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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)
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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!

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Honing In On Home-Based Businesses

By Bigg Success Staff
Novemeber 25, 2007

Home Office

If you’re in business, or thinking of starting one, you should check out StartupNation’s first annual Home-Based 100. They chose ten winners in ten categories: best financial performers, most innovative, highest vote-getters, boomers back in business, greenest, yummiest, wackiest, grungiest, worldliest, and most slacker-friendly.

Kudos to StartupNation for this unique list, which highlights the growing trend of people choosing to work from home, as well as large companies marketing to those people. In fact, three large companies sponsored this study – Microsoft Office Live Small Business, Dell, and Southwest Airlines.

Here’s five things you can learn from this group:

    • Be passionate about what you do.

As one might expect from people who combine work space with personal space, the Home-Based 100 often don’t separate who they are from what they do. This helps fuel their success, rather than detracting from it. You may find that the best way for you to balance your work life and your personal life is to combine them!

    • Embrace change.

Most of the Home-Based 100 are baby boomers who had succeeded in Corporate America, but wanted out for various reasons. Some were just ready for a change. Others couldn’t find the time to execute the idea they had, while still working for someone else. Yet others just wanted more family time and saw working at home as a sure-fire way to get that.

    • Use technology extensively.

Technology allows you to work at home with others who work at home. Your whole workforce can be home-based! This is one of the most interesting things pointed out by Startup Nation’s study. Home-based doesn’t mean solo! You may choose to work without employees, but you don’t have to do so.

    • Outsource extensively.

You can’t do it all yourself. Nor should you. The Home-Based 100 outsource extensively. Stick with what you know and do well. Pay someone else to do the rest.

    • Go for it, now!

If you have the desire to work from home, go for it. Don’t let the 13 fear of failure ]stop you. The people in the Home-Based 100 didn’t. Look where they are now. You can do it, too! Don’t hesitate – do something today!