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Monday, 15 December 2014

Five habits of high achievers

Susan Williams from The Finishing Touch
Susan Williams from The Finishing Touch
Vow to make 2015 the year you change from a gonna-do type to the sort of person who just gets things done?

Those who fall into the latter category can make it look easy – but inevitably their accomplishments are the result of a modus operandi that's big on self discipline and good habits that have been cultivated rigorously over years. We asked some high-achieving Aussies to share their winning ways.

This post appeared on Brisbane Times
Only when you master your to do list can you ensure you're focusing on the tasks that will drive you to achieve. 
Hard yakka
Invoice2go founder Chris Strode.
Invoice2go founder Chris Strode. Photo: Louise Kennerley
American inventor Thomas Edison described genius as "1 per cent inspiration  and 99 per cent perspiration". Willingness to generate plenty of the latter has helped Invoice2go founder Chris Strode turn his bright idea for a mobile invoicing product into an app now used by 100,000 businesses in 50 countries.

"The hard work was what made Invoice2go a success – because you just can't create a great product and be the first to market without putting the hours in," Strode says.

"We worked 365 days, year after year, and I really don't think we'd be at this point with Invoice2go if we'd taken our foot off the pedal at any point."

Jennen Ngiau-keng
Jennen Ngiau-keng
The sort of work ethic that enables high achievers to stay the gruelling course is best learnt in the home, Strode believes.

"There was no question for me growing up that I would work hard in life, as we watched mum and dad build a business and raise a family of eight children at the same time," he says.

"When you grow up with role models like that, it's in your blood to work hard."

Take it on the chin

Most of us accept accolades with grace and revel in a pat on the back for a job well done – but it's the ability to cop the brickbats as well as the bouquets that separates high achievers from also-rans, Liquid Infusion founder Ben Neumann believes.

Founded in 2005, his mobile cocktail bar business has become the largest of its kind in Australia and has garnered Neumann a swag of business awards.

"Those that can take constructive feedback and not make excuses will succeed at anything they do, as they will find the true source of whatever is holding them back from success and overcome it," he says.

Plenty of passion

Want to kick more goals? It's easy if you find things you're passionate about and give them your all, says Jennen Ngiau-Keng. A globe-trotting violinist who's performed with several state and national orchestras, he also runs a clutch of successful sideline ventures.

They include Taller, a business selling height-increasing shoes to men, and String Musicians Australia, a booking agency that supplies musicians to functions and corporate events nationally.

"When setting up String Musicians Australia, what kept me moving forward and to continue building the business was my passion for classical music and performing … for exposing people to classical music that wouldn't normally listen to it and to allow other musicians who felt that same passion for classical music to continue to do so as a profession and career," Ngiau-Keng says.

Priorities

Not short on energy but all too often find yourself getting bogged down in trivia? The sooner you learn to prioritise – ruthlessly – the higher you'll soar, says Kristie Buchanan, whose stellar marketing career has led her to the top job at the experience gifts website RedBalloon.

"Only when you master your to do list can you ensure you're focusing on the tasks that will drive you to achieve," Buchanan says.

"Don't attend every meeting unless it's critical, learn to turn your email off for hours a day and block out time in your calendar to focus on what's important."

Look for the best in others

Notice someone doing the right thing or going above and beyond the call of duty? Making a practice of calling it out has helped Susan Williams expand her house packing and unpacking venture The Finishing Touch from a kitchen-table operation in 1994 into a national business that employs 200 staff.

"Always try to catch your people doing something right," Williams says.

"I am constantly looking for examples of great performance in our ladies, to promptly recognise and reward them for this and then widely propagate these scenarios – internally with other staff and externally with our business partners."

Have you got a highly effective habit others could learn from? Share it here.
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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

10 Banned Foods That Every American Should Stop Eating

10 Banned Foods to Avoid
Are you eating food that's already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.
<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/banned-foods-infographic.jpg" alt="10 Banned Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Are you eating <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/10-banned-foods.htm"><strong>"food that's already banned"</strong></a> in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>
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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

5 Tips To Help You De-Stress For The Holidays

Let's face it.  We all live pretty stressful lives. With deadlines to meet; presentations to create; exams to study for; raising kids; caring for aging parents; the leaking roof or broken dishwasher that need to be repaired; the mortgage or rent that is due next week; and then there's the technology that keeps changing faster than the speed of learning, providing us with the opportunity to constantly be on call, many of us are at the point where all it takes is one more stressor for us to collapse into a ball of emotion, or worse.

Article Source: Anne Bolender

I have had the great good fortune to work with first and second year University and College students for the past twenty years and this time of the year is always the worst for stress levels for both students and faculty. Even friends and family who do not work around students are beginning to show classic symptoms of stress as the holiday's approach - moodiness, anxiety, worry, feeling overwhelmed, fatigue, eating too much or losing their appetite. The scary thing is that the person under stress often does not even realize they are experiencing these symptoms or the extent to which they are being affected by stress.

So, before preparations for the holidays begins in earnest and stress levels begin to creep ever upward, here are 5 tips that I would like to share that can help you lower your stress levels and increase your ability to enjoy the holiday season:

1)  Practice Mindfulness

We often move through our days performing tasks and activities while being distracted by other things. We drive while reliving conversations or planning some future event; we have conversations with coworkers while trying to think through a solution to a work-related problem; we listen to our children tell us about their day while we are mentally going over our to-do list.

Mindfulness is the act of being present, in the moment.  Of focusing on what you are currently doing without being distracted by other thoughts. 

For someone under stress, mindfulness involves being aware of not only the situation you are in, but of how you are reacting to that situation. Are you experiencing stress reactions of fight, flight or freeze? If yes, then how bad are these reactions? By noticing your reactions as they are happening, you can consciously choose to alleviate the stress that you are beginning to feel so the stress doesn't continue to build.

2)  Self-Care


Anyone who has traveled on an airplane has heard the steward's speech about applying the oxygen mask to yourself first and then to your children - basically you are being instructed to take care of yourself first before you take care of others. The same instruction holds true in real life. If you do not have the energy to take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anything or anyone else.

Self care is more than treating yourself to an occasional trip to the local spa or even spa getaways. Self Care involves eating right, getting a bit of exercise every day, spending time on activities or hobbies that bring you joy.

Practicing Self Care can involve setting a weekly date with yourself to spend an hour a week doing exactly what you want to do - learn to swim, learn to paint, wander through nature, photograph beautiful local architecture, read, listen to music... the choice is yours as long as the activity excites you and is something you look forward to doing every week. Practice mindfulness during this hour, focus on what you are doing and how you are feeling while you are doing it - and on nothing else.

3)  Identify how you want to feel and find ways to accomplish this

Identify your core desired feelings, tap into these core desired feelings and find ways and activities that honour them. Our core desired feelings are keys to understanding our true self. When we deny our core desired feelings, we are acting at odds with our true self and this can leave us feeling disconnected, frustrated, restless, stressed.

Identify how you like to feel - do you like to feel adventurous, creative, inspired, challenged, needed, etc - and then identify activities you can bring into your life right now to help you feel this way. Honouring your core desired feelings is a fun, effective way to begin to de-stress.

4)  Delegate

A fourth way to begin to de-stress is to drop the need for everything to be done by you and only you. And while you are at it, you can also drop the need for everything to be perfect. If you are a solo-preneur, there are some magnificent virtual assistants who can provide you will all the support you need, without costing a small fortune. Eliminate the unnecessary, focus on what's important, and delegate the rest.

5)  Relax and have fun


Above all else, relax, have fun and be happy!!

Take time to breathe, relax, and play. For most adults, play is something we stopped doing as part of the process of growing up. But play and fun can be awesome de-stressors. What did you enjoy doing for play when you were young - arts & crafts; riding a bicycle; video games; swimming; skating; reading; writing; drawing - whatever it was try it again. Or find a new activity that is playful and fun - kick through a pile of leaves, build a snowman, dance like no-one is looking, start that hobby you have always wanted to do. Tie play and fun to your core desired feelings and double the impact these activities can have on bringing joy to your life.


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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

How To Stop Negative Thoughts From Getting You Down #infographic

How To Stop Negative Thoughts From Getting You Down #infographic
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Monday, 17 November 2014

The Power of Personal Development and Success

Personal development is the key to success, happiness and prosperity. The secret to making your life better is in making yourself better. In this article you will learn the secrets to turning your dreams and aspirations into your reality.

Article Source: Howard G Platt

Everything you want in life can be yours if you learn to make the most of your hidden potential. 
This is why personal development is the essential prerequisite to obtaining success in life.
Let me introduce the idea and explore the strategy of using personal development as the means for attracting more success. This may contradict the popular notion often held that success is some mysterious golden object that we must pursue. The truth is you are better off if you don't pursue success, but instead, make it come to you.

Personal Development And The Pursuit For Success



The process of focusing on improving yourself has some interesting consequences. You will find that the world will expand with the expansion of your personal development skills and self-discipline. The abundance of that larger, new world will be attracted to you in direct proportion to the rate of your personal development.
As you grow through personal development, you'll find that you've acquired what can only be described as a mysterious magnetic power. 
This magnetic force is a by-product of your dominant thoughts and when those thoughts are focused on success with a positive expectant attitude you will ultimately attract success into your life. Once you master this concept you will no longer have to pursue success as it will now be pursuing you.
To many this is a completely foreign concept and unfortunately most will allow their fears and doubts to dictate the outcomes in their life. I call these the "if only crowd." if only I could live somewhere else! If only I had a better boss! If only I could find the right person my life would be complete! As they see it, life would be a lot better if only the world were nicer to them. Little do they think about making positive choices and motivated strides toward the improvement of their personal development.

The Fundamental Laws of Success



What eludes so many really isn't that difficult to understand. It's one of those fundamental laws of living that everyone ought to be aware of, and would be aware of if they were not so wrapped up in the never-ending search for excuses in life. This law is as strong as the law of gravity. The law that I am talking about clearly expresses the fact that we can change our world through our personal development. That's right we can change our world if we can change ourselves.
Perhaps inside, we all have an understanding of this law but we fail to acknowledge it because that would, in a direct way be putting the responsibility on us. We probably don't like the prospect of the work involved in changing ourselves through our personal development. We somehow kid ourselves into thinking it is easier to change the world around us without changing ourselves.
But then again, deep down inside, most of us do know that if we want better relationships, we have to work on getting along with other people. 
If we want more money, we need to improve our worth in the marketplace. If we want better health, we will have to live a healthy lifestyle. 
Deep down most of us do know that getting what we want must start with our own personal development.
When you think about it, would you really want it any other way? The system places control of our lives in our hands. We get to decide how our lives will turn out, and once we begin fulfilling our purpose in life, success will begin to pursue us. What a great system!
So, let me ask you about your personal development progress. Are you growing? What are you doing to become a more complete person? What aspect of your life would you like to improve? How would you improve the direction your life is taking? These questions suggest some of the goals you can set to help you get started on your personal development journey.

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Running a Business While Dealing With a Personal Loss

Running a Business While Dealing With a Personal Loss

Not many people know that I lost my two children on Jan. 20. After years of struggling with infertility and 27 hours of labor, Eric David and Alexis Rae arrived stillborn.
This post appeared on Entrepreneur
Loss is often unexpected. Even though I’d been admitted to the high-risk pregnancy wing a week earlier, I never thought I’d lose the twins. But even if a loss is expected, this doesn't make it any easier.
Entrepreneurs aren’t used to asking for help. Many are accustomed to being the heroes, solving everyone else’s problem and excellent in responding to an outside crisis. Yet some business leaders are not so great at caring for themselves and attending to their own needs.
Nine months later, I’m still grieving my loss. I have been answering the following question for myself and intrigued by the response of others: How can entrepreneurs keep a business running while suffering a tremendous loss? I have reached out to other entrepreneurs across the country who shared their wisdom and advice about handling this sensitive time in the following 10 steps.

1. Have a plan.


Last January when I was admitted to the labor and delivery area with contractions that were three minutes apart, I had the presence of mind to text members of my team. Luckily, we had already set up a maternity leave plan so my extended absence went pretty smoothly.
My team wrote to clients informing them that I’d be out for a period of time and notified them of our plan to keep moving forward with account activities. My employees encouraged me to take all the time off I needed and let them know if they could help in any way.
Having a maternity leave plan made it possible for me to focus on my life without having to worry about my business. Entrepreneurs can lose someone close to them at any time, so it’s best to have a plan ready for a last-minute extended absence from the business.
If the loss creeps up suddenly, have someone else at the organization develop and execute the plan. Determine which people will need to fill the shoes of leadership and delegate tasks to employees as needed.

2. Communicate with staff. 

Four years ago Agnes Huff, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Agnes Huff Communications, unexpectedly lost her husband of 41 years. She relied on her team to keep her business moving forward while she grieved.
“Your loss takes a toll on your staff, too, and it's important to share the journey with them," Huff says via email. "You still need to be the person and leader you were before the loss, but it's OK to be human and feel sad and alone, even with supportive staff.”  
Adds Huff: “If you are not so great at delegating, now is the time to perfect that skill. Take a chance and you will see that many of the tasks you assign to junior team members will be done well. They, too, can have the chance to rise up to the challenge.” 

3. Don’t put a timeline on grieving.

After the funeral service for my twins, I had a hard time rising from bed. A born entrepreneur, I never before had felt like nothing mattered. I told my team there was no sense in my returning to the office until work had meaning again.
My mother arrived to help out around the house the day after I had been admitted to the hospital. By late February, I realized I’d never get out of bed and rejoin society if she stayed and continued to care for my every need. So I sent her home and started working again, part-time at first and eventually full-time.

4. Seek expert help -- as long as it helps.


My husband and I started seeing a grief counselor who specialized in dealing with the loss of a child. I’ll admit that while it was tremendously helpful in the beginning, I didn’t get much out of the sessions after a couple weeks. We loved our counselor, and I’m sure the process can assist many people, but it just wasn’t right for my husband and me long-term.
Do not skip this step altogether. Consult a grief counselor and see how things go.

5. Reach out to community.

I’m a fairly private person. On Facebook, I’m only friends with people who are truly my friends or family members. But as soon as I knew I was going to lose the babies, I posted the details on Facebook.
The outpouring of support warmed my heart. Since January, I’ve also undergone three unsuccessful in vitro fertilization attempts and  friends and family have helped me keep my spirits up the whole way.
I feel that Americans are often taught to not burden others with problems, but I cannot imagine going through this without the support of my community. These individuals remind me how strong I am, even when I don’t feel like it's true.
Ana Rodriguez, founder of Miami-based Tribute Code, lost a son three days after childbirth. Although this was the most painful experience of her life, she made a promise to share her son’s life with others.
“In my desperate attempt to treasure my short time with him, I designed and developed a way that I could create an online memory-keeping tribute page for him with his photos, videos, music, life story and pretty much any detail that would allow me to always remember him and his life legacy, Rodriguez writes. She now has "the ability share it with family and friends that could not attend his birth.”

6. Figure out what will help.

For months, I wrote letters to my twins and posted them on Facebook. I’m a writer, so it felt natural. But there came a time when that no longer helped me progress forward, so I stopped the Facebook letters and moved on to something else.
In 2009, Valerie Staggs, president of Ryan William's Agency in West Palm Beach, Fla., lost her husband unexpectedly. 
“Running and writing were my two therapies after my husband's death," Staggs shares via email. "I would leave my son with my staff and take an hour before we closed for the day to run along the Intracoastal Waterway next to my office,” she recalls. “At night I wrote what eventually became a memoir about the year after my husband's death.”

7. Don’t apologize for feelings.


While I was coping with a miscarriage last month, I spoke with a potential business partner. She told me some pretty exciting things that normally would have set my heart racing and send my brain into overdrive, but I couldn't muster a reaction.
Knowing this, I apologized to her and explained my situation. “Don’t apologize,” she told me. “Don’t ever apologize.” Afterward, I realized she was right. As alone as I feel sometimes, everyone has experienced some type of loss, and anyone halfway decent will understand and sympathize.

8. Set achievable goals and work toward them.

Once I started to think clearly enough to not only show up for work but also actively participate, I became determined to land a handful of new clients. This was not an outrageous goal. I just wanted to add a few new accounts to give me something else to focus on.
Now it seems my company will have its best financial year since I founded the company in 2008.
Peter Dawyot, founder of the boutique advertising agency Publicus Community in Raleigh, N.C., learned of his mother’s passing while traveling on business to secure a contract with a client.
The big break "was happening at the most difficult time in my life emotionally,” Dawyot writes in an email. “Having this experience of a loss at such a pivotal time in the growth of my company was a tremendous challenge."
Dawyot continues, "But it also prepared me as a leader and showed me that by focusing on the day-to-day tasks at hand, I could cope, represent my clients to the fullest of our company’s abilities and still honor the memory of my mother.”
Despite Dawyot’s loss, the work his agency produced for the client following that difficult trip won an Addy Award and a gold medal in North Carolina's Sir Walter Raleigh Awards

9. Forgive.

I’ve often blamed myself for the loss of my children. After all, they were in my care -- inside my body. Of course, I know deep down it wasn’t my fault. But learning to forgive myself has been the hardest lesson of all.
Learn to forgive when a personal meltdown takes place. Allow for taking more breaks than previously. Forgive the more frequent bouts of anger. Forgive what comes along that didn’t used to happen.

10. Look at the past and also the future.


Entrepreneurs are all about looking ahead, but loss changes a person. Suddenly, there are regrets about the past. Staying in the present is difficult -- never mind thinking about the future.
Know that it’s OK to remember the past, whether with happy or sad thoughts.
But don’t get stuck in the past. Make plans for the future, even if small ones.
Entrepreneurs feel the need to be strong for family members, the business, employees and clients. Yet loss is unpredictable, and it's impossible to be completely prepared. Allow for being vulnerable to the pain experienced. Then it's possible to learn how to cope with loss and discover a momentum to become a stronger entrepreneur and leader for the future.
Have you experienced loss as an entrepreneur? How did you regain your strength?


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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

9 Ways to Show More Confidence in Business


Many entrepreneurs share specific qualities that are vital for starting and growing a business. They are passionate, resilient, focused on opportunities and comfortable with risks. But the quality that might have the most influence over an entrepreneur’s success is confidence.
This post appeared on Entrepreneur

You’re much more likely to approach a stranger about your latest business idea or effectively pitch a new client if you feel self-assured. Most of the activities an entrepreneur participates in every day (product launches, critical business decisions, even board meetings) require some level of confidence.  
If you want to achieve great success, you must believe that you are worthy. Here are some helpful hints for boosting your confidence in yourself and your business.

1. Package yourself for success.

When you look the part, you’ll carry yourself with more confidence. Dressing well communicates to others that you are knowledgeable, powerful and competent. When choosing clothing, remember to dress for the occasion and your client’s emotional comfort. Before any meeting with an important client, research his company’s image, office environment and internal values.

2. Correct your posture.

If your work requires you to sit in front of a desk for most of the day, chances are your posture has suffered. Don’t slouch when meeting with clients, customers or colleagues. Poor posture may make you appear insecure, lazy or disinterested. Try to make a conscious effort to roll your shoulders back and elongate your spine. Keep your head in a neutral position with your chin slightly raised.  

3. Do your best and worry less.

Entrepreneurs who lack self-assurance often stress about what others might think about them. Negative self-talk can quickly make you feel as though others are evaluating every error and misstep you make. Focus on all the things you do well and hire other experts to take care of the rest.

4. Focus on the future.

If you find yourself being caught up in the minutiae of daily business, remind yourself to think about your dreams for the future. If you take a few minutes to focus on your goals, you’ll be able to refocus on what’s most important to you and your business.

5. Embrace positivity.

We’re bombarded with negativity all day, every day. To counteract the negative energy around you --from what's conveyed in the daily news to the comments of grumpy colleagues -- fill your mind with positive thoughts. Show gratitude for small acts of kindness and be appreciative of those around you. If you make it a habit to be positive and grateful, it will become second nature.

6. Let go of small mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes so don’t expect to be perfect or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Try not to dwell on small errors. If you make a mistake with a client, don’t obsess over what you might have done wrong. Instead, take responsibility. Apologize, fix the mistake as soon as possible and move forward.

7. Continue to grow and improve.

A small accomplishment can help boost your confidence, even if it’s not entirely related to your business. Learn a new skill, take a class at a local university or read a book on a subject that interests you. If you’d like to excel at something specific such as playing golf or public speaking, invest in yourself and take lessons.

8. Schedule time to play.

If you put in 60 to 80 hours of work every week and never take time to rest, you’ll eventually push yourself toward burnout and sheer exhaustion. Make sure you set aside time to do the things you love in life. Escort your child or dog to the park, take walks during your lunch break or participate in an exercise class at a local gym. If you invest time in your hobbies, friends and family, you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to conquer your next challenge.

9. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

Whenever you find yourself in an epic struggle against self-doubt, call a trusted friend, advisor or colleague and get his or her best advice. Often an objective opinion will help you look at life differently, overcome your challenges and transform your attitude.
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Friday, 26 September 2014

Power Girl Fitness - 20 Minute TOTAL BODY Fitness Workout for Girls


http://powergirlfitness.com/ Fun and effective, Doctor-Designed Fitness taught by girls for girls, featuring 10 year old, National Level competitive dancer Jessy Lipke. Recommended for girls 8 years of age and older, at all levels of fitness. Exercise in your own home. No experience or equipment required. Progress through 3 levels of difficulty (beginner, advanced, elite) as you get stronger.

These young girls are awesome. They it make it so easy and fun to follow along to achieve a great total fitness workout.

Isabella
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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Power of Positive Thinking


Question: Why would you acknowledge racism? When you acknowledge the obstacle you actually give it power. 

So why not walk through it. Walk over it. Walk around it. 

Make your preoccupation that you possess the responsibility of owning your individuality.

To your success
Isabella
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Saturday, 20 September 2014

How To Unleash The Power Within Event Tour - Tony Robbins


Tony Robbins seminars have a reputation for being exciting, life-transforming, engaging, and something that every person interested in his/her personal development must experience at least once. However, is this all hype or can a Tony Robbins seminar really make a significant difference to the result you experience in your life?

The fact is that the information presented by Tony Robbins is always first class and state of the art. He prides himself on learning from the very best and presenting the same to his seminar audiences. In this respect, Robbins is a heavy proponent of Modeling, i.e. learning the precise way that someone outstanding in the field goes about his/her specific discipline, turning this into a precise system or receipt, and then teaching it to others.

The teachings that Tony Robbins presents do work and have worked for countless people the world over. They are based on timeless principles.

A Tony Robbins seminar can definitely work for you if you are prepared to do the work it takes!
FlexOffers



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Thursday, 18 September 2014

A "Feel Good" Short Video To Start Your Day

.
The Don't Quit Poem, feel motivated, inspired and feel good.

In today's busy world, all of us needs a reminder of what is truly important in our lives.


If you found this video inspiring it would be great if you could share it and join me on my mission to empower and inspire millions of people around the globe.

Together as one we can spread words of Encouragement, Inspiration & Empowerment .

Do you agree that our world could use a little more "Positivity" these days!  I believe it does.

So Together we CAN make a difference...

Truly Caring For Your Success!

Isabella
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Monday, 15 September 2014

6 Tricks To Becoming A More Positive Thinker

OPTIMISM

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -- William Shakespeare
When something goes horribly wrong, our emotions hardly feel like a choice. It's logical to feel upset, angry or guilty about a negative situation, so it only makes sense to react accordingly, right?
This post appeared on huffingtonpost.com.

Not entirely. Research suggests that our happiness is more of a choice than purely influenced by circumstance. And as the Shakespeare quote above implies, the nature of our situations may just be determined by how we categorize them. In other words, a negative attitude may appear to be the logical reaction, but that doesn't mean we have to adopt one.
It isn't hard to be one of those people who looks on the bright side of life, but it might take some practice. In honor of Positive Thinking Day, below are six tips for becoming a more glass-half-full kind of thinker.
Don't be a Pollyanna.
stress tips

Despite popular belief, positive thinkers don't always see the world through rose-colored glasses. Part of effectively adopting this mindset is training yourself to become a realistic optimist, says positivity expert Joffrey Suprina, Ph.D., dean of the College of Behavioral Sciences at Argosy University.
"Many people think that positive thinkers only look at the good side and ignore everything else," he tells The Huffington Post. "But if you go too much in that direction, there's a potential for harm as well. Positive thinkers really are individuals who recognize both the bright side and the negative, but they choose to focus their energy and time on the side that's going to promote the most positive outcome."
Practice awareness.
thinking

The difference between those who see the positive over the negative also lies in their observations. Suprina says positive-minded individuals squash the ANTs, or automatic negative thoughts, as soon as they start to appear.
"Most negative thoughts aren't conscious, we're not even aware of them," he explains. "Positive thinkers are aware of those messages they're telling themselves and the direction they're taking them. They don't go down that rabbit hole of negativity -- they catch it and reverse it around."
Avoid labeling your thoughts.
good grade

"In order to achieve this type of thought process, we also need to let go of judgment," says Suprina. "In our society we have this tendency to label something as either good or wrong [so quickly]."
One way to do this is through mindfulness. By engaging in the practice, you gain more recognition over what goes through your mind, and as a result, you're more capable of addressing it. "The work for anyone struggling with perpetual negative thinking is to recognize that these thoughts are just that -- thoughts, and not facts," licensed psychotherapist Courtney Gregory writes over at Greatist. "Then, it's time to challenge these automatic patterns of thinking. This is where mindfulness meditation comes in." Need some tips on how to start practicing mindfulness meditation? Try using this guide.
Feed your positivity.
happy woman

The only way to expand any skill set is to build habits that reinforce that behavior -- and that goes for positive thinking as well, Suprina says. In order to become a more positive person, he suggests doing activities that can help cultivate those emotions. Studies have shown that practices like meditation and journaling, as well as spending time with your friends and family, all have the ability to increase positive feelings. And positive feelings = positive thoughts.
Engage in uplifting conversations with yourself.
compliment

It'd be hard to find someone who didn't have at least one piece of self-criticism, positive thinkers included. The difference, Suprina explains, is they turn those negative statements into something actionable.
"Positive thinkers are sometimes going to have those negative self-talk statements that flash through their heads, but the difference is they're going to be aware of it and do something [about it]," he says. "They counter those thoughts and refocus themselves."
Surround yourself with positive people.
friends

Toxic situations are easily the biggest influencers on a negative mind. Research suggests that stress is indeed contagious -- and the more you surround yourself with it, the more likely you are to let it affect your thoughts.
On the flip side, studies show that happiness is also catching. In order to maintain their sunny disposition, positive thinkers only surround themselves with people and things that will help that attitude flourish, Suprina says. And as a result, their lives are a whole lot brighter.
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