30 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
One aspect of decision-making that people rarely want to talk about is the fear of making mistakes.
It’s almost never included officially in meetings, or committed to paper, and hardly ever addressed except in whispers behind closed doors, or outside the office where no one can hear.
Everything can be printed out neatly in black and white in a neatly bound business plan on your desk, or glowing softly on your monitor screen, but the target of this article is the quietly looming presence in the back of your mental theater for one, waiting for you to slip up so it can sneak in behind you and whisper silkily in your ear, “Damn…I thought you knew better than that, you knucklehead.”
And you pause in indecision, paralyzed.
People grow up used to being judged and measured. It’s part of the socialization process. How else would your growth and progress be charted if it wasn’t acknowledged in comparison with your age-mates, classmates and peers?
The common wound we all carry from this part of the socialization process is the cast of internalized voices haranguing us non-stop and nagging us on what we should do, how we should be, how we should act, and so on.
We grow up to fear mistakes. Continue reading Go Ahead, Make Mistakes
26 June 2009, by by A. Cedilla
Entrepreneurs who are driven to succeed are usually motivated by the stronger one of two directing forces. They can be pushed from behind, or pulled by a vision.
And while visions are all well and good to keep your eyes focused on the prize, it is the steps you take every day that takes you closer to attaining them.
It is just so easy to forget this sometimes, lured as we are by the quick-fix promises and get-it-now impulse of our culture, that we often get discouraged at how slow things seem to be going.
We beat ourselves up because we’re not succeeding the way we thought we should, given our efforts, or even as fast as we think we should, seeing as how other people seem to be zipping merrily past us. Continue reading The Value of Work Vs. The Reality Of Work
23 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
With so much going on in our lives today, we have a tendency to drown in the multitude of choices available to us — from what to study to improve ourselves, and what course to take to maximize our efforts, to what tools, resources and systems to tap so we can go after what we want.
We often find ourselves in the well-known state of “paralysis by analysis”, which can leave us stuck in one place, emotionally, physically or mentally, unable to move until we know all our options.
Unfortunately, getting all the information we need to make a decision is a part of the decision-making process that can take an unnecessarily long time, since there is so much information available out there. After that, the part that can give us the most trouble is actually deciding.
To make a good choice for yourself, you have to keep in mind your Big Picture, and the parts that compose it. Then you need to distinguish between what you want and what you want to have.
How do you take the stress out of picking between two or more equally tempting options? Continue reading Balancing Wants Vs. Want To Have’s
19 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” Joel Arthur Baker
Are you willing to do the actual work to change your world for the better? To take the lead in determining the course of your life? In capping this four-part series we’ve covered the following: 1) How to use your time wisely, and in accordance with your priorities, 2) Identifying visions and goals, and 3) Breaking down your plan into flexible, manageable steps. This last part ties everything we’ve covered together.
Being busy doesn’t always mean accomplishing something.
As an old joke goes, “It’s no use watering the lawn when your roof is on fire.” Know what your priorities are, and establish a support system so you can take care of them. Make it so you don’t have to worry about sudden flames erupting from your attic, and arrange it so you have back-ups and some fail-safe handy for emergencies. Continue reading The Four Quarters 4 – Putting Things Together
16 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
When you’re haggard, harried and hurried by all the demanding To-Do’s that are either staring you in the face or breathing heavily down your neck, it would seem like the craziest thing to do is to sit down and let your plans go to pieces, right?
But when everything you know is screaming at you that this is exactly the wrong thing to do, breaking things down can actually kick you out of the spiral of stress you’re in, and jump-start your engines.
As the old joke goes,” How do you eat an elephant?”
You know the answer: “Bite by bite.”
And how do you live a life, or realize a dream?
Day by day. And you build a life the same way. Simple, yes? But not easy. Nobody ever made absolute 100% full-refund-or-your-money-back-guarantees about life being easy. Run away from anyone who says so, and run fast. Continue reading The Four Quarters 3 – Breaking Down The Pieces
12 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
In the first part of this series, we covered the overview for personal time management by bringing to the front truths that have often been passed over in the rush to maximize your time, namely:
You have to have a vision.
Not for nothing have we developed into sight-hunters. We evolved to use sight as our main sense in experiencing life. And having a vision comes from using your physical sight and mental visualization to paint a picture of the future you want, whether it’s the near future, or years off.
You need to have a goal.
A goal is a step towards your vision. Broken down into manageable chunks, each step you take keeps you going. A goal is something to test yourself on, see what you’re made of. You also need to have several goals, ones that come from the various facets of your personality and the needs you develop at different stages in your life. And as you change over time, so too do your goals.
It takes time to make time.
You need time to plan things, to coolly identify and lay out your most important goals, time to plan the steps toward these goals, as well as the time to wait for them to come to fruition while working on them. Continue reading The Four Quarters 2 – Visions and Goals
09 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
It isn’t so much a question as it is a complaint: “Who doesn’t want to have more time?”
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) everyone has the same number of hours in their day as everyone else.
You have the amount of time that Shakespeare, Einstein, and Mother Teresa had. So the usual reaction is either a) “Go on and be amazing,” or b) “No excuses, slacker!”
But is that really it?
Such a simplistic view of the situation pushes us to cram as many things as we can into our days, multi-tasking into frazzled oblivion as pressures within and without push us to Get The Most Out Of Our Time.
You need to understand: It takes time to make time,–to step back and understand that being busy doesn’t always mean accomplishing something.
See, Shakespeare, Einstein and Mother Teresa made their contributions over a lifetime. We’re talking about the long-haul here, not just the frequent sprints that life nowadays calls us to do. Continue reading The Four Quarters 1 – Personal Time Management
04 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
You know how dread manifests physically. It’s the burning sensation behind the eyes, or a leaden weight pushing down on your shoulders, and the tired, resentful feeling lying solidly in your stomach in anticipation of dealing with a mountain of work that piled up — all because you kept putting things off until the last minute.
You keep asking yourself, then,” Why do I keep doing this?” without pausing to consider the question seriously. If you did, you’d be surprised at the kinds of issues procrastination can be a cover for. Hopefully, you won’t stay stuck in your head for too long and instead ask yourself a more relevant question.
“How do I stop?”
You do the next thing.
It is a well-recognized theory in the scientific community that people will do more to avoid pain that they do to attain pleasure.
It’s human to avoid the painful stuff — which is precisely why you have to do it. Doing the hard work makes you stronger and can bring out the best that’s in you.
Doing the hard stuff makes it easier for you in the long run as you grow accustomed to exercising your ability to see the truth, make a decision to act on it, and commit to carrying out the steps necessary to realizing your choices. Doing so requires a clear goal, discipline and committed action.
So, how do you deal with putting things off? Continue reading Dealing With The Pain of Procrastination
02 June 2009, by Ariadne Cedilla
Whether you’re a still-jobless new graduate, a determined semi-young single trying to make money by striking out on your own, a near-retiree under the axe, or the anxious parent of a one (or two) parent household needing to make ends meet , here are a few tips on how you can make sure you build up your resilience under the strain of living in these trying times:
- If you’re in shape, congratulations.Keep at it. If you’re not, take baby steps and keep going. A body that has been ignored for years cannot change appreciably overnight(without surgery), or even in a week. Don’t sabotage yourself physically by going all out and then hurting yourself, or financially by spending money on expensive equipment that will only gather dust in a corner. Consult a doctor to get an accurate idea of your baseline and some exercise suggestions, then start a simple regimen you can sustain. Key words: Simple and sustainable.
- Wash your hands frequently. This is the simplest and most effective way method you can use to ward off the invisible nasties that are everywhere, in the air, on the seats in public transportation, car handles, door knobs, etc.
- Have a relaxation ritual. There are stretching and deep-breathing exercises you can look up that can release tension in your shoulders and lower back (a common place we store stress). When you’re as tense as a drawn bowstring, throttle back and stretch. Take a walk if you feeling like throwing things. It’ll save you from a possible lawsuit by removing yourself from temptation (and possible targets)and the exercise can clear your head.
- Have an encouragement ritual. Keep mementos or pictures of special memories and triumphs in a photo-album or a memory box, whether actual or virtual, to remind you that this moment may suck, but it won’t be forever. You’ve survived worse, this Now is just another thing you’ll live through. Whenever you feel down and tired and very small, look at your memory box/album to remember what really counts.
Continue reading Bounce – 11 Tips on Being Resilient