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Posts Tagged ‘personal growth’

The Power of 50 BitsPeople’s natural inclinations when making decisions tend to default to patterns that do not help them in the long run. While there is broad agreement among researchers about the science underpinning these tendencies, people need more solutions to help overcome the gap between what they really want to do and what they actually do. In The Power of Fifty Bits, Bob Nease offers a seven-pronged strategy to deal with common decision-making failures. He explains why people struggle with inattention and inertia and demonstrates how simple changes in environment can nudge people toward better overall outcomes.

People typically have good intentions, but they often struggle to act on them. This is because people’s brains have evolved in a way that makes inattention and inertia the two primary obstacles to action. Fifty bits design acknowledges the brain’s natural limitations and addresses them with the following seven strategies:

  1. Require choice: Interrupting a process, usually an existing one, and forcing a person to make a decision before he or she can continue the process.
  2. Lock in good intentions: Making some type of statement–a pledge, a signed document, or automatic reaction–in the present, which increases the chances that people will follow through on good behavior in the future.
  3. Let it ride: Making the desired behavior the default and asking people to opt out of a behavior rather than opt in, thereby using inattention and inertia for good.
  4. Get in the flow: Placing a cue or call to action in a location where people have already devoted their attention.
  5. Reframe the choices: Altering what a cue triggers in people, which directs people’s attention toward some aspects of an issue and away from others.
  6. Piggyback it: Making a behavior typically subject to inertia and/or inattention the side effect of something that people seek out or find pleasurable.
  7. Simplify…wisely: Removing barriers to change or improving fluency (the relative ease with which the brain processes information). Simplification of either type is usually, though not always, a smart design choice.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t DoIn 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, author and therapist Amy Morin presents the 13 most important things that people who are emotionally on top of their games do not do. No one does everything right all the time, but by acknowledging all 13 of these behaviors, actions, and feelings, people can make significant progress in their lives. Mentally strong people have better chances of success, develop better relationships, and are generally happier and healthier.

Mentally strong people do not:

  1. Waste time feeling sorry for themselves. This is a self-destructive behavior that leads to more negative emotions.
  2. Give away their power. People can still be kind while demanding that others respect them.
  3. Shy away from change. Change can be scary and uncomfortable, but it is necessary for growth.
  4. Focus on things they cannot control. Trying to manage what is out of one’s control just leads to increased anxiety and stress.
  5. Worry about pleasing everyone. Conflict and confrontation are often uncomfortable, but constantly avoiding it makes it impossible for people to reach their goals.
  6. Fear taking calculated risks. Sometimes people’s fears and anxieties do not actually match the risks they are taking.
  7. Dwell on the past. Self-reflection can be healthy, but dwelling can be self-destructive.
  8. Make the same mistakes over and over. Repeating the same mistakes does not change anything.
  9. Resent other people’s success. Resenting someone else’s success can cause a person to behave illogically.
  10. Give up after one failure. Some of the most accomplished people in the world failed dozens of times before achieving success.
  11. Fear alone time. Creating time to be alone with one’s thoughts is a powerful experience.
  12. Feel the world owes them anything. A sense of entitlement does nothing but anger others.
  13. Expect immediate results. Change takes time.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Mind GymSometimes life’s circumstances are out of people’s control. However, how individuals think, feel, and behave as a result of those circumstances is very much within their control. It is simply a matter of learning to think, react, and respond in positive and productive ways. In Mind Gym, authors Sebastian Bailey and Octavius Black share scientifically based exercises and techniques anyone can use to train the mind to think positively and productively, including resetting thoughts, taking control, deepening connections, persuading others, resolving conflict, letting creative juices flow, and minimizing stress. The result is a more successful, fulfilling life.

Mind Gym provides techniques individuals can use to control and change their thoughts and actions in order to have more successful lives:

  • Resetting the mind from automatic thinking to conscious, attentive, optimistic thinking.
  • Taking control of actions and overcoming procrastination.
  • Deepening connections with others and adopting an “I’m Okay/You’re Okay” mind-set.
  • Persuading others in order to enhance personal relationships and achieve objectives.
  • Resolving conflict by breaking destructive communication patterns, engaging in authentic dialog, and removing drama from relationships.
  • Letting creative juices flow to accentuate inspiration and innovation.
  • Minimizing stress in order to maximize bliss.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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How to Be HappyIn How to Be Happy, Liggy Webb explores the meaning of happiness and provides a toolkit of approaches and techniques to build confidence and resilience in order to become a healthier and happier person. Her comprehensive treatment explains the key elements leading to happiness, including the importance of a positive attitude, being the best that you can be, maintaining physical and mental fitness, handling stress, managing change, developing resiliency, engaging in lifelong learning, nurturing positive relationships, appreciating life and its gifts, cultivating kindness, and loving and serving others.

According to Webb:

  • Happiness is a journey, not a destination. You can make the decision to be happier, if you really want it. Achieving happiness takes practice and the ability to work out your own plan for accomplishing it.
  • In defining happiness, it is important to appreciate what you have. Do not let a constant, undefined search divert you from that. “How can I become happier?” is probably a better question than “Am I happy?”
  • Developing and sustaining a positive mental attitude is the key to health and happiness. When faced with a problem, view it as an opportunity and seek out possibilities and solutions.
  • Be open and positive toward change, occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone. Understand the emotions that change can bring and learn to deal with them. Challenge your own limiting beliefs, develop your self-confidence, and believe in yourself.
  • Investing in good health is essential. Exercise every day, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet.
  • Learn to limit and manage stress. Be assertive in your communications and dealings, seek the benefits in change, and avoid imposing stress on yourself. Become resilient by turning problems into opportunities.
  • Constant learning promotes mental health and happiness. Learn in multiple ways, improve memory skills, teach others what you have learned, and put what you have learned into practice.
  • Cultivate positive, nurturing relationships. Accept and celebrate differences, develop your communications skills, be more understanding and empathetic, and treat others as you would have them treat you.
  • Sustainable happiness requires finding your own work-home balance. Be sure to establish priorities and manage your time more effectively.
  • Gratitude is an indispensable aspect of health, wholeness, and well-being. Decide to be grateful and wake up with that attitude. Focus on giving and cultivate the habit of saying “thank you.”
  • *The key to a happy life is identifying and pursuing your own purpose, with the intent of making the world a better place. Lead by example, respect and value others, commit random acts of kindness, and support charities.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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If finches can adapt to their changing environment, so can workers at all levels, according to Nacie Carson’s The Finch Effect, a career guide that takes its title and premise from Charles Darwin’s work on evolution and his theory of “survival of the fittest.” Carson encourages readers to accept the post-recession economic environment and thrive in it rather than wait for a return to “normal” while ignoring the portents of career extinction. Applying Darwin’s theory to the professional world, Carson offers a set of strategies for taking charge of one’s own career design, self-branding, and skills development—the essential elements that propel the Fittest to the top of the work food chain.

According to Carson:

  • “The Finch Effect” suggests that people who are willing to adapt to changes in the career marketplace are the “Fittest,” and therefore most likely to succeed. The concept is based on the work of Charles Darwin, known for his theory of evolution and book On the Origin of Species. Darwin observed that finches in the Galapagos Islands adapted within only a few generations to changes in their food sources. He credited the finches’ very survival to their ability to change.
  • While it was once expected that employees would spend their entire lives working their way up the nine-to-five corporate ladder, economic forces have forced companies to turn to part-time and contract workers. Rather than wait for the traditional job market to return to “normal” the Fittest are adapting to the new paradigm. This is called “the gig mindset.”
  • Individuals should market themselves by creating an “adaptive professional brand” (APB). This is a tool that elucidates people’s skills, expertise, and the other factors that set job candidates apart from their competition.
  • The Fittest are the ones who take charge of their careers and recognize that professional power and stability comes from individuals, not the companies that employ them.
  • Even the very best, highly differentiated candidates do not get noticed without some effort. Each job seeker should create a “tagline” that encapsulates his or her brand in a single, short phrase.
  • Job seekers should create two-minute “elevator” pitches as well as 15-minute versions that answer the questions “What is your story?” and “Why you?” and adapt these messages for use on social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. People should be careful to “clean up” personal posts and photographs that may not be appropriate for the eyes of prospective hiring managers and clients.
  • People can — and should — act as entrepreneurs whether they are working for themselves or a company. This means approaching work with a spirit of ownership and taking initiative, rather than simply taking direction from others.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Disaster Proof Your Career, Career ContentmentChange Your Questions, Change Your Life

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87496889In StandOut, Marcus Buckingham asserts that everyone has their own particular genius that is innate to their being. Buckingham explains that by understanding their strengths and learning how to apply them, anyone can be consistently outstanding in the workplace. Sounding the all-too-familiar cry for innovation as the only way for the United States to thrive and compete, he offers readers an online assessment tool that will identify their top two strengths and provide an analysis of those strengths. He also offers practical innovations, tips, and techniques for using each strength to help people find an edge and win at work.

According to Buckingham:

  • Everyone has their own brand of genius. People may not always be aware of their true strengths, but becoming aware of them can open the door to great personal power.
  • Of the thousands of personal talents that exist, the StandOut assessment distills them into nine main categories: Advisor, Connector, Creator, Equalizer, Influencer, Pioneer, Provider, Stimulator, and Teacher.Individuals top two categories combined can be used to identify their unique strengths and to predict and improve performance.
  • Innovative practices that work in one setting will not always work in another setting unless the person implementing the practices has the same strengths as the one who created the practice.
  • Genius is very precise. When people operate in their “strength zones,” they can learn, understand, and act faster and better than most people. However, once they shift out of their genius zones, performance declines quickly.
  • People should consciously apply their particular genius to everyday situations. By doing this, they can operate at peak levels and avoid accepting new roles that are too far outside their comfort zones.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Strengths Finder 2.0, Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Work Your Strengths

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Earn What You're Really WorthWith the new year right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to rethink one’s personal and career goals. Many of us may have been planning on going back to school, asking for a raise, changing careers, or simply doing better at our current job, and now is the time to solidify those goals and achieve them in the new year.

In Earn What You’re Really Worth, Brian Tracy argues that by using care, planning, and written exercises, people can better achieve their goals. He believes people must continually examine their work lives and continually update their skills and knowledge, and insists that people should always aim high and treat life as a continuing process of education and reinvention. Tracy aims to break down some of life’s most formidable goals into a concise, easy-to-understand plan.

Tracy shares the following advice with readers:

  1. Success is a personal decision that every individual makes, no matter how tough or expansive the job market.
  2. People must work harder and smarter today because the age of affluence has ended, replaced by an age of turbulence.
  3. Everyone, ultimately, works for themselves, and must continually upgrade their skills and knowledge.
  4. A successful career requires frequent reassessment–often, done in writing.
  5. Identify the key result areas of every job, and master them all–weakness in even one can sabotage an entire career.
  6. Everyone should be prepared to sell themselves.
  7. “Live” by lists–because writing down goals focuses on setting priorities, and on planning and scheduling the best ways to achieve them.
  8. A person’s character and reputation are among their most crucial assets.
  9. Never be afraid to ask at work–for an increase in responsibilities, a higher salary, or another request.
  10. People must be in the right job for the right company to earn what they’re really worth.

With firm goals in mind and the willpower and tools to achieve them, anyone can become more personally and professionally successful in 2013.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Disaster Proof Your CareerGreat Work, Great CareerCareer Contentment

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