How mentally strong people use solitude

1. Learn how to appreciate silence.

It’s as simple as turning off the outside noise, namely electronics. “Today’s digital world means we have the opportunity to be constantly surrounded by noise,” Morin said. “Our electronics help us stay constantly connected, and it often takes extra effort to find a few quiet minutes each day.”
Once you’re comfortable in a completely silent environment, you can begin using it to your advantage.

2. Take a few minutes every day to be alone with your thoughts.

“For many , slowing down seems like a waste of time,” she said. “But our brains need a chance to process what’s going on around us.”
All it takes is finding 10 minutes each day to allow your brain to relax and process the day, Morin said. With time, you likely won’t feel that you’re being unproductive.

3. Schedule a date with yourself at least once a month.

Why not use your alone time to do something you love? “Time alone doesn’t have to be lonely,” she said. “It could be the key to getting to know yourself better.”
Make a reservation for one at your favorite restaurant, or go on a hike. “Just be sure to silence your phone and treat yourself with the same respect you’d give someone else,” she said.

4. Learn how to meditate to quiet your mind.

Meditation benefits your body and your mind, Morin said. Learning to meditate intensely can take time, but she offers a simple, three-step beginners guide in her book:

  1. Sit in a relaxed and comfortable position that allows you to keep your spine straight.
  2. Focus on taking deep, slow breaths, and “really feel your breath as you inhale and exhale.”
  3. Return consciousness to your breath because “your mind will wander and thoughts will enter your mind.”

5. Practice mindfulness skills to focus on one task at a time.

“The more you practice, the more you’ll become fully aware, and fully awake, throughout all your daily activities,” Morin writes. It takes practice to focus on activities as simple as eating or brushing your teeth.
But we need to take a step back and refocus our attention spans. “Eventually, you can learn to train your mind to stop replaying what you did yesterday or worrying about what you need to get done tomorrow,” she said.

6. Start a journal to sort out your emotions.

A daily journal can help you interpret your emotions and identify and manage your stress, Morin said. Basically, it’s a chance to vent on paper, rather than to a family member or friend.
Just a few sentences each day about what you did or how you’re feeling can help you stay on track, and it “often promotes healing, sparks creativity, and strengthens your resolve to reach your goals,” she said.

7. Reflect on your progress and goals daily.

“Long-term goals require you to have healthy habits that you practice on a daily basis,” Morin said. And “reflecting on your goals every day can help remind you of why you want to reach them.”
In addition to evaluating what is going well and what needs improvement, this can also be a great time to set new goals for the future.

#business, #people

What every professional should do before turning 30

do before turning 30:

1. Quit a dud job.

“Life’s too short to stay in a job you hate, and your 20s are the time to take that kind of a risk,” says Kate Swoboda, creator of the Courageous Coaching Training Program.
Swoboda suggests you swap your dead-end job for a salaried position that you like better or start working for yourself.
“And before you think that you can’t work for yourself, remember: this is the digital age, and anyone with the right amount of heart, hustle, and patience can make a living online,” she says.

2. Get fired.

“Getting fired early on can be a brutally tough life experience, but it can serve as a huge wake-up call for change if there was a performance issue,” Michael Kerr, author of “The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank,” told ## Insider.
Getting this out of the way in your 20s could also alert you to being on the wrong career path and teach you to develop the skills necessary to always have a viable back-up plan, he said.

3. Learn to own your time.

Proper time management is a skill you should have down by the time you hit 30, says Barry S. Saltzman, a business strategy expert and CEO of Saltzman Enterprise Group.
You may get away with being all over the place as an intern, but it’s not cute when you’re leading the team and you can’t get your own act together.
Time is money, Saltzman points out, and no company will be happy with needlessly wasted money. “Learning by 30 what makes you efficient is important to , and beyond that, improved efficiency makes you look a lot better in the eyes of your superiors.”

4. Write a simple vision statement.

“You’ve got to know where you want to go if you want to get there,” Swoboda says.
Your vision statement needn’t be a long manifesto, she explains. You simply need to capture the “why” of what you do.
You can hone in on your vision statement by answering: “How do I want to feel when I go into work each day?” “How does my work positively impact my life or the lives of others?” and “What feels satisfying about this line of work?”
Flickr/daniel sandoval

5. Craft an engaging .

Now that you understand your vision, figure out how you’d explain it to others.
“Sharing that you’re a copywriter or that you work in finance is fine and dandy, but it doesn’t make you stand out or inspire people to want to ask you follow-up questions,” explains Michelle Ward, a creative career coach and co-author of “The Declaration of You!”
Instead, when people inquire about what you do, answer with your “what,” “who,” and “how.” Don’t be afraid to mention what you’re passionate about, the types of people you help, and what you do for them specifically, she says.
When Ward introduces herself, she tells people that she offers dream career guidance for creative women. “That way, the person listening can connect with what I’m saying or introduce me to any creative women they know who are looking for dream career guidance,” she says.

6. Become an expert.

“By the time 30 rolls around, you owe it to yourself to know what you can do,” Saltzman says.
“From both a professional standpoint and a branding standpoint, being an expert in a particular field is more important than I can say.”
His advice: Avoid being a jack-of-all-trades and put the effort in early to become extraordinary at something.

7. Keep a ‘win book.’

This is a place where you store all the compliments you receive about your work and your wins and accomplishments, Ward explains.
“By keeping it all in one place, you’ll be able to articulate what you do well, how you add value, and what you accomplish,” she says.
Your win book doesn’t need to be tangible. Ward says she uses #evernote to copy and paste the niceties she gets over email.
Next time your work review rolls around or you need to write a cover letter, you can pull out the book for some inspiration.
Flickr user Nicole April

8. Send an email to someone you admire.

Whether the person you admire wrote your favorite book, changed the corporate culture in a company for the better, or has shown corporations how they can use their profit for good, Swoboda suggests you reach out and tell them why you appreciate what they’re up to.
“Often, people hesitate to send a note like this because they assume that it won’t be read, but you’d be surprised how often a leader in her field will appreciate the gesture and respond with a thank-you.”

9. Pitch and lead a passion project.

Whether you dream of leading the annual corporate retreat or having a lunchtime book club, Ward suggests you ask yourself what would make your workday more enjoyable and meaningful. Then go for it.
Your workplace dream could even reflect your future career goals or transitions, she says, like offering to plan the holiday party if you want to try your hand at event planning.
If you’re not sure your boss would go for it, she suggests putting everything together on your own time. “Remember that it still counts as experience for your résumé!”

10. Pay it forward.

Your 20s are usually focused on getting ahead, Swoboda says, while your 30s are all about giving back.
“Instead of holding all your best ideas close to your chest so that you can privately pitch them to the boss, share them in a meeting,” she suggests. When coworkers complain about a problem, ask, “How can I help?” And don’t be afraid to acknowledge the work of others in front of higher-ups.
“Trust me when I say that it’s what people will remember you for, and it’s the best return on investment around for your career.”
Vancouver Film School/Flickr

11. Become a master communicator.

“Sadly, a lot of people don’t take the time to improve their communication skills, and their career trajectory suffers because of it,” Saltzman says.
By 30 you should be able to iterate ideas efficiently and accurately, and poor written skills are simply inexcusable, he says. “Everything you say or write is representative of you as a person, so why settle for poor writing?”

12. Take control of your social media presence.

“Don’t let your personal account speak to potential employers or clients for you,” Ward says.
To make sure you’re in control of how you’re perceived online, she suggests setting up a blog, an page, and updating your profile.

13. Embrace conflict.

“Conflict is everywhere, so there’s no excuse not to learn to handle it,” Saltzman says. “Where many shy away from different issues, embracing them and taking the time to solve them improves efficiency for everyone involved.”

#business, #facebook, #linkedin

The government is expanding its growth investment programme

The government is expanding its growth investment programme

The government has announced plans to expand the Growth Deals programme with an extra £1 billion of investment in local economies

The Growth Deals programme combines all the funding provided by the government to England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – including allowances for infrastructure, housing and social improvement – into one single lump sum, thus giving each LEP more control over where they invest their funding.

The LEPs operation has been a great success since its inception in 2011. and local authorities in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Greater Manchester, Leeds City Region, North Eastern, Sheffield City Region, and West of were the first to get ‘city deals’ in 2012, while Growth Deals were first announced in July last year.

It is believed that the devolution of powers and amalgamation of funding provided to LEPs will help them to target the areas that require the most attention, and thus help not only the local community, but also the country’s economy as a whole.

Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all,” said Prime Minister .

“That’s what Growth Deals are all about, backing local people and investing in the infrastructure, housing and skills that will drive forward local economies, create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people and supercharge all parts of our country.”

A number of projects have already been announced, many of which will benefit businesses: Greater Birmingham and Solihull are investing £8.7 million in training facilities to tackle the skills shortages problem; A total of £25 million has been raised to fund the creation of a National Maritime Systems Centre of Excellence in Portsmouth, which will improve the nation’s maritime capabilities and exports; Nottingham University will develop a £5 million Institute for Advanced Manufacturing.

The government predicts that over 400,000 jobs could be created, according to the Growth Deals interactive map.

“This expansion of Growth Deals with another £1 billion of projects is very welcome and a further vote of confidence in LEPs and in the importance of local decisions setting the priorities for #economic growth,” said Alex Pratt, Chair of the LEP Network Management Board. “The partnership of local business and local authorities continues to strengthen as more responsibilities are passed to them and LEPs remain focused on delivering these projects for the benefit of local communities.”

Businesses will also benefit from proposed investment in housing, broadband and infrastructure as jobs are created, travel is improved and internet access becomes faster and more reliable.

February 2015

#business, #david-cameron, #england, #member-of-parliament, #united-kingdom