Category Archives: self-help

Beware the Very Real Effect of Negative Social Connections


See on Scoop.itEducation For The Future

There’s a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that your friends’ friends wield tremendous power over you without you even knowing it.

Social networks are the groups of real friends that we all share and interact with.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

“Birds of a feather really DO flock together”

In the article, the negative effect of social networks is shown with obese people who tend to connect with other fat people on many levels of connection.

Emotions are the tools people use to connect with social network friends usually faster than in the real world where people tend to be more inhibited to expose themselves in person.

The phone works two ways though and the positive effects of your online friends may outweigh the negative impacts.

For example you can join people who have common goals and interests such as losing weight, staying fit and healthy, aging, raising kids or living abroad etc. Social networks can sometimes help you get extra motivated and less isolated.

What do you think ?

See on networkedblogs.com

I Failed: Leo Babauta


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston Churchill

 

 

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Yes failure can hurt, we have to acknowledge this feeling but what can we do about it ?

Is taking action the answer ?

You can find good suggestions in Babauta’s article.

Here what I do and questions I ask myself:

  1. Writing down facts : Are they true ? Do I have evidences or is it my interpretation ?
  2. Writing down emotions: Is it my ego that got hurt ? How do I feel? Why do I feel pain ?
  3. What choices do I have : learn from failure and move on ?, Try a new approach ?

How About You ? What can you do when you have the heavy feeling of failure in your heart ?

 

Related articles

See on zenhabits.net

12 Reasons To Stop Multitasking


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders or See on www.huffingtonpost.com

By Amanda MacMillan We all do it: Texting while walking, sending emails during meetings, chatting on the phone while cooking dinner.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

The slides in the article are very good examples that should make you think about re-designing your life and your work if you feel constantly distracted and have your energy consumed by doing different things simultaneously. 

University of California, San Francisco last 2011 declares, “Researchers know that multitasking negatively impacts working memory in both young and older adults”

More than 15 years ago, Steven Covey already identified the problem and gave us a method to focus on doing most important tasks to reach our true goals in his books: THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE  (HABIT 3: PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST) and FIRST THINGS FIRST.

I have summarized the Covey’s books in the following article:

Getting A Balanced Life in Only Two Steps

See on www.huffingtonpost.com

Will You Make New Year’s Resolutions in 2013 ?


Do you make New Year resolutions in January? Are you thinking about doing something new, stopping a bad habit or be a better person?

I usually write some goals and ideas around January 3rd as I feel relaxed, but full of energy.

Most people fail to stick to their yearly goals because they are either unrealistic or they don’t have the resources or they fall into the category of things they think they should do to please others, but don’t really feel intrinsic motivation to change.

Another reason for failure is to be too impatient and try to change too many things at the same time like quitting smoking and losing weight or changing job and starting a family. That’s why most people quit their good resolutions within the first 90 days of the new year.

So should we stop doing New Year resolutions? I think YES, if we stick to the definition of a resolution: “a firm decision to do or not to do something”. If we think that way it sounds like success or failure are only the results of willpower.

However, willpower is very limited as our brain is looking for rewards and instant gratifications as a result of specific behaviors especially when we are under stress. So if we want to quit smoking for example, it doesn’t help to know that we may increase the risks of getting cancer compared to the instant relief of anxiety that smoking can provide.

Before setting any specific goals for the new year, I suggest you think about moments of your life when you felt truly happy to understand what behaviors and environments make you emotionally and physically satisfied. Then, list actions and activities that you can include in your life that will reproduce those moments. It is also important to identify situations that make you unhappy and that you want to eliminate.

Make a list of five areas of your life you want to change such as self-development, career, family, etc. Select three goals for the year and associate what rewards do you expect based on the list of what makes you truly happy.

If you have difficulties to make this exercise and identify your priorities, maybe you can talk with your partner or a coach to make sure that you plan for success and do not make new year resolutions that you won’t keep.

motivation

Contact Us For a Free Consultation: aegros@zestnzen.com

Moving Overseas? Don’t Make Big Decisions Under pressure!


If you are an expatriate moving abroad this summer, chances are high that you are under great pressure and stress. You have made the decision to relocate few months ago, although it feels like years. Your partner is already working in your future country and you are the “trailing spouse” in charge of executing the relocation strategy. Now unexpected problems are suddenly on your way and you are facing many dilemmas.

Here some common questions expats have to ask themselves that can lead to really bad decisions if we are overwhelmed and under stress:

  • Should I sell or rent my house while living abroad ? ( Read : http://www.expatguy.com/)
  • What shall I do If the house is not sold before leaving ?
  • How should I sell my car? to a car dealer or a stranger on eBay or Craig list ?
  • Shall I plan the packing date before finding my new house abroad?
  • What do I need to  put in local storage and what must be shipped overseas ?
  • Should I rent a temporary apartment in my new destination or make a house hunt a priority before moving
  • What should I do about schools if my children are on waiting lists of several schools and cannot go to local school due to language barrier ?
  • Should I stay one more school year where I live to get more time to plan the move ?

It is not rare that we have to make big decisions when we are under some kind of pressure such as lack of time, social pressure, too many options, not enough information, highly complex situations or emotional stress.

When we are under pressure, rushed and stressed we are not in the best situation to make rational decisions.  Our emotional brain takes the control of our rational brain, and we make emotional decisions to get instant gratification and relief from the pressure. For example some people overeat or overspend when they are in such emotional state that leads to either poor decision-making or impaired impulse control.

Most of the time, pressure can’t be avoided but we can learn to switch our mind to a non-emotional and objective state to make the best decisions we can based on facts while being conscious of the emotional part of the decision process.

To get an objective mindset is really important to avoid making a bad decision we will regret for years to come. We can’t eliminate all the subjectivity of our emotions, bu we can minimize that bias and make the best decision we can  with the information we have.

Here some tips on getting a quiet mind and make rational decisions:

1-Don’t panic: The worst thing that can happen is to rush decisions too early

2-Keep your options open as long as possible : Don’t plan packing before you know the size of your future home. Better to spend money on flight tickets than having to deal with costly shipment and trashing your furniture.

3-Plan for the worst-case scenario : In case things don’t work overseas have a plan to go back where you live (keep your house for example)

4-Recognize your limitations:  You are not Captain America or Wonder Woman, nothing should be perfect. You have to admit that sometimes you can be an insecure person who doesn’t like to show shortage of knowledge.

5-Keep your pride and ego away You told the world you are going to live a great adventure abroad, friends said goodbye and you keep going just because you don’t want to admit you made a mistake. Better have shame than regrets

6-Be incredibly selfish:.Most trailing spouses are women who put other’s needs before their own needs: children, husband, old parents and so on. To be selfish is about taking the time to focus on your needs, listen to your emotions and to take care of yourself no matter how busy you life is. To be selfish is not being needy or egoist, it is a very healthy habit that helps create both emotional and physical well-being. You create more inner peace, joy and a natural balance.

7-Stay connected: As most expats you may have many expat friends on social networks like Facebook. Sharing your doubts, frustration and other emotions to like-minded people is a great coping strategy and helps you gain clarity about your thought process.. Don’t isolate yourself from local friends and neighbors because you are leaving, meet them until the last minute.

 Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is intentional


Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach:

Summer is already here and for expats in transition toward a new destination it is the time to put your resilience at work.

Here a popular post I wrote about one year ago with tips on how to develop your resilience and keep your sanity while moving to a new country or going back “home”

Originally posted on Anne Egros, Intercultural Executive Coach:

Are Expats More Resilient?

By Guest Contributor

June 16, 2011

by Anne Egros

 Anne is in the middle of move #12, back to the USA in New Jersey, after two years in Brussels, Belgium and asks if expats are more resilient ?

 “Resilience” is the positive capacity of people to survive and “bounce back” after failures and adversity. I think it is a pretty complex topic. In addition, what makes you thrive and happy, may be stressful for somebody else. However, no matter what the nature of the stress, resilience can be developed by learning adaptive coping strategies.

I am just now in the middle of move #12, going back to New Jersey, USA, after two years in Brussels, Belgium. The fact that I have been a serial expat for 20 years, between Europe, Japan and USA does not make the packing and the administrative work easier but psychologically…

View original 449 more words

Dump Facebook, Keep Your Friends: A Step-By-Step Guide


When you are a long-term expatriate like me (20+ years in the air), Facebook is a fantastic tool, mainly for two reasons:

1-To stay in contact with friends and family from all over the world, who can provide emotional support when you feel lonely and experience “culture shock”

2-To contact other expatriates and people you don’t know who can give you vital information such as schools, neighborhoods, medical support etc. to help you make an informed choice regarding your next International assignment and make contacts even months before your move. Read more about “5 Tips on how to connect with people yo don’t know”: 

However there is a big problem,especially  when you work from home. In my case Facebook takes more time than it should and it kills my productivity and I cannot stay focused on important things. I can always argument that it is for the reason #2,  I mentioned above,  but it is not 100% true.

I have tried various tools such as a simple kitchen timer or switching my PC on only after the main tasks were done, which is not practical when your clients are communicating online with you. I even try something more sophisticated like  “StayFocusd” a great application but you can always delete it if you feel frustrated that the 60 minutes you allocated on social media for ” not-so-important stuff” is over.

So when I came across the title of this article from FastCompany.com, I saved it on  Scoop.it  Global Leaders my online magazine, which is an excellent tool to keep important educational articles and ultimately save your time.

Then I started to  experiment some of the basic tips:

You don’t have to say goodbye to your friends in order to keep the good parts of Facebook and avoid the constant distraction.

I started to look at the information on my news feed and deleted many pages that were just noise, I sometimes just liked pages to please others but completely out of my sphere of interests. I realized I liked 600 pages in 4 years ! Way too much and the pruning will be a long but necessary process.

Then I have changed my email notification to keep getting “Semi-important Stuff Coming Via Email” as recommended in the article.

The ultimate step is the  weaning process that keeps you away from Facebook website. I know one friend who did it and I will see if I really need it.

How do you stay focused, productive AND keep the best of social networking ? 

See on www.fastcompany.com

How To Deal With Your Aging Fears And Move Forward


I just added one more year to my official age last week, look strange I did not feel THAT old ! So I look at the mirror and asked:

“Mirror, Mirror, Do I still look young, beautiful and attractive?”

“Humm …not as pretty, thin and fresh than 20 years ago responded the mirror”

Then I look closer at my face saw wrinkles around my eyes, my hair roots showing their true gray color, some parts of my body were definitively showing signs of aging but I did not really worry. For sure I am not as beautiful as Demi Moore for the same age but she seems to have some troubles accepting her age emotionally (read more about Demi’s Life after rehab)

For most women there is an age, could be 35. 45 or 55, when we realize that our body is changing
and we cannot have the same weight and shape that we had before we got our children or like when we were in college. The paradox is, then we probably were not happy with our body image.

No matter how old you are, how you look, how much money you spend in surgery you cannot stop aging but you can choose between two attitudes:

1-Change the way you define beauty and your feelings about your body image

2-Stay in denial and live miserably because you cannot turn the clock back even with Botox or the surgeon’s knife.

So if you want to age gracefully and enjoy your life everyday for the next 40 or 50 years here the four tips you can follow:

1-Acknowledge that your appearance is changing and notice the true fears and feelings you have when you look at yourself in the mirror and see the changes. Are you worrying about your marriage or your career? Are you scared of being unable to practice your favorite sport ? Are you feeling unsecured when you are with younger people? Do you worry about having enough money when you will retire ? it is very important to be as precise as possible to address the real issues you are dealing with beyond just fear of losing your youth.

2-Listen to your thoughts and self-criticisms, maybe you are too harsh and need to re-write your inner dialogue with less negative judgements. Focus on what you like most about your physical appearance and talk to yourself with the same tone you will tell a friend.

3-Imagine yourself being 20 years older and looking at a picture of you as you are right now,. You will probably think you were pretty good-looking at that time and you might regret that you did not enjoy your look when you had the opportunity.

4-Make healthy changes instead of clinging to the past: you can start by eating wisely, enjoy physical activities, invest in an image consultant who can help you choose the best color to wear and styles, helps with make-up and your hair. Once I coached a client who did a re-looking after she made big changes in her life and the transformation was amazing. Her new outside look was aligned with her new feelings and thoughts about herself.

How about you ?

    • Are you worrying or desperate about aging ?
    • When old is too old for you?
    • Are you ready to go to surgery to get flatter belly or less wrinkles ?

Read more here : Angelina Jolie talks about her famous face


Giving is Growing !


‘We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.’ Sir Winston Churchill

Being altruistic benefits the person being helped but has also many benefits for the person who is giving.  According to Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation in the UK, evidence shows that helping others is beneficial for your own mental health and well-being.

It can:

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

• reduce stress
• improve emotional wellbeing
• benefit physical health
• bring a sense of belonging and reduce isolation
• help us live longer
• get rid of negative feelings

Good deeds don’t need to take a lot of time or even cost money. Small changes can make a big difference. The Foundation organize every year a “Mental Health Awareness Week”. This year it runs from May 21 – May 27, 2012 and its asking its Facebook fans to get involved by carrying out acts of kindness for strangers and posting on their —> Facebook Page 

For more information about how helping others can be beneficial for your mental health, read  Doing Good? report  (free download)

Incidentally, I am currently participating  with Karleen Harp and Patty Farmer as a team in a social event on Facebook called “Marvelous May” and organized by Keri Francek Jaehnig at Idea Girl Media. This is also a “giving event”.

The idea is to provide support to grow individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations by trading knowledge and time for a world of wisdom: Check our Facebook page   “The World Of Help” 

Our mission is to help the community members connecting the dots between specific problems they have and experts who have the answers. Our Facebook page and Twitter keep people updated with ideas and tips.

Our Vision : We empower people by giving them the platform to trade their ideas and time for feedbacks and word of mouth promotion of blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter , Linkedin and all social networks

Happy Giving !

7 Rules To Never Waste Your Time Again


Are you always busy, yet not finishing all you want to do or enjoying the way you spend your time ? Time is the most precious asset we have that once spent is lost forever, unlike other precious things we may lose such as money, a job or even love, as we can always replace them. So why most people don’t think about time as an investment and don’t choose wisely how to spend it  as they do about their own money ?

Most people have to go to work because they need money for their families to buy food, clothes and have a roof over their heads not because they love their jobs. Ironically, for money we trade most of our waking hours, minimum 5 days a week for 40 or 50 years, giving away our youth and often our health, until we are too old to enjoy activities we really love to do!  So if this is true,  it gives you another reason to really make sure the time that you have left is not wasted on futile, non-important things or let other people steal your time.

So if this sounds familiar, let’s learn how to identify your priorities, manage distractions and stay focus to get the right things done.

Rule 1: TRACK YOUR TIME. Discover who and what is stealing your time by starting to log how much time you spend in your activities and with whom.

Rule 2: CATEGORIZE.  Arrange the information and identify activities under the various roles in your life. Your roles can be “the fit and healthy you”, parent, spouse, employee, business owner, community member, the spiritual “you” etc… In a previous post I mentioned “The Wheel Of Life” to identify which areas in your life are important to you and decide your priorities to focus on.

Rule 3: ANALYZE  Look at your current time management patterns and check how those differ from the ways you’d like to spend your time.

Rule 4: STOP AND THINK  We all do certain things without thinking just because we always did. It is time to stop doing everything that is not vital for yourself your family and your job and see what happens. For example do you really need to check your FB page or answer to Tweets first things first in the morning ? How are you going to measure the impact of NOT doing something ?  Let’s suppose you want to lose weight and get more energy but you can only invest 3 hours per week of your time exercising. Well if you are aware of how your metabolism works then you better choose to lift weights and do strength training 2 times a week  and add one hour of high intensity interval exercise such as spinning instead of running on the treadmill for one hour everyday. Why ? because lifting weights and doing squats increase your lean, muscular mass that increases your metabolic rate. Interval training is also recognized as the method of choice to burn more fat than long hours of walking or even jogging. You can apply this concept to your job hunting or social media strategy too: If you have only 5 hours per week, what activities will bring you most leads in less time ? blogging ?, tweeting ? phones calls ?, attending live events etc. You must try what works for you and simply do more of what works and less of what don’t.  Plan your time accordingly.

Rule 5: CLEAR UNRESOLVED MATTERS You need to let go failures or negative past experiences in order to move on. Staying with someone or something in your past waste time and energy. Do you have regrets, remorse, shame, fears, anger , denial ? First thing is to identify what is holding your back, then clearly expressing them and communicating those things. Choose a person you really trust and share three or five things you feel worst about that you want to change, decide what to do about them and take action so they never come back.

Rule 6: SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES Boundaries are imaginary lines we establish around ourselves to protect our hearts and minds from unhealthy and damaging behavior of others. When we set cl;ear boundaries we spend less time dealing with fears, we avoid people who are disrespectful and who steal our time and energy. Require that every single person in your life is always unconditionally constructive. Identify first what others do that violate your boundaries and then clearly communicate them to others.

Rule 7: SET A CLEAR VISION AND MAKE SURE YOU SET GOALS AROUND YOUR VALUESWhen you set your goals and priorities according to your life purpose, vision and values that matter most to you then you can fully express yourself and get fewer distractions and live a fulfilling life. Revisit often your vision if your priorities in life change but your values should be the same no matter what and are guides in your life.

STILL HAVE NO TIME ?

Maybe it ‘s time to go back to the driver seat ! 

Related articles

Southeast Schnitzel

Interpreting German-American differences in the Tennessee Valley and beyond

Blanchard LeaderChat

A Forum to Discuss Leadership and Management Issues

Learning Snippets

A diary of sorts about what I'm learning about learning

SACoaching

As a Structural Alignment Coach you'll be coaching at a level light years beyond traditional methods. Find out what's really possible for your life while you help others master theirs.

Loving Language

Learning languages and connecting with others.

The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

Leadership Freak

Empowering Leaders 300 Words at a Time

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,171 other followers

%d bloggers like this: