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7 Signs You're Not Mentally Strong, You're Just Acting Tough

Research shows understanding the difference could affect how long you live.
               
                 

Saying things like, "I'm not scared of anything," or, "I didn't want that promotion anyway," doesn't necessarily mean you're mentally strong. In fact, there's a good chance you might just be acting though.
While acting tough may meet your needs in the short term by artificially boosting your ego or by getting other people to back off, it's not a good long-term strategy. In fact, a new study conducted by psychologists at Rutgers University found that men who act tough may suffer serious consequences.
The study, published in The Journal of Health Psychology, found that men who act tough visit doctors less often. They're also less forthcoming about their medical symptoms when they see a male physician. (Interestingly, these same men were more likely to choose a male doctor because they believe male doctors are more competent than females).
Researchers suspect that delaying medical appointments and minimizing symptoms could be one of the reasons why men die, on average, five years earlier than women. 
But clearly, it's not always just men who feel the need to act tough. Many women do, as well. Here are seven signs you're just acting tough:

1. You mask insecurities.

Acting tough involves developing a persona that says, "I'm the best." But behind that tough exterior, there's often a lot of self-doubt.
Rather than waste energy trying to cover up their weaknesses, mentally strong people invest time into improving themselves. They acknowledge their shortcomings and strive to become better.

2. You think failure isn't an option.

Saying, "Failure isn't option," won't prevent you from failing--but it might prevent you from trying. People who act tough are usually more interested in showing off the skills they already have, rather than learning anything new.
Mentally strong people view failure as a stepping stone to success. They trust in their ability to bounce back from setbacks, and they're prepared to learn from their mistakes.

3. Your self-worth depends on how others see you.

People who act tough are very concerned with their appearance. Their self-worth depends on other people's opinions of them.
Mentally strong people, however, aren't worried about proving anything to anyone but themselves. They're willing to ask for help, and they're fueled by their internal desire to grow stronger better.

4. You suppress your emotions.

Often, the only emotion tough people feel comfortable expressing is anger. They hide their sadness, fear, and excitement from others as much as possible.
Mentally strong people are willing to admit when they're afraid, and they aren't shy about shedding a tear once in a while. Rather than ignore their emotions, they monitor them. They're acutely aware of the ways in which their feelings influence their thoughts and behavior.

5. You deny your pain.

People who are intent on acting tough pride themselves on tolerating a great deal of pain. Whether they treat their bodies like a machine or they refuse to acknowledge an injury, they view their willingness to keep going as a badge of honor.
Mentally strong people aren't interested in tolerating pain as a means to impress others. Instead, they learn from pain, and try to turn suffering into an opportunity to become better.

6. You think you can do everything.

While healthy self-confidence is helpful, acting tough involves grandiose proclamations like, "Nothing will ever stop me." People who act tough often overestimate their abilities and underestimate the work required to reach their goals.
Mentally strong people are well-prepared for the realities of a challenge. They acknowledge potential obstacles that stand in their way and they recognize how much effort they'll realistically need to invest.

7. You try to control other people.

People who act tough thrive on feeling like they have power over other people. They want to be perceived as being "in control," and they often micromanage others or make unreasonable demands.
Mentally strong people, however, are interested in controlling themselves rather than the people around them. They're invested in regulating their thoughts, managing their emotions, and behaving productively, despite whatever circumstances they find themselves in.

Build Mental Strength

If you're guilty of putting up a fake exterior that helps you feel tough, consider the toll it may take on your life. Invest in building mental strength, so the way you feel on the inside matches how others see you on the outside. As your mental strength increases, your desire to act tough decreases.

Story: I was So Angry that I Left Home



One day, I was so angry, that I left home, swearing not to return, till I became a big guy.

Parents, who can't even buy me a Bike, have no rights to dream to make me an Engineer.

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In my fit of anger, I didn't even realise that I was wearing my father's Shoes.
​ ​
I even stole his wallet, which had some papers, torn as well, which my mother won't seen...While, I was rushing on foot towards the bus station, I realised some prickly pain in my foot. I also felt dampness inside the shoe.
​ ​
That is when I realised the shoe had a hole underneath.
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There were no buses around.
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Not knowing what to do, I started to look in my Dad's wallet. I found a loan receipt of Rs. 40,000, which he taken from his office. A laptop bill (he had bought for me).
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To my utter shock, also found a letter from his manager to wear a neat looking shoes, henceforth to the office.I remembered my mother pestering him to buy a pair of new shoes, but he would convince her that his shoes would last another six months at least.
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Also, found an old scooter to a new bike, Exchange offer letter in his wallet.
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I instantly remembered, that when I left home, my Dad's scooter was not there.I started feeling weak in my
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legs, and felt like weeping uncontrollably!I ran back home with my foot paining, only to find my Dad nor the scooter there. I found him at the exchange offer place.
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Looking at my Dad, my grief engulfed me.
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I hugged him tightly and started crying loudly, said "Dad I don't need the Bike".


That is when I realised, the pain, hardship our parents go through, and the unconditional love that they give us.
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We should only look to seek our needs and not our unrealistic wants.
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Ridiculing parents when they are alive, and longing for them when they are not around, has no meaning.
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Kindly tell this story to your children to help them identify and develop human values in them.This is one of the best messages that I have read. Please read and share without fail.

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8 Ways to be More Productive



Being a Lean expert, I am always obsessively spotting inefficiencies everywhere! While it can be to my own detriment, the good thing is that I'm always trying to think about how I can be more efficient. This lets me manage all the things I need to do, such as running two businesses, being a treasurer for a not for profit, investing in property, writing a book, helping my husband on his 1000 herd dairy farm, renovating etc.
So here are the 8 things which I do to better manage my time and increase productivity:

1. Synchronised Outlook

Having my email accounts connected via exchange on all my devices (iPhone, iPad and Mac – yes I am a Apple fan) is essential for me to be flexible and connected no matter where I am. This way I can type emails during what I call non-value add times for example while waiting in a queue, waiting for a flight, sitting in the car.

2. Electronic calendar with categorisation

This is a must – everything I do goes in my Outlook calendar and is synchronised across all my devices. I also colour code each entry such as travel, business meetings, networking, client work, personal appointments, etc. Birthdays also go in to reminders. This way I can easily and quickly see what I have on and where my priorities are.

3. Whiteboard

While I use tasks in Outlook or on my iPhone app to keep track of my to-do items, the best way to keep track is a Visual Management Board that I keep in my office. This is a whiteboard that I've split into key categories eg Property, Business, Book, Association and under each category I add in bullet points the things I need to work on. I also have a column for Today and This Week. I find this a great visual way of tracking everything and ticking things off all on one board and in one place. It also makes you feel and be in control.

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4. Electronic Notes

There is nothing worse than having a million post its stuck all over your desk (although I do admit that I have a few) or bits of paper everywhere. Worse still is when you are madly trying to find an important note you made amongst all that paper. I write all my notes and reminders on my devices (e.g iPhone) and it is synchronised via cloud so that I never lose any info again and I can find it very quickly if needed.

5. Go Paperless

I used to get so stressed when I would have hundreds of bills, paper documents and files lying around needing to be filed somewhere. My shelves were full of folders. Not anymore. If I need to keep a document or a bill, as soon as I receive it, I scan and file it electronically. I keep backup hard drives to ensure nothing gets lost. I also have a shredder to destroy information sensitive documents.

6. Clear Desk Policy

At the end of each day, I clear my desk and put everything away into allocated spots. This way I can start the next day with a clean slate and a fresh mind. This does wonders for your mind clarity and productivity.

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7. Standardised Work Week

This is a big one! I set myself a standard week schedule which has Mon – Friday on it and for each day I have standard time slots allocated to specific tasks. For example Monday morning from 7-9am is blocked out for writing my book, Tues 8-10am is blocked out for writing articles, Friday from 7-8 am is blocked for my weekly Improvement Tip and 8-10am is blocked out for working on my business marketing & strategy. This way you ensure that you work on the important $1000 tasks and not just fill your day with emails, calls and possibly lots of $10 tasks. This is a fundamental way that you prioritise the right things and actually get them done rather than procrastinating.

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8. Small Bite Sized Chunks

I try to do a small amount of everything everyday. So rather than have a big mammoth task, I break things down into bite sized chunks and work on a part each day. This way a big daunting task becomes much more manageable. So for example everyday I allocate some time to business, to property, to my Treasurer role, to my book etc. That way it gets done a little bit each day and doesn't feel so overwhelming. And surprisingly you get things done much quicker when they are broken down into small components and worked on one step at a time.
Image credit: orcmid
Jana Krizova Hocken
Jana is a Business Improvement and Lean specialist, Check out Get Your Life Back ebook

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The 5S’ – 5 Steps to a Well organized Work and Home


Have you ever noticed that when your workplace or home is full of clutter: paper notes all over your desk, documents that haven't been filed, items all over table tops, piles on the floor, things that don't have a home and are just making everything look messy…. You get more stressed out?
A disorganised office or home can leave you feeling out of control, frustrated and add to your stress levels. It also makes your day super unproductive. Do you regularly ask "where is it?" or are trying to look for things and can't find them? Do others constantly ask you where they can find something? Have you re-done something simply because you couldn't find it the first time? Or maybe even bought a new one of something? A disorganised office or home can create a lot of inefficiencies. Furthermore it can look very unprofessional and we all want to make the best impact on people around us whether they are our colleagues or friends visiting our home.
The Japanese realised this decades ago in their factories and developed a concept called 5S which has been used by some of the biggest and best companies globally to improve their quality, safety and productivity, and also the work environment for employees.
So what is this tool all about? Here are the 5S steps:

Step 1 – SORT

This is about Sorting through what is needed (really needed) from what is not needed in an area (your office or home e.g the wardrobe). This can be quite challenging but you need to ask yourself the following questions:
  • What is the purpose of the area? What does it need to do?
  • Do I need these items?
  • How often do I use them?
  • When did I last use them?
  • Are they still relevant?
You should then sort things into three groups: "not needed at all" and you will get rid of, "needed occasionally" – you should move this stuff into labelled cupboards away from the area, and "needed often" – keep in the immediate area.

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Step 2 – SET

This step means to decide where the items you will keep should be placed/ stored or positioned within the area. This is about having a place for everything and everything in its place. Items that you use regularly should be placed near to where you use them so that you reduce unnecessary movement. Items used less regularly can be stored a little further away. Importantly, you should have clearly marked locations for things such as labelled drawers or cupboards so that the things are very easy and visual to find.

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Step 3 – SHINE

Now it's time to clean up – this is about ensuring that the area is thoroughly cleaned. So time to pull out the cleaning gloves and products and make your area shine! Don't forget hidden spots. As a practical point, it is sometimes easier and more practical to do this step before step 2.

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Step 4 – STANDARDISE

This is a really important step but often gets forgotten. Once you have put in all the hard work in steps 1-3 you must create a Standard for how the area will continue to look. This is about documenting or making it clear what the expected level of cleanliness and organisation that needs to be maintained, how often cleaning or organising is required, who is responsible, where the standard locations for things are and so on. A good visual standard will ensure that everyone is aware of the expected condition and your workplace or home will stay organised. If you don't put this standard in place, you can be sure that within a very short time your area will be back to square one.

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Step 5 – SUSTAIN

This is probably the hardest bit but most certainly a standard will help you to sustain a well-organised and professional looking workplace or home. Regularly monitoring the condition of the area and comparing it to the standard will help you to keep it looking good. A good idea is to set yourself a standard frequency of checking your area and maintaining its condition.

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Now it's time to get organised! Have fun and enjoy the feeling of control and freedom a well-organised environment brings :-).
Source: Gregory Han Leadersinheels

Confidence Is The Juice Of Everything


Confidence is not to be confused with arrogance, although when taken overboard it can come across that way.  Instead, think of confidence as the juice to jazz your thinking, feeling, and doing in more powerful ways.  Rather than second guess yourself every step of the way, or chopping yourself down to size … put a cork in your fear, while uncorking your possibilities.
That's where big ideas, bold action, and daring adventures come from.
Of course, like anything, there are two ends of the spectrum.  You can dial your confidence up or down, depending on what you need to be effective for your scenario.  One way to dial up your confidence is to have a handy set of pithy prose to help inspire or remind you of the confident way.  Quotes are a powerful tool, and they put the brilliance of minds like Aristotle, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, and others right at your mental finger tips.

The Wisdom of the Ages on Confidence …

If we flip through the words of wisdom from the ages and modern sages, we see a few key patterns and themes for improving confidence:
  • Flow your confidence from the inside out.  Don't hang it from the praise or accolades or reinforcement of others.
  • Find your way forward.  Confidence is not the absence of fear, but instead feeling the fear, and finding your way forward.
  • See it in your mind's-eye.   Picture it.  Visualize the confident you, and drink often from your fountain of images.
  • Flip the switch.  It's like flipping a switch. It's an emotional and mental state that you can drive from.  You just might have to turn it on.   For some, this means fake it till you make it.
  • Don't let critics limit you.  Don't let other people push your buttons, and know how to push your own.  Sometimes you need the critic to tell you that you can't, to figure out that you can … but don't become reliant on reverse psychology to make up your mind.
  • Know that confidence comes before competence.  Don't fall prey to the "if … then" trap (If I'm competent, then I'll be confident.")  Instead, anchor your confidence to the belief that you will get better with practice.  Expect great things from yourself and make them happen.
  • Let your confidence bloom as you do.  You might be sapling where somebody else is a sage, but don't let their shadow overshadow you.  Simply recognize the stage you are at, and be confident in your ability to grow.  Your capacity is a powerful thing.
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Some Points for Self Care


1- If you feel it is wrong, don't say it or do it.
2- Say "Exactly" what you mean, don't increase.
3- Don't be a people pleaser, joker, or clown.
4- Trust your instinct and your talent.
5- Don't degrade yourself in front of others.
6- Never give up of your dreams, or lose hope.
7- Don't be afraid to say "No" about you don't believe.
8- Stay away from dramatic actions, and negative behavior.
9- Be honest and kind with yourself, and merciful with others.
10- Stay away from things you can't control.

The Many Benefits of Walking



Walking 30 minutes a day cuts the rate of people becoming diabetic by more than half and it cuts the risk of people over 60 becoming diabetic by almost 70 percent.

Walking cuts the risk of stroke by more than 25 percent.
Walking reduces hypertension. The body has over 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Those blood vessels are more supple and healthier when we walk.

Walking cuts the risk of cancer as well as diabetes and stroke.

Women who walk have a 20 percent lower likelihood of getting breast cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of getting colon cancer.

Women with breast cancer who walk regularly can reduce their recurrence rate and their mortality rate by over 50 percent.

The human body works better when we walk. The body resists diseases better when we walk, and the body heals faster when we walk.

We don't have to walk a lot. Thirty minutes a day has a huge impact on our health.

Men who walk thirty minutes a day have a significantly lower level of prostate cancer. Men who walk regularly have a 60 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

For men with prostate cancer, studies have shown that walkers have a 46 percent lower mortality rate.

Walking also helps prevent depression, and people who walk regularly are more likely to see improvements in their depression.

In one study, people who walked and took medication scored twice as well in 30 days as the women who only took the medication. Another study showed that depressed people who walked regularly had a significantly higher level of not being depressed in a year compared to depressed people who did not walk. The body generates endorphins when we walk. Endorphins help us feel good.

Walking strengthens the heart. Walking strengthens bones.
Walking improves the circulatory system.

Walking generates positive neurochemicals. Healthy eating is important but dieting can trigger negative neurochemicals and can be hard to do.

Walking generates positive neurochemicals. People look forward to walking and enjoy walking.

And research shows that fit beats fat for many people. Walking half an hour a day has health benefits that exceed the benefits of losing 20 pounds.

When we walk every day, our bodies are healthier and stronger. A single 30 minute walk can reduce blood pressure by five points for over 20 hours.

Walking reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs.

People who walk regularly have much lower risk of deep vein thrombosis.

People who walk are less likely to catch colds, and when people get colds, walkers have a 46 percent shorter symptom time from their colds.

Walking improves the health of our blood, as well. Walking is a good boost of high density cholesterol and people with high levels of HDL are less likely to have heart attacks and stroke.

Walking significantly diminishes the risk of hip fracture and the need for gallstone surgery is 20 to 31 percent lower for walkers.
Walking is the right thing to do. The best news is that the 30 minutes doesn't have to be done in one lump of time. Two 15 minute walks achieve the same goals. Three 10 minute walks achieve most of those goals.

We can walk 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and achieve our walking goals.

Walking feels good. It helps the body heal. It keeps the body healthy. It improves our biological health, our physical health, our psychosocial health, and helps with our emotional health.

Walking can literally add years entire years to your life.

Be Thankful to the People Who Love You



1. Share a specific example of something they did for you and how it made a difference in your life.
2. Do something little but thoughtful for them—like clean up after Thanksgiving dinner!
3. Give a long, intimate hug; or if you know they don't like hugs, stick out your hand for a handshake to cater to their preferences and make them smile.
4. Tell them you're there if they have anything they want to talk about—and let them know they have your full attention.
5. Give them something of yours that you think they would enjoy, and let them know specifically why you want them to have it.
6. Invite them to do something you know they've always wanted to do.
7. Encourage them to try something you know they want to try, but haven't yet because they're scared.
8. Offer to do something you know they don't enjoy doing, like organizing their closet or mowing their lawn.
9. Compliment them on a talent, skill, or strength that you admire.

Man O Man!

Man O Man!
When without money,
eats vegetables at home;
When has money,
eats the same vegetables in a fine restaurant.

When without money, rides bicycle;
When has money rides the same 'exercise machine'.

When without money walks to earn food
When has money, walks to burn fat;
Man O Man! Never fails to deceive thyself!

When without money,
wishes to get married;
When has money,
wishes to get divorced.

When without money, acts like a rich man;
When has money acts like a poor man.
Man O Man! Never can tell the simple truth!

Says market is bad,
but keeps speculating;
Says money is evil,
but keeps accumulating.

Says high Positions are lonely,
but keeps wanting them.
 
Man O Man! Never means what he says and never says what he means..

12 Simple Ways to Improve Employees Productivity

Have you ever given a thought to how you can improve your productivity and that of your employees? Do you want to improve your work place productivity but you don't know how to go about it? If your answer to the two questions above is yes, then read on because this article is for you.
"Nowadays, business is all about productivity – and our folks produce." – John Hoeven
The place of work; be it an office or a factory, a business or any other organization, is not just a setup where people get paid for their presence and attendance of a few hours. The salary is in return for work done and the amount of work completed reflects the worker's productivity; which in turn is determined by a series of factors besides qualifications and experience.
The level of the employee's productivity in any organization is largely responsible for the profit making ability of the organization and its survival in the long run. That's why:
"Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate non performing individuals in important jobs." – Peter F. Drucker
However, employee productivity or performance is dependent on a series of factors many of which are determined by the employer and the environment provided for the work force.
"The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay." – Steve Jobs
It's up to the entrepreneur or manager to find the most effective ways of deriving the best out of the work force. The manager may feel his/her job is only to recruit the best and most qualified people for the task at hand but the truth is that these employees could be turned into a big asset that will transform the business completely; that is if they are made to work happily and show their true potential.
"People are definitely a company's greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference whether the company's product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps." – Mary Kay Ash
"Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort." – Paul J. Meyer
So in this article, I will be sharing with you some of the best ways of increasing and improving the existing productivity level of your employees. Without wasting your time, below are 12 Simple Ways to Improve Employees Productivity in the Work Place.

12 Simple Ways to Improve Employees Productivity in the Workplace

1. Make all employees accountable for their goals and their assignments. Don't give generic orders; be specific. Delegate duties to individuals and make sure the individual understands the responsibility involved with the task; make sure he/she understands that the accountability of that task rests solely on his/her shoulders.
"Before you assign a task, know the facts of the situation and the facts about the staffers who will do the work. Make recommendations and give directions in specific terms with recognizable objectives. Give as few orders as possible." – The Mafia Manager
2. Ensure that you follow up with them about progress at various stages. Don't delegate duties and go to sleep; follow up on task delegated to ensure effective output. If you can't follow up; then delegate the role or hire a supervisor to take your place.
"Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite." – Paul Gauguin
"Effective leadership is not about making great speeches or being liked, leadership is defined by results, not by attributes." – Peter F. Drucker
3. Avoid micro managing while managing people; remember they are humans, not machines. You must provide the best working environment for your employees if you are serious about improving productivity.
"Inventories can be managed but people must be led." – Henry Ross Perot
"Don't encourage overtime. Tell your people that the best way to impress you is to do a great job in the time allotted for it and then go home and relax." – The Mafia Manager
4. Encourage, reward, motivate and recognize all jobs well done. Nothing inspires an employee more than a big thank you hug from the boss; it makes an employee feel important and that employee will strive to repeat the feat that earned him/her the hug.
"Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they are going to make mistakes." – Henry Ross Perot
"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish." – Sam Walton
"Reward worthy failure – Experimentation." – Bill Gates
"Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone; don't keep it secret." – Mary Kay Ash
5. Reach out to all the employees working for you. Let them know their welfare is your concern; show them love and care, treat them like human beings.
"Kindness is more powerful than compulsion." – Charles Schwab
"The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity." – Thomas J. Peters
6. Set realistic and achievable targets for the workers. Setting goals or targets for your employees improves their productivity, effectiveness and efficiency but make sure the goals are attainable.
"Remember, not even a machine is 100 percent efficient. Don't expect the humans who work for you to be." – The Mafia Manager
7. Encourage team work for better results. Don't allow your employees to work in isolation all the time. You must teach your employees the importance of inspiring each other even in your absence.
"Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well motivated individual." – Bill Gates
"The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison." – James Cash Penny
"The productivity of a work group seems to depend on how the group members set their own goals in relation to the goals of the organization." – Ken Blanchard
8. Make sure that people enjoy their work and are happy to come to work everyday. In fact, make your working environment a happy environment. Encourage enthusiasm among your workers. This is the secret to the success of Richard Branson's Virgin Group.
"To be happy, make other people happy." – W. Clement Stone
"If you are interested in balancing work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable." – Donald Trump
9. Do not let a task become monotonous and boring. Break work place monotony by strategically rotating people in different jobs, but according to their capability and expertise.
"My definition of an executive's job is brief and straight to the point. It's simply this: Getting things done through other people." – James Cash Penny
10. Sponsor your employees for courses; send them to programs that will help them improve their skills. Examples are trainings meant to improve employee's skills in sales, customer service, communication, public relations, productivity, etc.
"Do not primarily train men to work. Train them to serve willingly and intelligently." – James Cash Penny
11. Do not waste too much time behind closed doors, spending hours in meetings when that time can be spent on delivering results. Schedule your time and stick to it. Effective time management is vital to increasing productivity.
"It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste." – Henry Ford
12. Make sure that you provide your employees with time saving and efficiency enhancing devices like:
  • Laptops and tablet computers
  • Smart phones and PDAs
  • Access to latest applications and software
  • Bluetooth to stay connected
  • Digital recorders to record new ideas instantly
  • GPS to track places to visit
"The 1980s will seem like a walk in the park when compared to new global challenges, where annual productivity increases of 6% may not be enough. A combination of software, brains, and running harder will be needed to bring that percentage up to 8% or 9%." – Jack Welch
All these devices help your employees save time and improve productivity; thereby enhancing the level of customer satisfaction. In essence, use technology to your advantage; use technology to make your employees faster and more accurate.
"Productivity and growth of productivity must be the first economic consideration at all times, not the last. That is the source of technological innovation, jobs and wealth." – William E. Simon
As a final note, productivity of the work force can be increased by implementing the above mentioned tips; it can be improved by making the employees feel responsible and getting them to work happily rather than mournfully. Always remember that an increase in productivity will yield a corresponding increase in output and profits in general.