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How to Stay Happy at Work

Did you know that when you are happy you are more creative and productive? Look around your office. Do you see a lot of smiling faces? If not, I can almost guarantee that those people are not working at their peak performance. Their unhappiness is actually sabotaging their jobs. Everybody gets depressed or sad every once in a while. It’s just a natural thing. But there are a lot of people who keep themselves in a constant downward spiral of depression when they can avoid it all together. Now, you don’t have to be the most chipper person in your office, but you can certainly follow these tips to make sure that you get the most out of your day and avoid the negative aspects of living with an unhappy outlook.

1. Keep Your Goals Realistic

Sometimes we can feel as though we need to reach the stars in order to live a happy life. Maybe we put unrealistic goals out there for us to achieve, but always end up falling short. Having these types of goals and requirements of yourself can be very unhealthy and it can really put your mood down in the dumps. When you’re constantly putting these huge goals on your plate and not meeting them, you will take on a lot of depression and start to feel worthless. The best way to remedy this is by setting realistic goals and not always shooting for the stars.

2. Don’t Let Your Surroundings Drag You Down

When we constantly surround ourselves with negative people and negative things we will start to take on that outlook gradually. Have you ever noticed that when you put on a scary movie that later that night things will make you jump or worry more than usual? This is the same for negative influences. What you’re going to want to do is make an effort to surround yourself with positive people and positive things. Pick up an uplifting comedy movie, play some music that makes you smile, have lunch with your favorite colleague. It will do you a lot of good!

3. Don’t Dwell on Your Past

Too many people spend countless hours stressing out about what they could have been or what they could have done to make their lives better. This is extremely unhealthy and it can be very bad for your happiness. There’s nothing that we can do to change the past, and reliving these old memories in your head will do nothing but depress you. The best way to combat these feelings is by always focusing on the now. If you’re working on a project, make sure you give it your undivided attention. If you’re watching a movie, don’t drift off and think of the past, engulf yourself in the storyline. These can be applied to many daily tasks.

Hop To It! Tips For Self-Motivation

Whether it’s working out in the morning, starting a creative project, or simply cleaning up around the house, at times we all struggle with finding self-motivation. Some find issue in the actual doing while others simply struggle with remaining consistent and accountable. At the end of the day, though, all it really boils down to are your goals, mental fortitude and desire.

In my personal struggles with self-motivation and procrastination (the two are kissing cousins!), I have discovered that just a little bit of organization combined with action, goes a lot farther than perhaps you could ever imagine. These tips also helped me to help myself stay on task while battling the early stages of, well, hopping to it.

Define Your Goals

If you don’t know what you want, then how can you ever achieve it? Sometimes, it is not a matter of simply knowing what we want but more about organizing our thoughts. Maybe there are several projects that you have been meaning to start but you can’t really focus on any one of them. I would suggest performing a bit of task-related triage. Prioritize the perspective projects in order of importance and pour all your focus (at least, for now) into the primary. When you accomplish the primary, move on to the secondary, and so on. This will help you to actually finish one project instead of getting bogged down by the details of many.

Be sure to write down your goals, establish a timeline, and use very specific language. Pretend as if you’re writing step-by-step instructions for yourself. This tactic is especially helpful for visualizing success.

Eliminate the Noise

When my friend was finishing the dissertation for her PhD, she seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet. That is, she merely disabled her Facebook account for several weeks and went into hiding until she met her deadline.

Maybe Facebook is inconsequential to you. Perhaps your distraction is a television show, a chatty friend, a video game, texting – the list could literally go on. The point is, know your distractions and eliminate them while accomplishing your goal.

Accountability

A good support system is key to the self-motivation process. Surround yourself with positive, motivated, and like-minded people. These folks will not only hold you accountable to yourself but they will also inspire you to do and be more. Once you’ve publicly acknowledged a goal, it becomes that much harder to give it up.

Keep the Finish Line in Sight 

Sure, doing is much harder than not doing but the rewards of the former far outweigh the latter. By focusing on the bigger picture, instead of getting weighed down by all the tiny details, you’ll keep the finish line in sight. While there is merit in focusing on the bits and bobs of a plan, sometimes it threatens to down you in the day-to-day minutiae. It’s important to remember the payoff, because that’s what got you excited in the first place.

This is a guest post contributed by Victoria Labalme, a company that helps people become more effective communicators.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

In this day of self-help books for just about everything it’s easy to forget that there was once a time when ‘self-help’ wasn’t even in the dictionary.  Before self-help came along if you needed help with something you usually figured it out on your own or possibly asked your clergyman for help, as asking for help was seen as a sign of weakness.

That’s why, in 1936, the revolutionary new book How to Win Friends and Influence People was such an incredible success, because no one had ever seen a self-help book before and this one had some great ideas and tips for getting ahead in life.  In fact, the term self-help was coined due to this very book. The fact that the original sold 15 million copies during a time before computers, before TV, heck even before air-travel became routine is a testament to its author, Dale Carnegie.

In 1981 a revised edition was released that streamlined the book, eliminating sections on effective business letters and improving your marriage. I suppose that, by 1981, there were enough self-help books around that they felt they should concentrate on business answers and leave the marriage counseling to professionals like Jerry Springer.

Now, some may think that because the book was written almost 80 years ago that it would have little relevance today but the exact opposite is true.  Some of the lessons that can be learned from this excellent tome are still being taught today in business schools and boardrooms all over the world.

For example, in the section on handling people the book advises to never criticize or complain, to give honest and sincere appreciation for work well done, and to never show that you’re not interested in what someone else has to say. Wise words indeed if you want to get ahead in today’s business world.

Want to make people like you?  Smile more, remember people’s names (and use them often) and be a good listener. By talking in terms of the other person’s interest and making them feel important you will win them over every time. Sounds like good advice for a wide variety of careers.

The fact is, this book is so stuffed with great info for today’s businessperson that it should be required reading on college campuses and in organizations everywhere.  Mr. Carnegie was really onto something when he wrote the book, and that’s probably why they named a Hall after him. Get the book and read it. You’ll be glad you did.

How to Stay Optimistic When You Are Unemployed

Times are hard. You know it, I know it, EVERYBODY knows it.  Thousands of good people across the country are suffering right now because they have been laid-off, leaving them to wonder what the future holds and where their next paycheck is going to come from.

Yes, its’ scary but I’m here to tell you that it’s not the end of the world and that you will get through this. The fact is, it’s not the first time in American history that we’ve had it this bad and it’s not the last.  We’re Americans and we can tough it out, and there are a lot of things you can do to stay positive while you’re not working, so buck up and take heed of the words that follow.

First, always remember that the one thing that never changes is that things will always change.  A bad situation today will open up a better situation tomorrow. I personally know many people that were laid off and took the opportunity to follow a different career, change their life, and come out the other side smelling like a rose.  Doctors that became entrepreneurs, salespeople that became photographers and secretaries that became writers. There are so many good stories and so many happy endings.

Before you start saying ’I can’t do that’ keep in mind that there are people all over the world that have it much, MUCH worse than you.  Millions of people worldwide don’t have enough food to eat and water to drink, let alone a good job, a car and a home in the suburbs. The fact is that we have it really good here in the States, even if we’re all suffering a little bit right now.

Finally, don’t beat yourself up. You are a good person, like the majority of us, and good people always have a way of getting back on track. Before you know it you’ll find that new job and chances are it will be even better than the last. So keep smiling, think positively, and never give up home. Like Little Orphan Annie has always said, ‘the sun will come out tomorrow’.

Legendary Sushi Chef, Jiro Ono

You have to love your job. You must fall in love with your work. In dreams I would see grand visions of sushi. -Jiro Ono 

Success Quotes – Part 2

Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. – Og Mandino

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. – George S. Patton

Action is the foundational key to all success. – Pablo Picasso

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence. – Colin Powell

Talk does not cook rice. – Chinese Proverb

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. – Theodore Roosevelt

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time. – George Bernard Shaw

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. – Henry David Thoreau

You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it. – Oprah Winfrey

None of the secrets of success will work unless you do. – Unknown

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