Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays and May Love and Health Fulfill Your Life Throughout The Whole Year 2015

Last year, for my Christmas' greetings post, my wishes were that throughout this year, which was approaching its end, love might abound in your life, my life and everyone else's life.

And I said then: "Why love? Because I've found that if there is plenty of love in our lives, everything works wonderfully well, plenty of smiles, hope, kindness, good thoughts and feelings ... good vibes as people say on this side! "

And I embellish my post with the following sentence:

When love abounds in your life, there is not room for selfishness, and that's good!

And how would it be then if you also had great health?

As for this new upcoming year, I will add one more ingredient: Health!

And not only "cheers" as when we offer a toast, but the health of our souls, hearts, and lives itself. I'm sure if in our lives abound these two things, health and love, we'll be able to reach our full capacity to strongly move forward, to conquer our goals and achieve good things for ourselves and all people around us .

Therefore, I'd like to close this year, starting off by thanking for staying on my side, for being there, reading this blog, allowing me to share with you the things that I think, believe and live, and letting me know your opinions and experiences too.

And after doing so, I also want health and love to abound in your life, my life, our lives throughout this holiday season and the New Year 2015!

Surely if love abounds, there is less room for selfishness and that might even help us become better leaders, better co-workers, better partners, better parents .... and that, most certainly, is not bad to start up the year!

Don't you think? :-D

Merry Christmas and Much Prosperity throughout the New Year 2015!

Photo Copyright: Passiflora / 123RF Stock Photo

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Differentiate Yourself By The Value Shared Through Your Conversations.

Differentiate By Adding Real Value.
Last week I read the story shared by one of my favorites writers, Andrés Pérez Ortega, on his blog. In his post, Andrés commented that, during one of his presentations, one attendee questioned him about his outfit not corresponding to the arguments he presented during his speech.

And just as a coincidence, it also happened that during a conversation, a dear friend of mine asked me if including on his LinkedIn profile a background picture related to his industry and what his company did, would help him differentiate from others who also work on the same area.

I told him there wouldn’t be any problem with it, quite the opposite: I said it would add a very nice visual touch to his profile, but also recommended him not to forget that the best strategy to differentiate himself from other professionals within his industry was to provide valuable content across all platforms where he was present, ending up my comment with the phrase that entitles this post.

Never forget that "the suite does not make the man".

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you dress fashionably, have a very “cool” haircut, an expensive suit and a brand name watch, you’ve made your job on taking care of the most important part of your personal brand, because you'll be making a huge mistake .

Obviously creating a professional image is important, but if the way you look on the outside is not synchronized with your most authentic, inner self, then you're simply creating a false image of yourself and people, at any time, will take notice.

Remember that "even though the monkey is all dressed in silk, it’s still a monkey." If what people see is not authentic, at some point they will figure you out.

A while ago, I wrote in this blog that a personal brand should be, on top of everything else, a free and consistent expression of your true self, both personal and professional, without impositions from others.

And it’s a position I defend and will always do my best in keeping: First of all, the image you project about yourself should be perfectly consistent with your most intimate values and opinions, and can not be any other way.

Differentiate Yourself By The Value Shared Through Your Conversations.

What I definitely think should be your preferred way to really stand out from other professionals in your industry or sector, is the depth of your opinions, they way you add value to other people’s lives and businesses, who approach you looking for your advice or recommendations.

And even more through the genuine value you can add to discussions you’re participating in. If that does not happen, if you are not able to add value to anyone's life, if your opinion is nothing but a collection of unconnected dots, and what you say goes unnoticed, well then you can certainly dress the way you want, and wear their hair style of your dreams because you're being just one more on the pile.

A professional who brings value to its environment in an authentic way, is the one who always leaves the deepest impression.

I think there is no greater satisfaction than to help others achieve their goals and doing it by helping them grow and become better people and better entrepreneurs, sharing with them the best you have to offer based on your experience and knowledge.

Only then, I think, you'll be able to strongly and certainly differentiate from other professionals who simply have stayed on the surface and do not dare to take deep dives within their industry.

On top of everything else, we are human beings wearing too many hats.

Not at all moments in my daily life I am the professional guy who writes this blog. I’m also a father of two little angels (or better yet, growing angels), I have a wonderful wife, I'm still the son of my mother, thanks God, brother of my brothers and, besides all, I'm still a human being who wants to stay physically fit, who also goes to walk the dog, taking out the trash, and so many other things.

Can you imagine how my life would be if I also had to worry about dressing in the best way possible when I go out for a ride on my bike? Or when taking out the trash? Can you picture yourself going out to walk your dog on suit and tie?

I think it wouldn’t make any sense, don’t you agree?

Above all, a personal brand should never be a cage that encloses and limits you.

I do agree totally that you have to dress properly and accordingly to the occasion, of course we all do, and it’s also true we have to follow the proper etiquette codes when in professional environments and all other situations which require it. There is no single doubt about it and it's something I'll always recommended you as a key thing to consider.

But from there to consider that the most important thing a person or a professional has to do to build its image properly is what comes through the eyes, there is a long way. Thinking this way just limits yourself from having the opportunity to meet amazing people, to learn a little bit more each and every day.

The real way to differentiate yourself as a professional is to add value to people around you, both professionally and personally, and always be willing to continue growing as a person, learning from others as well.

Only then you will be in a favorable position to leave a deep, authentic and lasting image on your environment, whether it’s professional or personal.

I recommend you to read the following posts on this blog:
What does a Barbie has to do with your personal brand?
Personal Branding Strategy: A Case Study.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How Can You Make A More Effective Use Of The World’s Fastest Processor?

The World's Fastest Processor.
One of the biggest challenges we all face in nowadays’ digital environment is the infinite amount of information that can be accessed through multiple and varied platforms.

Just so you have quite a basic, very simplistic idea, I’d like to share with you some of the facts that happen on the Internet every 60 seconds, that is, every single minute:

  • 88,000 Skype calls are made. 
  • 2.66 million Google searches are performed. 
  • Almost 139 million emails are sent. 
  • People watch around 5 million videos on YouTube.
  • 571 Web pages are created. 
  • 433,000 tweets are sent, and ... 
  • 293,000 status updates are posted in Facebook. 
And keep this in mind: All this happens second after second, day after day... or, as people like to refer to it 24x7x365.

If we were to measure it in Gigas, we would be totally overwhelmed by the number that comes out. Truly shocked!

Can you imagine what would happen if you were to consume all this information, or just a tiny part of it? Your indigestion would be phenomenal and surely would send you straight to the hospital.

Let's start by the beginning: Healthy mind, healthy body. 

I’m quite sure that since you were just a little kid your parents probably repeated this phrase to you too more than once: "Healthy mind, healthy body". Not everything in life is about studying hard but also doing some sports. And it also works the other way around: Not everything in life is getting plenty of exercise, but also nourishing our knowledge"

And most of us have grown with this phrase deep in our minds: "Healthy mind, healthy body". The healthy body side of it, you understand quite easy: Not overdoing it with the food, always trying to maintain a healthy diet, doing some exercising regularly and avoiding bad habits. That’s an easy one. 

But... how do you maintain a "healthy mind"? Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind has to do with the information you consume, what goes in: You have to make sure you only “eat” high quality, healthy information and, of course, don’t overdo it with the amount you consume.

Faced with such an overwhelming flood of information, the most important thing is to choose only the one which is really valuable. 

And that's what I did over the last two weeks: Check thoroughly the sources of information from which I regularly feed myself to only keep those that add value to my life and discard those that do not.

It is an exercise I recommend you to perform as well: Spend a few hours, a few days or a few weeks, to make a thorough review of all sources you have as a reference, the blogs you regularly read, pages you visit, the emails that you receive, and keep only those which encourages, nourishes and enriches you.

Just as your body needs exercising, your brain needs it too. 

Having already checked the quality of the information you consume, then we come to a point perhaps you've never paid attention to, just as it has happened to me: exercising your brain.

If you are an average human being, like most of us, probably you use 99.99% of your brain to processing information: taking training courses, reading books, writing, listening to podcasts, watching tutorials, speaking, listening ... therefore information coming in and going out.

Paying attention, solving problems and building memories are the fundamental operations your brain performs. 

And all this information is being processed by your brain by performing three fundamental tasks: paying attention, problem solving and keeping memories of all information processed, and all this can be done in a flexible way and at such a lighting fast rate that I can not even name it because it’s amazingly fast.

There are plenty of applications that can help you train your brain in these three basic tasks. Some are paid, some others free; some nicer than others. Finally, there is one for everybody.

I chose one called Lumosity (you’ll find the link below) which I feel great with and highly recommend it. It comes with super simple exercises that increase their difficulty level as you go along and develop your own abilities, and so the game can become highly addictive.

But at this point, I invite you to make your own choice. The important thing to keep in mind is that your brain, like the rest of your body, can also be trained on its most elemental tasks and the most impressive thing is that, as you push yourself more, your brain increases its performance. Really an spectacular thing!

And finally: What can we do to take advantage of all that valuable information we would like to read and review, but do not have enough time for it?

Taking your reading speed a little further. 

In my case, there are multiple blogs I read every day, both for my professional and personal lives. Therefore I largely depend on the speed with which I can read all the content available for me everyday.

After carefully checking the quality of all the sources I feed myself from, as I mentioned above, I still have a large list of sites and blogs I’d like to keep visiting regularly. And my concern was: What can I do to process all this information more efficiently and quickly? That's when I stumbled upon the term "Speed Reading".

Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked to read. As an student and a professional, I find reading not only to be an opportunity for continuous learning but also a great way to relax and focus my mind on other things. And surely like you, I thought I was reading at an interesting speed, until I learned I could go a bit further.

Being able to read and process the information we receive faster and more efficiently, is a very valuable skill. 

Similarly, there are multiple platforms and programs that might help you with increasing your reading speed. As always, there are some better than others, and for tastes, colors. I came across one training course named "Super Reading", a very interesting program, with a very simple structure and requires only 7, 30 minute sessions in 7 consecutive days.

In any case, as I indicated to you with training programs for your brain, you can choose the one that better suits you.

I just wanted to share with you today all this information which has been an spectacular discovery for me: how you can make a more effective use of your brain, and faster process all information available in the web, and continue to feed yourself from the vast amount of information which is available through many different venues nowadays.

Below you’ll find the corresponding links to everything I've mentioned above.

What happens on the Internet every 60 seconds? Infographic updated.
Lumosity: Your brain training program. 
Super Reading: Speed reading and fast learning course.