Category Archives: Personal growth

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What Successful People Have In Common

Category : Personal growth

Is there a “success personality” – some winning combination of traits that leads almost inevitably what is that secret formula and can anyone cultivate it? Research pin-points a number of traits that recur regularly among top achievers. Here are five of the most important factors seen in successful people :

1. Common sense : To most common sense means the ability to render sound, practical judgement on everyday affairs. To do this, one has to sweep aside extraneous ideas and get right to the core of what matters. The key ability for success is simplifying. The most successful people knows how to simplify a complex problem.

In common sense a trait a person is born with or can you do something to increase it? Common sense can be definitely be developed. A fantastic way to increase your store of common sense is to observe it in others, learning from their and your own mistakes.

2. Knowing one’s field : A specialized knowledge in one’s field is the second most common trait possessed by a successful person. A successful photographer knows how to take a great photograph even if he is given an ordinary camera, that is because his specialized knowledge on that field. He actually understands how an equipment performs the way it does is a part of his success. This example can be fit in every field. Nothing helps success more than knowing what you are doing. It reduces the risks and works like an insurance policy for your own ability.

Once obtained, specialized knowledge isn’t something you should take for granted. The learning process continues even after major peaks have been scaled. To achieve success, you have to want it, then you must work to keep it.

3. Self-reliance : Top achievers rely primarily on their own resources and abilities. Self reliance is not how you feel or how good you are rather its whether you have the gumption to take definitive action to get things moving in your life. It includes plain old will power and the ability to set goals.

Clear goals for lives and careers and will power encompasses the ability to be a self starter and to persevere after dream are some of the most important factor for a successful people.

4. General knowledge : This is essential for understanding achievement because it involves your natural ability to comprehend difficult concepts quickly and to analyse them clearly and incisively. Intelligence and smart action are key to be successful in live. An enquiring mind and broad-ranging interests are fundamental to success.

5. Ability to get things done : At least three important qualities have help people to get success in life – organizational ability, good work habits and diligence. A physics professor summarizes his success formula this way – ” Sheer hard, tenacious work with the ability to pace oneself.”

Besides the five listed here there are other factors that influence success – leadership, creativity, relationships with others and of course luck. But common sense, knowing your field, self reliance, intelligence and the ability to get things done stand out. If you cultivate these traits, chances are you’ll succeed and you might even find yourself listed in the most successful people someday.

 


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11 Reasons to Smile Your Way to Success

Category : Personal growth

11 Reasons to Smile Your Way to Success

Did you know that the simple act of smiling can make you more successful? Read on for 11 reasons why …

1. A smile means you’re friendly.

If a stranger approached you, made eye contact, and then broke into a broad smile, you would have a fairly good idea that they were friendly and meant you no harm.

On the flip side, we would find it far more difficult to trust a grumpy, scowling stranger.  Or a grumpy, scowling coworker, for that matter!

2. A smile makes people happy.

When someone treats you to a smile, even a stranger, you usually smile back.  For that moment you both enjoy a flash of positive communication without even saying a word.

When you smile at someone, you have brought a moment of happiness into their lives which–who knows?–could last all day.  And people remember how you make them feel.

3. Smiling is infectious.

When you spend a lot in the company of someone who smiles a lot, you will soon discover that their smile starts to wear off on you.  It is hard not to return a smile; most of us do it at a subliminal level without thinking.

And if you can be the one who make other people smile all the time?  Success is practically guaranteed.

4. Smiling can make you popular.

Which type of people do you prefer? People who scowl and complain or people who smile and say nice things?

The choice is obvious. If you want people to like you, smile more!

5. A smile is usually returned.

When someone smiles back at you it make you feel good inside. You have just made a short but very positive communication and possibly the first step in the process of getting to know or making friends with someone new.

6. Smiling makes you positive and happy inside.

Even if you aren’t happy, the physical act of smiling actually makes you feel happier.  So if you smile more often, you will actually become a happier person.

7. A smile makes you look far more attractive.

You don’t see many celebrities or media personalities that are not smiling.  If you did, it is fairly certain that their popularity would quickly start to drop!

8. Smiling makes you stand out.

Have you noticed that smiling people are usually far more memorable than those that are not? You are 3 times more likely to remember a person that is smiling over one that is wearing a negative or neutral features.

9. Smiling is good for your health.

Smiling can release the stress, worry, and tension that you have built up throughout the day. Long term, developing the smiling habit will be one of the smartest things that you can do to improve most aspects of your life. Health is wealth!

10. The effects of smiling can last for hours.

Smiling puts you in a positive frame of mind. When you are in a positive state, you have far more potential and power to advance and improve your life.

11. Smiling is FREE!

You are never going to run short of smiles, and they don’t cost a thing.

A Few Last Words …

When you weigh up the positive points of smiling, it is a no-brainer decision to smile more often. Keep smiling!


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Is a Fear of Success Holding You Back

Category : Personal growth

Is a Fear of Success Holding You Back?

A fear of failure often stands in the way of people achieving their goals, but did you know that people often fail because of a “fear of success”? What?! How can someone be afraid of success?

Fear of failure is fairly easy to spot–it lures people into inertia, and they fail to take any action that might lead to rejection or other negative feedback. The fear of success, on the other hand, is both harder to spot and harder to eradicate.

Think a fear of success might be holding you back? Here are some characteristic behaviors in people who fear success:

  • Studying and trying to implement self-improvement techniques and/or personal development tools, but nothing improves.
  • Settling for less than you feel you deserve or are capable of achieving.
  • Starting new projects full of enthusiasm and optimism, but then losing your motivation and stopping before you complete them.
  • Expecting things to go wrong no matter how well things are going.

Can you identify your own patterns in the any of the above statements?

Overcome Your Fear of Success

The fear of success can make you behave in ways that hold you back. Here are some key behaviors in those who have a fear of success, and some ways to get you back on track!

Procrastinating

Are you constantly putting off what needs to be done? Everyone suffers from this inner demon at some point in their lives (although some of us suffer from it more than others!).

Procrastination is a success killer! It’s easy to come up with all sorts of excuses why we *didn’t* make any progress toward our goals–I had to do the laundry, my friend called, it’s the premiere of that show my partner likes–but how can you expect to reach your destination if you don’t take steps towards it?

Make it your mission EVERY DAY to do one thing that takes you closer to your goal. Make a list of all the things you need to accomplish in order to reach your goal.  Then look at your list and break it down into even smaller actions.

For example, say you need to prepare for a road trip.  Your list may look something like this:

– Get car tuned up
– Buy groceries
– Pack clothes
– Plan route

Seems like a straightforward enough list, but each of these items can be broken down even further, to make them easier to accomplish. For example:

– Get car tuned up
1) Find phone number for shop
2) Call shop and make appointment
3) Download and print out coupon
4) Call Jane and ask for a ride while car is in shop

See how much easier it is to act on the second list?

Make a plan, break your plan down, and do at least one thing on the list every day.

Not seeing the forest for the trees!

Sometimes it’s easy to convince yourself that the plan itself is more important than the end goal.  That leads to many missed opportunities to alter your path and reach your goals more quickly! Let go of your ego and allow the Universe to show you a quicker route to your goal. Remain flexible.

Waiting for the perfect timing…

“I can’t start now, I have *insert excuse #893 here*…”

How often have you waited until the timing was perfect before starting something new? We have a tendency to wait until our life is perfectly calm, or until we have every single possible piece of information in place, or until we think we have enough money…

ACTION is the key to the door to success. Any action. In the absence of a clear plan, take action anyway… it will either help you get closer to your goal or not.  If it doesn’t, that’s okay.  Edison said,

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

But the key is you’ve got to at least start.

Being a perfectionist

I have a confession to make.  I wanted to start a website like this for YEARS, and kept coming up with all sorts of excuses why it wasn’t ready to go live yet.  Most of my excuses had to do with the design, and the writing… I wanted every little thing to be PERFECT.

And then one day my Aunt Tauna said something that made me realize I wasn’t doing *anything* because of my ridiculous obsession with perfection.  She said,

There is perfect, and there is done, and I prefer done.

Just remember that no matter how good a job is when it’s finished, it can always be improved. I have heard of many actors who can’t watch their own movies because they can find a million things that need to be improved.  The same goes for musicians. Yet, we still enjoy their performances. I think a classic example of this is “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon. This song is hauntingly beautiful, yet Mr. Simon doesn’t think it’s good enough!

Stop using perfection as an excuse, or you will rapidly go nowhere.

Seeing only problems

Do you have a tendency to see only problems? I know that sounds like a bad habit, and it can be, but you’re in good company. Einstein himself said,

If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.

Next time you catch yourself focusing on a problem, you can keep yourself from getting stuck there by adding one little change to your thought process.

Don’t just stop at noticing there is a problem.  Take it a step further and define the problem thoroughly.  Okay, you’ve identified a problem.  Why is it a problem? Are there multiple aspects to this problem? Is this problem blocking your only way forward, or are there ways around this problem? Is it actually a real problem right now, or is it just a potential problem? etc.

The better you can define your problem, the better the chances that you’ll be able to come up with a solution.

Enjoy the journey

As you work on the items in the above list, make sure to stop and enjoy the journey.  This sounds cliché, I know, but it’s really very important.  One of the key ways to do this is to be grateful for everything you have, everything you’ve accomplished, and everything you have going for you.

By being grateful for your success so far, you start to see it in a positive light, and start to allow more of it into your life.  Eventually, your fear of success will dissipate and you will have moved a long way forward in your personal development!


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Stressed at Work? Here are 10 Ways to Fix It

Category : Personal growth

Stressed at Work? Here are 10 Ways to Fix It

Every job—no matter how ideal it may be–comes with some minor hiccups and blocks in the road. Here are ten creative ways to reboot and recharge no matter what may be stressing you out at work, so that you can be as productive as possible!

1. Eat Healthy!

I once worked at a job where EVERY Friday was “Food Friday.” It should have been called “Fat Friday.” Keep yourself sharp by avoiding any type of office food, unless it’s fresh and full of protein and fiber.

DEFINITELY refuse to eat any food out a vending machine. Instead, focus on prepared or pre-packaged, non-processed foods you bring from home—apples with peanut butter, unsalted nuts, hummus with vegetables, whole grain bread with turkey and cheese, crackers and almond butter, fresh fruit, etc. Keep a few healthy snacks stored in airtight containers in your desk, so that you aren’t tempted to raid the vending machine.

Try not to drink more than 2–3 cups of coffee in a day. Anything more and you’ll become dehydrated, causing you to eat more than you should.

2. Find Some Quiet Time

Resist the temptation to work through lunch—it will only add to your stress level.

Instead, find an empty room and close the door. Even if you just have five minutes, this little meditation can help.

Sit still, breathe in and out, close your eyes and picture yourself on the beach. Imagine hearing the seagulls flying overhead, and the white sand warming up your toes. Dip your feet in the water, and watch the waves go over your feet and crash upon your shins.

As each little wave hits you, repeat this affirmation: “With each wave, I am being rejuvenated in mind, body and soul. As I look out at the ocean, I see the big picture of my life, and it is beautiful, serene and prosperous.”

3. Find Your Mantra!

Repeating things to yourself over and over again can really help. When I was in graduate school and would get frustrated over my lack of progress, I would say to myself over and over, “Baby steps. Baby steps.”

Maybe one of these mantras will help you.

“This minute is a tiny drop in my entire career. I will enjoy what it teaches me, and rise above it!”

“I am skilled at _______. As I recognize my talent, so do my co-workers and boss.”

“Every time I go the extra mile, I am will be rewarded financially.”

4. Avoid Overtime, and Leave on Time!

One surefire way to become stressed is to stay past quitting time and work late into the night to prove to yourself (or your boss) that you can take it all on—even with less sleep. Occasional overtime may be necessary, but don’t make it a habit!

Use overtime sparingly, and only when it’s necessary for a deadline of completing a large project. If you’re just sending out a few more emails, they can wait.

Also, make sure you aren’t giving up your time for free. If you stay late because you have to, make sure you are getting paid for that time. If they won’t pay you to stay late, DON’T DO IT!

5. Make a List!

Don’t bother relying on your brain to keep track of every detail. Making lists allows your brain to relax, knowing you’ve got it all “remembered” on your list!

Cross off tasks as you complete them—it will instantly make you feel like you’re being a proactive accomplisher!

6. Rise Above the Gossip

You don’t like to be gossiped about, so don’t participate in gossiping about anybody else. Did you know office gossip can even get you fired?

Show your boss (and everyone around you) that you’re positive and energetic by leaving the gossip to others.

Caught in a gossip session you can’t get out of? Change the topic casually, as if you have something pressing to talk to everyone about.

7. Build Up Your Savings

The thought of being laid off unexpectedly causes some people to be unduly stressed while at work.

Start a savings account with the goal of building up at least three months’ worth of expenses. That may sound impossible, but if you don’t start at all it will definitely not happen!

Even if you just save a dollar a day, that will still be $365 dollars in a savings account at the end of a year.

Limit your anxiety by having enough to get you through—continue focusing on the great performance you’re doing at work, and enjoy having a savings account that continues to grow.

8. Breathe Deep!

Deep breathing improves brain function, job performance, and energy levels, plus it helps you make smarter food choices!

Take time to notice your breathing when you email coworkers, listen to your boss, focus on your meeting notes, and take your client out to lunch.

Breathing helps you stay calm in stressful situations—use deep breathing throughout your day, and you’ll de-stress with each breath you take.

9. Slay the Beast!

Make a list every day of the top three things you need to accomplish that day, then do the HARDEST one first. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll have a huge load off your shoulders AND the confidence to handle the next task on your list.

10. Find Your Happy Place

Visualizations force your attention to be somewhere happy, instead of focused on the stress of your workload.

Breathe in and out, close your eyes, and imagine the sights, sounds and smells of your “happy place.” Feel instantly lighter after a few minutes of visualizing where you want to be!

A Few Last Words

Why struggle to work harder when you can just work smarter? Whatever the cause of your stress at work, breathing deeply, making effective to-do lists, and visualizations can all decrease your stress—guaranteed!


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Secrets to Overcoming Adversity

Category : Personal growth

Secrets to Overcoming Adversity

Everyone struggles with one thing or another, and no one’s life is perfect. Adversity is something everyone deals with, and it can really take a toll on our confidence, belief in ourselves, careers, relationships, and happiness.

You can make things easier on yourself when troubles do arise by using a few key strategies. Use the following when you have challenges, and become better, stronger, and more resilient than ever before!

Focus on the Goal (Not the Hardship)

Try to avoid obsessively thinking about the negative hardship that has affected your life. Instead, make it a mission to yourself to overcome adversity, conquer it and become a mentor or role model for everyone else facing hardship.

Focus on the good it has brought you: perhaps it brought you closer to family for support, caring friends, an opportunity to seek out resources and think outside of the box, a chance to start over single with no one to worry about but yourself, greater willpower and resilience, etc.

It also sometimes helps to be grateful for how good you do have it. Have a flat tire? Well, at least I have a job and can get it fixed. Lost your job? Well, at least I have family who loves me. Etc.

Make a List of Your Accomplishments (and Read It Daily)

Overcome adversity by writing lists—every morning, write down every accomplishment you’ve made, or all the good things you have to be thankful for in your life. Re-read it several times throughout the day or right before going to bed at night.

Keep another list of your goals. How do you want this hardship to resolve itself? Write down ideas you have about reaching each goal.

Create a vision board—include positive images of your future, inspirational quotes, and old pictures that bring out feelings of happiness in you.

Everything Passes—Including the Tough Stuff

This too shall pass. Don’t let your brain fall into the trap of thinking this will last forever. It won’t. (Note: If you’d tried to tell me that right after I had lost a dear loved one and had my home destroyed, I would 1) not have believed you and 2) wanted to smack you! But you know what? It really did pass.)

Look forward to the future—everything you have the ability to accomplish, the things you want to see, the people you want to meet, the career you want to have.

Here’s an affirmation to use: “This moment is meant to teach me something important. When the lesson has been learned, the hardship will pass, and greater things are in store. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things will happen!”

Go with Your Gut

Go through the motions of this challenging time, and listen to yourself (forget everyone else).
What feels right as you go about your day, and what doesn’t feel right? Are you taking steps to improve your attitude, or are you surrounding yourself with people who pull you down?

Slow down, be gentle with yourself, and allow yourself time to process what has happened. Focus on what YOU need, and not what other people want.

Laugh about Something Every Day

Tears and laughter are closely related. Try your best to laugh at least once a day, and you’ll take away some of the seriousness of your situation—laugh multiple times in a day, and you’ll heal quickly from the emotional pain.

Pull out old photos from when you were young and crazy (and laugh at your hair from two decades ago!).
Find a funny movie, or even a funny video clip online. Just find something that makes you laugh!

A Few Last Thoughts

Give thanks for all you’ve learned up to this point and all you will continue to learn—including right now in this very moment.

As you learn how to laugh about the harder moments of life and beat those negative thoughts to a pulp with powerful, positive thoughts, you will get through the rough patches with less and less effort and struggle. This too shall pass!


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Is It Really Possible to Forgive and Forget?

Category : Personal growth

Is It Really Possible to Forgive and Forget?

While you may not be able to forget the pain that someone or something has caused you, it is possible to forgive. Forgiveness is essential for your own growth and evolution as a person, and helpful to the person who has harmed you as well. Learn about what forgiveness really means, and how to get to the point of forgiveness so that you can bring more happiness into your life as a result.

What Is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the ability to fully accept someone’s wrongdoing; to let go of anger, resentment, and hate; to say goodbye to feelings of negativity and say hello to a lighter and happier way of being.

Release Anyone Who Has Harmed You

Most people spend years holding onto past hurts and pains. YEARS! Often, the person who committed the wrongdoing doesn’t even know you are holding a grudge, so the only person that hurts is you.

Focus positively on your intention of putting aside the pain and anger.

Repeat this affirmation: “I accept what has been done. I release you from my life now, and I release my anger and frustration.”

He/She Is Your Teacher

Beneath the pain, there’s always a life lesson that plays out—look for what he/she inadvertently taught you, and begin to focus on that lesson instead of the pain of the memory.

Maybe the lesson is to be more selective of whom you trust and whom you don’t, or maybe the lesson is to improve how well you communicate with someone.

If someone broke something of yours, maybe the lesson is to not be so concerned over your possessions, or maybe it’s to be more careful about whom you loan things to!

Lessons aren’t always EASY to learn, but they can and often do show up in the form of someone doing something that makes you angry. Everyone and everything is a lesson, and the hardest lessons bring about the toughest teachers.

Practice the Light Switch of Resentment and Jealousy

This quick and easy visualization can help you control your emotions. Use it any time you need to forgive someone and are having a hard time doing so

When thoughts of anger pop in, close your eyes and imagine a light switch in the “off” position. Now imagine turning the light switch to “on,” and fix that negative thought to be something positive about the person, or what he/she contributed to your life in a good way.

Open your eyes, and feel better about yourself and the choices you’ve made!

A Few Last Words

Forgiveness usually isn’t something that can happen overnight. When you commit to having a positive attitude, you can eventually be grateful that what they’ve done to you has allowed you an opportunity to grow, and you will reach a point of forgiveness. Use these suggestions to get you there as quickly as you are ready for it.


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Change Your Attitude, and Change Your Life!

Category : Personal growth

Change Your Attitude, and Change Your Life!

Changing your attitude is crucial if you want to find more happiness. It’s not what’s “out there” that matters, but what you think about yourself that changes the world. So, what are you going to do about it? Feel better about yourself and the world you live in by using any number of these tips, and create a blissful life as a result!

1. Belt it Out!

When stressed, worried or overcome by a person’s negative reaction to something you’ve said or done, think of a song that makes you happy and play it immediately in your head! Better yet, turn it on and sing along!

This can be any song that evokes feelings of pleasure, happiness or laughter. What song from your childhood makes your smile?

This has the potential to shift your mood from grumpy to glad immediately!

2. Be Grateful

Make a list of at least ten things you are grateful for, and read it often—especially first thing in the morning, and right before going to bed.

Focus on giving thanks for everything you have in your life—big and small—that you love and want more of!

3. Walk It Off

Studies show that getting moderate exercise (such as a brisk walk) outdoors is the best and healthiest mood booster around!

Immerse yourself in nature—go somewhere like a park or a nature preserve that will give you plenty of fresh air and scenery.

4. Breathe Deeply

Breathing can improve your circulation, decrease stress, increase brain function, and boost your mood exponentially.

Give yourself an instant boost by by closing your eyes, inhaling for a count to three, and exhaling. A proper deep breath consists of filling your belly up (like a balloon) rather than taking shallow breaths that only move your chest and shoulders.  Repeat this for five full minutes. Listening to music you love while doing this can really help, too!

5. Smile

It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown, so smile more!

Smiling can perk up your mood instantly, because the act of smiling makes your body release endorphins that make you feel happier. It’s a great trick, and it works.

The very act of smiling can perk up someone else’s mood, too.

6. Make Yourself Laugh

Laughter really is the best medicine. Find anything that will make you laugh—a video clip, a funny book—and use it!

7. Volunteer

Get outside of yourself and your own thoughts—help someone in need instead!

Tutor inner-city children, offer to help at the local library, help at the soup kitchen—whatever it is that sparks interest and passion in you is a great choice, and helps others immensely. Heck, even the simple act of helping out a co-worker who is stuck can make you feel better.

8. Be Kind

Performing a random act of kindness for someone instantly changes your mood!

Give someone your seat on the bus, pick up something that someone dropped, or help someone by digging out exact change for them at the checkout line…just watch his or her face light up! Don’t forget to smile!

9. Be a Kid

Hang out with children more often. They are the essence of joy, happiness, and bliss, staying in the now and doing what they enjoy moment to moment!

Read them a story, ask them questions, and enjoy being in their presence, as they can remind you what a true optimistic attitude is about!

10. Give Yourself the Present

Remember that worrying about or fearing the future doesn’t do anything good for the present moment—you can’t control the past, you can only control right now.

Your thoughts are vital to your wellbeing and happiness. Focus on the thought you have right now, and then everything will fall into place.

11. Learn Something New

Ever had a hankering to play the guitar, or to learn to fish? Spread your creative wings with something new—painting, cooking delicious stir-fry dishes, writing poetry, etc.

Enjoy discovering a part of yourself you never previously knew about!

12. Run Your Heart Out

Get in the endorphin-packed trance of the runner’s high—an instant mood booster!

Not a runner? Doesn’t matter! Everyone can learn to run. Start slowly, with the help of a plan such as “Couch to 5k” (www.c25k.com).

Running will help you look good and feel great. What’s not to like?

13. Write it Down

Journaling gives you some time to reflect. It’s a great way to wind down, clarify challenges that lie ahead, or express yourself in a healthy way.

Treat yourself to a nice journal, and use it to write your thoughts daily. Add in visuals such as old photos, pictures from magazines, etc.

A Few Last Words

As often as negativity surrounds us, and as busy as your life may be, all it really takes to have a positive outlook on life is a smile, some random acts of love, and re-centering yourself to appreciate the moment you’re in. Become happier instantly by applying any of these tips to your life, and you’ll see the world for what it truly is—beautiful, splendid and good!


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