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.

 

Invite Opportunity into Your Life

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Every day there’s opportunity surrounding us, especially in the summertime; plants blooming, and everything is coming into its fullness… New life is everywhere.
This is a powerful time to tune into the Universe’s abundance and invite it into our life.

Whether it is an improvement in our professional life that brings in more wealth or a new or renewed relationship that fills our life with bliss; there’s no downside to opening ourselves up to what life has in store.

 

Here are four ways to open our doors to opportunity into our lives:

1. Cultivate an abundance mindset

For many of us, having enough never feels like enough because we live with a scarcity mindset. When we live our lives in constant worry that the well is about to run dry, we tend to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, and even if that never happens, we produce a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

We need to be able to start each morning with a state of mind that cultivates abundance; reassure ourselves in the great things we already have, and be sure that more and better things are on their way.

 

2. Clear our minds and our schedule

We live in a culture that glorifies busy and productive and leaves little room for quiet exploration of self. But those moments of solitude are exactly what you need; if you are hyper-focused on staying busy, opportunities will pass you by. You need breathing room to explore what you really want, and clearing your mind and opening your schedule will allow you to make room for the opportunity you most desire into your life.

 

3. Practice Gratitude

We need to thank people for sharing their time, their expertise and their experience with us, whether with a handwritten note or an email. Let’s thank people who have influenced our growth; people who have shown up for us during hard times in our life. The act of writing down our gratitude and literally sending it out into the world will help invite opportunity our way.

It also reminds us to live in a state of gratitude and abundance. Showing our appreciation and interest in others will bring both giver and receiver a tremendous boost in happiness.

 

4. Get curious

Why do we stop being curious about our world and ourselves? Remember your childhood and how much the world opened up because of it?
Opportunity loves growth, so if we’re doing different things, thinking differently and pursuing a wide variety of new goals regularly, chances are the world would be opening its doors to us.

 

Let’s allow ourselves to be curious, pursue our real interests, and lean into learning more about ourselves.

Our job as human beings is to grow and share; and in doing so, we will attract opportunity into our lives.

 

 

Stay strong!

 

 

 

 

Put Your Procrastination under the Magnifying Glass

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We all had fallen into the bottomless pit of procrastination; I know I had, more than once… and I’d bet that you had too.

When it happens, we tend to think of it as just one unique way to avoid something; but if we were to get a magnifying glass and look closely, we would see that there are actually different reasons why we tend to get into procrastination mode.

Before we can work on getting rid of or circumventing our delaying habits, we need to understand where they’re coming from.

Let’s look through that glass and see the main reasons we fall into procrastination, and also some simple ways to overcome them:

1.    Feeling Overwhelmed

There are times when you’re faced with the complexity of a task at hand, and you think “there is no way I can get this done by x time… let’s channel-surf for a while instead”…
Surely you’re familiar with this kind of Overwhelm-procrastination, which is the urge to avoid tasks that are just too big that you don’t know how to tackle them; you don’t find a way into it, so you put it off for as long as you possibly can, and find all kinds of excuses.

One easy way to overcome this feeling is to break big goals into small, concrete steps (often called “chunks”) you can work on right away.

2.   Fear

There are times when we avoid taking action just because taking that next step requires us to push ourselves into the unknown territory of “the Next Level”. Setting a higher year income, getting into a new market, writing your new chapter, or submitting the book to a publisher… we put these things off because they are Uncertainty incarnated… The Unknown, and we tend to assume the worst.

In this kind of situation, we go into survival mode; something that must have been helpful to the average caveman back in prehistoric times, but it is not for our own state of mind or achievement.

In this case, the best remedy against fear is faith, trust, confidence, and resolution. There is nothing to worry about, what doesn’t go well becomes a learning experience.
Again, tiny first steps are the best way to start; remember: you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take one step at the time.

3.   Lack of Incentive

We, humans, are wired to instinctively seek comfort. In order to motivate us out of the couch, we need a clear benefit –that or a big mean dog chasing our butts into discomfort. In other words, if we don’t think going to the gym is bringing us a tangible value, we won’t do it… why change things when we’re so comfy, right?

If we want to get results when there is no sense of urgency, we have to be able to visualize the potential pain that inaction will bring to us. Pain is a bigger motivator than pleasure, but we also have to envision the rewards of actually taking action.

This way, we have the stick and the carrot that will make us move and keep us moving.

Let’s say you want to lose some weight; it’s much easier to stay watching television and eating ice-cream than it is to face the reality that, if we keep this behavior, in a year or less we might look like the giant rock ball that chased Indiana Jones at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

That image alone might be enough to get you to the gym.

Next time you’re faced with a project you just can’t seem to tackle, no matter how many times you write on your planner or put it on your to-do list; you need to figure out exactly why you’re avoiding it.

You need to see things clear first in order to lean the ladder against the right wall.

That way, every step we climb is getting closer to the right place.

When you get there, you will feel really, really good.

Stay strong!

Turn Your Obstacles into Opportunities

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Every person has obstacles in their life. How they overcome them determines their success.

Some people see obstacles as a puzzle to solve. Others see obstacles as threats. Still, others see obstacles as meaning they cannot succeed. Your view of barriers to achieving your goals affects how you react.

When you see obstacles as an opportunity to grow, you change your destiny and the quality of your life forever.

 

Think about these following tips we’re presenting to you… which ones do you already do well, and which ones could you add to your style of overcoming obstacles?

 

See your obstacles as just detours along the way

Never stop believing in yourself and in the achievability of your goals. Surely you already heard the motto “obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off your goals”. Don’t let giving up be a part of your culture, do something worthwhile.

Once your eyes are set on your target, don’t get sidetracked by minor obstacles; no matter how hard it gets, stick to your plan.

 

Hope alone will never get you there

There will always be complications as you move towards your goals, and wishing them away won’t work.

When you create specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based goals (also known as SMART), in a way, you’re ensuring success. Measure and celebrate your progress and accomplishments to motivate and propel you forward at a faster pace.

Always set those standards and see how much easier it will be to keep moving ahead in spite of obstacles.

 

Focus on what you can do

There will always be things out of your control. Instead of wasting time and effort thinking about the things we cannot do, focus on what you can do. Use the obstacle as a means to become better or think of creative ways to overcome it.

When you hit a wall, don’t just stand there and wonder why you hit the wall; find a way to climb, go around it, or breach through it to get to the other side.

 

Control your response to events

We can’t control the events and circumstances of life, but we can control how we react to them, our response.

If you want to prevail despite the odds, choose attitude. Develop an unshakable belief in yourself and your capabilities; have the confidence to be the exception, the one who overcomes all obstacles, someone who’s willing to bet on yourself.

 

All in all, obstacles are inevitable.

All successful people have faced and overcome their own obstacles.

Find conviction in your goals, create a smart plan, come up with creative solutions and get into the right mindset… you do all that, and you’ll have the power and the determination to succeed.

 

Stay strong!

Harnessing the Overlooked Power of Faith

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“There is no problem in any situation that faith will not solve.”

What if we believe there is a beneficent order to things? A force that’s holding things together without our conscious control?

What if we could get to see that force at work in our daily lives?
And what if we could believe this force to be loving, caring and protective in essence?

 

The Universe is an array of mechanisms with a brilliance of design and efficiency our human efforts haven’t got even close to grasping… Planets revolve around stars, seeds become flowers, and embryos become babies, all without any help from us; we don’t have to make them work, they just do.

Nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease . . . with carefreeness, harmony, and love. And if we could harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.

Their flow is built into a natural system, and you and I are an integral part of that system.

 

What if we could let our lives be directed by the same force that makes flowers grow, instead of forcing our will into it?
What if we could rely more on Faith?

But what is Faith? Is it to place our trust into something based on things we hope for?
I believe that’s a poor, traditional, and weak definition of it

Faith is trust in the force that moves the Universe. Faith isn’t blind, it is visionary; it is believing that the Universe is on our side and that the Universe knows what it’s doing.

Faith is a psychological awareness of an unfolding force for good, constantly at work in the world around us.

 

When we attempt to direct or manipulate this force, we only interfere with is; but when we trust and relax into it, we allow it to work on our behalf.

When we don’t use our Faith, we’re frantically trying to control what it is not our business to control and to control what it’s not in our power to fix. I mean we can, but only from our limited and biased point of view, which most of the time is far from what’s really best for us, and ends up being a waste of our time.

We truly find our power not in actively pursuing a goal, but in finding the path of less resistance; allowing our goal to come naturally to us.

 

Every given moment is as it’s supposed to be.
When we accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they happen, we take responsibility for those situations and events, and stop seeing them as problems and start seeing them as learning and growth opportunities, and that allows us to take those moments and transform them into a great benefit.

That’s the way we get in harmony with the flow of the Universe.

 

 

Stay strong!

Keep Your Cool and Find Your Way to Success

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The ability to remain calm under pressure is an almost certain way to create success.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance.

Research made with more than a million people found that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.

Prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control. The tricky thing about stress though (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress.

As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless; it is the intermittent stressful events that keep the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,

Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.

 

This is what they do that most people don’t:

They appreciate what they have.

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces drastically the stress levels in the body.

 

They avoid asking “What if?” negatively

Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control.

 

They stay positive.

Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. The key is selecting something positive to think about.

 

They disconnect.

When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control.

 

They squash negative self-talk.

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts.

 

They reframe their perspective.

You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective.

 

They breathe.

The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do every day anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back.

 

They use their support system.

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it.

 

 

So, what can YOU do to enter your calm state?

See you next week. Stay strong!

 

 

 

 

(source: Travis Bradberry)

A Better World through Compassionate Leadership

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There is an ancient tradition that describes three styles of compassionate leadership: The Trailblazer, who leads from the front, taking risks and setting an example; there is also The Ferryman, who accompanies those in his care and shapes the ups and downs of the crossing; and finally, there is The Shepherd, who sees every one of his flock into safety –or success, before himself.

These are three different styles and approaches, but they have an all-encompassing concern for the wellbeing of those they lead in common.

Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on the world in general.

No matter how much time we have to live, we should work to leave the world a better place.
But, what does that better world look like?

I believe a better world is one where people are happier. We all want to be happy; our desire for happiness is something we all share.

Today though, the world seems to be facing an emotional crisis, when the stress, anxiety, and depression rates are higher than ever.
The gap between rich and poor, and between CEOs and employees is at a historic high; and the ever-present focus on turning a profit often overrules our commitment to people, the environment, and our society.
We work closely together every day, but in spite of it, many feel lonely and stressed… there is a lack of responsibility toward each other, and we tend to forget that we, as humans, are physically, mentally, and emotionally the same.

We need to ask ourselves what’s going wrong.

Perhaps our strong focus on material development and wealth accumulation had led us to deny our basic human need for connection and contribution.

Reconnect with the oneness of humanity and altruism is fundamental for societies and organizations, as well as their individuals in order to thrive in the long run.

And we all have a responsibility to make this happen.

So, what can leaders do?

Practice mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion

Cultivate your own peace of mind. Destructive emotions like anger and attachment cloud our ability to use our intellect clearly, so we need to tackle them.

Fear and anxiety give way to anger and violence. The opposite of fear is trust; which, mixed with warmheartedness, can boost our self-confidence, and compassion –a concern for other’s well-being– also reduces fear.

All this, not money and power, is what really attracts success.
When our mind is focused on compassion, it is calm, and when we do, we’re able to use our sense of reason practically, realistically, and with determination.

Peace of mind also means being undisturbed, free from concern. It’s all about our mental attitude and having a calm mind, and it is within us, it requires that we develop a warm heart and use our emotional intelligence.

Remember, the source of happiness lies within.

Stay strong.

What’s Your Identity?

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We all humans have an identity; a set of beliefs that we establish through time and define who we are, what we’re not, what we would or wouldn’t do.

This identity is really important because one of the strongest forces in the human personality is the need to stay consistent with the way we define ourselves, we can’t go against that; is engrained deep within our psyche. Beliefs set the guidelines for all our behaviors.

Let’s say your everyday life is a thermostat at 72 degrees. That’s a fair representation of you, enjoying your comfort zone –but let’s be clear on that, that’s just where you’re comfortable, NOT at your best. That 72° is where you are content physically, financially, intimately with your partner, connected to your spiritual life, friends, family, etc.

If things begin to cool down if you drop to a 65 or 60, things are going to change from that convenience to discomfort to intolerance; your whole self is going to start screaming in complaint, for sure. This is your baseline that says “Hey, I won’t take less than this!” and gets you moving to get things back to how they were; to what you believe you deserve.

Have you ever gone through something like this?

Sure you have….

When things got that bad with your health, your body, your relationship, your career or finances, you hit a threshold and start doing whatever it takes to get it back up.

Of course, there is a flip side of this coin; if you start doing better than you, for whatever reason, believe you deserve –you start making more money, have deeper relationships, get in the best shape of your life, etc.; you’re going to start sabotaging you and get you down again.

 

In order to avoid this, you don’t need to change your identity, you just have to expand it.

When the chance presents itself for you to grow, you must be able to say “I get this”. Get into the habit of looking forward to doing the things you never believed you could do; keep growing that muscle.

 

What can you do to challenge and redefine yourself? What would you like to become?

DECIDE and get on with it today.

Stay strong!