Mar 28

Survive to Thrive

We were at Connexus on Sunday and the message was about surviving versus thriving.

The main point is that there is an spending epidemic in our society today and you have to wonder what has happened to our values. Marriages are suffering and people just don’t know what to do. Finances are one of the highest issues in families today. Lack of margin keeps up awake at night, we end up exhausted both physically and emotionally and that makes us really grumpy!

When did having two cars become more important than a quality vacation with the family? By quality, I mean something as simple as a week camping up north. We have some of the greatest scenery in the world right here in Ontario.

Do we really need three tv’s, two stereos and four cell phones in a family home?

Some times we just are so overwhelmed we don’t know where to start. Having come from the financial services industry, I suggest you call your advisor and go through a needs analysis with an open mind.

If you had a pain in your back, you wouldn’t likely fix it yourself. I would think you would see a doctor or chiropractor. So why would you continue doing what you have already proven doesn’t work?

We have been “surviving” for a few years now. It’s time to THRIVE!

Have a great day,

Barry
http://imarketing.mysharingspace.com

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/survive-to-thrive-2/

Mar 25

Are You a Carrot, An Egg, or a Coffee Bean?

We face many challenges throughout our lives that will shape our future depending on how we respond to them. I came across this a few years ago and I just can’t say it better myself.

Barry

P.S.

What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that my son made it to Calgary safely yesterday. I’m thankful for my daughter who will be there for him when I can’t. I’m thankful for my wife who helped create this beautiful life!

Are You a Carrot, An Egg, or a Coffee Bean?

Anonymous

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

carrot-575529_160Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

eggs-591252_160She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked. “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

coffee-beans-399466_160The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

coffee-157458_259

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another lever?

How do you handle Adversity? Are you a Carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/are-you-a-carrot-an-egg-or-a-coffee-bean/

Mar 24

Gone again!

Be careful what you teach your kids. They just may pay attention!

My youngest left the nest again this morning. Last time he was off to Quebec to learn some French. He discovered it wasn’t what he expected and came back home. We really tried to reinforce that it wasn’t a failure but just an experience.

My son learned from that and now he’s trying again. His goal is to earn a good referral in order to make applications to places internationally so that he can experience the world and gain life skills.

I’m really proud of him! I want him to stay on track as far as education goes but there is something to be said for life experience as well.

We always taught our kids to challenge convention and not accept things at face value. This made for some interesting times with the school system but I have to say, I believe our children will all be leaders. For me, this means that as parents we have achieved a major goal with our children.

Good luck son! I think a lot of us adults could take a lesson from you.

Take a chance. What’s the worst that happens? You lose money? You can lose money and make it back again. Look at “The Donald”.

The old cliche is that you fail your way to the top. You may stumble once in a while but if you don’t try, you can’t succeed!

Go ahead, take a chance.

Have a great day,

Barry

P.S.
What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that I was able to climb the 10 flights of stairs when the elevator didn’t work! I’m thankful there was food in the fridge this morning. I’m thankful that God blessed us with such great kids!

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/gone-again/

Mar 23

Have you seen Fred?

In The Slight Edge, Jeff talks about reading 10 pages a day and explains how just this simple commitment will allow you to read 15 – 20 books a year. Because I travel to Toronto every day, I’m spending almost four hours a day on the bus. I decided that it isn’t unrealistic to take 15 mnutes a day to read. Now I’m on another book!

The Fred Factor. This book by Mark Sanborn really emphasizes many of the same principles that you hear in The Leader Who Had No Title and The Slight Edge. It’s doing the little things time after time that add up to greatness.

How often do you remember to kiss your wife goodbye on the way out to work? Do you know what her favourite treat is? What is the one thing the kids enjoy doing with you and when was the last time you did it?
Most of these things don’t cost much but mean a lot to those people you care about in your life.

What about the people you don’t know? We pass people on the street every day and you see them struggling. For example, an elderly person having a hard time opening a door. Do you offer assistance?

“Freds” are those people who do that little bit more for those around them that make the world a better place a little bit every day. They are everywhere! You see them in the store, you see them in the office and you see them on the street. These people make a choice to improve the world around them and through their actions make the world a better place for the rest of us.

Next time you see a “Fred”, say thanks. Be careful though, you could become one of them.

Have a great day!

Barry

What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that my son is finding happiness. I’m thankful that I am able to read. I’m thankful for Connexus and what it is doing for my wife.

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/have-you-seen-fred/

Mar 22

Is it really that easy?

In The Leader Who Had No Title, the comment is made “so success is actually easy”. I believe it can be. I also believe that for some reason most of us make it difficult!

Compare yourself to your teenager. How many times have we said “If you had just done what I told you, it wouldn’t be that hard”?

We talk about this in my wife’s business. If you were to pay $1M for a large franchise opportunity, you would show up for the training and you would do the things that they told you worked. At least the successful people would. But when you see an opportunity for a couple of hundred dollars, you don’t give it the same respect. Why is that? It’s because pain is the greatest motivator. Only when $200 causes as much pain for you as $1M will you give the same attention and effort.

Why is it that we wait for the pain?

To quote from Robin Sharma’s The Leader Who Had No Title “success is created through the performance of a few small daily disciplines that stack up over time to produce achievements far beyond anything you could have ever planned for”.

I’ll use a very simple example of practicing The Slight Edge philosphy. I had a diabetic incident last summer. My mother had just died and I believe that her diabetes had a lot to do with that. I was feeling some pain! Over the next two weeks, went to the hospital and spent 12 hours hooked up to an IV getting flushed. That drove the pain home! I modified my diet and started walking a half hour a day at lunch time. Every day, rain or shine. The first couple of times that it rained, I almost excused myself from the walk but forced myself to go out.

Within about 12 weeks, I lost over 25 pounds, had more energy, and don’t need any medication to control my sugar!  Now something is missing from my day if I miss my walk.

There was no miracle cure. It was simple discipline. Now, if I can just apply this to the rest of my life!

It’s not easy, but it is.  Like Nike says:  Just do it!

Have a great day.

Barry

P.S.
What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for the people who care enough to put up with me. I’m thankful for high speed internet. I’m thankful my Dad is still alive.

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/is-it-really-that-easy/

Mar 21

Be prepared!

That’s the Scout motto.

So simple and yet really sage advice.

When I was selling insurance, I regularly told people that they should be prepared and that insurance was a part of the solution. At the time, I was selling from the heart with the belief that “stuff” can happen. It was difficult to be able to explain why. I would suggest that although we never expect to outlive our children, you should pay the $2/month just in case. I explained that you should consider critical illness insurance because with diseases like cancer in the world today “you never know”. I explained that it is certain that we will eventually need long term care and we really don’t want to burden our children with those expenses.

In my wife’s business, we advise that for the cost of the legal plan, it could be very usefull to have questions answered if you should end up becoming a trustee or executor or even just dealing with things like your cell phone bill.

Then my life happened. In a period of four months, my mother had a fall (she recovered, had a heart attack and died), my dad had a stroke and my son died. We argue the cell bill every month!

There were many unexpected expenses and I ended up as a joint trustee and then executor for both my mother and my son. There is a good chance that dad will require long term care.

I thought this stuff only happened in movies.

Now I can really say “Be Prepared” and mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Talk to your insurance advisor today. It may be the most valuable use of your time and resources even if it means facing your mortality square on. The process could even save your life in the process. It wouldn’t be first time that an underlying condition was exposed that would otherwise go unaddressed.

Live life to the fullest because you never know when your time is done. Make sure you enjoy every moment, even the challenging ones because those are the ones you learn from the most!

Barry

P.S
What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for wonderful brothers and a sister. I’m thankful for gas in the car. I’m thankful for the God in my life!

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/be-prepared/

Mar 18

The Slight Edge

Jeff Olson is an acquaintance of ours who wrote a book called “The Slight Edge”. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, you will be treated to an amazing experience. It’s a pleasure to hear from someone that speaks with true passion.

One of my favourite stories is of the two young men who’s father is dying. The father is very wealthy and calls his sons to his side. He gives them two choices. One is instant financial wealth, the other is a long term strategy. He gives them time to think before making their choice. Of course, being brothers, they each have to make a different decision and the story goes on to tell about how and why one is successful and the other is not.

I don’t want to give away too much because I believe you should read the book! There is a lot to be learned in this story. In a nutshell, the one who chose what seemed to be the lesser option, is the one who came out ahead in the end because he was willing to do the little things in a consistent manner over time. He understood that doing the little things time over time will lead to great results. This is the Slight Edge philosophy.

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?!

I believe that we should all strive to improve ourselves every day. One of the ways to do that is to read the teachings and experiences of people who have gone before us. By reading 10 pages a day, you will have read 15 – 20 books over the course of a year.

You will find that there are common themes and it may seem repetitive.  My experience is that I can hear the same stuff 20 times from 20 different people but for some reason I reach a point where I’m finally ready to absorb what I hear. Everyone presents ideas in different ways and eventually, some speaks directly to you.

Don’t give up. Do your ten a day. Live the Slight Edge philosophy and one day, in what to appears to be “all of a sudden” you will find your success.

God Bless and have a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that I have a car to get to work. I’m thankful that I have meaningful work in my life. I’m thankful that I can help others because of some of the challenging experiences I have faced in my life.

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/the-slight-edge/

Mar 17

What is your blueprint?

In T. Harv Eker’s “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, he talks about your blueprint.

I compare this to the story of the ugly duckling. Remember that one?

The duckling grows up thinking he’s ugly and he’s ashamed of the way he thinks the world sees him. One day, when he’s a little older, he happens to see his reflection in the water. What he sees is a beautiful swan. Elegant and graceful. At first he doesn’t realize that he is seeing himself. Eventually he comes to realize he is, in fact, a beautiful swan and his perception of himself is changed forever.

In “Secrets of the Millionair Mind” we read about how, as children, we are born into a certain set of circumstances and that becomes what we know. Like a swan who only sees a family of ducks growing up, we believe that is all there is to life. Some are lucky enough to be exposed to opportunity earlier in life. For others, it may not happen until later. The challenge is to recognize opportunity when we see it and act upon that opportunity.

By opportunity, I don’t mean just a chance at a business or material gain. The opportunity may be the chance to make a change.

The “blueprint” that we carry with us is our guiding map in life. What we often forget is that you can change a blueprint. It’s a lot of work but it can be done.

I’ll use an example of a building that I am working in. It has been half empty for some time. There is a local agency that needed some space but the building had been insulated with asbestos and could not be used for their purpose unless the asbestos was removed. Luckily, someone recognized an opportunity to make changes to the blueprint which allows for the removal of the asbestos and redesigning the interior workspace for a different use. Now that agency can stay close to where they were and meet their clients needs without causing undue hardship to others.

Our building is now safer for us as a result of our making changes triggered by an external source. It can be the same for people.

Sometimes an external force makes us look at ourselves in a slightly different light and all of a sudden the world changes. This can only happen if you are open minded enough to take another look at your “blueprint”!

When was the last time you really took a look at your blueprint to see if you should make any changes?

Have a great day! I know I’m choosing to!

Barry

P.S.
What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for the people I work with that took me under their wing during a rough period in my life. I’m thankful that someone told me about this book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”. I’m thankful for the wonderful people who drive the Greyhound bus that takes me to work most days.

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/what-is-your-blueprint/

Mar 16

Japan: Disaster or Opportunity?

Both!

It’s very upsetting for those close to this disaster. Many have been hurt or killed by this natural phenomenon and there are still worries about the nuclear reactor. I would certainly understand the fear and anger.

What happens when we face the fear head on and look past it to opportunity?

Historically, after a major catastrophy or war like the Second World War, there is a period of rejunevation. Germany and Japan suffered a lot of damage during that period. They are now very powerful economies. The current fear is evidenced by the fear we are seeing in the markets as a result of the situation this week in Japan.

Now that people are starting to see past the fear, the markets are starting to respond in a positive manner and people are starting to organize for the recovery phaze. I’m sure the fear will come and go over the next while and things will settle down again.

Once we get through this period, I wouldn’t be surprised if Japan went through another period of growth.

Think about this. How often do we experience a personal disaster and go through a time where we just can’t see anything positive coming from what has happened to us?

As with Japan, what happens after the disaster is totally up to us.

Japan will get back up on its feet and people will step up to the plate for Japan and help make the country safe and habitable again; just as those around you will provide encouragement and support for you in a time of need if you let them.

What will your choice be? Are you going to get back up on your feet and ask for help if you need it?

If you need a little push up the hill, swallow a little pride and just ask.

Frankly, people love to help by nature. It makes them feel good! Beats drugs or booze any time.

Have a great day!

Barry
http://imarketing.mysharingspace.com

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/japan-disaster-or-opportunity/

Mar 16

The 10 Human Regrets

This is from Robin Sharma’s “The Leader Who Had No Title”.

I will make sure that this is not my list:

1. You reach your last day with the brilliant song that your life was meant to sing still silent within you.

2. You reach your last day without ever having experienced the natural power that inhabits you to do great work and achieve great things.

3. You reach your last day realizing that you never inspired anyone else by the example that you set.

4. You reach your last day full of pain at the realization that you never took any bold risks and so you never received any bright rewards.

5. You reach your last day understanding that you missed the opportunity to catch a glimpse of mastery because you bought into the lie that you had to be resigned to mediocrity.

6. You reach your last day and feel heartbroken that you never learned the skill of tranforming adversity into victory and lead into gold.

7. You reach your last day regretting that you forgot that work is about being radically helpful to others rather than being helpful only to yourself.

8. You reach your last day with the awareness that you ended up living the life that society trained you to want versus leading the life you truly wanted to have.

9. You reach your last day and awaken to the fact that you never realized your absolute best nor touched the special genius that you were built to become.

10. You reach your last day and discover you could have been a leader and left this world so much better than you found it. But you refused to accept that mission because you were just too scared. And so you failed, and wasted a life.

Barry:
What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that God gave me the courage to try new things (and my wife!). I’m thankful that I have a beautiful little grand daughter. I’m thankful for the wonderful people who have touched my life, even the ones that caused pain because that is often where I have learned the most.

A couple of days ago I was on the subway and saw a young mother with her child. The child was having a great time and had jumped up onto a seat leaving the mother standing by herself.

A teenage girl was sitting beside the boy and got up and offered the mother the seat so that she could be with her son to protect him.

I made a point of telling that teenage girl that had shown a lot of class in giving up her seat to that mother. The look on the teenager’s face was priceless! Teenagers are not used to compliments from adults. Isn’t that sad?

See you who you can surprise today!

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/the-10-human-regrets/

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