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The Ball Team Enterprise 5 Quick Steps to Personal…

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Personal Development Tip: Don’t Look For The Boogi…

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You Got All Those Guns, But You Haven’t Shot Anyone?

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By Edward Ball

As we go through life we are arming ourselves. Everything we have an opportunity to learn is a gun or a tool we can use to deal successfully with the complexities of the world. Our skill set can be used to help, not only ourselves, but others as well. Every time we help someone we are giving them a shot; a dose of our knowledge, a boost, and filling them with something that has the ability to positively impact their lives and their personal development efforts. I see a world full of people with valuable skill, insights, experiences, and knowledge that is equivalent to a fully automatic high caliber machine gun. They have the ability to shoot many people, however, they don’t pull the trigger and only use what they know to benefit themselves.

I wonder where I would be if I hadn’t received a little help. Before I left prison I was given an opportunity. That opportunity was a job. Who knows where I would be if I didn’t receive multiple shots. The people I knew, knew people and got me in front of them. Their shots, in the form of introductions, has done nothing but positively impacted my life, given me a boost and helped my personal development journey continue in the right direction.

We all have the ability to shoot somebody because we are all carrying guns. Stop holding on to your ability to help others. Start pulling the trigger. I don’t have the secret formula to becoming wealthy or prophetic insights that rival Confucius or Solomon but I have a personal development story that has the potential to help at least one person. My books, my website and my personal interactions are my attempts to shoot as many people as I can, why have a gun and not use it.

Have you shot anyone today?

Personal Development Tip: Keep No Record of Being Wronged

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By Edward Ball

We live in an imperfect world and we reflect that imperfection in many ways. Nothing is going to be just how we want it every single time. Sometimes people will do right by us and others will do us wrong. If we keep a ledger of all the times we have been wronged we won’t be able to see all the things that have gone in our favor. Furthermore, we will begin to focus on revenge and being an agent of karma and lose focus on becoming the best we can be.

There was a time in my life where I felt that all the people I knew closed the casket on me and left me for dead, as a result of my prison sentence. There is some quote that basically says people will never forget an injustice done to them but they will not remember when someone gives them a helping hand. I was becoming that person: My mind and life was being consumed with record keeping. I was miserable and wilting.

When I stopped keeping records of being wronged and focusing on revenge I immediately became a better person. Now I worry about becoming the best person I can be so I can add value to the lives of others, especially to those who have extended their helping hand to me.

How do we begin the personal development process by not keeping record of being wronged? We do it by being:

  • Patient
  • Humble
  • Confident
  • Kind
  • Resilient

Realize that what you know is not complete and imperfect and so is the world that we live in. I couldn’t understand the struggles people were facing on the streets from in prison, my knowledge was incomplete. I attempted to be all of the things in the above list, falling short at times but becoming a better person for trying and forgetful one too.

Remember those who helped you not the ones who hurt you. Become the best you can be through your personal development efforts so you can be that helping hand.

Add Value to Your Personal Development by Playing the Game How it Goes

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By Edward Ball

To play the game how it is supposed to be played you must first know the rules. Knowledge of the rules gives you an opportunity to play the game at a higher level. In addition, you can stay in the game if you play by the rules. Staying in the game longer and playing at a higher level gives you more opportunities to develop.

When I left prison I was given an opportunity in the form of a job. I went to work every day and did what I was supposed to. I played by the rules of the game. People took notice and gave me ideas, information, and opportunities to grow, develop and advance. Eventually I was promoted to a leadership/management position.

Playing the game how it goes allowed me to keep my job and it allowed me to move up in the organization. The move up gave me the opportunity to receive management and leadership training and experiences that cultivated transferable skills. Overall my personal development process was given a boost. Learning about concepts I would not have access to if I wasn’t a manager and finding myself in situations that test a variety of my skills forced me to quickly develop on a personal level and a professional one. The speed at which I had to develop in areas I lacked was shadowed by the quality of development.

My peers who are stuck in the same positions or no longer have a job because they didn’t play by the rules aren’t adding value to their personal development the way I am. If I broke all the rules I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to continuously add to my growth.

Playing the game how it goes opens doors. Once those doors open your personal and professional development can be accelerated and the quality of your development can be enhanced. If you are in the game for the long haul (you will be if you play by the rules) you will continue to receive opportunities and resources to develop and become the best you can be.

Sabotage can derail your personal development, if you let it

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By: Edward Ball

I left prison in the summer of 2012 and was transferred to a work release center. A few weeks later I was entering the same prison I left co-facilitating a class for a state university with a friend of mine. I knew that returning to the prison I just left would show the guys that keeping your head down, working hard and staying out of trouble pays off. In addition, I felt that my return would help my own personal development by helping others learn, acting as an example and being involved in public speaking.

I had two goals once I left prison, not including staying out of prison. The first goal was to become involved in the re-entry process to help guys successfully matriculate back into society. The second goal was to prevent kids from having to worry about a re-entry process by keeping them from entering into the criminal justice system. While I was in prison I was a re-entry clerk and did work for a staff member who was the volunteer coordinator at the last facility I was housed in. Whenever he needed guys to give tours to University students, speak to similar groups, and interact with volunteers coming into the facility I was in the group of guys he could count on.

The class I was co-facilitating inside the prison came to an end. I got the green light to return to the prison to co-facilitate another class because the first class went very well. That’s when everything went downhill.

The prison’s volunteer coordinator, the guy who I helped many times, sabotaged all that I was trying to do and attempted to get me sent back to prison. Long story short; he came to the work release center where I was being held. When he left I was under investigation and wasn’t allowed to leave the facility, not even to go to work. If the investigation turned up any truth in whatever he told them it was likely that I would be sent back to prison to finish out the remainder of my sentence.

After a week of confinement, nearly losing my job, and almost being sent back to prison the investigation proved that I had been doing everything I was supposed to. I went back to work, however, I did not return to co-facilitate any more classes in that prison. I also lost the drive to pursue my goals. During the week I was confined to the work release center I wasn’t able to go to a job interview. The job was for a re-entry coordinator position. Once they got wind of why I wasn’t able to make it to the interview they marked me off the list as a potential hire. This one person through sabotage derailed my personal development efforts. I didn’t want to have anything to do with prisons and people involved with the criminal justice system; especially not people who claimed to be there to help, but capable of lying, deceiving and abusing their power.

After sitting down and thinking about all that transpired I realized that I had to keep pushing forward. I could not let the sabotage or the turned backs keep me from becoming better by helping others. Sabotage can knock the gas out of you, that gas that drives your personal development efforts. Sabotage can slow you momentum; that momentum that propels you closer and closer to the best person you can be. If you aren’t diligent you will stop; Stop helping, stop developing, stop trying and stop doing.

If someone sabotages your efforts that means you are doing something right. Even though I wasn’t able to return to the prison and engage in service learning with my peers, nor was I able to get the job helping those coming home from prison, I was able to write a book, start a business, keep my job and stay out of prison. I must have done something right.

Invest in yourself, your personal development depends on it!

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People take the time to invest and create a great portfolio. However, they neglect to invest in themselves. You are your most valuable portfolio. Treat it like you would your other investments being sure to diversify.

What we knew yesterday is nearly obsolete today. What we know today will be obsolete by the end of tomorrow. It is important that we continue to learn making sure we learn a variety of things. Being a specialist is fine, however, industries come and go. If you are only knowledgeable in one industry you will go out with that industry. When the economy crashed a few years ago the specialist who failed to invest in themselves and stopped learning outside of their industry were the hardest hit. Those who had diversified were able to transition to other industries. Those who were willing to learn new things made a successful transition during the downed economy.

Diversify, that is, learn as many different things as you can even if it means getting out of your comfort zone. While I was in prison I took the time to learn many different things. I learned Spanish. I watched hours of novellas and Univision programing getting out of my comfort zone so I could better understand the nuances of the Spanish speaking culture. I learned about computers, different religions, cultures, gangs, and anything else I could learn about. It has made me more of a well-rounded person able to identify and connect with a variety of people and groups.

The flourishing class are the jacks of all trades. Part of their personal development process was to learn as much as they can about as many things as they can. They can never be side lined: they have the skill set to move to another trade and bring with them innovative ideas borrowed from their diverse learnings. The masters of one trade are tied to the fate and ways of thinking of their mastered trade.

Your personal development depends on:

1. Learning

2. Learning from a variety of sources about a variety of things

3. Using what you have learned

Don’t get stuck in a comfort zone, you will begin to atrophy. Invest in yourself by learning and diversify by learning all sorts of new things.

By Edward Ball

You Can Learn A Great Deal From a Dummy

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By Edward Ball

The ability to learn is vital to success. Fortunately everyone around us has something to teach. If you aren’t learning from both the wise man and the dummy you may be the dummy the wise man is learning from.

Successful people can teach you their secrets to success. Likewise, unsuccessful people can teach you their secrets to failure. Both groups have valuable teachings. Imagine crossing a field full of land mines, a person who crosses the field without being blown to bits can show you the safe path to make it to the other side of the field. A person who happens to step on a mine and get blown up can show you a path that should not have been taken. From these two people you can learn what should be done and what should not have been done.

Unlikely sources can provide great lessons. A child can teach an adult things long forgotten. As I watch kids I learn the importance of being inquisitive, the value of not knowing any better and the peace in living carefree.

The biggest mistakes we can make are to stop learning followed by refusing to learn from a dummy. Some of us take a hiatus from the process of learning and rest on what we think we know and what we learned in the past. That’s a mistake. Others think they know so much, become haughty and will not allow anyone they feel is “less than” to teach them. This is a mistake also.

All of us are teachers. We all need to be learners as well. If you don’t find yourself willing and eager to learn from any and every source you are simply a teacher. You are the fool teaching the wise men. Unlike you, they see the value in the lessons you are teaching. You are teaching them about the effects of not taking advantage of what is being taught to you.

Take time to learn the lessons being taught, where ever they are being taught and by whoever is doing the teaching.

The Road Less Traveled

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By Edward Ball

If you fail don’t give up; come at it differently. Its not always necessary to do things the way they have always been done. Likewise, it is not necessary to do what has always been done. Achieving our goals may require using a road that has been less traveled, if traveled at all.

 Once we fail some of us will abandon our goal. Others will attempt to reach their goal using the same methods that resulted in failure; I believe they call that insanity. I know so many people who leave prison to return to their old ways of living. I think the worst part of their return is their expectations: They expect a different outcome than prison. INSANITY!

 I am reminded of Rap artist who abandoned the traditional ways of getting a record deal with a major label and tried something innovative. They started their own labels, created their own buzz and caught the eyes of the major labels. Instead of getting the traditional they got never heard of deals.

 Just because everyone you know is turning right in attempts to reach their goal it doesn’t mean you have to.

 As the old saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat. In fact, there is profit in figuring out a new way of reaching your goal successfully. Your innovative process for goal achievement can be given to people who need a helping hand.

Look at history, the people who set off on their own path and went against tradition, the norm, the herd and didn’t give up are rich and famous. They live on through their achievements. As long as we have planes the Wright Brothers will live on, as long as we have light Edison will live on.

Don’t give up, failure is an opportunity to try something out of the box. As times change so do ways of thinking, so do problems, so do solutions and methods of finding those solutions. Solutions to our problems are found on that obscure path, if they weren’t there would be no such thing as problems.

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