Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tye Tribbett | Champion feat. Israel Houghton

Car crash claims life of David Wilkerson

Car crash claims life of David Wilkerson

Saturday, April 23, 2011

5 Time Management Tips for Bloggers

5 Time Management Tips for Bloggers

Gauging Efficiency through Top Training Metrics

Gauging Efficiency through Top Training Metrics: "

Taking cue from the top training metrics in the industry can certainly help any organization alleviate the performance of their training program. Here are some of the commonly used ones.

We all know how important training is when it comes to ensuring corporate success. This is because there will always be changes in terms of software development and whatnot. And for employees to learn the new skills needed to operate and manipulate the latest piece of software or gadget, then training is definitely a must. With that established comes the more pressing matter of how to ensure efficiency in training. Just how can a company make sure that the training program that it has implemented is as efficient as it should be? Here lies the importance of setting training metrics. If you are one of the companies who have yet to establish such metrics, then you might want to get your hands on the top training metrics in the arena.

Increased retention

The rate of retention is an important aspect to measure because higher retention would simply mean an efficient training program is at play. For the most part, it is the frontline jobs that would get the most attention here. Usually, newly trained employees who do not find themselves sufficiently equipped for the job at hand in terms of skills would most likely leave the company within the first 90 days after training. This is then an important metric to include in measuring training efficiency.

Increased sales

This is an important aspect to include if the training program itself is allocated towards improving sales performance or customer service. Product knowledge training can also be included here because employees who do not possess that much product knowledge would inevitably find it difficult to make significant sales figures.

Increased operational efficiency

When it comes to businesses that are production-oriented in nature, it is important for managers to look at the bottom line of operations – to check if there is a significant increase when training commences. For instance, if your training program is all about the development of new skills, then you should look at efficiency metrics before and after training as your baseline. This gives you direction when you are gauging the content of your training course.

Customer service results

Customer service is indeed one of the easiest points to start with when it comes to measuring training. Measurement can be put into place via company surveys. These surveys can gather a lot of customer-related issues that are actually related to training efficiency. By cross-checking your survey results via your metrics, you can then see if the training program does have an impact on the related survey items. This can then be correlated to an increase in customer satisfaction.

Cost of training

This is actually an internal training department measure. With organizations experiencing high turnovers, there is a definite need to lower cost per hire. But there has to be balance here. If you spend less on training your new-hires, this might also translate to poor performance on the floor. There should still be balance put into play here and you should work with both your HR department and your stakeholders in determining training costs as well as how you want these numbers at.

These are just some of the top training metrics you might want to consider taking on. By focusing on them, you can very well establish a nice set for your own training program.


The 22 Step Social Media Marketing Plan

The 22 Step Social Media Marketing Plan: "

Via Mashable

November 7, 2008 - 10:11 am PDT - by Peter Kim

Peter Kim is a Senior Partner at Dachis Corporation.  He blogs about social computing and marketing at Being Peter Kim.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been curating a list of social media marketing examples.  The list started with 100 examples (including 35+ from Mashable) and has since tripled in size with the participation of over a hundred contributors with examples from companies around the world.

We could probably come up with 3,000 examples instead of 300 - but the current set already gives us a pretty good sample to think about.  One takeaway: for now, those neurotic about missing “what’s next” can relax a bit.  Consumers still use a broader set of social tools than corporations, but new categories of tools aren’t emerging rapidly today, giving brands a chance to catch up.  It’s time to master the last big thing while you have a chance to catch a breath.

As corporate adoption emerges, there’s nothing wrong with learning lessons from others and making them your own.  Start by making sure you have all of your bases covered with the major tools.  In other words, copy and paste the items below, then fill in the blanks with your own company-driven effort.

Here’s a framework of 22 tools to consider with notable brand examples:

1. Blogs (Johnson & Johnson, Delta Air Lines)

2. Bookmarking/Tagging (Adobe, Kodak)

3. Brand monitoring (Dell, MINI)

4. Content aggregation (Alltop, EMC)

5. Crowdsourcing/Voting (Oracle, Starbucks)

6. Discussion boards and forums (IBM, Mountain Dew)

7. Events and meetups (Molson, Pampers)

8. Mashups (Fidelity Investments, Nike)

9. Microblogging (method, Whole Foods)

10. Online video (Eukanuba, Home Depot)

11. Organization and staffing (Ford, Pepsi)

12. Outreach programs (Nokia, Yum Brands)

13. Photosharing (Rubbermaid, UK Government)

14. Podcasting (Ericsson, McDonalds)

15. Presentation sharing (CapGemini, Daimler AG)

16. Public Relations - social media releases (Avon, Intel)

17. Ratings and reviews (Loblaws, TurboTax)

18. Social networks: applications, fan pages, groups, and personalities (British Airways, Saturn)

19. Sponsorships (Coca-Cola, Whirlpool)

20. Virtual worlds (National Geographic, Toyota)

21. Widgets (Southwest Airlines, Target)

22. Wikis (Second Life, T-Mobile Sidekick)

And use this username check tool to see if your brands/preferred handles are still available.

I haven’t found a single company doing all of these today. Forget divining a big, meaningful business objective before getting started - you’ll end up in analysis paralysis. Just make sure you’re making an existing business function better and get started.  Today.


Get Reminders to Return to Important Email With Snooze Your Email

Get Reminders to Return to Important Email With Snooze Your Email: "

We’ve probably all had times when we’ve been so busy we didn’t have time to deal with an important email when we first read it. The danger is that the email ends up being forgotten. Snooze Your Email for Gmail may be able to help. It’s an extension for Chrome that enables you to hit a “snooze” button on an email to quickly set a reminder about it for a preset time in the future.

Once installed, the extension adds a new “Snooze” button to the Gmail interface, as shown above. Hit the button, and a drop-down menu appears, enabling you to choose a snooze period from five minutes to four hours, or to be reminded about the email on a specific day or at a specific time:

When the snooze period is up, the extension will then play an alert sound and pop up a desktop notification, reminding you about the email and (optionally) marking the email as unread. In the notification, there are handy links to open the email or to snooze it again:

It’s a simple idea and it’s implemented well. However, it only works on Chrome, so if, like me, you also tend to read your emails on mobile devices it may prove less useful. I’d love to see this as a Labs feature in Gmail itself and have it available on multiple platforms. Note that despite its name, Snooze Your Email for Gmail also apparently works for Yahoo Mail, although I haven’t tried it.

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5 Reasons Why Virtual Teams Fail

5 Reasons Why Virtual Teams Fail: "

Poor management, communications breakdowns, unsuitable or badly integrated team members, ill-equipped staff, personality clashes — there are many reasons why a virtual team can fail. What can you do to ensure that your team succeeds? Here are five common failings of virtual teams, and ways to avoid them.

1. Square pegs in round holes. Let’s face it: Not everyone is cut out to be a virtual worker. Not everyone has the personality to work completely alone, apart from the team, nor has the ability to be focused and motivated to do work without the looming presence of a manager over one’s shoulder. Beyond personality types, not everyone has the ability to set up an environment away from the office that is conducive to work. It takes a special type of person and set of skills to navigate sketchy work environments (from distracting households to noisy coffee shops) and still be a consistent contributor to a virtual team.

What to do? Look for self-starters and team members who either have had virtual work experience and done well in that format or are flexible, focused and organized.

2. Lack of a clear process. A successful virtual team relies on a defined vision for desired outcomes and a careful breakdown of how it can accomplish those goals. In some ways, virtual work processes may need to be more rigid than those for co-located teams, with specific systems in place to cover time tracking, milestones, check-ins and knowledge sharing. But at the same time, the process must be flexible enough to accommodate the varied work styles of virtual workers. Ask yourself: Is it more important that work be done on a very specific schedule at a certain time of day or just that it is done on time? Because virtual teams can be dispersed across time zones, there can be distinct advantages to making use  of the asynchronous workflow rather than forcing someone overseas to be up in the wee hours of the morning just to be “at work” at the same time as the rest of the team.

What to do? Map out your workflow and communications processes and be specific about what is set in stone versus what is flexible. Make sure you have the systems in place to capture important data and that let you track workflow, deadlines and output.

3. Weak training techniques. If you’re running a team, you know the importance of “on-boarding” new team members. If you’re embarking on a virtual work process, getting everyone on the same page about how you want the team to work together and how to use the systems you’ve deployed is key. Without a clear explanation and properly conducted training, team output is guaranteed to be inconsistent at best. Because virtual team members don’t have the kind of contact one gets  in an office environment, making sure they have access to effective training materials and have the opportunity to ask questions as needed is important to the success of the team. One weak link can spoil the whole bunch.

What to do? After carefully thinking through your process, develop strong training materials and utilize one of the many tools that work well for knowledge sharing amongst virtual teams such as Mindflash, Knoodle and GoToMeeting. Make these materials available even after the training for reference. Keep lines of communication open for subsequent queries.

4. Failure to capture knowledge. In an office space, you can more readily ferret out the data you need, but in a virtual team environment, the bread crumb trail to data may be more convoluted or harder to track. And even in an office space, knowledge can be dispersed and kept in silos. Multiply that potential ten-fold in a virtual work space. The tools you use to capture information from the team can be helpful, but knowledge sharing starts with having the right attitude.

What to do? Emphasize the importance of knowledge sharing to team members and make sure you provide specific tools and steps to properly capture information from individuals. Everyone on your team must understand the critical nature of documenting and archiving in a shared space, and some helpful virtual work spaces include Glasscubes or Basecamp.

5. No glue to keep it all together. A good virtual team starts with a good leader. Whomever is managing the team needs to have a good grip on the dynamics of virtual work. Whether creating or communicating the vision, the team leader must be able to do so effectively, using tools such as Cohuman and Mavenlink to further a more cohesive team and work process. The team leader must be vigilant, organized and nimble, ready to address issues and fill in gaps to ensure consistent output with an emphasis on documentation and shared knowledge. Without a good leader acting as the glue to holding disparate parts together, communications meltdowns will be the norm, not the exception.

What to do? Find — or be — a smart virtual leader. Know when to be firm and when to be flexible, and be comfortable with being flexible. Keep both the big picture and the detail in mind and use the best technology and tools at your disposal to enhance your ability to do both.

Overall, a successful virtual team includes well-equipped, prepared team members who possess the right personalities and skill sets to understand the process, are on-boarded thoughtfully, and have tools to track work and share knowledge. And someone at the helm who can properly engineer and oil the machine.

Image courtesy stock.xchng user clix

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7 Tips for Successful International Meetings

7 Tips for Successful International Meetings: "

International meetings can be tricky. Language barriers can make communication difficult, while time zone differences can make finding a suitable time can be awkward.

Here are a few of tips to help you overcome those issues and make your international meetings more successful:

  1. Find a suitable time. If you only need to accommodate a couple of major locations, this can be relatively easy, but it can get ridiculously complicated if you are trying to co-ordinate attendance with people around the world. However, there are some great tools that can help you visualize working hours in various time zones. The World Clock Meeting Planner is one of my favorites: you can input up to four cities, and it produces a chart showing how the times vary in the various locations, helpfully color-coding the times shown with green for working hours, yellow for non-working hours, and red for times when people usually sleep. When you’ve determined the time for the meeting, it can be useful to include a link to a tool like the Event Time Announcer in the meeting invitation to ensure that attendees don’t make any time zone conversion mistakes.

  2. Rotate meeting times. If you regularly have a meeting involving participants from spread of time zones where it is impossible to find a time that suits everyone, try rotating the meeting time (also known as “sharing the pain”). You rotate the meeting around, so that everyone gets convenient times sometimes, and also gets the terrible times sometimes. For example, my company recently moved a meeting that had been at noon my time for about a year to 11 p.m. to better accommodate Asian participation, and we’ll probably keep this new time for a while before moving it again six months to a year from now.

  3. Send materials in advance. You should still send materials in advance even if you are using a meeting tool that allows people to access them during the meeting. I’ve been that lonely participant in a remote hotel room with a terrible Wi-Fi connection unable to keep me online and logged into the meeting tool. If you want everyone to participate, make sure you’ve sent the materials in advance so they aren’t relying on an Internet connection.

  4. Allow plenty of preparation time. Whenever possible, you should send out an agenda and materials 24 to 48 hours in advance of your meeting, especially for international meetings where not everyone is a native speaker. This helps to ensure everyone receives the materials with enough time to review them. With non-native speakers of the language, having some time to review the materials and come prepared with questions can make the difference between a successful meeting and one that doesn’t really accomplish much.

  5. Speak slowly. This is hard for me, so I appreciate it when someone asks me to speak more slowly. For participants who aren’t native speakers, speaking slowly helps give them time to process what you are saying, but it can also help people with poor audio quality over cell phones, or on international phone lines with delays.

  6. Pause for questions. Leave plenty of time for questions, and provide lengthy pauses to give people time to think about their questions. Too many people rush through presentations without giving people time to respond with questions. This is especially true in international meetings, as in some cultures, interrupting is considered rude, and also some participants may need a little extra time to think about how to translate their question into your language before asking it. If your pause for questions doesn’t feel uncomfortably long, it probably wasn’t long enough.

  7. Send minutes. Don’t forget to follow up after the meeting with detailed minutes, materials and any action items people are responsible for accomplishing. This means you should assign someone to take notes during the meeting, so the same person isn’t trying to present and take notes at the same time. Having detailed minutes is a great way to make sure you can follow up with people and gives people who had a hard time following along a little more information to review.

Photo courtesy Flickr user leoplus.

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Not Enough Time? How to Stop The Illusion

Not Enough Time? How to Stop The Illusion: "

Photo by Vadim Pacev

By Anastasiya Goers

It is not enough if you are busy.

The question is, ‘what are you busy about?’

~Henry David Thoreau

Do you find that there is just not enough time to get everything done?

How many times a day do you usually use the word busy? I often catch myself busy working, cleaning dishes, cooking meals, doing laundry, catching up on the email, running errands and so on.

Our modern lifestyle creates time famine that we are forced to live with; there seems to be never enough time for anything. Even if we manage to get most of our tasks and responsibilities done, our personal time and time with our loved ones suffer.

Just the other day I was doing my house chores in the evening. One of my three-year-old daughters came up to me and wanted to play. By habit I told her that “mama was busy” and this is when it hit me.

How can I be too busy for my child? Is it really important whether the laundry is done if my child does not get enough attention from me? Does it really matter how many articles I publish on my blog if I miss precious moments with my little girls?

This situation made me realize that I was suffering from “time and intimacy famine” – the dis-ease where we feel that there is not enough time to do everything, and in the result of trying to “catch up”, we miss out on previous intimate moments with the people who matter the most to us.

We jump from one thing to the next one and completely lose the present moment. Just recently Tina wrote about her experience on the topic in Stop Chasing Start Living and it triggered a few reflective moments in me.

Problem with Staying Busy

I think that staying busy has become one of the social norms in modern world. Many people enter a race of “Who can be the busiest today?” Our kids are busy with all possible after-school activities. We take on social commitments and new tasks just to cram more accomplishments in our day.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we accomplish and how busy we remain, we do not experience happiness or joy because of this. It fills us up with inner emptiness. It drains us and we lose connection with the things that really matter.

How to Overcome the Not Enough Time Illusion

The illusion that there isn’t enough time can be conquered only by living in the present. Thinking about now. Simplifying life.

I have been following a few strategies lately that helped me better control my time and take productive steps toward overcoming the pressure to chase the next moment caused by the ‘Not Enough Time’ illusion. I list them as follows:

1. Treasure Your Time

Time is a valuable resource that we do not have to spend all at once. Let’s imagine that you inherited a huge amount of money. Would you go out and spend every bit of it immediately? Sure, you can do it but a wiser decision would be to spend some, invest some, save some. Our time is much more valuable than money (because once it’s gone you can never earn it back); then why do we constantly waste it?

If you have extra 5 or 10 minutes during the day, just enjoy them. There is no need to water the plants, file your nails or call to schedule an appointment just to become more efficient and productive. These extra few minutes have a wonderful purpose in your life—they are to be savored and enjoyed in silence, in deep thoughts or with your loved ones.

2. Stop Getting Things Done

There is nothing wrong with being productive but it is unhealthy to make productivity the sole purpose of your life. There might be times during the day when you need to be efficient (at work, while running errands, doing housework etc.) but there are also times when you need to relax. Be as diligent about your rest time as you are about your work hours.

3. Leave Your Job at Work

Job takes a big part of our lives and sometimes it is difficult to turn off your work mode. It gets even more difficult if you work from home because technically you are always in your work place.

While I am not a big fan of the term “work life balance” I think that work rest balance definitely deserves your attention. I can talk for hours about why it is important to forget about your work while you are resting, but deep down you do not need any convincing. You are the person who will benefit the most from this change and only you are able to make this decision your personal priority.

4. Simplify Your Commitments

Frequently enough we take on too many responsibilities that completely clutter our day. Distinguish between tasks that are truly important to you (because they are a necessity or because you truly enjoy these activities) and get rid of all the clutter. Do you really have to go to your colleague’s party? Do you really enjoy this TV show that much? You get the idea.

5. Discover Who You Are

A lot of times we stay busy because of fear. We are afraid of down time because we are afraid to discover who we are.

Instead of really getting to know ourselves, discovering our passions, developing our potential we hide behind a busy schedule. Sometimes we stay busy to cover up some painful memories or emotions that we feel we can’t deal with.

This no-conflict strategy is emptying your inner well; it drains your energy and robs you of happy and joyful living. Schedule some time for yourself: meditate, pray, write in a journal or just dive deeply into your thoughts.

6. Simplify Your Information Streams

How many books are you reading right now? Chances are that you are reading a few regular books, following regular updates on a few blogs and reading an eBook or two all at the same time. I am not even mentioning news, TV shows, magazines and newspapers that are a staple in almost every house.

There is too much information available to us right now. This information takes time and energy; in fact it takes over our lives. We can be watching TV, looking through a magazine and trying to play with our kids at the same time. As a result you get a headache from the noise, you get no value from the magazine and you get upset at your kids because they start whining and complaining.

Instead try to read fewer books and follow fewer blogs. Look through the news headlines on the Internet and read only what is relevant to you. Spend your time only on the information that truly benefits you and enriches your life.

7. Gift Yourself A Day

If you are a religious person you can use this time for spiritual matters. If you are not religious you can spend time with your family, read all day, go on a hike, goof off, try new recipes or enjoy any other hobby.

It does not matter what you are doing. Just don’t work. It will be the biggest nourishment for your starving mind and even body.

Parting Words on ‘Not Enough Time’

The illusion that there is not enough time is just that: an illusion. You can overcome this idea and this internal drive towards chasing the next moment under the excuse of “I’m busy” by slowing down.

While you cannot control everything in this world you definitely can control your time and how you spend it. Enjoy it. Treasure it. Spend it on what really matters and be happy.

**If you had all the time in the world, what would you be doing? :)

Consider doing that. What activities can you do (or not do) to feel more relaxed and calm? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section. See you there!

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it on to others.

Share it on Facebook, RT on twitter, or email it to a friend.

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About the Author

Anastasiya GoersAnastasiya is the author behind the Balance In Me blog – a place for people interested in practical life balance strategies. She is passionate about helping people find their balance in different areas of life: work, family, health, lifestyle, spirituality and others. She also a runs virtual Life Balance Retreats for people interested in making lasting changes in their lives.

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Related Article to ‘Not Enough Time’

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31 Life lessons

31 Life Lessons in 31 Years
by Tina Su
2 people liked this - you, and 1 more

Photo by Simon Pais & Vero Monaco
By Tina Su

“Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment …”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Today, I turn 31.

When I was little, I used to think people in their 30s were really old. Now that I’m in my 30s, that perspective has quickly shifted.

Standing where I am today, I still feel like a little kid, except I’m doing my best in playing the part of an adult–trying to fit in with other grown-ups, and subsequently hiding the little kid within.

Having been obsessed with the topic of happiness and personal development over the past seven years (holy crap!), I feel like I’m becoming more and more in touch with the little kid inside–honest, candid, and established in love.

It is in the innocent wonder and the in-this-moment presence of the child where lies the secret to happiness.

Here are 31 life lessons I’ve learned, standing here today as a (slightly wiser) 31-year-old.

31 Life Lessons

1. It’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes and failures are there to teach us. If we learn from them and correct the way on our path, better things will result from it.

2. We create our own reality. We have the power to break mental patterns that no longer serve us, and we have the power to consciously choose thoughts that empower us. It’s only a matter of breaking old habits and creating new ones.

3. Finding validation and seeking love from another person through relationships is a self-destructive path. Those types of relationships never last, and when they end, they burn in heartache. You must love and respect yourself first. When you wholeheartedly love who you are, the world will fall in love with you, and the right relationship will fall into place. Until I fully accept, love and respect myself, I will continue to attract those relationships rooted in fear, insecurities and disempowerment.

4. A few moments of silence each day will broaden your horizon, strengthen your self-awareness, and heighten your inner clarity. With clarity, you can do anything.

5. You will never be ready for what you want to do. The trick is to just start it anyway, and to develop the discipline to work at it consistently. Taking baby steps in the direction you want to go means that you will eventually get there.

6. Life is short. Live it the way that will make you happy.

7. Change creates resistance. We don’t like change and we will always gravitate towards what is familiar because familiarity keeps us feeling safe. But sometimes, change is good for us. In fact, change is inevitable. Change is the only thing that is for certain. Embrace change.

8. Don’t be afraid to dream. Dreams create the vision that governs the story of our lives. Our dreams create our future. Dream big. Remember #6, life is short.

9. Money is a renewable resource. If you lose some money, don’t sweat it. You can always make more. However, if you spend valuable time stressing over money, or lost opportunity, you’ll never get that time back. Time is more valuable than money.

10. Fear comes from uncertainty of the unknown. It happens to all of us. It is part of the natural mechanisms for our survival. Its job is to keep us safe. You can never suppress fear, nor ignore fear, nor cure fear. The trick is to fully embrace fear by simply acting despite the feeling of fear. When you’ve fully faced fear and experienced it, the fear will subside.

11. Self-doubt, like fear, seeks everyone. You are no exception. Just do it anyway.

12. Time is the most important resource in the world. It is the only non-renewable resource in your life. Choose wisely how you spend time, and with whom you spend it.

13. Less is more. Say less, listen more. Own less things, and you’ll experience more freedom.

14. The people with whom you spend time matter. They influence you in unconscious ways, both positive and negative. Your income is the average of the three people with whom you spend the most time. Your potential to achieve greatness can be limited by the negative influence of the opinions of the people around you. Similarly, if all your friends were living self-empowered and awesome lives, wouldn’t that rub off on you to live extraordinarily? Choose your friends carefully.

15. We really don’t need very much (stuff) to be happy.

16. The most important thing we can do is to love ourselves. By making self-love a priority, everyone and everything we care about will be better because of it. We become better parents, employees, lovers, friends and contributing members of society.

17. Learn to let go. Surrender to what is happening right now. Fully embrace and experience this moment, regardless of what this moment holds. Like all moments, this moment too shall pass.

18. People are really kind and helpful if you give them a chance. Be open to receiving without feeling the need to “pay them back.” Let others know what they’ve provided for you, and how much you appreciate their help. Fully receiving what someone else has to offer is a gift in itself.

19. We are stronger and more resilient than we think we are.

20. The most damaging influence in our lives is the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves. It’s the unexamined limiting beliefs that cause us to sabotage our success, sell ourselves short, and limit our own potential to living extraordinary lives. If you are not achieving the kinds of results you want in your life, sit down with a journal and examine your beliefs.

21. Complaining, criticizing and gossiping is a waste of time and saps your energy.

22. Being a victim is a lot easier than being a leader. Leaders take responsibility and own up to their part in the doing. Leaders take action to change themselves and to overcome setbacks. Victims refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and emotions. Victims would rather sit back passively and give their power away by placing blame on an external trigger. Be the leader of your life. You are the only one capable of the job. Take responsibility of your own emotions. The world needs more leaders.

23. Forgiving someone is a lot easier than we think. When we forgive, we are setting ourselves free. Forgiveness is not about other people; it’s about letting the pain go in our own minds.

24. It’s easy to find fault in others–much easier than seeing fault in ourselves. How we view the world is a reflection of how we view ourselves, and this gives us insight to our internal thought patterns. Next time you catch yourself complaining about some fault in others, ask yourself, “What is it about myself, in relation to this topic, that I don’t like?”

25. Naps are good. It’s okay to sleep in, sometimes. We need rest to recharge. Staying up late into the night is bad for our bodies, and we pay the price with our health.

26. There is always a silent and graceful solution to every problem. When feeling nervous, stressed or anxious, stop everything and take three deep breaths. Or better yet, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Try the mantra “I am safe. All is well.”

27. Master creations in the arts (writing, drawing, music, dance, even software programming) are the result of someone’s love of the process of creation. Masterpieces are never created as a result of someone trying to be brilliant. Get out of your head and get into your heart. Stop overthinking! Just relax, start creating and fall into the flow. Focus on what you are doing without being concerned with what other people will think. Create for the sake of creation. Create out of love of the process, and you just might find that your resulting creation turns out to be a masterpiece.

28. When you passionately and genuinely believe in something, it will change you. You will embody the energy of your passion, and the world will notice the light that you shine. When you believe in yourself, others will believe in you, too.

29. Learn to say no. If you don’t want to do something—go to a party, accept an obligation, meet someone—just say “no, thank you.” You don’t owe anyone an excuse or explanation.

30. Giving unsolicited advice to others—regardless of how much you feel that they need it—is a waste of time and energy. Unless your advice was specifically requested, what you say will not be heard or appreciated. Unsolicited advice is perceived as annoying. Don’t do it.

31. Slowing down to self-reflect, to contemplate, to sit quietly, to journal, to breathe, or to clear your mind will actually make you more productive than if you worked until you collapsed. Slowing down has more benefits than just a clear mind; one side effect is a happier life.

Bonus Life Lessons

I started with a big list of life lessons, then I started trimming until I was left with 31. The following are additional important life lessons I couldn’t leave on the editing floor:

1. People will not change no matter how badly you want them to. People will only change if they want to. Instead of trying to change others, change yourself. Change your perception about the person, and allow them to be themselves, without you trying to change them.

2. We are not alone. No matter how bizarre or embarrassed or pathetic we feel about our own situation, there will be others out there experiencing the same emotions. When you hear yourself say “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie so you will continue to feel sorry for yourself.

3. We are the only ones who can solve our own problems. We are the only ones who can change ourselves. We are the only ones who can choose to see the good, to see hope, to pick ourselves up, and to accept help. We must rely upon and trust ourselves.

4. My body knows what I need. Sometimes, I get sick because my body is trying to get my attention. Its message is usually something like this: relax, recharge, you’re working too much, drink water, exercise and get more sleep. When I get sick, I listen to my body’s messages and I heal.

5. Watch my language. The words I use to describe my experiences carry with it more power than I can consciously fathom. Saying that “I Can’t” do something has a profound effect on my beliefs about what is possible. It can limit my potential or empower me with possibilities. Choose your words carefully.

6. Help other people get what they want. You will be rewarded not only financially, but also with the priceless reward of fulfillment.

7. Trying to be right is a waste of time and energy. I would rather be happy than right.

8. Drink lots of water.

9. When you want something and you ask for it, you will more likely get it. Don’t be afraid to ask.

10. Within each of us lies a vast well of wisdom. It is a source within the depth of our soul which connects to infinite intelligence and the capacity to heal all our wounds. To access this source and to hear its messages, we must slow down, quiet our minds and go within. Only in the stillness of our being can we recognize the soft ripples of our inner voice and intuition. Learn to trust it. It is always right.

“The day is ending, our life is one day shorter.
Let us look carefully at what we have done.
Let us practice diligently,
…Putting our whole heart into the path…
Let us live deeply each moment in freedom,
So time does not slip away meaninglessly.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Last night, my husband Jeremy smiled and said, “Let’s dedicate the next year to a year of happiness.” (I’m paraphrasing. What he actually said was really moving, and much longer. This was the gist of it.) He said this because this time last year I had spent the day crying and was barely able to scrape myself off the floor.

We’ve come a long way. I am thankful.

I smiled back and said, “Let’s do that! That’s a great idea.”

Here’s to a year (and a life time) dedicated to happiness–where we shall focus on the good in our lives, cut out gossiping and criticizing others, create healthy habits, work on meaningful projects, dream about future creations, go on dates and spent more quality time as a family.

If I had to choose, the most important life lesson is summarized to this: Life is so short. What’s happened is already in the past. The future is here for us to create. The power is in this moment. In this moment, we have the choice to create painful memories from the past, or we can create a beautiful tomorrow. You have that power.

A beautiful life is closer than we think. It’s already here … if we choose to see it.

After all, Twenty-four brand new hours are before me, what joyful experiences will I choose next?

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* What are some life lessons from your own experience? Share them with us in the comment section. Thank you in advance for sharing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Agile eLearning - 27 Great Articles

Agile eLearning - 27 Great Articles: "

The first couple of responses to this month's LCBQ Addressing I Want it Now #LCBQ have come in and Kasper Spiro's caught my eye: On demand: agile e-Learning development #LCBQ.  Like Kasper, I'm very familiar with Agile in software development.  I was not as familiar with it in terms of eLearning development.

So, I wanted to pull together some reading and resources around Agile eLearning, Agile ADDIE, etc.

I found some amazing resources using eLearning Learning and via search:

  1. What Agile Means to Me- ID Reflections
  2. ADDIE isn't Dead; it's just more Agile- Integrated Learnings
  3. The Agile Elearning Design Manual - Of Project Spaces & Project Managers- The Learning Generalist
  4. Agile instructional design- Jay Cross's Informal Learning
  5. Agility and Autonomy- Learning and Working on the Web
  6. Designing for Agile Learning- Big Dog, Little Dog
  7. No time for design?- Making Change
  8. Agile, Lego and Training: The common factors.- ID Reflections
  9. Agile e-learning- Clive on Learning
  10. The Agile Elearning Design Manual - Agile Re-explained- The Learning Generalist
  11. I lost my agile virginity- Challenge to Learn
  12. Tackling Wicked Problems Using an Iterative Approach- ID Reflections
  13. Get Real: Mission Critical E-learning- Lars is Learning
  14. The Agile Elearning Design Manual - Why Synchronous Learning makes so much sense today- The Learning Generalist
  15. ADDIE isn't dead; how can it be?- Integrated Learnings
  16. The Agile Elearning Design Manual: Problems with existing approaches- The Learning Generalist
  17. The Agile Elearning Design Manual - Iterations huh?- The Learning Generalist
  18. Agility through collaboration- Learning and Working on the Web
  19. The Periodic Table of Agile Learning- Big Dog, Little Dog
  20. Harold Jarche » Instructional Design Needs More Agility- Learning and Working on the Web
  21. Orientation in Agile Learning Design- Big Dog, Little Dog
  22. Towards an alternative e-learning- Onlignment
  23. Agile Design: An Ethos for Creating Learning Platforms- Big Dog, Little Dog
  24. Planning in Agile Learning Design- Big Dog, Little Dog
  25. Selection in Agile Learning Design- Big Dog, Little Dog
  26. Iterations in Agile Learning Design- Big Dog, Little Dog
  27. Agile Learning Design: Tools for Learners- Big Dog, Little Dog

Bonus Items Recommended by my Tweets

  1. Agility through collaboration
  2. Is ADDIE dead?
  3. Agile Instructional Design

I'm still studying all of this to see whether I really buy that Agile methods will work.   Lots of my experience tells me that while we intended to be Agile, put something out and then update it.  It's the updating part that doesn't happen.  If Agile turns into rapid elearning, then we are back to Rapid eLearning Tools Debate.

eLearning Technology

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Bruce Lee 20 rules for success!

Bruce Lee’s Top 20 Tips for Living a Successful Life
from Wake Up Cloud by Henri
94 people liked this - you, and 93 more
When I grew up, Bruce Lee was one of my biggest role models, and he still is.

He accomplished more in ten years than most people do in a lifetime. So I decided to gather Bruce Lee’s most inspirational quotes in one place.

The quotes below are what I believe it takes to live a successful life and have success in life. These quotes will inspire, motivate, and encourage you to go after your dreams.

With all that said here are Bruce Lee’s top 20 tips for living a successful life.

1. Apply What You Learn

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

How many people do you know that read a lot of books and spend a lot of time buying courses, but never apply the knowledge they learn?

You may even notice these tendencies in your life. It’s hard to take action and apply what you learn, because we’re all afraid of failure, and taking action can be paralyzing from time to time.

However, success in life doesn’t happens until you use the knowledge that you have inside of you. Most of us have exactly what we need to get to our goals, but we make excuses not to even get started.

2. Learn, Discard, Create

“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”

It’s all well and good to learn from others, but it’s not until you take action that you discover what works and doesn’t.

When you discover what doesn’t work, you simply discard it and keep going. When you keep moving forward, you will create your own path.

Living a successful life is all about experimenting and trying new things. The more things you try, the closer you will get to true success.

3. Simplicity

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

If you can simplify your life, your goals, and your tasks, you will not only be happier, you will also get more done and be more successful.

It was not until I started focusing on one single task and one major goal in my life that I started seeing rapid results in the direction of my dreams.

If you’re trying to go after multiple things at once, you will end up accomplishing none of them. Pick one thing that’s the most important to you and go after that.

The funny thing about focusing on one goal is that it seems that you’re neglecting all the others aspects of your life, but when you focus on one goal, magically the other aspects of your life improve, sometimes dramatically.

4. Break Barriers

“Using no way as way, using no limitation as limitation.”

We all have negative beliefs that stop us from being as successful in life as we would like.

The only person holding you back is you. Once you become comfortable with overcoming your fears, you will start seeing dramatic success in your life.

One of the most common characteristics of successful people is that they are willing to try new things and face their fears. They are not fearless, they are merely willing to do what it takes.

5. Be Open-Minded

“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

There’s no right or wrong in the universe. It’s completely subjective.

Getting caught up in the drama of who is right or wrong or who is better than will only distract you from reaching your goals and creating a successful life.

Stay open to new possibilities, and the viewpoints of others. You can never know what you will learn when you explore things you at first thought were pure nonsense.

6. Contribute

“Real living is living for others.”

It wasn’t until I found my passion and started contributing to the world with my writing that I started feeling fulfilled.

We all have our unique gifts that we can use to make the world a better place. These are usually talents and skills you have that you are very good at, and that you like to do.

It doesn’t matter if you like to make jewelry or if you enjoy cooking, because everything is connected to everything else.

You are here to make a difference with the talents you have. There’s a reason why you are you.

7. Manage Your Time

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

We are surrounded by distractions, such as e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook. They are great at connecting us to each other, but they distract us from what is truly important.

Learn to manage your time, and get the most valuable tasks done before you start to play. Use time management courses to get your life in order.

You can often double, triple, or even quadruple your productivity by using just a few simple time management tips.

A good one that I use is to write down the three most important tasks for the next day before I go to bed.

8. Be Flexible

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

Life will throw curve balls at you, so you have to get used to being flexible. The more comfortable you can be with being uncomfortable, the faster you will grow as a human being and the more success you will have in life.

This is exactly what distinguishes successful people from unsuccessful ones. Successful people are more willing to be uncomfortable, because they know that that is the fastest path to their goals.

Whenever you bump into something that makes you feel bad, stay flexible, and find the positive in the situation. I’ve found that most of the problems in my life are blessings in disguise.

The only thing separating positivity from negativity is time.

9. Set Goals

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

If you want to create your dream life you want you first have to know what you want. For the longest time I avoided setting goals, because I thought it was unnecessary.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that goal setting can not only make me more productive, it can also dramatically increase the clarity I have.

When you set goals, use the S.M.A.R.T criteria, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals.

10. Be Patient

“A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”

One of my weaknesses is my impatience. However, I’ve learned to channel my impatience into getting more done and being productive.

It’s also important to realize that most of the things that are truly valuable in life take time.

For example, I discovered that creating an online business usually takes anywhere from 3 to 5 years, if your goal is a full-time income.

Whatever you do, keep taking small steps each day toward your primary goal, and you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish in just a few years.

11. Kill the Box

“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

It’s easy to get into a rut, which is simply a familiar pattern that feels comfortable. If you truly want to grow as a person and lead a successful life, you have to get out of the box.

In fact, throw the box out altogether, and start following your heart wherever it leads you. This can be as simple as following your highest excitement in the moment.

Most people are stuck in their minds and never listen to their heart’s deepest desire. Don’t let this be you.

12. Control Your Thoughts

“As you think, so shall you become.”

What you think about, you draw into your life. If you’re constantly being negative, you will draw more negativity into your life.

Instead of focusing on the negative, think about what you want to get out of life and focus on the positive.

This is another way of telling you that you have to set goals and focus on those goals as often as possible. The results you will get by doing this will be dramatic.

Most people sit around whining about their miserable life, and then they wonder why nothing good ever happens to them.

13. Take Action

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Don’t over analyze and over think. Take massive action even if things aren’t perfect before you start.

Most people that try to get things perfect never get started at all.

I used to be a perfectionist, but I realized that by taking action, I could get much more done and make much more progress.

I also realized that people don’t want perfect. They just want solutions to their problems.

14. Allow

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

It’s easy to get stuck on what other people would think of you if you became successful. Most people are so afraid of this that they never rise above mediocrity.

It is not up to you to make people happy. You can only make yourself happy, and the way others react is just the way they will react.

Don’t let other people dictate how you live your life. Determine what you want, go after it, and don’t look back. You will be much happier for it.

15. Create Your Own Destiny

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

You can make all the excuses in the world, but nothing happens until you stop blaming your circumstances or people in your life, and take control of your life.

It is up to you to take responsibility for your life and create your own opportunities. You may not be able to do exactly what you want right now, but you have the opportunity to take steps toward it.

No one will create the dream life for you. You have to do it yourself.

16. Be You

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

As I said earlier, you were born with unique talents, gifts, and skills. When you try to be someone you’re not, you will only attract people into your life that are not in harmony with you.

When you are you, and that includes the weird things about you, you will find that the most amazing and interesting people start popping up in your life.

Sometimes this may take years, and sometimes it can happen in just a few days. Let whatever happens be okay and go with the flow.

17. Have Integrity

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect”

No success in life is worth it unless you have integrity.

It’s very hard to find people that are honest and have integrity as one of their highest values. It’s easy to throw in a lie here and there and try to manipulate people.

Only conscious people realize that this won’t make anyone happy in the long term. It might get you what you want in the short-term but it’s not a recipe for happiness.

Live with integrity, and people will respect you. And best of all, you will respect yourself which is a very desirable character trait.

18. Learn the Rules, Break the Rules

“Obey the principles without being bound by them.”

If you want success in life, learn what other successful people have done to get to where they are.

It’s important to learn the principles of success, but not be bound by them. Once you know what you need to do, follow your heart and your intuition.

If you want to learn how to create a profitable website for example, I recommend you sign up for a training course, and follow the instructions step-by-step.

Once you start seeing success, you can start breaking the rules and begin experimenting.

19. Do Things for You

“Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”

Life is not about impressing other people. If you try to show off, it will backfire.

And if you try to seek the approval of others, it will just make you miserable. The only person that needs to approve of you is you.

This goes hand in hand with many of the quotes above. You can only be you, and it is not until you reclaim your unique self that you can be truly great.

20. Believe in Yourself

“You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.”

Last, but definitely not least are the expectations you have of yourself. Your beliefs will determine the success you have in life.

There are ways to overcome limiting beliefs and negative expectations, but nothing happens until you accept that they exist within you.

And nothing happens until you take full responsibility for the life that you have created in this very moment.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How to Use Your Social Network

How to Use Your Social Network: "

Normally, using someone isn’t a very nice thing to do. The negative connotations surrounding that word tend to make us shy away from allowing ourselves to remember that it can be a positive thing, as well. Yes, you need to give more than you take and the social space is no exception to the rule. However, there’s nothing wrong with using your network when you need to.

Are you thinking of buying a new product? Use your network! Throw out a quick message on both sites and ask for opinions. The people in your community who have used or owned that item will be quick to tell you the pros – and cons. You’ll get real feedback in real time. What better way could there be to help make a buying decision?

Another way to use your network is to reach out and ask for recommendations the next time you plan pretty much anything. Your contacts will jump at the chance to tell you where the hottest clubs and hotels are, which airlines cost the least to fly on and where you should be eating or shopping. You can get quick advice about anything and everything – including which Elvis impersonator is the best.

Thousands of people are out of work and having difficulties finding a new position. Use those networks, people! Let others know you are on the hunt and ask if they know of openings in your field. Make sure you’ve signed up on LinkedIn and fully filled in your your profile. Give that link out any time you hear of a promising lead or whenever you inquire about an opening someone may know of.

Your network can be used for education research and finding out the latest information about breaking news stories. I suppose these examples wouldn’t be classified as using the people in your community as much as it would be expanding your mind thanks to them. Are you stumped on a homework question? Ask your friends for help. If you have Google’d your fingers to the bone and still cannot find answers you need for a project at work, the people you surround yourself with online may have a clue. When you hear sirens coming from every direction in your neighborhood, a quick hashtag Twitter search will likely yield the fastest results. Quite often, you can find out what’s what on your social network ten times faster than you would via your local news station.

The ways in which you can use your social network are virtually endless. Keep in mind what I said in the beginning: give more than you take. The next time someone asks for help you can offer, don’t ignore it because you are too busy. Take the time to help someone and you’ll be repaid tenfold.

What others ways do you use your social network?



I use a lot, and always looking for ways to be more efficient in use of it. Also I like many google products and this provides quick links.

in reference to: iGoogle (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tour of Home Care Assistance corporate intranet

Friday, April 1, 2011

White House Forum Commemorating Women's History Month

Full Feature - Can we prove the resurrection