be bold enough.” Achieving the impossible is not for the timid. It is not the safe and secure road. It means taking a leap of faith, leaving your comfort zone, and risking failure for the chance of success. There will be failures on the road to greatness. Thomas Edison had thousands of failed attempts at the light bulb before inventing the one that worked. Roger Banister said his 4:03.6 mile in 1953 “made [him] realize that the four-minute mile was not out of reach.” Part of daring to achieve the impossible is letting failure motivate you rather than discourage you. Think about some of the greatest stories of triumph and courage. Why do we love movies like Braveheart, Rocky, Gladiator, and Miracle on Ice? Yes, they are all stories of achieving the impos-sible. But more importantly, we admire the courage and perseverance of heroes who have overcome tremendous challenges. We find inspiration in those who reach for the impossible, fight against overwhelming odds, and turn past failures into stepping stones on the path to success. So before you read the rest of this book, ask yourself: Do you dare to do the impossible? Most people let the fear of failure or fear of the unknown keep them from making the decision to pursue their dreams. Fear is the most destructive emotion for personal transformation. Fear thrives on the unknown. Our imaginations run wild with possible negative scenarios. By choosing to put yourself in situations where you have to face your fear, you learn that it is far easier to face reality than the endless loop of possible challenges your mind creates. The feeling of overcoming fear in turn gives you confidence to face the next challenge. Making the decision to pursue the impossible is scary at first. You will have to face your fears and throw away your excuses. Start out by believing two important things: 1. You are capable of greatness. 2. Facing your fears to realize your dreams will be the best decision you ever make.

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Join us for this special presentation on these 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance. Presenter: Patrick Bet-David, author of Doing The Impossible: 25 Laws For Doing The Impossible.   WATCH NOW ►   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

One of the biggest challenges facing American prosperity is the loss of the good old-fashioned work ethic. We all want more out of life. More success, more money, more stuff. But at the same time, we also want more time off for “leisure activities.” In fact, there has been a renewed call lately for the four-day workweek, with the argument that “working less is the key to success.” This question of whether it’s possible to work “smarter not harder” has sparked an array of reactions. But if you were to ask the opinion of professional athletes, pastors, corporate CEOs, former presidents, entrepreneurs, four-star generals, Academy Award-winning actors, and the country’s most successful people, you know they would all advocate hard work and long hours. On the other side of the coin are those that suggest there are shortcuts to success. The question is, should America adopt this type of philosophy? We’ve been working less and less over the last 100 years already. According to the US Department of the Interior, in 1901, Americans worked an average of 58.5 hours a week; in 1929 that average was down to 50 hours; and in 2013 we are down to a mere 39.2 hours a week. This idea of working less, yet continuing to want more, is becoming a dangerous societal trend. No other country has close to the innovation and creativity that America has contributed to the world. Could it have something to do with the fact we have less vacation time on average than most other countries? This article from CNN.com shows that among 40 countries surveyed, only China has less vacation days (21) than the U.S. (25), with countries like Greece (37), France (40) and Brazil (41) leading the pack. Could there be a relationship between this and being an economic superpower? There are a few challenges with society today, but a big one is that people don’t understand what it means to work hard, really hard, to earn success. The successful achiever has consistent work cycles where he is putting in 55-70 hour workweeks over several months before taking a break. It’s these individuals who want to make more out of life for themselves, their families and society. Ask the entrepreneur leading his growing workforce, or the father working two jobs to send his children to college – there is a direct connection between putting in the time and finding success. Here is the basic roadmap to bring back the American work ethic that has built our nation:

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