Thursday, May 31, 2007

Success in Life - 3 Ways to Influence People

The level of success that you experience in life will have a lot to do with your ability to influence people. Now I'm not talking about a controlling type of thing. Influence is the ability to persuade someone to act or think a certain way. For instance, if you are in sales you are constantly trying to influence people to buy from you. As a parent you are trying your best to influence your children to be able to make good decisions in life. Here are 3 ways you can use to influence people.

1. Lead by example.

Some of the most influential people this world has ever seen led by their own example. After all, how do you expect someone to do one thing when you are doing something completely opposite of what you are telling them? Your example can be one of your strongest influences on others.

2. Motivate and inspire.

Motivation and inspiration are great tools to influence people. If you are able to inspire people in a way that they feel they are benefiting themselves and others at the same time, you will see that your influence has a tremendous effect. Find ways to motivate and inspire those around you. The more you learn to do this the more you will see people being influenced by you.

3. Learn to communicate effectively.

Effective communication is one of the strongest ways to influence people. The better you are at understanding where someone is coming from and how to communicate with them, the better you will be at knowing what will influence them. If you can't communicate effectively you will soon become very frustrated because people won't be influenced by you at all.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Success, Personal Growth - How to Be More Inspired

Personal growth is essential for you to be more successful. But personal growth doesn't always happen steadily. Sometimes you need the flash of an inspired idea. Do you know how you might be blocking inspiration and slowing down your progress?

Inspiration comes out of chaos

Have you had the experience that life appears to be going along, everything is fine. You are making progress on your latest goal, you're learning new skills. Then gradually at first but more rapidly, things slip into chaos. You get stressed out and emotional…

Then suddenly, a light goes on. You suddenly reach a new level of understanding, things that were troubling you just minutes before are now clear. What happened?

If you have this experience regularly then you're lucky. Sudden flashes of insight – you might call them light bulbs going on, blinding flashes of the obvious, moments of inspiration or any one of many other names are responsible for many great leaps in progress. All the way from Archimedes shouting Eureka - to you solving your problem!

If you haven't experienced flashes of insight, or they don't seem to happen very often, it's possible that you might have been hesitating at the threshold of inspiration and missing out on the opportunity for a leap forward.

The secret is that these moments of inspiration are usually preceded by a period of high emotional intensity. Understanding how they work can help you to recognise that you might be about to make a breakthrough and allow you to just let it happen.

Allowing breakthroughs to happen

Imagine you are going about your daily business, what you are doing is working perfectly for where you want to be now. But you want to change, you want to get to the next level.

You become aware that what you're doing is not going to get you there and you start working to move on. As you do this the pressure starts to rise as new information gradually seeps in to your mind. You start to feel your life is getting more chaotic, overwhelming, more stressful as the new information starts to disrupt your current level of understanding.

The typical response to coping with this chaos, which is very stressful, is emotions. Lots of them – anger, fear, depression, mood swings… Everyone has their favourite recipe.

Sometimes the emotional response dissipates all the chaotic energy building up inside you and you revert back to your calm state. Nothing has changed in your level of knowledge.

Sometimes, the emotions are not enough to dissipate all the energy and you end up going through the barrier… and emerging out the other side with more wisdom. If you want personal growth, this is a better result for you than ending up back where you started.

The trick is to recognise when you are approaching a breakthrough – after all not all emotionally charged times lead to learning experiences. Once you recognise that a breakthrough might be coming – get out of the way. Disengage as much as possible from your emotional response and let the flash of inspiration happen.

Sometimes when you are trying hard to achieve personal growth you enter a period of seeming chaos and intense emotions as new ideas start to swirl chaotically round in your mind. Be aware that this emotion is a natural response that is meant to protect you.

If you want to accelerate your progress, you should get out of the way of the new ideas that are forming by disengaging your emotions. You will greatly increase your chances of taking that elusive quantum leap forward.

Would you like to learn more about success, personal growth?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What Are You Waiting For?

This morning, I received an anguished email from a good friend of mine. Her sister died suddenly and wholly unexpectedly yesterday, less than a month after their mother passed on Christmas Day.

I find myself caught between tears for her pain and rage on her behalf. As she said in her email, "Life is so unfair!" What is shockingly clear to me in this moment is that all my hesitations, fears, uncertainties, and thoughts about, "As soon as X happens, I'll be happy/be able to do Y/stop worrying/whatever," are meaningless.

A certain sense of caution is good. It's obvious that there are some things that in the first enthusiastic moment seem like a great idea, but with a cooler and more practical view become less attractive. Likewise, some of life's undertakings absolutely require risk management and contingency planning. If you have always wanted to travel around the world, that's great, but quitting your job tomorrow and booking flights and cruise tickets is clearly not the best approach.

But when things feel risky or if we feel vulnerable about doing something, we create reasons not to do them. For instance, if I'm not secure in my relationship with my manager, I'll hesitate to ask her for a promotion, even if I feel I deserve it. And I'll make up stories about why I'm not asking. "I shouldn't have to ask for a promotion - it should be *obvious* that I deserve it!"

Big dreams and big goals are subject to hesitation and delay. In part, this is because when we never try, we never face the realities of failure - or of success. Or we may simply be overwhelmed by the size of the goal or dream. But there's also that internal critic insisting that we can't do it, we'll look foolish, we'll lose our friends and all our money, and so on and so forth.

Many times, too, we feel trapped in a situation and believe there are no alternatives. With all due respect, I have to say that this is hogwash! There are always alternatives, but it often takes someone else to see them. When you're stuck, ask for help!

I wonder what dreams and goals my friend's sister had. I wonder what unasked questions she had, and what she left unsaid to friends and family. I wonder what alternatives she never saw. I wonder. If she could speak to us now, what would she advise us to do about our dreams, goals, questions, and pent-up words?

I know that I will be taking some extra risks in the upcoming weeks. In her memory, I will be stepping outside my comfort zone to make my dreams and goals become real, before it's too late for me, too.

What about you? What are you waiting for?

"We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released." Dr. Jean Houston (1937 - ), American writer, philosopher, and teacher.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Meaning Of Life - How To Find Your Purpose And Meaning In Life

What is my purpose and meaning in life? You have probably asked yourself this questions many times throughout your life time. It's one of the greatest questions that everyone tries to figure out. However, most people never find the answer. I don't want you to be one of those people that go through life wondering what your purpose is but never finding.

Finding your meaning and purpose in life is not one of those things that just happen over night. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes it may seem to reveal it's out of nowhere but the reality is that you probably had been doing things to find in for a while. You see, finding your true purpose in life is a journey, not a mistake.

To find your purpose you must begin by following the passions that are in your heart and mind. You purpose won't be found in doing the things that you hate to do in life. You must work on developing your passions into something that makes a difference to you and others around you. Once you have been able to impact people with your passions you will have found an important mile stone in finding your purpose and meaning.

The one thing you have to watch out for is giving up on your purpose. The reason why most people never find or fulfil their purpose in life is because they give up before they reach it. You have to understand, finding and reaching your purpose is not the easiest thing to do. You will face some of the hardest obstacles in your life but if you can overcome them you will find that those obstacles are actually stepping stones to help you get to your purpose.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

It Pays To Be A Problem Solver

The Japanese have become the second most powerful economy in the world because of one simple word. Innovation. Their ability to problem solve, to take an idea and make it even better is what has brought them to the point that they are in the world economy. You ability to be a problem solver is what will help you become a financial power house. Everything that has ever been created, everything that has ever made someone money has done so because it has solved a problem for people.

The most successful people in the world have the ability to solve problems. They are able to see something that people need fixed, be it in themselves or in their lives, and find a solution for that problem. They are able to see a problem in their business, be it in the systems of the business, or the marketing, or employee relations, or whatever the problem is, and find a solution. Being a problem solver is one of the highest paid jobs out there. Your ability to recognize a problem someone is having, and your ability to solve that problem effectively will dictate at least some of your success. There are always me too kinds of people out there, and those are the people who do what someone else is doing. But it is the individual who is first to the market with a solution that usually rakes in the most amount of money.

So where do your strong problem solving abilities lie? Where do you find yourself solving problems most of the time? Where do you enjoy solving problems? Are you the type of person who has all of your friends coming to you for solutions in their relationships, or are you the type of person who is able to look at something physical, like a car, and see what is wrong with it? What do you have a passion for when it comes to solving problems, and how can you take that ability to a whole new level and turn it into a money making opportunity for yourself?

People will always have problems, and the better someone is at solving those problems for people, the more money that person will make. I know life isn't all about money, and it shouldn't be. Life is about abundance and wealth in all areas, and money happens to be a part of that, and if you are able to find something that you have a burning passion for that you are able to make a lot of money at, then so much the better. Learn to solve people's problems, and they will not only love you for it, but they will hand you money to do it. Think about it. Cell phones, cars, houses, running water, electricity, toilet paper for goodness sakes. All of these things are things that we could do without, but we pay for how convenient they make life and how much better our quality of life are because of them. Problem solvers are some of the highest paid people in the world. Become a problem solver, and get good at it, and your financial problems will be solved for you.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Quit Flogging A Dead Horse (Or In My Case, A Big Chocolate Lab)

Ever tried a key in a lock and found it wouldn't open? What did you do? Did you continue to force the key, twisting and turning, praying the planets would align and the lock would magically open? Chances are you tried a bunch of different keys until you found the one that worked, am I right? This is called Behavioral Flexibility - an essential component of success. If at first you don't get the outcome you want, try a different strategy. Explore all your options, varying your behavior, until you eventually achieve the outcome that you seek. Here's an example of how behavioral flexibility helped me today with my neighbor's dog:

I like to take a brisk walk at least once a day for about 30 minutes. To keep me disciplined I walk my neighbor's dog 'Bubba'. (I have cats. I tried walking them once. They weren't amused) Bubba is a big, solid, heavy, chocolate lab. He doesn't have the most sophisticated walking etiquette. Walking Bubba can be compared to walking a runaway Hummer stuck in third gear. He gets very excited and likes to speed ahead, dragging me along behind him.

This morning, while Bubba was dragging me around the neighborhood, tearing my right arm from its socket, I came to the realization that my strategy for slowing Bubba down simply wasn't working. Saying "slow down Bubba" was not proving to be the most effective strategy. I needed to try a different approach.

At first I tried yanking on Bubba's leash each time he bolted forward. That didn't work. I then tried imagining I was a tree and neutralizing my energy like the Dog Whisperer suggests - that didn't work either. Next I tried whistling - nothing. So I tried negotiating, "Bubba if you don't slow down I'll take you home." Bubba just looked at me and blinked. Finally I decided to shorten Bubba's leash and pull him in to walk beside me where I had more control over his movement and could gently yank on his leash the moment he showed any sign of rushing ahead. Finally success! This strategy worked! Hurrah! I'd found the secret to slowing Bubba down!

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try and Try Again.

To succeed in life you must be open to modifying your behavior and exploring different options. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Explore alternative pathways, test out different strategies, employ a new approach. Don't get disheartened when at first you don't succeed. Realize that failures are actually small successes. Continue to persevere until you achieve the result that you desire.

As Albert Einstein once said, the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same things over and over again and expect a different result."

Have a great week!

Michelle ~

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Organizing your Garage

Sure your garage is the place where you can always put the things that does not fit into your house. But no matter if your garage is a place for your forsaken stuff or a haven for the thing you treasure (your car of course), it is still within the premises of your home and must therefore, be treated with some amount of respect (read: should be cleaned and organized from time to time).

By thinking such, you will be motivated to organize and clean up your garage, living an ample space for you VW car and the temporarily detached or not used car parts such as your VW coil.

The process of organizing your garage space is summed up to cleaning, grouping, assessing, storing, and maintaining.

First up, thoroughly clean the garage. Use cat litter to soak up oil spills from the floor and change any burned-out light bulbs. Repainting it is also a good idea. But to save money, access first if the paints really need to be replaced.

In order to clearly see what things you have in the garage, group items together by their purpose. This arrangement is better than arranging things by size. Create a separate area within the garage for tools, home improvement, sports equipment, seasonal items, abandoned hobbies, gardening tools, etc. If there are items that belong inside the home, immediately move them there. Also, create a pile for trash as well as a pile for donation. If you have borrowed items from neighbors and friends, create a pile for "returns" so that they will not mix up with your things.

Assessing is the next thing to do. By pile, review the items you have. Know whether you need them or not, whether you will use them or not and if someone uses it. Make each pile available to only those items you use regularly, or need to keep on hand for special occasions such as holiday decorations, wrapping paper, extra paint, etc.

Storing comes next. Through observations, it can be said that most people do not make efficient use of their garage space because everything collects on the floor. Invest in see-through storage containers or baskets that can be labeled and stacked for smaller items. Meanwhile, for larger items, such as sports equipment and tools, purchase garage accessories that utilize the walls to maximize available space. You can also consider creating shelving, drawers or even a workbench area.

When every thing is set, all you need to do is to maintain. Practice yourself to return garage items to their designated spaces when you are done using it. It only takes a few seconds, but it can mean the difference between keeping your garage organized and neat or descending back into chaos. If you start out having a specific place for each item, it is definitely much easier.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Which Map Do You Choose?

Everyone seems to know everything! Take a look at all the self help articles published by the print media or on the internet. There are so many sources of advice out there..... which one do you choose? Is there not a single road map for us to use?

I am in the sales business. There is never a shortage of people calling to sell me the latest gadget, widget or book that will turn my life around! Regardless of your career, status in life, or goals, there will always be an "expert" out there. Are they offering real advice or only seeking to line their pockets with your cash? Can you buy success? Probably not.

Do I have the answers? I think not. Why do I write this article? Because I have chosen the wrong map more than once in my life. Can I tell you the wrong way? Yep. Can I tell you the correct way? I am not sure. I do not have the degree in counseling or psychology. I have only my experiences.

Marketing is simply being yourself. You must be "comfortable in your skin." What do I mean? You know who you are, really. Who are you when you are all alone? Others can tell if you are being honest or putting on that facade. So what is a man to do?

Choose to be yourself today. When you step out that door, know who you are and where you are going. The map you choose must be one that you can read and understand. That map is who you are when you are alone!

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