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Top 10 Tips on How to Stay Positive When the Things are Negative
by On November 3, 2009

Positive AttitudeHaving and maintaining a positive attitude is vital for success in life and business. Zig Ziglar gets it right when he says, “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.”

Sure you need skills, but you can learn skills – in fact a positive attitude will make it much more likely that you will learn the skills necessary to succeed. If you take two people with an equal skill set the person with the better attitude will win.

Unfortunately it is not always easy to stay positive and keep a good attitude. As things go wrong throughout your day, it is easy to let negative thoughts start to take over. Thankfully there are many things that you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. These are things that you can do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to make sure you keep your positive focus.

  1. Read Positive and Inspiring Books
    One of the best ways to maintain a positive attitude is by reading positive books. These books serve to encourage you, inspire you, and teach you. Reading requires that you sit still and focus, and by focusing on something positive it helps you to keep a positive mindset throughout the day.
  2. Listen to Podcasts/CDs/mp3s
    The advantage of listening to podcasts, mp3s or CDs on the go. You can listen to motivating podcasts while you clean your house, exercise, or on a flight. In your car, you can play encouraging compact disks that help you make better use of your commute. Listening to recordings from people like Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, or John Maxwell can both teach and inspire you.
  3. Wake up Early
    One of the best ways to help you maintain a positive attitude is to create the habit of waking up early. Waking up early allows you to get a head start on the day. You can prepare for work and start your day without feeling rushed. You can get a head start on important projects before the rest of the world is awake to interrupt you. You can spend time reading or in prayer or meditation. I start each day by listening to a 10 minute motivational podcast.
  4. Exercise
    Very few things in life leverage your time as much as exercise. Obviously it makes a difference for your physical health, but it also has significant benefits to your mental health. Exercise is useful to combat depression and to improve overall positive mood. Further, if you exercise early in the morning you can go through your day knowing that you have already completed the most valuable activity you had to do!
  5. Plan Your Week and Day
    Having a clear plan to your day and to your week can go a long way to helping you maintain a positive attitude. By knowing what you want to accomplish you will be able to focus on your important life priorities. A weekly plan allows you to match your long-term goals to your weekly accomplishments. Your daily plan allows you complete the activities you need to do so that you meet your weekly goals.
  6. Understand that Things Won’t Always Go as Planned
    If you plan and expect everything in life will go as you planned, you will be quickly disappointed. One of the keys to maintaining a positive attitude is to understand that things will go wrong. If you expect things to go wrong, you won’t be phased when they do. So have a plan, but understand that things won’t follow the plan. The plan allows you to adapt to what went wrong and move back towards what is important.
  7. St. John’s Wort and Griffonia Seed
    These two herbal supplements can have an important role to play in helping you maintain a positive attitude. Many people know about St. John’s Wort as a natural supplement to help prevent or treat depression. St. John’s Wort is really a mood stabilizer. Griffonia seed works to elevate positive mood. Together they are helpful in maintaining a positive mental attitude.
  8. Get Spiritually Connected
    Naturally this one will look different for everyone, and this is simply an option to consider. If you are spiritually connected, you will have a positive outlook on life. This might mean prayer, meditation or reading Scripture. Set aside time each day to be connected spiritually.
  9. Be Thankful
    Take some time and be thankful. Be thankful about what you have, who you are, and what your life is like. Think through all of the things that you can be thankful for. Even if you are in a tough time in life there are many things you have that you can be thankful for. You need to look for them and recognize them. The very act of focusing on what you are thankful for will help you maintain your positive attitude.
  10. Surround Yourself with Positive People
    The people around you have a big impact on you. They impact who you are, how much money you will make, and what you value. They also impact how you think. If you surround yourself with negative people you will be negative as well. You can’t help it. Hearing negativity all day leads you to negativity. The opposite is also true. Surround yourself with positive people and you will be more positive.

Author: Danny Gamanche
Danny is a business professor at a private college where he equips students for careers in business and success in all areas of life. You can catch him at his blog, Success Professor.

Top 10 Reasons to Subscribe to Freedom Personal Development Blog Updates
by On October 27, 2009

Freedom Personal DevelopmentIf you are not subscribed to Freedom Personal Development Blog Updates, you are missing out! To subscribe, all you need to do is type your email address in the upper right corner of this page where it says Enter Your Email – pretty self explanatory.

For this Tuesday Top 10 List, we are listing the top 10 reasons you need to subscribe to our blog updates and all of the great resource you will receive – all for free!

  1. A Daily Dose of Personal Development
    We post a new article everyday, Monday through Friday. Is there a better way to start your day than reading an article on personal development? On top of that, we have the top instructors and trainers in our company and the personal development world sharing their experiences on goal setting, time management, personal freedom just to mention a few!
  2. Contests!!!
    Every month we host a contest that is free to enter and have prizes such as free coaching sessions and Freedom Gear. Past contests have included:

    What is the Best Answer to “How are You Doing?”
    What Would You Do if Time and Money Were No Concern?
    What is Your Favorite Business Book?
     
    Be the first to know when a new contest is posting by signing up for our Blog Updates (type your email address in the upper right corner of this page where it says “Enter Your Email” and you are signed up!)
  3. Personal Development Videos
    Every Friday we post a video related to personal development. Learn from the masters in this field including Tony Robins, Brian Tracey and Stephen Covey.
  4. Goal Setting Tips
    Your passion, drive and determination can be dramatically increased when directed towards a focused goal. These posts focus on accountability, best practices in goal setting, discipline, growth, motivation, peak performance, success and turning your dreams into realities.
  5. Time Management Articles
    If you’ve ever felt there just aren’t enough hours in the day, these posts are for you. Best practices for scheduling and time management techniques are focused on.
  6. Sales Training
    In sales, you sell products and services, but most importantly, you sell yourself. These articles and audio trainings addresses the key elements of the sales process and teaches you how to succeed at any level of sales.
  7. Attitude Management Advice
    Learn how to manage your attitude to increase your daily energy level, gain confidence, deal effectively with change, overcome fear and raise your self-esteem.
  8. Personal Development Book and Product Reviews
    What you read and listen two are the top two factors that influence your success and life. In this category, the Freedom Team reviews books and products that have had an impact on their career, personal development and life.
  9. Personal Freedom
    Learn how to add more freedom to your life. We define freedom as the capacity to exercise choice. With these articles, discover how to create the life of your dreams.
  10. Top 10 Lists
    Every Tuesday we post the Top 10 Tips for a particular personal or professional development topic. Past Top 10 Lists include:

    The Top 10 Traits of Leadership
    Top 10 Traits of Highly Effective People
    7 Lessons from Kids on How to Be Happy

Sign up for Freedom Blog Updates and start living a life of freedom and personal development. In case you forgot how to sign up, simply type your email address in the upper right corner of this page where it says “Enter Your Email”.

Be Free!

Katie Brandt
Director of Marketing

The Top 10 Traits of Leadership
by On October 20, 2009

Top 10 Leadership TraitsWhat traits do effective leaders possess? For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, we look at the Top 10 Traits leaders exhibit. No matter what your job title is, you are still a leader, if only by example. Take a look at this list and conduct a personal inventory. Which traits you excel at and which ones need to be polished?
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Leadership can be defined as one’s ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level. Leaders can be found and nurtured if you look for the following character traits.

  1. Clear Communication of a Vision
    A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it’s not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it. Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious.A good leader must have the discipline to work toward his or her vision single-mindedly, as well as to direct his or her actions and those of the team toward the goal. Action is the mark of a leader. A leader does not suffer “analysis paralysis” but is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, inspiring others to do the same.
  2. Integrity
    Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must display integrity.Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more approachable by followers.
  3. Dedication
    Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision. By setting an excellent example, leaders can show followers that there are no nine-to-five jobs on the team, only opportunities to achieve something great.
  4. Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
    Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible throughout the company. Conversely, a good leader takes personal responsibility for failures. This sort of reverse magnanimity helps other people feel good about themselves and draws the team closer together. To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of effective leadership.
  5. Humility
    Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he pursued a “follower-centric” leadership role.
  6. Openness to New Ideas
    Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking. Good leaders are able to suspend judgment while listening to others’ ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things that someone else thought of. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision.
  7. Creativity
    Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. Creativity gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen and thus lead followers in new directions. The most important question that a leader can ask is, “What if … ?” Possibly the worst thing a leader can say is, “I know this is a dumb question … ”
  8. Fairness
    Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.
  9. Assertiveness (not aggression)
    Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.Many leaders have difficulty striking the right amount of assertiveness, according to a study in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the APA (American Psychological Association). It seems that being underassertive or overassertive may be the most common weakness among aspiring leaders.
  10. Humor
    A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility. Effective leaders know how to use humor to energize followers. Humor is a form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply put, humor fosters good camaraderie.

Intrinsic traits such as intelligence, good looks, height and so on are not necessary to become a leader. Anyone can cultivate the proper leadership traits.

Source: David Hakala, HR World, http://www.hrworld.com/features/top-10-leadership-qualities-031908/index.php, March 19, 2008

Top 10 Traits of Highly Effective People
by On October 6, 2009

business-successWe have all read about people who are successful briefly. They win a gold medal, make a fortune, or star in one great movie…and then disappear. Or, there are those like Marilyn Monroe and Howard Hughes who achieve extraordinary success, at the cost of their own lives. These examples do not inspire me!

My focus and fascination is with people who seem to do well in many areas of life, and do it over and over through a lifetime. In entertainment, I think of Paul Newman and Bill Cosby. In business, I think of Ben and Jerry (the ice cream moguls), and a local hardware store owner who is famous for the money he’s give to children’s charities. As a Naval Officer, husband, businessman, politician and now as a mediator and philanthropist on the world stage, Jimmy Carter has had a remarkable life. We all know examples of people who go from one success to another.

These are the people who inspire me! I’ve studied them, and I’ve noticed they have the following traits in common:

  1. They work hard!
    Yes, they play hard, too! They get up early, they rarely complain, they expect performance from others, but they expect extraordinary performance from themselves. Repeated, high-level success starts with a recognition that hard work pays off.
  2. They are incredibly curious and eager to learn.
    They study, ask questions and read constantly! Here is an interesting point, however: While most of them did well in school, the difference is that they apply or take advantage of what they learn. Repeated success is not about memorizing facts, it’s about being able to take information and create, build, or apply it in new and important ways. Successful people want to learn everything about everything!
  3. They network.
    They know lots of people, and they know lots of different kinds of people. They listen to friends, neighbors, co-workers and bartenders. They don’t have to be “the life of the party”, in fact many are quiet, even shy, but they value people and they value relationships. Successful people have a rolodex full of people who value their friendship and return their calls.
  4. They work on themselves and never quit!
    While the “over-night wonders” become arrogant and quickly disappear, really successful people work on their personality, their leadership skills, management skills, and every other detail of life. When a relationship or business deal goes sour, they assume they can learn from it and they expect to do better next time. Successful people don’t tolerate flaws; they fix them!
  5. They are extraordinarily creative.
    They go around asking, “Why not?” They see new combinations, new possibilities, new opportunities and challenges where others see problems or limitations. They wake up in the middle of the night yelling, “I’ve got it!” They ask for advice, try things out, consult experts and amateurs, always looking for a better, faster, cheaper solution. Successful people create stuff!
  6. They are self-reliant and take responsibility.
    Incredibly successful people don’t worry about blame, and they don’t waste time complaining. They make decisions and move on. Sometimes they are criticized for taking this to extremes – Jimmy Carter carried his own briefcase and a President “shouldn’t” do that! Extremely successful people take the initiative and accept the responsibilities of success.
  7. They are usually relaxed and keep their perspective.
    Even in times of stress or turmoil, highly successful people keep their balance, they know the value of timing, humor, and patience. They rarely panic or make decisions on impulse. Unusually successful people breath easily, ask the right questions, and make sound decisions, even in a crisis.
  8. Extremely successful people live in the present moment.
    They know that “Now” is the only time they can control. They have a “gift” for looking people in the eye, listening to what is being said, enjoying a meal or fine wine, and listening to music or playing with a child. They never seem rushed, and they get a lot done! They take full advantage of each day. Successful people don’t waste time, they use it!
  9. They “look over the horizon” to see the future.
    They observe trends, notice changes, see shifts, and hear the nuances that others miss. A basketball player wearing Nike is trivial, the neighbor kid wearing them is interesting, your own teenager demanding them is an investment opportunity! Extremely successful people live in the present, with one eye on the future!
  10. Repeatedly successful people respond instantly!
    When an investment isn’t working out, they sell. When they see an opportunity, they make the call. If an important relationship is cooling down, they take time to renew it. When technology or a new competitor or a change in the economic situation requires an adjustment, they are the first and quickest to respond.

These traits work together in combination, giving repeatedly successful people a huge advantage. Because they are insatiable learners, they can respond wisely to change. Because their personal relationships are strong, they have good advisors, and a reserve of goodwill when things go bad. And finally, none of these traits are genetic! They can be learned! They are free and they are skills you can use. Start now!

About the Author:
Dr Philip E. Humbert, author, speaker and personal success coach. Dr Humbert has hundreds of tips, tools and articles on his website that you can use for your own success! It’s a great resource! Visit him on the web at: www.philiphumbert.com  And, be sure to sign up for his great newsletter!

Source:  http://www.icbs.com/Kb/inspiration/kb_top-10-traits-of-highly-successful-people.htm

Top 10 Leadership Tips from the Law of Attraction
by On September 22, 2009

law-of-attractionEveryone is a leader to someone. Leadership is in each one of us. The amount that you utilize this gift to be a leader will all depend on you. Utilizing the principles of the Law of Attraction in a leadership role consciously will attract more results and success. These principles can carry on from being a leader in your business to being a leader at home.

Here are the 10 Leadership Tips from the  Law of Attraction:

1. Take Responsibility
This is one of the principles many have a hard time dealing with. You create you reality and therefore you must take responsibility for your reality and actions. The sooner you get you control the output by your thoughts, feelings, words and actions the sooner you can create the life and business you want. Lead by example and you will have a great team by your side.

2. Be a Partner
You may be a leader but you are also a partner. Do no try to do everything on your own. Ask for feedback, ideas and work together with your team to meet your goals. Cooperation and collaboration are necessary.

3. Be Aware of Your Energy
Pay attention to your energy. If you are in a bad mood, your energy can and will transfer to those around you. Be consciously aware of your energy and choose to make it a positive one and spread positive vibes. The higher your vibration the more connected and grounded you are, the more inspired you are and because of this you will see greater success.

4. Be Pleasant
If you are leading by example and utilizing the Law of Attraction, than having an awesome personality will be easy for you to do. When you are focused on abundance, taking action and the possibilities people will be drawn to you.

5. Be Understanding
Put yourself in their shoes. Better yet ask them what you can do for them to really understand where they are coming from and how you can better assist them. Do not be judgmental, rather be open minded and concentrate on solutions.

6. Share Your Visions
Create a plan, a vision of where you want to go with your project, business, product, service, etc. Have a plan for your advertising, marketing and more. Share these plans with those working with you and get their feedback and mastermind on improving the plans. By having a set direction that is agreed on will promote team work, responsibility, confidence and action.

7. Surpass Expectations
Whatever you do, do it to the max. Go beyond what people expect of you. Give more value than what is asked. You will be setting the Law in motion to provide you with more than what you expect and be setting a great example.

8. Make Passionate Choices
When you are passionate and inspired about your choices it comes through in your presentation and implementation. When others see you are passionate about the decisions you are making it will help for those decisions to be embraced and understood.

9. Harness Positive Self-Talk
Do not let doubt, lack or other negative thoughts enter into your self-talk. When you perceive something to be negative, look for the positive or create a positive. Keeping your self-talk positive and focused will make the rest of your day much brighter and easier.

10. Be Open to the Possibilities
Have an open-mind to the Law of Attraction and what it can do for you as Leader and in your life. Being resistant is a surefire way to get the opposite of what you want. Be open to utilizing these principles in your life so you can create the success and happiness you deserve.

About the Author:
Ruth Sias is a former Commercial Escrow officer, turned Entrepreneur from Sacramento, CA. Ruth has taken her 23 years as a business professional, combined with her strong people skills to create wealth for her and others online.  To join Ruth’s team, visit Synergy Cash System and request a tour.

Top 10 Brain Games
by On September 15, 2009

brain-gamesFor today’s Top 10 Tuesday, we wanted to share a list of the top 10 brain games to keep your mind sharp.

It is always good to take a break from your normal routine and challenge your brain. These games also teach you about how your brain works.

Top 10 Brain Games:

1.  The Stroop Test – The Stroop test is used in neuropsychological evaluations to measure mental vitality and flexibility, since performing well requires strong attention and self-regulation capability.

2.   Basketball Attention Experiment – This experiment shows that it is possible to see something without observing it. This explains why traffic accidents occur when a driver “looked but failed to see”.  Count how many times the basketball is passed.  For the correct answer see below.

3.  Towers of Hanoi – This is a classic planning puzzle, good for our Frontal Lobes and executive functions. This game is frequently used in neuropsychological evaluations.

4.  The Senses Challenge – A series of 20 timed puzzles put together by the BBC. It should take you about 10 minutes or less to complete.

5.  Inside and Outside – This test evaluates your divided attention skills.  This is a virtual illusion that proves the limits of our perception.

6.  Blind Spot – Count the number of times that the letter F appears in the following sentence:
“Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years”.  
How many did you find? Check the solution and explanation.

7.  The Empty Triangle – How smart are you? This puzzle was featured in the Mensa publication “Number Puzzles for Math Geniuses”.

8. What do You See? – This image is an example of an ambiguous illusion — a picture or object that requires perceptual switching between the alternative interpretations of figure and ground. And although you may be able to switch back and forth to see one image or the other, your eyes will not let you see both at the same time.

9.  Shadows and Squares – Which one is darker? This is less obvious than it may appear.

10.  Brain Workout for Your Frontal Lobes – Your frontal lobes are home to your executive functions, including pattern recognition. Here’s a puzzle to challenge your ability to uncover a pattern.

Answer to The Basket Ball Experiment – The real point of this experiment is the questions, “Did you see the gorilla?”  Take another look at the video if you missed it.

Which one do you enjoy the most?

Be Free!

7 Lessons from Kids on How to Be Happy
by On September 8, 2009

lessons-to-be-happyIf you are seeking happiness, then notice who around you seems to be happy all day? That’s right – kids!

Laughter is a natural thing with kids. If you spend some time playing with them, it is easy to get infected with their happy smiles. While there are moments that kids get upset, you find that you can learn a thing or two from them about forgetting their anger just as quickly. It is also possible that you start to remember a time when you used to be a kid and how life seemed so easy and without worries.

Here are 7 ways that you can learn from kids on how to happy:

1. Living in the Present

Kids have a wonderful way of living one moment at a time. Their feelings are often based on events as they happen. They are mostly joyful. At times, they may feel negative and this usually happens in a fight over toys or games. However, as soon as they get distracted with something new, they no longer hold on to their negative emotions. Instead, they are happy once again.

As adults, we tend to remain angry or upset even way after the event. We are experts in accumulating anger in an internal storehouse. Our minds get stuck a lot in the past. We do not live in the present moment as it is now. It is hard to be happy when we have no present moment awareness.

2. Single Focus While Doing Things

When a child is playing tag, he is playing tag. He is not playing tag and thinking about the picture he will draw later and the block castle he will build tomorrow morning. He is focused on the single moment.

As adults, we get stressed because we pile on many things into a single moment. We overwhelm ourselves with our “to do” list. Unfortunately, in trying to multi-task, our mind gets detracted from being present in each task. We end up rushing through time. There is no space for slowing down, let alone breathe. At the very worst, with so many things to do, we end up not accomplishing much.

So, if you find it hard to cope, slow down a little. Be single focused on the things that need to be done first. After you finish, then move on to the next down your list. You find life more of a breeze, when you can reduce the number of things you need to do at any one point in time.

3. Use of Imagination

Kids are always using their imagination, whether they are playing a game or drawing a picture. They love pretend play and are intrigued by stories about magic, dreams and what seems humanly impossible. If you think about it, imagination is the seed of the feeling of joy. When you indulge in your dreams, endorphins are released, giving you a nice warm sensation.

It is funny that how as adults we have forgotten about using our imagination. School has trained us to be more left-brained and analytical. We also become more rigid in the way we do things and our expectations. Then, when events do not happen according to plan, we become very unhappy. We are less open to new possibilities, because we have lost our sense of imagination.

4. The Future is Limitless

To many kids, everything in life is possible. The sky is the limit and they have their whole lives ahead of them. There is no reason for them to feel as if time is working against them.

Well, you can adopt the very same attitude and not be held hostage by time considerations. It is never too late. If there is something you have been waiting to do with your life, then go for it. The last you want would be a life of regret. Joy escapes you when you allow life to become stale.

5. Always Joyful

Children are always happy because they find joy in little things. They get excited when they see a butterfly, jump over a puddle or get to go to McDonalds. They do not over analyze situations and do not assume the worst in people or situations. They keep things simple.

To remind yourself about being joyful, keep a gratitude journal. List down the many blessings that you currently enjoy in your life. Additionally, on a regular basis, do something small that makes you happy like reading one chapter of a book you like or taking a walk in the park.

6. Inherent Goodness and Trust in Others

Children have an inherent goodness about them. They do not intend to hurt anyone and they do not naturally think that anyone would want to hurt them. With no such ill intent or worries, it is easy to be just happy all day!

Imagine what the world would be like if everyone could play and work nicely together. Adults should learn from kids to put aside their differences and care for each other. Love creates happiness.

7. Absolute Faith In Getting Their Wishes Fulfilled

It is amazing how kids can have so much faith that their wishes will be granted. Ever get badgered by your kids until you “cave” in to give them what they want? Believe me; it is not easy to stay firm when you are up against their cheeky smiles.

Another example I can think of is about the wishes of my kids to see the world. They talk about their travel plans all the time. There was never a shred of doubt that their wishes will be granted one day.

Do we hold as much faith in our own dreams? Probably not. We are too encumbered by unnecessary worries. We limit ourselves by our beliefs. If things are not working in our favor, we may even choose to give up half way and ditch our dreams.

In conclusion, to be happy, reconnect with the inner child in you. Be around kids if it helps. If you do not have any, check out your local playground or volunteer. Bring out the imaginative, joyful, and trusting qualities in you. By becoming more child-like, you are well on your way to becoming less of a stress bag.

Source:
http://www.dumblittleman.com/2008/07/7-how-to-be-happy-lessons-that-kids-can.html

The Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Attitude
by On August 25, 2009

AttitudePersonal energy is an important component of personal and business productivity. Most people cycle between positive and negative energy states during the workweek. But the percentage of time spent in positive and negative moods varies significantly.

Some people seem to be overwhelmingly negative, while others in similar circumstances can remain much more positive. Increasing the time spent in positive states will improve personal productivity.

The following 10 tips suggest ways to facilitate a more positive attitude.

1. Work first on your relationships.

Relationships are both our best sources of happiness and our biggest sources of problems and frustrations. Developing good relationships and improving or ending the poor relationships in your life will increase your personal energy. An effective tactic to start improving your relationships is to develop better personal boundaries and standards and work on reducing tolerations.

2. Develop a routine to start every day in a positive mental state.

It is very helpful to start the day with a routine that creates positive energy. Many people find activities like an early morning walk, exercise, meditation, quiet time, etc., effective in getting their day off to a positive start. It is easier to stay positive, if you can start with a positive attitude.

3. Learn how to monitor your current mental state and changes to it.

This is a complex area, but if you can link negative mood changes to a source or cause, then you are frequently in a position to quickly change back. The important point here is once you are in a negative state, get the message or value from the situation, then take some action to return to a positive state. This is discussed more in #6 below.

4. Create an energizing physical environment.

Invest some time and money to make your personal surroundings pleasing and energizing to you.

Some small items may make a big difference to how your personal space affects your moods. Poor lighting can lower your mental state, especially in the winter. I put 800 watts of halogen lighting in my workspace and noticed a big mood improvement. Some people report a big improvement in their mood just by cleaning up their bedroom and making the bed before leaving for work. Clutter is de-energizing to many people. A sink full of dirty dishes is de-energizing to some. A small water fountain can create a feeling of energy. Music can offset feelings of isolation. Feng Shui is an entire discipline that addresses the harmony of physical surroundings. Further reading in this topic may give you some good ideas.

5. Carefully monitor your self-talk.

Negative self talk is a common source of low moods. When you are hearing negative self talk, be alert to the unrealistic, overly negative messages. Focus on getting any truthful message, then shifting out of overly self-defeating criticism. It is true that we are usually our own worst critic.

6. Develop methods of shifting yourself to a more positive state.

Once you are aware of your negative moods, and have developed your own method of getting the value out of the bad mood, then craft methods of moving back to a positive mood. These methods can include positive self talk, taking action towards a desirable goal, interacting with another person. One creative method is to maintain a Truth Journal in which you write down your personal Truth about various topics. This Truth can include past successes, what you are really good at, things you enjoy, compliments you have received, progress towards goals, etc. Then, when you are feeling negative about a topic, read the Truth Journal.

7. Deal with problems effectively.

Problems are a part of life. Few people enjoy problems. But, in many cases we can learn from problems. It may help to ask yourself several questions, such as:

* What am I contributing to this problem?
* What Life Lesson have I been missing here?
* What is the worst that can happen and how can I improve on that?
* What am I doing right?
* What am I going to do differently?

Getting into a habit of using problems as learning experiences can help us avoid becoming de-energized when they occur.

8. Focus your energy on attracting more of what you want.

Time and energy spent dwelling on problems is frequently better spent pursuing desirable goals. It helps to examine your own contribution to any difficulties and understand how you may need to change. Then be sure to ask others directly for what you want from them; don’t fall into the trap of under communicating. In this way, you are always making course corrections and moving forward. I have found it helpful to print out a list of goals, and my theme for the week first thing Monday morning. This seems to help me get started on a positive note.

9. Be a positive energy source with others.

Negative energy seems to attract negative results. Keeping your own mood positive can encourage positive moods and suppress negative behavior in others.

10. Avoid using negative energy as an energy source.

Many people have a shortage of positive energy in their lives and use negative energy as their energy source. They create busyness, use deadlines, crises, and problems to keep them going. In many cases, their motivation patterns shift entirely from seeking pleasure to avoiding pain. In most cases, serious burnout is the eventual result of becoming dependent on negative energy sources.

About the Author:
This piece was originally submitted by Bruce St.John, Leadership Coach, who can be reached at bstjohn@aol.com, or visited on the web. Bruce St.John wants you to know: I help business leaders become the person their dog thinks they are!

Source: http://topten.org/public/BL/BL58.html

Be Free!

Top 10 Tips – Body Language
by On August 18, 2009

bodylanguageWhen you are communicating in person, either one-on-one or in front of a group, the majority of your message will be delivered not by the words you speak, but by your body language.  Here are the Top 10 Tips for communication with better body language.

1.  Eye Contact
Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of dealing with others, especially people we’ve just met. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in what they have to say. Here in the UK we tend to keep eye contact around 60-70% of the time. (However, there are wide cultural differences, so be careful in other countries) By doing this you won’t make the other people feel self conscious, like they’ve got a bit of vegetable stuck between their teeth or a dew drop hanging from the nose.  Instead, it will give them a feeling of comfort and genuine warmth in your company, any more eye contact than this and you can be too intense, any less and you give off a signal that you are lacking interest in them or their conversation.

2.  Posture
Posture is the next thing to master, get your posture right and you’ll automatically start feeling better, as it makes you feel good almost instantly. Next time you notice you’re feeling a bit down, take a look at how your standing or sitting. Chances are you’ll be slouched over with your shoulders drooping down and inward. This collapses the chest and inhibits good breathing, which in turn can help make you feel nervous or uncomfortable.

3.  Head Position
Head position is a great one to play around with, with yourself and others. When you want to feel confident and self assured keep your head level both horizontally and vertically. You can also use this straight head position when you want to be authoritative and what you’re saying to be taken seriously. Conversely, when you want to be friendly and in the listening, receptive mode, tilt your head just a little to one side or other. You can shift the tilt from left to right at different points in the conversation.

4.  Arms
Arms give away the clues as to how open and receptive we are to everyone we meet and interact with, so keep your arms out to the side of your body or behind your back. This shows you are not scared to take on whatever comes your way and you meet things “full frontal”. In general terms the more outgoing you are as a person, the more you tend to use your arms with big movements. The quieter you are the less you move your arms away from your body. So, try to strike a natural balance and keep your arm movements midway. When you want to come across in the best possible light, crossing the arms is a no, no in front of others. Obviously if someone says something that gets your goat, then by all means show your disapproval by crossing them !

5.  Legs
Legs are the furthest point away from the brain, consequently they’re the hardest bits of our bodies to consciously control. They tend move around a lot more than normal when we are nervous, stressed or being deceptive. So best to keep them as still as possible in most situations, especially at interviews or work meetings. Be careful too in the way you cross your legs. Do you cross at the knees, ankles or bring your leg up to rest on the knee of the other? This is more a question of comfort than anything else. Just be aware that the last position mentioned is known as the “Figure Four” and is generally perceived as the most defensive leg cross, especially if it happens as someone tells a you something that might be of a slightly dubious nature, or moments after. (As always, look for a sequence)

6.  Body Angle
Angle of the body in relation to others gives an indication of our attitudes and feelings towards them. We angle toward people we find attractive, friendly and interesting and angle ourselves away from those we don’t, it’s that simple! Angles includes leaning in or away from people, as we often just tilt from the pelvis and lean sideways to someone to share a bit of conversation. For example, we are not in complete control of our angle at the cinema because of the seating nor at a concert when we stand shoulder to shoulder and are packed in like sardines. In these situations we tend to lean over towards the other person.

7.  Hand Gestures
Hand gestures are so numerous it’s hard to give a brief guide but here goes. Palms slightly up and outward is seen as open and friendly. Palm down gestures are generally seen as dominant, emphasizing and possibly aggressive, especially when there is no movement or bending between the wrist and the forearm. This palm up, palm down is very important when it comes to handshaking and where appropriate we suggest you always offer a handshake upright and vertical, which should convey equality.

8.  Distance
Distance from others is crucial if you want to give off the right signals. Stand too close and you’ll be marked as “Pushy” or “In your face”. Stand or sit too far away and you’ll be “Keeping your distance” or “Stand offish”. Neither are what we want, so observe if in a group situation how close are all the other people to each other. Also notice if you move closer to someone and they back away, you’re probably just a tiny bit too much in their personal space, their comfort zone. “You’ve overstepped the mark” and should pull back a little.

9. Ears
Ears, yes your ears play a vital role in communication with others, even though general terms most people can’t move them much, if at all. However, you’ve got two ears and only one mouth, so try to use them in that order. If you listen twice as much as you talk you come across as a good communicator who knows how to strike up a balanced a conversation without being me, me, me or the wallflower.

10.  Mouth Movements
Mouth movements can give away all sorts of clues. We purse our lips and sometimes twist them to the side when we’re thinking. Another occasion we might use this movement is to hold back an angry comment we don’t wish to reveal. Nevertheless, it will probably be spotted by other people and although they may not know the comment, they will get a feeling you were not to pleased. There are also different types of smiles and each gives off a corresponding feeling to its recipient which we’ll cover next time.

More info at www.bodylanguagetraining.com or www.robertphipps.com

Author’s Bio:

Robert Phipps Management Consultant & Body Language Specialist with more than 15yrs experience.

Robert is in constant demand in the media and business world as a international platform speaker and trainer. He is currently in the process of writing his own book and has already written and commented for many national publications and journals.

Additional Resources covering Body Language can be found at:

Website Directory for Body Language
Articles on Body Language
Products for Body Language

Top 10 Tips for Knock Your Socks Off Customer Service
by On August 11, 2009

customer-serviceHere are 10 tips to improve your company’s customer service and most of the ideas can be implemented for free.

1. Stay in contact with customers on a regular basis.
Offer them a free e-zine subscription. Ask customers if they want to be updated by e-mail when you make changes to your Web site. After every sale, follow-up with the customer to see if they are satisfied with their purchase.

2. Create a customer focus group.
Invite ten to twenty of your most loyal customers to meet regularly. They will give you ideas and input on how to improve your customer service. You could pay them, take them out to dinner or give them free products.

3. Make it easy for your customers to navigate on your web site.
Have a “FAQ” page on your Web site to explain anything that might confuse your customers. Ask them to fill out an electronic survey to find out how make your web site more customer friendly.

4. Resolve your customers complaints quickly and successfully.
Answer all e-mail and phone calls within an hour. If possible, you the owner of the business, personally take care of the problem. This will show your customers you really care about them.

5. Make it easy for your customers to contact you.
Offer as many contact methods as possible. Allow customers to contact you by e-mail. Hyperlink your e-mail address so customers won’t have to type it. Offer toll free numbers for phone and fax contacts.

6. Make sure employees know and use your customer service policy.
Give your employees bonuses or incentives to practice excellent customer service. Tell employees to be flexible with each individual customer, each one has different concerns, needs and wants.

7. Give your customers more than they expect.
Send thank you gifts to lifetime customers. E-mail them online greeting cards on holidays or birthdays. Award bonuses to your customers who make a big purchase.

8. Always be polite to your customers.
Use the words your welcome, please, and thank you. Be polite to your customers even if they are being irate with you. Always apologize to your customers should you make a mistake. Admit your mistakes quickly and make it up to them in a big way.

9. Reward customers a point for every one dollar they spend.
Let’s say customers can get a free computer for 300 points. That means customers will spend $300 dollars on your products and services to get enough points to get the free computer.

10. Build strong relationships with your customers.
Invite them to company meetings, luncheons, workshops or seminars. Create special events for your customers like parties, barbecue’s, dances etc. This will make them feel important when you include them in regular business operations and special events.

© 2004 Larry Dotson

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