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Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

“Good Character in Kids”

Today, let's look at what parents can do to help their children develop good character.

How do people develop character? Well, first and most important, by what they are taught and what they see as they grow up. Very simply, placing examples of virtue in front of young people as early as possible, and as often as possible, forms character.

You don't build character in your children by trying to control them or telling them what to do. You build it by consistently doing the right thing yourself and not making a big fuss about it. You build it by telling and reading your children stories that reinforce goodness from the time they are very young.

What's the right thing? Well, honesty, accountability, fairness, tolerance, civility and kindness, for starters.

Talk to them about hypocrisy, self-deception, cruelty and selfishness when you see it around you, and avoid delivering a lecture that will turn them off. Just make it clear that there are better ways, and that you expect them to live up to your picture of them as people of fine character.

And you know what? Chances are very good that they will.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  


How trustworthy are you? What does it mean when we say we can be trusted? In any situation, your influence is enormous if you are trusted. But if you are not trusted, it doesn't matter what your title is or how much authority you are supposed to have, your influence is virtually zero.

You see, when you are trusted, it means that you can be relied on. To do what? The right thing, whatever that may be. You build trust by sharing information that is timely, accurate, objective and complete. You build trust by keeping your word, doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. How can you trust anyone who is mostly talk and no action?

Trust is fragile, too. It must be earned, and re-earned. Even small omissions or errors can damage it quickly. If you are trustworthy, it says a lot about your character. It means you have integrity - your values and your behavior are aligned, and you stand up for what you believe in.

If you make a mistake, you don't cover it up or try to make it look like someone else's fault, even if it's going to make you look bad. And when you make decisions, you make them after thoughtfully considering alternatives and consequences. When you are trusted, other people listen to you, ask for your advice, and feel confident that you can be relied on. When you are worthy of that trust, you feel accountable to use your influence responsibly.

Think about it: who do you trust, and why? And who has placed their trust in you? What do you do to justify that trust?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  


Why is it that optimists seem to be so much happier than pessimists?

There is something really wonderful about optimists. They're fun to be around, aren't they? No matter how bad their situation, optimists can always find something to enjoy - usually simple things like the taste of a good cup of coffee, the smell of the air on a fine spring day, the sound of a wind chime tinkling in the breeze.

Now it's important to understand that optimism is not saying everything is getting better every day in every way. Nor is it saying that the worst is behind us, or seeing sweetness and light, when what's happening is evil and ugly.

But optimists know that for all its faults, the world is also filled with good things to be savored and enjoyed. These positive people know that our experience in life is largely determined by where we choose to focus our attention and how we choose to respond to what happens to us.

Optimists understand that happiness is not so much a matter of what we have and what's going on around us, as it is a choice we make. The wonders and beauty of life are all around you, right now, right where you are. All that is required is for you to be attentive and open to them and that you make a conscious choice to see and hear and experience them.

So I ask you, do you choose to be happy today?

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  


Do you find yourself feeling frustrated lately? If so, cheer up! You may be on the road to great success!

Everyone gets frustrated from time to time, but, depending on how you handle it, frustration can stop you in your tracks or move you forward to success. Let me tell you a story that illustrates my point. There's this little company called Federal Express started by a guy named Fred Smith, who built the company, almost literally, out of frustration.

When Fred started FedEx, he financed it with every dime he had and hoped to deliver 150 packages a day. He delivered 16 that first day - five of which went to the home of an employee.

For a while, the staff wasn't sure if their paychecks would bounce or not, and many times the company planes were nearly repossessed. Sometimes they had to bring in a certain amount of business during a day to keep the doors open the next day.

Today, FedEx is a billion-dollar company, but the only reason it exists is because Fred Smith could handle frustration after frustration. In fact, I can't think of any worthwhile endeavor that doesn't involve some frustration. And, the more you can handle, the bigger your eventual gain is likely to be.

If you remember that every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow, and you behave accordingly, you'll be miles ahead on the road to success.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  


Do you believe that opposites attract? Personally, I very much doubt it, and I'll tell you why.

One of the ways we build alliances and strong relationships with others is to build on what we have in common. Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend."

How do you do this? Well, first of all, by feeling like a sincere friend. As a rule, friendships are built on common experiences, common backgrounds, and common values. Now, when people have enough in common, an element of difference can add a dash of excitement to the relationship. But on the whole, we are attracted to and want to spend time with people who are like us.

Think about this for a moment. When we fall in love, we tend to see only the similarities and ignore the differences. However, couples who are about to divorce do just the opposite. They focus on the differences and no longer see the similarities at all.

So, if you want to smooth out the rough spots in your world and build solid relationships and strong alliances - whether with coworkers, family members or friends - pay attention to where your focus is in the relationship. If it's on the differences between you, conflict and friction is inevitable. But if you stay focused on the similarities, the things you have in common, you'll have much smoother sailing.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

“Asking the Right Questions”

Today, I'm going to suggest to you a way to ask questions that will help you change your focus from problems to solutions.

If you want to make your communications as effective as possible, and if you're interested finding solutions to problems rather than becoming bogged down in them, I have a suggestion that will help. If you ask the right questions, you can direct communications to get answers that are genuinely helpful.

For example, if you ask someone, "What's wrong?" you will get an answer - often a long one - which will focus on the problem. But if you ask, "What do you want?" or "How would you like to change things," you have redirected the conversation from the problem to the solution.

In every situation, no matter how dark or dismal, there is a desirable outcome. You can convince people, including yourself, to focus on that outcome, by avoiding questions that ask "why" and choosing "how" or "what" questions instead.

Don't ask your kid why he is flunking Spanish. Ask him what he needs to help him bring his grade up. Don't ask your boss why you didn't get a raise. Ask him or her what you need to do in order to justify a salary increase. Don't ask your employees why they didn't make the sale. Ask them what they can do differently so they will be certain to make the next one.

You get the idea. Try it. I think you'll be pleased with the results.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Diane Tice  


How good are you at keeping agreements - with yourself? By this, I mean all your agreements, and let me explain what I mean by that.

In their book "Life 101," John-Roger and Peter McWilliams point out that the agreements we make are always with ourselves - although sometimes they include other people. In that sense, they're like relationships. All our relationships are with ourselves, but often they include other people as well.

Now, your word is one of the most precious things you have, but many people think very little of breaking it. This is a mistake for two reasons. First and most obviously, it weakens your credibility with other people. But even more importantly, it weakens your credibility with yourself. When your innermost picture of your credibility, trustworthiness and reliability is weak, you can't help but act in ways that reflect it. So once you make an agreement and give your word, do everything in your power not to break it. A broken word, like a broken cup, can't hold much for very long.

When you lovingly keep your word -- that is, keep it strong, keep it dependable, and keep it true -- you will know the power of accountability. And when you lend this power to a worthy cause that you believe in, its effect will be doubly powerful.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that trusting yourself is the first secret of success, but how can you trust yourself unless you honor your agreements and keep your word?

- Diane Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Diane Tice  

“Personal Growth”

Today, I want to share with you one of the most powerful techniques I know for personal growth.

It is a simple technique that has incredible power to change lives and expand potential. In fact, I don't know of anything that has more power. It's a technique you can use to help your own life grow richer and to help others, as well.

When you can see yourself, not as you are, but as you can become, you stimulate incredible growth, incredible change. People who find life exciting and who continue to grow and expand their accomplishments are people who have an expanding self-image.

Now this doesn't mean that you go around completely out of touch with reality. But it does mean that you have a vision of reality that includes not just the past and the present, but also the future. It also means that your primary focus is not on what you are today, but what you can be tomorrow. It is this technique, this ability, that motivates people to grow, to surpass themselves, to break records, to change in positive, exciting ways.

After all, if you can't see it, how can you be it? This is what you want to do for your children, friends, and relatives. Keep painting a vivid mental picture for them of all that they can be and do. Let them know you believe in their abilities, and watch them move toward that picture!

- Diane Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Diane Tice  

“Long-term and Short-term Goals”

I'd like to expand a bit on something I mentioned yesterday: short- and long-term goals. Some people say that long-term goals are the kind you need to set if you really want to get anywhere. Other people say that long-term goals are too distant to get their arms around. Here's what I think, and it's backed up by research out of Stanford University as well as other leading edge studies.

The best kind of goals to have is a combination of short- and long-term. If you have only long-term goals, you may indeed find it rough going. The realities of life are that most of us have many pressing goals in the present - things we must get done on a daily and weekly basis. These things often cause us to put off the long-term goals - and put them off, and put them off. Or we may become demoralized because we don't see ourselves accomplishing or achieving anything right now.

On the other hand, if you have only short-term goals, you may feel fragmented, or lacking in a sense of overall direction and purpose. But when you combine them, you have the best of both.

So by all means, set long-term goals. But set goals that you can accomplish in the near future, too. Your eventual goal may be to be financially independent. But what can you do today, this week, and this month to move you closer to that desired end-result? Your long-term goal may be to speak fluent Spanish someday, but this week your goal is to get an "A" on a vocabulary test.

You get the idea. Combine long- and short-term goals if you are really determined to make something happen.

- Diane Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Diane Tice  


What is a mentor? What is that mentors do? Can having a mentor help you succeed? Today we're going to be answering these questions.

These days, there are many sophisticated tools available to help those who want to be successful. But one of the most valuable assets anyone can have is also one of the oldest. I'm talking about a mentor - someone who can help you learn the ropes, find your way around obstacles, and chart a course that will get you where you want to go.

Just about every successful person I've ever met, whether they are in business or one of the professions, sports, the arts, or any other field of endeavor, has had the benefit of at least one mentor. Very often, they've had many more than that.

Mentors are people who have achieved success themselves and want to pass along what they've learned to others. They don't usually tell you what to do - that's not their role - but they do help you weigh your options and think through decisions.

Who are you mentoring and who is mentoring you?

- Diane Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Diane Tice  

“Commitment and Success”

There is no question about it: Commitment is a key to success whether it's in a marriage, a business, personal and professional growth, or sports.

What made Larry Bird one of the best players in basketball? He was considered slow, and many thought he could not jump. Sometimes it almost looked like he was playing in slow motion. But Larry Bird succeeded as a player because he was totally dedicated to success. He practiced more, played harder, and had more mental toughness than most of his competitors. He got more out of his talents than almost anyone did.

The same was true with Tom Watson, the great golfer. Tom was nothing special at Stanford, considered just another kid on the team. But his coach still talks about him, saying, "I never saw anyone practice more."

You see, the difference in physical skills between athletes doesn't tell you much. It's the quality of their commitment that separates the good players from the great. People who are committed to success are willing to do whatever it takes, as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. Everything they do reflects their commitment.

Ask yourself the following questions and think about your answers: "How strong is your commitment - to your career, your relationships, your personal growth? How much of your time and energy do you give these things? Do the results you get reflect your level of commitment?"

- Diane Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Diane Tice  

“No Man is an Island”

"No man is an island." A statement of truth for each of us, for we are not alone. We are not separate and isolated. We are as fingers of the hand with our connectness to the palm, uniting us in strength and connecting our very being with each other and with God.

It is when we feel and act alone, as if denying our connectedness, that we being to suffer the feelings of helplessness and fear. Within each of us is that connectedness, for the spirit of God is within us, ever there for us to draw upon. We are not alone.

Whenever we feel the burden of "going it alone," we can become overwhelmed. Whenever we withdraw within ourselves and deny our connectedness, we falter. Deep anxiety and fear seem to manifest themselves, unasked, as unwelcome visitors.

It is in the reaching out beyond ourselves that begins the flow of strength and connectedness, and an awareness of all that is good and loving. It is only in the giving out of ourselves that we are filled. With the outpouring of self, whatever the endeavor, we must have something greater than ourselves, something beyond ourselves to strive for and commit to - whether it be family, friends, ideas, visions, noble purpose or simple caring.

For it is in the giving out of ourselves that we gain within ourselves. There is an endless flow of all things good and loving, waiting to be born into our lives. It is we who choose what purpose, if any, we live for beyond ourselves to start this endless flow of goodness from within to without. And all of us are deserving of this reality.

- Diane Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

“Coping With Tragic Events”

In light of today's tragic events in Washington, DC and New York City, many of us are having to cope with a variety of emotions - shock, horror, anger and quite possibly fear. While this entire situation is difficult to understand for adults, it is even more confusing for our children.

I have asked Cheri Lovre, a crisis management expert who works with schools and districts in crisis situations, to offer suggestions on how we can help our children understand what has happened today:

"The younger the child, the less apt they are to understand the gravity of the situation. We know that children react to how they think their caregivers are doing. Thus, it is very important that we provide support, as the children will only do as well as we do. . . Remain calm and give messages of reassurance."

Schools have the opportunity to teach lessons "by bringing this home. The lesson here is that hate, distrust, lack of tolerance is damaging at any level. It is very easy at times such as these to focus on blame, on making certain other groups the "bad guys" and ourselves to be the "good guys." Anything that reinforces stereotypes is a lesson missed, and an opportunity wasted.

"These kinds of events are frightening for all of us, but these are also times when we draw together and are kinder, take better care of each other and spend more time together. Take time to have extra awareness and connection with all people in your life."

A complete text of Cheri's article has been placed on the homepage of our website. I urge parents and education professionals to access this valuable information in the days ahead. To the families and friends directly impacted by today's events, Diane and I, as well as the entire global staff of The Pacific Institute, offer our prayers and support.

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  

“Have-to vs. Choice”

Many of us have enjoyed some free time this summer. I have a way of thinking, about free time, that may surprise you.

What if I told you that, unless you are actually in prison, all of your time is free time. You may say, "Wait a minute. If that were true, I'd be on vacation every day!" But if you don't work or go to school, how can you have a vacation?

You see, you have a choice about everything you do in life. There are no absolute "have-tos" except death. You don't have to work. You don't have to exercise. You don't have to take care of the children, and you don't even have to pay taxes.

Now you may say, "Hold on a minute. If I don't pay taxes, they will put me in jail." Well, that is true. But you do have a choice. And every choice has consequences.

So we think about what will happen if we choose to do something, we think about what will happen if we don't, and we make a decision. Sometimes we choose a short-term gain only to sacrifice long-term happiness. Or, we may give up something now for a greater gain later.

The point I want to make is that when you return to work or school after your vacation, realize that you choose to be there. When you accept responsibility for your choices and for their consequences, you refuse to be a victim and you give yourself power.

Become accountable for all of your time and all of your choices. You will grow enormously as a person. I guarantee it!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice  


Do you know what Scotomas are? Everyone has them and they can keep you from seeing the opportunities all around you.

Have you ever heard of a "Scotoma?" It's what doctors call the defect that blocks sight in one part of our visual field. It's also a term I use to describe our occasional failure to see what's right in front of us because we build our own Scotoma, or mental blind spot, to it.

You see for the most part, we see what we expect to see or what we look for, not what is really there. What we expect to see is determined by our beliefs about reality. If we believe the world is a hostile, unfriendly place, we'll see evidence to support that belief everywhere we look. But if we believe people are basically good and that the world is a supportive, friendly place, that's what we'll see and experience.

Now, our beliefs are mostly a matter of how we have been conditioned since birth. But once we become adults, it is possible to become aware of our conditioning, our belief systems, and even our Scotomas.

We can choose to expand our consciousness, remove our blind spots, and adopt beliefs that will help us grow instead of clinging to expectations and attitudes that keep us suspicious and small. By the simple act of making this choice, we actually start the wheels of a better future turning.

And by the daily affirmation of goals that support our commitment, we become top-notch Scotoma Busters, and then we really start to grow!

- Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute


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