7 Ways to Be Thankful Every Day

7 Ways to Be Thankful Every Day

‘Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.’
 

1. Appreciate the things you have.

Coach John Wooden emphasized the importance of being thankful by quoting Lao Tse: “Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.” He also added his own words of wisdom: “The great secret of life is to cultivate the ability to appreciate the things we have, not compare them.” Coach often encouraged us to not take for granted the many things we have that we did nothing to earn, such as life itself, the beauty of nature, the great country we live in, or the love of our family and friends.

2. Keep a gratitude journal.

Science has fallen over itself proving how gratitude makes you not only a warmer person but a healthier one. “Previous research has linked gratitude to improved mental health, lower levels of anxiety and improved sleep,” says Blaire Morgan, Ph.D., a research fellow at the University of Birmingham in England. “Our own research has demonstrated a strong link between gratitude and three different measures of well-being: satisfaction with life, subjective happiness and positive affect.”

The idea of the gratitude journal, as with most of your leading forms of mindful personal development (meditation, controlled breathing, ringing the Salvation Army bell, doing yoga in a 105-degree closet), is theoretically wonderful, a warmly resonant concept designed to blast rays of sunshine into your dull cement world of commutes and credit card APRs and Facebook. Gratitude journals are the opposite of work-intensive, requiring only a pen, pad and a handful of quiet moments. You can keep them anywhere. They’re meant to be mentally refreshing, spiritually invigorating, and free of expectation or reciprocation—a crystal-blue example of pure instinctual human goodwill.

3. Focus on being grateful.

“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.”

I believe one of the greatest lessons in life we can learn is to be thankful for what we already have. But gratitude is something we have to work at—to prepare our hearts to be reflective and thankful, to provide room for contemplation of our good fortune.

And if we want to be the kind of people who are characterized by thankfulness, by gratitude, then we must make sure that we focus on it at all times during the year.

Here are some words, some thoughts that are simple and practical to apply, that you can use right away in your quest for becoming more grateful.

4. Show you care.

“Thank you.”

It’s a simple phrase. Short. Sweet. But how often does it actually come out of your mouth? It’s kind of surprising how hard it really is to make saying thanks a “thing”—something that comes naturally, that you don’t have to put on your to-do list.

It can slip your mind. You’re not sure how to say it, or show it. And sometimes it feels awkward (complimenting—giving and receiving—doesn’t come easily to everyone).

But none of these excuses gets ride of people’s innate need to feel valued and appreciated, to be praised and recognized, for their work.

5. Get in the feeling good habit.

Every night as you’re getting ready to go to bed, spend a few minutes thinking of all of the things that you were grateful for during that day. This is especially important when you’ve had a bad day and it seems as though there is nothing to give thanks for.

I understand this can take work, especially when negative emotions are getting the best of you, but this is important. Sometimes you just have to push yourself. Maybe you closed a deal with a business associate or had a few laughs with a friend. Maybe you received a compliment. Or maybe you did something nice for someone or someone did something nice for you and it lifted your spirits. It can be as small as a snack you enjoyed or a parking space you snagged. Believe me, you’ll come to find that it’s well worth the effort because you will be creating an attitude of gratitude, a habit that’s conducive to making you feel good and enjoy your life.

6. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Are you a grateful person? Thankful for the good things, big and small, in your life?

In the hustle of to-do lists and work deadlines, sometimes it’s (too) easy to block out the details of the day, forgetting that each and every day holds precious gifts. From the air we breathe to the friendships we hold close, there is always something to be thankful for.

With the season of thanksgiving upon us, here are 15 quotes to inspire a life of gratitude.

7. Fake thankfulness.

Philosophers have long known that as the mind goes, so go the emotions. A pithier way to say that would be, we become what we think.

Along with neurological chemistry, people with depression are often caught in “negative feedback loops.” Someone feels negative, so they think—i.e., tell themselves—negative thoughts. Those negative thoughts reinforce the original negative feelings leading to more negative thoughts… and down and down we go.

Fortunately, that downward spiral also works in reverse, not by first feeling positive and then thinking positive thoughts, but instead by intentionally thinking positive thoughts that lead to genuinely positive emotions.

 

 

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May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom

SANDRA BRAVO

#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment

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source: SUCCESS Staff

Rohn: How to Solve Any Problem That Gets in Your Way

Rohn: How to Solve Any Problem That Gets in Your Way

You know the importance of applying discipline and effort to overcome any problem that stands in your way. But some problems call for more than steely determination—they require you to step back and apply some mental power.

If you’re faced with a roadblock like this, put it all down on paper. When you write a problem down on paper, you take the emotion out of it. With the emotion gone, you can look at the roadblock objectively. You can figure out what you did right. You can figure out what you did wrong. You can figure out how to change it.

Here’s what you do: Pick a problem out of your head and pull out a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle of the paper. On the left-hand side, jot down the problem in detail.

We’ve got so much going on in our heads that it may just be difficult to isolate this particular problem. Just state it the best you can.

On the other side of this paper, you’re going to write some solutions. There are three questions to ask yourself to generate those solutions, to solve almost any problem.

The first question you need to consider is this: What can I do? You don’t want to go any further than that if you can solve the problem yourself. Start jotting down any options that come to mind. Lay out the alternatives. Then begin analyzing them. “Let’s see, number three… no, that one would take too long. I haven’t got that much time. OK. Number two? Not sure. OK. Let’s look at number one. Maybe the one I thought of first is my best one.”

If that doesn’t seem to work, here’s the second problem-solving question: What could I read? Maybe there’s a book on your problem. Somebody may have spent a lifetime trying to figure out this problem. You could receive the instant benefit of this person’s advice if you take the time to look. Maybe it’s concisely written somewhere. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If you do your homework, you just may find the solution.

Start taking notes on what you’re reading. Book number one: This guy’s crazy. Book number two: This guy’s too shallow. Book number three: This guy’s got some interesting things to say about this problem.

If that still doesn’t work, then ask question number three: Who could I ask?

What should you have ready when you ask somebody to help you? You’ve got your notes to show them. You say, “You know, I’ve tried my best to figure it out myself, and it has left me short. Here are some of the books I’ve read. Here are my notes. I’ve researched this material, and I’m still confused. Could you possibly help me?”

You can’t believe how willing people will be to help you if they know that you’re willing to help yourself.

I promise you, if you try these ideas and ask these questions when you’ve got a problem, you’ll be able to solve just about anything that gets in your way.

 

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May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom

SANDRA BRAVO

#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment

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source: http://www.success.com

 

WHY DO WE NEED A SENSE OF URGENCY?

WHY DO WE NEED A SENSE OF URGENCY?

The founder of a highly successful company was asked what it took to succeed.  He answered:  “The same thing it took to get started; a sense of urgency about getting things done.”

The people who make things happen share the same sense of urgency.  Ask any entrepreneur to list the keys to getting their company off the ground, and urgency will be among the traits listed.

No matter how intelligent or able you may be, if you don’t have a sense of urgency you better start developing it now.  The world is full of competent people who honestly intend to do things tomorrow; however, tomorrow seldom comes for them.  Many individuals with less talent are more successful because they understand the importance of urgency.  In other words, get started now.

The downfall for many people and companies is that once they are successful, complacency sets in.  They are comfortable and satisfied with the status quo.  Complacency is the enemy of urgency.  Things don’t happen by sitting back.  Things don’t happen by watching and waiting for others. 

John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor and author of “A Sense of Urgency,” says that keeping up urgency is a challenge because leaders must create it over and over.  It must be embedded in your culture.  Companies are vulnerable for complacency to set in.

He advises that the key for leaders in maintaining a sense of urgency is “to value the capacity to appreciate unexpected opportunities.  This focus results in work that is highly leveraged, meaningful work, a culture that is satisfying to heart and mind, and an organization that continues to succeed in a changing world.”

So the challenge shifts to keeping employees motivated and determined to succeed.

According to Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace Report,” published in 2013, only 30 percent of employees are actively committed to doing a good job.  These are your engaged employees who have passion and a profound connection for their company.  Unfortunately 50 percent of employees only put in their time and are essentially “checked out.”  The remaining 20 percent are actively disengaged employees who are counterproductive and negatively influence others.

Another problem is false urgency, where you have a lot of activity without productive results.  John Kotter explains:  “False urgency is rooted in anger and anxiety … This anger creates conflict, battles and a lot of meetings.  It is often created by pressure from above, with actions that are not aimed at the root cause or real solutions.”

True urgency is focused on accomplishing something important each day.  Urgency is not driven by fear, but rather by a deep determination.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, talked about urgency in his book, “The Road Ahead.”  He said the secret to Microsoft’s success was that employees always thought of themselves on the losing side, which made them strive to be number one.  That attitude created a sense of urgency which made them work hard to flourish in the highly competitive IT industry.

In today’s entrepreneurial environment, if you don’t move fast, you get run over.  Without a sense of urgency, people and businesses just can’t move fast enough.  But this is not a new concept. 

Centuries ago, Leonardo da Vinci said, “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.  Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

Legendary pro football coach Vince Lombardi demonstrated a tremendous sense of urgency when he took the helm of the Green Bay Packers.  They had a miserable 1-10-1 record in 1958, and at training camp in 1959, he had some stern words for them. 

Lombardi said:  “Gentlemen, we are going to have a great football team.  We are going to win games.  Get that?  You are going to learn to block, run and tackle.  You are going to outplay all the teams that come up against you.  Get that?”

And then he explained his sense of urgency:  “You are to have confidence in me and enthusiasm for my system.  Hereafter, I want you to think of only three things:  your home, your religion, and the Green Bay Packers, in that order!  Let enthusiasm take hold of you, beginning now!”

Virtually the same players as the year before went on to win seven games that year, a division title the next year, and a NFL championship the third year.  The renewed passion for the game, fueled by their new-found urgency, produced astounding results.

 

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May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom

SANDRA BRAVO

#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment

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source: http://www.harveymackay.com

HOW TO ACHIEVE FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE

HOW TO ACHIEVE FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE

Achieving financial independence requires much more than taking a few considered steps erred heavily on the side of material caution. To be truly in control of your financial future, you have to make creating financial independence front and centre of your fiscal playbook.

This doesn’t mean scrimping and squirrelling at every opportunity you get, turning down nights out with the girls, and saying ‘no!’ to every retail purchase, but it does require conscious spending and smart saving.

Financial independence comes from a holistic approach to all areas of your life which takes into account past, present, and very importantly, future decisions.

“To be truly in control of your financial future, you have to make creating financial independence front and centre of your fiscal playbook”

Try breaking down your actions into three areas:

1. Prevention

If you find yourself feeling as if your finances are quickly spinning out of control, a great place to start is prevention. Prevention is preemptive and should ensure that, whilst you sort out your current cash flow, you don’t dig yourself further into a cavernous black hole of debt.

  • Really think of the small stuff – bought coffees, quick drinks and take away lunches are all silent ‘killers’ of budget success. A bit of planning in advance and some modesty can make a huge difference to your future.
  • Set up separate accounts for different types of revenue – this is an oldie but a goodie. The ‘jars system’ is known to work well because it adds visibility to your saving efforts.
  • See a financial planner – getting advice from a professional is a great way of putting your own personal situation into perspective. Not only will they be able to look at your finances objectively, they’ll also be a great source of ongoing support on your journey. Remember, financial planners aren’t just for the rich, they’re for the smart and also for those wanting to educate themselves for the future.
  • Set yourself a goal – it might be a lovely dinner out, a weekend away, or a fun purchase. You have to have small rewards to make the efforts worth it.
  • Seek guidance – friends and family members usually have some great personal tips. Why not discuss saving techniques and challenges with your girlfriends over a few glasses of vino every now and then? Shared tips will help everyone out.

“Remember, financial planners aren’t just for the rich, they’re for the smart and also for those wanting to educate themselves for the future.”

2. Regulation

Getting on top of your spending is one thing, but regulating your ‘good behaviour’ is often the part that people find most difficult. Whilst short-term financial freedom can feel rewarding, it’s ongoing, consistent smart decisions that will create long-term financial success.

  • Break things down into small achievements – look at each bill and account separately and get them each under control, as opposed to trying to look at the whole picture at once, all the time.
  • Engage your suppliers early – don’t wait until your third default notice to get things sorted. Many creditors are generally quite happy to develop payment plans to help you avoid stiff penalties.
  • Set aside time each week to focus your financial future – if you’re part of a couple, do this together. It’s always difficult when only one person feels like they’re carrying the whole burden, and this may help you feel like you’re in it together.
  • Get the kids involved – make it fun! Kids have great imaginations (as you’ll know if you have any), and having them involved can often be great motivation. Have you ever considered ‘fake take’ nights (homemade meals to replace expensive take-away), or getting them involved in the prep and cooking?

“Many creditors are generally quite happy to develop payment plans to help you avoid stiff penalties.”

3. Revaluation

Lastly, but not at all least important, take stock of your current situation and identify any areas in your finances where you can renegotiate your loans for more favourable terms of repayment. Your situation may change over the lifetime of a loan and oftentimes financial institutions will be understanding of this.

  • Take time to re-quote things like house and contents insurance, car insurance, phone and Internet plans and health insurance.
  • Also take time to re-quote the bigger things like credit cards and home loans – it’s amazing how much you can save by chatting with your providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal (but not compromising on quality).

“… take stock of your current situation and identify any areas in your finances where you can renegotiate your loans for more favourable terms of repayment”

 

 

May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom

SANDRA BRAVO

#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment

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INCREASE YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

INCREASE YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

Have you lost confidence in your ability to do your job?

Perhaps your employer’s expectations are too high or maybe you are your own worst critic.

Maybe your work environment changed and you have a new team, new boss or a new role.

Or you may have been asked to “step-up” or take on more responsibility with fewer resources.

These, and other factors, can impact our self-confidence and often leave us feeling unprepared, unqualified or unable to do our jobs. Unfortunately, most of us feel like this at some point in our career.

While we can’t control every aspect of our work environment, we can work to increase our self-confidence for a more positive work experience. Incorporating the following five steps will help you face workplace challenges feeling prepared, qualified and capable.

Reduce negative thoughts or “self-talk”

You know that little voice that keeps saying, “Are you sure about that decision?” or “You can’t do that,” or “You’re not smart enough for this”? Surprise! We all have that voice in our heads. The important thing is what we choose to do with it. We run into trouble when we let that negative, self-depreciating voice start driving our decision making and choices. What can you do when negative thoughts emerge?

  • First, just notice. What is your little voice saying and what’s behind the message?
  • Second, make a choice about the self-talk you will allow to continue and explore your options.
  • Third, replace the negative thoughts with more positive ones. When the negative thoughts come back, notice for a bit, make a choice and then move forward with self-talk that best serves you.

No situation has meaning until you add your interpretation of the situation with your thoughts. By adding more positive thoughts, your interpretation of the situation becomes more optimistic and eventually, you will become more confident.

Enhance self-awareness

Know yourself and what you are capable of accomplishing. An easy and fun tool for discovering strengths is Tom Rath’s book Strengthsfinder 2.0. It includes a survey that identifies your top five strengths as well as strategies for growing those strengths. It can also be helpful to take a few minutes and think about what self-confidence means to you.

  • Finish these three sentences: “To me, self-confidence means…”“I feel confident when…”, and “I celebrate my self-confidence by…”.
  • Then create and write down your intention about confidence. For example, an intention about confidence might be: “I have all the skills and tools I need to thrive in whatever circumstances are thrown at me.” Use your intention statement as a filter for making choices about how you respond to stresses, problems, and difficult people in the workplace. Use it also to filter your choices about opportunity, abundance and inspiring colleagues! Self-confidence puts you in the driver’s seat to make decisions about how you will respond to situations or circumstances.

Remember that everyone’s self-confidence is tested and put under pressure at some point. It is possible to feel anxiety, stress, and fear AND make a choice about your thoughts and behavior that supports your intention about confidence.

Protect your energy 

Let go of fixing every problem and helping every person. What happens if you view your associates, clients/customers, employees as capable and resourceful people who can fix their own problems? You are able to direct your energy toward the areas in which you will have the greatest impact.

Set realistic goals and celebrate wins

Set measurable goals to monitor your progress. Write them down. Be specific, be realistic, identify a date for completion and include the benefit to you of completing the goal.

When you meet your goals (or meet milestones on the way), celebrate! Acknowledging progress and success is a great confidence booster. Keep a journal of your successes and look back at it when your confidence takes a hit. Remind yourself of all you are capable of and look back at your intentions and your goals to move forward.

Breathe

Breathing is a great tool to relax the body and to push the pause button.

Webster’s dictionary defines confidence as: 1) FAITH, TRUST; 2) a feeling or consciousness of one’s power or of reliance on one’s circumstances; 3) the quality or state of being certain. Often the most observable difference between someone with high confidence and someone with low confidence is how they respond to a situation.

Often all you need to get out of reaction mode and into choice mode is to pause: take a breath, check in with your intentions and make a choice about your next step confidently. You will find when you behave from a place of choice rather than a quick reaction, your self-confidence is higher.

 

I encourage you to see how positive thinking, increasing self-awareness, protecting your energy, achieving goals, celebrating wins and remembering to breathe can transform negatives into career opportunities. I am confident that incorporating these five steps will increase your self-confidence in current situations and throughout your career.

 

 

May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom

SANDRA BRAVO

#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment

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Get a copy of my #1 BestSeller Book here >> 


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