Fiercely competitive, Jeff Bezos had an early vision for the internet that was virtually unrivaled. In October 1994 he searched through the ‘A’ section of the dictionary looking for a company name. That’s when he found the name Amazon. “This is not only the largest river in the world, it’s many times larger than the next biggest river. It blows all the other rivers away” Bezos said.He recognized the power of the internet early on and developed a plan for an ‘electronic everything store.’ He founded the brand on low prices while building the Earth’s most customer centric store ever. He eliminated friction from the buying process by building trust with reviews and simple checkout. He patented the one-click checkout.Bezos, who goes between the richest and second richest person in the world now, identifies a tendency you possess as well. And that is the willingness to change your mind when presented with new information.
“People who are right a lot, are people who often change their minds.” He encourages challenging an idea you have today with a contradiction tomorrow based on new facts or evidence. You’re open to a new point of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions and challenges to your current way of thinking. In short, smart people, people who tend to get it right, change their mind a lot.
In contrast, people who tend to get it wrong a lot are people obsessed with details that only support one point of view. If people can’t climb out of the details and see the bigger picture from multiple angles, they’re often wrong, most of the time.
Like you, Jeff Bezos is a risk taker and a ruthless boss who does not tolerate complacency at all. And the other side of him is a hopeless romantic who wears his heart on his sleeve for what he believes in.
Steve Jobs transformed the following industries: personal computers, telecom, animated movies, digital publishing, music, cameras, and touch screen technology.No person in the later half of the last century or first part of the 21st century has had a bigger impact on how we ‘do what we do’ than Jobs.Iconic, with unreasonable self-belief, Jobs moved mountains with his totally outrageous demands on colleagues. Like you, his artistic flair, imagination, and ability to mesmerize and inspire followers, who often were stronger and more technical than him, were unparalleled.
Famous for dismissing focus groups, Jobs position was, ‘A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’ Innovation, he said, distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Creativity to him, was just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they really didn’t do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the one who do.”
Carnegie, the Scottish-American industrialist, and philanthropist earned his fortune in the steel industry in the 19th century.Long before Bill Gates and Warren Buffet began pushing the world’s billionaires to give away at least half of their fortune, one of the wealthiest men of the 19th century wrote a letter in the hopes he could inspire other industrialists to do the same thing.The work, called the Gospel of Wealth, was published over 130 years ago. In it, he laid out why he would be donating the bulk of his wealth, $350 million at the time (worth over $5 billion today.)
“The man who dies rich, dies disgraced” he wrote.
This paved the way for Carnegie to endow 200 libraries, The Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Barely anything is left of Carnegie’s fortune, which was once valued on par with oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller and the banking Morgan family.
His philanthropic interests revolved around education and world peace. One of his lifelong interests was the establishment of free public libraries so everyone who wanted one could get an education.
He said, ‘it is more difficult to give money away intelligently than to earn it in the first place.’
A visionary for how a person should deal with wealth, he felt a rich person’s moral duty was to live modestly, provide moderately for his dependents, and administer all the surplus wealth in the manner which produces the most beneficial results for the community.
He was the most successful movie producer ever by number of Academy Awards. He created Micky Mouse, Donald Duck, Dumbo, Bambi, and many other characters that are famous worldwide.He envisioned and executed the creation of the perfect, sanitized, controlled and wholesome amusement park experience, which appealed to all ages, with Disneyland, and Disney World.Disney was a fighter who went through many difficulties, but never gave up. The difference between winning and losing is often not quitting, he said.
“When you believe in a thing, believe all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Disney began his career with no money and no connections. His dreams were usually met with naysayers. If Walt had one great gift, according to his nephew Roy Disney, it was that he kept his head down and kept trying. Over the years, he was told his ideas were impractical, impossible, and would never work. Walt proved the only way to get things done was by sticking to your ideas and beliefs.
He just wouldn’t give up if he thought he was right.
In 1937, he came out with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it was a sensation. Soon, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi and Cinderella would follow. They were not all financial success at the time.
By 1948, the Disney studio was in deep debt. Walt had been germinating on an idea for a utopian theme park. Again, he was met with naysayers. His partner and brother Roy, called it a ‘screwball idea’ that would take the company down.
Disney pressed ahead anyway. He mortgaged everything he had. He sold his dream to the American Broadcast Company, which became and investor and sponsor.
In July 1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California.
Almost everyone warned us that Disneyland would be a spectacular failure Disney said. But they were thinking about an ‘amusement park’ and we were thinking about a ‘family park’ where parents and children could have fun, together. “Disneyland is a work of love,” he would say.
His message for you and me: ‘Get a good idea and stay with it…Work until it’s done and done right. All our dreams can come true—if we have the courage to pursue them.
Believed to be the first billionaire in history, Henry Ford accomplished the feat in 1925. Ford’s dream was to produce a simple, reliable, and affordable car. A car the average American worker could afford. Out of this determination came the Model T and the assembly line which revolutionized the way mass production would be achieved. He is credited with ‘Fordism’ which stands for mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers.Celebrated as both a technological genius and a folk hero, Ford was the creative force behind an industry of unprecedented size and wealth that in only a few decades permanently changed the fabric of America.Henry Ford is the symbol of the transition of America from an agricultural to an industrial base. The motor age arrived mostly due to Ford’s vision of the car as the ordinary man’s utility instead of the wealthy man’s luxury.
The horse disappeared so fast that the transfer of acreage from hay to other crops caused an agricultural revolution. The automobile became the main prop of the American economy and a stimulant to urbanization. Cities spread to suburbs and housing developments, and to the building of the best highway system in the world.
In 1914 the Ford Motor Company announced that it would start paying eligible workers a minimum wage of $5 per day (compared to the average $2.34 per day industry wide) and would reduce the workday from 9 to 8 hours. Overnight, Ford became a worldwide celebrity.
The development of mass-production techniques eventually led to a Model T produced every 24 seconds. The frequent reductions in price of the car were made possible by economies of scale, and the payment of a living wage, above subsistence, that made workers potential customers. These innovations changed the very structure of society.
Nelson Mandela was a South-African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader who served as President from 1994-1999.Mandela served 27 years in prison, mostly in the horrific Robben Island jail off Cape Town. He was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. He could write and receive a letter once every 6 months and once a year he could meet with a visitor for 30 minutes. This, all while being the de facto head of the African National Congress.However, Mandela’s resolve remained unbroken. This led the more intelligent members of the Apartheid regime to believe he could be trusted to deliver a deal. The deal they wanted was democracy in South Africa in exchange for no subsequent bloodshed of the oppressors.
It worked. He led by example showing how it is possible to forgive one’s enemies. He showed this while creating a new South Africa as its President, between 1994-1999. He dismantled Apartheid while keeping the peace among the people. He tackled racism, poverty, and inequality.
Nelson Mandela said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made in the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
What difference will you make in someone’s life today?
After Hitler came to power in January of 1933, Churchill was quick to recognize the menace to civilization of such a regime. On May 10, 1940, after German forces had invaded Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Neverlands, as a prelude to their assault on France, King George VI appointed Churchill as prime minister.Churchill had a profound sense of relief in that he now had authority over the whole scene he had been sounding the alarm about for the previous seven years. He believed himself to be walking with destiny and that his life up to this point had been ‘a preparation for this hour and for this trial.’He became famous for being the only person on the planet who could take on Hitler. He almost singlehandedly rallied the British people from the brink of defeat and being ruled by Germany, to victory. He emerged as the man who saved England from collapse in its darkest hour.
“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision”, he said. Another of his famous quotes, ‘One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try and run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.’
He goes on, “Success in not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
‘If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves. ‘
On February 4, 1945, our modern world was shaped at a meeting between Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin to hash out Germany’s surrender from World War II.
Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic organization of women dedicated to helping the poor. She was considered one of the world’s great humanitarians of the 20th century and was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.In 1931 she was sent to Calcutta where she was assigned to teach at Saint Mary’s High School for Girls. She dedicated herself to teaching the girls from the city’s poorest families. She committed herself to alleviating the girls’ poverty through education. At the time, she felt this was her true calling.On September 10, 1946 Mother Teresa experienced a second calling, the “call within a call” that would forever transform her life. She was riding in a train from Calcutta to the Himalayan foothills for a retreat when she said Christ spoke to her and told her to abandon teaching to work in the slums of Calcutta, aiding the city’s poorest and sickest people.
After six months of basic medical training, she voyaged for the first time into Calcutta’s slums with no more specific goal than to aid “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.”
She quickly established her calling from the abstract to concrete actions. She began an open-air school and established a home for the dying in a dilapidated building she convinced the city government to donate to her cause. In 1950 she established a new congregation, the Missionaries of Charity, founded mostly from former teachers or students from St. Mary’s School.
Over the course of the 1950’s and 1960’s she established a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic, and a string of mobile health clinics.
In February 1965, People Paul VI bestowed the Decree of Praise upon the Missionaries of Charity. By the time of her death in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity numbered more than 4,000, in addition to thousands of volunteers, with 610 foundations in 123 countries around the world.
In 1997, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
George Washington is often referred to as the “Father of our Country.” He served as the first president of the United States and commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolution from 1775-1783. He presided over the convention that drafted the US Constitution.Perhaps his greatest achievement as president, was creating a united nation out of a collection of colonies that became the United States. He refused to be dragged into partisan politics and when he toured the country, he impartially toured both the northern and southern states.Washington demonstrated extraordinary character and conviction. He was clever like a fox. He knew he could not ultimately win the Revolutionary War in traditional engagements with the British; so, he constantly had to think creatively and outside the box. He relied heavily on the art of surprise, using tactics like ambush he had learned during his early military engagements with the French.
Even though his natural inclination was to attack, he consulted the opinions of his fellow officers and considered alternatives before deciding on a course of action. Much of the time during the second half of the war was spent in maneuvers designed to draw the British out of position.
Washington’s sharp leadership ability and strategy were conclusively demonstrated at the battle of Yorktown in 1781, where he achieved decisive victory which ended the war. With his army in New York, he recognized the vulnerability of the British position in Yorktown. He used deception to convince the the British, who believed he still intended to attack in New York City, while he and his men were making the march to Yorktown.
Washington’s analytical reasoning helped win the day. It was exactly what was needed for such an underdog in a war of attrition against a superior military foe.
On December 23, 1783, Washington strode into the statehouse at Annapolis, Maryland and surrendered his military commission to a grateful congress. In front of the gathered congressmen, Washington declared “Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action – and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.”
Jesus was the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God who was crucified for the sins of humanity before rising form the dead, according to Christian Gospels and early Christian writings.According to the Gospel of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born to the virgin Mary, who was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. As a young adult, Jesus went to be baptized by John the Baptist and shortly thereafter became a preacher and healer. In his mid-30s Jesus had a short public career, lasting perhaps less than a year, during which he attracted considerable attention.Around that time, he went to observe Passover in Jerusalem, where his entrance, according to the Gospels, was triumphant. While there, he was arrested, tried, and executed. His disciples became convinced that he rose from the dead and appeared to them. They converted others to believe in him, which eventually became a new religion, called Christianity.Jesus said “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”
He goes on, ‘And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.’
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
“Do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
Continuum – those who avoid spending at all costs to those who generally save but also won’t shy away from spending on things they feel are valuable.You delay gratification and can resist the temptation of an immediate reward in order to wait for a later, often better, reward. You see the big picture and avoid falling prey to the day-to-day whims of your emotions.
- You have a growth mindset
- You’re calculated – the opposite of impulsive
- You’re future oriented
- You’re organized and in control of your emotions
- You’re highly driven
- You spend less than you earn
- You likely started saving at a young age
- You buy an affordable home
- You intentionally use debt as a tool
- You drive your cars for 10 years or longer
- You plan for future expenses by using specific savings accounts
- You’re good at money management
You’re modest and don’t want to draw attention to yourself by driving a gaudy car, or wearing branded high-end clothing. In other words, you don’t use possessions to show off to others. You prefer to fly under the radar.You’re happy when you buy used, secondhand items and get a deal.
You lay low on social media when it comes to discussing your possessions. You don’t attach any value at all to what people think of your possessions.
Your goal is value, not status.
You value experiences over things.
Your possessions serve a purpose, and your self-worth isn’t defined by them.
You don’t give up easily and will continue to try new strategies until you reach your goals.
You’re not one to buy new items to replace old ones because you’re naturally resistant to change. If your current item servers its purpose, you see no reason to buy another one.
You take calculated risks. You know it takes money to make money and you think hard about how to put your money to work for you.You’re an investor. You invest in any of the following:
- Real Estate
- Stock Market
- Private Ventures
- Collectibles and Antiques
- Precious Metals
- Retirement Accounts
You’re a good steward of your money and do your homework before you invest it. You stick to your philosophy that ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees.’
You have a high drive to succeed. You’re never completely satisfied with the accomplishments you’ve already made. You want more. You want to do it better. You’ll do whatever it takes to reach your goals. Your drive separates you from those who merely do well, to those who do ‘very well.’
You live in the moment. You’re focused on what’s happening right now and are willing to spend your money to make life a blast. For you, it’s about making great memories today.You get a thrill from the purchase. It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping the most expensive brands or in a thrift store. The price isn’t as important as the thrill of the buy.
- You love to buy things for other people.
- You get joy out of giving gifts
- You’re proud of helping others out
- You feel compelled to donate to charity and don’t understand people who don’t
- You don’t let money get in the way of living a full life
- If you want something, you get it
- You like to drive a nice car
- You wear brand name clothing
- You love new gadgets
- You don’t fear debt
- You’re fashionable and always make a statement
You aren’t afraid of taking big risks when you invest. You swing for the fences.
Your money personality suggest you worry about whether or not you can afford something after you’ve bought it.
Your tendency is toward a growth mindset. You have a passion for learning instead of a need for approval. You believe everything good about you can be cultivated, it can be curated to be better through deliberate practice.
You imagine ‘more’, and more is undoubtedly what you deserve and usually get.
You don’t feel the need to prove yourself to others over and over again. You believe your true potential is unknown, that it’s impossible to see what can be accomplished without going through it.
Having a growth mindset about money, allows you to:
- Ask informed questions about money
- Think like a successful investor
- Allows you to accurately assess risk
- You always believe there’s more to be made
- Allows you to be open to profitable opportunities
- You didn’t accept negative beliefs about money thrust upon you in childhood
- You have an abundancy attitude
- You don’t believe all resources are finite and seek to invest your money wisely
- You focus on prosperity over debt
- You look at your finances as an opportunity for growth
- You focus on money coming in, not going out
- You regularly step outside of your comfort zone
You are a naturally generous person.
You are thoughtful and don’t let price stand in the way of offering the best to people who matter in your life.
You take action. You don’t freeze up on the money shot. You don’t let money stop you from getting the most out of the time you’ve been given.
You tend to be self-reliant and quick thinking. You don’t mind handling uncertain situations, in fact, part of you lives for these situations.
You’re flexible and can adapt on a moments notice. You find impulsiveness thrilling.
You despise monotony.
You occasionally stray from obligations to try new things.
You change your mind with minimal regret or second guessing.
It’s hard for you to focus on one thing for a long time.
Your spontaneity attracts appealing strangers and circumstances to your life.
You’re driven by what happens next.
You thrive on being on the leading edge of things.
You enjoy sharing the latest technology, fashion trends and restaurants with people who matter in your life.
However, you are not bored by romantic relationships that are stable and predictable.
You’re not afraid of falling in love.
The early phase of a new relationship is energizing for you.
You see the deeper value of long-term relationships, and more often than not, this is what you’re looking for.
You’re highly spontaneous and connect with your world in a child like way, with sheer wonder and fun.
It’s likely you didn’t develop productive work habits in school as the monotony of routine bored you and you were not motivated to excel in this environment.
You’re usually better off working as part of a team than working alone.
When you’re working on something you’re passionate about, your personality can move heaven and earth.
You tend to be a better starter than finisher.
More than half the time, you take risks for the fun of it.
The reason you seek out risk is because it helps you try new things and solve tricky problems.
You feel compelled to push yourself out of your own comfort zone.
You use your bravery to free yourself from the conventional life and create one that works for you.
Your work type is that of the entrepreneur.
Everyone has dreams but explorers and entrepreneurs make dreams happen.
You like being around large groups of people, whether you know them or not. You prefer being out in the action instead of home by yourself.
You are observant and detail oriented. You are practical and realistic, focusing on the here and now.
You make decisions based on logic.
You care more about truth than making other people happy.
You don’t like schedules. You like to make plans as you go.
You are a person who likes to share.
Being liked is important to you.
You are cheerful, communicative and kind.
Your approach to life is optimistic.
You make success out of good ideas.
You can develop a team or process to leverage a situation for maximum outcome.
Your preference is toward proven, time tested solutions over experiments.
Your most comfortable following a well-trodden path.
You plan your work and work your plan.
You don’t like rule changes in the middle of a game.
In the face of uncertainty, you seek direction.
You’re action oriented to achieve your outcomes.
You like to get very good at things, become a specialist versus a generalist.
You seek predictability and stability.
You’re a rule follower.
You focus on improving your weaknesses.
You lean into perfectionism.
You prefer to do things yourself and see it as a weakness if you aren’t juggling multiple projects simultaneously.
You believe in balance.
You think before you start something.
You work hard, usually under a particular job opportunity.
You loathe failure.
You keep your head down. Your growth is deliberate and you prefer slow over fast.
You’re constantly refining your skills.
A Christian is someone whose behavior and heart reflect Jesus Christ.
As a Christian, someone who has put faith in trust in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ through His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, your behavior mirrors, reflects, and resembles Christ.
Being gracious and merciful to others is behaving like Christ.
Forgiving, loving, and praying for our enemies is Christ-like.
Welcoming and serving the marginalized, the ‘least’ among us, is being like Jesus.
Caring for the sick, needy, underprivileged, widowed, orphaned, poor, abused, and vulnerable – those who are last – mirrors and reflects Christ.
But it’s not simply good works that make someone a Christian. Being a follower and disciple of Jesus extends beyond our outward behavior. It includes the condition of our heart.
Life in Christ is not a life of ‘I don’t get to do what I like.’ It’s not a life of loss. Instead, it’s a life of abundance, where what I used to like and desire pales in comparison to what my heart now desires. Christians see, feel, and experience the world in a different way. It’s a much grander, deeper, and meaningful way.
You are a person who believes in the theory of evolution, especially in biology. You support a gradual growth or development of our world versus a sudden change or expansion.
Scientific theory holds the opinion that the universe is eternal, while the Bible states there is a beginning.
The beginning of the earth, along with the birth of humans is one of the biggest and most contentious issues among creationists and evolutionists. It has been proven that there is an official beginning; the question that arises is when exactly that took place.
Christianity uses the Old Testament to describe the official beginning of life. In the span of six days, God created the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, water, animals, and ended with the finale of human beings.
Evolution is defined as ‘the development by natural causes of all organisms, those today, and those yesterday, from other forms probably ultimately much simpler and originally perhaps from non-living substances. According to evolutionists, the earth began approximately 4.5 billion years ago, with the explosion of life beginning around 55 million years ago.
Charles Darwin was a strong believer in evolution and was the founder of natural selection. Natural selection is the theory that there is competition – for survival, mates, space, food, shelter, etc. in which the favorable organisms tend to be preserved by nature and the unfavorable die out, leading to evolution.