Always Say Less Than Necessary

I’m currently reading “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene, and in Law #4, Always Say Less Than Necessary, Greene tells the story of Gnaeus Marcius, also known as Coriolanus, a fifth century B.C. military hero of ancient Rome. I found it to be quite interesting, and a great example of how saying too much could get you in trouble.

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Following is a condensed and paraphrased version of Greene’s writing:

Coriolanus was a war hero who won many important battles, saving the city from calamity time and time again. Because he spent most of his time on the battlefield, few Romans knew him personally, which made him something of a legendary figure.

In 454 B.C. Coriolanus decided to enter politics, for the high rank of consul. In his first speech before the people, he displayed the dozens of scars he had accumulated over seventeen years of fighting for Rome. Seeing his scars, which were proof of his valor and patriotism, moved the people to tears. It was all but certain he would be elected.

On polling day, however, Corialanus entered the forum escorted by the entire senate and the city’s patricians, the aristocracy. The common people who saw this were disturbed by such a blustering show of confidence on election day. When Coriolanus spoke, he addressed mostly the wealthy people who had accompanied him. His words were arrogant and insolent. Claiming certain victory in the vote, he boasted of his battlefield exploits, made sour jokes that appealed only to the patricians, voiced angry accusations against his opponents, and speculated on the riches he would bring to Rome. The people listening realized that this legendary soldier was also a common braggart.

News of Coriolanus’ speech spread quickly throughout Rome and people turned out in great numbers to make sure he was not elected. Coriolanus was defeated and returned to the battlefield, bitter and vowing revenge on the common folk who voted against him. Weeks later, when a large shipment of grain arrived in Rome and the senate was preparing to distribute this food to the people for free, Coriolanus appeared on the scene and argued that the distribution would have a harmful effect on the city as a whole. Several senators were won over and the distribution fell into doubt. Coriolanus went on to condemn the concept of democracy itself. He advocated getting rid of the people’s representatives and turning over the governing of the city to the patricians.

When news of this latest speech reached the people, riots broke out all over the city, which forced the senate, fearing the wrath of the people, to vote in favour of the grain distribution. The people demanded that Coriolanus speak to them and apologize. If he repented and agreed to keep his opinions to himself, he would be allowed to return to the battlefield.

Coriolanus did appear before the people, who listened in silence. He started slowly and softly, but as the speech went on, he became more and more blunt. Yet again he hurled insults! His tone was arrogant, his expression disdainful. The more he spoke, the angrier the people became. Finally he was silenced and condemned to death. The tribunes ordered the magistrates to take him at once to the top of the Tarpeian rock and throw him over. The delighted crowd seconded the decision. The patricians intervened, however, and the sentence was reduced to lifelong banishment. When the people found out that Rome’s great military hero would never return to the city, they celebrated in the streets. In fact, no one had ever seen such a celebration, not even after the defeat of a foreign enemy.


Greene goes on to interpret this story, (the following is quoted verbatim):

Before his entrance into politics, the name of Coriolanus evoked awe.

His battlefield accomplishments showed him as a man of great bravery. Since the citizens knew little about him, all kinds of legends became attached to his name. The moment he appeared before the Roman citizens, however, and spoke his mind, all that grandeur and mystery vanished. He bragged and blustered like a common soldier. He insulted and slandered people, as if he felt threatened and insecure. Suddenly, he was not at all what the people had imagined. The discrepancy between the legend and the reality proved immensely disappointing to those who wanted to believe in their hero. The more Coriolanus said, the less powerful he appeared—a person who cannot control his words shows that he cannot control himself, and is unworthy of respect.

Had Coriolanus said less, the people would never have had cause to be offended by him, would never have known his true feelings. He would have maintained his powerful aura, would certainly have been elected consul, and would have been able to accomplish his antidemocratic goals. But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will run wild and cause you grief. Power cannot accrue to those who squander their treasure of words.

The above story is given by Greene as an example of a transgression of the law of Always Say Less Than Necessary. He goes on to give an example of how Louis XIV would benefit by observing the law.

I couldn’t help but be struck by the similarity between the Coriolanus story and his actions and the actions of a particular political candidate currently running in the United States. But that is a whole other blog post, that I probably don’t want to write. 🙂

I’ll leave you with a quote that Greene includes at the end of this story.

“Oysters open completely when the moon is full; and when the crab sees one it throws a piece of stone or seaweed into it and the oyster cannot close again so that it serves the crab for meat. Such is the fate of him who opens his mouth too much and thereby puts himself at the mercy of the listener.” – Leonardo da Vinci, 1452–1519

As always, please feel free to like or comment.

Until next time, keep reaching.








Okay, first thing first… I need to apologize for the length of time that has passed since I posted the 24 Traits of a “Drifter”. I promised I would post the traits of a Non-Drifter, but it’s been an obscenely long time since then, and I feel I need to apologize for that.

Anyway, I suppose it’s better late than never… right?

These are taken from the book, Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill. I discuss the background of this book in the Drifter post. I definitely recommend the book, and encourage everyone to read it.

So if you haven’t read the post on the 24 Traits of a “Drifter”, please do so (just click on the title) and then come back to this one.

Here’s the description of a “non-drifter”, something we should all strive to become.

  1. He is always engaged in doing something definite, through some well-organized plan which is definite. He has a major goal in life to which he is always working, and many minor goals, all of which lead toward his central scheme.
  2. The tone of his voice, the quickness of his step, the sparkle in his eyes, the quickness of his decisions clearly mark him as a person who knows exactly what he wants and is determined to get it, no matter how long it may take or what price he must pay.
  3. If you ask him questions, he gives you direct answers and never falls back on evasions or resorts to subterfuge.
  4. He extends many favors to others, but accepts favors sparingly or not at all.
  5. He will be found up front whether he is playing a game, or fighting a war.
  6. If he does not know the answers he will say so frankly.
  7. He has a good memory; never offers an alibi for his shortcomings.
  8. He never blames others for his mistakes, no matter if they deserve the blame.
  9. He used to be known as a go-getter, but in modern times he is called a go-giver. You will find him running the biggest business in town, living on the best street, driving the best automobile, and making his presence felt wherever he happens to be.
  10. He is an inspiration to all who come into contact with his mind.
  11. The major distinguishing feature of the non-drifter is this: He has a mind of his own and uses it for all purposes.

Keeping in mind Napoleon Hill wrote this in 1938, it still carries a lot of weight and it makes you realize that, although a lot has changed since then, people really haven’t changed much. If you’re into personal development or improving yourself, I recommend grabbing a copy of Outwitting The Devil.

Until next time,


p.s. As always, please comment or “like” if you’re so inclined.


Are You Wealth Conscious?

If you want be healthy, you should be health conscious. Pretty obvious, right? I mean, you need to think health all the time. Chances are if you’re not conscious of health, then you probably won’t be able to reach or certainly maintain an optimum level of health. No, in order to be in optimal health, you need to be always conscious of what you’re eating and what your doing with your body. Look at top level athletes, body builders, fitness coaches, etc….they are constantly thinking about health and healthy eating and exercise habits. A health consciousness leads to a healthy individual.

It follows then that to become wealthy, one must develop a “wealth consciousness”. I think this is where a lot of people miss the boat. People get that to be healthy, you have to be health conscious; but don’t necessarily get that to be wealthy, you have to be wealth conscious. Just as a health conscious individual feeds his or her body the right types of food, a wealth conscious individual should also feed him or herself the right types of wealthy food, in the form of thoughts. A wealthy person thinks thoughts of wealth and prosperity all the time. They do not think about being poor or having no money, anymore than a healthy person thinks about eating some fried fast food.

There’s a famous quote, “You bring about what you think about.” A simple statement, but very true. It really is all about how you think.

Now, I have to add a caveat. This “consciousness” is only half of the picture. To be healthy, it’s not enough to just be health conscious. You have to do certain things (eat healthy and exercise) daily and habitually. The same holds true if you want to be wealthy. Having a wealth consciousness is only a part of it. You’ve got to do certain things too, daily and habitually. (Read some financial books, get some investing advice, start a part time business, earn some extra money, etc.) The point is when you do these things and think like a healthy or wealthy person, your chances of success go way up.

Here’s to a healthy, wealthy you!

Jim Sereney

p.s.  I’m no expert in becoming healthy OR wealthy. These are just some observations I’ve made and I like to share my points of view. I’m constantly learning and always open to discussion. Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think.


Be Like The Tree

The Native American Indians have a saying:  “The branches of the tree are not foolish enough to fight amongst themselves.”

The branches and leaves of a tree all come from the same place – the tree. The branches are not foolish enough to fight amongst themselves because the tree would eventually die. So it is with humans. We all come from the same place, (Source Energy/Infinite Intelligence/God/The Universe) and until we realize that we are all one and learn to live in harmony, and learn to just live and let live, there can be no peace in the world. Humanity can only flourish if we eliminate hate and judgement.


24 Traits of a “Drifter”

I’ve always been a big fan of Napoleon Hill. After all, Think and Grow Rich is a timeless classic that contains a lot of seeds for personal development greatness.

So naturally, I was excited to learn about this “new” book of Napoleon Hill published just last year entitled Outwitting the Devil. It was actually written in 1938, a year after Think and Grow Rich was published. The story goes that his family (specifically his wife) did not want the book published due to the controversial subject matter (an interview with “the devil”). Napoleon Hill died in 1970 and his wife, Annie Lou in 1984. The manuscript was kept by the Napoleon Hill Foundation and was only released for  publication in 2011.

After having read Outwitting the Devil, I think Mr. Hill has another masterpiece here and a future classic. I recommend you read it whether or not you’re a Napoleon Hill fan. It contains a lot of valuable life and success lessons.

The “devil” claims to have control of 98% of the population while only 2% of people use their minds to stay focused and positive, thereby remaining immune to the devil’s powers. The 98% are what are referred to as “drifters”. The 2% the devil cannot reach are “non-drifters”.

Following is a list of character traits and habits of a typical DRIFTER:                                                                                                                              (How many people do you know that fit into this category?)

1. He will be conspicuous by his lack of self-confidence.

2. He will never accomplish anything requiring thought and effort.

3. He spends all he earns and more too, if he can get credit.

4. He will be sick or ailing from some real or imaginary cause, and calling to high heaven if he suffers the least physical pain.

5. He will have little or no imagination.

6. He will lack enthusiasm and initiative to begin anything he is not forced to undertake, and he will plainly express his weakness by taking the line of least resistance whenever he can do so.

7. He will be ill-tempered and lacking in control of his emotions.

8. His personality will be without magnetism and it will not attract other people.

9. He will have opinions on everything but accurate knowledge of nothing.

10. He may be a jack of all trades but good at none.

11. He will neglect to cooperate with those around him, even those on whom he must depend for food and shelter.

12. He will make the same mistake over and over again, never profiting by failure.

13. He will be narrow-minded and intolerant on all subjects, ready to crucify those who may disagree with him.

14. He will expect everything of others but be willing to give little or nothing in return.

15. He may begin many things but he will complete nothing.

16. He will be loud in his condemnation of his government, but he will never tell you definitely how it can be improved.

17. He will never reach decisions on anything if he can avoid it, and if he is forced to decide he will reverse himself at the first opportunity.

18. He will eat too much and exercise too little.

19. He will take a drink of liquor if someone else will pay for it.

20. He will gamble if he can do it “on the cuff”.

21. He will criticize others who are succeeding in their chosen calling.

22. In brief, the drifter will work harder to get out of thinking than most others work in earning a good living.

23. He will tell a lie rather than admit his ignorance on any subject.

24. If he works for others, he will criticize them to their backs and flatter them to their faces.


My next post will feature the habits of the NON-DRIFTER (See that HERE).

Until next time,


p.s.  As always, please comment or “like” if you’re so inclined. Thanks! 🙂


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“Well, with MY luck….”

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “Well, with my luck, (insert something bad or unwanted here).” Chances are you’ve even said it yourself.

While they my seem like harmless words that don’t mean anything, the fact is they do mean something. We should always be aware of our “self-talk”, and what we say and think, because that is what will determine our life experience. Remember: “thoughts become things”.

When you say things like, “with my luck, it won’t work out” or, “with my luck, it’ll blow up in my face”, you’re actually saying, “I have bad luck!”, “Nothing ever goes my way!” What happens then is your sub-conscious mind starts to believe what you’re saying, and works on making it a reality.

Next time try to catch yourself before you utter that phrase, or better yet, replace the negative with a positive. Say, “With my luck, things will work out perfectly” or, “with my luck, I’ll find exactly what I was looking for at that store.” Just make the last half of that sentence whatever it is that you want.

Some food for thought. Stay positive!

Until next time,


p.s.  As always, please like and/or comment if you feel so inclined. 🙂


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If You Have This, You’ll Have Success

If you’re trying to build a home business, or ANY business for that matter, you probably think you’ll become successful with it at some point in time. But will you?

There is an easy way to determine whether or not you will achieve the success you dream of. And that is… your conviction!

If there is one thing I see as a common trait amongst those who do succeed, it is their conviction, their absolute belief that they will do it. Those that have reached the heights of achievement in their field, whether it’s a traditional corporate business, a network marketing company, or an affiliate marketing program, whatever – doesn’t matter, always have that conviction. That deep down feeling that they will do whatever it takes to get what they want, and they will NOT stop for any reason until they have got what they want.

How deep is your conviction? How bad do you want it? There’s a popular fable that I see being frequently posted on Facebook, YouTube, etc. that describes a young man who is searching for the secret of success and happiness and comes upon a master sitting on a river bank. The young man desperately asks the master what the key to success is. The master grabs the young man and dunks his head in the river and holds it there until the man struggles frantically. The master then pulls the young man’s head out of the water and the young man takes a deep breath, and asks the master why he did that. The master replies, “When you want success as much as you wanted that last breath, then you will have it.”

I can’t say that I’ve personally had that kind of 100% conviction in my undertakings. It’s more like an attitude of: “Well, this looks pretty good. Maybe I can make some money doing this. But if not, I’ve got my job to fall back on.” That is not conviction. That attitude will bring mediocre results at best.

The real achievers go all out and don’t accept failure as an option. There is no plan B. It’s all or nothing. In fact, it’s not all or nothing, it’s all or all – it’s ALL, at whatever it takes! That is the kind of deep conviction you need to succeed. When you want it as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll succeed.

Until next time.

Yours in success,


MORE Principles from “How to Win Friends and Influence People”


As promised, here is the final list of 10 principles from the Dale Carnegie classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

These principles fall under the heading: How To Be A Leader

1. Throw down a challenge.
2. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
3. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
4. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
5. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
6. Let the other person save face.
7. Praise the slightest and every improvement. Be “lavish in your praise.”
8. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
9. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
10. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Once again, I would like to encourage you to read (or re-read) the book for a more in-depth explanation on how and why to use these principles. Here’s the Amazon link to the book:  How to Win Friends and Influence People

This concludes the little 3-part series devoted to the principles of Mr. Carnegie’s classic. I hope it was helpful or that it at least ignited a spark to go and further study these principles. Thanks for reading!

I appreciate you!

Until next time, I remain,

Yours in Success,


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How To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Well, we said good-bye to 2012 last night and awoke to a brand new year. For some, this is a time of renewal, a time for a fresh start. A time to forget about all the “stuff” we would like to forget about the past year and focus on making the year in front of us our best year ever.

Every year, I hear so many people say what they plan on doing in the coming year, myself included, only to find that by February, we’ve lost site and even worse, hope, for achieving our results. Why? Because it’s not enough to just say what you want to do.

One of the best (and probably the simplest) pieces of advice I’ve heard is this: “If you want things in your life to change, you’re going to have to change things in your life.” You may be thinking, “Well, duh! Obviously.” But because it’s such a stupidly obvious statement, it very often gets overlooked.

The fact is, we do have to change things in our life; the sadder fact is, many of us don’t. And if we don’t, nothing changes!

If we want our resolutions, or goals to become reality, then we have to take the necessary steps towards achieving them. Let’s be honest here – it’s going to take some work! The ONLY way we can achieve ANY goal is to DO something about it.

This can be done in baby steps. By changing only one or two things in your daily routine, and doing it consistently over a period of time (3-4 weeks), you’ll be creating new habits. It’s our daily habits that determine where we’re headed. If your goal is to lose weight and get in shape, you’re going to have to change the way you eat and start some kind of an exercise program. Buy different foods when you go to the grocery store. Get some exercise or work-out equipment, or join a gym…and GO, consistently! If your goal is to earn more money, make sure you’re actively searching out ways to do so. If you’re looking to get a raise, or promotion, make sure you’re going the extra mile at your job. Maybe it would help to enrol in some extra courses. The point is, it’s going to take doing something.

The problem with most of us is, even if we do take action, we don’t stick with it for long enough to form new habits. Decide in your mind right now that it’s going to take work, and it’s not going to be easy, but know, that after a while it will become easier and easier. Knowing this going in can make the difference and help break past that point when you feel like giving up. Knowing it’s going to be hard, but that it will get easier will help when you do come to that point.

Following is a list of steps to help ensure you make the most of your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Write down your goals (on paper) in detail describing exactly what it is you want. Most of the experts also suggest you write in the present tense, as if you already have it.

2. Take some kind of action step. The idea is to replace an old habit with a new one, and that requires doing something repeatedly and consistently until the new habit takes form.

3. Stay focused on what you want. There will be many distractions that come along to take you off your path. Never lose site of your desire.

4. Be happy! Yes it’s hard work, but it’s not a life and death situation (at least, I hope it isn’t). Try to be easy about it all and think about how happy you will be when you finally achieve your goal.

I’m going to get to work on my list right now. Let’s all make this the best year of our lives!

Happy New Year! Until next time.

Yours in Success,



 p.s.  If one of your goals or resolutions is to make more money or start a new home-based online business, please check out Empower Network by clicking on one of the links you see on this page.

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The Power of Positive “Feeling”

You’ve no doubt heard of the classic book by Norman Vincent Peale,  “The Power of Positive Thinking”, first published in 1952. Although the book was successful in its own right, it also helped to popularize the catch-phrase, positive thinking. For decades that followed, we heard that phrase everywhere. “You’ve gotta think positive”, “be a positive thinker”, “be sure to keep thinking positive”. I’m sure you’ve heard these or similar phrases numerous times.

I was a big believer in “positive thinking” for many years, until I realized there’s more to it than just thinking. I still believe in positive thinking, as opposed to negative thinking. After all, you have to have positive thoughts and always try to see the positive side of things as opposed to the negative side. But after further studying the subject of the Law of Attraction, and why some people seem to attract positive circumstances, and some seem to attract nothing but negative experiences, I discovered the true secret.

The secret starts with positive thinking, but it’s our feelings that will ultimately determine our circumstances in life. You can think positive thoughts all you want, but if you don’t believe those thoughts and feel good about those thoughts, then nothing happens. I recall a Tony Robbins quote that echoes this idea: “If all we needed were ideas and positive thinking, then we all would have had ponies when we were kids and we would all be living our ‘dream life’ now.”

No, it’s not just “thinking”, but it does start with thinking. Let’s say, you want a new car (I’m just using “car” as an example – it could be anything – a new house, a new job, a new relationship, to lose weight, get in shape…whatever). So you want a new car, and you decide to THINK POSITIVE about getting this car. You recite affirmations about having this car. You are constantly thinking about getting this car, you even think about (as you should) already having it. Great. But, if there is any doubt in your mind about you being able to get this car, it won’t manifest itself in your life. You need to believe — no, you need to know without a doubt that this car is yours! AND…. this is the biggie, you need to feel good when you think about the car. If you don’t feel good when you think about your goal (car, etc.), that means there is doubt in your mind that you will get it, and you won’t get it.

So if you don’t feel absolutely great, and excited and happy about the goal you’re thinking about, you probably need to change your goal to something a little smaller or more achievable. Choose a goal that gets you super excited and that you absolutely believe you will achieve, and focus on it daily, and you will achieve it. Then you can move on to bigger goals, and so on, and so on.

I could write volumes on this topic, but this is intended to be a quick blog post, so suffice it to say, positive thinking is great, but it’s only the beginning. Use the power of positive feeling!

Until next time, I remain,

Yours in Success,


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