By Alan C. Fox
Having obtained success in fields as diverse as commercial real estate, philanthropy, and the arts, Fox
accomplishments to what he
has learned about building relationships and finding pleasure in everyday life.
"Successful relationships are the bedrock of successful careers, families, and friendships, which in turn are the hallmarks of a successful and enjoyable life," he
"The more tools you have, and the better you understand the tools you use, the more quickly and effectively you will achieve success," says Fox
In PEOPLE TOOLS, Fox
speaks openly - and often with humor - about his
life and how he
has learned to use a myriad of People Tools.
For example, he
describes how, in a psychology class, he
questioned the premise that positive reinforcement is the best way to encourage repeat good behavior.
Because this was the opposite of what he
had been taught by - and had experienced with - his
own father, Fox
was convinced that the professor was mistaken.
However, when encouraged by his
teacher to conduct his
own experiment, he
quickly realized - by complimenting his
wife on preparing his
favorite meal and his
son on his
accordion playing - that "Catching Them Being Good" is, in fact, the strongest reinforcement of behavior.
"Just like hammering in a nail, thriving in life requires that you find and apply the best tool for each job," Fox
Among the other People Tools he
But, says Fox
, the real question is: Which prophecy will help you succeed more often?
"If prophecies tend to be self-fulfilling, I prefer to infuse them with optimism," he
Practice: A life goal is a target.
advises approaching this form of "archery" by expanding your target - making your goal more and more general.
"Instead of using a miniscule bull's eye, I aim at a target big as an IMAX screen," he
Stuff It Into Your Sub: When facing a tough problem with no immediate solution, Fox
suggests that you "stuff it into your sub (conscious).
That is, put it to the back of your mind, and then revisit it in an hour, a day, or a week.
Chances are, you'll find you've devised a solution without even "thinking" about it.
Climb a Mountain: Just as Fox
did when he
allowed a more physically active friend to persuade him to hike up a mountain, occasionally do something you are not accustomed to, even something you fear.
Get all the help you need.
The vistas will be worth it, says Fox
Throughout PEOPLE TOOLS, Fox
own experiences in business, as a husband, as a father, and as a son.
The fifty-four People Tools he
describes provide a foundation on which anyone can build.
explains, "The total potential supply of People Tools is virtually unlimited.
You can easily invent your own personalized set of Tools, selecting those which work best for you and eliminating those which are not helpful."
"When you experience joy in your life, what else do you really need?
has enjoyed a number of lifetimes during the past seventy-two years.
He has university degrees in accounting, law, education, and professional writing.
He has been employed as a Tax Supervisor for a national CPA firm, established his own law firm, and founded a commercial real estate company in 1968 that now owns and manages more than seventy major income-producing properties in eleven states.
Fox is the founder, editor, and publisher of Rattle, one of the most respected literary magazines in the United States, and he sits on the board of directors of several non-profit foundations.
PEOPLE TOOLS is the distillation of his
experience in accounting, law, real estate, poetry, three marriages, and raising six children, two step children, and one foster child.