How to go from auto-pilot to living and leading in context

Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do.” The guy knew what he was talking about.

How we choose to act and what we choose to do every day, is part of what defines us as human beings – and as leaders In today´s manifesto, Linda Fisher Thornton talks about how you can go from auto-pilot to living and leading in context, simply by becoming aware of your behavior. Get inspired here What Ethical Leaders Believe

Are you ready to take your career and your leadership to the next level? There´s an exciting, rewarding and FUN way to further excel your leadership – and in the process, simplify your life. Get in touch with us here for an initial dialogue about how our successful 12-steps process can help YOU succeed too!

 

Train Yourself to Be More Positive in 5 Steps

Today´s blog post is written by featured guest blogger, Zohaib Akhlaq, the founder of HowEntrepreneur.com

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We often come across tough times in our life where it’s difficult to stay positive.

When your job is miserable, money is tight and life is just generally challenging, it’s often easier to slide into a funk, thinking that things are never going to get better and you’re destined to be a grump.

But if you let that happen, you open yourself up to a whole host of problems, ranging from strained relationships (who wants to hang out with a Debbie Downer?) to serious health problems, including cardiovascular problems and substance abuse.

The good news is that you can take control of your thoughts and shift your thinking from “negative” to “positive.”

Try practicing a few of these behaviors the next time you catch yourself spiraling into negativity, and watch your mental and physical health improve dramatically.

1. Practice Mindfulness

In today’s always-open, 24/7 world, it’s easy to be pulled in multiple directions and feel like you need to keep multiple plates spinning all the time; however, constantly trying to pay attention to the messages coming in on the phone and the computer while you have a conversation and watch television is a sure fire way to cause stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Instead of constantly multitasking, take time to notice the world around you — pay attention to the sound of leaves rustling as the breeze blows or how the sun feels on your skin as you walk to work.

Focus on one thing at a time and be in the moment, and you’ll see your stress and negative feelings diminish.

2. Is This Real?

One simple trick that forensic psychology graduate programs recommend to immediately defuse negative thoughts is to ask a simple question: Are these thoughts true?

Many times, we get caught up in negative thoughts that aren’t really true. Perhaps you hear a voice saying that something terrible is going to happen or that you aren’t capable of doing something.

Before allowing that thought to take hold, stop for a moment and consider whether it’s really true. Unless there is a compelling reason for the thought to be true, dismiss it.

Turn it into something positive: “I’m going to try my best on this project” instead of “I’m doomed for failure.”

3. Make a Gratitude List

It’s quite simple: When you acknowledge and feel grateful for what you have, you don’t have time for thinking about what you lack.

And if you’re like most people, when you start listing everything good in your life, you’ll immediately start feeling better and more positive.

4. Help Others

Helping others accomplishes several things when it comes to shifting how you think.

First, giving back to those who are less fortunate — or even just easing someone else’s load — provides perspective.

You might be frustrated with your job and wish you had a bigger or nicer place to live, but spending some time volunteering in a homeless shelter can help you see how much you have.

Second, being kind and helpful to others increases the chance they will extend the same courtesy to you, helping you feel better and more positive about your life and the world around you.

5. Picture Your Safe Place

There’s no denying it: Maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude is good for your health. Multiple studies and anecdotal evidence have proven those who stay optimistic, even when facing setbacks, are generally healthier and less stressed.

Sometimes, taking a short “mental break” can help you get your thoughts back on a positive track. Taking a few moments to slow down and picture yourself in a relaxing place — whether that’s the beach, the mountains or simply a quiet room — helps you refocus your thoughts and clear out any worries or negative feelings that threaten to take over.

Focus on your breathing, and visualize yourself relaxing. Once you do so, you’ll feel the negativity floating away.

Conclusion

Some people are naturally positive thinkers and don’t have any trouble keeping a cheerful and upbeat mindset.

However, even the happiest and most positive people have rough days, so having some go-to strategies for stopping negativity in its tracks can stop problems before they start, and keep you healthy mentally and physically.

Biography

Zohaib Akhlaq is the founder of HowEntrepreneur.com where he teach entrepreneurs and startup owners something new daily. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Does having plenty of money make us happier?

girl-204327_1280We all know that money can´t buy us love. Well, at least not the real kind. But can an abundance of money make us happier?

A Princeton University study provides some scientifically backed answers to that question. Princeton´s researchers analyzed 450,000 responses to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and found that people with an annual household income of $75,000 (maybe surprisingly even in the most expensive cities in the country) are about as happy as anyone can get.

People with annual household incomes below $75,000 had lower levels of emotional wellbeing. But, those with annual household incomes above $75,000 did not show higher levels of emotional wellbeing. In other words, according to the researchers, having an annual household income of $75,000 is as good as it gets – money can buy happiness, but only up to about $75,000 a year.

If you want to learn how to create the life of your dreams – regardless of your income – then take a look at our courses and programs that we offer.

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1-Minute Playbook: Are You a Happy Leader?

woman-692785_1280Leaders can achieve great things if they trust their inner energy and their work gives them pleasure. The resulting energies are infectious.

To give a popular example of how this might manifest itself in the business world, consider the words of Richard Branson:

“If your staff are happy and smiling and enjoying their work, they will perform well. Consequently, the customers will enjoy the experience with your company. If your staff are sad and miserable and not having a good time, the customers will be equally miserable. So, it is a critical thing. We’ve done things differently at Virgin and that’s made life more fun and enjoyable. I’ve been determined to have a good time.”

Leaders who radiate happiness can achieve better relationships with their followers, who in turn create happier customers. It is worthwhile for leaders to reflect on their own degree of personal happiness. Ask yourself: are you happy?

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A Complementary Strategy Session

2H43Z0W1PSDo you feel lost in your life or your leadership and don’t know what to do next? Or do you want to move further along an already taken road towards success? Or do you simply want to learn a way to lead your life, your family, your organization or your community?

For a limited time period we offer a complimentary, 60 minute Strategy Session to learn about your goals, challenges and desired breakthroughs for the next 12 months.  By the end of the call, you will walk away with “next steps” recommendations necessary to achieve those breakthroughs.

On your call, we will also discuss if you are ready to move forward and whether our services can help you achieve your desired outcomes.  If we are not a good fit, we will gladly offer you other resources and recommendations that can help you take that next step.

Complete the form below to set up an initial talk and one of our team members will get back to you.

Note: 
You must fill out this entire form to qualify for our complimentary, 60 minute life strategy session.

Congratulations in taking that first step to make a difference in your life!

15 Rules for Happy Living

couple-692708_1280When I woke up early this morning I was experiencing such intense gratitude and happiness for all that I have in my life, that I started laughing – I simply love when that happens.

It made me reflect on what easy-to-implement habits we can develop to make our lives easier and more joyful. Here’s 15 simple tips for a happy living:

  1. Count your BLESSINGS, not your troubles.
  2. Live ONE DAY at the TIME.
  3. Say “I love you” OFTEN.
  4. Be a GIVER, not a taker.
  5. Seek for GOOD in EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.
  6. Pray EVERYDAY.
  7. Do at least one GOOD DEED a day.
  8. Learn to count (keep PRIORITIES in line).
  9. Let NO little and/or imaginary things bother you.
  10. Practice a “DO IT NOW” habit.
  11. Fill your LIFE with GOOD.
  12. Learn to LAUGH and to CRY.
  13. SMILE and the world will smile with you.
  14. Fear NOTHING and no one.
  15. Let go and let GOD take over.

What are some of your favourite habits for a happy life? We’d love to hear all about them!
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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.

The 25 Best Blogs of 2015

Get some great inspiration for growth from 25 of our favorite life and leadership blogs (in no particular order). They are a mixture of “famous” medalj-guld-stor-500x500blogs and less well known but great blogs. What they all have in common, is that they all aim – and succeed – to inspire and advise on all matters related to personal and professional growth.

Read and be inspired!

1. Leadercast

2. Success

3. The Upwards Leader

4. Scott Hansen

5. The Chief Happiness Officer Blog

6. Michael Hyatt

7. Motivational Memo

8. Tiny Buddha

9. The Dream Catcher

10. The Secrets of Success

11. Lolly Daskal

12. Happy Melly

13. Michael Lee Stallard

14. Ying Ying Shi

15. Imperfect Spirituality

16. Limitless

17. The Muse

18. Your Life YOUR way

19. The Grasshopper Blog

20. All Business

21. Pam Grout

22. Rebel Brown

23. Strategies Blog

24. Gretchen Rubin

25. Daring To Live Fully

How Well Do You Maintain Balance?

If trying to maintain balance in your life makes you feel like a tightrope walker, you’re not alone. Most of us have so many feng-shuiiiiiiiiiiidemands on our time and energy, life can feel like a three-ring circus. Take this quiz to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling personal needs and wants.

True  False

͏    ͏   1. The only way I can successfully manage my life is to take care of myself physically and emotionally.

͏    ͏   2. Nurturing myself enlarges my capacity to help others.

͏    ͏   3. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly.

͏    ͏   4. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions.

͏    ͏   5. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m meditating or simply letting my thoughts drift.

͏    ͏   6. I experience the gifts of each season: ice skating, sledding, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbeques; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside.

͏    ͏   7. Creativity nurtures me, too. I do what I love, whether that’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing or another creative pursuit.

͏    ͏   8. Reaching out to others enriches my life. I spend quality time with family and friends.

͏    ͏   9. Contributing to the world provides connection and purpose, so I give my time, energy and experience where it is most useful.

͏    ͏   10. I notice and heed the emotional signals that tell me I’m out of balance: irritability, overwhelm, resentment.

͏    ͏   11. If I feel that I’m catching a cold, I realize I may have stressed my immune system with overactivity, so I stop and take care of myself.

͏    ͏   12. When I need or want to, I say no to requests for my time.

͏    ͏   13. I listen to and honor the requests my body makes for such things as a nap, a walk, green vegetables, hot soup.

͏    ͏   14. If I have something planned for myself, I don’t just toss that aside when someone makes a request of me.

͏    ͏   15. I’m busy, but I find time to do the things I want to do.

͏    ͏   16. I’m happy. I regularly experience well-being, contentment, even joy.

If you answered false more often than true, you may want to take a look at the questions to which you answered false and see if you can incorporate something of its message into your life. Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to explore this issue further.

Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications

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Trusting what is – Patience

One of the  greatest thing I’ve had to work with, for myself, has been patience. I have always been a very impatient person – even when it did not serve me well.

Courageous individuals – leaders – trust. They trust that everything’s exactly as it is supposed to be – they let go. They do not try to control things, events or people. Nor do they force their own ways – swim upstream. They go with the flow – with trust – and find pleasure in it. Trust lies at the core of all our relationships – without, theres is no foundation for growth.

“It’s fine to want things to happen in a proper and timely way. But what if you need to hang in there for several months in your current job before you can move on to a better one.  Now what?

Patience means handling delay, difficulty, or discomfort without getting aggravated. Circumstances are what they are, but patience protects you from their impact like a shock absorber. In contrast, impatience interprets circumstances as you being hindered or mistreated, so you feel frustrated, let down, or annoyed. imagesO6B4MEWVThen insistence comes in: “This must change!” But by definition you can’t fulfill that commandment (otherwise, there’d be nothing to get impatient about). Impatience combines all three ingredients of toxic stress: unpleasant experiences, pressure or urgency, and lack of control.

Impatience with others contains implicit criticism and irritation – and people want to get away from both of these. Just recall how you feel when someone is impatient with you. Or consider how others react when you are impatient with them. Impatience is dissatisfaction; it is resistance to the way it is. Patience senses a fundamental alrightness, the doorway to contentment. Impatience is angry; patience is peaceful. Impatience narrows down onto what’s “wrong,” while patience keeps you wide open to the big picture.

Impatience can’t stand unpleasant feelings; patience helps you tolerate physical and emotional discomfort. Impatience wants rewards now; patience helps you tolerate delayed gratification, which fosters increased success and sense of worth. Patience may seem like a superficial virtue, but actually it embodies a deep insight into the nature of things: they’re intertwining, messy, imperfectible, and usually not about you. Patience also contains a wonderful teaching about desire: wish for something, sure, but be at peace when you can’t have it. Patience knows you can’t make the river flow any faster.

“When you are tempted to lose patience with someone, remember how patient God is with you – all the time.”