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Success Mindset

Below are the articles in the Success Mindset category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.

Success Mindset

Are You a Warrior at Work?

How can one bring more of the warrior to work? This quiz can help.

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For some, the term “warrior” connotes violence or domination. But in its truest form, warrior energy is about a “never say never” attitude, a fierce determination to succeed, that we would all do well to tap into on a daily basis. Take the Self-Quiz below to test whether you are being a warrior for your business and for yourself.

1. I don’t let “reasons” stand in my way of getting the job done. If something isn’t working, I find anther way that will.

2. I don’t let the fact that something is “hard” stop me. In fact, I do the hardest things first.

3. When a task seems so huge that it is daunting, I break it down into simple, doable steps and start on the steps, one at a time.

4. My mood doesn’t determine what I get accomplished. If I’ve committed myself to marketing tasks every Wednesday, for example, I don’t let “not being in the mood” for marketing take me out.

Are You Playing It Too Safe at Work?

Tips on taking risks—especially during an uncertain economy.

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In an uncertain economy, the tendency may be to avoid risk, to err on the side of safety. But lean times are a great time to try new or unproven strategies at work, to go against conventional wisdom, to take calculated risks and to remain open to innovation. Take this Self-Quiz to see whether you could benefit from a little more "danger" on the job.

1. I am willing to take action, even when there is risk involved.

2. I plan for the worst—but expect the best.

3. I am acquainted with failure, and it doesn't scare me.

Becoming a Workplace Warrior

There’s a decisive difference between soldiering on, gamely shouldering the workload one is assigned, and becoming a workplace warrior. Soldiers take orders; warriors take responsibility.

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Another day, another deadline. You gulp caffeine and forge ahead, like the steadfast worker you are. A good soldier never gives up the fight, right?

Only if you view work as a battleground.

There’s a decisive difference between soldiering on, gamely shouldering the workload you’re assigned, and becoming a workplace warrior. While it’s wise to be a team player and complete projects to the best of your ability, even executives can push the envelope so severely that instead of helping the company, they’re hurting themselves.

Continually operating in overdrive can lead to physical, mental, or emotional harm. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following signs of burnout are cause for concern:

• Chronic cynicism and sarcasm

• Irritability with everyone, from coworkers to clients

• Loss of energy

• Disillusionment about your job or future

Bounce Back: Developing Emotional Resilience

Resilience is key for successfully navigating the major upsets in our lives. Fortunately we all can enhance this universal capacity.

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Major disruptions are a “gotcha” we all experience at one time or another in our lives. We get fired, laid off or passed over; a loved one dies, leaves or gets into trouble; a project stalls or gets cancelled. The list, unfortunately, is endless.

For some, the impact of these hard times is overwhelming. Recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are admirably able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience—the strength required to adapt to change—acts as our internal compass so we can resourcefully navigate an upset.

When unexpected events turn life upside down, it’s the degree to which our resiliency comes into play that makes these “make-or-break” situations an opportunity for growth. The good news is that each of us has the capacity to reorganize our life after a disruption and to achieve new levels of strength and meaningfulness. Though it’s easy to feel vulnerable in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, life disruptions are not necessarily a bad thing because they help us grow and meet future challenges in our lives. It’s a lot like a bone that was once fragile or broken, and is now strong from being used.

So how can you become more resilient? Here’s a look at seven key characteristics of people who demonstrate resilience during life’s curve balls.

Interpreting Experiences in a New Light

The ability to look at a situation in a new way (a skill called “reframing”) can minimize the impact of a difficult situation. Resilient people take a creative approach toward solving a problem, and don’t always use an old definition for a new challenge.

Cultivating Serenity in the Workplace and Beyond

Cultivating serenity in the workplace may seem like a tall order, but its formula is simpler than one might think.

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The serenity prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous says that the key to serenity is accepting what you cannot change, changing what you can, and possessing the wisdom to know the difference. The prayer is a good model that covers a lot of ground, but how do you tell the difference between what you can and cannot change? Here are some things you do have control over.

Your actions. No one can “make” you do anything. If you’re unhappy with your behavior at work or at home, change it, make amends if necessary, chart a new course.

Your words. Spoken or written, the words you choose impact your life and the lives of others. Choose your words carefully with workmates, colleagues, bosses, and clients, and quickly acknowledge any harm.

Curiosity and Results: What’s the Connection?

Cultivate curiosity in business, life and relationships, and watch them all bloom.

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Curiosity has been given a bad rap. Perhaps we grew up hearing that asking questions was rude or conveyed ignorance, or that we’d get into trouble if we were like Curious George. We might even have been warned that “Curiosity killed the cat!”

The truth is that curiosity is one of the most vital and life-affirming qualities you can bring to your life and your relationships.

Curiosity in Business

It is so easy to blame others when things go wrong. Consider being curious about your experience rather than critical. For example, instead of beating yourself up for not reaching sales goals—again—try asking yourself what was going on for you that you kept performing below your expectations? With an attitude of “how fascinating that I’ve created this” you are much more likely to help yourself find new solutions to attaining your goals.

Design the Alliance—Empower All of Your Relationships

To create a mutually successful experience in any relationship, apply the coaching concept designed alliance.

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The concept of designed alliance is often used in coaching to set the stage for a relationship that empowers clients to be the most successful as they make changes in their work and personal lives. For example, a client might suggest the most effective ways for his coach to support him when he’s feeling scared, resistant or stuck. Once the alliance has been designed, it’s important to update it as individual needs and desires change.

This concept is highly applicable to all kinds of relationships—romantic or business partnerships, friends, parent-child, and more. Imagine a world, in fact, where all relationships begin with a consciously designed alliance, the purpose of which is to create a mutually successful experience!

Exploring Perspectives at Work

It is usually our perspective, the way we think about a situation—rather than the actual situation itself—that leads to joy or pain.

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Larry holds a high-level position with a company he’s been with for years. He is considering vying for a different position in the company that would bring greater responsibility and utilize his skills in an entirely new arena. Although he thinks it would be great to have some new challenges, he’s afraid of rocking the boat after a successful career, and tells himself it’s safer to stay where he is.

Tina is in a similar position to Larry. However, she’s decided to go for it! She’s confident that, in this new position, all the knowledge and skills she’s gained throughout her career will allow her to contribute even more to the company.

These two executives face similar issues, yet they are manifesting quite different outcomes. While Larry operates from a “fear of change” perspective and doesn’t even try, Tina’s perspectives (“taking risks is empowering” and “go for it”) lead her to take action—and get results.

We are always coming from a particular point of view or perspective. In fact, it is usually the way we think about a situation—rather than the actual situation—that leads to joy and confidence or pain and suffering! The question is: How well is our perspective serving us in honoring our values and achieving our goals? And what effects are our perspectives having on the results that are showing up in our life?

Full Speed Ahead with “Yes, and” Thinking

What common phrase can destroy desire, stall great ideas, and endanger enterprise? A hint: most of us say it many times every day.

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Nothing zaps a great idea faster than “Yes, but….” You might as well say “No.”

It’s not just about semantics. In fact, “Yes, but” may be the No. 1 phrase for killing personal hope, putting great ideas on ice and threatening innovation in organizations.

Take Jonah, for example. Jonah is a senior manager in the real estate division of a large financial services company when he learns of an open position in the company’s prestigious new-product research team. He’s been successful in the real estate division, but never really fulfilled. What he really loves is the charge he gets brainstorming new ideas and researching their viability.

Jonah is excited to apply for the position—initially, then during a conversation with a friend, he says, “Yeah, I’d be great for that team, but you have to know someone to get named.” After the call, he finds himself increasingly discouraged.

Will he get the position? At this rate, he won’t even apply.

Luckily, Jonah’s coach points out his self-defeating self-talk and suggests a simple fix.

Handling Adversity: You’re Stronger than You Thought

Catastrophic events like 9/11 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina can knock us to our knees. But personal adversities can pack an equally powerful punch.

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Catastrophic events like 9/11 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina can knock us to our knees. But personal adversities can pack an equally powerful punch. Our spouse is diagnosed with cancer, our son has a mental breakdown, we lose our home. Often these events seem to come out of nowhere and feel completely unmanageable as we struggle to regain our footing and any semblance of “normal.”

But, like great trees, humans can grow stronger when exposed to powerful winds. That is easy to say, we may think, as we recall those who did not grow stronger but instead broke in the wind. How do we increase our inner strength and flexibility so that we not only survive the adversity but thrive? Here are several strategies that can help.

Take responsibility. Look at your role in the situation. Was the event, in fact, predictable? You may have had more control over the situation than you realized. At the same time, don’t take more responsibility than is warranted. If your daughter develops a brain tumor it’s not because you did something wrong. Be honest, but don’t point fingers, not even at yourself.

Hoping is Not a Hopeless Endeavor

Discover the benefits of being hopeful for your health and wellness.

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Having a healthy dose of hope can be motivating and inspiring. It keeps people focused on what's ahead instead of what's in the past. It can also help keep the focus on possibilities, and reframe obstacles as opportunities.

For some, however, being hopeful goes hand-in-hand with feeling naïve or foolish when things don't work out as planned. They would rather not have hope at all if it means later disappointment.

But for others, having hope doesn't mean living in denial of life's difficulties; it simply reminds them there are better times ahead.

The Benefits of Hope

Research indicates that it's more beneficial to have hope than not. Hopeful people tend to show more resilience when faced with difficulties. They have healthier lifestyle habits and, on the whole, are more successful, personally and professionally.

How Emotionally Resilient Are You?

A true or false quiz to help you discover how well you cope with life's many challenges.

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Emotional resilience is the ability to successfully cope with change or misfortune. Even when afraid, resilient people respond to life's challenges with courage and emotional stamina.

While we can't always control what life brings, we can use adversity as an opportunity for growth. Respond True or False to the following statements to discover how well you cope with life's many challenges.

Set 1

1. When bad things happen, I think "why me?" I feel fear and self-pity; I want to find someone to blame.

How to Succeed with Failure When All Else Fails

Had it not been for failure, humankind might never have known the magnificent Audubon bird paintings that gave rise to the Audubon Society or the inspiring music of Handel’s Messiah.

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It was only after John James Audubon’s business failed in 1819 that he began traveling and painting birds. George Frederick Handel unleashed his creative genius after a night of deep despair over his failure as a musician (he lived in poverty and had suffered a stroke).

The world landscape is strewn with such stories of success rising from the ashes of failure. Yet failure tends to strike fear in our hearts like nothing else. There is so little tolerance for it in our culture and tremendous pressure to get it right every time, to be in control, to succeed and win....

What would it be like to cast failure in a different light, to take it out of the darkness of disgrace and guilt, to remove the feeling of “disaster” associated with failure, to look for what it tells us about our well-being and our conduct in life? What enormous amounts of energy would be freed up? And for what?...

Open Door to a New Success

Like Audubon, a failure can be a lever to open the door to a richer, more authentic life. Many a radical transformation has had failure at its root. Author Suzanne Falter-Barns says, “There really is no such thing as failure. There is only the rearrangement of plans and the surrender of ego. There is only the twist in the road we never expect.”

How’s Your Joy Level at Work?

Do people have to do work that they love in order to feel joy? Not necessarily. Here’s how to bring joy to anything.

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Many of us see joy as the delightful result of being able to do work that we love. And this is certainly a great producer of joy on the job. The real trick, however, is how to bring joy to anything you do. Doing so can transform the mundane into the enjoyable and let loose incredible energy for all you put your attention to. The secret: creativity. Feeling creative and playful helps us bust through resistance, fear, boredom and disbelief on our way to an engaged satisfaction. Test your joy quotient with this Self-Quiz.

(True/False)

1. Creativity doesn’t just belong to artistic types living in loft studios. Work is a place I frequently exercise my creativity.

2. I think of myself as someone who doesn’t just want what I want, but as someone who is going to get it. It’s just a matter of figuring out how.

3. I keep blank notebooks in several places for jotting down my ideas and inspirations, and a tape recorder for recording observations.

4. No matter how “uncreative,” sensible, logical and otherwise unimpulsive I might consider myself, if I have a pressing idea—a core desire—I’m going to express it.

Leadership as a Choice

Leadership can be something for everyone to embrace, from administrative assistant to janitor to manager to CEO. Guidelines on what makes a good leader and how to become one.

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Great leadership doesn't require a diploma or a degree. It's not reserved for some elite group of people.

Leadership can be something for everyone to embrace, from administrative assistant to janitor to manager to CEO. Sometimes all it requires is a shift in mindset: interpreting frustrations at work as opportunities instead of barriers.

Maybe it's time for all of us to step up, to take action and become a leader and, with the support of other great leaders, help make the company (and yourself) succeed.

What Does Good Leadership Look Like?

Leadership is about so much more than strategy, operations and marketing. It's about discovering and understanding each team member's potential (as well as your own) and finding ways to tap into that resource, something many managers neglect to do.

Making “Impossible” Thinking Possible

Thinking impossible thoughts is not just the realm of fairy godmothers or eccentric inventors. Break out of mindsets and make the impossible possible.

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How can things ever change—how can business, science or society innovate solutions to world dilemmas; how can our personal lives change trajectories—if we can only imagine what has been possible up to now? We might try to fix problems through automation, motivation and process improvement. But ultimately these efforts will stagnate until we change our mental models....

We can all zoom in or out of our previous mindsets with a little practice. Wind and Crook suggest a variety of ways to begin to see differently—before a crisis or failure of the old model has made it too late. Here are a few:

•Listen to the radicals. What wisdom and opportunities are there in the sometimes “bizarre” ideas of the radical thinkers around you?

•Practice flying upside down. Like commercial airline pilots, who are trained in how to react to unusual emergencies (such as flying upside down!), we can look for ways to prepare for outrageous scenarios.

Optimism—a Positively Essential Business Skill

Some people are optimists, others are pessimists. Nothing can be done about it. Right? Wrong. Optimism is a skill even a pessimist can learn.

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Martin Seligman, psychologist and clinical researcher, has spent 25 years studying optimism and pessimism. In his bestselling book, How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, he states that pessimistic thinking can undermine not just our behavior but our success in all areas of our lives.

“Pessimism is escapable,” he writes. “Pessimists can learn to be optimists.”

Optimism is not just a feel-good strategy. When we focus our attention on our innate character strengths (wisdom, courage, compassion) and all we have, rather than our perceived failures and what we don’t have, we boost not only our moods, but our immune system and success levels as well. Research has shown that optimistic people tend to be healthier and experience more success in life.

To alter our lives—and the challenges we face—we must first recognize what we say to ourselves when we experience a setback. By breaking what Seligman calls the “I give up” pattern of thinking and changing our interior negative dialogue, we can encourage optimism.

Play to Your Strengths

In order to succeed we have to conquer our weaknesses, right? Wrong. Our strengths will set us free.

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How often have you invested in a personal growth training to try to improve something you felt you were not good at? Perhaps it was marketing, sales, personnel management or public speaking. For most of us, trying to improve our weak areas in operating our business or managing our department comes with the territory. Whatever the area, we feel as if we are required to do battle with what we don’t do well.

As it turns out, the majority of people around the world feel this way. In their groundbreaking book Now, Discover Your Strengths, authors Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton say that across all ages and cultures, people are more concerned about their weaknesses than their strengths. We believe that our weaknesses matter more in holding us back than our strengths matter in advancing us.

That’s nonsense, say the authors—widely held nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless. In their provocative theory, they suggest that the better strategy is to play to your strengths, building upon your core talents, and work around your weaknesses. You can work to add skills and knowledge to increase your performance in any area, but unless you are building upon one of your innate talents, your efforts won’t produce exceptional results—some results, yes, but not dramatic improvement.

Playing the Inner Game to Win

Explores the common internal roadblocks that hold people back. Suggests ways to confront those obstacles, and makes suggestions for achieving seemingly impossible goals.

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Tom has worked at his company for more than four years and knows he does a great job. His boss even tells him so. He’s been wanting to ask for a raise for several months, but it just never seems like the right time to ask. At least, that’s what he keeps telling himself....

You can try harder to change by taking more action in the “outside,” physical world. But if you’re powered by limiting beliefs and negative feelings, chances are you’re just going to go faster in the wrong direction.

So how do you effect real change, change that starts from within? The first step is to identify just what is holding you back. Some common internal roadblocks are:

•Fear. Probably the most popular culprit, the list of fears is endless. Whatever your fears, they prevent you in some way from experiencing your full potential.

•Thinking small. If you expect less, you get less. You have to think big and believe you can have success before you will actually experience it.

Taking Action to Conquer Your Goals

Most people have goals in life they’d like to reach, but many fail to see them through because they lack the knowledge about how to get their most important goals out of their head and into reality, so these step-by-step instructions to create goals can help.

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Almost all of us have goals in life we'd like to reach, but many of us fail to see them through because we lack knowledge about how to get our most important goals out of our head and into reality.

Don't let your goals become the kind that never happen. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create goals—and the actions needed to realize and complete them. By following this plan, you will be more apt to succeed at meeting your goals in your business and in your life.

1. Write it down.

Many dreams are forgotten because we neglect to put them on paper. One day we'll say, "Oh, yeah, I wanted to do that when I was younger."

No one says that you have to pursue all of the goals listed on the paper, but if you do choose to work towards some of them, you'll remember what they were in the first place.

Taking Control of Your Life

Wanda wants to be promoted to senior management but has been told she doesn’t have what it takes to make the leap. Her thought: “I can’t control what others think of me.” So what can she control?

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It’s not possible to control a system, another person’s behavior or others’ impressions. But that doesn’t mean either that Wanda has no control over her situation. What she—and we—can control ultimately has more power to affect a situation than any control we might try to exert over others.

Consider the power available to us when we pay attention to these areas—things we can actually do something about:

Our actions. We alone are responsible for what we do. Wanda, for ¬example, can find out exactly what leadership and/or managerial qualities her superiors think she lacks. She can take courses to learn skills. She can work with a coach to bring out leadership qualities or to look at other work possibilities.

Taking Feedback (to Heart)

When given difficult feedback, many people respond in unproductive ways. But it is possible to take the dread out of feedback and receive it as a gift.

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Taking in feedback from others, both positive and negative, is imperative if we are to experience the satisfaction that comes with enhanced competence and improved relations.

It is possible—and necessary—to think positively about feedback....

Track your own reactions. Recognize your emotions and responses. What body sensations, thoughts, emotions arise? Recognize that whatever arises in your mind is your own responsibility. It is not the other person’s fault you are responding as you are. You get to choose how you think and how you respond. When we own our own reaction, it opens the way for genuine communication with the other person.

Change defensiveness to curiosity. Don’t explain or defend yourself. It may be appropriate to bring the subject up later, if explanations are appropriate. For now, though, say the three magic words: “Tell me more!” What has the person giving you feedback observed? What does that person expect or want you to do differently? Don’t assume you know what the other person means…ask questions to clarify your understanding.

The Importance of Follow-Through

How important is follow-through? Learn the components of follow-through and suggestions for increasing one’s success.

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Whether you’re learning to swing a golf club, baseball bat or tennis racquet, coaches always emphasize the importance of follow-through. It’s not just hitting the ball that matters, it’s how you continue your swing once contact is made....

So often we feel we’ve completed a task because the action of it is “done,” but we underemphasize how powerful it is to continue developing, tracking and monitoring operations and relationships even after they’ve been set in place. As Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan note in Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, “Follow-through is the cornerstone of execution, and every leader who’s good at executing follows through religiously. Following through ensures that people are doing the things they committed to do, according to the agreed timetable.”

It’s Not Just What, But How

When we think of follow-through, we tend to think of taking action. But a large part of follow-through is about first figuring out how things will be done. Once you define your goals, set aside some time to decide just how you will reach them. What steps will be needed to accomplish them? Who will do which steps and when? What is the desired timeline? If a strategy does not address the hows, it is almost certainly doomed to failure.

Take meetings, for instance. A plan for follow-through should be detailed at the end of every meeting. “Never finish a meeting without clarifying what the follow through will be, who will do it, what resources they will use, and how and when the next review will take place and with whom,” Bossidy and Charan suggest.

The Power of Intention

Victoria wants to stay sober. She’s quit before, only to relapse. But this time, she has two things in her favor, a young child counting on her to “get better,” and rather than just wistfully wishing for things to be different, she’s declared an intention.

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“Conscious change is brought about by the two qualities inherent in consciousness: attention and intention,” writes Deepak Chopra in Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. “Attention energizes, and intention transforms. Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life…. Intention, on the other hand, triggers transformation of energy and information. Intention organizes its own fulfillment.”

When you declare an intention, you gain the support of your subconscious mind. Here are some suggestions for how to work with intentions in order to bring what you need into your life.

• Get clear on what you want and why. It’s not enough to know what you don’t want. You can’t get what you want until you know what that is. Steven Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, writes that all things are created twice. “There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.”

• Imagine it. See it as happening. “Your imagination creates the inner picture that allows you to participate in the act of creation,” writes Dr. Wayne Dyer in his best-selling book The Power of Intention. “Your willpower is much less effective than your imagination, which is your link to the power of intention.”

The Top 6 Mindset Shifts You Need for Success

Is your mindset working to your advantage or holding you back? Explores a “fixed mindset” versus a “growth mindset.”

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Rollo The Clown: [singing] "If you will just believe it's true/ Then there is nothing you can't do/ There's not a mountain that you can't climb/ There's not a river you can't make it over/ There's no tomorrow that you can't find if you try."

Tillie, The Little Engine That Could: "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"

As even children's characters will attest, a winning mindset is a trait to adopt. It attracts happiness, health, fulfilment and success. But what is a mindset, really?

What's on Your Mind?

A mindset is a person's established set of attitudes that are based on their assumptions. These assumptions predetermine a person's reactions to and interpretations of any event, environment or situation.

Whether positive or negative, a person's mindset is habitual and affects all aspects of his or her professional and personal life.

The Wisdom of Winnie-the-Pooh

A treasury of simple and charming wisdom, as reflected by Winnie the Pooh, for guidelines to living.

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Wisdom comes to us from many sources—sometimes from the mouths of babes, at other times from the teachings of ancient philosophers. A treasury of simple but wise sayings that suggest guidelines for living were given to the world by A. A. Milne, the London playwright who wrote the charming tale of Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926, and several more books on "Pooh Bear" to follow.

Although originally written as stories to read to his young son, Christopher Robin, Milne's series on Winnie and his friends who lived in the forest offer enlightenment for adults—especially in this hectic, modern world in which we live.

Each character's personality reflects for the reader a unique view of the world: Owl through his quest for knowledge. Eyeore as an unrelenting pessimist. We learn about bravery from Piglet and the need to believe in ourselves from Tigger. Winnie the Pooh, as described by Milne, might be a bear with "very little brain" but he has an abundance of wisdom and spouts insightful truths. Here are some:

On believing in yourself:

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're BRAVER than you believe; And STRONGER than you seem; And SMARTER than you think."

Thinking Like an Entrepreneur Within the Corporate Walls

Explore “intrapreneurship,” including the value and benefits of such an approach for both the individual and the organization.

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The words entrepreneur and corporation don’t usually show up in the same sentence. One connotes a penchant for creative, seat-of-the-pants risk-taking, while the other usually suggests “we’ve always done it this way” risk aversion.

But “out-of-the-box” thinking is more necessary than ever in today’s marketplace, as corporations respond to changes in the world economy. Professionals working within corporations are being increasingly rewarded for using entrepreneurial skills to meet challenges in innovative ways....

Professionals with an entrepreneurial bent—intrapreneurs—feel a degree of ownership, take risks, make decisions and take responsibility willingly. Intrapreneurs are visionary and independent. They thrive on change, but they also know how the changes they want align with their company’s objectives. They have good communications skills, and a high sense of curiosity and self-worth. Their mindset is more of creating a business than running a business. Intrapreneurs definitely don’t buy into the “It’s not my job” way of thinking, and they are more concerned with achieving results than gaining influence.

Top 10 Powerful Questions to Ask

Strong work relationships, high morale and improved performance are all byproducts of good questions. Here are ten to get one started.

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This potent communication tool can help you discover important information about your work, yourself, your associates, your customers—and create insights that otherwise might have remained hidden.

Asking questions without leading, prompting or interrupting shows that you’re really listening. It encourages us to suspend assumptions, which helps prevent miscommunication, unrealistic expectations, stress, damaged relationships and unfulfilled responsibilities. Below are just a few questions that can have powerful effects on your work and life. Just be sure to LISTEN to the answers.

1. What is it that you’d like to see accomplished and how do you see it happening?

2. What’s the most important priority to you with this and why?

3. Can you help me understand that a little better?

4. If I could change one thing in my life/business that would have the greatest impact, what would it be?

Top 10 Signs of Strength

Master these ten signs of strength and improve your relationships with others—and yourself.

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Flash the Morse Code signal SOS and help is sure to come your way. Master these 10 signs of strength (SOS) and the help may be in the form of improved relationships, greater joy and connection with yourself, better self care and enhanced communication. All in all, quite a life raft!

1. Respond instead of react. When we react, we give away our personal power.

2. Identify and learn from your judgments. Judgments are often a reflection of our own inner needs and values.

3. Reach out when you need it. Asking for help is not a weakness.

4. Keep your word—especially to yourself. Beautiful palaces are built on this foundation of integrity.

Top 10 Ways to Be Accountable

Keeping commitments that we make only to ourselves can be challenging. Here are ten ways to begin.

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Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to weasel out of a commitment that we make only to ourselves. Sometimes all it takes is a promise to someone else to spur us to live up to our commitments. Here are the Top 10 ways to hold yourself accountable.

1. Ask a friend or loved one to support your efforts.

2. Have an accountability partner. Perhaps someone you see at trainings, or a work buddy.

3. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-based). Then measure your results against them.

4. Reward yourself. Make it really fun or pleasurable to achieve what you commit to!

Top 10 Ways to Build and Keep A Positive Attitude

The benefits of a positive attitude are well-known. Now, how can we create one?

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Attitude can affect how we feel and how others respond to us. A positive attitude can impact our physical health and emotional well-being, make hard things easier and easy things more fun. This is not to say that a positive attitude is a magic potion that will ward off any problems, but an optimistic outlook helps people work through the rough times with a belief in themselves and trust in the ultimate good. Try these ten suggestions for building and maintaining a positive attitude.

1. Associate with positive people.

2. Take some action every day toward accomplishing a goal.

3. Look for what’s right instead of what’s wrong.

Top 10 Ways to Handle Adversity

We’ve all experienced difficult times in our work or home lives, often through events and circumstances outside our control. But like great trees, humans grow stronger when exposed to powerful winds. Here are 10 suggestions for dealing with the hard times when they happen.

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1. Take responsibility. Assume an “I can do something” attitude rather than pointing fingers. If nothing else, you can control your own response to the situation.

2. Limit the focus. Don’t let the problem become all encompassing. When you compartmentalize the difficulty, you can focus on a workable solution.

3. Be optimistic. The ultimate belief in life as positive, even with hard-times and troubles, will result in positive behaviors and positive actions.

Top 10 Ways to Lighten Up at Work

A lighthearted approach aids career advancement, reduces turnover and absenteeism, and enhances productivity and work performance.

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Too often, the workplace is an entirely too serious place. And yet study after study shows that a lighthearted approach aids career advancement, reduces turnover and absenteeism, and enhances productivity and work performance. Here are just a few ways to inject brightness into your day and/or your workplace.

1. Smile. Doing so actually short-circuits rising anger and stress, and can trigger gentler, more humorous views of a situation.

2. Dress up. Wear a goofy hat while at your computer, or keep a pair of red Wizard of Oz shoes to slip on when the stress is getting thick.

3. Keep a playlist of funny songs on your computer; indulge as necessary to clear mental detritus.

4. Take a break. Keep puzzles, ring toss and other diversions in the break room.

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