MarvinInspire

#5 Minutes Truth: Great Leaders aren’t born, they’re made!


When you hear the word “Leadership”, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? It could be your boss or management in your company. It could be your coach. It could be your team captain. It could be your president and prime minister. Here is my opinion, they just title that they held. It does not mean they have the noble leadership attribute. 

My late father taught me the 5 V’s of Leadership Attributes. There are Visible, Vocal, Value, Virtue and Vocation. Take some to read it. The toughest attribute to hold is the vocation. Vocation is defined as the undying commitment to serve. Leaders suppose to serve his or her people and lead them in the right direction. Before we lead people, ask yourself these question. Are you able to lead yourself? Are you a leader in your own life? Are you in control?  Once you are able to lead your life to greatness. Then, only you earn the right to lead people to greatness. Think about it. 

These are my 3 top quotes on leadership from Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek and Robin Sharma. There is one BONUS quote at the end by Simon Sinek.  Feel free to share this post. 

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Great Leaders aren’t born, they’re made. By Gary Vaynerchuk.

 

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Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank. By Simon Sinek

 

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Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration.  By Robin S. Sharma.

BONUS QUOTE BY SIMON SINEK

Quote on Leadership_Bonus

Are you a leader of your life?

Are you ready to lead people to greatness?

 

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#5 Minutes Truth: God gives the toughest war to his toughest warrior!


Adversity is one of my favorite words. Adversity connects to my “Why.” My why is to inspire people to embrace the adversity of life so that they can grow living life with fulfillment. Adversity can be in the form of failure, discouragement, obstacles, fear, and obstacles. It will be tough! What if I told you, adversity is a given life`s journey. You can do nothing about it or do something about it. Believe me, the moment you choose to do nothing you already lost! So do something about it! Imagine, adversity in the form of the highest mountain.  Climbing up steps by steps and hills after hills. Once you are the top, the view is spectacular!

Without adversity, no victory worth celebrating!

Without adversity, no medal worth giving! 

Without adversity, no award worth recognizing! 

Without adversity, no growth worth embracing!

Without adversity, no life worth living!

Remember, a life without adversity is a life without growth. A life without growth is a life without meaning. Learn to embrace it! It will be worth it.

Here are my top 3 quotes on overcoming life adversity;

QUOTE OVERCOMING ADVERSITY_2

God gives the toughest war to his toughest warrior

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Some see obstacles as a burden. I see obstacles as an opportunity! 

QUOTE OVERCOMING ADVERSITY BY MARVININSPIRE

When life hits me down, I will get up and say, ” You`re not hitting me hard enough!”

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Further reading;

8 WAYS TO BOUNCE BACK FROM FAILURES

7 GREAT STEPS TO OVERCOME FEAR!

THE 5 PRINCIPLES TO HANDLE PROBLEM!

5 WAYS TO OVERCOME DISCOURAGEMENT!!

5 PRINCIPLES TO MANAGE CHANGES IN LIFE!

5 Great Leadership Attributes shared by my Father


my late father

My late Father, Marcus was a leader, mentor and a loving husband to my mother. One day, he just fetched me from school, and I was only 16 years old. I was selected to be a school prefect. He shared his thought on leadership to me. He said there are 5V`s attributes of leadership!

VISIBLE

A leader is required to be visible. In other words, being the presence with his or her followers.  Imagine, a corporate meeting with and without CEO. There is always a difference between these two cases. If a leader is presences in a meeting, the team will take things seriously compared without the presence of a leader. A great analogy of leadership can be seen close to our home. They are our mother and father. Let say you`re playing a basketball game. Imagine, with and without the presence of your parents. It will be a different feeling. With your presence of your father or mother or even better both!! You feel pumped! You feel powerful, and you want to give all your might to play to win. It is not for you, but it is for your parents. To make them feel proud! With their presence, you will not feel that pumped. Believe me!!

VOCAL

A leader needs to be vocal to inspire and motivate his or her followers. It is a means of communication to convey a message or direction. They also must show empathy and care to listen and talk to their team. Especially when all odds goes against them. Imagine, in a corporate meeting. A leader who remind silent when he or she needs to make a decision. There will be no direction for the team. Hence, no progress and it will be a dead team. Let us look at our parents in the basketball game.  They shouted your name to cheer for you! Again, you feel pumped. There is a sudden shot of energy burst in you that you did not have. You ran faster, jumped higher and score better. All this is coming from your beloved parent that cheer for you!

VALUE

Values are the executives level of decision maker of a leader. Leaders must have essential value to make the decision to inspire a team to greatness. Values that leaders shows will set a culture of a team. My father told me that the number one value that a leader should have is courage. A leader needs to be courageous to take the risk. A leader needs to be courageous to admit mistakes. A leader needs to be courageous to be humble. A leader needs to be courageous to put their followers first than themselves.

VIRTUE

Virtue means setting a higher standard. There is a saying, “Leading by example.” The follower may listen to their leader, but they will observe their leader`s action. If what the leaders say is not in alignment with their action. They will lose trust in their leaders. For example, your leader said you must come early to work at 8:00 am in the morning. You arrived at 7:50 am, but your leader came at 8:30 am. What is the level of integrity you see in your leader in this case? What if you see your leader arrived at 6:30 am in the morning? How will you perceive him as a leader? Very much a leader with virtue. Leadership with high virtue need to perform ahead of their follower. That is what leadership is about being ahead of their follows and bring them together.

VOCATION

Vocation is defined as the undying commitment to serve. It is an obligation whereby you cannot resign. Being a leader needs to portray this attribute. They need to help their followers, and this will inspire the follower to commit to their leader. That is why there is a big difference between authority and leadership. Authority is a position and people are assigned to follow you! Leadership is a behavior and people are inspired to follow you! A good analogy is our ideal parents. They will always be your father and mother although you are an adult with the age of 40. There are always there to serve and help you.

“We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.” Simon Sinek

Leaders need to be visible to shows presence to the people. Leaders need to be vocal to inspire the people. Leaders need to lead by value to make the key decision. Leaders need to portray virtue which set a higher standard. Being a leader is a vocation to show the undying commitment to serve his people.

I dedicate this blog post in the remembrance of my late father who returns to the Lord in heaven at 3:30 am on 28 May 2015 at the age of 55. We deeply miss him.

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My daddy with me when I was 1 years old

 

 

Find your PASSION or Find your WHY?


“What is your passion? What do you like to do? You must find it and once you found it. You must work on it!”

That was the typical advice given my most successful people. I have to admit that is what I advise to other people as well. However, passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something. That is pretty much what you do. Over time, it becomes fuzzy and able dies off. The focus is so much on the WHAT and HOW. I realized it does not hit the core belief of doing things! In other words, the foundation is not strong enough to be persistence in building passion.

Then, I came across Simon Sinek TED Talk titled Start with WHY. The message conveyed by Simon very profound and deep as it connects directly to my core belief. I bought his first book, Start with Why to understand his concept of The Why. He talks about the naturally occurring pattern, a way of thinking, communication, and action that some leaders ability to inspire those around them. It helps people to focus on and amplify the passion in their work. When I said work, it does not mean 8 am to 5 pm day job only. It can be anything! Anything that requires work to make it happen. The WHY is what makes your work sustain day by day without fail. It differentiates between manipulation and inspiration.

Simon Sinek Start with Why

Simon Sinek developed a simple, yet profound concept known as the GOLDEN CIRCLE. Deep within the circle, it begins with the WHY. Then, followed by the HOW and finally the WHAT as shown in the following picture.

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The Golden Circle from Start with Why

Typically, everyone is able to explain the WHAT and the HOW? Not many people able to articulate the WHY? Let’s break it down!

The What

Almost every person knows What they do. This is your job title, function, the products you sell, and services that you provide.

The How

Some people know How they do it. These are the things you do that make you unique. It makes you different and unique among your peers.

The Why

Very few people know WHY they do what they do. Most people think they work because of money. But it is not about the money, money is the result. However, the Why is a purpose, cause, and belief. It is bigger than what we are. It acts as an anchor of your passion.  Your Why is the very purpose you exist.

The analogy Simon used was the marketing message from Apple. Let’s say we start from outside to the inside of the Golden Circle. Now the marketing message focus on the what and how only.

We make great computers! They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Want to buy one?

Let us change it by starting with WHY;

Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Want to buy one? 

Comparing these two ways of the marketing message, which one is more convincing? For me, it is the second one because of the strong and robust WHY. The anchor was the belief  in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.” The message was clearly conveyed to the people. Individuals who have the same belief will buy their product because they feel connected to the product. Apple`s why is so strong it connects all the Apple users as well. People do not buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

The Golden Circle is a great tool reinforce your passion and making it a reality. You will only have one WHY. Your how and what can be adjusted to meet the need of your WHY. I discovered my WHY when I reflected on my key life event.

I failed quite a number exams during my university years. However, I hustle, and I earned the job in Shell. I made a mistake in my start of my career. However, I managed to find ways to recover my way up. I lost my father due to cancer. He had been my coach, mentor and most importantly a father. I had to step up my journey to move into manhood without him.  When I connect the dots backward, I realized I survive the adversity. After every adversity, I learn and grow. I believe there is more to come!  I need to learn to embrace it.  That is where I learn my why.

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My beloved late Father and I

My WHY;

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My HOW:

I will put myself in difficult and challenging situations to grow individually and as a team. I would embrace failure and set back as I see it as the great opportunity. Failure is also a great teacher whereby required to be put under pressure to be a diamond.

 My WHAT

  • I must take challenging tasks in my career as an engineer in the oil and gas industry.
  • I must step out of comfort zone to achieve my fitness goal to be an Elite Spartan Racer.
  • I must read books with great materials to reinforce and train my mind to be positive to fight the negative energy that the environment give.
  • I must learn to convey the inspirational message and share my WHY through blogging and the social network.

Based on the why you are able to make a better decision and steer direction in your career. It acts as a filter to make the right decision as a leader and as a person. It serves as a compass to point the right direction! It will inspire you to drive your passion into fulfillment.

I encourage you to discover your WHY.  You can use the GOLDEN CIRCLE. You need to put yourself in different situations to discover your why. It requires clarity of WHY, the discipline of HOW and consistency of WHAT. All it takes is action!

5 things that Attitude CANNOT do for you!


In my previous post, I wrote about 6 ways to make your Attitude your ASSET. Your attitude is your asset if you sustain the positive mindset. Your attitude is your liability if you continue the negative mindset. Similar to any known asset, there is always a limitation. There are things attitude CAN do, and there are things attitude CANNOT do. I am going to cover what attitude CANNOT do for you.

You cannot disconnect attitude from reality and expect success!

1. It cannot substitute competency

If you think you can execute a particular task, that is confidence. If you have the skill to execute it, that is competence. There is a difference between trust and competence. The confidence it great, but it will not help you positionally. If you do not have the competence to perform a specialized task. You will be in trouble. The truth is you need both!

2. It cannot substitute experience.

Gaining experience is painful compared to competency. Competency can gain through coaching and training. However, the experience is gained based on a person`s journey in life or career. There is a saying “Experience is often a hard teacher because the test is given first and the lesson come afterward”.

Competence + Confidence + Experience = Success!

3. It cannot change the facts.

There are things in life that are just facts. Your attitude will never change them! Let us look at the famous basketball player, Michael Jordon. He won 6 NBA championship playing in Chicago Bulls during his time! He can be as positive he can be to keep playing the game he deeply passionate about. The fact is age is not in his favor. The other younger player is going to surpass him in time to come. He still has the passion for basketball. He response to the event by turning his passion into a business. He created a brand known as JORDAN. He still keeps a positive mind by changing his action.

4. It cannot substitute personal growth

Personal growth begins by taking action. You can be positive about it, but without action, there is no growth. Take action to develop competency, gained experience and keep moving forward! Nothing can replace continuous learning. You need to feed your mind and soul become the person you want to be!

5. It will not stay good automatically.

It’s nice to have that positive attitude, but it is greater if you can sustain it. This is the hardest thing to do which is sustaining the positive mental attitude. Every day, you will be tested. You will experience long hours traffic jam. You will encounter friends that do not keep they promises. The list will go on and on. Commit to yourself that you will have that great attitude. You can start the day by saying “Today I am going to have great attitude” Keep a self-talk card and read it! For me,  “Boys react, man respond! How do I respond to this?” Finds what works for you to keep that positive attitude! Take action on it!

The information was taken from the Difference Maker, written by John C. Maxwell. Definitely a book to read and highly recommended for those who want to learn to manage their attitude. I know I did! Stay tuned for more blog post. Next, I am going to cover what attitude CAN do for you!

A positive mental attitude will not let you do everything. But it can help you do anything better than you would if your attitude were negative!!

6 ways to turn your Attitude into ASSET!


A book was written by John C. Maxwell, The Difference Maker.

“There is little difference in people, but the little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is the attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

Attitude is an internal feeling expressed by outward behavior. It is how a person respond based on the external circumstances.  Attitude colors every aspect of life. It can paint everything bright and beautiful colors. It also can make everything dark and dreary. The best part of attitude is that it can be control and train.

Your attitude can be either an Asset or a Liability. A positive attitude is always an asset every day in nearly every way. It acts as a guide whether to respond or to react to an event.  It is an asset if you respond to an event. It will inspire you to be better, and it will energize you are when facing adversity. It is a liability if you react to an event. It will drain you out to be worse and it will de-energize you are when facing adversity. It all depends on your choice!

“To change your life, you must make a choice to take responsibility for your attitude, and to do everything you can make it work for you!”

 Here are the steps that were shared by “The Difference Maker”. I added in my thought about the steps as well.

1. Take responsibility for your attitude.

Attitude does not come from outside ourselves. It comes from within. It is always a choice to respond or to react. It is consequences is what you cannot choose as it depends on your choice. Once you decided to take the responsibility, you need to follow through until the end and sustain it over a period of time.

2. Self-assess your present attitude.

The key is to look at yourself objectively, to separate your internal being from attitude. Determine the sources of negativity that feed into you. You need to address it accordingly. It could be problem feeling about yourself. It could be problem feeling related to others. It could be the problem of the way you think. You may need to eliminate or substitute it with a positive feed.

3. Develop the desire to change.

Change is possible, if only you want it badly enough! The challenge is, you need to let go the old ways to develop a new one. It needs to be cultivated consistently. Find your anchor for that change. It could be an event of failure, losing of love one or regret. The anchor gives you a strong purpose of changing. This will drive you to change!  My anchor was the day I lost my father to cancer. That moment was the greatest adversity my family, and I have to face. I use that event as my anchor to change. Find that desire to change and work on it.

4. Feed your mind with positive feed.

The human mind has tremendous power in our lives. That which holds our attentions determine our action. The mind needs to receive the positive feed to take positive action. Most of the time, I read inspirational books, watch an inspirational video, have a quality discussion with great positive-minded people and use a positive word in my conversation. You are what you are based on what is going into your mind.

5. Develop your habits.

A change in attitude begins with the change in behavior first. A change of behavior starts with changes of habit. A change of habit starts with the change of action. In other words, act first, and you will become. Habits are not instincts. They are the action that we have take over  a period of time.

6. Manage your attitude daily.

Making decision is important, however managing the decision made is more important. This is to sustain the habit. You can make a decision to have a good attitude, but if you do not make plans to manage that decision every day, then you are likely to end up right back when you`re started. Keep reminding yourself of the decision you have made to have a positive attitude. Direct your action accordingly. This is critical as it shows consistency between your thinking and action.

Making your attitude as your asset take time and practice. It is a form of the continuous cycle, and the key is daily execution! 

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Source: The difference maker by John C Maxwell

A book written by John C. Maxwell, The Difference Maker, is a definitely a book to read and highly recommended. There is more learning in the book that I would like to share. Stay tuned for more blog post.

10 Lessons Learned in 2016!


It marks the beginning of 2017 and the end of 2016. I thought it will be great to do a reflection on lessons that I learned throughout the year 2016.

1. Live life based on values.

The values that I am holding now are Accountability, Integrity and Valor.

Accountability means upholding the responsibility in every action you take. If you achieve great success, it is alright for you to take pride in it. If you make a mistake, you also must be willing to admit the mistake and correct it immediately. Integrity is when your action reflects your word, especially, when no one is watching! Valor is to have the courage to take action to do what is right, especially, when everyone is against you.

Values are similar to the top executive of a company. They are the people who make all the key decision of the company, ensuring it goes to the right direction. Same goes to a person. It acts as a guideline for a person to make a decision. So, let’s ask ourselves, what are our values?

2. Reading is the best workout for the mind. 

Reading is the best workout for the mind. Not the brain but the mind. What is the difference? The brain sees the visible, and the mind sees the invisible. In other words, the brain observed, the mind analyses. Reading will activate your mind, especially, when you read books related to inspirational, motivational, leaderships-driven and any other categories likewise.

These books are written by the expert and experienced people that have been through hard time and challenging journey in life. I am inspired by how they overcome the obstacles. It helps me to understand things around me better, and therefore I am able to put things into perspective. It allows me to make a better decision in my faith, personal life, family and in a career.

brainvsmindFrom Second Chance by Robert T. Kiyosaki

I reckon that you start reading!  It does not have to be a book. It can be articles and blogs as well.

3. The importance of accountability buddy!

Human, as typical as it sounds, is made imperfect. We have that tendency to deviate from the track over a period of time. When I was 12 years all, my parents was my accountability buddy. They make sure I get good results in school. They tracked my academic performance. As we move into adulthood, your parents may not be there to keep track of what you are doing all the time. Hence, you need people around you to help you.

We need them in different areas of life. Some of them possess skills in certain areas, or it happens that they obtain the skills by experience. They are your important resources whom you can trust, and who genuinely wants to help you. They are the people that would authentically say these words to you;

“Hey! You`re not keeping up! “

“What is wrong with you?!”

“This is what you should do!”

I have my beautiful wife-to-be, Patrissa who is also my financial accountability buddy. I have my good friend, David Liaw who keeps an eye on my fitness level. In the career arena, I have my mentor, Victor and Shahasir to give me advice on ways to advance in my career as an engineer.

Most importantly to quote on my beloved Mother, who always keep me on track on my Faith and Life. She always tells me; whatever happens, God knows what is best for you. Pray! “Love you, mummy!”

4. SPARTAN RACE is a good reflection of life.

SPARTAN RACE is an Obstacle Course Racing(OCR). It is a race that consists of different tough obstacles which will put your endurance and strength to the test. The toughest race was the Spartan Beast. It was a 21km run with over 30+ obstacles. That race lived up to its name of BEAST!! The hills were crazy! I have to say, I almost gave up. However, throughout the race, I keep telling myself “I will not stop running” until the finish line.

 When the body weakens, it will test the mind.

When the mind weakens, it will test the will.

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Credit to Spartan Race Malaysia

Similar to life, it is tough, and it will knock you down. For me, I am going to spend the rest of my life getting up one more time than I am knocked down, so I better start getting used to it. I will be joining Spartan Race again for the Year 2017!

5. Man respond Boys, react!

This was shared by ET the Hip Hop preacher, Dr. Eric Thomas. Respond is to take action in a positive way, whereas React is to take action in a negative way.  It is the attitude you choose to take action on what life had given and taught you. I had this experience before when I was waiting for my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Miri. The flight was delayed for 3 hours. I observed the way other passenger reacted in the boarding hall. No doubt they were frustrated and start to complain and cursing the airline. I remind myself, “Man respond, boys, react”. I said to myself: “Cool, I got more time to read”. I took out my book, One Question by Ken Colemen. This is a good way to practice self-control when facing an unfavourable situation

6. There are 3 sides of a coin.

“A coin has three sides, heads, tails and the edge. Intelligent people stay on edge and look at both sides” In other words, always look at both perspectives and take action which is beneficial to oneself and the other. For example, being an “A” student does not necessarily mean the student is smarter. An “A” means you won and beat your classmate. This was caused by the way the education system was set up which focuses on competition rather than cooperation.  Looking at the perspective which can benefit both sides, the “A” could help the other student to excel as a team. This promotes the value of trust which is worth more than an “A”. Highly recommended book, Second Chance by Robert T. Kiyosaki.

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From Second Chance by Robert Kiyosaki

7. People around you will reflect what you`re going to be.

I learned that to be the best version of yourself, you need to surround yourself with people that push you and share the same mindset as you. If you spend most of your time with victim-minded people, you will end up a victim. If you spend most of your time with victor-minded people, you will end up a victor. It is simple as that. So, please identify who are the people that surround you. At the end of the day, you are accountable for your own personal development.

8. Leap of faith.

Every successful person in this world has jumped into the unknown. In other words, taking the risk of what life has to offer and not letting life walked past. It will be hard. You will face failure, changes, discouragement, problems and fear. No matter what the setback is, it is important to keep going and be patient. Keep an eye on the goal! Change your direction, not the decision. I got myself into the property, taking up a new role in Shell, continue to join Spartan Race and even writing this blog. I am still falling from the jump that I made.  Let’s see where I will land.

9. Values of leadership.

Values of Leadership must consist of 3 Vs;  Valor, Vulnerability and Vocation.

Valor means to take courage to lead the team into the unknown, and they put their interest aside for the sake of the team. Valor means to keep the team safe. They protect the followers from the external forces. I love the medieval war, the King is always the front-line of the army and charging forward. The King got the army’s back, and the army got the King’s back. This build loyalty between the army and the King.

Vulnerability is important to show that you are not perfect. It is the willingness to admit that you made a mistake and seek for help. This allows the team to express feeling. It will eliminate the hierarchy nature between the leaders and the followers. Hence, trust between the followers and leaders are being reinforced.

Vocation is an undying commitment to lead. There is no retirement for this. It is an act of service to the follower 24/7. A great analogy is a relationship between parents and children. Although the child is 40 years old, the parents will always be his/her parent no matter what. In other words, it is to treat their followers as their children.

I believe leadership value is not only for Supervisor, Manager and CEO. It is for everyone, even though you are just a junior staff of company! This group of people have authority. Authority is a position of a person hold. It is not leadership. Leadership is a behaviour of a person. If and only if Authority and Leadership merge, a great team is born.

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From Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

 10.  The beauty of solo lunch.

Most of the time, I prefer to have lunch alone. I believe it is because of my introvert character.  Typically, I always go to the Piasau Boat Club and take 15-20 minutes to read my book. At the same time, I am able to enjoy the beautiful beach view. Some said, I am being unsociable and unfriendly. I tend not to bother about them. I look at it as my daily reset button and I enjoy recharging through time alone. This allows me to have a deep thought own my own. I find it is more meaningful to have one-on-one connection than going in a big group. Well, my maximum number of people I can manage with is like 3. This allows us to have a deep conversation!

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Recharged = Beach+ Book+ Food

I would like to end my first post of 2017 with;

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From Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins