Shortcut To Happiness

happinessMost individuals need to feel that they are a part of something bigger. They want to care about – and feel cared for – by others beings.

Close relationships are one of the most meaningful factors in happiness, even more so than personal satisfaction or your view of the world as a whole. Research has showed that if you feel close to other people, you are four times more likely to feel good about yourself than if you do not feel close to anyone at all. Experiencing closeness with others actually explain about 70 percent of personal happiness according to the researchers.

So deepen your current relationships and expand your friendship base in the knowledge that it will not only increase your level of happiness but also others. And remember that relationships are built on mutual appreciation – there is no better way to show that appreciation than to tell someone how much you care.

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The Power to Enjoy

A life worth living – it’s here and now.

Thrive in Exile

We don’t have to look very hard as we go through our days to find people who are struggling to find success. Some just want to get by and have their basic needs met, I’m not talking about those people. According to Solomon, these are the oppressed. They are oppressed by some system (either a government, institution, family, or their own thinking). If they change the influence of these circumstance, then they will be able to thrive.

What I want to focus on are all those people who are striving hard after big goals. These are the people who work extremely hard, take the extra shift, put in the extra time, and sacrifice just about anyone and anything to make it.  What is usually behind this undying devotion to success? Is it not often vanity? Isn’t it a sense of pride that sees oneself as slightly better, or…

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1-Minute Playbook: Get Into The Groove

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Music adds significantly to your success

Do you enjoy listening to upbeat music when you’re working out? And maybe something mellow when you are feeling a bit down? If so, you’re not alone. Most people actually use music as “mood management”, shifting not only the volume but also the type of music depending on their mood.

Research has showed that that’s a great idea though! It turns out that different kinds of music – as well as the volume – affect different areas of your brain. Classical music can improve visual attention and, while high volume and upbeat music might be good for your exercise, a moderate noise level is perfect for getting your creative juices flowing.

Your own motivational playlist

Create a motivational playlist that will make you feel good – one that will make you rock. It will mobilize that positive energy that you’ve got within. And when that happens, you will soon get to enjoy the new miracles that you will be creating in your life.

Make Decisions Like a Great Leader (Guest Post)

Entrepreneurial Ambitions

Feedback is the breakfast of champions - feedback
As an entrepreneur or a team leader, the amount of decisions you make is enormous. From who to hire, to which are the most important e-mails to answer right away; each decision carries a great weight on you company. It makes sense to maximize your chances to make the right one.
Mark Zuckerberg wears the same clothes every day so he can limit the time he spends making “frivolous” decisions so he can concentrate on real work. Both Steve Jobs and President Obama have a similar view on everyday decisions, and that makes sense. When you run a big company (or a country), you want to focus all your time on decisions that matter.

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9 Overlooked Leadership Qualities A Guest Post by Paul LaRue

A closer look at important “hidden leadership characteristics”.

Caring For The Caregiver offered by Phyllis Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC

The University of Oregon’s Holden Leadership Center, which is established to build leadership qualities, particularly those of their students, comprised a list of leadership characteristics that they aim to cultivate in the student body.

In reading over this list, it struck me of the many qualities that were listed that are not easily measurable. Skills such as being a good communicator, respectful, and having quiet confidence, while being great traits in every leader, are difficult to measure and are often overlooked.

We have a tendency in looking to our leaders, whether those that have influence in our lives or ones we help develop along the way, to overlook many qualities in search for some of the more hard leadership skills, such as technical or industry-specific knowledge and financial acumen. We do, however, acknowledge the more important soft skills that are coveted in leadership – communication, credibility, aligned values. But…

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The Business of Being an Entrepreneur

Yura´Bryant’s “tell it like it is” post about entreprenurship. Read and be inspired to action./Ulrika

Entrepreneurial Ambitions

The-Business-Of-entrepreneurship
Let’s face it, entrepreneurship can be a challenging/ daunting process of thoughts and actions. You have this grand vision in your mind of what you want to accomplish but you are not quite sure of how exactly you are supposed to bring every thing together. You read blogs, magazines and constantly seek the advice of others but it all only seems to distract your ability to think and do; rather than progressing forward. You inevitably block your ability to do by constantly trying to find out how you are supposed to be an entrepreneur, rather than just assuming risk by taking action as a real entrepreneur does.

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1-Minute Playbook: Your mindset is everything

ozzyA wonderful life begins with a wonderful mindset

Regardless of how it might feel sometimes, you are in control of your thoughts and your life. Your life is your own creation, be it great or not. That also means that you have the power to make it even better. One way to do that, is to shift your mindset into “gratitude-“mode.

As soon as you wake up in the morning, take a moment to think about and feel gratitude for all that you have in your life. Once you start to truly appreciate that you life is a blessing, I can assure you that it’s going to be improved even further.

The Road to Success: 10 Of My Favorite Quotes Of All Time

fitness-332278_1280All successful people get inspired and learn from others. Fuel your own creativity and be motivated to action by some of my own favorite quotes.

What you think, you become.”
– Buddha

The power of your thoughts is astonishing. Not only do your negative thoughts drain your energy but they also block your development. What you think about – where your focus is – is crucial to your success in life, and in business.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

– Marcel Proust

It is so easy to take the people closest to us for granted, yet they are the ones that makes life extra meaningful. Tell the ones you love how much they mean to you – and then show it in your actions.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Many roads may go to Rome but there’s only one foolproof road to success – preparation. There are no shortcuts.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.”
– Harry S. Truman

If you want to be truly successful, drop your Ego and live from your heart. Be supportive and encouraging of other peoples achievements. What goes around comes around. Besides, do you want the acknowledgement of being successful or do you want to be (genuinely feel) successful?

“There’s no ‘ifs’ amongst believers. Anything can happen.”
– Jesus

Whatever you perceive you will achieve. There are no boundaries, no limits at all, to what you can create in your life. Anything is possible!

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
– Gandhi

The way we treat other beings says a lot about our true essence – more so than any external showcases of practicing religion. What you sow, you shall reap – that’s just the way it works.

“When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.”
– Vietnamese proverb

Remember that everything that you have in your life – and I know that you have a lot – you have simply because of someone else’s efforts and hard work. Acknowledge and be grateful for what’s in your life, be it things or beings.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
– Aristotle

If you don’t know your true self, how can you genuinely know someone else? It’s first when you know your deepest desires and dreams, that you can take the next step in achieving them.

“When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.”
– Unknown

There are many people who at some point in their lives got themselves into a situation where they ended up with absolutely nothing. I am one of them. It was through that situation though, that I – by the grace of God – managed to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. And it was with the comfort, security and knowledge that God is always within me and God is enough, that I moved forward with such success that I created a life beyond what I thought was possible. With God, all things are possible.

“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.”
– Neale Donald Walsch

Be grateful for what you have as opposed to focus on what you have not. Make a list of everything in your life that you are grateful for – don’t leave anything out. If you at any time still feel like you don’t have anything to be grateful for, take a look at that list. Show Gratitude for what you have, no matter how little, and God will provide you with more to be grateful for.

Do you have any favorite quote of your own? I’d love to know about them! Send me an email to gustolifegroup[at]gmail[dot]com and I might include them in a future post as your personal favorite quote (if you consent).

The Importance of Ethical Leadership A Guest Post by Angela D. Pearson MBA, M.S.

Caring For The Caregiver offered by Phyllis Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.

Ethical leadership is described as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions, interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement, and decision-making” (Brown, Treviño, & Harrison, 2005, p. 120). Ethical leadership brings credibility, respect, trust and fosters a positive environment. According to Mayer, Kuenzi, Greenbaum, Bardes, and Salvador (2009) the social learning theory proposes when there are role models in the work setting, individuals will strive to emulate these models. We will discuss two of those leaders and the behaviors displayed that made their leadership unethical.

Rod Blagojevich is a former American politician who served as the 40th Governor of Illinois from 2003 to 2009. In March 2012, Blagojevich began serving a 14-year sentence in a federal prison in Colorado following conviction for corruption. His unethical acts included the soliciting of bribes for political appointments including the vacant U.S. Senate seat of…

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Are You Really a Compassionate Leader?

There’s a great deal of focus in my life on personal and professional growth right now. It consumes me – in the most positive way – and I find it absolutely great, fun and so very inspirational. Anyway, I was talking with a friend today about my thoughts on the importance of a leader being compassionate – personally and professionally.

I firmly believe that no successful leader or individual can lack compassion as to me that equals being unaware of your true essence as a being. A compassionate individual sees things in people – they see their strengths and weaknesses as well as their passions and fears. They see what makes others special and they work to draw that out. A great leader recognize that compassion begins from within. And that it is only when you can forgive and love yourself, as you can give that forgiveness and love to others.

Fall, to rise again

However it seems that it is not until one individual, at one point or another in his/hers life, truly has fallen down that (s)he fully develop – and practise – compassion as it should be practised. This might not be so strange though considering that it usually is in the process of getting up from such “fall down” that you discover who you really are, what you truly care about and how you want to live the rest of your life. You learn so much more on the way up than you possibly can do at the top.

“Maybe it is true that it’s only when you have nothing, that you can learn what is truly meaningful to you!” – Ulrika @GustoLifeGroup

A great compassionate leader has done this journey, personally – spiritually – and professionally. And it’s through that journey – those challenges – that they have come to recognize that each and every one of us have something special within us. Such aware leader, or individual, also knows that it’s only through developing a meaningful relationship with another person that you can draw the gift of genuine compassion out in the open.

“Compassion is a verb.” – Ulrika @GustoLifeGroup

It’s not enough to just feel it though. Compassion is worthless unless you in fact do something with it! And this is why humility is the precursor to compassion. Humility is what opens you up in a way that enables compassion to “flow in” and become real.

A compassionate relationship

In a compassionate relationship you pull another person in by genuinely listening and asking questions. There’s a valuable lesson for you to learn from every individual and situation you encounter. As a compassionate leader you constantly need to ask yourself,
– Do I make people feel better about themselves?
– Do I make them feel like they are capable of achieving more than they ever thought they could do?
– Am I courageous enough to enpower others or does my fear cause me to micro-manage/want to control instead?
– What can I learn from this individual and this situation?

“Great leaders dare to be vulnerable” – Ulrika @GustoLifeGroup

That’s what compassion is all about – letting go of fear, daring to be vulnerable and be encouraging, caring, sharing, listening and loving towards others! And it’s amazing, it can be as easy as just listening or saying a kind word to a loved one, a stranger or a fellow employee.

True compassion

In his book An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, Dalai Lama writes that true compassion “has the intensity and spontaneity of a loving mother caring for her suffering baby. Throughout the day, such a mother’s concern for her child affects all her thoughts and actions. This is the attitude we are working to cultivate with each and every being. When we experience this, we have generated great compassion.” Simple. And beautiful!

“A man is walking along a beach and comes across a boy picking something up off the sand and gently throwing it into the ocean. Curious, the man asked, ‘What are you doing?’

‘I am throwing starfish into the ocean,’ the boy answered. ‘The sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them in, they will die.’

The man said, ‘Well, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference.’

The little boy bent down and he picked up another starfish and threw it into the surf. He smiled at the man and said, ‘But I made a difference to that one.’ ” – The Star Thrower