How to be happy and why you should be

How to be happyHow to be happy? Now that’s a question I hear frequently.

Well, it’s my belief that, if you’re going to be happy, then you need a sense of purpose.

Now just think about that for a minute. Your work takes up one-third of your life so surely it’s essential that you’re happy doing whatever you do?

So dear reader, if the question on your mind today is how to be happy in life then to find the answer it’s worth reflecting on your work for a moment and thinking about whether it’s actually right for you.

Does your work make you happy?

Do you believe your contribution to your job is something which only you can supply?

Would you say that your work is closely aligned with your natural talents?

If your job is a mismatch with their natural talents then you’re unlikely to do it as well as you might do otherwise. If you don’t do it well then it’s hard to feel a sense of pride in your work, surely? And, if you’re not doing it well, your boss is likely to be giving you a hard time too.

So in this scenario, you’re not going to be very happy, are you?

Let’s face it, spending your life doing something you don’t enjoy is such a waste, wouldn’t you agree?

You have so much natural talent that could be put to better use.

Yes, it’s true that every job has its chores. Things you have to do which you hate but accept as part of the job. No job is perfect.

However tedium should only be a small part of your whole work experience.

To feel happy and fulfilled doing the work you do means that you should enjoy at least 80% of your daily activity.

What happens if the job you do and your talents are mismatched?

Human beings are flexible and adaptable of course. So even in the worst job situations people survive but at what cost to themselves?

The further you are from applying your natural talents and abilities, the less likely it is that you’ll enjoy your work in my experience. And being unhappy at work means you’re less likely to be happy in life. That’s a fact.

And if you’re not happy then it’s difficult to make a genuine contribution to life and the lives of other people. And this matters, particularly for those people who are your loved ones.

If your loved ones have to deal with someone who’s doing a job they don’t enjoy then it can make their lives miserable too. In fact it can be no pleasure for anyone around you.

If you derive no pleasure from your work then life just becomes a grind. Also it becomes stressful which is not very good for your health either.

The best and least stressful way to earn a living is by pursuing your interests and something which you both enjoy and which is compatible with your natural talents. This is how to be happy in life.

If society encouraged people to pursue their interests and work to their strengths then we would not only be happier but we would become more productive.

And of course productive lives are happy lives too. We would all benefit and society would reap benefits too.

So think about your natural talents and think how you can best apply them.

Be happy in what you do but if you’ve yet to find work that makes you happy, then keep looking and don’t give up until you find it.

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3 things you need to know about money

3 things you need to know about moneyToday I’d like you to think about some things you need to know about money dear reader. In other words, think about what it all really means.

It’s natural to dream about being rich, of course.

Most people dream about being able to buy whatever they want and go anywhere and everywhere they’d like to go, possibly even in a private jet.

The attraction of having that pot of gold is why a lot of people will chase every rainbow.

However, whilst money is necessary for sustaining life, there are some things you should really understand about money.

Here are three of them:-

Things you need to know about money:

1. Having money brings its own pressures:

A great fortune is a great slavery. ~Seneca

It’s reasonable to want to create wealth and build a fortune. As suggested above, you want to feel financially secure, don’t you? Why wouldn’t you?

However, being financially secure doesn’t mean you’ll have a life without problems and worry.

You’ll just have different problems and different things to worry about.

No one goes through life without problems. Dealing with problems and challenges is an inevitable part of human existence.

Put simply, having money brings its own pressures.

Once you’ve got money your biggest concern will be to ensure that you hang on to it.

Inevitably that means you can become a slave to managing your money, preserving its capital value and protecting your fortune.

Being wealthy may be a nice problem to have, but it’s no less of a problem for that.

So keep it all in perspective.

Things you need to know about money2. Money can never be more important than people:

We love to earn money, who doesn’t? It gets you things. ~Katie Price

Earning money is great and it does allow you to buy things you want and things you need. However money won’t take care of you when you’re ill.

Yes, it might enable you to buy in some hired help.

However, that’s not the same as having someone around who genuinely cares about your well-being. That someone for whom you matter much more than money ever will.

In my experience, whilst money is important, nothing in our lives matters more than friends and loved ones. Human beings are social animals. So only people matter to us really.

Never focus on money to the point where you neglect the people who should matter most to you. Forget about them and eventually, they will forget about you.

You can have all the money in the world, but you’ll have nothing at all without friends and loved ones.

Go out and earn lots of money by all means, and enjoy it too.

However, always maintain a sense of balance in your life and make sure that you allocate some time for the people who matter most to you.

An investment of your time in the people you love is an investment that will pay dividends.

3. Money is a precious resource so use it wisely:

A penny saved is a penny earned. ~Benjamin Franklin

I make no apology for repeating Benjamin Franklin’s money mantra, repeated frequently by generations of well-meaning parents to their profligate children. It’s as valid today as it was in his day.

Whether Franklin was referring to money saved when making purchases or money saved from income is not obvious in his statement but that doesn’t matter.

The underlying point is that you have to be careful with your money because saving money is the key to building wealth and becoming financially independent. No one ever got rich by wasting their money.

Money like time is a precious resource, so use it wisely.

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How to build character: 11 steps to success

How to build characterHow to build character? Now that’s a question I get asked frequently.

Whether it’s someone seeking to build their own character or wanting to help improve character in someone else, I hear it often.

However, the obvious, supplementary question is, what is meant by character?

There’s a difference between being a character and being of character.

The former expression just refers to someone being a little bit eccentric, a wit perhaps, or even a raconteur. However, that’s not the subject of this post, despite these being admirable qualities, of course.

The point being considered here is how to become a person of character.

So what does it mean to be a person of character?

First of all, people of character usually do what is right regardless of whether they’re being watched or not.

They also display traits such as honesty, integrity, courage, manners, self-reliance, commitment, and determination.

The comedian Will Rogers once jokingly observed that to be of character people should “live in such a way that they wouldn’t be ashamed to sell their parrot to the town gossip.

So being of good character is an important thing to be, I think.

Developing good character:

If achieving sustained success is your aim then talent alone isn’t enough. Talent might get you into the limelight briefly but without strong character, you’re unlikely to remain there for too long.

The process of developing good character is one that is ongoing too. So you have to keep working on it.

Essentially character is composed of 3 things:-

  1. Values: Having the right values and knowing what matters most.
  2. Doing what is right: Even when no one is watching.
  3. Being a decent person: Showing wisdom, honesty, integrity, love, humility, loyalty, courage, compassion, empathy, self-awareness, and a willingness to recognize fair criticism.

We all have at least some work to do if we are to become and remain people of good character.

This is an area where constant improvement is necessary, however good you may be right now.

Some people may be well on the way to being of good character, whilst others may have a lot of work to do yet.

However, those that are still some way off can change and they can grow in character. You can be better if you want to be better and you can practice the behaviours necessary. These include:-

How to build characterDecide you will be better:

As mature adults, our first duty is to take care of ourselves and to be the best people we can be. To live lives worthy of respect. So decide to be the person you really could be.

Life-long learning:

It doesn’t matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement.

Improvement comes through education and learning, whether formal or informal, and experience is gained by doing, making mistakes and learning the lessons from those mistakes made.

Work on yourself:

To quote the late, great Jim Rohn,Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.We’re all works in progress. Make sure you keep getting better.

Don’t leave them saying, She used to be really good. When they speak of you, make sure they say, “She just keeps getting better. She’s an example to us all. That applies equally to ‘He’ too, of course.

Pursue excellence:

If anything is worth doing then it’s worth doing properly. The way you live your life is no exception.

Add value:

Our contribution to society is in the value we add.

That might be in the example we set or the work that we produce.

We don’t get paid for the hour. What we actually get paid for is the value that we put into the hour. So make sure you leave every situation better than you found it.

Be determined:

If success is your aim, it won’t happen without hard work and determination.

Being good is not enough. You must be determined to get to where you really, really want to go. That’s everything if success is your aim.

Be persistent:

Never accept an answer unless it’s the want you want.

And never accept any outcome as the final outcome unless it’s the one that you want.

Most importantly, never quit until you get to where you really want to be or you’ve achieved the goal that you set for yourself.

Remember; winners never quit and quitters never win. Be the winner you can be, with determination and hard work.

Accept every challenge:

Never underestimate the importance of taking on a challenge.

A challenge provides us with experience through which we’ll learn powerful lessons.

It’s also the means through which character is developed in the process.

Not only will you learn more about your own character, but you’ll learn about your capacity to achieve.

Ask yourself some searching questions:

It is a fact that too many people go to their graves with their full potential unrealized.

They never quite develop their characters to the point where they leave a genuine legacy and an example for others to follow.

Ask yourself this question, If I were to die tomorrow, how will I be remembered at my funeral?

What would people say about you? What qualities would they use to describe you?

How would you prefer to be remembered?

What would you like people to say about you? And how can you change now to ensure they do?

Depending on the answers to those questions, you may well decide to make a few changes in your life.

Where to go from here:

If you recognize the need to change, start with your values.

What values will you live by, from now until dead?

Now, of course, it’s not just about values but value too. Be a person with values and of value.

So, what value will you add to the lives of others from now on?

Then think about challenges you could take on to build your character.

In taking on a challenge we can often surprise ourselves in terms of just how far we can go.

Through a challenge, you can learn new skills, sharpen existing skills, and improve your self-confidence.

Move out of your comfort zone:

A challenge is an opportunity to grow, it’s an opportunity to learn, and it’s an opportunity to make progress towards becoming the person you really could be.

It’s true that challenges are hard and, of course, they’re meant to be.

Challenges push us out of our comfort zone and that’s the whole point. Unless we move out of our comfort zone, how can we possibly grow as people?

Never fear failure:

So embrace challenges but never fear failing at a challenge; your only fear should be never realizing your full potential because you failed to move out of your comfort zone.

Do well in a challenge and it can provide you with benefits you couldn’t have imagined before you started.

At the very least every challenge makes you that little bit stronger and builds your character, so you really can’t lose.

So do you have some changes to make?

If so, what and by when?

Write them all down and make a plan. Now! It’s never too late to be the person you really could be.

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Building personal branding for success

Building personal branding for successPersonal branding says something about you. And personal branding for success is something which you should take seriously if your aim is to be successful.

How you present yourself to the world is being judged all the time and people will draw conclusions about you based simply on their perception of you and how you look.

That may not seem fair but in my experience, it’s almost always true. And reputations can often be built largely based on other peoples’ perception of you.

So, is personal branding something that matters to you dear reader?

In your opinion, does it matter what you look like; how you dress; how you speak; or what people see in your digital footprint on social media and elsewhere? Certainly, it should do.

What do you think? Does your reputation matter to you?

Perhaps you believe that the only thing that really matters is the quality of the work that you do?

If that’s true then you may not see the need to worry about your personal branding.

However, I can assure you, you really are being judged all of the time, whether you like it or not.

The importance of personal branding:

Think about it for one moment. Now, how often have you walked into an open plan office area looking for a manager you’ve not met and yet you have no trouble spotting who he or she is, immediately?

Building personal branding for successYou just can’t miss them, can you? There’s just something about them that says, ‘I am the manager!‘ Well, that’s personal branding.

It’s the same thing with social media.

How you conduct yourself within your digital footprint will speak volumes about you and it will have an impact on how you’re perceived by others.

A silly remark on social media about other people or the latest news can prove very costly and may have implications in future years because it could suggest something about your judgement, or lack of it.

Jobs have been lost and people have been forced to resign over ill-judged comments made on social media, often many years before.

So you have to ask yourself, do I really want to be successful in my chosen field?

If you do then you must ensure that your personal branding is consistent with your ambition. To be the one, you must look like the one, in every respect.

You must also promote yourself in the right way, at every opportunity.

Self-promotion is important because it’s all about selling yourself and making sure you’re perceived by the world in the way you’d prefer to be perceived.

If you don’t sell yourself and create the right image for yourself then no one else is going to do it for you, that’s for sure. Constantly working on your personal branding must be part of your strategy for achieving success.

The good news is that with WordPress, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linked In and other social media channels, it’s never been easier to promote yourself, create the right image, build relationships and tell the world what it is you have to offer.

So the obvious question now is, where do you start on building a personal brand?

Building a personal brand:

In the video below, recorded at TEDxCMU 2011, Jacob Cass presents some interesting and useful ideas as to how you can go about building your personal brand.

This video will provide you with some useful tips and it’s well worth watching.

Further Reading:

One video cannot cover this topic comprehensively, of course, so you might like to consider adding a reference book on the subject to your personal reference library.

Here are three that are worthy of your consideration:-

  1. Introduction To Personal Branding: Ten Steps Toward A New Professional You by Mel Carson
  2. Personal Branding For Dummies by Susan Chritton
  3. KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age by Mark Schaefer

You can take a look at each of them by clicking on the appropriate link. Why not take a look right now whilst it’s all fresh in your mind? I hope they prove useful to you.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you in making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

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How to find and do work you love, now and forever

How to find and do work you loveHow to find and do work you love? A great question for all you very intelligent readers to contemplate today.

Now not everyone will find the answer of course but most people frequently ask this question in my experience.

Job satisfaction:

How many people would say they get job satisfaction from their work, in percentage terms?

Apparently it’s only around 20%.

That would suggest that 80% of all people hate their jobs.

If true, I think that matters and it’s especially relevant to society if you think about it. Why?

Quite simply because it suggests that most people will not be quite as productive as they might otherwise be. Let’s face it, you can’t really be at your most productive if you’re not happy in your job.

A sense of purpose:

So dear reader, which side are you on?

Does your workplace you in the 20% who enjoy job satisfaction or are you one of the 80%?

Essentially job satisfaction comes as a result of doing work that gives us a sense of purpose.

If we have a genuine sense of purpose, we’ll have a strong desire to do our work well. And we can only do it to the best of our ability if it really matters to us.

Doing our work well matters because that’s how we make a difference.

Hence that’s how we make a contribution and leave a legacy behind us.

So in that sense job satisfaction certainly matters.

Consider your work:

Does your work really matter to you?

And does it give you a sense of purpose? Perhaps it’s simply the means for paying your bills?

Do you get out of bed each morning looking forward to the day ahead?

No job is ever perfect but, given work takes up a third of our lives, it’s essential that we enjoy what we do and derive at least some job satisfaction from it.

Maybe there’ll be some elements of a given job we dislike but mostly we should enjoy our work because that way we’re better placed to do it well.

In the inspirational TEDx Talk video embedded below, Scott Dinsmore explains how in the early part of his career he was encouraged to do any job just to build up his resumé.

However, he very quickly realized that this approach was unwise and resulted in no job satisfaction.

He makes his point with an excellent quote from Warren Buffett who said, “Taking any job just to build your resumé is like putting off sex until your old age.”

Now, why would that make sense?

Experience is important of course but work should not just be about building your resumé.

Work should be about adding value and making a meaningful contribution to society.

It should be about using your skills and natural talent to make a difference to the lives of others.

So, if success is your aim then the work you do must matter to you.

If you find work you enjoy then job satisfaction will follow.

Put simply, if you like the work you do you’ll do it well. And if you do it well people will notice. And once people begin to notice you then you’re on your way to achieving real success.

Knowledge required:

The trick is to find work that you can’t not do.

Something you’d happily do for nothing if you couldn’t find someone to pay you to do it.

That’s the basis for real job satisfaction.

All of this is more easily said than done of course.

Perhaps you’ve no idea about what matters to you in terms of work?

If you’re relatively young and new to the world of work how could you possibly know? In that case you need to start improving your basic knowledge and awareness.

1. Know yourself:

A good starting point for improving your knowledge is becoming a self-expert. Knowing just what you have in your arsenal.

  • What are your unique strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What fills you with enthusiasm?
  • What fills you with dread?
  • What do you love to do?
  • What do you hate doing?

If I asked someone you knew well to tell me what you’re good at what would they say?

  • For what activity do they regard you as the ‘go to’ person?
  • What do they regularly thank you for?
  • What would you do for fun if you couldn’t do it for a living?
  • On what activity can you lose yourself for hours at a time?

By answering these questions and others like them you’ll get a better idea of what you’re looking for. And let’s face it, if you don’t know what you’re looking for you’ll never find it.

2. Know your values:

What do you regard as your set of values? What moral framework matters to you when you’re making decisions?

What would you not do simply because you wouldn’t want to disappoint your family? What would make you feel proud if you were to tell your family that’s what you’re doing?

Anything you choose to do should be congruent with your own set of values.

3. Know your experiences:

The most powerful lessons in life come from the mistakes we make. The lessons we learn from our own mistakes and the things we’ve done are collectively known as experience. And experience is a valuable commodity.

Pay attention to your experience. Think about the things you’ve done right. Think about the things you’ve done wrong.

When have you felt completely in control of a situation regardless of the challenges you face?

When have you felt completely out of your depth?

Think about the things you’ve enjoyed doing. Think about those activities you really hated.

4. Know what matters to you:

In crude but simple language the underlying question here is, “What is it that you actually DO ‘give a shit’ about?

We tend to do stuff because other people suggest it’s what we should be doing. However, it really should be about what actually matters to us.

Identify what it is that makes you come alive and makes you feel energized.

John Lennon’s Aunt Mimi famously said, “Playing the guitar is all very well John but you’ll never make a living at it.

Fortunately, John didn’t listen to her and his guitar helped him to make a very lucrative living because he really enjoyed writing songs and playing music.

In fact, his creative output continues to generate millions of dollars for his estate 40 years after his death.

John Lennon did well because he did something he enjoyed doing and he didn’t allow himself to be influenced by those who thought he should pursue a different line of work.

Confidence compounds:

By working to your strengths your confidence will grow.

Each success you have will improve your confidence. And as your confidence grows, one success will lead to another. It’s a virtuous circle.

Environment matters too:

Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Personally, I think this is true.

The people around you really do matter.

They influence you and their attitude rubs off on you.

Human beings are social animals and we exist within groups. We also have to fit into the group otherwise we’re very quickly ostracized by other group members.

Hang around with people who inspire possibility. People who lift you up and not pull you down. Mix with people who will influence you in a positive way. Find role models from whom you can learn.

How to find and do work you love:

Scott Dinsmore’s mission is to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing.

If you can find the work you are compelled to do then you can add real value to your fellow human beings.

Discover what you’re really meant to do and you’ll be on to a winner.

You’ll also get maximum job satisfaction.

Therefore in conclusion, if you’ve yet to find what you’re looking for then keep looking until you do.

In the meantime, I recommend that you watch the video. It is thought-provoking and compelling and it will be a good use of your time.

Recommended Reading:

There are plenty of good books that will help you identify your true strengths, as well as help you home in on the work you should be doing.

In the video, Scott Dinsmore suggests Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath as a good book to help you in your quest.

Certainly, it is worthy of your time, it’s very useful and I have a copy of it in my own personal reference library.

However, allow me to recommend another three excellent texts you might also consider. They are as follows:-

Who Do You Think You Are?: Understanding Your Motives and Maximizing Your Abilities by Nick Isbister and Martin Robinson

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore

Find what you were born for: Discover your strengths, forge your own path and live the life you want by Zoe McKey

I have all of these books in my personal library and I’ve found them all extremely useful and helpful and I use them as reference texts all the time.

You can check them out by clicking on the links.

I strongly recommend you take a closer look at them all. You won’t regret it if you do decide to buy your own copies. Check them out now whilst it’s all fresh in your mind.

DISCLOSURE: 

This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you in making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

Please share this post with your friends:

Did you find this article and video interesting and useful dear reader?

If so, then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

So please share it now. If you do I’ll be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

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How to love your job when you hate it

How to love your job when you hate itHow to love your job when you hate it? A question I’ve been asked numerous times. My response is always the same. The best way to appreciate the job you have is to imagine your life without it.

That starts with taking a closer look at what’s good about it.

Life’s too short to hate your job:

Do you hate your job dear reader?

Do you tell everyone, at every opportunity that you hate your job?

By telling everyone you hate your job, do you imagine they’ll be impressed, or in some way feel sympathy for you?

Maybe you think, by doing this, your fellow workers will regard you as someone who’s unafraid to speak their mind?

Perhaps you think that in the eyes of your fellow workers this approach will make you look good, maybe?

Hold that thought and then consider this question. How do you feel about working with someone else who’s always moaning about how unhappy they are in their job?

Do you admire that person?

Do they impress you with their negativity?

My guess is that your response to my question will be negative. I’m sure you’ll be unimpressed with such people.

Everyone hates a moaner:

If you imagined that moaning about how unhappy you are is the best way to get people on your side then seriously you need to think again. Everyone hates a moaner, whatever indications you’ve heard to the contrary. Let me tell you this, no one’s impressed.

Your colleagues may not actually say so but they’ll find your negativity irritating at the very least. In fact, it’s probably driving them all nuts.

Life’s short and it’s hard enough for most people. So having some moaning Minnie constantly bringing them down just makes life harder.

Constant negativity is just a pain in the rear for most people.

Imagine your life without your job:

If your current mindset means you hate your job right now then the first thing to do is start changing that mindset. Start by looking at your job in a different way.

How?

Well, imagine your life without your current job? What would that be like? Think about that question carefully and be honest with yourself.

Without your job you’d have nothing to do; no reason to get out of bed; nowhere to go; no sense of purpose; nothing to challenge you; no money; and you’d be without the camaraderie of your fellow workers. You’d probably feel lonely and lack any real social life too.

How would that make you feel?

Would you feel better about yourself without those things?

I’m sure if you’re honest with yourself you’d realise that work gives us far more than we realise. I don’t think you’d really be happy without all those things mentioned above.

So the best way to begin appreciating your job is to imagine your life without it.

No job is perfect:

Most jobs come with an element of frustration and a spoonful of tedium. That’s life.

No job is perfect but no job is all bad either.

It’s just a matter of how you choose to look at things.

If you focus on the bad things then everything will seem bad. However, if you focus on the good bits then your job can begin to look very different and you’ll start to feel more positive about your work.

The fact is we all need to do something with our time, surely?

Even millionaires need to have something to fill their time.

There are only so many holidays you can take and so much shopping you can do.

Eventually, everyone needs a sense of purpose and we all want to feel that we’re making a contribution to the world around us.

Life’s a short movie:

Life’s far too short to be unhappy.

So if you hate your job then you have two choices:-

  1. You find another job; or
  2. You start looking differently at your current job.

And before you start searching the vacancy columns or the job websites, think carefully about what you might be throwing away, should you leave your current job.

Moving to another job doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be any happier.

Neither will it guarantee that you’ll find the perfect job for you.

So it’s worth thinking seriously about your current job first. At least it’s the devil you know.

Can you begin to look at your current job differently? Perhaps you need a little help?

I really hate my job:

Here’s a great motivational speech from the one and only Zig Ziglar that you might find very useful.

It’s full of great advice and well worth a few minutes of your time.

If you don’t like your job right now then you really should watch it.

Even if you do like your job, watch it anyway. I found it truly inspirational. So take a look at it now.

Further Listening:

I’m a huge fan of Zig Ziglar but I recognise that he had an evangelical presentation style that’s not to everyone’s taste.

However, if you can get beyond that presentation style then his words are inspirational and informative.

I particularly like his audiobooks which I listen to constantly when I’m driving.

One audiobook I can recommend is:-

The Born to Win Seminar

Listen to this and I promise you it will help you discover your untapped greatness and guide you towards greater success in life.

I bought my own copy of this audio program for my own personal library and it was well worth the price. I listen to it over and over again and I always find something new in his words.

You can check this audio program if you just CLICK HERE.

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How to love the life you live and live the life you love

How to love the life you liveDo you love the life you live? Do you enjoy your work? Life should never be just about work, but it’s a big part of our lives, so it affects how we feel about ourselves.

Do you get up each morning feeling inspired by what you’ll be doing during the day ahead?

A good question to ask yourself is the one Steve Jobs asks in the video below, “If you knew that today was the last day of your life would you still be happy doing what you have to do today?”

Knowing we will die one day reminds us that our time is precious and we should use it wisely.

Life is short and none of us knows when our final moment will arrive. So we must follow our heart and focus our energy on work that really matters to us.

If your work matters to you then you’ll do it well. And if you do it well you’ll make a difference. Make a difference and you’ll leave a legacy. Do this and you’ll love the life you live.

How to love the life you lifeAll of this is easier said than done, of course.

Many people experience life without any real sense of satisfaction. Far too many people experience a lifetime of disappointment and regret too. This all adds up to people living lives they don’t love.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to accept a less than satisfactory life.

If your life is unsatisfactory then you need to change. And change is possible.

A good place to start is by listening to the inspiring observations from the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, contained in the video ‘If today were the last day of my life’ included below. His words are thought-provoking and powerful. I found this video truly inspirational and I recommend it to you.

How to love the life you live:

Before you watch the video, ask yourself this question. Between now and dead would you be happy to continue with the life you have right now?

No?

Then you must change and keep changing until you love the life you live.

Never accept second best because life’s far too short.

Remember: Whilst you have to make a living, you also have to make a life as well. So, have no regrets. Start making the life you want to live as quickly as possible. It’s later than you think.

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15 sharp and sometimes witty quotes by Mark Twain

Quotes by Mark TwainSamuel Langhorne Clemens is better known to us all by his pen name, Mark Twain.

In my opinion, he was one of the greatest American writer’s, as well as being a humorist, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer.

In short, he was a major talent and much of what he had to say is worthy of our attention.

So here are 15 quotes by Mark Twain to emphasise my point.

Quotes by Mark Twain:

  1. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain
  2. Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. ~Mark Twain
  3. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~Mark Twain
  4. The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. ~Mark Twain
  5. A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. ~Mark Twain
  6. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~Mark Twain
  7. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~Mark Twain
  8. Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others. ~Mark Twain
  9. Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. ~Mark Twain
  10. Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. ~Mark Twain
  11. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~Mark Twain
  12. The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. ~Mark Twain
  13. Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. ~Mark Twain
  14. The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. ~Mark Twain
  15. I never let schooling interfere with my education. ~Mark Twain

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Have the courage to step out of your comfort zone

step out of your comfort zoneIf your aim is growth and achievement then playing it safe is unlikely to be the right strategy for you. You must face your fears dear reader. You must have the courage to step out of your comfort zone because we grow by taking on challenges throughout our lives. Overcoming challenges is always at the heart of any achievement worthy of note.

A life worth living is a life where you feel fully engaged.

And to feel truly energized and engaged with life you must stretch yourself to the limit of your potential.

Needless to say, you can only find the limit of your potential if you step out of your comfort zone.

Sadly many people, if not most, never have the courage to step outside their comfort zone. They prefer to live where they feel safe.

Staying within your comfort zone is fine of course, if that’s what you want, but you can’t really call it living, can you? It’s existing perhaps but not really living, in my opinion.

You cannot grow from within the safety of your comfort zone. That’s simply a fact.

You’ll find that life begins to have a real buzz when you take the first step beyond your comfort zone. That’s what you might call living on the edge. Inevitably it’s scary of course but you really do begin to feel energised. It’s where you’ll feel a real sense of exhilaration.

Yes, of course, it involves risk, that’s true. However, risk and reward go hand in hand. No risk; not reward.

Stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t guarantee success and of course, you might fail. In fact, you’ll certainly experience some failures along the way, because everyone does.

Experiencing failures is an inevitable part of chasing success because success lies on the far side of failure. However to get to second base and beyond, you must be prepared to take your foot off first base.

Successful people don’t always make the right decisions. However, they’re willing to challenge themselves and they’re willing to persist long after everyone else has given up. They may fail but they learn from failure and they use what they’ve learned to work towards achieving their goals.

Dear reader, let me tell you something. You have enormous potential and you can achieve anything if you want it badly enough and you’re prepared to work hard for it.

Certainly, you’re capable of achieving great things.

However, you must set yourself challenging goals and you must be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. If you can face that discomfort and keep on going then you really can become the person you’re destined to be.

It’s easier to stay within your comfort zone of course and you’ll feel safe that way but nothing beats the feeling of winning and achieving those challenging goals you’ve set yourself. A life of safety first can be really dull.

If every obstacle must first be overcome before you start then you’ll never achieve anything.

Playing it safe is actually a bigger risk than stepping beyond your comfort zone.

By playing it safe you take the risk that you’ll never experience the satisfaction of real achievement. And it’s always better to try and fail than it is to spend your life wondering what might have been.

Stepping beyond your comfort zone means embracing uncertainty, of course. However, the quality of your life will depend on the amount of uncertainty you can bear.

So go on, live a little.

Step out of your comfort zone right now and take that tiger for a ride. You’ll be glad you did.

Building the courage to step out of your comfort zone:

To reinforce the message in this theme, you might find the embedded video from Brian Tracy inspiring.

In it, Brian offers some wise words on building the courage to break out of your comfort zone. It’s well worth your time and I recommend it to you.

Further listening:

If you found the video inspiring then you might be keen to hear more from Brian Tracy.

I think he’s a fantastic motivational speaker and I listen to his audio programmes all the time.

One I can highly recommend is:-

Eat that Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.

I bought my own personal copy of this one about two years ago and I’ve found it extremely inspiring and useful. I still listen to it frequently when I’m driving and every time I listen I learn something new.

It is definitely worth adding to your own personal development library. Click on the link above to check it out.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on the link included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you in making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

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11 wise sayings about life lessons and what they mean

11 wise sayings about life lessonsToday dear reader, I offer you 11 wise sayings about life lessons and some observations about what I think they really mean for your life.

I hope you find this interesting.

Wise sayings about life lessons:

1. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. ~English Proverb

If you visit a foreign country, with a different culture to that found in your own, then the best way to get along with local people is to respect their culture and their way of doing things.

Essentially it’s all about respecting and adhering to their way of life, as far as reasonably possible.

Respect people and they’ll appreciate it.

Learn a little bit of their language and you’ll really connect with them. They won’t mind if you don’t get all the words and pronunciation completely correct. It’ll probably make them smile a little and they’ll really appreciate you making the effort.

Treat people with respect and they’ll treat you with respect. It’s that simple.

2. Be contrary and be known. ~Arab Proverb

If you want to get yourself noticed then a ‘me too’ approach to life is unlikely to get you very far. When you’re just like everyone else then how can you stand out in the crowd?

If you really want to get noticed then you need to offer something a bit different, surely?

To stand out in the crowd then you’ll need to dress differently, have an unusual hairstyle or offer something new.

Go against the accepted thinking of the day and you’ll get noticed.

Suggest something which goes against the received wisdom of the day and people might just listen if you back up your observation with a reasoned argument.

Be different, be contrary and you’ll get noticed.

Back it up with real substance and you will make a permanent impression on public consciousness.

Elvis Presley was like nothing that went before him; neither were The Beatles.

These were people who had a look, style and approach all of their own. They made a genuine impact and they changed peoples’ outlook on life permanently.

In other words, they made their mark and you can too.

3. A beautiful thing is never perfect. ~Egyptian Proverb

There’s no such thing as perfect; certainly not when we are talking about people.

We’re all imperfect in some way.

However, that’s what makes us interesting as individuals. And it’s also what makes it easier for other people to live with us because no matter how good we are in some way, there are also ways in which we are not quite so good.

So accept your imperfections. Work to your strengths and minimise your weaknesses and do the best you can with whatever you have at your disposal. If you do that you can succeed.

4. There’s no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out. ~Russian Proverb

How often do people refrain from asking a question for fear that they might look a little stupid? Does that ring a bell with you dear reader?

We’ve probably all done it at some point in our lives, wouldn’t you agree?

However, it’s rather silly if you think about it.

None of us can know everything, can we? There will always be gaps in our knowledge, that’s for sure.

So if you don’t know something, surely it’s better to find out? Better to ask a question, even if you appear foolish momentarily.

People might laugh but so what?

Intelligent people ask questions and it’s better to look a fool momentarily than proceed in ignorance. You may look a fool for not knowing but you’ll look an even bigger fool if you screw up because you didn’t ask.

Never, ever be afraid to ask a question if you don’t know.

That way you’ll learn. Any other way and you’ll never learn.

5. Experience is not always the kindest of teachers but it’s surely the best. ~Spanish Proverb

Education is a wonderful thing, I’m sure you’ll agree.

However, the best teacher by a country mile is the School of Hard Knocks at the University of Life.

Making mistakes and getting your fingers burned teaches you lessons you’ll never forget. And those lessons are invaluable.

That’s what they call experience and experience is a valuable commodity indeed.

Experience is the basis of all wisdom.

It’s also an essential element in finding out what you’re good at and what you enjoy.

And if you can find that sweet spot where what you’re good at coincides with what you enjoy doing then you really will begin to shine. So shine on my friend.

6. Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak. ~Turkish Proverb

How often are we so keen to get our point across that we don’t really listen to what the other person has to say? That’s a mistake.

Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop.

To quote Stephen R. Covey, Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

In order to understand someone else’s point, you must listen first.

Listening is not the same as hearing.

Hearing is simply being aware of sounds going on around you.

Listening is absorbing what is being said and considering it carefully.

Listening requires both your ears and your brain to be engaged in the process simultaneously.

Naturally, you want to feel that your point of view matters.

If you listen to people first not only will they appreciate it but they’ll also start listening to you. If you’re showing them respect then they’ll do the same to you.

By listening to each other we can begin to understand each other.

And if we understand each other we have the basis for getting along together.

So listen more and talk less.

In this way, the world might just become a better place. Let’s hope so anyway.

7. Better to die than to live on with a bad reputation. ~Vietnamese Proverb

Some time ago, a friend of mine was working for a retailer and foolishly did something dishonest. The result was that he lost his job and damaged his reputation in the process.

Only when he began to realise how much damage he’d done to his reputation did he begin to realise how foolish he’d been.

Damaging your reputation can have serious consequences and you can often feel the impact of that for many years after the original indiscretion.

So, protect and value your reputation.

It’s one of the most important commodities you have to offer.

Whether you’re in employment or self-employed you’ll always be judged on your reputation. Gain a bad reputation and you’ll be judged harshly.

8. A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. ~Greek Proverb

Your legacy in life will be based on what you’ve done for other people, regardless of whether you’ve benefitted from it yourself.

That’s how you’ll be remembered.

A civilised society depends on each of us making a contribution towards the greater good. We cannot just leave it all to someone else.

If you want your grandchildren and their children to enjoy a well-ordered and civilised society then you must be prepared to do something the result of which you may never see. The payoff for you will simply be the knowledge that future generations will benefit from your altruism.

Leaving something that enriches the lives of future generations would be a real and genuine legacy, wouldn’t you agree?

9. God gives the nuts but he doesn’t crack them. ~German proverb

You can’t expect everything to be done for you.

At some point, you have to do something for yourself.

If everything is done for you, you’ll never learn; you’ll never develop new skills, and you’ll never be able to deal with life.

So don’t try to avoid the chore, embrace it with enthusiasm and recognise that it’s in your own best interests to act.

10. A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion. ~Chinese Proverb

Criticism can be uncomfortable, so it’s easy to be swayed by the majority view. However, how can we be sure that the majority view is correct? Perhaps they’re all wrong.

Just because a lot of people think something is so, it doesn’t mean that they have a monopoly on knowledge and common sense.

Rather than simply following the herd, it’s much better to consider a situation carefully, weighing up the various possibilities, and then forming your own opinion or making your own decision.

Think for yourself; don’t allow the herd to impose their thinking on you.

11. Every ass loves to hear himself bray. ~Proverb of Unknown Origin

As the old saying goes, empty vessels make the most sound.

However just because someone can talk a good game doesn’t mean they can play a good game.

People who are really good at something will demonstrate it by their actions not by their words. They’ll leave the talking to other people.

You’ll never impress anyone by singing your own praises.

However, you’ll win them over if you can demonstrate how good you are by the results you deliver.

So go on, start showing people what you can do.

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So go on, please share this post now. If can you do that for me, I’ll be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

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