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Sometimes You Need to Break the Rules

I’ve been itching occasionally to share quotes or pictures that inspire and motivate me. I have hesitated for some unknown reason to post these. Perhaps I thought my readers would not find them useful, frivolous even.

Lately, however, I’ve been trying to adopt a new philosophy. “It’s OK to break the rules sometimes.” More on why we need to re-examine rules in a later post…

But, for now. It’s my blog and I can do what I want with it. If you are among the crowd that objects to being inspired to greatness or motivated to improve your life, then by all means ignore these types of posts. It’s your time and you can do what you want with it.

Moving on. Do you find that certain quotes resonate with you more than others? Have you noticed that you are drawn to different types of motivation/inspiration depending on your current mood?

Something to think about.

Do you think you can?
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Review: Life is a Choice

Life is a Choice. I would certainly have to agree with that perspective. Dr. David Washington, in his new book, “Life is a Choice: A Guide to Success in Life,”, presents a concise compendium of best practices for success and life fulfillment. As a respected speaker and consultant,  he shares the strategies that he has used with his clients.

A quick read, “Life is a Choice,” is a handy guide to the basics of life success. Presented in a simple, conversational style, this book offers straightforward, fundamental strategies to improve lives. Dr. Washington is earnest and heartfelt; his desire to encourage others is evident throughout the book.

While the information presented may be basic for some of the more advanced practitioners of life success, it would be a useful manual for young professionals, especially new college graduates. Those just opening their eyes to the possibilities of life or those struggling to get on the right path, would also enjoy “Life is a Choice.”

In fact, I may pass my copy along to my college age children. They could certainly use a primer on life success, since they don’t seem to want my advice…

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Why You Need This Tool to Keep Your Goals on Track

GoalsOnTrack offers a thoroughly researched, well-designed system to achieving goals of any kind. Their website offers a systematic approach that has been shown to be highly effective for many users. What’s more, you don’t have to use all of the available tools to get results. Utilize the options that make the most sense for you.

As is my usual practice when recommending products or tools, I use them myself to assess their usefulness and determine if they are the right fit for my readers. I am happy to report that after having used this software, I am impressed by the system, the potential results, and the quick and easy customer support to answer any questions.

Some of the features of GoalsOnTrack


Writing your goals in a SMART way makes it much more likely, that you’ll succeed. Follow the goal creation instructions to ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Chunk it Down

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your long, complex, overwhelming goals into small, manageable chunks. Use Sub goal feature to chunk it down and stop procrastination

See Instant Progress

Seeing immediate progress on whatever you do is the most powerful motivation sources. That’s why some games are so addictive. Real time progress tracking features allow you to view instant progress on your goals whenever you complete a task.

Tame Your To-do List

Stop getting frustrated and overwhelmed by your to-do list. Setup your tasks for your goals, and see them automatically organized by goals, categories, and days. Use drag-n-drop features to quickly prioritize your Today’s tasks. Recurring tasks and email reminders also supported.

Use Your Time Wisely

If you don’t manage your time, you will surely waste time. Track how long you spend on tasks accurately and effortlessly, using animated, and offline time trackers no matter where you complete the task.

Day Planner On-the-go

Print out a Day Planner sheet with all your active goals and tasks for today. Take it with you wherever you go. You can check off your to-do list and know you are making progress on goals without using the software.

Visualize Your Success

Visualizing when all your goals are accomplished is a great way to motivate yourself. Upload your own pictures for goals and watch your dreams unfold before your eyes in vision board tool.

Start a New Habit

Nothing can help you reach goals quicker than a right set of great habits. Start a new habit today with Habits Builder tool.

Stick to it until It’s Formed

Tracking your habits is as simple as placing checkmarks on habits tracker calendar tool. The software remembers when and how many checkmarks you placed, and automatically track your habit strength and days to form.

Create Goal Journals

Use the goal journal tool to write down what you did for your goals, how you did it, and what lessons you learned. Not only will you have a written record of your goal journey, you’ll also gain valuable insights and grow personally in the long run.

Import & Export Tasks

See your goals and tasks in your favorite calendar tool, such as Outlook, Google Calendar, and Yahoo Calendar etc. You may also import tasks from Outlook and export them into CSV files.

Progress and Time Usage Reports

Everything you do in the system is recorded and you can create reports on them anytime you like. Create detailed PDF reports on goals, tasks, progress, and time usage. View 3D charts online.

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13 Warning Signs That You May Be Burned Out

Fire flame

Image via Wikipedia

Burned out, stressed out people have become so commonplace that we hardly pay attention to the signs anymore. But that is a serious mistake. Burn out has a tremendous impact on both your physical health and mental well-being.

The first step is learning to recognize the signs. We often dismiss them. We are just dedicated to our jobs or honoring our commitments, or even being a good parent, child, or friend. That is merely a lie we tell ourselves so that we can keep doing what we have been doing.

Stop doing that to yourself. Be aware of the signs and take heed.

Some common warning signs, though there are many others:

  1. You don’t take a lunch away from your desk
  2. Either the quantity or quality of your sleep has deteriorated.
  3. You frequently forget where you put things, or what you are supposed to be doing.
  4. You are distracted when involved in a conversation.
  5. You can’t remember the last time you took time for yourself.
  6. You are exhausted all the time or have no energy.
  7. You have become irritable and impatient much of the time.
  8. You experience frequent headaches or stomach upset with no discernible reason.
  9. You work long hours and don’t take time off.
  10. Alternatively, you call in sick or come in late frequently.
  11. You have lost motivation and interest in your job, hobbies or family.
  12. You are always on, afraid to shut off your electronic shackles.
  13. You feel like you are juggling and most of the plates are crashing.

When you see the signs, pay attention. Take a step back and realize that you must make some kind of change. Sometimes it is a small change and sometimes it can be a complete overhaul. If you do not do something, your body will eventually force the issue.

Have you experienced burnout? Have you taken any steps to change your stress levels? Any signs I missed?Enhanced

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Top 10 Business Books of 2011

There are many “Top 10″ lists available and they all differ to some extent. What annoys me to a certain extent is just because a book is a top seller doesn’t mean that it was the most informatative or contained the most useful or entertaining ideas. It just means that more people bought a book, not that they even read it.

That said…Here is my list of my favorite business reads for 2011. Some I have reviewed already in detail on this site, some are still to come.

The Accidental Creative  by Todd Henry. “If you want to deliver the right idea at the right moment, you must begin the process far upstream from when you need that idea. You need to build practices into your life that will help you focus your creative energy.”


Best Practices Are Stupid by Stephen Shapiro. “Innovation is not about new products, new processes, new services or even new business models. It is about adaptability. When the pace of change outside of your organization is faster than the pace of change within, you will be out of business. That’s why adopting best practices willy-nilly is stupid. You’ll always be slower. But if you learn to ask the right questions, in the right way, of the right people, you’ll accelerate your innovation efforts.”

Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki. “Enchantment is the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization or idea. The outcome of enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial. The greater your goals, the more you’ll need to change people’s hearts, minds, and actions. If you need to enchant people, you’re doing something meaningful. If you’re doing something meaningful, you need enchantment.”

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod. “Everybody needs an evil plan. Everybody needs that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to actually start doing something they love, doing something that matters. Everybody needs an evil plan that gets them the hell out of the rat race, away from lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate. Life is short.”

Higher Unlearning by Jack Uldrich. “What you do know is more likely kill you than what you don’t know, Playing it safe is the riskiest thing you can do, Imperfection trumps perfection, You must bite the hand that feeds you, Failure is the key to success, Following the money can cause you to lose money, Zoning out is preferable to zoning in, Ignorance lies at the heart of wisdom.”

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. “Too many startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want. They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the  product, even in a very rudimentary form, to the prospective customer. When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting. When customers ultimately communicate, through their indifference, that they don’t care about the idea, the startup fails.”

Practically Radical by William Taylor. “In an era of hyper-competition and nonstop dislocation, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special. Today, the most successful organizations don’t just out-compete their rivals. They redefine the terms of competition by embracing one-of-a-kind ideas in a world filled with me-too thinking.”

The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. “The secret to unleashing the creative potential of people is to enable them to experience a great inner work life, and the single most powerful influence on that inner work life is progress in meaningful work. It starts with giving people something meaningful to accomplish. It requires giving clear goals, autonomy, help and resources—what people need to make real progress in their daily work. And it depends on showing respect for ideas and the people who create them.”

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. “At a time when the United States is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build creative digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness, imagination and sustained innovation. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology, so he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.”

 Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields. “If you kill the butterflies in your stomach, you’ll kill the dream. Most people back away when they get that nervous, uncomfortable feeling. But that feeling signals you’re doing something that matters to you. Embrace the feeling. Lean into the discomfort. Try to understand what the feeling is telling you. Train yourself in the alchemy of fear.”

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