The Means and the End in Life

The Means and the End in Life
by Darren Hardy

What is the most important thing in your life?

If you and I were face to face right now and I asked you that question, you’d probably promptly reply with “my family” or “my children” or “my spouse.”

But are you actually living that way? We say our family and relationships are most important, but our values are demonstrated not by our words, but by our deeds—not by what we say, but what we do.

I have found if you want to know what someone really values most, simply look at their calendar and their checkbook. How a person spends their time and money reveals what they really value most.

Well, no more lip service! It’s time to make the main thing in your life, actually the main thing.

When I interviewed Zig Ziglar (SUCCESS, October 2008) and asked him what the greatest secret to his success was, he responded, “I made sure I had a home court advantage. Because what happens at home has a dramatic impact on what you’re going to be able to do out in the public. So I’ll always put my family first. If things at home are good, you have a better chance of being successful out in the world. If you’re worried about what’s happening at home, I guarantee you, you’re not going to be quite as effective out in the world.” So, putting your family first bolsters your ability to succeed outside the home.

Why do we work so hard? Why do we want to succeed? Often, our greatest, innermost motivation is rooted in wanting to provide for and contribute to our family, to deliver security and comfort, to open up opportunities for their future. In the end when we look back on our lives, what mattered most will be the love we shared with those who mean the most—not coins, cars, houses, boats, degrees, titles or even applause. Your family and significant relationships are the means and the end in life.

This issue of SUCCESS is dedicated to helping you gain that home court advantage. We want to help you build stronger bonds, create deeper connections and experience more of life’s greatest reward—love. On the CD enclosed in the print edition, you’ll hear advice from Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott on how to create a lasting marriage. You’ll also hear from family and parenting experts Richard and Linda Eyre. (The Eyres are our featured guest bloggers on You don’t want to miss out on the wisdom they have to offer—be sure to check it out.)

Let’s make a pact: No more lip service. Let’s start actually studying and giving attention to what we say is life’s most important value. Because when we come to the end of this life, our true legacy will lie with the ones we loved best.


Content republished with permission from Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS magazine. For more great insights, tips and strategies on success and achievement go to More about Darren Hardy can be found at:

Business Productivity: For Executives – Availability and Scheduling

Business Productivity: For Executives – Availability and Scheduling
Laura Stack, CSP

“There cannot be a crisis today; my schedule is already full.” — Henry Kissinger, American politician.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen R. Covey, time management and productivity guru.

“A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.” — Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prizing winning author.

One of the core keys of SuperCompetence is Availability: your willingness and ability to protect your time, so that you can accomplish your desired activities. At the C-Suite level, this translates as Scheduling–and Scheduling is about more than just accomplishing the things that you want to accomplish. CEOs, CFOs, Presidents, VPs, Directors, and similar high-level executives have responsibilities that far transcend the average worker’s; the fact that they tend to face those responsibilities in much plusher surroundings doesn’t obviate the reality that, more than ever, they’re hemmed in by their need to limit their availability.

Like Prioritization, Scheduling requires very close attention to what’s truly important–and it’s critical to getting anything important done at all. Once you reach the top, you have to protect your time diligently if you want to keep accomplishing things that are valuable to the organization. You can’t allow yourself to be distracted by the mundane: that is, it’s not up to you to run around putting out brushfires, especially when other people can do so less expensively. That style of management comes perilously close to micromanaging, and it’s even more harmful for the upper-level executive than it is for lower-level managers, because it more directly harms the entire organization.
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Creating Your Clarify, Simplify and Execute Model

Creating Your Clarify, Simplify & Execute Model
Libby Gill

If you’re facing a new challenge or tough situation in life, and the outcome seems overwhelming – or even ominous, try completing the fol­lowing exercise to help your mind clear away the unlikely, damaging ideas it may have rushed to embrace. (You can either read through the exercise in small chunks and do a bit at a time or have someone read it to you.)

Get comfortable, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and let go of stress. Continue deep breathing until you feel relaxed and ready to begin.

Create a mental image of the life you want to live.

Make sure you consider both the professional and personal aspects, including your work, home, family, relationships, spiritual life, and so on. Meditate on your vision until it takes shape and comes into focus in your mind’s eye. If negative thoughts arise (“Who do you think you are?” “What makes you think you can have all that?”) acknowledge them and release them, (without giving them too much energy).
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Business Productivity: For Executives – Prioritization

Business Productivity: For Executives – Prioritization
Laura Stack, CSP

“Prioritization is about doing something. It’s not about an excuse for inaction.” — Bjorn Lomborg, Danish author and business professor

“We can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least, not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.” — Dan Millman, American author
“First things first, second things never.” — Shirley Conran, British editor and writer

In my most recent book, SuperCompetent (John Wiley and Sons, 2010), I identified and described six keys that anyone can use in the workplace to maximize their performance: Activity, Availability, Attention, Accessibility, Accountability, and Attitude. Recently, I’ve been considering how all six affect C-Suite executives–that is, upper-level executives like the CEO, CFO, CIO, Presidents, VPs, and Directors. What issues, concerns, and challenges do senior leaders face in these areas?

As it turns out, these concepts look a bit different at the highest levels, so the standard approaches don’t necessary apply. In many cases, even the names have to be changed. This is why, at the C-Suite level, I prefer to refer to my keys as Prioritization, Scheduling, Focus, Organization, Efficiency, and Attitude, respectively.

In this blog, the first of six in a series, I’ll take a look at the C-Suite version of Activity: Prioritization.
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A Smarter Strategy for Hiring a No. 2

A Smarter Strategy for Hiring a No. 2
Jay Goltz

Over the past two weeks, I’ve read Adriana Gardella’s case study and follow-up blog post about hiring a No. 2 with great interest. The pieces discuss the advantages of using a recruiter and whether it makes sense to hire someone who will focus on tasks or on vision, and they make a lot of good points. Based on my own experiences, however, I have an alternative suggestion: Don’t!

Let me tell you about my experiences. I started my picture-framing business by myself when I was 22 years old. It grew quickly, and after six years or so I was up to about 15 employees and spent most of my day putting out fires. I was a salesperson, the buyer, the chief accountant, the marketing director, the machine mechanic, the deliveryman and occasionally the toilet plunger. Things were simpler, but not easier. All of my employees were hourly, and most of them were young. It became obvious that I needed a No. 2 not only to help me build the business but just to get through the day without a nervous breakdown.

I hired a guy a few years older than I was who had an art degree — I had yet to expand beyond the framing business — and some skills that I didn’t have. It took the pressure off and made things easier — for a while. Years later, the business had grown to 50 employees and needed more of a manager-type No. 2. The resulting issues led to a very unpleasant parting.
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To Be Great, Be Grateful

To Be Great, Be Grateful
by Darren Hardy

Did you know your brain is NOT designed to make you happy? I know this might be alarming to you, but brain has only one primary responsibility–to keep you alive. Thus your brain is constantly on the lookout for danger and attack warnings. Your brain is programmed specifically to seek out the negative.

This is a problem if you desire love, prosperity and happiness–those things beyond simply safety.

Left unguided (as most do), your brain will stew in the negative all day, every day of your life. The conundrum is–what you think about comes about. Where your attention goes, energy flows, thus the direction your life takes.

This is where the power of gratitude comes in. If you want to direct your life in a positive direction, you have to redirect your mind towards abundance and what’s positive by forcing it to focus it on what you are grateful for.
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Business Productivity: The Top Eight Time-Wasters You Must Avoid at Work!

Business Productivity: The Top Eight Time-Wasters You Must Avoid at Work!
Laura Stack, CSP

“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.” — Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin had it right. Of all the resources available to us, time is certainly the most precious. Unlike office supplies or even money, it’s impossible to get more; there’s no box marked “Time” in the supply closet where you can grab a spare minute or two. Once time is spent, it’s gone, and there’s no getting it back

And yet, we invariably waste it.

Look: you can’t afford to waste time at work. A firm grasp of time management is absolutely crucial if you want to succeed…although the truth is, when you manage time, you’re really managing yourself. You need to buckle down and control you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the eight biggest self-inflicted time-wasters in modern business, so you can know what you need to avoid the most.
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