Monthly Archives: November 2011

future thought

“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” Victor Hugo

To plan or not to plan that is the question.   Success follows on the heels of those who create plans and execute those plans.  Today with the many distractions that can enter each day the best of plans are often nothing more than crinkled up notes in a wastepaper basket.    After a few days of planning and watching those plans go awry it makes sense that planning would end up being a waste of time.

What interferes with the plans that were made in good conscience?   The internet, the smartphone, the unplanned activity, the emergency, the longer than expected time it took to complete the work or getting caught in other distractions.   The best intentions at the days beginning left in ruin and the feeling of disappointment and regret end the day when plans crumble.

We live in an era where more and more information is pushed against our thin skin creating pressure which is often relieved by getting caught in the web of internet distractions, email or something else that doesn’t produce results.

There is hope for those who find themselves trapped in the tool of technology.  Tools that help return focus to the right thing, which is moving your life forward on a success trajectory.

Success Tools:

1. Simpleology – provides resources to manage and balance your day.  Enter in your daily plan, focus and achieve.

2. EverNote –  link you to do lists and other goals

3. Cozi – create links, lists, and schedules.  Link them to others and have mobile to mobile accountability, great for families that want to track results.

There you go, three different tools to help you organize your day , your tasks and bring about better results.   You do want better results don’t you?

Try one of the tools and tell us how it worked for you.  See if you can get more out of each day.

“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”  Cecil B. DeMille

running on the hedonic treadmill

“The 7 Deadly Sins are:
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Business without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principle”  Gandhi

Everywhere people are chasing something and are finding that as hard as they chase they are unable to grab hold to this elusive thing.   You may hear in their words, “If I only __________________”, then I would be _____________.  What is that second word?

Was it happiness?   Yes, people are chasing happiness and are having a hard time grasping it.   The faster you run towards happiness the greater the distance to achieve it.    Studies have been done on those who win lotteries and those people have a six month boost in happiness before returning to the level of happiness they had before their fortunate outcome.

People who are the happiest have strong relationships, a rewarding career, supportive social networks, financial sufficiency and ability to make choices. To jump of the hedonic treadmill try improving your relationships,  working at something you enjoy, and spreading happiness around.

Relationships matter

 Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. ‘Pooh!’ he whispered. ‘Yes, Piglet?’ ‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’ “ A.A. Milne

Positive psychology research has shown that people with good relationships are happier than those who don’t have relationships with others.

Rewarding Career

Working a career that uses your strengths and abilities leads to greater happiness.   Examine your strengths and talents and find work that leverages them.

 

 

Supportive Social networks

Happiness is contagious.  Research done by Dan Gilbert shows that happiness spreads.   If someone else is happy you’re likely to catch some of that happiness and spread it to others.  Find people who are supportive and happy and spread it around.

 

 

Other happiness indicators are:

  • Financial Sufficiency – having enough money
  • Democracy – sense of choice, empowered
  • Religion – increased sense of fulfillment
  • Praise to criticism ratio of 3 praises to 1 criticism

“In a true partnership, the kind worth striving for, the kind worth insisting on, and even, frankly, worth divorcing over, both people try to give as much or even a little more than they get. “Deserves” is not the point. And “owes” is certainly not the point. The point is to make the other person as happy as we can, because their happiness adds to ours. The point is — in the right hands, everything that you give, you get.”   Amy Bloom

what words …

Sometimes words reach out from the page a grab us.   Sometimes what we read pulls in with a warm embrace.   Sometimes the message finds a soft spot in our hearts.   Sometimes words give us the courage to face another day.   Our words are important no matter what form they may take.

What words comfort you?   What words challenge you?   What words do you use?

“Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is. “, wrote Blaise Pascal.

Thank-you!

Choose your words wisely!

“It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being gratefulfor every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”   Wallace D. Wattles

 

 

Great challenges

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon

People who often are great successes often face great challenges.

Challenge is what it takes to move beyond where you are today.  Challenge.  Without a consistent appropriate level of challenge we fail to move forward in our lives.  Challenge creates stress and stress opens us up to learning and learning leads to growth and growth leads to change and change is what allows us to be successful in any domain we choose to operate in.

What happens though is people walk away from challenge.   Many perceive challenge as a threat, a threat to the comfort of the status quo or a threat to self-esteem.

Some of the things that stop people from accepting or creating challenge in their life include:

1. No commitment to making a change

2. Lack the discipline to accept a challenge

3. Lack of encouragement from their peer group

4. Internal emotional blocks

5. No written goals

What challenges do you face?   What challenges are you backing away from?  How do you manage challenge?

“You’ve got to follow your passion.  You’ve got to figure out what it is you love–who you really are.  And have the courage to do that.  I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dream.”  Oprah Winfrey

Three ways to increase happiness

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”  Nathaniel Hawthorne

Happiness is something many people strive for and fail to achieve.   Happiness can be elusive to some and easy to obtain for others.   A new film called “Happy” is documenting happiness, where it is found and how people live a life of happiness.

Recent research provides some steps to achieve greater happiness.   The study of happiness is growing and is a reflection of the positive psychology movement and the strengths movement.  Markus Buckingham one of the leaders in the strengths movement shows people why strengths are important in this short video.   People that use their strengths are happier.   Don’t know your strengths then got to viastrengths and find out what your strengths are.

Another aspect of happiness is purpose.    Having a purpose increases happiness.   Knowing who you are what you are gifted at doing and having the ability to use those gifts increases happiness.    If you haven’t found your purpose or aren’t sure you have a purpose take a look at this.   See if you can figure out your purpose, you’ll be happier when you do have a defined purpose.

The third element of happiness is developing relationships.    Relationships that work well increase happiness.  As we approach the holiday season many people feel stressed due to the fact many relationships aren’t what they should be.   Here are some hints on dealing with broken relationships.

Three steps to increase happiness.

1. Know your purpose

2. Strong and deep relationships

3. Knowing and using your strengths.

What are you doing to increase your happiness?   Happiness is part choice, part development and to some degree inherited qualities.   Choose to be happier.  Choose to develop your strengths and choose to develop deep and meaningful relationships and you will be happier.    Maybe you have a story about how you found happiness, what is it?

am I?

‘Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Am I …

It might be a question, it might be a thought, or it might be a sense of hopelessness that some people have when they don’t know who they are.   A person who asks, “Who am I?” may have been going through the motions of life really to never understand at their core who they are and what they should be doing.   For some people they have never resolved or peered into their own identity and at some point they realize they don’t know who they are and that often presents a frightening picture.

I am? 

I am, as a question.   “I am” asks a much bigger question.  It is a statement about who you believe you are.   “I am _________________”.   It goes beyond just the meaning of who you are to the meaning of who you are in the context of those around you.   What does “I am?” mean to you?

i am

“i am” as a weak declaration, one where the words are spoken quietly and without certainty.   It is a statement without the belief behind it that would give power to the words.

I am

“I am”, an assertion with some level of confidence and not strong enough that someone would believe that what you are saying is really true about you.    Increasing that sense of I am can be done by focusing on positive self thought.

I AM

Bold, assertive, positive and confident with a sense of direction, purpose and significance.   This is beyond emergent behavior and shows up as having strength with only small amounts of uncertainty in their lives.

I AM!             

Fully confident, fully assertive, fully humble, fully alive, fully present, significant, bold yet calm. Able to use skills wisely, developing others, a leader, a sage, engaged, fearless.

Where are you?   What level of being do you live at and participate at?   What would it take to raise your level of being up a level?  What would it take for you to feel more alive, more present, and more capable?

“Jenny: Do you ever dream, Forrest, of who you wanna be?

Forrest: Who I’m gonna be? Aren’t I gonna be me?

Jenny: You’ll always be you. Just another kind of you. You know? … I want to be famous. I want to be a singer like Joan Baez. I just want to be … on an empty stage with my guitar, my voice. Just me, and I want to reach people on a personal level. I want to be able to say things, just one to one.”

from the movie “Forrest Gump

a plan for life

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”  Pablo Picasso

Who do some people succeed with great regularity and others seem to bump into the obstacles of life and define their life in terms of failure and underperforming their abilities?   One of the reasons that some people always seem to find success is that they have a plan, goals and vision for their life.   While having plans, goals and a vision doesn’t guarantee success it often brings you closer to achieving success and significance.

Darren Hardy the publisher of Success magazine writes articles about those who are always at or near the pinnacle of success.   What separates those few who do remarkable things from those who just talk about doing remarkable things?   Often it is an advisor, consultant or coach that helps the high performer find a path to success, to see those habits and attributes that hold them back from being their best.

The difference between the best and everyone else is small, often very small.

Why plan?   To enable and create a better future for yourself.  It is time to stop wandering and wondering what is next and create a solid plan that allows you to focus on a goal and work towards it.

What are you planning for?

1. What is your career plan?

2. What is your financial plan?

3. What is your relationship plan?

4. What is your retirement plan?

5. What is your personal development plan?

6. What is you physical health plan?

7. What is your recreation plan?

If you don’t have a plans for your life then life will happen.  The unintended consequences of living life without a plan are feeling disappointed, increased frustration, lower levels of success, poor physical fitness,  and more.   It doesn’t always mean that having a plan is going to result in superabundant success, it means that you are more likely to achieve the success and significance you desire.   Why?   Because you had a plan and you made it happen.

Do you have a plan?