Perception, according to the online dictionary, is a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something. When we speak of communication, we sometimes tend to limit our thinking to its verbal and intellectual aspect only. However, communication also has a physical aspect.
We all have heard of the saying 'it's not what you say, but how you say it.' According to this Huffpost article, the way we speak is more important than what we say. Effective communication, according to the author, has 3 noteworthy features: self-awareness, trust building, and a willingness to navigate difficult conversations.
Self-awareness simply means that we should think before we speak, so we can give our mind time to catch up with our mouth. We should be aware to both think and speak accurately, efficiently, and intelligently.
Trust building is done when we mean what we say. This means that we should say only the things that we can abide by. Communication is more effective among parties when they have a trust-based relationship.
A willingness to navigate difficult conversations shows the other person that it is safe for them to share their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors without the fear of getting judged, no matter how high the stakes are, and how varied the opinions.
Say What You Mean
Everyone wants to be with someone who has integrity. People of integrity are honest, fair, and dependable. They keep their promise no matter how small it is.
We all aspire to be a person of integrity, but in today's culture, it can be a challenge. Today, the words 'yes' and 'no' can sometimes exist in the same sentence or reply. It is as if people are not sure what to say, and are waiting for some sign to finalize their answer.
In this article from Identity, the author enumerated several reasons why people say 'yes' when they actually mean 'no.' The reasons vary. People say 'yes' sometimes thinking that by giving a positive response all the time they avoid being negative. However, this can result in the person who said yes ending up anxious, exhausted, and even guilty if unable to do the thing he/she said yes to.
Other reasons are to please someone, to avoid being impolite, or just being unrealistic of what they can or cannot do.
It is important, first and foremost, to take stock of what we can do given our time, abilities, desire, and priority. After going through all these and realizing that we need to say no, we have to be honest enough to ourselves and others about our decision.
An Inc article lists several ways how to say 'no.' What is helpful in these answers is that aside from the clear 'no' message, they also give additional explanations that clarifies the message.
This maxim of two words has been interpreted and explained by so many people. It has been promoted as a solution to a great number of issues and problems. For our purpose, we will be examining it as it applies to how people can find the job or career they love.
According to human resource consultant and specialist Joey Sammons, it is possible to find that calling or passion in life. But before you can be in that job that provides you excitement, that position that makes you feel relevant and fulfilled, you need to 'know thyself' first.
In other words, you need to find your own PAD, or:
- Personality style. Every person is uniquely wired, but knowing it in explicit detail allows a person to make decisions that help them grow. Knowing one's personality enables people to operate where their strengths are exercised daily. The person feels fulfilled while also able to help more people the most.
- Abilities and skills. In a previous blog, we wrote about how people can unlock their potential. One of the 3 questions to ask is 'What skill or role are you very good at?' Knowing one's natural abilities or special skills is a great advantage, and is a common characteristic among people who excel in their careers and personal lives.
- Dreams and passions. People who do what they love seem to lose track of time when they are doing the things and activities they are passionate about. To dream about something that benefits not only one's self but others as well, and to be able to work towards that dream brings hope. And hope is an unlimited fuel that can energize and power up an individual to greater goals and achievements.
A similar path is suggested by inspirational speaker and former monk Jay Shetty. He refers to it as the 3 E's: element, environment, and energy. Different people works well in a particular element, environment, and energy. But being able to know which one you thrive in puts a person in a very advantageous position.
Everyday, people wake up to a deluge of information, now more than ever. But all these information will amount to little if people themselves do not spend some time to know more about their own selves. Every one has a place in this universe, but we only have a lifetime to find it, so better start sooner than later.
2 Things to Do to Advance Your Career
People who love what they do are blessed and fortunate. However, if they are doing it for several years now, advancement sometimes cross their minds. And it is in their best interest to be all that they can be.
According to a Forbes article, there are two things that people can work on to advance their career. The first one is exposure. Often, the boss or the client would rather focus on problematic people and issues that deserve their immediate attention. This is not to say that people should do something negative just to get attention. There are positive ways to get noticed.
One way to make sure that the boss or client is glad to see you is if they are not threatened by you, as if you are in competition with them, or working against them. Always give the impression to be on their team, and they will be happy to see you more often.
The second thing to do to advance one's career is to surprise them. To be able to share something extra, such as a new idea or insight when the opportunity arises, means that people should be reading books, investigating the market, looking at data, listening to experts and thought leaders, or all of these.
So, to advance in one's career, people should get involve more and contribute better with something worthwhile.
3 Keys to Unlock Your Potential
We believe that we are destined for greater things. We have to. If we ourselves do not believe this, then it is going to be difficult to convince others to see the potential in us. But before we start pitching ourselves to others, we have to convince ourselves that we have the talent and skills within.
In this article from The Muse, the author enumerates three questions that a person can ask himself/herself to uncover their hidden talent and skills:
- What do I love about my career? From among the jobs (or school activities) that you have performed, which one did you enjoyed the most, and why?
- What activities make you lose track of time? From among your tasks or hobbies, which one takes your full attention, so much so that you don't notice the passing of time?
- What skill or role are you very good at? In the assignments that you have had, or the participation that you have made, which ones did you perform extraordinarily well, according to your own and others' evaluation?
It is important to identify your talents and strengths. It is also essential that you recognize and accept that you are naturally gifted or very skillful in certain activities or roles. Identifying, recognizing and accepting you have a certain ability that you can perform very well is the first key to unlocking potential.
The second key is to find the opportunity or the right environment for your ability to develop and grow. It must be an environment that is supportive and motivating.
And the third key is to have the right attitude, the willingness to do what is necessary to take advantage of the opportunities. You have to make the most out of the opportunities, whether self-discovered or given by others, to further hone and hammer your ability into expertise.
Career Advancement Tips for Next Year
The year is closing soon. 2017 is almost over. If you had a sterling career performance this year, well, congratulations! However, if you had hoped for better, well, there is still next year. The most important thing to do to give your career goals and aspirations a better fighting chance is to start planning NOW.
One of the most effective strategies to advance your career is to start with the end in mind. This is one of the 7 habits of highly effective people, according to Stephen Covey. It is very important to decide what your endgame is, before you can plan the steps to get you there.
Do you want to be the manager/director/head of your department? Then you will need specific skills, connections, risks to take, etc., for that goal. Do you instead want to own and manage your business? Or perhaps you imagine yourself to be the chief advocate/innovator of a specific idea/philosophy/technology?
Whatever it is that you passionately dream about becoming in the years to come will dictate the immediate and intermediate plans you will make. Your endgame will decide the specific and targeted steps to take, as well as the goals and resolutions you need to build to finally advance to the position you hold dear the most. Good luck!
Dealing with Anger
Everyone gets angry. Anger is a powerful emotion according to Better Health Channel, and unless we know how to deal with it, it may have destructive results and tragic consequences for us and those closest to us.
Anger also triggers health problems, such as headache, digestion problems, insomnia, anxiety or depression, skin problems, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
But anger is a feeling, it is not good or bad in itself. It can be a positive and useful emotion, if expressed appropriately.
Anger is raw energy meant for fuelling our actions with intensity, force and depth. We get angry when we see people (others and ourselves) being abused or taken advantaged of!
So, after recognizing and accepting that anger is a normal emotion that is part of life, we can deal with it rationally.
What Is Leadership?
Election fever is everywhere. It's like the circus came to town, but more formal than funny. Soon, the nation will have a new leader to... well, lead the people.
But what is a leader? The definition of leadership that I like is "positive and creative influence on and in the service of others, which focuses on developing their God-given potential and gifts for the common good." So, a leader does not only influence and inspire, he or she acts and does something. This Inc. article enumerates 7 things that leaders never fail to do, such as never trashing anybody, giving due credit to others, and erring on the side of generosity when things go wrong.
I believe that a good leader is not in leadership position because he or she is a cut above the rest, but because he or she is willing to sacrifice more than the rest. Jim Rohn enumerates 7 personality traits a leader should learn to be:
Although a leader should work on himself to become better, leadership's main focus should be on others, not on the leader.
We seek happiness in every moment of our lives. When we are unhappy in our homes, we go out and have some 'fun.' When we are unhappy in our school or office, we shift academic courses, transfer to a new school, find work in another company, or make a career change. When we are unhappy in our relationship, we discard it and find a new one. Why stay and suffer, they say. People tell us we can do something about it, because happiness is a state of mind. Perhaps.
Perhaps people can train their mind to be happy. Perhaps people can accept certain attitudes and take on a mentality that make them less expecting, less disappointed. Perhaps people can find the right persons and relationships that are supportive, nurturing and fulfilling.
I believe that we can only be happy when we realize our true purpose and accept that our happiness rests in the fulfillment of our purpose. "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." (St. Augustine of Hippo)
People were created by God so that they may know God, and in knowing Him love Him, and in loving Him serve Him, and in serving Him be with Him in heaven. That, I believe, is our true purpose, and everything starts from there. Unless we realize and accept it, happiness will always be elusive, whether we look for it on the outside, fleeting world or within the states of our changing minds.
Joy in Living
Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. So, when one is joyful, he or she is not only feeling pleased or feeling happy, but feeling a great deal of it. Perhaps that is why images that best described joy always show people with raised and outstretched arms, or jumping in the air. But how does a person live a life of joy?
According to experts, the first thing to have a joyful life is to know one's purpose. Every person has one, whether they recognize it or not, accept it or not. People have innate talents and skills that can usually reveal their purpose. Sometimes, one has to dig deeper to discover it.
But discovering one's purpose is only the first step in joyful living. People who know their purpose also have to live purposefully. They have to stretch themselves from time to time. They need to give more than they take. People should surprise themselves and others once in a while. A few times, it is okay to indulge oneself. And best of all, laugh a lot. You can't go wrong with that.
Worth Pursuing is Worth Persisting
Why is persistence important to have in order to achieve success?
Because things worth pursuing and achieving have never been always easy. We may have identified what we want, what our goals are. We may have drafted our plans and course of action. But sooner or later, we will find out that it is not as easy as we hoped it to be.
So what do we do when we are faced with obstacles and difficulties? Do we get back to the drawing board immediately and start all over again? Do we forget about the whole pursuit altogether and just settle where we have been all along?
Ross Perot said that most people give up when they're about to achieve success. According to B.C. Forbes, history has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed.
Persistence is the "firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." Tenacity, perseverance, determination, steadfastness, relentlessness.
We should never so easily give up on our hopes and dreams. If we hang in there long enough, we will eventually reach our goal. We can find ways how to deal with obstacles. When something blocks the path of ants, they climb over, climb under, or go around. Such wisdom! Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics stated that for every failure, there's an alternative course of action. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.
Employee or Entrepreneur: Which is Better?
Are you an employee wishing you were the boss? Or are you an entrepreneur having doubts of starting out on your own? One is really not better than the other, but people are more suited and happier to be in one situation than the other. Others may argue that profits are better than wages. This can certainly be true in many situations, but not all. Starting and running a business is not a simple matter. Successful owners possess or learned good habits and skills, sometimes painstakingly, before they did well, and many developed them while they were employed. Some were even luckily mentored by their bosses.
A helpful article from Everyday Success.com suggested considering several points before deciding whether to have a career as an employee or to be an entrepreneur. Factors to consider are personal preferences, personality, capacity to take risks, and work-life balance, among others.
People can be employees and entrepreneurs at one point or at the same time as the two are not mutually exclusive. Many entrepreneurs started out as employees before they decided to be on their own. Some are doing both, turning their hobbies into businesses while still working for another. In the end, it all depends on a person's preference, priority, and passion.
Observing vs Zoning Out
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'zone out' as to become oblivious to one's surroundings especially in order to relax. However, some people zone out even when not relaxing, and this is unfortunate, and sometimes, even dangerous, for others and for themselves.
Entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn advises people to become good observers and astute evaluators of all that is going on around them. Indeed, all events affect us, and what affects us leaves an imprint on what we will one day be and how we will one day live, according to him.
He goes on further to tell that one of the major reasons why people are not doing well is because they keep trying to get through the day, when they should try to get from the day. He tells us that we must become sensitive enough to observe and ponder what is happening around us.
"Be alert. Be awake. Let life and all of its subtle messages touch us. Often, the most extraordinary opportunities are hidden among the seemingly insignificant events of life. If we do not pay attention to these events, we can easily miss the opportunities."
Here is another inspirational piece from Denis Waitley to stir some self confidence:
When the prize seems high above you and your mirror doesn’t love you, Look Inside.
When the road to gold gets steeper and your diamond’s buried deeper, Look Inside.
Light a candle in your mind, untold riches you will find,
When you look for treasures, Look Inside.
When you’re running low on laughter and can’t reach the goals you’re after, Look Inside.
When your body starts complaining and the clouds of doubt keep raining, Look Inside.
Close your eyes and then believe it, trust yourself and you’ll achieve it,
When you’re seeking answers, Look Inside.
Believe in You
Below is an inspirational piece from motivational speaker and writer Denis Waitley:
I believe in myself. I believe that all people have the equal right to become all they are willing and able to become. I believe that I am as good as anyone in the world. Although I may never be on the cover of Time Magazine, I still have time to make a really positive difference in my life. I believe that although I may not be the best looking in the group, I’ll always be looking my best in every group. I believe in this and the next generation, and believe we’ll build a better nation. I believe good health means more than wealth. I believe in caring and sharing, rather than comparing. I believe of all the people I see, still I’d rather be me.
Two Days That We Should Not Worry
This inspirational piece can be found in many places with its author unknown. It is only apt that it should also be found here. ~
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is Yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise, and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds; but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn. This leaves only one day: Today.
Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities - Yesterday and Tomorrow - that we break down. It is not the experience of Today that drives us mad, it is remorse and bitterness for something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, live this one full Today.
Do what you are good at
Are you good at planning? Do families and friends turn to you when someone needs to do the planning of an event, an activity, or a project? Then perhaps planning is one of your strengths. It is probably one of the things you do better than most others.
English-born best-selling author Marcus Buckingham says everyone has a uniqueness about them. If they could
1) discover it,
2) fine-tune it,
3) work hard at it, and
4) grow in it,
this uniqueness would set them apart. Buckingham calls this the Strength Zone Path.
But many do not know their own strengths. Instead, they focus on improving their weakness, trying to correct those flaws. Buckingham states that enhancing your strengths, rather than your weakness, is the path to an accomplished life. No one has ever been successful doing something they did not like. No one has ever been successful doing something they cannot do well. Therefore, make sure your life is leveraging your strengths.
To know more about how to discover your strengths, check out this book by Buckingham and Clifton.
So having a plan is very important. But equally important is giving your plan a chance to work. And that means not quitting easily. Why is it important to not quit? The poem below explains why.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup
And he learned too late when the night slipped down
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things go wrong that you mustn't quit.