True Secret to Success (It’s Not What You Think)

Victory

VictoryIf you’re not exercising this emotional muscle, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.

I’m utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.

People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.

By contrast, people who lack gratitude are never truly happy. If they succeed at a task, they don’t enjoy it. For them, a string of successes is like trying to fill a bucket with a huge leak in the bottom. And failure invariably makes them bitter, angry, and discouraged.

Therefore, if you want to be successful, you need to feel more gratitude. Fortunately, gratitude, like most emotions, is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.

To learn how to put this into practice and about reprogramming your brain to become a more positive and successful person, read the full article here.

This method works. If you don’t believe me, try it for at least a week. You’ll be amazed at what a huge difference it makes!

 

Want an understanding of what a Life Coach really does?

Words You Will Never Hear a Life Coach Say

 

 

Man: Hello, I’m calling to inquire about your life coaching services. I’ve been in corporate America for 18 years and I’m ready for a change. I don’t like working in an office atmosphere. Back in high school and college I loved to paint, landscapes mostly, and I’d like to get back to that.

Life Coach: Well, what are you waiting for? Get yourself an easel, a palette and a brush and set yourself up on Main Street on a nice, sunny day. Quit that job. Put on some old comfy clothes. Get painting!

 

****

 

And there you have words said by no life coach ever.

Yes, that’s right. I’m stating it unequivocally.

OK, maybe there is a scenario where it could happen.

 

Man: Hello, I just won the Lotto. I already paid off my mortgage, have accounts set up for my kids’ college education, am set for retirement, helped some relatives in need, and have given to some charities near and dear to my heart. I’m still working in corporate America, but I’m ready for a change. Back in high school and college I loved to paint, landscapes mostly, and I’d like to get back to that.

Life Coach: Well, what are you waiting for? Get yourself an easel, a palette and a brush and set yourself up on Main Street. Quit that job. Put on some old clothes. Get painting! Do you really even need me?

Man: Well, I was thinking more along the lines of creating a plan to get back to my art. Maybe learn how I can apply it using new technology.

Life Coach: Ohhhhhhhhhh. Yes, of course. I can help you with that.

 

****

 

I’m going down this road now because lately I’ve noticed this resounding theme of really intelligent people not understanding what life coaches do. When I got into this profession a decade ago, I found myself answering a lot of questions about how it works. That has tapered off, so I suppose we’ve all made the assumption that people understand it now. We’re wrong.

 

Somewhere along the way, because we tend to be guiding people in becoming more self-aware and living better lives, we became known as Pollyanna cheerleaders who just throw caution to the wind and advise people to recklessly pursue their passion. I’m realizing more and more this isn’t the notion of just some who don’t cotton to our line of work, it’s even people who think coaching is kind of cool.

 

Sometimes folks who have had their dreams crushed, those who are mired in seemingly inescapable ruts, or even those who have simply settled scoff at the possibility that things can get better. They’re often angry or just so busy trying to survive that they can’t be reached. But the people who approach life coaches are often the ones emerging from that place and they want help coming out the other side. It is a privilege to be along for that ride with clients and any coach worth a damn will tell you that is not just a priceless feeling but a calling that comes with deep responsibility.

 

The transition plan is the part of coaching that seems to elude those wary of the profession. Yes, we do implement those. Rarely do we see circumstances where cold turkey is feasible. Plus, pursuing your passion doesn’t mean you can necessarily make a living at it. But it needn’t be ignored either. There is also a ‘can-do’ aspect of coaching. Most people who make their way to us need encouragement that this thing they want is possible. Even when they introduce something long-lost back into their lives, they begin to feel an energy shift. We are a valuable objective eye.

 

Read the full article here.

How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Your Partner

Loving Swans

Loving SwansAsking for what you want—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill. But sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up with a partner who shuts down, gets angry or feels resentful. Here are four tips for developing your assertiveness, that can be applied to any kind of relationship you might have; romantic, family, friendly, professional etc,  in a way that will actually strengthen, deepen and enrich your relationship—thus avoiding the “alienation trap”:

 

1. Get Clear.
Being assertive starts with knowing what you are—and aren’t—willing to be, do, or have. For many of us, coming to this knowledge is a real task unto itself. Here, it may be useful to ask: “In an ideal world, what would I like to happen?” Focusing on an ideal outcome opens our minds, prevents us from falling into passivity or “victim-thinking,” and helps us get really clear on what we want and don’t want.

 

2. Set Boundaries.
Once you know what outcome you need (or want), share it with your partner. Pay attention to the way stating your boundary feels in your body. With practice, you can actually sense when you’re hitting the “sweet spot.” It can feel really pleasurable, even exhilarating, to express your needs or desires out loud. Phrases like “such and such doesn’t work for me” are simple ways of being assertive while maintaining connection with your partner.

 

3. Make a Regular Habit of Stating Your Needs and Desires.
You can build your assertiveness the same way you build any muscle: exercise. Practice speaking up about your needs, big or small, on a daily basis.  When you speak up about things that are less controversial—such as where to go to lunch/dinner, requesting help unloading the dishwasher or with a difficult task—both you and your partner get used to your assertiveness. It becomes easier for you to practice and for your partner to hear. Also, when bigger issues come along, you and your partner will have a healthy process in place for dealing with differences in needs, and you’ll have greater confidence in the resilience of your partnership.

 

4. Give as Much as You Get.
Assertiveness is a two-way street. If you want your boundaries to be respected, you must return the courtesy to your partner. If she doesn’t want you to use the bathroom when she’s in the shower, don’t. If he asks you to give him a half an hour after work before you talk and connect, respect that. When it comes to following through on a partner’s reasonable request, actions really do speak louder than words.

 

If your partner isn’t respecting your boundaries even though you’ve set them clearly, it may be time for professional help for you and/or your relationship.

 

Contact me if you want help with improving a relationship of any kind. Maybe the one with yourself?

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2012 Claire Communications

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

Rose petals

Rose petalsThe practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

 

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet it’s full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

 

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

 

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

 

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful rose petals, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, summer breeze, tomatoes, the ability to read, flowers, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?


Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

•  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

•  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

•  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

•  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

•  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

•  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

 

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at play.

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2012 Claire Communications

How to Focus When You’re Juggling Lots of Different Tasks

Juggling Dog

Juggling DogHave you ever noticed that the times when you really need to focus are the times when it’s toughest?

On days when you have far too much to do — an overflowing inbox, meetings to prepare for, chores to complete — it’s easy to end up darting from one task to the next, never making any real headway.

When you’ve got a lot to juggle, you need a battle plan. Here’s what you can do:

 

1. Write a List
It’s impossible to focus when you’re constantly thinking “I mustn’t forget to send that email” or “I need to call John.” Write down everything that needs to get done today. Your list doesn’t have to be complex, and you don’t need to worry about sorting it at this stage.

Some people like to keep their work and personal lists separate; it’s up to you how you do that. If something’s on your mind, though, make sure you record it somewhere — even little things like “buy milk on the way home” can drag down your mental energy.

 

2. Decide on Priorities
Once you’ve got your list, it’s time to figure out what order to tackle your tasks in for today. First, look for anything that can be delegated or postponed: pare your list down as much as possible.

Next, work out what you want to do first. It’s up to you how you prioritize; normally, it makes sense to tackle the more important and urgent tasks first, but you may prefer to go for a few quick wins in the first half-hour of the day to build up a sense of momentum.

Put some sort of mark against your first, second, and third tasks. (I use one, two and three asterisks; you might prefer numbers, or colors.) That way, you can relax and get on with your tasks in order, knowing that you’re dealing with things efficiently, and that you’ll be able to get all the important stuff done.

 

3. Resist the Urge to Multi-Task
However tempting it is to have your emails open in one window while you reply to Tweets in another and edit that document in a third … don’t. You can’t focus on several things all at the same time, and you’ll end up making silly mistakes or forgetting to finish part of a task.

Tackle things one by one. That might mean:

  • Setting a timer while you work on the report for 30 minutes
  • Dealing with your emails as a batch, perhaps every few hours, not as they come in
  • Closing social media programs until your lunch break (if they’re part of your work, treat them like your emails)

Any time you find yourself trying to tackle several things at once, stop. Remind yourself that you’ll work more effectively when you complete task A before moving onto task B.

 

4. Work Steadily, Take Breaks
None of us can focus for hours at a time — but when we’re busy, we often try to. This just leads to slowed progress, mistakes, and procrastination. (You know the kind of thing; you tell yourself you’ll just check Facebook quickly while waiting for a file to download, then you end up clicking on links, leaving comments, sending happy birthday messages…)

To stop yourself procrastinating, plan for regular breaks. Work for, say, 45 minutes on your report, then take a 5 or 10 minute break to stretch your legs and grab a glass of water. When you know you’ve got a break coming up, it’s a lot easier to stay focused.

Hopefully, your too-busy-to-think days don’t come up too often. If you seem to be in a

constant pattern of rushing around, juggling more tasks than you can manage, then look for ways to make changes. That might mean learning some better time management skills, or talking to your manager about your workload.

If you’ve got a great tip for staying focused when life is hectic, share it with us in the comments below.

 

 See original post here.
Image downloaded for free from: Freedigitalphotos.net

Gamification and the PlayTwoWin method

Winning hand

The word “gamification,” Winning handmuch like the phrase “social media” a few years back, is being lobbed around in technology circles as the next frontier in web and mobile. Just as nearly every application, website, brand and marketer now employs social media in some capacity, so too will these entities gravitate toward game mechanics in the years ahead.

According to the Gartner report; “By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.”

If you want to read more about gamification a great place to start is here; Gamification: How Competition Is Reinventing Business, Marketing & Everyday Life

The PlayTwoWin method is just one of all the fruits of gamification. It is an excellent method of coaching you to play the game of your life BETTER and winning BIGGER. If you want to know more about this method, please contact me for more information or to schedule a FREE exploratory session.

 

Play improves work!

Kids playing in he wind

We have this concept that the opposite Kids playing in he windof play is work.
Our thinking is backwards…
The opposite of play is NOT work. The opposite of play is depression!

Some of the benefits of play:

  • Stimulates creativity
  • Increases our openness to change
  • Improves our ability to to learn new information
  • Provides a sense of purpose and mastery, two key motivational things that increases productivity.

Watch Steve Keil’s somewhat provoking TED talk for the full inspirational experience:

Play improves work and this goes hand in hand with my new coaching method; PlayTwoWin. If you want to know more about this concept of bringing play back into your life, workplace, relationships etc. Please contact me today for a FREE exploratory  session. This is a highly transformational development in one affordable and extraordinarily effective program!

Always look on the bright side of life

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley

Your life is getting better every day, and it’s high time that you realized it!

There are many people that just feel like they have been dying since the day they were born. This is a very grim way to think of life. Don’t think of life this way!

Every generation looks backwards and reminisces about how good it used to be. Wake up! It wasn’t as good as it is now and tomorrow is going to be even better!

Want some clarity on this subject? Read: The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley on how prosperity evolves.

On what principle is it that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?

As necessities and luxuries gets cheaper, do people get happier?

Just two of all the questions that will be argued in this book.

 

Photograph by John Watson

 

Play Time Isn’t Just For Kids…

Carousel

It’s important to your stress level and youCarouselr happiness quotient that you have at least one activity that you do regularly just for fun. Hobbies and other fun activities provide a fun way to sharpen skills, express your creativity, or just blow off steam. Also, when you get really engrossed in an activity you enjoy, you can experience a state of being known as flow, in which your brain is in a near-meditative state, which has benefits for your body, mind and soul.

Click here to read more about how to discover new potential stress relieving hobbies and find other resources for happiness and much more.

My favorite stress reliever is playing games. Games have a way of keeping us in the present moment, with a light-hearted focus, and laughter that comes easily. I recommend creating a game night with friends you enjoy, and letting your inner child come out to play on a regular basis. If you are a parent, really enjoy your time with your children. Whatever you do throughout the day, it can become more fun with a playful attitude, and this can melt away stress.

What are you doing for fun this weekend?

Play + Science = Transformation

Girl free field

A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown saysGirl free field humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age. Stuart Brown’s research shows play is not just joyful and energizing — it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence.

Dr. Stuart Brown came to research play through research on murderers — unlikely as that seems — after he found a stunning common thread in killers’ stories: lack of play in childhood. Since then, he’s interviewed thousands of people to catalog their relationships with play, noting a strong correlation between success and playful activity.

I believe that play is pretty important for our survival and wonder, when was the last time you really played?

Engage in transformational kinds of play and you will have a better and more empowered life 🙂