Monday, December 31, 2012

The Six Lessons I Live By

You only live once....
You only live once.... (Photo credit: Timothy Valentine)
by Ari Emanuel, on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121002115428-204263538-the-six-lessons-i-live-by?trk=eml-mktg-top12-s-1219-p7

1. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and move out of their way

If you feel like you know everything, you’re wrong. I know what I don’t know and then I find partners who can teach me. A perfect example is my partnership with Patrick Whitesell, my co-CEO at WME.

While we take on different roles at the company and focus on different things, we share the same goals and at the end of the day, we’re working toward the same end. That’s been the key to our success.

2. The only constant in business is change. Get comfortable with it

When I started in the business, there were four broadcast networks and 19 cable networks. Now there are five broadcast networks, 117 cable networks, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBOGo, iTunes, Amazon Prime, VOD - the list goes on and on. Next year there will be more distribution platforms, and in ten years the landscape will have shifted another 180 degrees.

Business is changing quickly, and the only way to succeed is to change with it. I always tell my colleagues, there is no such thing as a traditional talent agent anymore. It’s about pushing beyond that 10% commission and finding opportunity where it didn’t exist before.

3. Fail often, fail quickly

Nobody fucks up like I do, but you’ll never succeed unless you take risks. Big ones. In 2009, we took Endeavor, a company that was doing incredibly well, and merged it with the oldest talent agency in the world. From a cultural and organizational standpoint, it was a big risk.

People had their doubts. But we had a vision and a lot of help from very smart people (see #1). Three years later, our business is stronger, our bench is deeper and smarter, and our deal-making is more innovative. It’s a better company – period. You have to lead by example if you want to promote a culture where risk-taking is rewarded.

4. Your schedule makes you dumber

Force yourself outside of your daily schedule. Be curious and take time to learn about worlds outside of the one you live in. Watch the news, read the paper, educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to call people you don’t know, start a conversation, and ask for things you need. At the very least, you’ll be more interesting. At the most, you’ll take your business in new and bigger directions.

5. You only get one shot - make it count

I learned this the painful way. After being hit by a car and lying face-down in the middle of Wilshire Boulevard, I was confronted with a whole lot more than my mortality. Take advantage of each day that’s given to you and do something to move the needle on your business, even if it’s just an inch. You’ve heard it before, but life is not a dress rehearsal. Don’t waste your time (or mine).

6. Good ideas rule all

In the end, it’s all about creative ideas and content - it’s the lifeblood of our business. I’m fortunate enough to work with the writers, directors, musicians and actors who are defining culture with their voices. It’s why I come to work in the morning.

In 100 years, when the world looks different, and we communicate in new ways, and we have more devices and platforms and distribution methods, I believe great artistry will still matter most.
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The Best Gift of All: Notice The People in Your Life

Take Notice
Take Notice (Photo credit: brianstdenis)
by Sue Ludwig

While my daughter and I walked through thousands of people at the Festival of Lights in Cincinnati, I noticed a boy, maybe 8 years old, trying to get his mom's attention.

He discovered he could run and then skillfully slide along one of the zoo's slick wooden benches, gliding effortlessly for several feet. This made him smile ear to ear.

His mom was on her cell phone. He tugged on her sleeve 3-4 times, trying to get her to watch his incredible feat. She briefly looked his way, but by the time he slid along the bench and looked to her for approval, she had turned back to her conversation.

Finally, after several attempts, she watched the whole scene. He jumped up at the end (ta-da!) and she said flatly, "Come on, you're going to get a splinter."

I'm not recounting this to pass judgment on this mother - heck, I've probably BEEN this mother. But what hit me was that all this boy wanted was maybe 15 seconds of her focused time and attention. It's easy at this time of year to get caught up in the busy-ness of the season. So much to do, so many obligations, parties we think we need to attend, gifts to purchase.

I promised myself in that moment that I'd consciously give the most precious of gifts to my family and friends this season - time. Focused, personal, fun - time. There are so many ways to do this.

Besides spending time together, one great idea is to take time to make a gift for each member of your family. My brother's family does this every year. And regardless of what the other gifts are, this turns out to be their favorite.

I received a gift made for me by my nephew while he was in college. It's a working clock made out of a record (a real record!), a set of working clock hands, and a battery. He then surrounded it with quotes about time because he knows how much I love quotes. How cool is that?

And the best part is, he gave me the gift of his time when he had very little. And he thought about who he was giving it to - and yes, it still hangs in my office today even though he's thousands of miles away living his real world post-college life.

So relax. Say no to one party you half-heartedly attend every year. Have fun. Slide along a bench at full speed. Make a gift. Put down your cell phone.

Notice the people in your life. And give them the best gift of all.
==========
President and Founder Sue Ludwig is a practicing neonatal occupational therapist at University Hospital in Cincinnati. She is a sought after national speaker, consultant, writer and educator. Sue has published articles related to infant-driven feeding and developmental care in the NICU. She is also a published poet.

Sue is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and an ex-officio member of the Education Provider Committee for the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Sue lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.
http://www.neonataltherapists.com

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Resolving To Abide By Your New Year's Resolutions

New year's resolutions
New year's resolutions (Photo credit: Brett Jordan)
by Richard Brody

It has become an annual tradition for many of us to look back at the end of each year, and to make certain pledges and promises to do certain things better in the following year.

I recently read some statistics showing that less than eight percent of these resolutions ever come to fruition, despite the fact that most of these pledges were sincere and well intentioned when they were made.

So, one might ask, why do so few of our resolutions come to pass, and since most people realize that, why do most of us continue to make New Year's resolutions each and every year.

There are probably many contributing factors to why they don't come to fruition, but probably the most frequent ones are the fact that making a personal change requires far more than a pledge or some rhetoric, but rather a combination of motivation, planning, commitment, persistence and lots of effort. It is always easier to say that you are going to make some change than to actually make the changes.

Why do we continue to make resolutions year after year? Firstly, because year - end is generally a time for introspection and analysis, and most of us realize that we can and should improve. In addition, our memories are often conveniently short, and making pledges make us feel better about ourselves.

1. New Year's resolutions are a good idea, but only when we do something with them. Just as companies and organizations do annual reports for their stakeholders, each of us need to do a personal review and analysis.

However, if we wish this to be more than an empty exercise, we must also created specific goals to achieve, with an action plan and a timeline for review and implementation. The resolutions have to be personally compelling enough to drive us to action, and we must be able to motivate ourselves to make whatever changes, and take whatever actions may be needed, to insure the changes we need to make, are actually made.

We can't just complain and blame, but rather must focus on our future, and how to make ourselves more personally satisfied.

2. Each of us need to feel that we can achieve our goals, and most people realize that it begins with a dream, and that is what resolutions are all about. We continue to resolve to do better, and be better, because humans, for the most part, wish to be the best that they can be.

What are your resolutions, and what will you do to achieve them? Will you persist and persevere while others simply go through the motions.

Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has professionally run events, consulted to over a thousand leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for over 30 years.

Rich has written three books and well over a thousand articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website http://plan2lead.net and Plan2lead can also be followed on Facebook http://facebook.com/Plan2lead

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Brody
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

To Journal or Not to Journal

A Break For Thinking
A Break For Thinking (Photo credit: ninniane)
by Kealah Parkinson

Journaling can be very helpful for sorting out your feelings. A lot of people are overwhelmed by the idea of starting or keeping a journal. But the fact is, to be its most helpful, journaling is used in its simplest form.

Here are the basics of journaling:

(1) Define the reason you want to keep a journal

Maybe you don't want to actually "keep" a journal at all. Rather, you may likely want to simply get the thoughts that are bothering you out of your head. And putting them on paper is an excellent way to get them outside of yourself. In a case such as this, it's not necessary to buy a special notebook or keep it in a sacred spot.

You can grab any scratch pad that's handy and use any writing utensil to record your thoughts at any time. And you can even throw those thoughts away once you've gotten them out of your system (you may use a recording device to achieve the same results).

(2) Use the journal as consistently as is comfortable for you and your needs

For some purposes, such as enhancing creativity, daily journaling is important. But when it comes to maintenance of feelings, daily journaling is often unnecessary. Again, simply record your thoughts when you cannot get rid of them-and can't think clearly enough to work your way through them without this extra aid. The more you engage in this exercise, the easier it will become for you to work through your bogged-down feelings without a journal.

(3) Be specific in your journal entries

While it may be helpful to write a general sketch of what's going on or what's bothering you in the moment (and it often is), this doesn't exactly help you to solve the problem. To do that, you'll want to be as specific as possible-not only about what's happening, but also about how you feel about it. Saying (or writing), "I feel bad," is too vague.

Give those bad feelings precise names that accurately convey your emotion: angry, hostile, over-excited, guilty, hurt, confused, disappointed, etc. If you find that you can't put a name to it-or that you are too commonly using generic words like bad or upset to describe how you feel-it's okay to write that you're unsure what to call the way you're feeling. But do take the time to think about it and practice naming what you feel very specifically. This also gets easier with practice.

(4) Don't forget to focus on the positive

After you've vented, it's important to give yourself closure on the situation at hand. One very easy way to do that is to think of what you're grateful for, because even in negative situations, we can always find something positive (for example, if "I'm mad at my husband for not helping with the dishes," I can later recognize that "I'm grateful he's been working so hard to bring in money this week and also that he appreciates my cooking for him").

I've been journaling for a variety of reasons since before I could even write in cursive. Although I've gotten a lot of different benefits from journal-writing, the longest staple has been an objective observation of my feelings in situations that might otherwise overwhelm me. I have employed all of the above techniques as needed with quite positive results.

For more helpful hints on this subject, check out the blog of my colleague, Barbara J. Henry, a.k.a. "The Journal Lady."

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kealah_Parkinson
http://EzineArticles.com/?To-Journal-or-Not-to-Journal&id=7433364

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Things I Have Learned

Long Walk to Freedom
Long Walk to Freedom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Elizabeth W Mugo-Akuku

I have learned:

1. I am not the titles I wear.
2. Being retrenched could be my rebirth.
3. That nothing is perfect.
4. That I have more strength than I imagined.

I am not the titles I wear

To outsiders I am a wife, mother, sister, best friend and Operations Manager, but at one point the responsibility that comes along with these roles took over my life. I had no idea what I was really feeling besides overwhelmed. I have now learned that I need to take care of myself in order to care for everyone else.

Being retrenched could be my rebirth

I did not make the decision to end my employment but I have come to realize that it was one the best things that has ever happened to me. In hindsight, I discovered 10 years of an emotionally stressful job had changed me, and not for the better. So I embraced the opportunity to learn about myself and dove into watching my son grow. That I can reinvent myself at any age.

That nothing is perfect

Not even myself, and that's something to celebrate. I used to think that if I followed the rules and stayed silent, my life would run in a straight line, It doesn't work this way. I have had to face detours, and dirt roads, and to my surprise, those moments have bought out the best in me.

That I have more strength than I imagined

My dad was diagnosed with Cancer - Carcinoma of the Cheek, soon after my son was born, after that my mom had a stroke, soon after our 34 years family home burnt to the ground and I got retrenched. I was devastated but now, 5 months later, we are living our new normal; battling cancer, raising a wonderful child, a recovered mom physically and maintaining a loving marriage. In my quiet moments, I feel astounded that we have found the inner resources to survive.

Now I take limitations in stride and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size.

Nelson Mandela said, "I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one finds many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come but I rest only for a moment for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended".

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Elizabeth_W_Mugo-Akuku
http://EzineArticles.com/?Things-I-Have-Learned&id=7434431

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10 Ways To Love Where You Live: How to Build Community Here and Now - Because Neighborhoods are More Than Houses in Proximity

English: Neighbors participate in a community ...
Neighbors participate in a community garden in the Martin Drive Neighborhood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by

Ross Chapin, FAIA, wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. 

Ross is an architect based on Whidbey Island, Wash., and author of Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World (Taunton Press). 

Over the last 15 years, Ross has designed and partnered in developing six pocket neighborhoods in the Puget Sound region - small groupings of homes around a shared commons - and has designed dozens of communities for developers across the U.S., Canada and the UK.

Community is not just for extroverts.

For thousands of years, our ancestors lived in barrios, hamlets, neighborhoods, and villages. Yet in the time since our parents and grandparents were young, privacy has become so valued that many neighborhoods are not much more than houses in proximity.

Now, many activities take place behind locked doors and backyard privacy fences. The street out front is not always safe for pedestrians, and is often out of bounds for children. With families spread across the country and friends living across town, a person who doesn’t know their neighbors can feel isolated and insecure.

And when the links among neighbors are weak, security relies on locks, gates, and guns, rather than a closely knit web of connections.

Building a community from scratch is daunting. But the good news is that vibrant communities can grow over time from existing neighborhoods.


Right here, right now: Ten ways to build community


1. Move your picnic table to the front yard

See what happens when you eat supper out front. It’s likely you’ll strike up a conversation with a neighbor, so invite them to bring a dish to share.

2. Plant a front yard vegetable garden

Don’t stop with the picnic table. Build a raised bed for veggies and plant edible landscaping and fruit trees. Break your boundaries by inviting your neighbors to share your garden.

3. Build a room-sized front porch

The magic of a good porch comes from both its private and public setting. It belongs to the household while also being open to passersby. Its placement, size, relation to the interior and the public space, and railing height are both an art and a science. Make it more than a tiny covering under which you fumble for your keys; make it big enough to be a veritable outdoor living room.

4. Add layers of privacy

Curiously, giving your personal space more definition will foster connections with neighbors. A secure space will be more comfortable and more often used, which will increase chances for seeing your neighbors - even if only in a passing nod.

But rather than achieving privacy with a tall fence, consider an approach with layers: a bed of perennial flowers in front of a low fence, with a shade tree to further filter the view. These layers help define personal boundaries, but are permeable at the same time.

5. Take down your backyard fence

Join with your neighbors to create a shared safe play space for children, a community garden, or a wood-fired pizza oven. In Davis, Calif., a group of neighbors on N Street did just that. Twenty years later, nearly all the neighbors around the block have joined in.

If that’s too radical, consider cutting your six-foot fence to four feet to make chatting across the fence easier, or building a gate between yards.

6. Organize summer potluck street parties

Claim the street, gather the lawn chairs, and fire up the hibachi! Take over the otherwise off-limits street as a space to draw neighbors together.

7. Put up a book lending cupboard

Bring a book, take a book. Collect your old reads and share them with passersby in a cupboard mounted next to the sidewalk out front. Give it a roof, a door with glass panes, and paint it to match the flowers below.

8. Build resilience together

Create a neighborhood survey of assets, skills, and needs for times of crisis. Frame it around "emergency preparedness," but watch how it cultivates community.

9. Create an online network for nearby neighbors

Expand the survey into an active online resource and communication tool. Find a new home for an outgrown bike. Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog. Organize a yard sale. Take advantage of free neighbor-to-neighbor networking tools such as Nextdoor to facilitate communications and build happier, safer neighborhoods.

10. Be a good neighbor

It’s easy to focus on your own needs and concerns, but a slight shift in outlook can make a big difference in the day-to-day lives in a neighborhood. Check in on your elderly neighbor if her curtains aren’t raised in the morning. On a hot summer day, put out a pitcher of ice lemonade for passersby, or a bowl of cool water for dogs on walks.

To be sure, grievances among neighbors are common. But when a neighborhood grows from a base of goodwill, little squabbles won’t escalate into turf fights, and neighborhoods can become what they are meant to be: places of support, security, and friendship.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Do You Recognize Your Own Accomplishments?

Do it!
Do it! (Photo credit: GioPhotos)
by Tony Calabrese

We're a few days away from the end of 2012. What kind of year has it been for you?

Have you accomplished all of your goals? What were those wonderful things that have happened to you during the past twelve months?

It is human nature to tend to have a sharper memory toward what we have not accomplished as opposed to what we have gotten done.

We're more likely to remember the negative things that happened in our life, than the positive. That is a tendency which is unfortunate.

Because over the course of twelve months for a large majority of people both things for which they are pleased and things for which they are disappointed do happen.

For example, perhaps this was the year you obtained a new job. Or perhaps you entered into a new relationship with a special someone. Maybe you were able to grow your business to a greater level than the previous year. Did you buy that new home you were hoping to find, or sell that property that you have been looking to move from for some time?

Whatever it is that you have accomplished, did you take the time to recognize and acknowledge yourself for it? If you haven't, you're actually not that different to many people.

A trait I often see in working with my clients is that while they're on the path to a long range goal, they never stop to acknowledge the steps they've accomplished on the way toward that goal.

For example, maybe they did not find that job they were hoping for this year, but they put in a lot of work to learn more about their field of interest and continued to grow their list of contacts in that profession. That is progress. It likely has them a lot further than when they started their search.

However, if they take the philosophy that I'll only recognize the accomplishment when I actually get the new job, they're cheating themselves out of acknowledging the gains they have made during their journey.

We're in the midst of the time of year when we look to find that perfect gift for others. That sentiment is truly special. However, the best gift we can often give ourselves is to acknowledge we are doing the best we can, and that we're truly making progress on our goals.

Whether that acknowledgement is to recognize ourselves with a small pleasure or just to spend a few minutes reflecting on that sense of accomplishment in terms of what we have gained, we owe that to ourselves.

For me, it was a year that I felt I became a better and more confident coach in my business. That is reflected in the wide variety of clients I was able to serve and the various topic areas I helped them to work through.

I sold a property that I had spent the better part of the last two years getting ready for sale. I was fortunate to lead a successful chapter of the International Coaching Federation in my state. I was able to take three very special trips with my wife. Our marriage of three years continues to grow stronger every day.

Remember the things that you do well, and that go well for you, don't necessarily have to go that way. You have the choice to give them the attention that you wish, or you can just hope they work out well but not put the proper time and attention toward them.

As 2012 is winding down, if you have been finding you have been hard on yourself lately for the things that have happened in your life, take time to stop and pause. I'm sure there are accomplishments or steps forward indeed for you to acknowledge. They are your springboard for moving forward into 2013.

Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit http://absolutetransitions.com

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Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 2013

Quitting
Quitting (Photo credit: Jimmy Jack Kane)
by Jacob Tyree

So, Christmas is gone - it sure is a 'financial disaster' time of the year. But it's the New Year that we all look forward to.

And very year it's the same - the "New Year is a New Start" attitude where we choose the most bizarre resolutions to do. But they never happen, right?

Well with all this "12.21.12 World End" horror, by 2013 we should all feel like we dodged a bullet! So maybe next year should really be the year that we actually do something.

Here are the Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 2013.

Number 10: Quit Smoking

Yes, every year this is on the list, and everybody is in the same boat on this one. We try the nicotine gum, the nicotine patch, or one of these cool new electronic cigarettes that you can smoke inside and when everyone thinks it's real they look at you as if you are criminal. But every year, again and again, we fail. Why?

Maybe the cigarette box pictures aren't disturbing enough - actually, no, they are actually horrible. But maybe next year, will be the last time, and you will quit. And if you succeed, and it is a big "IF" ... you will find yourself with a lot of free time and actually a lot more money!

Number 9: Quit Drinking

You must have seen this one coming, especially after you stacked up for the Christmas party! But remember when you were a kid, when you tried this "grown-ups" drink for the first time and hated it?

But then you started to get into it, and now, even though alcohol does make your friends better looking, your liver hates you. That should really be enough to make you quit, because your liver has a good point.

It has become an elite athlete and now wants a vocation. You don't necessarily need to stop all alcohol intake, but limiting it at least to something that you can handle is a good start. Plus, now is the best time to start - since they are putting a 40 pence per unit price increase.

Number 8: Finally Get Organised

Now if you don't have phobia of change then this one is rather easy. Sorting out the boot of your car could be a start. When you finally get up to it then you will realize that it really is like doing a treasure hunt - you never know what you could find. If you actually do it before the New Year then you could find a great gift for someone or even for yourself if you find a 10 pound note.

Number 7: Learn Something New

We do need to use our brain more. Did you know that the brain is 75% water, weighing a total of around 3 lbs and 60% of it is fat? So you really do need to take it for a run once in a while or it will become obese and lazy. See how easy it is? You already learned something new, so lets move on.

Number 6: Get Out Of Debt

By the way things are looking at the moment, this might take a while. We pay it off every month, but at the end the sum somehow gets bigger? Must be one of the worlds unsolved mysteries. But we all know that the sooner we pay it off the less we have to pay. So start now!

Number 5: Get A New Job

If you earn 6-digits then you sir are an exception. But actually, are you? It has always been about money, but really it's all about 'time' or rather the lack of it. If you are stuck in your job more hours than you can count then you might need to slow down and look at your options, no matter what your income might be - you can't buy time, not yet.

Having a balance between work and family/free time will definitely make you happier. And actually times have changed and it is very normal to change jobs once in a while. A life career is very rare. Get the best job for 2013, and then a better one for 2014.

Number 4: Start A New Hobby

Apart from what we think, believe it or not, but actually laying on a sofa and watching TV is not a hobby. So do something beneficial that you can enjoy. This doesn't necessarily have to be anything very challenging or physical, but it must keep you busy with something that you actually enjoy. And this would be great if you could get your family members or friends involved.

Number 3: Start A Business

At heart, we are all born businessmen/women. And those who follow the heart sure earn more than the rest, and have more free time. So what are you waiting for? Got a story? Write a book. Got an idea? Make a product. Have the internet? Start a business online, you could even just sell all your rubbish on eBay.

It could be something that is just running alongside your day-to-day job. I don't think anyone would dismiss extra income; you could even have a chance to make it big, and before you know it you could be on a Caribbean islands watching "Pirates of the Caribbean" while sipping some freshly made juice!

Number 2: Getting Healthier

We, humans, are always disappointed with our shape - especially with that beer belly we grew over Christmas. And the media is not letting us rest one bit with all this dangerous cholesterol and fats; every hour they tell us yet another thing that causes cancer, and yet we still eat that innocent chocolate, and drink some refreshing energy drink.

But maybe next year we should really start taking care of ourselves, at least until next Christmas where we can spoil ourselves yet again.

Number 1: Spend More Time With Family

Now it's getting serious. We all know that family is priceless. Well, It is definitely one of the things you should always be proud of and, obviously, investing time in your family is gold. So why is it that we choose work and friends over it?

Maybe we don't appreciate the true value, or maybe we like to be independent, or maybe we just need someone to make a New Years resolution list and put family at number 1. So now you have no excuse. Make next year your best year yet.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jacob_Tyree
http://EzineArticles.com/?Top-10-New-Years-Resolutions-for-2013&id=7424168

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Be Careful Who You Get Your Advice From

English: An image of Major League Baseball hal...
Ted Williams (Wikipedia)
by Sam Obitz

How many of you would pass up the chance to get advice from your favorite sports hero or business mogul? I'm guessing not many of you would.

We all think exceptional performers in any given field have some sort of special knowledge that could be just what we need to help us release our specialness and reach our dreams.

The problem is that because of the way our brains work, most high achiever's advice is second rate.

People are convinced they know what got them where they are, but the fact of the matter is, that they created the reasons they are sharing with you, after the fact. The way our brain works is that it comes up with explanations that justify conclusions, not the other way around.

So while these high-achievers honestly believe the things they are telling you are the secrets to their success, more often than not, the nuggets they are sharing with you were of much less consequence than they believe.

Imagine a baseball that has a human brain inside of it that has just come off of baseball player's bat traveling on its way to a home run, when suddenly in mid-flight it gains consciousness. The baseball does not know that the player's bat is what is propelling it up into the sky, so the baseball's brain tells it that it has decided to fly.

The reason it does this is because it appears to be the most plausible explanation to the brain. This is exactly how our brain comes up with explanations for our successes.

I like to use the example of what Ted Williams, one of the greatest baseball hitters of all-time, said when he was asked how he hit the ball so well? "I could see the ball so clearly when it came towards me that I could see the stitching on the ball turning." For years people marveled at this ability and tried to duplicate it. The only problem was that it is not humanely possible to do.

Years after William's career ended technology caught up and proved that the human eye did not have this capability at the speeds of major league pitching. When told this William's simply replied, "Well I thought I could." His brain had played the same trick on him that I described earlier that it plays on everyone without our awareness or consent.

This is not to say that high achievers do not have anything of value to share with the rest of us, most do. It's just a caveat not to put too much stake in what they say, like most people automatically do. If you want to glean the most useful information they have, you will need to dig deeper, because their perception more often than not, does not reflect reality.

You can follow Sam on Twitter: @SuperTaoInc

Sam Obitz is a leader in the use and development of mental skills that help you achieve peak performance. Visit The Mind Side Blog at http://supertao.com/category/the-mind-side-blog/

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http://EzineArticles.com/?Be-Careful-Who-You-Get-Your-Advice-From&id=7440022

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Friday, December 28, 2012

How Is Breathing Like Thinking?

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.
Brain regions affected by PTSD & stress (Wikipedia)
by Judy Widener

Your lungs and your brain have one thing in common: they both run on autopilot unless you take conscious control of their activity.

Your breathing happens automatically. But if you decide to take a deep breath, the automation stops.

As long as you're thinking about breathing, you'll have complete control of how often and how deeply you breathe.

But when you stop thinking about it, your breathing instantly becomes automatic again.

The same thing happens with your thoughts. When you're consciously focused on something, you're controlling which neurons are firing. But when you let your thoughts wander, you'll find that seemingly random thoughts pop up. And most of them are likely to be negative.

Have you ever wondered why you keep remembering negative experiences, from a tiff with your beloved to wishing you could leave an unfulfilling job? The answer may surprise you.

During the 2.5 million years that humans have been evolving on this planet, our bodies have become wired to seek optimal health and well-being. Thus, your brain is wired to do whatever it can do to be as healthy as possible. Any time you're not directing your thoughts consciously, your brain has an opportunity to do the next most important work: get healthier.

The single greatest detractor of your brain's well-being is stressful thoughts. So your brain will jump on any opportunity to de-stress itself. This is why you'll think about unresolved issues: disagreements, frustrations at work or with finances, etc.

Your brain isn't trying to torture you. It's trying to resolve these issues, in order to alleviate stress, and in so doing, be healthier. Besides the health issue, the less stress you have, the more your brain is free to learn, create and enjoy life.

When you take control of your brain, you become its leader and its teacher. You tell your brain what to do: drive this car. Eat this food. You also train your brain to learn new skills. Here's how to build this shelf. Here's how to play this song on the piano.

From a better job to improved communication skills, any time you want something new, you tap into an unlimited source of creativity housed in an organ that adapts every time you send an instruction. So find as many ways as you can to make optimal use of it, instead of wasting the potential of this precious resource.

A year can pass you by in a snap of the fingers when you've fallen into the rut of familiar, comfortable routines. Ten years ago, self-help gurus talked about personal growth as the way to avoid the guilt and remorse you feel when your desire to grow and make changes lost out to expedience.

But the ante is so much higher now. With dementia reaching epidemic proportions among the elderly and ADD running rampant among the rest of us, brain health has become the number one health issue of our time.

The good news is that recent brain research has pinpointed the foods and exercises (both physical and mental) that nourish the brain. We've also learned that the physical effects of both dementia and ADD can be reversed. You can live long and strong. Choose to learn, adapt, grow. Now's the time.

Today's Coaching Question: What are you willing to do today to make your brain healthier?

Judy Widener is a Certified Life Coach and author of Power For A Lifetime: Tools You Customize to Build Your Personal Power Every Day Of Your Life. You can sign up for Discovering Your Values, a 5-day e-course at no cost at http://www.myinnerfrontiers.com Her passion is assisting her clients to discover what is most important to them, then to create more balance and satisfaction in their lives.

She offers a comprehensive program that teaches clients simple ways to build their personal power and overcome obstacles to achieving their dreams. Judy has coached more than 600 people over the past 13 years. Her website is http://www.myinnerfrontiers.com

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Become a High Performer

Cover of "Outliers: The Story of Success&...
Cover of Outliers: The Story of Success
by Justin Krane

Are you a high performer like Mia Hamm, Kobe Bryant or Roger Federer?

What's up with these 3? They bring it every time. They don't go through peaks and troughs.

They have sustained high performance, and that's what makes them champions. They make being a high performer look so easy-peezy lemon-squeezy.

So what does it take for you to be a high performer? And how can you be a high performer on a consistent basis? Are you checking out yet? Stay with me. Read this.

Here's my list:

Meditation

I used to poo poo this stuff. I thought it was for people that went off the deep end. Boy was I wrong. Talk about clearing your mind and becoming aware of what you are thinking. I am so present. In the here and now. Like right now. Meditation can make you a better thinker. Talk about business strategy. Hello!!!

Exercise / Rejuvenation

For me, that's a massage. Once a month. Running twice a week and playing basketball once a week. What rejuvenates you? Pick one thing and do it every week.

Diet

Protein, fruits and vegetables. These 3 work for me. Check out http://www.thefresh20.com for simple recipes on what you can make for yourself. My new diet has given me more energy. Major stuff for high performance.

Coaching

My grandma used to tell me, "Justy, you can't see the hump on your own back." I tell ya, she was right. Invest in coaching and get a different perspective. Better yet, invest in the results you could get through coaching. Accountability is huge. It's a great way to consistently rock the house.

Practice

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called Outliers. He said the most successful people in business who have mastered their craft have spent at least 10,000 hours learning and refining what they do. That's about 5 years if you work a 40 hour work week. Ya think he is right? Practice your stuff. Go out and shoot 15,000 free throws. You probably can become a high performer.

Imagine what your life and business could be like if you performed at a higher level, and it just became the new normal. You could work less and be more productive. You could make a bigger impact with the people you do business with. You could make more money.

The question is, are you up to the challenge? Come on now. Forget about the whole New Year's resolution stuff. In my mind, every day is Jan 1. Game on. Bring it.

Justin Krane is a certified financial planner who has helped countless entrepreneurs create a bigger vision for their businesses by showing them how to identify and meet goals for increasing revenue. Go now to http://kranefinancialsolutions.com to get your free financial planning toolkit and you'll also receive a free audio CD on increasing your business revenue.

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How to Figure Out What You Really Want

Cover of "Dream Big"
Cover of Dream Big
by Tony Mase

Sounds simple, right? In order to live a happy and successful life, you have to figure out what it is that you actually want.

Unfortunately, though, coming up with the answer isn't nearly as simple as it sounds!

When asked outright, millions of people can't answer what they truly want.

If you're one of them, you're probably so bogged down in various responsibilities that you never really give any thought to what you want - outside of the traffic on the highway to speed up or the cookies for the bake sale to bake themselves.

By focusing solely on what you HAVE to do, you never think about what you WANT to do. As a result, you wind up completely disconnected from yourself!

That's all about to change, though. As long as you've got some patience, some bravery, and aren't afraid of a little hard work, you can figure out what you want out of life.

Here's how to do it:

1. Make "me time" a priority

How often do you actually spend some quiet time all by yourself? During "me time", you can get some valuable balance and harmony - both of which will give you more energy to make the most out of your life.

More importantly, though, you'll get to spend some quality time with your inner voice. By spending some time focusing solely on you - instead of the kids, that big project at work, or all of the dust in your living room - you'll be more in tune with your feelings. You might be amazed to discover that your feelings have taken a backseat for so long!

2. Give your brain a workout

It's not enough to sit around and listen to whatever feeling happens to pop into your head. If you really want to discover what you want, you're going to have to dig deep into your brain.

The best way to get started is to have a brainstorming session. Write down all of the things you're good at. Then, write down things that you've done (either recently or in the past) that you loved. After that, write down the things that you've always wanted to do - but haven't done yet.

If you're having trouble coming up with stuff to write down, let your mind wander for a few minutes. Jot down anything that pops into your mind. Eventually, your mind will get on the right "path". In fact, you may discover that inspiration comes out of nowhere, right when you least expect it!

3. Dream big

Whatever happened to the dreams you had as a kid? OK, so you never grew up and became a racecar driver, but what about all of the other stuff - like climbing Mt. Everest, travelling to a bunch of different countries, or learning how to play the violin? How did those dreams get lost along the way?

Once you recall all of those dreams, start coming up with new ones. Ask yourself, "If I didn't have any limitations, what would I do?" Don't be afraid to come up with big answers. In fact, the bigger the better! The key is to get excited about your life - and excited about all of the possibilities that lay ahead. That way, you won't just know what you want; you'll also be willing to work for it!

Tony Mase is a serious student of the works of Wallace D. Wattles and the publisher of the "How to Get What You Want" ebook by Wallace D. Wattles that reveals the secrets to getting anything you want in life and more! Grab your copy now at: http://www.howtogetwhatyouwant.net

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: There Is No App for Happiness

A Good Dog Can Bring Happiness to Your Life
Happiness in friendship (Wikipedia)
by Suzanne Lindgren, Utne Reader: http://www.utne.com

In the book “There Is No App for Happiness,” author Max Strom explains how to find inner balance in the age of social media.
We have become so connected, and so accustomed to being connected, that it is difficult to imagine a world without the technology that keeps us close. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.

If you haven’t taken to any of these, surely you text and email. Two decades ago, technological innovation centered around convenience and saving time. Now it is how we communicate.

As we build our virtual social networks, it’s easy to forget that we’re charting new territory. Certainly, a cell phone would have streamlined Cliff Huxtables’ grocery shopping that day. But has the ability to call, text, tap, or lurk any time, for as long as we want, made us happier overall?

It’s a question worth asking, and Max Strom, personal transformation coach and author of the forthcoming book There Is No App for Happiness: How to Avoid a Near-Life Experience (April 2013), is looking for answers.

Strom sees a common denominator creeping behind an array of problems from depression to high blood pressure to the current recession. Technology has begun to distract and overwhelm us, knocking our priorities out of order.

We might have encyclopedic knowledge of the Twitterverse (or The Cosby Show), but “our own personality, our own life is unexplored territory,” says Strom. “With some focus on our internal life and changing ourselves personally, we would solve a lot of the world’s problems very quickly.”

He cites the economic collapse of 2008 as an example. “Because there was what I call a gradual ethics collapse in our society, we experienced an economic collapse, and it’s really a side-effect of a larger problem.”

If dreams and relationships are the stars by which humans have navigated life for generations, then media (social or otherwise) have littered the sky with light. We can barely discern which points will guide us in our efforts to make life meaningful. So we reach for our GPS.

“A lot of this is not being discussed in terms of what we can actually do about it,” says Strom in a voice that’s unrushed, assured, and calming. “A few people are pointing out our over-infatuation with social media and so on, but what I want to focus on as a teacher of personal transformation is what we can do about it on a very personal basis. I don’t really think we can change the world until we change ourselves.”

To read further, go to: http://www.utne.com/mind-body/there-is-no-app-for-happiness-zm0z13jfzlin.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_content=12.26.12+Science+and+Technology&utm_campaign=2012+ENEWS&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=email&page=2
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How to Make 2013 the Best Year Ever

The “weigh” he was Camp America commandant los...
Losing weight (Wikipedia)
by Mark W Coziahr

If you are reading this article than most likely you are looking to make some changes or improvements to your life during 2013.

So let's fast forward to the end of 2013 for a second.

I want you to think to yourself and finish the following sentence, "2013 has been the best year of my life because ...".

I am guessing that whatever you completed that sentence with is going to be your main goal of focus for the upcoming year.

If you are having a difficult time answering why 2013 will be your best year ever, don't fret.

Simply grab a piece of paper and a pencil and in 30 seconds or less write down your 3 top goals.

According to entrepreneur and success expert Brian Tracy, it doesn't matter if you have 3 hours or 30 seconds to do this exercise. Your mind will guide you to your top three priorities or goals.

Now chances are that you wrote down a health or fitness goal, a financial goal, and a relationship goal. Or you wrote down some combination of the three. Maybe two goals were health related and one was financial. OK, so this is the easy part.

While most people don't have a problem making goals, they do have a problem keeping them. In fact it's estimated that only 12% of New Year's resolutions are kept. That means a whopping 88% are broken. I would love to help shift the balance of those numbers and get more people to realize that they can achieve their goals.

The next step after deciding what your goals are going to be is to identify the top 3-5 actions that are going to be needed to accomplish your goals. For example, one of my goals in 2012 was to get my body fat down below 10%. I was able to reach this goal by last summer by making it a priority to complete a few specific actions that I repeated daily.

First, I made an effort to work out daily for 45 minutes or more. Some days it was weights. Some days it was cardio. Other days it was yoga. But I made an effort to exercise daily. Second, I made 2 of my meals shakes so that it was easier to get the nutrients my body needed without all of the calories of a large meal.

My third step was the hardest for me and that was to quit eating after 6 pm. I found that I am a late night eater and all of the effort I put in during the day was being lost by eating extra food because I was tired or bored.

The third step is to be consistent. In his bestselling book, The Compound Effect, Daren Hardy explains how momentum toward your goals is gained by repeating a few key actions daily.

If you are serious about making 2013 the best year ever, your actions cannot be a "sometimes thing." There needs to be a focus that is guiding your actions. And when you repeat the actions over and over again you will begin to see positive changes.

Unfortunately, too many people give up on themselves way too soon. They have convinced themselves that there must be a quick fix solution or a magic pill out there that will get them to where they want to be. The truth is that this is not the case.

As I once heard Nick Sarnicola say, "Your beliefs determine your actions. And your actions determine your results." So believe you can make 2013 the best year ever. Next take the daily actions to make 2013 the best year ever. And in 12 months look back at the year that was and enjoy the success you have achieved!

Mark Coziahr has been educating and motivating others for the past 13 years. As an independent distributor with Visalus Sciences, Mark has been able to help others lose weight, get fit, and obtain better overall health.

Visit http://www.yourvisalustransformation.com to receive more information about how Mark can help lose weight through the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge. It's the # 1 health and fitness challenge in North America!

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Compassion In the Face of Tragedy

Compassion to Care
Compassion to Care (Photo credit: cobalt123)
by Deanna Heiliger

I have always known that people are mostly good-hearted. I have seen countless events, which were tragedies or brought heartache, where people pulled together and somehow become one.

Differences seem to magically fade to the background, and a mutual respect for life comes to the surface.

These situations seem to bare our souls, it strips us of any vanity, and people become real. Their defenses disappear and their motives become clearly humane.

It seems that of late, there are more personal tragedies surrounding us. But, in fact, there have always been tragedies in this world ... they just appear more numerous and ever-present when they hit close to our hearts.

With the media, email, Facebook, and all the immediate ways to communicate, we are alerted instantly and continuously. Think back in our history to the Pony Express... people didn't know about events for weeks or months!

I have been a witness to several tragedies this past year. Some were of family members, close friends, friends of friends, and even perfect strangers. I am happily amazed that when there is a tragedy ... people draw together. People help. People set their differences aside. It is quite heart-warming!

The other evening, I was at one of my daughter's basketball games. It was a heated game, lots of competition and rivalry I could sense. All of a sudden, a man sitting in front of me on the bleachers turned to me and said, "I think this girl needs help!" I looked to the left and down to the floor ... and there was a young high school freshman lying on the gymnasium floor having a seizure.

I don't know if any of you have witnessed someone having a seizure, but this was not the first time for me ... and the sight is pretty chilling. Her whole body was tense and convulsing, her eyes were rolled back, and she was foaming at the mouth.

As soon as the gasps and hushed whispers spread throughout the gymnasium, the game stopped and you could hear a pin drop. A few key adults came to the girl's side to protect her, putting a pencil in her mouth so she wouldn't bite her tongue. Everyone else respectfully gave her some space.

I looked around the solemn gymnasium, to find all the players, cheerleaders, and most of the spectators on one knee. They were worried, concerned, and being respectful. Everyone present, including strangers and team rivals, showed concern and was ready to help ... not just her family, friends, and school mates.

I saw some clusters of people praying on the sidelines. The girl's mom was there and had to give her an injection. When she did this, the girl let out an eerie scream. This was quite frightening and alarming to the young spectators. Once the paramedics came, the game resumed... but I could feel the heaviness of all the hearts still hanging in the air.

This is just a small example of a tragedy that happened and how people responded. I have seen it over and over again ... people pulling together for the good of someone in need. I'm sure the girl's mom received some follow up calls, cards, well wishes, and maybe even some meals to help with her stress. In the big scheme of things, this example was not a huge tragedy ... but a tragedy none the less.

After the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut this month, I have witnessed an outpour of compassion and sympathy towards the victims and their families ... and even to the perpetrator, from a sympathetic-mental-illness-standpoint.

There have been letters written, moments of silence, and Pay-It-Forward campaigns ... all from a country of people in shock and in mourning. There is an urgency to help this country come together in kindness.

I see that people are encouraging people to do random acts of kindness. Facebook was covered in sympathy posts. People wanted to help. People wanted to ease pain. People wanted to honor the lost. How did you feel? How did you respond?

My wheels began churning.

Why must it take a tragedy for people to be kind to one another?
Why must someone get hurt or killed for people to do nice things for others?
What if we adopted a lifestyle of "Paying-it-Forward" and doing "Random Acts of Kindness" on a daily basis?
Can you imagine the wonderful feelings and acts that would follow?
Can you picture a world where people were giving and loving and kind in small simple ways?
Getting and receiving love has natural ebb and flow ... we just somehow have buried it beneath selfishness, hatred, and fear.

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let's all make a concerted effort to do one or more nice things for someone each and every day! Let's support each other and be helpful and sympathetic and compassionate ... to ourselves, to our family, to our friends, and to total strangers!

Let's see what a difference a little love, kindness, and compassion can make ... I bet it will feel FABULOUS! If you already make it a practice to do unexpected kind things for others ... GOOD for you ... keep on spreading LOVE!

Because Together is Better,
Visit my Blog to become a "Better You"!
http://www.MeToThePowerOfWe.com

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Success and Motivation Tips

Give Up Graffiti #ds367
Give Up Graffiti #ds367 (Photo credit: brendan-c)
by Christopher Babson

Don't Give Up! Every great success story includes temptations to quit along the way.

One of the principle differences between winners and, well, non-winners, is that winners never give into this impulse to quit on themselves and their dream.

Or they do so only temporarily and turn away in disgust at their self-betrayal. Winners understand that motivation and success are a personal responsibility and rarely just appear on their own.

There is no failure in life; except in never trying or in giving up. Everything else is just a result. It may not be the result you desire, but just a result nevertheless.

Results are great information, even if painful and disheartening at times. Use the information that undesired results provide to refine your tactics and fuel your tenacious determination and action.

TENACIOUS DETERMINATION AND ACTION

A requirement for exceptional success in life. The path to greatness requires ferocious tenacity. Understand, accept and embody this.

Why do some quit while others don't? And, perhaps most importantly, how do you become one of those that never quits? How do you become one of the few tenacious souls that keep on keeping on?

It's in your mind-set and emotions; down to the cellular level, ingrained in your physiology. The stories you choose to tell yourself about your dreams, your potential, your standards for yourself and your life (your musts in life) and, yes, the stories you choose to tell yourself about any unwanted results you accrue along the way.

The purpose, meaning and emotions you attach to each of these things will, to a large degree, determine whether you are a winner or just another person who gave up on themselves.

If your mind-set and emotions aren't primed, prepared ahead of time and constantly rejuvenated through self-exploration, education, coaching and practice, then those results that you will inevitably get that you don't want to get will most likely knock you down.

Like most people, you will likely quit on your dreams and yourself then and there; hopefully only temporarily; but, all too often, permanently.

Your quitting might take the form of procrastination, excuse making or transference. Or it might be a negative, pessimistic attitude or anger. Or it might be flat out saying "I give up!" Each of these will result in the same outcome: The personal choice of failure.

Don't ever quit yourself, your potential, your purpose, your loved-ones or your life. Be your best friend and prepare ahead of time so that when those inevitable unwanted results come a-knocking, quitting isn't even an option.

  • Focus your attention and intention 100% on your highest purpose and passion in life. See it, feel it and hear it within and before you bright, vibrating with enthusiastic life energy and certain in its necessity and inevitability in you and for your life. Do this daily. Don't wait until a rainy day.

  • Acknowledge all you have already accomplished and overcome in your life AND remind yourself of inspirational challenges you know others have achieved (with purpose, passion, focus and determined tenacity). Know that you too can and will be one of these people others are soon inspired by and look to as a shining light and example of strength, determination and exceptionalism.

  • Remember that no considerable and lasting great accomplishment is ever actualized by a human being without great passion. Find and feed your passion for purpose and vision each moment each day. Motivation, energy and intention always come from within. Don't wait for external events to create them for you or you will wait until it's too late.

  • Get constant coaching in the form of books, CDs, seminars, mastermind groups, coaches and personal reflection and self-work. Exceptional people have a passion and need for constant learning and growth. They understand that, as exceptional as they already are, they can never learn and apply too much. Constant learning and development, then application of that knowledge, is a huge game-changer. Perhaps "the" game-changer. And it is certainly a necessity to stay competitive and in the game.

Coming Post Will be Inspirational and Motivational Quotes

Copyright Christopher Babson - All Rights Reserved
http://www.ChristopherBabson.com

Christopher Babson speaks & leads seminars on leadership, management, change & success. He has his MBA from Purdue's Top-20 b-school, 12 years as a Vice President and Fortune-100 Corporate Banker, 9 years as an entrepreneur, 8 years as a professional actor in NYC, LA & Paris. See his live videos at his YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/cbabrun/videos

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

People Principle: Smile More

A smile a day keeps the pain and the doctor away
A smile a day keeps the doctor away (Wikipedia)
by Ellen Patnaude

The man who gives little with a smile gives more than the man who gives much with a frown - Jewish Proverb

When it comes to building trust and rapport, this principle is one of the top seven that we have found to be important. Let me illustrate what it means with an example.

I spent a lot of my time in college as many of us did - trying to keep up. I was too preoccupied with my grades, my classes and my never-ending list of assignments to pay much attention to greeting others warmly with a smile as I walked around campus. It's not that I was in a bad mood - I just didn't pay attention to making an effort to show it.

In my senior year, I was at a party with some friends one evening, joking and laughing a lot. At one point in the conversation, a guy with whom I had never really had much interaction spoke up. "Hey, I want you to know something," he began, gesturing towards me. "I've always been a little bit intimidated by you."

I was surprised! This guy was a football player and had the physique to go with it - 6'2", 250 lbs - not the kind of guy I would expect to be intimidated by much of anyone, let alone me - a girl of pretty average size. "Really??" I said, laughing. "How is that possible?"

He looked a little bit embarrassed, but decided to tell me anyway. "Well, you're always walking around scowling, looking like you could bite someone's head off," he said, laughing nervously. "In fact, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever seen you smile!"

It was my turn to be embarrassed! Here all this time, I'd been so absorbed in my own worries about getting through the daily challenges of school that I had put off at least one person who decided I was unapproachable because I forgot to tell my face that I was open and accessible.

Smiling more isn't about being fake or superficial. It's about communicating to those around you that you are available for conversation and general interaction with the world. I'm glad I learned my lesson while still in college.

Imagine people you know in the workplace - maybe even yourself - who don't make an effort to smile at others. The message being sent is the opposite of what most of us would want - that we are not open and available for conversation, interaction, or collaboration with others. What message do you want to send?

Ellen Patnaude is Senior Vice President of Corporate Events at The Leader's Institute, a soft-skills training company focusing on team building, public speaking and leadership development.

She is the author of a book titled "They Called Me 'The Ugly American Girl'" and writes for several blogs. For free brochures, tips and information, visit our website at http://www.leadersinstitute.com. Ellen is based in the Detroit area and travels worldwide for her clients.

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http://EzineArticles.com/?People-Principle:-Smile-More&id=7427290

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Tips for Writing a Personal Development Plan

Don't forget your dreams!
Don't forget your dreams! (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)
by Alexander Lynch

Writing a personal development plan is an important step in life that can help you achieve your goals as you get some kind of direction to follow and stick to.

This is however not a simple task one of the reasons why many people don't get around to writing it at all.

Below you will find some tips on coming up with an effective plan. To begin with, never settle to write down to write a plan when you are bored, tired, uninspired or feeling lazy.

Take a deep breath to calm down, you can even move around a little to get the energy levels flowing.

Discover strengths & weaknesses

While some people know what they are good at and what they cannot do, some struggle to discover it. If you belong to the former category, there is no need to worry as you can start by answering some questions like:

  • What are the areas/activities that you succeed in and which ones do you find difficult?
  • What do people say you are good at?
  • What are some of your good as well as bad habits?
  • What are you comfortable doing?

Naturally the things that you are not comfortable with or the ones you find difficult are your weaknesses. You can get help from others to compile a comprehensive list. Don't work on the entire list as about 3 skills/areas are enough to focus on.

Add details

Once you know your focus areas, it is time to think about the ultimate objectives for the specific areas. Make sure they are specific and detailed. It is also important to make sure that they are measurable and you should have a very strong reason that backs up each of the focus areas. This is important as it helps you to stay focused.

Some of the questions that you can ask yourself at this point include:

  • Reasons for achieving that
  • How will it help you?
  • What will you gain at the end?
  • What can it stop or prevent?
  • How does it impact your life as well as others who surround you?

Set goals

The goals that you set while writing a personal development plan should be SMART i.e.

  • Specific - this helps you know exactly what you are aiming for
  • Measurable - this will help you know if you meet your objective
  • Achievable - process of getting to the final point
  • Realistic - the goals should be within reach
  • Timely - give yourself a timeline when you are supposed to achieve the goals

Taking action

There are normally 2 process that are involved in this:

Committing the plans to paper - this should ensure it is brief and easily reviewable.
Schedule development time - this is where you need to set some time aside that will be used for personal development.

Review your progress

The final step of writing a personal development plan is to review your progress to find out if you are on track or whether you need to go back to the drawing board to come up with plans that you can handle. Do not wait for too long to do this as you should check in at least every 3 months to ensure you are on target.

Find out more about setting personal development goals and how you can get more from your life. You can also claim your free personal development plan and get helpful advice on how to make sure it turns from dream into reality!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alexander_Lynch
http://EzineArticles.com/?Tips-for-Writing-a-Personal-Development-Plan&id=7425337

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