how to introduce yourself in one simple step

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“Networking is one of the most challenging skills you may have to learn in the world of business. It can be an awkward experience, having the attention of a group of strangers focused on you, and trying to make a good first impression.

It’s an important moment. The person opposite you might be someone who could make or break your career. If you make a good impression, he or she might be able to refer your next big client, or have the influence to help you land that next big contract.

On the other hand, if you act like a doofus, you might alienate someone who might have been an otherwise important connection and relationship.

Instead of leading with what you do, lead with who you help. As in: ‘Hi, my name is Bernard, and I help companies identify and make the best use of their key performance indicators and big data’.

Done! You know who I am, what I do and, more importantly, whether or not I can help you or someone you know.”

Bernard Marr best-selling author


the 3 secret weapons of every successful entrepreneur

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“People often ask me how I became a successful entrepreneur? Those same people often want to know what personality traits are inherent in entrepreneurs who are successful. Okay folks I will let you in on a little secret; ENTREPRENEURS ARE CREATED NOT BORN!

I began my journey in the internet marketing business with a very limited knowledge of the internet. In fact, I had never used the internet for anything more than sending an occasional email. I did encounter frustrating obstacles and at times giving up seemed plausible. Within those fleeting moments, I realized that there are three attributes that will sustain an entrepreneur as they struggle to reach their goals. I have learned to develop and perfect these qualities because with them I become invincible. These are the key ingredients to your recipe for success!


Ever heard of a self fulfilling prophecy? You have to believe in yourself! If you truly believe that you can achieve your dreams then you will. If you surround yourself with positive things then you are creating the environment for success.


When things get difficult you can either give up or make a conscious decision to keep trying. It is the nothing ventured, nothing gained mentality that drives success! You have to constantly re-evaluate your goals and modify your plan of attack to fit them accordingly. Determination is a defining factor in EVERY entrepreneur!


No matter how optimistic or persistent you are some people will not be open to your vision. Rejection is a natural part of life. That should not impede the pursuit of your dream. I look at rejection as a learning process. What valuable information can I take away from this situation that will help me in the future?

The only person who can absolutely defeat you is yourself! All the others are only temporary set backs. So what are you waiting for? It is your turn to seize your dreams!”

Rebekah Prather

the true entrepreneur – 3 tips for your success

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“Most of you would agree that an entrepreneur is one who is a risk taker, a visionary, thinks outside the box, is passionate and determined, driven and courageous, strong work ethics, highly motivated and creative, a learner and a maverick. These are just the basic characteristics of an entrepreneur.

However, to be a true entrepreneur you must also be a charismatic leader with integrity, who knows how to listen and make decisions, is disciplined and a passionate servant, humble, driven, loyal, a good listener and influential. To be successful, you must be the combination of the two. In addition, you need to develop a procedure of leading that becomes the foundation of your business’ growth and prosperity.

Now, let’s look at why a lot of businesses fail and what you need to do in order to become successful. Here are the 3 tips for your success:

1_Change your mindset!

Most people fail because their mindset remains focused on steady paychecks, job security, benefits, promotions and time off. They get discouraged and give up. Being self-employed means changing your focus from an employee’s mindset, to focusing on being your own boss and doing things your way. Starting a business takes serious focus, day-in and day-out, all hours of the day. Don’t burn yourself out by doing all the work yourself. To be successful, look for others who are the best to do the work for you. Strive to use other people’s time and other people’s talents (OPT). The true entrepreneur will find the best employees or the best specialists to run their business.

2_Be a leader!

Get out of the mindset of having employees and start thinking about building a team. Employees compete with one another and have a win/lose mentality. Build a team that works together, helping one another for a common goal. Teamwork is not just something you teach. It is a lifestyle you live every day. It starts with you. A true leader will take responsibility for the success, as well as, the failure of the team. Learn how to communicate effectively with your people and develop great people skills if you really want be successful.

3_Adjust your focus!

Life has a way of bringing distractions in front of us. Distractions can prevent us from seeing what’s on the other side. If you want your business to be a success, you must look beyond the distractions in life and focus on the joy of gaining possession of your dreams. Allow your focus to bring out the best in you. Robert Kiyosaki has a great definition for focus. In his book entitled Midas Touch, he defines the word FOCUS as Follow One Course Until Successful. You need the strength of character and the ability to stay on course until successful.

When you apply these 3 tips in your life, you position yourself for success. You don’t have to be another statistic. You now have the power to be a success for everyone to read about and follow your example. Develop the qualities of being a true entrepreneur and live the life you were destined to live.”

 Matthew Habbis

how I became a morning person – 6 ways to hack your mornings

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“Here’s some of the things I’ve changed in my life to become a morning person.

1_A good morning starts the night before.

Get all the things you need ready the night before. It’s a double time saving as some morning-tasks take longer as your brain is still waking up. I get my laptop and gym-bag by the front-door ready to go and get my clothes in a pile ready to put on.

Mentally prepare for the next day by scanning your calendar. Knowing what’s on and where you need to be, removes any lingering questions from your head.

Clear your mind for sleep. Phil Jones, MD of Brother UK and president of Forever Manchester, told me he has an iPad by his bed to note down anything on his mind so he can wipe it from his conscious and have a good night’s sleep. He can then pick up his thoughts again in the morning.

Work out what helps you sleep. Getting to sleep is a challenge for almost all and so much has been written on how to get a great night’s sleep; what worked for me was simply reading, and occasionally herbal sleeping pills.

2_Improve the transition from fast asleep to wide awake.

Use a Fitbit as an alarm. It’s a wrist-based fitness tracker that’s comfortable enough to be worn in bed, and it includes a silent vibrating alarm. It’s a far more gentle way to wake up, with the added benefit of waking just you up, and not your partner.

Don’t hit the snooze button. A study in 1999 that involved Harvard Medical School found that the going back in to sleep mode disrupted your ability to concentrate.

Get a Wake Up light. These devices simulate sunrise, filling a bedroom with a glow around thirty minutes before wake-up.

3_Wake up earlier and make it count.

Reclaim the morning and get up earlier. There’s no feeling like being in the office at 7am and having a full 2 hours before everyone else comes online. Don’t aim too early at first; stagger yourself back slowly in twenty minute increments.

Don’t waste those extra hours in the office. Set yourself micro-goals that will impact on your day, with a 9am deadline. I want to wrap up my replies to urgent emails, set out my to-do list for the day and I like to include a social element. Catching up with a member of the team before 9am is a rewarding way to start the day.

4_Reward yourself every morning.

Do something you wouldn’t normally do each day, something that makes you happy.It’s a great to hack your morning to increase productivity, but if you can build in something that also makes you happy then you have a double win. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a donut at your desk, a smoothie and a newspaper in a quiet part of the office or something that has bacon in it.

5_Exercise to gain energy in the morning, not lose it.

Do it. Do it. Exercise first thing. Exercise in the morning gives energy, rather than taking it. I always hit the gym first thing: it gets my body and mind fully awake to hit the rest of the day.

Get someone else to motivate you. I love training alone, but I never put in as much work at the gym as when I’m with someone else.

Exercise gets you out the house earlier. There’s no need for a shower if I’m going to be caked in sweat in twenty minutes, so the only thing standing between me and leaving my house is putting on my gym kit.

6_Save coffee till later. Go water. Go juice. Go vitamins.

Ease the body in with something that isn’t coffee. Sleep is hard work for the brain, it needs to make sense of all the craziness of your day. When you wake up, don’t provoke it with coffee, but feed it with the hydration and nutrients it needs to get up and running.

There are other coffees. Early morning nutrition is vital.

Go Berocca. Just launched in the US, Berocca fills you with vitamins and gets you hydrated with water.

Have an awesome morning tomorrow!”.

Al Mackin co-founder & CEO of Formisimo and founder & chairman of theEword

the rules for being amazing

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“Risk more than is required. Learn more than is natural. Be strong. Show courage. Breathe. Excel. Love. Lead. Speak your truth. Live your values. Laugh. Cry. Innovate. Simplify. Adore mastery. Release mediocrity. Aim for genius. Stay humble. Be kinder than expected. Deliver more than is needed. Exude passion. Shatter your limits. Transcend your fears. Inspire others by your bigness. Dream big but start small. Act now. Don’t stop. Change the world.”

las 7 claves del aprendizaje

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“Las 7 claves del éxito en el aprendizaje.

1_Aprendes practicando. Aprendes de la experiencia. ¿Cómo sino aprendiste a usar la bicicleta? ¿Te sirvió la clase teórica?

2_El aprendizaje es personal. Nadie te enseña. Un profesor sólo te muestra el camino y tú lo recorres por ti mismo.

3_Aprendes colaborando con los demás. Aprendes de la experiencia de otros profesionales o de los compañeros. El aprendizaje puede, y debe ser, colaborativo.

4_Siempre estamos aprendiendo. No podemos evitarlo. El aprendizaje informal es importante en las organizaciones y en la vida en general.

5_Dedica tiempo a aprender. Cada día. La reflexión sobre los contenidos, las experiencias y las prácticas, es el aprendizaje. Necesita tiempo. No creemos en intensivos, sí en el trabajo diario.

6_Un curso debe incluir la interacción con personas.Un curso no son sus contenidos. La documentación es el guión de tu película. Tu eres el protagonista de la película de tu aprendizaje. Es una gran oportunidad, pero también una responsabilidad.

7_Comparte  tus aprendizajes. Tú también eres un maestro para los demás. Pruébalo y recibirás más de lo que des.”

how to apply lateral thinking

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“Pretend that you’re trapped in a magical room with only two exits. Through the first exit is a room made from a giant magnifying glass, and the blazing hot sun will fry you to death. Through the second door is a room with a fire-breathing dragon. Which do you go through?

The first door, of course; simply wait until the sun goes down. 

The answer to this puzzle is an example of what psychologists call ‘lateral thinking’. The most elegant solution presents itself when you approach the problem sideways, rather than answering it head-on. Though the question is presented as a binary choice —one option or the other— when you disregard the assumption that you must act immediately, the ‘best’ answer becomes obvious.

The trouble for most of us is that even if we’re ‘creative’, our default setting is ‘linear thinking’. But that default can be overridden.
Here are five steps to train yourself to think a little more laterally with any challenge:

1_List the assumptions
When confronted with a question (problem, challenge, etc.), write out the assumptions inherent to the question. In the case of the puzzle above, the list might include the following:

  • You want to get out of the room
  • You have to choose one of the two options
  • You have to do something now
  • Room One will kill you no matter what (or so we think!)
  • Room Two will kill you no matter what

2_Verbalize the convention
Next, ask yourself the question: how would a typical person approach this problem? Map out the obvious, straightforward solutions. Then ask yourself: what if I couldn’t go this route?

3_Question the question
Ask yourself: what if I could rewrite the question? Rearrange the pieces to form a new scenario. In the trapped room scenario, instead of “which do you go through?” you might rewrite the question to ask “will you go through one of them?” or “will these really kill you?” or “do you even need to go through one of them?”.

4_Start backwards
Often the route to solving a problem is revealed when you start with the solution first, and try to work backward. For example, asking the question: how would I get into a trapped room if it were adjoined by a room made out of a magnifying glass? By reframing the challenge in this way, you’ll notice that I stripped away the details that cause you to overthink the answer to the trapped room example. But in a real-life scenario, this question might sound more like “how could we renewably generate 10 gigajoules of electricity?” rather than “how could we make the city more energy efficient?” —a vague question that often results in straightforward, but ineffective answers like “get people to turn off their lights more”.

5_Change perspective
Finally, one of the reasons innovation often happens when outsiders enter a new industry, or when disparate groups bump into one another, is because fresh perspective are convention-ignorant. To kickstart lateral thinking, you might do well to pretend you were someone else trying to solve the problem. Say, if you were a magician, or a scientist, or a track and field star, how would they escape from the fire room? Or how would the fire-breathing dragon answer this question? Etc.

In our modern work culture, we generally cling to two conventions when solving problems: 1) put your head down and work relentlessly until fortune strikes; and 2) spend as little effort as possible. The problem with each of these philosophies is actually somewhat lazy. Mental work is more difficult than rote physical work, though we often fool ourselves into thinking that because you can see the latter, it’s just as or more valuable. Conversely, no one ever changed the world by cutting corners. It’s the combination of the two, hard work and mental flexibility, that leads to revolutions.”

Shane Snow journalist & cofounder of Contently

6 bad habits holding you back from success

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“We all have bad habits, but bringing your baggage along to the office can be the difference between soaring or stalling in your career. Below are six common workplace bad habits to break if you want to continue moving up the career ladder:

1_Being a lone wolf. Collaboration is the key to workplace success. You need to show you can play well with others. After all, managers and those in charge need to be able to lead a team.

2_Saying sorry. Are you apologizing too much in the office? Saying sorry about every little thing implies you are constantly making mistakes, and can undercut your position in the office and with managers.

3_Taking on every project. Do you get excited by new projects? Do you like jumping in with both feet and finding new challenges? These are great attributes to any employee, but it’s time to learn your limits. If you say yes to every single project, you might soon find yourself unhappy, burnt out, and badly overworked. The word “no” is a powerful thing. Be protective of your time and abilities, and know when one more task is just too many.

4_Being negative. Enthusiasm and passion are traits managers look for in superstar employees who get promotions and excel within the company. No one wants to promote someone who looks miserable to step into the office each day. Ask yourself what would make you wake up excited about your workday, and chase after your dreams.

5_Doing things the way they’ve always been done. Innovation is the lifeblood of any company, yet many workers just come into the office to punch their time cards and collect their paychecks. Lack of innovation in companies, it turns out, is a two-way street.

6_Being disorganized. Imagine how much of your work life is being frittered away every time you misplace a report under a pile of desktop debris. People walking past your cluttered workspace are judging you for your organizational chaos.

Your bad habits don’t have to hold you back from career success. If you tackle these habits head-on, you might just find yourself moving on up the ladder.”

Ilya Pozin serial entrepreneur, writer and investor

why you should listen, even if others don’t

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“Listening is the single smartest thing you or I can possibly do. Here’s why:

1_Listening is the greatest compliment you can give someone. Imagine you are a recent college graduate in your second month of a new job, and the CEO not only takes time to talk with you, but also asks you a series of questions. Two weeks later, he sees you again and clearly remembers what you told him. How does that make you feel? Now you know how you can make someone feel, just by listening to him or her.

2_Listening makes people like you. The more interest you show in what another person has to say, the better they like you. Listening intently makes them think you are smart, warm and perceptive.

3_Listening makes you smarter. By listening to others, you learn more about them. You learn important pieces of information, and you learn who knows what. You learn who you can trust.

4_Listening makes you shut up, inside and out. When you actually listen to another, you quiet that voice in your head that almost never shuts up. Plus, you actually stop talking… and most of us would do well to talk a bit less, especially when we are trying to learn.”

Bruce Kasanoff ghostwriter for entrepreneurs and executives

7 claves para impulsar nuestro nivel de felicidad

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“La verdad es que una gran parte de la sensación de felicidad viene controlada por nuestros genes, que determinan cómo funciona nuestro cerebro y qué concentración de hormonas hay en nuestra sangre. Pero hay un montón de cosas que tú y yo podemos hacer para ser más felices.

1_Gratitud. Es la forma más poderosa de potenciar nuestra felicidad. La gratitud nos hace ser más felices, mejora nuestras relaciones, nos hace mejores personas.

2_Pasa tu tiempo con personas a las que quieres. Las personas más felices son aquéllas con lazos sociales fuertes. Compartir con las personas a las que queremos las cosas grandes y pequeñas de la vida es esencial para ser felices.

3_Se generoso. Echar una mano a otros es la forma más egoísta de ser desinteresado. Dar nos hace más felices que recibir.

4_Céntrate en el aquí y ahora. La mejor forma de disfrutar el presente es evitando que nuestra mente viaje del pasado (recuerdos) al futuro (preocupaciones).

5_Sé ambicioso. A menudo hacemos lo que es más fácil, en vez de lo que es más importante. Piensa en grande y ponte objetivos ambiciosos que te desafían a salir fuera de tu zona de confort. Mira la vida como un proceso de aprendizaje y crecimiento; céntrate en crecer y disfrutar el camino.

6_Sé optimista. La gente que tiene una mentalidad positiva se siente más libre, más satisfecha y tienen menos problemas. El optimismo también mejora la productividad.

7_Evita dar prioridad a lo que es menos importante. Hemos de analizar cuáles son nuestras prioridades y cuáles son sólo decisiones que tomamos ‘obligados’ por las circunstancias.

Y por último, recuerda que muchas cosas pequeñas son más importantes que unas pocas gordas.”

Isabel Anthony Torres se ese uno

7 factores clave para la empleabilidad

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“Jordi Serrano y Santiago García definen qué cualidades genéricas se valorarán más en los colaboradores.

1_Adaptabilidad. Dispuesto a cambiar, pero profundiza en la especialización propia.

2_Flexibilidad. Preparado a cambiar de papel, de empresa o de tecnología.

3_Creatividad. Es de lo poco que no podemos enviar a China para que lo hagan. Muere la definición del puesto de trabajo. Se da una idea y debe desarrollarse. Todos y cada uno en la organización deben crear.

4_Habilidad social. Fuerte capacidad de interaccionar con la gente y capacidad de influir. Vender, hasta el freelance debe saber venderse.

5_Competencia digital. Capacidad de armar el propio entorno de aprendizaje digital, orientarse, comunicarse y cuidar su reputación —y la de la organización— en la red.

6_Iniciativa y pasión. La figura más clara es la del intraemprendedor. Colaborar con generosidad. Es una de las claves de la diferenciación competitiva.

7_Liderazgo. Se precisan líderes servidores, que den un paso atrás y sean capaces de construir contextos que apoyen la aparición de intraemprendedores.

>Jordi Serrano y Santiago García son autores del libro ‘El ocaso del empleo’ (Libros de Cabecera, 2013), exdirectivos de recursos humanos y miembros fundadores de Future4Work, una comunidad de consultores especializados en ayudar a las organizaciones a adaptar sus prácticas de gestión de personas a estos cambios de entorno.”

Article de Jordi Goula al suplement Diners de La Vanguardia (5 octubre 2014)



5 hábitos responsables de la mediocridad

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“Aquí tienes las 5 razones por las que las personas nunca alcanzan su máximo potencial:

1_Porque evitan el riesgo. Equivocarse duele, pero los errores nos permiten aprender y corregir nuestro curso en el futuro.

2_Porque temen lo que otros dirán. Muchas veces pensamos que tenemos que adaptarnos, encajar. Que ser diferente no es bueno. Tememos que el éxito nos haga ser envidiados, odiados o rechazados.

3_Porque creen que son más listos de lo que realmente son. Seguir invirtiendo en tu educación con tu tiempo y con tu dinero es fundamental para mantener tu mente alerta y preparada para los cambios que hay en tu entorno, tanto si los ves a tiempo como si sólo los sufres.

4_Porque no hacen las suficientes preguntas. Seguir cuestionando tus opiniones y creencias es la única forma de verdaderamente crecer.

5_Porque no apuntan lo suficientemente alto. Mucha gente tiene resultados mediocres porque no se plantean objetivos de ningún tipo, porque sus objetivos son puramente razonables o porque sus objetivos NO les preparan para GANAR, solo les preparan para NO PERDER.

(hay quién añadiría un sexto punto: Porque no siguen ninguna metodología).”

Isabel Anthony Torres se ese uno

never stop learning: how self-education creates a bullet-proof career

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“Here are some ways to ignite and sustain a passion for learning:

1_Start with heroes from the past
Having heroes (dead or alive) gives you something to live up to, a higher standard. You can pick someone in your field and always point toward them.

2_Take advantage of free educational resources
Technology has transformed us into excellent gatherers of information. From books, podcasts, blogs, online courses, and tools that provide access to whomever youre trying to connect with, you can study any subject.

3_Explore unrelated subjects
Say youre a graphic designer; why not study something like Greek architecture or fashion? Or lets say youre a fitness coach; why not study public speakers or read biographies on famous sports coaches?

4_Make learning a habit
A desire to learn is a fruitful asset that will fuel you throughout your life. Without this unquenchable desire to grow our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, we stagnate.

Learning is the lifeblood of a fruitful career. And it’s available to you right now.”

Paul Jun writer and author

schedule your life, too

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“Looking for work-life balance?
Reserve personal time in your schedule for activities that allow you to recharge and that add value, such as daily exercise, a weekly date or social night, family activities and vacation. You will not only have something to look forward to, but by reserving personal time you will have extra motivation to manage your time well so you do not have to cancel on others —or yourself!”

Doug Bend Bend Law Group

la dieta mental para tener un cerebro sano

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“El cerebro funciona con energía bioquímica, y si sabemos cómo funciona, podremos sacarle más partido. Pero al igual que cualquier otro músculo de nuestro cuerpo, necesitamos entrenarlo y esto solo se logra con una ‘dieta mental’, compuesta por distintas actividades, que no siempre incluimos en nuestro día a día.

David Rock, fundador del Neuroleadership Institute, junto con Daniel J. Siegel, describen lo qué tenemos que hacer para lograrlo: consta de siete actividades que hemos de realizar con frecuencia para así ser más creativos y desarrollar nuestro talento.

Refresca la mente y el cuerpo. Y ademàs, consolida la memoria (asienta piezas de información que hemos ido aprendiendo durante el día).

Gracias al juego, somos más flexibles en nuestras emociones y podemos ser más creativos. Esta es la explicación científica de por qué somos más permeables al aprendizaje cuando disfrutamos con lo que hacemos.

3_No focalizarse en nada concreto
Son momentos que nos ayudan a que luego seamos más eficaces en alcanzar un objetivo.

4_Desarrollar la introspección o vivir en el momento presente
Dar un paseo en plena naturaleza, escuchar una música tranquila o realizar algún tipo de meditación o relajación sin juicio; ayuda a rebajar el estrés y reduce la presión arterial y la tensión muscular.

5_Conectar con los otros
Dedicar tiempo a construir relaciones saludables, en las que disfrutemos de la compañía, de una buena conversación o de mantener un satisfactorio contacto físico. Además, gracias a la conexión con otras personas, somos capaces de mejorar nuestro sistema endocrino, cardiovascular e inmunitario.

6_Hacer ejercicio físico
Necesitamos hacer deporte para sentirnos sanos, pero el ejercicio físico nos ayuda también a que nuestro cerebro sea más plástico para el aprendizaje y la creatividad. Potencia además las actividades neuronales que le protegen del envejecimiento o de cualquier otro daño que podamos hacerle.

7_Focalizarse en objetivos
Para focalizarnos en las tareas de un modo más eficiente, es recomendable que nos centremos en alguna y que no caigamos en la multitarea, que nos roba tiempo y energía.

El cerebro funciona con energía; en la medida que lo alimentemos con las siete actividades fundamentales, podremos estar a pleno rendimiento.

 Pilar Jericó en El País Semanal

18 consejos para un futuro mejor

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“Quién vas a ser en el futuro depende de qué haces HOY. Aquí tienes 18 cosas que puedes hacer HOY que tu yo del futuro te agradecerá.

1_Comprométete a invertir en ti mismo

2_Decide quién eres en base a tus valores, no en base a tu carrera profesional

3_Decide ser esa persona cada día

4_Decide quién quieres ser en el futuro

5_Escribe tu definición del éxito

6_Toma decisiones conscientes de cómo quieres que te afecten las circunstancias

7_Mira hacia el futuro, no intentes cambiar el pasado

8_¡Nunca dejes de aprender!

9_No pospongas los cambios

10_Libérate del desorden en tu vida

11_No hagas algo que tu intuición rechace

12_Crea buenos hábitos

13_Focaliza lo importante y deja pasar oportunidades que no te interesan

14_Aprende a conectar con otras personas

15_Mejora tus habilidades de comunicación

16_No aceptes tener una mentalidad de escasez

17_Busca oportunidades para ayudar a otros cada día

18_Deja que otros te ayuden a ti

Coge esta lista y pasa a la acción; verás cómo los planetas empiezan a alinearse para ti.”

Isabel Anthony Torres se ese uno

9 principles to help you keep calm in chaos

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“It’s important that we understand the obstacles that we face and not run from them; it’s vital that we learn to transmute them into fuel to feed our fire.

1_Acknowledge that all emotions come from within. It is not outside forces that make us feel something, it is what we tell ourselves that create our feelings. A blank document, canvas, or unmarked to-do list is not inherently stressful—it’s your thoughts that are stressing you out.

2_Find someone you respect, and use them to stay honest. Whatever you do, there are individuals that you can learn from. You can study their story, works, techniques, successes and failures. You can listen to interviews or even reach out to them by sending an email. You can discover patterns of success and apply it to your life.

3_Recognize there is life after failure. No failure, no growth.

4_Read purposefully, and apply your knowledge. Reading prepares your mind, even helps you avoid foolish mistakes, but at the end of it all there must be the result of some action: a failure, maybe a success, or a lesson.

5_Challenge yourself to be brutally honest. It’s important to be mindful of the urges that obstruct us from showing up, engaging, committing, and being present.

6_Reflect on what you spend the most time on. In my own observations, people who do excellent work, who master their craft, do so because of their ability to prioritize.

7_Remind yourself: you weren’t meant to procrastinate. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.

8_Put the phone away and be present. It’s not that we live in an age of distractions, but rather an age where we are failing to teach and embrace mindful motives.

9_Remind yourself that time is our most precious resource. It provides a sense of urgency, to realize that you’ve lived a certain number of hours and the hours ahead of you are not guaranteed as the ones you have lived.

The way we lead our lives and do our work must embody the principles that we practice. Less comparing, criticizing, and consuming; more creating, learning, and living.”

Paul Jun writer and author

12 things bosses should do, but don’t

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“Here are 12 lessons Michael Scott from The Office probably never learned.

1_Be vulnerable. Bosses lead by example whether they realize it or not. Being vulnerable, admitting and working on your weaknesses and disclosing fears all create an environment where others do the same. If you want an organization powered by people who care, exhibit caring for both your employees and yourself.

2_Be an expert in your industry. Bosses are busy managing and leading, so they typically don’t have time to work on positioning themselves as experts in the industry. Creating content, speaking at conferences and building other brand vehicles takes time. However, your employees will respect you more, and you will be able to attract higher quality talent.

3_Clean the bathroom. Everything is your job. Let your team see you doing tasks that might surprise them. It helps them to see you less as a boss and more as someone who’s in it with them and willing do whatever to help make the organization successful. It also helps send the message that they should look around and do whatever they can to help the organization, even if it “isn’t in their job description”.

4_Find employees’ genius zones. As bosses, we get so focused on how to grow the business that we forget to grow the team. Growing a team properly is difficult and sometimes feels like you’re taking a step back or just treading water. Employees have genius zones where they work most efficiently, so developing or tapping into those should be first priority. As soon as your team is working at full speed, you can, too.

5_Offer validation. We all love to be validated. As a boss, I love to be validated. It’s built into our psyche and developed from childhood.
Validating people’s work and contributions isn’t hard to do, but people deeply appreciate it when you take the time to do it genuinely. I’m always amazed at how often/easily this is overlooked.

6_Know when to step aside. A good boss hires highly talented women and men and lets them do their thing. Knowing when to jump in the trenches versus when to step aside is a sign of a seasoned boss. As an entrepreneur and/or founder, this is especially important. You can’t grow a huge business if you’re in the weeds all the time.

7_Buy lunch. One of my favorite things to do is randomly buy lunch for my employees. Sure, we aren’t Google, and we don’t have a massive cafeteria, but I am able to do a surprise pizza (or other food of choice) day in the office about once a week. The cost of the gesture is usually not too high, and it gives everyone something to look forward to — quality time together.

8_Take a holiday. We all need to rest our minds and find inspiration away from our laptops and iPhones. Unfortunately, there’s always something important, the timing is never right or you “just need to do this thing.” It’s unhealthy for everyone, including the good boss who needs to recharge to stay good or even become great. American corporate culture doesn’t appreciate this, but it should.

9_Address problems quickly. Great bosses don’t let conflicts with clients or between colleagues fester. Create an environment where people feel free to bring issues to you early on and have the confidence that you’ll work proactively to address them.

10_Give credit where credit is due. A boss oftentimes wants to take credit for every success his or her company has. A great boss will give credit to a team member where it is due. This is a good way to keep your team motivated, and it really makes them feel valuable.

11_Get to know team members as individuals. Great bosses should take the time to truly get to know their employees. Doing so helps leaders understand each person as an individual (their dreams, fears, etc.), which can be tremendously helpful in structuring work in a way that capitalizes on unique strengths and intrinsic motivations. It also helps leaders give the most meaningful feedback to each employee along the way.

12_Give feedback outside of performance reviews. Managers should not wait for performance reviews to give positive feedback or constructive criticism. Employees can adjust their performance and style faster with more input.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Open Me and Ciplex

the best leaders make unforgettable first impressions

improve yourself

“Here are 14 things every leader should consider if they want to make an unforgettable first impression.  Read them carefully and ask yourself which ones you are doing and which ones you still need to introduce.

1_Warm greeting. Being nice, attentive and making good eye contact is what is expected. A leader’s ability to find areas of commonality with their employees by telling stories that humanize their persona increases their likeability factor.

2_Polished. Employees respect a leader that projects strong executive presence.  Beyond presence, they want body language that is non-threatening and a polished demeanor (everything from manner of speaking and actions towards others to dress code and grooming). When you are respectful towards others, employees are proud to be associated with you – whether in front of clients or family and friends.

3_Friendly; engaging. Not every leader comes across as friendly. In fact, they may be so focused on work to the point of social awkwardness. Leaders that genuinely care about their employees and make an effort to engage with them —starting with a powerful first impression— will go a long way.

4_Represents their authentic self. Being authentic is about consistently representing who you are and what you stand for — in everything you do and how you do it. When leaders can be themselves, others feel free to do the same without the pretense of asking permission.

5_Good listeners. The best leaders listen to their employees because they want to learn about them and from them. Employees that genuinely believe that their opinions and points of view matter to their leaders are the ones that fully engage.

6_Are interested in what matters to employees. Beyond listening, leaders that encourage employees to ask them the tough questions will quickly begin to build camaraderie and trust with their employees. Open-minded leaders that are interested in what matters to employees and make them feel safe to express the truth are the ones that build loyalty with their workforce.

7_Embrace differences and acknowledge accomplishments. Leaders that embrace individuality and differences in thought and know how to strategically apply them to stimulate growth, innovation and new opportunities for the business are widely accepted by their employees.

8_Knowledgeable. This may seem obvious, but never assume that the leader knows the dynamics of the business as much as you might think. Respected leaders are students of the business, constantly studying and looking for ways to improve, adapt and course correct to market conditions.

9_Accessibility. Leaders that are accessible inspire their employees and cultivate an entrepreneurial attitude that helps the organization fuel its competitive advantage.

10_Sense of humor. A leader that brings a positive uplifting attitude fuels excitement in the workplace. When a leader has a sense of humor, it balances the intensity that exists in a high-performance organization.

11_Vulnerability. Leaders leave a positive first impression when they don’t flaunt their power and influence. Vulnerability is a powerful driver of employee engagement that most leaders are too proud to reveal. We must not forget that everyone has problems, they are just packaged differently.

12_Consistency. A leader with a consistent style and approach towards others and the business is a mature leader who knows how to work well with others and is effective under pressure and in the trenches. A consistent leader is also the one that knows herself well enough to invest in the development of her personal brand – and has grown confident enough to live it every day. Consistency is important in a leader’s ability to earn the trust and loyalty of others.

13_Lead by example. Too many leaders observe the game, rather than activate themselves into  it.  When you lead by example, you set the tone for the organization and employees will respect you more for your ability and the energy you bring – rather than just your job title.

14_Motivational. Leaders today must be motivational and inspire hope. With the uncertainty that seems to never go away, employees need a leader that will help get them past the finish line. Employees enjoy working with leaders that know how to activate the best in everyone and will go above the call of duty for them.

What will make these 14 unforgettable first impressions even more powerful is your ability to continue applying them – consistently and continuously.”

Glenn Llopis for Forbes

the 7 things successful people never say

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“Here are the seven things you should strike from your workplace vocabulary if you want to achieve the success you richly deserve:

1_“That’s not in my job description”. When you accepted your current position, you had a good idea of what the responsibilities and workload of the role would entail. Throughout the months or years since you settled into your job, however, your role has expanded and changed shape. Some of these changes have probably been good, while others have made you wish for simpler times. When a boss or manager piles another responsibility on your already sore shoulders, it might be tempting to pull out this classic gem of work avoidance.
The better option, however, is to schedule a time to talk to your boss about your role. A specific conversation about your place in the organization is a good time to bring up the particulars of your job description, not when you’re asked to get something accomplished. No matter how stressed you are or how valid the complaint, dropping this phrase only makes you look lazy and unmotivated.

2_“It can’t be done”. Throwing in the towel makes you look like a quitter — and quitters don’t get promoted. Instead of giving up on a project entirely, frame your response in terms of alternative ways to get the work accomplished. Very little is truly impossible, and most managers and executives want forward-thinking problem solvers to climb the corporate ladder. If you offer solutions instead of giving up, you’ll be seen as a valuable member of the team.

3_“It’s not my fault”. No one wants to work with a blame shifter. After all, it’s just a matter of time before this person eventually shifts the blame onto you. Take ownership of your mistakes instead of pointing out where others have fallen short. Admitting to a mistake shows character and the ability to learn and grow from problems. Pointing the finger at someone else strongly implies you’ll never truly learn from your errors.

4_“This will just take a minute”. Unless something will literally take only 60 seconds, don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Saying something will only take “a minute” also has the side effect of undermining your efforts. Most likely the reason the particular task won’t take long is due to the benefit of your professional experience and acumen. By saying it will “just” take a minute, you’re shortchanging what you bring to the table.

5_“I don’t need any help”. The rugged lone wolf type might be the hero of most action movies, but they’re unlikely to become the hero at your company. You might think you can go it alone on a project or in your career, but teamwork is essential. Being able to work with others is the hallmark of a good leader; you’re unlikely to climb your career ladder always flying solo.

6_“It’s not fair”. Life isn’t fair, and often your career won’t be as well. Instead of complaining, you should look for specific and actionable workarounds to the problems you encounter. Is it unfair a coworker got to run point on the project you wanted? Maybe, but instead of complaining, work harder and go the extra mile. Finding a solution will always be preferable in your professional life to whining about a problem.

7_“This is the way it’s always been done”. Doing things the way they’ve always been done is no way to run a business. Just ask some of the companies which toed the line, accepted the status quo, and went under. Adapting to an ever-changing marketplace is really the only way to survive in an economy constantly being disrupted by the next big thing.
You don’t have to be a slave to the trends, but you also can’t stick your head in the sand and hope things go back to normal. Instead, come up with creative solutions to new problems and innovate, and you’ll soon be in the driver’s seat taking your organization into the future.

Everyone wants to be successful, so make sure your words aren’t holding you back. These seven phrases are career kryptonite — by avoiding them, you can fly into your future and become a successful superstar.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Open Me and Ciplex

why your life needs a mission statement

improve yourself

“Not having a direction is the number one mistake we make in our careers and personal lives. Management consultant and coach Allison Rimm, author of The Joy of Strategy: A Business Plan for Life, says it’s possible for all of us to find joy in our business and personal lives, but to do so requires strategy.

Forming a personal mission statement means identifying your purpose:

1_Fantasize about your perfect day or week
Make a list of all the things you need in your day to make it joyful. Perhaps it’s as simple as spending time outdoors every day or seeing your kids off to school.

2_List your passions
Finding joy in your career and life means knowing what you’re passions are. If you have trouble coming up with your list of passions, think about the best experiences you’ve had, what you do when you’re procrastinating, or what you daydream about.

3_Identify your talents
Conduct your own SWAT analysis by listing all of the things you’re good at. If you find it difficult to conduct your own talent inventory, ask others around you to tell you what they think are your greatest strengths. Another way to find your talents is to examine your past accomplishments. Think of something you’re particularly proud of–a stellar presentation you made, a major donor you secured for a fundraiser, or a party you organized that people are still talking about two years later. Next, examine the skill sets that made you successful in that instance. Creating a mission that aligns with your natural talents means success will likely come easier.

4_Consider core values
Your personal mission statement must reflect the things that matter most to you. These guiding principles help you to set priorities.

Armed with your new mission statement, you can then begin to put together a strategic plan for how you’re going to get to where you want to go. Some hang their mission statement on their wall to remind themselves every day of what matters most to them and to help keep them on the right track.”

Lisa Evans freelance writer

7 hábitos de la gente con alta inteligencia emocional

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“Cada vez es más reconocido que la inteligencia emocional es un factor importante de nuestro éxito y felicidad, no sólo en el trabajo, en todas las áreas de nuestra vida. Aquí tienes 7 hábitos que publicó el sitio Fast Company para saber si eres una persona con alta inteligencia emocional o para aprender y seguir estos pasos.

1_Se concentran en lo positivo. Sin ignorar las malas noticias, las personas emocionalmente inteligentes han hecho una decisión consciente de no gastar demasiado tiempo y energía que se centra en los problemas. Buscan soluciones a un problema, se concentran en lo que son capaces de hacer y lo que está dentro de su control.

2_Se rodean de gente positivaLas personas con mucha inteligencia emocional no pasan tiempo escuchando a los quejosos y tienden a evitar a las personas negativas (son una pérdida de energía). Pasan tiempo con otras personas que son positivas y se ven en el lado brillante de la vida. Tienden a sonreír y reír mucho y atraer a otras personas positivas. Su calidez, apertura y actitud hace que otros los vean más dignos de confianza.

3_Son capaces de poner límites y ser firmes cuando es necesario. Aunque su carácter amistoso puede hacer que parezcan presa fácil para algunos, son capaces de poner límites y hacerse valer a sí mismos cuando es necesario. Demuestran la cortesía y consideración, pero se mantienen firmes al mismo tiempo. No hacen enemigos innecesarios. Piensan antes de hablar y se dan tiempo para calmarse si sus emociones parecen llegar a ser abrumadoras. Respetan sus tiempos y los compromisos y saben cuándo tienen que decir No.

4_Piensan hacia adelante y están dispuestos a dejar atrás el pasado. Aprenden de sus errores del pasado y lo aplican a sus acciones en el futuro. Nunca ven el fracaso como permanente.

5_Buscan formas de hacer la vida más divertida, feliz, e interesante. Ya sea en su lugar de trabajo, en casa, o con amigos; saben lo que los hace felices y buscan oportunidades para ampliar el disfrute. Sienten placer y satisfacción al ver a los demás felices y realizados, y hacen todo lo posible para alegrar el día de alguien más.

6_Eligen sabiamente la forma en que gastan su energía. Son capaces de sobrepasar los conflictos donde se involucran con los demás. No se aferran a la ira por lo que otros consideran de ellos, en lugar de eso, usan el incidente para crear conciencia sobre la forma de NO dejar que suceda de nuevo. ‘Si me engañas una vez, la culpa es tuya, si me engañas dos veces, la culpa es mía’, es su lema. Perdonan, no olvidan y es improbable que se aprovechen de ellos nuevamente en el mismo conjunto de circunstancias.

7_Aprenden continuamente y crecen hacia su independencia. Son aprendices de por vida, están en constante crecimiento, evolución, abiertos a nuevas ideas y siempre están dispuestos a aprender de los demás. Al ser pensadores críticos, están abiertos a cambiar de opinión si alguien presenta una idea mejor. Están abiertos a las ideas de los demás y la recolección continúa de nueva información, en última instancia, confían en sí mismos y su propio juicio para tomar la mejor decisión para ellos mismos.”


15 daily habits of the rich and successful

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“Want to grow rich? Why not follow the example of wealthy people by doing some of the very same things they do? You never know, these habits could be the key to your future success — at least, it’s worth a try!

1_Wake Up Early: You’re probably groaning at the very thought of it! But apparently, rich people are way more likely to do it than the rest of us.

2_Keep a To Do List: According to study author Tom Corley, “The daily To Do list is one of the tools the wealthy use to avoid procrastination, accomplish their goals, and maintain control over their day. Wealthy people understand that you cannot become wealthy if you procrastinate”.

3_Read: Love to read? If so, you’re in fine company! 86% of rich people love reading, compared to only 26% of poor people. And most of them make a habit of it. A staggering 88% of rich people read for 30 or more minutes each day — compared to a mere 2% of poor people.

4_Watch Less TV: If you’re one of the world’s richest people, you’re less likely to watch much TV. Maybe that’s because you’re too busy building and maintaining your wealth. Or maybe it’s just not a priority. 65% of the rich limit their TV watching to 1 hour or less per day. Only 24% of the poor do the same.

5_Avoid Reality TV: And when wealthy people do watch TV, it’s less likely to be the reality variety that they turn to. Only 10% watch reality TV — compared to 77% of poor people.

6_Get Your Kids to Volunteer: Giving back is something many rich people take seriously — as is teaching their children to do the right thing. Around 70% of rich people make their kids volunteer for at least 10 hours per month. Only 3% of poor people find themselves able to do the same.

7_Write Down Your Goals: How do the rich achieve so much? Maybe it’s because they’re so goal-oriented. They not only have goals — they also make a point of writing them down. Around 67% of the world’s wealthiest people put their goals into writing, compared to just 17% of the poorest.

8_Focus on Accomplishing a Specific Goal: The well off not only have a list of goals — they prioritize them and work hard to achieve them. A high 80% of wealthy people focus on accomplishing a specific goal. That compares to just 12% of poor people.

9_Listen to Audiobooks: Many rich people find an alternative way of squeezing extra reading time into their day. Around 63% of the wealthy listen to audiobooks during their commute. But only 5% of poor people are believed to do the same.

10_Limit Junk Food: Junk food might be cheap, but it’s also horrible for your health. Perhaps that’s why 70% of rich people limit junk food calories to 300 per day — whereas 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories each day.

11_Exercise: Most rich people place a high value on physical fitness. Around 76% of the wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days per week — compared to just 23% of the poor. Why? According to Tom Corley, “Wealthy people are healthy people. To wealthy people being healthy is about making more money. If they’re healthy they have fewer sick days, they’re exercising, they have more energy, they maintain health their entire lives so they can work longer careers”.

12_Network: Rich people realize the power of networking. 79% of the wealthy network for 5 or more hours each month. Poor people are less likely to put a lot of time into networking — only 16% say they spend over 5 hours doing so per month.

13_Encourage Your Kids to Read Non-Fiction: Rich people may be more likely to instill the importance of reading non-fiction into their children. Approximately 63% of rich people encourage their kids to read at least 2 non-fiction books each month — compared to just 3% of poor people.

14_Believe Good Habits Create Opportunity: A high proportion of rich people believe in establishing and maintaining good habits. Roughly 84% of the wealthy believe good habits create opportunity. Only 4% of the poor believe that. Conversely, 76% of the rich think bad habits have a negative impact. Only 9% of poor people are inclined to agree with them.

15_Believe in Lifelong Educational Opportunity: A high percentage of wealthy people see the benefits of a lifetime of learning. Roughly 86% believe in lifelong educational self-improvement — whereas only 5% of poor people can say the same.”


the difference between successful and very successful people

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“We’ve been sold on a heroic ideal of the uber-man and super-women who kill themselves saying yes to everyone, sleeping four hours a night and straining to fit everything in. How often have you heard people say, “I am so busy right now!” But it almost seemed like a back-door brag. Below are a few of the myths of success that hold us back from becoming very successful.

Myth 1: Successful people say, “If I can fit it in, I should fit it in.”
Truth: Very successful people are absurdly selective.

As Warren Buffet is credited with having said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”

Myth 2: Successful people sleep four hours a night.
Truth: Very successful people rest well so they can be at peak performance.

In K. Anders Ericsson’s famous study of violinists, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell as the “10,000 hour rule,” Anders found that the best violinists spent more time practicing than the merely good students. What is less well known is that the second most important factor differentiating the best violinists from the good ones was actually sleep. The best violinists averaged 8.6 hours of sleep in every 24 hour period.

Myth 3: Successful people think play is a waste of time.
Truth: Very successful people see play as essential for creativity.

Just think of Sir Ken Robinson, who has made the study of creativity in school’s his life’s work. He has observed that instead of fueling creativity through play, schools actually kill it.

Myth 4: Successful people are the first ones to jump in with an answer.
Truth: Very successful people are powerful listeners.

As the saying goes, the people who talk the most don’t always have the most to say. Powerful listeners get to the real story. They find the signal in the sound. They listen to what is not being said.

Myth 5: Successful people focus on what the competition is doing.
Truth: Very successful people focus on what they can do better.

The “winningest coach in America” is Larry Gelwix, the former Head of the Highland High School rugby team. His team won 418 games with only 10 losses in over 36 years. One of the key questions he challenged his players to ask was “What’s important now?” He didn’t want his players getting distracted with what the other team was doing. He wanted them to play their own game.”

Greg McKeown author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

7 habits of incredibly happy people

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“There are lots of studies that aim for finding the right behavior that leads to a happier life. Below, we take a look at some of the more actionable advice.

1. Be busy, but not rushed
Research shows that being “rushed” puts you on the fast track to being miserable. On the other hand, many studies suggest that having nothing to do can also take its toll. The porridge is just right when you’re living a productive life at a comfortable pace. Meaning: you should be expanding your comfort zone often, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. Easier said than done, but certainly an ideal to strive towards.
We all have obligations, but a comfortable pace can only be found by a person willing to say no to most things, and who’s able to say “Yes” to the rightthings.

2. Have 5 close relationships
Having a few close relationships keeps people happier when they’re young, and has even been shown to help us live longer, with a higher quality of life. True friends really are worth their weight in gold. But why five relationships? The number isn’t the important aspect here, it is the effort you put into your relationships that matters.
Studies show that even the best relationships dissolve over time; a closeness with someone is something you need to continually earn, never treat it as a given. Every time you connect with those close to you, you further strengthen those bonds and give yourself a little boost of happiness at the same time. The data show that checking in around every two weeks is the sweet spot for very close friends.

3. Don’t tie your happiness to external events
Self-esteem is a tricky beast. It’s certainly good for confidence, but a variety of research suggests that self-esteem that is bound to external success can be quite fickle. For example, certain students who tied their self-esteem to their grades experienced small boosts when they received a grad school acceptance letter, but harsh drops in self-esteem when they were rejected.
Tying your happiness to external events can also lead to behavior which avoids failure as a defensive measure. Think of all the times you tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter that I failed, because I wasn’t even trying.”  The key may be, as C.S. Lewis suggests, to instead think of yourself less, thus avoiding the trap of tying your self-worth to external signals.

4. Exercise
It will make you feel better if you stick with it. Body image improves when you exercise (even if results don’t right away). And eventually, you should start seeing that “exercise high” once you’re able to pass the initial hump. The release of endorphins has an addictive effect, and more exercise is needed to achieve the same level of euphoria over time. So make it one of your regular habits.

5. Embrace discomfort for mastery
Research has suggested that mastering a skill may be just as stressful as you might think. Researchers found that although the process of becoming proficient at something took its toll on people in the form of stress, participants reported that these same activities made them feel happy and satisfied when they looked back on their day as a whole. The rewards of becoming great at something far outweigh the short-term discomfort that is caused earning your stripes.

6. Spend more money on experiences
Truly happy people are very mindful of spending money on physical items, opting instead to spend much of their money on experiences.  “Experiential purchases” tend to make us happier, at least according to the research. In fact, a variety of research shows that most people are far happier when buying experiences vs. buying material goods.

Here are some reasons why this might be:

  1. Experiences improve over time. Experiences can be relived for years.
  2. People revisit experiences more often. Experiences are recalled more often than material purchases.
  3. Experiences are more unique. Experiences are often immune to comparisions as they are unique to us.
  4. We adapt slowly to experiences. Experiences take longer to ‘get used to’.
  5. Experiences are social. Experiences get us out of our comfort zone, out of our house, and perhaps involved in those close relationships we need to be happy.

7. Don’t ignore your itches
This one is more anecdotal than scientific, but perhaps most important; when The Guardian asked a hospice nurse for the ‘top 5 regrets of the dying’, one of the most common answers was that people regretted not being true to their dreams.

As they say, there are seven days in the week, and ‘someday’ isn’t one of them.”

Gregory Ciotti is the author of Sparring Mind

let’s stop the glorification of busy

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“Here are ten tips from Arianna and Thrive for creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder:

1. Redefine success.There’s no prize for working the most hours per week or making the most money.

2. Avoid burnout, stress and depression. Working harder doesn’t necessarily mean better results–in fact it can have the exact opposite effect.

3. Nurture your well-being. Make time to take care of yourself in terms of exercise, meditation, music, art, and family life–this isn’t selfishness, it’s good sense.

4. Sleep your way to the top. Get more sleep. Not getting enough sleep is associated with health risks and higher stress levels.

5. Take a digital detox. When’s the last time you turned off the cellphone and focused 100% on the people you’re with?

6. Keep learning. Learning shouldn’t stop when you’re out of school–indeed, that’s when learning may truly begin.

7. Listen to your inner voice. Listen to your gut feelings and be in touch with the perspective of your own thoughts.

8. Act like a child. Every action doesn’t have to advance your ability to earn money or exercise power.

9. Find solitude. Meditation helps relieve stress and helps us tap our inner voice. If you don’t like being with yourself, how can you expect others to like being with you?

10. Give back to your community. Being a compassionate person and helping others can help solve some of society’s biggest problems. Find a way that you can share your unique talents or time with a local shelter, an elderly home, or at your children’s school.

The question is: are you ready to stop the glorification of busy and start redefining success?”

Guy Kawasaki  author, speaker, investor and business advisor

5 things super lucky people do

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“Follow these five tips and you can be as lucky as anyone, no four-leaf clover or rabbit’s foot required.

1_Play to your strengths. So much time and energy is wasted trying to do things you probably don’t do very well. Author and Inc. columnist Lewis Schiff learned from his survey of incredibly wealthy people that they got that way by focusing only on what they do best. Everything else you can delegate, or you could find a partner to compensate for your weaknesses. That way, you will shine where you excel and attract opportunity. Good things come to those who emanate success.

2_Prepare in advance. Unlucky people often get that way because they’re reactive and unprepared for whatever comes. People who have stored food and water in their basements aren’t lucky to find themselves prepared when disaster strikes, they used forethought to make sure they had what they might need just in case. I personally scoff at this horrible recent trend of disparaging business plans because things change constantly. The point of a business plan isn’t to follow it no matter what, it’s to establish a structure for smart decision making that allows you to succeed no matter what the future might bring.

3_Start early. Some people seem to have more hours in the day. I myself don’t need more than six hours of sleep and am constantly finding ways to be more efficient. I use that extra time to start my projects well in advance. My rewards aren’t dependent upon the time of day that I take action. (This column is being written at 3 a.m.) But it does matter that I’m beginning to explore projects I expect to complete months or years from now. So many people only want to put their energy into things that provide immediate gratification. The most fortunate people I know are the ones who planted seeds early and now reap that harvest of happiness.

4_Connect with as many people as possible. The key to success is access to opportunity. Access comes from influence. If you’re influential, people will come and bring opportunities to you. The bigger your following, the more powerful your influence. The only way to build a big following is to provide value to many people. You have to provide the sort of value that will cause people to spread your thoughts far and wide, attributing credit to you when they do. Are you creating that kind of value? If not, figure how you can.

5_Follow up. Opportunities often come and go because people don’t respond in a timely manner. I’m always amazed when people ask me for something and I respond only to never hear from them again. Three months ago, a young woman asked me if I hire interns or assistants. I replied immediately saying I’m always willing to consider hiring people who bring value to my work. I asked her how she thought she could enhance what I could do. I never heard from her again. Perhaps she now considers herself unlucky that opportunity doesn’t come her way. I believe that following up is often more powerful and impressive than the act of initiating.

May you be so lucky to have people in your life that follow up.”

Kevin Daum the best-selling author of ‘Video Marketing for Dummies’


6 secrets of highly optimistic people

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“Everyone wants to be an optimist, but it’s not always easy when life gets you down. While some folks a naturally sunny disposition, most people have to work to maintain an optimistic viewpoint. It’s worth the work, however, since optimists enjoy better health and even do better in their careers.

1) Optimists are passionate about their work. Do you need to drag yourself to work every morning? Optimists don’t, because they spring out of bed excited to face the day. This is because optimists have chosen to pursue jobs and careers for which they have real, genuine passion.

2) Optimists focus on the good… even though it’s far easier to focus on the bad.

3) Optimists practice mindfulness. It’s easy to get stressed and overwhelmed when you’re always on-the-go. Especially in today’s work reality when we’re reachable at all hours thanks to email, smartphones, and cloud computing. You need to take some “you time” in order to get refocused and let go of negative emotions.

4) Optimists dream big. Dreaming is believing — and if you reach for the stars, you actually will achieve better results.

5) Optimists journal. As we’ve mentioned, it’s all too easy to focus on the negative events in our lives and mentally skim over the positive. Journaling can help you focus on dispelling negative energy and focusing on upbeat emotions.

6) Optimists surround themselves with good vibes. If you surround yourself with supportive people and things you enjoy, you’ll improve your mood and your day. The next time your attention wanders and you find yourself looking at a picture of a piglet, don’t feel so bad about your lost productivity. Research has shown looking at pictures of baby animals actually makes you more productive.

The secret to optimism is that it doesn’t just happen — highly optimistic people have to work on maintaining their sunny attitudes. If you want to get ahead in your career, improve your relationships, and just plain enjoy your professional life, it’s time to give optimism a try. Highly optimistic people aren’t just happier, they’re also more successful.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Open Me and Ciplex

para vivir más, siéntese menos

improve yourself

“Al margen de que se haga o no deporte (ya sea mediante 30 minutos de actividad física moderada todos los dias o bien con 20 minutos de actividad intensa tres dias a la semana, las recomendacions de actividad física mínima para una vida saludable), levantarse de la silla cada veinte minutos para estirarse y dar una pequeña vuelta reduce los daños del sedentarismo.

Hay muchas evidencias de que la inactividad es diferente del comportamiento sedentario (aunque no seas físicamente inactivo si puedes tener un comportamiento sedentario), y pasar ocho o diez horas al día sentado o reclinado tiene efectos nocivos para la salud, independientemente de la actividad física de las personas.”

artículo de Mayte Rius en el suplemento ES- de La Vanguardia

42 practical ways to improve yourself

improve yourself

“I’ve compiled 42 of my best tips which might be helpful in your personal growth journey. Some of them are simple steps which you can engage in immediately. Some are bigger steps which takes conscious effort to act on. Here they are:

  1. Read a book every day. Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to. What are some books you can start reading to enrich yourself? Some books I’ve read and found useful are Think and Grow Rich, Who Moved My Cheese, 7 Habits, The Science of Getting Rich and Living the 80/20 Way. I’ve heard positive reviews for The Tipping Point, Outliers and The Difference Maker, so I’ll be checking them out soon.
  2. Learn a new language. As a Singaporean Chinese, my main languages are English, Mandarin and Hokkien (a Chinese dialect). Out of interest, I took up language courses in the past few years such as Japanese and Bahasa Indonesian. I realized learning a language is a whole new skill altogether and the process of acquainting with a new language and culture is a totally a mind-opening experience.
  3. Pick up a new hobby. Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn? Examples are fencing, golf, rock climbing, football, canoeing, or ice skating. Your new hobby can also be a recreational hobby. For example, pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc.  Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.
  4. Take up a new course. Is there any new course you can join? Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills. It doesn’t have to be a long-term course – seminars or workshops serve their purpose too. I’ve been to a few workshops and they have helped me gain new insights which I had not considered before.
  5. Create an inspirational room. Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day. In the past, I didn’t like my room at all because I thought it was messy and dull. A few years ago, I decided this was the end of it – I started on a “Mega Room Revamp” project and overhauled my room. The end result? A room I totally relish being in and inspires me to be at my peak every day.
  6. Overcome your fears. All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears  keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow. I always think of fears as the compass for growth. If I have a fear about something, it represents something I’ve yet to address, and addressing it helps me to grow.
  7. Level up your skills. If you have played video games before especially RPGs, you’ll know the concept of leveling up – gaining experience so you can be better and stronger. As a blogger, I’m constantly leveling up my writing skills. As a speaker, I’m constantly leveling up my public engagement abilities. What skills can you level up?
  8. Wake up early. Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life. I feel it’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already set to continue the momentum and proactively live out the day. Seth recently wrote a waking up early series which you should check out to help cultivate this habit.
  9. Have a weekly exercise routine. A better you starts with being in better physical shape. I personally make it a point to jog at least 3 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time. You may want to mix it up with jogging, gym lessons and swimming for variation.
  10. Start your life handbook. A life handbook is an idea I started 3 years ago. Basically, it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for your life. I started my life handbook since 2007 and it’s been a crucial enabler in my progress.
  11. Write a letter to your future self. What do you see yourself as 5 years from now? Will you be the same? Different?  What kind of person will you be? Write a letter to your future self – 1 year from now will be a good start – and seal it. Make a date in your calendar to open it 1 year from now. Then start working to become the person you want to open that letter.
  12. Get out of your comfort zone. Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow – it makes us stagnate. What is your comfort zone? Do you stay in most of the time? Do you keep to your own space when out with other people? Shake your routine up. Do something different. By exposing yourself to a new context, you’re literally growing as you learn to act in new circumstances.
  13. Put someone up to a challenge. Competition is one of the best ways to grow. Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge, etc) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first. Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.
  14. Identify your blind spots. Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots help us discover our areas of improvement. One exercise I use to discover my blind spots is to identify all the things/events/people that trigger me in a day – trigger meaning making me feel annoyed/weird/affected. These represent my blind spots. It’s always fun to do the exercise because I discover new things about myself, even if I may already think I know my own blind spots (but then they wouldn’t be blind spots would they?). After that, I work on steps to address them.
  15. Ask for feedback. As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective. Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.
  16. Stay focused with to-do lists. I start my day with a list of tasks I want to complete and this helps make me stay focused. In comparison, the days when I don’t do this end up being extremely unproductive. For example, part of my to-do list for today is to write a guest post at LifeHack.Org, and this is why I’m writing this now! Since my work requires me to use my computer all the time, I use Free Sticky Notes to manage my to-do lists. It’s really simple to use and it’s a freeware, so I recommend you check it out.
  17. Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). I’m a big fan of setting BHAGs. BHAGs stretch you beyond your normal capacity since they are big and audacious – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally. What are BHAGs you can embark on, which you’ll feel absolutely on top of the world once you complete them? Set them and start working on them.
  18. Acknowledge your flaws. Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them. What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?
  19. Get into action. The best way to learn and improve is to take action. What is something you have been meaning to do? How can you take action on it immediately? Waiting doesn’t get anything done. Taking action gives you immediate results to learn from.
  20. Learn from people who inspire you. Think about people you admire. People who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too. What are the qualities in them you want to have for yourself? How can you acquire these qualities?
  21. Quit a bad habit. Are there any bad habits you can lose? Oversleeping? Not exercising? Being late? Slouching? Nail biting? Smoking? Here’s some help on how you can quit a bad habit.
  22. Cultivate a new habit. Some good new habits to cultivate include reading books (#1), waking up early (#8), exercising (#9), reading a new personal development article a day (#40) and meditating. Is there any other new habit you can cultivate to improve yourself?
  23. Avoid negative people. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.
  24. Learn to deal with difficult people. There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is part of your inner circle of contacts. Learn how to deal with them. These people management skills will go a long way in working with people in the future.
  25. Learn from your friends. Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to how we want to tap into them. With all the friends who surround you, they are going to have things you can learn from. Try thinking of a good friend right now. Think about just one quality they have which you want to adopt. How can you learn from them and adopt this skill for yourself? Speak to them if you need to – for sure, they will be more than happy to help!
  26. Start a journal. Journaling is a great way to gain better self-awareness. It’s a self-reflection process. As you write, clarify your thought process and read what you wrote from a third person’s perspective, you gain more insights about yourself. Your journal can be private or an online blog. I use my personal development blog as a personal journal too and I’ve learned a lot about myself through the past year of blogging.
  27. Start a blog about personal development. To help others grow, you need to first be walking the talk. There are expectations of you, both from yourself and from others, which you have to uphold. I run The Personal Excellence Blog, where I share my personal journey and insights on how to live a better life. Readers look toward my articles to improve themselves, which enforces to me that I need to keep improving, for myself and for the people I’m reaching out to.
  28. Get a mentor or coach. There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals. Many of my clients approach me to coach them in their goals and they achieve significantly more results than if they had worked alone.
  29. Reduce the time you spend on chat programs. I realized having chat programs open at default result in a lot of wasted time. This time can be much better spent on other activities. The days when I don’t get on chat, I get a lot more done. I usually disable the auto start-up option in the chat programs and launch them when I do want to chat and really have the time for it.
  30. Learn chess (or any strategy game). I found chess is a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, you also get to exercise your analytical skills. You can also learn strategy from other board games or computer games, such as Othello, Chinese Chess, WarCraft, and so on.
  31. Stop watching TV. I’ve not been watching TV for pretty much 4 years and it’s been a very liberating experience. I realized most of the programs and advertisements on mainstream TV are usually of a lower consciousness and not very empowering. In return, the time I’ve freed up from not watching TV is now constructively used for other purposes, such as connecting with close friends, doing work I enjoy, exercising, etc.
  32. Start a 30-day challenge. Set a goal and give yourself 30 days to achieve this. Your goal can be to stick with a new habit or something you’ve always wanted to do but have not. 30 days is just enough time to strategize, plan, get into action, review and nail the goal.
  33. Meditate. Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. I also realized that during the nights when I meditate (before I sleep), I need lesser sleep. The clutter clearing process is very liberating.
  34. Join Toastmasters (Learn public speaking). Interestingly, public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, with #2 being death. After I started public speaking as a personal development speaker/trainer, I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate better, present myself and engage people. Toastmasters is an international organization that trains people in public speaking. Check out the Toastmaster clubs nearest to you here.
  35. Befriend top people in their fields. These people have achieved their results because they have the right attitudes, skill sets and know-how. How better to learn than from the people who have been there and done that? Gain new insights from them on how you can improve and achieve the same results for yourself.
  36. Let go of the past. Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past which you have been holding on? If so, it’s time to let it go. Holding on to them prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive yourself, and move on. Just recently, I finally moved on from a past heartbreak of 5 years ago. The effect was liberating and very empowering, and I have never been happier.
  37. Start a business venture. Is there anything you have an interest in? Why not turn it into a venture and make money while learning at the same time? Starting a new venture requires you to be learn business management skills, develop business acumen and have a competitive edge. The process of starting and developing my personal development business has equipped me with many skills, such as self-discipline, leadership, organization and management.
  38. Show kindness to people around you. You can never be too kind to someone. In fact, most of us don’t show enough kindness to people around us. Being kind helps us to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love. As you get back to your day after reading this article later on, start exuding more kindness to the people around you, and see how they react. Not only that, notice how you feel as you behave kindly to others. Chances are, you will feel even better than yourself.
  39. Reach out to the people who hate you. If you ever stand for something, you are going to get haters. It’s easy to hate the people who hate us. It’s much more challenging to love them back. Being able to forgive, let go and show love to these people requires magnanimity and an open heart. Is there anyone who dislikes or hates you in your life? If so, reach out to them. Show them love. Seek a resolution and get closure on past grievances. Even if they refuses to reciprocate, love them all the same. It’s much more liberating than to hate them back.
  40. Take a break. Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no petrol. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.
  41. Read at least 1 personal development article a day. Some of my readers make it a point to read at least one personal development article every day, which I think is a great habit. There are many terrific personal development blogs out there, some of which you can check here.
  42. Commit to your personal growth. I can be writing list articles with 10 ways, 25 ways, 42 ways or even 1,000 ways to improve yourself, but if you’ve no intention to commit to your personal growth, it doesn’t matter what I write. Nothing is going to get through. We are responsible for our personal growth – not anyone else. Not your mom, your dad, your friend, me or LifeHack. Make the decision to commit to your personal growth and embrace yourself to a life-long journey of growth and change. Kick off your growth by picking a few of the steps above and working on them. The results may not be immediate, but I promise you that as long as you keep to it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in yourself and your life.”

Celestine Chua founder of Personal Excellence

how to kick ass at public speaking

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“Does the thought of speaking in front of a large crowd or even a small group of respected professionals send a chill down your spine? If so, you’re not alone: 74 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety. Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is one of the biggest fears of the average human.

Kicking ass at public speaking doesn’t happen overnight. It’s something that takes time and practice to nail down. Here are 10 things great public speakers do, that you can do, too:

1. Find the happy medium between “winging it” and over preparing.
Great public speakers like Martin Luther King Jr. knew the importance of finding a happy medium between these two levels of preparation. The “sweet spot” varies from speaker to speaker, but don’t focus on completely memorizing every word of your speech. Instead, work to understand all of the messages you’re planning to drive home, and your speech will flow naturally.

2. Get to the heart of your audience.
The most effective and captivating speakers are those who can get to the heart of their audience. All great speakers know this trick. Putting together a great speech could be a huge waste of time if you don’t take the time to get to know the audience you’re speaking to and find ways to engage them. Make yourself more approachable and get on the same level as your audience by studying their demographics, interests, values, and desires.

3. Know your end goals.
Every speech should have a clear purpose. Our world’s greatest orators always had their message in mind the entire time they were speaking. Begin writing yours with the end in mind. Maybe it’s to persuade, inspire, or even just inform. Knowing this as you begin writing and preparing is going to work wonders for you in the long run.

4. Get inspired.
Sometimes being more successful at speaking comes down to seeking out inspiration. Many great public speakers thrive on topping their rivals, so why not do the same? Start getting inspired to be a better speaker by watching some of the greatest speeches of all time online, or visit nearby college campuses to attend lectures or speeches from professionals there. Then spend time carefully analyzing their body language, how they weave together their thoughts, how they use accompanying visuals like a slideshow, and how they address the audience. Model yourself to be more like these figures.

5. Record yourself practicing.
No one particularly enjoys watch themselves on camera, but this reflective activity can completely transform the way you speak. You’ll start to realize you tend to fidget a lot or stumble over your words at certain points. Recording yourself speaking will help you to make the necessary tweaks and get you more comfortable with your speaking persona.

6. Get straight to the point.
Avoid overwhelming your listeners by rambling endlessly. The great speakers know the importance of getting straight to the point in their speeches. Keep things as simple as possible and focus on driving home your main message, rather than building up to them in a long-winded or boring manner.

7. Don’t rely on PowerPoint or props.
Sometimes building the coolest presentation to accompany your speech actually takes away from what you’re talking about. In fact, building the best PowerPoint presentation possible can actually confuse and lose the attention of your audience: your message alone should be powerful enough. Having a presentation or props as a part of your speech should only be necessary to back up points or make them easier to remember. And remember to never, ever read directly from a PowerPoint slide. Your audience can read for themselves — you’re there to add and synthesize information.

8. Tell personal stories.
This ties back to connecting with your audience. One great speaker who knows the importance of injecting his speeches with personal stories is President Barack Obama. Almost all of his great speeches drive home personal stories and anecdotes that help better convey the points he’s making. By doing this, you’ll show more passion and make your speech personally relatable.

9. Be aware of your body language.
Don’t forget the importance of nonverbals during your speech. Focus on your facial expressions, where you’re resting your hands, fidgeting, etc. Moving around or using hand gestures is encouraged — it will help you to appear more confident, calm, and collected during your speech. You don’t want to be a stiff, awkward orator.

10. Showcase your passion.
The best speakers are truly passionate about what they’re saying. Aside from the personal stories you may share in your speech, you’ve got to find a way to kick up your passion and let it show. How much you care about your speech will directly correlate to the interest you derive from the audience. People are more apt to listen to someone who truly enjoys what they’re speaking about.

Now, calm your nerves and focus on using these habits of great public speakers to kickstart your transition to a great public speaker.”

Ilya Pozin Founder of Ciplex and Open Me

don’t be a robot

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“Personalized and thoughtful professional habits seem to have fallen by the wayside since the digital technology takeover. The fast-paced nature of our workplaces requires instantaneous communication that’s starting to leave us stiff. So drop your robotic ways and save your professional image with these thoughtful tips:

1. Use your phone
Email and instant messaging seem to have taken precedence over the traditional phone call. Sure, it may seem more efficient to shoot someone a quick email, but you run the risk of engaging in a long and unproductive email chain. Instead, pick up the phone and give your customer, client, or coworker a call. Not only will you be able to get to the bottom of things in a more timely manner, you’ll also initiate a more engaging and personalized approach to your communication.

2. Send thank you notes (a thank you email doesn’t count)
Break away from the robotic monotony of sending off less-than-thoughtful emails and start using thank you notes as a part of your professional routine. You’ll leave a more personalized and thoughtful impression on whomever receives them.

3. Personalize your networking endeavors
The point of networking is to build valuable professional relationships, but this can be a challenge if your approach lacks personalization. Find time to meet in person on a more regular basis, whether you catch up over coffee or take a half hour to discuss projects in the office. Facetime is far more personal than regular email and social media correspondence.

4. Lend a hand
Sometimes we end up getting too focused on managing our own work and forget to reach out to our coworkers. Boost the thoughtfulness around your office by lending a hand whenever you have a moment of downtime. Even if someone needs help with something that isn’t directly applicable to your role, you may save them a great deal of time — and learn something for yourself — in the process. They will also be more likely to return the favor in the future.

5. Listen
Tuning out your work environment has become a rule for reaching productivity on a daily basis. But you may actually be missing out on more than you think. Listening to what’s going on with your managers, coworkers, and your company will help you to be a more thoughtful employee and leader. For example, spending more time listening may help you to recognize someone for their work on a particular project.

6. Don’t forget to keep in touch
When the pace picks up at work, keeping in touch often falls to the wayside. Break this thoughtless habit by scheduling a time each week to touch base with the important people in your professional life. This may mean sending a note to valued customers, calling your clients to see how they’re doing, or even taking a coworker out to lunch.

7. Be courteous
Leave your mark on everyone you interact with professionally by increasing your level of courtesy. Picking up the tab, creating a calendar invite before your coworker, or offering to meet at your client’s office rather than having them travel to your own will never go out of style. It’s the little things that will send a more thoughtful and courteous message.

8. Give credit where credit is due
Have we lost the ability to give compliments? Today it seems that we’re so focused on perfecting and promoting our personal brand online that we rarely give credit to others. Step away from promoting your personal work on your social media platforms and give some credit to friends, coworkers, and even your potential competitors. For example, share an article you love and praise the author directly.

Having a professional image doesn’t mean going overboard on the stiff formalities. It’s never too late to make your professional interactions more personalized and thoughtful.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Ciplex and Open Me

what we wear affects how we think

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“There is a large amount of evidence showing the profound effect clothing has on our thinking style, how we feel, and on the way others perceive us. Use clothing and props to improve your work performance through these simple steps:

a) Dress for the task: the “lab coat” effect
Consider the findings of a study published last year by the Kellogg School of Management. They showed that students were far more accurate on tests of attentional focus and sustained concentration while wearing the white lab coat of a scientist.

b) Be yourself and respect your own style
As well as affecting our mindset, our clothes can also alter how we feel about ourselves. U.S. research published in 2007 found that employees described themselves as feeling more productive, trustworthy, and authoritative when they were wore a business suit at work, but more friendly when wearing casual clothes.

c) Choose your weapons (and accessories) wisely
The psychological effects of clothing on performance extend to tools and props. A 2011 study led by Charles Lee at the University of Virginia showed that university students perceived a putting hole to be larger (thus making more putts) when they used a putter that they thought belonged to the pro player Ben Curtis, as compared with a standard putter.

d) Dress to impress
If you want to appear authoritative it really does make sense to dress smart. A raft of studies have shown that people in more formal attire get served more quickly in shops, have more luck soliciting charity donations, and are usually judged to be more intelligent and academic. A study that looked specifically at female applicants for a managerial job found those who dressed in a smart masculine style were perceived as more forceful and aggressive and were more likely to get hired.

e) Consider your audience
Formal suits aren’t always the way to go. Research shows that people who wear more daring outfits are perceived as more attractive and individual, which could be advantageous in more creative industries. Casual dress can also be more persuasive, depending on your audience. In 2010, a female experimenter reported that students were far more diligent in following her detailed instructions when she was dressed casually (like they were), as opposed to smart and professional.

So the next time you’re getting dressed for work in the morning, be mindful of the psychological impact that clothes can have. Your choice could literally affect your mindset, so try to match your outfit to the type of work you’re planning to do. If interacting with other people is on the cards – consider who they are, the impression you want to make, and especially whether you want to impress them or be one of them. A polished professional look can certainly give you authority. But if you’re collaborating with quirky creatives, or you want to cultivate a friendly atmosphere, you may find it’s advantageous to adopt a more casual, individual style for the day.”

Dr. Christian Jarrett psychologist turned writer

the 4 ways you can use body language to influence success

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“Your body language doesn’t merely reflect your emotions, it’s often the cause.
By learning some of the principal ways that your own posture, gestures, facial expression and even tone of voice affect your mind, you will be more aware of the factors influencing your mood, and give yourself an edge in presentations and negotiations.

1_Know the ‘power posture’
Opening up your body and filling more space – known as a ‘power posture’ – has been shown in studies to have a range of confidence-boosting effects.

2_Avoid handheld devices
Even the size of computer you’re working on can change your posture, and thus, your behavior. Before an important phone call or meeting, make sure you spend some time away from the phone or tablet. Not only will the lack of distractions help you focus and organize your thoughts, avoiding cramping over a touchscreen will also leave you more confident.

3_Be mindful of your facial expression
It’s not just the position of our bodies that can affect our emotions, the expression on our faces can too. For instance, for some people, spending time deliberately smiling can help them to feel more positive and increase the accessibility of positive memories. It’s a similar story with tone of voice. Research shows that when people speak with a lower pitch they feel more powerful.

4_Gesture when you speak
We tend to see gesticulation as a behavioral quirk, but research shows these hand movements actually assist our mental processes. As a bonus, gesturing while you speak won’t only aid your thought processes, it likely will also help you make a good impression.”

Christian Jarret psychologist turned writer

how to make the decisions that will define you

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“Always go with the hard choice.

Here’s why:
_Effort creates its own reward
_Hard choices build outstanding reputations
_Luck is occasional, but intent lasts forever
_The angel lies in the details
_The hard choice is always binary”

Jeff Haden ghostwriter, speaker and Inc Magazine columnist

las 4 cualidades fundamentales de un líder

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“Cuando hablamos de liderazgo, olvidamos demasiado a menudo que un líder ha de tener cuatro cualidades fundamentales: debe ser consciente de que es un servidor del equipo; ha de ser un facilitador de la labor en la empresa; ha de ser un desarrollador del equipo y un potenciador del mismo. En realidad, su objetivo es crear más líderes. Y, last but not least, debe ser un ejemplo para todos.”

Marcos Urarte profesor invitado en diversas escuelas de negocios

8 things productive people do during the workday

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“Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

1. Create a smaller to-do list
Getting things accomplished during your workday shouldn’t be about doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours.

2. Take breaks
Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule
Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results?

4. Start your day by focusing on yourself
If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish.

5. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day
Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is most fresh.

6. Pick up the phone
Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter.

7. Create a system
If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them.

8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness
While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Ciplex

las 4 cualidades del buen líder

improve yourself

“Cuando hablamos de liderazgo, demasiado a menudo olvidamos que un líder ha de tener 4 cualidades fundamentales: debes ser consciente de que es un servidor del equipo; ha de ser un facilitador de la labor en la empresa; ha de ser un desarrollador del equipo y un potenciador del mismo. En realidad, su objetivo es crear más líderes. Y, last but not least, debe ser un ejemplo para todos.”

Marcos Urarte enginyer industrial