Tag Archives: Book

How Important Will Your Family Be in 2014?

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How Important Will Your Family Be in 2014?

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By now, most of you will have received several “Happy New Year’s” wishes. Have you paused to define what will make 2014 a happier and more successful year for you?

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In 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 discussed how to assess what did and did not work well in your life during 2013.

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This month I will start with family. Why? Because based on both my own personal experience and observations, family tends to be the No. 1 answer when we are asked about our top priority in life. Unfortunately, we don’t always reflect this in the way we live our lives. As the saying goes: “Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.”

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Here are a few suggestions and tips on how you can “walk the talk” about family:

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1. Learn from the wisdom of others. On New Year’s Day, I reviewed a list of inspirational quotes and sayings with family and friends. We analyzed several of them and generated many insights that fed our priority-decision process for 2014 and beyond. One of them, for example, reaffirmed the importance of setting specific goals for the year and of having a system to track their progress regularly. I suggest you follow a similar exercise with your family. Here is a list of family-related quotes to get you started:

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  • As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live. —Pope John Paul II
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  • A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.—Charles Swindoll
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  • The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.—Henry Ward Beecher
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  • In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony. —Eva Burrows
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  • A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another.—Buddha
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  • Disorder in the society is the result of disorder in the family.—St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
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  • There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home thar all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained. —Winston Churchill
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  • Your responsibility as parents is to ensure your children meet you in Heaven. —F. Hesburgh
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2. Learn from best practices of happy families. What can you learn? Here are some examples that I have learned by observing throughout the years what happy families do:

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  • Respect your elders: I learned this from the way my parents treated their mothers.
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  • Practice open (and respectful) communication: Openness is key, but in a respectful way.
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  • Family gatherings are still important: I am comforted to still find families who get together on Sundays, with up to four generations present.
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  • Pray as a family: You may have heard the phrase “The family that prays together stays together.” I started this practice when I was transitioning between jobs. It truly helped unite my family during a difficult period in our lives.
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3. Commit to a plan. What is the one thing you will do differently during 2014 to improve your family life? Involve all family members in the decision. Once agreed, set up a recurring reminder in your cell phone or post a sign on a visible place at home. Start now.

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In the next newsletter, I will share suggestions to improve your professional role in 2014. Stay tuned!

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I want to close this newsletter with two quotes on the importance of family. The first one is from Thomas Jefferson: “The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.” The second one is from Zig Ziglar, motivational author and speaker: “People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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I want to remind you that you have until end of January to purchase my book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life, with a promotional 25% discount for newsletter readers. Just click here and enter code X7UD2CN5. It can make a nice New Year’s gift for relatives, friends, co-workers, or customers.

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.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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How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 1 of 3) (#9)

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How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 1 of 3)

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Is achieving professional success taking too high a toll on your personal life? Is there something in your personal life that is not allowing you to do your best at work? Do you feel like you’re living your life based on someone else’s priorities? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the solution lies in defining your mission in life.

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Defining your mission in life starts with defining your values. Do you know what your values are? The definition of values from Dictionary.com is “relative worth, merit, or importance.” If somebody close to you was asked, based on the way you behave in life, what your values are, what would that person say? What are your behaviors communicating to those around you? Get ready for a potential “Aha” moment. For example, it is not unusual to claim that family represents our No. 1 value in life, but our behaviors may say otherwise, if you are placing work or other relationships before family. I suggest you ask a close friend or family member what she/he believes your top 5 to 10 values in life are.

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The second step in defining your mission in life is deciding what are the top 5 to 10 values you want to live your life by? Think in future terms. Think about the kind of values that you want a person close to you to mention after you have died. How will you be remembered? What values would you like to be included in your epitaph? One way to create this list is by looking at those people who have touched your life in a meaningful way and pinpointing which values they stood by. These people could be your spouse, parents, relatives, teachers, co-workers, or any public or historical person. If you would rather pick from a larger list, you can leverage the several online resources on this topic. One which I found particularly useful is www.stevepavlina.com/articles/list-of-values.htm. It provides a long list of value terms from which you can prioritize and eventually come up with your short list.

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The third step is to analyze and compare the two previous lists: Any major surprises? Any adjustments you want to make to your list of “desired values”? You should feel fairly comfortable with the resulting list, as it represents the set of “non-negotiable” behaviors you will commit to live your life by. It represents the essence of your mission statement.

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This leads us to the final step I want to cover in this newsletter: Write a first draft of your mission statement that is based on the refined list of values from the previous paragraph. Don’t feel compelled to look for examples from other people. Just write down what feels like a good description of the kind of person you want to be thought of by the end your life. Review this first draft as often as needed until you feel comfortable with it.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the American writer Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born. . . and the day you find out why.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will share further tips and insights on how to expand your mission statement to include your key roles and goals in life. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\r\nwww.cannonbalance.com\r\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.\r\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\r\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.

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