Look Forward To the New Year!

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As the New Year quickly approaches, remember to look ahead and not back. The new year comes with new challenges, and new opportunities. It is a chance to build and grow and put into practice all of the lessons 2016 has taught. Be optimistic, be positive, and ready to embrace all that the New Year has for you. Remember that all change begins from within, so the only thing that can hinder your advancement is you. You are well able to accomplish your goals and dreams and live a purpose driven life. 2017 is yours for the taking, let your passion allow you to possess what’s yours.

The Heart That Gives Will Never Be Empty

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This is the most loved time of the year for many. The holiday season is especially dedicated to family, food and festivities! It may not be a religious event for everyone, but it can be used as a period of time committed to thinking about, and giving to others.

If we can stop ourselves from being taken over by the commercialism of the season, we can truly make giving a priority. Giving is one activity that everyone can do that is as beneficial to the giver as it is to the receiver.

Giving makes you happy. Not only does God love a cheerful giver, but studies show that giving makes you cheerful!

Giving evokes gratitude. When you give to others it makes you appreciative of what you have, as it reveals to yourself that you have enough abundance to be able to provide for more than just yourself.

Giving causes a return. When you give you receive, this is a fundamental law of the universe. And so, a simple benefit to giving is knowing that you will receive back what you gave out.

Giving benefits your health. Giving is a natural stimulus for the brain. Studies have shown that giving can lower blood-pressure, increase self-esteem and reduce stress levels.

Giving touches the world. When you give to others through money or a service you have a direct impact on a person or people, which will then create a domino effect that positively impacts communities, cities, countries and the entire world. No “small act of giving” is actually small, as it can have a drastic impact on many others.

Giving makes you whole. Humans are social beings who thrive on mutual support in tight communities. That is how humans have survived and how we have thrived. Therefore, giving is an important component that plays an important role in distinguishing you as human and a conscious being.

Giving is simply the right thing to do. There doesn’t and shouldn’t always be a reason to give other than that it is right. If you want to live the best life you could possibly live, giving should be at the top of your priorities.


An Overnight Success Does Not Happen Overnight

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In this age of internet stars, and instant fame through social media, everything seems like instant success. It has trained our minds to believe that we can do what we desire without putting in the time. If we don’t see the success that we want within a couple of months we give up, thinking that this isn’t for us.

What we call an ‘overnight success’ is really a result of the blood, sweat and tears that went on behind the scenes possibly for years previously. Becoming an ‘overnight success’ will take lots of:

TIME. We have to get back the desire to work for what we want, and be willing to work at it for as long as it takes. There are no short-cuts to success. The key is to be prepared, so that when an opportunity arises we can quickly act on it. A common characteristic of an overnight success is that they will put in the time that others are unwilling to.

PERSISTENCE. There will be good days and bad days, failures and success, but an overnight success will keep on pushing. Hearing a ‘no’ does not mean give up, it means regroup.

FOCUS. It has become so easy to jump from goal to goal, opportunity to opportunity without accomplishing much. An overnight success understands the value of consistency and seeing things through to obtain the desired result. Your focus is what will keep you grounded and connected to purpose despite the circumstances.


Embrace the Unexpected

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How would you describe yourself: are you more of a control freak or a happy-go-lucky, roll with the punches type of person? As much as I have written about organization, goal setting, and planning in previous blogs, I also have to emphasize that being able to deal with the un-planned situations is just as important to really live a happy, successful life. In fact, it is often the unexpected, random occurrences in life and business that facilitate opportunities or conditions which deliver the most joy or the most important lessons.

Sometimes we have to embrace the chaos. In the midst of all the plans there will undoubtedly be things that we cannot control, and that’s ok. The key is to allow these unexpected occurrences to take place without discouraging or derailing your dreams. The chaos that may ensue may not be chaos at all, but a way for you to refocus or even change focus. Success will depend on how you respond to random events. Be careful not to let opportunities pass you by, in life and in business, because it was not part of your plan.

Get Your Hands Dirty

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Gone are the times when the head honcho called all the shots, and the actual work trickled down to the lesser of the employees on the corporate ladder. In those days, an employee would start working at a company at the bottom and work their way up. Menial tasks were carried out by these, and their ideas or suggestions would not even be taken into consideration until they had proven themselves.

Today there has been a dramatic change in the way we do business, and the businesses that are going to survive are the ones where everyone is willing to get their hands dirty. This is especially true of small business. We now have employees that are not loyal to a company, but are loyal to an idea, concept, or belief and are not afraid to ‘job-hop’ to ensure they are promoting or upholding the concept they believe in.

Young employees are qualified and have ideas, and want to be heard and acknowledged. They will not stay where they feel that they are look down upon or are disregarded. Of course there is still room and need for mentorship, but in this new age of business everyone from the top to the bottom works together collaboratively for success individually and corporately.

If your desire to be successful in business is to sit back and call the shots, than you are in for a sharp shock. Be prepared to get your hands dirty. Great leaders lead by example, relationship and connection.

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Using reflective practices is important for you to do in every area of your life. You will better understand yourself and how you work through personal and professional reflection. It happens when you begin to ask yourself questions that identify and evaluate your own performance in particular situations. Self-reflection can be difficult when you first start to utilize it because it causes you to admit and confront truths about yourself, but the outcome of regularly practicing reflection will allow you to be your best self personally and professionally.

Identifying your skills is essential as an entrepreneur or an employee. Clients and employers need to be able to see where you will fit in their business, and you need to know where your business will fit in the marketplace. If you understand your own personal and professional value, you can communicate it to others in a believable manner. Reflect on positive and negative work experiences that you have had. Evaluate your success as well as your mistakes, and consider everything from your communication to your emotions during the experience. Identify the skills and behaviors that either aided you or hindered you. Be honest with yourself about what you can and can’t do, and what you are willing to do to enhance and develop your abilities.

Reflection will build your confidence. During times of self-refection you may realize that you are able to do much more than you thought, and possess more skills than you previously recognized. It will give you the opportunity to recognize your accomplishments, and you will notice how your skills have developed over a period of time. When you feel confident about what you do, you will present your best self in all that you do. Confidence will also come from the personal behavior adjustments that will come naturally through self-assessment.

Increased confidence will lead to challenging yourself more, which ultimately leads to personal and professional growth and development. Reflection will change the way you see yourself, and will change the way others see you. Remember that it is a practice. Set a regular time where you can reflect on your experiences and plan your growth.

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Be a Self-Starter

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Whether your goals are personal goals or career goals, it is essential that you are a self-starter. Taking the initiative in all aspects of your life will attract opportunities to you. Part of being a self-starter is to be willing to operate outside of your comfort zone. If you truly desire to reach a new level of success then something new must be done.

Self-starters recognize that success takes courage, planning and effort to achieve. They understand that they don’t know everything and are always looking for ways to learn. They are willing to make mistakes and use them as a means of self-development. They appreciate the fact that life is not about winning or losing, but rather the value and contribution you can use your life to make.

If you can adopt and develop the traits of a self-starter you will begin to enjoy working towards your goals, and will take the lead in your success.