The Power of Silence Silence is powerful. It’s between the notes of some of the greatest songs ever recorded.  We don’t always notice because multiple tracks of vocals, percussion, string and horns block it out.  But silence is there.  Without it, the recording would just be noise. Adjust silence and the song changes. Silence is prevalent within the greatest speeches in the world. The dramatic pause has been mastered by the best orators of our time. With strategically placed silence, listening and retention increases 30-40%. Silence is an equalizer in an argument or verbal confrontation.  Being silent and calm while the other person yells and screams is liberating.  This goes against the grain of the normal reaction of yelling or screaming back. Silence in a negotiation reigns supreme.  Silence refuses to give away your hand.  Silence with a confident look commands the room and exudes power. Silence can produce intimacy.  A look, touch or smile with verbal silence as the sidekick can set the tone for an amazing night of romance.  Now when you speak, the impact can be immediate. Go to silence immediately when you are faced with something you don’t like, want or enjoy.  This could be anything from financial bad news, a missed 3-footer, a sick relative or a wrecked car.  Keep silence with you, until you can remove emotion from your mind. By being silent you can now read body language better.  Approximately 70-80% of what’s communicated is non-verbal.  With silence you can hear voice inflections, tonality changes, facial gestures and other body cues.  Two ears and one mouth beckon you to listen twice as much as you... read more

50 Tips to Build Great Relationships   If your office or home is on fire, get people to safety, grab all cash and take your database (if it’s on the Cloud…good).  Your personal and professional databases are your most prized possessions.  Within these databases are your relationships. Create, build and protect your databases at all costs. Over the course of a lifetime, you will have many relationships that you nurture within your databases.  Hopefully, most will be rewarding and beneficial. Siblings, parents, co-workers, vendors, teammates, friends, teachers, significant others, children and people you conduct regular business, such as a florist, plumber, accountant, doctor, shop owner, etc. will ALL play a role in YOU living a happy, healthy life. When life is over, the positive relationships you have developed will be your greatest accomplishment. Great relationships equal a great life. We develop positive relationships over time. Trust will be a strong component in this development. Like anything else, there are ebbs and flows and this is true with relationships. With different agendas, this happens. However, great relationships last a lifetime and they require consistency in effort, trust, compassion and understanding. It’s time to build better relationships in your life. Take none for granted. As a Relationship MVP, you’ll enjoy a myriad of rewards.  At the top of the list is seeing people you care about thrive. Your relationships win.  You win. Here are 50 tips (in no special order) to get your family, co-workers, team members, etc. in a receptive Zone mindset of positivity. Add or subtract from this list freely. You’ll swiftly find the ones you can improve.  Focus on a few and incorporate... read more

Avoid Mental Landmines   “I didn’t mean it.  I’m sorry. Come on! Please forgive me.” Unwittingly step on someone’s psychological landmine and forgiveness may not readily arrive.  Most of us have negative, mental explosives buried beneath the surface of our conscious mind.  They are armed and ready to be triggered with a misplaced word, look or deed. Psychological landmines were placed in the deepest recesses of our brain as negative experiences.  We bury them and do our best to keep them under wraps.  However, when someone steps on one of them, watch out. Infer dishonesty and the landmine is activated.  Talk about past indiscretions, bring up faults at the wrong time and place, mention an “ex-significant other” or cut them off in traffic….Ka-boom! All hell can break lose. Emotion clouds reason.  Once activated, mental landmines can release emotional shrapnel of revenge, retaliation, reprisal, payback, and hurt. You hurt me.  I hurt you. We say things we don’t consciously mean.  However, statements, gestures and acts can and do activate old wounds. Stepping on these fragile and volatile, hidden psychological landmines can change the entire day’s complexion.  More importantly, it can damage relationships. Bringing up the negative past, comparing and judging, or just being a sarcastic jerk can set a negative tone for hours and days with people we like and love.  In fact, stepping on the same landmine over time can drive an irreparable, long-term wedge between relationships. Why do we do this? Putting others down to build-up our confidence or personal self-esteem or having the need for control may be the culprits.  However, there are no excuses, especially if you want... read more

Golden State Warriors Win!   Great teams have one thing in common.  Every player shares the same vision of team destiny.  At the beginning of this year’s NBA season the members of the Golden State Warriors had one solitary vision…win back-to-back NBA Championships. However, for the past month a new collective thought surfaced…set the all-time regular season record of 73 victories. Eventually this vision of 73 wins became indelible etched into the subconscious mind of each member of this great team. “Could they do the improbable?” their fans pondered.  This secondary vision started to wake each of them up in the morning and put them to bed at night.  Winning is why they practiced and why they took care of themselves physically, mentally and technically. The best basketball team I ever witnessed was the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. I watched from season ticket seats every home game at the United Center. The Michael Jordan-led Bulls set the NBA record for wins, finishing the season 72–10. They became the first team to ever win 70 regular season games, easily finishing first overall in their division, conference, and the entire NBA.  Most thought this record was untouchable.  The experts said, “72 wins will never be broken.” How did the Warriors accomplish such a feat? During all 82 regular season games you would hear no gossip from their locker room.  There was no envy or jealousy, even with their amazing teammate Stephen Curry receiving the most notoriety and acclaim.  No racism, prejudice or malice was evident or witnessed.  There were no rumors or assumption thinking.  Management was not second-guessed, even when head coach Steve Kerr took... read more

What A Masterful Week!   March Madness is over.  The men and women NCAA basketball champions are crowned. The Golden State Warriors are chasing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the most regular season victories.  To reach 73 victories they will need to win their last four games. The University of Illinois men’s golf team reached the #1 NCAA ranking. Baseball season opened with all teams expecting their best year.  The Chicago White Sox and Cubs are in 1st place (okay…I know only two games have been played).  And the Masters opens today in Augusta.  What a masterful week! We witnessed the mastery of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team as they posted the most dominant season in college basketball history.  They were led by the most decorated player in the history of the sport in Breanna Stewart. She finished a masterful college career by winning Most Outstanding Player and the National Player of the Year all four of her years at UConn.  Amazing! The Huskies finished 38-0 and won those games by an average margin of 39.4 points. Masterful! The Huskies and master coach Geno Auriemma won their 11th championship this week and fourth in a row. Auriemma passed master coach icon John Wooden of UCLA for the most titles in college basketball history.  What a program! And now to the men… The first buzzer beater in college basketball championship game history in more than 30 years gave Villanova a 77-74 defeat of favored North Carolina and its second national title.  Villanova coach Jay Wright was a master in directing his team throughout the year, but he was especially masterful in... read more

It’s Mental Spring Cleaning Time! It’s officially springtime!  Corporate taxes and personal taxes will soon be paid, if not already. School spring break has finished or just about to start. Baseball season opens next week and the Chicago Cubs will begin in 1st place.  Your golf game is soon out of hibernation and the Masters is just around the (Amen) corner.  The NBA play-offs are shaping up. The NCAA Final Four will be decided Monday night. Most NFL teams are juggling their rosters for next fall. The first quarter at work is closing and your Q2 results are going to rock!  And the weather is getting much, much better. Now it’s time for a new, awesome you! Spring-cleaning is here and it is NOT limited to your physical closets and junk drawers.  It’s time to clean the clutter from your mind.  More than thirty percent (30%) of your thoughts are waste. Many of these thoughts can actually sabotage your goals and dreams. These unnecessary, extra thoughts can weigh you down, while they shackle your imagination. They restrict your freedom.  These thoughts occur at sporadic uninvited times and they attract negative emotions that wreak havoc on your life.  Some of these useless thoughts can linger for weeks, months and even years.  It’s time to clear them from your performance pathway like debris from the sidewalk. First, recognize why these extra thoughts have arrived on the screen of space in your mind.   Ask yourself the following 10 questions: Do I have too many goals that lack the discipline of planning? Do I make negative comparisons to other people? Do I have failures that still haunt... read more
The best in the world are experts at something.  NBA superstar Stephen Curry of the world champion Golden State Warriors is an expert at shooting a basketball.  This expertise was honed by launching 500 shots every day in the off-season.  During the NBA’s grueling season, he daily fires up 250-300 balls.  More importantly, it’s his approach (not the quantity of shots) that sets him apart.  He is fastidious.  Years ago I had a meeting in the old Chicago stadium with the Blackhawks GM.  As I entered the stadium around noon, I heard a lone basketball bouncing on the hardwood.  Later that night the Bulls would play the Boston Celtics and there on the floor alone was the great Larry Bird.  He dribbled two steps to his right and swiftly launched a 3-point shot.  Over and over Bird shot the exact same shot with the same precision and attention to detail.  After a 45-minute meeting with the late Keith Magnuson, I found Bird still shooting the same shot. Later that night I witnessed Larry Legend drain this same shot with only seconds left in the game to force the Bulls into over-time.  He was fastidious. Last week I was in Arizona for spring training baseball.  There I saw MLB pitchers for the Royals, Giants and Cubs working on covering first base on an infield ground ball.  Over and over they repeated this routine, even though they learned to do this in Little League. This pitcher’s basic of the game was practiced repeatedly so that under pressure there would be no conscious thought…just perfect execution.  It was fastidious experts honing their... read more

It’s Mental Spring Cleaning Time!

Throw Out The Negatives in Your Life.  Here’s How. It’s almost April!  School spring break has finished or it’s just about to start. Baseball season starts next week and even the Cubs will begin in 1st place.  Your golf game is soon out of hibernation and the Masters is just around the corner.  The NBA play-offs are shaping up. The NCAA Final Four is being decided. Most NFL teams are juggling their rosters for next fall. And the weather is getting much, much better.  The first quarter at work is closing and your Q2 results are going to rock! Now it’s time for a new, awesome you. Spring Cleaning is here and it is NOT limited to your physical closets and junk drawers.  It’s time to clean the clutter from your mind.  More than thirty percent (30%) of your thoughts are waste. Many of these thoughts can actually sabotage your goals and dreams. These unnecessary, extra thoughts can weigh you down, while they shackle your imagination. They restrict your freedom. These thoughts occur at sporadic uninvited times and they attract negative emotions that wreak havoc on your life.  Some of these useless thoughts can linger for weeks, months and even years.  It’s time to clear them from your performance pathway like debris from the sidewalk. First, recognize why these extra thoughts have arrived on the screen of space in your mind.   Ask yourself the following 10 questions: Do I have too many goals that lack the discipline of planning? Do I make negative comparisons to other people? Do I have failures that still haunt me? Do I have too... read more

Never Saw A Fat Man Over 70

The weather in most of the country has turned warm and even hot in some places.  Yesterday I was walking for some “cooped up, crazy and need to get out” exercise.  I briskly maneuvered myself past a senior citizen (I’m a senior, but NEVER admit it or think about it) center and for no cognitive reason stopped in to check it out.  No, I was not shopping. LOL. I was just checking it out.  Then I noticed there were NO fat people.  None.  I sat in the lobby and witnessed senior after senior looking thin as a rail with virtually no body fat.  What’s up with that?  Am I on to something here? Obesity is rampant in our country.  Even though we have hungry mouths to feed, somehow many of us still manage to get fat over time.  We know this!   Studies prove this over and over again. During my lifetime I’ve looked down and not been able to see my shoes.  Yes…I’ve used the bathroom by braille.  Think about that for a minute.  On second thought…don’t. My waist has gone in and out more than the ocean.  And I’ve told fat jokes on myself.  On stage in Kiev some years ago I actually said, “I love the food here a lot and I’ve eaten so much.  In fact, my butt’s gotten so big I feel like I’m being followed by the KGB.”  That cracked the former Russians up.  But the joke was actually on me. As a former professional athlete, I had lost my healthy, physical way. So I started visualizing myself fit.  I began to workout at... read more

What’s Up With The News?

ISIS.  Ferguson.  Hillary emails.  NFL trades.  Spring training.  Iran nukes.  Russia rattles war sword.  Brian Williams, Bill O’Reilly controversy.  Will Tiger play the Masters? Tikrit.  March Madness.  Q2 business decisions.  SAE.  GOP.  Apple watch.  DirecTV mislead customers. IRS.  Eco-terrorists. Why mustard is better for me than ketchup.  Boston bomber.  Miller High-Life deliveryman dies. Car bomb kills 7.  Fingerprint required to shop here.  Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. “Dirty Brigades’ under investigation. And this was today’s news. Damn. What’s up with the news?  What do we do with all of this information?  Which bit of info will truly impact us?  What will outrage our senses?  What will get us asking for more information? Which story has us talking out loud to the TV or cursing the computer screen? Does any of this really matter to you?  Probably not. Managing the thoughts that are prevalent from the inside of your home to the curb of your street is what matters.  This small area of space is your inner sanctum.  Here your opinion matters.  So does the opinion of everyone else in this space. As you move further away from your physical address, you move to your inner circle.  This is your very close friends, business associates and other important family. Does the world news impact your inner sanctum and your inner circle?  Probably not. So what is all of this news about?  It definitely connects you to the world.  You are free to offer your opinion on these events.  Will anyone listen?  Maybe your inner sanctum or inner circle would like to hear your take on it?  Probably not. How can you change... read more

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

You have had many decisions in your life and you’ll have many more.  Some will be “no brainers” and minor in importance. However, a few will be monumental and will be tagged as a potential game changer or life changer. Where do I go?  What do I say? What is my next move? How much do I invest? What do I do? When you add other people to your decision-making and their agendas are hidden or not congruent with your agenda, decisions can become very complicated. Here are a few things I’ve learned about decisions. As a former professional tennis coach and player, I’ve had my share of controversy regarding line calls.  One player thinks the ball is out and the other believes the ball is in.  However, if you place a tennis ball just outside the end line or baseline, two separate pictures will appear depending on your viewpoint. From inside the court looking out to the ball you can clearly see the green, out-of-bounds paint between the white line and the yellow ball. There is no doubt the ball is out.  Period! From outside the court area the same ball appears to rest on the line or maybe just inside the line. You know it is in. You would pass a lie-detector test from this viewpoint. Two viewpoints.  Two opposite perspectives.  What is the decision?  Is the ball in or out?  Of course, the umpire or line judge has the luxury to look straight down the line to determine the truth.  Without an impartial judge, conflict typically occurs. We have many disagreements, challenges and obstacles in life.... read more

It’s March Madness!!!!

It’s NOT just about the wacky NCAA hoops tournament.  It’s NOT just about your alma mater’s best player’s season ending injury.  It’s NOT about filling out your tournament bracket. It’s about being cooped up all winter with bone-shivering wind chill, near record snowfall, and bleak, grey skies.  “When is spring break? Where do we go?   Who wants to go away?  Who wants to stay home? I need a break!” It’s the end of Q1 at work.  “What happened?  My team blew this one.  They weren’t ready. Now what do I do in Q2?” It’s about the kid’s crazy schedules.  Homework. Tennis practice.  Choir.  Karate. Tutors. Parties. Dances. Volunteering. Clubs. Soccer.  Car pool.  “My house seems like Grand Central Station. The refrigerator looks like a commercial for Post-it Notes.   I’m tired.” It’s about having only a few months to get into last year’s bathing suit.  “When do I start losing weight?  Maybe I buy a bigger suit. Maybe I won’t go swimming this year.” It’s about St. Patrick’s Day.  “How can I avoid embarrassing myself…again.  I hope everyone forgot.  I think my picture in a leprechaun hat and a kilt is still on Facebook. It’s about enrolling the kids in summer camp. “How much will that cost this year?  What if they refuse to go?  Now what will they do?  And if they don’t go, what will we do? It’s time to plan for the outdoor patio that’s been on the agenda for a decade.  “Will it get done this spring?  We need to plan. Why don’t we ever agree on this?” It’s the Masters in a few weeks.  “Time... read more

How A Single Thought Can Derail or Assure Your Success

The average thought is approximately 12-14 seconds in duration.  How can one small thought derail your dreams?  How could this miniscule moment in time catapult you to success? Thoughts vary in length from a few seconds to more than a minute.  All thoughts are categorized as either future, past or present.  You cannot be in the future and the past at the same time.  It is one or the other.  Your thoughts are either positive or negative. You cannot hold a positive and a negative thought simultaneously. Every day you are stockpiling thoughts as they are all recorded and stored temporarily by your powerful subconscious mind.  They are replayed later while you are in deep sleep.  The purpose of the replays is for storage.  If the thought was of major importance, then it is stored near the conscious surface for easy access.  If the thought was insignificant “as in drinking a glass of water” it is stored in the deepest part of your mind. The following scenario has occurred hundreds, if not thousands, of times in my career.  A particular client was a starting pitcher for a Major League Baseball team.  In an interview with dozens of media members, one reporter said, “There are a lot of pitchers for only a few starting jobs.  Are you prepared to be in the bullpen as a reliever?”  My client then thought “bullpen as a reliever” and actually “albeit briefly” pictured this scenario.  It made him mad.  He was disgruntled.  He had been a starter for the last three years.  Why would this reporter say that to him in front of the... read more

90-Seconds to a Great Relationship

On February 14th, millions of people will think a little more about their “significant other.”  This day will produce more kindness for loved ones than most other days on the calendar. The five senses of sight, touch, taste, smell and sound will all be heightened and the recipient will notice the change, albeit for a brief moment in time.  The pressure to honor our spouses or mates on Valentine’s Day conjures up expensive dinners and gifts and exemplary good behavior.   What if the spirit of this day was more than a once a year occurrence?  What if the attention of this day was everyday?  There was a time in your life when this was true. Do you remember the first time you locked eyes with your significant other?  Remember your first kiss and long embrace?  The world around you did not matter.  You were in the Zone. It was that purposeful calm feeling when you felt nothing could go wrong.  All of your life’s challenges evaporated when you were together. The sound of their voice was memorized and missed as soon as you parted.  Their smell lingered well beyond the goodbye.  You could see their smile and feel their touch in your mind when you were apart and you replayed these thoughts a zillion times throughout your busy day.  And every time you thought of him or her, a comfortable excitement permeated all of you.  Remember? Why do we need a day to stop and ponder the importance of our most important relationship?  Hallmark?  Maybe their marketing has succeeded.  Maybe. Thousands of business and sports clients have placed their... read more

No Victim or Judge Here!

He is 4’11” tall and weighs 92 lbs.  However, he is a giant among his peers.  They fear him.  They overthink about him.  When he’s around, all eyes are on him. His name conjures up the words “formidable”, “tough” and “excellent.”  He is definitely respected for his talent. What’s even more remarkable is the fact he is battling curable thyroid cancer and Type 1 diabetes. Who is he?  Why is he so dominate?  What gives him an edge? In the 1970’s I traveled 40-48 weeks per year coaching men and women tennis professionals.  From city to city over multiple continents, I lugged my rackets and bags.  Tennis was my life.  I loved it. Life changes. We move on. Travel on the professional Tour subsided.  Even though I still travel for different clients as well as keynotes to major companies, life has changed. Last weekend I revisited my past.  I coached a tennis player while he played an indoor tournament near my home. He was disciplined.  He was supremely confident.  Foe after foe felt his enormous energy and sense of knowing. One by one they succumbed to his Zone performance. Like a champion he learned from each match and applied what he learned when he played again.  Somehow, I was transported back to pro tournaments in Hamburg, Monte Carlo, Rome, Sidney, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Frankfurt and Tokyo.  A familiarity followed me this past weekend.  I felt comfortable like I’d put on a favorite old overcoat.  It fit perfectly. Match after match, I watched him self-administer his blood sugar regimen.  “Look Jim, my finger doesn’t even feel the needle prick anymore. ... read more

Are You Ready For The Big Day?

… Or What Do Players Need To Think Before the Super Bowl? You’re sleeping on a 2-shot lead the night before your final round in your club championship.  It’s the night before the biggest presentation of your young career. Tomorrow is your last chance to pass your LSAT exam.  Tomorrow you present a keynote address before 2000 industry leaders.  You’ve been accused of cheating by illegally deflating the footballs.  It’s all over the news. Are you ready?  What do you think? This Sunday the players of the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will be performing in the Super Bowl in front of possibly the largest television audience of all time.  This day is the 2nd largest day for food consumption, after Thanksgiving. In addition, the Super Bowl already has the four most-watched American broadcasts in U.S. television history.  With approximately 111.5 million U.S. viewers watching your every move, pressure will crush many performers while elevating a few. What do you think before a Big Day? With a week of hype, rumor, hearsay, gossip and speculation, this Sunday will be a moment of truth.  Every flaw will be exposed.  The Big Game could come down to one play and you could be the goat or the hero. Can the Patriots overcome the “Deflate-gate” scandal?  Will Tom Brady overcome the “Legion of Doom” defense of Seattle?  Will Marshawn Lynch run rampant over the Patriots defense?  The bottom line is “Will each player attract the Zone and just execute the basics when the money’s on the table?  Or not? Here’s how to handle the Super Bowl situation and apply it... read more

Are You Raising A World-Class Decision-Maker?

It’s 30 years from now and you’re following your favorite company’s stock price.  Days before in the boardroom of this company your daughter just pulled off the largest acquisition in U.S. corporate history.  To become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, she was raised as a world-class decision maker. It’s 30 years from now and you’re following your favorite company’s stock price.  However, your mind wanders to your daughter and what might have been.  She was brilliant.  Everyone loved her.  Her future was so bright and she was a “can’t miss” success story.  One night while in high school she looked to her friends to see what they were going to do.  The drug seemed harmless enough.  Everyone was doing it.  “Come on,” her best friend whispered.  “Let’s have some fun.”   That night placed your “little girl” in harms way.  Her life would take a turn of no return.  To become an adult with major challenges in her life, she was not raised as a world-class decision maker. Your children are only as good as what they think when you’re not there Decision-making is a learned behavior.  It is a major part of the foundation of greatness and great leaders.  Most decisions don’t need to be made, many can be made in 90-seconds or less and a few require a good night sleep before the challenge can be met.  Have you trained your child in the art of decision-making? Is your child prepared for life’s challenges? The peer group of today has more power and influence on the decision-making of our children than ever before.  This is especially true... read more

Success Has No Excuses!

What urge, impulse, desire or longing keeps popping up in your mind? Do you still daydream about owning and managing the perfect bed and breakfast? Still imagining the novel in you that you know would be an awesome movie? Have you given up on making the senior golf tour or do you still believe you can do it? Think about what you think about Most desires are like drones searching for their target with relentless pursuit. Hunting non-stop these urges wake you up early while most people are still asleep. They can keep you up late at night refusing to close your eyes. All the while these longings want resolution. They need fulfillment. So what’s the desire that taps you on the shoulder, interrupting your focused thoughts? Is it a faceless “significant other” that you seek? Is it the desire for money that fuels your efforts? What is it? Of course, you already know the answer. This impulse might be decades old. In my mid-twenties, I thought I could write a book. Every time I revealed this thought, my friends and associates rolled their eyes and many actually said, ”Really? How are you going to do that? What are you going to write about?” One day I woke up early and began to write an outline to my new tennis book. It took me 45-minutes to finish. Of course, I’d been writing the book in my mind for months. It sat there on my desk for days. But now it was real. I actually pulled the idea out of my mind and gave it life. The awe of my... read more

Fill Your Optimism Bank Account

What will you accomplish in 2015? One thing is certain. When the year is over, you will be better or worse. You will not be the same. What do you need to reach your 2015 goals and dreams? It’s optimism, the essential ingredient for success in all you do. Without it, you will NOT be successful. Your brain oversees multiple bank accounts of optimism. This precious commodity is more valuable than gold, silver or the dollar. Optimism is the belief, expectancy and sense of knowing that the task or group of tasks you execute will lead you to your goals and ultimately your vision. How’s your optimism for 2015? Each of your life arenas (such as spouse, family, career, wellness, personal finance, sports, etc.) has their own bank account of optimism. Collectively, each account generates your overall bank account of this vital intangible. And most importantly… YOU are the banker! You have a master bank account of optimism at any given time and place. Some days it may be full and even overflowing. You feel confident and daring. You speak to all those around you with a sense of knowing. You move with your head held high and you readily dismiss negativity. Other times, this bank account of positivity may be bankrupt. In fact, you’re writing optimistic checks that can’t be cashed. You have false bravado. Deep down you know things aren’t right. You are pessimistic and you see the negatives before the positives. These are the days when things go wrong. The “bad day” shows up unannounced and unwanted. But it still arrives. Optimism fluctuates every day for... read more

Have Your Personal 2015 Renaissance

Out with the old and in with the new. Are you ready to upgrade your life in 2015? Are you ready to build a pathway to greatness? Are you ready for a personal renaissance this upcoming year?   Out with… Blaming others Being a victim of circumstance, situation or condition Watching and listening to negative news Being a judge Relying on other people to get things done Petty bickering and fighting with loved ones, family and friends Fluctuating attitudes and waistlines Jealousy Gossip, rumors and hearsay Depression Financial instability Trying to do too much Too little time for family, friends and yourself Over-working and under-playing Being out of shape physically Emotions that cloud reasoning Thinking about what you don’t want Disappointing results Negative thoughts and negative people Not being your best Renaissance is one of my favorite words. It means a renewal of life, vigor or interest. It is the rebirth or revival. I believe there will be a moral, fiscal and emotional renaissance for our society in 2015. Can this really happen? How can we simplify and balance our lives with abundance? What can you personally do to start your own renaissance toward this endeavor? In with… More self-discipline Quality concentration Immunizing yourself from negativity Harmony and peace in your family and community Fewer, but better goals Excellence in all you do Emotional endurance Spiritually connecting with other people Upbeat, positive friends Being in the Zone Finding a career you love More time for yourself Better communication with everyone in your life Finding true love Making more money that stays in your pocket More music, flowers and sunshine... read more

Interview with Santa Claus

Dear Champion: For the past few months I’ve traveled extensively throughout North America. During my Alaska trip I made a brief stopover at the North Pole and had the rare opportunity to sit down and talk with Santa Claus. That’s right…the one, the only Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, the jolly ol’ elf himself, Santa. Jim: Santa, thanks for seeing me at such a busy time of the year. Are you and your elves ready for Christmas? Santa: Ready? Ho, Ho, Ho! I was born ready. With all of the “downloads” on the children’s wish list, this year has been the easiest. Jim: It’s been said you only bring gifts to the good children during the late evening of December 24th and the early hours of Christmas Day. Is that right? Santa: Not exactly. We like to leave a few tricks for the naughty ones. Jim: I didn’t know that. What kind of tricks? Santa: Last year there was a little boy that had not made his bed all year. He teased his sister frequently and told a lot of lies to his parents. I left him a gift card to American Girl. Was he upset! Ho. Ho. Ho. Jim: Has there ever been labor unrest with the elves? You do make them work around the clock. Santa: In 1997 we did have three elves go on strike and try to form a union. In fact, Local 223 of the United Elves Christmas Workers was formed. They caused a halt in toy production for several days before Mrs. Claus intervened. She shut off their cake and cookie supply and the... read more

Sacrifice is the Greatest Gift

Every Christmas, tens of millions of children have been surprised with toys, games, clothes, sports equipment and everything else on their wish list. Mothers and fathers met their shopping needs so that the holiday season will be another great one. This year should be no different. Some homes, however, will have disappointment this Christmas. Not every wish will come true. Many lists will not be fulfilled. How many parents will sacrifice for their children this season? Most. How many parents will be stressed because they know Santa won’t make it to their home? Too many. I’m sure you didn’t get everything you want for Christmas. When I was six years old, I wanted a miniature pool table for Christmas. I wrote Santa and believed my wish would come true. On the Eve of his arrival I left him cookies and milk to eat and drink. It was difficult to sleep because my excitement was so high. “My pool table would soon be here!” I thought. The next morning I raced to the tree and saw the cookies had been munched on and the glass of milk was left half full. I excitedly searched everywhere for my pool table. It wasn’t there. My mom said, “Santa left you a note.” As she read it to me, my eyes swelled with tears. It read… Dear Jimmy, On my way from the North Pole, your pool table fell off the sleigh into the snow. We had no time to get it because there were too many other children to see. When it thaws in the spring, we’ll bring it to you. Santa... read more

Why 90-Seconds?

As Americans we like things short, quick and right NOW. The 90-Second News is designed to do just that. You’ll find tips, tools, techniques, short inspirations and some news that can help you improve the quality of your life, business and sport without inconvenience. Period. Why 90-seconds? Since the age of 14 years old, the 90-second time period has been very, very prevalent in my life. What you can accomplish within this timeframe still amazes me. 90-seconds to increase sales: The 90-second significance became evident when I sold Fuller Brush products door-to-door as a teenager. Corporate statistics showed that a good salesperson would sell to one out of every three homes. Since most of the sales force was over 40-years old, I knew speed was not in their favor. If you see more homes, you make more money. Soon my young team of eight fast, quick friends and I were sprinting between homes. More importantly, we knew within the first 90-seconds if we were going to make a sale or not. In fact, we perfected a 90-second routine of providing a small gift (basting brush, jar opener, hand lotion sample, etc.) in lieu of the occupant giving us 90-seconds to hear our pitch. It worked like a charm! We led Kentucky in sales for the year, and I made more money than my mother and father combined. 90-seconds to change losing ways: I played professional tennis. When the score in tennis is an odd total of games played such as 4-1, 3-2 or 5-2, the players change sides to prevent either player from having an advantage due to the... read more

The Secret Success Tool

How do you set personal records? How do you stay the course when there are so many distractions? How do you juggle all that life throws your way? How can you shorten the road to success? There is a secret tool peak performers have used to be successful. It keeps you on course to a positive end result. It’s called the 90-Second Rule™ “Link” technique. Most of us visualize before we want something to happen. However, there is another way to use visualization that has served my clients for over 40 years. This simple, 90-Second Rule™ technique has saved hours of wasted time and has helped link performances together into a chain of success. During my tennis teaching days I would spend 60-70 long hours per week on the court giving lessons to client after client. My mission was simple: To help all I taught reach his or her full potential. One client would finish their lesson and another was waiting to begin. Because I had so many clients, it was easy to forget what I worked on the previous week with each person. In order to create continuity in the lessons and produce the best tennis player possible, I discovered this simple, but powerful technique. After every tennis lesson, I invested 90-seconds (sometimes less) to visualize (in movie format) next week’s lesson for the departing client. In addition, I visualized him or her as the best tennis player they could be. 90-seconds. Done. And then I would clear my head (Re-Boot™) and begin my next lesson. One week later my subconscious mind would pull from my memory exactly... read more

Turkey Talk

With the first snowfall in November, you knew Thanksgiving was just around the corner. It would be a special time when families gather around the dining room table to celebrate the national holiday. Foxborne, Connecticut was a small community in New England that epitomized the rituals of the American Thanksgiving celebration. All of the residents would congregate inside their homes with relatives and friends for the festive feast. The Aronsons on Clark Street would discuss everything from sports, tires and Uncle Seymour’s new girlfriend, while the Potter clan would debate politics and pass judgement on the high school athletic teams and the new neighbors on Prospect Avenue. Every family in the small village of Foxborne had the same Thanksgiving experiences. Most of all, families would discuss their thankfulness for a year of peace and prosperity. From the stories, cranberries and candied yams to the pumpkin pie, everything was perfect. That is… except for the turkeys. The consumption of turkey was the focal point for every household in the rustic, clapboard community of Foxborne. The majestic bird lay in culinary beauty in the middle of the table poised for the incision of the carver’s blade. Everything was perfect. That is… except for the turkeys. It was the second week in November and a buzz made the rounds in the little houses that sheltered Foxborne’s turkey population. Turkey gossip was rampant in the wooden huts that sequestered these large feathered birds. Rumor had it that the pleasantries spoken by the farmers were tricks to keep everyone from panicking. There was a sense of urgency in the air. The end of November... read more

Do You Have the Power of Optimism?

“I’m king of the world!” When Leonardo DiCaprio yelled this affirmation from the top of the ill-fated Titanic, it epitomized the ultimate in optimism. He expressed belief, expectancy, and confidence in his life. He thought it. He felt it. Young Cassius Clay leaped to the top rope of the ring apron and proclaimed, “I am the greatest!” This moment in sports history occurred after he defeated world heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston for the title. Decades later, we still revere older Muhammad Ali for his supreme confidence, belief, and expectancy. Optimism is part of his extraordinary legacy. We admired the optimism of the late Steve Jobs as he battled the industry that he helped launch. Over and over we saw him walk outside the lines of normal thinking to create products that shaped how we interact in today’s world. You might be reading this on one of his breakthrough devices. He was an eternal optimist. Who doesn’t love Walt Disney? But over the years Walt had many failures. After making a bad deal with his distribution company, he was forced to dissolve his first animation company. Soon after he couldn’t pay his rent and was surviving by eating dog food.? Hard to believe, huh? MGM studios told Walt that Mickey Mouse would never work. They thought a giant mouse would terrify women. After reworking the animated Pinocchio, Walt lost a million dollars in its first release. These setbacks did not derail Walt’s creative genius. Failure after failure only made him smarter and wiser. His relentless optimism always picked him up from defeat. Today his name brings a smile to... read more

How to Conduct A Zone Meeting

How many meetings have you attended in your life? How many times have you thought, “What a waste of time!” Most people have approximately 10-30 meetings every week. From an algebra class, sales meeting, e-mail exchange, sporting event, conference call or major presentation, we have meetings all of the time. They last from a few minutes to hours. Most meetings are NOT Zone meetings. Have you ever presented or attended a Zone meeting? These “purposeful calm” meetings get everyone fully engaged. They are dynamic and highly fruitful. All participants are present to leverage the power of collective thought. Each person is locked in the moment. Each person is there to contribute to the whole. Solutions rise to the surface. Clarity reigns supreme. No one is looking at their text messages or reading their emails. All eyes and ears are on the person that is addressing the group at any given time. Everyone is attentive to the task at hand. A Zone meeting occurs when each person is disciplined, focused, confident, relaxed and passionate about his or her participation and contribution to the outcome of the meeting. As the facilitator, this is your responsibility. You will be held accountable and you have the authority to make it happen. Zone meetings go by quickly. They are highly productive with little to no wasted time. Every participant leaves with the appropriate call to action or inaction. These are the meetings that catapult a group, family, company or team from mediocrity to greatness. Zone meetings make a significant difference. Many daily meetings conducted throughout the world are thrown together at the last minute.... read more

The Art Of World-Class Decision-Making

You will make many decisions in your life. You will select your friends, school, career path, life partner and place to live. Some decisions will be obvious and easy. Others will be difficult as in “How do I save my relationship?” or “How do I pay for these bills?” It may take you weeks or months to ponder your course of action. Some decisions must be made now! Your course of action may come to a fork in the road. What do I do? Are you a world-class decision maker? And do you know how to train one? My career has been built on training decision makers when their next move or non-move dictates the outcome. I’ve learned that your company or organization is only as good as what your employees think when you’re not there. Are they decision makers? I know your children are only as good as what they think when you’re not there. Have you coached them to make decisions that may conflict with their peer group? The art of world-class decision-making is learned and honed over time. Some choices are good. Some are great and some are regretful. If you fail, you get up, learn and approach the challenge in a better way. Trial and error is your friend. Life is not always what it appears. Look at it from different angles. When you’ve walked around it 360°, make your decisions with intuition just in case you missed something. Born just over 30 years ago, she was groomed to make decisions. A zillion times she heard, “You’re a world class decision maker!” This education in... read more

My Alaska Zone Trip

Without a doubt, I was pumped to check Alaska off my Zone bucket list. As the plane was landing I could see the majestic 20,320 foot Mount McKinley that the natives call Denali or The High One. It is the tallest mountain in North America and it was awesome! Even though it was over 200 miles from Anchorage, she was as prominent as could be. This above is a close up. Here’s what I learned about our 49th state. Jim Fannin is 10 years older than the state of Alaska as it gained statehood on January 3, 1959. Alaska is our largest state and it’s bigger than California, Texas and Montana combined. The Alaska coastline is longer than all the other state’s collective coastlines. William H. Seward, the U.S. Secretary of State, negotiated the Alaska Purchase (also know as Seward’s Folly) with Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million. Alaska is the least densely populated state, and one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world, at 1.2 inhabitants per square mile. One of Alaska’s many islands is only three miles from Russia. Alaska is the 10th wealthiest state (per capita income). More importantly, here’s what I witnessed. The Alaskan people were the nicest to me of any place I’ve been in the world. And the scenery was mind-blowing, awe-inspiring and spectacular. On my second day I flew in a private hydroplane onto a remote, glacier mountain lake. As we landed the pilot whispered, “and the baby never moved” and we glided quietly onto the shore. Immediately in front of me was an eagle resting on a log and... read more

Do You Have a Bucket List?

As you read this I’ll be in the air traveling to beautiful Alaska. Check this destination off my Zone bucket list. Soon I’ll be in the Zone as I take in the majestic wilderness. So what do you want to do that you haven’t done? What new travel destination do you desire? What new experience do you want to have? What place or experience can get you in the Zone? These answers form your personal Zone bucket list. There’s only one rule in life.  There are no rules. My mother, God rest her soul, always wanted to travel to Paris. It was #1 on her bucket list. I’ve been there dozens of times and always shared my experiences with her. Finally, we made plans to travel to the City of Lights together. It would be an awesome Mom and son experience. Unfortunately, her unexpected death nixed her top bucket list item. It was one of my only regrets in life that I couldn’t walk the Avenue des Champs-Élysees, visit the Arc de Triomphe, go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, take in The Louvre and experience a glass of French wine in a quaint sidewalk café with my awesome mother. What’s the point? Get busy on your bucket list and know the bucket list of your family & closest friends. In the scope of life, most people place themselves last in the “giving” department. Business owners pay themselves last as they scramble to meet payroll. Moms and dads sacrifice their own desires for their children. Work comes first and personal wellness comes last. All believe they’ll eventually get around... read more

Champions Are The Best Students

Are you the best student you can be in your sport, business or life? Are you on a pathway of excellence? Do you proactively seek more knowledge? Champions are well educated in their craft. Like a Harvard law student, they study an inordinate amount of time. Hours are invested daily in knowledge acquisition. They learn and eventually master the basics. More importantly, they learn how to respond to stress when their game, business or academics are on the line. Yes, champions are the best students! The champions I coached in business, sports and life were the consummate students. Each prepared early and often. Repetition was their friend. They asked great questions. They listened intently. They learned the history of their industry or sport. Settling for mediocrity did not exist. Few crammed with last minute hurry and panic. They swiftly and accurately applied their newfound information. Excellence was their daily quest. All armed themselves with knowledge and seldom relied solely on their vast physical and mental talents. Champions are extraordinary. They are ordinary people giving extra. Champions research what they don’t know. In sports, there are the physical, mental and technical aspects of the game. My students had a thirst to gain a mental edge over the competition, but it didn’t stop there. They studied with experts to get in great physical shape. They thoroughly became immersed in the science behind their personal nutrition, kinesiology, anatomy, strength training and blood type. All became experts in every aspect of their craft. Each of my sports students had or has a private, technical coach. My business clients have advisors providing expertise in... read more

What’s A Zone-Way™?

Answer: About 10 lbs. Ten pounds is about how much the average person’s head weighs. Some heads weigh more and some weigh less. Yes. The Zone phenomenon originates in your head. And there is a real Zone-Way where greats things happen. A Zone-Way is a mental and physical energy runway or pathway for performing in the Zone. They can be found in most life, business and sports performances. You can mentally and physically travel on these pathways for seconds, minutes, hours, days or weeks. It is here that great things happen. Any performance can have a Zone-Way For most people Zone-Ways present themselves 30-40 times every week. This is the number of weekly performances for the average person. Every sales call, meeting, business email, presentation, sports performance, speech, one-on-one session, book reading, group activity, academic test, or any event has a Zone-Way opportunity. In fact, in all of these performances, you can attract the Zone and ride the mental waves of positivity that lead to success. For decades the Zone was thought to be unpredictable. Many believed this ornery mindset was coincidence or fluke. When I coached and played on the pro tennis tour in the 1970’s, the majority of players didn’t have a clue about regularly finding this pathway. Very few in the world believed you could be in the Zone in all you do. This phenomenon was thought to be only for high levels of business or sports. You can attract the Zone and perform in a Zone-Way Now we know. You can live in or near the Zone in life, business and sports. It’s not just... read more

Eliminate the “P” Word

Most people have problems. Some have a lifetime of problems. It is the champion, however, that has eliminated the “P” word from their vocabulary. In fact, no one in my company or any of my clients is allowed to utter this negative word. We have challenges. It is the word “challenge” that inspires, motivates and encourages the champion. A challenge is something that has confronted our desire and need to accomplish a goal or vision. A problem, on the other hand, acts as a barrier, an obstacle and sometimes a formidable roadblock to what we want. Problems conjure up thoughts and feelings of despair, dread, foreboding, doubt and fear. What keeps you up at night? What are the main challenges for each of your life arenas? What seems to be in your way? There are many ways to meet a challenge head-on. First, identify the exact nature of the challenge. Is the challenge another person, the economy, the situation, condition or the circumstance? Or is the challenge your own thoughts, beliefs and expectancies? Is the challenge a combination of these? The challenge may not be what it appears. Look at it from different angles. When you’ve walked around it 360 degrees, make your decision on how to meet the challenge with your intuition just in case you missed something. Some challenges can miraculously disappear. When confronted with any challenge, do not react to it in a negative way. Be calm and mindless for at least 90-seconds. No reaction is your reaction. Breathe. This may take some training on your part. Make up your mind that you control you. Allow... read more

Upgrade Your Relationship in 90-Seconds

By reading this I know you are probably in a relationship. More than likely, you would like to take your relationship to the next level. Even if you’re not in a relationship, there are techniques that will help you find what you want. Recently, I was asked, “How do you get someone to like you?” The short answer is to act like they already do. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. But the short answer is a great place to begin. All of your thoughts portray images or pictures. Many of these thoughts are in mini-movies complete with visuals, sounds, smells, tastes and feel. Most people think and consequently see what they DON’T want in their lives as opposed to what they DO want. How do you re-ignite your relationship? How do you become closer as a couple? How do you improve the foundation for a long-term, 1+1=3 partnership? There are many factors to consider and many ways to accomplish this. Shared vision brought you together. Shared vision will keep you together. If your relationship, for example, is not clicking on all cylinders or it’s non-existent, it’s easy to envision or play the mental mini-movie of what you DON’T want. One of you in the relationship must flip the script on the quality of the individual and collective thoughts of the partnership. Research has proven that your thoughts are transmitted through intuition. These vibes are real. Send out only what you want. Remember: your relationship is only as good as what your partner thinks when you’re not there. YOU need to ignite the process by changing... read more

What Has Happened to America

Not long after 9/11/01, I gave a speech in front of approximately 2000 business owners on the psychology of terrorism and what each person could do to move forward. Unfortunately with the prevalence of ISIS, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, North Korea, Iraq, Russia, and Gaza psychologically banging on our front door as well as the new challenges on our own soil, not a lot has changed. We must learn from the past. I was very concerned in 2001. I still am. Here is the essence of that 9/11/01 speech. Unfortunately, it could easily be given today with very little changes. Good morning. Thank you all for coming on such short notice. My name is Jim Fannin. I coach champions. Before I start please take a moment of silence for the ones that lost their lives in the recent attack on our American soil. What has happened to America? What will become of us? What can we do? What can you personally do? How can you help your companies? How can you help your families? When an enemy is too weak to challenge you head-on, they must resort to other means to combat you. Psychological warfare is the weapon of choice. Anchoring the thoughts of millions of people with a swift, hideous act of violence is only the beginning. A ripple effect will occur. Millions of replays spawned by the media will take place. Word-of-mouth reminders of the tragedy will be commonplace. Next the available imagination of the attacked is used against them to project the possibility of more future violence. This imagination triggers worry, anxiety and even fear. An unknown,... read more

5 Ways To Change Your Life Outlook

How do you see your life? How do you see your “significant other” relationship? Do you see a rocky road or a blissful existence? Do you see wealth and financial independence or do you see hardship, debt and difficulty? How do you see your body? More than likely, this viewpoint is seen through glasses that depict imperfection. And how do you see your current job or career? We all see things differently. One sees the amazing, perfect wife of the best friend while the best friend sees the same person as a nag and dream buzz-kill. Another longs for the promotion, seeing every detail of what it will be like while the one he replaces envisions leaving to operate his own business. More than likely, one-year from now you will be wearing a different pair of glasses. You will see things differently. Ready to upgrade your outlook of life? For over a decade my backyard had a row of small trees that blocked all but a sliver of a beautiful pond. Recently they were all removed and the most majestic view revealed itself. Ironically, this view had been there all along. Now I gravitate every hour when I’m home to the new view. I am more relaxed than ever and that’s amazing for a really relaxed guy. My perception of my backyard has literally changed and, in turn, I’ve changed. The new view has placed me in the most “purposeful calm.” What parts of your life can you physically improve? Changing your wardrobe or hairstyle can give you a different look in the mirror. Even smiling every time you... read more

Is Your Home Stress-proofed?

Your home is your sanctuary. Once within the perimeter of your home you should find solace, tranquility and peace. Protect the mindset of all occupants. Fortify your home from the ravages of chaos and negativity. Stress is everywhere. Like water it finds the path of least resistance. Once it impacts an individual, it can easily leap to those around them. It is carried home from the office. It finds us on the Internet. Negative Facebook posts can penetrate our happiness. Stress is spread from our friends and family like the Ebola virus. The news media blasts packets of stress into our living room with every story. And bad news travels fast. Beware: Some people carry stress without their knowledge. You can hear it in their voice. You can see it in their face. However, they are oblivious to its presence. They are not aware that stress has changed their mood and impregnated their body. Make sure this is not you So here is this week’s goal: Stress-proof your home. Bringing stress into the home is preventable. Allowing it to quietly engage and penetrate the mindset of family members through conversation, social media, television, radio and other forms of information distribution can be stopped. Here was the global and national news last week. The anti-American terror group ISIS beheaded one of our journalists on video. A young black man is buried in Ferguson, Missouri amidst civil unrest. American police departments are now militarized. Tensions rise in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and the Ukraine. Hackers are exploiting our economic security systems. A 6.1 earthquake gives Northern California a “wake up call”... read more

Answer To Thinking Less & Producing More

How do champions think less than the average person? How do they manage their thoughts? How do they right a sinking ship? How do they hold their focus for long periods of time? How do they manage the Zone? If you could see a printout of an average person’s thoughts you would swiftly understand they change subject matter hundreds of times daily and approximately every 10-14 seconds. Like a pinball in a pinball machine their thoughts careen from the past to the future and back again in seconds. They easily bounce from negatives to positives and vice versa in a short period of time. As self-professed, great multi-taskers, average people take great pride in attempting to manage mass quantities of info on a daily basis. Some info is golden and beneficial while some is useless and even detrimental. Approximately 60% of the average person’s waking hours is spent in natural chaos. They think too much. Champions do NOT think like everyone else. They know that less is more. What do champions do when they begin to feel flummoxed, confused or bewildered? What do they do when their mind wanders during an important event? What do they think to prevent worry? What do they do when they realize they’re performing in the Zone? What do they think when they feel the Zone slipping away? The answer for thousands of champions around the world is the highly effective Re-Boot™ tool and it’s the most often utilized of the hundreds of 90-Second Rule™ tools. It has been wielded everyday for 40 years by someone on this planet. It has been deployed on... read more

12 Ways To Eliminate Your Problems

Struggling finances. Sagging sales. Past due bills. Teenagers. Relationship on rocky ground. Home repairs. In-laws. Bed-ridden parents. Poor health. Crazy boss. No job. Bad job. Poor grades. Faulty golf swing. Most people have a problem. Many people have more than one. Problems are kept on the top shelf of the mind so they can be reviewed, pondered and obsessed. They typically revolve around a personal or professional situation, circumstance or condition that is unwelcome, undesirable, annoying or harmful. They linger and constantly bombard our thoughts. If left unchecked, problems eventually produce stressful feelings that need to be dealt with and overcome immediately. They could also be unsolicited questions to be considered, solved and answered as in, “When are you going to get a job?” or “How can we afford these college tuitions?” When you interact with other people on a typical day, you will readily see, hear and feel that the world is full of problems. Problems are cumbersome, unwieldy and burdensome. They drag you down. They literally lower your head and slump your shoulders. If repeated over and over in your mind, problems will turn into worry and eventually spawn anxiety and negative stress. Problems close the mind to possibility. They force you into seeing what’s wrong instead of what might be. Unfortunately, many people have a lifetime of problems. It is the champion, however, that has eliminated the word problem or the “P” word from his or her vocabulary. In fact, no one at Jim Fannin Brands, Inc. or any of my clients are allowed to utter this negative word. The word “challenge” has replaced the “P”... read more

10 “Back To School” Parent Tips

Hundreds of times I’ve been asked, “What do you do for a living?” Even my Mother asked me, “What do I tell my friends you do for a living?” I create success blueprints for individuals and teams while training them in positive routines for preparing, adjusting and evaluating performances. This is exactly what the S.C.O.R.E.® Success System is all about. It is a set of routines for thinking like a champion within a success blueprint that delivers a peak performance mindset where goals are reached and dreams are realized. What does this have to do with you or your children going back to school? Everything. Schools around the globe provide a system of routines for maximizing learning that is specific to each student’s age and ability. Now that these routines have been breached with approximately 90-days of vacation, they need to be reestablished prior to the first day of class. Here are some tips to help your student establish routines for a successful school year. Re-set sleep patterns. Seven to ten days prior to the first day of school start the process of regular sleep. Wean the student off of going to bed late and sleeping late. Yes…you’ll probably cave to the “Mom, it’s my last weekend before school, why can’t I stay up late?” However, sleep patterns are crucial for reaching peak performance during the first period and maintaining it until the bell rings to go home. Start this process sooner than later and help maintain it all year. Good luck on this one. Be bold. Be consistent. Re-set eating habits. Once school begins the eating patterns of... read more

How To Win Your Club Championship

It’s that time year when the Club Championship is on the line. If you’re teeing it up in the next few days or weeks, here is a potpourri of tips to help you attract the Zone and play your best. Forget last year. This is now. Detach from results when the event begins. Stay out of the future (except to select your target and club and shape your shot) and stay out of the past. Dress-rehearse your home course in your mind before the event. See each target on the course that you will reach. During your practice rounds, visualize hitting your target before and after each shot (This takes 5-seconds). See it as if it’s so. It’s too late to overhaul your swing. Work on what you do well. If it’s putting, then putt a lot in practice to toothpick-sized targets. Before and after each practice round or work on the range make at least 25, four-footers in a row. Take the word “NEXT!” into your practices and the Club Championship. After each shot (within five seconds) think the word NEXT! Now send your energy to your next target. Remember: When you’re aware of being in the Zone, you’re no longer in it. Go back to focusing on well-defined targets. Practice breathing 6-8 breathes per minute long before the tournament begins. When confronted with an on-course challenge, immediately lower your breaths per minute. This is Zone territory Keep your chin up during the entire round. No errant shot lowers your head. Fire the coach in you. You are a player and NOT a coach. I coach. You play.... read more

Need To Improve A Relationship

Do you have a relationship that needs rekindled? Has tension filled the air? Would you like the relationship to be better? Has communication evaporated? Is this person your boss, prospective client or customer? Is it your teenage daughter or son? Is it your sport’s coach? Is it an estranged old friend? Does your “significant other” relationship need a jumpstart? How do you improve a relationship? The quickest way is to act like the relationship is awesome. Let go of the victim and or the judge mentality. It’s time to wear the champion’s crown. Going to this level can be lonely at first and it’s easier said than done. Stay the course of positivity. Reach out and slowly get the other party to come with you. Seek small successes for the relationship. Be relentless. Act your part. How do you get someone to like you again? Acting like the other person likes you is the shortcut that can work instantly. It sends out a very positive vibe that they will receive intuitively. I know this seems too simple and easy but it definitely works in many instances! Most people think about what they DON’T want in their lives as opposed to what they DO want. This is true with relationships of all types. If your relationship is not clicking on all cylinders, it’s easy to envision what you don’t want. It’s easy to see the other person as negative, challenging, obstinate, hateful and even angry. One of you in the relationship must flip the script to a positive tone with conversational content, quality thoughts of the other individual, and collective... read more

Dreams Come True

Yes. This is a 54-year old statue of me as an eleven year-old Little Leaguer with dreams of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It was then I became aware of this shrine of 306 Hall of Fame members (68 members are still living). These men are the greatest baseball players ever. I’ve wanted to go to this museum in Cooperstown, New York for over 50 years. Finally, I’ll visit the Hall for the first time as an honored guest of my client Frank Thomas. I’m feeling like a kid again. What is greatness? How does one become a Hall of Fame member? Physical and mental talent is needed. That’s for sure! However, there were thousands of men with exceptional talent that never graced this shrine of excellence. Thousands more with amazing prowess and skill will fail to be honored as an all-time great. Is there a formula for greatness? I’ve learned that greatness is reaching a high daily standard over a long period of time. The differential between one’s best and worst performances must be small. Any long period of inferiority will surely mar one’s chances of being one of the all-time greats. What is your standard of performance? This is a minimum requirement for a satisfactory performance. What would you call a standard day? Most professions and all sports have metrics to measure performance. A salesperson can measure closing ratios and a golfer can measure greens in regulation to showcase how each measures up to the rest of the performers in their field. You know when your performances are poor and inferior. You know when you are... read more

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World

Does your chest tighten and the veins in your forehead and neck visibly pop when things don’t go your way? Do you verbally lash out when someone confronts you or challenges you? Do you lose your temper and get angry? If yes, you’re not alone. If no, you probably know someone like this. In the past 40 years I’ve seen the average amount of daily thoughts rise substantially. We over-think, over-analyze and weigh decisions on too much information. Chaos is becoming commonplace. Yes, the information era is a double-edged sword. It provides information that makes life easier. And it provides easy access for negativity to penetrate our minds. This can and does create mental over-load and like hot lava from a volcano, mental lava of the negative kind can easily spew on friends, family, associates and strangers alike. Sometimes the world seems overrun with anger. Watch the news on any night and the violence, discord and rhetoric is filled with angry people. However, anger is never the first emotion. One becomes embarrassed, unfulfilled, impatient, jealous, irritated, edgy, exasperated, unsatisfied, aggravated or irked long before anger rears its ugly head. What triggers these negative responses to other people, places or things? Like a lava-filled volcano, your mind can easily hit the overload level. To either protect your fragile ego or release your negative energy, spewing negativity verbally and sometimes physically is the response of choice. Or is it? The thoughts that arrive first typically are triggered from you not getting your way. When your expectation does not match reality, images of negativity arrive. Sometimes you lash out to thwart a... read more

The Magic of Meditation

Would you like to rid yourself of harmful stress? Would like to make better decisions? And would you like to improve your concentration? What if you could decrease your sensitivity to pain? What if you could bolster your immune system? What if you could live a life of calmness in our world of chaos and uncertainty? What if you could regularly perform in the Zone? Research now shows that daily meditation can deliver these positive attributes and more. Never before in the history of mankind have we thought so much with future, present and past thoughts bombarding our mind 16 hours a day. Over 20 years ago the average thought was between 12-14 seconds. Today, our attention span is on the decrease. We are distracted at an alarming rate with the cell phone and its myriad of applications that demand our attention. How many times a day do you look at your phone for a text, email or call? Can you go an entire meal without looking? Have you become a prisoner of the digital, outside world? Our attention span is in a downward spiral and the negatives that follow are detrimental to your health and overall performance. Use the power of meditation to break from your stressful day in order to significantly increase your performances and overall wellbeing. Here are four proven 90-Second Rule™ meditations to get you started. As you progress, you can increase the time as you see fit. First, find a quiet place alone and get in a comfortable posture. Countdown Calm™: This 90-Second Rule™ meditation can be used anywhere and everywhere. You can do... read more

Are You Independent

Tomorrow on July 4th Americans celebrate Independence Day. This day represents our freedom from tyranny and oppression from another country. Yes…we have independence as a nation, but are you independent in your life? Do you have financial independence? Are you free from the stranglehold of debt? Are you dependent on others? Do you need approval and validation before making a life decision? Do you second-guess yourself or are you decisive? Are you independent in choosing your career or vocation? Or are you working in a job just to pay the bills while your passion wanes with every workday that passes? What do you need to live an independent life? It’s something you already possess. And you possess this intangible in a country where you can wield its amazing power. You have Free Will. It is your single most prized possession. Free Will can lead you through hardship and anguish. It is the driving force for reaching your goals and dreams. With Free Will you can choose… Riches over poverty. Debt or being debt-free. Peace over hatred and anger. Hope over worry and despair. Any mood and feeling in an instant. Your boss or choose to be a boss. Re-invention of your life or choose to remain the same. Negatives or positives. Your physique and body weight or choose complacency and do nothing. How your family interacts with each other. Smiles or frowns. Your significant other or settle for what others would choose for you. The town and climate where you live. Your vocation and career in what interests you and gives you passion. Your personalized fashion and hairstyle or... read more

Why the Zone

The Zone phenomenon resides in all of us. This mind-body fusion of peak performance is NOT just for the superstar athlete. Everyone regardless of your age, experience or talent can attract this “purposeful calm” feeling where everything seems possible. Because your best always surfaces when in the Zone, it’s the only place to be. What happens to your mind and body? EYES:  Your eyes create the illusion that everything is in slow motion. In a crisis, this is so you can look for an avenue of escape or rescue and or fend off an adversary or threatening challenge. HEART:  Your heart rate quickens. DIGESTION:  Your digestive system shuts down. BLOOD:  Blood is diverted from your stomach to your brain for clarity and the large muscles for inordinate strength, speed, quickness, balance and agility. IMMUNE SYSTEM:  Your immune system goes on full alert. SELF-HEALING:  The body is fully prepared for instant super-healing. MIND:  Your conscious mind shuts down regarding the future and the past and locks-in on the task at hand. Intuition takes over as it scours the environment for immediate challenges as it plans your next move. Creativity is maximized. Memory for the task at hand is fully activated. JAW:  Your jaw unclenches so the body can relax and be subordinate to the subconscious mind. LUNGS:  Breathing slows to approximately 6-8 breaths per minute while your inhale and exhale volumes increase providing ready oxygen to maximize short bursts of physical movement as well as enhanced endurance. SKIN:  Skin sensitivity is heightened. MUSCLES:  Muscles become fully activated for more strength, speed, and quickness. In addition, they are synchronized for efficiency,... read more

The 90-Second Rule™

For 40 years the S.C.O.R.E.® Success System of simplifying, balancing and excelling in life, business and sports has garnered hundreds of concrete, proven tools that take only 90-seconds to swiftly change a negative to a positive. The following 90-Second Rule™ application is being used every day by tens of thousands of families around the world and it is definitely one of my all-time favorites. If you’ve been away from people you care about (such as family and close friends) for at least two hours, the first 90-seconds that you see them has more impact on the relationship than spending hours and hours with them later. How many times have you come home from a hard, long day at work and you dismiss the ones you love upon arrival? “I’m too tired.” “Not now, I want to rest first.” How about when nothing is said? How many times have you been greeted at the door and you were not aware of the mood or disposition of the greeter? How many times have you walked in talking on your cell phone? How many times have you come home and paid all of your attention to the kids and not your significant other? How many times have you come home and immediately started talking about your day? Too many times is the answer most people give! The next time you go home after an absence of two or more hours, prepare to give your family and /or friends your undivided attention for the first 90-seconds. That’s all it takes to say with your attentive words and actions, “I love you…I missed you…I... read more

Miss You Dad

He was born in poverty. He ran four miles round-trip to school. Money was scarce. His clothes were hand-me-downs. However, they were always pressed and clean. At 5’9” tall he was a giant among his peers. He was born in poverty. He ran four miles round-trip to school. Money was scarce. His clothes were hand-me-downs. However, they were always pressed and clean. At 5’9” tall he was a giant among his peers. He was always confident and optimistic. Good looks were his gift. He wore it well. Determination was his sidekick as he grew into the man he would become. Later in his life he became my father. I’ve seen where James Edward Fannin was born and raised. I cried at the thought of his existence in those conditions. However, my dad never looked back on his past as a handicap. He was my hero. Although I grew to be four inches taller than him, I always looked up to him. I never heard him utter a negative word. He never gossiped. He never spread rumors. I never knew him to tell a lie. These things I learned from my father. Thanks Dad. My father worked multiple jobs to put my mom through college. He never complained. He even helped her make an A in trigonometry and this was without a high school education. How he figured it out, I’ll never know. We sat in the front row as my mom crossed the stage to receive her Masters degree in nursing. He was so proud. He was tireless in putting my mom through school. In fact, he was tireless... read more

7 Ways to Sleep Your Way to Success

No! One of the ways to sleep your way to success is NOT with another person. These tips are ONLY about you. Sorry. No casting couch here! It’s 10:30 pm in a strange city and he just finished work. It was a tough night on the job. The results were not exemplary. Now he is famished. As he forages for food in late night bars, restaurants and diners, his mind keeps coming back to his job. 42,268 people watched him fail. Finally, he arrives at his hotel room and going to sleep becomes a major challenge. He tries drifting off to sleep but he is mentally bombarded by his poor performance. This scenario plays out a few times a week. Travel days are horrendous with some flights arriving at 3:00AM or later. This further fatigues his mind, even though he’s one of the fittest humans on the planet. This is the sleep challenged life of a Major League Baseball player. The results are not pretty.Eventually concentration will fluctuate. With low concentration, frustration and impatience soon arrive. Doubt enters through the cracks of his mind. These feelings easily begin to sabotage his confidence and erode his overall optimism. Mental fatigue arrives without warning and it’s tough to detect. Finally, he blames his poor performances on everything but sleep. In fact, he doesn’t even feel tired. A great night’s sleep is one of the biggest challenges of the world’s population. Are you struggling to get a great night’s sleep? Do you have restless nights? Do you wake up groggy and tired? Do you easily lose your focus during the day? If... read more