Think Like a Roman Emperor

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“The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that doesn’t binge on Netflix.

Each week we discuss ONE IDEA that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is how to THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR.

And how ANCIENT WISDOM can help us live a modern life.

Did someone say TOGA???

The Vibe:  Think Like a Roman Emperor  

The disease was rumored to have started in Asia.

It spread to every part of the world.

The virus wreaked havoc.

Travel was shut down.

Sporting events and parties were put on hold.

The economy tanked.

Everyday life was turned upside down.

By now you know what this is about…

The Antonine Plague of 165 AD.

A virus invaded the Roman Empire almost 2,000 years ago.

It caused one of the worst crisises in the empire’s 900 year history.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “This plague made Rome look more like a battlefield than a world power.”

Sound familiar?

The Romans looked to one person to guide them through this crisis – their Emperor -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus is considered one of the greatest emperors in Rome’s history.

To deal with all the wars, plagues and problems of running an empire, Marcus wrote notes to himself.

These notes were reminders of how to live with high CHARACTER and VIRTUE.

By luck, his personal diary still exists.

The diary, which was never meant for anyone but Marcus, is now considered one of the greatest books ever written.

It’s called MEDITATIONS.

Author Tyler Cowen calls MEDITATIONS “a quake book,” because it shakes your view of the world upside down.

US Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Generals have relied on MEDITATIONS to help them through tough times.

Could an ANCIENT DIARY help us navigate through our current CRISIS?

You bet your chariott  it can.

Here are 3.5 ways to THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR:

1) Shut off the News

Marcus wrote, “Stop allowing your mind to be a slave, to be jerked about.” 

It’s time to give ourself a break from the noise.

We all know what to do:  6 feet away, self-distance, and wash our hands until our skin almost falls off.

Anything else is speculation and gossip.

No need to fill our minds with unactionable information.

Shut it off.

Free your mind.

2) Less Is More

Marcus wrote, “Let your deeds be few.  Limit yourself to what is essential.” 

Plagues have an amazing ability to FOCUS us on what’s important.

It’s time to cut out the MENTAL and PHYSICAL clutter in our lives.

Time to simplify our homes and lifestyles.

And carry that simplicity with us when things open up again.

Simplicity is liberating.

3) Help Others

Marcus wrote, “Avoid all actions that are purposeless.  Let every action aim solely at the common good.” 

NHL great Wayne Gretzky liked to say that it was not how great we are, its how great we can make others.

Times like this are an amazing opportunity to help someone.

Maybe drop some supplies off to a neighbor or make a donation to a great cause.

3.5) Keep Calm & Roll On

Marcus wrote, “Bear in mind that all of this has happened before, and all will happen again.  The same plot from beginning to end.”

Plagues and natural disasters are nothing new.

Lucky for us we get to take on this plague with wifi, Whole Foods delivery, and on demand Yoga classes.

Life is going to test us.

It will throw OBSTACLES at us until the day we die.

Just KEEP CALM and  ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.

Ryan Holiday said,“We might not be emperors, but the world is constantly testing us. Can you get past the things that fall in our way. Will you stand up and show us what you’re made of?”

Adversity reveals character.

Let’s show how much we have.

Stay well.

#ThinkLikeARomanEmperor

Cura ut valeas…

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Choose Your List

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“What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.” – Jen Sincero  

Here’s an idea from Seth Godin:

Create two lists.

On the FIRST LIST, write down all your COMPLAINTS:

  • The people who took you for granted.
  • All the bad breaks that came your way.
  • The work you did that was not appreciated.
  • The times you were misunderstood.
  • Projects that did not work out.

Be honest.

Come clean.

No need to hold back.

Let the NEGATIVE VIBES bleed all over the page.

Now on to the SECOND LIST.

Write down all the UNFAIR ADVANTAGES you were given:

  • All the people who supported you.
  • The good breaks that came your way.
  • The friends that had your back.
  • The mentors that accelerated your learning curve.
  • All the times you got the benefit of the doubt.

Now…

Choose one list.

Put this list someplace you’ll see it maybe once a year.

Hide it with the holiday decorations.

Or maybe put it with that crock pot you never use but refuse to donate.

Now take the other list.

Tape it to your favorite mirror.

Or put it in your phone.

Place it somewhere you’ll see it multiple times a day.

Godin writes, “The daily list will determine what you notice and the story you tell yourself.”

The list you look at everyday will create your MINDSET.

It will determine the ATTITUDE you bring into the world.

Here’s the BEST PART…

What list you choose is 100% in your control.

#ChooseYourList

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

Enough

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“The greatest misfortune is not to know contentment.” – Dao De Jing

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were attending a party at a billionaire’s estate on Shelter Island, NY.

Heller, the author of Catch 22, one of the most acclaimed novels of the the 20th century, was asked a question.

Vonnegut: “Joe, how does it feel that our host made more money yesterday than ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

Heller replied:  “I’ve got something he will never have.”

Vonnegut: “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

Heller:  “The knowledge that I have ENOUGH.”

Ambition is a double edged sword.

What fuels our ambition is the same thing that keeps us from enjoying what we have.

The need for ‘MORE’ can crush our HAPPINESS.

It stops us from feeling GRATITUDE for the gifts we already have.

Even after we aquire ‘MORE’, the next level always comes into sight.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “It’s delusional to think that doing more of the same will bring about a different result.  The need for more will keep you from being happy.”

HAPPINESS and GRATITUDE can’t be found externally.

They come from within.

Over 2,500 years ago Lau Tzu wrote, “When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

There’s no denying there are some things we need MORE of in our lives.

But they are those intangible soft skills that can’t be bought or shown on a balance sheet:

EMPATHY.

GRATITUDE.

SELF-AWARENESS.

More TIME with the people we care about most.

Nothing we BUY or SELL can ever take the place of these.

Because what’s essential is invisible to the eye.

On his death bed, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, was the richest person in the world.

As his family gathered around his hospital bed during his final moments, Walton looked around the room and said his last words, “I blew it.”

No need to blow it.

Stay ambitious.

Keep showing up.

Please give us your best work.  

Just make sure to measure what matters.

#Enough

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

The Secret

“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.” –  Neale Donald Walsch

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Gratitude is the secret.

BE GRATEFUL for the journey that brought you to this point.

BE GRATEFUL for all the things that went your way.

BE GRATEFUL for all the obstacles that knocked you down.

BE GRATEFUL for the present moment directly in front of you.

Love all of it.

It’s the only way.

#TheSecret

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Write It Down

“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.” —Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

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What do the following people have in common?

Besides changing the course of history, they all shared a common practice.

They kept a JOURNAL.

Journaling is a life changing habit.

When I first heard about journaling, I was sceptical.

I thought writing in a journal was something that people who wrote bad poetry did.

I was wrong.

Jim Rohn said, “If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured, and unique individual, keep a journal.”

There are a number of studies that show keeping a journal helps you better cope with STRESS and ANXIETY.

A journal will help you:

  • PRIORITIZE your day.
  • CLARIFY your thinking.
  • Stay ORGANIZED and FOCUSED.
  • Increase your CREATIVITY.

HOW TO JOURNAL:

FIND YOUR PLACE

You don’t need a vista.

You don’t need an ocean view or a Pottery Barn table.

Da Vinci wrote (in one of his journals), Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

Keep it simple.

Pick a spot where you can open up your blank notebook, feel comfortable and write down your thoughts.

GET YOUR TIMING WRITE

Start by allocating 10 minutes each day.

We are all busy.

But we all need time to THINK and REFLECT.

For many, there is a burst of creative energy that comes after a good night’s sleep.

For you NIGHT OWLS, there might be no better way to clear your mind than writing your thoughts down before bed.

Capture those ideas on paper.

WHAT TO WRITE?

The first step is the hardest.

Don’t let what to write be an OBSTACLE.

Here are some journal prompts to get you started:

  • What’s got my attention?
  • What made me happy today?
  • What surprised me?
  • What challenges am I facing?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What excites me?
  • What scares me?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What great quote did I hear?
  • What people do I need to spend more time with?

NO FEAR

Write without fear.

Lose your inhibitions.

Don’t hold back.

Let your writing express how you really feel.

This journal is for you.

No one else.

THE BENEFITS

Journaling will help you enter each day with greater clarity.

Your actions will be more focused.

You’ll start to feel GRATITUDE for the little things.

2,000 years ago, the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “Just as one person delights in improving their farm, so I delight in attending to my own improvement.” 

So…

What’s on your mind?

What’s keeping you up at night?

How can you make tomorrow better than today?

Do what some of the greatest minds in history have done…

#WriteItDown

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

A Beautiful Mind

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop

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What’s the SECRET TO LIFE?

The best explanation I ever heard is from Tony Robbins.

In his UNSHAKEABLE podcast, Robbins said there are 2 rules people need to follow to live an extraordinary life.

RULE #2

“Surround yourself with quality individuals.  You become who you hang out with.”

Who do you spend the most time with?

Who’s In Your 5?

These people influence:

  • What you DO.
  • What you EAT.
  • How you MOVE.
  • What you READ.
  • Where you GO.

Think about it.

Is this the life you want to lead?

If not, it may be time to MAKE SOME CHANGES. 

Nothing will elevate our lives faster than being surrounded by great people.

RULE #1

“Develop the ability to live in a state of gratitude regardless of your circumstances.” 

It’s easy to BE HAPPY when things are going our way.

It takes a strong MINDSET to do so when life gets difficult.

Robbins said, “We have to remember that life happens for us, not to us.” 

Each OBSTACLE is there to make us better.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Obstacles show us who we really are.”

There are seeds of opportunity in every setback.

Gifts are hidden inside each problem.

Our job is to find it.

There is nothing more liberating than…

#ABeutifulMind

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

The Master Skill

“If something is not a “Hell YEAH!”, then it’s a “No!” ― James Altucher

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Warren Buffett is worth $78 Billion.

The “Oracle of Omaha” is the 2nd richest person in the world.

Buffett was interviewed by SUCCESS magazine.

When old Warren speaks, it’s probably not a bad idea to lower the volume on House of Cards and take a listen.

The interviewer asked:

What is the #1 Key to your success?”

Without hesitation, Buffett answered:

“For every 100 great opportunities that are brought to me, I say no 99 times.” 

Buffett concluded:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say “No” to almost everything.” 

“NO” GIVES YOU OPPORTUNITY

We make a decision to START a NEW GOAL.  

As soon as we make a little progress, life tests our commitment.

The universe will try to take that time back.

We will be:

  • Invited to an event we don’t want to attend.
  • Asked to take on a forgettable project at work.
  • Picked to be on a group that meets way too much.

Saying “Yes” to the wrong things causes us to DRIFT. 

Lucky for us there is a WAY OUT .

Say “No”.

“NO” IS POWERFUL

“No” may be the most POWERFUL word in the English language.

Darren Hardy wrote, “Saying ‘No’ is the master skill of success.”

Saying “No”:

  • Puts us in back in charge.
  • Buys back our time.
  • Creates space to work on what’s important.

“NO” IS HARD

I have struggled saying “No” my entire life.

When I tell someone “No”, I feel like I am letting them down.

I’ve come to realize when I don’t say “NO” to distractions, I’m just letting myself down.

To accomplish anything REMARKABLE, we have to disappoint some people.

“NO” STARTS WITH GRATITUDE

Saying “No” requires TACT. 

I’ve found saying “Thank you” in front of “No” has real value:

“Thank you for your offer, but I can’t make it.”

Saying “Thank You” shows GRATITUDE.  

It’s also easier on the other person’s EGO.

“NO” NEEDS TIME

Another “No” tactic that works is asking for time to think about.

“Thank you for your offer:

  • “…I just can’t commit to that right now.”

  • “…can I look at my schedule and get back to you?”

  • “…I can’t make it, but if something changes I’ll let you know.”

“NO” CREATES SIMPLICITY

Saying “No” declutters our schedules.

“No” simplifies our lives.

We create more time to work on the things that matter.

Josh Billings wrote, “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying “Yes” too quickly and not saying ‘No’ soon enough.”

Take a HOT TIP from the world’s greatest investor…

#JustSayNo  

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net