Monday, April 30, 2012

DETERMINATION: An Incredibly Inspiring Story

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up-and-coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even move.

"We told them so."
"Crazy men and their crazy dreams."
"It`s foolish to chase wild visions."

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.

He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife's arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination and persistence.

What Obstacles Are You Allowing You To Not Achieve Your Dream?

Press On!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Discipline Yourself To Be Successful

We are all fairly good at disciplining our kids and disciplining our pets. If we don't make them behave themselves and live and play by the rules, they will get hurt, self destruct or, at the very least, make life miserable for themselves, us and the world at large. No problem...we all know that.

However, when it comes to the problem of inflicting some self-discipline, most of us come up a little short.
Nobody is going to MAKE us be successful or happy. So it is up to us. When we accept complete responsibility for our life and take charge of our own destiny, we begin to realize that self-management is the vehicle that will take us from where we are to wherever we want to go.

Remember the old Confucian saying, "If you don't change the road you're traveling on, you'll probably end up where you're going."

There are things we can do that will make it a bit easier to discipline ourselves and gain the self-control necessary to succeed at whatever endeavor we choose.

Step #1: Set a goal. Write your goal down in a clear sentence or a short paragraph. Now you know where you are going.

Step #2: Make a plan. There is an old saying, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." You must have a plan for reaching your goal.

You need to make a step-by-step plan to get from where you are to where you want to be and to make that trip in the shortest possible amount of time. Your plan should show you every step you need to make and in the right order.

Step #3: Take the time to learn the things you need to know to reach your goal. Knowledge really is power. Sometimes knowledge comes from books and articles.

Sometimes it comes from just simply being observant of the world around us and really looking and listening.

Step #4: You must maintain your burning passion for the self-control required to reach your goal. It's easy to lose that passion when things don't go just as planned but you need to find inspiration where ever you can find it to fuel your passion.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Still falling short of your dreams?

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This is not theory or fluff. It's a true-to-life compilation of years of success that has brought her, her family and an elite group of clients the lifestyle of their dreams.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Conflict Resolution Tips

Those times always come when we find ourselves in a conflict with a friend, a family member or a co-worker. People disagree with one another...that is one of the cold hard facts of life...and learning how to resolve a conflict can make life easier at work and at home.

Here are 6 tips to help to resolve conflicts as quickly and painlessly as possible:

1. Hold your temper. Be slow to become angry. Count to 100 if necessary or walk away and give yourself time to control your anger before you make a hasty reply. Anger is an unproductive emotion that will only prolong the conflict.

2. Avoid pointing out mistakes the other person made directly. No one likes to be criticized. Rather choose your words carefully and point out errors the other person has made indirectly. Samuel Butler said it best. "A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still".

3. Look for common ground. Compromise is an art form. There is usually a way that everybody can come together on at least one point in a conflict and resolution of the conflict can be built on compromise.

4. Admit you mistakes. If you determine that you were wrong in a dispute, admit it. Eating crow is never very tasty but it's not as hard to swallow when it is fresh.

5. Lead by example. Admit your own mistakes before pointing out a similar mistake made by another person. We always learn more from our mistakes than from  anything we accidentally do right.

6. Mend your fences and do it as quickly as possible. Say you are sorry whether you are, at the moment, or not. Sometimes just a little time will resolve a conflict. This is a quote from the smartest woman I ever grandmother. "Don't let the sun set on a hard heart"...good advice.

Friday, April 6, 2012

How To Motivate People As A Leader

There are many people who are bound to follow, but only one person meant to be a leader. The problem, however, is that some people think that they cannot be leaders because leaders become so by destiny.

True, many leaders have the same bubbling, charismatic, go-getter personalities, but some people who were once humble, shy, and quiet have become great leaders too.

It's all a matter of knowing what people want and knowing how to motivate people. The last part, however, can be the most difficult job that you will need to take on as a leader.

Motivating people is certainly not easy, given that a person's ability to be motivated is correlated with a person's personality.

When you start working with a group of people, there will be as many different quirks, personalities, and idiosyncrasies as there are people in that group, and you may need to juggle many different duties. In striving to please every single person, you may end up pleasing no one. So how can you work with diverse personalities and still be able to motivate people? Here are a few tips that you can use.

1) Avoid trying to show everyone that you're meeting their individual needs.

Although this may appear counter intuitive, by appearing to be a rabid people pleaser, you can end up looking like an idiot who can survive only on the approval of others. Have you ever been annoyed when you saw someone trying to stoop down to the level of everybody else? Then think what you would look like if you were a leader and you had to do that... and everyone had to see it.

2) Keep this in mind: you cannot please everybody.

This is related to the previous statement, and it should also help you understand this one: no matter how hard you try, you can never make something turn out the way you want it, and you can never get a perfect end product.

This also means that you need to keep on plodding on: do not dwell on your mistakes, and learn from them instead. You cannot move forward without letting go of the past, so instead of wasting your time thinking and mulling over what you did wrong on that report, or what you said wrong during that meeting, or what you could have done right during your day, just keep on moving along.

3) Don't be afraid to show some anger and emotion.

You're human. You can't smile all the time (and look ridiculous), be happy all the time (and look even more ridiculous), or laugh all the time (and look insane). If you're mad at your team, be firm; but don't be afraid to show them that they've done something wrong and you're disappointed in their work. Be true to yourself and you can see that your team will be true to you. Just don't overdo it.

4) Prepare rewards for your team members.

Don't stop at simple key chains or shirts, as though you were acting as a mouthpiece for a company or corporation. Promise a treat at a nearby restaurant if you all make a quota or get the job done. This way, you can all celebrate together, and you effectively show your team that this is a job for all of you, not just for them working under your orders.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How To Motivate And Bring Out The Best In Others

Whether you're a small team, an organization, a company or a family, you will need a lot of motivation to get things done and achieve a level of success. But motivation can be a tricky thing—while it's not complicated, it certainly is not something that a lot of people have automatic understanding for. So has the job of getting others excited and inspired fallen into your hands?

Here are tips on how to motivate people and bring out the best in them:

1) Find the current level of motivation of the person you wish to motivate.

Each person, whether he is an employee, a co-worker, a team member or a family member, has some amount of motivation in them. Try to identify this level. What makes them tick? What do they find exciting, interesting or worthwhile? What are their goals? How do they hope to achieve them?

Do not try to approach the challenge in a generic way because you will be met with a lack of enthusiasm or even resistance. Use a personalized approach if you want to motivate an individual. With a group, look for a common denominator—a common goal or interest—that you can use to motivate them and get them to perform.

2) See things from their point of view.

It's easy to explain things based on what you perceive. But what about what others see, think or feel? Each time you present an idea or concept to the person you want to motivate, ask them for their opinions and listen to what they have to say. You can then use information obtained from them in order to create a motivational plan that has the strongest appeal to them.

3) Use positive reinforcement.

Between pleasure and pain, people will always choose pleasure. Try to steer away from using negative motivational tactics such as fear or threats. These could work initially but they are not very effective for motivating people over a long term. Besides, using negative reinforcements might result to a feeling of annoyance, anger or exasperation. If not corrected early, this could even lead to aggression and rebellion.

Use rewards instead. To motivate people, give recognition, acknowledgment, gratitude, even gifts or citations. People want to know that you notice their hard work. Didn't you say you expected the best? Once someone has risen to that level of excellence, give them the recognition they deserve. You'll be surprised at how effective this technique is in keeping people motivated.

4) Show, don't tell.

If you want to know how to effectively motivate people, show them through example. What sort of behavior do you expect from them? Why not show them by doing it yourself? They will be more willing to believe than if you just lecture and never show.

5) Don't push.

It is said that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. When you're trying to motivate people check to see if their willingness is still there. There is a point in every endeavor when you begin to meet with resistance. This could happen for a number of reasons, including boredom, distraction, discovery of other more interesting things or just simply lack of interest. It could also be that your motivational efforts have reached a plateau.

Should this happen, learn to let up, step back and if necessary, let go. People will be more motivated if they don't feel pressured. If you sense a resistance, stop and check for identifiable factors that are stopping you. Once you have found them, design a different approach.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Science Of Making That Great First Impression

Each time a new person meets you, that person takes just 10 seconds to form a whole laundry list of impressions.  It is hard to imagine that in those 10 seconds much verbal communication takes place.  Non-verbal communication is the most important aspect of forming a first impression.

1) Smile - Of all facial expressions, the smile is the most influential.  When we smile, the other person nearly always smiles back.  Remember to smile with your whole face, don't just use your jaw muscle.

2) Eye Contact - Effective eye contact implies confidence, honesty, and interest in the other person.  Lack of eye contact is usually interpreted as a sign of fear, dishonesty, hostility, or boredom.

3) Posture - Practice good posture, although it might feel awkward at first. Posture is one of the first things that someone notices.  Individuals with good posture are associated with being, friendly, intelligent, and confident.

4) Handshake - An effective handshake communicates an unconscious but important message to others about your self-esteem, energy and enthusiasm.