Tuesday 15 December 2009

Positive self-esteem

Having a strong sense of self-esteem is a key part of feeling happy within ourselves, and of feeling that we're succeeding in things that matter.

Positive self-esteem helps you be yourself, handle adversity, and believe that you'll win through, despite setbacks. It's an inner force that sustains you, and gives you the courage you need to succeed. How do you "grade" yourself?

Low self-esteem does the opposite. It's connected to self-doubt, and to a general feeling that you're not quite good enough to meet life's challenges. In fact, low self-esteem is used to diagnose many mental disorders, and it can be associated with anxiety, sadness, hostility, loneliness, and a lack of spontaneity.

What Is Self-Esteem?

You're probably familiar with the idea of self-esteem. It's often associated with self-confidence, but self-esteem is more than just confidence - it goes deeper. In fact, some people argue that you can have self-confidence and still have low self-esteem - most notably if you approach life with a "fake it 'til you make it" attitude (in other words, "pretend" until you succeed).

Healthy self-esteem doesn't involve faking anything. And although there's significant debate over the definition of self-esteem, a leading theory is that it's a combination of two factors: competence and worthiness. Nathaniel Branden says the following in his book "The Psychology of Self-Esteem":
"Self-esteem has two interrelated aspects: it entails a sense of personal efficacy and a sense of personal worth. It is the integrated sum of self-confidence and self-respect. It is the conviction that one is competent to live and worthy of living."
To evaluate your own levels of self-esteem, complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES) http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/research/rosenberg.htm. This is a 10-item scale developed by Dr. Morris Rosenberg. Even though it was developed as long ago as 1965, it's still a popular form of measurement used in self-esteem research.

Competence and Worthiness

The competence element of self-esteem deals with how far you believe that you have the skills and abilities you need to succeed in areas that matter to you.

This isn't generalized success. It's specific to areas of your life that are particularly important to you. For example, if you can sing and dance and entertain a crowd like no one else, that won't contribute to positive self-esteem if what you really value is academic success. Likewise, if you rise to the top of your profession, but you're not proud of that profession, it's unlikely that you'll feel a strong sense of self-esteem as a result.

It's this idea of "value" that brings us to the other element of self-esteem: worthiness. This is where you express your overall evaluation of yourself. It's based on your values, and on whether you behave in a way that is consistent with these values. Together, these factors influence whether you believe you're "good enough", and whether you like and respect the person you are.

By combining competence and worthiness, and by looking at how they relate to each other, we get a full and dynamic definition of self-esteem. Just feeling good about yourself isn't self-esteem. There has to be a competence element, so that your behaviors result in positive actions, not destructive ones. Too great a sense of worthiness can lead to conceit, and even narcissism. Healthy self-esteem keeps those things in balance.

Looking at self-esteem this way allows us to see the difference between healthy self-esteem and too much self-esteem, which can lead to aggressive and destructive behavior. Thinking that you're better than others can lead you to become arrogant and worse. And if your level of self-esteem is too far in advance of your abilities, you’re setting yourself up for failure, humiliation, frustration and anger. (In fact, some researchers link this with domestic violence.)

Improving Self-Esteem

Now that you know what self-esteem is, you're in a better position to improve yours in a robust and balanced way.

Here are some tips for improving your self-esteem:

Think about yourself positively: You are the only person who can change your view of yourself. No one else can give you self-esteem - you have to build it by thinking about all of the positive things in your life. Make sure that you get into the habit of positive thinking, and learn how to detect and defeat patterns of self-sabotage. Be your own best cheerleader and supporter!

Take pride in your accomplishments: When you do something well, celebrate it. Don't wait for someone else to tell you how wonderful you are: tell yourself!

Set goals: The more you achieve, the better you'll feel about yourself. Goal setting is a great technique for targeting, tracking and recognizing success. It helps you to build competence and, from this, build a sense of pride and a feeling of worthiness. Make sure that you embrace goal setting!

Be consistent: You improve self-esteem when you act in ways that are consistent with your values. If you find yourself in a compromising or difficult situation, do all that you can to make a decision that is consistent with these values. Achieve your goals with integrity, and don't undermine your self-esteem by cheating, or acting in a dishonest way.

Remember that you aren't perfect: Don't be too hard on yourself. We all make mistakes, and that's often OK, just as long as we learn from them. The standards you have to meet are your own: stop worrying about what others think, and focus on the great things about yourself. If you do, your inner confidence will shine through, and more than compensate for any shortcomings you might have.

Look after yourself physically: Being active can improve self-esteem. Activities that improve your health help you feel more in control, and give you a sense of satisfaction that carries though to other areas of your life.
Key Points

The way you think is key to your sense of self-esteem. You're the one in control, and you can make a difference. If you like yourself, and believe that you deserve good things in life, you'll have high self-esteem. If you dislike yourself or criticize yourself excessively, you won't.

Having healthy self-esteem is important, because it helps you deal with life's challenges and achieve the things that matter most to you. As such, make a commitment to yourself to value what you do and who you are!

Article reproduced from Mindtools newsletter 142

Sunday 29 November 2009

Personality Type & Career Choice

A thorough understanding of your personality type can be a tremendous guide that can help you to:

Choose a new job or career
Change your job or career
Increase your satisfaction with your present career

Your personality type can assist you in developing your career goals and establishing a process to reach those goals. When - using the People Process MBTI scoring matrix - you have identified your four-letter type, you can gain a thorough understanding of your strengths – your unique gifts.

The more you understand about yourself, the better your decisions will be and the more effectively you will be able to implement those decisions. Your personality preferences can help you decide what you want to do, how to approach that field and get what you want.

To briefly review, personality type theory was developed by Dr. Carl Jung in the early 1900s. Dr. Jung sought to explain the normal differences between healthy people. Jung espoused that the differences in people’s behavior was a result from people’s inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways. As people act on these tendencies, they develop patterns of behavior.

We have different energy levels, notice different aspects of the world around us, make decisions based on different criteria and structure our lives in different ways depending on what makes us most comfortable. These characteristics combine to create the whole personality. Dr. Jung identified four dimensions that make up our personality type – and these are part of our DNA – they are inborn traits.

The four dimensions are: Energy, Information, Decision, Action, and are used by us hundreds of times a day. Each dimension consists of two opposite poles. Picture each dimension as a continuum with a mid-point in the center. Each of us has a natural inborn preference (strength) for one side of the continuum or the other in each of the four dimensions.

The People Process approach can also assist with understanding how other people should treat you.. This will give you insight into the types of work and surroundings that will be most fulfilling for you. For instance, if in the Energy behavior dimension you chose Introvert you will see that the way you prefer to be treated is:

Related to one-on-one
Have others Value your need for privacy
Be allowed time to change focus
Ask questions to draw them out
Do not be pressured for an instant response

This tells you that you like to work alone and don’t need a lot of supervision. You’re great at putting things together behind the scenes.

However, if you chose Extravert in the Energy behavior dimension, you’ll find that you like to have a lot of interaction with others and you want them to:

Listen attentively
Be actively responsive
Be energetic & enthusiastic
Support their need to communicate
Recognize their need for social interaction

Extraverts like to be able to bounce ideas off of others and get immediate feedback. They would be very frustrated working all alone in a cubicle on a project by themselves.

In the Information behavior dimension, if you chose Sensing as your preference, you’ll find that you have skills in dealing with facts and details and when receiving information from someone you prefer that they:

Be orderly and organized
Show facts with evidence
Be direct and to the point
Draw on your experience
Be practical because you are

If you chose Intuition in the Information behavior dimension, you are terrific at coming up with creative solutions, marketing direction and “out of the box” ideas and when receiving information you prefer they:

Give you an overview
Have a vision of the future
Appeal to your imagination
Encourage your need to explore
Allow for the expansion of ideas

When it comes to making a Decision, a Thinking person is logical, steps back and objectifies the decision, preferring to be treated this way:

Expect questions
Use logic
Be calm and reasonable
Be brief, concise, yet thorough
Present information for their analysis

A Feeling person personalizes decisions asking, “How does this affect me and the people involved?” This person likes you to remember to:

Be honest and sincere
Be personal and friendly
Share with them your feelings
Encourage them to share their feelings
Allow them time to know and trust you

In the Action behavior dimension, the Judging person likes to control their environment and prefers that you:

Don’t disturb their order
Be prepared and deliberate
Value their time because they do
Finalize whenever & wherever possible
Take their deadlines seriously

And, the Perceiving person values spontaneity above all and prefers that you:

Be open to options & changes
Use variety in your approach
Let them set their own deadlines
Make use of their resourcefulness
Encourage possibility-thinking

Does this give you an idea of how to approach finding out your strengths and preferred way of being treated so that you can decide on the career that best suits you? Continue analysing your strengths and preferred way of being treated by others. Once you have analyzed this information, identify the types of careers that include your preferences and strengths – the way you like to be treated and are most comfortable.

This article was adapted from an original article by the founder of the People Process, Pamela Hollister and has been reproduced with her personal permission. If you have any comments or feedback on this posting, please send these to me via the Comments tab below, as I have promised to share all feedback with Pam.

You will find additional information on personality profiling and related information on the following websites


Monday 16 November 2009

Liking and the power of persuasion

People prefer to say yes to individuals they know and like. This simple rule helps to understand how Liking can create influence and how compliance professionals may emphasize certain factors and/or attributes to increase their overall attractiveness and subsequent effectiveness. Compliance practitioners may regularly use several factors.

Physical attractiveness is one feature of a person that often may help to create influence. Although it has long been suspected that physical beauty provides an advantage in social interaction, research indicates that this advantage may be greater than once supposed.

Physical attractiveness seems to engender a "halo" effect that extends to favourable impressions of other traits such as talent, kindness, and intelligence. As a result, attractive people are more persuasive both in terms of getting what they request and in changing others' attitudes

Similarity is a second factor that influences both Liking and compliance. That is, we like people who are like us and are more willing to say yes to their requests, often without much critical consideration.

Praise is another factor that produces Liking, although this can sometimes backfire when it is too transparent. But generally compliments most often enhance liking and can be used as a means to gain compliance.

Increased familiarity through repeated contact with a person or thing is yet another factor that facilitates Liking. But this holds true principally when that contact takes place under positive rather than negative circumstances. One positive circumstance that may works well is mutual and successful cooperation.

A final factor linked to Liking is often association. By associating with products or positive things, those who seek influence frequently share in a halo effect by association. Other individuals as well appear to recognise the positive effect of simply associating themselves with favourable events and distancing themselves from unfavourable ones.

A potentially effective response that reduces vulnerability to the undue influence of Liking upon decision-making requires a recognition of how Liking and its attending factors may impact our impression of someone making requests and soliciting important decisions.

That is, recognising how someone making requests may do inordinately well under certain circumstances should cause us to step back from some social interaction and objectively separate the requester from his or her offer or request. We should make decisions, commitments and offer compliance based upon the actual merits of the offer or request.

Applying the rule of liking:

- Use strategies to be liked by your prospects and clients (read 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' by Dale Carnegie for some powerful tips or refer to the excellent summary here on this blog
- Always be positive and genuinely interested in the concerns of prospects.
- Always be fully present when communicating with clients and prospects. Never talk to a prospect on the phone while you're on the internet or reading emails.
- Listen to your client when they tell you about their interests, their family and friends. Get in the habit of remembering names, events, favourite teams or pastimes and use this information to show a genuine interest and desire to get to know your clients. This shows that you care and people naturally like those that care

Wednesday 21 October 2009

How to Live Problem Free

Everybody has problems but nobody realises the truth about them. Once you get this, you will never have another problem ever. If you're interested in living a problem free life, keep reading.

First, realise we are problem-making beings.

It appears to be the human condition to find problems, create them, and/or attract them. Even when you resolve a problem, you almost instantly fill the gap with another one. Almost nobody knows this. Yet it’s the key to living a problem free life. You have to understand that as one problem disappears, another bubbles up to take its place. That’s how the human mind works. Some people like drama more than others, but we all seem to attract problems simply out of human habit. It’s our current nature. It’s our program.

Second, you can transcend all problems with detachment.

To paraphrase Buddha, life is suffering, but once you realise that life is suffering, you no longer have to suffer. You are free. At that point you realise that life is a theatrical experience and you are just playing your part in the script of life. You are detached. You are, in many respects, awakened. This second insight is just a deeper understanding of the first one. Yes, we are problem-making beings but you can also detach from the experience of the problems.

You can witness them. You can watch them as if watching a soap opera on television.

Third, problems are due to perspective.

A problem to one person may be a blessing to another person. It depends on your intention, which directs your perspective. So where is the real problem? Is there even a problem at all? Dr. Hew Len, my co-author on the book Zero Limits, often asks, “Have you
ever noticed that when you have a problem, you are there?” He means that the problem is yours — yours in perception and yours in responsibility. Clear the beliefs in you that see it as a problem and the problem is gone. Poof!

The above insights work for any problem you can name.

Got money problems?

It’s only a problem because you aren’t accepting what you have and are focused on what you want with a feeling of lack or even desperation. You need to be grateful for what you have now and want more. When you do that with awareness and detachment, the issue isn’t a problem, it’s just your next activity. When you take the edge off your stress, you can more clearly see your next move.

Got relationship problems?

It’s the same scenario. It’s only a problem because of your perspective that it is a problem. From a higher view, it’s the next scene in the play of life. When you can take a deep breath, and realise this is just your next moment, you can more easily decide what to do. In fact, with clarity, there’s not even a decision. You know what to do and just do it.

To recap, the larger insight here is to realise that as a human you will always have problems. Always. But if you understand and accept that fact, you are then free from all problems and can lead an authentic problem-free life.

You got a problem with that?

Ao Akua,
Joe Vitale

Dr. Joe Vitale is the author of The Attractor Factor, The Key, Life’s Missing Instruction Manual, Zero Limits, and star of The Secret. www.JoeVitale.com

Original reference point for this article is: http://www.thinkbigmagazine.com/mindset/171-how-to-live-problem-free

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Coaching Techniques

adapted from: www.livetocoach.com

There are many techniques associated with NLP. The following section introduces you to a number of techniques to give you with a sense of how NLP works in practice.

Representational Systems
In NLP, representation systems refer to the five senses: visually (we see), auditorily (we hear), kinaesthetically (we feel and touch), olfactorily (we smell), and gustatorily (we taste).

This article will consider their internal function:
• When I imagine the layout of my home - I am using my visual sensory channel, to make an internal representation.
• When I imagine the sound of bells ringing - I am using my auditory sensory channel, to make an internal representation.
• When I remember how cold I felt in Canada - I am using my kinaesthetic sensory channel, to make an internal representation.

When someone is accessing an internal representation, it is likely he/she will use language associated with that channel. If (for example) I am utilising information I have stored in the visual channel, I will use visual language, such as “I see” and “I get the picture”. The words that a person uses to describe an event, thing or experience gives the listener clues as to what sensory channel the person is thinking in.

Here are some examples:
Visual: “I see what you mean”; “I get the picture”.
Auditory: “I hear what you’re saying”; “Sounds good”.
Kinaesthetic: “I didn’t catch that”; “I get your drift”.
Olfactory: “I smell a rat”; “I can smell victory”.
Gustatory: “It’s all turned sour”; “It left a bitter taste in my mouth”.

The olfactory and gustatory sensory channels are used less frequently than the other channels to create internal representations. It is thus less likely that reference to these senses will appear in conversation - although they do occur occasionally.
Most of us use all of the sensory channels to take in information and make internal representations. Usually, however, we prefer one or two channels - such as the visual or auditory channels.

Technique 1 - Developing Rapport
Rapport, as we know, is used as an essential part of the coaching process to develop a relationship between coach and client. Involved in developing rapport in the NLP process is to consider that the words a client uses in conversation reflects the ’sense’ (i.e. visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory) through which they are thinking, we can then (as the coach) use that information to help create a deep rapport.

If you keep using auditory words with people who are in visual mode, they will unconsciously feel out-of-sync with you. This is because they need to unconsciously translate the information you provide into their preferred channel. This takes time and subsequently results in a loss of rapport.

Technique 2 - Manipulating Sub Modalities
Sub modalities are the descriptive qualities that are directly linked to a sensory channel. For instance - linked to the visual sensory channel are the sub modalities of colour, size, shape and distance. This means that when I look at something I can assess it based on these features. Alternatively, when I hear something, I can assess its volume and tone. Therefore, volume and tone are examples of sub modalities of the auditory channel.

So if somebody says…’I imagine it will be very difficult’, don’t say…’Let’s talk it over’, instead say… ‘Let’s have a look at this’. (Visual example)
If somebody says… ‘I just want to talk about it’, don’t say… ‘Okay, fill the picture in for me’, instead say… ‘Tell me about it’. (Auditory example)
If somebody says… ‘It doesn’t feel right’, don’t say… ‘Let’s view this differently’, instead say… ‘Okay, let me try and get a hold of this’. (Kinaesthetic example)

Following is an activity you can do to get an idea of what your own sub modality is:
• Step 1 - Imagine a day at the beach.
• Step 2 - With that image in mind, I want you to mentally turn up the intensity of the colours. Imagine the sky a bright, bright blue, the sand a bright yellow. Every colour is very vivid and intense.
• Step 3 - Now, in your mind, turn the image black and white. (Does this change your response to the scene?)
• Step 4 - Return the scene to its original colours and move it further away from you, way away into the distance (how does it change your response when the scene is so distant from you?).
• Step 5 - Now bring the scene closer, really close.
• Step 6 - Now return the image to its original form.
You have just manipulated the sub modalities of an internal visual representation (i.e. you have played with the way an image is represented in your mind). Specifically, you have manipulated:
the intensity of colour
colour vs. black and white
near vs. far

But we could have also manipulated the
Auditory: volume (e.g. turn up the sounds of the crashing waves and the children playing)
Kinaesthetic: movement (e.g. speed up the whole scene and make everything super fast - then turn it down to a snail’s pace)

Manipulating sub modalities is a foundational strategy that forms the basis of a variety of NLP techniques, including the Circle of Success (see Technique 3) and Reframing (see Technique 4). By facilitating the manipulation of sub modalities, coaches enable coaching clients to intensify preferred feeling states, such as confidence, success and achievement. Alternatively, the manipulation of sub modalities can assist in distancing a coaching client from less useful states, such as lethargy or apathy.

Technique 3 - Circle of Success*
Another activity that requires you to manipulate submodalities is the Circle of Success. Read and have a go at the Activity below:
• Step 1 - Remember a time when you felt a sense of pride in your achievements. Choose a significant memory - perhaps one in which you exceeded your own expectations! Take the time to recall the event clearly. See what you were seeing, hear what you were hearing and feel what you were feeling.
• Step 2 - Now imagine a circle on the floor in front of you.
• Step 3 - Give the circle a colour. You can make it bright, shiny, patterned, whatever you chose to make it visually attractive.
• Step 4 - Choose a word that goes with that proud state you imagined - such as “success”, “yes!” or “you can do it”.
• Step 5 - With your memory of success foremost in mind (as though you are re-living it), take a deep breath, say your code word and step into the imaginary circle in front of you.
• Step 6 - Stand in the circle and intensify the memory. Make the colours more vivid, the sounds clearer and the feelings more intense.
• Step 7 - Stay standing for a moment inside this circle of success. Really see, feel and hear that state of success and achievement.
• Step 8 - Now step out of the circle, pick it up from the floor and fold it up so it fits in your pocket. Anytime you need to feel that sense of pride and achievement - throw the circle on the floor and step back into it - this is your Circle of Success.
*Circle of Success modified from - Tompkins, P., & Lawley, J. (1993, November). Change your thinking: Change your life with NLP. Personal Success Magazine.

Technique 4 - Reframing by Altering Sub Modalities
Another technique that can be used to alter submodalities is through reframing. The point of this technique is to alter the way in which you see a situation that bothers you. Read through the following instructions and have a go at altering a situation that bothers you.
• Picture yourself in a theatre.
• See an experience that is bothering you as a movie up on the screen. [Start with a minor experience. It may be something that has already occurred or something that you are facing ahead of you, such as a nerve-racking presentation or a difficult conversation you anticipate having].
• First you might want to play it in fast forward, like a cartoon.
• You might want to put circus music to it, the sound of a calliope.*
• Then you might want to play it backwards, watching the image become more and more absurd.

*Note - A calliope is a type of organ composed of a set of whistles that sound as steam flows through creating loud, often boisterous sounds, often associated with the circus.
Extracted from Robbins, A. (1986). Unlimited Power. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

This technique affords coaching clients a sense of distance from the bothersome event (by projecting it on to a screen) and creates a new way to view or store the experience. By altering the way in which the event is perceived, clients may experience a shift in the way the event influences their future behaviour, thoughts and/or emotions.

NLP is predominantly used in coaching to examine a client’s habitual patterns of behaviour and to enhance performance. This is accomplished through investigating a client’s beliefs and belief systems and to help change these where appropriate.
In this resource you have examined some of the commonly used techniques in NLP including developing rapport, manipulating submodalities and reframing by altering sub modalities.

Saturday 26 September 2009

Creating Wealth

In the midst of a recession, seeking to create wealth seems a contrarian viewpoint. However, in this article (published in the current edition of ThinkBig Magazine www.thinkbigmagazine.com), Vanessa Bonnette outlines 5 key principles to doing just that.

Research has shown that attaining wealth has nothing to do with luck, education or intelligence. The truth is that wealthy people understand the principles of accumulating wealth and simply put them into action. The principles are covered in the book Empowered for the New Era, but this article outlines five key lessons. By following all the principles of wealth, your life will change and you will generate wealth.

These five lessons are very simple; however, they require courage and commitment for change to manifest, particularly in the ways you think and behave toward money.

Lesson 1: Choose To Be Wealthy

Like most things in life, wealth begins with a decision. Today you can choose to build wealth. Write down a “wealth affirmation” and make it clearly visible so you look at it every day. Your conscious decision to create wealth is the beginning of change - the moment you made the decision, your consciousness automatically starts working to create that reality.

Lesson 2: Be Responsible with Money

If you don't control your money, money will control you! Controlling money simply means taking responsibility for what you have. You need to know where your money comes from, how much you have/earn and where it’s going. Take time to write these three aspects down – be precise. Assess your emotions while you discover what your money is doing. It’s easy to take responsibility and make your money work for you when you know you’ll feel good.

Lesson 3: Save a Percentage

Wealthy people use the “pay myself first” principle before paying others. They usually take 20% from their earnings and bank it or invest it in a separate account every payday. This money is never touched unless an absolute emergency arises. These untouched savings accounts earn compound interest (interest on interest) and their money keeps increasing.

Lesson 4: Adopt a Winner’s Attitude

Winners always strive to increase their income and reduce their costs. You can quickly reduce the amount of money you spend by asking yourself “Do I really need that?” before buying something. You could take public transport occasionally instead of driving or consider car pooling. Reduce food waste by planning meals and buying only the ingredients required – avoid buying all the extra temptations in the supermarket! By replacing the common (destructive) thought that “Consuming is a necessary part of life” with something that is constructive like “As I simplify, I beautify” you’re adopting a winner’s attitude of “win-win” i.e. you win and earth wins! I guarantee possessions will not make you happy.

Lesson 5: Give and Receive

I’m sure we’d all like to live in a society where everyone has enough, is taken care of and supports one another. Unfortunately we don’t live in a society like that, so there are many who do not have enough, are not taken care of and do not support others. Most people focus only on themselves; hence millions starve to death, live in poverty and are neglected. Giving freely of our time, money and resources to those less fortunate contributes immensely to society and is our guarantee of receiving love, joy and peace. If everyone contributed in this way abundance would be commonplace. Remember: Giving is love in action.

Vanessa J. Bonnette is a world renowned author, fully qualified practitioner and founder of Empowered for Life Holistic Health and Healing Services; and Shekinah Therapy. Her latest publication - Empowered for the New Era - is now available. Please visit www.shekinahtherapy.com.au for more details.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

The Urgent / Important Matrix

Using Time Effectively, Not Just Efficiently

It's urgent, but is it really important?

We've all been there: The project is due for today's meeting and we are only three quarters done. Our anxiety is at its peak, we can't concentrate, everything is a distraction, and then, finally, we blow!

Time stressors are some of the most pervasive sources of pressure and stress in the workplace, and they happen as a result of having too much to do in too little time.

With this kind of pressure all too common, effective time management is an absolute necessity. You probably use a day-planner and to-do list to manage your time. These tools are certainly helpful, but they don't allow you to drill down to one of the most essential elements of good time management: distinguishing between what is important and what is urgent.

Great time management means being effective as well as efficient. Managing time effectively, and achieving the things that you want to achieve, means spending your time on things that are important and not just urgent. To do this, and to minimize the stress of having too many tight deadlines, you need to distinguish clearly between what is urgent and what is important:

•Important activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of your goals.
•Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are usually associated with the achievement of someone else's goals, or with an uncomfortable problem or situation that needs to be resolved.

Urgent activities are often the ones we concentrate on. These are the "squeaky wheels that get the grease." They demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate.

The Urgent/Important Matrix is a useful tool for thinking about this.
The idea of measuring and combining these two competing elements in a matrix has been attributed to both former US President Eisenhower and Dr Stephen Covey.

Eisenhower's quote, "What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important," sums up the concept of the matrix perfectly. This so-called "Eisenhower Principle" is said to be how Eisenhower organized his tasks. As a result, the matrix is sometimes called the Eisenhower Matrix.

Covey brought the idea into the mainstream and gave it the name "The Urgent/Important Matrix" in his 1994 business classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

How to Use the Tool:

The Urgent/Important Matrix is a powerful way of thinking about priorities. Using it helps you overcome the natural tendency to focus on urgent activities, so that you can keep enough time clear to focus on what's really important. This is the way you move from "firefighting", into a position where you can grow your business and your career.

The matrix is drawn as a quadrant, with dimensions of Importance on the vertical axis and Urgency on the horizontal axis, defined as high or low priority. It contains four elements, i.e. Important Goals, Critical Activities, Distractions and Interruptions which are plotted on the quadrant.

The steps below help you use the matrix to prioritize your activities:
1.Firstly, list all of the activities and projects you feel you have to do. Try to include everything that takes up your time at work, however unimportant. (If you manage your time using an Action Program, you'll already have done this.)
2.Next, assign importance to each of the activities – you can do this on, say, a scale of 1 to 5: Remember, this is a measure of how important the activity is in helping you meet your goals and objectives. Try not to worry about urgency at this stage, as this helps get to the true importance.
3.Once you have assigned importance to each activity, evaluate the urgency of each activity. As you do this, you can plot the listed items on the matrix according to the assigned importance and urgency.
4.Now study the matrix using the guidelines below, and schedule your work according to your priorities.

Strategies for Different Quadrants of the Matrix

Urgent and Important ("Critical Activities"):
There are two distinct types of urgent and important activities: Ones that you could not foresee, and others that you have left to the last minute.

You can avoid the latter by planning ahead and avoiding procrastination.

Issues and crises, on the other hand, cannot always be foreseen or avoided. Here, the best approach is to leave some time in your schedule to handle these. Also, if a major crisis arises, some other activity may have to be rescheduled.

If this happens, identify which of you urgent-important activities could have been foreseen and think about how you could schedule similar activities ahead of time, so they do not become urgent.

Urgent and Not Important ("Interruptions"):
Urgent but not important activities can be a constant source of interruption. They stop you achieving your goals and completing your work. Ask yourself whether these tasks can be rescheduled, or whether someone else could do them.

A common source of such interruptions is from other people coming into your office. Sometimes it's appropriate to say "No" to people, or encourage them to solve the problem themselves. Alternatively, try allocating time when you are available, so that people only interrupt you at certain times (a good way of doing this is to schedule a regular meeting so that all issues can be dealt with at the same time). By doing this, the flow of work on your important activities will be less disrupted.

Not Urgent, but Important ("Important Goals"):
These are the activities that you can plan ahead for to achieve your goals and complete your work. Make sure that you have plenty of time to achieve these, so that they do not become urgent. And remember to leave enough time in your schedule to deal with unforeseen problems. This will maximize your chances of keeping on schedule, and help you avoid the stress of work becoming more urgent that necessary.

Not Urgent and Not Important ("Distractions"):
These activities are just a distraction, and should be avoided if possible. Some can simply be ignored. Others are activities that other people want you to do, but they do not contribute to your own desired outcomes. Again, say "No" politely and firmly where this is appropriate.

If people see you are clear about your objectives and boundaries, they will often not ask you to do "not important" activities in future.

Key Points

The Urgent/Important Matrix helps you look at your task list, and quickly identify the activities you should focus on. By prioritizing using the Matrix, you can deal with truly urgent issues, at the same time that you keep on working towards your goals.

This article is reproduced with permission of MindTools

Thursday 3 September 2009

LifeSkills Personal Development Programme

The LifeSkills programme is an integrated, experiential 5 week evening programme combining presentations, discussions and exercises designed to increase your self-awareness, enhance your decision making and lead to more effective personal and professional behaviours. Participants will be expected to actively engage in the programme, and will be encouraged to complete a Personal Development Plan.

Each Monday night session will last for two hours, commencing 21st September 2009 in the Conference Room, Ground Floor, Letterkenny General Hospital.

The programme will be supported by handouts and will involve some ‘homework’!! The cost of the programme is €99 per person, with a minimum of 10 participants required for the course to take place.

The programme outline is as follows:-

Moving Forward
- where are you now?
- Balanced Wheel exercise
- where are you going?
- how can you get there?
- Being SMART
- GROW Model & Goal Setting

Knowing Me . . . Knowing You
- Exploring different Personality Types
- Discover your own personality type
- Apply this knowledge to yourself, and others
- Personality & Career Choice

Communication Skills
- Verbal communication
- Use of language
- Neuro Lingusistic Programming
- non-verbal & active listening
- Perception - exercise
- Emotional intelligence

- personality types
- different approaches
- giving & receiving feedback
- Learning to say No, & feeling good about it
- ‘catastrophising’ &‘tolerations’

Stress Management
- Stress and Distress
- identify sources & symptoms of Stress
- recognise trigger situations
- manage your responses, immediate & long-term
- Boundary setting
- Review your role as a stressor for others

Review & Course Evaluation

Bookings can be made by contacting Patrick from EPM Consulting on 0(0353)86 8892346,e-mailing info@epmconsulting.eu or via the company website www.epmconsulting.eu .

Wednesday 22 July 2009

How to Set Goals Effectively

"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar

Clear goals contain the power to motivate and energise us into action. Yet so often we start out on the quest for self-improvement, either personally or professionally with no real concept of where we want to be or exactly what it is we want.

We may have some vague concept in mind, such as increasing income or productivity but this is rarely translated into specific goals. Without a clear goal in mind, it becomes increasingly likely that we may unwittingly focus our well intended energy in the wrong direction.

When we are unsure of where we are heading it becomes very easy to work hard yet accomplish little. With a clear goal in sight, we can ensure that our actions continually contribute to its achievement.

Without goals you are drifting and when you drift you are not in control. If you are not in control, then someone else is. Then you have relinquished the basic right to be master of your own destiny. In doing this you also surrender your freedom of action which restricts your choices and can lead to frustration, anxiety, fear and stress.

The benefits of goal setting are numerous. Individuals who set effective goals:

suffer less stress and anxiety;
have better concentration;
show increased self confidence;
perform better;
are happier with their performance.

Goal setting also:

keeps you focussed;
provides clarity and direction;
increases determination, patience and persistence;
builds self-esteem when goals are met;
ensures you remain proactive in your life, rather than reactive.
The seeds of achievement are found in the process of goal setting. If your goals are incorrectly set, then the probability of a successful outcome are severely diminished.

When setting your goals ensure you subject each goal to the SMART but PURE test.

Goals must be SMART:

Specific - Is your goals well-defined? Your goal must be clear and concise. Avoid setting unclear or vague objectives.
Measurable - Be clear how you will recognise when you have achieved your goal. A hint is to use numbers and dates where possible.
Attainable - Don't set yourself up for failure. Setting yourself goals that you cannot possibly achieve will only end in disappointment. Make your goals challenging, but realistic.
Relevant - Try and step back and get an overview of all different areas of your life. Consider how relevant your goals are to the overall picture.
Time-framed - Set a time frame for the completion of each goal. Even if you have to review your time frame as you progress, it will assist you to stay motivated.


Positively stated

Most of these are self-evident and require no further elaboration; however a couple of observations must be made. If a goal is not realistic, there is no hope, but if it is not challenging, there is no motivation.

It is very important to state goals in the positive. If I say to you 'Don't think of a blue balloon' - what do you think about - a blue balloon. If goals are stated in the negative - you will focus on the negative.

ACTIVITY - Take a piece of paper now and make a list of 5 professional goals you would like to accomplish in the next year. Write your goals as though they have already been achieved. For example: "I earn X euro per year" OR "I drive such and such a car".

Read over your list of goals and select the one that, if achieved would have the greatest positive impact on your life.

Circle the goal clearly.

Below is a seven step process for effective goal setting. By following these seven steps, you can maximise your ability to accomplish your goals. You may notice that the activity you have just completed has worked through steps one and two of this process. You may like to spend more time on this activity in your own time.

This is a crucial first step. It is vital that your goal aligns with where you want to go and exactly what you want to achieve.

1 Decide exactly what you want
2 Write it down
3 Set a deadline
4 Make a list of everything you have to do to achieve that goal
5 Organise that list into a plan
6 Take action immediately
7 Resolve to do something everyday that progresses you toward your goal
(Brian Tracy, 2004)

The next step, step three is to set a final deadline for your goal.

Source: adapted from www.counsellingacademy.com.au

Saturday 30 May 2009

Useful Principles of Time Management

"You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again." ~ Benjamin Franklin

It is said that good time management can add two hours to a person's daily life! Below are three general principles that can assist you to better manage your time and increase your overall productivity.

The 80/20 rule - The 80/20 principle is also known as the Pareto principle. It is based on the ideas of an Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto was a French-Italian economist and philosopher who lived between 1848 and 1923. Initially his observations were based largely on the distribution of wealth.

In other words, he saw that 20 per cent of people owned 80 per cent of wealth. The remaining 80 per cent control only 20 per cent of the wealth. Over time it was realised that the same principle could be applied to many areas.

In time management this can be applied in a number of ways. One of these is to say that 20 per cent of what you do accounts for 80 per cent of your results.

Prime time - In line with the 80/20 rule is the idea of 'Prime Time'. It is found that not only do 20 per cent of your efforts account for 80 per cent of your results, but also that your best efforts occur in 20 per cent of the day.

In other words, most people are found to be somewhat inefficient for 80 per cent of their time. If someone is found to have a time in the day that is more productive than other times, this is when they should carry out their priority work and this is the time of the day they should protect themselves against distractions and diversions.

Don't try to change everything at once - Also in line with the 80/20 principle, it is best to focus on certain areas of their life, and set tasks that gradually help you to build from one success to another.

For example, if you are simply not sleeping well and your average day is a disaster due to exhaustion, then you know that a large result can be obtained by working on this one problem.

Similarly, if you spend 5 out of every 15 minutes looking for something at your office or workplace, then you reorganizing you work area significantly add time to your day. From each success you can go on to the next area, rather than adding to overload by trying to do too much at once.

If you want to make the best of your time, and improve your effectiveness, contact EPM Consulting at www.epmconsulting.eu today. But do it now, and remember . . . .tomorrow is not a day of the week!

Monday 2 March 2009


A lecturer, when explaining Stress Management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked,

"how heavy is this glass of water? "

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied,
"The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.
"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

"In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes. "

"And that's the way it is with stress management.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. " "As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. "

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. "
"Relax; pick them up later after you've rested.

Life is short.

Enjoy it!

There are also some reflections, and philosphies of life that might bring some greater persepective to dealing with the burdens of life, such as:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone €20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

* Never buy a car you can't push.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once

* We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

" A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Friday 13 February 2009

Will Your Life Work the Way You Want It to in 2009?

By Jack Canfield

As I mentioned earlier, 2009 may bring greater uncertainty and more unsettling economic news than recent years, but these circumstances should compel us to take a deep breath, and pause to think about our lives.

When things happen in the world that seem so far beyond our individual control, it can feel unsettling.

Don't give up on your goals and dreams just because "the time isn't good"... you can still make 2009 the year you uncover a whole new you for the better!

Even in tough times, you get to decide how to respond to certain conditions, opportunities, and outcomes--both good and bad.

Life will always be a series of choices and YOU get to decide on what will move you closer to your goals, or farther away from them. External forces will always be part of the equation, even during the good times when the world is thriving.

When people ask me about the single most important ingredient to success, I always share the same response: realizing what's making you achieve success, and then realizing what is stifling your success.

Sometimes recognizing the things that are NOT working in your life can be painful, yet VERY powerful to shaping the life you want.

Don't try to rationalize them, make excuses for them, or hide them. This is when it's even more critical to take personal inventory and evict those excuses, rationalizations, and hidden habits that don't serve you. These things will keep you from the life you want to be living. Let me give you some examples. Ask yourself if you relate to any of these questions:

Do you want to be active, fit, and strong? Then you have to stop making excuses about your weight, diet choices, and lack of exercise.

Do you want to be in a loving relationship based on friendship and respect? Then you have to stop rationalizing why you and your partner are not communicating well.

Do you want to embrace Monday mornings and feel excited about going to work every day? Then you have to stop hiding your true passions and go after whatever it is you really want to be doing day in and day out.

Do you want to lose the debt forever? Then you have to stop ignoring your spending habits and get real about a creating budget that will pull you out of debt and allow you to reach financial freedom.

Do you want to feel more connected to the people in your life, such as your children, friends, and colleagues? Then you have to stop complaining about your poor relationships and figure out why you don't feel as connected as you'd like to be.

These things can be painful to look at because the truth is that you have to do something about them in order to make it work in your life.

You'll have to say no to the second helping of dinner and the dessert to follow and go through the awkward stage of getting into shape... You'll have to confront your partner about the areas that need work... You'll have to get past fears about changing your job or professional path... You'll have to cut back on your spending and be frugal... You'll have to take a good hard look at your personal relationships and perhaps consider your own shortfalls and weaknesses in communicating your needs and concerns.

Plain and simple, you will have to do something uncomfortable.

Successful people don't waste time in denial (or complain or make excuses for that matter). They face situations like a warrior. They look for the warning signs, they find out why things aren't working, and they go about fixing them- even when fixing requires problem solving, hard work, risk, and a level of uncertainty.

It's okay to identify a problem even though you haven't a clue about how to go about solving it right away.

The first step is just recognizing the issue, and then having faith that you'll figure it out with careful attention to it. That's how successful people live--in constant focus on goals, on results, on problem solving, and on the actions that get them to where they want to be.

Following are three things to do constantly in pursuit of your goals and dreams, however big or small:

Awareness: Keep your awareness on the feedback you are getting from life and decide to address the situations immediately. Don't bottle up feedback, cast it aside, and avoid it like you would a pile of dirty laundry or a stack of unopened bills. Life tells you things every day. Do this. Don't do that. Think about this. Try me. Forget that. We live in a world that seemingly encourages us to live on autopilot. Successful people fly manually every day and so should you. When those feedback signals come in, listen to them and use them in planning your next step.
Commitment: Commit to finding out why things aren't working and learn what will fix them. Once you start the process it will be much easier to continue. Nothing fruitful stems from inaction.
Trust: Trust that making changes to the situation will ultimately bring about the best results. Sure you might go through a bit of discomfort during the change, and some unlikely or unwanted outcomes, but in the end you will triumph!
So are you ready to admit the things that just are not working out?

Make a list of the things in your life that are working against your success and ask how the situation can be improved. Commit to tackling just one of those issues and be brave!

If you need help organizing those "things" in your life, try using the following list of categories. I recommend reflecting on each of the 7 areas and ask yourself, what's not working here in each one and then brainstorm 3 potential solutions.

1.) Financial Goals, 2) Career/Business Goals, 3.) Free Time/Family Time, 4.) Health/Appearance Goals, 5.) Relationship Goals, 6.) Personal Growth 7.) Making a Difference

Remember, by facing what is not working, you can only improve your life!

© 2009 Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Tuesday 10 February 2009

Be the Cause of your life . . not the Because

The truth is, there is no shortage of resources in the world … only resourcefulness.

What a profound statement. Like all profound sayings, its impact is centred on the simplicity of the message. So . . . .if you’re currently not getting the results you want in life, start by taking responsibility for your results. Then, expand what you believe is possible by letting go of the limiting belief systems standing
in your way.

Internal obstacles—like limiting beliefs, false perceptions and misaligned values—thwart success more than any external obstacles ever could. The mind is the only thing that stands in the way of YOU and your ultimate wealth and fulfilment. When you hold negative beliefs, these will negatively impact on the actions you take, how you perform and ultimately the results that you achieve. This can become a vicious and self-defeating cycle. However . . . it doesn't have to be this way.

That’s the great news! Because that means, you can break through those self-imposed glass-ceilings in an instant. There is a Success Equation that will absolutely increase your wealth potential a million-fold. All you have to do is this:

Move yourself from the Effect side to the Cause side of the Success

Be the cause of your life, not the because.

Acting as if you are at the effect of everything puts you in the passenger’s seat of your life. Taking personal responsibility for creating your experience gets you back in the driver’s seat. Whether you believe you cause experiences in your life or not, acting as if it’s true allows you to take charge of your results.
From this place of power, all of your actions and responses to situations will be far more effective. YOU get to choose your own future.

If you feel that you want to change your thinking, and take appropriate actions to move from where you are now, to where you want to be, help is only one phone call or e-mail away. Making one simple choice, and taking one simple action could change you and your life forever!

Contact EPM Consulting at www.epmconsulting.eu, telephone 086 8892346 or e-mail info@epmconsulting.eu to find out how we can assist you be even better . . .but do it today. Tomorrow is not a day of the week!

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Losing Weight the 'expert' way

Overindulged at Christmas? Want to start the New Year by losing a few pounds?
Last year, James Sweetman (www.jamessweetman.com) undertook a project entitled Consistent Excellence in Nutrition. He interviewed many experts in the field several of whom appear regularly on TV, assisting people with health and wellness issues. This article is a summary of his findings and in it he shares 8 great strategies that the experts use.

1. Beliefs – getting your thinking right
Beliefs are statements that we hold to be true and we act in accordance with them. For example, people with religious beliefs usually try to act in accordance with them. Most of the time our beliefs are unconscious, that is, we are not aware of them and the power they hold over us. In the context of weight loss, a typical belief is ‘losing weight is very tough.’ If we belief that to be true, we will seek evidence to verify that belief.
The experts I spoke with did not have any limiting beliefs in terms of fitness and health. Examples of their positive, empowering beliefs included:

“Life will be immeasurable improved when attention is paid to a healthy diet.”
“How I feel is a top priority.”
“I don’t have to be perfect all the time.”
Write out the beliefs you are holding in this area. A good way to uncover them is to simply think about what you would like to achieve and write out all the thoughts that come into your mind. What thoughts are limiting and could hold you back? What could you replace them with?

2. Focus on the end result
The people who succeed at losing weight and maintaining the loss are motivated by a dream much bigger and more positive than just losing weight. They see themselves living a healthy lifestyle. They begin to act and think like people who are in good physical shape. They change their thinking (their beliefs) and the change in their actions follow automatically. It wouldn't be possible to effect and sustain such a radical change unless the person is motivated by a big dream that is positive in nature.

3. Planning
The bigger focus or dream is converted into results and achievements by having a future focus and planning ahead. Speaking with the experts, planning fell into two categories.

Firstly, having a goal focus. That could be completing the mini marathon in June or reaching a certain weight or dress size by Easter. The goal has to be specific and has to have a target date for completion, otherwise it is wishful thinking.
Secondly, all the experts recommended planning meals ahead. They suggested eating five small meals a day. To get started and to build good habits, they advised planning the week’s meals, all thirty five of them, at the beginning of the week. This will reduce the likelihood of finding yourself hungry with nothing in the fridge and making some less than good eating decisions.

4. Visualise your Achievements
Imagine in your mind how you will look and feel, and the life you will be living when you achieve your goal. How will you know you have achieved your goal unless you have determined what success means to you. So, take 10 minutes when you know you are not going to be disturbed and daydream about what you will look like when you have achieved your goal. Be specific. Writing out this description will make your goal seem much more real. Review what you have written every day and connect with your image of the new you. Connect with how achieving this result will make you feel. What will you be doing differently? What will you be saying and thinking when you have achieved your goal?

5. Measure your Results
To manage anything you have to be able to measure it. This is true in business, it is also true with diets. A simple technique is to get yourself a notebook. Each day write into your notebook what positive actions you are taking to make progress. It might be going for a walk or eating a salad for lunch. Also note what you are doing less of to reduce weight. For example, note that you didn’t have desert after dinner or resisted the cappuccino after lunch. If you want to note what the scales is telling you on a weekly basis or simply writing down how you are feeling, than that is also useful.

6. Values
One of the findings from speaking with the nutrition experts that surprised me was learning that their primary focus was not on themselves. They wanted to be the best they could be in the areas of health and nutrition to be an example to others, to inspire other people to make healthier choices. It wasn’t just about them. If you think about it, don’t we always do more for other people than we do for ourselves? If you can embark on living a healthier lifestyle in tandem with a friend or partner, then you can give each other support and encouragement as you go along.

7. Resisting Temptation – what to do when the going gets tough
It was Oscar Wilde who said ‘I can resist everything except temptation.’ One of the areas that I wanted to get specific knowledge on when I spoke with the nutrition experts was how did they cope with resisting temptation. That moment when your hand is on the packet of crisps, or you make the decision to order a chocolate desert. What was interesting is that they all approached this in the same way and it wasn’t what I might have thought beforehand.
When tempted to eat unhealthily, they remembered a time in the past when they over-indulged. Perhaps after Christmas lunch or when they had a few too many drinks. They associated with this past memory, that is, they experienced it again on the inside, how they felt, what they saw, what they said to themselves. Some would then think about what it is they wanted to achieve, so they would have a contrast between the two extremes.
So if you overindulged over Christmas you can use that sense of bloatedness as a motivating factor for overcoming temptation.
All the experts said that aiming for 100% perfection in this area is a recipe (again pardon the pun) for disaster. It is what you do 80% of the time that matters. Going from four lattes a day to none is extreme. Going from four to two to one over a few weeks is steady progress.

8. Persistence

How long do you stick with something difficult before you give up? For many people in today’s immediate gratification society, if something doesn’t happen easily, they will not persevere. In a study carried out over a 10 year period in the US by The National Metabolic and Longevity Research Center they found that persistence is the single most important aspect of any diet or fitness program. The study followed a group of people (Group A) who exercised and dieted very strictly, but sporadically and compared those results with a second group (Group B) who exercised mildly and followed a very basic diet, but this group never varied from their routine. Even though Group B exercised and dieted far less (but did so persistently) they got 68% better results than those who exercised and dieted strictly but infrequently.

As the saying goes ‘if nothing changes then everything stays the same.’ This is true for our thoughts as well as our actions. Wouldn’t now be a good time to start making those changes? The above eight strategies work, I use them myself. But remember, knowledge is only potential power you have to take action to reap the rewards of your knowledge.

This and similar articles are available on www.jamessweetman.com