Success & Achievement Articles

How to Build a New Habit — And Make it Stick

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

How to Build a New Habit and Make it StickAre you a master of a skill?

Perhaps you’re fluent in a language. A world-class pianist. A master craftsman in carpentry.

If you are, it’s not necessarily a result of your income, personal circumstances, upbringing, or any other variable. It’s a result of something a lot more powerful, something you have complete control over. It’s a result of habit.

7 Signs Your Workplace is Toxic

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

toxic office

For many people, the office can feel like a second home. You spend the majority of your waking hours there and your co-workers may likely be the people you interact with most in your life, after family or a spouse.

If you’re not happy with your work environment, that dissatisfaction can carry over into your personal life, damaging everything from your self-esteem to your friendships. Toxic workplaces also can have an impact on your health: the increased stress of working in a dysfunctional office can lead to job burnout, fatigue, listlessness, and depression.

If any of the above symptoms ring a bell with you, it’s time to take stock of the dysfunction in your workplace in order to evaluate if the situation is fixable — or decide if it’s time to move on with your career.

How to Refrain from Getting Too Excited about Potentialities

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

How to Refrain from Getting Too Excited about PotentialitiesA lot has been happening in my life.

I’ve had a lot of really exciting opportunities, for which I’m incredibly thankful, but I’ve also had many potential opportunities that fell through. Sometimes they fell through based on my inability to do the work, sometimes it just wasn’t the right fit and sometimes it was no fault of my own and extenuating circumstances got in the way.

How to Detach from Both Criticism and Praise

Friday, November 7th, 2014

joy in the new yearCriticism stings. Many of us may be so focused on protecting ourselves from the potential pain of criticism that we start to tailor our work — and our lives — to avoid it. We may let criticism dictate everything from the ideas we bring up in a board meeting to the passions we pursue.

Interestingly, we do the same with praise. We get so used to positive feedback that we may change how we act. And, when we don’t receive the accolades and applause, we start questioning ourselves and feeling like failures.

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s Creativity

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s CreativityLast month I interviewed Tom Sturges, a music executive and mentor, about his tips for cultivating creativity in kids. This month I wanted to share some great tips from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cameron, she penned a bestselling book on the creative process called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. She’s also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet.

It Helps to Focus on the Positive Stuff

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

It Helps to Focus on the Positive StuffThings are OK as they are. That’s the one fact I’ve been struggling with recently.

I have this image in my mind as to how I want things to be. I want to make lots of money, I want a house in the mountains, I want to get married. All of this I worry about on a near-daily basis. These are also the things that drive me to work, to be better, and to achieve more things.

Blue Collar Roots vs. White Collar Reality

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Blue Collar Roots vs. White Collar RealityMy father was a machinist and my mother a nurse. I still recall the smell of the machine shop on my father’s clothing when he came home from work, the name “Gary” embroidered on his blue shirt. When I was a child, my father chopped wood and sold it by the side of the road to help make ends meet for his family of 5.

Due to my education I am considered “white collar” but still have “blue collar” values. I identify and belong to both groups.

You Can’t Force Things

Monday, October 13th, 2014

You Can't Force ThingsIt’s been tough getting to sleep the last few nights.

I’ll go to bed and turn off the light and then the thoughts start pouring in. I’ll worry that I didn’t do the right thing in any number of situations during the day. I’ll worry about the work I have to do the next day. I’ll worry that no matter what I do, I’ll never be closer to my dream of buying a house in the mountains.

It occurred to me last night while I was lying there, though, that you can’t force sleep. If you try to fall asleep and see that you’re not, that’s just one more thing to worry about. The sleep will come; it always does. There’s no point in trying to force it to happen.

How to Alleviate ‘Honor Student’ Stress

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

How to Alleviate 'Honor Student’ Stress

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. ~ Lena Horne

Brad’s mom was worried about her son.

“He’s a great kid. An honor student who tries hard to do his very best. A parent’s dream, right? But I’m worried about him. He’s overly stressed. And so hard on himself. I tell him to relax but I don’t think he has the faintest idea about how to do that.”

Counteracting Negative Self-Talk with Supportive Statements

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Counteracting Negative Self-Talk with Supportive Statements How we talk to ourselves affects everything. It influences everything from how we feel about ourselves to the decisions we make. Negative self-talk can sabotage and undermine our efforts in any part of our lives.

For instance, if you keep telling yourself you’re unworthy or incapable — “I can’t do this! I’m not smart enough!” — you might not pursue a promotion or ask for a raise at work. If you keep telling yourself you’re undeserving of love — “I have too much baggage!” — you might not date or date people who mistreat you. You might stay in toxic relationships, and let others walk all over you.

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process “Creativity is a gift, from life to us,” according to Tom Sturges in his book Every Idea is a Good Idea: How Songwriters and Other Working Artists Get It Done.

It exists in various forms and flavors, but all of us have it. And when we tap into our creativity, he writes, it is then that “we are most human.”

How to Be Happy

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

How to be HappyHappiness is a tough one.

We spend a lot of our time and billions of dollars trying to obtain happiness. Inevitably, though, we find ourselves back in the grind: dreading going to work, dreading doing the myriad errands and responsibilities it takes to live as a human being in this multifaceted world.

The thing about happiness, though, is it’s not supposed to be constant.

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