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Month: June, 2014

How Do You View Your Work?

Martin Seligman

How do you view your work?

As a Job, Career or Calling?

Martin Seligman, former president of American Psychological Association (APA) and Robert A. Fox Professor of Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania) talked about the three ways of work orientation in his best selling book, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment – a Job, Career, and a Calling. He further described the basis of these orientations to work.

You take up a Job strictly for the pay check. Punch the clock, get paid. Done.

You have a career to enjoy the benefits of advancement and mastery of a given domain.

An important thing about Calling is that any Job can become a Calling and any calling can become a job. Consider this for example: A physician who views the work as a Job and is simply interested in making good income does not have a Calling, while a garbage collector who sees the Work as making the world a cleaner, healthier place could have a Calling.

How about you?
How do You view your work?

 
Photo Credit: http://www.ted.com

The Four Agreements

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Can agreements transform life, that too agreements with self?

Don Miguel Ruiz, Mexican author, surgeon, spiritual scholar says that if you can begin to live your life with the four agreements, the transform of your life will be amazing. He explains in detail these agreements – the how and why of the four agreements in his illuminating book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. He focuses his writings on the Ancient Toltec teachings that are used to achieve happiness, peace and love within one life by acquiring and internalising the wisdom to do so.

The Four Agreements, first published in 1997 is his most influential work with sales of over five million copies in the US and it has been translated into 38 languages.

Here are the four agreements you need to commit to transform your life.

1. The First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word. The first agreement is the most important one and also the most difficult one to honour. It is so important that with just this first agreement you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth. It sounds very simple, but it is very, very powerful. Be Impeccable to your word is the first agreement that you should make if you want to be free, and if you want to be happy.
2. The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally. Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Because nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be a victim of needless suffering. Consider this for example: If I see you on the street and say, ‘Hey, you are so stupid,’ without knowing you, it’s not about you. It’s about me. If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you are stupid. May be you think to yourself, ‘How does he know? Is he clairvoyant, or can everybody see how stupid I am?’ Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
3. The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions. We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking – we take it personally – then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why whenever we make assumptions, we’’re asking problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing. Ruiz says, “The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure the communication is clear. If you don’t understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are as clear as you can be and even then do not assume you know all there is to know about a given situation. Once you hear the answer, you will not have to make assumptions because you will know the truth.
4. The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best. Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.

The Four Agreements are a summary of the mastery of transformation, one of the masteries of the Toltec. Don Miguel Ruiz shared this secret to ever lasting happiness to the entire world with his book.

If you are impeccable with your word, if you don’t take anything personally, if you don’t make assumptions, if you always do your best, then you are going to have a beautiful life. You are going to control your life one hundred per cent.

Why Questions Are More Important?

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Why questions are more important even than the answers?

We all learn by asking questions. Children learn by asking questions. Students learn by asking questions. Marketers develop customer insights by asking questions. Innovators learn about and understand client needs by asking questions. What is more, brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions because they know that this kind of inquiry is the best way to gain deeper insights.

Here are ten more reasons why questions are more important than the answers. Consider these for example:

1. We run this company (Google) in questions, not answers. (Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google)
2. If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solutions, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper ‘question’ to ask for once I know the proper ‘question’, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.’ (Albert Einstein)
3. Without a good ‘question’, a good answer has no place to go. (Clayton Christensen)
4. The wise man doesn’t give the right answers. He poses the right ‘questions.’ (Claude Levi-Strauss)
5. Judge a man by his ‘questions’ rather than his answers. (Voltaire)
6. You can tell whether a man is clever by his ‘answers.’ You can tell whether a man is wise by his ‘questions.” (Naguib Mahfouz)
7. Children enter school as ‘question marks’ and leave as ‘periods.’ (Neil Postman)
8. At the root of an answer is a ‘question.’ (J.W. Getzels)
9. In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a ‘question’ mark on the thing you have long taken for granted. (Bertrand Russell)
10. We live in the world our questions create. (David Cooper Rider)

 

5 Copywriting Lessons From John Bevins

 

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John Bevins, who became one of Australia’s all-time great copywriters founded his eponymous advertising agency in 1982. He headed its creative department and won many awards.

In 1993, John Bevins was voted both Advertising Person of the Year and Creative Person of the Year by the Campaign Brief Readers’ Poll.

In 2002, he was awarded the inaugural Advertising Federation of Australia Medallion. He was subsequently honoured with the Denis Everingham Award for Copywriting.

In 2010, He was inducted into the Adnews Hall of Fame.

After 28 years in business, John Bevins, one of Australia’s great agencies closed their doors in December 2009.

He shared the lessons he learnt in The Copybook: How some of the best advertising writers write their advertising.

1. If you don’t enjoy writing it, no one will enjoy reading it.
2. You never know what you’re looking for until you find it, ad you’ll never find it if you know what you’re looking for (There is no Process).
3. Spell it out and it’s out with a spell (The reader’s imagination is as important as yours).
4. Product advertising explains the product to me. Brand advertising explains me to me (Empathy).
5. You have to be in the right mood to write. And that the way to get into the right mood is to write is to Write.