43 Simple Habits That'll Improve Your Life (Even if You Just Pick One) It’s sometimes the little things that make all the difference in forming healthy, productive, positive habits. Now, I don’t expect you to do all of these (nor do I do them all myself). But hopefully you find one or two (or more!) that enrich your experiences. Here we go!   1. Do the Gratitude Snooze The key to happiness is to appreciate what you already have (or so I say). So, instead of hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep, spend the first few minutes of your day expressing gratitude . Think about all the blessings in your life, big and small, that you tend to take for granted. This simple practice will help rewire your brain to think more optimistically every day.   2. Reset Your Expectations Begin each day like the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius : “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.” Basically, people aren’t perfect, so you shouldn’t expect them to act perfectly. Set your expectations straight every morning, and you’ll be frustrated a lot less during the day.   3. Do a Quick, But High-Intensity Workout Physical exercise isn’t just important for your health. Research has found that it’s also crucial in your brain’s ability to learn and grow (just read Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, a clinical professor of psychiatry). If you’re a busy person, it doesn’t have to take hours! I highly recommend the seven-minute workout . It’s challenging, but effective and extremely time-efficient.   4. Meditate It’s crazy how many benefits this simple practice has. Among many other things, regular meditators experience less stress and anxiety, better sleep, sharper mental focus, and deeper relationships. Learn how to do basic mindfulness meditation —it’s well worth the time and effort.   5. Set Mindfulness Triggers Decide on a particular set of habits you do every day that trigger moments of mindfulness. These could be, for example, doing the dishes, showering, or brushing your teeth. Allow yourself to be fully present during these activities.   6. Take Cold Showers This is definitely challenging and uncomfortable, but the benefits speak for themselves . Cold showers burn fat, strengthen immunity and circulation, increase mood and alertness, and refine your hair and skin. Plus, it’s an excellent way to boost your mental toughness.   7. Eat Mindfully Turn off your TV and computer, and put away newspapers and magazines. Then, eat your breakfast slowly and mindfully. Not only will your food taste better, but this also helps you absorb the nutrients better and makes it less likely that you’ll overeat .   8. Breathe Deeply Whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious, pause for a minute and follow this sequence: Inhale for three seconds Pause for one second Exhale for five seconds Repeat this cycle five times, and you’ll feel calmer in less than a minute. It’s that easy.   9. Watch Cute Videos Watching videos of cute animals can make you feel more relaxed in under a minute, says science . So, if you’re not a fan of breathing exercises, you can always watch one of these funny clips .   10. Reinforce Your Goals Daily If you’re serious about accomplishing your long-term goals, you can’t state them once a year and then forget about them—you need to remind yourself of the direction you want to go every day. You can turn your goals into brain tattoos by writing them down in a journal daily.   11. Use the “Five-Second Rule” Whenever you have an impulse to act on a goal, physically move within five seconds, as suggested in Mel Robbin, a television host and life coach’s, book, The Five Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence With Everyday Courage . Introduce yourself, raise your hand, step into the cold shower, or do whatever else you need to do to get closer to your goal. And do it before your brain kills your good intentions with fear (as it usually does).   12. Try the “Eisenhower Box” Sort your daily tasks into one of the following possibilities: Urgent and important—do these things immediately Important, but not urgent—put these things in your schedule for later Urgent, but not important—delegate these things to someone else Neither urgent nor important—eliminate these things This will help you prioritize what’s important and make you much more productive .   13. Decide Your Three “MIT’s” Each morning (or the night before), choose three of your “most important tasks” you must accomplish during the day to consider it a success. Then, focus all your energy on these before doing anything else.   14. Use the “Two-Minute Rule” This is the only exception to the rule above. If something takes less than two minutes, then do it immediately before moving on to other important things.   15. Say No A lot of people complain about not having enough time. But, it’s not that we don’t have enough time that’s the problem—it’s that we waste so much of it. So, be protective of your time. Either it’s a “Hell yeah!” or it’s a “no.”   16. Do a Weekly Review Set aside a few minutes at the end of each week to reflect on your progress . Celebrate your successes, big or small, and think about what you can improve for the next week.   17. Put Yourself in “Monk Mode” If you want to be highly productive, you need to work for long stretches with deep, undisturbed focus . So, close the door, put your phone on “do not disturb” mode, turn off notifications on your computer, and block distracting websites before diving into your assignments.   18. Make Checking Email Fun Then, once you’ve completed your deep work, you can use email as a reward. The email game will help you move quickly and decisively through each message—and actually have fun in the process.   19. Stand Up Seriously, sitting down all day is terrible for your health . Interrupt your sitting as much as possible. Set an alarm to remind you to get up and move around, and if possible, use a standing desk.   20. Strike a Pose Whenever you’re feeling nervous, strike a powerful posture by taking up space and exuding confidence, says social psychologist Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk about “power poses.” Doing this for just a couple of minutes will significantly increase your testosterone (“the dominance hormone”) while decreasing your levels of cortisol (“the stress hormone”). This will then help you calm down and feel more self-assured .   21. Run the “Doorway Drill” Every time you walk through a door, straighten yourself up, smile, and hold your head high. By doing this, you’ll train yourself to enter rooms with a magnetic confidence, says author Brian M. in The Art of Charm .   22. Give More Hugs Human beings are wired for social connection and intimacy. Hugging releases hormones like oxytocin and dopamine that make us calm down and feel connected. So, choose a hug over a handshake (when appropriate, of course).   23. Practice Being Charismatic Whenever you engage with other people, remember the three core behaviors of charisma: presence, power, and warmth , as stated in the book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism . Be 100% engaged in the conversation, use powerful body language, and be genuinely concerned with helping the other person.   24. Listen In a world where almost everyone is constantly talking about themselves, people appreciate a good listener. If you want people to like you, more often than not, all you have to do is let them talk .   25. Give Credit Few things motivate people as much as being given credit for good work , says author and psychology professor Dan Ariely. Give credit where credit’s due. If your co-worker created an awesome presentation, send them a congratulatory email. If you listened to a helpful podcast, send a nice tweet to the host. It will encourage others to keep doing great work—and it will make you feel great, too.   26. Be Impeccable With Your Word As says Don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom , never say anything about someone that you wouldn’t say straight to their face. This is a great way to practice personal integrity.   27. Take One Picture Every Day Pictures have the curious effect that they increase in value with time. A picture with your friends today might not seem that special, but 20 years from now, it’ll be a treasure. So, start building your visual autobiography today and take one picture every day. In a couple of years, you’ll be glad you did—and so will your friends and family.   28. Savor Your Experiences Eating something good? Say “yum.” Stretching out in bed? Say “ah.” Seriously—allow yourself to indulge in the small, daily miracles of your life and they’ll become much more pleasurable.   29. Ban “Victim Speech” From Your Vocabulary Your words become your reality, so choose them wisely . Instead of saying “I can’t,” say “I won’t.” Instead of “I have to,” say “I’m going to.” Instead of “I don’t know,” say “I’ll figure it out.” Never speak of yourself as a victim, or else you’ll become one.   30. Have an End-of-Workday Routine At the end of your workday, take a few minutes to get any lingering tasks out of your head and down on paper, and schedule your most important stuff for the next day. Try to truly finish up so you can be completely present when you get home.   31. Put Your Phone Away The average smartphone user checks their phone 221 times a day . That behavior has become a significant problem in modern relationships as people feel neglected by their peers. Scientists even have a name for it: “phubbing,” which is a combination of the words “phone” and “snubbing.” Put your phone away when you’re at social gatherings—your relationships will benefit from it.   32. Practice “Stop, Look, Go” Steal this tip from Brother David Steindl-Rast , a Benedictine monk, and take the time to soak in the small miracles of life. If you come across a beautiful night sky, a bird singing beautifully, or someone doing an act of kindness, let it touch you. Take a minute, or a couple of seconds if that’s all you have, to experience the moment fully before getting on with your day.   33. Set Up Your Own “Smile Therapy” We all know that when we feel happy, we smile. But, did you know that it works the other way around, too? When you smile, you tell your nervous system that you’re happy , and that makes you feel good. So, smile more , even when life gets tough.   34. Adopt the “Walk in the Door” Rule No matter what your day has been like, always tell your family, friends, or even cat about the best thing that happened that day as soon as you walk in the door. This is a powerful little habit, courtesy of one Quora commentator , that can transform the way you communicate with others and observe your own experiences.   35. Use “Temptation Bundling” I used to loath housekeeping chores until I found this simple, scientifically-proven strategy . What you do is couple something you need to do with something you want to do. These days, I actually look forward to doing laundry (something I need to do) because it means I get to listen to an audiobook (something I want to do). Combine your chores with a reward , and they’ll become much easier to do.   36. Do a Five-Minute Declutter Spend just a couple of minutes a day getting rid of clutter. This could be physical clutter like clothes and stuff you never use, or digital clutter like icons and apps that are filling up your phone. Delete them, throw them out, or give them away.   37. Practice “Voluntary Discomfort” According to one Stoic philosophy , do something every day that makes you uncomfortable. Underdress (just a little bit) for cold weather, go without a meal, sleep without a pillow. You’ll get better at doing things you don’t want to do and that, as it happens, could be the key to success.   38. Help Someone The late, great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used to say, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.” I’ve found this to be very true in my life. The more people I help, the more opportunities come my way. Reach out and help someone every day. Lend a hand, send an email, answer a Quora question. The good intentions you put out will come back to you.   39. Set an Evening Alarm Clock Have it go off one hour before bed. When it rings, turn off all your screens and read a couple of pages in a book or meditate. Less technology time will help you sleep better.   40. Create a “Jar of Awesome” Whenever something awesome happens to you, big or small, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in a jar, says author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss . Then, whenever you’re feeling down, open the jar and read your notes. You’ll feel so much better.   41. Use “Mini-Actions” to Break Bad Habits Pre-commit to a particular behavior to engage in every time you start craving your bad habit. For example, each time you feel like eating something unhealthy, reach for a stick of gum or apple instead. Cravings usually only last a few minutes, so a “mini-action” can be all you need to overcome them.   42. Create a “Token Economy” to Motivate Yourself Every time you complete some daily goal, suggests psychologist Neil Fiore in his book The Now Habit at Work: Perform Optimally, Maintain Focus, and Ignite Motivation in Yourself and Others , reward yourself with a token , such as a gold star, a coin, or a poker chip. Then, allow yourself to trade your accumulated tokens for prizes related to your goal. If you’re a runner, for example, your tokens could look something like this: Buy a new water bottle—five tokens Buy new running socks—10 tokens Buy a new Fitbit band—20 tokens Buy new running shoes—100 tokens Enter into a Marathon—500 tokens   43. Practice Self-Compassion Finally, whenever you mess up, know that stacking guilt on top of it won’t make things better—it’ll only make it harder to bounce back. So, whenever you have a setback, treat yourself like you would a good friend —with compassion and reassurance. Source:
Job Transition: Why the First Few Months Are Critical     Congratulations! After great effort and focused energy, you’ve finally landed a fabulous new position—one that is sure to advance your career and meet your work and personal goals in a way your old position never could.   But don’t stop there. Getting hired is just the first step.   You’ll need to spend as much effort and energy—and maybe more—preparing for and making the transition. And this is where it really counts, for the first three to six months in any new position is a period of extreme vulnerability.   “It’s the highest-risk period, and the higher up you are, the riskier it is,” says Jeff Gundersen, CEO of Executive Connections, an executive search, coach consultant and placement firm.   During this transitional period, everyone in your new company—boss, direct-reports, other employees—and even suppliers and customers are all forming initial impressions that will shape their expectations and actions. This dynamic is exacerbated when people in your new company expect you to bring about change within the organization.   This transitional period might even be riskier today than in years past. Shrunken budgets have meant less training, reduced staff support, increased workloads and, perhaps most of all, increased expectations for newly hired managers and executives. Should you end up leaving after a short stint, doing so can leave a black mark on your resume, raising questions for future employers about your judgment and ability to assess opportunities before making a career commitment.   “Leaders, regardless of their level, are most vulnerable in their first few months in a new position because they lack detailed knowledge of the challenges they will face and what it will take to succeed in meeting them,” writes Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels .    So what can you do to assure that your transition is smooth and productive? Here are a few suggestions:   Ask your new company if it will commit to transition support by hiring a coach to work with you. Be bold in your request; you may even choose to make it a point of negotiation. If possible, look to your search firm for coaching support. Gunderson says his company feels so strongly about the need for transition support that it includes six months of it in all its search placements.   Use the period before you actually start at your new position to learn as much as you can about the company, its vision, its strategies and the industry.   Examine the challenges and opportunities of the company, and identify the barriers to success.   Talk to people at the new company. What is the culture, and what are the processes? What kind of a team will you have to work with, and on whom will you be able to depend?   Assess your own strengths and weaknesses, and identify personal vulnerabilities that could come into play in your new position.   “Failure to create momentum during the first few months virtually guarantees an uphill battle for the rest of your tenure in the job,” Watkins writes. “Building credibility and securing some early wins lay a firm foundation for longer-term success.”      Author’s content used under license, © 2010 Claire Communications
We sat down and had a chat with Lee Shih, a lawyer and author of the best-selling ‘Companies Act 2016: The New Dynamics of Company Law in Malaysia.’  The new Companies Act 2016 seems to place Malaysian company law on par with accepted international best practices, says Lee. Motivations behind the new Companies Act According to Lee Shih, some of the main motivations were to roll out new laws to make Malaysia more business-friendly in the region.  “The new laws are also intended to strengthen corporate governance, and ensure the interests of directors, shareholders and creditors are protected,” Lee said. “Our previous Companies Act 1965 had only seen piecemeal amendments and the new Companies Act 2016 was meant to be a complete revamp of our legal framework.” Fundamental changes under the new regime We now have an easier method of incorporation of companies, says the Co-Founder of legal blog, The Malaysian Lawyer. The new law allows for a private limited company to have a single shareholder and single director. This should make it more attractive for sole proprietors and businessmen to incorporate a company. We also see a more streamlined process of running the company. A private limited company will no longer need to hold an AGM. A lot of the decisions to be made by the shareholders can just be done on paper, through the written resolution procedure. There is no need to hold a physical meeting.  To read more on this: ‘The Companies Act 2016 in force on 31 January 2017: 10 Things To Immediately Prepare For’ And.. Here’s what business owners can do to now to adapt to these changes in the law  Lee told us that a lot of companies are now reviewing their existing Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A). They then have to decide whether there is a need to amend their M&A in case of any conflict with the Companies Act 2016. “Your M&A is almost like a rule book, spelling out the type of business your company can carry out, and sets out the rules, regulations and procedures for your own internal decision-making process,” says the corporate lawyer. For example, how the directors meet and decide on matters, or how shareholders are to hold a meeting and how they can vote. All companies incorporated under the previous Companies Act 1965 would have a M&A. “Under the new regime however, the Companies Act 2016 aims to be the default rule book.” It now has the A-Z of all the rules and regulations for the running of a company. But if you want to opt out of some of these default rules, a company must then adopt a constitution. This constitution now replaces the M&A. So existing businesses will want to have clarity on whether their M&A or constitution has effectively opted out of the default position under the Companies Act 2016. These companies will have to amend their M&A or to adopt a new constitution. What about startups and SMEs? Lee says that the new Act will make it easier to incorporate a company. Startups will find it more attractive to incorporate a company to carry out its business. This is in contrast with merely running their business as a sole proprietor or as a partnership, which would attract the risk of personal liability on the individuals. A company offers the benefit of limited liability and is now coupled with easier incorporation and lower costs of compliance. Potential increase in compliance costs  Moving ahead for private limited companies, the costs of complying with the new Act should be lower. The best-selling author also added that, “I am seeing an increase in compliance costs during this period of transitioning to the new Act. All companies, whether SMEs or public-listed companies, are trying to navigate through the new requirements and also having to adapt to some of the uncertainties in the new laws.” For example, some companies are uncertain in terms of the requirements for the preparation of their audited accounts as we transition over to the new Act. Should they comply with the old Act for their last financial year or should they comply with the new Act? These uncertainties would require professional advice. Potential impact on company directors Lee raised the four areas in which the new Act could affect company directors, they are as below: #1 The payment of dividends will require directors to be satisfied that the company meets a solvency test. This adds an additional duty on the part of directors. If the company does not meet this solvency test, then the directors can potentially attract criminal and civil liability. #2 Directors have to be prepared to be more accountable and transparent. The directors' fees and benefits payable are now subject to shareholder approval. For public companies, the service contracts of the directors are also subject to inspection by the shareholders. #3 Directors now face greater personal liability (heavier penalties) and must ensure compliance of the new laws. #4 Directors are advised  to make use of the wider indemnity and insurance provisions under the new Act (directors and officers (D&O) insurance). Potential impact on company shareholders  As for the shareholders, Lee told us that a significant strengthening of their rights is through a new right of management review. At a shareholders meeting, the shareholders must be given a reasonable opportunity to question, discuss, comment or make recommendations on the management of the company. They can also pass a resolution to make recommendations to the directors on management matters. “This strengthening of rights can also be seen through the shareholders having greater say in the fees and benefits paid to the directors,” Lee added. “The approval of the shareholders is now required.” Malaysia corporate law  on international stage “Our new Act has adopted many of the international best practices. We can see that our law has adopted provisions and concepts from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore,” says Lee. Some parting thoughts to young lawyers  Commenting on the overwhelming response of the book so far, Lee finds it to be a humbling one.  Practitioners, whether they are lawyers, accountants, or company secretaries find it a useful source in their professional arena.  “I look forward to seeing how the new law is interpreted and continues to develop. New best practices will be developed,” says Lee. As to advice to young lawyers who are thinking of making a mark in their preferred industry, the act of reading and compiling knowledge, even from the early days of practicing carer, is the first step to take.  What got Lee started was when he first tremendous interest in the corporate law reform process. He then began to read up on the developments and cases in other jurisdictions. The initial draft consultation copy of the Companies Bill sparked his journey on becoming a writer. The Q&A sessions during the seminars gave him a clearer view as to how the changes might impact the industry. That led to more research and more reading. All of that experience was distilled into the eventual writing process.   By CanLaw, a BAC affiliate company         
There are days we wish our lives could be better. We wake up, get dressed and most probably read through horoscope apps we have on our phones or flip straight to the horoscope section in the newspaper. In hopes of what? For a sign or a sneak peak of what may happen in the future, good or bad, to make us feel a tiny bit better, if at all. I honestly do that sometimes to see if it was a good day to make important calls to clients or ask someone out on a date. Sometimes these things influence us subconsciously or consciously in big ways. You pick up the phone to call someone and you hang up because someone somewhere in this world wrote that all Capricorns should lessen their interaction today. We often lose ourselves to all these petty things, not just horoscopes, but other things as well. We want to be a wanderlust, be slimmer, smarter or happier. We forget to shut the noises in our heads and breathe, to tell ourselves that it’s OK that we have made mistakes, it’s OK that the person you had a crush on said No to you. Its OK, it’s their loss; you were probably destined to meet someone better. It’s OK that you didn’t get through something today, try again tomorrow, the day after, the following month, keep trying. We must know how far we have come and how hard we have struggled to be here in this very moment, to still be alive to wake up every morning – even next to your cat, or the person you love. Every breath is so precious. Embrace the challenges, let the wounds remind you of the lessons that have sailed you this far and how they were the very essence that molded you to become an amazing being with so much strength within. My article today is not to tell you how to run your life, it’s just a small reminder, whoever you may be, that you are special. So don’t be too hard on yourself, dream big, love, live, laugh and please give yourself a pat on the back and tell yourself that it’s okay to be you because there’s no one else like you in this whole universe. Every journey is different but unique in its own ways. Marilyn Monroe said that “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” I think she’s right.   By Bavani Veeriah
For most of human history, the meaning of work and the meaning of life intersected at survival. Work was life.   When cheap energy and mechanization started us down the path of staggering increases in productivity, some philosophers and visionaries began speculating about how we would use the extra “leisure time” we would gain from all this productivity. The reality has proved much different than projected. How do we spend the “extra time?” We work.   Yet for many of us, work that we would call “meaningful” remains elusive. We can’t always pinpoint what’s missing or what would give our work lives meaning.   Finding Your Genius Ultimately, the meaning in your work isn’t whether the enterprise you work for is local or “transnational,” but how closely the work you perform within that organization is in alignment with what author Dick Richards labels “your genius.”   In his book Is Your Genius at Work? Richards uses the term to mean that unique intersection between what you are good at (your gift) and what you love to do (your passion). As he explains it, you have just one genius, it is a positive talent, and it can be described in a two-word phrase such as “Engaging the Heart,” or “Optimizing Results.” While his rules may be a little rigid, the point is well-taken: Your genius is a transitive verb, not an adjective. It’s about doing something, not being something.    Once you have identified your unique genius, the challenge becomes how to find that often-elusive intersection between your genius and that “unmet need” in the world, so that someone will pay you to work in a way that uses your genius. But by identifying and labeling your genius, Richards says, you gain in confidence and in the ability to articulate just how you can contribute in those situations. Your heart gets into alignment with your work, and suddenly work looks more like play.   The Alarm-Clock Test This, then, begs the question: What is the meaning of “meaningful?” To answer questions like that, you can apply the Alarm-Clock Test. If the alarm clock rings and you’re already out of bed getting ready for work because you are thrilled by what you’re doing and each new day on the job is certain to provide some worthy experience, then the chances are pretty good that you’re somewhere near that sweet spot—regardless of the size of the enterprise that employs you.   But if you’re failing the Alarm-Clock Test—not some of the time, but all the time—looking for a different kind of work makes sense. These days, more and more people in that situation are turning toward self-employment opportunities as the key to matching up purpose with genius. All the challenges of figuring out what to do and how best to do it come along with that change.   What Will Your Story Be? To get a better understanding of your relationship with meaningful work, Mark Guterman, co-founder of, suggests imagining a future situation in which you will be telling others your story of how work and meaning finally came together for you. To prepare the story, he suggests reflecting on questions such as the following: How is your soul enriched and enlivened through your work? How does your work contribute to the future? How does your sense of God show up and inform your work? For whom do you work? How has your relationship with work changed over the course of your life? What role has serendipity, coincidence, luck, etc., played in your work life? How have fun, play, humor, etc., been a part of meaningful work? Do you have a philosophy, mission, vision, etc. that guides your work life? If so, what is it and how did you come to it? What poetry, quotes, sayings, prayers, music, spiritual writings, pictures, photographs, paintings, etc. represent and/or guide your work life? How do they inform your work?   Finding meaningful work is often a lifelong process, as we see from Po Bronson’s What Should I Do With My Life , which chronicles the lives of those who have found it, often later in life or after a life crisis or a very deliberate effort.   “Finding the ‘sweet spot’ is an iterative process,” Bronson explains. “You catalogue what you know to be your gifts and passions (i.e., your genius), research what is needed, and keep at it until you find an overlap. Then you see if the overlap is viable . If it is, you’re there. If not, you keep looking. This can be a lifetime process, but if we’re diligent, we can find the sweet spot.”       Author’s content used  under license, © 2008 Claire Communications    
Almost everyone pursues perfection — doing the best job you can, setting goals and working hard to reach them, maintaining high standards. But perfectionism isn’t about any of this. Perfectionism is a long, maddening drive down a never-ending road for flawlessness; it provides no rest stops for mistakes, personal limitations or the changing of minds. Perfectionism can cause feelings of anxiety, fear, and self-doubt; it can cripple self-esteem, stifle creativity, and put a stumbling block in the way of intimate friendships and love relationships. Ultimately, it can create or aggravate illnesses such as eating disorders, manic-depressive mood disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance abuse. Everybody has some “built-in” perfectionism, especially in our achievement-oriented, competitive culture. Complete this questionnaire to discover how perfectionistic you are.   I never do anything halfway; it’s all or nothing for me. At all time. People who do things halfway make me angry or disgust me. I believe there’s a certain way to do things and they should always be done that way. I get angry or defensive when I make mistakes. I hate to make them. I often procrastinate on starting projects. I seldom meet deadlines. Or if I do, I kill myself meeting them. I feel humiliated when things aren’t perfect. I don’t like to admit not knowing how to do something or to being a beginner. If I can’t do something well, I won’t do it. People say I expect too much of myself. Or of them. In my family, you could never completely measure up to expectations. I’m hard on myself when I lose, even if it’s only a friendly game or contest. I often withdraw from others and from group activities. I don’t think work should be fun or pleasurable. Even when I accomplish something, I feel let down or empty. I criticize myself and others excessively. I like to be in control; if I can’t be in control then I won’t participate. No matter how much I have done, there’s always more I could do. I don’t delegate often and when I do, I always double-check to make sure the job is done right. It never is. I believe it is possible to do something perfectly and if I keep at it, I can do it perfectly. Forgetting and forgiving is not something I do easily or well. There is a difference between excellence and perfection. Striving to be really good is excellence; trying to be flawless is perfectionism. If you’re concerned about your perfectionist behavior, don’t hesitate to call.         Author’s content used  under license, © 2008 Claire Communications  
The Year of the Rooster 2017 The Lunar New Year is around the corner! Each year of the Chinese zodiac is related to an animal sign according to a 12-year cycle with this year ushering in the Rooster which will bid farewell to the year of the Monkey. Years of the Rooster include 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2017. People born in the Year of the Rooster are hardworking, creative, assured, sporty and talented.  Also, their active and engaging ways make them popular with others. They enjoy the spotlight and being in good company. Although they were born with many skills, Roosters still have some shortcomings, such as vanity and a tendency to brag about their achievements. The numbers 5, 7 and 8 and the color yellow are considered lucky for people with this Chinese zodiac sign. According to Chinese astrology, predictions for 2017 suggest that for Roosters, hard work is the key to achieving success and can be beneficial to one’s career. Roosters must keep stress at bay and use their multi-talented abilities to maximize their potential particularly in relation to their profession. Good career choices for Roosters would be in areas where persuasion, their people skills and likeability are allowed to shine such as in sales, public relations, education and copywriting.
Cultivating Calmness in the Workplace and Beyond The key to calmness is accepting what you cannot change, changing what you can, and possessing the knowledge to know the difference. This ideology is a good model that covers a lot of ground, but how do you tell the difference between what you can and cannot change? Here are some things you do have control over. Your actions . No one can “make” you do anything. If you’re unhappy with your behavior at work, change it and chart a new course for yourself. Your words . Spoken or written, the words you choose impact your life and the lives of others. Choose your words carefully with workmates, colleagues, bosses, and clients, and quickly acknowledge any harm your words cause. Your beliefs . If you believe that others or your organization should take care of your needs, then you will be frustrated when they don’t. If you believe things must be a certain way, you’ll surely face disappointment.  Your values . What’s important to you is your choice. No one else can tell you what to value. Spend some time identifying your values and then aligning your work and life with them. Your work . No one else can contribute to the world in the same way as you. Keep learning, keep improving and do whatever it takes to be the very best at whatever profession you choose in your life. Your friends . Those you associate with say a lot about what you think about yourself. Always choose friends who support you instead of those who bring you down. Your time . Though it may not always feel this way, you do choose every day how to use its 24 hours. Fill those hours with more of what you truly want, and feel your happiness increase. Your health . While you can’t control your genetics, you can choose to exercise, sleep enough, eat the right foods, and get routine medical check-ups.   Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications
Thinking Like an Entrepreneur within the Corporate Walls The words entrepreneur and corporation don’t usually show up in the same sentence. One implies a taste for creative and risk-taking, while the other usually suggests “we’ve always done it this way” risk aversion. But “out-of-the-box” thinking is more necessary than ever in today’s marketplace, as corporations respond to changes in the world economy. Professionals working within corporations are being increasingly rewarded for using entrepreneurial skills to meet challenges in innovative ways. Janet, for example, pioneered an integrated system at the corporation she works for that gathers and compiles data from around the company for executives to use in their decision-making. It has evolved into a necessary part of data management for the corporation worldwide. Shahril suggested and took on the challenge of merging three products from three previously separate divisions within the multinational corporation where he works. By bringing these products under one umbrella, the organization realized a cost savings of nearly five million ringgit a year. Intrinsic in these real-life corporate examples are characteristics normally attributed to “intrapreneurs,” a term defined as, “A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.” Professionals with an entrepreneurial bent—intrapreneurs—feel a degree of ownership, take risks, make decisions and take responsibility willingly. Intrapreneurs are visionary and independent. They thrive on change, but they also know how the changes they want align with their company’s objectives. They have good communications skills, and a high sense of curiosity and self-worth. Their mindset is more of creating a business than running a business. Intrapreneurs definitely don’t buy into the “It’s not my job” way of thinking, and they are more concerned with achieving results than gaining influence. Successful corporate intrapreneurs understand that it’s not enough to have a good idea. They also have to know how to get their ideas sold in the organization. Sometimes, those with innovative ideas have a hard time articulating and selling their ideas because of self-imposed boundaries or limitations. This is usually where mentoring comes in and can be of great benefit to these individuals. Intrapreneurs benefit from their “find-a-way-to-get-it-done” attitude in the form of praise, promotions and increased job satisfaction. They see how they can make a contribution and bring value—playing in the game, rather than sitting on the sidelines. For the organization, when individual barriers to performance are removed, retention, productivity and profits go up. Commitment and company loyalty surface; so does innovation and creative problem-solving. An infectious intrapreneurialism begins to take hold, which attracts even more intrapreneurially minded management. In one example, the CEO of a local tech company realized that 95% of his corporate assets left the building every night in the form of his employees. Protecting his assets became a priority. He created an environment that appealed to the needs of his employees: games room, social work, day care center, cafeteria and a gym. The result? Turnover was a mere 3% instead of the 20% most corporations traditionally experience. People had fewer days off. These two aspects alone saved his company millions. He saw company profits increase even during slower economic times. Most corporate cultures do not foster an environment of trust or safety for presenting new ideas. Add to that the stress of deadlines, cutbacks, and communication difficulties, and it’s easy to send the wrong message. The coaching and mentoring process provides a safe haven to explore and position new ideas. Having the opportunity to evaluate a new idea, understand its impact to the organization and role-play how to best present it for buy-in, is crucial for creating solutions that benefit the corporation and its employees. Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications
Top 10 Ways to Cool Your Anger at Work Left unchecked, anger can damage office relationships and even careers. Here are 10 simple ways to cool your anger before it gets out of control in the workplace: Take several deep breaths. Breathe in calmness and then release anger as you breathe out. Do something physical. Take a walk, go outside the office or walk some stairs. Not only is exercise healthy for your body, it does wonders for your mood. Take a break. Before you blow up, walk away from the situation and gather your thoughts. Listen to some soothing music on your headphones. Rewiring your thought patterns toward something peaceful and relaxing can help defuse anger. Be grateful. Practice mindfulness by understanding the lesson in every situation (even difficult ones) and be thankful for these opportunities to improve yourself as a professional. Write it out. Recording your thoughts on paper or in your work diary helps you vent in a safe and positive way. Count to 10. This might sound simplistic, but it's an easy and quick way to take the edge off anger. Refocus the negative energy of anger into something more positive. Reframe the difficult circumstance and look for humor in the situation. Learn to be assertive. Learn what your needs are and how to make them clear to others in a way that is respectful of yourself and others, without being pushy or demanding. Seek help from your supervisor. If you find you’re angry a lot, recognize where the anger is actually coming from. Clearly articulate the problem in a constructive way to your supervisor and be proactive in providing a solution to him or her. This will allow your supervisor to help in the best way possible.     Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications