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What Would You Achieve If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

Zig Ziglar

I frequently get asked by leaders and managers how they can stay motivated. This week, I was talking to a sales director who was asking why he had to constantly motivate his teams and I was reminded of this quote by Zig Ziglar:

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

In these challenging times, motivation is critical for personal, family and business success. Getting and staying motivated — both individually and as a family or team — is essential. People often see motivation as something that happens to you, either you are or you aren’t, but it doesn’t work like that.

Motivated employees produce better results. Motivated teams are more productive. Motivated families feel more content. Getting and staying motivated is something you need to work on consistently. It is something that you need to work on every day, every week and every month.

Finding your why

Individuals can motivate themselves more effectively by better understanding why they do what they do. They already know the ‘what’ of their role and the ‘how’ they do their jobs but what is their core ‘reason’?

What is really essential is to question the ‘why’ or the ‘reason’ you do what you do. Check out this amazing TED talk by Simon Sinek to find out more.

So, start to inspire yourself by setting your goals in writing (journaling your successes gives you a different relationship with your goals, is easy to do and reaps massive rewards) and remember to reward yourself every time you achieve a goal no matter how small. It makes a difference.

The business of happy teams and families

And remember, this is about your personal life as much as your working life. There’s a growing “Family Inc.” movement at the moment: that is, families that are run like businesses. Bruce Feiler recently wrote about the “business of happy families” in the Wall Street Journal and Patrick Lencioni’s “Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family” explores how many business principles can be brought into the home.

Teams and families can be motivated through inspirational meetings, team building exercises and development, to name just three easy methods. Happy teams and families are more productive and feel more valued. In fact, individuals who feel valued at work give around 18% extra discretionary effort.

Whatever strategy you choose it is not something that you can do once and then forget. It’s something you have to work on every day and every week. Regular meetings, updated business plans and goals  (yes, even with your family) will help to keep you on track and identify where further motivation is needed.

What can you do now to improve your and your team or family’s motivation levels today?

Recommended reading:

Change ONE thing in your relationship today. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything else at all.

The importance of positive people. Why it’s time to do a friend inventory.

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How to Lose Your Baggage and Lighten Up: Thought Hack

Lose baggage and lighten up

What lurks in the shadows? All that stuff we put to the back of the mind to look at sometime later – or perhaps never at all…

Back in the early 90s when I first started my practice the subconscious mind or the unconscious mind as it was often called, was also known as the dark side or the shadow.

What lurks in the shadows? Among many things the shadow houses our memories, perceptions, unresolved issues, and parts of ourselves that we are not too comfortable with.

It’s all that stuff we put to the back of the mind to look at sometime later, or perhaps never at all.

Continue reading How to Lose Your Baggage and Lighten Up: Thought Hack

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The Importance Of Positive People (and why negative friends make you unhappy)

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”― Alice Walker

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”― Alice Walker

Do you surround yourself with “drains” or “radiators”? Positive people who give you energy or negative people who bring you down? Here’s why it’s time to do a “friend inventory”.

The Framingham Heart Study wasn’t set up specifically to study emotions. But with over 5000 inhabitants of Framingham, Massachusetts signed up for the on-going study, scientists have been amassing a wealth of continuous social and medical data since 1948.

It came up with fascinating findings in 2010 that suggest emotions are as infectious as diseases, and (more importantly) that sadness is more infectious than happiness.

They found that having a happy friend increased an individual’s chances of personal happiness by 11 percent, while just one sad friend was needed to double an individual’s chance of becoming unhappy.

Continue reading The Importance Of Positive People (and why negative friends make you unhappy)

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Are You A Space Cadet? Why It’s Time To Wake Up!

Zoning Out - Are You A Space Cadet? Why It's Time To Wake Up! - The Stresshacker Sue Smith

Have you ever missed your train, your stop, your appointment? Do you find time passes and you don’t know where it went? Are you spacing out?

Where and when did you learn to do that?

By the sheer nature of the fact that as children we spend a lot of time being told what to do – and when and how – we have internalised that ‘parent’ part that even today may nag, criticise or even bully us to do certain things.  But it also may be that as a child you were left to your own devices for hours on end with very few boundaries or guidelines. In that case, your parent part might be vacant or spaced out with little input.

To know and understand your parent part you will need to spend some time remembering analysing and recalling your early messages. I explore this in more depth in my book, I Just Want To be Happy.

Zoning out can be a way of coping

Your inner child part is very much determined by your parent part. For example, if you were nagged, told off a lot or – worse – bullied or abused, how did you deal with that? One way that children ‘cope’ is to dissociate, disappear, take off and ‘space out’. I remember doing this as a child in a maths lesson, I was bored and disinterested and spent most of my time in the clouds floating about. Needless to say this in turn got me into more trouble!

So what is spacing out? Clients have often described it as that lovely timeless feeling: you’re there but not there. You have that sensation of drifting in thoughts, like bubbles, smoke, or like feathers or leaves floating away.

But now it’s time to zone back in

Now this is all very nice and perhaps a great way for us to cope as children, but is it useful as an adult? Probably not. When yet another day has passed and you haven’t delivered the goods, met the deadline, painted the bedroom. When you’ve missed the stop for the fourth time this week, or been late to pick the kids up. Well, it’s just not serving you any longer is it.

It’s a bit like an out-of-date program left running on a computer: it’s just taking up unnecessary space that could be used for something better.

So how do you stop spacing out?

Grounding. Grounding. Grounding. Stop taking off and get back into your body. Feel the sensation of your feet in your shoes. If possible be barefooted so you can really “earth”. Instead of getting out of your head, get into your body. You won’t become enlightened if you’re not embodied!

Then start the reprogramming.

The inner dialogue could go something like this, “I am X years old. I can do this!” Be conscious and awake. It will help if you address your inner child directly, giving them some attention by saying something simple like, “I’m just off to a meeting and I don’t need you to come along. Why don’t you stay at home playing and I’ll go off and do the grown up things and see you later.”

It may sound twee (and a bit odd!), but don’t take my word for it – try it yourself. I know it works! You can also address the inner parent by saying to that part, “You know what? Thank you for all the nagging, but STOP IT NOW! I’m X years old and adult and I don’t need your incessant rules. I can do this, so GO AWAY!”

Richard Bandler, originator of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) would say tell that part to “Shut the f*@$ up!”. And it works – that nagging, parental part of you or that childish part of you will quieten down for a while.

We have to expose these parts and make this conscious. You’ll have plenty of time to practise since these parts pipe up time after time.

So, the next time you don’t want to miss your connection on the train, or you need to leave on time, get yourself grounded and make sure your inner Adult is in charge.

Please let me know how any of these activities help you. Comment below.

Also please look at our products and courses in The Stresshacker store to help assist you with your journey.

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Stresshacker Challenge: Change one thing in your relationship today

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

What’s the definition of stupidity? Doing the same thing over and over thinking we’ll get a different result. Yet how often do we do this?

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

Break the Pattern in your Relationship

If something happens once, well there you go, when it happens twice it could be a co-incidence, but when it happens three times? That’s a pattern. So you might want to change something. Just tweaking it a bit may well give you a more pleasing outcome. A scientist wouldn’t dream of repeating an ineffective process over and over, just to see if it works the 20th time around!

If what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything else at all!

It never ceases to amaze me how people do the same thing over and over in relationships – whether they are new dates, or long term relationships. It’s like running the same route in a maze over and over, hoping the outcome will be different. The same is true of any area of life – work, play and study.

So here’s our challenge

What one thing could you do differently today – right here now – that would make a positive shift in the way you relate to your partner, (child, mother, sister, brother, or whoever)?

We want you to try something really simple to interrupt the pattern. For example, you could change the tone of your voice when you’re next asking them for something.  If he always walks the dog, you do it. If you always meet in the same bar or restaurant, change the venue.  If one of you always pays, let the other one do it.  Try approaching your next interaction with that person from a position of wondering what you can do for them rather than what they can do for you.

Just tweak something – do it differently. Change is liberating.

Give it a go and then leave me a comment to let me know how you get on! I’d be really interested to hear the results. Did anything change?