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Practice Not Being Perfect

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Before we start on today’s topic, we want to remind you to 11 visualize your dream life, ]by answering the question, “If neither time nor money were an issue, how would you spend your time and money?” We’ll be coming back to this topic in a few weeks, so keep dreaming bigg! 

The holiday season is in full swing. Black Friday has come and gone. Millions are celebrating Cyber Monday today by shopping online. We received an e-mail from one of our listeners recently that we thought we would share with you.

Julie says that, in the last few years, she’s gotten so stressed out trying to find the perfect present for everyone on her list. She gets frustrated and oh-so-tired. She wants some suggestions on finding the joy in the holidays again.

You may be able to feel Julie’s pain. Life seems particularly busy this time of year. However, Julie’s problem goes beyond Christmas and presents. There are lessons to be learned for the whole year. Here what we suggested to Julie:

  • Be a hero, not a super hero.
  • Lower your expectations. You only have 24 hours in the day. You can only do so much. Stop trying to be super-human. Live your life on human terms. We give you permission to be human. We even give you permission to buy gift certificates!  

  • Ask why it’s so important.
  • What’s the underlying need you’re seeking to fulfill? Is it the approval of others? You’re worried that your friends and your kids won't think you’re the best. Get past the superficial. Focus on your goal – showing your loved ones that you care about them. Stop worrying about impressing them.  

  • Be happy with 75%.
  • We heard a story recently about a college professor who taught a CPA review course. On the first day of the new semester, the professor explained to his new crop of students that they needed to get a score of 75 or above on each of the four sections of the CPA test. Then he introduced them to his model student. His scores on the CPA exam were:
    Section 1: 75
    Section 2: 75
    Section 3: 75
    Section 4: 75

    He passed every section with the minimum score! But he passed. The professor explained to his class that this student had spent exactly the right amount of time preparing for the exam.

    Any less would have led to failure.
    Any more would have been wasted.

    He has the same CPA designation as the person who got 100 in all four sections. But he had more time to spend on other important things in his life.

    So spend 25% less time trying to get it perfect. Use that time to enjoy your life. By being less demanding of yourself, you’ll find your life is much more rewarding.  

Our quote today is by Arthur N. Known.

“No one is perfect … that’s why pencils have erasers.”

Striving for excellence puts lead in your pencil. Striving for perfection takes it out.
Tomorrow, we’ll challenge you to stretch yourself. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Home Stretch

By Bigg Success Staff
December, 06 2007 

Work-Life Balance

We recently discussed how pushing yourself to your limits leads to your 7 peace of mind]. “Brazen Careerist” blogger, Penelope Trunk, wrote a related post recently called “Don’t get too comfortable at home after work.”

She cites the book, Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment written by Gregory Berns. Berns is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Emory University and Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Now that’s a title!

In his book, Berns discusses the mood-lifting chemical reaction that occurs in your brain when you stretch yourself. Trunk asserts that you won’t be happy if you only push yourself at work. You also need personal growth at home. Otherwise, you’ll feel a void. Her post is ripe with ideas. We think you’ll enjoy reading it. Here are some thoughts on how to begin.

Shake up your after-work routine
Start with little changes. Make it a habit. You’ll soon feel excited about your new routine. Then you’re ready for bigger and better things.

  • Instead of sitting, stand. When you would usually stand, walk.
  • If tonight is pizza night, order a Hawaiian pizza instead of pepperoni.
  • Instead of staying at home, go out. Instead of going out, stay in.
  • Watch an educational show instead of that show you normally would view.
  • Eat dinner at the table, instead of in front of the television.
  • Instead of surfing the internet, browse materials at your local library. You remember the library, don’t you?

Without balance, you can’t be whole. It’s analogous to taking elective courses. They round you out. You become a more interesting person because you expand your point-of-view.

Without growth, in all areas of your life, you won’t feel fulfilled. Begin with baby steps. Make stretching yourself, at work and at home, a habit. Start today!

Related link:
10 The Work Life Teeter -Totter ](article)
34] (blog, show)

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Putting The Giving In Thanksgiving

In our last blog, we discussed the benefits of being thankful. Today we want to look at the second half of Thanksgiving – the giving.

There’s a lot of research that shows giving has benefits to the giver, as much as to the receiver. Allan Luks, the Executive Director of the New York chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, coined the phase “helper’s high” in his book:
The Healing Power of Doing Good.

“Helper’s high”
When you give, you get an endorphin rush similar to when you work out. This is the “helper’s high. Interestingly enough, when you recall the giving experience, you also get an endorphin rush, though not as much as when you actually performed the service.

Show co-host, Mary-Lynn Foster, discussed volunteering for the American Diabetes Association. Her mom passed away due to complications of diabetes. She feels like she’s doing something for her mom by giving to the ADA. She says that she feels that “helper’s high” as she relates her volunteer experiences.

2 things to give
What are our two big external constraints?  11 Time and money.] Guess what? Those are the two things we can give. Giving is a verb. It requires action.

Is your budget tight? You can still give – how about that old coat? Can you donate some canned goods?

Show co-host, George Krueger, related a story told at his mom’s funeral. Last year was her last Thanksgiving. At her funeral, a young woman explained that she had developed an allergy to flour. So she couldn’t eat bread. After some time, she was craving a slice of bread. She just couldn’t stand it. Just then, there was a knock on the door. It was his mom, with a loaf of flourless bread.

Pay attention
This story illustrates that you may make the most impact by meeting the needs of those close to you. So pay attention. Focus on giving and the getting will take care of itself.

Our quote today is by the writer, G. Donald Gale.  

“A pessimist, they say, sees a glass of water as being half empty;
an optimist see the same glass as half full.
But a giving person sees a glass of water and
starts looking for someone who might be thirsty. “

Quench someone’s need today. Next time, we’ll practice not being perfect. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving

In our last blog, we talked about ‘taters and asked the question: “What kind of ‘tater are you?”

Today we’ll put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving. 

Be thankful for the benefits
Robert Emmons, a Psychology professor at the University of California Davis, did a study to determine if there are benefits in being grateful.

He divided the study’s participants into three groups:

  • Group 1 recorded that day’s most significant events
  • Group 2 recorded minor complaints and hassles of the day
  • Group 3 recorded things they were thankful for that day.

After ten weeks, Emmons found that Group 3 had more energy, viewed life more positively, and had fewer physical ailments when compared to the other two groups.

Sounds like we should all be thankful for this study, doesn’t it? Emmons didn’t stop there. He wanted to know if there were any long-term differences.  Here’s what he found:

Group 3 members were more likely to achieve their goals.

So if you’re grateful, you’ll be healthier and you’ll reach more of your goals!

Make giving thanks a habit
We all remember the old saying “Practice makes perfect.” So, if we practice complaining, we’ll get pretty good at it. So how do you stop complaining?

Be grateful for what you have; quit complaining about what you don’t. It’s really a matter of attention. We tend to give attention to bad things. Many people shine stadium lights on their problems, and flashlights on their blessings.

You should do the opposite – be thankful everyday for all that happens to you. We recently wrote an article about 12 John Bramblitt]. Here is a young man that lost his sight, but didn’t let it conquer him. He became a painter. In his adversity, he found his gift.

The most precious thing in the world
Just like John Bramblitt, your life is a gift. You and only you are the single most unique thing in the world. There is only one of you. Your genes and all of your experiences have come together to make you who you are.

Don’t you have a lot for which to be thankful? Being thankful on Thanksgiving is great. We challenge you to make it a part of your life everyday. It pays big dividends!

Our quote today is from over 2000 years ago. It’s by Cicero, the great philosopher.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Greatness begins with gratefulness. Make giving thanks a daily habit. We promise that you’ll thank yourself for it. 

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Spot The Fake Smile

By Bigg Success Staff
Novemeber 25, 2007

Test Yourself
smile jpg

Most people are bad at spotting fake smiles. Would you like to know if you can? BBC has a fun test that determines if you can tell if a person’s smile is real or fake. It will only take you about ten minutes. You’ll be shown a face. Vote whether it’s real or fake. Then, move on (there are twenty faces) until you’re done. Finally, see the results!

Want a little hint before you start?

According to the BBC, different parts of the brain are used to create a real or a fake smile. Real smiles are automatic (i.e. unconscious brain) whereas fake smiles can be done on-demand (i.e. conscious brain). With fake smiles, the mouth moves outward. With real smiles, the mouth moves, but the eyes also crease up and the eyebrows dip slightly.

We put our hands together for BBC making learning fun!