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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Personal Power Outage – How to Avoid It

By Terry L. Brock

This past week we saw the power go out in much of the Eastern United States. I was in Michigan and experienced some of it. The small country town where I was experienced 30 seconds of no power but then it roared back on only to provide television coverage of the blackout around the country.

Personal Power Outage

What can you do to avoid a personal power outage? Without the energy and drive to maintain your personal stamina and health, your business will surely suffer.

You need to have lots of energy to succeed in today’s highly competitive world. James Loehr and Tony Schwartz discuss this in their new book, The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal. In that work they cite numerous examples of how, what they call “corporate athletes” perform better when applying the principles of professional athletes. One of the key principles is to think like a sprinter, not a marathon runner. Go in spurts and have plenty of renewal and refreshing time in between to rebuild. Push hard and fast for a limited period of time and have abundant, healing times in between to rejuvenate.

You have to create lots of ways to rejuvenate your power. Life is a regular drain on our resources in many ways. You have demands at work. You have demands at home. You have demands in many areas of your life and all these demands create a strain on your personal resources and ability to respond optimally. It is vital to renew yourself regularly and in a smart way to not only remain competitive but to thrive in today’s world.

Here are some key ways to avoid a personal power outage:

1. Devote resources to maintaining your optimal energy levels. What is more important than your physical and mental health? I can’t think of anything. If you don’t have your health, you can’t operate fully in business, with your family, in your personal goals, in your chosen spiritual area or other areas. Devote the time, money and effort to maintaining optimal physical and mental health.

2. Take time to renew yourself. Quiet thinking and relaxation are vital components in the self-renewal business. Yes, this means taking that vacation (sorry, workaholics. You really do better after a break!). It also means taking many mini-vacations or an extended weekend, a special evening, even a longer lunch.

3. Have a mission bigger than yourself. We have to have something bigger than ourselves to keep us going. What is the overall purpose of why you’re doing what you’re doing? What is it that keeps you going? Find that mission and keep it always in mind.

4. Renew yourself mentally reading a book a week. Many professionals find that a book a week stimulates their mind and helps to add fresh, new resources to their capacity. It is also a part of renewal as you learn about different areas of life. Don’t just read from your chosen field. Read from a variety of areas to see life from the perspective of others. Remember that fresh unusual ideas (the kind that help you succeed in today’s world!) usually come from different sources than those to which you normally exposed.

5. Have spiritual (value-based) ways to renew your energy and drive. Nathaniel Brandon defines spiritual as the values that we hold dear. Each person is unique so you have to find what it is that works for you. These spiritual values will help you create meaning and be the person you want to be.

6. Work hard when working, rest well when resting. Whatever you’re doing, do that activity well and without hesitation. Be in the moment and focus. I love the way my hero, Andrew Carnegie said it, “Work hard, play hard, sleep well.” Good philosophy!

7. Keep renewing as long as you’re alive. This is a life-long process. Build renewal and regeneration into your lifestyle. As your needs change throughout life, you’ll want to try alternate forms of renewal and rejuvenation. You can push for a short period of time, but you have to have times of refreshing and renewal.

We were made acutely aware of the importance of energy during the past power outage. Successful people learn from those kinds of experiences that we have to have backups and renewal plans in place. This creates winners and it will sustain you through what is to come in the future.

Terry Brock is an internationally recognized professional speaker, consultant and author in the fields of business productivity, technology and marketing. He is a syndicated Columnist for Biz Journals across America and can be reached at 407-363-0505 , by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2003, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Biz Journals to use in regular publication.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Persistence in Tough Times

Yes, we all go through tough times now and then. It is what life is made of. However, by persisting, we inevitably get through the junk that is hitting us. In fact, that smart persistence is what life is all about. You have to know when to persist and when to stop.

If you go to my website at and check the main story on the home page, you'll see my story about "Pushing Through the Pain and Achieve Success." This is the essence of life.

The key is using what I call "Smart Persistence." (TM) This is staying tough and keeping with it not matter what happens. However, you don't keep doing the wrong thing if that wrong thing isn't working. You have to continually strive to find newer and better ways to fix it and make things better.

Feedback from others is important. Keeping up on what is happening is important. Correcting when you're wrong is also important.

It is like so many other things in life; you can't just have one variable under control. You have to have a multitude of different things working for you and stay with them. That is the way to get ahead. Doing the right things right makes the difference.

See ya' on the website!

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Here's a treat for you! Check out the latest audoblog (below). Click on the icon "audblog audio post" and you'll hear a powerful message about how you can get through "the Yuck" that is in your life. Specific, real-world advice, delivered to you in an audio format for free on your computer.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Learning Through the Yuck

By Terry L. Brock

“Yuck makes you stronger.” Michael Scott Karpovich

“The which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Frederick Nietzsche

I was talking with a friend the other day who was going through some tough times. She had moved to a new area. She was not doing well in marketing and was even wondering about the job she had. She also had been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. In a word, things were looking pretty yucky for her.

Yuck is a slang word for all the bad things that are happening. I looked it up on the net at (great source!) and found a different meaning. “Yukking” it up is often meant as cajoling, having lots of fun and merriment. However, this word, yuck, is often what children (and those that can have fresh childlike minds) use to describe something that is not pleasant, gross or undesirable.

Like is full of this kind of yuck. It hits us from all over. My friend is going through more than just the yuck. With a life-threatening illness she is wondering about all the basics of living life, making it through and more.

As I was talking with her the other day, I realized that this is a learning experience as well. My buddy Michael Scott Karpovich is certified a professional speaker who helps thousands of teenagers and business people by describing how he was able to grow through the abuse he suffered when in high school. The yuck he went through included the dreaded abuse from high school bullies, simply because he was shorter than them and they perceived him as a bit nerdy. His message is that the “Yuck makes you stronger” as you learn to get over it, deal with it and grow beyond your pain.

Life is full of hard times. We all have varying degrees of yuck. Sometimes it is life threatening, like with my friend I mentioned earlier. Sometimes, it is a traffic jam that will force you to be much later than you had hoped. Often it is from other people that are going through their own yuck and either intentionally or unintentionally try to throw off their own yuck onto us.

There is good news in all the yuck. The way life works, we grow when we conquer certain barriers. We don’t learn when things are going fine, we’re sitting back sipping Pina Coladas, relaxing and taking it easy. That is a nice state to be in, but we can’t live there. We grow by dealing with and overcoming barriers and obstacles.

These obstacles hit us regularly. Don’t be surprised when they come. It is just nature’s way of telling us we need to learn another lesson. We have a lot to grow with and learn from as we progress through this planet.

The quote I used from Nietzsche is appropriate here. If something doesn’t kill you, it is going to make you stronger. I’d also add that it will make you wiser. Next time similar yuck comes at you, you’ll be able to either avoid it or handle it with more aplomb.

So, the next time you have major yuck in your life, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” What lesson can you take from this to grow and be more of the person that you want to be? Next time you’re stuck in one of those infuriating traffic jams, use it as a time to listen to quality audio, make important phone calls or just relax. You can’t do anything about the traffic anyway, so why not use it as a time to learn and grow.

If you’re facing much more than traffic congestion, there are deeper lessons to learn. I wish I had a magic cure for people like my friend with the terminal illness. I told her I wish I could offer a pill that would cure. The medical community is making great strides today against lots of diseases. However, we have a long way to go.

In the meantime, we know we can learn from each of these yuck experiences. It is not always easy. And we try to avoid them whenever possible. But when the inevitable happens, your attitude will determine the person that you become.

That learning through the yuck will help to make you a better person. This is what life is all about.

Terry Brock is an internationally recognized professional speaker, consultant and author in the fields of business productivity, technology and marketing. He is a syndicated
columnist for Biz Journals across America and can be reached at 407-363-0505 , by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2003, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Listen to today's audio blog about how to find success with less than perfect people in today's world.

How can we find success in today's world, in spite of less-than-perfect conditions? Orison Swet Marden, the Founder of Success Magazine, talked about this way back in the late 1800's. Click on the audblog audio post for more information.

To send me your reply by e-mail please respond to I look forward to hearing from you.

Pushing Through the Pain

By Terry L. Brock

“Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” Jacob A. Riis, 1849-1914

This morning it was especially nice here in Orlando. I love these summer mornings when it is quiet and cool outside. I particularly like getting up early to get more done.

Today I was going through my morning routine of studying, meditation and exercise. When it came to my push-ups I was doing my normal set and then had the idea to push just a bit harder.

You’ve been there, I’m sure. You go through the normal stuff you have to do in life and you do OK. That’s about a B of B- performance level. You don’t get fired for it. You don’t make any more sales, but you do just enough to get by.

While I was doing my push-ups and nearing my mark that I aim for in each set, I had the idea to push just a bit harder and do 10 extra. You’ve heard all about that “No Pain, No Gain” that we see in the gym. Yet, this morning, I was thinking that this could be especially good to push a little farther.

And guess what happened? In a split second that voice came into my head (you’ve heard it before) that said, “Oh no. You can’t push any farther. If you do, you’ll be sore, you’ll fall down, you won’t make it, etc. etc.” You know the voice. It’s that one inside your head that stops you from getting what you really want.

It was Orison Swett Marden, the Founder of Success Magazine who lived from 1850-1924 who said, “Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.” Well, he was right.

So, as I was doing those push-ups, I told that negative voice to “Shut up.” I didn’t say it loudly because I was about out of breath! However, I said it where it matters most – in my mind. I was going to do those extra 10 push-ups no matter what.

My arms were hurting. My chest was hurting. Everything in me was screaming to stop and just quit, but my spirit inside said to keep going, no matter what. Well, you know what happened? I made it through the extra 10 push-ups and felt victorious!

When I finished the pain that I felt was not too bad. It only lasted for a couple of seconds and then went away. What didn’t go away was the thrill of knowing that I had pushed through the pain. I had done something that was good for me and very instructional.

Well, after I finished with my morning exercises I had some time of quiet thinking and reflection. I like to do this after working out just to relax, think about the day ahead and focus my thinking on what’s important for the upcoming day’s tasks and for life in general. I thought about that little exercise of doing the extra 10. Many things happen like that in life.

If we just push beyond the pain we can accomplish a great deal. Yes, the pain is there but as long as it is not an injury, where you seriously will need to stop and possibly get professional help, the little extra pain is actually good for you.

What about that sales call that you know you should make but just keep putting it off? You’ve let the imagined pain in your mind hold you back. Blast through it by getting the necessary information that is going to be different from what you’ve done in the past and highly valuable and useful (very important!) to your prospect. Rather than just calling to ask if they’re still thinking about it (yeah, right!), send them something that will be of value to them. Even if they don’t respond right away, you’re helping to move the sale along and helping yourself to be more creative. The skills you learn will be highly beneficial for the next prospect you encounter.

What about that challenge with a relationship you have? Push through the pain. Recognize that anything worthwhile in life is going to require effort and work. Stay with it and don’t give up too soon.

So, here’s my challenge to you: Find something in your life where you see yourself doing a B- or B performance and you know you could hit an A or A+ level. It might be in your physical workout. It might be in your number of sales calls. Whatever it is for you, find that important area where you can make a difference.

Then set that stretch goal. Find the goal that is “within sight but out of reach” as Denis Waitley talks about. Don’t try to do 100 extra push-ups. That would be too much. You’d probably not make it and be discouraged that you missed it. However, the 10 little extra push-ups from your normal set can empower you. Remember the pain is going to be there.

Expect it.

Welcome it.

Then use that pain as a learning tool and a personal empowerment tool to reach a greater goal that is meaningful and worthwhile for you.

By being what I call “smart persistent” you achieve new goals. Even better, you push yourself to a higher level to bring out the best you can be. Smart persistent means you adjust and correct with feedback. You use your head and get help when needed. You achieve the goals that are best for you.

Thomas Fuller said in the 1600’s, “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.” Today, we know this principle applies equally to men and women, boys and girls. Develop your own invincible determination to accomplish your worthwhile goals.

Find one area in your life today where you can push through. You’ll be amazed at what can happen as you’re “smart persistent.’

Terry Brock is an internationally recognized professional speaker, consultant and author in the fields of business productivity, technology and marketing. He is a syndicated
columnist for Biz Journals across America and can be reached at 407-363-0505 , by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2003, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Biz Journals to use in regular publication.