Personal and Professional Development Blog
Here are ten tips that will help you get out of debt.
1. Get motivated. The only way you will get out of debt is if getting out of debt is important to you. Make a list of the reasons you want to get out of debt. Ideas might include: it’s putting pressure on your marriage; it’s putting stress on your body; you want to live a financially responsible life; you want to be able to put your children through college; you want to save for retirement.read more
A respected friend, Don Yoakum, challenged me to write about what he calls “Decision Points”—real-life examples of how I make my decisions and implement these lessons into my life.
Yesterday, I received a demand email from the treasurer of the homeowners association where I own an investment property. It went like this…read more
Today, I celebrate my one-year anniversary as founder of Little Things Matter (LTM). I started this blog on 1-11-10, launched my book on 11-11-10, and today I celebrate my one-year anniversary on 1-11-11. (Lucky 1’s)
With your help and support, this blog already has more than 10,500 subscribers. The podcasts are now ranked No.26 in America’s Top Podcasts; No.1 in the personal and professional development space; and, the Little Things Matter Facebook page has over 23,500 followers… read more
Recently I listened to an interview between Denis Waitley*, one of the greatest teachers in human achievement and Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine. One of the questions Hardy asked Waitley was, “How can people improve their self-esteem?”
Waitley first defined the term by saying, “Your self-esteem is the deep-down, inside-the-skin feeling of your own worth, regardless of how you look or where you came from. It is the feeling of worthiness—just being glad you are you. It’s the feeling of identity—finding something unique about yourself. It has the feeling of competency—if I do something and it works out, it gives me the courage to do something more.”
Continuing, Waitley listed fourteen ways that people can strengthen their self-esteem…read more
Since you will be celebrating Christmas and New Years during the next two weekends with family and friends, I want to give you a few timely reminders on what I call party etiquette. When my family makes sure to do these things at other people’s homes, our efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Consider these 12 little things when you’re invited to someone’s home this holiday season…read more
Soft skills is a term relating to a cluster of personal attributes that characterize relationships with other people, such as social graces, communication, cooperation, honesty, respect, responsibility, friendliness, and optimism.
Because companies are becoming more process and system driven and because job competition has increased at all levels, there has never been a time when soft skills offer more value to the market than they do today.
As a growing number of people with similar talents and education compete for the same jobs, promotions, and clients, soft skills become the differentiating factor separating one person from another. The little things you’ve been learning about in this blog now matter more than ever…read more
He wrote, “Had the pleasure of telling a Mom last night (who is without a job) that she could consider her little girl’s boots for Christmas bought. Paid for! She was overwhelmed. To this Mom and little girl (who has wanted these boots for three years), it will be very special Christmas.”
His story so inspired me; I challenged my two younger children (who still live at home) to think creatively about how they can serve one or more people this holiday season. And now in this post, I want to challenge you… read more
My wife and I met Philiswa (pill-ee-swa) on our most recent trip to Swaziland, Africa. What first stood out to us were her eyes. As you can see in the attached photo, she has one eye that wanders off by itself.
As we spent time with her and the 60+ other children in the village, we couldn’t help but notice that the other kids picked on her. It was as if they noticed her disability and felt that it was perfectly acceptable to hit her, take things from her and laugh at her. Yet through all of this she maintained a surprisingly positive spirit…read more
How do you feel when someone disagrees with you? Do you feel attacked or offended? Does your posture change? Do you immediately feel the urge to respond and prove that you are right, or do you want to withdraw?
How do you feel when someone not only disagrees with you, but also makes negative or derogatory comments about your position?
When people disagree with our thinking, our natural tendency is to become defensive, often causing destructive results to people on both sides of the issue…read more
If you are not growing in this competitive work environment, you are losing ground to your competitors. Living a status quo life where you are not pushing yourself to improve will likely have negative consequences. Over time your market value will decline, you will lose your edge, your self-confidence will take a dive, and people who are hungrier than you will replace you… read more
If your answer is no, the sooner you determine how much you need to have saved, the sooner you can start the critical planning necessary to ensure a comfortable retirement.
I have often heard millionaires referred to as “the rich people,” but did you know if you had one million dollars saved paying you an annualized return of 5 percent a year, you would only be earning $50,000, before paying taxes…read more
In my post You Can’t Improve What you Don’t Measure, I explained why measuring your performance is critical to achieving your goals. Whether in business, sports, school, or any area of life, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. The same rule applies to your personal finances.
As we move into the final month of 2010, I want to encourage you to take time to review your finances, make refinements, and set new goals. If you do this, you’ll be more likely to achieve your long-term financial objectives. You’ll feel like you’re in control of your money, and you’ll enjoy the peace that comes from knowing you have a plan. As part of this process you will learn these things:…read more
Last week I read a blog post 7 Personal Branding Predictions for 2011 by personal branding expert Dan Schawbel. One of his seven predications for 2011 was that soft skills will become more important than hard skills.
Dan said, “When enough people have similar talents, and are competing for the same positions and opportunities, the real differentiator is your interpersonal skills. The way you present yourself, how you communicate with other people, whether it’s in an interview or with management at work, can make or break your personal brand. More and more people are starting to realize that the little things matter, especially in our current competitive environment.”…read more
This week we will observe Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America—a day when family and friends gather for a time of celebration and feasting. Soon your turkey and stuffing will be in the oven and pleasant aromas will fill the kitchen. Before we begin our celebration, let’s take a peak back four centuries ago when Americans celebrated their first Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Day Long Ago
For 66 days a sailing vessel called the Mayflower carried 102 pilgrims across the stormy Atlantic Ocean and landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts on December 11, 1620. During that first cold winter, 46 pilgrims died. In the spring of 1621, the Wampanoag Indians taught the pilgrims how to cultivate the land—growing corn, beans, and pumpkins which helped them survive. At harvest time the colonists were so grateful for their bountiful crops that Governor William Bradford organized the first Thanksgiving feast, inviting their neighbors—Wampanoag Indians. With joy and thanksgiving, they expressed their gratitude and appreciation to God for their bountiful harvest…read more
I am writing this post on my final day here in Africa. It has been a great trip. While much of the trip has been spent providing food, clothing, love and prayer for some of the most desperate people in the world, I feel refreshed and full of life.
This trip has reinforced my belief that when you help others, you help yourself. Think of the last time you gave of yourself to help someone. It could have been jump-starting someone’s car, a meal you made for a friend who was sick, or serving at the local homeless shelter. How did it make you feel?
When you take your resources, whether it is your time, talent, or money to help others, there is something about the experience that fills you up and brings greater joy and satisfaction to your life…read more
We all procrastinate at some time or other—it’s part of being human. We frequently put off doing things that we know we should do for a multitude of reasons. In today’s lesson you will learn why most people procrastinate and how to overcome procrastination and become a Do-It-Now person.
Why Become a Do-It-Now Person?
The most valuable benefits of being a person who performs responsibilities in a timely manner include an improved self-image and stronger self-confidence. In our careers, we will be more respected, produce at a higher level, and be offered opportunities for advancement. In our personal lives, we will enjoy more meaningful relationships, be a better example to our children, and find greater fulfillment from life.
On the other end of the spectrum, when you consistently put things off and fail to follow through with your responsibilities and commitments, the results can be devastating. Common effects include depression, guilt, poor productivity, social disapproval, unemployment, reduced wages, and low self-worth…read more
Today is one of the most exciting days of my life. My greatest passion and calling is to help people through my teachings and charitable work. Today, I am in a part of Africa with the highest aids rate in the world with the 60 children my wife and I support. Today is also the day my book, Little Things Matter, 100 Ways to Improve Your Life Today goes on sale at LittleThingsMatterBook.com
During the writing of this book, I experienced another exhilarating day when I learned that Brian Tracy would write the foreword to my book. The two people whose teachings have impacted my success the most are Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy, so you can understand how honored I felt to have Brian write my foreword. I want to share that foreword with you because it contains some of life’s most important lessons…read more
One of the most important keys to personal and professional success lies in how you spend your time. Each day contains twenty-four hours, but how we spend those hours is what separates people who enjoy lives of happiness, fulfillment and success from those who experience lives filled with frustration, disappointment, and often failure.
When Olympic athletes train, no detail of their performance is overlooked—from computerized motion studies to the fabric of their clothing and the customization of each shoe. Mastering time management is much the same. In order to work smarter but not harder, you must examine—and be willing to make changes to—everything you do to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and performance…
Think of a salesperson you really liked. Did this person try to impress you or was he or she a sincere, quality person who took the time to get to know you and understand your needs?
My guess is that in both situations, the person you connected with was being genuine or authentic…read more
Two of the most destructive emotions are envy and jealousy, both of which stem from the same source: our own insecurities. As we dive into this lesson, let’s first make sure we are clear on the definitions of both terms.
What is Envy? (Source: Wikipedia)
Envy is best defined as an emotion that occurs when a person lacks another’s (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.
Envy can also derive from a sense of low self-esteem that results from an upward social comparison threatening a person’s self image: another person has something that the envier considers to be important to have. If the other person is perceived to be similar to the envier, the aroused envy will be particularly intense, because it signals to the envier that it just as well could have been he or she who had the desired object…read more