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3 Keys to Build Better Workplace Morale

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Did you know October 7 is "Worldwide Smile Day?"
Smile day is celebrated on the first Friday of October, dedicating twenty-four hours to smiling and acts of community kindness. Why? In a "bad news" world, a little dose of joy goes a long way. Gretchen Rubin certainly believes this.
From outside perspectives, Rubin lived a marvelously successful life. She had a good marriage, a thriving writing career (formerly a Yale graduate clerk to Sandra Day O'Connor), a warm relationship with in-laws, and two lovely daughters. But in 2006, Rubin realized something was missing. She had a mild case of "the blues," a below-the-surface irritableness she couldn't shake. While she was generally happy, Rubin struggled to enjoy happiness each day.
"Did I havea heart to be contented? No, not particularly. I had a tendency to be discontented: ambitious, dissatisfied, fretful, and tough to please . . . (It was) easier to complain than to laugh, easier to yell than t…

The Enduring Impact of Print

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The 1960s gave us many iconic classic cars, but perhaps none is more legendary than the Aston Martin driven by James Bond (Sean Connery) in the 1964 film, Goldfinger.
A long list of tricks made it one of the most beloved movie cars of all time: machine guns, an ejector seat, smoke screens, and a futuristic onboard navigational system. Bond's reputation as a suave man of action and a smart connoisseur of fine things rocketed Aston Martin to popularity as one of the most desirable automobile brands in the world. The car was so beloved it was later stolen from a Florida airport hanger and is reportedly worth nearly 10 million today.
Vintage. Classic. Irreplaceable.
Those are some of the words we associate with things that are original, things that set the "status quo," and that just can't be shattered or ignored. Today's generation is manifesting a hunger for the authentic, and a desire for craftsmanship is at the forefront. In an age of identity theft, cheap c…

Plug In to the Power of Personal Reflection

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Sometimes life is like a treadmill.
Occasionally you're on a calm jog and the belt speed never outpaces your strides. Sometimes, you push yourself to the limit but find the challenge ideal. But in certain seasons, the treadmill is moving too fast to handle. You long to step back from the grind, but this seems like an impossible luxury.
It's ok to press pause. It's actually GREAT to press pause. Often in our battle for success, we never stop to address broken systems in our home, health, or careers. Simple adjustments might bring substantially better output, but we rarely prioritize personal maintenance. The decision is yours: will you make time to reflect and adjust or continue relentlessly until life dumps you in a heap?
Take Time to Press Pause.
Once you've slowed down (yes, really slowed down!) what should you do?
Perhaps you should begin with a simple pleasure (a walk, coffee treat, or nap?) to allow your mind to unwind. Then consider an intentional approach to refl…

How to Mobilize People Through Powerful Writing

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“Darkest Hour,” a 2017 war drama film, devotes its narrative to the early days of British prime minister Winston Churchill, who rallied a nation against the merciless Nazi onslaught of World War II.
The film chronicles Churchill’s authentic, soul-stirring speeches and the Shakespearean gusto with which he delivered words like these: "Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"
Though the world still heralds Churchill’s heroic statements, few people knew that Churchill overcame a lisp in his childhood by practicing his enunciation. Churchill understood the power of words early in life, and historians estimated that he spent one hour working on each individual minute of a speech he gave! Churchill sought to portray England’s struggle in a larger historical context: good outlasting evil, hope to overshadow the impossible,…

Pure Happiness: How to Reduce the Impact of Negative People in Your Life

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It is practically impossible to completely cut negative people from your life, but there are some steps that you can take to help mitigate the damage that they can do.
When you're constantly surrounded by individuals who would rather see a glass half empty, it can begin to take a toll on even the most optimistic of souls. Over time, this wearing down of your positive exterior can grow and spread -- until you find that you're the one who has a negativity problem!
Fortunately, there are ways that you can reduce the impact that gloomy people have over your life and simply choose happiness. 
Identifying Negative People
Some negative people exude a black cloud, while others may be a bit more subtle in their darkness.
The first step towards culling negativity from your life is by identifying those individuals who are causing your life to be less-than-happy. Stay on the lookout for people with these traits:
Constant worrying and fretting, often for no reason
Enjoy secrecy or spreading rumor…

Magnets Remind Customers You Care

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Keeping your business top of mind for your customers requires creativity and constant reminders that your goods and services are available.
If you've exhausted your ideas, why not try something that's worked great for pizza and fast food restaurants for years? Sheila M., a local car dealership office manager, decided to leverage printed magnets to drive interest in her business. 
Focus on Community
Keeping the public's interest when there are lots of other businesses attempting to gain attention as well is difficult, to say the least.
Local car dealerships are always looking for a tactic that will place them above the competition in the view of the public. When you show that you care about your audience, you will subconsciously encourage people who view your marketing and advertising to think about your brand in a positive light. As part of her job as office manager, Sheila received a lot of questions about car seats and found herself often helping new parents understand the s…

Why Aesop Would Have Been More Successful Than Bill Gates Today

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An ancient Greek storyteller and fabulist, Aesop is thought to have been a slave who eventually acquired his freedom by reciting clever moral fables involving animals with human characteristics.
Insightful and astonishingly original even today, Aesop's fables continue to delight and educate us with their startling observations of human failings and strengths.
We all know who Bill Gates is--only one of the wealthiest people in the world and founder of Microsoft.
Although Gates is the epitome of the successful businessman, Aesop would have given him a run for his money, so to speak. Aesop's keen intuitiveness into the human psyche would have made him the ultimate inspirational and motivational manager or employee. In fact, Gates may have chosen to work for Aesop instead of running his own business!
Check out these three fables from Aesop and how you can apply their moral teachings to your own business:
The Donkey and the Mule
The owner of both a mule and a donkey loaded them with supp…