July 14, 2013
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For those of you who like lists, here’s a checklist of topics I have covered in my earlier entries:
1 . If you don’t define success for yourself, someone else will.
2. Good intentions are not enough.
3. Change before you have to.
4. You always have choices, even if you don’t like them.
5. There is no success without discipline. Success is not an accident.
6. Find out what doesn’t work, and then don’t do it.
7. You are only a victim if you choose to be a victim.
8. Never be in a hurry to lose.
9. Criticism is never welcome, but it can help you know what to work on.
10. Setting goals requires both a “what” and a “why”.
11. Feeling fearful is normal. It’s usually a sign that you need to take some action.
12. Fail better. Success rarely comes without the lessons failure provides.
13. Build structure to support your efforts to grow and change. Willpower is overrated.
14. Know the difference between success and satisfaction.
15. The fear of failing is often worse than actually failing.
16. Your habits will make or break you. Choose them wisely.
17. Real and lasting growth comes through small changes.
18. At all times tell the truth about your life.
19. Take some action every day to move toward your goals.
20. Have a personal code to guide your choices so you don’t get trapped by circumstances.
July 14, 2013
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If you are looking for some simple but effective ways to improve your life and feel better about what you do each day, try incorporating one of these actions into your daily routine:
1. Smile. Not only will others appreciate this, you’ll feel better as well!
2. Say “Please” and “Thank you” consistently – and be sincere. It’s good for you to recognize that others are helping you, and it’s also good for them to feel appreciated.
3. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. Don’t stare – this isn’t a contest. Look at them for a few seconds and then look away to one side. Don’t look down – it makes you look weak.
4. Use a person’s name when speaking to them. Don’t overdo this. Just remember that people like to hear their names. Adding their name now and then pleases them, helps them focus on what you are saying and makes them feel important.
5. Allow others to talk about what interests them without competing with them. Let them tell their stories without adding your comments about how your own experience might be similar or ever better. See the next point.
6. Stop trying to win all the time. Let others go in front of you in line when they are in a hurry. Let the rude drivers have their way – they’ll get their own reward. Winning may feel good, but too much of it will make you an unpleasant person.
7. Listen 2x longer than you usually do. If you usually listen to others only long enough to put together your own response, add an equal amount of time to think about whether your response is really appropriate. You can add value to a conversation with a little thought or a thoughtful question.
Real personal change comes from consistently applying a few tactics rather than trying to change your whole life all at once.
December 31, 2011
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New Year’s resolutions rarely last. Too often they are just nice ideas rather than actions that we can measure. So this year skip the list and choose 1 thing to DO differently. Focus on that 1 thing for 365 days, keep track of how often you do it successfully, and I’ll bet you will make more progress than if you had a list of good ideas as long as your arm.
My 1 thing for 2012? Letting other people shine, appreciating them for the talents they have, and learning from them, and not trying to top their ideas and experiences by offering one of mine in comparison.
And yes, I’ll be keeping score.
December 17, 2011
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For anyone who wants to change something in their lives, it seems to take forever before they see any results. This is because our habits and ways of thinking don’t change quickly. And we don’t want them to. Imagine that these were easy to change and that they could be changed every few hours. After a short time you would lose your sense of who you were. You wouldn’t be able to tell your new experiences from the old. And you would cease being able to function effectively.
So be grateful for gradual change. Work with it.
One way that I personally use this fact to my advantage is to use a daily checklist of things that I want to work on. Right now my daily list looks like this:
How many times today did you:
1. Smile at others.
2. Show appreciation for someone for what they did for you.
3. Make someone feel important / allow them to talk about themselves without interrupting them.
4. Try to prove you were right or win, even in something trivial.
5. Tell someone why their idea won’t work.
6. Use another person’s name when greeting them.
7. Talk to others in terms of their interests (instead of your own).
Quite a list. Most days I don’t score all that well. But I’m now aware of what I need to change, and I can focus on these skills and not worry too much about the other 1,398,641 things that I might get wrong on any given day.
I’m making progress, and it certainly isn’t dramatic. But it is progress and I know that the changes I make in this way will last.