10 Simple and Easy Ways to Give Thanks for Your Employees by Randy Conley

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In the spirit of today’s Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, I thought I’d share ten simple and easy ways to tell your employees “thank you.” Telling an employee “thank you” is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to build trust, yet it doesn’t happen near enough in the workplace.

Whenever I conduct trust workshops with clients and discuss the role that rewards and recognition play in building trust, I will ask participants to raise their hands if they feel like they receive too much praise or recognition on the job. No one has ever raised a hand.

So on this day of giving thanks, take a few minutes to review this list and commit to using one of these methods to tell your employees “thank you.” I’ve used many of these strategies myself and can attest to their effectiveness.

1. Let them leave work early

This may not be feasible in all work environments, but if you’re able to do it, a surprise treat of allowing people to leave early does wonders for team morale and well-being. I use this technique occasionally with my team, usually when they’ve had the pedal to the metal for a long period of time, or if we have a holiday weekend coming up. Allowing folks to get a head start on the weekend or a few hours of unexpected free time shows you recognize and appreciate their hard work and that you understand there’s more to life than just work.

2. Leave a “thank you” voice mail message

Don’t tell my I.T. department, but I’ve got voice mails saved from over ten years ago that were sent to me by colleagues who took the time to leave me a special message of praise. The spoken word can have a tremendous impact on individuals, and receiving a heartfelt message from you could positively impact your employees in ways you can’t imagine.

Read the rest here: http://leaderchat.org/2013/11/28/10-simple-and-easy-ways-to-give-thanks-for-your-employees/

10 Ways to Start Living a Meaningful Life Right Now

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BY IZMAEL ARKIN

Does Your Life Even Matter?

Go to work. Come home. Eat Dinner. Go to sleep. Wake up.

Rinse, recycle, repeat.

Do you ever wonder…

Does my life even matter?

There is magic and fear behind this question.

Deep down inside – you know that you matter! You know your life has meaning! You know you have a purpose!

But if your life matters, has meaning, and purpose… You’re forced to ask yourself:

Why am I living each day stuck on repeat?

Choose to Live a Meaningful Life Today

You have to be intentional about the life you want to live. It’s just too easy to fall into the “rinse, repeat, recycle” pattern.

Therefore the first step to living a meaningful life is to choose to live a meaningful life.

Once you have made this choice, then you have to take action.

Below I have listed 10 specific actions you can do today that will start to bring meaning to your life. Don’t try to do all 10 at once. Adopt one item from the list, and then slowly add others as time goes on. The journey of a 1000 miles starts with one step.

10 Ways to Start Living a Meaningful Life… Today

1. Focus on Being a Better Person

What type of human being do you want to be? A trustworthy friend? A loving partner? filled with gratitude?

The key is to step back and to ask these two questions:

1) What type of character do I want to have?
2) If I was that person, how would I act?

Then immediately start acting in a manner consistent with your answer.

We are what we do. Therefore, if you begin to act in a specific manner and continue to act like in that, then you are that person.

2. Commit This Moment

I mentioned this earlier but it bears repeating. Find somewhere quiet to sit. Take a few full breaths in and out. Become present in the moment.

Then with conviction start having an intense dialogue with yourself. In this dialogue you are going to explain that “This moment is it! This is the moment when O commit to living a meaningful life!” Then explain why you are going to commit.

Tony Robbins calls these “incantations”. They are not affirmations. Incantations are not statements that are merely said. They are words driven by deep emotions and passion. They are a commitment to the most important person in this world: yourself

3. Donate Your Time

One of the greatest way’s to bring meaning to your life is to help others in need. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, help a friend move, read books to children at the library, the list goes on and on.

When you give your time to make the world a better place it brings immense meaning to your life. Imagine being part of the reason the world is improving! Now, that’s cool.

4. Listen When People Talk To You

Very few people actually listen during a conversation. We are social creatures. We all want to be heard. By showing how much you value others, you will bring greater meaning to your own life.

5. Make Today “Book Worthy”

Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself “Wow! That was awesome!” Well, what if you could make today worthy of a chapter in a book.

Think about this question:

What would make today worthy of a Chapter in “The story of my life”?

Answer that question than take action on the most viable thing you can do.

6. Do The Simple Things That Make You Smile

What makes you laugh? What makes you smile? What fills your soul with joy?

Maybe you like to watch sesame street, listen to cheesy music, watch old episodes of Seinfeld. What it is, doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it truly brings joy to your life.

7. Write out a “Future Gratitude List”

This works best if you do it in the morning. Sit down with a pen and paper. Then write down everything you are thankful for that is going to happen today.

The key is to write down everything you want to happen. For example “Have a wonderful lunch with a friend”.

Write down 5 things (the more the better). Then fold up the list and put it in your pocket. Carry it with you throughout the day. Then be intentional about making it happen.

Essentially this is a fun way of planning out your day.

8. Write Out Your “Life Dream List” and Take The First Step

This is awesome! Take out a piece of paper, pen, and stopwatch. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

Then start writing down everything you want to achieve in your life. Have fun with it, nothing is too big!

Then at the end of 15 minutes, look at the list and ask this question.

1) Which achievement (from the list) would have the single greatest impact on my life right now?

Then follow that with this question

2) What is the very first step I can take today to move in that direction?

Then immediately take the first step.

9. Tell Those You Love… That You Love Them

The danger is that It’s easy to get caught in the trap of assuming “they already know I love them”. But in reality, they might not know.

Write down a list of the people that you genuinely love. Then identify which of them you have not told lately “I love you”. Then go say it! It might be a little bit weird at first, but it will also be very powerful.

10. Ask this Question and adjust based on your answer

What would the world be like if everyone was like me?

Take a look at that question. Answer it openly and honestly. Then start making the necessary corrections this very moment.

Hint: If you said “The world would be great!” Then humility and the ability to be honest with yourself are skills you should work on.

Choose 1 Thing

This list can ignite the first step towards a life of meaning and purpose… Or it can do nothing for you. That’s on you.

Is today the moment when you start to bring meaning to your life?

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/10-ways-to-start-living-a-meaningful-life-right-now/

How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive

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by Nadia Goodman

As an entrepreneur, conquering challenge and failure is essential to the success of your business. You can learn to cultivate that resilience by training your brain to stay positive when times are tough.

“People tend to have a cognitive bias toward their failures, and toward negativity,” says Matthew Della Porta, a positive psychologist and organizational consultant. Our brains are more likely to seek out negative information and store it more quickly to memory.

Of course, that bias is not always bad. Acknowledging problems and facing failures can lead us to better solutions. But too often, we go overboard, and beat ourselves up for our failures or let ourselves dwell in the negative.

By consciously increasing our focus on the positive, we start to even the balance. We find a happy medium where we can address failures and challenges without letting them get us down, leaving us more motivated, productive, and likely to succeed.

Try these three tips to help you train your brain to stay positive:

1. Express gratitude. Negative events loom large unless you consciously balance them out. “When you’re faced with challenges, it’s important to take stock of what’s going well,” Della Porta says. Thinking about the good in your life can help balance that bias, giving your brain the extra time it needs to register and remember a positive event.

To help your brain store positive events, reflect on what you’re grateful for and why at least once a week. Write down your blessings, such as the opportunity to pursue a career you love or a family that supports you. If you prefer a daily habit, then keep a nightly log of good things that happened that day. “Just keep it very short,” Della Porta says. “If you try to hammer [gratitude] home, then it becomes mundane.” Day One, a journaling app for Apple devices ($4.99), or OhLife, a free email-based journal, can to help you do this.

2. Repeat positive affirmations. As any politician or advertiser knows, the more often you hear a message, the more likely you are to believe it. The same goes for messages about who you are and what you are capable of doing. By repeating positive affirmations with conviction several times each morning, you are training your brain to believe them. “Over time, you’ll start to internalize them,” Della Porta says. Repeat your affirmations silently if you feel self-conscious.

Choose two to three affirmations that represent your values and goals, such as ‘I can handle whatever comes my way,’ ‘There is plenty of time,’ or ‘I’m getting better every day.’ The repetition will influence the way you interpret negative events, making you more resilient. “Especially if you’re predisposed to negative thinking, this can be extremely effective,” Della Porta says.

3. Challenge negative thoughts. Each time a negative thought arises, we choose how to respond. If left to our own devices, we tend to dwell. Our brains home in on negative events so they seem much bigger and more significant than they are. To combat that, start by imagining the thought as separate from yourself, as something you can observe and deconstruct. “Get in the habit of distancing yourself instead of dwelling,” Della Porta says.

Next, challenge negative thoughts that are unfairly self-deprecating. For example, if your startup doesn’t get the traction you hoped, you might think, “I’m a failure.” That’s untrue and unproductive. Instead, practice interpreting the same event differently. You might say, I worked really hard but I didn’t account for a quirk of the market, so I’m disappointed, but now I’m going to try again with new information. That interpretation is gentler, truer, and more proactive. “At first, [this strategy will] be hard and you’ll think it doesn’t work,” Della Porta says. “But over time, it’ll become automatic and negative thoughts will be less likely to come up. No one does this naturally; you have to learn and practice.”

http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/startingup/business-management/how-to-train-your-brain-to-stay-positive/?hootPostID=94c7dc82adba2e73a36242b87ea1e9fe