MIND YOUR MANNERS

MIND YOUR MANNERS

Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. Clarence Thomas Your manners and thoughtfulness make your life and other’s lives better. Good manners enables positive engagement with others. A person with good manners can move through any environment or situation with ease and grace. Good manners will elevate you from an ordinary to an extraordinary existence. It is easily and quickly learned with practice. Modern manners requires the following: Smile. A ready smile diffuses most tension in all situations. Greet others appropriately. Say hello to others, making eye contact and smiling naturally. You may shake hands or hug where appropriate but always say hello, especially to people you see every day. Remember and use others’ names. Be Punctual. Respect other people’s time. Showing up late is rude and shows a lack of respect for others’ time. Letting others know that you are running late does not excuse your lateness. If you are running late, always give an accurate indication of when you will be there. RSVPs – répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning please respond. RSVP on an invitation means that the invited guest should tell the host whether or not he or she plans to attend the event on the date specified on the invitation. Not RSVPing is not the same as declining an invitation. You need to communicate your intention. Late cancellations require a phone call and an explanation. Doors and Lifts. Hold the door for people behind you. Say thank you to those who hold the door open for you. Allow those in the lift to get out before getting in. Hold the lifts for...
YOUR ONE WORD

YOUR ONE WORD

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word … BUDDHA Your one word is the single, powerful and inspiring word that sums up who you are and all that you aim for in life. Reducing who you are into one word will force you to become crystal clear about your essence. This one word will sum up your reputation – your personal brand. It will be the backbone of how you live your personal life, business life, useful also for your personal publicity efforts. You will personify this word, live up to it, deliver on it 24/7/365, every time you package yourself, every time you walk into a room, in every conversation, in the way you perform every task and in the way you deliver on your commitments. This word will sum up the outcome that all your possible audiences will expect from you in everything you do or anything you are involved in. Living this one word means that you will be intentional about demonstrating it in all that you do and all that you are. A few months back, I watched a BBC documentary into the private life and achievements of the eccentric music performer and producer Will.i.am – William Adams – in which the actress and author Joanna Lumley spent time with Will.i.am in his home town of Los Angeles, to shed light on the man behind the global brand, Will.i.am and his impoverished upbringing in the projects of Los Angeles. At one revealing moment, Joanna asked: Joanna Lumley: If you had to think of one word that’s most important to you, or that sums...
TIME = LIFE

TIME = LIFE

Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE  Our greatest resource is our time. The thing about time is that it finally runs out. Whether it’s 30 years or 60 years that you’ve got left, one day, your time will finally run out. All that will remain is the difference you made. So be conscious of time. Use it wisely. Today is not a rehearsal for tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone for ever. Another thing about time is that it is not lost. You are living it. Our time is our life. If you waste your time, you waste your life. What ever you choose to do today, know that you are exchanging a day of your life for it. To achieve your life goals, you will need to become a master of your time management. The line between success and failure is often found in the five words, ‘I did not have time,’ which really means, ‘I did not make time.’ We all have the same number of minutes in an hour that Leonardo da Vinci, Mother Theresa or Thomas Jefferson had. Make a decision to use your time for what is important to you. Never postpose what is important. Don’t waste your time on tasks that are inessential to your life goals. When you are faced with a number of tasks that all seem important, why not invite prioritisation into the equation. Prioritisation will help you to ensure that tasks or...
RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. MARIANNE WILLIAMSON We all have days when we experience some discomfort, fatigue, even darkness. At such moments, it may help to remember that history has shown that the most successful lives were filled with many moments of darkness. Every dark moment presents us with two choices: to stop the journey or to keep going. The only thing that happens if we stop is regret. To keep going is much harder, but always the right choice. The single trait of all successful people is their resilience through dark periods; they never stop. They endure. They understand that life is incredibly challenging. They understand that none of us gets out of here alive and that, in the end, what really matters is the difference we made and the legacy we left – something that will inspire others long after we’ve gone. Like them, you will come to see that the road to something great is mostly paved by pain, discomfort and despair. You will learn that despair makes one strong and that its accompanying darkness often brings character, polish and direction, helping us to become the best version of ourselves. So, however bleak things may appear at this moment, Don’t bail; the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap. Professor Randy Pausch Some of the greatest works in history were created during incredibly challenging periods in the lives of their creators. Consider Martin Luther King Jr’s famous gospel...
CONFRONTING YOUR ENEMY

CONFRONTING YOUR ENEMY

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. WINSTON CHURCHILL Yes, we all have an enemy. Confronting your enemy is important. Why? Because it strengthens you, helping your growth and success. It may even eliminate that enemy. Please note that I said confront, not attack. Attacking your enemies gets you nowhere. Ignoring them gets you nowhere. It is confronting them that will get you somewhere. The novelist and playwright James Arthur Baldwin, once said that, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”. You have to confront what or who frightens you – what holds you back from growth. You cannot afford to play the ostrich and bury your head in the sand, hoping that they will miraculously disappear, and there is no magic wand that you can wave to get rid of your enemies. You have to face them down. If you don’t, their hold on you will get stronger and stronger. My observation is that it is far more powerful and fruitful to become a person with a cause than a person with a grievance. When you are face to face with an enemy, you are up against a discovery about your true strength, because until you’ve faced and fought your enemy with everything you’ve got, you’ll never discover how strong you are. What frightens me most is how quickly many people settle to what they call their lot. A bullying boss or partner who frequently undermines your existence, or racism or corporate slavery … whatever yours may be, you’ve got to face...
4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. RALPH WALDO EMERSON In today’s fiercely competitive and hyper-connected digital age, your success no longer depends on fitting in with others. Your success depends on who you are and your points of distinction and power – on what you bring to the table that no one else can. But how well does other people really understand who we are – our aspirations, experiences, skills set and the value we provide? The answer is that most people don’t. Most people have us in a big file with a number of other people. They’ve a vague idea of what we do or what we’re good at. As years pass, and we continue to gain more experience and expand our skills set, others perceptions and knowledge of us may become out of date. With the growing information overload we’re all facing today, coupled with our fast growing number of connections, others do not only struggle to keep up with us, but it is increasingly difficult for them to retain what little they know about us. This means that we can no longer rely on just being great at what we do and hope that people will remember us, keep up with us and recommend or hire us for great projects. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of other talented and hardworking people. Thankfully, having control of your brand means that you can make sure that other’s perceptions and knowledge of you is consistent with who you are by proactively and strategically highlighting, leveraging...
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

Your brand is the truth about you, well told. OLD ADVERTISING SLOGAN Your personal brand is simply your reputation. It is not your name, your website, your logo or what you look like. These are how you tell the story of your brand. Your personal brand is what people think, know, feel and say about you, when you’re not in front of them. It is the sum of who you are, what you stand for, what you promise, your ability and commitment to keeping this promise and how you uniquely add value to your world. So your brand is a lot more than what’s going on visually and it matters a great deal whether you’re young or older. Every action you take and some actions that you don’t take shapes it. Your appearance, the way you enter a room, your body language, your handshake, the way you communicate and interact with others, your website, your online profiles and conversations, your blog posts, your tweets and more, all add up to define your personal brand – how people see you. On that note, you can see that whether you’ve thought of it or not, you already have a personal brand. Every one, from the Prime Minister David Cameron, the artist Sam Smith, to your grandmother or father, we all have one. Even your dog or cat has a personal brand. So the first question to ask yourself is, What is your personal brand currently saying about you? Is it clear, positive and compelling? What does it promise? What value does it represent? Is it working effectively for your vision? Do...
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. MAYA ANGELOU How you start any relationship is extremely important. Within seconds of meeting you, people make decisions about you based on their first impressions, then gather more evidence to support it, so always plan for your first impression. Your first impressions are usually the final impressions, because it is what happens at this point that opens the door for you to make further impressions or shuts the door firmly on you for good. So make it count. So how do you make a powerful first impression? Your appearance: Your appearance including grooming is very important in a first meeting and should communicate who you are and what you want to say to the person or people you are meeting for the first time. It is you visual resume and should always highlight what is right and great about you. Unspoken details colour others’ judgements about your character, capabilities and your value. Every detail matters, so pay attention to every item on your body. Be on time: Tardiness is insulting and disrespectful. But don’t be too early either. For business meetings being 5 to 10 minutes early is okay but not more. Your Smile: A warm, genuine smile involving both your lips and eyes gives you instant attraction, tells the other person that you are happy to meet him or her and puts him or her at ease. Your Handshake: Because the handshake is the only physical closeness at most first meetings, much emphasis is...
YOUR ACTIONS DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY

YOUR ACTIONS DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY

You are where you are right now because of the actions you’ve taken or the inaction you’ve taken. STEVE MARABOLI As we begin a new year, the first thing we need to do is to take responsibility for where we are in life at this moment. Some of cry, “Last year was so difficult. Last year was impossible.” And some of us plead, “I hope this year brings better things.” But last year can be chalked up to the actions we’d taken and the inactions we’d taken. And this year will also be chalked up to the actions we will take and the inactions we will take. Many times the real reason behind our actions or inactions is simply because we felt like it or we just didn’t feel like it or we couldn’t help it – the challenges were too difficult. The journalist, Edward R. Murrow once said that, “Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.” Yes, we may not be responsible for the storms we’ve faced in our lives, but we are responsible for our response to the storms. For it is our ability to choose our actions and our responses that separates us from animals. Unlike animals, We, You and I, are bigger than our challenges. We’ve more power than we think we have. And not even the gravest tragedy is enough reason for us to give up. As the Television Mogul and Actress, Oprah Winfrey once said, “In every tragedy, there is a moment when there is a possibility for triumph.” Whatever you may face this year, be ready to seize your moment. This year, let your actions...
WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR ENEMY?

WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR ENEMY?

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. WINSTON CHURCHILL Yes, we all have an enemy. Naming and facing your enemy is important. Why? Because it will help your growth and success and may even eliminate that enemy. James Arthur Baldwin, the American novelist, essayist and playwright said, that, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” You have to confront what or who frightens you; what holds you back from growth.  You cannot afford to play the ostrich and bury your head in the sand hoping that they will miraculously disappear. And there is no magic wand that you can waive to get rid of your enemies. You have to face them down. If you don’t, their hold on you will get stronger and stronger. So you really have no choice but to fight. My observation is that it is far more powerful and fruitful to become a person with a cause than a person with a grievance.  When you are face to face with an enemy, you are up against a discovery about your true strength. Because until you’ve faced and fought your enemy with every thing you’ve got, you’d never discover how strong you are. What frightens me most is how quickly many people settle to what they call their lot. A bullying boss or partner who frequently undermines your existence, racism, corporate slavery … What ever is yours; you’ve got to face and fight it. You’ve got to fight it with every thing you’ve got, even if you think you’d loose and...
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR GREATER FUTURE?

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR GREATER FUTURE?

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. NAPOLEON HILL,  This question requires you to step out of your comfort zone and really think big. Note that you will never rise above the image you have in your mind in any area of your life. So please be your most inspired, dynamic, and creative self. Don’t put a limit on your imagination. A modest vision will only inspire mediocre actions and a mediocre future.   So, aim beyond what you think you are capable of. Nothing you can envision is impossible. And even if you don’t hit that desired mark exactly, you’d be far beyond where you started and much closer to your dream. It may never be mine, The loaf or the kiss or the kingdom, Because of beseeching. But I know that my hand  Is an arm’s length nearer the sky For reaching.  EDWIN QUARLES BE A STORY WORTH...

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