Category Archives: Praise

Is It Challenging to Manage Your Priorities in Life? (Part 3 of 3) – (#7)

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Is It Challenging to Manage Your Priorities in Life? (Part 3 of 3)

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Why is it so difficult to manage our priorities? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by professional challenges, while also trying to build and maintain your important personal relationships, your finances and even your health? Could it be that you have not figured out a way to allocate time to the true priorities in your life, and thus you spend your time reacting to whatever event is in front of you?

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In my previous two newsletters, I shared a set of personal insights that worked for me in managing my physical and mental health. In the last part of this series, I will cover how to manage your spiritual priorities.

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As outlined in my recently released book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life, there are three steps you can follow to live a more meaningful life:

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Step1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.\nStep 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.\nStep 3: Live your mission 24/7.

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Click here if you want to buy my book with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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Related to Step 3, one strategy that has worked for me to live my personal development mission is to make it a priority to feed and nurture my spiritual health. Following are three interventions that have worked for me and could work for you as well.

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1. Start the day with a few minutes of meditation. This can be in the form of reading the Bible, or another source of spiritual nurturing, and meditating on it. I read the Gospel passage that corresponds to each day and then meditate on the key message that impacts me. My house is still quiet at that time of the day, and by the time I am done, I feel very peaceful and inspired to make the best of the day that is about to start. And, yes, the temptation to check my emails as soon as I wake up is big, but I try to delay this.

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2. Leverage opportunities created around trips and social interactions to enrich your soul. I just returned from a wedding in Israel, which I leveraged to visit the Holy Land and other sacred places in Israel and Turkey. I was exposed to the history and traditions of different religions, and I learned that there are many spiritual values shared by them, which, unfortunately, tend to be clouded by political differences. One shared practice is to assign one day of the week for worshipping (Friday for Muslims, Saturday for Jews and Sunday for Christians). I was particularly impressed by the Jewish observance of the Sabbath, where they disconnect from the material world that day, freeing their time for spiritual growth. I will apply this principle to the way I live my Sundays.

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3. Track your progress. What about applying some of the principles used in tracking business results to monitoring your spiritual progress? Is there a value you want to strengthen? Though hard to quantify progress, simply raising your awareness of a particular area can create positive results. I once lost my job, and ever since then, I have committed to help anyone who asks for my help to find employment. Every weekend I try to reply to all pending requests and track how many people I have helped.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the Dalai Lama: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Try one or more of my suggestions if you wish to improve managing your spiritual priorities. As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will share some of the insights behind my decision to start a second career as an author, consultant and coach. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS1: 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.

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Is It Challenging to Manage Your Priorities in Life? (Part 2 of 3) (#6)

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Is It Challenging to Manage Your Priorities in Life? (Part 2 of 3)

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Why is it so difficult to manage our priorities? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by professional challenges, while also trying to build and maintain your important personal relationships, your finances and even your health? Could it be that you have not figured out a way to allocate time to the true priorities in your life, and thus spend your time reacting to whatever event is in front of you?

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In my previous newsletter, I shared a set of personal insights that worked for me in managing my physical health. In Part 2, I will cover how to manage your mental priorities. Next month, I will conclude the series with the management of spiritual priorities.

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As outlined in my recently released book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life, there are three steps you can follow to live a more meaningful life:

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Step1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.

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Step 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.

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Step 3: Live your mission 24/7.

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Click here if you want to buy my book with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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Related to Step 3, one strategy that has worked for me to live my personal development mission is to continuously feed and nurture my mind. It always seemed logical to me to accept the notion that feeding my body with good food made a lot of sense. But it took some time to extrapolate the same logic to feeding and nurturing my mind. Following are four interventions that have worked for me and could work for you as well.

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1. I became accountable for what I think. I made this commitment to myself several years ago, most likely triggered by books such as Think and Grow Rich, from Napoleon Hill, and reaffirmed by several other books and articles.

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2. I planned what kind of “food” I wanted to feed my mind. The “menu” I created was based on my overall life priorities, like how to become a better husband and parent, increase my leadership and managerial skills, improve my financial results, etc. The challenge I faced, and to some extent still do, was that I couldn’t eat all the mental food in front of me! I had to find time to absorb all the knowledge.

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3.  I assigned priority to my learning needs and found all the possible time-blocks that could be dedicated to this goal, without punishing my other roles in life. I started by scheduling an hour each evening to read. Since this was not enough, I complemented it by leveraging other events and activities in my life, such as asking about the life story of people I run into (especially the elderly), listening to audio-books while I drive (my current selection is “Conversations With Myself,” by Nelson Mandela) , watching movies that carry relevant messages, etc.

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4.  I learned to act as my mind’s information gatekeeper. Technology allows us to be connected 24/7, pretty much anywhere we are. We can read and engage with communities on just about any topic we can imagine. This exposes us to messages that may not add much value. So I let my spam folder filter out the glut of unimportant emails. I have become more and more selective of the acquaintances I make and the conversations I hold, even in informal settings. And, as for TV, I hardly watch any.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the British writer James Allen: “Our life is what our thoughts make it. A man will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.” If you want to improve managing your mental priorities, try one or more of my suggestions. As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will share additional insights on how to better manage your spiritual priorities in life. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS1: 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.

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Is it challenging to manage your priorities in life? (Part 1 of 3) (#5)

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Is it challenging to manage your priorities in life? (Part 1 of 3)

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Why is it so difficult to manage our priorities? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the urgent professional challenges you need to tackle, while at the same time trying to build and maintain your important personal relationships, your finances and even your own health? Could it be that you have not figured out a way to allocate time to the true priorities in your life, and thus spend your time reacting to whatever event is in front of you?

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In this newsletter, I want to share a set of personal insights that can help you gradually manage more and more of your life priorities. I will start with what has worked for me in managing my physical health. In the next two newsletters, I will cover other elements.

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As outlined in my recently released book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life, there are three steps you can follow to live a more meaningful life:

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Step 1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.\nStep 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.\nStep 3: Live your mission 24/7.

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Click here if you want to buy my book with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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Related to Step 3, one strategy that has worked for me to live my personal development mission is to undergo a physical examination every year or two, and use the results as my “Health Report Card.” I realize I am the only person accountable for getting good health grades, especially as the years go by. And I have increasingly relied on the advice of health professionals (doctors, dieticians, sports experts) to not only address any negative health grade but to also improve those that may be within acceptable levels. Let me share the type of interventions that have worked for me and could work for you as well.

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The first one is to watch what I eat. After experimenting with different diets that called for counting calories, skipping carbohydrates, eating less, or combining food categories in specific ways, I ended up following the professional advice I received four years ago: a) Eat healthy; b) eat all three broad groups of food (protein, whole-grain carbohydrates and fruits/vegetables), plus some unsaturated fats; and c) eat reasonable portions. This advice made a lot of sense to me. I loved its simplicity. Over the years, I have noticed a direct relationship between my weight and my lab test results with how closely I follow this advice. Whenever I deviate (unfortunately more often than I wish), my clothes will immediately let me know I need to intervene. If you want to commit to make good eating a priority in your life, start by using your electronic or paper agenda to record a daily reminder of adopting, over the next week, one of the elements I outline here. Based on how successful you are in this first week, you can renew your commitment for the following one or make any necessary adjustments.

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The second health element that has worked for me is exercise. I try to run six days a week. My motivation is three-fold: 1) Running energizes me to tackle the workday, 2) I convince myself that each mile run represents a large dose of “health” that I am injecting into my body, and 3) it synergizes with my food habits to keep my weight under control. It is not easy to create a habit of daily running. You start very slowly, with perhaps a 5-minute walk every other day, and gradually increase the frequency, length and intensity of your exercise. As I outline in my book, if you are a goal-oriented person, try signing up for a race, like a 1-miler or a 5K, run it, and then try to beat your finish time in a future race. Or try another physical activity. If you want to make exercising a priority, try scheduling these activities in your agenda as if they were formal work meetings. It also helps to find a partner to exercise with and keep you accountable.

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The third health element is good sleep. I used to underestimate the power of a good night sleep. However, I have learned that, if I get at least seven hours of continuous sleep, I wake up the next day ready to tackle my running and my subsequent daily responsibilities. I have also learned that good sleep decreases the odds of suffering from illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s. Having had an instance of this terrible disease in my family has made me even more sensitive to getting a regular good night sleep. Though this may sound a bit too structured for some of you, I set a reminder in my cell phone an hour before I want to fall asleep. I know I need this hour to wind down, do some reading, and eventually fall asleep. Maybe this strategy will work for you as well.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the Roman poet Virgil: “The greatest wealth is health.” If your physical health is a priority, test one or more of my suggestions. As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will share additional insights on how to better manage your priorities in life. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS1: 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.

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Is there is something in your personal life that may be keeping you from doing your best at work? (#4)

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Is there is something in your personal life that may be keeping you from doing your best at work?

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During my 25 years as a manager in the corporate world, I often wondered, and frequently confirmed, that there were factors in my employees’ personal lives (and in mine) that were preventing us from performing our best at work. Has this happened to you?

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In this newsletter, I want to invite you to look into your personal life and determine if there are any potential areas of opportunity which, when improved, can translate into enhancing your motivation, productivity and overall performance at work.

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As outlined in my recently released book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life, there are three steps you can follow to live a more meaningful life:

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Step1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.\nStep 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.\nStep 3: Live your mission 24/7.

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Click here if you want to buy my book with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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Related to Step 1, one way to increase your overall accountability is to look deeper into the choices you are currently making in your personal life. In my last newsletter, I offered some insights on how to strengthen your relationships. Let me now expand to other aspects of your personal life.

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Are your finances in order? Beyond the natural desire to increase your income, do you have your basic finances under control? Are you spending less than what you are making? Any bad habits you can detect, such as using credit cards to “fund” additional purchasing power, which you cannot sustain? Thinking longer term, have you set a financial goal that will result in a better future? My experience has been that, in good times and in not-so-good ones, setting a financial goal, committing to one or two deliberate actions, and diligently tracking my activities and results, has resulted in positive outcomes. At the most basic level, you increase the awareness of your financial situation and this tends to trigger new ideas to reach your goal. Better yet, your stress level remains within a reasonable range and its potentially negative effect on work gets diminished.

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Are you developing your personal capabilities? Are you making healthy choices for your body, mind and soul? Why not start by taking an inventory of those choices you are making (and not making) that can enhance your physical health, expand your mental capacity and feed your soul? You may detect that a sedentary lifestyle and erratic diet are translating into inconsistent energy levels at work. You may also realize that those professionals who keep up with industry and overall trends find it easier to connect with co-workers, customers and people in general. And can you identify an opportunity to nourish your soul with value-enhancing literature or positive thoughts and relationships? One habit I picked up from my father several years ago was starting the day with a scripture reading, followed by a brief meditation period. Though hard to quantify the benefits of this 10- to 15-minute ritual, I can certainly “feel” how this positive energy carries me through the rest of the workday.

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Like a well-maintained machine, our body, mind and soul will yield better work results if we feed them well. Invest the time to detect opportunities and act on them. As with all new habits, I suggest starting small and (very) gradually expanding on them.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Exercise your accountability muscles by analyzing and detecting opportunities in your personal life. Acting on them should translate into improvements at work. As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will share personal insights on how to better manage your priorities in life. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.

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Should Valentine’s Day Only Be Celebrated February 14? (#3)

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Should Valentine’s Day Only Be Celebrated February 14?

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Have you noticed how we tend to be kinder and more patient and loving in our relationships around Valentine’s Day? Why can’t we extend this spirit of care and generosity to the rest of the year? Could it be that we have not explicitly defined what relationships are important in our life?

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 In this newsletter, I want to use Valentine’s Day to raise awareness of the choices we may or not be making in our life, especially those related to our close relationships, and offer a few insights on how to potentially improve such choices.

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 As outlined in my recently released book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life, there are three steps you can follow to live a more meaningful life:

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Step1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.

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Step 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.

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Step 3: Live your mission 24/7.

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Related to Step 1, my question to you is: Can you safely admit that you are 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) regarding your close relationships? I know it takes two to tango, but are you 100 percent committed to making these relationships work? Do you play more of a receiving versus a giving role? I had an acquaintance, a widow in her 80s, who mentioned that her husband often said that he would never give her a reason to divorce him. What a great example of accountability and commitment to the most important relationship in this man’s life.

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Moving to Step 2, have you recorded in writing where your close relationships rate versus other priorities in your life? The absence of a written personal mission statement maymean you are leaving the priorities in your life to chance. You may be relying on your intuition, current state of mind or, worse yet, on somebody else’s priorities or value system. Why not explicitly record in your personal mission statement the priorities in your life and, in particular, the priority you want to assign to your close relationships?

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As suggested in Step 3, how can you live those choices and maintain those priorities in your close relationships 24/7? How can you make every day Valentine’s Day for those close to you?  My role model for this was my father. One of the life lessons I shared in his eulogy speech three years ago was how much he visibly loved my mom. There was no doubt in my mind that she was his number-one priority in life, above his two children, his mother, siblings, work, sports, friends, etc. He kept the love flame burning with little things, such as constantly bringing her flowers, opening the car door for her, and never, to my knowledge, raising his voice to her. 

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I hope the three steps and insights outlined here help you practice your accountability by defining what is important in your life and then living those choices every day.  

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I want to close this newsletter with a Persian proverb: “Thinking well is wise; planning well, wiser; doing well wisest and best of all.” Persevere in defining what is important in your life and in living according to these choices 24/7. As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will cover how to identify those situations where there is something in your personal life that may not be allowing you to give your best at work. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.

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Are You Already Living Your 2013 New Year’s Resolution? (#2)

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Are You Already Living Your 2013 New Year’s Resolution?

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 Why is it so difficult to start living your 2013 New Year’s resolution and to make it stick for more than just a few days or weeks?

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 As outlined in my recently released book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life, there are three steps you can follow to live a more meaningful life:

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Step1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.

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Step 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.

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Step 3: Live your mission 24/7.

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 In this newsletter, I am going to cover the third step, aimed at helping those who have already decided to make a set of specific improvements in their life (step 1) and have written them down in the form of a New Year ‘s resolution (step 2). In future newsletters, I will come back to the first and second steps.

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 Think of your recently drafted New Year’s resolution as the script for a three-act play to live your mission 24/7.

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 Act 1 is about setting a specific day and time of the week to plan the following week’s tasks and review the previous week’s activities. I prefer to do this on Sunday evenings, after the weekend activities are over and I am thinking about what I want to accomplish the following week. Schedule in your electronic calendar or physical agenda a 30-minute appointment with yourself, for the next 52 weeks. If Sundays are not good for you, then try Monday mornings. The important thing is to schedule this 30-minute session for the next 52 weeks.

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 In Act 2, you actually hold these 30-minute planning and review sessions. I recommend you start simple and gradually become more sophisticated with the type and amount of activities you plan. Three things to cover in these sessions:

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  • Review your recently drafted New Year’s resolution and determine which one area you will execute during the following week.
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  • Pick the one new activity you will do differently next week. For example, if you committed to lose weight in 2013, you can commit to exercise or watch your food intake. Whatever you pick, I suggest you start small and simple versus trying to aim for a full-fledged exercise program and a hard-core diet. What about walking 15 minutes before breakfast, at your lunch break, or when you return home in the evening? How about adding a new and nutritious food to one of your meals during the week? Remember, it’s more important to create a routine that you can maintain for the rest of the year rather than attempting to achieve fast results.
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  • Starting with the second session, review if what you scheduled to do the previous week actually happened. Say you committed to eat one new food in the week that is ending. Review if you delivered on your commitment or not. If you did, congratulations! You are on your way to living your mission 24/7. If you didn’t, then analyze what happened and give it a second try the next week. Remember to take baby steps first.
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 In Act 3, you allocate the first five minutes of each day to glance at both your New Year’s resolution and your weekly plan to determine what specific activity you will execute that day. If you committed to walk 15 minutes every day, then this is the time to decide if this walk will happen before breakfast, at lunchtime or in the evening.

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This combination of weekly-daily sessions should increase the odds of living your New Year’s resolution 24/7, and as a result, allow you to live a more meaningful life.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the American businessman and inventor Thomas Edison:  “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Persevere in trying to execute your 2013 resolution. As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.

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Announcing my new book: The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life (#1)

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Announcing my new book: The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life

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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Percy Cannon International’s monthly newsletter.

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Who is Percy Cannon? Let me introduce myself. I spent 27 years working for three multinational companies (Procter & Gamble, IBM and Microsoft), living in seven cities and five countries, covering several consumer and informational technology categories and markets in Latin America and worldwide. I am married and a proud father of three kids and the grandfather to three beautiful girls. I am a passionate runner and reader (especially of self-help topics), and can communicate in Spanish (native), English and Portuguese.

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Last year I decided to leverage my nearly three decades of professional experience to help corporations succeed and enable businesspeople to thrive at work and in their personal lives. Of the different roles I performed at work, people development was the one I enjoyed the most, so much so that last year I quit my job at Microsoft to start a second career around it.

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Let me ask you three questions:

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  • Do you feel that achieving professional success is taking too great a toll on your personal life? This is commonly referred to as not having a good work and life balance.
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  • Are you letting business priorities define what is important in your life?
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  • Is there something in your personal life that is hindering your success at work?
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If you answered yes to any of these questions, I invite you to learn more about how I can add value to your life.

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The first way is for you to read my recently released book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life. In this life-changing book, I reveal my philosophy of how to live a more meaningful life in three easy-to-understand steps:

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•            Step1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.

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•            Step 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.

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•            Step 3: Live your mission 24/7.

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Learn more about the book and the praise it’s receiving by clicking here.  Also, for the month of December only, I am offering a 10% discount. Take advantage of this special introductory offer for the holidays. Order your book(s) here using the following discount code: YB8B4FJH.

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A second way I can help you is by the valuable free content I offer online, through my webcasts, blog, articles, this newsletter and other tools. Check my websites, www.cannonbalance.com and www.thebusinessapostolate.com, for the latest content. New content is added regularly, so to ensure you don’t miss anything important, come back and visit often.

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A third way I can add value, especially for businesses, is through my custom-designed programs, like speaking engagements, professional coaching (individual or as a group), seminars, workshops, etc. Join other top companies, such as Microsoft, that have already benefited from my programs and have received very positive feedback from participants. Getting started is easy; just click here to contact me to discuss your needs.

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I would like to establish an open dialogue between us, so I encourage you to use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues. I plan to cover such areas as increasing accountability, drafting your mission statement, and developing the self-discipline to accomplish your life priorities. I look forward to exchanging ideas with you, but if at any time you wish to stop receiving these newsletters, please click on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of this page.

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I want to close this first newsletter with a quote from the British scholar and novelist C.S. Lewis:  “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Why not allocate a few minutes of your busy agenda to assess how you could enhance your life—at work and in your personal roles? As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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Percy M. Cannon

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