November 23, 2012


Angry? Follow these steps....

Step 1: Maintain a “Hostility Log”

Make a ‘’Hostility Log’’ and use it to monitor what triggers your anger and the frequency of your anger responses. When you know what makes you angry, you will be in a much better position to develop strategies to contain it or channel it effectively.

Step 2: If you do, acknowledge that you have a problem managing anger

It is an observed truth that you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. So it is important to identify and accept that anger is a roadblock to your success.

Step 3: Use your support network

If anger is a problem, let the important people in your life know about the changes you are trying to make. They can be a source of motivation and their support will help you when you lapse into old behavior patterns.

Step 4: Use Anger Management techniques to interrupt the anger cycle.

Pause. Take deep breaths. Tell yourself you can handle the situation. Stop the negative thoughts.

Step 5: Use empathy

If another person is the source of your anger, try to see the situation from his or her perspective. Remind yourself to be objective and realize that everyone makes mistakes and it is through mistakes that people learn how to improve.

Step 6: Laugh at yourself

Humor is often the best medicine. Learn to laugh at yourself and not take everything so seriously. The next time you feel tempted to kick the photocopier, think about how silly you would look and see the humor in your inappropriate expressions of anger.

Step 7: Relax

Angry people are often the ones who let the little things bother them. If you learn to calm down you will realize that there is no need to get uptight and you will have fewer angry episodes.

Step 8: Build Trust

Angry people can be cynical people. They believe that others are going to do something on purpose to annoy or frustrate them even before it happens. If you can build trust in people you will be less likely to become angry with them when something does go wrong and more likely to attribute the problem to something other than a malicious intent.

Step 9: Listen

Miscommunication contributes to frustrating and mistrusting situations. The better you listen to what a person is saying, the better able you will be to find a resolution that does not involve an anger response.

Step 10: Be Assertive

Remember, the word is assertive NOT aggressive. When you are angry it is often difficult to express yourself properly. You are too caught up in the negative emotion and your physiological symptoms (beating heart, red face) to put together solid arguments or appropriate responses. If you learn to assert yourself and let other people know your expectations, boundaries, issues, and so on, you will have much more interpersonal success.

Step 11: Live each day as if it is your last

This saying may be overused, but it holds a fundamental truth. Life is short and it is much better spent positively than negatively. Realize that if you spend all your time getting angry, you will miss out on the many joys and surprises that life has to offer.

Step 12: Forgive

To ensure that the changes you are making go much deeper than the surface, you need to forgive the people in your life that have angered you. It is not easy letting go of past hurts and resentments but the only way to move past your anger is to let go of these feelings and start fresh. (Depending on what, or who, is at the root of your anger, you may have to solicit the help of a professional to achieve this fully.)

These 12 steps form a comprehensive plan to get control of inappropriate and unproductive anger. And the quicker you begin the better. Anger and stress are highly correlated and the effects of stress on the body are well documented.

Even if you are not at the point where you feel your anger is a problem, it is a wise idea to familiarize yourself with the process described above. If you do not have the tools to deal with anger correctly, it has a way of building-up over time. Before you know it, you can be in a position where anger is controlling you and becoming a negative influence in your life. Being proactive with anger management will help to ensure it remains a healthy emotion that protects you from unnecessary hurt or threat.

November 22, 2012

Your Lifetime Goals

The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime, as setting Lifetime goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making. To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some of these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you):

Do you want to achieve any artistic goals? If so, what?

Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.

What level do you want to reach in your career?

Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals?

Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?

How much do you want to earn by what stage?

Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?

How do you want to enjoy yourself? – you should ensure that some of your life is for you!

Public Service:
Do you want to make the world a better place by your existence? If so, how?

Once you have decided your goals in these categories, assign a priority to them from A to F. Then review the goals and re-prioritize until you are satisfied that they reflect the shape of the life that you want to lead. Also ensure that the goals that you have set are the goals that you want to achieve, not what your parents, spouse, family, or employers want them to be.

Conducting a job analysis

To conduct a job analysis, go through the following steps:

1. Review formal job documentation:

Look at your job description. Identify the key objectives and priorities within it. Look at the forms for the periodic performance reviews. These show precisely the behaviors that will be rewarded and, by implication, show those that will be punished. Find out what training is available for the role. Ensure that you attend appropriate training so that you know as much as possible about what you need to know. Look at incentive schemes to understand the behaviors that these reward.

2. Understand the organization’s strategy and culture:

Your job exists for a reason – this will ultimately be determined by the strategy of the organizational unit you work for. This strategy is often expressed in a mission statement. In some way, what you do should help the organization achieve its mission (if it does not, you have to ask yourself how secure the job is!). Make sure you understand and perform well the tasks that contribute to the strategy.

Similarly, every organization has its own culture – its own, historically developed values, rights and wrongs, and things that it considers to be important. If you are new to an organization, talk through with established, respected members of staff to understand these values. Make sure that you understand this culture. Make sure that your actions reinforce the company’s culture, or at least do not go against it. Looked at through the lens of culture, will the company value what you do? Check that your priorities are consistent with this mission statement and the company culture.

3. Find out who the top achievers are, and understand why they are successful:

Inside or outside the organization, there may be people in a similar role to you who are seen as highly successful. Find out how they work, and what they do to generate this success. Look at what they do, and learn from them. Understand what skills make them successful, and learn those skills.

4. Check that you have the people and resources to do the job:

The next step is to check that you have the staff support, resources and training needed to do an excellent job. If you do not, start work on obtaining them.

5. Confirm priorities with your boss:

By this stage, you should have a thorough understanding of what your job entails, and what your key objectives are. You should also have a good idea of the resources that you need, and any additional training you may need to do the best you can. This is the time to talk the job through with your boss, and confirm that you share an understanding of what constitutes good performance in the role. It is also worth talking through serious inconsistencies, and agreeing how these can be managed.

6. Take Action:

You should now know what you have to do to be successful in your job. You should have a good idea of the most important things that you have to do, and also the least important. Where you can drop the less-important tasks, do so. Where you can de-prioritize them, do so. Where you need more resource or training to do your job, negotiate for this. Remember to be a little sensitive in the way you do this: Good teamwork often means helping other people out with jobs that do not benefit you. However, do not let people take advantage of you: Be assertive in explaining that you have your own work to do. If you cannot drop tasks, delegate them or negotiate longer time scales.

[Source: mindtools]

Proper Scheduling

Scheduling is best done on a regular basis, for example at the start of every week or month. Go through the following steps in preparing your schedule:

1. Start by identifying the time you want to make available for your work. This will depend on the design of your job and on your personal goals in life.

2. Next, block in the actions you absolutely must take to do a good job. These will often be the things you are assessed against.

3. For example, if you manage people, then you must make time available for dealing with issues that arise, coaching, and supervision. Similarly, you must allow time to communicate with your boss and key people around you. (While people may let you get away with 'neglecting them' in the short-term, your best time management efforts will surely be derailed if you do not set aside time for those who are important in your life.)

4. Review your To Do List, and schedule in the high-priority urgent activities, as well as the essential maintenance tasks that cannot be delegated and cannot be avoided.

5. Next, block in appropriate contingency time. You will learn how much of this you need by experience. Normally, the more unpredictable your job, the more contingency time you need. The reality of many people's work is of constant interruption: Studies show some managers getting an average of as little as six minutes uninterrupted work done at a time.

6. Obviously, you cannot tell when interruptions will occur. However, by leaving space in your schedule, you give yourself the flexibility to rearrange your schedule to react effectively to issues as they arise.

7. What you now have left is your "discretionary time": the time available to deliver your priorities and achieve your goals. Review your Prioritized To Do List and personal goals, evaluate the time needed to achieve these actions, and schedule these in.

By the time you reach step 5, you may find that you have little or no discretionary time available. If this is the case, then revisit the assumptions you used in the first four steps. Question whether things are absolutely necessary, whether they can be delegated, or whether they can be done in an abbreviated way.

Remember that one of the most important ways people learn to achieve success is by maximizing the 'leverage' they can achieve with their time. They increase the amount of work they can manage by delegating work to other people, spending money outsourcing key tasks, or using technology to automate as much of their work as possible. This frees them up to achieve their goals.

Also, use this as an opportunity to review your To Do List and Personal Goals. Have you set goals that just aren't achievable with the time you have available? Are you taking on too many additional duties? Or are you treating things as being more important than they really are? If your discretionary time is still limited, then you may need to renegotiate your workload. With a well-thought through schedule as evidence, you may find this surprisingly easy.

''To-Do List''

Preparing a To-Do List

Too overwhelmed by things needed to be done? The solution is often simple: Start by writing down the tasks that face you, and if they are large, break them down into their component elements. If these still seem large, break them down again. Do this until you have listed everything that you have to do, and until tasks are will take no more than 1-2 hours to complete.

Once you have done this, run through these jobs allocating priorities from ‘’A’’ (very important) to ‘’F’’ (unimportant). If too many tasks have a high priority, run through the list again and demote the less important ones. Once you have done this, rewrite the list in priority order.

You will then have a precise plan that you can use to eliminate the problems you face. You will be able to tackle these in order of importance. This allows you to separate important jobs from the many time-consuming trivial ones.

Using Your To-Do Lists

Different people use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations: if you are in a sales-type role, a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short and aim to complete it every day. In an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to keep one list and 'chip away' at it.

It may be that you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months. Only worry about this if you need to – if you are running up against a deadline for them, raise their priority. If you have not used To-Do Lists before, try them now: They are one of the keys to being really productive and efficient.

Imagery in Relaxation

Imagery in Relaxation

One common use of imagery in relaxation is to imagine a scene, place or event that you remember as safe, peaceful, restful, beautiful and happy. You can bring all your senses into the image with, for example, sounds of running water and birds, the smell of cut grass, the taste of cool white wine, the warmth of the sun, etc. Use the imagined place as a retreat from stress and pressure.

Scenes can involve complex images such as lying on a beach in a deserted cove. You may “see” cliffs, sea and sand around you, “hear” the waves crashing against rocks, “smell” the salt in the air, and “feel” the warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze on your body. Other images might include looking at a mountain view, swimming in a tropical pool, or whatever you want. You will be able to come up with the most effective images for yourself.

Other uses of imagery in relaxation involve creating mental pictures of stress flowing out of your body, or of stress, distractions and everyday concerns being folded away and locked into a padlocked chest.

Achieving More with Focus - Goal setting technique

Goal setting techniques are used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields. They give you long-term vision and short-term motivation. They focus your acquisition of knowledge and help you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. You can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. By setting goals, you will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your ability and competence in achieving the goals that you have set.

Goals are set on a number of different levels: First you decide what you want to do with your life and what large-scale goals you want to achieve. Second, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit so that you reach your lifetime goals. Finally, once you have your plan, you start working to achieve it.

November 18, 2012

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 13:24-32 

But in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather (his) elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. 

Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 

In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. 

Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 

But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.