Friday, December 19, 2008

Halftime

Halftime
Changing Your Game Plan
from Success to Significance
By Bob Buford

The Big Idea
Bob Buford believes the second half of your life can be better than the first. In Halftime, Bob focuses on this important time of transition – the time when, as he says, a person pauses to consider what will make his or her remaining years rich and meaningful.

To help people at midlife to embark on their “personal renaissance,” Buford lifts up the important questions we need to ask, such as: What am I really good at? If my life were absolutely perfect, what would it look like?

Buford fills Halftime with a blend of personal insight, true-life examples, and hit-the-nail-on-the-head quotes from men who have successfully navigated the exhilarating and potentially dangerous shoals of midlife.


Why You Need This Book
This book provides the encouragement and insight to propel your life on a new course away from mere success to true significance – and the best years of your life.

Midlife. Halftime. It doesn’t need to be a time of crisis; it can be a catalyst.


LISTENING TO THE GENTLE WHISPER
In the first half of life, there is barely enough time to progress beyond second base, or even think about doing so. We are hunter-gatherers, doing our best to provide for our families, to advance to our children. In addition, for most men, and certainly a growing number of women, the first half finds us in our warrior mode. The second half, when the pressure lets up, seems to be more the time when most people round second base and begin to do something more than what they’ve done so far.

The first half of life has to do with getting and gaining, learning and earning. Some chase the prize in a more spectacular, aggressive fashion. It is about releasing the seed of creativity and energy that have been implanted within us, watering and cultivating it so that we may be abundantly fruitful. It involves investing our gifts in service to others – and receiving the personal joy that comes as a result of that spending. This is the kind of risk for which entrepreneurs earn excellent returns much of the time.

There is a risk in this decision: In tossing aside the security blanket that keeps you safe and warm in your cautiously controlled zone of comfort, you may have to set aside familiar markers and reference points. You may feel, at least at first, that you are losing control of your life.


LOCATING THE MAINSPRING
Realize that not everyone can afford to devote only 20 percent of his time to his career. But don’t allow the second half of your life to be characterized by decline, boredom, and increasing ineffectiveness.

Listen carefully to that still, small voice, and then do some honest soul-searching. What’s in your box? Is it money? Career? Family? Freedom?

Remember, you can only have one thing in the box. Regardless of your position in life, once you have identified what’s in your box, you will be able to see the cluster of activities that put into play your “one thing” and keep you growing.

But be careful. Growth is not always easy.


TAKING STOCK
Halftime cannot be a noisy place.

The first half is noisy, busy, almost frenetic. It’s just that you never seem to have time to do it.

If you are hearing a voice speak softly to you, it is time to head for the locker room, catch your breath, and get ready for the second half – a better second half than the first.

Many times, a good second half depends on what is done during halftime.
Here are some general concepts that can help you prepare to go back out into the field:

Make peace. Regret haunts you in ways that will sap your strength and inspiration to go on to better things. Take time. The biggest mistake most of us make in the first half is not taking enough time on the things that are really important, so when you enter your halftime you need to make sure you don’t repeat that mistake.

Be deliberate. Set an agenda that will help you “walk” through the important issues.

Share the journey. If your marriage is truly a partnership, it would be wrong for you to impose a whole new lifestyle onto your spouse without consulting her.

Be honest. Your second-half self is your genuine self, so be honest enough to discover it.


FROM SUCCESS TO SIGNIFICANCE
One of the most common characteristics of a person who is nearing the end of the first half is that unquenchable desire to move from success to significance.

Psychologist Donald Joy once observed that soon after a man turns forty, he is likely to tackle a huge undertaking – something that appears to be slightly out of his reach.

As we move closer to the halftime of our lives, we realize that we can only buy, sell, manage, and attain so much. We also begin to understand that we will only live so long. When all is said and done, our success will be pretty empty unless it has included a corresponding degree of significance.

Significance need not be a 180-degree course change. Instead, do some retrofitting so that you can apply your gifts in ways that allow you to spend more time on things related to what’s in your box.


OVERLAPPING CURVES
Life seems more comfortable in known, familiar territory, even when we are fairly certain something better awaits us out there.

Many people don’t make it through this zone, which is characterized by the pain of loss of former certainties and by confusion about what comes next. The future seems to be somewhat fuzzy and vague, and doesn’t compete well with the comfort and certainty of our present situation.

The normal pattern for most people is a single curve that rises as we approach middle age, and then sharply falls off toward retirement. What author and philosopher Charles Handy recommends is to start a new curve, preferably while the first one is still rising, but certainly before it begins to fall.

It is important to learn how to enjoy and benefit from the success you worked so hard to attain without becoming addicted to it, without going past the inflection point in the curve when it turns sour. Handy’s Sigmoid curve shows us that everything, even the best things, go pathological beyond that inflection point.
And it is the realization that they could become stuck forever – “in a rut,” as some say – that helps motivate some people to escape the first half.


REGAINING CONTROL
It is one thing to talk about regaining control, and quite another to really do it. Old habits, even tempered with a brand-new outlook on life, die hard. Delegate at work, play, and home. Work smarter, not harder.

Do what you best; drop the rest. Go with your strengths.

Set limits. Reallocate time to your mission, to your core issues.

Protect your personal time by putting it on your calendar. Leave time for absolute silence, for deliberately looking at your life to see that it is in balance.

Work with people you like. Work with people who can add energy to life, not with those who take energy away.

Set timetables. If you do not put your second-half dreams on a timetable, they will quickly become unfulfilled wishes.

Downsize. Get rid of the things that stand between you and regaining control of your life.

Play around a little. Play ought to be a big second-half activity, not so much in terms of time spent, but in importance.

Take the phone off the hook. Unless you’re a brain surgeon on twenty-four hour call, it’s not necessary to let people know where you are all the time.

If you are being controlled by too many time-and energy-consuming activities, you will continue to be frustrated by unfulfilled dreams and desires. Realize too, that you are in unfamiliar territory; and it may take some practice before you feel comfortable. Eventually, however, you will find a way to regain control of your own life.


LIFE MISSION
Developing a personal mission statement makes a lot of sense, especially for second-halfers. During the first half, you probably either did not have time to develop such a declaration of mission, or the mission statement you adopted really belonged to the company for which you worked. You will not get very far in your second half without knowing your life mission. Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests that in developing a personal mission statement, you should focus on what you wish to be and do, based on the values and principle that undergird all your beliefs and actions.

“Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power, “ writes Covey.


PLAYING FOR ALL YOU’RE WORTH
Please don’t let that hinder you from playing the game hard. Then, when their formulas don’t work, they get discouraged and resign themselves to the downward slope of their one curve.

Remember, the second half is only part of the game. We all have to play the whole game.

Thomas Merton wrote that all you really need is in your life already. He called it the “hidden wholeness.” Even though that’s what most of us do in the first half, we eventually learn that money, fame, material possessions, and experiences will never fill us.

BestSummaries is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn - in minutes - what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

9 Things a Leader Must Do



9 Things a Leader Must Do

Breaking Through to the Next Level


based on the book by Dr. Henry Cloud

The Big Idea
Are you accomplishing what you want as a leader?

Why do some leaders get and accomplish what they want, while others seem to regularly experience frustration and setbacks? Why do some leaders achieve their goals, while others barely hang in there?

Based on his groundbreaking psychological study of ways that successful individuals think and behave, Dr. Henry Cloud presents a simple yet profound roadmap to help leaders – and those who want to become leaders – to arrive at greater levels of personal growth and corporate influence that they thought were possible.

The good news for all of us is that leadership success is not limited to vague notions of “charisma” or traditional advantages like graduate degrees and connections. It is much more closely tied to a pattern of thinking and moving forward that learns from mistakes and stays focused on goals.


Why You Need This Book
This book will help you discover the secrets that will help you focus on the dynamics that make a difference in your organization – and your life.


Déjà Vu Leaders
A good number of us are in business or other arenas of leadership, but we have different backgrounds, different personalities, different economic circumstances, and different abilities. However, this set of people are the same in that they share this particular way of handling life and work. And that commonality is the déjà vu experience.

People who found what they were looking for in life seemed to do a certain set of things in common.

If you were not born with these patterns for leadership in place, you can learn them.
You can learn these patterns that work every time and lead to a better life.



1. Excavate Your Soul
For successful leaders, the invisible world is where the real life is. The same is true at all levels of leadership in the business world. Every blockbuster deal, every new rung on the corporate ladder, every project design, every company merger, and every successful sales campaign begins in the invisible soul of human beings. Leadership success is the process of digging up the treasures of the invisible soul in order to bring dreams, desires, and talents into the visible world.

In order to optimize his opportunities in business and life, the déjà vu leader:

Becomes aware of his dreams, desires, talents, and other treasures of the soul.

Listens to them and values them as life itself.

Takes steps to develop them, beginning in very small ways.

In order to get to the outside visible world, your desires and talents have to be mined, refined, and sculpted. Listen to what bugs you.

Don’t let negative feelings just sit there.

Don’t let long-term wishes and dreams go ignored. Listen to your symptoms. Pay attention to your fantasies. Face the fears and obstacles that have caused you to bury your inner treasures.

Don’t confuse envy with desire. You may be envious of someone else’s position or success because you have lost touch with your own dreams.

Do everything above in the context of your values and the community of people who are committed to guarding your heart. If you do not have such a community, find one and join it.


2. Yank the Diseased Tooth
There are major negative things that can afflict us, really bad stuff. Either fill the cavity or pull the tooth. Then new energy, resources, time, and space become available to you to focus on the things that have life in them. The negative energy drain is stopped, making room for the good stuff.

So, here is the sad result of not living like a déjà vu leader: You get the negative emotions of all your problems without the benefits of solving them. Avoidance is really not helping anything, because you still expend the energy and feel the hurt. Avoidance always prolongs the pain.

This violates an important value.

I wish this were not happening.


3. Play the Whole Movie
Déjà vu leaders evaluate almost everything they do in this way. They see every behavior and decision as links in a larger chain, steps in a direction that has a destination. In short, they rarely do anything without thinking of the ultimate consequences. They play the whole movie, so to speak.

Playing the whole movie can save your life by preventing bad things from happening, and it can build your life by enabling you to see the good things that can happen.

In addition to motivation, playing the whole movie provides successful leaders with another strategy common to all of them. They use it to live out the difficulties before they actually occur. In other words, they worry ahead of time, meaning they play the movie and then take active steps to make sure they are ready for unpleasant scenes when they arrive.

So plot a movie, a vision of your life, your career, your relationships, your finances, and so on. See it, plan it, and then evaluate each scene you write every day in light of where the movie is supposed to end.


4. Put Superman Out of a Job
Déjà vu leaders tend to call on themselves as the first source to correct difficult situations. Even if someone else is at fault, they take the initiative to address the problem and seek a solution. Whatever the answer may be, déjà vu leaders make a move.

If it takes money to make money (a common excuse), then go raise the money you need. Don’t just sit there wishing for a bigger budget.

If the economy is lousy, don’t wait for it to change. Gain a skill in a different field, look somewhere else, find another niche that is hot, enlarge your network or openness to other jobs, start your own service business, or something.


5. Embrace Your Inner Insect
The biggest enemy of the small-steps-big-results principle is our craving for having it all. If the ant picks up a grain of sand, the city will be built. But if the ant looks at the grain and says, “That is not a city! All-or-nothing thinking keeps people stuck in destructive ruts. All success is built and sustained just like a building is built, one brick at a time. But one brick seems too small and insignificant for all-or-nothing thinkers. Déjà vu leaders are different. They value the little increments, the tiny steps. Taking the long road, one tiny step at a time, will actually get you there faster because you will not lose time by trying shortcuts.


6. Earn a Black Belt in Hate
Choosing what you hate is serious business. What you do not hate well is going to find its way into your life. Here are some tips that déjà vu leaders would offer:

Make your values intentional. Deal with your subjective hatred. Find the sources of your subjective hatred and make them objective. Put names and faces to the origins of your problematic feelings and attitudes.

Mix hate with love and respect. A déjà vu leader shows up with what we call integrated character. In other words, when he brings his hate, he brings his love as well. His hate is integrated with his love and other values, such as respect for people, kindness, and forgiveness. That is how he can take a hard stand on a tough issue but remain loving and kind in the process.

Build your skills. One thing that déjà vu leaders always do well is resolve conflict, and that means being honest and assertive without losing control, getting manipulated, or freaking out.

In the process, you will preserve most of the good things in your life, eliminate most of the destructive things, and experience much more success in your work and in your life.


7. Forget About Playing Fair
People who succeed in leadership and life do not go around settling scores. They do not even keep score. It is the law of love, changing things for the better.

Déjà vu leaders have transcended the need for revenge. The other’s benefit is their utmost concern. Revenge is for immature people. Mature leaders know that ultimately the offending person is going to get what he deserves without anyone else bringing it about.


8. Quit Self-Exaggerating
Just as humility sells soap, it can also build success in all areas of your life and leadership. Be a déjà vu leader and learn the way of humility. Here are a few examples of the humble ways of déjà vu leaders:

Say you are sorry to your children, spouse, coworkers, customers, and other people in your life when you fail them.

Serve the people “under” you in whatever structures have placed you “over” them. In organizations where there are hierarchies, déjà vu leaders are as concerned with their relationship to the custodian as they are with their relationship to the CEO.

Root out any attitude of entitlement. Embrace a spirit of gratitude for everything you have or any good treatment you get.

When someone is hurt by you, listen. Embrace your imperfections and the imperfections of others. Use failure as a teacher and a friend.


9. Ignore the Popularity Polls
Successful leaders are sensitive to the reactions of others, but when weighing whether or not a given course is right, whether or not someone else is going to like it is not a factor that carries any weight. Concern, yes; but weight, no. déjà vu leaders decide to do what is right first and deal with the fallout second.

Déjà vu leaders go against the odds if the odds are against what is right. They are willing to be the odd one, risking loss of approval in order to do the right thing. Forget the popularity polls. Don’t try to avoid upsetting people; just make sure you are upsetting the right ones. If kind, loving, responsible and honest people are upset with you, then you had better look at the choices you are making. But if controlling, hot and cold, irresponsible, or manipulative people are upset with you, then take courage – it might be a sign that you are doing the right thing and becoming a déjà vu leader!

The principles are available to everyone. Do not see leadership success as a goal that you cannot attain or a prize only for special or lucky people. Success is never embodied in a person, but in the ways of wisdom that transcend any one individual. What déjà vu leaders do is find those ways and practice them.

Be encouraged to embark on a path of putting them into practice into your own life and becoming a déjà vu leader.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries.com sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.








Monday, November 24, 2008

Developing Mental Agility

Whether you are presenting a product, giving a press conference, interviewing for a job, addressing an audience – you are persuading.

You need Mental Agility – the art of thinking fast, controlling a conversation, persuading those around you, and conditioning the mind to think faster under pressure.

As one of the most sought-after professional business speakers in the country, author Rob Jolles knows first had the need for mental speed.

He wrote a book that is full of useful tips and action points, plus thirty-five Mental Agility exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned and put Rob’s “path to persuasion” into your business plan.

If you would like to read our summary based on his book, please visit http://www.bestsum.com.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Are You Hungry For Love?

If you are too hungry for love, it ends up putting people off. They will quickly come to the conclusion that, no matter what they do, they can never make you happy. If you ask too much, people will avoid you.

If you are someone who’s hungry for love, the affection you crave has the same effect as food does for a bulimic person, or drugs for an addict. It gives you a temporary lift, but it doesn’t satisfy you. Suddenly that’s all you can think about. You have to have it and every fix has to be bigger than the one before. You are prepared to do anything to feel loved. You become capable of almost every kind of persuasive behaviour, even blackmail, to get what you want.

Of course, it’s natural to want to be loved. Everyone needs love, especially when things are going badly. Some people undoubtedly need it more than others, for example those who were deprived of affection – or, conversely, overindulged – in their childhood.

It is possible to avoid an unhealthy craving for love and affection by developing your own emotional intelligence, and improving your relationships with other people. If you suspect you are too hungry for love, you have to identify first of all, the ‘illness’, the form it takes. Then, you need to strengthen your immune system to limit any damage during ‘a crisis’.

So how badly affected are you?


THE HISTRIONIC
The term histrionic derives from the Latin histrio, meaning a comedian, boaster, or even a cheat. When you deprived of love, you tend to become hysterical. You burst into tears for nothing, or you fly into a rage. For those around you, it’s heaven or hell. You are either in the depths of despair, or you are on Cloud Nine.

THE EGOCENTRIC
When you are let down in love, you become terribly narcissistic. It does have its advantages (you end up looking particularly glamorous) but it can be quite inconvenient. You spend all your money on clothes, cosmetics and beauty treatments.. and yet, despite all the care you take of your body and the time you put into your appearance, you are never satisfied with what you see in the mirror. Deep down, you don’t think you look good and you are scared that no one will find you attractive.

No matter how much your friends or would-be partners try to reassure you, you simply cannot believe anyone could find you in the least seductive.

THE ORPHAN
You are so hungry for love, it makes you submissive, you become a real doormat. You give up your whole personality. You no longer have tastes, ideas, or preferences of your own. Clothes, work, home, holidays, you let other people decide on everything.

Sometimes it works out quite well, especially if your partner likes the same things as you do. Fine if he’s crazy about sailing and you adore anything to do with being out in the fresh air. Not so good, though, if he turns out to be mad about white-water rafting and your idea of heaven is an afternoon in a museum.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries.com sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

All of us do have an instinctive idea of our emotional quotient (EQ), even if we don’t know that’s what it’s called! Your strengths and weaknesses in these and other areas will add up to an individual “psychostyle” which is called your Emotional Quotient, or emotional intelligence. 

Why You Need This Book
It introduces readers to the basic tenets of emotional intelligence and teaches them to look at themselves and other people with new eyes. 

It needs to be evaluated in terms of our self-awareness and our relationships with others.


Discover Your Emotional Psychostyle

Here’s a quick overview of the four emotional psychostyles. 

(Editor’s note: please refer to the book for the eight detailed tests which help determine emotional psychostyle.)


EXTROVERT-IMPULSIVE
You love new trends and technological advances (you adore surfing the Net); you’re not too concerned with moral values, you hunger for sensation, excitement, new experiences and success. Your motto in life is ‘Every man for himself’.

You crave social success – money is a great motivator for you – but you want to stay free and independent. Whether you work in a multinational, as part of a small team, or as a freelance individual, you prefer to remain detached. You do a good, professional job but you don’t really get involved in your work or work for the joy of it. You are hedonistic, you want to make the most of everything life has to offer, through your interests, your friends or other venues. Outdoor pursuits take up a lot of your time. As far as you’re concerned, home is strictly for sleeping in.

You live an active life: you take short holiday breaks all year round and enjoy trips abroad. You have a strong need for new pleasures and ever-changing experiences.


EXTROVERT-STABLE
You are generally opposed to change, and you have a somewhat withdrawn attitude to life. Traditional family values are important to you, and deep down you think a woman’s place is in the home. First and foremost, you look for a quiet life, well-organized if at all possible, and you hate having your routine disturbed.

You are cautious; you prefer safe bets to risks. You are highly organized both at work and in your leisure pursuits. You enjoy routine jobs and taking breaks with your family. You rarely travel long distances – it puts you in a bad mood. You have problems adapting to different ways of thinking, or changing your diet. Your traditions and principles are rock-solid and you tend to be quite single-minded. You reject everything ‘foreign’ quite systematically and at times aggressively. 


INTROVERT-IMPULSIVE
You loathe all-out show and ostentation, and excessive displays of success and wealth. When it comes to fashion or food, your tastes are simple. Change and novelty are what you crave and you are insatiably curious. You dream of doing something adventurous and escaping to foreign parts (sunbathing in Bali or trekking along the Grand Canyon). 


INTROVERT-STABLE
Your life is divided between your family and your career. You are very centered, almost a little too much so, on your family, their physical and emotional comfort, the children’s education and so on. You buy quality names. However, your desire to conform may also occasionally make you voice rather repressive moral views.

Everything – people, objects, ideas – must have been tried and tested before they can receive your seal of approval. You prefer traditional décor (with some modern fittings of course) and you enjoy home cooking. You enjoy a little sailing, the odd round of golf, browsing in museums and visiting places of interest. Apart from that, you like watching television, reading books (especially historical novels), doing a little practical DIY around the house and collecting antiques.

Your social life tends to revolve around the private clubs and associations you belong to.


Are You Hungry for Love?
If you are too hungry for love, it ends up putting people off. If you ask too much, people will avoid you.

If you are someone who’s hungry for love, the affection you crave has the same effect as food does for a bulimic person, or drugs for an addict. Of course, it’s natural to want to be loved. Everyone needs love, especially when things are going badly. Some people undoubtedly need it more than others, for example those who were deprived of affection – or, conversely, overindulged – in their childhood.

It is possible to avoid an unhealthy craving for love and affection by developing your own emotional intelligence, and improving your relationships with other people. If you suspect you are too hungry for love, you have to identify first of all, the ‘illness’, the form it takes. tally your responses, and then refer to the score panel and the assessments:

1. You constantly seek reassurance and approval from other people at work and in your private life.

2. You feel angry, ashamed or humiliated if someone criticizes you (even slightly).
3. You desperately want people to admire your appearance.

4. You would burst into tears if you heard that your best friend’s dog had died.

5. You often overestimate your abilities or the value of your achievements.

6. At parties, you don’t feel happy unless you are the center of attention.

7. You think that only exceptional people can really understand your problems.
8. You would not feel capable of organizing a solo holiday trip.

9. Your emotional reactions are not predictable.

10. If there’s a horrible job to be done at work or at home, you always volunteer to do it.
11. You often jump queues.

12. You fish for compliments a lot.

13. You feel devastated when a close relationship is broken off.

14. You don’t take it well when a friend cancels on you even if it is not her fault.
15. You frequently feel jealous or envious of your friends’ lives.

16. You are easily hurt by criticism from your partner.

17. You often wear miniskirts and figure-hugging tops to the office.

If your score so far shows that you ARE hungry for love, you will fall into one of three categories: histrionics, egocentrics, and ‘orphans’, who are afraid of being abandoned. 

THE HISTRIONIC
The term histrionic derives from the Latin histrio, meaning a comedian, boaster, or even a cheat. When you deprived of love, you tend to become hysterical. You always trust people too quickly and too soon. You will fall under the spell of anyone with a strong personality. As a result, all your relationships are generally stormy and insincere.

Your problem is first of all that you are over-emotional, you suffer from overwhelming feelings. You are soon bored by routine (no challenge) and tenderness (no passion). 

Get a grip on your emotions. Good or bad, they are always excessive and this stops you from seeing people and events in a realistic light. You must learn moderation.

Play everything down. You won’t find love by behaving like a tease or an easy lay. Stop hugging every casual acquaintance as if he was the love of your life and don’t be tempted to wrap yourself all round a man just because he’s bought you lunch – even if it was delicious. 

THE EGOCENTRIC
If you are an Egocentric, when you are let down in love, you become terribly narcissistic. When people are acutely narcissistic, the real problem is that they are being passive. They behave as if they were objects (sexual or otherwise), desirable goods, rather than people. That’s why other people’s opinions assume such importance. Remember, it isn’t necessary in life to accomplish great things or achieve perfection. 

Don’t try to read into things all the time. Don’t imagine love or desire where there isn’t any.

Stop trying to look at yourself from other people’s point of view. You have always tended to center everything on how people regard you. 

THE ORPHAN
You no longer have tastes, ideas, or preferences of your own. Clothes, work, home, holidays, you let other people decide on everything.

Sometimes it works out quite well, especially if your partner likes the same things as you do. Not so good, though, if he turns out to be mad about white-water rafting and your idea of heaven is an afternoon in a museum.

Stop volunteering for all the dirty work. Only in fairy tales are princes charming to Cinderellas. So bite your tongue before offering your services. 

Learn to manage your time for yourself. 

Train yourself to do things on your own (even if you are in a relationship). 

Final Words
Understanding and developing your emotional intelligence – and learning to understand and view other people similarly as well – will be the key to success in both your professional and personal life.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well.  BestSummaries.com sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats.  For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.



Thursday, October 30, 2008

TRAIN YOUR MIND TO THINK AND ACT FASTER

When selling, how tempted are we to rattle off a set of statistics or specs on our product rather than find out how our product can benefit our clients? When negotiating, how tempted are we to list our demands, name our price, or list our conditions before we find out what the other party wants to achieve and how he or she envisions the solution? Mental Agility not only helps people master these challenges quickly, it also helps them hone their new skills during live confrontation.

Whether you are presenting a product, giving a press conference, interviewing for a job, addressing an audience – you are persuading. You need Mental Agility – the art of thinking fast, controlling a conversation, persuading those around you, and conditioning the mind to think faster under pressure.

So now you have a better idea of what Mental Agility is, and why it is so important to master. The question now is, how do you do it? How do you speed up your ability to think quickly on your feet? Well, that’s easy: Think faster. This is where the journey truly begins.

As one of the most sought-after professional business speakers in the country, author Rob Jolles knows first had the need for mental speed. After 22 years of training thousands of sales people for clients such as Xerox, General Electric, Aetna, Goldman Sachs, and more – he has put together a “must read” guide for learning to think fast on your feet so you can sell your message, influence others, and captivate your audience, wherever you are.

In his frank, humorous style, Developing Mental Agility is just as much fun to read as listening to Rob talk. His easy “problem-process-practice” guide teaches you a system for walking into any situation cold and establishing a relationship, based on trust and confidence; for implementing Rob’s repeatable, predictable techniques for persuading your clients or audience; and then how to handle confrontational scenarios that might arise and turn them around.

This book is full of useful tips and action points, plus thirty-five Mental Agility exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned and put Rob’s “path to persuasion” into your business plan.

BestSummaries provides you with very useful summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books. With our book summaries, you shall be informed, guided, and transformed! Let loose your potential to live a happy, successful and satisfied life!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Learning How to Calm Your Mind

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with frantic thoughts about all you need to get done the next day? Are you ever unsure about where to start because you have so much to do and no time to get it done?

Everyone has these feelings from time to time, but you can learn to calm your mind. A calm mind is a more attentive and proactive mind, and in learning to remove anxious thoughts, you can learn to enjoy your life far more than you already do!

How to Achieve Peace Within

When you have a mind that will not stop, you usually are hard-pressed to find inner peace. The more your mind races, the more anxious and frustrated you may become, and this can lead to unproductive days, weeks, and even months. You don't have to continue to live this way. There are many ways to calm your overactive mind and you really can learn how to live a more calm and peaceful life.

If your mind starts running a million miles a minute and you're not sure which way to turn next, try to pause and repeat a positive affirmation. When you use the power of positive self-talk, you will program your mind to work in a new and different way.

When things seem as if they are getting out of hand, you can use an affirmation such as, "I trust my ability to relax. I am calm and peaceful." Although this may not be the case at the moment, if you repeat this constantly you will start to believe it. This will help you change your inner dialogue in those moments when you are tempted to succumb to the craziness surrounding you.

Positive affirmations are important because they give you permission to turn off the negative dialogue in your mind and replace it with positive thoughts. The negative dialogue feeds the feelings of turmoil, and when you replace them with peaceful affirmations, you change your life, one positive statement at a time.

If you have a hard time believing that this strategy will work for you, give it a try with an open heart and mind. It really does work! In no time at all, you'll feel more peaceful and reap the benefits in every area of your life.

Many of us feel like we cannot do anything about the crazy lives we lead and the inner discontent we feel. I can assure you that this is not true! When you use positive affirmations, you can reprogram your brain so that there is only room for positive thoughts. You will be surprised to find how quickly a positive affirmation such as, "I trust that there is a plan for my life, even if it has yet to be revealed to me" can work for you.

If you feel like your life has gotten off course and you don't think it's possible to lead a calm life, why not give a peaceful affirmation a chance? If you repeat affirmations often enough, you'll soon begin to believe them, and you'll turn a seemingly simple statement into reality.

BestSummaries provides you with very useful summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books. Visit http://www.bestsum.com.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How to Handle Difficult People

In a perfect world, you only have to deal with people you like. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal environment and like it or not, you will be forced to communicate with difficult people or those who cause you undue conflict or stress.

Don’t be so fast in judging them because more often than not, they don’t even know they are not relating with you well. So how do you deal with them?

John Townsend, author of the book, “Handling Difficult People”, shares his insights on how to deal with problematic people and how to respond to them. Unfortunately, most people deal with difficult people in the wrong manner.

They deny the person’s actions or back off all together. Worse, some people end up feeling responsible for the other person’s actions or threaten to do something about the behavior but neglect to follow-up.

To improve your relationship with a difficult person, you should reclaim your personal happiness.

You should own your life. Why be dependent on other people to be happy? You should also learn to depend on the right people to end your dependency on the person who pushes your buttons.

Finally, you should face your fears and stop waiting for the other person to change.

As corny as it may sound, always remember that every person in your life has a purpose.

Through other people, you will be able to achieve personal growth and redemption. Instead of allowing a difficult person to change your life for the worse, try to change his or her life for the better.

If you see that the person is sorry for the pain he has caused, give the credit that is due and get on with your life.

To improve your relationship with a difficult person, you should reclaim your personal happiness. To access more self-improvement articles, please visit BestSummaries.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Are You Being Your Own Worst Enemy?

If your heart’s in the right place and you do what you can to make your relationships work, why do you keep getting hurt? When you want so much to succeed, why are you often disappointed and why do your efforts often go nowhere? These and other such questions, and the issues that lie behind them, are central to some of the most crippling problems, whether personal or professional, faced by many people today – all the more because at the core they are self-inflicted.

Instead of working to further their own causes and achieve their dreams, many people sabotage their own lives and undercut their success. Moreover, they do these things to themselves unconsciously, failing to recognize that they are engaging in behaviors which undermine and defeat them. Furthermore, instead of making a good conscious effort to improve, they mistakenly think that other people, their past, or their circumstances are responsible for these troubles, and blame them for this. This of course means that they end up stuck in the same situation time and again.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Take a good look at yourself; if you’re faced with daunting situations of this sort that you just can’t seem to get out of, no matter how hard you try or what you do, you could be undermining yourself, too.

Alan Nelson’s book “My Own Worst Enemy” seeks to help such people find ways to realize what they are doing and stop ruining things for themselves. It explores the ‘whys’ behind nineteen of the most common “behavitudes” – behaviors that stem from wrong attitudes – and helps its readers evaluate their own lives to identify and change any self-defeating behaviors. With this book’s helpful insights, anyone can achieve his or her goals and live the successful life he or she longs for.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Book Summaries of Self-Help, Motivational and Inspirational Books

In every facet of our lives, there is always this deep desire not just to live… but also to live well. Happiness and peace is always our greatest pursuit. Meaning is what we always desire to achieve.

Though they sound very plain and simple, why is it that these things appear to be the most difficult to pull off? We often see ourselves fail, get lonely, get bored, and always almost wanting to give up. We always get caught up in the crossroads of decisions and choices. And often times, we aren't so wise.

And now the questions start to surface. What are the rules in living? How is true happiness achieved? Where do I find peace? What does it really mean to live? [Books]

BestSummaries provides you with very useful summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can get the answers. With our book summaries, you shall be informed, guided, and transformed! Let loose your potential to live a happy, successful and satisfied life!