Archive | November, 2014

The Gift of Today

The following post includes excerpts from one of my Favorite Blogs,, and offers wonderful insights and inspirations just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday:

The older I get, the more I believe that gratitude is the answer to almost every problem we face. It can transform anxiety, anger, and depression. It may not change our circumstances—though it often does—but it can change us. And isn’t that really the purpose of this journey we call “life”? – Michael Hyatt

Michael’s daughter shared this video with him and he found it as beautiful as it is profound. I agree  it is well-worth your time to watch it.

This quote from Brother David Steindl-Rast, a benedictine monk (the one speaking on the video), is particularly inspirational:

You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today… It’s the only gift that you have right now. And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.

Maybe we would get this if we saw today as the first day of our life — or our last.

Here are four ways you can transform today, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary:

1. Notice the gifts around you. Whether it is the natural beauty that surrounds you, the interesting people you encounter, or the simple beating of your heart, everything is a miracle—if you have eyes to see it.
2. Open your heart to receive them. It’s so easy to feel entitled and become cynical when we don’t get what we want or feel we deserve. But if we receive everything as a gift, designed for either our enjoyment, our transformation, or both, we open ourselves to new possibilities.
3. Express your gratitude for them. This is one of the things that makes humans unique and sets us apart from the animals. But we have to speak it to experience the power of it.
4. Bless someone else. Let your gratefulness overflow into the lives of those you encounter today. It doesn’t have to be fancy — just offer them a smile, a touch, or the simple gift of your presence. (You could also share this post with them!)

Today will never be repeated. It it is unique among all the days of your life. Gratitude can transform into something to be remembered.

Note: If you want to explore gratitude further, read Ann Voskamp’s excellent book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

What are you thankful for today? I’d like to hear from you!

What are you thankful for today?

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Snap Judgments: How A First Impression Affects Your Personal Brand

How quickly does it take for others to form a permanent impression of you?

Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock

A matter of seconds, according to social science research in nonverbal behavior and interpersonal perception. Consider these published results from recent studies:

  • Tufts University: In 30-second clips of physician-patient interactions, patients’ judgments about the physicians’ “niceness” were the biggest predictor of whether or not that physician would be sued.
  • Princeton University: A one-second view of political candidates’ faces had a 70% accuracy rate in predicting US Senate and Gubernatorial races. In her groundbreaking research on intuition, Stanford University social scientist Nalini Ambady found that information gained from one instant nonverbal impression is almost always as powerful as information gained by getting to know a person or situation over a long period of time.

You may recall the popular tagline from a 1980’s commercial: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I wonder if the copywriters knew how right they were!

So how do you ensure you’re making the right impression quickly? Here’s a helpful article from Forbes: “Five Ways to make a Killer First Impression.

How do you know whether or not you’ve made a positive impression? What about the reverse: How quickly do you feel it takes you to form an impression of others? Does this research surprise you? What implications does it have for your personal brand?

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