Category Archives: Help

How Can You Enhance Your Mental Capabilities In 2014?

Have you defined the actions you will take during 2014 to enhance your mental capabilities?

\nIn this and future newsletters, I will provide insights and tips on how you can improve in several elements of your life. If you haven’t done so, read my previous three newsletters, in which I provided insights to strengthen your family relationships, accelerate your career progress, and improve your physical health this year.\n\nThis month, I will continue with your mental capabilities. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider in 2014:\n

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  1. Assign a high priority to making your brain healthier. Beyond what little bit I learned about brain anatomy way back in high school, I hadn’t really allocated much time and effort to educating myself on what makes a brain healthier, until my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Some of us may have a higher genetic disposition for getting this terrible disease. As with most things in life, we have two choices: Let genetics dictate our future, or do something to overcome a potentially negative genetic setup. So I found and read The Anti-Alzheimer’s Prescription book, by Vincent Fortanasce, MD. My key take-away was that, independent of genetics, we can proactively work to enhance our brain’s health. In his book, he outlines a four-step plan:\n
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    1. Diet: I have applied most of his suggestions into my diet, which was part of the previous newsletter.
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    3. Daily aerobics and an-aerobics for the body and mind: I have been more consistent with the former.
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    5. Increase your brain reserve with daily mental exercises (neurobics): This is one of my goals for 2014.
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    7. Reduce your stress levels and improve your sleep quality: I’m constantly working on the former (exercising helps) and continue to pay attention to the quality of my sleep.
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  1. Define your learning priorities for 2014. I suggest you go back to your overall life priorities and goals for 2014. Is there a new professional skill that you need to learn? Should you assign more time to keeping up with your industry trends? Is there a specific non-work role where you have identified the need to improve? Is there a new language you’ve been longing to learn but haven’t started yet?
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  1. Commit to a plan. What is the one thing you will do differently during 2014 to enhance your mental capabilities? Here are some potential actions:
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    • Set a target number of books to read in 2014 (say, 1 per month).
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    • Consider using your travel time (driving, walking, on a bus/train) to listen to an audiobook, motivational thoughts, or soothing music. I try to always have an audiobook available in my car. My latest one is an Italian for travelers CD: “Defiendete en Italiano.” I’m having a great time learning the language!
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    • Block an hour a day for reading, which could come from watching less TV.
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    • Pick one of the four areas outlined in the first section and work on it for the next month.
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\nIn the next newsletter, I will share suggestions to grow your spirituality in 2014. Stay tuned!\n\nI want to close this newsletter with a quote from Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.\n\nPercy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\n\nPS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

How Can You Accelerate Your Career Progress in 2014?

How Can You Accelerate Your Career Progress in 2014?

\nHave you defined the specific actions you will take during 2014 to significantly advance your career?\n\nIn this and future newsletters, I will provide insights and tips on how you can improve in several elements of your life. If you haven’t done so, read my previous newsletter, in which I provided insights to strengthen your family relationships.\n\nThis month, I will continue with your career, because based on my personal experience and observations, this aspect tends to be defined too narrowly and short term. \n\nHere are a few suggestions and tips on how you can accelerate your career in 2014:\n

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  1. Define your ideal job. Regardless of whether you are about to enter the job market or have been working for several years, what would your ideal job be? What do you excel at? What kind of activities do you enjoy doing—the type where you tend to lose track of time because you’re so immersed? What professional legacy do want to leave for those around you and for society? And if you have a written personal mission statement, which professional activity best connects with it? Assume for a moment that you don’t need to worry about how much money you make in this ideal job. Close your eyes for a few seconds and visualize yourself doing these activities, day in and day out, year after year. Think big. Do not constrain your imagination. How does it feel? Does it bring a smile to your face?
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  1. Assess your current state. What are the pros and cons of your current job versus the ideal one? Is there a significant conflict between your personal values and those demanded in your job? Can your current job realistically lead you to your ideal one? Are you in the right industry? The right type of occupation? The right company?
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  1. Commit to a plan. What is the one thing you will do differently during 2014 to bridge your current state and your ideal job? Involve others in your analysis and plans. Don’t rush things, but make sure you identify at least one action that will get you closer to your ideal job. It could be learning a new skill or language, networking with people, seeking advice from a mentor or coach, discussing your career aspirations with your boss, etc. As the saying goes, “There’s no time like the present,” so why not start now.
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\nIn the next newsletter, I will share suggestions to improve your physical health in 2014. Stay tuned!\n\nI want to close this newsletter with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.\n\nPercy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\n\nPS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

How to Take Baby Steps to Start Living Your Mission In Life

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Are you finding it hard to stick to those improvements and goals you have committed to work on?

\nIn a previous newsletter, I outlined a process to define the priorities you plan to cover during the following week and how to pick the top two to three activities you will perform on a particular day. In this newsletter, I will provide three tips on how to take baby steps to maximize the odds of executing the priorities and activities you have defined as important for you.\n\nTip #1: Allocate the first 15 minutes of the day to an activity that is relevant to you.\nIf you committed to exercise every day, do it in these first 15 minutes. If you want to eat a healthier diet, jump-start it in those first 15 minutes. If you want to meditate or feed your soul, do it as soon as you wake up. In other words, take care of what’s important to you, literally, first thing in the morning. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting distracted by household chores, email, the newspaper, or other external stimuli.\n\nTip #2: Allocate the first hour of your workday to the most important (not urgent) business priority.\nThose of you in the business world are familiar with facing urgent emails, meetings, or requests the minute you start your workday. Usually, these urgent demands last the entire workday, and sometimes they even follow you afterward via text messages, phone calls, emails, etc. It has been my experience that blocking the first workday hour for an important priority increases the odds of executing that activity, like a deep analysis of your business, coaching an employee, developing a relationship plan for a set of customers, etc. The rest of the workday can then be “syphoned” into putting out fires, but at least one hour will have been allocated to predefined (and usually longer-lasting) important work priorities.\n\nTip #3: Allocate the first hour of the weekend to an activity that is relevant to you.\nThe weekend gives us the possibility to allocate time to personal activities. However, it is easy to fall into a routine of social or entertaining activities that may or may not contribute toward achieving your personal goals. My suggestion is to at least pay attention to that first hour of the weekend, and make sure it is allocated to an activity consistent with your mission statement, to what you had chosen as a priority in your life. Some examples of what to do in that first hour are exercising, reading, building (or fixing) relationships, etc.\n\nIn summary, my advice is to consciously allocate the first time period in the day, workday, or weekend to activities consistent with your personal mission statement. It’s a good place to start toward living your life more consistently with what you have defined as important to you.\n\nI want to close this newsletter with the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.\n\nIn the next newsletter, I will share some insights on how to assess your 2013 life performance and prepare for a much better 2014. Stay tuned!\n\nPercy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com\n\nPS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.