Leadership is not the sole territory of politicians, corporate executives, military generals, spiritual advisers, rockstars or Olympic champions. Truth is, anyone from any background in any vocation or profession can make good use of leadership skills.
Effective leadership doesn’t come naturally for most of us. However, there are several key actions, which, if practiced everyday and in all situations, can build and refine leadership:
1. Do and be your best. Constantly look for ways to improve yourself. Be aware of your weak areas and strive to develop these. Know what your strengths are and continue to hone them.
2. Determine what you want and go after it. Think about what you want to accomplish in life. Set realistic goals that will help you move in that direction. Take a break from time to time to reassess your progress… and also reflect about whether this is still the dream or if it’s time to chase another dream.
3. Work with others. Leaders are known for their ability to inspire others to work towards a common goal. No matter what it is, your dream will impact other people, and it will need other people to come true. Learn how to listen. Learn how to ask for help or advice.
4. Keep a positive attitude. There are so many things, events and even people, that are way out of our control. Plans fall through, people leave, things don’t get done the way we want them. But you have control over your reactions, your emotions, and your mindset. Teach others to have a positive attitude and to be passionate in their efforts by doing so yourself.
Taking the time to develop your leadership skills can radically increase the amount of success that you experience in all areas of your life. Continue honing these skills so that you can achieve your goals and enjoy a more satisfying life.
Given the lightning speed we go on practically everyday, it is but natural to feel tired and stressed from time to time. In times like these, what (or who) is in your hands to control?
The simplest thing to do to manage our stress is to move our attention from things that trouble us to things that boost us. Studies have shown that developing our sense of gratitude helps raise our mood, focus, self-esteem, will power, long term health, and even level of success.
Here are a number of things you can do to help develop your sense of gratitude:
Keep a list of the things you’re grateful for. Yes, literally count your blessings. You can keep a journal to document all the positive things that happen to you. After some time, you’ll see just how much good has accumulated.
Start the day on a positive note. When you wake up in the morning, make a promise to yourself that “this day will be a good day.” Make a mental note of the things that you look forward to for this day. It is up to you to set the tone.
Be alert to the goodness all around you. Isn’t it so easy to spot the negative things happening in your life? You see it right away, as soon as it happens! Try shifting that attention to the positive things around you. “That strong rain is just so refreshing after a really hot, dry week!”
Perform random acts of kindness. Be someone else’s reason to be grateful. Practice random acts of kindness that would make another person’s day better. Let that mom carrying her child go first at the grocery checkout line. Smile at the person waiting with you at the doctor’s clinic. It may seem like a small act, but it may be just what that other person needs to get through his day.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Given the rise of technology, picture taking is very accessible these days. And yes, we do take advantage of that all the time! But what happens to that selfie after you’ve taken it and posted it on Instagram? It doesn’t have to end there. Keep your favorite happy pictures in a folder on your phone so you can take a look at them anytime to help make you smile.
Difficult times will always happen. We can’t help that. What we can do, however, is make sure that we have enough gratitude deposited into our system, so that we can withdraw some when times get hard.
There is always an excuse to not exercise: the kids, the boss, the traffic, the complicated commute. But if you truly want to change – lose 20 pounds, get stronger, live longer – then there is always a way.
You can even start with the small, seekingly unimportant things. Sometimes, it helps to adjust certain accessories to make exercise more comfortable:
1. Wear comfortable and new sneakers. You may think you’re saving money by wearing old (ratty, ready-to-fall-apart) sneakers, but you’re just making it easier for injuries to happen. Workout shoes that fit comfortably can make a world of difference… starting with less painful feet. Take your time fitting shoes at the store. Try looking for an outlet that offers consultations, too.
2. Handle your hair before you start working out, so that you have less to worry about. Hair can be a dangerous distraction during exercise, especially if you work out with machines. Wear a headband if you have short hair. This way, your sweat wouldn’t drip on the floor or fly towards your Zumba classmate. If you have long hair, tie it up to make sure it wouldn’t get stuck on the elliptical.
3. Avoid baggy clothes. You don’t have to show skin, but fitted clothes are highly recommended. Very loose, baggy outfits can get stuck in machines, and they can get heavier as you sweat it out. You also wouldn’t be able to see parts of your body that you are working on. It’s easier to pay attention to your movements and avoid mistakes if you wear fitted clothes.
4. Try moisture-wicking fabric. Moisture-wicking fabric quickly absorbs moisture, so you stay cool, dry, and comfortable. Used for tops, pants, and other exercise clothes, this fabric can help you focus on your exercises instead of your clothes.
5. Add more chocolate to your diet. YES! Have some of that dark chocolate or drink chocolate milk before and after workouts. Studies show that ingredients in chocolate can strengthen your endurance.
Exercise is challenging enough without having to deal with uncomfortable clothes, accessories and unenjoyable food. Try these simple adjustments and make your workouts easier.
One of the very first lessons we were ever taught in life was: sharing is good, selfishness is bad.
As children, we were taught to be considerate of our classmates. As teenagers, we were told to give way to our younger siblings. As adults, we need to be constantly unselfish for the benefit of others.
But is selfishness really always a bad thing?
Sometimes, being selfish on occasion can be the best thing for you and your loved ones. When you get what you want, then you are more happily and unselfishly able to give to others. Conversely, haven’t you felt at times that it’s so difficult to give because you are sacrificing too much?
Consider the advantages of being selfish:
You’ll experience more happiness. Studies have shown that some focus on the self ensures productivity, altruism and resiliency. When you are happy with yourself, then you’re more willing and able to help others be happy too.
You’ll enjoy better health. Each of us needs to take care of ourselves. We all need to ensure that we eat properly, get enough sleep, spend time with things we enjoy doing, so that we live healthier lives. When we are healthier, we are better able to care for those around us. We are also likely to live longer.
You’ll enjoy healthier relationships. Exercise selfishness by weeding out toxic relationships and eliminating those that take advantage of, or manipulate, you. Feel free to say no to any relationship that is detrimental to your well-being without feeling guilty that your selfish ways have hurt someone else’s feelings.
You’ll find opportunities for self-development. Spend time, money and effort on personal growth. This way, you are empowered to become the best possible version of yourself, and that will be enjoyed by those around you. Take time away from your pressing obligations and pay some attention to yourself.
You’ll find more meaning in life. Selfishness assures you of a life filled with people, advocacies and things that mean the most to you. You will need to be selfish and withdraw your attention from certain things and people in order to make sure that you are able to focus on and accomplish something significant and great.
You’ll be less needy. If you’re not taking care of your own needs, you’re putting yourself in the position of needing more from others. Being dependent on others results in being dependent on the whims of others.
Of course, our lesson from youth still holds, albeit with some adjustment: too much selfishness is definitely bad. However, you do need to exercise some degree of selfishness in order for you to make the most out of yourself, and in order for you to be of more value to others.
Seek to find the ideal balance between focusing on yourself and focusing on others. Set aside time each day to spend on yourself.
At the end of the day, you’ll find that making yourself happy will make others happy, too.