Sunday, 8 July 2012

The secrets to success

I have been reading Jack Canfields Success secrets, in fact while I sat in the sun in Spain last week I read the whole book. The secrets really resonated with me because I am a believer in having good habits that promote success and happiness in your life as well as striving to reduce stress and facilitate greater work life balance in your life. As mompreneurs and working mothers I am sure you will appreciate this, . Then today I was with my interns and was telling them about the book when they began to be really interested. Their faces lit up and they leaned forward to learn more about how they to could get a leg up on life. They are all really intelligent individuals that will go on to change the world with their wisdom and I look forward to following their journey through life. While I was talking to them they expressed a genuine interest in having me teach them one principle a day so that they could implement this wisdom to. I told them about the first secret and they became engaged in my talk.

The principle was so simple yet powerful. I made a promise to them that I would teach them what I have learned by talking to them each day and coaching them on the principles, but I also wanted to give them and you a chance to get a different perspective by writing down my thoughts and incites on the principles each day. What I write is by no means juctice to the wonderful writing of Jack Canfield rather my interpertation of his teachings. I hope that in the next two months you will find motivation, inspiration and wisdom in the words. I would like to encourage you all to buy the book and if you feel so empowerd to join Jack Canfields coaching program as I have so that you to can make a profound shift in your life as I honestly believe that through his teachings and through his program you will find new incite and balance in your life.

The first principle is based on taking 100% responsibility for your life. Most of you may think that you do that already but let me ask you have you ever complained about someone or something? Have you ever blamed a situation or circumstance for the results that you have experienced throughout your life? Do you ever think to yourself that  if only things would have been different you would have done more or better? Had the teacher in high school been better at explaining you would have had a better grade in his class? If only you didn’t have to drive to work in so much traffic you wouldn’t be late all the time? If only your kids cleaned up after themselves you wouldn’t have such a messy house or would not always have to spend so much time cleaning. If you only you had a better job then you could go on vacation more often? You may have blamed the teenage years and hormones for your teens behavior that is driving you crazy. Maybe you blame your husband for your failed marriage because he was never home or perhaps you blame  your friends for not calling more often. Their are hundreds of examples I can give and you will eventually find that you resonate with one or all of them and that is great. Why is it great? Because you have taken the first step by identifying that you do not take 100% responsibility for your life.

I challenge you to make a decision to change that today, not tomorrow but now. All the situations that you experience today are a culmination of the choices that you have made in the past good and bad. They all reflect the habits and decisions that you have chosen in your life.  I know that if I look back at my life in the past  that I created my life today. Each time I didn´t ask for what I wanted, looked past something that bothered me or made a choice,  I affected the life I am living today. Its also a matter of choosing how you feel, react and the habits you live each and every day.

I read a great book by Byron Katie years ago where she describes laying on the bathroom floor at a fat farm in pure and utter depression and desperation. She was unhappy, overweight and hopeless. She had given up. All of a sudden a bug crawled across the floor and up her leg which would have normally really frightened and bugged her. Instead she had an epiphany. Instead of thinking why is this bug crawling on me why doesnt it leave me alone this is discusting, get away from me she thought why not. It is what it is. Why not?

With that her perception changed and she had a totally different perception on life. After that she picked herself up and went on to create a system to help people deal with problems in their lives, to have a different view of their lifes and to make differnent choices by changing the way they thought about the situations in their lives. She wrote a book on parenting called Kids Are Worth It as well as created a system to deal with lifes situations and negitive feelings called The Work.

She is about taking 100% responsibility for your life. I didn´t know it at the time but I know it now. W Clement Stone, the author of The Success System That Never Fails and many other great books was a big believer of it to and that is where Jack Canfield learned about it. He went on to implement it in his life after learning this secret from him.

So what does this mean exactly?

It means no more complaining, no more blaming and no more self pity. It means reflecting on situations in your past and figuring out how a different reaction could have created a different result. You need to look at situations differently in the future and evaluate them before you act or react. It also means looking back and reflecting on your past so that you can learn from past mistakes and experiences. Even situations like severe illness can be viewed differently in hindsight. ( This is from experience) I was very ill many years ago and for many years I looked at that time in my life as something that happened to me and changed my and my families life in a negative way, but when I went to coaching school I learned that all situations have value. Often these experiences have profound life lessons or change who you are today. They matter and should shape your future.

Taking 100% responsibility for your life means that everthing you do matters. If you are overweight, unhappy, overwhelming or stressed it is up to you and you alone to decide to change your situation. Many of you will say yes but you don´t understand I have no power or I cant do anything about it or It is hopeless but I say that is an attitude. I heard or read somewhere about a man that was a POW  in the Viet Nam War for over 10 years in solitary confinement in the worst conditions imaginable. He had nothing to do all day but reflect on his life, every detail of it. He could have chosen to loose hope, to give up to stop existing but he didn´t. His attitude was I will do what I can. I cant control my environment but I can control my mind and that’s what he did. He used the situation to go inside and learn about who he was. Years later after he was freed he was asked about his experience and he said he would not trade it or take it back because it helped him to grow and evolve into the man he is today. How profound is that. He of course would never ever want to relive it but he sees it in a positive light. He inspired me with those words. He took 100% responsibility for his life. So if you are thinking about excersising because you are out of shape then stop reading this right now and jump rope, go for a run or give me twenty right now because you have the power to change your situation.

Listen you may think you cant change your situation but when the chips are down and your back is to the wall you do what you have to do to do what really matters to you. You might be late for work but you wouldn’t miss the birth of your child. You might listen to a friend for an hour complain and nag but if it was a boring radio show you would listen to something else. It is really up to you to make a positive change in your life. The only thing stopping you is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of how others view you, fear of the concequences. Often fear is much more intimidating and difficult to deal with than the situation itself. When you feel fear it is often ( not always because sometimes it is your intuition telling you to get out, or get away or saving you from harm) because you actually need to do it and it makes you uncomfortable. Life can be very uncomfortable sometimes and the stress and anxiety you feel is often a sign that you need to make a change. So is depression and fatigue. When we hesitate to make decisions that we know we need to make it is often because we lack the self confidence or fear it.

Don´t let fear or lack of confidence rob you from taking 100% responsibility for your life. Below are a few things you can do to help you to begin to take responsibility for your life and to start on your path to success.

If someone robs you of energy, or is an emotional vampire stop hanging around them

if your kids make a mess and it drives you crazy set rules and concequences and stick to them

if you dont like the way a situation is unfolding speak up and say your peace

if you are in an unhappy marriage get help, change how you behave and therefore change the
reactions you experience or get out

if you want to get in shape then take the steps necessary to do that whether it is joining a gym and actually going, changing your diet or getting a health coach and committing to change

if you look back at your life with regret analyze why, find the learning experience or change the way you think about it

if you are banging your head against a wall wondering why, no matter how hard you try, nothing is working then step back and figure out what you can do differently

if you feel the need to complain then try instead to ask for what you need from someone that can change the situation

If you look at all the above situations you will see a pattern, then you will realize they all start with you, the way you think, the way you feel, the perception you have and the way you handle situations.

Look, there are two kinds of people in this world, those that life happens to and those that live their lives. Which one do you want to be?

Please feel free to comment and tell me about your situation because I would love to hear from you. Good or bad I welcome your opinion.

So that’s it for me I am signing off to take care of my dinner guests which have been here for about 15 minutes but the inspiration took me and I chose to hit the iron while it was hot. They will live but inspiration and ideas often disapear in a heartbeat.

I plan on taking 100 % responsibility for my life, I will work at it each day and forgive myself during those times that I falter so that I can reflect on them later and use those times as a source of wisdome and inspiration.

Life is about love and that meant to love yourself to.

Drifa Ulfarsdottir

Inspiring you with my creativity, incite and passion to live your life with joy, balance and integrety.

Author:Drifa Ulfarsdottir

Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Secret Of Success At Work

THE most successful people don’t work longer or harder than others. They know that common sense has to accompany educational qualification. They know that with common sense you can understand your work environment better and be happy at work. If you are happy at work, your manager is happy with you and you make progress. Follow these guidelines to be work happy.

Do not complain

If your friend who you consider “does not know-anything” gets promoted above all of you keep your opinion to yourself. Being sidelined when other workers are elevated can be painful, but it is quite common in establishments. Continue to work as hard as you have always done. Do not be as bitchy as to tell your superiors the areas you know that he might fail to perform to expectation.

Nobody would listen to you any way because they saw one good quality before elevating him. Concentrate on improving your own standard and ask your supervisor what you can do to contribute more. Take challenging assignments and do them the way you know the company approves. Your own good qualities would show themselves and you are bound for success.

Take initiative

If you have an idea that you think will be of benefit to your company, mention it to your head and see how your suggestion is received. If he approves but fails to give you a go-ahead, remind him after some time has passed. Not mentioning it again does not mean that he has lost interest or never intended to implement your suggestion.

Put it into action. Implementing it could also mean that you are doing double work, but it could also be your means to success. It is your idea and your enthusiasm to introduce it could lead to a job well done and a feeling of personal achievement. But do your normal assignment equally well with as much interest.

Take responsibility for your action

The confident worker who wants to succeed does not blame others for his mistakes. He takes responsibility, look for ways to correct them and carry them out.

Nobody is beyond errors. Admit it when you have goofed. You make the authority take offence when you blame someone else or plead for forgiveness before you have found a solution.

Admit what you have done wrong and solve it before you come to your senior. You win his respect because you have shown that you can solve your problem yourself. It makes your colleagues respect you as a person who can work under pressure. When you beg for forgiveness, you waste time, precious time you would all use to do other things.

Apologize briefly then say what you have done to correct your mistake.

Dare to be different

Look at the way your co-workers dress for example. While company policy might not have dictated dark colours and its branded sweat shirts, majority of your colleagues wear dark colours and company’s logo which gives the impression of a corporate uniform. Many workers may find it easy to follow the habit. But as one, who wants success, dare to stand out form the crowd. This does not mean that you wear tights or legging to work. You do not have to wear very bright colours either. Wear classic suits, but with your own choice of colours.

Going with the flow is not for someone who has a goal. Being just another worker will not get you that promotion.

But while you can break some of the rules, stepping totally out of tune with the general style of dressing in the workplace will not be to your advantage. For example, wearing a pair of jeans you have tried to upgrade with a jacket where your colleagues are in well cut suits would hardly sell in a corporate establishment. You may be noticed but as a player instead of a hard worker.

Aim to create your own identity which makes people you meet remember you. Try unique jewelery, bold and matching. It won’t be bad if you are known for your flashy but classic suit. You would still be within the law of corporate dressing. One thing I love about being   around the Marina is the bevy of corporate beauties you see crossing the road, bankers and other players in the corporate industry.  Sometimes the black suits make you think that you are on the other side of central Lagos, the Lagos High Court, until you look down at their feet and chuckle at the superb quality of the killer heels. That is the idea-the rolling skyscraper wedges and the tottering eight-inch stilettos in eye catching colours.

Friendships at work

Play is also important where you work. The workplace is where you spend the best part of the day so be friendly. But be careful with those you chose to relax with. Discuss with those who will add value to your work life not the one that will hinder your way to success.

Take Funke for example. She is known for spreading every rumour in the office. Some people who are eager to know what is going on in the office count her as a friend while some simply avoid her as the plague. But some people, very few indeed see her a good thing in her – a tool with which to go up higher because just as  she knows who have just filled the receptionist’s register, she knows what big contract has just come to the company and the moment the general pay rise was agreed upon and she has already spread it before the official announcement.

The upwardly mobile career person would be friends with Funke. But she would be wise enough to discuss only work with her because as she is spreading the gist about official business so she is tearing apart the personal lives of those who confide in her about other things.

If you say too much, she will reveal what you say to others. If you are always seen with her, you will gain notoriety and be known as a nosy and unserious work like her. Discourage her from coming too close by appearing to have a deadline to meet when she stops by to chat.

Author:Alita Joseph

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Secret to Success is No Big Secret

While watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals with my 13-year-old, I was trying to figure out where I had failed as a parent. He is a vocal Miami Heat fan and my repeated attempts to convince him that it's wrong to root for a team in a city he's never even visited — we live in Houston — were ineffective.

So, I sat there and weathered the increasing volume of his cheers as it became evident that "his team" was on the verge of a championship.

My patience was rewarded late in the game when a clip of Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks was aired. I've since seen the clip replayed and commented upon on several sports shows, and I have made sure that both of my sons have seen it.

Brooks was speaking in a team huddle late in the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt. He told his players that things may not have turned out the way they wanted this year, but that they could still hold their heads high. He also told them that when the game was over, he wanted them to shake the Heat players' hands and treat them like champions because they had won "fair and square."

It may be an indictment on our culture today that a call for simple sportsmanship stood out as much as it did. But it was a classy move and deserving of the chatter it generated.

And while the sportsmanship aspect of Brooks' words resonated with me, it was the "they beat us fair and square" comment that struck a bigger chord. He didn't blame tough breaks or unfair calls for the results. He and his team had competed hard, but this time around, someone else was better.

It's that kind of honest assessment that tends to separate folks who actually do strive to improve from those who, well, don't.

When speaking to banker groups about building productive sales cultures, I often joke about the kinds of reactions I've frequently seen over the years when bankers are acknowledged for sales production in meetings of their peers. Other bankers smile and applaud politely while telling themselves under their breath that the person being recognized has cheated, was lucky, or both. I'm not saying that it may not be true sometimes, but too many folks immediately discount others' success as anything but the fact that they were better than us this time around.

I frequently like to pose a few questions to folks in these groups to make a point. I ask, "How many of you have ever lost a sales competition?" Almost all hands will go up. Next, I ask, "How many of you have ever sought out the winner or winners of these competitions to congratulate them?" Sometimes, a few hands go up.

I follow with, "How many have ever asked the winners if they might have a few minutes to talk about why they believe they were as successful as they were?" No hands ever go up.

I used to tell my top-performing managers that part of the price they had to pay for being acknowledged as stars was talking about how they did it.

Sometimes they'd share a marketing idea or new strategy that generated great results. But as often, we wouldn't really learn any new tricks. It often came down to folks simply outhustling the pack. Usually, it wasn't their strategies that differentiated them, it was effort.

We're not exactly breaking new ground with the suggestion that working hard is the key to success, but that doesn't mean there isn't power in reinforcing that fact. When folks see time and again that their peers who put in the most effort are almost always producing the best results, it tends to resonate.

Coach Brooks wasn't telling his team that they were going to be luckier next time, or that they would "be due." He told them they were going to get where they wanted to be by outworking the other guys next time.

Whether your job is jump shots and rebounds or customer service and sales calls, it's a message worth hearing.

Is your team listening?

Author:Dave Martin

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A Boomer’s Secret to Success

There is more to life than planning for retirement. It’s really about making good choices and living life to the fullest. It’s about making a promise to yourself to discover the joyous secrets that will change the rest of your life. Here are some steps to follow that will make the process easier:

1. Review your overall attitude by examining your thoughts. Do you express your limitations, fears, inhibitions and self-defeating thoughts often and find yourself affirming the worst that can happen? Notice when bad things happen and what you say during the course of the scenario. For instance, if you get into a car accident, is the first thing you say, “It’s only a car and I can get it fixed. As long as everyone is OK” or do you say, “Why does this always happen to me? That other driver was such an idiot. This is something else I have to deal with.”

Question or challenge this thought process to understand that your negative style of thinking was taught to you at an early age and that you can unlearn it. Your thoughts are reflecting your belief system, which is probably holding you back and keeping you from fulfilling your dreams.

2. Review how flexible you are in terms of being open and receptive to new ideas. Think of this as stepping out of your comfort zone. You are probably so used to doing things and thinking things a certain way that it is hard to act differently. But I suggest you try being, acting, thinking and even speaking differently and see how that feels.

Everyone wants a quick fix to their problems, but there is really no such thing. However, if you are open and receptive to new ideas and ways of thinking, maybe the new idea will be just what you need to turn your life around.

3. Review your coping skills. These are the skills you use to help you deal with stress. How effective are they? If you drown out your sorrows with a gallon of ice cream, instead of just a scoop, then your skills are not working for you. After all, putting on thirty pounds is self-defeating and unproductive, as you probably already know.

Change your perspective and your world will instantly change. With a new, fresh vision for the future, you may be completely overwhelmed by your good fortune, but enjoy it, because you have mastered the secret to a successful life.

author:Amy Sherman.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

How to Be Happier at Work: 3 Tips

Alex and Laila / Getty Images
Working at a start-up can be stressful. Just ask Chade-Meng Tan, who as Google’s 107th employee, experienced the company back when it was a start-up instead of the behemoth it is today.

Tan was an engineer, and engineers at Google are famously given “20% time” to work on projects of their own choosing. Tan used his 20% time, working with experts, to create a course called “Search Inside Yourself,” designed to help Googlers improve their emotional intelligence and mindfulness, making them happier and more productive employees, and better bosses. Ultimately, his goal is to make the world in general a happier place for everyone.

Tan, whose official Google title is “jolly good fellow (which nobody can deny)” has been teaching “Search Inside Yourself” for the past five years, and participants often report that it changed their lives–in fact one attendee reversed her decision to leave Google after taking it. Tan’sbook, distilled from the course, is now a New York Timesbestseller.

Here are three mindfulness skills Tan recommends for every entrepreneur:

1. Learn inner calm.

Working in a start-up company often entails an endless stream of financial pressures and stresses. “The ability to arrive at a mind that is calm and clear on demand is very useful,” Tan says. “The analogy is a deep ocean: The surface is choppy but the bottom is very calm. If you’re able to go deep inside, you can access that calmness and exist in a world where you can be calm and in action at the same time.”

Sound like a tall order? “Gaining this skill turns out to be very easy,” Tan says. “It comes from mindfulness, and mindfulness is about the training of attention in a way that allows your mind to stabilize.” One way to achieve this is with a brief daily meditation session, but Tan says you can also get there by quietly focusing your attention on your breath from time to time throughout the day. “Three breaths, every now and then,” he says. “Or even every now and then be aware of taking one breath. You don’t have to train very deep.”

2. Increase emotional resilience.

“Entrepreneurs fail all the time, and if your job involves innovation, that always entails failure,” Tan says. “Begin with the recognition that failure is a physiological experience in large part. For me, it’s tightness in my chest, my stomach dropping, a lack of energy. I feel horrible. And the reason I feel horrible is because of the sensations in my body.”

The first step, he says, is to recognize failure as a physical experience. The second step is to return to technique No. 1: Calm your mind by focusing on your breathing. “Calming the mind has the effect of calming the body as well,” Tan says, adding that these steps calm the Vagus nerve, which regulates physiological stress reactions.

“Let go of the sensation,” he says. “Consider emotions as simply physiological sensations, that is all. They may be pleasant or unpleasant, but they are simply experiences. Just let them come and go as they wish in a kind, gentle, and generous way. If you can do that, you can become more resilient to failure.”

3. Develop the habit of wishing success to others.

“The premise is that if you have to convince someone to help you, half the battle is lost,” Tan explains. “If you’re going to help them succeed in a way that you also succeed, it’s a lot easier. If you always frame things in those terms, people are more likely to want to work with you.”

A related and very powerful habit is wishing happiness to everyone you come across, Tan says. “Looking at any human being: ‘I wish for this person to be happy.’” You may not want to start with the person who cuts you off in traffic, he adds, but with people that you already like, and then people to whom you feel neutral. “The reason is to create a mental habit so that when you see someone, your first thought is, ‘I want this person to be happy.’ The people you meet will pick this up unconsciously.”

It will also help you be a better boss. Tan recommends entrepreneurs strive to become what Jim Collins in Good to Great calls “level 5 leaders”–the kind who can propel their companies to greatness. “What’s special about level 5 leaders is they’re personally humble and ambitious at the same time,” Tan says. “Their ambition is for the greater good, not for themselves. This type of leader is very effective in a start-up, where you want to inspire everybody. That’s why the best skill a start-up leader can learn is compassion.”

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Monday, 21 May 2012

Personal Finance: 4 Ways to Save Money and Improve Your Money Management Skills

Virtually every single person in America who is financially independent started off with nothing. But they acquired good personal finance habits, learned how to save money, and improve their money management skills, eventually becoming some of the most successful people in their communities. And anything that anyone else has done, you can probably do as well.

Save Money by Using a Long Time Perspective

To save money and become financially independent you must begin living on less than you earn even if you are deeply in debt. One of the most important guarantors of your personal finance success is called “Long time perspective.” Take the long view. Develop a long term attitude toward yourself and your financial future and begin thinking in terms of where you want to be in five and ten years. This long-time perspective will have an inordinate impact on your personal finance habits and money management skills in the present, and will help you save money over the years.
The starting point of financial independence is described in George Klasson’s book, The Richest Man in Babylon, as “Pay yourself first.” He says that, “A part of all you earn is yours to keep.” If you just save 10% of your gross earnings every single paycheck over the course of your working lifetime, you will become financially independent and gain personal finance success. In fact, if you saved $100 per month from the time you started work at age 20 until the time you retired at age 65, and this $100 per month earned 10% per annum return, compounded, you would be worth more than $1,100,000 when you retired, in addition to social security pensions and everything else.

The Most Important Money Management Skill

In a study done recently called “One Hundred Million Millionaires” the writers and economists concluded that it is possible for every single adult in America to become a millionaire if they start early enough, consistently save money, and actually plan their personal finance. And since it is so possible and so easy for so many hundreds of thousands and millions of other people to achieve financial independence, it must be possible for you to improve your personal finance as well.
Just imagine! If you only make $25,000 year, but you save 10% of that, or $2,500 per annum, just over $200 per month, you will become a millionaire. But in order to successfully get there, you need to make a decision to improve your money management skills.
Most economists and psychologists agree that the key to personal finance success and is the ability to delay gratification. The reason for financial ruin and failure to save money is the need for immediate gratification. People who lack the discipline to restrain themselves from spending all they earn, have no financial future and can never save money. This is a key money management skill you need to remember in order to gain financial success.

Change Your Personal Finance Habits

Your goal should be to carefully save 20 – 30% of your income each paycheck and to invest that money carefully over the years. Of course, for most people, at least initially, this is impossible. They are too deeply in debt and they have entrenched spending patterns that are consuming 100% of their income or more. So here is a formula for you. Decide today that you are going to change your personal finance habits, save money, get out of debt and achieve financial independence within the next few years. You begin by resolving to save one percent of your gross income. Let us imagine that you are earning $2,000 per month.
One percent of $2,000 is $20. You decide that you are going to save $20 each month. $20 per month is approximately 67 cents per day.
Every day you save 67 cents. Every month you put the month in the bank. And once you put the money into that savings account, you never, never touch it for any reason. This is your wealth account which you never, never touch for any reason.
A remarkable thing is going to happen to you within a few months as you save money. Your attitude toward yourself and money management will change. You will feel stronger and more confident even though you only have a few dollars in the bank. You will be adhering to a budget more closely and questioning unnecessary expenditures.

Growing Exponentially

But the best news of all is this financial accumulation account will start to grow. You will start to get little unexpected dribbles and drabs of money coming in that you promptly put into this account. Instead of the account growing at $20 per month plus interest, by the end of the first year, there will probably be more than $500 in the account. By the end of the second year, there will be over $1,500, maybe even $2,000. By the end of the third or fourth year, you will have several thousand dollars put aside, you will be out of debt, and you will not have to stress about how to save money for the rest of your life.
As you become comfortable saving one percent of your income and living on the other 99%, you then raise your savings rate to two percent of your income. You live on the other 98%. When you become comfortable at that level, you increase it to three percent and then four percent, and eventually up to 20% and up to 25%. Within three years, you will find yourself living quite comfortably on 75% of your income and saving the rest.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to save money and improve your personal finance habits for better money management! Please comment below and share this post with your friends!