Tell Us What You Are Doing To Exercise Your Intellectual Muscle and We Have a FREE Gift For You!

 

 

Read the previous blog before you read our offer!

OK, now that you are caught up, let me explain our offer.

Tony would like you to email him at TA@Alessandra.com and let him know what you ARE doing to exercise your intellectual muscles. Are you taking a class? Have you learned a new skill? Have you decided to go to meetings wherein there is a speaker and you have a chance to discuss the issues brought up at the meeting? What HAVE you been doing to improve yourself and exercise your intellectual muscles?

Let Tony know in an email and he will be publishing the results. It is his hope that what you are doing will serve to inspire others to try to improve themselves and open up to the possibilities that new activities can provide.

Deadline is August 12th and those of you who participate will be sent a special FREE gift! No tricks, no selling….just a thank you for sharing your story.

So, let’s hear from you soon! Write Tony an email and let him know what you are doing to exercise our intellectual muscle! Thanks, Tony is  waiting to hear from you! And when you do email him, we have a FREE gift for you: Goal Setting – 34-page PDF eWorkbook Description: “Most people aim at nothing in life. . . and hit it with amazing accuracy.” This interactive 34-page e-Workbook covers several influences on one’s life that can be positive or negative depending on the individual as well as the introduction of several suggested processes to follow that can lead to both a more successful career and a happier life in general.

So let’s hear from you-just drop Tony an email and receive this great workbook FREE! We would love to hear from you!

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Are Your Intellectual Muscles Strong or Getting Flabby?

Don’t let your intellectual muscles get flabby!

Your intellectual image comes from how well you’ve developed what’s inside your skull. This is your intellectual self. I’m not talking about a high IQ or your ability to win at Trivial Pursuit. I’m referring to the depth and breadth of your knowledge, your mental fitness. Most of us were given plenty of basic intelligence. We alone decide whether we’ll use it to capacity or let it get flabby or stiff from disuse.

Can your mind lift abstract concepts from The Wall Street Journal, or from the professional journal in your field? Can you grasp the intricacies of a problem explained by someone in a field completely different from your own?

Can you see an issue from a perspective that’s 180-degrees from your own feelings? Can you entertain ideas that come from a different culture, or from people you don’t like? Can you hang in there when it’s going to take a lot of convincing to get people to see things your way, or when it’s going to mean clearing seven committees and the CEO?

Training your mind to take on longer-term and more demanding tasks gives you the stamina you need when mental marathons come up. Other ways to strengthen your mind might include:

– Taking some classes in a subject you’ve always wondered about — art history, acting, geology — but never studied.

– Learning to play a musical instrument. Or, if you prefer, learning to scuba dive.

– Committing to teaching yourself a new and difficult skill: celestial navigation perhaps, or gourmet cooking, or origami, or winemaking.

– Joining a foreign-affairs group, or investment club, or reading circle, where new issues and speakers abound.

– Buying an expensive subscription to a weighty series of books or musical performances. Paying so much, you’ll probably feel compelled to get your money’s worth.

– Here’s a real test of mental discipline: Listening to a daytime TV talk show without making judgments about the intelligence of the participants!

Another intellect-strengthening exercise is to get in the habit of not assigning labels to people. When you’re at a party and another guest is introduced to you as “a life-insurance salesperson,” don’t you, mentally at least, take a couple of steps backward? Ditto, perhaps, for “IRS auditor,” “debutante,” “parole officer,” or “yachtsman,” depending on your mind-set?

Thus, the hidden assumptions of language can control your behavior. Your preconceived notions of accountants, say, as bland and boring, or of professors as tweedy and reserved, probably does you and them a disservice and may prematurely kill what could be a valuable relationship.

To maximize your intellectual image, attempt to get past the labels. Don’t overlook, for instance, the opinions of a mere “clerk” while perhaps overvaluing those of a “consultant.” It takes intellectual strength to avoid the trap of confusing the specific for the general. But if you can get into the habit of appreciating people’s unique, human side and not judging them generically, you’ll win their respect — and you may learn something, too.

Street Smarts-Do You Have Them?

As long as you keep your wits about you, you too can be Street Smart — on and off the streets

A thief looks at two houses on a street — both are large and well-kept, so he is assuming there are great steals in both houses. Both are dark and empty — all the neighbors are at a block party down at the end of the street. Both houses are exactly the same — except that the house on the right has an alarm system, and the house on the left does not. Which house do you think this thief is going to go for?

Same thing for muggers. Do you think a mugger is going to go after someone walking confidently, paying attention to her surroundings, aware of where she is going? Maybe, but he’d more likely go for the person shuffling along; wearing heels so high they’re hard to walk in, let alone run in; distracted on a cell phone; scanning a map worriedly.

Call it awareness; call it survival skills; call it Street Smarts. Whatever you call it — have it!

Street Smarts is not just for keeping you safe –it is an essential business tool. Street Smarts-borne skepticism will allow you to negotiate will ease and skill.

For example, once I was in negotiations for a project with a publishing company about my royalties. From conversations with colleagues, I knew that 3% was an accepted target, so that is what I went in expecting. I could tell right away that these guys were people I could joke around with, so my first offer was 50% — which made the publishing guys look at each other, speechless, before they started laughing. So, they countered me at 10%! I guess they thought I was serious. So, I paused, moved my head back, and squinted, really considering their offer. “Hmmmm, is that fair?” I asked. After much deliberation and some hesitation, which made them feel better that they were playing hardball, I accepted their offer. I walked out of that office ecstatic. I got 10% royalties just because I was able to use my Street Smarts to analyze the situation and interpret the best way to approach it.

“In any pursuit in life there is a formal knowledge base and an informal knowledge base. The formal knowledge is what you are told. It is what you get in the manual when you start a job. It is what you get in the course work in college. Informal knowledge is everything they do not bother to tell you. Moreover, usually that is the stuff that makes the most difference. It is the stuff they cannot say and would not say if they could. That is why we call it tacit knowledge. It is what you learn from your environment. You might say it’s the unwritten rules of life.”

According to Dr. Robert Sternberg of Yale, this informal knowledge, or Street Smarts, is a far better predictor of managerial success than academic performance. He even said a very high I.Q. could be a detriment to managerial success.

“I don’t think Street Smarts has anything to do with big cities or small cities,” Sternberg said. “It’s no longer a negative term that conjures up images of street gangs or con artists. There is no denying that street smarts has its roots in the impoverished areas of inner cities, places in which people had to develop certain abilities just to survive physically; but just as blues singers are no longer slaves, street smart people are no longer just city-dwellers. They are born, raised, live, and work in all types of environments.

“So how do you learn to be street smart? One of the critical things is just your attitude. You must have an attitude that this is something that matters — something you can use to your advantage. So a big part of learning is motivational. It is almost a prerequisite for developing it. Then you have to seek out the information from other people, from your environment, and from within yourself. The first is done by observing Street-Smart people and asking questions of mentors. The second is done by paying attention, both inwardly and outwardly. You have to let the knowledge you already have come out-and we all have more than we might give ourselves credit for.”

Above all, it takes experience, constantly adjusting your attitude to make the most of every situation.

Time Management-Dump Those Bad Habits!

Managing the Intangible – Time: Dump those Bad Habits!

Stop and think about it; few things are as valuable as “time”.  One can achieve great success, fortune, friendship, and love but time rules all of these. We control our achievements in life.  We can expand them or reduce them. We can set our sights on earning more money or connecting with others and expand our circle of those closest to us.  But time, is time. We simply cannot make more of it than there is. Each of us has a finite amount of it and its value is ever increasing.

 

The good news is in spite of its illusiveness, time can still be managed. We can choose to see time as a controllable commodity and live our lives according to that assumption. This is one of the secrets of successful people ‑ they work at shaping those things which others think are uncontrollable. There are a number of ways to manage our time.  Learning how to change your bad habits can play a huge part in time management.

 

CHANGE YOUR BAD HABITS

 

Managing your time efficiently and effectively will require some changes in your behavior and thinking. Those changes require practice.

 

Giant strides, when looked at closely, are made up of many small steps. In “overhauling” your management of time, you, too, need to take small steps. Start today doing those things that will make you a better manager of your time. After you’ve improved in one area, choose another and so on.

 

How about taking a moment, right now, to list the ideas you’d like to implement? Review this series of Blogs on Managing the Intangible –Time and select those of the most immediate value to you. Then put them on tomorrow’s “to do” list for action. Remember this: If it is not affecting your actions, it is doubtful you believe it.

 

Is The Golden Rule Outdated?

Absolutely not! The Golden Rule has as much “glitter” as ever. I believe and practice it 110%, especially when it comes to values, ethics, honesty and consideration. However, when it comes to interpersonal communication, it can very well backfire. The Golden Rule states: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Basically translated, that says to treat others the way you would like to be treated, which of course isn’t always the case.
An addition to the Golden Rule is The Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” The focus of relationships shifts from “this is what I want, so I’ll give everyone the same thing” to “let me first understand what they want and then I’ll give it to them.”
The goal of The Platinum Rule is personal chemistry and productive relationships. You don’t have to change your personality. You simply have to understand what drives people and recognize your options for dealing with them. The Platinum Rule divides behavioral preferences into four personality styles: Director, Socializer, Relater, and Thinker. Everyone possesses the qualities of each style to various degrees and everyone has a dominant style. The key to using The Platinum Rule is understanding what a person’s dominant personality style is and treating him/her appropriately:

Directors are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. They are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations.

Socializers are friendly and enthusiastic and like to be where the action is. They thrive on admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments. They are idea-people who excel at getting others excited about their vision.

Thinkers are analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem solving. They are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Thinkers are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results.

Relaters are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Relaters are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. They are good planners, persistent workers, and good with follow-through.

The Platinum Rule provides powerful life-skills that will serve you well in all your relationships: business, friends, family, spouse, and children.

Time Management-Take a Moment to Relax!

 

Managing the Intangible – Time: Relax

Stop and think about it; few things are as valuable as “time”.  One can achieve great success, fortune, friendship, and love but time rules all of these. We control our achievements in life.  We can expand them or reduce them. We can set our sights on earning more money or connecting with others and expand our circle of those closest to us.  But time, is time. We simply cannot make more of it than there is. Each of us has a finite amount of it and its value is ever-increasing.

The good news is in spite of its illusiveness, time can still be managed. We can choose to see time as a controllable commodity and live our lives according to that assumption. This is one of the secrets of successful people ‑ they work at shaping those things which others think are uncontrollable. There are a number of ways to manage our time.  Learning how to relax and reducing your stress levels can play a huge part in time management.

RELAXATION AND STRESS REDUCTION

In our goal‑oriented, hyper‑motivated, money‑making workday we often deny ourselves the much-needed periods of relaxation. Like a high‑powered sports car, we can be very impressive at high speeds but sacrifice distance, efficiency, and physical integrity in the process. Our bodies and minds are designed to work well if they are not overtaxed. Frequent periods of relaxation and stress reduction are important to the longevity of our bodies and minds.

All too often the sacred coffee break is abused rather than maximized. People become focused on the process rather than the desired result of the break. A coffee or lunch break should be used as a time to relax so that you are more effective when you return to work. The relaxation you seek during a break should achieve three things:

l. It should provide distraction and get your mind off the job.

2. It should alleviate tension.

3. It should be short enough not to severely interfere with your workday but long enough to provide you with some benefits.

There is no denying the importance of relaxation, despite its appearing “unproductive.”

Special Note: This Blog is the eighth of a series of blogs regarding Time Management. Watch for the next one which is the final one! And a special surprise at the end!