http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog.html2016-08-31T01:47:37.791ZCareer Ignition BlogAdobe Experience ManagerStranger Than Fictionnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>As a novelist, TV and movie producer, as well as a platform speaker, I am always looking for great stories that will inform, educate, and inspire.&nbsp; As the old adage states, sometimes “Truth is stranger than fiction.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Each of my 25 books, the various screenplays I have written resulting in four movies, and hundreds of these weekly columns including this one, have been dictated to a talented colleague named Dorothy Thompson.&nbsp; Dorothy, in addition to being the best editor and grammarian in the business, has the patience and temperament to work with me when I’m attempting to be creative.&nbsp;</p> <p>Several years ago, Dorothy got the alarming phone call informing her that her elderly mother’s health was failing.&nbsp; Dorothy immediately made the trip to another state to savor the last few days of her mother’s life.&nbsp; In a conversation between Dorothy and her mother during that difficult but poignant time, Dorothy’s mother—whose name was Joye—told Dorothy of a box on the top shelf of a closet in her home.&nbsp;</p> <p>After Joye passed away, Dorothy and her sister took the time to fully examine the contents of that box.&nbsp; What was revealed was the fact that, throughout her life, Joye had been a prolific and talented poet.&nbsp; Dorothy shared some of her mother’s poetry with me, and as a writer myself, I was both amazed and envious of the quality and breadth of Joye’s life’s work.</p> <p>After I reviewed the entire collection, I asked Dorothy and her family’s permission to tell her mother’s story and share her incredible poetry with the world.&nbsp; The result will be released in a unique and impactful book this week.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.DiscoveringJoye.com" target="_blank">www.DiscoveringJoye.com</a>.&nbsp; You can get a free sample of Joye’s work and learn more about this amazing story by visiting the web site.&nbsp;</p> <p>Beyond the book, my hope is to turn Joye’s life and her work into a movie.&nbsp; It’s one of those stories that, if I had simply made it up and put it in a novel or a screenplay, my publishers and the movie studios would have laughed aloud as they promptly deposited it in the trash.&nbsp;</p> <p>To most people who knew Joye Kanelakos when she was alive, she was a good and decent person, but they were unaware of the hidden treasures inside.&nbsp; As you meet Joye through the new book and experience her transformational work, my hope is that you will plumb the depths of your own spirit and explore the treasures inside of you.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, remember Joye and the fact that there is more to everyone than meets the eye, including you.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/stranger-than-fictio.html2013-09-20T18:00:00.000Z2013-09-23T21:40:39.575ZRecreation and Amusementnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>This past weekend, over 100 thousand people across the country went to see the latest movie based on one of my books.&nbsp; <a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TqdaspIMMhjT2ocjc78gXJjSYaNeI1reTKeek0IO1PVil9rPEVmUDB65FBpkZCrOgin2H0ROpqyMkTd7Mr74vPANBjbKijeUUCY26uzsBIa3bhxku_pbMfFclPzckW7s">www.TheUltimateLifeMovie.com</a>.&nbsp; I believe these people understand the difference between recreation and amusement.&nbsp;</p> <p>All of us work hard throughout the week and have many personal and professional commitments that often keep us running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off.&nbsp; There are times when we simply need to unplug, recharge, invigorate, and renew.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are many products and services designed to attract our leisure-time dollars.&nbsp; I believe that often the most productive thing we can do for our professional pursuits is to step away from them to gain a new perspective and restore our energy; however, there are productive and nonproductive ways to relax and take time off.&nbsp;</p> <p>The term &quot;recreation&quot; means to literally re-create or rebuild, renew, restore, and regenerate.&nbsp; The term &quot;amusement&quot; is derived from a word that means to not think or to avoid thinking.&nbsp; <br> </p> <p>When I consider amusement, thoughts of video games, comic books, and other escapist activities come to mind.&nbsp; While there is definitely nothing wrong with a certain amount of these activities, the statistics regarding hours of TV viewing and video game participation, particularly among young people, are alarming. <br> </p> <p>As a blind person myself, having written over 25 books and approaching 800 of these columns, I'm embarrassed to admit that when I could read with my eyes as you are reading these words in a newspaper, magazine, or online publication, I don't believe I ever read a whole book cover-to-cover.&nbsp; After losing my sight more than 20 years ago, I discovered the National Library for the Blind and high-speed audiobook listening.&nbsp; This enables me to read an entire book virtually every day which I have done for over two decades.&nbsp;</p> <p>Becoming a reader is what enabled me to become a writer.&nbsp; It also helped me to understand the difference between amusement and recreation.&nbsp; There are a few titles I read that have no redeeming value other than the fact that they allow me to escape and while away a few hours beyond my daily routine and pressure.&nbsp; There is certainly nothing wrong with this within a proper perspective, but I learned there are countless great books that are recreational.&nbsp; They allow the same benefits of escape with historical lessons or life principles included as an added bonus.&nbsp;</p> <p>One of my early movie partners was fond of saying, <i>&quot;If you can tell a great story, you earn the right to share your message.&quot;&nbsp;</i> I am hopeful that The Ultimate Life, along with all my other books and movies, tells a great story, but also, delivers a powerful message that will help people find and fulfill their own dreams and destiny; and I hope you and your family will experience The Ultimate Life movie in a theatre near you.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, set aside time for recreation, and begin to enjoy the ultimate life.</p> <p>Today's the day! <i>&nbsp; </i></p> <p><i> Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor" target="_blank">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/recreation-and-amuse.html2013-09-13T21:02:00.000Z2013-09-23T21:03:02.037ZThe Life of Gratitudenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>The process of creating a golden list, which is simply counting the things we are thankful for, is a prominent story line in the new movie based on my novel <i>The Ultimate Life</i>.&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Life </i>movie is the sequel to the major motion picture <i>The Ultimate Gift</i>.&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Life </i>will be in a theatre near you beginning September 6.</p> <p>An attitude of gratitude is essential to any lasting success.&nbsp; We must have the ability to look forward toward great triumphs, but, at the same time, look backward toward all of the people and events that have made success possible.</p> <p>This week, I was back on the campus of the university where I graduated.&nbsp; I remembered the impact of a special man I met during my college years.&nbsp; He passed away a decade ago, but his influence remains.&nbsp; In addition to being an influential college professor who gave me a passion for writing, Dr. Harold Paul was a mentor of mine for 25 years.&nbsp; He had the unique ability to be both an encourager and a challenger at the same time.&nbsp; Every time in my life I reached a milestone, he would celebrate with me, but he would also challenge me to even greater heights.&nbsp; He gave me an expectation of even greater possibilities in the future.&nbsp;</p> <p>I am grateful for so many things in my life, and the memory of Dr. Harold Paul has prompted me to stay in that attitude of gratitude for the things and people that have made so much possible for me.</p> <p>Think of the things and people who have made the good things in your life possible.&nbsp; Take some time to reflect on them and, where appropriate, to express your gratitude.&nbsp; No one among us stands alone.&nbsp; The success you enjoy today and the vision that you have for tomorrow only exists because you have been privileged to stand on the shoulders of giants.&nbsp;</p> <p>Take this opportunity to express your gratitude and to dedicate yourself to being an impactful person in other people’s lives as a tribute to those who have given so much to you.&nbsp;</p> <p>I hope you will learn to give and receive gratitude as an integral part of success, and I hope you will invest some time and energy today into reflecting on and expressing your gratitude.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-gratitud.html2013-09-06T19:00:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:35:33.330ZThe Life of Lovenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p><i>The Ultimate Life </i>&nbsp;movie, based on my novel of the same name, is the sequel to <i>The Ultimate Gift </i>film and will be in a theatre near you September 6.&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Gift </i>book and movie, and now <i>The Ultimate Life</i> sequel, deal with a number of powerful gifts including the gift of love.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the beginning of recorded history, human beings have struggled with the basic question, “Why are we here?”&nbsp; I’m not sure there is any perfect and final answer to this ongoing search for purpose and meaning.&nbsp;</p> <p>The very best answer that I have heard to the question, “Why are we here?” comes from a treasured friend of mine who says we are here to learn how to love.&nbsp; At first glance, this might seem to be an over-simplistic explanation, but when you really focus on it, you will understand that learning how to love encompasses every area of our daily lives.</p> <p>Love is probably one of the most misused and overused words in our vocabulary.&nbsp; Many languages have multiple words to describe the various emotions that we lump into one four-letter word—love.&nbsp; During the course of a day, you will hear people say:&nbsp; I love my children; I love hotdogs; and I love my new big screen TV.&nbsp; While all of these are legitimate emotions, they are certainly not the same; therefore, it is understandable why there is some confusion when we try to act out of love in our daily lives.</p> <p>Think of people in your past who have most often demonstrated the ability to act out of love.&nbsp; It may be a grandparent, a special teacher, or a dear friend.&nbsp; It is easy for us to have warm, loving thoughts toward these people.&nbsp; The real challenge in learning to love is to react this same way in situations where we don’t feel loving and with people who are far less lovable.&nbsp;</p> <p>When people attack us out of ignorance, fear, or hostility, our initial reaction might be to respond in kind.&nbsp; Even if justified, our non-loving response will continue the destructive cycle; however, if we can learn how to love and always respond that way in every situation, we can create a new environment around ourselves, and we will find that other people will begin to respond to it in a spirit of love.</p> <p>I hope you will begin sharing the gift of love along with all of the gifts as you make today a special day.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-love.html2013-08-29T19:00:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:27:54.349ZThe Life of Dreamsnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Dreams are the stuff that make up our lives.&nbsp; We are either in the fortunate group of people who are living out our dreams, or we are those restless, wandering individuals who are living the proverbial lives of quiet desperation.&nbsp;</p> <p>I am not talking about daydreams or fantasies.&nbsp; We all have those fleeting glimpses of ourselves playing center field for the New York Yankees or the St. Louis Cardinals, as the case may be, in the final game of the World Series.&nbsp; I am, instead, talking about dreams as a future visualization of how our lives could be or should be.&nbsp;</p> <p>As young people, we all had those things we wanted to be or do or have.&nbsp; They were the dreams of our youth—the visualizations of our destiny.&nbsp; By the time we are an adult, functioning member of society, most of us have diminished our dreams or forgotten about them entirely.</p> <p>Young people formulate their dreams as the choices among all the possibilities in the world.&nbsp; As we get older, we narrow our dreaming capacity to those things that we currently have the ability or the wherewithal to achieve.&nbsp; It is important to realize that the biggest dreams we ever had in our lives are still alive and well and within the realm of possibility.&nbsp;</p> <p>I always take the week between Christmas and the New Year to reconnect with my dreams and goals.&nbsp; Often, throughout the year, it is hard to get away from the day-to-day rush and really think about the things that are important.&nbsp; We are so busy making a living we forget to create a life.&nbsp; The life we’re living right now is not a practice game.&nbsp; This is the Super Bowl and the World Series and the Olympics all rolled up into one.&nbsp; If you do not feel that kind of power and passion each day of your life, this would be a good time to dust off those old dreams and find your unique and fulfilling place in this world.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Gift of Dreams is just one of the twelve life gifts in the new movie based on my novel <i>The Ultimate Life.&nbsp; The Ultimate Life </i>movie will be in a theatre near you beginning September 6.&nbsp; I hope you will begin to explore each of the gifts and embrace your life as the ultimate gift.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-dreams.html2013-08-22T19:00:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:24:22.111ZThe Life of Givingnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Recent world events have forever changed the way we live, the way we feel, and the way we think.&nbsp; We have seen the very worst of humanity.&nbsp; Evil deeds have altered each of us, but not all of the changes have been bad ones.</p> <p>There has been an emerging culture of giving that has brought renewed hope to anyone who is a consistent observer of the human condition.&nbsp; People have given money in unprecedented amounts.&nbsp; They have given their time, effort, and energy as volunteers and, when nothing else would do, they have given their own blood to assist victims of terrorist acts and natural disasters that, in most cases, were unknown to them.&nbsp;</p> <p>At its core, giving affects the receiver by virtue of the gift itself; but giving affects the giver in a much deeper and more lasting way.&nbsp; In the aftermath of an act of giving, the receiver has a new gift and the knowledge that someone cares deeply; but the giver has a new identity.&nbsp; He or she now has feelings of abundance, benevolence, and a sense of being able to make a difference—or at least communicate caring feelings.&nbsp;</p> <p>Often, the greatest gifts are ones that cost very little or nothing at all.&nbsp; Just because something did not carry a sizeable price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be treasured forever by the person who receives it.&nbsp;</p> <p>You have heard it said that “It’s the thought that counts.”&nbsp; This phrase is usually uttered after a gift has been given that may or may not be appropriate.&nbsp; In reality, whether it is the best gift ever or a useless trinket, it is, indeed “The thought that counts.”&nbsp;</p> <p>A gift communicates that I thought about you, I care about you, and I wanted to share something with you.&nbsp; As you go through your day, find special and unique ways to give to those around you.&nbsp; It will show them how you feel, but more importantly, it will change the way you feel about yourself.&nbsp; The Gift of Giving is just one of the twelve gifts being featured in the new movie based on my novel <i>The Ultimate Life.&nbsp; The Ultimate Life </i>movie will be in a theatre near you on September 6.&nbsp; I hope you will explore the Gift of Giving and each of the gifts that today has to offer. &nbsp;When it’s all said and done, the best gift any of us have is the gift of this day and how we share it.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-giving.html2013-08-15T19:30:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:21:35.280ZThe Life of Learningnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>The new movie based on my novel <i>The Ultimate Life </i>will be in a theatre near you September 6.&nbsp; Each time I write a book or even one of these weekly columns, I am struck by the irony of the situation.&nbsp; As a blind person, myself, I realize that this column you are reading has been written by someone who can’t read it—or at least not in the way you do.</p> <p>When I could read with my eyes—just as you are doing at this moment—I don’t know that I ever read an entire book cover to cover.&nbsp; This is not something of which I am particularly proud; however, it is the truth.&nbsp; I had not yet come to understand The Gift of Learning.&nbsp; Now, as a totally blind person I read a book every day, thanks to the National Library for the Blind which provides audiobooks and a high-speed player.&nbsp; Having read 365 books a year for the last 20-plus years, I have experienced a myriad of changes in my life and in my world.&nbsp;</p> <p>The wisdom of the ages, the answer to any questions, the ability to be informed, entertained, and educated, is as close as your nearest bookstore or library.&nbsp; The greatest men and women of all times are available via books to share with you their greatest secrets.&nbsp;</p> <p>Start a list of all the books you want to read.&nbsp; Keep updating the list constantly.&nbsp; When someone tells you about something they have read or you hear about a new book in the media, make a note of it.&nbsp; Your lifelong reading list will become a constant companion.&nbsp; You will always be adding new titles and marking off ones you have completed.&nbsp;</p> <p>When I began to read consistently, I started to grow in every way.&nbsp; Prior to becoming a reader, the idea of authoring multiple books or even writing this weekly column would have seemed absurd.&nbsp; You will never know the hidden strength inside of you or the hidden treasures within books until you make an effort to become a reader.</p> <p>In the beginning, like any new habit, it will seem awkward and difficult.&nbsp; After several weeks or months, you will find yourself quite anxious to get back to your reading each day.&nbsp; I hope you will enjoy the new movie <i>The Ultimate Life, The Ultimate Life </i>novel, and many other titles throughout the rest of your life.&nbsp; Every day is an opportunity to grow and learn.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-learning.html2013-08-08T13:30:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:19:01.207ZThe Life of a Daynoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>You may recall the old song lyric, “What a difference a day makes.”&nbsp; Events on September 11 and other infamous days remind us all that one day can change our lives and our world forever.&nbsp; While there was nothing good about the tragedy that happened on September 11, we have all seen the goodness of humanity emerge in the aftermath of such evil deeds.&nbsp;</p> <p>A day can transform everything that comes after it.&nbsp; If you will think of your past and the days that have been pivotal to bring you to where you are now, you might think of your wedding day, your graduation day, the day you started a new career, etc.&nbsp; Some of these pivotal days simply happen, and others we plan and work on for many years.&nbsp; In our society, we have come to call a “normal day” one in which nothing pivotal happens; however, it’s important to note that if you are on the right course, pursuing the right destiny, these “normal days” are important.&nbsp;</p> <p>Like me, you can probably recall an exciting basketball game coming down to the wire.&nbsp; In the last few minutes, the two teams battle back and forth and, in the final second, a shot goes in the basket to win the game.&nbsp; That shot will come to be known as “the winning shot.”&nbsp; In reality, any basket scored from the opening tip-off ’til the final buzzer would have won the game.&nbsp; We simply choose to focus on the final basket.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are days when we cross the finish line, reach the goal, or pass the milestone.&nbsp; These are special days, and we should enjoy them.&nbsp; But don’t ever forget the ancient Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”&nbsp; Every step along the way is to be experienced, enjoyed, and savored.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Gift of a Day is just one of the special gifts in the new movie <i>The Ultimate Life </i>based on my novel of the same name.&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Life </i>movie opens in theatres everywhere September 6.&nbsp; I hope you will take that journey with me. <br> </p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-a-day.html2013-08-01T19:00:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:16:40.768ZThe Life of Problemsnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>The newest movie based on one of my novels is entitled <i>The Ultimate Life.&nbsp; </i>It will be in theatres September 6.&nbsp; It is a story that deals with discovering the 12 gifts that make our lives complete and fulfilled.&nbsp; Moviegoers will instantly understand the gift of family, the gift of friends, the gift of money, etc.&nbsp; The one gift that baffles most people at first glance is the gift of problems.&nbsp;</p> <p>In light of current national and world events, it is important that we realize that in every tragedy and in every problem, there is a potential gift and a seed of greater good.&nbsp; This is what I call the adversity advantage.&nbsp;</p> <p>While recent events are tragic and have caused great pain and suffering, there are potential benefits that can come from the devastation.&nbsp; Who among us has not felt closer to friends and family?&nbsp; Who among us has not felt more patriotic and a heightened sense of pride in our country?&nbsp; Who among us has not come to value the job done by police, fire, and emergency workers?&nbsp;</p> <p>The damage is done.&nbsp; There is nothing any of us can do to reverse the death and destruction.&nbsp; What we can do is commit ourselves to moving forward with a new sense of appreciation for the life we live and the freedoms we have.&nbsp;</p> <p>Those who tried through senseless acts to destroy our spirit and our freedom at the Boston Marathon and the site of other terrorist acts have, instead, rekindled an even deeper appreciation for these gifts among all freedom-seeking and peace-loving people around the world.&nbsp;</p> <p>When we think about the adversity advantage, it is important to remember that the adversity carries no automatic benefit with it, but our reaction to the adversity can make all the difference.&nbsp; For every person you can show me defeated by circumstances, I will show you another individual facing the same circumstances who has turned the adversity into an advantage and moves forward as a better, stronger person with a heightened sense of destiny for their life.</p> <p>Today as you continue to grieve and search for a sense of meaning, begin to look for the adversity advantage in the current circumstances.&nbsp; The only lasting tribute to those who have lost their lives is for those of us remaining to value and maximize the life we have even more.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-problems.html2013-07-25T21:13:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:14:18.364ZThe Life of Friendsnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Some day when you look back on what I hope is a successful and satisfying life, you will count your wealth not so much in dollars but instead in the quality, caliber, and number of your friends.</p> <p>The word “friend” is thrown about far too loosely in our society.&nbsp; We have a tendency to think of those people with whom we have shared good times as our friends.&nbsp; While many of these people are, indeed, friends in every sense of the word, the best way to judge a friendship is in times of difficulty.&nbsp; Think of those people you would call in the middle of the night if you were facing a dilemma.&nbsp; There are those very special friends that you know you could call at three in the morning with a problem, and they would be there with whatever you need, no questions asked.&nbsp; These are your friends.</p> <p>It is simple to find people who will gather around you for a party or when times are good, but friendship should be measured by dependability in times of difficulty.&nbsp; The recent terrorist activities have demonstrated this to the whole world.&nbsp; Groups and nations with whom we were not particularly close during ordinary times have rallied around us in our time of need.&nbsp;</p> <p>I remember as a small child being taught a valuable lesson about being careful around strangers.&nbsp; I remember being told, “If you’re ever lost or need help, look for someone in uniform like a policeman or fireman.”&nbsp; During the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon, this lesson has proven to be good as gold.&nbsp; Those un-sung heroes that we too often take for granted have been there and continue to be there when we need them.&nbsp;</p> <p>Friends are not necessarily those with whom we can agree or those who will be around us during the best of times.&nbsp; Friends are, instead, those who we respect, and who respect us in times of disagreement while knowing all along that they will stand beside us in our darkest hour.&nbsp; Let us all make it a point today to recognize our true friends and treasure them as the gifts they are for a lifetime.</p> <p>The life of friends is but one of the 12 gifts in the new movie based on my novel <i>The Ultimate Life</i>.&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Life </i>movie will be opening in theatres everywhere September 6.&nbsp; I hope you will share the movie with some real friends.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-friends.html2013-07-18T21:09:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:12:07.327ZThe Life of Familynoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>The gift of family is just one of the aspects of the new movie based on my book <i>The Ultimate Life</i>.&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Life </i>movie will open in theatres across the country September 6.&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the past several years, I have written <i>Winners’ Wisdom </i>columns that now number in the hundreds.&nbsp; Never have I struggled to present something to you that I felt was relevant and meaningful, in light of current events.</p> <p>In the aftermath of the killer tornadoes in my home state of Oklahoma, we have all had and continue to have an opportunity to re-examine our priorities.&nbsp; Family immediately moves to the top of everyone’s list.&nbsp; Who could ever forget those tragic scenes of men, women, and children wandering through the streets of Oklahoma City looking for missing family members.&nbsp; People who have lost their families have lost everything that matters.&nbsp; Those who were fortunate enough to have family members rescued have everything of value, no matter what else they may have lost.&nbsp;</p> <p>Let us all take this tragedy as an ongoing reminder of the treasure that we each have in that special group of people we call our family.&nbsp;</p> <p>Another family phenomenon that has presented itself through this crisis is the reordering of family definitions.&nbsp; There are people suffering in Oklahoma whom we do not know and will probably never know.&nbsp; But, in a very special and important way, they have become our family.&nbsp; Many of us have given money, time, and even blood to these new extended family members.&nbsp; Americans have also discovered that we are a part of a global family.&nbsp; Countries with whom we differ greatly under ordinary circumstances have unconditionally come to our aid and given us pledges of support.&nbsp;</p> <p>The one advantage that those of us who try to hold to the good things of humanity have over those who hold to evil is the fact that we have an unbelievably strong and extended worldwide family of those who seek and hold to everything we believe to be good.&nbsp; The family of good around the world keeps on growing.&nbsp; Let us all continue our worldwide family reunion.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-family.html2013-07-11T21:07:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:11:45.340ZThe Life of Worknoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Most of us take a day out of our busy schedules each year to observe Labor Day.&nbsp; For the majority of people across the country, Labor Day represents the last long weekend of summer.&nbsp; It’s a time to take one more trip to the beach, the lake, or our favorite camping spot.&nbsp; I thought this would be a good opportunity for us to take a quick look at this thing we call “work.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Other than our name, there is nothing that defines us more in our society than our work.&nbsp; When we meet a stranger, after the obligatory exchange of names, the most comfortable question and topic of conversation is work.&nbsp; “What do you do?”&nbsp; Not only do others define us by our work, we, indeed, define ourselves.&nbsp;</p> <p>The late, great George Burns once said, “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”&nbsp; The reason Mr. Burns lived and worked the better part of a full century was because it was obvious he loved his work.&nbsp; When you think about our hectic pace and packed schedules, it is quite likely that you spend much more time with the people on your job than you spend with your family.&nbsp; If we are going to define ourselves by our work, and have those around us identify us by our profession, and spend more time working than we do with the people we love, wouldn’t it seem to be critical that we choose the right career path?</p> <p>If you do not find power, passion, and fulfillment in your daily work, it is time for you to start making plans for a change.&nbsp; Most of us, if we are truly honest, selected our career based on money considerations.&nbsp; This is a huge mistake.&nbsp; While I recognize the imperative nature of paying the bills, the top performers in every field of endeavor are very well compensated.</p> <p>Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to create a life.&nbsp; The life of work is just one of the 12 gifts featured in the new movie based on my novel <i>The Ultimate Life.</i>&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Life</i> will be opening in theatres everywhere September 6.&nbsp; I hope you will re-examine your career in light of the life of work, and I hope you will re-examine your priorities in light of <i>The Ultimate Life </i>movie<i>.</i></p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at</i><i> </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-life-of-work.html2013-07-04T21:05:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:06:03.054ZThe Gift of Legacynoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>For over 15 years, I have written these weekly columns that today are read by countless people around the world via hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and online publications.&nbsp; <i>Winners’ Wisdom</i> touches people from every corner of the globe, but it didn’t start out that way.</p> <p>In the mid-90s, I wrote my first book entitled <i>You Don’t Have To Be Blind To See.</i>&nbsp; I would have never written that book without the encouragement of two of my mentors in the speaking industry, Dr. Robert Schuller and Dr. Denis Waitley.&nbsp; After the book came out, the editor of a local business journal named Ralph Schaefer contacted me and asked if I could write a column for the coming week’s edition.&nbsp; Apparently that first column was well-received because Ralph asked me to keep writing it each week.&nbsp;</p> <p>Slowly but surely, more and more publications got onboard.&nbsp; Today these columns have been compiled in book form and have been published in many languages reaching people from diverse cultures around the world.&nbsp; In a sense, <i>Winners’ Wisdom</i> has become my legacy, but it is also the legacy of Dr. Schuler, Dr. Waitley, and Ralph Schaefer as it wouldn’t exist without them.&nbsp;</p> <p>This next week, my 20th book will be released entitled <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Legacy-A-Novel/dp/1434705773" target="_blank">The Gift of a Legacy</a>.&nbsp; </i>For fans of <i>The Ultimate Gift </i>book and movie as well as <i>The Ultimate Life </i>novel and soon-to-be-released sequel film, they will recognize the characters and the message of this ongoing saga.&nbsp;</p> <p><i>The Ultimate Gift </i>and newest offering in the series <i>The Gift of a Legacy</i> are not just my own legacy but the legacies of the many mentors and colleagues who have endorsed, promoted, and encouraged me through the process including Zig Ziglar, Paul Harvey, Dr. Stephen Covey, Coach John Wooden, and many others.&nbsp;</p> <p>Other people’s legacies touch us and become a part of our lives.&nbsp; Our legacy is that present and future impact that we create in the world one day at a time.&nbsp; Indeed, no person is an island.&nbsp; We all stand on the shoulders of giants who have gone before, and we have a responsibility to point the way and smooth the path for those who are following behind us.</p> <p>When I write a book or dictate these words for this column, I am mindful of the fact that these thoughts, ideas, and concepts will live beyond my lifetime.&nbsp; This concept seems obvious when we are considering a book, a movie, or a column; but in reality, every word, every action, and every deed becomes a part of our legacy.&nbsp;</p> <p>Think of those people who, in significant or insignificant ways, were in the right place at the right time to make a difference in your life.&nbsp; Maybe it was a coach, a teacher, a neighbor, or even a stranger who offered an encouraging word, pat on the back, or just a smile when it made all the difference for you then and now.&nbsp;</p> <p>Those people who have contributed to your life in the form of their own legacy can never be repaid.&nbsp; We can simply, as a tribute to those who have gone before us, leave our own legacy to those who will follow in decades and generations to come.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, remember that the gift of a legacy is something you both give and receive.</p> <p>Today’s the day!&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/09/the-gift-of-legacy.html2013-06-27T20:59:00.000Z2013-09-06T21:02:38.200ZThe Life of Moneynoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Money is probably the most misunderstood commodity in our society.&nbsp; People today understand the price of everything and the value of nothing. There have been more conflicts, divorces, and disputes over money than anything else.&nbsp;</p> <p>In order to begin to have healthy attitudes toward money, we must understand that it is nothing more or less than a tool or a vehicle.&nbsp; Money can get us what we want or take us where we want to go.&nbsp; Unless there is something you want or somewhere you wish to go, money has no value.</p> <p>How would your life be different if money were no object?&nbsp; This is a difficult question to consider, because we seldom make any decisions that are not based upon money.&nbsp; This is a poor way to look at the world.&nbsp; Decide what is good or right or meaningful, and then worry about the money.&nbsp;</p> <p>You may be interested to know there has never been a money shortage.&nbsp; There is, however, from time to time a creativity, service, or value shortage.&nbsp; Money is nothing more or less than a result of creating value in the lives of other people.&nbsp; If you will stop worrying about money and start worrying about creating value in the lives of those around you, you will have more money than you need.&nbsp; If you simply worry about money, you will never have enough.&nbsp; You will be like the foolish person standing in front of the stove saying, “Give me heat, and then I will give you wood.”</p> <p>The life of money is just one of the twelve gifts featured in the new movie based on my novel <i>The Ultimate Life</i>.&nbsp; <i>The Ultimate Life</i> and the life of money teach us that everything we need to live out our biggest dreams and our ultimate destiny has already been provided for us.&nbsp; I hope you will begin to utilize the life of money and make money your servant instead of being a slave to it.&nbsp; I hope you will go see <i>The Ultimate Life</i> movie in a theatre near you September 6 and will begin to see your life unfold as the fulfillment of your biggest dreams and your ultimate destiny.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at</i><i> </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/06/the-life-of-money.html2013-06-20T14:06:00.000Z2013-06-20T14:07:40.326ZGetting the Most From What You Havenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>The great classical violinist Itzhak Perlman was playing the first few notes at a major concert when one of his violin strings broke.&nbsp; Perlman simply played the rest of that entire concert with three strings.&nbsp; Musicians and critics alike agreed that it was one of the finest performances ever given.</p> <p>After the concert, Itzhak Perlman said, “Sometimes an artist must determine how much music he can get out of what he has left.”&nbsp;</p> <p>We can never be responsible for a competitive outcome.&nbsp; We can only be responsible for our own effort and attitude.&nbsp;</p> <p>My mentor and friend the late, great Coach John Wooden was fond of saying, “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”&nbsp; I only knew Coach Wooden during the last few years of his life.&nbsp; He passed away just short of his 100<sup>th</sup> birthday.&nbsp; In our many lengthy conversations, Coach Wooden rarely discussed basketball, preferring to talk about literature, poetry, philosophy, and life in general.&nbsp; When he did discuss basketball, he often talked about games his team had lost while playing their best.&nbsp;</p> <p>No coach has ever won as many championships as John Wooden.&nbsp; He had several undefeated teams but realized that you can do your best and lose, and at the same time, you might play poorly and win.&nbsp; The only person with whom we need to compete is ourselves.&nbsp; We need to be better tomorrow than we are today, and get the most out of the talents and abilities we have been given.&nbsp;</p> <p>Any competition can only have one winner, but it can have many champions.&nbsp; Nothing provides us with more satisfaction than simply knowing we did our best, while few things are more frustrating than realizing we didn’t give something our best effort.&nbsp; If an activity is not important enough to warrant your best effort, you should question whether it is something you need to be doing at all.&nbsp;</p> <p>Performing at your best is a habit.&nbsp; It is dangerous, therefore, to engage in pursuits that do not require you to be at your best as it may lead to your not giving your maximum effort when it really matters.&nbsp; Only you will ever know when you did your best and when you didn’t.&nbsp; You are competing against your own potential, and when you do your best, you are always a winner regardless of the outcome.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, focus your effort and attitude toward being the best you can be regardless of what anyone else does.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/06/getting-the-most-fro.html2013-06-13T15:11:00.000Z2013-06-13T15:12:51.211ZCriticizing the Criticnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>In the entire history of human endeavor, I am not aware of any monument being dedicated to a critic.&nbsp; As an author and movie producer myself, I recognize that literary and theatre critics have a place; however, those individuals who dedicate their time, effort, and energy to telling everyone else what is wrong with the best efforts of others while producing nothing themselves bring little or nothing to the table of society.&nbsp;</p> <p>I recently read about a gentleman who was criticizing some aspect of Billy Graham’s work in the most vicious detail imaginable.&nbsp; While no one is perfect, if I were going to criticize someone’s work, it probably would not be Billy Graham; however, the particular critic I was reading about was adamant about how poorly Billy Graham was performing in one area of his work.&nbsp; Billy Graham simply responded to the critic by stating, “I like the way I do it better than the way you don’t do it.”&nbsp;</p> <p>As a blind person myself, I enjoy listening to all types of sporting events that are broadcast on the radio.&nbsp; Occasionally, I get to listen to a smug announcer who has oftentimes never played the game criticizing a professional athlete’s performance.&nbsp; While I would be the first to admit that pro athletes are well-paid and, therefore, are subject to the fair or unfair rants of any fans or announcers, it is actually humorous to hear someone who has never played in a sandlot describing how a Major League baseball player should have hit a 100-mile-per-hour fastball; or how a 180-pound halfback should have blocked a 300-pound defensive end; or even how a six-foot-tall guard should have stopped a seven-foot-two-inch MBA center from dunking the basketball.&nbsp;</p> <p>Criticism without correction is useless and counterproductive.&nbsp; Any time we want to point out the deficiency in a situation or how a colleague failed to perform, we need to accompany these comments with suggestions and methods that will lead to improvement.&nbsp; It is preferable if your suggestions are based on your experience instead of a random theory.&nbsp; Challenges that may seem simple, logical, and easy sitting in the comfortable broadcast booth take on elements of difficulty and hardship when you get down on the field of play.&nbsp;</p> <p>Before you let anyone’s criticism affect you, ask yourself, “Does this person know what they’re talking about?”;&nbsp; “Are they attempting to help me or simply being a critic?”; and “Do they have real-world experience or just a critical theory?”&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, never give or accept criticism without correction.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/06/criticizing-the-crit.html2013-06-06T14:04:00.000Z2013-06-06T14:04:53.037ZWisdom Equals Wealthnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>If you were to ask any segment of our population what they believed it would take for them to be wealthy, the vast majority would give the simple answer, “Money.”</p> <p>Making, earning, or being given more money does not make you wealthy. Wealth is the accumulation of money. I have encountered many people through my work in the area of financial education who make over $1 million in income and have little or no net worth. Some of these million dollar earners actually have a negative net worth.</p> <p>Building wealth, at some point, becomes a matter of spending less than you earn. Recent financial studies in the professional sports industry reveal that by the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress, and 60% of former NBA players have gone broke within five years of retirement.</p> <p>Most sports fans and observers of professional athletes mistakenly assume that professional football players or basketball players have it made financially. They assume these ball players are instantly made wealthy for the rest of their lives. Once again, we have to remember that wealth is a process of spending less than you bring in, and accumulating money so that your money can earn more money. This compounding is what creates permanent wealth and passive income.</p> <p>If you make $1 million a year and spend $2 million a year, or like some of the athletes cited above who make $10 million a year and spend $15 million a year, you are not as wealthy as someone who earns a modest income but habitually saves and invests 15% or 20% of their monthly cash flow.</p> <p>Wealth is not a function of what you earn. It’s a function of what you do with what you earn.</p> <p>If you don’t understand these principles, like many pro athletes, a high income will only serve as a counterproductive financial tool to leverage you into more debt and obligations. If we took all the money in the world and divided it up equally among the population, within a few short years, those who are wealthy today would be wealthy again, and those who are in debt today would find themselves in financial distress once again.</p> <p>Income is not the key to wealth. Knowledge is the key to wealth. But that knowledge will only generate permanent net worth for you when it is applied in the form of wisdom. Most people realize that they’ve got to save and invest to accumulate wealth; however, for a myriad of reasons, they don’t do it.</p> <p>We don’t fail because we don’t know what to do. We fail because we don’t do what we know.</p> <p>Someone who knows and understands a financial principle but fails to apply it is no better off than someone who remains ignorant of the financial formula or concept in the first place.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, commit to learning, understanding, and applying the financial concepts that will turn your income into wealth.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/05/wisdom-equals-wealth.html2013-05-30T14:36:00.000Z2013-05-30T14:37:13.545ZWatch Out for the Webnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Statistics tell us that the average worker will have seven different jobs in their career. As unemployment approaches 10% here in America, there are more people than ever out looking for a job.</p> <p>Looking for work and going through the employment application process is a job within itself. In fact, looking for a new job may be the hardest work you’ll ever do; therefore, it is critical that you don’t make it harder than it already is.</p> <p>In a recent study, it was revealed that almost 50% of corporations now search the web as a part of their consideration of job applicants. These companies that search web sites, blogs, and social networking sites report that over one-third of qualified applicants are eliminated because of statements, photos, or videos that they, themselves, have posted on the web.</p> <p>The World Wide Web may well prove to be the greatest development of the 20th and now the 21st Centuries. It has connected us all and shrunk our planet in ways previously unimagined; however, like any other tool or breakthrough, it can be used for good or bad.</p> <p>Recently, I was talking with a fellow author and motivational speaker who told me he had just gone through the grueling six-month ordeal of hiring a new office manager. He went on to tell me how one particular applicant stood head and shoulders above all the others. She was totally qualified in every way and had impressed him in each of their meetings. He had actually called her in to offer her the position, but as she was sitting across the desk from him, he casually typed her name into a Google search.</p> <p>What popped up was a blog where she had been explaining how she did not want to go back to work. She was only doing it for the money and would quit as soon as she got out of her current financial crisis. My friend and colleague sat stunned as he read this on his computer screen and then looked at this woman across the desk from him that he had intended to put in the most responsible and critical position in his organization.</p> <p>My friend is a professional speaker who regularly addresses thousands of people from the platform, but on that day sitting across the desk from a woman who had just revealed herself to him through a blog, he was struck speechless. He simply pivoted his computer screen around so she could read it across his desk. Neither of them spoke, and she just stood up, walked out of his office, and lost a tremendous opportunity.</p> <p>My friend and mentor, Coach John Wooden, often says, “<i>You’ll be known for a lifetime of good things or one stupid thing that you do.</i>” We live in a world where both the good things and the stupid things we do are at everyone’s fingertips via the World Wide Web.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, remember that the web is a great tool but can be a deadly weapon with which you can commit career suicide.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/05/watch-out-for-the-we.html2013-05-23T15:03:00.000Z2013-05-23T15:14:25.612ZAvoiding the Cliffnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>One of the most significant labels you can give anyone is that of problem solver.&nbsp; People who can solve problems are among the most valuable individuals in our society.&nbsp; Many of the most famous people in politics, science, medicine, business, and many other fields are known for solving problems.&nbsp;</p> <p>We should always seek to serve others by solving their problems; however, there is one trait and label even more powerful than that of problem solver which is problem avoider.&nbsp; We’ve all seen the action movies where our hero saves someone who is hanging from the edge of a cliff.&nbsp; While this makes great drama in theatre, wouldn’t it have been preferable if our hero had just helped the individual stay away from the cliff in the first place?&nbsp;</p> <p>I did some consulting several years ago for a major sales corporation.&nbsp; In this particular organization, people became heroes for problem solving.&nbsp; This was important because this particular corporation was always in some sort of problem.&nbsp; Their corporate lore included legendary tales of people working all night to get the shipment out, complete the document, finish the monthly publication, and any other last-minute heroics you might imagine.</p> <p>My brief unscientific, unofficial review of the situation told me that about 80 percent of the problems that were dramatically solved by someone on the corporate team could have been avoided in the first place.&nbsp; While it may not be exciting or thrilling to avoid a problem as opposed to solving it, it is certainly more productive and profitable.&nbsp;</p> <p>Organizations that pay expedited production fees, overnight shipping costs, and require their people to work all night rarely survive long-term.&nbsp;</p> <p>Life will bring us many unavoidable problems and emergencies that will require heroics, but you will be much better prepared to handle these problems if you haven’t wasted your time, money, and effort overcoming disasters that should have never happened in the first place.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you don’t have your computer backed up, it’s only a matter of time until you will be called upon to try to replicate months or years of your labor.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If you don’t have inventory in reserve, adequate insurance coverage, and an emergency fund in the bank, sooner or later you will wish you did.</p> <p>The best way to be saved from falling off the cliff is to stay miles away from it in the first place. Save your heroics for a good evening at the movies or a great action novel, and keep your professional life calm, cool, collected, and far away from the cliff.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, solve problems when you must, but avoid them altogether when you can.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/05/avoiding-the-cliff.html2013-05-16T13:33:00.000Z2013-05-16T13:34:36.530ZRedefining Possiblenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>We all make decisions and take action daily based on what we believe to be possible; therefore, in order to change our outcome, all we need do is redefine what we believe to be within the realm of possibility.</p> <p>Recently, I attended a two-day gathering of researchers, inventors, developers, and entrepreneurs designed to bring together the best minds and the most current technology to explore synergy.&nbsp; Synergy is the concept of combining two or more factors whose sum exceeds that of the individual parts.&nbsp;</p> <p>An example of this would be 3-D printing.&nbsp; While at the event, I had the experience of observing a high-tech printer that can create any three-dimensional product.&nbsp; Working much like a laser printer, it created six-inch-high models of a human skull, a crescent wrench, and Mt. Rainier.&nbsp; In most of our lifetimes, the majority of products will be created on-demand through this method.&nbsp;</p> <p>As the chairman of this annual meeting of 100 of the best and brightest minds anywhere, I observed people contemplating how 3-D printing could help in design, manufacturing, education, and virtually every area of human endeavor.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a teenager in the 1970s, I remember watching <i>Star Trek</i>.&nbsp; They had a device that would create any inanimate object from a computer-generated diagram. &nbsp;This seemed beyond the realm of possibility 35 years ago, and today it is becoming normal through 3-D printing.&nbsp; It is also interesting to note that the original <i>Star Trek</i> characters had hand-held communicators that seemed hard to imagine.&nbsp; But those <i>Star Trek </i>communicators pale in comparison to the smart phones most people utilize today.</p> <p>The power of shared knowledge generating synergy is what makes these quantum-leap breakthroughs in technology significant.&nbsp; As a blind person myself, interested in the field of educating blind young people, 3-D printing to me instantly became a wonderful way to reproduce a diagram in a print text book.&nbsp; The written words in a text book can be easily converted to an audio format, but the illustrations or diagrams are harder to communicate to a visually impaired student; but once I held a six-inch replica of Mt. Rainier in my hand, I realized that the world had just changed for many special education students.&nbsp;</p> <p>Every creator of a product or service has a concept of what their particular ideas can do in the marketplace, but what they fail to understand is how many marketplaces there are and how many people could benefit from the unintended utilization of what they sell.&nbsp; The magic happens when you tell your story to people in diverse populations and fields of endeavor.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, harness the power of synergy as you share your vision through the eyes of others.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/05/redefining-possible.html2013-05-09T14:10:00.000Z2013-05-09T14:11:54.105ZThe Cost of Ignorancenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>For 25 years, I—along with some fellow alumni—have funded college scholarships.&nbsp; Six of us who met in the dormitory during our own college years decided that someday we would provide scholarships to deserving young people.&nbsp; I’m very pleased and proud that we kept that commitment and, to date, we have made it possible for approximately 500 young people from around the world to complete their higher education.</p> <p>The process of reviewing scholarship applications, college transcripts, and financial aid forms for over a quarter of a century has made me keenly aware of the escalating cost of a college education.&nbsp; The amount of student loan debt some of our young people are burdened with is truly staggering.&nbsp;</p> <p>While the cost of receiving a university education is a concern, the cost of ignorance is devastating.&nbsp; I would be the first to admit that there are many well-educated people with multiple degrees that I would consider ignorant, and at the same time, there are many wise and knowledgeable individuals who have no formal education.&nbsp;</p> <p>I believe school should teach you how to learn, and you should spend the rest of your life applying those lessons.&nbsp;</p> <p>Martin Luther King said, “There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance.”&nbsp; Dr. King realized that thinking you know something that is incorrect is far worse than having no knowledge at all.&nbsp;</p> <p>We are all subject to our own world view.&nbsp; Our ideas, thoughts, and beliefs can either imprison us or help us reach every goal we set for ourselves.&nbsp;</p> <p>I’m reminded of the often-told story about the great magician, Harry Houdini.&nbsp; Houdini was reported to have challenged the finest police departments in the world to lock him in a jail where he could not escape.&nbsp; One chief of police took him up on his challenge and shackled Harry Houdini’s hands and feet together and led him into their maximum security cell.&nbsp; Before they could even get the cell door locked, Harry Houdini had freed himself from the chains holding his wrists and ankles.&nbsp; Then Houdini began working on the lock in the cell door.&nbsp;</p> <p>The challenge was to last one hour, and Houdini expended tremendous effort to escape.&nbsp; At the end of 60 minutes, the great magician and illusionist was drenched with sweat and nearing total exhaustion.&nbsp; In the last few moments of the challenge, Houdini slumped forward against the jail cell door in utter frustration, and the door swung open.&nbsp; Houdini had been held prisoner not by an escape-proof jail cell, but instead, by his own ignorance of the fact that the cell door had never been locked.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, examine the beliefs you hold that are keeping you from the goals and dreams you have.&nbsp; Refuse to be a prisoner of your own ignorance.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/05/the-cost-of-ignoranc.html2013-05-02T14:01:00.000Z2013-05-02T14:02:47.911ZMore Change and More the Samenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Experts and pundits are always struggling to relate current events to history.&nbsp; The simplest way to know how to handle any situation is to ask, “What did we do the last time this happened?”&nbsp; That question will, inevitably, elicit the age-old argument, “This time, it’s different.”&nbsp;</p> <p>While technology and circumstances may vary, the basic questions that plague humanity rarely change.&nbsp; My late, great friend and mentor, Paul Harvey, often said, “Times like these remind us that there have always been times like these.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Harvey was fond of telling the story about the oil shortage and the dire predictions from the experts during the decade of the 70s.&nbsp; As one of the world’s truly great storytellers, Mr. Harvey recounted the claims from the supposed-leading minds of the day that within less than 10 years, we would all be in the dark, and the industry that fueled our economy would grind to a halt because we were going to run out of oil.&nbsp;</p> <p>Then, with that unforgettable style, Mr. Harvey would share “The rest of the story” which, in this case, was the fact that the oil crisis to which he referred was not in the 1970s but, instead, was the whale oil crisis of the 1870s.&nbsp; At that time, the world faced a critical shortage of whale oil, and it was only a matter of time, the experts proclaimed, until the world would face literal gloom and doom.&nbsp; In reality, while whale oil was dwindling, we did come up with a better alternative which has created new problems and, eventually, will become obsolete and be replaced by a new and improved solution that will, inevitably, create more problems.&nbsp;</p> <p>No solution is permanent, and no problem is insurmountable.&nbsp; When you look at the headlines and predictions of the future, no one knows enough to be a pessimist; however, the future of the world is made up of billions of people who are each forging their own futures.&nbsp; If you believe in the predictions of gloom-and-doom, your own future may mirror your thoughts.&nbsp; On the other hand, if you’re convinced tomorrow will be better than today, at least in your own little world, you are right.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, learn from history but remember tomorrow is a product of what we learn from yesterday and apply today.</p> <p>Today is the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/04/more-change-more-the.html2013-04-25T13:15:00.000Z2013-04-25T13:16:19.122ZSpecializingnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>We live in the Information Age.&nbsp; For the first time in recorded history, vast numbers of people have access to more information than they can absorb or apply.&nbsp; There was a time in history when knowing a little about many subjects was something to be admired.&nbsp; Today, it seems, those people who get ahead know a lot about a very narrow field of thought or endeavor.</p> <p>People succeed based on performing well within a very narrow niche; however, all niches are not created equal.&nbsp; If you attend a Major League baseball game, you might simultaneously be enjoying the professional pursuits of the world’s best hotdog vendor and the world’s best pitcher.&nbsp; Both of these individuals may be recognized as the best within their professions, but the pitcher will receive applause, fame, recognition, and hundreds of times more compensation than the hotdog vendor.&nbsp;</p> <p>We must pick our own niche and not be judged by someone else’s standard.&nbsp;</p> <p>Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius.&nbsp; But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Our educational process and corporate workplace dynamics would tend to force us all to think and perform the same way.&nbsp; In reality, we succeed when we define our own pursuits and excel at them; however, we must remember we will only be rewarded based upon how much value we create for others.</p> <p>Instant and readily-accessible communications make it possible for people to seek the recognized expert in any narrow field of endeavor.&nbsp; There was a time when the family doctor treated every illness or ailment.&nbsp; Today, he or she is more of a gatekeeper who can assess a problem and direct patients to the right specialist.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you’re going to find your own niche, it must be one in which you have interest, aptitude, and passion.&nbsp; As the season approaches each year for high school and college graduation, experts emerge and articles proliferate advising young people on the best profession or job category to seek.&nbsp; The best career for anyone to pursue is the one that holds their interest and their passion.&nbsp; Better to be a great hotdog vendor with ambitions to own the company than to be a mediocre baseball pitcher who washes out in the Minor Leagues.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, find your niche where you can both excel and serve others.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/04/specializing.html2013-04-11T18:55:00.000Z2013-04-11T18:56:29.601ZGetting in and out of Troublenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>One of my heroes is the legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.&nbsp; I became acquainted with Mr. Nicklaus through my books and the correspondence we have carried on as he has read my various titles throughout the years.</p> <p>I am a member of a country club that, on a number of occasions, has hosted the U.S. Open Golf Tournament.&nbsp; In talking to one of the golf pros at my club, he told me one of the greatest shots he had ever seen was a shot that Jack Nicklaus had hit out of a sand trap.&nbsp; When I mentioned this monumental shot to Mr. Nicklaus, his only comment was, “If I hadn’t hit it in the sand trap, I wouldn’t have had to hit it out of the sand trap.”</p> <p>Whether you play golf or not, Mr. Nicklaus’s advice about sand traps can be a great benefit to your success and your life.&nbsp;</p> <p>Through my books, movies, speaking engagements, and these weekly columns, I have the privilege of talking to and corresponding with many people from around the world.&nbsp; Most of these people who contact me want to solve a problem or overcome a situation that, for the most part, they created themselves.&nbsp; I constantly wish these people seeking advice on how to get out of a problem would have contacted me before they got into the problem.</p> <p>The best way to deal with any problem is to avoid the ones you can, and the remainder of life’s problems will present you with a corresponding opportunity that will appear as you solve a particular challenge in your life.&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of life’s problems that we get ourselves into don’t come to us as a surprise or a mystery.&nbsp; Invariably when people find themselves in one of life’s sand traps, they can be heard to say something to the effect of “I knew better than that” or “I knew this was going to happen.”</p> <p>I have long been a believer in the fact that we don’t fail because we don’t know what to do.&nbsp; We fail because we don’t do what we know.</p> <p>The biggest liability of bringing problems into our lives is not simply the fact that we’ve got to get out of that problem and get back to ground zero.&nbsp; The biggest liability of creating problems is the fact that while we’re dealing with the problem, we’re not creating our own success and achieving the things we want in our life for ourselves, our loved ones, and the causes that matter to us in society today.&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s great to recover your own fumble, but imagine how far down the field you could be toward the goal line if you hadn’t dropped the ball at all.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, avoid the problems you can, and attack the rest of them as an unexpected opportunity.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/04/getting-in-and-out-o.html2013-04-04T18:34:00.000Z2013-04-04T18:37:14.318ZThe Extra Milenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>I am very proud to be thought of as an author, speaker, movie producer, and columnist in the field of success and personal development.&nbsp; It’s great to have a growing and thriving business, but it’s even more special when your business deals with helping people and organizations meet their goals.</p> <p>I believe that the field of success and personal development was created and came to prominence through the life’s work of one man:&nbsp; Napoleon Hill.&nbsp; Napoleon Hill will always be best known for his book <i>Think and Grow Rich.</i>&nbsp; <i>Think and Grow Rich</i> remains the bestselling and most influential book in the field of personal development.&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of working with Don Green and the team at the Napoleon Hill Foundation on several book and documentary film projects.&nbsp; It is ironic that when you mention virtually any book to someone, you will invariably ask, “Have you read….”&nbsp; But when you talk to any successful person or achiever, you need only ask, “When did you first read Napoleon Hill’s <i>Think and Grow Rich</i>?”</p> <p>As a young man, Napoleon Hill approached the business icon Andrew Carnegie to inquire how he could be successful.&nbsp; Instead of ignoring him or giving him some trite platitude and summarily dismissing him, Carnegie sponsored Napoleon Hill on a lifelong quest to discover the meaning of and routes to success.&nbsp; Andrew Carnegie introduced young Napoleon Hill to Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, and many of the greatest achievers of that time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Through these meetings with successful individuals and learning how ordinary people had achieved extraordinary results, Hill began to develop the science of success and the principles behind it.&nbsp; One of my favorite of Napoleon Hill’s enduring principles of success is the concept of going the extra mile.</p> <p>Going the extra mile refers to doing more than we are expected to do or performing at a higher level than would otherwise be anticipated.&nbsp; Going the extra mile is a priceless concept because I believe all of the great things in life can be discovered within that proverbial extra mile.&nbsp;</p> <p>Many people miss the power of this concept because they are waiting to go the extra mile until they get into their chosen field or the area of life where they are hoping to be successful.&nbsp; Going the extra mile is a lifelong habit that you and I need to implement today.&nbsp; Whether you’re a student in the classroom, a young person sweeping floors or pouring coffee at a part-time job, or someone occupying an entry-level position hoping to move up the ladder, your success begins here and now.</p> <p>If you can learn to develop the habit of going the extra mile in a high school classroom, on a college campus, or while sweeping floors and pouring coffee, you are well on your way to becoming a great success and making your dreams come true within the field of endeavor to which you aspire.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, in every activity determine what is needed, what is expected, and then go the extra mile.</p> <p>Today’s the day!&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/03/the-extra-mile.html2013-03-27T22:07:00.000Z2013-03-28T13:29:56.256ZYou Might Be An Underachievernoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Success is a wonderful concept.&nbsp; It is self-defining and self-fulfilling.&nbsp; Once we get past our school years with standardized tests and regular percentage grades, we emerge into the adult world where, to a great extent, we get to determine what is important to us.&nbsp;</p> <p>In school, the labels “achiever” or “underachiever” are determined as compared to your fellow students; however, in the real adult world, you and I get to decide what is important to us and what levels we want to achieve in our lives.&nbsp; Only you and I know whether we are overachieving or underachieving because we establish the rules, set the target, and create the timeframe and deadlines in our own minds.&nbsp; There is probably no greater factor in our own personal satisfaction in life than our own assessment of whether we are overachieving or underachieving as it relates to our own goals.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the concept of achieving is elusive and hard to define, I thought I would borrow a time-tested technique from the comedian and entertainer Jeff Foxworthy.&nbsp; Mr. Foxworthy has singlehandedly elevated the term Redneck from an insult to a point of pride among many people simply by helping his audiences define the term.&nbsp; With that in mind, we can take a look at the term underachiever as it relates to your own personal goals that you have established for yourself and your life.&nbsp;</p> <p>If the last goal you set for yourself involved a science fair project in the seventh grade, you might be an underachiever.</p> <p>If you spend more time watching television every day than you spend on your own personal development in a year, you might be an underachiever.</p> <p>If the last 10 books you read all involved comic character superheroes, you might be an underachiever.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you consider the act of getting off the couch to change the batteries in the remote control to be vigorous exercise, you might be an underachiever.</p> <p>If you have more creditors calling you than friends calling you, you might be an underachiever.</p> <p>If the majority of your life savings is loose change that fell out of your pocket into the car seat or recliner, you might be an underachiever.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you have more premium channels on your TV than you have biographies on your shelf, you might be an underachiever.</p> <p>If friends, family members, acquaintances, and pets avoid you when they want to have a good day, you might be an underachiever.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you spend more time planning your three-day weekend than you spend planning your life goals, you might be an underachiever.</p> <p>If the greatest success you ever had or ever hope to have came during a Little League game when Richard Nixon was president, you might be an underachiever.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you instantly know who got voted off the island, who picked which idol, and who’s dancing with what star, but you don’t have advisors and mentors, you might be an underachiever.</p> <p>At the risk of encroaching on Jeff Foxworthy’s space, sometimes it’s easier to define what we don’t want and change it than to define what we do want and obtain it.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, define your own success, set your own goals, and become an achiever.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/03/you-might-be-an-unde.html2013-03-21T14:12:00.000Z2013-03-21T14:14:52.667ZDiversions and Disastersnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>I have long believed that we are all only as big as the smallest thing that it takes to divert us from our goals and our destiny.&nbsp;</p> <p>We live in a complex, high-tech world that requires many tools and accessories we use on a daily basis.&nbsp; Whether it’s our computer, our sophisticated automobile, or our multi-functioning cellphone, 21<sup>st</sup> century humans become lost without these items that started out as luxuries but have rapidly become necessities.&nbsp; These items become obsolete at an alarming rate and need replacing or repairing at a moment’s notice.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the process of writing these weekly columns, I do quite a bit of research.&nbsp; Occasionally, I will run across some research and statistics that simply defy belief.&nbsp; Following are some current financial statistics that were gathered in the process of a survey done by the Harvard Business School.&nbsp; The results of this survey caused me to have to catch my breath, then double and even triple check before drafting this column. <br> </p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Over half of Americans cannot raise $2,000 within 30 days from all sources, including savings, emergency funds, credit, or even family and friends.&nbsp;</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Twenty-five percent of households earning from $100,000 to $150,000 could not come up with the same $2,000 within 30 days from all available sources, including their family and friends.&nbsp;</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Forty percent of Americans will never save the first dollar for their retirement.</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The average retirement fund in America has approximately $35,000 in it.&nbsp; This would only generate a little over $100 a month throughout a long retirement before it was completely exhausted.</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Twenty percent of American households have no savings at all.</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Approximately half of all Americans die with no assets and leave liabilities behind.</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The average American household debt is currently $118,000.</p> <p>If you live in a home, drive a car, use a computer, or depend upon a cell phone, it’s only a matter of time until you face a major repair or replacement bill.&nbsp; A visit to a doctor’s office or a pharmacy for a relatively minor ailment or illness can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.&nbsp; These are not the tragedies or disasters that traditionally we buy insurance to protect us from.&nbsp; These are daily occurrences that are definitely headed in your direction.&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the opportunity through my speaking engagements and special events to work with many billionaire and multimillionaire families.&nbsp; They live wonderful lifestyles and create great opportunities for their families, loved ones, and causes that matter to them.&nbsp; No matter how much wealth you may accumulate, however, the most satisfying and rewarding asset you will ever have is not a mansion, a sports car, or expensive jewelry.&nbsp; It is, instead, a fully-funded emergency fund.&nbsp; You can take the looming disasters that most Americans who comprise the statistics above are facing and turn those disasters into minor annoyances simply by having an emergency fund available to you at all times.</p> <p>Most financial experts agree that an emergency fund should have three to six months of your regular income.&nbsp; While I agree that this would be an optimal amount for an emergency fund, most Americans would benefit greatly from having just one month’s expenses in an emergency savings account.&nbsp; If you can only save eight percent of your income each week, you will reach this initial goal of having one month’s income in a savings fund within a year.</p> <p>The average American household income is a little over $40,000 annually.&nbsp; After taxes and regular withholdings, the take-home income for this average family is approximately $2,800 per month.&nbsp; If this average family would save only $50 per week, they would at least have a minimal emergency fund set aside within a year, and then every time the car makes a strange noise, the roof begins to drip, the computer screen goes blank, or worse, when a child begins to cough, their first thought would not involve an immediate financial panic.</p> <p>To reach our goals in life, we’ve got to have daily focus and intensity.&nbsp; This is impossible to do if every minor bump in the road looks like a mountain range.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, create a financial buffer between you and modern-day minor financial distractions by creating an emergency fund.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/03/diversions-and-disas.html2013-03-14T13:14:00.000Z2013-03-14T13:15:23.870ZFailure isn’t Finalnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Often, we try to divide the world into two groups of people:&nbsp; Those who succeed and those who fail.&nbsp; While there are countless definitions of success and failure, this seems to make a logical dividing or measuring point.</p> <p>Conventional wisdom might tell us that people who succeed never fail, and failures never succeed.&nbsp; Nothing could be further from the truth.&nbsp; If a picture is worth a thousand words, an example may be worth a million.</p> <p>Albert Einstein wasn’t able to speak until he was almost four-years-old, and his teachers said he would “never amount to much.”</p> <p>Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.</p> <p>Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas.”</p> <p>Steve Jobs was left devastated and depressed at 30-years-old after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started.</p> <p>Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television.”</p> <p>The Beatles were rejected by Decca Recording Studios, who said, “We don’t like their sound—they have no future in show business.&nbsp; Guitar music is on the way out.”</p> <p>Lucille Ball was dismissed from drama school with a note that read, “Wasting her time.&nbsp; She is too shy to put her best foot forward.”</p> <p>Ulysses S. Grant was a failed soldier, farmer, and real estate agent.&nbsp; At 38-years-old, he went to work for his father as a handyman.</p> <p>Thomas Edison was told by a teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything and that he should go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality.</p> <p>Abraham Lincoln’s fiancée died, he failed in business twice, he had a nervous breakdown, and he was defeated in eight elections.</p> <p>Failure isn’t final.&nbsp; It is the fertilizer for your future success.&nbsp; The only thing that is final is quitting.&nbsp; No outside force, current circumstance, or future obstacle can keep you from your destiny if you are willing to persevere.&nbsp; Being successful is a choice and, therefore, being defeated is a decision.&nbsp; It’s always up to you.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, learn how to succeed from those who failed.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/02/failure-is-not-final.html2013-02-28T14:20:00.000Z2013-02-28T14:21:23.846ZAbundance and Scarcitynoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Your world view is the lens through which you view your life and everything around you.&nbsp; Few things are more important to our success than our world view, and most people don’t even recognize that they have a world view, much less understand it.</p> <p>Since the beginning of time, there have always been two basic kinds of people in the world relating to abundance and scarcity.&nbsp; There are people who believe that the way to succeed is to grow, build, and create; and then there are people who believe, in order to be successful, you must get what someone else has.&nbsp; These are two opposing world views.</p> <p>If you believe that the world is abundant, you will feel that you can get everything you want, but you will not be threatened when others around you get what they want.&nbsp; If you believe the world is limited, finite, and suffering from scarcity, you will look upon the success of others as an attack on yourself.&nbsp;</p> <p>I want to point out that people who succeed feel that the world is abundant and can bring them and everyone around them all the success they want.&nbsp; If you believe that success comes when you take something that belongs to someone else, both you and they are diminished.&nbsp;</p> <p>When the pilgrims first settled on the eastern shore of North America, they struggled mightily for the first few years just to feed themselves.&nbsp; They operated what could be called a collective farm.&nbsp; Everyone worked and shared equally in the yield from their farm.&nbsp; If one person took more than their share, someone else would be left with less.&nbsp; It was a miserable failure, and in desperation, it was determined that they would divide up the land and let everybody provide for themselves and their families.&nbsp; The result was abundance.&nbsp; Everyone celebrated their own success and celebrated the success of their neighbors.&nbsp;</p> <p>I believe one great indicator of anyone’s potential future success is how much they celebrate or resent the current success of others around them.&nbsp; The headlines are filled with people who create new products, new inventions, and whole new industries.&nbsp; They do not take anything from anyone else but create out of their own ingenuity and the abundance in the world.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, realize that no one needs to fail so that you might succeed.&nbsp; The world is much greater than that.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/02/abundance-and-scarci.html2013-02-21T14:23:00.000Z2013-02-21T14:24:34.019ZCreating and Composingnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>All of us succeed, to one extent or another, based on our ability to create and present our creation.&nbsp; Whether you’re an artist, musician, or writer whose creations are obvious, or a teacher, manager, or administrator whose creations are more subtle, it is critical that you see your efforts as a creation and subsequent presentation of your creation.&nbsp; It may be as simple as formulating your ideas and communicating them to those around you.&nbsp;</p> <p>Creativity is an elusive concept.&nbsp; Too many people assume that people are either born creative or not.&nbsp; I believe we all have the ability to create great things if we can just get in touch with the creative force inside of ourselves. I believe that it is in the natural order to create, and when we are having trouble creating, it is not a matter of the creation not being within us but, instead, it is a matter of us blocking the creative flow.</p> <p>Mozart said, “I don’t really compose.&nbsp; I take dictation.”&nbsp; I believe he meant he got in touch with his mind and spirit in a way that allowed his collective creation to flow out of him.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a writer of 20 books, I’ve had the experience of having a chapter read back to me shortly after I dictated it and being totally unfamiliar with large passages from that chapter.&nbsp; Unfortunately, in our media-driven world, we see, hear, and experience overwhelming doses of creativity around the clock.&nbsp; This creativity is well packaged and professionally presented.&nbsp; We don’t see the many failed attempts or rough drafts of the people whose creativity we enjoy; therefore, when we begin to create, we compare an experienced artist’s final masterpiece to our initial effort. <br> </p> <p>The way to create greatness is to begin by creating mediocrity.&nbsp; One of my favorite authors of the 20<sup>th</sup> Century was James Michener. &nbsp;He was fond of saying, “Every aspiring author is filled with seven volumes of garbage, and they are not willing to write through the garbage to discover the genius beneath.”</p> <p>Creative people—whether they’re writers, artists, or business executives—create on a regular basis.&nbsp; The old adage “Waiting for inspiration” is a trap that too many people fall into.&nbsp;</p> <p>When I began writing these weekly columns over a decade ago, I originally only planned to write one single column for one paper at the request of my friend Ralph Schaefer.&nbsp; After receiving my first effort, he asked me to do it again the next week and every week thereafter.&nbsp; Today, these columns are read by countless people around the world in a myriad of newspapers, magazines, and online publications.&nbsp;</p> <p>I remember receiving some great advice from Ralph when I was a fledgling columnist.&nbsp; As I struggled far too long and too much on one particular point of one weekly effort, Ralph said, “Jim, we don’t need it perfect.&nbsp; We do need it Thursday.”&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, commit to letting your creativity flow.&nbsp; The ordinary will become above-average and then it will emerge as your masterpiece.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/02/creating-and-composi.html2013-02-14T16:18:00.000Z2013-02-14T16:19:12.764ZBlack and White Horsesnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>All of us perform and succeed based upon the expectations we have of ourselves or those expectations we allow others to place upon us.&nbsp; These expectations come from external messages or input that we determine to accept or internalize.</p> <p>Many of these internal messages were placed inside of us years or even decades ago, and we are unaware that they are still affecting us.&nbsp; Many of the messages we carry around with us are conflicting.&nbsp; They create this mental dialogue or internal struggle that we all deal with regularly.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ancient Greeks had a parable about a man driving a chariot drawn by a black horse and a white horse.&nbsp; This chariot driver failed to make progress because, at every turn, the black horse wanted to go one way and the white horse wanted to go the other.&nbsp; We deal with these types of mental messages hundreds of times each day.&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, if I asked you to visualize and consider a large piece of chocolate cake, you will inevitably receive two messages very quickly.&nbsp; The first message will instantly want you to get the cake and eat it while the second message will remind you about your exercise and nutrition plan.&nbsp; Our best life and highest potential lies somewhere between these two messages we hear in our head.&nbsp; We intellectually know that we cannot consume all the chocolate cake we want every day and reach our goals and potential.&nbsp; On the other hand, the most rigorous diet and long-term nutritional plan will occasionally involve some chocolate cake.&nbsp;</p> <p>This introduces the age-old struggle for an elusive ideal we would call moderation.&nbsp; Moderation allows us to enjoy the best of everything while suffering the worst of nothing.&nbsp;</p> <p>We are all aware of governments, businesses, and people that spend money they don’t have; however, there are groups and individuals that save too much and never enjoy the fruits of their efforts.&nbsp; In order to perform, succeed, and live at our highest level, we can never totally follow the lead of the black horse or the white horse.&nbsp; Over time, we instead can create our own team of gray chariot horses that allow us to control everything but be controlled by nothing other than our highest ideals and long-term goals.&nbsp;</p> <p>While it’s dangerous to unquestioningly follow the black horse or the white horse, there is a deeper hidden danger that damages more people than those that are damaged by bad choices.&nbsp; People who sit in the middle of the intersection and let the white horse and the black horse struggle against one another while going nowhere experience the worst of all worlds.&nbsp;</p> <p>You can follow the black horse into a temporary state of excess, correct your course, and get back on the road to your destiny.&nbsp; On the other hand, you can let the white horse lead your path and temporarily miss many of the great experiences that life has to offer.&nbsp; But you can, once again, correct your course and find the moderate road to where you want to be.</p> <p>Those sad individuals who live in the intersection and never go anywhere while their internal white horse and black horse wear themselves out pulling against one another are doomed to failure.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, control the messages in your mind or they will control you.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/02/black-and-white-hors.html2013-02-07T15:10:00.000Z2013-02-07T15:11:39.266ZStart with your Obituarynoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Most people would assume that an obituary is the final word in a person’s life; however, there was a gentleman who lived in the 19<sup>th</sup> Century for whom an obituary was a new beginning.&nbsp; You and I can join him.</p> <p>Alfred Nobel was a Swedish gentleman who lived from 1833 to 1896.&nbsp; He amassed a fortune as the inventor and mass producer of explosives including dynamite.&nbsp; His story might have ended there except for a premature obituary.&nbsp; When Alfred Nobel’s brother passed away, the press mistakenly ran an obituary on Alfred Nobel.&nbsp; Among other things, this obituary stated Alfred Nobel was “a man who had made it possible to kill more people more quickly than anyone else who had ever lived.”</p> <p>Alfred Nobel had the advantage of previewing his own obituary, and he knew he didn’t like it, and he didn’t want to be remembered that way.&nbsp; So, he took action.&nbsp;</p> <p>Relatively few people know of Alfred Nobel as the inventor of dynamite, but he will forever be known as the creator of the Nobel Peace Prize and Nobel prizes for literature, economics, medicine, and the sciences.&nbsp;</p> <p>He changed his lasting legacy 180 degrees by simply becoming aware of his own obituary and rewriting it.&nbsp; You and I can join Alfred Nobel today as we become aware of the fact that we are daily writing our own obituaries, and if we don’t like the first draft that we have today, we can edit it before it goes to the final press.</p> <p>We have a tendency to look at the world through a short-term lens.&nbsp; We consider today’s schedule, this week’s calendar, or this month’s expenses.&nbsp; If we want to be a high-impact, self-actualized, successful person through the long-term lens, we’ve got to begin writing our own obituary and creating our lasting legacy today.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are some people like Alfred Nobel whose legacy extends worldwide through the way they have impacted society.&nbsp; There are some individuals who impact only a handful of people, but their impact is felt at a core level.&nbsp; You can change the world and leave a powerful legacy either way.&nbsp; Some people change the world while other people change the world changers.</p> <p>There are teachers, pastors, coaches, and mentors whose names history will never record but whose legacies will endure as long as thoughts or discussions of greatness exist.&nbsp; Stake your territory, make your claim, and begin writing your own obituary now while you can still make a difference.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, join Alfred Nobel in rewriting your own obituary.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/01/start-with-your-obit.html2013-01-31T14:14:00.000Z2013-01-31T14:15:45.856ZRealitynoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Jack Welch is among the great executives and business minds on the scene today.&nbsp; Through his own corporate performance, his books, and speeches, he is recognized as a world leader.&nbsp; I believe one of the major keys to Jack Welch’s success is summed up by his statement, “Start every meeting with the question, ‘What is the reality?’”</p> <p>No matter where you want to go in your life or your career, the one thing I know is that you will be starting from the exact point where you are today.&nbsp; There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going, and the first necessary step begins when you identify exactly where you are.&nbsp;</p> <p>A challenge identified is a challenge well on the way to being overcome.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the work I do with corporations and individuals seeking to make major improvements and reach new goals, the greatest obstacle is often getting people to admit where they are today.&nbsp; If you want to build financial security, the process will begin with you calculating your current net worth, even if it’s a negative number.&nbsp; If you want to lose weight, the journey begins with you getting on the scales today.&nbsp; If you want to travel to any destination in the world, you simply need to call the airlines and order your ticket, but they will require more than just knowing your destination.&nbsp; They will need to know where you will be starting your trip.&nbsp;</p> <p>Being honest with ourselves is not easy.&nbsp; Until we determine we want to make changes in our lives, we gloss over or pretend that the facts are not as bad as they may be.&nbsp; If you’re not going to make a change or commit to a new process, it really doesn’t matter what the reality is.&nbsp; If you’re not going to get out of debt, there’s not a lot of reason to closely examine your credit card statement; however, once you decide to change, the facts matter, and the numbers count.&nbsp;</p> <p>Great coaches always know the score and how much time is left in the game.&nbsp; Success comes when we make good decisions.&nbsp; Good decisions happen when we get the facts.&nbsp; We are far better off coming face-to-face with an uncomfortable reality than not knowing where we are.</p> <p>I have a saying that I’m fond of repeating which has become known as Stovall’s 11<sup>th</sup> Commandment.&nbsp; “Thou shalt not kid thyself.”&nbsp;</p> <p>If you don’t like where you are, the first step to getting out of your current situation is to admit exactly where you are and that you are responsible for the situation.&nbsp; Unless or until we accept the full responsibility and the reality of our condition, we cannot take control of the future.&nbsp; You can’t claim that the past is not your fault and you had nothing to do with it but declare the future is under your control, and you are going to be fully responsible for changing it.</p> <p>Once you admit the uncomfortable reality of where you are, you are destined to be somewhere more to your liking in the near future.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, begin the first day of the rest of your life by understanding and accepting exactly where you are.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2013/01/Reality.html2013-01-03T15:15:00.000Z2013-01-03T15:16:49.887ZTesting Your Teamnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall <p>Throughout recorded history, there have been a handful of individuals who have been forced to deal with strife, disagreement, and dissention.&nbsp; Abraham Lincoln would be at the forefront of these individuals.&nbsp; Not only was he dealing with civil war which divided the United States into warring factions, but he was dealing with political dissention that caused him to deal with a senate, congress, and his own cabinet that were deeply divided.&nbsp; He was fond of calling his cabinet a team of rivals.</p> <p>A presidential cabinet is made up of individuals with areas of expertise and responsibility that they can bring to the overall cabinet to assist the president in making good decisions and carrying out the best policy.&nbsp; Unfortunately, Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet were all out for themselves and more interested in their own political future than the success of our president or even the survival of our country.</p> <p>Thankfully, during that derisive time, the United States had a leader of wisdom and discernment in the form of Abraham Lincoln.&nbsp; Lincoln historically is known as a peacemaker, but few people realize that before he could heal the country, he had to heal his own house.&nbsp; Lincoln was fond of evoking the ancient wisdom, “A house divided among itself cannot stand.”</p> <p>None of us succeed on our own.&nbsp; Indeed, “No man is an island.”&nbsp; In order to succeed at the highest level, we must have a team around us.&nbsp; Most people understand this intellectually.&nbsp; They understand they are depending on others for their own success; however, only a few enlightened individuals grasp the concept that in the same way our team is to make us successful, we need to make sure they are successful.</p> <p>I spend a lot of my time each day consulting with large organizations or high-level individuals.&nbsp; Many times, these groups or people are facing a dysfunctional situation that is keeping them from reaching their potential.&nbsp; I am in the habit of asking the leader, “Who are the key people that are on your team?”&nbsp; Then I ask the critical question that is often confused or misunderstood.&nbsp; “What are your team members’ goals?”&nbsp; I generally will receive an answer involving the organization’s goals or the leader’s goals, but rarely does anyone address or even recognize that the team members have goals.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you want to reach your destination, find team members to travel with you whose destinations lie in the same direction.&nbsp; Everyone around you has personal and professional goals.&nbsp; In an ideal organization, the group goals are made up of each individual team members’ goals; therefore, when the group succeeds, each person succeeds.&nbsp; It’s not enough to have a team that is committed to your success.&nbsp; You must be just as committed to their success.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are in New York City and it is your goal to drive to Los Angeles with your team, it is not imperative that each team member want to go to L.A. as long as their goals lie in the same direction.&nbsp; If you are leaving New York with your team and your group goal is to arrive in Los Angeles while your individual team mates want to end up in Phoenix, San Diego, or San Francisco, you are likely to succeed.&nbsp; But if you’re trying to drive from New York to Los Angeles and your individual teammates want to end up in Boston, Miami, and Atlanta, you have a serious problem.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, make sure your team is pulling in your direction while you are pulling in their direction.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/12/Testing-Your-Team.html2012-12-19T22:49:00.000Z2012-12-19T22:50:23.982ZThe Annual Checkupnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>This week, I had the fascinating experience of looking at the year gone by in my rear view mirror as I reviewed and finalized the annual holiday letter.&nbsp; I’m not sure who started the tradition of including an annual update letter with the holiday card, but I find it to be an asset on two fronts.&nbsp; First, the holiday letter is a once-a-year way to stay in touch with the details of the lives of friends and family members.&nbsp; But possibly even more important, is the benefit derived from crafting and writing the letter, itself.</p> <p>In order to write a good holiday letter, one is forced to mentally walk back through the last 12 months and take an accounting of wins and losses, triumphs and tragedies, as well as mistakes and milestones.&nbsp; As I looked back over my previous 12 months through the perspective of the annual holiday letter, I revisited new books written and released, new movies in production, a number of wonderful speaking engagements, but also the process caused me to look back at friends and family members lost and experiences that I will never encounter again.&nbsp;</p> <p>I would encourage you, if you’re not already in the habit, to write an annual holiday letter even if you only share it with a handful of people.&nbsp; The process of writing the accounting of the last year can change your new year.&nbsp; When you write this year’s holiday letter, don’t stop with where you’ve been, but think about what you would like to have in next year’s letter.&nbsp; You might even want to go so far as drafting next year’s letter now just to see how many of the elements you could forecast and then bring to reality.</p> <p>In this way, you’re not just writing history, you’re living it and creating it moving forward.&nbsp; You can get a lot of inspiration from reading the holiday letters that your friends and family members send to you.&nbsp; As you read their letters and think about the one you will be sending to them next year, the annual tradition of the holiday letter will not just include a glance in the rearview mirror but a long-range view through the windshield with your headlights on the brightest setting.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, realize that you are creating next year’s holiday letter minute by minute.</p> <p>Today’s the day!<i></i></p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/12/The-Annual-Checkup.html2012-12-06T18:37:00.000Z2012-12-06T18:38:37.698ZDecisions and Consequencesnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>We all succeed or fail based on the decisions we make.&nbsp; All the decisions you have made in your entire life have brought you to this place, at this time, reading these words in a newspaper, magazine, or online publication somewhere in the world.</p> <p>A lot of people who are not where they want to be in their personal or professional lives like to think of themselves as victims.&nbsp; There is something that appears initially comforting about not being responsible for the shortcomings in our lives; but unless or until you and I are willing to accept our current circumstances as a product of our own decisions, we can’t live the rest of our lives knowing that the decisions we make today can result in the things we want tomorrow.</p> <p>One of my mentors, Lee Braxton, gave me two powerful pieces of advice on making decisions.&nbsp; First, he said, “Don’t make any decisions until you have to.”&nbsp; I found it ironic that, during this past election season, millions of people through early voting programs or absentee balloting, voted weeks before election day.&nbsp; This presumes that there won’t be any factors or revelations that might change their minds.&nbsp; Other than a potential conflict in your schedule, there is no benefit to voting early, and there may be a benefit to waiting on all the information and facts that can come at the last minute in a campaign.</p> <p>The second piece of wisdom that Mr. Braxton gave me came from his statement, “When you can’t decide between two options, choose the one that leaves you with more options.”</p> <p>If you own one chicken and can’t decide whether to make an omelet from the eggs or eat fried chicken today, choosing the omelet will give you future options.&nbsp; Once you fry the chicken, there are no more choices to be made.&nbsp; Recent surveys show that over half of the people who choose to have a tattoo later choose to have it removed.&nbsp; This process is painful, expensive, and often doesn’t work completely.&nbsp;</p> <p>Choices and options have a great value attached to them.&nbsp; When you look at investing in the stock market, you can buy an individual stock, or you can buy an option which allows you to choose later whether you want to own or not own that particular investment.&nbsp; You can sell your option to someone else as the right to make that choice has a recognized value in the marketplace.&nbsp; Never choose until you have to and leave all your options open as long as you can.&nbsp;</p> <p>Wisdom and knowledge help us make great decisions.&nbsp; A wise person realizes that no matter how certain they may be about a choice right now, there will be more facts and information available later.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, accept the fact that you are a product of your choices, and determine to make quality decisions.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>. </i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/11/Decisions-and-Conseq.html2012-11-29T14:43:00.000Z2012-11-29T14:44:18.163ZWisdom Equals Wealthnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>If you were to ask any segment of our population what they believed it would take for them to be wealthy, the vast majority would give the simple answer, “Money.”</p> <p>Making, earning, or being given more money does not make you wealthy.&nbsp; Wealth is the accumulation of money.&nbsp; I have encountered many people through my work in the area of financial education who make over $1 million in income and have little or no net worth. Some of these million dollar earners actually have a negative net worth.&nbsp;</p> <p>Building wealth, at some point, becomes a matter of spending less than you earn.&nbsp; Recent financial studies in the professional sports industry reveal that by the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress, and 60% of former NBA players have gone broke within five years of retirement.</p> <p>Most sports fans and observers of professional athletes mistakenly assume that professional football players or basketball players have it made financially.&nbsp; They assume these ball players are instantly made wealthy for the rest of their lives.&nbsp; Once again, we have to remember that wealth is a process of spending less than you bring in, and accumulating money so that your money can earn more money.&nbsp; This compounding is what creates permanent wealth and passive income.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you make $1 million a year and spend $2 million a year, or like some of the athletes cited above who make $10 million a year and spend $15 million a year, you are not as wealthy as someone who earns a modest income but habitually saves and invests 15% or 20% of their monthly cash flow.&nbsp;</p> <p>Wealth is not a function of what you earn.&nbsp; It’s a function of what you do with what you earn.</p> <p>If you don’t understand these principles, like many pro athletes, a high income will only serve as a counterproductive financial tool to leverage you into more debt and obligations.&nbsp; If we took all the money in the world and divided it up equally among the population, within a few short years, those who are wealthy today would be wealthy again, and those who are in debt today would find themselves in financial distress once again.&nbsp;</p> <p>Income is not the key to wealth.&nbsp; Knowledge is the key to wealth.&nbsp; But that knowledge will only generate permanent net worth for you when it is applied in the form of wisdom.&nbsp; Most people realize that they’ve got to save and invest to accumulate wealth; however, for a myriad of reasons, they don’t do it.&nbsp;</p> <p>We don’t fail because we don’t know what to do.&nbsp; We fail because we don’t do what we know.</p> <p>Someone who knows and understands a financial principle but fails to apply it is no better off than someone who remains ignorant of the financial formula or concept in the first place.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, commit to learning, understanding, and applying the financial concepts that will turn your income into wealth.</p> <p>Today’s the day!&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; </i><i>or on Facebook at</i><i> </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>. </i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/11/Wisdom-Equals-Wealth.html2012-11-21T14:33:00.000Z2012-11-21T14:34:13.315ZA Bright Ideanoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Recently my company, the <a title="Narrative Television Network" href="http://www.narrativetv.com/" target="_blank">Narrative Television Network</a>, was working on a documentary about <b>Thomas Edison</b>. We all learned about Thomas Edison in grade school, and most people would simply identify him as the inventor of the light bulb. While this is accurate, it is far from complete.</p> <p>Thomas Edison was an innovator and inventor of many hundreds of products. He held 1,093 individual patents. Many of these inventions and innovations are as significant to us in the way we live today as the light bulb itself. Edison was not merely a master of science or technology, he was a thought leader who was willing to look at the world in a different way and develop knowledge into products that could improve people’s lives.</p> <p>He said, <i>“My principal business consists of giving commercial value to the brilliant but misdirected ideas of others. Accordingly, I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it. I readily absorb ideas from every source, frequently starting where the last person left off. Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not know how close they were to success when they gave up.”</i></p> <p>Thomas Edison’s greatest discovery or development was not a specific invention, but instead, it was his unique way of looking at the world. Many of us have had the experience of encountering a new product and saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” or, even worse, “I thought about that years ago.”</p> <p>With the proliferation of products, services, and information around the globe, many breakthrough inventions today come from new applications for existing products or services. <b>These kinds of cutting-edge, breakthrough developments don’t come from having all the answers. They come from constantly asking questions.</b> When you hear about or see something new, don’t assume it is in its final form. Simply ask, “What if…?” or “I wonder if this could be used for…?”</p> <p>The rise of the computer age did not come from one inventor or developer. It came from thousands of creative people whose work went into the individual components that created the digital age in which we live.</p> <p><b>Most problems are not solved by a 100% solution or innovation. These problems are solved by one hundred, one percent improvements in existing technology.</b> Great inventions do not come without identifying meaningful problems or challenges in the real world. The only thing you need to do in order to have a great, innovative idea is to go through your daily routine, wait for something bad to happen, and ask yourself, “How could I have avoided that?” The answer to that question is a breakthrough idea. The only thing you need to do to generate a great business opportunity is to focus on the same problem, and ask one additional question. “How could I help other people avoid that problem?”</p> <p>Never limit your ideas or potential innovations based on current practical limitations. Nothing was commercially practical the minute it was invented.</p> <p>One of my main businesses is a television network. It was approximately a dozen years ago when I first encountered a device that would record a DVD. It was the size of a washing machine and cost $50,000. Had the developers of that invention said, “No one will pay $50,000 for our product,” they would have missed one of the greatest opportunities of the decade.</p> <p>I owned one of the very first cell phones anyone in my city had ever seen. It weighed six pounds and cost $1,200. Had the innovation not continued at the point of that invention, you would have never owned and probably never seen a cell phone. Today, a few short years later, cell phones weigh virtually nothing, and the major players in the industry give them away.</p> <p>Realize that the world of invention and innovation is constantly growing and developing. Products and services that are impractical today may be vital in a few years or even months.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, look for opportunities to innovate within every problem, crisis, and challenge.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/11/A-Bright-Idea.html2012-11-14T06:44:00.000Z2012-11-14T06:47:11.280ZAdvisors, Advice, and Advertisementsnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Recently, I have been researching and writing my next book.&nbsp; This new book, <i>The Millionaire Map</i>, will be out next year and deals with my own story of becoming a millionaire and interviews including research on thousands of other millionaires.</p> <p>Throughout this process, I have been amazed at the voluminous body of knowledge relating to wealth-building, investing, and financial topics.&nbsp; I have been even more amazed at how much of the advice is bogus and how many of the advisors are phonies or outright frauds.</p> <p>One of the keys to succeeding in any endeavor is to seek out and apply the knowledge and wisdom of others.&nbsp; One of the surest ways to fail in reaching any goal is to take advice from someone who doesn’t have what you want or hasn’t been where you want to go.&nbsp;</p> <p>Recently, I was contacted by a longtime friend and internationally-prominent figure in the religious community.&nbsp; He shared with me the recent financial troubles he had suffered and asked to borrow a significant amount of money to cover some pressing bills.&nbsp; This is always a difficult request from any friend or family member as it introduces the question, “Am I helping to solve the problem or simply prolonging it?”&nbsp;</p> <p>I was pleased that I was able to offer my friend some advice that would help him solve his own problem in a timely manner while making it possible for him not to get in this financial condition again.&nbsp; I’m not sure he was totally satisfied as he was looking for quick money instead of short-term solutions and long-term strategies.&nbsp; Hopefully, as a religious leader, he will understand and accept my attempt to teach him to fish instead of giving him a fish.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ironically, just a few short weeks after that discussion, I received an advertisement and invitation from this same individual inviting me to pay a significant amount of money to attend his upcoming wealth-building conference.&nbsp; While I found this literally comical, it grieves me to think of all of the financially-struggling individuals who are seeking hope and information who will attend this dubious event.&nbsp; These poor people will lose much more than the price of admission.&nbsp; They will lose hope and the possibility of succeeding.</p> <p>When people are treading water in the open ocean, they need a life preserver not an overpriced pile of bogus advice.&nbsp; People can only tread water for so long before they go under for good.&nbsp; Self-proclaimed experts who waste the time and money of financially-drowning individuals are guilty of much more than stealing money.&nbsp; They steal hope and future success.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, examine the advisor before you examine the advice.<br> </p> <p>Today’s the day!<br> </p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/11/Advisors-Advice-and-.html2012-11-08T16:24:00.000Z2012-11-08T16:25:31.160ZKnowing and doingnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall <p>As an author of a number of financial, business, and success books, I am an avid reader of other writers’ work in the field.&nbsp; Suze Orman has always been a hero of mine and is among the true giants in the industry.&nbsp; You may have enjoyed her national TV show, caught her on satellite radio, or read one of her many informative books.</p> <p>While I don’t agree with every minute detail of her philosophy, I would have to admit that if everyone in our society would follow Suze Orman’s advice, they would be much better off.&nbsp; Among the many people who would be better off following Suze Orman’s advice would be Suze Orman, herself.&nbsp;</p> <p>Recent national news accounts have reported the fact that Ms. Orman freely admits that she neglected to buy long term care insurance for her mother.&nbsp; This one oversight has cost Suze Orman many thousands of dollars with more expense to come in the future.</p> <p>I have heard Suze Orman prudently advise purchasing long term care insurance many times, and I wholeheartedly agree with her teaching in this area.&nbsp; Unfortunately, in this life, too often we don’t fail because we don’t know what to do; we fail because we don’t do what we know.&nbsp;</p> <p>Knowledge is the process of learning facts.&nbsp; Wisdom is the process of applying knowledge in the real world in ways that make a difference.&nbsp; Suze Orman is one of the leading experts and true proponents of long term care insurance, but she has suffered the consequences and will continue to pay the price for not applying her knowledge in the form of wisdom.&nbsp; In this way, Suze Orman is no better off than the millions of people across the country and around the world who are clueless about how to manage their personal finances and future needs.</p> <p>Think of how often a condition or circumstance impacts you negatively, and your immediate response is, “I knew better than that.”&nbsp; This is a horrible feeling that affects us all.&nbsp;</p> <p>I am a huge believer in a process I call The Three Ds.&nbsp; When confronted with advice regarding something to do or not to do, I weigh the knowledge being presented and determine to either Do it, Delete it, or Diary it.&nbsp; If something is worth considering, it warrants either Doing it now, Deleting it—thereby rejecting the knowledge as invalid for you—or Diarying it on your calendar as something to be done in the future.</p> <p>Doing and Deleting are easy.&nbsp; Diarying carries within it the innate danger of procrastination.&nbsp; I’m quite certain this is what happened to Suze Orman, but we don’t succeed based on what we knew to do, meant to do, or intended to do.&nbsp; We succeed based on what we did.</p> <p>Suze Orman is still my hero.&nbsp; In fact, more now than ever before since she has publically admitted her mistake and provided us all with a great learning opportunity.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, commit to learn what you don’t know, and convert your knowledge into wisdom.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/11/Knowing-and-doing.html2012-11-01T21:42:00.000Z2012-11-01T21:43:00.436ZSick, Well, and Betternoemail@noemail.orgby Jim Stovall<p><br> I have a friend and colleague I have worked with for over a decade.&nbsp; She is among the most talented and gifted professionals it has ever been my privilege to work with.&nbsp; Several years ago, she was diagnosed with a disease that has made it very difficult for her to function in her personal and professional life.&nbsp;</p> <p>Recently, her doctors—after exhausting all other possibilities—were considering a radical procedure that would have left her permanently impaired. &nbsp;Thankfully, one of her doctors, before performing this procedure, decided to send my friend and colleague to an 83-year-old physician who has a great deal of experience and expertise within this particular field of medicine.&nbsp; This talented octogenarian informed my friend and colleague that he had only seen her condition three times during his lifelong practice.&nbsp; He went on to explain that she actually had two separate conditions that, together, were creating this debilitating perfect storm she had been suffering with.&nbsp; He prescribed a medication to handle one of the conditions which made the remaining illness manageable.&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, my friend and colleague—along with everyone in our organization—is feeling gratitude for this breakthrough in her treatment.&nbsp; She still is suffering symptoms that most people would find extremely painful and inhibiting, but she is thankful, optimistic, and back to her high level of functioning.</p> <p>In addition to the new prescription, her elderly and wise doctor gave her some powerful medicine known as hope and understanding.&nbsp;</p> <p>I meet countless people through these columns, my books, and the speeches I make across the country.&nbsp; Many people are suffering with personal, financial, or business conditions that remain undiagnosed and very painful to them and the people around them.&nbsp; These people need to find what my friend and colleague found which is the fact that a diagnosis and treatment provide hope and clarity that can bring healing long before the symptoms begin to disappear.</p> <p>If you are one of the millions of people drowning in debt, I would suggest the mere process of diagnosis and treatment will change your attitude and revolutionize your outlook.&nbsp; If, instead of confronting an undefined terrifying stack of bills that you feel you have no hope of paying, you simply add them up and establish a budget to address the total amount of your indebtedness, you will sleep better tonight and have a great day tomorrow.</p> <p>This improvement will come not because you have paid off one dollar of your debt but, instead, because for the first time in a long time—like my friend and colleague—you will see a light at the end of the tunnel and know that the future is bright, and hope abounds.&nbsp; A challenge defined and addressed is a challenge in the process of being overcome.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, diagnose your condition and take a double dose of hope.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>.</i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/10/Sick-Well-Better.html2012-10-25T13:41:00.000Z2012-10-25T13:42:52.744ZDiscovering Greatnessnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Great people are not always the individuals who take on overwhelming challenges.&nbsp; They often come from the ranks of everyday individuals who find an opportunity for greatness in their everyday world.&nbsp;</p> <p>On an average day in 1955, people all across the country and around the world were going through their daily routines.&nbsp; Millions of people were commuting to their jobs, doing their work, and routinely making their way home at the end of the day.&nbsp; Among these people was a special lady whose defiance and dignity will live in the annals of history from now on.&nbsp; She got up that morning in 1955, made her way to the bus, commuted to work, did her job all day, and then as she was routinely commuting home, Rosa Parks was confronted with an opportunity for greatness.&nbsp;</p> <p>Recently, I listened to an interview that was recorded with Rosa Parks decades after that fateful day.&nbsp; The interviewer, as I would have done, was trying to delve into the vision of greatness and the historic sense of honor that this woman embodied.&nbsp;</p> <p>Rosa Parks deflected all the praise and accolades from the interviewer and finally explained, “I was only trying to get home from work.”</p> <p>I believe that these hidden opportunities for greatness are lurking behind normal corners on average days.&nbsp; We must see the greatness in the mundane.</p> <p>My friend and mentor, the legendary Coach John Wooden, was fond of saying, “Make each day your masterpiece.”&nbsp; Every normal, average, ordinary day has a masterpiece hiding among the normal routine.&nbsp;</p> <p>Coach Wooden, whose record of championships was unparalleled during his career and remains the standard even today, stressed excellence in fundamentals with his players.&nbsp; There was nothing left to chance.&nbsp; Coach Wooden’s teams knew how they were expected to perform drills in practice, dress to go on a road trip, treat team members and staff, and even put on their socks.&nbsp; I remember his words, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”</p> <p>Several years ago, I formulated a question that I like to ask myself before each task or encounter throughout my day.&nbsp; I simply ponder, “What would I do right now if I were amazing?”&nbsp; Whether it’s answering the phone, greeting my colleagues, going through correspondence, or dictating this column, if it’s not worth doing right, it’s not worthy of your time or my time.</p> <p>If you will keep this in mind, you will find as Rosa Parks did that one day among a million normal things, you will have the opportunity to display greatness.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, find your masterpiece among the unexpected routine.<br> </p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p><i>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.&nbsp; He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.&nbsp; He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK&nbsp; 74145-9082; by email at </i><a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com"><i>Jim@JimStovall.com</i></a><i>; or on Facebook at </i><a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor"><i>www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</i></a><i>. </i></p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/10/Discovering-Greatnes.html2012-10-18T14:29:00.000Z2012-10-18T14:30:27.926ZOptimists & Pessimistsnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>I will freely admit to being an optimist.&nbsp; I believe the glass is always half full with refills on the way.&nbsp;</p> <p>My friend and mentor, Zig Ziglar, is fond of saying, “I’m willing to go after Moby Dick in a row boat and take the tartar sauce with me.”</p> <p>Being an optimist does not mean you are oblivious to the world around you.&nbsp; I realize there are many geopolitical and economic forces in play that make the future uncertain.&nbsp; The reality is that the future has always been uncertain, but this does not justify pessimism.&nbsp; I believe that no one is smart enough to be a pessimist.</p> <p>Recently, I was reading some historical accounts written by so-called “experts” regarding the looming energy crisis.&nbsp; These reports were written decades in the past and predicted that the world would run out of oil sometime during the ’80s.&nbsp; The smartest and best-educated minds of the day looked at all of the facts at hand and came to the conclusion that the heat and light supplied by oil would not be available before the decade of the ’80s was over.&nbsp;</p> <p>As we look back in retrospect, we clearly realize that these “experts” were not smart enough to be pessimistic.&nbsp; Ironically, the reports to which I refer were written in the 1850s and dealt with the worldwide supply crisis of whale oil.&nbsp;</p> <p>Long before we ran out of whale oil, petroleum was discovered, and that looming crisis of the day was averted.&nbsp; Now we are told that fossil fuels will run out, throwing the world into a crisis.&nbsp; Please understand, even though I’m an optimist, I realize there is a limited supply of fossil fuel and without innovation and intervention of new technology, we will, indeed, face a crisis.&nbsp; But the optimist in me says we will solve this problem.&nbsp;</p> <p>The pessimists among us would say that petroleum—which was the solution to the whale oil crisis—created environmental and supply problems.&nbsp; While this is true, I am convinced there will always be solutions to our current problems.&nbsp; These solutions will create new problems to which we will always find new solutions.&nbsp;</p> <p>The facts always hold realistic reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic.&nbsp; The reason I choose to be an optimist is the fact that we always find what we’re looking for.&nbsp; If we seek solutions, they will appear.&nbsp; If we look for problems, we will invariably find them.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, look at the facts realistically and choose to be an optimist.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/08/optimists-pessimists.html2012-08-16T16:42:00.000Z2012-08-22T16:44:20.403ZHard Times & Good Timesnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Several years ago, I was hired to be the keynote speaker for a dinner at the United States Open Golf Tournament.&nbsp; Although I was extremely well paid for my efforts, I would have gladly given a speech at the event free-of-charge simply for the opportunity to meet some of the best competitors in the world.</p> <p>The week of that particular US Open Championship, there was a record-setting heat wave that greatly affected the golf course, the gallery, and the competitors.&nbsp; Tiger Woods was leading the tournament after the third round and was asked how the heat was affecting his play.&nbsp; He replied, “I trained to play in the heat so I actually hope it gets hotter tomorrow.”</p> <p>Great competitors win during the difficult times.&nbsp; Whenever we face difficult economic conditions in my industry or within my company, I always try to remember that everyone in the field is facing the same conditions.&nbsp; At the end of every economic downturn, there is invariably a time of growth and prosperity.&nbsp; The people and organizations that enjoy this growth and prosperity are invariably the ones that survived the hard times.&nbsp;</p> <p>Anyone can perform well and maintain a great attitude when they are going downhill with the wind at their back.&nbsp; But only when conditions become adverse do the real champions emerge.&nbsp; When we understand this principle, we no longer dread difficult conditions, but we, instead, embrace them as an opportunity to grow, develop, and outshine our competition.&nbsp;</p> <p>Great fortunes, innovations, and breakthroughs were forged during the most difficult historical times.&nbsp; If you look back at the companies that were formed during The Great Depression or went through those difficult times during their formative years, you will find a great number of vibrant and vital companies.&nbsp; Once you have gone through tough times, you no longer fear them.&nbsp; You know you can make it because you made it before.&nbsp;</p> <p>The first time you rode a bicycle or swam the length of a pool, you accomplished something you previously had thought to be impossible.&nbsp; After this milestone, riding a bicycle or swimming the length of a pool became routine.&nbsp;</p> <p>If we want to become better at anything, we have to push ourselves in order to extend our capacity and creativity.&nbsp; This is never a comfortable prospect, but when difficult decisions arise, it gives us all the opportunity to live up to our potential.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, welcome the hard times as an opportunity to prove your greatness to yourself and the whole world.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/08/hard-times-good-time.html2012-08-09T16:49:00.000Z2012-08-22T16:50:48.432ZA Highly Effective Personnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>This morning, I was mourning the death and celebrating the life of Dr. Stephen Covey.&nbsp; He will always be remembered for his groundbreaking book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.&nbsp; Other than possibly Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich!, Dr. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has probably impacted more business and world leaders than any other book.</p> <p>I was privileged to sit in his audience several times and even more privileged to work with him on the same stage.</p> <p>When I wrote the sequel to The Ultimate Gift book and movie entitled The Ultimate Life, Dr. Covey provided me with an insightful endorsement saying, “I remember once trying to free a struggling butterfly from its cocoon by cutting the last remaining threads with a knife—all the time thinking I was helping it, unknowingly destroying any chance it had to fly.&nbsp; This inspiring book clearly distinguishes between primary greatness (character and contribution) and secondary greatness (prestige, wealth, position, etc.)”</p> <p>The Ultimate Life&nbsp; is the story about a wealthy young man who has to learn the difference between values and valuables.&nbsp; I wrote a book of nearly 200 pages to try to illustrate this principle, and in one quick quote, Dr. Covey captured the essence of the message.</p> <p>Among personal development and success writers and speakers, there are a few thought leaders that occupy a place of prominence.&nbsp; Among the giants in our industry, I heard Dr. Covey quoted more than virtually anyone else.&nbsp; Instead of striving to introduce something his audience didn’t know, Dr. Covey sought to explain the importance of things we already know and need to implement.</p> <p>Dr. Covey understood that results come not from what we read, hear, think about, or even understand.&nbsp; Results come only from the things we do.</p> <p>Many writers seek to make people more wealthy, more famous, or more powerful.&nbsp; Dr. Covey helped us all define our own success, and then he helped us become more effective.&nbsp; Being effective is a concept that not only impacts one individual but can change a whole corporation or community, and in Dr. Covey’s case, his effectiveness has and will continue to change the whole world.</p> <p>When I look at people’s personal problems, organizational challenges, and the issues that face the entire globe, they can all be improved by remembering Dr. Covey’s simple admonition, “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”</p> <p>As you go through your day today, define what really matters in your world, and follow the giant who taught us all to be more effective.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/08/a-highly-effective-p.html2012-08-02T16:52:00.000Z2012-08-22T16:53:12.325ZThunder & Lighteningnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>Recently, people around the world enjoyed the NBA championship series.&nbsp; This is a seven game playoff between the two best basketball teams in the world to determine the eventual champion.</p> <p>While NBA basketball may be predominantly thought of as an American pursuit, I talked with people, literally around the world, who were following this year’s NBA championship with great enthusiasm.&nbsp; The NBA playoffs were particularly meaningful to me this year because I live in Oklahoma.&nbsp; Oklahoma had never enjoyed having a professional team in a major media sport until the Oklahoma City Thunder emerged several years ago.</p> <p>It has been amazing to observe the lightening reaction by people to this young basketball team.&nbsp; While the Oklahoma City Thunder eventually fell victim to the skill and experience of the Miami Heat, I’m convinced that everybody who observed the championship competition came out a winner.</p> <p>The skill, expertise, and athleticism of professional sports are hard to comprehend at first glance.&nbsp; Since all the players are great, it’s hard to understand the level of expertise they truly exhibit.&nbsp; In much the same way, it’s hard to understand how tall professional basketball players truly are until you stand next to one of them.&nbsp; Seven-foot basketball players competing against one another seem normal until you confront them face-to-face.</p> <p>Skeptics might wonder what all the fuss is about, but beyond the fun and exhilaration of getting caught up in competitive games, there are many lessons to be learned that carry far beyond the basketball court.</p> <p>My late, great friend and mentor, John Wooden—arguably the best coach ever—liked to consider himself a teacher more than a coach.&nbsp; Coach Wooden felt that the basketball court was a marvelous classroom because success and failure are readily apparent.&nbsp; Coach Wooden taught his players great basketball lessons such as:&nbsp; Be quick but don’t hurry; Don’t go to where the play is—go to where the play is going to be; and You’re not responsible for winning or losing but simply giving your best effort and being better today than you were yesterday.</p> <p>While it’s obvious how these lessons could benefit someone on the basketball court, these treasures of wisdom can benefit you and me in our daily pursuits.</p> <p>I was reminded of Coach Wooden while I followed the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team this year.&nbsp; The passion, persistence, and precision demonstrated on the court gave me many evenings of entertainment and still provide me with many days of productivity.</p> <p>As you go through your day today, observe and emulate the champions in every walk of life.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/07/thunder-lightening.html2012-07-19T16:54:00.000Z2012-08-22T18:33:18.357ZEverything Countsnoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>I’m a firm believer in the concept that we never do anything, good or bad, that we don’t get paid for.&nbsp; Some of the good things you may do may not be immediately or obviously rewarded, but I believe they will be; and if someone does something bad, it may seem—in the short term—that they’re getting away with it, but consequences are a universal law.&nbsp;</p> <p>Everything we do matters in the grand scheme of things.&nbsp; There are some things that seem more critical than others, but if we will step back and examine it, we will realize that the crisis comes from our performance not external factors.</p> <p>Recently, I’ve been enjoying the NBA playoffs.&nbsp; It seems like basketball, more than any other sport, often comes down to what sports announcers or fans would call a last-second critical shot.&nbsp; In reality, if a team needs a last-second basket to win the game, that single basket counts no more or less than if they had made it immediately after the opening tipoff at the beginning of the game.&nbsp; In fact, often the last-second basket seems critical because a team may have played poorly at some point in the first half, and the crisis comes to the surface at the last second.&nbsp;</p> <p>Last college football season, fans watched in frustration and anguish as a young man from Stanford University missed a critical field goal.&nbsp; Obviously, you would expect a kicker at the major college level to routinely make that field goal; however, if the team had simply gotten another first down in the second quarter or if a receiver had not dropped a pass on the opening drive of the game, Stanford might never have needed that field goal in the last second of the game.&nbsp;</p> <p>Many crises we face in our personal and professional lives are self-induced.&nbsp; We put ourselves in a financial or time constraint and then need some last second heroics to emerge unscathed.&nbsp; Success in life is not about seeing how close we can get to the edge without going over the cliff.&nbsp; While there are last-second emergencies and crunch times in everyone’s life, the majority of stress and frantic last-minute efforts could be avoided by prior planning.&nbsp;</p> <p>Too many people who face last-minute financial or deadline emergencies based their planning on a best-case scenario.&nbsp; If you don’t plan for the inevitable delay, flat tire, or budget overrun, you will live your whole life facing the frantic last-second shot to stay in the game.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, plan to win in every area of your life beginning with the first play of the game, not just the last one.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/07/everything-counts.html2012-07-05T18:36:00.000Z2012-08-22T18:38:00.651ZMayberry To Matlock & Morenoemail@noemail.orgJim Stovall<p>This past week, I joined the rest of the world in mourning the loss of Andy Griffith.&nbsp; He died at age 86 after living a successful life both professionally and personally.&nbsp;</p> <p>He will always be remembered for playing the sheriff on The Andy Griffith Show.&nbsp; That series began over a half-century ago and has never been off the air.&nbsp; You can go virtually anywhere in the world and enjoy The Andy Griffith Show dubbed into a myriad of languages.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor and the lessons from that show will be his lasting legacy, if you only experienced Andy Griffith through that role, you missed a lot.&nbsp;</p> <p>His first love was singing gospel music and standards, although initially he failed to launch his career as a singer.&nbsp; He came to national prominence as a comedian performing long monologues as a storyteller.&nbsp; This led to a major role on Broadway and television in the show, No Time for Sergeants.&nbsp; If&nbsp; you never saw Andy Griffith perform as a dramatic actor, you’re in for a treat when you watch him in the lead role in Elia Kazan’s film, A Face in the Crowd.&nbsp;</p> <p>After his Mayberry fame, Andy Griffith did a number of guest appearances and commercials until he found another TV home playing the great southern lawyer, Ben Matlock.&nbsp; When I began my company, the Narrative Television Network, one of the first syndicated programs we narrated for millions of blind and visually impaired people across the country, was NBC’s Matlock.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>When you write a narration script for an existing program, as our team does at NTN, you spend many hours focusing on each program.&nbsp; You come to appreciate great performances and quickly become bored with sloppy productions.&nbsp; As a writer myself, I came to truly appreciate Andy Griffith as an economical and powerful actor in his role as Ben Matlock.&nbsp; Later in his life, Andy Griffith returned to his first love and recorded a number of best-selling, award-winning gospel albums.&nbsp;</p> <p>Media analysts and historians will continue to debate why The Andy Griffith Show has become and will remain an enduring classic.&nbsp; The fact of the matter is that through the vehicle of a simpler time and place, Andy Griffith introduced us all to our higher selves through the characters in Mayberry.&nbsp; Mayberry showed us all that by taking away everything we thought was important, we can drill down to the things that really matter.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you go through your day today, draw on your Mayberry memories and avoid the clutter.&nbsp; Focus on the things that matter and laugh a little.</p> <p>Today’s the day!</p> <p>Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at <a href="mailto:Jim@JimStovall.com">Jim@JimStovall.com</a>; or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor">www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor</a>.</p> http://localhost:4503/content/ppg/en/blogs/career-ignition-blog/2012/07/mayberry-to-matlock-.html2012-06-12T18:28:00.000Z2012-08-22T18:32:04.133Z 500

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