Personal and Professional Development Blog
How would you define “Love”?
Passion, Affection, Tennis Score, Sex, Companionship, Emotion?
Here’s a poetic definition:
“Love is such a funny thing. It’s shaped just like a lizard.
It wraps itself around your heart And nibbles on your gizzard.”
That certainly defines love as a feeling. But it’s much more….Read More
You’ve heard the old adage: a penny saved is a penny earned. That’s very true.
The opportunities available to you to make money are not just limited to what you earn pursuing your career. You also make money by investing wisely, living frugally, and purchasing products and services at a discount…read more
One on the most misunderstood statements today is this: “Focus on your strengths and make your weaknesses irrelevant.” Every time I hear or read it, I cringe and think, “What if your weaknesses are relevant?”
Excuses for Weaknesses
Have you ever heard people make excuses for poor performance? Then they followed it by an explanation like this: “That’s just the way I am; it’s part of my DNA.” Or, “That is one of my weak points.” Or, “I’m just not good at that.” Then they blow it off like it’s acceptable.
How much respect would you have for someone who is always late and says… read more
How would you like to increase the odds of achieving your goals? Whether you desire to lose weight, create financial independence, build a healthy marriage, or raise responsible children, the formula for achieving any goal is the same.
Here are 10 tips in sequential order that will help you increase the odds of achieving your goals: (Each link is one of my related lessons.)
After taking the last year off from my writing, I’m back! I am going to commit to writing at least one new article a month sharing some of the most important lessons I am learning on my journey!
One of the things I enjoyed this past year was observing the attributes of men and women who are admired leaders—at home, in the work place, and in the community. I have also watched the wannabe leaders and have seen quite a contrast between the two groups… read more
There’s no denying the fact that our lives are a mirror image of the decisions we make. Sure there may be a rare exception—such as a major health challenge— but in the big picture of life, we are where we are today based on the decisions we made in the yesterdays.
The key to living a happy and fulfilling life is to make wise decisions; decisions about where you live and work; decisions in how you treat and interact with others; decisions about how you spend money and handle difficult situations. But perhaps the most important of all is where you are leading your life.
Where are you going? What do you want your life to look like five years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? Are you going drift with the tides or are you going to determine where you want to go, strap on a 200 HP motor, and start moving in that direction?
Like many people I know, I am trying to get clear on what I want to do with the rest of my life…read more
Put yourself in the position of the owner of your business or the leader of your organization. What qualities would you look for in the employee whom you would advance within your management structure? If you had to lay people off, what type of person would you release? What type would you keep?
Now put yourself in the position of the employee. How would your employer rate your services? The fact is it’s the “little things” you do and don’t do that have a direct impact on your raises, promotions, and influence within an organization. The way you are viewed will not only impact your success at your current place of employment, but it will also affect the recommendations and references that follow you if you leave.
Here are 15 “little things” that will increase your value to your employer and make you stand out as a person who takes pride in your job…read more
Do you keep agreeing to do tasks you don’t have time to do? Do you allow people to interrupt you at their whim? Do you allow your children to ignore your requests? Do you allow people to treat you with disrespect?
When you don’t stand up for yourself and set boundaries, negative things happen: people take advantage of you; life becomes chaotic; you feel abused; your strong self-esteem fades away; and you struggle to find joy and fulfillment in your life.
Here Are 12 Responses You Can Use to Set Boundaries With . . . read more
Rapport is the process of building an amicable relationship—an emotional bond—between people based on trust, understanding, and a sharing of each other’s interests and concerns. It’s an attraction built on mutual liking, empathy, and camaraderie.
Early in my career, I recognized that rapport is one of the most important characteristics of human interaction. I realized that if I were going to be a successful Realtor, I would need to learn how to quickly build rapport with people. I studied; I researched; and I finally compiled a list of “little things” that would help me to quickly build rapport. (See The 12 Fastest Ways to Build Rapport.)
Being able to build instant rapport with people offers numerous benefits. If we know how to quickly connect with people, we can use this knowledge in job interviews, business meetings, networking events, attracting a partner, and many other situations where the speed in which we build rapport matters…read more
You have no doubt heard the proverb—Actions speak louder than words.
It’s true. Your body is a crucial part of communicating your inner feelings. Of course, we can’t communicate ideas, thoughts, and plans without words. However, the way people interpret those words is tremendously influenced by our non-verbal communication.
In her research, Dr. Isa Engleberg (Professor of Speech at Prince George College) has suggested that between 60 and 70 percent of all meaning—understanding—is derived from our body language.
What is body language? It’s a form of non-verbal communication consisting of facial expressions, eye movements, gestures, and posture. Here are a few examples:… read more
Meeting with groups of people is something we all experience. Whether it’s board meetings, business meetings, office meetings, church meetings, or small group meetings, you can do some simple things to build your personal brand and have your words carry more weight.
1. Learn about the participants. If you are attending an important meeting where people will be present whom you have not yet met, learn about them in advance. Google their names, read their websites, review their LinkedIn profiles, or whatever options are available to you. How would you view someone who took the time to learn about you in advance?
2. Dress appropriately. The way you appear in meetings will impact how you are viewed—both at the subconscious and conscious level. When you take pride in your appearance, people will regard you more seriously and will place more value in what you say…read more
This is lesson #48 from my book Little Things Matter, 100 Ways to Improve Your Life Today.
If you are like most people you probably spend more time worrying than you should. Worrying about job security, project deadlines, health, shrinking budgets, rising taxes, the housing market, world poverty, our children’s safety, even the weather. Some things we can control, others we clearly cannot. The key to maintaining a positive attitude in life is to know the difference.
I heard years ago that 92 percent of the things people worry about are beyond their control…read more
If you are growing and advancing your life, there will be times when you need to give a presentation. A presentation is not limited to the times you stand in front of a group of people. It also includes conference call presentations, conference room presentations, one-on-one presentations, and even written presentations.
One of the ways to stand out among your peers and competitors and increase your value to the market is to learn how to prepare and deliver effective presentations.
Years ago I took a class on public speaking by Bert Decker Communication. It was an exceptional experience that is still vivid in my mind today. During this training, the key elements of effective presentations were discussed.
Since then I have added a few more points to my checklist that I review before EVERY blog post I write and every presentation I give. I open this document and answer these 10 questions. Once these questions are answered, I piece together my presentation…read more
Do you form opinions about people based upon their written communications with you? Can you distinguish between the people who take pride in their communications and those who don’t?
In today’s electronic age, one of the primary ways we are branding ourselves is through our typed words. Our emails, text messages, and posts on social media sites reveal much about who we are.
How you are viewed impacts the respect people have for you, the influence you have with others, and the people you attract into your life. These things play an important role in your personal and professional relationships, in the value you bring to the market, and how you feel about yourself…read more
We are living in an era of constant change. Because businesses are becoming less dictatorial and more social, the understanding and value of soft skills to an organization are growing daily.
In Top 10 Soft Skills to Master, I touched on a couple reasons why soft skills are important, but those were just the tip of the iceberg. The more I look at the distinguishing traits of people who are advancing their careers, the more convinced I am that soft skills are more important today than ever before.
Soft Skills versus Hard Skills
“Soft skills” is a term relating to a collection of personal, positive attributes and competencies that enhance your relationships, job performance, and value to the market…. read more
Did you know you have the power to make our world a better place? “Who? Me? Impossible!” I hear you saying. But it’s true.
In this world of turmoil and strife, with chaos everywhere across our nation and around the globe, there has never been a greater hunger for simple words of encouragement. Excessive stress, lack of control, financial pressure, uncertainty about tomorrow—these are all taking their toll on people’s emotions, health, and morale.
However, there is hope. There is one indispensable ingredient that can transform and inspire individuals, improve life, grow positive a attitude, build self-esteem, and enhance relationships. That ingredient is encouragement.
Albert Schweitzer said, “Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being.” There are two ways to rekindle that flame, to give the gift of encouragement—by your words and by your actions…read more
Self-discipline is a pattern of behavior where you choose to do what you know you should do, rather than what you want to do. It’s the inner power that pushes you to get out of bed to exercise rather than sleeping in. It is the assertion of willpower over more basic desires and is synonymous with self-control.
It includes having the personal initiative to get started and the stamina to persevere. Being disciplined gives you the strength to withstand hardships and difficulties, whether physical, emotional or mental. It allows forgoing immediate satisfaction, in order to gain something better, but which requires effort and time…read more
What is the most dominate dream you think about? Would you like to know your odds of achieving it? In three minutes you will know your answer.
As part of my desire to continue learning and growing, I attended a leadership event this past weekend hosted by Bob Burg and Paul Martinelli featuring three of my favorite teachers, Les Brown, Bob Burg and Dr. John C. Maxwell.
Dr. Maxwell (internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author) gave an insightful presentation on his book…read more
Stress is evident everywhere in our fast-paced world. It’s a mental, emotional, or physical strain caused by anxiety or overwork. We all feel stress and often suffer the results of it in some way or other.
What you are about to read can have a significant impact on the levels of stress you experience. This post is not about how to deal with stress; it’s about how to reduce and avoid it.
Most of the stress we experience can be broken down into three categories…read more
Our relationships influence every area of our lives. From the friends we attract to the promotions we receive, all of our personal and professional success is built on relationships. This is why it is critical that we do the little things that nourish and strengthen our relationships with others.
Every day we interact with people. During these conversations, it is important that we be fully present and give people our undivided attention. If we aren’t careful, we can be distracted and run the risk of being viewed as rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful… read more