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Meditation & Visualization: Increase One?s Beliefs

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?Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.?

-Golda Meir

Did you know, mental practice can increase one?s belief in something? For instance, Nathan Sharansky, a computer scientist who spent 9 years in prison in the USSR after being accused of spying for the US has a lot of experience with mental practices. While in solitary confinement, he played himself in mental chess, saying: ?I might as well use the opportunity to become the world champion!? Remarkably, in 1996, Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov!

A study looking at brain patterns in weightlifters found that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they only imagined lifting. [these are called mirroring neurons]. In some cases, research has revealed that?mental practices are almost as effective as true physical practice and that doing both is more effective than either alone. For instance, in his study on everyday people,?Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared ?people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads?. He found that a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%). This average remained for 3 months following the mental training.

Brain studies now reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It?s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow ? all relevant to achieving your best life!

So try meditation and visualization for yourself. Think about what you want to achieve and really visualize it. You might be surprised by how much it helps you reach your goals.


If you want to learn more way to reach your goals, contact STRIVE now or visit our Facebook Page! ?

Study & Learn to Grow Your Beliefs

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?One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.?

-Arthur Ashe

There is a direct correlation between studying about others belief and our ability to achieve greater belief; the same is true of success. We can learn more about the effects and power beliefs have in our lives, by looking at the two studies below.

Increase our knowledge with beliefs.

Psychologists Ulrich Weger and Stephen Loughnan (Boston University, School of Management) recently asked two groups of people to answer questions. People in one group were told that before each question, the answer would be briefly flashed on their screens ? too quickly to consciously perceive, but slow enough for their unconscious to take it in. The other group was told the flashes simply signaled the next question. In fact, for both groups, a random string of letters, not the answers, was flashed. But, remarkably, the people who thought the answers were flashed did better on the test.

Expecting to know the answers made people more likely to get the answers right. In many cases, thinking that we are limited is itself a limiting factor. If we have a?belief?that something is there to help us, it can, in fact, help us. This is why creating positive beliefs are so important.

Beliefs can help change our physical appearances

Next, we can also look at a study done about physical exercise. As humans, we tend to think our bodies respond to physical exercise in a mechanical way. We count our calorie intake, the calories we lose on a treadmill, etc. However, merely changing our thoughts about our physical activity seems capable of changing our bodies.

Hotel room attendants clean on average 15 rooms per day, each room taking between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. The physical activity involved meets the Surgeon General?s recommendation of at least 30 minutes of physical exercise per day for a healthy lifestyle. However, most hotel room attendants believe they do not get regular exercise; and a lot of them believe they do not get any exercise at all. Alia Crum and Ellen Langer decided to monitor two groups of hotel room attendants. One group was told their work provided the recommended exercise for a healthy lifestyle and the other group was not told. These two groups were monitored for 4 weeks. People in the treatment group lost weight; their body fat percentages, waist-to-hip ratios, and systolic blood pressures dropped. People in the control group showed no such improvement. These changes occurred despite the fact that the hotel room attendants? amount of work, amount of exercise outside of work, and diets stayed the same.

Looking at the studies

As we look at these two studies, we can see how what we believe to be true, can have a direct correlation with the events in our lives. Believing what we are doing is helping us lose weight, can actually help us lose weight. Believing we are given the answers to a quiz, even though we are not, can actually help us do better on the quiz. Beliefs are power tools we should all use to help better our lives. Studying and learning more about how to grow your beliefs is even more important. Not sure where to start? Let us show you how. Reach out to STRIVE today.


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Words of Affirmations & Self Talk

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?The greater danger for most of us lies NOT in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.?


Find Evidence


When looking for evidence, it is first important to acknowledge our strengths. So many time we point out the negatives about ourselves, but it is crucial we start looking at our strengths and finding ways to develop on them. Look towards your passions, your strengths can often be found here. Devote yourself to your passions, and share them with others, to help them grow.


Now you might have doubts about your strengths or your abilities, and that is okay. Address those self-doubt fears. Don?t push them down, acknowledge they are there and then look to these potential problems for the solutions to increase our belief. Find ways to grow and overcome your fears, instead of suppressing them.


Change your perspective from one of hard to one of playfulness. Let your inner child come out. Have trust in yourself and others, and don?t be afraid to play every now and again. Too many times, we are being held down with the weight of our jobs and our struggles, but if we look at them from a perspective of playfulness and job, our whole deminer changes and the stress melts away.


Accept compliments, success, gifts, etc. graciously with positive self-talk. Too many time we brush off compliments or talk about ourselves after receiving one, which only brings our mindset down. We need to accept those compliments graciously and think to ourselves, ?How can I help myself see that compliment as truth?? Not only will this help increase your state of mind, but it will help increase your belief.


Choose the belief you want, then collect evidence daily to support it. As sure as the day follows the night, are paradigm will shift to support this belief. If you want to believe you are smart, look around you. People might have been telling you how smart you are all along, but you have chosen to ignore the compliments.


Words of Affirmations & Self Talk


One way to help increase our beliefs is to use words of affirmations and self-talk. If we can?t win the head game, we are dead on arrival. What we tell ourselves every day, becomes our reality. It becomes what we dwell on, it becomes our actions, and it even becomes our habits. If you want to change something, the first step is to believe, truly believe, you can change it.


This is not an easy task. Positive self-talk requires discipline. Especially if it is a subject you have been speaking negatively about for most of your life. Just because it is not easy, does not mean it is not worth it. If you have had a belief about being overweight your whole life, it will take some time to retrain your thoughts to be more positive about your weight. The next time you find yourself trying on a new outfit, think about how beautiful you look in that outfit. Don?t let yourself go straight to the things you don?t like about yourself. Allow yourself to believe you are beautiful. Don?t fight it.


Words of affirmations and positive self-talk take time and practice. If you are struggling with allowing yourself to believe in your beliefs, let us help you.


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Flow State

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?The greater the anxiety we feel, the more impaired is the brain?s cognitive efficiency. In this zone of mental misery, distracting thoughts hijack our attention and squeeze our cognitive resources. Because high anxiety shrinks the space available to our attention, it undermines our very capacity to take in new information, let alone generate fresh ideas. Near-panic is the enemy of learning and creativity.?

??????? ?Daniel?Goleman,?Social?Intelligencee

What is Flow?

Definition:?In psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.According to Csikszentmih?lyi?s 2004 TED talk, that number is about ?110 bits of information per second?. That may seem like a lot of information, but simple daily tasks take quite a lot of information. Just decoding speech takes about 60 bits of information per second. That is why when having a conversation one cannot focus as much attention on other things. The flow state has been described by Csikszentmih?lyi as the ?optimal experience? in that one gets to a level of high gratification from the experience. One?s capacity and desire to overcome challenges in order to achieve their ultimate goals not only leads to the optimal experience, but also to a sense of life satisfaction overall.

Six Factors

Croatian Psychologist Dr. Mihaly Cs?kszentmih?lyi identified the following six factors as encompassing an extreme experience of flow.

  1. Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
  2. Merging of action and awareness
  3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness ? Ego Disintegration.
  4. A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
  5. A distortion of temporal experience, one?s subjective experience of time is altered
  6. Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding also referred to as autotelic experience

These aspects can appear independently of each other, but only in combination do they constitute a so-called?flow experience. Additionally, psychology writer Kendra Cherry has mentioned three other components that Cs?kszentmih?lyi lists as being a part of the flow experience.

  1. ?Immediate feedback?
  2. Feeling that you have the potential to succeed
  3. Feeling so engrossed in the experience, that other needs become negligible

Just as with the conditions listed above, these conditions can be independent of one another. Next week, we will talk more about Flow barriers and how to get into the Flow state.

Dr. Schaffer?s 7 Conditions to Generate Flow

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?No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed.?

? Roger Bannister

In today?s article, I wanted to talk about Dr. Schaffer and his proposed 7 conditions to help generate a flow state of mind. These 7 conditions are:

  1. Knowing what to do
  2. Knowing how to do it
  3. Knowing how well you are doing
  4. Knowing where to go
  5. High perceived challenges
  6. High perceived skills
  7. Freedom from distraction

Now let?s dig deeper into these 7 conditions.

Knowing what to do

Knowing what to do starts with knowing your skill set and your limitation. If you are new to something, start small and work your way up. If you are experienced in something, try to challenge yourself but in a productive way.

Knowing how to do it

This might seem like a no brainer, but knowing how to do something is a big part of the process. You need to know how to do something before you can get into the flow state of mind and do it. Don?t be afraid to do your own research and ask questions.

Knowing how well you are doing

Knowing how you are doing can help motivate you and increase higher vibration in your life. Ask a friend, colleague, or loved one to give you honest feedback. You want to hear from someone you can trust, not someone who will just tell you what you want to hear.

Knowing where to go

In order to know how to make goals, you need to know where you are going. Have the end in mind, and always be doing something that helps you get there.

High perceived challenges

Challenge yourself. Always be pushing yourself to do better and to be better. Empower yourself to do more and achieve more.

High perceived skills

Perceive the skills you want to learn. We have all think we want to accomplish in our lives and the skills we need to do it. Take baby steps. Learning a new skill can be challenging. Take baby steps so you don?t get burned out or frustrated. Remember, frustration is a barrier to the flow state.

Freedom from distractions

Earlier in the article, we mentioned Neuroticism, which is being destroyed with too many things at once. This is a good way to get you OUT of the flow state, which is NOT what we want. Free your mind from distractions. Take time to be in the present and enjoy where you are at now. Take a deep breath. Take in your surroundings. Clear your mind.

Next week we will be talking about how to achieve flow and happiness in your work. Want help getting into the flow state? Contact STRIVE and let us help you.

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Flow Barriers & How to Get Into the Flow State

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?Do not dwell in the past, do not dream in the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.?


Getting into a flow state of mind can be challenging. There are so many distraction and barriers around us, that we need to be aware of, and avoid. To know how to avoid flow barriers, we need to identify them. Here are a couple of common flow barriers we tend to face throughout our day.

  1. Fear
  2. Anxiety
  3. Frustration
  4. Heavy energy
  5. Personal suffering of any kind; especially emotional
  6. Neuroticism ? having your attention on too many areas of focus at the same time.

Avoiding these barriers can help us stay in the flow state of mind throughout our day. But what about if we do encounter one of these barriers, and it takes us out of our flow state? Fortunately, there are a couple of things we can do to get our minds back into the flow state. These things included but are not limited to,

  1. Activities that cause higher frequency vibrations
  2. Forgiveness: moves us to higher brain waves
  3. Limbic locking with others
    1. Laughter
    2. Showing sympathy/empathy
    3. Crying together
  4. Deep Meditation
  5. Activities that allow our subconscious to take over:
    1. Running
    2. Cycling
    3. Taking a shower
    4. Getting a massage
  6. Doing things that have a purpose and create passion in our lives.

Do you want to learn more about how to get into a flow state? Come back next week where we will be talking about a study done by Dr. Schaffer and his 7 conditions to help generate a flow state of mind, or contact STRIVE to get into the flow state yourself.

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Personal Development

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Personal development?covers activities that?improve?awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build?human capital?and facilitate?employability, enhance the?quality of life?and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. Personal development takes place over the course of a person?s entire life.[1]?Not limited to?self-help, the concept involves formal and informal activities for developing others in roles such as?teacher,?guide,?counselor,?manager,?life coach?or?mentor. When personal development takes place in the context of?institutions, it refers to the methods, programs, tools, techniques, and assessment systems that support?human development?at the individual level in?organizations.[2]



Among other things, personal development may include the following activities:

  • improving?self-awareness
  • improving?self-knowledge
  • improving?skills?and/or learning new ones
  • building or renewing?identity/self-esteem
  • developing strengths or?talents
  • improving a?career
  • identifying or improving?potential
  • building?employability?or (alternatively)?human capital
  • enhancing?lifestyle?and/or the?quality of life?and time-management
  • improving?health
  • improving?wealth?or?social status
  • fulfilling aspirations
  • initiating a?life enterprise
  • defining and executing?personal development plans?(PDPs)
  • improving?social relations?or?emotional intelligence

Personal development can also include developing other people. This may take place through roles such as those of a?teacher?or mentor, either through a personal competency (such as the alleged skill of certain?managers?in developing the potential of employees) or through a professional service (such as providing training, assessment or coaching).

Beyond improving oneself and developing others, ?personal development? labels a field of practice and research:

  • As a field of practice, personal development includes personal-development methods, learning programs,?assessment?systems, tools, and techniques.
  • As a field of research, personal-development topics appear in psychology journals,?education?research, management journals and books, and?human-development?economics.

Any sort of development?whether economic, political, biological, organizational or personal?requires a?framework?if one wishes to know whether a change has actually occurred.[3]??In the case of personal development, an individual often functions as the primary judge of improvement or of regression, but validation of objective improvement requires assessment using standard criteria. Personal-development frameworks may include:

  • goals or benchmarks that define the end-points
  • strategies or plans for reaching goals
  • measurement and assessment of progress, levels or stages that define milestones along a?development path
  • a feedback system to provide information on changes

As an industry

Personal development as an?industry[4]?has several business relationship formats of operating. The main ways are?business-to-consumer?and?business-to-business. However, there are two newer ways of increasing in prevalence:?consumer-to-business?and?consumer-to-consumer.

Business-to-consumer market

The business-to-consumer market involves selling books, courses, and techniques to individuals, such as:

  • newly invented offerings such as:
    • fitness
    • beauty enhancement
    • weight loss
  • traditional practices such as:
    • yoga
    • martial arts
    • meditation

Some programs are delivered online and many include?tools?sold with a program, such as motivational books for self-help, recipes for weight-loss or technical manuals for yoga and martial-arts programs.

A partial list of personal development offerings on the business-to-individual market might include:

  • books
  • motivational speaking
  • e-Learning?programs
  • workshops
  • individual?counseling
  • life coaching
  • Time Management

Business-to-business market

Some?consulting firms?specialize in personal development[5]?but as of 2009?generalist firms operating in the fields of human resources, recruitment and organizational strategy have entered what they perceive as a growing market,[6]?not to mention smaller firms and self-employed professionals who provide consulting, training and coaching.

Additionally, the?International Alliance for Personal Development Professionals?(IAPDP), an international group launched in 2015 to support professionals in the self-help and personal development industry.


Major religions ? such as the?Abrahamic?and?Indian religions?? as well as?New Age?philosophies have used practices such as?prayer,?music,?dance,?singing,?chanting,?poetry,?writing,?sports, and?martial arts. These practices have various functions, such as health or aesthetic satisfaction, but they may also link[citation needed]?to ?final goals? of personal development such as discovering the?meaning of life?or living?the good life?(compare?philosophy).

Michel Foucault?describes in?Care of the Self[7]?the techniques of?epimelia?used in ancient Greece and Rome, which included?dieting, exercise, sexual abstinence, contemplation, prayer, and confession?some of which also became important practices within different branches of?Christianity.

?Yi?Wushu?and?T?ai chi ch?uan?utilize traditional Chinese techniques, including breathing and?energy?exercises,?meditation,?martial arts, as well as practices linked to?traditional Chinese medicine, such as dieting, massage, and?acupuncture.

Two individual ancient philosophers: Aristotle and the Western Tradition and Confucius and the Eastern Tradition stand out as major sources?[8]?of what has become personal development in the 21st century, representing a Western tradition and an East Asian tradition. Elsewhere anonymous founders of schools of self-development appear endemic ? note the traditions of the Indian sub-continent in this regard.

South Asian traditions

Some ancient Indians aspired to ?beingness, wisdom, and happiness?.[9]

Aristotle and the Western tradition[edit]

The Greek philosopher?Aristotle?(384 BCE ? 322 BCE) wrote?Nicomachean Ethics, in which he defined personal development as a category of?phronesis?or practical wisdom, where the practice of virtues (ar?te) leads to?eudaimonia,[10]?commonly translated as ?happiness? but more accurately understood as ?human flourishing? or ?living well?.[11]?Aristotle continues to influence the Western concept of personal development to this day, particularly in the?economics of human development[12]?and in?positive psychology.[13][14]

Confucius and the East Asian tradition

In Chinese tradition,?Confucius?(around 551 BCE ? 479 BCE) founded an ongoing philosophy. His ideas continue to influence?family values, education and?management?in China and East Asia. In his?Great Learning?Confucius wrote:

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.[15]



Psychology?became linked to personal development in the early 20th century starting with?Alfred Adler?(1870?1937) and?Carl Jung?(1875?1961).

Adler refused to limit psychology to analysis, making the important point that aspirations look forward and do not limit themselves to unconscious drives or to childhood experiences.[16]?He also originated the concepts of?lifestyle?(1929?he defined ?lifestyle? as an individual?s characteristic approach to life, in facing problems) and of?self image,[citation needed]?a concept that influenced management under the heading of?work-life balance.[clarification needed]

Carl Gustav Jung made contributions to personal development with his concept of?individuation, which he saw as the drive of the individual to achieve the wholeness and balance of the?Self.[17]

Daniel Levinson?(1920?1994) developed Jung?s early concept of ?life stages? and included a sociological perspective. Levinson proposed that personal development comes under the influence?throughout?life?of aspirations, which he called ?the Dream?:

Whatever the nature of his Dream, a young man has the developmental task of giving it greater definition and finding ways to live it out. It makes a great difference in his growth whether his initial life structure is consonant with and infused by the Dream, or opposed to it. If the Dream remains unconnected to his life it may simply die, and with it his sense of aliveness and purpose.[18]

Research on success in reaching goals, as undertaken by?Albert Bandura?(born 1925), suggested that?self-efficacy[19]?best explains why people with the same level of knowledge and skills get very different results. According to Bandura?self-confidence?functions as a powerful predictor of success because:[20]

  1. it makes you expect to succeed
  2. it allows you take risks and set challenging goals
  3. it helps you keep trying if at first you don?t succeed
  4. it helps you control emotions and fears when the going gets rough

In 1998?Martin Seligman?won election to a one-year term as President of the?American Psychological Association?and proposed a new focus: on healthy individuals[citation needed]rather than on pathology (he created the ?positive psychology? current)

We have discovered that there is a set of human strengths that are the most likely buffers against mental illness: courage, optimism, interpersonal skill, work ethic, hope, honesty and perseverance. Much of the task of prevention will be to create a science of human strength whose mission will be to foster these virtues in young people.[21]

Higher education

During the 1960s a large increase in the number of students on American campuses[22]?led to research on the personal development needs of undergraduate students.?Arthur Chickering?defined?seven vectors of personal development[23]?for young adults during their undergraduate years:

  1. developing?competence
  2. managing?emotions
  3. achieving?autonomy?and?interdependence
  4. developing mature?interpersonal relationships
  5. establishing?identity
  6. developing purpose
  7. developing?integrity

In the UK, personal development took a central place in university policy[citation needed]?in 1997 when the?Dearing Report[24]?declared that universities should go beyond academic teaching to provide students with personal development.[citation needed]?In 2001 a Quality Assessment Agency for UK universities produced guidelines[25]?for universities to enhance personal development as:

* a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development;
* objectives related explicitly to student development; to improve the capacity of students to understand what and how they are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for their own learning

In the 1990s,?business schools?began to set up specific personal-development programs for?leadership?and?career?orientation and in 1998 the?European Foundation for Management Development?set up the?EQUIS?accreditation system which specified that personal development must form part of the learning process through internships, working on team projects and going abroad for work or exchange programs.[citation needed]

The first personal development certification required for business school graduation originated in 2002 as a partnership between Metizo,[26]?a personal-development consulting firm, and the Euromed Management School[27]?in Marseilles: students must not only complete assignments but also demonstrate self-awareness and achievement of personal-development competencies.

As an academic department, personal development as a specific discipline is usually associated with?business schools.[citation needed]?As an area of research, personal development draws on links to other academic disciplines:

  • education?for questions of learning and assessment
  • psychology?for motivation and personality
  • sociology?for identity and social networks
  • economics?for human capital and economic value
  • philosophy?for ethics and self-reflection

The workplace

Abraham Maslow?(1908?1970), proposed a?hierarchy of needs?with?self actualization?at the top, defined as:[28]

? the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

Since Maslow himself believed that only a small minority of people?self-actualize?he estimated one percent[29]?his hierarchy of needs had the consequence that organizations came to regard self-actualization or personal development as occurring at the top of the organizational pyramid, while job security and good working conditions would fulfill the needs of the mass of employees.[citation needed]

As organizations and labor markets became more global,?responsibility?for development shifted from the company to the individual.[clarification needed]?In 1999 management thinker?Peter Drucker?wrote in the?Harvard Business Review:

We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: if you?ve got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out. But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren?t managing their employees? careers;?knowledge workers?must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers. It?s up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years.[30]

Management professors?Sumantra Ghoshal?of the London Business School and?Christopher Bartlett?of the Harvard Business School wrote in 1997 that companies must manage people individually and establish a new work contract.[31]?On the one hand the company must allegedly recognize that personal development creates economic value: ?market performance flows not from the omnipotent wisdom of top managers but from the initiative, creativity and skills of all employees?.

On the other hand, employees should recognize that their work includes personal development and ?? embrace the invigorating force of continuous learning and personal development?.

The 1997 publication of Ghoshal?s and Bartlett?s?Individualized Corporation?corresponded to a change in?career development?from a system of predefined paths defined by companies, to a strategy defined by the individual and matched to the needs of organizations in an open landscape of possibilities.[citation needed]?Another contribution to the study of career development came with the recognition that women?s careers show specific personal needs and different development paths from men. The 2007 study of women?s careers by Sylvia Ann Hewlett?Off-Ramps and On-Ramps[32]?had a major impact on the way companies view careers.[citation needed]?Further work on the career as a personal development process came from study by Herminia Ibarra in her?Working Identity?on the relationship with career change and identity change,[33]?indicating that priorities of?work?and lifestyle continually develop through life.

Personal development programs in companies fall into two categories: the provision of?employee benefits?and the fostering of development strategies.

Employee surveys may help organizations find out personal-development needs, preferences and problems, and they use the results to design benefits programs.[citation needed]Typical programs in this category include:

  • work-life balance
  • time management
  • stress management
  • health?programs
  • counseling

As an investment, personal development programs have the goal of increasing?human capital?or improving?productivity, innovation or quality. Proponents actually see such programs not as a cost but as an investment with results linked to an organization?s strategic development goals. Employees gain access to these investment-oriented programs by selection according to the value and future potential of the employee, usually defined in a?talent management?architecture including populations such as new hires, perceived high-potential employees, perceived key employees, sales staff, research staff and perceived future?leaders.[citation needed]?Organizations may also offer other (non-investment-oriented) programs to many or even all employees. Personal development also forms an element in?management?tools such as?personal development planning, assessing one?s level of ability using a?competency?grid, or getting feedback from a?360 questionnaire?filled in by colleagues at different levels in the organization.

A common criticism[34]?surrounding personal development programs is that they are often treated as an arbitrary performance management tool to pay lip service to, but ultimately ignored. As such, many companies have decided to replace personal development programs with SMART Personal Development Objectives, which are regularly reviewed and updated. Personal Development Objectives help employees achieve career goals and improve overall performance.


Scholars have targeted self-help claims as misleading and incorrect. In 2005,?Steve Salerno?portrayed the American self-help movement?he uses the acronym?SHAM:?The Self-Help and?Actualization?Movement?not only as ineffective in achieving its goals but also as?socially harmful. ?Salerno says that 80 percent of self-help and motivational customers are repeat customers and they keep coming back whether the program worked for them or not?.[citation needed]?Others similarly point out that with self-help books ?supply increases the demand?The more people read them, the more they think they need them?more like an?addiction?than an alliance?.[citation needed]?Self-help writers have been described as working ?in the area of the?ideological, the?imagined, the narrativized?.although a veneer of?scientism?permeates the[ir] work, there is also an underlying armature of?moralizing?.[35]


  1. Jump up^??What is Personal Development?.?Skills You Need.
  2. Jump up^?Bob Aubrey,?Managing Your Aspirations: Developing Personal Enterprise in the Global Workplace?McGraw-Hill 2010?ISBN?978-0-07-131178-6, page 9
  3. Jump up^?Bob Aubrey,?Measure of Man: leading human development?McGraw-Hill 2016?ISBN?978-9-814-66064-8, page 15
  4. Jump up^?Some sources recognize personal development as an ?industry?: see for example?Cullen, John G. (2009).??How to sell your soul and still get into Heaven: Steven Covey?s epiphany-inducing technology of effective selfhood?.?Human Relations. SAGE Publications.?62?(8): 1231?1254.?doi:10.1177/0018726709334493.?ISSN?0018-7267. Retrieved?2010-04-28.?The growth of the personal development industry and its gurus continues to be resisted across a number of genres.?and?Grant, Anthony M.; Blythe O?Hara (November 2006).??The self-presentation of commercial Australian life coaching schools: Cause for concern??(PDF).?International Coaching Psychology Review. Leicester:?The British Psychological Society.?1?(2): 21?33 [29].?ISSN?1750-2764. Retrieved?2010-04-28.?[?] much of the commercial life coaching and personal development industry is grounded more on hyperbole and rhetoric than solid behavioural science (Grant, 2001) [?]?and?Grant, Anthony M.; Michael J. Cavanagh (December 2007).??Evidence-based coaching: Flourishing or languishing??.?Australian Psychologist.?Australian Psychological Society.?42?(4): 239?254.?doi:10.1080/00050060701648175.?ISSN?1742-9544. Retrieved?2010-04-28.?To flourish, coaching psychology needs to remain clearly differentiated from the frequently sensationalistic and pseudoscientific facets of the personal development industry while at the same time engaging in the development of the wider coaching industry.
  5. Jump up^?Firms such as PDI, DDI, Metizo, and?FranklinCovey?exemplify international personal-development firms working with companies for consulting, assessment and training.
  6. Jump up^?Human-resources firms such as?Hewitt, Mercer,?Watson Wyatt Worldwide, the?Hay Group;?McKinsey?and the?Boston Consulting Group?offer consulting in talent-development, and?Korn/Ferry?offers?executive coaching.
  7. Jump up^?Foucault, Michel, ed. (1986).?Care of the Self.?2. Random House.?Translated from the French?Le Souci de Soi?editions Gallimard 1984. Part Two of Foucault?s book describes the technique of caring for the soul falling in the category of?epimeleia?from the Greek to the classic Roman period and on into the early stages of the age of Christianity.
  8. Jump up^?Jamoukha, Kholoud.??Kholoud Jamoukha Personal Growth?.
  9. Jump up^?Ventegodt, S?ren; Joav Merrick; Niels J?rgen Andersen (Oct 2003). ?Quality of Life Theory III. Maslow Revisited?.?TheScientificWorldJournal. Finland: Corpus Alienum Oy (3): 1050?1057.?doi:10.1100/tsw.2003.84.?ISSN?1537-744X.?In ancient India people talked about reaching the level of existence called ?sat-sit-ananda?: beingness, wisdom and happiness as one.
  10. Jump up^?Nichomachean Ethics, translated by W.D.Ross,?Basic Works of Aristotle, section 1142. Online in ?The Internet Classics Archive of MIT?:
  11. Jump up^?Martha Nussbaum,?The Fragility of Goodness, Cambridge University Press, discusses why the English word happiness does not describe Aristotle?s concept of?eudaimonia, pages 1?6
  12. Jump up^?Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen identifies economic development with Aristotle?s concepts of individual development in his co-authored book written with Aristotle scholar Nussbaum:?Nussbaum, Martha;?Sen, Amartya, eds. (1993).?The Quality of Life. Oxford: Clarendon Press.?ISBN?0-19-828395-4.; as well as in his general book published a year after receiving the?Nobel Prize in Economics?in 1998:?Sen, Amartya?(1999).?Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  13. Jump up^?Daniel Seligman explicitly identifies the goals of positive psychology with Aristotle?s idea of the ?Good Life? and?eudaimonia?in Seligman, Martin E. P. (2002). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment.New York: Free Press.?ISBN?0-7432-2297-0?(Paperback edition, Free Press, 2004,?ISBN?0-7432-2298-9).
  14. Jump up^?Marshall, Chris.?Hack your brain: Rapid way to change?(in Anglais).
  15. Jump up^?Confucius,?Great Learning, translated by James Legge. Provided?online?in The Internet Classics Archive of MIT.
  16. Jump up^?Heinz Ansbacher and Rowena R Ansbacher (1964) Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler, Basic Books 1956. See especially chapter 3 on Finalism and Fiction and chapter 7 on the Style of Life.
  17. Jump up^?Jung saw individuation as a process of?psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality. C.G. Jung.?Psychological Types.?Collected Works, Vol.6., par. 757)
  18. Jump up^?Daniel Levinson, Seasons of a Man?s Life, Ballantine Press, 1978, page 91-92
  19. Jump up^?Albert Bandura (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman
  20. Jump up^?Albert Bandura,?Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, 1998, page 184.
  21. Jump up^?Martin Seligman, ?Building Human Strength: Psychology?s Forgotten Mission? VOLUME 29, NUMBER 1 ? January 1998
  22. Jump up^?See for example the figures for Cuba:??Educaci?n Superior?.?Cuban Statistics and Related Publications. Centro de Estudios de Poblaci?n y Desarrollo de la Oficina Nacional de Estad?sticas. Retrieved?2009-07-17.
  23. Jump up^?Arthur Chickering, Education and Identity (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1969); second edition updated with Linda Reisser, published in 1993 by Jossey-Bass.
  24. Jump up^?The Dearing Report of 1997:see the Leeds University website:?
  25. Jump up^?These definitions and guidelines appear on the UK Academy of Higher Education website:??Archived copy?. Archived from?the original?on 2008-12-20. Retrieved?2008-12-20.
  26. Jump up^?A description and requirements for Metizo?s personal development certifications can be found on the company?s website:
  27. Jump up^?The components of Euromed Management School?s personal development programs appear on the school?s website??Archived copy?. Archived from?the original?on 2009-02-18. Retrieved?2009-02-18..
  28. Jump up^?Abraham Maslow ?A Theory of Human Motivation? originally published in the 1943?Psychological Review, number 50, page 838. Maslow, A. H. (1996). Higher
  29. Jump up^?Maslow, A. H. (1996). Higher motivation and the new psychology. In E. Hoffman (Ed.), Future visions: The unpublished papers of Abraham Maslow. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage, page 89
  30. Jump up^?Peter F. Drucker, ?Managing Oneself?, Best of HBR 1999.[page?needed]
  31. Jump up^?Ghoshal, Sumantra;?Bartlett, Christopher A.?(1997)?The Individualized Corporation: A Fundamentally New Approach to Management,?HarperCollins, page 286
  32. Jump up^?Hewlett, Sylvia Ann (2007), Off-Ramps and On-Ramps, Harvard Business School Press. This book shows how women have started to change the traditional career path and how companies adapt to career/lifestyle issues for men as well as for women.
  33. Jump up^?Ibarra, Herminia (2003). ?2?.?Working identity?: unconventional strategies for reinventing your career. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. p.?199.?ISBN?1-57851-778-8.Ibarra discusses career-change based on a process moving from possible selves to ?anchoring? a new professional identity.
  34. Jump up^??What Are Personal Development Objectives? | Clear Review?.?Clear Review. 2016-12-12. Retrieved?2017-11-10.
  35. Jump up^?Lennart J. Davis. ?Essence of sex: addiction as disability?. In Robert McRuer, Anna Mollow.?Sex and Disability. p.?324.

Business Development

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Business development?entails tasks and processes to develop and implement growth opportunities within and between organizations.[1]?It is a subset of the fields of?business,?commerce, and?organizational theory. Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from?customers,?markets, and?relationships.[2]?Business development can be taken to mean any activity by either a small or large organization, non-profit or for-profit enterprise which serves the purpose of ?developing? the business in some way. In addition, business development activities can be done internally or externally by a business development consultant.


In the limited scholarly work available on the subject, business development is conceptualized as or related to discrete projects, specific modes of growth, and organizational units, activities, and practices. Sorensen?[3]?integrates these different perspectives with insights from?chairmen and managing directors, senior business developers, and venture capitalists from successful high-tech firms worldwide, which is adopted in the?Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management:

?Business development is defined as the tasks and processes concerning analytical preparation of potential growth opportunities, and the support and monitoring of the implementation of growth opportunities, but does not include decisions on strategy and implementation of growth opportunities.??[4]


In practice, the term business development and its actor, the business developer, have evolved into many usages and applications. Today, the applications of?business development?and the?business developer?or?marketer?tasks across industries and countries, cover everything from IT-programmers, specialized engineers, advanced marketing or key account management activities, and sales and relations development for current and prospective customers. For this reason, it has been difficult to discern the unique features of the business development function and whether these activities are a source of profits.

Recent systematic research on the subject has outlined the contours of an emerging business development function with a unique role in the?innovation management?process. The business development function seems to be more matured in high-tech, and especially the pharma and biotech, industries.[5][6][7]


The business developer is concerned with the analytical preparation of potential growth opportunities for the?senior management?or?board of directors?as well as the subsequent support and monitoring of its?implementation. Both in the development phase and the implementation phase, the business developer collaborates and integrates the knowledge and feedback from the organization?s specialist functions, for example,?research and development,?production,?marketing, and?sales?to assure that the organization is capable of implementing the growth opportunity successfully.[3]?The business developers? tools to address the business development tasks are the?business model?answering ?how do we make money? and its analytical backup and roadmap for implementation, the?business plan.

Business development?professionals?frequently have had earlier experience in sales,?financial services,?investment banking?or?management consulting, and delivery; although some find their route to this area by climbing the corporate ladder in functions such as?operations management.?Skill sets?and experience for business-development specialists usually consist of a mixture of the following (depending on the business requirements):

The??pipeline??refers to the flow of potential clients which a company has started developing. Business development staff assigned to each potential client in the pipeline a percent chance of success, with projected sales-volumes attached. Planners can use the?weighted average?of all the potential clients in the pipeline to project staffing to manage the new activity when finalized. Enterprises usually support pipelines with some kind of?customer relationship management?tool or?database, either web-based solution or an in-house?system. Sometimes business development specialists manage and analyze the data to produce sales?management information. Such management of information could include:

  • reasons for wins/losses
  • progress of opportunities in relation to the sales process
  • top performing sales people/sales channels
  • sales of services/products

For larger and well-established companies, especially in technology-related industries, the term ?business development? often refers to setting up and managing strategic relationships and?alliances?with other, third-party companies. In these instances, the companies may leverage each other?s?expertise,?technologies?or other?intellectual property?to expand their capacities for identifying, researching, analyzing and bringing to market new businesses and new products. Business development focuses on implementation of the strategic business plan through equity financing, acquisition/divestiture of technologies, products, and companies, plus the establishment of strategic partnerships where appropriate.

Business development is to be thought of as a marketing tactic. The objectives include branding, expansion in markets, new user acquisition, and awareness. However, the main function of business development is to utilize partners in selling to the right customers. Creating opportunities for value to be ongoing in the long-term is very important. To be successful in business development the partnership must be built on strong relationships.[8]

Notes and references

  1. Jump up^?Compare:?Houterman, Joyce; Blok, Vincent; Omta, Onno (2014). ?Venture capital financing of techno-entrepreneurial start-ups: drivers and barriers for investments in research-based spin-offs in the Dutch medical life sciences industry?. In Therin, Francois.?Handbook of Research on Techno-Entrepreneurship: How Technology and Entrepreneurship are Shaping the Development of Industries and Companies. Elgar reference collection (2 ed.). Edward Elgar Publishing. p.?169.?ISBN?9781781951828. Retrieved?2015-07-23.?<?Business development (BD) involves all activities t???? * developing products and technologies so that they can be commercialized, building relationships with potential partners [?]?>
  2. Jump up^?What, Exactly, Is Business Development?[need quotation to verify]
  3. ^?Jump up to:a?b?S?rensen, Hans Eibe (2012).?Business Development: A Market-Oriented Perspective. John Wiley & Sons.
  4. Jump up^?The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management (2014)
  5. Jump up^?Davis, C. H., & Sun, E. (2006).?Business development capabilities in information technology SMEs in a regional economy: An exploratory study.?The Journal of Technology Transfer, 31(1), 145-161.
  6. Jump up^?Kind, S., & Knyphausen-Aufse?, Z. (2007). What is ?business development?? The case of biotechnology. The Case of Biotechnology. Schmalenbach Business Review, 59(2), 176?199.
  7. Jump up^?Lorenzi, V., & S?rensen, H. E. (2014). Business Development Capability: Insights from the Biotechnology Industry. Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, (2), 1-16.
  8. Jump up^??What, Exactly, Is Business Development??.?Forbes. Retrieved?2015-11-09.

How to Achieve Flow and Happiness in Your Work

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?Where focus goes, energy flows.?

?Tom Robbins


So how do you achieve this mystical state of being? Do you need to meditate or chant anything? No, you don?t (although meditation can improve your ability to concentrate). ?Flow is anything but mystical ? it?s very practical, and achieving it isn?t mysterious.

It can take practice, but you?ll get better at it. Here are the key steps to achieving and benefiting from Flow:


  1. ??Choose work you love doing.

If you dread a task, you?ll have a hard time losing yourself in it. If your job is made up of stuff you hate, you might want to consider finding another job or consider seeking projects you love to do within your current job. At any rate, be sure that whatever task you choose is something you can be passionate about.


  1. ??Make sure it?s challenging, but not too hard.

If a task is too easy, you will be able to complete it without much thought or effort. A task should be challenging enough to require your full concentration. However, if it is too hard, you will find it difficult to lose yourself in it, as you will spend most of your concentration just trying to figure out how to do it ? either that, or you?ll end up discouraged. It may take some trial and error to find tasks of the appropriate level of difficulty.


  1. ??Find your quiet, peak time.

You?ll want to find a time that?s quiet, or you?ll never be able to focus. For me, that?s mornings, before the hustle of everyday life builds to a dull roar. You can do it at any time of the day if you can find a quiet spot to work in. Whatever time you choose, it should also be a peak energy time for you. Some people get tired after lunch ? that?s not a good time to go for Flow. Find a time when you have lots of energy and can concentrate.


  1. ??Clear away distractions.

Aside from finding a quiet time and place to work, you?ll want to clear away all other distractions. That means turning off distracting music (unless you find music helps you focus), turning off phones, email and IM notifications, Twitter and Growl, and anything else that might pop up or make noise to interrupt your thoughts. I also find it helpful to clear my desk, even if that means sweeping miscellaneous papers into a folder to be sorted through later. A clear desk helps me immensely.


  1. ??Learn to focus on that task for as long as possible.

This takes practice. You need to start on your chosen task and keep your focus on it for as long as you can. At first, many people will find it difficult, if they?re used to constantly switching between tasks. But keep trying, and keep bringing your focus back to your task. You?ll get better. And if you can keep your focus on that task, with no distractions, and if your task has been chosen well (something you love, something important, and something challenging), you should lose yourself in Flow.

  1. ??Enjoy yourself.

Losing yourself in Flow is an amazing thing, in my experience. It feels great to be able to really pour yourself into something worthwhile, to make great progress on a project or important task, to do something you?re passionate about. Take the time to appreciate this feeling.


  1. ??Keep practicing.

Each step will take some practice, from finding a quiet, peak time for yourself, to clearing distractions, to choosing the right task. And especially keeping your focus on a task for a long time. But each time you fail, try to learn from it. Each time you succeed, you should also learn from it ? what did you do right? And the more you practice, the better you?ll get.


  1. ??Reap the rewards.

Aside from the pleasure of getting into Flow, you?ll also be happier with your work overall. You?ll get important stuff done. You?ll complete stuff more often, rather than starting and stopping frequently. All of this is hugely satisfying and rewarding. Take the time to appreciate this, and to continue to practice it every day.

To learn more about the Flow state of mind, or to get yourself into the Flow, contact STRIVE today and follow our Facebook page!?