The Secret – have you seen this iconic film?

The Secret was originally a book written by Rhonda Byrne. It is based around the same principles as the Law Of Attraction. Have you seen this iconic film? If you haven’t we’d recommend it. It is long, around an hour and a half but it is a seminal work – the book has already sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. And for good reason. You can find out more at http://thesecret.tv.

The Secret - a seminal film for self-development

Why is the Secret an important work? 

Let’s start by explaining it’s slight drawbacks. It is a very American style film, by which I mean that the contributors are pretty much all North American and the film expounds the theory that “you can be what you want to be” by just believing it. While this slightly gushing style of self-belief doesn’t always sit well with British viewers at all times, the core message nevertheless is very powerful.

The Secret explains that if you focus on something you want and keep thinking about it, you will attract it to you. Opportunities will find you, and you will identify and see things because you’re sub-consciously looking out for it.

Your unique car

One of the examples of this sort of thing I particularly love is the one about the model of car you buy. You buy it because you like that unusual colour or specification. Only when you’ve bought the car, do you realise how many others there are on the road. Obviously they were there all the time, but you’ve opened your mind to let the stimulus in.

For more of our audio CDs on self-development follow this link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=SELF%20DEVELOPMENT

Associated Learning Systems provides a range of training material on audio CD : on telephone selling, customer service, team management and self-development. Plus there is a range of tips booklets too on associated topics.



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Success is about dogged perseverance – icon tells all

Success may be about dogged perseverance. It certainly worked for this icon. It is easy to give up when it seems things are stacked against you, or that “it’s just not meant to be.” However this famous icon of the 19th century endured, and kept on enduring. ………… This is Abraham Lincoln’s story. Personal development is about endurance Consider this alternative CV of the great man ;

  • 1816 – His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them (aged 7).
  • 1818 – His mother died
  • 1831 – His business failed
  • 1832 – Defeated in Legislature. Also lost his job. Unsuccessfully tried to get into law school.
  • 1833 – Second business failure. He was bankrupted. He’d borrowed the money to set it up from a friend. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
  • 1835 – Was engaged to be married, his fiancée died. It was said his heart was broken.
  • 1836 – Suffered nervous breakdown (hardly surprising) and was in bed for 6 months.
  • 1838 – Defeated for speaker in state legislature
  • 1840 – Defeated for Elector
  • 1843 – Defeated for Congress
  • 1848 – Defeated running for re-election to Congress (having got in, in 1846)
  • 1849 – Rejected for job of land officer in his home state
  • 1855 – Defeated for Senate
  • 1856 – Defeated for Vice President nomination. Got less than 100 votes at party’s national convention.
  • 1858 – Defeated for Senate (again)
  • 1860 – Elected President of the United States

One of the famous quotes attributed to Abe was “having chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.”

Slightly strange language by modern standards maybe, but given all the set backs he met in his life, you have to admire his resolve and determination to see his ambition through. A shining example to us all.

If you want to start this journey and develop your own life plan and personal goals, have a look at our self-development CDs.  http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=SELF DEVELOPMENT.    At just £34.99 each they could just get you going on the path to achieving your goals. And we hope you don’t have to face anything like the challenges that ol’ Abe had to face!

Good luck!


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The case for training


The case for training. Admittedly we sell training products so we might be seen to have an opinion on this. As customers become ever more sophisticated and demanding about what they want, so customer service becomes more important.

We came across a quote recently from the highly influential management book from the 1980s “the One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson.

“You really have three choices as a manager. First you can hire winners. They are hard to find and they cost money. Or second, if you can’t find a winner, you can hire someone with the potential to be a winner. Then you systematically train that person to become a winner. If you are not willing to do either of the first two (and I am continually amazed at the number of managers who won’t spend the money to hire a winner or take the time to train someone to become a winner), then there is only the third choice left – prayer.” This books comes highly recommended. It is easy to read, it is written almost as a children’s book and so you will get through it in no time at all. Amazon is a good source for this book.

Follow this link to find out more http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_0_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=one+minute+manager&sprefix=one+minute+man

The One Minute Manager - recommended by Associated Learning Systems

The One Minute Manager - recommended by Associated Learning Systems

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Learning ideas and free business development tips

Now is the time to ramp up learning. First customers have the opportunity to shop around, and spend longer over their decisions. So they will deal with people they like, people who are knowledgeable and people who are motivated.  Secondly there are more hours available for many people at the moment – so now is the time to open yourself up to new ideas.

Some great things we’ve come across. Try searching the internet for subjects you want to become  more knowledgeable about. Go to the library or your local bookstore, there is a wealth of both fascinating and mind stretching material that can both stimulate and motivate you. It also helps get you into a more positive frame of mind. This will also help you carry out your job more positively. You win, your organisation wins and your customers win !

Finally the other thing with reading about wisdom is that it is so inexpensive. So invest in yourself, you will almost certainly find that it’s the best thing you could spend your money on !

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Introducing you to a guru !

One of the questions we are frequently asked is who do we look to – to give us new ideas, and to inspire us. So as a result we’ll include some material in the blog that gives you some of the top people and their work that we have come across.

There will be a book review on the first of each month for the next few months. These are easy to access – just dip your hand in your pocket and for less than £15 generally you can pick up a wealth of information.

Today’s guru tip is the Birmingham based sales trainer and motivational speaker Peter Thomson. http://www.peterthomson.com/ is a link that will take you directly to his site. You can even sign up for his little weekly tips TGI Mondays at www.tgimondays.com.

I have seen him ‘perform’ at a number of different events, and particularly if you’re a business owner or senior manager, you will find his material inspiring ! Our advice check it out !

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Use your mental downtime to learn

We are interested in how and when people use their time to learn. Time management is a key challenge facing us all on a daily basis. Ever wondered why some people in business seem to get more out of a day than others ? Take Sir Richard Branson for example or Stelios of Easyjet. They have the same amount of hours in every day as anybody else. However they achieve more because they spend more time on the big things, than on the little things. Our audio CD “So you wanna go places” covers this in detail http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=23. Our customers for our range of audio CDs typically tell us they listen to the CDs in the car (often driving to or from work or to meetings.) Alternatively some transfer them from their PC onto MP3 player.

Whatever works best for you, it is important to try and take on board any new information when your mind is most receptive. Early morning before the day is underway is good, as can be the middle of the evening (depending on what else is going on in your life of course !)

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Set yourself goals and targets – it is a proven method of success

I often think targets have a negative image. It is easy to think of them as things other people set you to do, things that they impose on you to control your actions.

But they are much more powerful than that. There are many studies that show people who have targets and goals are more successful at achieving the things in life that are important to them. There is a saying “those people who are going nowhere, usually get there !” This is about the goals that YOU SET FOR YOURSELF. In other words, set your own path, don’t wait for others to do it for you.

There are many great sources of information on personal goal setting. We currently have 2 different titles covering goal setting by 2 different authors.  You can find them by clicking the following link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=SELF%20DEVELOPMENT One is the excellent title “little steps lead to big dreams” which is a radio interview with Alastair Campbell of the Ideal Marketing Company. It gives some great tips and a good format to setting out your goals.

The second product is training material used in training courses by the training company To Market. It also has some top tips and talks about overcoming personal barriers – all those things that get in the way of achieving your goals.

So give them a listen and see what you think.

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Goal setting works – it’s a fact !

There are many scientific studies that show goal setting works. People in life who set themselves personal goals simply achieve more – it is as simple as that !

After all, it is sort of obvious isn’t it ? If you have a well defined plan, you are more likely to focus on the things that will help you get there. As somebody once famously said “people who are going nowhere, usually get there !”

So spend time regularly writing out details or headlines of your goals. Review them frequently. Ideally you want to have some which are short-term, some which are medium-term, and of course you will need long-term goals.

And one of the other great things about goals is that they are completely personal. It’s all about you ! You decide what is important to achieve the things you want. You can find out more about how to do this using a structured approach with our range of goal setting CDs : follow this link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=23

It will explain why writing it down works, and why we all need goals and focus.

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The London Marathon – an inspiration to us all

Mass of runners  I stood on the Embankment in London a couple of weekends ago for the best part of 3 hours watching the runners stream past. It is incredible HOW MANY people are capable of running this distance. It was 34,00 according to their official website  http://www.london-marathon.co.uk/site/?pageID=5&n=141 (92,00 applied !) Apart from the elite athletes who run all around the world, there is simply a stream of ordinary looking people doing an extraordinary thing. At the peak of the race, there are just 100s of people passing by every minute.

Then apart from the ordinary people (like us), and as if that wasn’t hard enough, there are people running along tied together, and people running with huge cumbersome costumes. And that’s without mentioning people who are disabled. I saw many people running with one leg – using a blade. I even saw one guy running who had no legs using 2 blades.

It is simply inspiring. It makes any worries or barriers we have to overcome pale into insignificance. We really can do anything if we put our mind to it. The only thing that stops each of us achieving what we want is ourselves. There are a growing number of CDs available through the Associated Learning Systems website on goal setting ; follow the link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=18 to hear Alastair Campbell of the Ideal Marketing Company in an inspiring interview cover how to set goals. You can also try this link to hear further information, tips and advice on setting goals from Andrew Seaward of To Market training http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=23 

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