Use Fear to Fuel Your Success

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Do one thing every day that scares you.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear is a common denominator in our lives. It is a current of thought energy that, if allowed, can keep us imprisoned in a useless place of comfort and predictability.

Using fear as a point of reference, we could say there are two types of people:

Type One are those who are controlled and consumed by their fears.

Type Two are those who choose to embrace them, make friends with them and harness their energy to fuel their dreams.

 

The difference between them is that Type One will surely live an incomplete life of guilt and unhappiness, while Type Two will most likely come out the other side stronger, smarter, wiser and on their way to success.

We all experience fear. It can paralyze us or bring the best out of us, and we’re not talking about danger here; the danger is very real, while fear is only the product of our interpretation of a certain event in our lives.

It is said that the word FEAR stands for Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real (it’s also said that it stands for F*** Everything And Run, but let’s stick to the first one); whatever you may call it, you can use it to remember what’s important to us, and fuel your success.

For the following 3 articles, we’ll be covering three practical ways to look at fear:

  1. Fear is excitement in disguise
  2. It shouldn’t paralyze you but energize you
  3. It is a great motivator for personal growth

 

Quoting Eleanor Roosevelt again, you gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this. I can take the next thing that comes along…

 

Looking forward to our next delivery.
In the meantime, stay strong!

 

Behind every problem lies the Gift of Growth

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Problems are gifts; it just happens we’re not always able to see beyond its wrapping.

Problems are an inevitable part of life. They always come and go, only sometimes, they tend to come back the same, time after time.

Those are the problems that don’t seem to go away, they stick around longer than usual, and our customary problem-solving methods don’t seem to apply to them; they keep coming back in various different ways, but all the same in essence. And the longer you take in addressing them, the more intensity they display.

This is the Universe (you may call it God, Karma, you name it) have to teach us life lessons in order for us to grow and expand.

 

We all tend to look at problems as something from the outside world, over which we have little or no control; when in reality, all it would take to resolve would be a little –or sometimes, big- shift in our thinking and behavior.

Inside each of them, there is a lesson we haven’t learned yet, and they will keep appearing until we do.

 

The approach to these type of recurring problems is never to keep blaming external circumstances; instead, you should look at yourself in the mirror and ask why you keep making poor decisions and still keep expecting different results.

You can look at your problems as immutable outside circumstances, or as obstacles that are there for you to overcome and learn from.

 

If you choose to look at them as learning opportunities, this is how you can tackle them:

  1. Look at the bigger picture.

Ask yourself why you do the things you do. Do you see any patterns there? If you can identify and then interrupt the patterns that don’t serve you, you will get better results.

  1. You gotta change something.

You know how the saying goes; if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. You got to make a change. Decide what two-degree shift you are willing to commit to in order to turn your sailboat and change your destination –and your outcome, once and for all.

 

How you look at your problems will influence how you deal with them directly.
If you are able to see the gift of growth inside each obstacle and search for the solution within yourself, you can use them to propel your life forward.

 

Always remember, life is happening for you, not to you.

Stay strong!

Make your Team a Happy Team – Part 3

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It is a proven fact, happy employees add more to your business and increase your profitability.

They are way more productive, less likely to change jobs, take less sick leave, and have more energy which they are willing to invest in your business.
They will also have a higher achievement rate than their unhappy counterparts.

But there is a big difference between happiness and engagement factors, and the key to a happy team lays in knowing how to combine both in balance.

 

These are a few suggestions you can try to help achieve this balance, plus a higher level of profitability.

 

  1. Team engagement starts with your commitment

Take the time to get to know your team members as individuals.

Getting to know them will tell you how to motivate them. It’s the details what will show them you care about them as people, not just workers –only, in order to do so, you will genuinely have to care.

 

  1. Give them the tools and training for their personal growth

They will know that you’re invested in them if you take the time to develop their skills, challenge them to learn more, do more and accomplish more; give them the ability to move forward within the company.

 

  1. Listen to your team members

Every member of your team is motivated differently, so review them often so you can learn how to find what is the perfect combination of programs and resources for that person.
Once you get their feedback, act on it.

 

  1. Boost teamwork through team-building activities

Your relationship with your team members is important, but so is the close relationship between teammates.
When you encourage this kind of friendship through team-based projects, and team-building activities, this creates a sense of responsibility and accountability within the team –they don’t want to let their mates down.

 

  1. Use rewards and incentives

These are huge motivators for most workers, also non-cash related awards, and inside-the-team recognition programs are excellent tools for engagement.

 

An engaged workforce is a happy, productive workforce, and that is always good for your business.

Work towards developing your team members as individuals, help them become their best versions of themselves, and you will be well on your way to happy and engaged teams.

 

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this Team Happiness series of articles, and that you were able to implement them into your business strategies.

 

See you next week.
Stay strong!

Make your team a Happy Team – Part 2

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The key to create and maintain a happy team is to take charge as a business owner, design a company culture that leads to members’ contentment.

Here are some practical strategies to start with: Mainly, you need to understand your team’s personality

You got to know each one of them in order to know what would make them happy; you need to understand their workplace personality profile so you place them in the right position according to their skills and disposition.

For this, you need to create a hiring, training, and promotion protocol that assesses their DISC profile.

Now let’s take a closer look at this DISC thing:

D stands for Dominance

Those people who operate best when allowed to be direct, results-oriented, decisive and competitive, are often skilled negotiators, problem-solvers, managers and leaders.

 

I for Influence

Those charming, enthusiastic, optimistic, persuasive and inspiring, are usually the influencers; those capable of working collaboratively with a wide variety of teams.

S for Steadiness

People who consistently exhibit understanding, team-minded, patient, stable, and sincere capabilities are often dependable for managing or collaborating with others.

Finally, C for Conscientious

These are the people who are known for being analytical, diplomatic, precise, compliant and objective; those valued as work-horses in business because of their ability to remain objective to the goal in spite of the direst of circumstances.

For our next blog, we’ll finish this triad understanding your own business identity.

Until then, stay strong!

Make your team a Happy Team – Part 1

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Not everyone knows where to start when it comes to team happiness. Many managers –whether in sports, business, or any other category, mistakenly think that providing incentives (paid vacations, bonuses, or foosball tables) will make their people happy.

In part, those tangible benefits contribute to retaining a workforce, but to achieve real happiness and fulfillment, you’d need something more.

As a starting point, you must ensure that your organization core values are aligned to produce a commitment for excellence besides contentment.

We all know this: a happy team creates a happy business, scores, and achievements in general.  But what does “happy” mean in this context?

Basically, it is about the need every human being has to be significant. It also has to do with contribution, and finally, with growth. We all need to know that what we are, and what we do, matters; and that it helps make a difference in the world. That’s the way we grow, and become better.

 

In all this, the team or company culture plays a pivotal role.

Research indicates that not only money makes team players happy; it takes something far less tangible: trust.
Trust in a team makes each member more productive, excited and innovative in whatever it is their task at hand.
Brain physiology studies demonstrated that oxytocin enables trust, connection, and generosity, which in turn allows contentment.
There is a flip side of this coin, high levels of stress (the opposite of happiness) inhibits the oxytocin, decreasing team bonding and positive interaction.

If you intend to take your team to a higher level, take every measure possible to reduce stress so that team members can get their jobs done efficiently and without burning out.

All in all, the best strategies to ensure team happiness and performance are leader recognition, peer recognition, achievable workloads and assignments, clear leadership, and deliberate relationship-building.

 

 

Next week we’ll talk about team members’ personalities and how to leverage this in favor of the team.

Until then, stay strong!

 

 

 

 

 

One of the core values we have as a company is to inspire and empower people in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, if you want to read about our Custom Software Solutions and Consulting Services, please visit www.isucorp.ca

The All-Proof Formula for Happiness

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No matter how small, habits matter.
Our habits create our identity, both in a negative and positive way. That’s why building a system of habits that are in line with the person we want to become, is more effective than setting goals that may lead to a big transformation.
Like a guiding compass, it is the effects of these habits that, in time, can point us in the right direction and help us change and grow.

 

  1. Three Walks

Research has proven that people who are physically more active are also happier in their day to day life. Exercise provides people with a greater feeling of enthusiasm.  It doesn’t take much: half an hour of brisk walking at least three times a week improves happiness.

  1. The 20-Minute Replay

Studies have found that re-playing positive experiences can improve people’s lives and happiness.  Writing for twenty minutes about a positive experience dramatically improves happiness. Why? Because you actually re-live the experience as you are writing it and then re-live it every time you read it.  It helps us remember things we like about ourselves, people and our lives.

  1. Random Acts of Kindness

Psychology studies have proven that people who are kind to other people tend to be happier than people who are usually not. It’s been found that kindness produces the most reliable well-being in any person who practices kindness.  Carrying out random acts of kindness every week will dramatically improve your happiness.

  1. A Complete Unplug

The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage and seek renewal.  Downtime after work helps people recharge. Turn off your phone after dinner, try to avoid as much as possible thinking about work issues while relaxing at home, don’t use the Internet while on vacations, etc.

  1. Hit flow

When you get absorbed in what you are doing you are being challenged and demonstrating your skill – you are in your flow. People who find challenge and satisfaction of accomplishment tend to be happier.

  1. 2-Minute Meditations

Brain scans (as part of Hospital Research), have shown that people who meditate show increase brain activity associated with compassion and self-awareness while stress levels shrink. Studies report that meditation can “permanently rewire” your brain to raise levels of happiness.

  1. Five Gratitudes

Make it a habit to write down five things you are grateful for from the past week.  As Charles Dickens wrote:  “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not your past misfortunes, of which all men have some”

 

Stay strong!

Create a Roadmap for Your Happiness

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“Whenever you are happy with something in your life, it is because right now, the conditions of your life match your blueprint –your belief about how life should be in that particular area.”

Tony Robbins

 

The world we live in today had created such a culture that we’re taught that we’re not good enough unless we do something really special and unique with our lives.

The thing is, the definition of “special” is totally distorted. We worship celebrities just for impersonating really important people such as doctors, school teachers, stay-at-home parents, law enforcement officers, firefighters, our military, etc.; but we actually disregard or just ignore these everyday heroes in real life.

 

In today culture, we often found ourselves pushed to do what we believe is expected from us –go to school, get a job, find the right person, get married and have children; instead of following the inner pull of our passions. All those are good things, but not mandatory or exclusive by themselves.
When we follow the push of society instead of the pull of our heart, we cannot create meaningful happiness.

 

Consider for a moment the beliefs you have about what your life should be about. Those limiting beliefs are actually holding you back from reaching your full potential.

Could you let go of the idea of happiness you had in your mind, and instead, appreciate and be grateful for what you already have?

Goals and dreams are important for each of us, but it’s dangerous to tie our happiness to the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ we impose onto ourselves. We can’t fit our enjoyment into a rigid mold.

We are the designers of our lives. We create our own happiness.

 

The equation of happiness

Think about it, whenever you’re happy with something, it is because, at that time, the conditions of your life are equal to the conditions you’ve set for happiness; that is, your beliefs about how life MUST BE in that particular area.
Conversely, when our lives don’t match our expectations, then pain comes, and we interpret that pain as a failure; and that, we’re trying to avoid at all costs because we’re afraid of suffering.

The thing is, pain can be a powerful force for good in our lives. We can take it and use it as an opportunity to grow, and come out stronger.

 

Let go of the past and what you believe it should be happening, and move on. Regain control of your own happiness.

Knowing that you can create your happiness by letting go of your current mental structure is the ultimate freedom and the only path to true joy.

When we let go and follow our pull of passion, we give room to happiness; we realize that life is not happening to us, it is happening FOR US. When we reach this realization, we can achieve the mindset shift that will allow us to create true happiness.

 

 

Remember, no matter what happens in life, you’re always more than that moment and more than the story you’ve created for yourself.

So, ready to throw out your expectations and create your happiness?

Stay strong!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Our Gratitude What Makes Us Stronger

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“By choosing thankfulness for what we have, we become stronger, not weaker.”

Gratitude isn’t a cure for negative emotions, nor is it their replacement; let’s get this clear from the start.
Honesty about our feelings must be paramount if we were to allow gratitude to emerge amid our circumstances and emotions.

Thankfulness boils down to set our mind on all the positive things that exist in our lives in any given moment instead of worrying about what we don’t have.

Instead of depending on externals to make us happy, we have to accept that lasting happiness comes from within.

Any of this means we should let our personal and professional life wither and die; on the contrary, while we strive for growth, we must practice gratitude for the abundance we already have.

This type of mindset will set us free from constantly feeling discontent or restless for more and that feeling that we never get to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

The more we practice this, the easier we may shift our state and mood towards the positive, eventually becoming masters of our emotional state.

Why is gratitude so important?

When we embrace mental abundance, we’re able to experience its benefits and the stillness it brings.

We know this for a fact: the state of our brain in gratitude is much like its state in love.

When we’re in that state, our brain’s neural circuitry releases large amounts of dopamine and serotonin, the James Brown neurochemical cocktail that makes us feel good, fostering optimism, camaraderie, willpower and positive emotions.

The more we practice it, the more we activate the neurocircuitry responsible for this gratitude response; the circuits then become stronger and, with time, the resulting positive feelings become more stable fixtures in our outlook.

Other benefits of gratitude include:

. Social benefits: it opens the door to more relationships while expanding our capacity for empathy

. Physical health: it leads to better self-care, sleep, and overall health

. Psychological health: practicing gratitude helps us manage negative feelings while increasing mental strength.

Take a moment today to practice gratitude, build that muscle so it becomes more reflexive, and buy yourself a moment in time where you’ll be connected with your life and all its abundance.

Stay strong!

Stay on Top of Your Game

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A life of success and fulfillment doesn’t happen overnight, it builds on our everyday actions and decisions. In the long run, success comes down to grit, a strong start, organization, and consistency.

The following are 9 tips you may want to consider in order to stay ahead and develop yourself into the leading force of your own success.

1. Get things started now

Starting strong helps you coast to the finish line with less stress than starting slow and agonizing over whether you will make your numbers or meet your goals.

2. Holidays can wait

Always put responsibilities first. Stop putting off what needs to get done. Procrastination only robs you of the time you desire for leisure activities. Remember why you chose your career and what’s required to stand out amongst the best.

3. Perfection is not the name of the game

Business is not designed to be clear, easy or perfect. If you have been giving it all you’ve got, whatever mistakes you make are necessary and perfectly fine as learning experiences. The more mistakes you make, the more you grow, the more you develop your knowledge and expertise.

4. Make time for fun

If your life is all work and no play, you will not have the necessary space from your career to actually enjoy it. You need personal time to gain perspective on the benefits of what you do each day and to stay connected to the reasons that drive you to achieve. Enjoy the ride.

5. Work is not an end

Work isn’t where the fun ends, it’s where all of your new, important adventures begin. There is so much ahead of you that will expand your life. Each step along the way opens new doors of opportunity, which enrich your life in immeasurable ways.

6. Get into the game

If your life is boring, you’re doing something wrong. Always seek ways to get involved — join groups, build networks, go to the gym, or attend church. Network within your own industry by attending as many in-person events/dinners as possible.

7. Say yes

Each day brings a new opportunity. Say yes to new things that take you outside your comfort zone. Say yes to your personal growth by choosing to do the exact things you fear. Train yourself to risk, and to risk again.

8. Be realistic

You cannot be successful if you consistently feel you’re not measuring up because you don’t have enough time or the skills developed to be who you want to be. You will burnout under this pressure. Learn to succeed one imperfect step at a time.

9. Take care of yourself

You must be physically, emotionally and mentally sound to have the energy and brainpower necessary to be as successful as you desire to be; eat clean, get enough sleep, drink water, exercise and take a day off here and there just to relax. You cannot succeed at the expense of your own health.

Take a look at your day now, and see how you can improve it by putting these tips into practice; work on them for a while, and then come back here and tell us about your experience… I bet you’ll have great things to share!

Stay strong!

One of the core values we have as a company is to inspire and empower people in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, if you want to read about our Custom Software Solutions and Consulting Services, please visit www.isucorp.ca

7 Steps Towards a Positive Mindset

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We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking; so much so that it has almost become a little cliché.

However, the physical and mental benefits of a positive mindset have been proved real and demonstrated by many scientific studies. It can give you confidence, mood improvement, and even reduce hypertension, depression, and other stress-related disorders.

 

It all sounds great, but what is it really about?

Positive imagery, self-talk, or general optimism perhaps, but these are all still ambiguous concepts.

If you really want to harness the power of positive thinking, you’ll need concrete examples like these 7 steps to help you through the process:

 

  1. Start your day with positive affirmations

How you start your mornings sets the tone for the rest of the day. Talk to yourself in the mirror, and say things like “today will be a great day”, or “I’m going to be awesome today”… as silly as it may sound, it works!

  1. Focus on the good things, no matter how small

There’s no such thing as a perfect day. Whenever you encounter a challenge, make an effort and focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem.

  1. Face the world with humor

Even in the face of the darkest situations, allow yourself to experience humor. Almost every situation will make for a good story later on, so why not start laughing at that now?

  1. Turn failures into learning opportunities

You are always going to make mistakes and go through a failure experience in multiple scenarios throughout your life. Instead of focusing on those experiences as failures, think about all the things you’re learning from them.

  1. Transform your self-criticism into an Inner Coach

We all tend to turn our inner voice into a relentless critic who barely skins us alive. Whenever you find yourself doing that, change the criticism into positive advice based on your current experience; it will be a game-changer.

  1. Be here and now

It means the present moment, not this day, or this hour. Evaluate whatever is happening on a present time basis; don’t assume anything about the future, don’t add the weight of the past experiences. Focus only on this one individual moment and you’ll find in most cases it’s not as bad as you thought it would be.

  1. Surround yourself with positive, nurturing people

When you’re surrounded by positive people, you get positive feedback, ideas, alternatives, and solutions. These type of input will sink in and affect your own line of thinking.

Finding such a positive kind of people can be hard, but it’s necessary in order to eliminate the negativity in your life before it consumes you.

 

Always look for ways to contribute with positivism to others, and let their positivity affect you the same way.

Apply these lessons to your life and increase your positive attitude; it will offer compounding returns, and the more often you practice it, the greater the benefits you will harvest.