Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Sometimes the route to happiness depends more on what you don’t do.

Happiness–in your business life and your personal life–is often a matter of subtraction, not addition.

Consider, for example, what happens when you stop doing the following 10 things:

1. Blaming.

People make mistakes. Employees don’t meet your expectations. Vendors don’t deliver on time.

So you blame them for your problems.

But you’re also to blame. Maybe you didn’t provide enough training. Maybe you didn’t build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.

Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn’t masochistic, it’s empowering–because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.

And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.

2. Impressing.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things–but that doesn’t mean they like you.

Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.

Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

3. Clinging.

When you’re afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn’t particularly good for you.

An absence of fear or insecurity isn’t happiness: It’s just an absence of fear or insecurity.

Holding on to what you think you need won’t make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.

Even if you don’t succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.

4. Interrupting.

Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.”

Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say.

They’ll love you for it–and you’ll love how that makes you feel.

5. Whining.

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.

If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.

Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just be the shoulder they cry on.

Friends don’t let friends whine–friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Controlling.

Yeah, you’re the boss. Yeah, you’re the titan of industry. Yeah, you’re the small tail that wags a huge dog.

Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you’ve decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.

Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure–none of those let you feel good about yourself.

Find people who want to go where you’re going. They’ll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships.

And all of you will be happier.

7. Criticizing.

Yeah, you’re more educated. Yeah, you’re more experienced. Yeah, you’ve been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.

That doesn’t make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.

That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you.

Just like everyone else–including your employees.

Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you’ll see people–and yourself–in a better light.

8. Preaching.

Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.

The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything–and to tell people everything you think you know.

When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don’t listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.

9. Dwelling.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your focus. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

10. Fearing.

We’re all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can’t change, or what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.

So it’s easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.

Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.

And so do our dreams.

Don’t let your fears hold you back. Whatever you’ve been planning, whatever you’ve imagined, whatever you’ve dreamed of, get started on it today.

If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or offer new products or services, take the first step.

Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.

Otherwise, today is gone. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever.

Today is the most precious asset you own–and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.

via Inc.com

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It takes just as much effort to have a wonderful day as it does to have a miserable one. Why not enjoy yourself?

Want to have the best workday ever?  Day after day?  It’s not as difficult as you think.

These 10 tweaks to your everyday behavior will virtually guarantee you a day that’s not just enjoyable but allows you to get more done than you ever thought possible.

1. Start with 15 minutes of positive input.

It’s easier to achieve and maintain a positive attitude if you have a “library” of positive thoughts in your head, so you can draw upon them if the day doesn’t go exactly as you’d prefer. Start each day by reading (or listening to) an inspirational book to ensure that you have just such a resource at hand.

2. Tie your work to your life’s goals.

Always remember that there’s a deeper reason why you go to work and why you chose your current role. Maybe it’s to support your family, to change the world in some way, to help your customers, to make a difference: Whatever the deeper motivation, remind yourself that this workday–today–is the opportunity to accomplish part of that deeper and more important goal.

3. Use your commute wisely.

Most people waste their commute time listening to the news or (worse, especially if they’re driving) making calls, texting, or answering emails. In fact, your commute time is the perfect time to get yourself pumped up for the day, and there’s no better way to do this than to listen to music that truly inspires you and gets you in the right mood. Don’t depend on a DJ: Make your own mixes!

4. Stick a smile on your face.

It’s likely, if you followed the first three steps, that you’ll already be smiling. If not, stick a smile on your face anyway.

It doesn’t matter if it feels fake: Research has shown that even the most forced of smiles genuinely reduces stress and makes you happier. Does this mean you should be grinning like the Joker in the Batman comics? Well, yes, if that’s the best you can do. But something a bit more relaxed might be less alarming to co-workers.

5. Express a positive mood.

When most people are asked social greetings–questions such as “How are you?” or “What’s up?”–they typically say something neutral (“I’m OK”) or negative, like “Hangin’ in there.” That kind of talk programs your brain for failure.

Instead, if anyone inquires, say something positive and enthusiastic, like: “Fantastic!” or “I’m having a wonderful day!” It’s true that there are some people whom this annoys–but these are people you should be avoiding anyway. (See No. 7, below.)

6. Do what’s important first.

Everybody complains about having too much to do, but few people do anything about it. As I explained in “The Surprising Secret of Time Management,” 20% of your activities are going to produce 80% of your results.  So do that 20% first, before you get to the 80% of your activities that is mostly wasted time. You’ll get more done, and you’ll get better results.

7. Avoid negative people.

If you’ve been following Steps 1 through 6, you’ll probably find that the most negative people in your orbit will be avoiding you, while the positive people will want to hang out with you and help you. Though it’s true you can’t avoid all the Debbie Downers, you can certainly find something else to do when they start grousing about stuff they won’t or can’t change.

8. Don’t work long hours.

Long hours are simply a bad idea. For one thing, as I have pointed out before: Long hours, after a short burst of productivity, actually make you less productive. But frankly, if you’ve followed Steps 1 through 7, you’ll be getting so much done that you won’t need to work those long hours.

9. Wind down and relax.

Once you’re done with the workday, fill the remainder of your hours with nonwork-related activities that bring you joy and help you relax. The analogy of “recharge your batteries” is valid. Failing to take time to relax and stop thinking about work guarantees that you’ll begin the next day with a “hangover” of resentment that will leach the joy out of what can, and should be, a positive work experience. overconcentration.

10. End your day with 15 minutes of gratitude.

As I pointed out in “The True Secret of Success,” exercising your “gratitude muscle” is the best way to make certain that you experience more success. Before you go to sleep, get out a tablet (paper or electric), and record everything that happened during the day about which you are (or could be) grateful.

You’ll sleep better and be ready for tomorrow–which will probably be even more fabulous than today.

But What About …

Now, I know some of this can sound like a stretch. It may take a leap of faith to give this approach a try. But before you push back too much, let me answer some of the questions I sometimes hear.

  • What if something really horrible happens during the day? You’ll be much better prepared to deal with challenges than if you were already halfway to miserable–which is how most people go through their workday.
  • What if I simply have to deal with a negative person?Tune out the negativity. Learn to shrug it off. If the negativity becomes too much of a burden, start using the extra energy you’re producing to reorganize your team or (if the person is outside your company) find a different partner.
  • What if I’m too depressed to do any of this? If that’s the case, you may need professional help. None of these tricks require more time and effort than making yourself miserable, however.
  • Do these tricks really work? Yes.

via Inc.com