Tag Archives: love

16 Tips for Living a Happy Life Starting Right Now

 


By John Rampton @johnrampton

It doesn’t matter your age, how much money you have in your back account, your marital status or what you do for a living, we all want to be more successful in our lives. Of course, defining success is different for each us, but here are 16 proven ways that can make you more productive, happy and successful in life.

1. Be committed.

No matter what goals you have set for yourself in life, you have to be committed. It’s through commitment that you’ll continue to make the improvements needed to better yourself. Whether it’s taking a chance on launching a startup, getting a gym membership to improve your physical well-being, or taking a cooking class because you want to become a chef, commitment is what drives us all to become more successful.

2. People care about you, not your success.

Let’s be honest. People don’t care about the expensive clothes you wear, how big is the house you own or the car your drive. That’s not to say that they don’t respect your achievements or possessions. Instead, they care you as an individual and they’ll support you no matter what — because they love you. Believe it!

3. Be grateful every day.

According to researchers Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Michael McCullough, being grateful can result in feeling better about your life, more enthusiastism and more willingness to help others. Being grateful may even reduce coronary artery disease. Take the time to write down what you’re grateful each and every day.

4. Take action.

In an article in The Atlantic, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman share studies on the confidence gap between men and women.  The researchers discovered that confidence is just as important as competence. It was concluded in the article that “[T]aking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed.”

5. Money can’t buy happiness.

As The Beatles famously proclaimed, (money), “can’t buy me love.” You know what else money can’t buy? Happiness. Just because you’re earning six figures doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily content. Sure, money is obviously needed, and it makes some things easier. But, you should be focusing on your passion and not how much your paycheck is.

6. Don’t take rejection personally.

At some point we all face rejection. Instead of taking it personally, use it as a learning experience. Why did a VC reject your proposal? Maybe there wasn’t a market for your product. Perhaps you didn’t have a convincing pitch. Maybe the VC’s partner just called and said he’d spent their extra cash. Accepting and learning from rejection is one way to guide you to success.

With my online invoicing startup I get rejected daily, literally. I talked to 100+ VC’s before I got one that believed in my product. Learn from rejection and use it as motivation to make things better!

7. Have a backup plan.

You never know when the unexpected is going to happen, but when it does happen, you’re surrounded by chaos. Being prepared for the worst case scenario can at least make things a whole lot less chaotic. When my last business crashed, had I not had some cash set aside (that my wife kept away from me), we would have been in financial ruin. Having a three-to-six month nest egg will make the difference. I’ve found that having 12-24 months of cash to pay all bills just sitting there has significantly helped my marriage be more positive as well!

8. Improve your social skill.

After analyzing data from between 1972 and 1992, University of California, Santa Barbara, economist Catherine Weinberger found that “The people who are both smart and socially adept earn more in today’s workforce than similarly endowed workers in 1980.”

9. Travel.

As Yii-Huei Phang states on The Huffington Post, traveling is a great way to “develop a person’s character” and become more open-minded. Additionally, while traveling is a great way to get away from the daily grind, it also helps you appreciate what you have back at home.

10. Don’t multitask.

If you’re feeling constantly burnt out it’s probably because you’re doing too much at one time. Research has found that “when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 percent.” You’re also burning your reservoir of energy. Both of these issues decrease your productivity and prevent you from accomplishing tasks and goal.

11. Embrace a growth mindset.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck argues that we have two-mindsets; “fixed” and “growth.” A fixed mindset “assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static.” A “growth mindset,” however, “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

12. Balance work and life.

When work interferes with life, it can result in employees getting burned out and decreases base morale in the office. While this may not be an option for employees, it proves that everyone needs time away from the office. If you’re able to spend less time in the office by working remotely or having flexible hours, you should be able to be productive in both your personal and professional life.

13. Don’t hold grudges.

There is really no need to hold onto a grudge. It can mentally wear you out and makes you miserable. And, doesn’t life seem to go a whole lot smoother when you’re not angry?

14. Stick it out.

After years of studying both children and adults, psychologist Angela Duckworth found that one of the characteristics of successful individuals is having grit. During her TED talk Duckworth stated, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

15. Live in the moment

You can’t change the past and you have no control of the future. Live in the moment and enjoy what’s in front of you right here, right now. When you’re busy making too many plans, you’re causing stress that prevents you from enjoying the present.

16. Take care of yourself, then help others.

According to Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota, “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.”

Additionally, helping others is beneficial for our health. But, how can you help others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first? Take care of your needs first and then begin to help others.

Rules To Follow

“Discipline and freedom are not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent because otherwise, you’d sink into chaos.” — Paulo Coelho

7 Rules Everyone Should Follow

By Craig Ballantyne

Andy and I sat in the restaurant of the Four Seasons in Denver on a sunny Thursday afternoon. He had driven down from Boulder after we had been introduced through a mutual friend.

I was impressed. He was a sharp, energetic young man of thirty years old. He had already built an incredible business, and it wasn’t hard to see why. He was curious, thoughtful, and methodical. He wasn’t afraid to put his ego aside to learn, and he flattered me by asking questions about life as if I had any of the right answers.

Having had more failures than success in life, I found myself telling him more about what not to do in life than what he should do. That was until he asked about creating rules for his life.

“Craig, when I read about your idea for creating rules, I was a little confused,” he said. “What is this going to do for me?”

“Well, Andy,” I replied, “Did you stop at any red lights or stop signs on your way here?”

“Of course,” he said.

“Well, imagine if you didn’t. In fact, imagine if there were no red lights, no stop signs, or no traffic laws of any kind. Think about the chaos that would cause.”

“Red lights put order and clarity into our travel, just like our personal rules put structure into our lives,” I said. “Humans thrive on structure. We need to earn our freedom.”

“But when you give someone complete and utter freedom, it often dooms them into demise. Take, for example, Prince, Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson, or Raphael de Rothschild (an heir to the wealthy Rothschild family that passed away due to a drug overdose). These men all had too much money, power, and freedom, and without structure, they eventually squandered their gifts and wealth.”

And so I insist you put into place Rules for Your Life. Should you bristle at that term, consider these alternative terms:

Your Operating System
Your Personal Commandments
Your Code of Conduct
Your Personal Life Philosophies

They all describe the same thing, a way to establish boundaries in your life and to set behaviors to which you aspire. If you have not read my 12 rules for life, I encourage you to do so here.

“But Craig,” you’re thinking, “How do I set Rules for my Life?”

First of all, I believe that you already have many rules for your life. You live a certain way, you have good habits that you follow, and you project a certain persona upon the world.

You’ve simply never sat down and put these rules — your operating system — to paper.
**********************************************************

Let me guide you on how to do this. There are seven must-have rules for everyone. You can choose to add a few more on top of these seven, or simply start with these.

Rule #1 – Be consistent to bed and consistent to rise

Establishing a consistent bedtime and wake-up time seven days a week is the greatest thing you can do to have consistent all-day energy levels. Of course, there will be a couple of nights per week when you stay up late. That’s fine. But you must never stray too far from your wake-up time. Don’t sleep in. That sets off a vicious cycle of not being able to fall asleep the next night and feeling tired for the following two or three days. Instead, wake up on time and compensate with a mid-day nap or go to bed earlier the next night.

Rule #2 – Be healthy

Everyone should have a health rule. It might describe your eating philosophy (Paleo, vegan, etc.) or perhaps the type and frequency of exercise or stress reduction you do (“I take a one-hour hike in the fresh air three times per week” or “I lift weights three times per week for twenty minutes” or “I never miss a morning meditation session of 10 minutes”).

Rule #3 – Be productive in the morning

To get ahead in life you need to consistently work on what matters. The best time to do that is in the morning when you are without interruptions or distractions. Set a rule that you work on your number one priority in life for at least fifteen minutes after you wake-up. That could be Bible study, working on your finances and figuring out a plan to make more sales, or spending that time in exercise to regain your health. Fifteen minutes might sound insignificant, but done six (or seven days) a week for months on end brings incredible results.

Rule #4 – Be focused on building your wealth.

ETR’s founder, Mark Ford, taught us to become wealthier every day, even if it is just by a few dollars. And so we should all have a rule that helps us do so. For example, a sales professional might have a rule that “I make 5 sales calls before lunch every work day.” A writer might choose to “write 1,500 words before 2 p.m. each day” (Stephen King follows a similar rule, for example). Whatever your profession, there is a way to structure a wealth building rule that gets you closer to your financial freedom.

Rule #5 – Be aware of what NOT to do.

It’s important to know and act on your number one priority in life. It’s almost equally as important to know — and avoid — the things you should not do. If you don’t believe me, just ask one of the world’s wealthiest men.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people,” Warren Buffett once said, “is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

Your rule might be “No drinking alcohol during the work week” or “I avoid checking personal email until after 7 p.m.” or you might have a rule similar to my 6th rule that says, “I do not engage in confrontations with anyone, in-person or online. This is a waste of time and energy. If I have caused harm, I apologize and fix the situation. And then I take a deep breath, relax, breathe out, and re-focus my efforts back on my work and goals.”

Rule #6 – Be social.

Warning: Many people won’t need this rule. However, for some us, we sometimes need to be reminded to ‘come up for air’ from our work and spend quality time with our friends and family. Don’t tell me you haven’t been accused of working too much and ignoring important relationships. Even the most social amongst us could probably benefit from a reminder to rekindle old friendships that have gone dormant.

Rule #7 – Be good.

Finally, set in your code of conduct a rule about how you give back to the world. For example, you might say, “I volunteer two hours per week at the local humane society” or “I serve on the board of directors at my church every year.”

This might be a great place for you to institute an aspirational rule, where you aren’t yet living it consistently, but you know it would do you — and many others — a world of good.

When you tell the world the way you want to act (i.e. by sharing your rules with others), you’ll force yourself to live in accordance with your rules because no one wants to be thought of as a hypocrite.

That’s why I’ve made my 4th rule that states, “I act polite and courteous, and I do not swear.”

Honestly, I don’t act polite and courteous all the time, but I want to and so I made it a rule and I told the world. That is how you get accountability and improve. And you have every right to call me on this the next time you see me breaking my rule (I’ll appreciate it!).

As I shared these seven rule guidelines with Andy at our meeting, I could see his eyes light up with understanding. This template made it easier for him to design the right structure for his life.

My rules are not your rules. Please understand that.

But my template will help you build your rules and give you structure so you can earn your freedom, and have the amazing life you both desire and deserve.

Wake Up and Get Off the ‘Someday Island’

 


Wake Up and Get Off the ‘Someday Island’

By Matt Mayberry @MaTt_MaYbErRy

There are plenty of differences between high achievers and everyone else, but I think there is one that really solidifies the gap between the two. That one difference is that high achievers don’t live on the “Someday Island.” They are living on the “Now Island” and are fully creating their own circumstances in life rather than going along with what has been presented to them.

It’s disheartening when I meet men and women from all different walks of life and of wide ages who have already died inside, but just haven’t made it official yet. To hear them talking about their glory days 10 and 20 years ago while having no new hope or dreams for the future is totally depressing. The reason why it’s so depressing is because that same person has the power and ability to live their best life right this moment — now — and totally redirect where his or her life is headed.

The major reason why this becomes the point of quiet desperation for many people is because of their habit of putting important things off and living in a world of “somedays.” If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. The next time you are having a conversation with a family member or close friend, ask them what they want out of his or her life. I can almost guarantee you that his or her response will be, “Someday, I want to lose 20 pounds and have that dream body I always wanted,” or, “I would love to someday be in business for myself and become the entrepreneur that I’ve always envisioned.”

What has happened is that living on the “Someday Island” is the new norm for many people. If you aren’t living the life that you wholeheartedly love and desire, you can change it. Don’t shut off your ability to hope and dream about the future. Right this moment can be a new beginning for you. Think about it. What would you love to do? What is your lifelong dream?

Get off the “Someday Island” and put that new idea into action for yourself. Start that business that you have been contemplating for the past 20 years. Start working and developing that new course or product that your organization has wanted to roll out into the marketplace. Start being the leader that you always wanted to be.

The fact is that you have very little to lose by going after what you desire compared to letting those same passionate things die inside of you and never unleashing them out into the world.

At the end of your life, you will ask yourself if you truly lived a purpose-driven life. Whatever that “thing” may be for you, get off the “Someday Island.” Position yourself on the “Now Island” and get busy. Your life is worth way more than living in the past or ruminating over broken dreams and wishes. It doesn’t matter if you are 25 years old or 75 years old, you have a magnificent and wonderful life ahead of you now.

One of the best decisions you can make in both your personal and professional lives is to get in the habit of living now, taking massive action and going after what you deeply desire, full steam ahead.

A Guide to Postmortem Parenting

A Guide to Postmortem Parenting
by Will Bonner

If you want to use your money to hold influence over your children’s lives after yours has
ended, then this essay might be of interest…
Maurice Laboz, a Manhattan real estate mogul,
died recently, leaving $20 million to his two
daughters.
His will is an interesting case study in
postmortem parenting…
The girls — Marlena, 21; and Victoria, 17 —
will inherit $10 million each when they turn 35.
But they can get some of that money sooner if
they meet certain conditions set by their departed
father.
Here are the terms according to the New York Post:
• Marlena will get $500,000 for tying the knot,
but only if her husband signs a sworn statement
promising to keep his hands off the cash.
• She nets another $750,000 if she graduates
“from an accredited university” and writes
“100 words or less describing what she intends
to do with the funds” — with the trustees
appointed by her dad to oversee her money
responsible for approving her essay.
• Both daughters get a big incentive to earn
decent salaries by 2020. Each young woman
is guaranteed to receive an annual payout of
three times the income listed on their personal
federal tax return. In a not-so-subtle nod
to the taxman, their checks will be cut every
April 15.
• If the daughters have kids and don’t work
outside the house, the trustees will give them
each 3 percent of the value of their trust
every Jan. 1. There’s one catch: The money
flows only for a “child born in wedlock.”
• The sisters could earn the same amount being
“a caregiver” to their mother, Ewa Laboz,
58, whom their father was in the middle of
divorcing. She got nothing in the will and
has indicated that she will contest it.
On the face of it, these conditions are perfectly
reasonable. And it seems that the girls will get
their $10 million when they turn 35, whether they
comply with these terms or not.
But the marriage and college graduation
incentives apply only to the older daughter,
Marlena. It seems the younger daughter’s marriage
and college education are not subject to the same
terms, meaning she is not in line for these specific
monetary rewards.
Perceived inequality, even regarding some
minor thing, is big trouble when it comes to
inheritance issues.
But successful, type-A wealth creators are used
to getting their way. In death, as in life, they won’t
hesitate to punish the people, including family
members, who they feel wronged them and reward
their favorites…
Maurice Laboz did not offer equal incentives
to both girls.
Didn’t he want the same positive outcome
for both his daughters? Did he favor one girl
over the other? Or did one of them need more
encouragement than the other? The girls will
probably be asking those questions their entire lives.

to be continued

Angie Diaz-Cervo

My name is Angie Diaz-Cervo and I was born on the 18th of November, 1965 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I am the daughter of Haitian/Cuban sailor Anthony Salomon of Les Cayes and of Ghislene Moise of Benet, Haiti a seamstress. I am also the mother of two teenagers. The Salomon descent from Haitian President Lysius Felicite Salomon and The Diaz-Cervo family has a long, established history in New Jersey, dating back to 1996. My father died at the age of 43 in 1972 from pneumonia, which was also the likely result from a cold he caught overseas. I had a happy, normal childhood as an older child, leaving me somewhat spoiled. My mom remarried after ten years and her last husband was Andre, he became a big part of my life and I maintained close contact with him until his death in 2014. Growing up without my birth father impact me greatly and left me with an issue of abandonment and low self-esteem. I got over being timid by being a runway model for different Colleges and Church. My mother left to make a better life for us in the USA, her older brother Elias Moise came to the USA with a company and they give him the opportunity to get his green card, then after five years in America he became an American Citizen which gave him the advantage to sent for his brothers and sisters to come to the USA. Each of them worked hard for five years and became American Citizen. My mother worked hard for me to have the best education at the prestigious Gerard Gourge Preparatory School. I migrated to the states at the early age of fifteen with her three sisters Rith, Marthe, Dany  and three brothers Abraham, Remps and Antoine. I continued on to Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, NY then attended Essex County College and St. Peter’s College where I graduated in 1991, with an AAS in Arts and science. My working career started as a sales person at Valley Fair then I worked at Food town, Karen’s Curtain, Burger Kings when I was still in High School. After I earned an associate degree in Arts and Science and get my license in Radiology Technology after graduation I worked at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey for two years and Union Hospital in Union, New Jersey for seven years. I also worked for Dr. Botwin and Innella for about one year part-time. While working in the operating room at Christ hospital a nurse mentioned to me that my neck was too big and I should go see an Endocrinologist. I found out that I had hyperthyroidism; I understood that was the reasons for my fatigue, sweaty feet, palpitation and mood swing. Soon after I met my ex-husband Jose Diaz-Cervo at Union Hospital in the Radiology Department, both of us worked there. Jose and I got married in 1995; I became the mother of his two children Daniel 4 1/2 and Kassandra 2 1/2 years old from a previous marriage. Due to complication from my thyroid surgery, I was informing by my doctor that I may not be able to have children. Eventually, Jose Diaz-Cervo and I have two children of our own. Prior to that, he and I had a partnership with Bushido Karate in East Hanover. In 1996, while working for Union Hospital, I became a businesswoman by co-founding DiCervo’s Inc/Kingdom Karate World Group LLC. which expand into several facilities and many black belts? With hard work and an impeccable work ethic, I quickly propelled DiCervo’s Inc into a thriving business. My intimate knowledge of the business community and geography of New Jersey make me one of the most qualified Program Director. We owned vending routes in New Jersey for about two years then we sold the route to run the Karate school full-time. I established and maintained positive relationships with parents, and students. I helped to establish expansion into several locations by recruited as many as 30 new clients per month. I developed and managed working staffs and graduated several black belts. I helped the team to generated sales per month and developed and implemented plans to encourage student participation. I implement and managed the development and maintenance of Summer Camp at the center. I carried out weekly treatment meeting and ensured clients are progressing. I did advertising and social Media outreach on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. I promoted private sales & monthly events. I build relationships with bloggers & online publishers. I used database management to track social media & marketing progress. I implemented various projects related to merchandising & items processing. A friend of my ex-husband recruited him in a financial business and as his wife, I had to get involved somehow to work as a team. We worked hard days and late nights to propel in the business. We got promoted to Regional Vice-President in Primerica in 2004. In 2006 life became unbearable for me, my marriage was falling apart, my health deteriorated with hemorrhage. I used my knowledge in the field to develop my skills as a Haitian-American author. My first book entitled My Grateful Book from Dorrance Publishing is a direct result of my hard work as well as life experiences. Unfortunately, I got divorced after thirteen of marriage and it was not a friendly separation. I share my passion for writing by blogging about certain topics and issues which have an impact on my social life. In my leisure time, some of my activities include fashion, traveling, reading and writing as well as staying fit. I am a social butterfly. To reach my goal I have a set time to start the assignment around a learning environment, therefore, the distractions will be minimal. I am committed to managing my time so I can achieve the great result. I believe that I can succeed and overcome the obstacles in my life. I used my phone calendar to keep track of schedule events and it sent me reminders. After my divorce and illness from the thyroid disorder, I now work as an ABA paraprofessional and substitute teacher for special needs children. My success comes naturally from my creativity, a passion for people and my personality described as a social butterfly. I wear different hats in my life because my life is dividing into several categories. I am a creative person and my friend advised me that I work well under pressure. I enjoy the chaos in my life most of the time. I m comfortable being a mother and I am successful at it. I was well connected in the business community, I instilled confidence in people, and they knew they will always get a straight answer from me. In December 2009, I got divorced from my husband of fourteen years and the corporation. My next journey continues with blogging at Fan box then I became a success coach there, however, the company changed policy which made it more like a credit card company. I also work as a substitute teacher and currently continuing my education at the University Of Phoenix. Over 6 years ago, I had a catalyst event that transformed my life. Although it took me some time to come to grips with some of the challenges I was faced with at the time, I realized that I love people; and making a positive difference in their lives is where I get my rewards and satisfaction. I’ve had wonderful opportunities to meet and maintain friendships with some of the most educated and wonderful people. Time and time again, I’m taught that wisdom, understanding, empowerment, commitment and success come from the passion for you and the people in our lives. I wear different hats in my life because my life is dividing into several categories. I am a creative person and my friend advised me that I work well under pressure. I enjoy the chaos in my life most of the time. I m comfortable being a mother, and an ABA paraprofessional and I am successful at it. I will close out this autobiography with the most important thing in my life, my children, and my family. I am in a relationship with a wonderful man and we plan on getting married in two years. I cannot have any more children but we can adopt or be foster parents if we like.

3 Red Flags That You Are Losing Yourself in a Relationship A relationship should make an individual thrive not constrict. One should grow not wither. Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Relationships/3-Red-Flags-That-You-Are-Losing-Yourself-in-a-Relationship.

No one should lose themselves in a relationship. On the contrary, one should become more of the person that they are and not less.

A relationship should make an individual thrive not constrict. One should grow not wither.

It’s imperative that an individual self-protect to ensure the relationship is a healthy one. A relationship that causes one to lose their sense of self is contrary to the word itself. It is by definition, “a connection between people,” not the abandonment of one for another.

The 3 Red Flags That You Are Losing Yourself in a Relationship:

Powerlessness: When a relationship becomes unbalanced with one person caring or trying more than the other, there is a shift. No one person should hold the power in the relationship, but no one should be powerless either. This is further heightened when a relationship is deteriorating and only one of the individuals is attempting to fix the problems. The unhealthier the relationship becomes and the more the focus switches to getting the other person to care enough to not lose it – one is, in the beginning, stages of losing themselves. The individual who is the only one trying to save the relationship loses sight of themselves while focusing all the energy on the significant other in an attempt to save the relationship. In fact, it takes two to care enough to save a relationship. The one who becomes powerless through their loss of self-gets used up.

 

Roles: The more a relationship develops into roles the greater the chance of losing one’s self. When a spouse takes on a role in a relationship they can become less of the individual. Partners can transition from respect to expected. It becomes two people with duties and roles rather than individuals sharing responsibilities. It also creates an imbalance in the partnership because roles generally involve one spouse tending to the other and the other providing the income. It creates a hierarchy in a relationship rather than an equilibrium. It fosters, spousal role related jokes, taking advantage of a spouse, and the income earning spouse potentially becoming more powerful. The spouse that takes on the tending role will lose them easily.

One Sided: Compromise is good. However, over compromising is not. It leads to giving too much of one’s self away. It leads to a one-sided relationship. If one is abandoning the majority of their needs, wants, interests, and pleasures to live how the significant other wants them to live then they are losing themselves. The more one sacrifices what is a part of themselves or important to them, the more they fail to live as themselves and the more they begin to live in the world of their spouse. A relationship should accentuate someone’s world, not ask them to live in another’s at the complete abandonment of who they are.

No one should have the power in a relationship, but no one should be powerless either. A person should strive for a healthy relationship that makes them blossom and grows, not wilt and wither and grow in someone else’s shadow.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Relationships/3-Red-Flags-That-You-Are-Losing-Yourself-in-a-Relationship.aspx?p=2#RLxH3ht4sEOg8av6.99

Find Your Element of Fun!

 


Find Your Element of Fun!

By Kate Steinbacher @k8bizcoach

 

“In every job there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP the job is a game and every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake.” – Mary Poppins

This may sound a bit corny, but if you really think about it, it is true. And if you think a bit further… what kind of work do you want to get up for each morning? The kind of work that stresses you out, where you avoid meeting with certain people, where you feel underutilized, where you are bored. Or would you rather it be the kind of work that energizes you? Would you like a work place where you cannot wait to meet with colleagues, where you are valued for your skills and where your values and those of the company’s mesh comfortably? Where you feel like you are using your talents and creating value for yourself and others?

So let’s talk about this Mary Poppins idea for a moment. Find the fun, what does that mean? Work is work isn’t it? Well let’s look at it this way: We each get 168 hours a week to spend. If we sleep 8 hours a night now we have 112 hours to spend. If we work 40 hours per week, now we have 72 left. If we commute 40 minutes each way to work, now we have 68.5 hours left of our week. Of those hours we will probably spend at least 2 hours a day accomplishing the necessities. The remainder: about 54 hours. Over one third of our time is spent at work; doesn’t it make sense to find work that is enjoyable and fun as well as rewarding? Are you willing to treat over one third of your waking life as just a job?

Finding fun work is more about discovering what you like to do, dream to do or what you would like to try to do or learn to do and then making that happen. It is about discovering what work atmospheres make you thrive. I met truck drivers and mechanics that couldn’t wait to get to work each day. They had a skill, they worked with little supervision, they were outside, they loved it, they had fun! I’ve worked with new supervisors and managers learning leadership and communication skills, there were difficult times, but they thrived on the challenge and growth that was happening before their eyes! They were willing to endure the learning curve of mistakes to do the worked they loved.

Discovering that work is fun is also a large part your attitude. I can tell you I traveled the world to exotic places and enjoyed gourmet foods on board a cruise ship, had the opportunity to meet and work side by side with people from every part of the globe to insure our passengers had an enjoyable cruise, OR I can tell you I worked 16 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week for 4 months straight, dealt with difficult customers, always had a problem to defuse, had to learn ways to work with foreigners that did not understand American ways and visited places that barely had plumbing. Both sides are true. But what is true for me is that for every challenge I grew exponentially, I thrived on problem solving. I loved meeting new people and discovering their ways and learning how to create win/win outcomes. I look upon each of those circumstances as fun challenges!

Author Carlos Casteneda said: “It takes just as much energy to be miserable as it does to be happy.” You choose.

Coaches Challenge:

FIRST: Take a survey of your work preferences. Look at the kind of atmosphere you thrive in, the kind of people you enjoy spending time with, the skills you enjoy using or what skills would you like to learn. Once you discover these aspects of your fun quotient, brainstorm with positive open-minded people that have learned the art of possibility thinking. Together think of as many different ways you may be able to utilize those skills and find or create that atmosphere.

SECOND: Take a close look at your attitude about work. How are you spending your precious energy?

Have a GREAT day and continue doing what you LOVE to do!

How to Stay Productive — An Unconventional Approach

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” — Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Productive — An Unconventional Approach

By Leo Babauta

There isn’t a productivity guide in the world that will solve the problems that pretty much all of us face daily.

I’m the same as you — I face these obstacles to getting stuff done:

  1. Doing busywork, instead of important work.
  2. Going to distractions instead of doing difficult work.
  3. Being tired and not feeling like tackling hard tasks.

These are all really the same problem: when you have important but difficult tasks to do, you run to distractions, or do busywork, or just goof off because you don’t have the energy.

I deal with this every day, and I don’t always solve it. But what if we could dive into this problem, and figure out what was going on? We’d be masters of the universe.

In truth, we face this problem of running from discomfort all the time, but we just don’t normally see it happening. This is why meditation is such a great training ground for the mind — you sit there and have nothing to do but notice the mind running from the discomfort of the present moment. Over and over. And in time, you learn how to work with this.

So I suggest you use your important tasks as meditation training, so that you’ll learn to work with the discomfort that arises.

Here’s how:

  1. Pick one important task you really should get done today.
  2. Clear space in front of you to do this task. Close the browser, or all browser tabs except the one you need to deal with this. Shut off the phone, clear everything else away, focus your mind on this one task.
  3. Sit there and do the task.
  4. Watch your mind want to run.

Now we’re going to do “pause training,” where instead of running from the discomfort, you pause. Breathe. Turn your attention to this discomfort — it might be fear, frustration, uncertainty, self-doubt, tiredness. Drop your story about this discomfort, and just notice how it feels physically, in your body. Where is this feeling of discomfort located? What quality does it have?

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You’ll notice that the discomfort actually doesn’t feel that bad, even though you habitually want to run from it. It’s just energy. It’s not actually good or bad, but just energy that’s in your body, which you normally don’t want to have and normally judge as “bad.”

Try this pause training for yourself. It won’t work to just read about it, you have to work with it. Get to know it, become intimate with it.

Unconventional Productivity

Once you’ve started to work with the discomfort, you’ll see that it’s No Big Deal. Nothing to worry about. It’s just a feeling, just energy. You’ll relax a little around it. Try to develop a friendly attitude toward it, instead of being harsh on yourself. Just notice, just smile, just breathe, just be gentle.

How do you turn this No Big Deal into productivity?

Here’s a system to try:

  1. Set your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) every morning, first thing when you start work. List a few other “should dos” after that, but focus on the MITs first.
  2. Pick one of the MITs, and clear space to do it. Before you check email.
  3. Do some pause training. Notice when you want to run from this task, pause, investigate the physical feeling of discomfort with gentleness, friendliness and curiosity.
  4. Set a heart intention. When you relax into the discomfort, and see it’s not a big deal, set an intention around the task — are you doing it to improve your life, to do something good for someone else, to help the world? Find the heart in your intention — it’s ultimately coming out of love. Say to yourself, “It is my intention to do this task out of love for __” (fill in the blank: yourself, someone else, the world, etc.)
  5. Work with love. Open your heart and do this task with the love that comes out of your intention. Notice when you’re feeling discomfort and want to switch to something else. Relax, do pause training if you need to, and then start again.
  6. Take breaks. Every 10-15 minutes, get up and walk around. Stretch. Drink water. Check in with yourself and see how you’re doing. Then return to the task or pick another MIT.

You won’t be perfect at this, so don’t expect perfection. Just work with it, gently, and you’ll get better and better with practice.

Criticism is the Price of Success

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Criticism is the Price of Success

By Mark Ford

One of the most surprising and disappointing things about reaching an important goal is that many people won’t share your happiness when they hear about it. Some will even criticize your achievement.

This has happened to me a lot in my success-driven life. The criticism always hurts — but it hurts less now than it did when I was younger. Moreover, I’ve learned to profit from it. You can too.

What’s important, I’ve found, is not the criticism itself but how I react to it. Praise motivates me to do more of what I’m doing. Criticism — which used to make me want to quit — spurs me to examine what I’m doing and see if I can do it better.

This happened after I published an article in my Ready, Fire, Aim newsletter about the economy. Two of my most esteemed colleagues read it, didn’t like it, and chastised me for bad writing. That set me aback. I consider myself to be a pretty good writer, but they made me wonder if I was really just a shallow-minded pundit of mediocrity.

After doubting myself for a few days, I set to the task of profiting from their comments. I reread what they said and made notes on those points I thought were valid. I circulated my notes to Jason, Suzanne, and Judith, my editors. That began an ongoing discussion about how we could improve the newsletter. And we came up with a few good ideas.

I then wrote to my two friends who were nice enough to honestly critique my article. I thanked them for helping me make the newsletter better. And I meant it.

In What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, Marshall Goldsmith talks about how important feedback is to success:

Feedback is very useful for telling us “where we are.” Without feedback… we couldn’t have results. We couldn’t keep score. We wouldn’t know if we were getting better or worse. Just as salespeople need feedback on what’s selling and leaders need feedback on how they are perceived by their subordinates, we all need feedback to see where we are, where we need to go, and to measure our progress.

Goldsmith acknowledges that negative feedback “can be employed by others to reinforce our feelings of failure, or at least remind us of them — and our reaction is rarely positive.” Worst of all, negative feedback can sometimes shut us down. “We close ranks, turn into our shell, and shut the world out.”

When Goldsmith was a child, his mother told him he had no mechanical skills. He went through high school believing that, and, when he was 18, scored at the bottom of the entire nation in a test given by the U.S. Army.

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A few years later, a professor persuaded him to take another look at his mechanical abilities. That’s when he realized his mother was wrong, and he was “just living out the expectations [he] had chosen to believe.”

So that might be the first thing to say about profiting from criticism. Recognize that a negative comment about you or your abilities cannot damage you unless you let it.

Goldsmith says that he wasted years, convinced that he was mechanically inept. But he didn’t blame his mother. He blamed himself. “I was the one who kept telling myself, ‘You can’t do this!’ I realized that as long as I kept saying that, it was going to be true.”

Here are some useful techniques for profiting from criticism.

1. Remember that criticism is the price of success.

As writer Elbert Hubbard said, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” So if you do something, you’re going to be subject to criticism. President Obama gets criticized. Clint Eastwood gets criticized. Even Mother Theresa was criticized. The more success you have, the more criticism you will engender. Some of it will be helpful. Most of it will be useless. But don’t be afraid of it. It won’t kill you. It will only make you stronger.

2. Dump your failure-support group.

This group includes jealous friends, professional enemies, and habitual critics. These people get their kicks from kicking you when you are up. They want you to be down where they are. Don’t go there. Just ignore them.

3. If you can’t ignore your critics, frame your responses strategically.

Sometimes, you won’t be able to ignore your critics — if, for example the criticism is coming from your boss or your family. That’s when you need to stay calm and respond strategically.

In Self-Esteem, Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning recommend a technique they call “clouding.” “Clouding involves a token agreement with a critic. It is used when criticism is neither constructive nor accurate. When you use clouding to deal with criticism, you are saying to the critic, ‘Yes, some of what is on your screen is on my screen.’ But to yourself you add, ‘And some isn’t.’ You ‘cloud’ by agreeing in part, probability, or principle.”

Agreeing in part — finding one part of your critic’s comments to agree with or acknowledge.

The Criticism: You’re not reliable. You forget to pick up the kids, you let the bills pile up until we could lose the roof over our heads, and I can’t ever count on you to be there when I need you.

Your Response: You’re certainly right that I did forget to pick up the kids last week after their swimming lesson.

Agreeing in probability — acknowledging that there’s a possibility your critic could be right. The chances may be a million to one against it, but you can truthfully say, “It’s possible you’re right.”

The Criticism: Starting a business now is a terrible idea. The economy is in the crapper, and you’re just wasting time and money.

Your Response: Yes, it’s possible that my business won’t work out.

Agreeing in principle — acknowledging the logic of your critic’s argument, but not necessarily agreeing with his assumptions. This clouding technique uses the conditional “if/then” format.

The Criticism: You’re really taking a chance by claiming all these deductions you don’t have receipts for. The IRS is cracking down. You’re just asking for an audit. It’s stupid to try to save a few bucks and bring them down on you like a pack of bloodhounds.

Your Response: You’re right. If I take the deductions, I’ll be attracting more attention to myself. And if I get audited, it will be a real hassle.

4. Take helpful criticism seriously.

Helpful criticism is sometimes harsh but it’s always well intended. It’s not hard to identify it. The hard thing is to accept that it is helpful and use it to improve yourself.

In Succeed for Yourself: Unlock Your Potential for Success and Happiness, Richard Denny says, “Constructive criticism is not negative, so be enthusiastic about it. Remember, you are very fortunate if you receive it. Encourage others to offer constructive criticism.”

5. Thank your critics.

I make it a habit to send a personal “thank you” to anyone whose criticism has helped me do better work.

6. Solicit criticism — from people you respect — while there is plenty of time to make changes.

One of the most successful publishers I know does this regularly. When considering the launch of a new product, he sends a memo to a small group of more experienced publishers explaining his concept and asking them to poke holes in it.

By getting their criticism early, he doesn’t feel its sting. After all, it’s not his baby that is being criticized. It’s just an idea. And ideas, as we all know, are not worth anything until they are put into action.

Another benefit — and this is a big one — is that it saves him time and frustration. By getting input on an idea before he’s done a lot of work on it, it is much easier for him to make changes.