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March 9, 2016

 
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." — Zig Ziglar
 
 

The Only Goal That Really Matters

 

By Neil Pasricha

Blog Stats: 50,017 hits.

Heart thumping, palms sweating, I sit back on my creaky wooden chair, stare at my blog, and grimace. Is this real? I click Refresh, scrunch my face, and look at the screen again.

Blog Stats: 50,792 hits.

Seven hundred people visited my blog in the last 30 seconds, I think to myself. Only four weeks ago I’d started writing 1000awesomethings.com, and after a few hundred visits it looks like today’s post went viral while I was at work.

My heart beats faster.

I had one simple goal when I started writing 1000 Awesome Things. I wanted to try and write 1000 awesome things for 1000 days in a row. But after the first couple weeks writing about broccoflower and potato chip crumbs, I started noticing the stats counter on the side of my page.

It showed how many people had visited. Seven, then 20, then dozens, then hundreds. I got hooked on watching the number climb. So I set a different goal for myself. I decided I wanted 50,000 hits.

When my post went viral a few weeks later, I had accomplished my goal.

But then I told myself 50,000 was too small. Too easy. It didn’t mean much getting 50,000 hits. The big sites had a million. So that became my new goal. One million hits.

I kept writing every day, adding links to email signatures and blog comments I left around the Web. I got stickers printed and started handing them out. I wrote #951 about hearing a stranger fart in public, #933 about the first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter, and #909 about bakery air.

Flash-forward a few months later and... I got to one million hits!

I enjoyed the feeling for a couple days before realizing the best blogs don’t just get a million hits. They get 10 million hits and get turned into books and movies. I had set my goal too low. One million hits wasn’t worth anything. Nothing happened when you got a million hits. I needed to go big to get some real action.

So I set a new goal.

Ten million hits.

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For six months, I kept writing. After work every day, I got takeout and sat at my computer well into the night. I wrote the next post, responded to email, and started getting interviews with local radio and TV stations. I was featured on the front page of the Toronto Star! I wrote #874 about The Five Second Rule, #858 about the other side of the pillow, and #824 about finding the TV remote after looking forever. Nine months after I had started my blog, I suddenly reached 10 million hits, won two awards for Best Blog in the World, and was approached by literary agents to turn my blog into a book.

Once I had a literary agent I started researching the book industry. I learned that more than 300,000 books are published in the United States every single year. And well over a million a year are published around the world. Suddenly it dawned on me: Getting a book published was not very special. A million people did it every year!

I looked at bestseller lists and they had only 10 or 20 books on them. I calculated only a few hundred books make best-seller lists each year. Less than 0.01%.

So I set a new goal.

I wanted my book to be a bestseller. I wanted to be one of the 0.01%.

The Globe and Mail published a bestseller list every weekend and I started checking it. What did these books have in common, what made them great, what made them sell?

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So for the next year I kept writing my blog every day, writing my book, and working on a book launch plan. My plan was to work with bloggers to prepare interviews and articles about my book while working with my publisher to line up radio, newspaper, and TV interviews — all to come out when the book hit shelves.

Basically, the entire year after winning the awards, I was consumed with The Book of Awesome hitting the bestseller list. It was all I wanted, thought about, talked about. Then the big day of publication finally came!

I woke up early and started interview after interview. I posted a special entry called #526 When dreams come true. My voice turned scratchy, bags under my eyes turned black, and I was sleeping three or four hours a night. And then, finally, the next Saturday morning the newspaper came out and...

I hit #2 on the bestseller list!

It was a dream come true. I went to bed happy. I had achieved my goal. My publishers were excited, too! Their joy said to keep pushing.

I woke up the next morning and took a closer look at the bestseller list. My book was listed with a 1 beside it because it had been on the bestseller list for one week. I noticed other books were on the list for 20 or 30 weeks. Staying power. That was more important than being a one-hit wonder. I didn’t want to go the rest of my life telling people my book was a bestseller for only one week.

I suddenly realized that popping on the bestseller list was nice... but it was nowhere near my true goal. I wanted this book to be bigger. The New York Times bestseller list beside my name.

Eventually The Book of Awesome hit #1 on the bestseller list and stayed there for five weeks, then 10 weeks, then 50 weeks, then 100 weeks. Foreign publishers translated the book into German, Korean, French, Dutch, and Portuguese. The Book of Awesome hit The New York Times bestseller list, too. I was on the Today show, The Early Show, CNN, and the BBC. The producers of The Office optioned TV rights to the book and some big film producers optioned the movie rights, too. I got another book deal, then another, then another...

And I had done it!

I had finally reached my goal.

I started smiling. Tried to relax. A few days later, after working so hard for three years straight, lying in bed alone in my tiny apartment, getting three or four hours of sleep, eating takeout for every meal, developing black bags under my eyes, and losing touch with friends... I suddenly had a realization.

No matter how many external goals I achieved, I just kept setting more. I started realizing that external goals didn’t help me become a better person.

When I was stressing about my blog, watching hit counters, bestseller lists, and award nominations, I was using external motivators. I wasn’t doing it for me. I was doing it for others. I lost my self-confidence because I started outsourcing it to signals outside my brain, which I couldn’t always control. When those signals were positive, I was flying. Lots of emails, piles of comments, and bestseller list rankings lifted me up and kept me going. But when those signs were negative, even relatively negative, I was devastated. Critical comments, a nasty review, and the inevitable slipping off the bestseller list — meant I was a loser.

The conclusion was obvious: Only internal goals truly matter.

There are two lines of a poem secretly hidden above the player entrance to Centre Court at Wimbledon:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same.

It jolts you. You pause and digest it. No matter what happens right now, Triumph or Disaster, it’s an imposter. You should treat them the same. Winning or losing is the same. Place the game in context of your entire life. The world will go on. You will have more highs and lows no matter what. “If you can meet with Triumph or Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same.”

Although there’s no attribution on that wall, these two lines are from a poem called If—, written by Rudyard Kipling in 1895. Kipling was an English short-story writer and poet born in India who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and was declared England’s favorite poet in national polls.

If— is 32 beautiful lines written by Rudyard Kipling to his son John as parental advice on how to be confident, accept yourself, and do it for you.

Remember: You are competing only with yourself. Only internal goals matter.

About the Author: Neil Pasricha is the author of the blog 1000awesomethings.com. He is a Harvard MBA, a Walmart executive, a New York Times–bestselling author, and a husband and father. His Book of Awesome series has sold more than one million copies and his 2010 TED talk remains one of the most popular of all time. His newest book, The Happiness Equation was released on March 8.

 
 
   
 
 

HEALTHY

 

5 More Reasons to Eat Avocados

 

By Chef Gui

 

Avocados should be part of your diet if they’re not already. Here are 5 reasons why you should eat avocado:

#1 It’s IMMENSELY fat-burning

Avocado is full of fiber. Fiber makes you feel full. Fiber also cuts down the sugar spikes that lead to weight gain. Avocado helps you lose fat.

#2 It’s FULLY packed with omega-3s

You’ve heard the trigger word before. These are the “heart healthy” fatty acids (like in olive oil) that are believed to help fight cardiovascular diseases, and make you feel fuller at the same time.

#3 It RESOLUTELY helps your healthy-eating efforts

In a scientific study, people who ate an avocado-rich diet felt less hungry and more full afterwards. As part as an otherwise healthy diet, it can only help.

#4 It’s REALLY great as a snack

Did you see my recipe on page 223 of Eat More Burn More? You need to. Make sure you keep a bunch of avocados in and out of the fridge, so that they are ready when you are.

#5 It’s ABSOLUTELY delicious

You’ve probably tried my favorite Eat More Burn More recipe (Supercharged Guacamole on page 51) by now. Wait until you try my new bonus recipe of Avocado tacos.

 
 
 

WEALTHY

 

How to Read and Profit from Wealth-Building Books

 

By Mark Ford

 

In my experience as a reader and writer, I’ve come up with some ideas about how to evaluate the different types of wealth-building books and how to go about reading them.

There are basically five types:

  • Investment Books. Usually written by stock market gurus, these books assume that the reader wants to get wealthy by investing in stocks. They usually present an innovative or time-honored strategy for increasing performance. Example: Dan Denning’s The Bull Hunter.
  • Academic Studies. These books, usually written by researchers (like Thomas Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door), describe wealthy people, what they do, and how they became wealthy. My book, Seven Years to Seven Figures, might be said to fall into this category.
  • Debt-to-Wealth Books. Typically written by financial planners, these books encourage and guide people in financial trouble to get control of their personal finances. Example: Suze Orman’s books.
  • Scrimp-and-Save Books. Written by professional authors, these books show ordinary people how they can take advantage of the “miracle of compound interest” by investing wisely over a long period of time. Example: David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire and my book, Automatic Wealth for Grads.
  • I-Got-Rich-You-Can-Too Books. Written by successful businesspeople, these books tend to focus on the usual ways people get rich: entrepreneurship and real estate. Example: Donald Trump’s books and my book, Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence .

To save you time and money, here are some recommendations about how and when to read these books.

 

 
 
 

WISE

 

Why Every Business Should Podcast

 

By Rami Sbeiti

 

Think of podcasting as an ongoing voice for a company. Unlike social media, which is a quick-passing cloud of content, podcasting gives a listener a real pulse for the heart and soul of an organization, regardless of size. As long as the content of a podcast is genuine in its nature, the dialogue, interviews and interactions help reveal a level of openness that listeners become immersed in and make the company seem personal and intimate. Despite all the social engagements, a real VOICE of a company resonates with the auditory person who needs that validation for comfort a trust.

Benefits of Podcasting:

  1. The content is sharable!
  2. Content can be packaged/bundled for re-use.
  3. People can take it on the road.
  4. Companies can measure performance, reach and conversion (if needed)
  5. Small businesses can establish a unique value amongst larger competitors.

Because the podcast audience is growing by over 20% a year, it would seem intuitive that more small, medium and large businesses would invest the time to stand out in their respective industry by podcasting in what ironically seems to be a noisy yet silent world of content.

ETR editor Craig Ballantyne just finished up another podcast interview where he talks about how you can create The Perfect Day, click here to listen.

 
 
 

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Nothing in this e-mail should be considered personalized Financial Advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized Financial Advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended in this letter should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

 
 
 
   

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