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Thankfulness is Power

During tough times, many people find themselves battling thoughts of anger, depression, fear, etc.  These thoughts do nothing to inspire you, nor to move you in the right direction.  In fact, they make matters worse.  Thankfulness on the other hand, is a fast and powerful way to create a positive change in your circumstances.  Gratitude raises you up to a new level of consciousness and provides an atmosphere for awakening spirituality.  You are able to visualize new possibilities, receive ideas on what steps to take next and realize a positive vision for the future.

What we feed grows and what we think is purely a matter of personal choice.  We have to choose powerful thoughts that move us in a direction that serves our purpose.  Powerful, positive thoughts bring us peace of mind and inspire us.  They help us with smart goal setting as well as self improvement.  Get out of a funk by changing your thoughts and following up with clarity and precise action.

Excerpted from, contributed my Paul Lederman.

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Say Thank You

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Who do you need to say thank you to today? Is there a gesture or act that has gone unappreciated?Is there a thank you card that needs to be written – you can send an email if you have to, but I prefer a good old fashioned hand written note!

Say thank you to someone today for their help or kindness.

It’s quick and painless for you and may mean the world to someone else.

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10 Ways to Make Office Meetings Productive

Guest post contributed by John Brook who reviews business supplies for the Office Kitten.

Most office employees complain about every meeting that is held because of the perception that meetings are a complete waste of time. When the meeting is over, the participants must work to complete their daily tasks prior to the close of business. Improve the productivity of office meetings by implementing the following guidelines.

1. Never hold Monday meetings – Customers and employees should be the focus in the office on Monday. Every employee must use the work hours during the day on Monday to plan the week and lay the groundwork for the other four business days of the week. Productivity will improve across the board when employees have uninterrupted time that is used for productive tasks. Train employees respect these quiet hours and not consume them with casual conversation.

2. Communicate information through email – When facts and details must be communicated, write an informative and succinct email that can be sent the employees who need the information. Standard format should include a meaningful title that includes the date for easy reference later. A question that is buried within the text and requires each individual to answer can be an effective way to ensure that the email is read. Track the responses and contact those who do not respond.

3. Cancel half of all existing meetings – Evaluate every meeting currently on a recurring schedule and combine meetings that happen on the same day. Never spend more than two hours each day in meetings. Well-written emails can replace time-wasting meetings. One result of fewer meetings will be a shortened workday where most employees are able to leave at closing time. Overtime hours will be reduced and more work will be completed during the eight-hour workday.

4. Consider meetings as non-productive time – Individuals, who spend more than half of every business day in meetings, are not productive. Revenue-generating activities must take precedence over meetings. Track meeting time as a separate category and monitor the percentage of hours consumed by meetings. Listen to the input from employees and take the steps to conduct only necessary meetings.

5. Invite essential participants – Evaluate participant lists and invite only the employees who can accept an action item from the meeting discussion. Fewer participants will make faster decisions and then meeting outcomes can be communicated to others through an informative email. Ask participants to evaluate the quality of the meeting.

6. Publish a meeting agenda – Writing an agenda will prove to the meeting leader that the meeting is important. When an agenda alludes definition, the meeting can be cancelled, and the time used on productive tasks. Brief agendas will set the tone for succinct communication during the meeting. If significant information is required for the meeting, send the information in a separate email with a meaningful title. Knowing what to expect will increase participation.

7. Start and end on time – If only two people are in the room when the meeting start time arrives, start the meeting with the first item on the agenda. When others walk in late, the lesson will be learned that meetings start on time. Respect the participants by staying on topic and ending the meeting at the stated time.

8. State the purpose of the meeting – At the beginning of the meeting, the person who wrote the agenda and will lead the meeting should state, in very specific terms, the purpose of the meeting. At that point, anyone who does not feel that their presence would help should be excused from the meeting. Employees who believe there is value in the meeting will actively participate and side conversations will not occur.

9. Assign action items – Meetings are meant to complete work through cooperative discussion and idea sharing that cannot be accomplished without the right people being present in a room or on a conference call. As the topic is discussed, assignments must be given to each participant who will complete the work associated with the stated purpose. After the meeting, the list of action item assignments should be sent to every participant with the completion dates listed.

10. Follow-up with each individual – Discussions concerning the work assignments are best conducted individually where the employee can openly identify obstacles that have been encountered in the attempt to complete the assignment. Set a positive tone for each follow-up meeting and communicate that a request for help is welcome, and incomplete tasks are not acceptable. Reassign tasks that were given to someone who is unable to complete them on time.

Meetings do not earn revenue for a business. Habitual meetings are borne out of ritual time management techniques. After experience in a business where meetings are held only when absolutely necessary, most employees put additional effort into communicating with coworkers concerning the work processes and deliverables without meetings. When meetings must be conducted, follow these steps and turn meeting hours into productive work hours.

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The Highest Form of Thankfulness

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

The highest form of thankfulness comes from helping others, even in simple ways. (Want to tweet that…Go ahead, I like to share)

Do a good deed today.

You may not have time to serve in a food program, but you can spare a few minutes to help an elderly neighbor or a single parent. Perhaps you can give a caregiver a much needed break or stop at an extended care facility for a visit. We can all do something that benefits others. And we will be the richer for it…

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Honor Those Who Came Before Us

Suffrage Parade (LOC)
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

“Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” - Albert Einstein

Just for a moment, let’s be grateful to those that paved the road to where we are.

I am grateful for those who guaranteed my birth in a free country, those who won me the right to vote, to bear arms, to disagree publicly with my government, to choose my work or to stay home with my children.

I honor those who came before me to begin works of charity and organizations dedicated to human betterment, those who cure illness and those dare to blaze new and unknown trails.

They inspire me to ask what can I create and what I can give.

What can you give?

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