When You’re Smiling!

“ Smile , it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.”

Anthony J. D’Angelo

Back from Florida ahead of Hurricane Wilma, I asked my teenage son what he thought I should write about this time and he said ‘doughnuts’. I explained that although I found the topic an intriguing one (my mind immediately leaping to how I could link this into an interesting piece), it really needed to be more relevant to what I do, not what he would like to be doing! So his next suggestion was ‘Smiling’.

I nearly dismissed this until I remembered that while I had been working on the fourth module of my e-course today the topic of smiling had come up. It was in the context of self-confidence and how to develop it, in this case by meeting people with a smile and a friendly manner so as to engage and interest them. By asking people about themselves and really listening to their answers with a smile, not only will they feel comfortable and pleased to be around you, but your confidence will grow with each encounter. You will be remembered as much for your smile as who you are and what you do. As long as the smile is genuine and you use eye-contact you will come across as friendly and approachable – and confident. Smiling is such a powerful tool.

I couldn’t leave it there, so did a search on Google and came up with the following:

More facts about smiling

• A smile is a universal expression of happiness and recognized as such by all cultures

• A smile is the most frequently used facial expression It takes as few as five pairs of facial muscles and as many as all 53 to smile

• Regardless of the precise number of muscles used, smiling causes far fewer muscles to contract and expand than frowning

• Smiling releases endorphins and makes us feel better

• Even ‘faking’ a smile can lead to feeling happier

• People are born with the ability to smile (They don’t copy the expression, even babies who are born blind, smile)

• Babies reserve special smiles (Duchenne smiles of joy and happiness) for their loved ones

• A newborn shows a preference for a smiling face over a non-smiling face

• Women smile more than men

• Younger people smile more than older people. American males with high testosterone smile least of all.

• There are 18 different kinds of smile used in a variety of social situations

• Human beings can differentiate between the ‘felt’ (Duchenne) smile (of joy and happiness) and the social smile – ‘it’s in the eyes’ (literally)

• A smiling person is judged to be more pleasant, attractive, sincere, sociable, and competent than a non-smiling person

• A person who studies laughter is called a ‘gelotologist’

From www.raisingkids.co.uk

Can smiling help you to move forwards? Are you lacking in confidence and afraid to be noticed? Practice smiling. Think of what you can ask people about themselves and jot down some notes. Try it out on a family member, friend or a colleague that you trust. Think about those people who seem to always have a smile and a word for others. How do they make you feel? You can be like that too.

You can choose to be permanently grumpy or you can choose to cheer up and smile! Have you been putting off the smiles? By smiling you will be releasing endorphins in your brain which will make you feel better (see above). You can even trick your brain into believing you feel good by getting that smile on your face, even if you don’t feel like it yet. Do it long enough and you won’t have to fake it.

One of my favorite exercises is to have a ‘Smile Day’. From the moment I get up I decide that I am going to smile at everyone I see. It doesn’t matter if I know them or not, I will still smile, and often say ‘Hello’. It is amazing how many people will smile back. Sometimes you don’t get one in return, but most people are delighted to return it to you. By the end of the day I am much more happy and positive than when I started.

What makes you happy? What do you like doing? Where can you include more of this in your life?

Try and smile at at least one stranger each day. For the less confident this could be a challenge – but you can do it!

Happiness comes from many sources, including expressing ourselves creatively. What are you going to do this week to express yourself? I have planned a whole day of crafting, as I have been putting that on the back seat for quite a while. You don’t need to commit to a whole day, just what you can.

A smile costs nothing, however it brings great richness to the recipient

Getting In The Zone: 5 Strategies To Help You Keep Focus, Be Calm and Perform Under Pressure

Setting a strong foundation – repetition, repetition, repetition.

One of the most effective ways to increase your performance in anything is simply by turning up and practicing! This may sound extremely obvious but it can be discounted far too often. Some people want all the glory but are not willing to put in the time to achieve it. So repetition, repetition, repetition cannot be overlooked as it’s the cornerstone of executing the task in hand.

Moving practice to performance

With a strong foundation in practice, our next task is to convert that to the match or performance. A classic example is the musician. They practice for many years in their bedroom to then hopefully one day play to hundreds or thousands of people. Their next step is to then move that playing to the stage.

The paradox of performance

Let’s just quickly address one area that can cause many people to trip over when trying to perform at their best. Always wanting to perform at perfect standards can cause problems if it’s not addressed and managed. We want to create an environment in which we push for our best performances, aim for a high level/standard, but have a heavy level of perspective whilst doing it. So if we have a bad day at work or at the session, we can quickly turn ourselves back around and get back to it.

Taking off the pressure

One of the most effective ways to take the pressure off yourself is to simmer the amount of focus on yourself. This is a little paradoxical, but the best way to do it is to focus on your main mission. Some performers, instead of focusing so much on themselves, switch their focus to entertain the crowd; giving them a great evening or offering a product or performance that can impact their lives. This can be especially helpful for entrepreneurs. When they focus on their overall mission, it can help keep them on track when the challenges come. It helps to alleviate the pressure THEY PUT ON THEMSELVES!

So let’s take a look at ten techniques that you can apply in any pressurised situation:

  • Visualisation – visualisation plays a huge part for many athletes and performers. Simply put, it’s the ability to visualise the desired outcome you would like by mentally running through your performance, bit by bit. This is a great technique for many golfers, basketball players, musicians etc – they clearly visualise the outcome they would like. A study by Edmund Jacobson proved how effective visualisation truly is with a set of basketball players. Check it out! http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/article/244
  • Movement – your physical body (the way you position your body). Resetting your posture under pressure can massively affect your performance. Take Cristiano Ronaldo’s body positioning when he steps up to take a free kick. With Ronaldo being a ‘J’ shape kicker (direction of the kick) he inputs greater power into the ball in the direction of the kick. His upright posture gives him a ‘power’ stance that can also add huge mental benefits. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has done some phenomenal work on body language and how it effects our testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. Fascinating! http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
  • Meditation – in any pressurised situation, being able to regulate your thoughts and emotions is huge. Meditation can be a great tool to keep your emotions and impulses at bay in performance. Restful alertness is the key here: with training we become more and more aware of our thoughts and emotions. Therefore, we can respond more effectively in high performance.
  • Language – reframing the situation – a healthy way to increase your performance is the way you shape the situation. Many performers still feel nerves before aperformance, but it’s how they manage and use it to their advantage that is the key. Mike Tyson before many of his boxing fights would be extremely nervous, but his coach would say: “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters”.
  • ‘There are many opportunities’ – think about how many times you have to get it right. The band Coldplay got turned down by over 20 record companies but they kept going. You will have other opportunities if you put yourself out there and keep on being proactive. The irony is you feel less pressure knowing there will be other opportunities.

These are five of many strategies you can begin to develop in your arena. Start with one and see how it can help with your development and training.

Step into your greatness today!

Bio:
Musician, teacher and life coach, Daniel Rutter is on a mission to help people find their own greatness across the globe. Whether its increasing performance, having better relationships, finding your purpose in life or finding the happiness you want, Danny has developed the tools needed to help each individual awaken their own greatness.
Find out more here:

How Ready Are You To Take On New Challenges Of 2017?

The as the New Year unfolds, we leave behind the worries and challenges of 2016 but bring the lessons we learned with us.

The year 2017 is another chance for us to create a story in the new chapter of our lives. This is the time to discover new things and explore new possibilities. However, along with new opportunities, 2017 is also a year full of new challenges. So let me ask you, how ready are you to take on the challenges of 2017?

If you not sure yet if are ready for the challenges, here are some simple tips all of us can make use of to prepare ourselves as the New Year starts.

Have Some Time For Self-Reflection

We don’t need to be in hurry all the time. When times get tough, sometimes, we just need to stop and ponder. Set aside time for self-evaluation. This is the time where we ask ourselves several questions with can help us determine your personal mission and our state of mind.

Self-reflection is especially useful when we are at our lowest and darkest time. We have to go to the deeper part of our soul to re-evaluate our goals. What we will discover about ourselves will help us come up with a set of rules and guidelines on how we are going to face the challenges ahead of us.

Be Creative

This year, it is time to think differently. Oftentimes, tough challenges need a non-traditional solution. You just have to summon your creativity and innovativeness.

Let us try to look at adversities at different angles. Maybe it is not as difficult as it may seem. Maybe it’s our approach that makes them difficult. Start from simple things and practice creativity. A simple garage makeover for our new home will help us exercise our creativity. It would be easier for us to think outside the box if we start from our simple daily activities.

It Is Ok To Let Go

There is a time that the best solution to overcome challenges is to let go and adapt. Overcoming challenges does not necessarily mean that we have to push our hardest to take control of the situation, there are times that we just have to go with the flow and let things happen.

When things go out of control and let us allow things to happen naturally, and more likely, things will work out better. Letting go means freeing ourselves from unnecessary sufferings which can bring us to a more peaceful life.

Chase Success But Be Guided By Your Happiness

Success is not as fulfilling as it may be when we are not happy. We’ve seen this in movies, people who gave up everything in life to chase success but in the end, they ended up still unhappy. Success and happiness should be on the same page to find fulfillment in life.

To be happier this 2017, we need to chase success as guided by where we will be happy. We want to achieve our dreams but chasing for our dreams won’t be easy. There will be trials, but what is important is that we chase our dreams because that is where our happiness is. And whenever there is happiness, there lies our success.

Last Words

None of us have an idea what lies ahead as this year starts but it doesn’t matter whether we have different struggles to take. We need to face it whether we like it or not and the outcome really depends on how well we handle the situation.

The tips mentioned above are just a few tips which could help us get a head start but what we can do is not limited. It is still up to us on how we approach every situation. What is important is that we learn from them and we keep our heads up as we face every challenge that comes.

From  : PICK THE BRAIN

Building Confidence – Prepare For Success

Nowadays, a person requires confidence to be able to handle all of life’s challenges. Without it, you can feel inadequate and unimportant.

If you look around, you will observe that confidence is very important and needed in relationships, careers and parenting. Building confidence is a continuous and long process, starting from the moment you first walked.

Confidence is not something that a person is born with. It comes from within a person’s desire for self-improvement, encouragement and belief of other people and accomplishments or achievements.

You might think that there are people who are born with a level of confidence that is enviable. You would be surprised at how hard they have worked to become that confident.

There are effective ways to build confidence. Here are some great tips that you should consider.

1. Find a role model that you could learn from. Having an actual person to look up to would make it easier and realistic for you. Make sure you find out how they became confident and what the factors are, which influenced that person’s confidence level.

2. Consider your achievements and accomplishments. They would help build up your confidence faster.

3. Learn to act confidently. If you do this, thinking and feeling confident would soon follow.

4. Being well-prepared is one of the reasons why confident people stay confident. Nothing destroys confidence more effectively than being caught unprepared.

5. Continually work on your skills. You will be surprised at how confident you will feel when you know you possess the right skills and talents.

6. Learn to relax. To build confidence, you should know how to compose your self and relax. Some people believe that by relaxing, you will be able to fell more confident. On the other hand, if you did not relax, you will feel unprepared.

7. Don’t set yourself up for disappointments. Building confidence would be easier if you set realistic goals. If you feel confident enough to move forward, make sure you do it slowly.

8. Give yourself a pat on the back everytime you succeed in one of the goals you have set for yourself. By congratulating yourself, you learn about personal limitations and expectations.

Again, building confidence is not something that can be achieved overnight. If you experience some setbacks, you should charge it to experience and always learn from your mistakes. By not being hard on yourself, you will be able to genuinely build your confidence.