Excerpt for Heart & Mind of a Leader - Creating Your Own Path in Life Through Continuous Learning, Self-Discovery, and Genuine Leadership by , available in its entirety at Smashwords



Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2015 – 2018 by Alex E Kheyson. All Rights Reserved

Published by Alex E Kheyson at Smashwords

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author













































Table of Contents



Chapter 1 - Facing Fears and Learning from Failures

Chapter 2 - Finding Happiness – Tips & Techniques to Deal with Life’s Challenges

Chapter 3 - Get Up and Grind – Hard Work & Persistence as a Way to Achieve Desired Results in Life

Chapter 4 - Designing and Living the Life that YOU Want – Challenging the Status Quo

Chapter 5 - Self-Reflection and Discovery – Stop Worrying and Start Doing

Chapter 6 - Life-Long Student Never Stops Learning. How To’s of Personal Development and Leadership

Chapter 7 - Creating Strong Foundation and Inviting Opportunities Into Our Lives

Chapter 8 - Starting and Running a Part-Time Online Business While Working Full-Time

Chapter 9 - Leadership, Empowerment, and People

Chapter 10 - Team Development and Leadership

































Chapter 1 – Facing Fears and Learning from Failures



Overcoming Fear of Failure



What is fear of failure and why we are so often being controlled by it?

We all have fears and that is completely normal, however, how we choose to react in face of fear can determine if the outcome of a particular situation will be positive and successful or negative and result in failure. The choice that you are going to make is always yours. We often miss great opportunities in life simply because we are afraid to fail, but how do you know if you are going to fail or succeed if you never try? You don’t know the answer to such question until you give it a try and see the type of outcome it would result in. Sometimes you will fail and sometimes you will succeed, however, if you never take the next step and try you will continue to wonder what would’ve happened and remain in the same place that you were. I am not referring to any specific situation or business decision here, yet simply referring to a daily situations and decisions that we face in our business and at home. We often allow fear rule how we act, what we say and what decisions we make. Is that how we suppose to act, or is that how we choose to act?

I’ve had many situations in the past where my decisions or lack thereof, were controlled by my fear of failure. Many opportunities were missed as a result of my inactivity. The questions I had in my mind were: “what if this does not work?” or “what if I fail?” and because of those questions I was afraid to take a chance on various ideas that I had at that time. Well, guess what, I still do not know if those ideas were successful or not, because, my fear of failure prevented me from testing them.

One day, approximately 1 year ago, I was reflecting on my goals that I’ve set for myself, I realized that I will never reach my goals and my lifetime dreams if I continue to allow fear of failure to dictate my actions. Therefore, I’ve made a decision to not only listen to what my mind and what it was telling me, but also listen to my heart – my “gut feel.” As a result of my decision, I’ve opened my first online business without having any experience of running a business online. I’ve decided to follow my true passion in life, and that is leadership and personal development. I wanted to share my passion for leadership with other people and, in turn, help them to become better leaders, as well as develop personally and professionally. The outcome of my decision was a launch of www.heartandmindofaleader.com. I did not have any technical knowledge about website building and hosting, didn’t know how I will be sharing my knowledge and experiences with other people online, I did not have the money to launch my business either. However, what I did have was strong desire to follow my passion in life, and help others who share the same passion.

Today I know more about running an online business, marketing, podcasting, blogging, and many other online platforms and services than I ever did before. Since I’ve made a decision not allowing fear of failure to determine my actions, I am able to share my passion about leadership and personal development with others through www.heartandmindofaleader.com today.



What are takeaways from my story?

Do not allow fear of failure to run your life. Listen to your heart, your “gut feel”, and your mind when you are faced with a decision to make. Of course, whenever you are making any important financial or investment decisions, you should consult your financial adviser or consultant. Don’t let your goals and lifetime dreams slip away and remember that your actions determine your future. Fear of failure begins and ends in your mind.





Failure Analysis Method – Mind Re-Conditioning Questions & 10-Step Failure Analysis Method



What to do if you had failed at something that you had attempted to start?

We all at some point in our lives had failed at something that we had attempted to start. This does not have to be a major project or business idea, but even something as small making a paper airplane. I know that I’ve attempted many projects in the past, big and small, in which I had failed shortly after starting them. Was that a disappointing experience? Of course it was, however, that did not stop me from continuing and trying again.

What often happens when someone fails at a particular task or project, they stop trying, because they are afraid to fail again and experience the same dissatisfactory feeling. Additionally, after experiencing failure, some people will tend to blame either the situation, day, time, another person, or anything else they can find to blame for their own failure, versus analyzing their own mistakes and learning from them.

People that tend to point blame on situation, product, service, or someone else, tend to have a fixed mindset. They usually are not looking for ways to learn from their own mistakes or failures and improve, instead they strongly believe that it wasn’t them who made a mistake, but another person or that a specific situation was the cause of failure. As a result, people with fixed mindset tent to give up on trying again after failing the first time. Therefore, they may leave many great opportunities behind and shift their attention and focus on something else instead.

And then, there are people who learn from their mistakes, have open and growth-focused mindset, and seek every possible opportunity in learning how to re-create previously failed attempts with focus on improvement and ultimate success. In order to learn from and overcome mistakes and failures, one needs to have an open and growth-focused mind. If you give up on something that initially you were very passionate about but failed in, you may be leaving something very special to you behind, something that you did not have a chance to see or experience, simply because you decided to stop trying.

Whether you are someone who tend to have a fixed mindset or someone with growth-focused mindset, you can always recondition yourself to focus on continuous improvement and growth by simply asking yourself the following questions:

• Why is this important to me (whether it is a particular project, task, new book, or your own business)?

• What will I gain from stopping now?

What could be the best outcome if I keep trying and succeed? What does success look like?

• What can I learn from my original mistake, attempt, or failure, to ensure that it does not happen again?

• How will I feel when I finally succeed?

• How will I feel knowing that I have stopped, being potentially a step away from succeeding?

• What do I need to change or adjust to ensure that I am successful next time?

These are the questions that I ask myself when I face a failure. By doing so I re-condition my mind to focus on finding an opportunity in every failure, learn from my mistakes and try harder, until I finally reach success. Last thing that I want is to look back 5-10 years and regret that I could have done something to reach my goal or dream, but because I had stopped trying, the life-time dream was placed on pause or even worse forgotten.

If your dream is to start your own business and pursue your passion in life, don’t stop trying simply because you may be facing some small or even large obstacles or limitations, regardless what they may be. You may be working an 8-5 job and putting in 40-50+ hours weekly and don’t see a way of starting something of your own, something that you love, while continuing working your day job. You may be thinking that I only have 2-4 hours every evening or less that I can spend at home with my family and children before it is time to eat dinner and go to sleep. You may also be facing financial challenges right this moment in your life and not seeing any way possible in finding resources to start your business after paying all of your bills and putting food your family’s table.

Well, guess what, I’ve been there and had faced every single obstacle mentioned earlier. If I had stopped trying and gave up, I would never start my own business online in order to pursue my passion in life, which is helping other people to become better, stronger, and more confident leaders, as well as helping them to develop personally and professionally by sharing my personal leadership experiences and knowledge.

So, please, do not stop trying of reaching your life-time dream simply because you had failed once or several times before. Just know that you may be one step or one attempt away from success of reaching your life-time dream. Keep going, keep making mistakes, learning from them, and trying again and again until you succeed







10 – Step Failure Analysis:



1. Failure acceptance – understand and accept the failure

2. On paper list all potential reasons which could have contributed to the failed outcome

3. Review each reason separately and begin brainstorming potential solutions or alternative steps to try

4. Ask for feedback from the people whom you know and trust

5. If you are facing a financial roadblock and simply do not have required financial capital to start, look for alternative free ways to get going. It may not be exactly how you envisioned at the beginning stages, but at least it is a start. You can always revisit non-free options once you are in the position to do so

6. If you are facing motivational roadblock, find and watch or listen several great motivational videos on YouTube or podcasts. There are many great motivational and inspirational videos available online. If you need some suggestions, just let me know.

7. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put your dream on backburner, act quickly. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to start again.

8. Find a good mentor to encourage and support you along the way. If you think that this was your last roadblock, you are wrong. That is why a mentor, someone who will keep you accountable and support you is a good idea.

9. Stay focused on your goal every day, regardless how difficult it may be at times

10. Ask yourself mind-refocusing questions, mentioned earlier in this e-book, in order to re-condition and re-focus your mind.





What to do if you had failed at something you had attempted to start



We all at some point in our lives had failed at something that we had attempted to start. This does not have to be a major project or business idea, but even something as small making a paper airplane. I know that I’ve attempted many projects in the past, big and small, in which I had failed shortly after starting them. Was that a disappointing experience? Of course it was, however, that did not stop me from continuing and trying again.

What often happens when someone fails at a particular task or project, they stop trying, because they are afraid to fail again and experience the same dissatisfactory feeling. Additionally, after experiencing failure, some people will tend to blame either the situation, day, time, another person, or anything else they can find to blame for their own failure, versus analyzing their own mistakes and learning from them.

People that tend to point blame on situation, product, service, or someone else, tend to have a fixed mindset. They usually are not looking for ways to learn from their own mistakes or failures and improve, instead they strongly believe that it wasn’t them who made a mistake, but another person or that a specific situation was the cause of failure. As a result, people with fixed mindset tent to give up on trying again after failing the first time. Therefore, they may leave many great opportunities behind and shift their attention and focus on something else instead.

And then, there are people who learn from their mistakes, have open and growth-focused mindset, and seek every possible opportunity in learning how to re-create previously failed attempts with focus on improvement and ultimate success. In order to learn from and overcome mistakes and failures, one needs to have an open and growth-focused mind. If you give up on something that initially you were very passionate about but failed in, you may be leaving something very special to you behind, something that you did not have a chance to see or experience, simply because you decided to stop trying.

Whether you are someone who tend to have a fixed mindset or someone with growth-focused mindset, you can always recondition yourself to focus on continuous improvement and growth by simply asking yourself the following questions:

• Why is this important to me (whether it is a particular project, task, new book, or your own business)?

• What will I gain from stopping now?

• What could be the best outcome if I keep trying and succeed? What does success look like?

What can I learn from my original mistake, attempt, or failure, to ensure that it does not happen again?

• How will I feel when I finally succeed?

• How will I feel knowing that I have stopped, being potentially a step away from succeeding?

• What do I need to change or adjust to ensure that I am successful next time?

These are the questions that I ask myself when I face a failure. By doing so I re-condition my mind to focus on finding an opportunity in every failure, learn from my mistakes and try harder, until I finally reach success. Last thing that I want is to look back 5-10 years and regret that I could have done something to reach my goal or dream, but because I had stopped trying, the life-time dream was placed on pause or even worse forgotten.

If your dream is to start your own business and pursue your passion in life, don’t stop trying simply because you may be facing some small or even large obstacles or limitations, regardless what they may be. You may be working an 8-5 job and putting in 40-50+ hours weekly and don’t see a way of starting something of your own, something that you love, while continuing working your day job. You may be thinking that I only have 2-4 hours every evening or less that I can spend at home with my family and children before it is time to eat dinner and go to sleep. You may also be facing financial challenges right this moment in your life and not seeing any way possible in finding resources to start your business after paying all of your bills and putting food your family’s table.

Well, guess what, I’ve been there and had faced every single obstacle mentioned earlier. If I had stopped trying and gave up, I would never start my own business online in order to pursue my passion in life, which is helping other people to become better, stronger, and more confident leaders, as well as helping them to develop personally and professionally by sharing my personal leadership experiences and knowledge.

So, please, do not stop trying of reaching your life-time dream simply because you had failed once or several times before. Just know that you may be one step or one attempt away from success of reaching your life-time dream. Keep going, keep making mistakes, learning from them, and trying again and again until you succeed













Don’t be afraid to make mistakes



There are so many people in this world who have so much potential to be successful, but what’s holding them back is fear, fear of making mistakes.

We have been conditioned that failure or making a mistake is bad, and looked at as a negative. Many of us grow up hearing that we should always be the best, make only the highest grades in school, be the best in any extracurricular activities we participate in, and so on. Even as adults we are conditioned to be the best employees in the companies we work in and have no room to make any mistakes, because we are expected to be perfect.

Such conditioning is so engrained in us that we view a mistake, regardless of its size, as a failure, and usually hesitant to keep trying because we do not want to be in the same position again, the position of failure. Instead of trying again and learn from our failures, many people choose simpler and easier to attain tasks and goals. So, how do we expect to accomplish something great when all we settle for is simplicity and goals that can be accomplished by almost anyone? The expectation of achieving something great should be aligned to the appropriate level of effort required to achieve greatness. The question we should ask ourselves is when were great victories ever achieved without mistakes and failures? As far as I know, the answer is never. We usually would never know if something is working as designed until we test our ideas in real life.

Origins of safety or mistake-free zone and expectation of greatness

So, what are the origins or sources of our mistake-free conditioning, and where does expectation of perfection comes from?

In most cases, it originates with our parents who, of course, want only the best for their children, and therefore, expect for us to be the best wherever we may be and regardless of our age. Our parents expect us to do very well in school, be at the top of our class, receive full ride scholarships, and go to the best and most prestigious universities to receive education necessary to pursue our dream career. I say our dream career, but is this really the case, or are we often pursuing our parents’ dreams that they expect for us to pursue? In many situations, our parents had to work very hard and overcome many obstacles to give us the life that they want for us to have – safe, and rewarding life-style, where we encounter only minor risks, and usually our parents are there to resolve them for us.

This is definitely very comfortable and safe environment, but how much are we actually growing and developing personally and professionally in such protected environment? We are afraid to make mistakes, therefore, we are not trying to start something new that may have a chance of failure or risk. We do not want to disappoint ourselves and, of course, our parents who only expect the best from us. When we make mistakes or try something new and different, something that we want, and then fail, we beat ourselves up for trying, risking, wishing to change something, and potentially disappoint our parents as a result. We want and expect to be perfect because that’s all we know and what is expected of us. Our lack of persistence, bravery, and belief in ourselves, despite the popular belief, limits our opportunities that we would otherwise pursue and eventually succeed, finding what we really want for ourselves.



Other origins or sources of mistake-free conditioning

The other sources or origins where mistakes may be discouraged and only perfection expected are our own peer groups with whom we interact and environment in which we grew up in.

Peer-Group Effect

If people with whom we interact everyday view failure, risk, and mistakes as negative and something to avoid, vs. as an opportunity to learn from, we begin to think and act as people around us, even though somewhere deep inside we may feel differently. However, because we want to fit in, we tend to keep our ideas to ourselves, potentially missing great opportunities to keep moving forward in pursuit of our own goals.

Environment Effect

Environment in which we grew up in plays a big role in what we do as adults. Generally, if risk taking or mistake making were viewed unfavorable in the environment that we were/are in, we would follow the same point of view as we grew older. For example, if all you see growing up is your parents and other people around you working regular 9-5 jobs every day, staying at their jobs for many years, usually in the same or similar position, and then eventually retire, your understanding of what’s expected in your situation may be very similar, whether that’s the case or not. Expectation of securing a steady job, which requires you to put in 80+ hours per week, and remain at that job for many years until retirement, whether you enjoy what you do or not. Therefore, if this is not what you want yourself, and you want pursue our own dreams and do what you truly love, you have ability to change where you are, explore new opportunities and new experiences.

Points to takeaway with you

Every person has an ability to seek what they want in life, what they want themselves, not necessarily what other people want or expect from them. You need to ask yourself what is important to you at this point in your life and whether you are willing to make necessary changes, make mistakes, face failures and hard work, to achieve what you want. If the answer is yes, then you have necessary foundation to change your present and begin to follow your dreams.





Fear of change – Inhibitor of Growth and Success



Mislabeling of change

Change, even the word by itself sounds scary and gives a sense of discomfort. Change typically involves stepping away from the norm and business as usual way of doing things, and step into something new, unexplored territory, change in lifestyle, habits, business practices, way of thinking. When we think about change, fear of the unknown overwhelms us with wave of negative thoughts and concerns. But why do we immediately focus on the negative when we think about change? Is change something that we should fear or is it an opportunity to start new, start fresh, and re-create your life for a better?

Change in our lives

Change is a driver of growth and progress in any environment or phase of our life. Therefore, it should not be viewed or regarded as something negative or fearful. Change should be something that we look forward to versus trying to avoid. When we attempt to avoid change, we are telling ourselves and everyone around us that we are comfortable where we are now and do now want anything more, we are happy with the way life goes and prefer to keep everything the way it is. But, is that really the truth or are we simply telling ourselves and others that we are afraid of the unknown. Now we know exactly where we are, what we have, how it is going to be in the next 5-15 years, but when change comes to play, we refuse to think about it or accept it as an opportunity to explore something new and different, perhaps something more fulfilling and exciting.

Readiness for change

When we choose to accept change, we tell everyone and the universe that we are ready for more, for something greater and not satisfied to continue sitting in the same place for the rest of our life. When we are open and willing to embrace change, we would begin to notice changes in our life, new opportunities, new challenges, and new ways to invest into personal and professional growth. I am not saying that change is always simple and comes easy. Often we are faced with challenges and obstacles along the way, especially at the beginning of a new journey. However, during these times of change that’s when we learn and acquire new skills and enhance our existing strengths to prepare us for a new journey.



Exploring the world around us

When we change where we live from geographical perspective and move somewhere else, somewhere new, we meet new people, new cultures, new way of life, which helps us to expand our knowledge and introduce new and different perspectives into our character development while continuing growing as a person. Staying in one place all of our life will never get us there, unless we are in a position to travel around the world and explore multicultural and vibrant world around us on the regular basis.

Change in the mindset – ‘Minimum Wage Mindset or ‘Success and Growth Mindset’

The other way of experiencing change is by changing our mindset and go from ‘minimum wage mindset’ to ‘success and growth mindset’. We often talk about how much we want to change where we are today - living paycheck to paycheck, never seeing world around us due to lack of resources or time, because, we try to save few dollars to be able to buy basic necessities and for gifts for birthdays and holidays. However, someone with a ‘minimum wage mindset’ is not taking any steps to change where they are today and actually start doing something that sets them on a path of progress and change. By ‘minimum wage mindset’ I am not referring to someone who is broke, but to someone who’s mindset is set on unwillingness to act or trying something new and different to change their life for a better, whatever that may be for them – more time with family and kids, more money, bigger house, better or newer car, etc. We all have different goals in life, therefore, what’s important to me, may not be as important to someone else. Therefore, we have to choose and go after what we want to achieve in life.

Change in Business

Change works the same way in business. The businesses that are unwilling or afraid to change their processes, policies, ways of conducting business, would eventually disappear and be replaced by the ones that welcome change, innovation, and respond quickly to changes in consumer wants, needs, and expectations. Business environment is always changing and evolving, new technology is introduced every day, consumer behaviors change, therefore, it is essential to keep moving and adapt to world and expectations around us, if our goal is to grow and deliver value to our customers for many years to come.

Don’t be afraid of change

Change is not something that we should fear, instead, we should be open to and welcome change into our lives. Change is always present around us, all we need to do is recognize it and act on opportunities that it presents with determination and optimism. We are always in control what happens to us, that includes whether we are standing still or moving forward, the choice is yours.





Stop being afraid to try. People will judge you anyways



Setting limits to growth and development

Often, we are so afraid to try something new, something we are interested in, because, we are afraid what other people may think or say about us, when we don’t even know who they are. We don’t want to learn a new skill just because we don’t want to be viewed as unknowledgeable or unconfident. We don’t want to be placed in an uncomfortable state of being. However, by doing this, by being constantly afraid to try, we are limiting our personal and professional growth and development.

Our desire to fit in

We grow up wanting to fit in, be accepted, liked and appreciated by every person we meet, whether it is in school, work, or at the local store purchasing groceries. That is what we want and expect, because, that is what makes us feel good about ourselves and gives us a sense of value, whether it is real or perceived. But, who really cares if it’s real as long as we feel good about ourselves and feel the sense of acceptance. That is what we come to expect. When something goes against our expectations, we feel bad, get upset, and discouraged, we do not want to put ourselves in the similar situation again, and, therefore, we choose to avoid it at all costs. We know that avoiding the uncomfortable, new, unexplored, we set limits on our own personal development and growth, because, we miss the opportunities to learn and create new skills that can only be obtained by trying something new, something that we want, but choose to intentionally ignore just to fit in.

We create our own fears

The fears of trying something new, taking a risk, trusting our “gut feel”, exploring challenging unknown, are all fears that we choose to create and hold on to in our mind. First it starts with desire to fit in and be liked by others, then it is fitting into the company’s culture and relationship building expectations, and then it is lack of desire to change and create new habits, because, we’ve lived with the old habits most of our adult life. Therefore, we choose to create and hold on to our own fears that we had created, instead of trying to overcome them and begin improving our life and feel good not because we fit in, but because we choose to accept our reality, accept ourselves for who we are and be happy as a result.

People will judge you anyways

One thing that many of us do not realize is that regardless how hard we try to fit in, be the role model for our peers, be the best in school or place of business, leading by example, there will always be people who will judge you, even if you are doing everything right and for everyone’s benefit. That is just how we are, that’s unfortunate but true. When we see someone who is extremely successful and wealthy, we say that everything that they have was handed over to them by their parents versus them actually earning everything that they have through hard work, education, and extreme dedication to reach their plans and goals. We immediately assign our won labels just because we may not have achieved the same amount of success, wealth, and/or fame. When we see someone who is very successful athlete, someone who has achieved many victories and have accomplished a lot in their life, we say that they were born to be a ‘world class’ athlete, not because they have trained for 15-17 hours each day, including weekend, not because they had to adhere to a very strict diet versus eating everything they wanted. We think this way because it is easier for us to do so, since somewhere deep inside we realize that we would never reach such success.

We judge other people because we refuse to try to change our life for a better even when we really want to, doing what we truly love, or simply, because, we are afraid of challenges and hard work. It is much easier to sit on a couch and judge and blame other people or situations for your own failures or lack of trying. If you really want to achieve something great in life, improve your lifestyle, physical and emotional state of mind, then stop judging others, and start investing in your growth and development, and most importantly, stop being afraid to try.































Owning your successes and failures – The challenges and benefits of the choices and decision we make



Throughout our entire life, we will face many choices for us to make and, of course, with each choice comes an outcome or result – good or bad, positive or negative. Regardless of the outcome it’s important for us to remember to own the result and learn from it. If we made a mistake or wrong decision, we do not want to repeat the same mistake again, because, if we do then it becomes a choice that we are making, and no longer a mistake.

Living with the choices we make

It’s not easy to make a choice, especially if the choice you are making involves the potential outcome which would affect not only you and your future, but also the future of others. The level of importance of making the right choice increases significantly, because, you obviously want to make the right decision and the right choice. So, you are probably thinking and expecting for me to give you the secret recipe for making the right choices, however, I am going to disappoint you here if this was your expectation. I cannot and will not give you a secret recipe simply because there’s no such thing. If someone is telling you otherwise, I would think twice before accepting such guidance. Each choice that we make is individual ad unique to us, in our particular situation, on that particular day, at that particular time, with the circumstance which we are facing at that moment in time. No one has been in that exact situation that you had experienced and lived through, therefore, how can anyone tell you how you supposed to react and what choice you supposed to make? The answer to this question is very simple – they cannot, no one can. Only you can make a choice and decide what is the right thing to do for whatever you are facing and dealing with. What other people can do is share their own personal experiences in perhaps similar situations, but that is about it, and then you would make a decision what piece of their example, if any, that you may use to help you to make more educated decision based on your unique situation. So, how do you know if the decision you are making is the right one?

Making the best decision – taking action and accepting the outcome

You would never know if the choice you are making is the best one until you actually take a leap of faith and move forward with what you feel is the right decision. Once the decision has been made, the next step is to analyze the outcome of that decision and see if it delivered the result(s) which you were expecting. If the outcome is positive and what you were expecting, then you can consider your decision as successful. However, if the result of your decision and choice is not what you were hoping for, or if you had failed as a result, then take some time and create a detailed step-by-step analysis of your decision-making process and steps you’ve taken to understand where in that process is an opportunity to make some changes, try something different and learn from those opportunities uncovered, address them, and try again. Often, we must try again and again until we achieve the outcome that we want and expect.

What if I am not sure if I want to try again?

If you ever find yourself asking this question, then whatever you are going after, the outcome which you are seeking is not something that you really want, you just kinda want it. Therefore, as soon as you run into an obstacle, challenge, or a decision which let to failure, you have no desire to try again, you have no interest to learn from your opportunities and improve, all you are hoping for is a quick win, and quick win is very different from long-term success and inner value-fulfillment. If you really care about something, if it is one of your most important values, then you will not stop trying, despite a series of failure, until you finally find what you are seeking. This is what separates passion, value, or dream, from interests and wishes.

Owing your successes and failures – decisions that either make us or break us

The decision we make in life either bring us closer to where we want and expect to be or they are taking us further back, away from inner personal and financial freedom and happiness. Regardless of the choices we make, we must be ready to own our decisions regardless of the outcome they yield. Same way when we make commitments to ourselves and others, we must own and follow through on those commitments, because, that is what’s building our character, confidence, trust, and respect. Therefore, when you make a certain decision, you must own the outcome, learn from each experience, and keep on trying until you are happy with a result in your own definition of success. If this is something that you really desire, if this is what helps you get up every morning and keep going, then you will not give up. If you choose to stop trying and give up, then you should ask yourself what is important to you and re-evaluate your values, because, whatever you gave up on what not really important to you, not important enough to be considered as one of your value. As Niccolo Machiavelli said in his book “The Prince”: “All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”





































Chapter 2 – Finding Happiness – Tips & Techniques to deal with life’s challenges



Motivation Roadblocks and Ways to Overcome Them



I am sure that we all at some point in our lives have struggled with finding motivation in order to keep going, keep trying to reach or accomplish a particular goal or task. You set all these interesting and important to you objectives that you really want to accomplish, and you work very hard every day to reach them, but then one day you hit a motivation roadblock and not sure what to do or how to move forward.

There have been multiple times in my life where I was in this exact situation. One day I was very motivated and ready to do whatever it takes to achieve specific goal(s) set in front of me, and another day same goals but my motivation had left me. What do you do?

How do you restore the same drive and motivation that you had before, when you were willing and ready to do whatever was necessary to reach your goals?

This is where many people make unfortunate and sometime irreversible decision to give up on their goals and life time dreams, simply because they had lost their motivation and do not see it ever coming back.

Are you willing to give up on your dreams and forget all the hard work that you have put in, and all the time that you have invested working towards your goals and dreams?

I think you would agree with me that the answer to the question above is a definite “No.” Of course, you do not want for all of your efforts and ideas to go to waste. Often, the breaking point, where you begin to reap fruits of your labor, is closer than you may think, and all it takes is one more step, one more attempt, one more challenge to overcome. Now that we understand that motivation roadblocks are real and affect every person in some point of our lives, the question is: How does one overcome these roadblocks?

I am going to list several ways/steps that can help you overcome motivation roadblocks and bring motivation you need to keep going towards your goals and dreams. This is not an exclusive list, as I am sure there are many other ways to find motivation, however, these are some of the ways that work for me when I hit a motivation roadblock.





Ways/Steps to overcome motivation roadblocks:

• Speaking and sharing your motivation struggles with a person whom you trust, someone who will listen to you and share their honest and valuable feedback with you



o Sometimes you need to hear direct and honest feedback from another person who knows you better than anyone else, someone who knows what you went through in order to get to the point where you are now in your life

o I share my motivation challenges with my wife, who will always listen to me and then remind me what I had to go through, how much time and effort I had already invested on the journey towards my lifetime goal. My wife will not tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear in order to find my motivation and keep going

• Reviewing your written goals and objectives with respective timelines for each goal that you had set previously

o In your mind you should remind yourself why you had set a particular goal several days, weeks, months, or even years ago

o Re-create that same feeling that you had when you were setting each specific goal. How have you felt at that time and why have you felt that way?

o Obviously, when you were setting each of your goals it was important to you, your family, or both. Bring that feeling and those emotions back

o Write down everything that is going through your mind as you are recreating prior memories

o Review the list that you had written and it should help you to bring that needed motivation in order to keep going

o When you face another motivation obstacle, go through this exercise again and capture your thoughts

• Listen to your favorite motivational speaker. If you don’t have one, you can easily find one by conducting a quick search online

o Some of my favorite speakers are: T. Harv Eker, Anthony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, and Nick Vujicic

• In addition to listening to great speakers, you may watch one or more motivational videos by conducting a search on YouTube

o Some of my favorite motivational videos are: “Quiet Desperation” by Les Brown and “You owe you” by Dr. Eric Thomas

I really hope that steps that I had listed above help you to find your motivation whenever you face a motivation roadblock. These steps work for me. Sometimes one of the steps above is all I need to bring that drive and passion that I need, and sometimes I need more than one. You have to find what works for you and use it whenever you can use additional motivation to keep driving towards your goals and dreams.

Remember, you may be closer to success than you think, so don’t stop now, find that passion in you and keep going forward.











Daily Positive Mind-Setting Techniques – Ways to Keep Negative Thoughts Out of Your Mind



Why did I choose this topic?

Probably, because, I face the same challenge as many of you - the need to focus on the positive in every situation vs. the negative. Often times, if you allow negative thoughts or emotions to take over, you would become controlled by them, and all actions that you would take will most likely result in negative outcomes. I have been guilty of allowing negative thoughts or situations to dictatemy next steps, which never resulted in the positive outcome. Instead, negative actions led me to the negative results. However, when I acknowledged that negativity has taken over my action and re-focused only on the positive instead by pushing away any negative thoughts and emotions, all of the sudden my day dramatically improved and productivity increased.



There are two primary ways that you may be exposed to negativity.

First, is your mind choosing to focus on the negative thoughts and see negative outcome in every action that you may take. Second, is being surrounded by negatively-minded individuals, who are not happy or satisfied with what may be happening around them at any given point of time, almost every day. I will discuss both of these ways separately for further clarity.



Negative mind is your own enemy.

How does our own mind become our source of negative energy? Usually it all starts with experiencing failures on the repetitive basis in our personal and professional lives. Most people would focus on the negative outcome before any action is even taken, just because that is what they had experienced in prior attempts. Therefore, the thought is, "well what is different this time, it will still result in the failed outcome." For example, a particular initiative was discussed and implemented temporarily in your business, it generated a lot of excitement and drive, however, in the few months the idea was placed on pause or stopped all together. Then, new and exciting initiative is introduced again, but now instead of feeling excited and hopeful, your mind is focusing on the negative, thinking "well, this initiative will be forgotten in few months again, just like the one prior." Therefore, instead of focusing on the positive and presenting a plan of action to ensure that this time the new initiative becomes very successful and long lived, our mind goes into negative mode which required no action on your part, and no need to present solutions - an easy way out. But is that an effective way that will help you and your business to be successful? Of course not, as focusing on the negativity will result in the negative outcome for all parties involved.





Negative people = Negative Thoughts = NegativeResults.

What happens when you are surrounded by negative people? When you are surrounded by negative people, often times their negative energy consumes you and begins draining your positive energy. The goal of negatively-minded people is to convert your positive energy into negative, to ensure that your energy and way of thinking matches theirs. It works the same way when you are surrounded by positively minded individuals. Their positive energy and way of thinking will inspire you and refill your positive energy bank to the top, which usually would lead to positive and successfuloutcomes. Therefore, be mindful of the people with whom you surround yourself with, to make sure the energy you receive from them is the energy that you need.



So, what are some of the ways to keep positively-focused mind and keep negative thoughts out?

1. When faced with a situation where you know that similar situation when tried before failed, instead of focusing on the prior negative experience, focus your mind on the positive

 Break the situation down into smaller pieces and find something positive in each piece (ex. trying something new is better than staying in one place and not changing, or you contributing to the organization and flow by sharing your ideas, may lead to a positive outcome vs. not sharing and keeping your great ideas to yourself)

2. When negative thought enters your mind, refocus on something different, something positive, and do the same every time negative thoughts enter your mind. Eventually, this exercise will turn into habit

3. Always look for something positive in every situation, regardless how challenging or difficult it may be. If you focus on the negative (ex. telling yourself that you cannot do something), guess what is going to happen - lack of progress on a particular task, that is if any progress at all.

 If you continue convincing your mind that you cannot do something, eventually your thoughts will become your reality. However, if you focus on what you can do, you would overcome any obstacle and find a way to get things done. Don't set yourself up for failure, set yourself up for success.

4. When you are surrounded by negative-minded group of people, seek to understand the reasons behind their words and actions. Often times, it could be as simple as not understanding the bigger picture and their individual role in a particular situation, which could be critical to the overall success.

 Many people do not ask questions to understand the "why" and instead create their own incorrect and often negative opinion about a particular situation.

 When you are positive and other people around you are negative, they would want to understand why you are seeing the same situation from a different, positive perspective, and that is your opportunity to help them to see "why" behind it.

5.Daily Mantra of Positive Thoughts. This does not have to be complex, and actually, the easier it is to remember and follow, the better. Your personal daily mantra could consist of 8-10 sentences at most

 Example: “I am happy with my life and loving every day”

 If you need additional help and ideas for your daily mantra of positivity, you can send an email to AskAlex@heartandmindofaleader.com and I’ll share some additional examples with you

 The goal of daily mantra of positivity is to repeat it at least once per day, preferable first thing in the morning, and use it every single day

 Daily mantra of positivity helps to re-focus your mind on positive thoughts and your strengths

6.Try not to engage in the negative conversations and gossip, especially in your place of business. Even without you participating in the conversation itself, negative energy around you could take away from your positive energy. You don’t want for that to happen.

7.If you do not understand something or someone, be sure to ask questions to ensure accurate and complete understanding of the individual and the bigger picture. Don’t create something which does not exist, instead focus on facts.

8.Lead by example by being positive at all times. People around you feed off your positive or negative energy. Therefore, make sure that you focus on the positive and help others to see that positivity in you every single day.

9.Listening to an inspirational and uplifting podcast, song, or watching a motivational video often helps to refocus your mind.

10.When negative thought attempts to enter your head, ask yourself, “why do I feel this way?” For every negative reason try to find a positive response.

 Example: “This is very difficult and unattainable”

 Positive response: “If this task is being assigned to me, then my business leader has full confidence in me, and knows that I will complete this task with high level of quality. I can and will get this done”

11.If you had received an email or other communication that is very direct in nature towards you and/or negative. It is best not to respond right away. Instead, take 5-10 minutes and step away from your computer, if you can, and then come back and respond while focusing on the positive, without matching the direct or negative manner in the original communication.

12.Follow through on your promises. If you promised something to your business leader or your subordinates, or peers, be sure to follow through on your promise(s). If unable to follow through, then explain the reasons why, don’t just stop delivering on your promise without an explanation.

13.Begin writing your thoughts on the paper every day, either in the morning as soon as you wake up, or before you go to bed. This exercise should help you to get all of your thoughts on paper and out of your head, while reflecting on the positive daily mantra or positive accomplishment that took place during the day (if you are documenting your thoughts before going to bed).



Use as many steps as you need to keep negative thoughts out of your mind and negative energy away from you. Focus on the positive in every situation and share your positive energy with others. Remember, positive thoughts lead to positive results, and practice make it perfect.







The Power of Smile and Positive Energy – Unleashing Positivity Within You



Do you sometimes feel down or discouraged? Do you sometimes feel the weight on your shoulders that you have difficult time removing?

The reason why you may feel this way is due to negative energy accumulation, accumulated amount of stress and worry, or due to series for failures that you may have faced recently. You are trying to get rid of all of this stuff that weights you down, but it seems to remain. Why? What am I doing wrong?

It is not necessarily that you are doing something wrong, you may simply need a different approach to address and alleviate your concerns, worry and stress.

You have so much positivity stored inside of you that sometimes all you need is to unleash that positive energy and turn everything around for a better.

Before you are able to uncover the power of positivity, you need to recognize and understand what got you to where you are now, your current state. Without understanding the reasons or triggers that might have negative effect on your emotional state and wellbeing, it will be difficult to eliminate negative barriers and replace them with positive energy.

So, first, take some time and write down all of your negative emotional roadblocks or situations that you are facing or had faced recently. You would need to list every negative situation or thought that you had experienced. It may not be the easiest thing to do at first, but this step is necessary to remove all of that negative energy that you may be dealing with, and transfer it on paper versus keeping it all in your mind. Once you complete your list, you should already feel better and more positive than you did before.

Next, you would need to take each item or situation written on your list, and find something positive that you can list for each one. For example, one of your negative items may say something like this: “Everything seems to be going against me today, if it’s not one thing it’s another, it’s just a very bad day.” The positive response that you may list could be: “It’s a beautiful and sunny day outside, I have everything that I need to be successful, one challenging day will not stop me.” This is just one of many examples that you can list, and I am sure that you can find something good and positive to counter any negative thought or situation.

Once you have listed something positive for every negative, you should have a very good and positive feeling inside of you. All of the sudden everything is not as bad as you had thought initially, instead, everything is good.

You have what it takes to challenge and overcome any negative thought or situation with positive energy within you. It is important to remember that power of positivity and smile can help you to live a much happier life despite of occasional challenges that you may face thought out life. So, smile more every day and unleash the positive you.









Living in a Moment One Day at a Time



What is ‘living in a moment’ means to me?

It is being thankful for every single opportunity to be able to enjoy myself in a company of my family and friends. It is not complaining about little issues or problems that we face regularly, and instead turning a problem into an opportunity to learn and feel great about it. Living in the moment to me means being happy and appreciative for everything I have, every blessing and wonderful opportunity that I receive.

So often I hear from various people statements such as: “I don’t have this or don’t have that,” “I wish I could have this or live there,” etc. So, my question to someone who makes such statements is: “What are you doing about changing your current situation, if you are not happy?” If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself this question, because, at the end of the day, if you are not happy where you are now, then change it. If you can’t change it, then ask yourself why you can’t. Remember, it is never a situation, or a problem, or a person that is keeping you where you are, it is always you.

The importance of NOW

Just know that everything that you have today is a direct result of your actions, that you take every day, whether it is at work or home. Please don’t blame someone or something else for your failures, be happy for what you do have now. If your present is not your dream life, then work hard, and put in everything you’ve got in order to change your now.

Remember to say thank you for what you have and celebrate your victories, regardless how big or small they are. Success builds on success, and positive outcome comes from positive state of mind. If you are happy, positive, and appreciate what you have today, then in turn, you attract more good things and positivity to you. All of the sudden great things start to happen, new opportunities become available to you and within your reach. Being happy and positive does wonders, but also remember that it works the other way around. You create your future, and that future could be everything that you can dream about and more, or future where you stand still and constantly unhappy with life, your choice.

Cherish your memories and save them in your ‘memory bank’

Refill your ‘memory bank’ as you encounter new experiences. It’s kind of like adding more money into your piggy bank. The more money you deposit into your piggy bank, the more money you save. It works the same way with positive experiences, good memories, when you were very happy, and you ‘deposit’ your positive memories into your ‘memory bank’. The more positive memories you deposit in your ‘memory bank’, the more you can reflect on and feel great again in the future. Your ‘memory bank’ can be simply mental notes in your head, it can also be physical notes that you write and then save in a jar. When you need to improve your emotional state and put smile on your face, you can review notes from your ‘memory jar’ anytime you need it.

So, be happy, work hard for what you want, be in control of your future and continue to grow your ‘memory bank/jar’ with happy and positive experiences. If your memory jar is full, you can always get another one started! Be happy, because, there’s no reason not to be.


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