Your impact is your trademark!

I saw this quote today and it filled me with inspiration.  I hope it does the same for you.  Be a spark in the world!

“Your smile is your logo. Your personality is your business card. How you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark”. -Jay Danzie

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How to Jump Start Your Day

I love ritual.  It helps to get you moving when you are thinking slow an keeps you on schedule when you aren’t feeling motivated. As a student of personal development I’ve often read that the most important times of the day for a person to control, if they want to be effective, are the periods right after waking and right before going to sleep.

There is no one right way to start or end your day, YOU have to decide that. Some people like to exercise in the morning, others prefer evening, some like to focus on gratitude first thing, others right before going to bed. Experiment and see what works best for you, or think back in your life and see if any patterns emerge.

For me I’ve always been in the best shape when I exercise in the morning. This is mostly because once my day gets going, I always find something more important to do, but if I do it early in the morning I am able to keep it as a priority.

Although I don’t structure my day exactly like Benjamin Hardy, I think his article gives an interesting jumping off point for anyone trying to figure out how to structure their mornings.

This is what my mornings look like:

6:00am: Wake up, say something positive and uplifting to myself (such as “what a glorious day”) and take my dog for a walk.

6:30am: Spend 5-minutes visualizing an exciting moment in my future (writing a big check to a charity of my choice or walking through my next house), 5-minutes repeating out loud a single sentence that aligns me with my professional goals, 5-minutes repeating out loud a single sentence that aligns me with my spiritual goals (15-minutes total)

6:45am: Exercise for 30-45 minutes

7:30am: Take a shower (I’m going to add cold water to it after reading Benjamin’s article!) and make myself a cold-press green juice

8:00am: Read 10-pages of an inspiring or educational book

And that’s about when being a mom kicks in for me…my little one is usually awake by the time I’m done with all that. If I’m lucky I might write a blog post before she’s up, but not usually.

By the way, something that I find helps me stay on track A LOT is to write the schedule above into my planner.  EVERY SINGLE DAY.  When these things become an appointment, you are much more likely to do them!  If you fail to plan then you plan to fail (attributed to Ben Franklin.)

I’d love to hear what your morning or evening routines look like.  I’ll blog about my evening routine another day!

Be a spark in the world!

Book Review: The Leader in You

The Leader in You: how to win friends, influence people and succeed in a changing world, Stuart R. Levine and Michael A. Crom, Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Ironically I read this book thinking it was the Dale Carnegie classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. “The Leader in You” has been tumbling around in my library for decades without a dust jacket, lettering on the spine worn beyond comprehension. I’m not sure how it came into my collection, although I’m guessing it was a gift from my father who loves to give me personal development and health and nutrition books. Too bad it took me this long to get to some of them!

This book is full of wonderful nuggets and stories to help you be a better leader. Every chapter begins with an appropriately illustrative anecdote from Dale Carnegie himself, and is supported by everyday leaders from other companies (some famous, others not) of how this concept has helped them to lead their own organizations.

An excellent primer on the field of leadership, the authors provide a broad overview of all the qualities a leader needs to master in a concise and brief way. This book could be the basis of 6-months study in order to delve more deeply into each chapter, however, the overall theme is that a true leader is one who is interested in others and able to truly empathize with them. This concept takes up the first half the book. The second half of the book centers around how to be an effective communicator (a positive attitude goes a long way) and that it is just as important what you choose NOT to say as what you do say.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to become a better leader, communicator or networker. At only 227-pages this book fits in a lot of solid information. While not the most entertaining book to read, it makes up in conciseness what it lacks in flow. I will definitely be re-reading this book again in the near future. You can purchase this book here.

Enjoy and be a spark in the world!