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Story: From Stress To Strength




Being jobless for the last three months I am depressed now a days. My son has lost his admission from a good school and he might have to go to a less qualitative school. I have moved from a spacious apartment to a less good apartment in order to reduce my living expenses. My wife, being a woman, naturally has built extra stress. On top of that my father in law has died a week ago which has added fuel to fire, putting our family in more miserable state. And now I have met an accident too !!!
In these circumstances I have two mental choices; either to feel depressed and keep thinking about my complications, loosening my peace of mind and impacting my family life OR replace my negative thoughts with 7 super mental powers about self confidence, positivity, consistent courage and implosiveness and keep applying for new jobs with positive momentum.

I choose the second option because I believe that that the pain I am undergoing today will empower my character. My strengths will then boost my confidence and make me a successful man one day. I understand that time does not stop and does not remain the same. I understand that good and bad phases are part of the package called life. While good times make me happy; bad times strengthen the 'inner' me. I don't really know how much time it would take to regain my blessings and I don't know the logic on why God has put me in this exam however I believe in the quote which says that God takes men into deep waters not to drown them but to cleanse them. Although my mind cannot fathom the wisdom behind God's decision but I truly believe in His decisions.

I also believe in the four spiritual powers; one of them says that whatever is happening is the best thing that could have happened.


After two months:
By the grace of God, I have landed on a job which is very exciting, full of professional exposure and offers a nice salary. Time has healed my wife's mental stress due to the death of her father although such kind of demise loss is irreplaceable. My son and daughter have got admission in a good school because the admissions for new academic year were still open !

Overall commentary on this episode of life is that time does not stop and does not remain the same. A person needs to have the resilient approach towards life such that he does not loses his focus from pursuit of happiness and consistently keep applying the great principles of life such as honesty, hard work and positive life approach. Now that I am back on the track of normal life so I can confidently state that the most important things which helped me fight crisis were my consistent trait of patience, firm belief in God and positive attitude towards life applying
7 super mental powers all the times. So, while I wish you all the best life can offer you, I would highly recommend demonstrate the same approach towards life in case you are trapped in any of such situations.

Once again, I wish you all the best !  

Some Related Articles



Depression Vs Anxiety

Don't Blame Anyone - You are the Result of Yourself




Don't blame anyone, never complain of anyone or anything
Because basically you have made of your life what you wanted.
Accept the difficulties of edifying yourself
And the worth of starting to correct your character.
The triumph of the true man arises from the ashes of his mistakes.
Never complain of your loneliness or your luck.
Face it with courage and accept it.
Somehow, they are the result of your acts and
It shows that you'll always win.
Don't feel frustrated of your own failures, neither unload them to someone else.

Accept yourself now or you'll go on justifying yourself like a child.
Remember that any time is good to start
And that no time is so good to give up.
Don't forget that the cause of your present is your past,
As the cause of your future will be your present.
Learn from the brave, from the strong,
From who doesn't accept situations
From who will live in spite of everything.
Think less of your problems and more of your work.
Learn to arise from your pain,
And to be greater than the greatest of your obstacles.
Look at the mirror of yourself and you'll be free and strong
And you'll stop being a puppet of circumstances.
For you yourself are your destiny.
Wake up and stare at the Sun in the mornings and breathe the Sun of dawn.
You're part of the strength of your life now,
Rise up, fight, walk, be sure and you'll win in life.
Don't ever think of 'fate'
For fate is the excuse of failures.
Best of Luck


10 things That Define A True Professional



You may be a brilliant developer, a highly skilled net admin, or a crackerjack DBA — but if you're unprofessional, your career is likely to fall short. Alan Norton offers some attributes to strive for.
________________________________

The term professional is thrown around quite a bit these days, perhaps too much. I do it myself. But what exactly does it mean to be a professional? As you read through the items below, consider how you compare with each trait.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Put customer satisfaction first

Understanding and satisfying your customer's needs are the cornerstones of a successful business. Do what is necessary to meet those needs. After all, without the customer, there is no professional.

You may not view those you work with as your customers, but in many cases, they are. I remember when one of my managers perceived that I was overly stressed. He pulled me aside and sat me down in his office where he told me stories and jokes for the better part of half an hour. He recognized my needs and acted accordingly.

Professionals identify and satisfy their customer's needs.

2: Make expertise your specialty

The very word professional implies that you are an expert. Technical competence is essential in IT.

Become an expert in the skills and tools necessary to do your job.
Always perform to the best of your abilities.
Keep your knowledge up to date.

Professionals know their trade.

3: Do more than expected

Professionals aren't bound by a time clock. They are given wide latitude in their daily self-management. They are expected to manage their time and work habits. Don't abuse the privilege. If you take an hour for personal needs, give back two hours.

The reality is that professionals are expected to exceed the standard 40-hour workweek. There are times when you may be asked to work weekends. You may have to forego a vacation or work 12-hour days to complete an important project. All are part of the job description of most professional positions.

Professionals are expected to produce results. Strive to complete deliverables before their due dates and under budget.

Professionals meet or exceed expectations whenever possible.

But this does not mean that you sacrifice your family life. The idea is that you must manage your work as much as you and produce desirable results.


4: Do what you say and say what you can do

This is one of my favorite sayings especially in view of the fact that talking the talk is so prevalent and walking the walk so rare in this age of sound bites. You should "engage brain" before speaking — can you really do what you are about to say? If you can't, the wizard behind the curtain will eventually be revealed and hard-earned trust can be lost.

Professionals deliver on promises made.

5: Communicate effectively

I go out of my way to patronize a dentist who has excellent communication skills. He takes the time to explain the available options, make recommendations, state the total costs, and promise a date when the work can be completed. I then feel empowered to make the right decisions.

I recently ordered Internet and phone service from the cable company. I told the salesman that the existing cable had been ripped out during a landscaping project. Perhaps I wasn't clear or perhaps the salesman wasn't listening — it doesn't really matter. The message didn't get through and the wrong person was sent to do the installation. As a result, Qwest, not the cable company, got my business. Not only did the commissioned salesman lose his sale, he and his company both looked unprofessional in my eyes.

Resist the urge to blame the customer when communication goes awry. Effective communication is ultimately your responsibility — not your customer's.

Whether verbal or written, professionals communicate clearly, concisely, thoroughly, and accurately.

6: Follow exceptional guiding principles

Appreciate and support those you work with. Practice good manners and proper etiquette. Have high ethical and moral standards. Be honest and fair in all of your dealings with others. Obey the law. These may sound like the attributes of a Boy Scout, but they are basic values that all professionals should follow. Many companies have a document that outlines their operating principles. Have you read yours?

Professionals adhere to high values and principles.

7: Praise your peers not yourself

Respect and acknowledge the talents of your peers. There is nothing more unprofessional and self-serving than telling others how wonderful you are.

Professionals are humble and generous in their praise of others.

8: Share your knowledge

When I was hired at Hughes Aircraft, a second person with similar skills was hired with me. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that one of us wasn't going to survive. The competitive nature of the situation was palpable. I am no stranger to the belief that it is not in your best interest to share your knowledge with your associates, AKA the competition.

It is easy to find yourself in that comfortable place with "unique" knowledge. If you are a hoarder of information and are of the opinion that all of the nuts you have squirreled away grant you immutable job security, think again. The harsh reality is that nobody is irreplaceable.

Information isn't a limited resource. Contrary to what some might think, your mind won't be emptied by giving away kernels of wisdom or experience. Think of knowledge as an ocean of facts and not a stream of data. It is possible to share what you know and still keep one step ahead of the competition — simply apply yourself and learn something new daily.

Professionals help their peers and are respected for doing so.

9: Say thank you

I always tried to find a way to thank others for their help. When their help was above and beyond the call of duty, I would buy them a Coke - a testament to the marketing power of Madison Avenue and Mean Joe Greene.

The items I value the most in my personnel file from Hughes Aircraft are two AVOs (Avoid Verbal Orders memos) to my manager from frontline employees. The AVOs thanked me for the support I provided that helped them do their job better.

Silly me — what was I thinking? I was sharing a Coke when I should have been sharing my thanks in a printed internal document to the employee's manager.

Professionals thank others in a meaningful way that most benefits the recipient.

10: Keep a smile on your face and the right attitude in your heart

This has been the hardest item for me to do consistently over my working years. I believed I was lying to myself and the world by smiling when I was miserable or unhappy with an ongoing issue at work.

I now realize it's not dishonest to be pleasant when you are having one of those lousy days. It is in fact thoughtful to care about how your attitude affects those you interact with. Share your unhappiness with your manager only. "Share the misery" is not the mark of a professional.

Professionals are pleasant even during trying times.

The final word

Working with professionals is a pleasure, and I have been fortunate to work with some truly exemplary ones. There have been a few who liked to be treated as professionals without having to work and act like one.

You don't have to look any further than the medical profession to see examples of true professionals. Think back upon those doctors you've liked the most and model your professionalism after theirs.

So, how do you measure up? Don't feel bad if you need some work in one or more areas. Demeanor that is less than professional can lead to an image problem for you and your company. Negative images are hard to shake. Recognize any shortcomings you might have and begin working on your professional image today.


source: unknwon

10 Self Improvement Activities






These self improvement activities will help you become more productive, get into the positive state of mind and achieve better quality of life.
In this article you will also find out how to use your energy effectively, what is the quickest way to achieve personal growth and how to excel in every activity.

1st Self Improvement Activity: Use your energy on important things

If you want to succeed in life, you should not waste your energy on activities that do not bring any benefits.
Such useless activities include surfing the internet without any purpose, watching TV, worrying and wasting money.
When you are involved in such activities, you have no or little energy left for activities that can create a better future. It is worth prioritising and accomplishing important tasks first, and then if you still have enough energy, you may decide to do the unimportant.

2nd Self Improvement Activity: Focus on one task at a time

If you want to get perfect results, you should only concentrate on one activity. This way all your energy will go into it and you will accomplish it perfectly.
If you waste your energy on several things at the same time, you will get average results because you will divide your energy between the activities.

3rd Self Improvement Activity: Control your thinking

To avoid chaos in your mind resulting in chaos in the outside world, you should try to observe your thoughts. Once you start doing that, you will notice how many negative thoughts you get daily.
By observing negative thinking you will be able to emotionally disengage from it. As a result, negative thinking will affect you less and you will notice that your days are getting more peaceful and positive.

4th Self Improvement Activity: Get organised

When you live in an organised manner, you do not suffer from stress and your life is peaceful and balanced.
To start living this way, you should start planning your day in advance. This will eliminate any stress caused by being late to a meeting or forgetting to complete some task.
You should also live in tidiness because by keeping your home clean you also keep your mental state clear and peaceful. Such mental state will benefit you in many ways, including improved memory and less negativity.

5th Self Improvement Activity: Live in the present

Although this self improvement activity may seem strange to you, it is a very important activity that many ignore. The majority of people do not live in the present. They either dwell on their past or daydream about the future. They seem to forget the most important time of all – the present.
You should enjoy every present moment because your current state of mind always manifests in the outside world, creating your future accordingly.
Therefore if your main mood is very positive, you will experience only happy days. However, if you dwell on negative thoughts, you are sure to encounter many obstacles and misfortunes in the present and days to come.

6th Self Improvement Activity: Complete each task in a perfect manner

Whenever you are working on some project, try to accomplish it in the best way possible. Always ask yourself 'Is this project turned out as perfect as it could possibly be?' If the answer is no, try to correct or add something to it until there is nothing that you can improve.
This way you will make sure that each single task you accomplish is done in an excellent manner. By doing this you will create successful future because you cannot possibly fail if you only get perfect results.
Also, when you entirely focus on one task excluding everything else, you will notice that you start enjoying the task. If you concentrate on the task but still do not enjoy it, that means that you probably see the task as a means to an end rather than the process.
You should start focusing on the process itself to find enjoyment in the task. Such enjoyment will fuel motivation and you will accomplish everything quicker and better.
If you enjoy your work, you will put only positive energy into it. As a result, your completed tasks will bring you success.

7th Self Improvement Activity: Challenge yourself

Nothing develops you more than challenges. Challenges force you to shift your comfort zone, experience new situations and make you grow. Without challenges life would be very boring and depressing.
Challenges are necessary for every human being who is seeking quality life. Only through trial and error you realise who you really are, which activities you like and what preferences you have.
You can easily measure the success of a person by the amount of challenges s/he had.

8th Self Improvement Activity: Read personal development books

There is nothing more important than searching information about self improvement. Without reading any self improvement books or articles you cannot improve yourself.
I have written an article about 20 life changing personal development books. It might be worth checking them out. Many of them are available for free! Click here to read this article.

9th Self Improvement Activity: Socialize only with positive people

Positive people can inspire, empower and make you happy. It is so much worth to be at least once in a while with positive people rather than constantly spend time with negative friends or relatives.
If you spend your days with, for example, lazy people, you may notice that you are becoming lazy.
If all your friends' main qualities are negative, try to avoid all of them. This way you will not be affected in a negative way and after some time will start attracting positive people.

10th Self Improvement Activity: Exercise

Daily exercise develops determination, focus and patience. It improves your health and strengthens your body. It makes you more active, positive and invincible.
People who exercise every day are always perceived as strong-willed and disciplined.
Conclusion
These personal improvement activities are sure to put you on the track to success. I hope that you will apply the steps in this article and, as a result, will greatly improve the quality of your life.
Finished reading about self improvement activities? Click here to read more great personal development articles.

Story: The Cute Girl and the Toffee

 


Mr. Ahmed, was with his family driving towards home. While he was at a distance of 8-10 km from home, he thought of buying grocery so he took the family to the this market. Later, when the family reached home, the little 4 years old daughter said, "Look Baba, what I got from market?" Ahmed noticed that she had a toffee in her hand which she picked from the shop during the shopping and he didn't pay for it being unaware of this act.

Mr. Ahmed advised her with love and softness about this situation, took her to the car and drove all the way to the market again so that she can say sorry to the shop owner and he can pay the money 50 fils / 0.15 USD. On the way to the market he repeatedly told her daughter that her Baba is driving to the market again because they didn't pay the money for the toffee they took. When the girl said sorry in her cute voice, the shop owner was highly delighted with such a matter of honesty. The little girl learnt a big lesson of her life about honesty and also refreshed the same for the shop owner.

On the way back home, both, the little girl and Mr. Ahmed were very satisfied. The little girl thought that she is the best girl in town and Mr. Ahmed thought that he had a clean conscience which is the best pillow one can have.


Reflection:
1- Sometimes teaching with practical examples makes a big difference and the kids can learn lifelong lessons.
2- Honesty, even for small matters, should always be promoted in the society because it generates strong ripple effects.

Some articles you may like:
Ensuring Kids Safety at Home

16 habits of highly creative people




If they work for them, they can work for you too!
"There is no use trying," said Alice. "One can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll
Many people believe that creativity is inborn and only a chosen few are creative. While it is true that creativity is inborn, it is not true that only a chosen few are creative.
Everyone is born creative. In the process of growing up, educating yourself and adapting yourself to your environment, you slowly add blocks to your creativity and forget that you had it in the first place.
The difference between a creative person and a person who is not so creative is not in the creativity that they were born with but in the creativity that they have lost.
How can you enhance your creative ability? One possible way is to observe the habits of creative people, identify the ones that you feel will work for you and then make a plan to cultivate them.
Here are 16 habits of creative people. If you cultivate some of them, you will feel an increase in your level of creativity. In the process, you will also feel tickled by life!
1. Creative people are full of curiosity.
Creative people are wonderstruck. They are tickled by the newness of every moment. They have lots of questions. They keep asking what, why, when, where and how.
A questioning mind is an open mind. It is not a knowing mind. Only an open mind can be creative. A knowing mind can never be creative.
A questioning stance sensitizes the mind in a very special way and it is able to sense what would have been missed otherwise.
2. Creative people are problem-friendly.
When there is a problem, some people can be seen wringing up their hands. Their first reaction is to look for someone to blame. Being faced with a problem becomes a problem. Such people can be called problem-averse.
Creative people, on the other hand, are problem-friendly. They just roll up their sleeves when faced with a problem. They see problems as opportunities to improve the quality of life. Being faced with a problem is never a problem.
You get dirty and take a bath every day. You get tired and relax every day. Similarly, you have problems that need to be solved every day. Life is a fascinating rhythm of problems and solutions.
To be problem-averse is to be life-averse. To be problem-friendly is to be life-friendly. Problems come into your life to convey some message. If you run away from them, you miss the message.
3. Creative people value their ideas.
Creative people realize the value of an idea. They do not take any chance with something so important. They carry a small notepad to note down ideas whenever they occur. (I usually type it in my mobile/laptop whichever available.)
Many times, just because they have a notepad and are looking for ideas to jot down, they can spot ideas which they would have otherwise missed.
4. Creative people embrace challenges.
Creative people thrive on challenges. They have a gleam in their eyes as soon as they sniff one. Challenges bring the best out of them – reason enough to welcome them.
5. Creative people are full of enthusiasm.
Creative people are enthusiastic about their goals. This enthusiasm works as fuel for their journey, propelling them to their goals.
6. Creative people are persistent.
Creative people know it well that people may initially respond to their new ideas like the immune system responds to a virus. They'll try to reject the idea in a number of ways.
Creative people are not surprised or frustrated because of this. Nor do they take it personally. They understand it takes time for a new idea to be accepted. In fact, the more creative the idea, the longer it takes for it to be appreciated.
7. Creative people are perennially dissatisfied.
Creative people are acutely aware of their dissatisfactions and unfulfilled desires. However, this awareness does not frustrate them. As a matter of fact, they use this awareness as a stimulus to realize their dreams.
8. Creative people are optimists.
Creative people generally have a deeply held belief that most, if not all, problems can be solved. No challenge is too big to be overcome.
This doesn't mean they are always happy and never depressed. They do have their bad moments but they don't generally get stumped by a challenge.
9. Creative people make positive Judgment.
A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn. It can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a right man's brow – a businessman Charles Brower
The ability to hold off on judging or critiquing an idea is important in the process of creativity. Often great ideas start as crazy ones - if critique is applied too early the idea will be killed and never developed into something useful and useable.
This doesn't mean there is no room for critique or judgment in the creative process but there is a time and place for it and creative people recognize that.
10. Creative people go for the big kill.
Creative people realize that the first idea is just the starting point. It is in the process of fleshing it out that some magical cross-connections happen and the original 'normal' idea turns into a killer idea.
11. Creative people are prepared to stick it out.
Creative people who actually see their ideas come to fruition have the ability to stick with their ideas and see them through - even when the going gets tough. This is what sets them apart from others. Stick-ability is the key.
12. Creative people do not fall in love with an idea.
Creative people recognize how dangerous it is to fall in love with an idea. Falling in love with an idea means stopping more ideas from coming to their mind. They love the process of coming up with ideas, not necessarily the idea.
13. Creative people recognize the environment in which they are most creative.
Creative people do most of their thinking in an environment which is most conducive to their creativity. If they are unable to influence their physical environment, they recreate their 'favourite' creative environment in their minds.
14. Creative people are good at reframing any situation.
Reframes are a different way of looking at things. Being able to reframe experiences and situations is a very powerful skill.
Reframing allows you to look at a situation from a different angle. It is like another camera angle in a football match. And a different view has the power to change your entire perception of the situation.
Reframing can breathe new life into dead situations. It can motivate demoralized teams. It helps you to spot opportunities that you would have otherwise missed.
15. Creative people are friends with the unexpected.
Creative people have the knack of expecting the unexpected and finding connections between unrelated things. It is this special quality of mind that evokes serendipitous events in their lives.
Having honed the art of making happy discoveries, they are able to evoke serendipity more often than others.
16. Creative people are not afraid of failures.
Creative people realize that the energy that creates great ideas also creates errors. They know that failure is not really the opposite of success.
In fact, both failure and success are on the same side of the spectrum because both are the result of an attempt made. Creative people look at failure as a stopover on way to success, just a step away from it.


Shalu Wasu is a Singapore based trainer and consultant. Among other things, he conducts open programs on Creativity and Innovation and Blogging for Business at NUS extension. Visit http://www.lifeahoy.sg to find out more about the programs and the next available dates.
  

10 Things To Do for Stress Management





"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."
Jim Goodwin

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
Lily Tomlin

Stress sucks. It sucks joy and the life out of you.

So today I'll share 10 of my favourite tips that I use to minimize stress and live a more relaxed but at the same time productive life. I hope you find something helpful here, even if it's just a few reminders of things you had forgotten about.

1. Accept the situation:

Stress is often to a large part resistance to what already is. You may be in a stressful situation and think to yourself that this situation shouldn't be, that you shouldn't be here. But the situation has already arisen, is here, and so are you.
So to decrease the stress and resistance you accept the situation. With your resistance gone or lowered you can now direct your mental energy and focus to finding a solution in a level-headed manner instead of trying to do it while panicked or confused.

2. Take everything less seriously.

Taking things or yourself overly serious adds a lot of unnecessary negativity and stress to your life. A minor situation may be blown up to a major one in your mind. If you just learn to lighten up a bit, life becomes more fun and you realize that you get great results even if you aren't super-serious about everything.

3. Decrease or put a stop to negative relationships.

If someone is always making you more stressed or creates a lot of negativity in your life you may want to consider decreasing the amount of time you spend with that person. Some people almost seem to like to dwell in negativity. That is their choice. It's your choice if you want to participate.

Or you can choose to hang out more with relaxed and non-stressed people. Both in real life and by watching/listening to CDs and DVDs. Two guys that tend to calm me down when I listen/watch them are Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer.

4. Just move slower.

You emotions work backwards too. If you slow down how you walk or how you move your body you can often start to feel less stressed.

This allows you to think more clearly too. A stressed mind tends to run in circles a lot of the time. And slowing down to decrease stress goes for other forms of movement too, like riding your bicycle or driving the car.

5. Exercise.

A simple and time-tested way to decrease inner tension. Regular exercise can do wonders for both your mind and body. This is one of the solutions that work most consistently for me.

6. Find five things you can be grateful for right now.

Being grateful and appreciating your life and surroundings is one of the most effective ways to turn a negative emotional state to a more positive one. So find a few things you are grateful for right now.

Perhaps it's the sunny weather, that you feel healthy and energetic today, that you have just eaten a delicious after-noon snack, that the guy/gal that just walked by had a great looking jacket on and that tonight there is a new episode of your favourite TV-show to enjoy.

7. Look for solutions.

When faced with a challenge that can cause stress, try to direct your focus to solutions rather than to dwelling on the problem for too long. Dwelling only causes more stress and makes your mind less open to finding a solution.

8. Be early.

Just be 10 or 5 minutes early for meetings etc. This very simple tip can cut down on stress quite a bit.

9. Do just one thing at a time.

Single tasking and focusing on doing just one thing at a time not only decreases stress but from my experience gets things done a whole lot quicker than if you multitask.

10. Talk to people around you about it.

Perhaps they can offer you advice that has worked for them or just an ear and some support. Just telling someone about something, just getting it out can often help to relieve some of the stress.



What Stress Actually Does to You and What You Can Do About It
What Will Matter and What Won't
What You Imagine is Extremely Important
When It Comes To Happiness, Simplicity Is Key
When Mistakes are Ok?
Win People to Your Way of Thinking
Winners Vs Losers
Wise Quotes from the book "Lift me Up" by Ron Kaufman

21 Business Skills Needed To Succeed




The greatest people in business have certain attributes in common. Several personal qualities are important, like a thirst for continuous education, personal drive and motivation, strong goals and ambition, clear vision, and always a great deal of passion.
Beyond those personal qualities though, what makes a successful business person stand out from the crowd? Here are 21 business skills you need if you want to get ahead:

Communication

1. Written - Most people in business spend a lot of time communicating in writing. While the inter-office memo and the fax are old hat, you will spend a good few hours a day fighting your inbox. Add to this reports, white papers, proposals and resumes, it's certain you will need to sharpen your word power to succeed.
2. Social Networking – We are not all social gadflys, some of us struggle to make small talk. It is a key skill to learn though, it is true what they say, sometimes it is more who you know than  what!
3. Speaking – Public speaking ranks high amongst the worlds most popular fears. You must overcome it and the best way is to practice. It might feel more comfortable working from the safety of your desk but at some point you are going to have to present. Better to have some experience under your belt before being forced to perform unprepared when it really counts.
4. Sales – You might think you do not need to sell but we all sell every day. From even before your first day you will be selling, starting at your interview all the way to asking the boss for a raise. In  normal life we sell, persuading your partner that you really need that new purchase, getting out of that parking ticket … persuasion skills can come in very handy indeed.
5. Negotiation – If you can't sell perhaps you can negotiate. A lot of the skills are the same but you will find people who have been in business for a while can drive a hard bargain. If you do not have the skills you will lose out each and every time.

Planning

1. Strategic – A business that lurches from one crisis to another is not going to stay around very long. Obviously if you are in charge then you have to set the marching orders. Can you clearly see the road ahead?
2. Project – I know many people in business who see their role as the hot headed maverick that shoots from the hip and flies from the seat of their pants. Unfortunately most of them eventually crash and burn. Project management makes your life and that of your team less stressful and gets things done on time and on budget. It might not be the white knuckle ride that some enjoy but at least you will be able to clock off at a reasonable hour!
3. Financial – The top reason why businesses go out of business is bad financial planning. All the cash flows in the wrong direction. Having worked through the dotcom boom and bust I have seen first hand what too big a budget in the wrong hands can do. Someone needs a firm grip on the numbers and it had better be you otherwise someone might just take a trip to a tropical island at your expense.
4. Risk – I'm a natural worrier which though it annoys my wife, does have the advantage in business that I tend to see the potential potholes and bear traps in any plan. If you can imagine a risk you can set about to mitigate it.
5. Logistics – Money is just one resource you need. Any business has inputs and outputs. You need to have the right people in the right jobs with what they need when they need it to get their work done. Logistics might not put you on the cover of Time magazine but it could make you a hero in your office.

Productivity

1. Time management – I once had a boss who could never get to a single meeting on time. He would always turn up ten minutes late, red-faced, unprepared, looking like he had slept in a bush. He had a growing collection of speeding tickets and a bigger collection of excuses and apologies. Time management reduces stress and increases your respect.
2. Meeting management - Most of us hate meeting but they are a fact of business life. There are always the few who love them as a way to avoid real work. There are many tricks from firmly sticking to the agenda through to holding meetings standing up just before lunch. Whatever works for you if you can get meetings to be productive and under control you will get ahead.
3. Leadership – In the Dilbert universe leadership might be something you step in, but in business it really helps to be able to take the lead. Can you get people to follow you? Are you able to get people to do things they don't want to do for the good of the team?
4. Systems – If you are repeatedly re-inventing the wheel there is something seriously wrong. Effective systems bring consistency, efficiency and reduced costs. Learning how to create and implement both human and automated systems can go a long way to being more competitive.
5. Personal Productivity – What are your rhythms, when are you more sociable, detail-oriented, creative or lacking energy? Where do you excel and which areas are a struggle? Before you can lead anyone else you need to work out how to get the best out of yourself.

Creativity

1. Imagination – Many people neglect their creative side feeling that it is better to be all about the logic, but in fact some of the most successful business people are also the most imaginative.
2. Inventiveness – If you can imagine it you can create it, and if you create it then you can sell it! Look around you, think of the things you buy and use, someone had to have the idea before it was built and sold to you. You might be surprised how few mad inventors there are, more products are invented in a marketing office than a garage.
3. Problem Solving – A big part of surviving in business is about solving problems fast and effectively. An employee who is good at keeping their head in a crisis while fighting fires is a worthwhile asset to any business.
4. Brainstorming – Some people think brainstorming is all about having stupid ideas while ridiculing the contributions of everyone else while drinking coffee, eating cookies and flirting with the secretary from floor 2. Perhaps this is why brainstorms get a bad name? If you can brainstorm great ideas, fast then you will be one step ahead.
5. Making connections - Some of the best ideas have simply been about connecting two otherwise unconnected ideas together. Could you invent the next iPhone?
I am sure the sharp-eyed amongst you have noticed there are only 20 points in this list. What is number 21? Perhaps the most important skill of all; the ability to switch off! It is so easy for the stresses and strains of business life to burn people out so you must develop the ability to relax and unwind.
Source: BusinessSchool

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