6 Classic Lessons: From the writer of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

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From: Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits has a way of seeping you in, with several life lessons touching on almost every aspect of life from marriage to parenting to leadership.

1. Putting First Things First

“Easy leadership is putting first things first”.

In order to be a great leader, one has to prioritize the most important things before others, and has to distinguish the most critical from the insignificant and place the critical first.

First in order, then first in priority and first in rank. If the critical is placed first, and given the critical focus and attention, there is certainly effectiveness in leadership with soar.

2. Begin With The End In Mind

It is important in everything that we do, we ask ourselves what we are trying to accomplish. It is more adept at answering this question for the short and medium term goals. You will realize, you can get better at beginning with the end in mind for longer term goals but you my still have to put in more effort to get there.

3. Think Of Win-Win Situations

“This is a frame of the heart and mind that always seeks mutual benefit in all interactions of humans”

According to Covey, Win-Win means agreements are mutually satisfying and beneficial. He says that the way people think in terms of dichotomies; win or lose, hardball or softball, strong or weak is fundamentally flawed.

4. Stick To Your Main End Goal

“The main goal is to keep the main goal the main goal”

It is important that you never lose sight of the big picture and always be determined by keeping the main thing the main thing.

Failure is hugely contributed to by losing focus. Even though you have a good start, it is essential that you avoid all sorts of distractions and attractions you may experience in life that may sidetrack you. Be focused on the main thing, and keep it the main thing!

5. Your Character Is Critical

Stephen Covey teaches us that our character is a composite of our habits, and therefore, we should know that character is very critical. Watch your habits because they determine your character and it is your character that defines your life. It is difficult to rise higher than your character’s fortitude. Your character forms the foundation for your life and for you to change your life, you have to change your character.

6. Be Good At Listening

Lastly, we first need to understand, to be understood. Listen to what other people have to say and try to understand them. Equally, they will grant you the same courtesy and respect your opinions just as you have shown them. Stephen writes,

“We have a tendency to rush things, and fix them up with good advice”

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Narrow Your Focus When your sales is getting down..?

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How to increase sales when the economy is down..? Its a very frequently asked question!!!!

Recently when I went through the business line, I read an article that discuss about some real factors that can bring your sales up even when the industry is down… The answer is simple:-

“NARROW YOUR FOCUS…”

When the economy gets down then the companies become panic and the CEO and other managers only give more focus on sales, so they blindly focus on marketing rather than thinking and well planning to face the situations.

As the result of this panic scenario, they may reduce the price of products, they may increase the product line but what happens at the end of the day is that they also sink with the dawning economy.

So what should be the method to get up and rise..?

The method is called “Narrow your focus..”, which means “cut down the areas that cost high and have no results. ” Companies are like plants, over time, plants expand in every direction so a good gardener trims them from time to time. ” Companies should also take this with them, they should narrow your focus on things that can shine and provide better results.

So to alive in the economy you need to build a brand, of course local companies will exist when the market is up and they will no marks when the economy is down, so make a brand and trim your focus as many companies do in the real market.

For e.g. In the case of Apple, Apple has only one or two models and that replace the older one when they release new. And they are strong and made such a brand name that no any other companies even made with their ‘n’ number of items. But when we take Blackberry or Nokia, last year they introduced more than 15 models but what about their sales..? Nothing when compared to Apple. This is called the “narrowing  focus..” and the “brand name..”

So “Narrow Your Focus..” and keep going with a brand name…

 

What do we need..? A Transformation or a Change..?

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From: My Own 

Change: Scientifically it is “become different.. but for me it is ” a reversible process where nothing is permanent..“… it is like seasons, there is no permanent change, if there is spring then it will change to summer after a short duration, there everything is for a short time and change can be reversible too.

Transformation: Scientifically it is “a marked change in form, nature, or appearance..” but for me it is “An irreversible change from one stage to a better new stage…” Its like the transformation of caterpillar to beautiful butterfly, where there is no coming back.

Why do we need a transformation..?

The answer is very simple, we all are not living as like we live in our dreams also we miss the passion to live the way we really want. This is why we sometimes feel exhausted and frustrated, so we need a transformation from this level to something new and better level where we can enjoy the success and the failures too…

Is it possible to transform ourselves..?

Well, we don’t need to talk about theories of transformations, let’s take some real examples of people who transformed their life.

1. Judge Mathis

A real example for personal life transformation (Street gang to superior court judge)

Judge Greg Mathis was a member of the notorious Detroit street gang, the Errol Flynns. At age 17, he was incarcerated after being arrested several times. After his release, Mathis went to college where he became a campus activist; and he was later elected a superior court judge for Michigan’s 36th District.

2. Harland David Sanders (KFC)

A real example of business life transformation (Failure to Success)

Harland David Sanders, the famous KFC “Colonel,” couldn’t sell his chicken. More than 1,000 restaurants rejected him. But then one did, and today there are KFC restaurants bearing his image all over the world.

3. Richard Grasso

Richard Grasso © Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A real example for professional life transformation (floor clerk to Chairman of NYSE)

The New York Stock Exchange’s high-powered executive kicked off his career in 1968, when he was hired as a floor clerk in the exchange’s mailroom. At the time of his retirement, he was the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange

So all the above mentioned examples are proven that the transformation is possible in all the areas of our life. But would have happened if all the above examples were just a change..? Ohhh.. !!

How can we transform our life and achieve the three levels of success..?

Its true that we can divide out life into three levels, that can help us to focus exactly where we need the transformation. The following are the three levels:

  1. Personal: Here is your happiness lies
  2. Profession: Here is your growth lies
  3. Business: Here is your success lies

The process of transformation starts from a determination “I Want To Transform…”. Yes, if you want transform your life to the level that you dream always, you need to take it in your heart and you need to find out your passion; the ultimate thing that makes you feel happiness, success and everything.

I would say, set realistic targets in each of the three levels and be committed to it, you will feel that your life is transforming. Only a daily habit can make a transformation, so change your habit. 

Follow the things that mentioned below:-

1. Personal life: Make a new daily habit, nothing can transform you  until you  take a daily implementation. For example drink more water to reduce your weight, smile at people, read books to expand your knowledge, take things positively by saying positive things, keep commitments, try to say NO when it needed etc. These simple habits can change your personal life.

2. Professional Life: Keep professional commitments, prepare well, always give more than expected, grab the opportunity, squeeze your knowledge and aim to earn experience. Have a clean focus on these and do things that can take you to these areas.

3. Business Life: Always ensure that three people are with you; a visionary (may be you), a strategist and an executioner. Business life will be a success when you have these three people with you. To transform you business believe in the following:-

SAVE (S- Solution, A- Accessibility, V- Value and E- Educate)

Whatever be the business, it should address all the factors that mentioned above. SAVE is the key to transform your business life. 

So “transform your life and live as you live in your dream…”

For Entrepreneurs: 22 highly effective questions to ask yourself..?

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From: Web

1.      How committed am I?
2.      What’s my value proposition?
3.       Am I clearly communicating my value proposition?
4.      Is my product/service a real business?
5.      What differentiates my product from the competition?
6.      How much power do my customers have?
7.      How much power do my suppliers have?
8.      Does my business have a moat around it?
9.      What’s my appetite for risk?
10.   Am I outsourcing the right tasks?
11.  Who is my role model?
12.  Am I measuring the right things?
13.  Do I have the right people?
14.   Are incentives aligned with business goals?
15.  Do I have the right customers?
16.  Are my assumptions still reasonable?
17.  Do I have a good lawyer?
18.  Am I truly harnessing technology?
19.  Am I thinking big enough?
20.  Can the business function day-to-day without me?
21.   Am I avoiding the tough decisions?

22.  Am I burned out?

10 Things to Design Your Life and to Live In Your Passion

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“If you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it…”

Its true that many of the people are existing but not living their life but why? There is no life if you don’t have a passion.

Its proven that we are the designers of out life as great people said “You are the product of your thoughts..”. Here, in this article I just listing down some points that can change your life; it can help you to “design your life and live in your passion..”.

1- Let go of the stuff that pulls back you from achieving your dream, desire and life that you are dreaming

Today is the day, where I challenge YOU to look deep within yourself and ask yourself a hard question;

What or who, in your life, do you need to let go of in order to cleanse out anger, frustration, emotional pain, sorrow, fear, negative thoughts etc?

Yes, its true that we all carry many things that we don’t need actually but we are not realizing that such things are squeezing your energy, make you feel tired, will let you down always when you want to do something.

ERASE all those thoughts, stuffs, people from your mind and life and start a new life that you are dreaming. Life needs a cleansing to start a new day.

2-Forgive yourself: Stop regretting about the past and start dreaming for the future

Many people, sometimes including me also regret about the past things, one thing is sure that we cannot change the past; so always think “past is past and lost is lost..”.

Make a decision to forgive yourself and move on – shift your focus from what you did not do; to what you can do now and in the future.

3- Identify the stuff that makes you happy and spent time for that and set it as the high priority thing in your life

All are wandering unnecessarily to get happiness, peace and comfort. Be quite for sometime and think about each and every moment that made you happy and from that choose the best thing and set it as your catalyst for happiness.

For example:

Spending time with your loved ones

– Listen your favorite music

– Take a day out

– Enjoy the solitude

Give much of your time to nurture things that make you happy than wasting time for unnecessary things.

4-  Action oriented attitude= success

People take resolutions but most of them are not trying for that. Have a quick review on your past year targets and achievements, in most of the cases you might see no result. so,

You either take action towards your goals or you don´t – there´s no in between! There´s no trying.

Being action oriented also means that you stop over-thinking things (because that´s not action), you look at the situation, make a quick decision to do what´s best – and then go take care of it!

Don’t let anything stand in your way, be proud of who you are and the decisions you make!

5- Prioritize what really matters and let go of the rest:- make room for what you really want

You can design your life by choosing what you want in your life but for that you need to make room for that, which means you should prioritize things that matters.

Always do things that meet your happiness and passion; never give your time and energy for what you don’t like to do and follow. Say “NO” without any hesitation and move fast.

6-Find your power quote and get inspired by that

Finding a power or making your own quote will give the energy and inspiration for achieve things in your life.

I defined my own power quote and that gives me some kind of fuel when i think of it. hmm. my quote is the following:-

“Designing my life and living in my passion…”

Really the above quote is from my heart and I trust the words in that, especially the word passion. So find your own quote and try to achieve the real life.

7-Raise your standards and enjoy the quality of life

Its not a marketing theme or something like that; its purely means setting up of higher standards in your life.

For eg. there is a hidden fact ‘people always unconsciously notice your shoes while you coming, so wear nice shoes..‘ . In this it tells, raise your standards in the following areas of life:-

– Physical and grooming (buy one or two branded things, you will see that people notice you..)

– Communication and approach (talk with full clarity, good eye contact etc)

– Professional (always provide more than expected, speak abot something new in discussions etc)

– Social (raise your attachment and make others feel your presence)

8- Identify your passion and break the rules for achieve that (only if needed)

The only person who can define your limit is YOU. So now break the rules and boundaries that you set in you mind and explore the real life.

You don’t need to obey the rule that pulls back you from achieving your dreams and life. So Break It!!

9- You weren’t born to be perfect, you were born to be yourself

“Perfectionism is always end in frustration…”

Never be a perfectionist, if you are, you will never be comfortable and satisfied.

Accept who you are and believe that no one replace your seat. If you do things with your full capacity, that itself is enough to achieve you want in your life.

Follow the three rules:-

1. Acknowledge your flaws instead of trying to hide them -ultimately you’ll gain more respect

2. Acknowledge your flaws instead of trying to hide them  ultimately you’ll gain more respect

3. Start with what you have – don´t wait for things to be perfect

10- Trust your heart and do what you love

Finally do what you love..

You don’t need to convince anyone, do things that you love but ensure that others are not affected by you. Without passion you cannot do things at its fullest, you cannot love what you do. So find your passion and live with that.

If you are passionate in doing things that you love:

– you will never feel tired and boring

-you will create wonders

– there won’t be any excuses

“Design your life and live in your passion…”

101 Simple Resolution Ideas for 2014

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2014, one more great year to our life; never let it go like 2013; just make some changes, some improvements. It s high time to think about changing your habits, style and the way you look and the way you live. Take a Resolution for 2014 and have a focused effort on making a life that you wish.

  1. Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators to get daily exercise.
  2. Walk or ride your bike more often instead of driving.
  3. Schedule “me” time to turn off your cell phone, computer and other electronic devices.
  4. Don’t use your cell phone during work meetings, social events or dinner.
  5. Don’t text and drive (as a matter of fact, don’t use your phone at all while driving).
  6. Cook at home more often—you will learn new cooking skills and save money.
  7. Be more than punctual—try to be early to every meeting you attend.
  8. Make more personal phone calls instead of sending emails and texts.
  9. Write one handwritten letter a month to someone special.
  10. Do something out of your comfort zone.
  11. Bring more to the table at every meeting—speak up and voice your opinion.
  12. Be more willing to talk to others and learn something about strangers.
  13. Sign up for a dance or art class.
  14. Start running a little further each time you run.
  15. Enjoy the seclusion and solitude of eating a meal alone.
  16. Read one new book each month.
  17. Turn off the Internet and television and read a book before falling asleep.
  18. Make more eye contact during conversations.
  19. Use your credit cards for emergencies only by removing them from your purse or wallet. Only spend with whatever cash you bring with you.
  20. Refrain from gossiping and listening to gossip. You’ll be a more trustworthy person and will engage in more productive conversations.
  21. You know it’s the most important meal of the day, so why skip it? Give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning to prepare and eat a good breakfast, like organic cage-free eggs, oatmeal or a green smoothie.
  22. Participate in “Meatless Monday” by forgoing meat once a week. It’s budget-friendly and helps improve your health and the environment.
  23.  Make healthy swaps when you can. Substitute soy or almond milk for dairy and try using coconut or olive oil instead of butter and margarine.
  24. Choose organic when possible and spare your body the harmful pesticides.
  25. Try portion control when eating meals. Put leftovers in the refrigerator immediately to prevent eating a second helping.
  26. Use products that are eco-friendly and don’t contain harsh chemicals.
  27. Be more open and communicative with others. You’ll likely gain more respect and cooperation from them.
  28. Get more vitamin D by taking some time to spend outside. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  29. Stop late-night snacking: your body will take the calories and store them as fat.
  30. Floss your teeth more often.
  31. Try cutting fat from your diet. Fat is not a good energy source and causes major reductions in your physical endurance.
  32. Do more of what you enjoy doing.
  33. Spend a few hours a week enjoying time with your family. Don’t allow any external distractions.
  34. Start recycling by having a designated bin available and educate yourself about what items are recyclable.
  35. Grow a simple garden: start with herbs that are easy to grow and maintain.
  36. Don’t litter.
  37. Spend time once a quarter to de-clutter your home. Get rid of anything you don’t use or haven’t worn in a year.
  38. Learn something new every day.
  39. Start saving for a family vacation today.
  40. Invest in your retirement.
  41. Incorporate more vegetables in your meals.
  42. Substitute red meat for turkey, chicken or even pork.
  43. Buy fresh vegetables instead of canned, which often don’t have as many vitamins and minerals.
  44. Designate a family dinner night that everyone must attend.
  45. Walk your dog every evening after dinner.
  46. Keep in touch with loved ones – update address books, email addresses and phone numbers.
  47. Pick up a new hobby.
  48. Make a spa day once every few months – whether it’s pampering at home or booking at a salon.
  49. Help others by volunteering.
  50. Build a community garden.
  51. Donate furniture and clothes that you no longer use to those in need.
  52. Get organized.
  53. Do a safe walk of your house – replace smoke alarm batteries, check locks on windows and doors.
  54. Save energy this year – replace appliances and light bulbs.
  55. Use more of your kitchen appliances – pull out the slow-cooker, stand mixer, bread maker and juicer.
  56. Plan birthday and holiday gifts ahead of time to save with sales and deals.
  57. Pay off your credit cards.
  58. For everything negative you say, say two things that are positive.
  59. Eat more high quality dark chocolate – it’s loaded with antioxidants.
  60. Listen to more of your favorite type of music. Music boosts spirits and helps reduce depression.
  61. Boost your energy and health by adding fresh juices or green smoothies into your everyday diet.
  62. Revise comfort foods by adding a healthy twist.
  63. Invite more friends and families over for a monthly gathering.
  64. Buy local.
  65. Cut out processed, prepackaged foods.
  66. Eat food that is free from artificial colors, flavors, ingredients and preservatives.
  67. Have more fruit available throughout the day to refuel your energy.
  68. Schedule your day to be productive and plan to get the majority of important business completed in the morning when you’re alert and energized.
  69. Drink water or green tea instead of coffee to reduce caffeine intake and keep you hydrated.
  70. Get on a solid sleep schedule. Listen to your natural sleeping patterns and adjust accordingly. Aim for seven hours of sleep each night.
  71. Prepare ahead of time with travel snacks. Pack a variety of snacks from dried fruit, nuts, energy bars and fruit to help make healthy choices while on the go.
  72. Add more whole grains to your diet. Whole grains have been linked to the battles against heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
  73. Replace sugar with natural sweeteners like agave, honey and Stevia.
  74. Eat with the seasons. You’ll be eating fresh, high-quality ingredients that are packed with the nutrients your body needs.
  75. Bring your lunch from home more often. Whether you’re packing for yourself or for the entire family, creating money-saving lunches is a simple way to add variety to your lunch without breaking the bank.
  76. Cut down your sodium intake by using spices and herbs to flavor your dishes instead of salt.
  77. Use a designated date to complete the majority of your meal shopping and prepare any of your week’s meals in advance to help cut down on cooking time.
  78. Invest in a few kitchen utensils that save you time.
  79. Preserve seasonal fruits and vegetables by learning how to can them. Bulk up on produce that is in season and on sale.
  80. Take preventive measures to minimize the risk of getting sick by washing your hands frequently, eating more fruits and leafy greens, taking a multivitamin and staying active.
  81. Identify the things that make you stressed during the day and take action. Create a list of things that are in your control and take small steps to change them.
  82. Don’t let things out of your control overwhelm you. Realize there are certain obstacles to challenge us, but never defeat us.
  83. Improve your quality of life by getting more involved in your community and connecting with nature.
  84. Support local small businesses and keep your money where you live.
  85. Help reduce your carbon footprint: go car-less one day a week by staying at home, walking, taking public transportation or riding your bike.
  86. Eat five new foods this year. Have you tried kale, quinoa, coconut oil or almond butter yet?
  87. Loosely track your goals. Don’t be too specific on deadlines or set yourself up for failure.
  88. Keep a journal to jot down anything that comes to mind, like recipes, memories and ideas.
  89. Listen more in conversations.
  90. Learn others’ resolutions and help them achieve their goals.
  91. Give someone a compliment once a day, but really mean it.
  92. Rearrange your furniture every once in a while to create a new living space.
  93. Give your dishwasher and washing machine some love. Check for leaks, mold or clogged drains.
  94. Bring some of the items that make you happy at home to your workspace, like photos of family or small trinkets.
  95. Make your bed daily. This simple, three-minute chore is an easy way to positively impact your happiness.
  96. Take the time to clean as you go and clear away any clutter that has accumulated over time.
  97. Not everything is going to be easy or enjoyable, but try to appreciate the challenge and look on the brighter side.
  98. Spend money on things that create memories.
  99. Before you go to bed, take a step away from your daily struggles and contemplate something much larger than yourself.
  100. Give yourself more credit. More than likely, there is no one who will master everything on their list. The fact is, you’re trying and nothing is better than that.
  101. As always, keep it simple.