Self Improvement 101

Discussion in 'Vaginarium' started by symptic, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    As I've come across a few "self help" and "improvement" sites in doing research on business and trends in successful people, I figured it might help some people on OT if I made a thread to store the articles and ideas I've come across. So feel free to peek through each topic and see what wisdom or inspiration and motivation you can acquire. In my opinion, anything helps, and I'd like to help with that.

    -Symp
    ______
    *Feel free to leave comments, criticisms, or other articles and/or stories that can be added to the index right below here!

    Plant a Garden Daily
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Feel Good About Yourself
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Learn to Like Yourself
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Pay Attention to the Rituals In Your Life
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Rapid Reading Advice{Time Management}
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Reading on The Run{Time Management}
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Tips From the Top
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    15 Minutes to Greater Productivity
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Break Those Old Habits
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Workaholics Anonymous
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]

    Endurance Skills - Not-so-trivial NWTS
    [ Part 1 / 1 ]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2005
  2. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Plant a Garden Daily

    If coming to work has become an ordeal, making you sluggish and cynical try to cultivate a fresh perspective. Plant a garden daily. Here's how:

    • five rows of "PEAS" (prepare, praise, be prompt, be polite, and persevere)
    • three rows of "SQUASH" (squash gossip, criticism, and indifference)
    • three rows of "LETTUCE" (let us be loyal, truthful, and unselfish)
    • three rows of "TURNIPS" (turn up with ideas, determination, and improvement)
     
  3. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Feel Good about Yourself

    Lacking in self-confidence and looking for ways to give yourself a boost? Our tips will perk you up and help you walk tall.

    • 1. If you must examine your "faults", do so with the mirror, not a magnifying glass – don't allow them to get out of proportion. For example, restate, "I'm buried in debt," as, "I owe $500 on credit cards."

    • 2. Learn to do without the word "should". Instead of telling yourself, "I should have finished that job on Friday," substitute the word "could". Realize you have the option of exercising your own choice.

    • 3. Rethink your "mistakes" as lessons learnt, which will help you to prevent future ones.

    • 4. Next time somebody compliments you, don't automatically protest, but gracefully accept.

    • 5. Discard the myth of perfection. Nobody does everything perfectly.

    • 6. Brooding never fixes the problem. To let go of something that's nagging you, give yourself 15 minutes of worry time, then move on.

    • 7. Never compare yourself with others; the point is to improve on your own past performance.

    • 8. Keep a written list of all your accomplishments, however small. Next time feelings of inadequacy threaten to dampen your spirits, you'll have something to look back on and be proud of.

    • 9. Give yourself time to feel good. When you reach an objective, allow for a period of celebration before going on to the next goal.

    • 10. Keep a diary to validate all your thoughts and feelings.

    • 11. Spend time with a friend who cares about you and lets you know it. Friends are an important source of support and objectivity.

    • 12. Make the list of all the people and things in your life for which you are grateful. Recognizing that you are deserving of all these good things will make you feel good about who you are and what you've done.

    • 13. Plan an escape. For example, on a sunny day, rent a convertible and take a drive with the top down.

    • 14. Become more interesting by being more interested (in people, new hobbies, current events, etc).

    • 15. Give yourself a pep talk. Encourage yourself just as you do your best friend, or as a best friend would do for you.

    • 16. Look at old photographs and reflect on the richness of the events or relationships depicted and how they have enhanced your life. Then plan how you can add more of these events or relationships to your life.

    • 17. Wake up happy. Begin each day with a fun routine. Sing in the shower. If you're not already in a cheerful mood, put on your favorite upbeat tape or CD; load it into the stereo the night before.

    • 18. When you break a negative habit, replace it with a positive one. This way your life won't see emptier. For instance, if you give up your daily chocolate block, either put the money saved towards a weekly bouquet of flowers or a visit to the cinema.

    • 19. Start each morning with a vision of yourself doing all the right things at work, at play and at home. Mentally rehearse the act of winning, just as the professional athletes do.

    • 20. Tell yourself that you are brave as well as likeable. Next time you fell tempted to say hello to a person in a queue, go right ahead.

    • 21. Have a clean out and pass items you no longer use to those who need them. It's amazing how, by getting rid of those old possessions, you make space for wonderful new ones, thoughts and even experiences.

    • 22. Learn a new skill such as dancing, preparing gourmet cuisine or pottery. Learning the basics will give you a taste of success.

    • 23. Spend a weekend at a deluxe hotel and have breakfast in bed. Pamper yourself by the pool.

    • 24. Have a fabulous new haircut, or perhaps a manicure and facial.

    • 25. Take risks. You'll accomplish more and feel good about being brave.

    • 26. Set easy-to-meet, incremental goals. Don't say, "I'm taking charge of my career." Instead, join a professional group or take on a work-related course. You'll feel so good about the results that taking the next step will be much easier.

    • 27. Don't wait to get sick to take care of your health. Order a salad for lunch. Sign up for an exercise class. Snack on fruit instead of junk food.

    • 28. Even if you're not feeling confident, act as if you are. Soon you will realize you're no longer faking it.

    • 29. Affirm your power to change – or to remain the same. If you aren't ready to give up a bad habit such as smoking, accept that at this time you choose this habit as a method of coping, and that you can eventually choose to replace it with a healthier one.

    • 30. Make a collage of what you want to create in life. Cut out pictures of things you want (a car, a child, a garden), the things you want to do (travel, learn tennis, do charity word) and words or images that represent qualities you want more of in life (love, adventure).
     
  4. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Learn to Like Yourself

    It's a strange idea, isn't it? That you have to like yourself – and that you might need to learn how to do it.

    Maybe you are quite happy with the kind of person you are and the image you present to the world. If so, good for you! But if you can't honestly say "like myself" – or if you are not sure – this is vital. Ask yourself: If I don't like myself, how can I expect anyone else to like me?

    When you like yourself, you are able to say "I wish I had someone like me as a friend". So how do you learn to like yourself more? It's all about feeling good about yourself, and that starts with feeling good about the way you look.


    Feel Good – Look Good

    The two are intertwined, change one and you can change the other. Start with the way you look, if only because that's the easiest way to break our cycle of failure. Remember how you feel when you've just had your hair cut, or just bought new clothes that suit your perfectly? You should feel that good everyday.

    If you look miserable, you'll get sympathy – if you look positive, you'll get support. Even when you are down, make yourself look your best and people will respond to your positive image, which will in turn lift your spirits.

    Your appearance tells people how you feel about yourself, so don't shackle yourself to a drab exterior.

    The first thing to do is look in a mirror. Make a list of all the things you don't like about your appearance. Now go through them one by one and make the best of what you've got. Have your hair done, buy new specs or switch to contact lenses, get your teeth fixed, trim your beard, improve your make-up – every bit helps.


    D is for Determination

    You have to work at this as if it were a mega-budget project. After all, you want to end up feeling a million dollars. Be trying, you are already succeeding. Doing nothing is the greatest failure.

    Wear the right colors – you come alive. Knowing what colors to wear, you never waste money on "wrong" clothes.

    Once you've discovered your best colors, revamp your wardrobe. Many large department stores have fashion consultants who will help. You don't have to change your whole wardrobe at once. Just wearing the right colored scarf or tie can make the difference.

    Each small step is an improvement. Everytime you buy an item of clothing, make sure it is the right color. Or dye older clothes to the right shade.


    In the Mirror

    Every day you should look in the mirror and like what you see a little more. Start by taking a good long look at yourself. Do you think you're too fat or too thin? Do you feel sluggish and tired?

    To be at your best you need to eat well and to exercise. There's no need to join a health club or become a gym junkie. Walking, swimming or cycling will do just as well. Try getting off the bus or train a stop or two further away from your workplace, or park your car further away. That walk in the morning and at night will make all the difference.

    There's no need to go on a crazy cash diet either. All you need to do is to use a little common sense, you only get one body – look after it and it will last you a lifetime!

    Eat less fatty food and more fresh fruit and vegetables. It's that easy. When you start eating better food, you'll feel brighter, stronger and healthier. You will be in better shape too.


    Every Step you Take

    Each change makes the next easier. A friend was very down, physically and emotionally, until she went to a color consultant. Wham! She realized that part of her own problem was that she was trapping herself in the wrong colors.

    She changed her wardrobe, then her hair color. She looked better, felt better and was inspired to lose weight.

    This woman, a dietitian, had been so miserable that she had become a junk-food junkie. But once she'd broken the vicious circle by making herself look good, she felt good and didn't want to eat rubbish any more. As you change, and appreciate the power you have to change yourself, your confidence will grow. You will look good. You will feel good. Everything will begin to get better.


    Succeeding with Others

    If you like yourself, others will be more inclined to like you. Friends who once felt sorry for you will feel admiration and envy – and by being positive and liking yourself, you will be more likely to choose friends who are positive.

    Liking yourself gives you the confidence to make friends and business contacts on your terms. Personal and work relationships will thrive as you lose the need for reassurance. People will respect your judgement more, especially when you disagree, because they will know you are not driven by the need to boost your ego.


    S is for Self-Confidence

    Success starts with self-confidence. The wonderful thing about success and self-confidence is that they feed off each other. So recognize each small success in your life and your confidence will grow. Use that confidence every time you try something and your chances of success will increase,

    Self-confidence makes the possible probable. You can do anything you want to do. We're not talking about impossible dreams – just realistic, achievable goals.

    Go just one step further than you've ever gone before and your confidence will blossom.


    Start Thinking

    Don't expect everyone to like you. Life is a lot of things, but – unless you are a politician or a movie star – it is not a popularity contest.

    Even then, as the greatest actress Bette Davis said: "If everybody likes you, you're not doing it right."

    That doesn't mean you should go out of your way to be disliked – there will always be people who will dislike you, regardless of what you do or say. Some people simply don't like anybody. But that's their problem.

    Liking yourself is enough.
    And it gives you one true friend for life.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2005
  5. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Pay Attention to the Rituals in your Life

    Good rituals signal importance in your life and help you achieve your goals by giving you control. Eating, sleeping, and exercising at specific times each day are examples of good rituals.

    Bad rituals, such as two-martini lunches, taking sleep medications each night, and smoking to calm nerves, interfere with your performance and make it harder to reach your goals.

    Twelve important rituals: Critical life rituals fall into twelve general categories. Review this list to see where you need to improve.

    • 1. Sleep.
      Go to bed and get up each day at the same time. Get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Most experts agree that's what you need to perform your best.
    • 2. Exercise.
      Set aside twenty to thirty minutes each day for exercise. If you spend much of your day sitting, a late afternoon exercise session will actually give you more energy. That's why you shouldn't exercise too close to bedtime.
    • 3. Nutrition.
      Develop a regular routine of eating. It's best to eat often and light instead of alternating periods of fast and large meals. Always start with breakfast and eat something every two hours.
    • 4. Family.
      Make sure some of your rituals include family. Family rituals can be as common as eating dinner together or as infrequent as celebrating anniversaries and birthdays.
    • 5. Spirituality.
      Spend time exploring the meaning of life and where you are going. You need to include these rituals, whether formal or informal. To ensure personal growth.
    • 6. Preperformance.
      Some rituals prepare you for bigger daily tasks. For example, you might create a to-do list before beginning your day or put your office in order before taking your first appointment. Even just visualizing how you want your day to unfold qualifies as a preperformance ritual.
    • 7. Travel.
      Control your reaction to traffic and jet lag by creating your own travel rituals. For example, routinely leave fifteen minutes early, play music that you enjoy en route, or develop an anti-jet lag plan that helps you physically adjust to long flights.
    • 8. Telephone.
      Spend half the time you are on the phone walking, stretching, or otherwise moving around. Summon your ideal performance state before talking a difficult phone call.
    • 9. Office.
      Do something special for yourself between appointments, phone calls, or meetings. Eating a healthy snack, stepping outside into the sunshine, or walking up and down several flights of stairs qualify. Traditional coffee breaks do not.
    • 10. Creative time.
      Balance your life by pursuing gardening, photography, writing, music, or other artistic activities.
    • 11. Home.
      Develop rituals to shift gears between office and home. Learn to leave your problems at work and reenergize yourself on the way back home.
    • 12. Time alone.
      If you're always surrounded by people – at home, on the way to work, and at the office – try to find some time twice a day to be alone. It can make a crucial difference in your feeling of being in control.

    Keep a daily dairy or journal to track your rituals. Take specific steps to remedy those that are deficient and add others that are missing.

    Source: James E. Loehr in "Stress For Success"
     
  6. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Rapid Reading Advice

    For those with an overload "in" box, consider these tips:

    • Read only the first sentence of each paragraph on a document, then selectively read key paragraphs.
    • Set aside reading time during the morning - most people tend to read more quickly and with better concentration early in the day.
    • Arrange not to be interrupted during reading time.
    • When examining a book or report, always look at the summary first.
     
  7. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Reading On the Run

    New York-based organization management consultant Ronni Eisenberg suggests when you receive a magazine, which you tear out the articles that interest you and throw away the magazine. Keep the articles in an "on-the-go reading" file to be brought along on short trips or while you wait in someone's office.

    Source: World Executive Digest
     
  8. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Tips from The Top

    Imitate the top performers in every field. They'll teach you how to be a success in your field.

    Entertainer Dick Cavett had a little trick when he was starting out to show business. Just before he was about to go onstage, he'd look in a mirror and pretend he was Bob Hope. He'd imitate Hope's air of confidence, the way he carried himself, so that some of that self-assurance would rub off on him.

    It's not a bad idea. One of the best ways to succeed in any field is to imitate the top performers, the ones, who really stand out.

    You can do that in your field. Pick out people who are really good and try to imitate them. It could be somebody from your own company or someone from another firm. It doesn't even have to be a person who does the same job as you. When people call you on the phone, for instance, and you like the way they handle themselves, try to imitate them on your next phone call.

    You can imitate different attributes of different people. The cheerfulness of our local auto mechanic, for example, or the way your favorite waitress always remembers your name, or the patience of the repairman who comes to fix your office copying machine.

    When someone impresses you, ask yourself why. Was it their smile? Their efficiency? How did they do it? Can you follow their example? What can you learn from them?

    Once you develop the habit of looking for top performers, you'll see them in every field. And you'll have a ready-made pattern for success.
     
  9. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    15 Minutes To Greater Productivity

    Time management and productivity often go hand-in-hand. Use the STOP method to make sure you are making the most of your time.

    See clearly you problems and objectives. Identify what you must do to solve problems or meet goals as quickly as possible.

    Target the causes of problems and the reasons behind what you are doing. Analyze your current action to determine whether it will effectively accomplish what it should.

    Organize options. Are there faster but equally effective alternate methods to those you are currently using? Learn new methods that will save time in the long run.

    Plan your work and proceed. Initiate the most efficient action plan to get the result you want.
     
  10. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    One More Time: Get A Life
    Break Those Old Habits


    Does your weekend usually include a few hours at the office? Do you pick up dinner at the nearby restaurant or fast-food chain? Is your significant other your laptop computer? If so, you suffer from a common complaint among executives: the lack of life.

    Here are the warning signs:

    • Lack of clarity and focus. You work hard, but does the work matter to you?
    • Unclear time boundaries. If you frequently look up from your desk surprised to find that you're late for a personal occasion, your workload is making decisions about your life rather than you.
    • Unclear boundaries in your thought life. Does your off-hours conversation revolve around your job?
    • Lack of fulfilling relationships. Does your family complain that about the time you spend working?
    • Weakened spiritual life. You may have forgotten that work should be an element of the transcendence in your life, not a barrier.

    Source: Training and Development magazine.
     
  11. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Workaholics Anonymous

    There are telltale signs of workaholism:

    • It's dark when you leave for work - and for home - even in summer.
    • No matter how hard you work, it never seems enough.
    • You have no fun, but have fantasies of escaping.
    • You don't know what's happening in the lives of your loved ones.
    • You're plagued by aches and pains.
    • You forget things you've known for years.
    • You can't get into the car without turning on the radio or getting on the phone.
    • You buy exercise equipment or enroll in a health club - without using them.
     
  12. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    Endurance Skills
    Not-so-trivial NWTS


    Your attitude, dress, work habits, and general behavior affect your career. These nonwork trivialities, or NWTs, are just as important as job performance.

    Take a good hard look at yourself. Do you treat everyone as an equal? Do you avoid making value judgments or jokes about individuals or groups because they're different from you? Do you think before you speak?

    Do you treat your company's money as you would your own? Do you accept responsibility for your own actions?

    Make a list of as many NWTs as you think of, including the above, and rate yourself. Think you need improvement? Model your behavior after a fast tracker in your company.
     

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