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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Jumping to the Next Opportunity

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what should i consider before taking a new opportunity

If you want to achieve your dreams, sometimes you have to turn down opportunities. There may be a time when you are offered an opportunity, like a job or promotion.

The successful and powerful person making the offer talks about how this will be your big break, and how this can help you become what you want to be. This can be very exciting; money, prestige, or security dropped into your lap.

But stop to think for a moment before you take the opportunity. Does this opportunity really help to advance you toward your goals? The successful person who made the offer seems to think so. But they also have a need to fill, and their idea about what your goals are might be influenced by their need.

How can you tell if the opportunity presented is one that you should take, or one that you should pass up?

Here are five ideas for you to consider before jumping on the opportunity:

1. Is the opportunity the right fit for you?

Is this opportunity the right fit for you? When you think about what you want out of life, does this opportunity really let you contribute the best of yourself?

Humans are logical creatures, and we are great at rationalizing. When you look at the opportunity, your brain will rationalize and try to make it fit you. Really listen for the nagging voice in the back of your mind. Listen to your heart. Is this something that you really want? Or are you being swayed by the arguments of the presenter?

Look at other people who are doing the role that you are being offered. Is that the sort of person that you want to be? If so, this opportunity may be a perfect fit for you. If not, you are better off waiting and working toward what you really want.

“Find something that you love doing. If you make a lot of money, that’s a bonus. And if you don’t, you still won’t hate going to work.” – Jeff Foxworthy

2. Are you afraid of what might happen?

How big of a role does fear play in your decision? Are you considering this opportunity only because of the fear of what might happen if you pass it up?

Fear of the unknown is a common fear. Often the known route will seem safer or more secure simply because it is known. But it might be that the unknown route will be easier. Or, it might be more difficult, but the rewards for taking that journey may be much greater.

Don’t take the opportunity merely because you fear the unknown.

 

3. Are you only jumping on the opportunity because it’s easier?

Some opportunities seem to make good sense because they are just easier. If you are struggling to build your business, and somebody offers you the chance to make money doing something else it can be tempting to take the offer.

When you are starting your own business you have to do everything – marketing, manufacturing, sales, accounting, even janitorial duties. It could be so easy to just take the money to work for somebody else. You need to carefully examine what is being offered. Be suspicious if it is too easy.

Will it help you move toward your real goals, perhaps by offering you some training that you need? Or will it cause you to stagnate and make no forward progress because you will be doing the same thing over and over with no real challenges?

 

4. Is someone making vague promises to make you more interested?

Examine the opportunity closely. Are vague promises being made that excite you and encourage you to take that opportunity? Many people have been led into a decision based on excitement for something that never came to be.

Look at the realities of the opportunity. Are they strong enough that the opportunity is valuable on its own right? Or are the vaguely promised extras what are leading you to want to take the opportunity?

If you can’t get the promises in writing, it may be best to turn this opportunity down.

 

5. Are you stuck in your own fantasies?

Look at your goals and dreams. Do they fall into the category of fantasies?

If your dream is to become famous, that is an example of a fantasy. It is something that you can take great pleasure in dreaming about, but it is not something that you can guarantee by your actions.

Examples of goals or dreams that are not fantasies are play guitar or start a business. Both of these things you can control. A wonderful side effect of pursuing these goals could be that you would become famous or strike it rich.

If your dreams are actually fantasies, and you are given an opportunity to take action doing something that you love, you should take the opportunity. Don’t let it pass you by just because you are busy daydreaming.

“As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.” – Barbara Sher

Don’t let yourself be derailed from your route to success by openings that don’t do you any good. Find the courage and strength of character to do what is best, even if it might be difficult or frightening. In the long run you will be glad that you did.

What opportunities are you facing right now? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Susan de Jong is an app entrepreneur who loves to write software. Her apps include Lucidate, a brainstorming app that helps you explore your innermost thoughts, and Insight Personality Tests, a fun and motivational app. Download the apps today for free.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Nico

    Jun 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    This questions and answers gave me a good indication on making business decisions.Thanks

    • Susan de Jong

      Jun 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      I’m glad that you could put the information to use. Good luck.

  2. Chupacabra

    Jun 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    This question is by far my go-to question for just about everything but in a challenging moment with kids it almost always grounds me and centers me to make a more rational decision. Ask yourself what your family needs most right now.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:19 am

      That is a good point. What your family needs can often drive a decision.

  3. Tim Denning

    May 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Susan the questions you raised are so relevant for me right now. Your 4th point is the one that keeps tripping me up. Some people can often oversell you on an opportunity and it can be difficult at times without calling them a liar to understand just how real the opportunity is.

    I am pursuing many opportunities right now and I appreciate your article. Thank you.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:18 am

      Hi Tim,
      Yes, I’ve been there before. It’s easy to get pulled in by dreams.

  4. Naman Kumar

    May 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi
    Great post!
    These questions will really help a man think if surely want to move to the next opportunity or not.
    Thanks!

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Hi Nauman,
      I’m glad these questions can help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

3 Simple Strategies to Fight Procrastination

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Sometimes, all it takes to beat procrastination is a few simple tweaks. You woke up fresh and energized, got your coffee, and have your tasks meticulously listed. Afterwards, you got your “working music” playing through your noise-canceling headphones, and you turn on your computer ready to begin working.

And then…it happens. You glance back and forth at your list and your computer screen. The earliest deadline will not be until later at the end of your workday. You still got time. You want to try out that new restaurant around the corner. So, you go on the Internet to learn more about it.

The next thing you know, half the work day is done, and you have finished nothing! Sound familiar? You are not alone. In fact, the truth is that procrastination is normal. In fact, a study done by Piers Steel, shows that 95% of people procrastinate. The other 5% are probably still in denial.

The dangers of procrastinating

While there are cases when procrastination can do some good at work, it does have its adverse effects. Just take a look at these stats:

  • People who procrastinate reported higher levels of stress and more prone to illness long-term.
  • Chronic procrastinators exhibited poor work performance and made significantly more mistakes.
  • 40% of people that procrastinate report a significant financial loss.

Below are 3 reasons why we procrastinate and how we can fight against procrastinating:

1. Lacking motivation

People crave comfort because it is less stressful and it makes us feel safe. That is why it is so easy to convince yourself to take a nap or go for a Netflix binge even if you got a looming deadline. On the other hand, it takes a whole lot more effort on your part to motivate yourself to get up from that couch and spend time finding your passion.

Why? Let’s be honest: making those sales calls, doing presentations, and writing up reports are hardly things that you would call “enjoyable.” In fact, it can be tiresome, overwhelming, and just plain difficult.

How to fight it: “Motivation has a lot to do with perspective,” says Jim Vernon, CEO of Rockher. “Instead of focusing on the actual task you need to do, shift your focus to what will you get when you accomplish it. Does it mean more time with your kids? Or perhaps a raise?”

One way to do this is by changing the way you write your to-do list. Instead of just listing down one task after another, try listing them down by using an action verb.

Entrepreneur Marie Forleo calls this process as verbalizing your to-do list. Sounds simple, but it is beneficial because as she explains, the presence of these action verbs at the start of each of the tasks on your to-do list serve as a trigger to motivate you to take action.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

2. Fear

Fear can be very crippling. For many people, it is just enough for them to validate why they procrastinate. The fear of failure is the most common reason why people procrastinate, especially among perfectionists.

Perfectionists have the urge that everything should be perfect the first time around. There is always that little voice ringing in their head that keeps telling them, ‘what if you mess up?’ Eventually, they give in to that voice and end up setting projects aside.

How to fight it: Baddeley said that the way he overcame this was by accepting failure. A friend of mine gave me John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward. In it, one of the principles that he taught was that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes. It is part of being normal. The moment I learned to accept this was when I slowly started beating the procrastination habit.

3. Rebellion

In some cases, procrastinating is one way for a person to show one’s disapproval about something. For students, it can be their way of getting back at a teacher who offended or hurt them. With employees, it can be their way of showing that their resentment after being passed for a promotion or frustration balancing their life at work and home.

How to fix it: The best way to help someone deal with this kind of procrastination is to talk with them.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt

People who procrastinate as a way to rebel feel that they have been wronged, devalued, and short-changed, Having a heart-to-heart talk with them about their concern, I found, helps them let off steam and the shake off that resentment.

Give them some advice and even a challenge on how to reach their goal will help them break away from their procrastinating habit. In some cases, it can even transform them into becoming some of your most productive employees.

How do you fight procrastination? Let us know your tips and suggestions below!

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Life

3 Simple Self-Communication Tips to Ensure You Set Yourself Up to Achieve Your Goals

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Do you ever wonder why some people seem to hit every goal they set, while others struggle to even take the first step towards their goals? The difference may be in the finer details of how the goal is being set.

Communication, whether with ourselves or with others, is critical in today’s society. When we are setting goals, we are communicating our wants and desires with our unconscious mind. Yet despite the importance of being able to communicate effectively, rarely are we ever taught how to communicate or what the meaning of communication is.

The majority of the population choose their words carelessly and assume that the recipient of that communication will understand what they meant.

We’re typically even more careless when it comes to communicating with ourselves, because our own brains should understand what we mean…right? Wrong. This is why 95% of the population never achieve their goals. This is why New Year’s Resolutions have a shelf life of 3-4 weeks.

We don’t communicate in words. For everything we say, the person we’re speaking to (including ourselves) gets an image in their head. How they interpret that image determines how they interpret what has been said to them. Allow me to demonstrate.

“I want to travel to an isolated beach and stay in a hut over the water for a week”. What picture do you have in your head? I’m guessing a beach, with a hut over the water. Pretty cool right? Here’s the thing, if we’re choosing our words carelessly, then we lack control over the picture that is created. This is a FATAL goal setting mistake.

Within our unconscious mind (the part of our mind that drives behaviour) is our filtering system, the Reticular Activating System, or RAS.

The RAS is like our internal GPS. When we set a goal, the RAS holds onto a picture of that goal and becomes like a homing device towards making it happen. How do you know you’re putting the right image into your RAS?

Here are 3 simple self-communication tips to ensure you set yourself up for success in achieving your goals:

1. Watch Your Mouth!

No, I don’t mean no swearing. The words we use when setting goals are critical to our success. There are certain words the unconscious mind processes in a negative fashion. The first word we need to remove from our vocabulary is “not” or any derivative of not (ie. don’t, can’t, etc). The unconscious mind is unable to process negatives.

Here’s an example. “Don’t think of a purple frog” What picture do you have in your head? A purple frog! When we use negatives in our communication, the unconscious mind has to get a picture of what we’ve said, then the conscious mind comes in and gives a new directive to picture. If we set a goal like “Don’t have any debt” or “I don’t want a partner who cheats on me” then we give the RAS a picture of what we don’t want. The RAS then sets out to find us what we don’t want as quickly and easily as possible. Instead focus on what you do want!

Another word to eliminate from your goal setting (and your vocabulary in general) is “try.” To the unconscious mind, try means “this isn’t important enough to commit to so I have an excuse to fail.” Anyone who “tries” to do anything rarely succeeds. Instead, remove your excuses and commit!

“Aim higher. Stay focused.” – Brandon Adams

2. Be specific!

We’ve all heard of setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely). Being specific when communicating your goals is particularly important to the unconscious mind.

If the goal or end result is too ambiguous, the unconscious mind won’t be able to create a picture to move towards. In the absence of a specific picture, it will continue to move towards whatever beliefs or programming is already installed in the unconscious.

For example, setting a goal to be “financially free” won’t move the RAS into action. Instead, set a specific dollar amount you want to see in the bank! Paint a clear picture for your unconscious mind to grasp. It’s worth spending time creating this picture so it’s as clear as possible. You can even print out pictures if you need to!

3. Get Emotional!

Emotions drive our unconscious minds into action. If the goals you set aren’t making you emotional (in a good way) then you’re unlikely to take action. At the same time, if your current situation isn’t making you experience negative emotions, you also won’t be motivated to act.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

There are two types of goals we can set – towards motivated goals and away from motivated goals.

Away from motivated goals are when the pain or discomfort of our current situation is so intense that we have to take action.

Think about people with unhealthy habits like smoking. When they witness someone close to them die, or they have a brush with death themselves, they can easily and quickly stop smoking. People who are overweight are typically spurred into action when they are unable to fit into their wardrobe anymore.

The problem with away from motivated goals is that the motivation only lasts while the pain or discomfort is present. It’s not uncommon for someone with a weight loss goal to completely lose motivation at the halfway point because the intensity of their situation no longer overwhelms them.

Towards motivated goals focus on a reward at the end creating a strong emotion such as pride, excitement or sheer bliss.

Examples include brides wanting to look slim in their wedding dress or people who reward themselves with cars or houses remain motivated to continue taking action towards their goal. This is because even once the pain of their current situation dissipates, they are still aiming for the emotion of the reward.

It’s ok to use pain to motivate you to take action, just make sure your goal also contains towards motivation and the emotions you’ll feel once you reach the goal.

Contrary to what Freud may have caused you to believe, our unconscious mind wants to help us get what we want! We just need to communicate effectively and give our GPS (aka the RAS) the proper information so it can find the fastest, easiest route to the future we truly want!

How do you set goals and make sure you hit them? Let us know your advice below!

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Life

Build Up Your Social Media Presence Using These Three Personal Powers

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Instead of being on defense when it comes to social media, show the world you mean business with respect, compassion and dignity. Ask anyone of your friends or online connections if they’ve found themselves going down a rabbit hole online and a bunch of them probably will say, “Yep, it happened just the other day.”

Everyone is trying to yank and pull for attention in the online space. People will go to great lengths for a few minutes of your precious time. Do you ever do an inventory of how much time you actually spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and so on? I’d imagine for a lot of us, that the time inventory would be incredibly imbalanced.

There was a time many years ago where Facebook actually was all about staying connected to families and friends to hear about their successes and tough times. People shared births, anniversaries, new jobs, and deaths. These things were shared with others out of simply wanting to stay in touch.

Along the way, though, businesses and entrepreneurs found a way to get their products and services out through the use of social media. We’ve used it to launch programs, books, products, conferences…you name it. Yet, where did the honoring process for other human beings get lost in the shuffle? It got lost because a hunger for the almighty currency (money) took precedence.

Bringing back these three personal elements that are within every one of us back to the online world will go a long way toward changing its current state of crisis. ­

Here are three suggestions:

1. Show respect

Everyone wants to be heard and respected. It’s not going to happen all of the time because human beings have differences of opinions. Is it so hard to simply respect another person’s opinion or thought without totally eviscerating them through online comments? We all get triggered by other people, but there is a way to respectfully disagree with others.

In fact, one way you could actually show others respect is by not reacting and commenting out of that energy. You and I are not going to agree on every single topic all the time. That’s a given as we are human. I do believe a little more respect shown in the online space can change the landscape a bit more.

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius

2. Show compassion

Understand this point about compassion: We all have the capacity to share this emotion with others. It does not mean you have to roll over and just take someone’s abuse. That’s not what I am talking about. Online bullying and scathing words have led some teenagers and adults to committing suicide.

When online behavior reaches that level, then people need to take one giant step back and ask themselves, “What’s going on inside me that I react in that way?” Alas, though, we don’t all think before writing.

Businesses especially need to be careful about their own words and phrases. Case in point: Watch social media platforms during big sports days, like Sundays during the National Football League season.

It’s tough not to “tweet” something toward your favorite team when something goes awry. Do not think you can simply get away with whatever you say because you are a multi-billion-dollar company. One streak of bad news can turn a real sweet streak of success into a pool of failure and despair. Showing compassion to others online starts with you.

3. Show dignity

Where in the world has our dignity gone as a society? This is not about politics or religion in this space. It all comes down to personal accountability and honor. Dignity for corporations and large businesses is not too hot these days. A lot of them don’t know how to effectively communicate with employees or customers through their written and verbal words.

They lean on their historic past filled with pictures of profits soaring through the roof and being the darling of whatever sector they are in for business. A lot of people in high places of power totally forget where they came from, like the bottom of the barrel, and act like fools.

The more dignity you show others in business and life, the more it will be showed towards you. This kind of follows one of those universal laws around cause and effect. The action you take (the cause) leads to the response (the effect), so be dignified in your approach to business and life.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you use all three of these elements in your social media presence, more people will become attracted to you and your business. These can become the foundation for your success both today and in the future.

Which one of these 3 elements do you think is lacking most in social media today? Share your thoughts below!

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break! (more…)

Alex Edson is a 19-year-old entrepreneur from Phoenix Arizona who has scaled two multi-million dollar companies from nothing. Alex began his entrepreneurial journey during his sophomore year of high school, founding a YouTube talent management agency from his apartment that would later grow to over 10 billion annual views. Today, Alex is the Founder and CEO of MailTag.io, a startup that helps sales and business people track their emails in real-time, for free. You can connect with Alex on his company’s blog https://blog.mailtag.io or by email Alex@MailTag.io.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Nico

    Jun 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    This questions and answers gave me a good indication on making business decisions.Thanks

    • Susan de Jong

      Jun 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      I’m glad that you could put the information to use. Good luck.

  2. Chupacabra

    Jun 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    This question is by far my go-to question for just about everything but in a challenging moment with kids it almost always grounds me and centers me to make a more rational decision. Ask yourself what your family needs most right now.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:19 am

      That is a good point. What your family needs can often drive a decision.

  3. Tim Denning

    May 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Susan the questions you raised are so relevant for me right now. Your 4th point is the one that keeps tripping me up. Some people can often oversell you on an opportunity and it can be difficult at times without calling them a liar to understand just how real the opportunity is.

    I am pursuing many opportunities right now and I appreciate your article. Thank you.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:18 am

      Hi Tim,
      Yes, I’ve been there before. It’s easy to get pulled in by dreams.

  4. Naman Kumar

    May 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi
    Great post!
    These questions will really help a man think if surely want to move to the next opportunity or not.
    Thanks!

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Hi Nauman,
      I’m glad these questions can help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

3 Simple Strategies to Fight Procrastination

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Sometimes, all it takes to beat procrastination is a few simple tweaks. You woke up fresh and energized, got your coffee, and have your tasks meticulously listed. Afterwards, you got your “working music” playing through your noise-canceling headphones, and you turn on your computer ready to begin working.

And then…it happens. You glance back and forth at your list and your computer screen. The earliest deadline will not be until later at the end of your workday. You still got time. You want to try out that new restaurant around the corner. So, you go on the Internet to learn more about it.

The next thing you know, half the work day is done, and you have finished nothing! Sound familiar? You are not alone. In fact, the truth is that procrastination is normal. In fact, a study done by Piers Steel, shows that 95% of people procrastinate. The other 5% are probably still in denial.

The dangers of procrastinating

While there are cases when procrastination can do some good at work, it does have its adverse effects. Just take a look at these stats:

  • People who procrastinate reported higher levels of stress and more prone to illness long-term.
  • Chronic procrastinators exhibited poor work performance and made significantly more mistakes.
  • 40% of people that procrastinate report a significant financial loss.

Below are 3 reasons why we procrastinate and how we can fight against procrastinating:

1. Lacking motivation

People crave comfort because it is less stressful and it makes us feel safe. That is why it is so easy to convince yourself to take a nap or go for a Netflix binge even if you got a looming deadline. On the other hand, it takes a whole lot more effort on your part to motivate yourself to get up from that couch and spend time finding your passion.

Why? Let’s be honest: making those sales calls, doing presentations, and writing up reports are hardly things that you would call “enjoyable.” In fact, it can be tiresome, overwhelming, and just plain difficult.

How to fight it: “Motivation has a lot to do with perspective,” says Jim Vernon, CEO of Rockher. “Instead of focusing on the actual task you need to do, shift your focus to what will you get when you accomplish it. Does it mean more time with your kids? Or perhaps a raise?”

One way to do this is by changing the way you write your to-do list. Instead of just listing down one task after another, try listing them down by using an action verb.

Entrepreneur Marie Forleo calls this process as verbalizing your to-do list. Sounds simple, but it is beneficial because as she explains, the presence of these action verbs at the start of each of the tasks on your to-do list serve as a trigger to motivate you to take action.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

2. Fear

Fear can be very crippling. For many people, it is just enough for them to validate why they procrastinate. The fear of failure is the most common reason why people procrastinate, especially among perfectionists.

Perfectionists have the urge that everything should be perfect the first time around. There is always that little voice ringing in their head that keeps telling them, ‘what if you mess up?’ Eventually, they give in to that voice and end up setting projects aside.

How to fight it: Baddeley said that the way he overcame this was by accepting failure. A friend of mine gave me John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward. In it, one of the principles that he taught was that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes. It is part of being normal. The moment I learned to accept this was when I slowly started beating the procrastination habit.

3. Rebellion

In some cases, procrastinating is one way for a person to show one’s disapproval about something. For students, it can be their way of getting back at a teacher who offended or hurt them. With employees, it can be their way of showing that their resentment after being passed for a promotion or frustration balancing their life at work and home.

How to fix it: The best way to help someone deal with this kind of procrastination is to talk with them.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt

People who procrastinate as a way to rebel feel that they have been wronged, devalued, and short-changed, Having a heart-to-heart talk with them about their concern, I found, helps them let off steam and the shake off that resentment.

Give them some advice and even a challenge on how to reach their goal will help them break away from their procrastinating habit. In some cases, it can even transform them into becoming some of your most productive employees.

How do you fight procrastination? Let us know your tips and suggestions below!

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3 Simple Self-Communication Tips to Ensure You Set Yourself Up to Achieve Your Goals

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Do you ever wonder why some people seem to hit every goal they set, while others struggle to even take the first step towards their goals? The difference may be in the finer details of how the goal is being set.

Communication, whether with ourselves or with others, is critical in today’s society. When we are setting goals, we are communicating our wants and desires with our unconscious mind. Yet despite the importance of being able to communicate effectively, rarely are we ever taught how to communicate or what the meaning of communication is.

The majority of the population choose their words carelessly and assume that the recipient of that communication will understand what they meant.

We’re typically even more careless when it comes to communicating with ourselves, because our own brains should understand what we mean…right? Wrong. This is why 95% of the population never achieve their goals. This is why New Year’s Resolutions have a shelf life of 3-4 weeks.

We don’t communicate in words. For everything we say, the person we’re speaking to (including ourselves) gets an image in their head. How they interpret that image determines how they interpret what has been said to them. Allow me to demonstrate.

“I want to travel to an isolated beach and stay in a hut over the water for a week”. What picture do you have in your head? I’m guessing a beach, with a hut over the water. Pretty cool right? Here’s the thing, if we’re choosing our words carelessly, then we lack control over the picture that is created. This is a FATAL goal setting mistake.

Within our unconscious mind (the part of our mind that drives behaviour) is our filtering system, the Reticular Activating System, or RAS.

The RAS is like our internal GPS. When we set a goal, the RAS holds onto a picture of that goal and becomes like a homing device towards making it happen. How do you know you’re putting the right image into your RAS?

Here are 3 simple self-communication tips to ensure you set yourself up for success in achieving your goals:

1. Watch Your Mouth!

No, I don’t mean no swearing. The words we use when setting goals are critical to our success. There are certain words the unconscious mind processes in a negative fashion. The first word we need to remove from our vocabulary is “not” or any derivative of not (ie. don’t, can’t, etc). The unconscious mind is unable to process negatives.

Here’s an example. “Don’t think of a purple frog” What picture do you have in your head? A purple frog! When we use negatives in our communication, the unconscious mind has to get a picture of what we’ve said, then the conscious mind comes in and gives a new directive to picture. If we set a goal like “Don’t have any debt” or “I don’t want a partner who cheats on me” then we give the RAS a picture of what we don’t want. The RAS then sets out to find us what we don’t want as quickly and easily as possible. Instead focus on what you do want!

Another word to eliminate from your goal setting (and your vocabulary in general) is “try.” To the unconscious mind, try means “this isn’t important enough to commit to so I have an excuse to fail.” Anyone who “tries” to do anything rarely succeeds. Instead, remove your excuses and commit!

“Aim higher. Stay focused.” – Brandon Adams

2. Be specific!

We’ve all heard of setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely). Being specific when communicating your goals is particularly important to the unconscious mind.

If the goal or end result is too ambiguous, the unconscious mind won’t be able to create a picture to move towards. In the absence of a specific picture, it will continue to move towards whatever beliefs or programming is already installed in the unconscious.

For example, setting a goal to be “financially free” won’t move the RAS into action. Instead, set a specific dollar amount you want to see in the bank! Paint a clear picture for your unconscious mind to grasp. It’s worth spending time creating this picture so it’s as clear as possible. You can even print out pictures if you need to!

3. Get Emotional!

Emotions drive our unconscious minds into action. If the goals you set aren’t making you emotional (in a good way) then you’re unlikely to take action. At the same time, if your current situation isn’t making you experience negative emotions, you also won’t be motivated to act.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

There are two types of goals we can set – towards motivated goals and away from motivated goals.

Away from motivated goals are when the pain or discomfort of our current situation is so intense that we have to take action.

Think about people with unhealthy habits like smoking. When they witness someone close to them die, or they have a brush with death themselves, they can easily and quickly stop smoking. People who are overweight are typically spurred into action when they are unable to fit into their wardrobe anymore.

The problem with away from motivated goals is that the motivation only lasts while the pain or discomfort is present. It’s not uncommon for someone with a weight loss goal to completely lose motivation at the halfway point because the intensity of their situation no longer overwhelms them.

Towards motivated goals focus on a reward at the end creating a strong emotion such as pride, excitement or sheer bliss.

Examples include brides wanting to look slim in their wedding dress or people who reward themselves with cars or houses remain motivated to continue taking action towards their goal. This is because even once the pain of their current situation dissipates, they are still aiming for the emotion of the reward.

It’s ok to use pain to motivate you to take action, just make sure your goal also contains towards motivation and the emotions you’ll feel once you reach the goal.

Contrary to what Freud may have caused you to believe, our unconscious mind wants to help us get what we want! We just need to communicate effectively and give our GPS (aka the RAS) the proper information so it can find the fastest, easiest route to the future we truly want!

How do you set goals and make sure you hit them? Let us know your advice below!

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Build Up Your Social Media Presence Using These Three Personal Powers

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Instead of being on defense when it comes to social media, show the world you mean business with respect, compassion and dignity. Ask anyone of your friends or online connections if they’ve found themselves going down a rabbit hole online and a bunch of them probably will say, “Yep, it happened just the other day.”

Everyone is trying to yank and pull for attention in the online space. People will go to great lengths for a few minutes of your precious time. Do you ever do an inventory of how much time you actually spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and so on? I’d imagine for a lot of us, that the time inventory would be incredibly imbalanced.

There was a time many years ago where Facebook actually was all about staying connected to families and friends to hear about their successes and tough times. People shared births, anniversaries, new jobs, and deaths. These things were shared with others out of simply wanting to stay in touch.

Along the way, though, businesses and entrepreneurs found a way to get their products and services out through the use of social media. We’ve used it to launch programs, books, products, conferences…you name it. Yet, where did the honoring process for other human beings get lost in the shuffle? It got lost because a hunger for the almighty currency (money) took precedence.

Bringing back these three personal elements that are within every one of us back to the online world will go a long way toward changing its current state of crisis. ­

Here are three suggestions:

1. Show respect

Everyone wants to be heard and respected. It’s not going to happen all of the time because human beings have differences of opinions. Is it so hard to simply respect another person’s opinion or thought without totally eviscerating them through online comments? We all get triggered by other people, but there is a way to respectfully disagree with others.

In fact, one way you could actually show others respect is by not reacting and commenting out of that energy. You and I are not going to agree on every single topic all the time. That’s a given as we are human. I do believe a little more respect shown in the online space can change the landscape a bit more.

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius

2. Show compassion

Understand this point about compassion: We all have the capacity to share this emotion with others. It does not mean you have to roll over and just take someone’s abuse. That’s not what I am talking about. Online bullying and scathing words have led some teenagers and adults to committing suicide.

When online behavior reaches that level, then people need to take one giant step back and ask themselves, “What’s going on inside me that I react in that way?” Alas, though, we don’t all think before writing.

Businesses especially need to be careful about their own words and phrases. Case in point: Watch social media platforms during big sports days, like Sundays during the National Football League season.

It’s tough not to “tweet” something toward your favorite team when something goes awry. Do not think you can simply get away with whatever you say because you are a multi-billion-dollar company. One streak of bad news can turn a real sweet streak of success into a pool of failure and despair. Showing compassion to others online starts with you.

3. Show dignity

Where in the world has our dignity gone as a society? This is not about politics or religion in this space. It all comes down to personal accountability and honor. Dignity for corporations and large businesses is not too hot these days. A lot of them don’t know how to effectively communicate with employees or customers through their written and verbal words.

They lean on their historic past filled with pictures of profits soaring through the roof and being the darling of whatever sector they are in for business. A lot of people in high places of power totally forget where they came from, like the bottom of the barrel, and act like fools.

The more dignity you show others in business and life, the more it will be showed towards you. This kind of follows one of those universal laws around cause and effect. The action you take (the cause) leads to the response (the effect), so be dignified in your approach to business and life.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you use all three of these elements in your social media presence, more people will become attracted to you and your business. These can become the foundation for your success both today and in the future.

Which one of these 3 elements do you think is lacking most in social media today? Share your thoughts below!

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How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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