Hugues De Montalembert

hugues-de-montalembert1

You live in a city like New York.
You read the papers.
You look at the television.
But you never think it will happen to you.
It happened to me one evening.

Hugues was attacked in his apartment by muggers and as a result, blinded, permanently. Having just finished reading his book ‘Invisible – A memoir’ I can suggest it thoroughly as a refreshing insight into how to appreciate your good fortune, or to reflect on how it would be good if we can be grateful for the things we take for granted, such as our sight and our health.

‘Invisible’ can be finished in one sitting and contains a philosophical view of the world that is worth digesting.

At the end you must know that you will be defeated.
You will be defeated by age. Age is an enemy against which you can do nothing.
Because to be old is not easy, but to be old and blind, that’s very tiring.

You better eat life while you can because at the end, like everybody else, your body will be defeated.
At least your mind can be triumphant, independent.

6 Ways to Reduce Business Stress

It’s advice for business but no reason why you can’t use it for life in general. Worth a close read.

1. REMIND YOURSELF OF WHAT’S GOING RIGHT.
Usually people are stressed about just one or two areas of their life. If they only took a moment to look at the big picture, they would see that the vast majority of their life is going well. Grab a pen and some paper and write a list of all the stuff that’s going well in your life. (You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how long the list becomes.). Now stick that list next to your computer, so that you see it all day long. Watch how quickly your perspective changes and your mood lifts.

2. GET ULTRA CLEAR ON YOUR TO DO LIST.
Clarity enhances serenity. If you’re stressed by how much you have to do, get precise about exactly what tasks must be done (You’ll often realize it’s less than you thought). Once you’ve created your list put a circle around the truly crucial tasks. Most of the time stressed executives have exaggerated just how much they have to do. Getting it down on paper helps you see that mountain of work may be smaller than you thought.

3. TIDY YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
The renowned personal development guru, Wayne Dwyer, says you can tell the state of a person’s mind by the state of their car. I agree. if you’re feeling overwhelmed one of the most effective strategies is to create order in your immediate environment – car, office, home. As you take charge of your surroundings your feelings of control will increase. And as the esteemed behavioural psychologist Martin Seligman has shown, there’s a strong correlation between feelings of control and well being.

4. TRY THE 3 BREATH RELEASE.
I mentor executives and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Whenever they come to me complaining about stress I get them to do this simple exercise:
Take a deep breath. Then as you exhale imagine all your problems and stress leaving you. Do this just 3 times and I bet your feeling of stressed has dissipated significantly.

5. FOCUS ON HELPING OTHER PEOPLE.
One of the most effective techniques for reducing your stress is to take the focus off yourself. When you start devoting time to helping others around you inevitably spend less time thinking about your own problems. There are several studies from the University of Pennsylvania linking happiness with service to others. It may seem strange to connect the two, but the truth is many people who are stressed in the corporate world are so partly because they are incessantly thinking about their own issues and situation, rather than others. We need to balance the two.

6. TAKE MASSIVE ACTION.
There is a concept in psychology known as Learned Helplessness – failing to respond or act to improve our circumstances. Originally discovered in rats, learned helplessness is also evident in some humans who feel overwhelmed by their roles and responsibilities. They feel that things are so bad there is little that they can do to change things. We have all felt this at some point in our business lives and it is a depressing feeling to say the least.

The cure though is simple. Take action to fix things. By proactively acting to improve our circumstances we regain a feeling of control and possibility. If we continue acting we soon get a change in our situation. Soon our situation improves, which encourages us to act further. A virtuous cycle develops which usually quickly improves our predicament.

The key is to act greatly, taking multiple steps to change things, even if we’re not sure if they’ll work. If we act enough, we will usually see vast improvements in almost any area we focus on.

So next time you’re feeling stressed at work, try one or two of these techniques. You’ll find every one of them is highly effective in both reducing your stress and improving your performance.

Source: Siimon Reynolds blog

And so it goes….

Coming into the last couple of days of April 2012, already 1/3 of the year completed. Interesting how time can just seem to pass so quickly.

Question:

> 2012 is 1/3 finished, are you 1/3 of your way towards completing your 2012 goals?

As John Lennon observed life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans, doesn’t mean you should stop planning though!

Wise Quote

“Something will master and something will serve. Either you run the day or the day runs you; either you run the business or the business runs you.” — Jim Rohn

Very true, you either are in charge or drifting along and more impacted by the gusts of wind that life delivers.

Some thoughts + musings + photos + other stuff soon