Archive for the ‘personal growth’ Category

@maurilio:

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The Happiness Advantage

Some believe happiness comes from finding themselves in the right places, relationships, job, or income level.  I don’t believe that, and in recent years there is enough evidence from the field of psychology in what I have believed all along: happiness is not a byproduct of success. The opposite is actually true: happy people become successful. After finishing reading Shawn Achor’s book, “The Happiness Advantage,” I bought a copy for everyone on my team.  Shawn’s work is well researched without being didactic. It offers practical steps even for those who are not naturally prone to be happy.  I highly recommend it. One of the points that resonated with me the most came from a 40-year-old study directed by psychologist George Vaillant. He summed up his findings in one word “love—full stop.”  In his words, there are “70 years of evidence that our relationships with other people matter and matter more…

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4 Questions to Help You Figure Out Your Next Move

“I’m not sure what to do next with my life.” It’s a familiar phrase I hear quite often these days. The economic downturn has created uncertainties and opportunities. People have lost jobs. Career paths that seemed promising a few years ago are now no longer viable. Quite often I talk with people whose lives are at a crossroads–sometimes of their choosing, most often not. Recently I heard Phil Cooke speak briefly about four questions we all should ask before deciding what to do next. 1. What comes easy for you? That’s what you are naturally gifted at doing. 2.What are you passionate about? What gets your pulse to quicken and your eyes to light up? 3. What do you hate? Perhaps you should solve that problem. 4. What do you want to leave behind? That’s your legacy…what you want to be remembered by. Even if you are not looking to…

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Why Your Next Diet Will Fail

Chances are you have started a new diet this week. And chances are it will fail.  I recently heard a man describe his failed diet attempt with what he called a “food coach.” His predicament is unfortunately the norm and not the exception. After seeing a friend lose close to 40 pounds, this man decided to join the same program and hired his now thinner friend’s nutrition consultant, which he named his food coach. During their first two-hour call he got the marching order on what to do for the first week, including keeping a log of all his caloric intake while using his coach’s advice on what and what not to eat. At the end of week one he had gained 7 lbs.  During the second call, his coached fired him. “Whenever you are ready, you can call me, “ he recounted the conversation to several men as he…

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Choosing Best: When Good Is Not Good Enough

Sometimes we need to say “no” to a good idea so we can say “yes” to the best idea.  Stephen Covey puts it this way: “It’s easy to say ‘no!’ when there’s a deeper ‘yes!’ burning inside.” While that approach to both business and personal life might make sense, and we see the validity in waiting for the best, that is no easy task for those of us living in our immediate gratification culture. We often sacrifice the best on the crucible of the good. After all, no one was ever penalized for coming up and executing a good idea. But by choosing the good, we forfeit the satisfaction, exhilaration, the mountain-top view of what only the best can provide. So then why do we settle? Here are a few reasons I do it. I don’t know what I want. It’s easy to say yes to a marginally good idea, business,…

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Rethinking Regifting

Regifting is considered to be the lowest form of gift giving. After all it is passing along something that didn’t cost you anything and that you don’t particularly like. It’s less like “paying it forward” and more like “dropping it backwards.” However, I would like to offer another perspective. I would like for us to think of regifting as a very positive thing. If we take the position that every good gift comes from God, meaning all we are and possess, then the act of giving to others becomes a true re-gift. Think about it. My children will “buy” gifts for some of their love ones this Christmas. But neither of them has jobs, and whatever money they have is itself a gift from others, mainly their hard-working parents. We give because we have been given. We are able to bless because we have been blessed. We are able to…

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2

Start Over or Start Again?

The appeal of a new beginning to all of us is the opportunity for a “do over,” to wipe the virtual slate clean. But what often happens is quite the opposite. Recently I talked with a friend who is starting over. It’s a complete new start: a new career, a new town, a new perspective in life. My advice to him was simple: make sure you start over and not start again. I think a lot of people miss the point of the start over and find a way to repeat the same mistakes in a different environment, different business, or different relationship. We didn’t learn the lesson we should have learned, so instead of starting over, we start again. It’s just a matter of time before we find ourselves in the same predicament that caused us pain before. But with every start again, the price we pay gets higher.…

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Body Transformation: 3 Foundations

I have been hitting the gym hard the past year and I have seen great results. I went from roughly 15% body fat down to 8% while increasing muscle mass. There are a lot of nuances to get your body on a full transformation schedule, but as I contemplate my journey,  I always come back to three basic foundations. Weight training. I loved to run, cycle, and swim. But the older I got, the more muscle I lost with a cardio-only exercise routine. While training for a marathon, I got so thin that I looked like a starving zombie. It’s not the look anyone is going for. I found that for a significant body transformation, resistance training with weights is a great way to prevent bone mass loss as well as to increase muscle and give me an overall healthy look. And I feel better than I’ve felt in years.…

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Encouragement: Why I Need More Than a Paycheck

I need encouragement. For someone who sees the glass half full and opportunity during the tough times, I am not a natural encourager. That’s not an excuse, however. If I need encouragement, why shouldn’t those around me need it as well? They do. We all do. Here’s what I know encouragement does for me: It motivates me. A simple “well done,” a pat on the back, or a nod of the head gives me enough motivation to want to do it again, and better. How many times you and I have done a menial task because we wanted to please someone that matters to us? We do it all the time. Those of us with children do it every day. It abates my insecurities. I remember feeling defeated in a job that was not going well. “I don’t have what it takes to get this done,” I had reasoned. I…

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So You Are Dealing with Failure. Now What?

There are always excuses to stop us from accomplishing greatness in our lives. Some of them might even be legitimate. But there is nothing that stops me from trying harder than dealing with failure. After all, failure is the best excuse of all: “I’ve gave my best shot and fail. I’m moving on.” No one can fault you for that. You tried. You did your best. Now it’s time to move on, right? Well, not so fast. Recently I was reminded of the many failures Abraham Lincoln faced before he was finally elected president. In 1831, Abraham Lincoln failed in business. In 1832, Abraham Lincoln was defeated for state legislator. In 1833, Abraham Lincoln tried a new business, and failed. In 1835, Abraham Lincoln’s fiancée died. In 1836, Abraham Lincoln had a nervous breakdown. In 1843, Abraham Lincoln ran for Congress and was defeated. In 1848, Lincoln ran again, and…

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Get Rid of Drainy People

Every minute you spend with someone who is a negative influence in your life is a minute you could spend with someone else who could be helping you grow. While such thinking might sound self-serving, and it can be if all you care is yourself, it can help you make a smart choice about investing your precious time. The longer I live, the more time becomes a precious commodity. It seems to accelerate with each passing year. The long days of impatiently waiting for birthdays and holidays to come around of my youth are now replaced by the sudden realizations of “where has this year gone?”. I have finally realized that some relationships, whether professional or personal, are completely draining. Like a black hole that takes everything in its path, these depleting relationships never give back. They only take. Mentoring and volunteering aside, those closest to us have the greatest…

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