How To Prevent Random Google+ Users From Sending You Gmail


A new Google update lets anyone Gmail you via Google+. Here’s how you can change that.

Selena Larson January 11, 2014

Google recently implemented deeper integration between Gmail and Google+ by introducing a setting that lets anyone with a Google+ account send each other email.

http://readwrite.com/2014/01/11/how-to-prevent-random-google-users-sending-you-gmail#awesm=~osMj3JiIf9RcmY

The new feature is automatically set to “Anyone,” so Google+ users who don’t want to receive Gmail from strangers will have to opt-out. You can choose to receive email via Google+ from your extended circles, just your circles or no one.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Login to Gmail and click the gear icon at the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Under “General,” look for the setting “Email via Google+.”
  4. Click the drop down menu and select the audience you want to have the ability to send you Gmail. I opted for “Circles.”
  5. Scroll to the bottom and click “Save Changes.”

If you do decide to keep your settings broad, your email address will remain private unless you reply to an email sent via Google+ or add the person to one or more of your circles.

Additionally, the update takes advantage of the inbox categories Google rolled out last summer. Gmails you receive from Google+ users outside of your circles will be filtered into the “Social” tab in your Gmail account, but if someone in your circles emails you, it will appear in the “Primary” tab.

http://readwrite.com/2014/01/11/how-to-prevent-random-google-users-sending-you-gmail#awesm=~osMj3JiIf9RcmY

Start-ups Hiring : Betty or Veronica?


As a start-up founder, faced issues on paying enough for talent and watching a higher paying company walk away with the talent?

There are 2 ways you could land good talent at your company post the hard-work of sourcing the talent:

a. You pay them above market salary. (Veronica)

b. You try to convince them about stock + salary since cash conservation is everything for an early stage start-up. (Betty)

Interestingly always when it came to smart Tech talent (assumption here is he/she wants to join a growing start-up and not an Amazon, Microsoft), we would inevitably face a competition with both types a. & b.

In your a. Veronica it would be the Series A and above companies.

In your b. Betty you would find below Series A funded companies.

This analogy came up to me when I got tired spending my entire Sunday on speaking with 3 awesome technology candidate’s — all who said they wanted to work at a start-up and were willing to take a pay cut for the growth and learning, and after 9 hours (combined) of exciting them, it turned out post the technology rounds, they went ahead and joined Veronica’s!

Felt like Betty, but then I realized there are way’s to fix this. 2 things that have worked ever since:

The Learning?

1. My typical approach to save time now is fixing expectation mismatch with candidates by immediately asking for their expected and market salary in their mind before the conversation start’s. That just basically tells me if this can work out or not. Do you do that? I think it helps a lot. Many a times the expectations mismatch is so huge, that it doesn’t make sense to spend more time on either sides. Do this, and watch half of your and other people’s time saved. Spend the time saved getting your best Archie ☺

2. Keep searching (sourcing) for your kind of Archie (who is willing to go with a Betty), now that the time saved from exercise 1. gives you 9 hours more to find the right Archie, and we have, and will continue to.

PS: I do believe the Veronica’s have earned their right to spend galore (unlike the Veronica in the comic book’s who has inherited her father’s wealth) because for these companies to be where they are, they have been through “Being Betty” ☺

Written by

Building @Exotel – Business phone system on the cloud

Published January 12, 2014

What is a Platform? More than APIs.


Courtesy of Seoul Guide Korea/Flickr

Courtesy of Seoul Guide Korea/Flickr

This post is inspired by Ryan Sarver’s identically titled post. Ryan has been a huge influence to how I think about platforms and I’m excited to riff off of his considerable expertise. Both of us owe much of our thinking to the book Invisible Engines.

“Platforms” are the cronuts of the tech industry. Every start-up claims to offer one, but the real thing is actually quite rare. This bugs me because all the different “platform” definitions out there dilute people’s understandings of what platforms are and why they’re valuable. It also bugs me because I already spend a lot of time explaining platforms to people at cocktail parties who made the mistake two hours ago of asking me what exactly it is I do as Foursquare’s “Platform Lead.”


When I talk about “platforms,” I’m talking about systems connecting two or more groups together in ways benefitting both sides. It’s a pretty standard definition and you’ll hear the same one from my colleagues at Facebook, Twitter, and Apple.

For example, shopping malls are a retail platform. Shoppers come to a mall to connect with retailers and retailers open up shop to connect with shoppers. Malls are valuable to shoppers because they can park their car once and get all their Christmas shopping done in an afternoon. Malls are valuable to retailers because they don’t need to set up parking spots, clean the bathrooms, drive foot traffic, etc.

A great example of a developer platform is the iPhone. Developers write iOS apps because it’s the easiest way to run their service on people’s phones and they know that Apple will drive customers their way. Customers buy iPhones because of all the amazing apps developers write. In fact, the iOS developer platform is so strong Apple literally sells phones based on it. Remember Apple’s “There’s An App For That” advertising slogan? Nothing about features or specifications of the iPhone itself, just the promise of all the apps you could ever want.


So then what isn’t a platform? I separate most things people call “platforms” into three buckets: Services, Networks, and (legit) Platforms.

Services provide value to their users. Your laundromat is a service. GMail is a service. With services, the exchange of value is generally straightforward — I do this for you, you pay me money.

Networks are services that get better as the number of users increase. Your laundromat doesn’t get better if your neighbor starts using them. But a potluck gets better with every new guest. LinkedIn gets better the more users there are. Because the user is contributing value back, networks often don’t charge for the basic services offered, but instead charge for high-value, less frequent actions (e.g. recruiting on LinkedIn).

Platforms are networks connecting different groups together. eHarmony is a dating platform. EBay is a retail platform. Unlike a generic network, participant type matters. Each new straight man on eHarmony isn’t useful to other straight men, but a draw for straight women. Each new seller on EBay makes it a more valuable site for buyers. Platforms generally make money by skimming off some of the value they’re creating for one or more of the platform participants (e.g. rent or transaction fees).


For example, Netflix has historically been a content service. Consumers paid Netflix, and Netflix offered them content licensed from creators (studios, networks). New users on Netflix didn’t benefit other users, and content providers didn’t really care about the size of Netflix’s consumer base, except to negotiate higher licensing fees.

As a service, a product has to churn out features or lower prices to stay ahead of competitors (Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Cable TV). These competitors can copy features and lower prices as well, since there’s nothing inherently stopping consumers from switching.

As Netflix experiments with original content, it is evolving from a service into a platform — attracting content creators specifically to Netflix to reach Netflix customers and attracting customers to Netflix for Netflix original content they can’t find elsewhere.

Because Netflix has the biggest audience (or at least perceived as such), they can attract the best content, attracting even larger audience, attracting more top-tier content. As a platform, Netflix wins as consumers pick them based on the size and quality of their content network, not based on price or features. They also win as creators want Netflix to carry their content (to reach users) rather than trying to extract maximal $$ in licensing fees.


Every company wants to be a platform because successful platforms are hard to compete against — no new feature or giveaway will tempt users away. There’s a tendency these days to call any site with an API a “platform,” but an API is merely indicative of a service. To be a platform, an API needs to be powering connections between different groups. Similarly, the true value of a network or platform stems not from its feature-set but from its user-base. A sophisticated mall in the middle of the wilderness is technically a platform, but a worthless one.

Written by

Platform guy for @foursquare. Mostly harmless.

Published October 3, 2013
Thanks to: David Hu

The Science Of Being Thankful


In high school I was terrified of pot. That was a drug. In college, I discovered that I didn’t really enjoy smoking pot myself, but that I liked pot heads. I had finally found a group of people who wanted to sit around and eat doughnuts and talk about the universe with me. A lot of sober people aren’t really into discussions about existence or all the gas that’s floating around in space, life is hard enough on it’s own- no one needs to bum themselves out existentially on top of having to pay their credit card bill. If you ask someone who is drunk off Jaeger shots, “hey isn’t it nuts that we exist?” they aren’t going to entertain that idea, they are going to fist pump and scream “yeaaaaahhhhh!!!!!” But someone high off marijuana will not only listen to your thoughts and engage, but also ask you if you want to go to Taco Bell- which I do, I always do.

I also discovered in college that I am the envy of many pot heads. I laugh at everything, have crazy thoughts, eat a lot, and have paranoia without ever spending a dime on drugs. I was born naturally high, I am incredibly lucky. I’m the one camping in the forest imagining if all the trees could talk without ever puffing on anything- “Hey, what do you think an oak tree would tell us if it could speak to us? Do you think it can, we just don’t listen?” “Are you high?” And I never am. This next statement may hold no clout but, it seems like most sober people don’t allow themselves to be overwhelmed by our existence here on Earth quite like a person who is under the influence of drugs can. Either they don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to it, or they don’t pay attention- but the world is absolutely magnificent when you allow yourself to just be overwhelmed by what you see around you, for example a sunset or a night sky. You can’t help but think wow, here I am, look at what I get to be apart of, what I get to see and experience. And if you’re me, or someone who is stoned- it just makes you feel giddy and you giggle to yourself, and you keep giggling.

These thoughts can be harmful in certain public settings- like a place of work for example. It is to your great disadvantage when your boss, who is away on a trip in Utah asks you to send her a package of turkey meat, to suddenly be struck with thoughts about the competitive accretion of star formation. I am spending my time here on a planet figuring out a way to send turkey meat in the mail when stars in a cluster are accrediting from a shared reservoir of gas out in the universe? Life! What am I to make of this all? Parties where people are dancing to Justin Bieber- also not a good place to begin wondering about tsunamis or natural disasters- it’s hard to keep rhythm when you’re on a dance floor wondering we are so small and can be destroyed so easily… Dinner parties- “Is the universe hostile? What do you think?” Don’t ask that. Holidays, also not a time for existential discussions- not even on earth day.

It’s not good to wonder all the time I suppose, but I think it’s important to wonder in general. The world is so big, there’s so much just happening that we have absolutely no control over. For example, stars. Massive, luminous spheres of plasma held together by their own gravity just hanging up above us at night. Most nights I go to sleep without ever even looking up at the stars, they exist and I forget about them. Or air. We need air to breathe, but no one ever thinks wow I sure am thankful there is all this air around me so I can breathe. Instead, we find ways to escape reality because social constructs like greed, vanity or ego, weigh us down. But the true reality is that without ever asking for it, layers of gases retained by the Earth’s gravity surround us and allow us to breath and protect our life here on a planet. And when you think of it that way why can’t we find a way to be thankful for that life and protect one another during our time here on Earth? Isn’t it a discussion we should be having? But try saying that when it’s your turn to tell the table what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving- all your relatives will give each other the knowing eyes, the ones that say, Jenn clearly smoked pot before this meal, just watch how many helpings of mashed potatoes she has this year- last year she helped herself to half the bowl.

Further Reading

Less Than Ideal

 — Growing up in Generation #Selfie (by Jennifer Donahue)

4 Digital Strategy Career-Growth Hacks


I am frequently asked advice for how to get jobs doing digital & social strategy. Why anyone asks me for help is a mystery: I’m still a relative newbie, having only worked in the field since 2007.

Nevertheless, with the proliferation of jobs and constant clamour for talented ‘Maths Men’ (and women), I have always had a gut feeling that like the supply side of labour into our industry isn’t being managed properly.

It didn’t take numerous conversations with fellow practitioners for me to realise that existing advice for people who want to get into our field totally sucks.

Here is my humble attempt to remedy this. Practical, though not easy, steps that can guide you budding social media planners and digital strategists out there into #epicwins.

1. Build

If you haven’t got a portfolio of paid work for clients, build yo’ own shit. Learn how to code up websites. Start taking Photoshop seriously and design some cool posters for Tumblr. Come up with concepts for cool Facebook Games, and then publish the plans here on Medium.

Someone who does this very well is my ex-colleague and friend Rhys Hillman. Sure, Rhys is already talented Digital Strategist at an ad agency in Melbourne who does great client work. However, he is also very creative and driven with his own initiatives.

He created a hilarious website called Please Help Me Ja Rule, where people can choose their mood and be rewarded with an appropriate Ja Rule track. Not only is the site funny: future bosses and recruiters notice when someone’s fun side project gets shared more than 500 times in Facebook and involves art + copy + code.

It isn’t rocket science to realise the people who hire digital strategists need evidence to prove you rock. If you haven’t got any work experience, build digital experiences about things you love. I promise it will help you get you strategy jobs.

2. Read, then Engage

Read as much as you can online about digital strategy, then digest it and talk about it. Find authors and thinkers you like, follow them on Twitter/Facebook. Ask them questions & engage with their own tweets.

You’d be surprised how well-known people or experts often reply to their fans. Digital marketing genius Brian Solis engages heaps with people who engage with him.

If you don’t know where to start with who to follow, do a bit of searching for fellow strategists who you like. You could start here.

Don’t stress if you find your hero is a douchebag, either. You can unfollow them with a single click!

3. Get your LinkedIn sorted

Fill out your details. Don’t worry if you didn’t go to an Ivy League university: people will appreciate honesty. In the same measure, don’t boast if you are already a high achiever: LinkedIn rewards modesty.

Better still, put the stuff you build in 1. into your showcase of work. Add people who influence you with a kind introductory description explaining you’re not a stalker.

4. Go beyond Digital

No, I don’t just mean watch lots of indie movies and use analogue cameras. A good strategist knows strategy in all its forms: from warfare to economics.

A good place to start is Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which you can read here. It might be a cliche, but the rules of strategy you learn in it are valuable and will stop you from becoming arrogant when you start getting cocky.

Beyond Sun Tzu, I would strongly encourage you to read across strategy in other subjects, not just business and marketing. It will help you become a better strategist when you’re able to be more abstract in your understanding of how to meet objectives & overcome challenges using limited sets of resources.


For more of my digital strategy idiocy ,you can follow me on Twitter at @oiwoods or on Google+.

Written by

Digital Strategist. Avowedly pro-Asia. Lover of culture, history, film, politics & music. For more, follow me on @oiwoods or visit www.oiwoods.com

A Walk in the Dark


A story in true form; or the form of a true story

The family had fallen upon a good phase of sleep that summer. The baby was waking at 7 a.m. and the little boy was sometimes getting up as late as 8 a.m. Mornings were returned to the parents, ever so briefly. The mother would get up early and do some work in her office. The father had time for a coffee and even his full breakfast of toast and cereal before the rush. She told him that she felt as if a door somewhere deep inside her was opening again, ever so slightly. And then she laughed because she knew it would all change again.

And it did. Again.

The baby started to cry at 5 a.m., asking for a bottle, refusing to go back to sleep. One morning, the father finally decided to take her out in the jog stroller, hoping to put her back to sleep. Although still thick with sleep, the little boy somehow sensed the excitement. He woke up screaming, “I want to go too!”

It was five in the morning. The parents stepped out into the dark of their neighborhood. He brought the jog stroller out from the back shed. She lifted the umbrella stroller from its storage spot in the hatchback of their car. The baby was placed into her seat, buckles snapped, and then the father dashed off with her into the darkness. The little boy was slipped into the umbrella stroller, flimsy seatbelt straps left undone, and the mother struggled to push him down the gravel driveway onto the street.

No one said a word—too sleepy for goodbyes.

She was still wearing her pajamas—a long cotton dress that was once a fashionable summer maxi so many years ago—her hair mussed, always mussed. If the sun were out, she thought, she would be forced to reckon with her shadow: the silhouette of herself, the iconography of her own ridiculous figure. A woman trying to hold a spilling cup of coffee while also pushing the stroller; in front of her, the little boy’s body, no longer babyish, was stretching the fabric of the stroller seat and causing it to come loose from its piping. The mother would have seen a reminder of herself so familiar to her throughout her whole life: a woman too busy to give much thought to her own appearance but not busy enough to be immune to the perils of vanity. There it would be: the tyrannical shadow, trapping her with its formal ruthlessness. She would be forced to respond: “Is that who I am?”

But of course, it was dark. There was nothing. There was only the mother and the boy, his legs splaying outwards on either side of him, too long for the tiny footrest. They pushed along the quiet streets, alone in their thoughts. Suddenly he cried out, “Frog!”

The woman had no idea what he was talking about until she bent her legs to see the street from his point of view. There, at the edge of the curb, was a gutter with a wide cement mouth. On top of the gutter, a small blue plaque was emblazoned with the sign: “From Street to Stream” and on the sign was an etching of a frog. They looked at it for a few minutes, talked about what it might mean. The boy was excited so they agreed to find more. The pair set off in search of more gutters, more plaques and more frogs.

But as it turned out, the frogs were not easy to find. Most of the sewer signs had little etchings of fish on them. When the mother and the boy rounded past the park near their house, they counted almost a dozen signs but each one had the fish. She pledged to him that they would do their best to find another frog before it was time to go back inside. The mother pushed more quickly now, the stroller wheels crushing up leaves and sticks underneath them.

And all the while, she sensed that the sun would soon come up. She felt the impermanence of it all. “This is the magic of raising children.” The phrase formed in her mind but it struck her as hopelessly inaccurate. It wasn’t about that at all. She would have to try to write it down somehow and maybe understand it better. But what would she say? There were the frogs and the unexpected excitement at discovering how rare they were. There was the sheer absurdity—mixed with joy—of walking around the neighborhood in pajamas in the dark. There was the boy, once too small and now too big for the stroller. And there was the night, offering up its last gasp at holding it all still, fixed in darkness.

The two walked for over an hour and the mother knew they needed to get home. Forms were becoming recognizable in the growing light. Wagons and scooters were now distinguishable from porch swings and lawn chairs. On the way home, they swung around to check on one last block. It would take them closer to the creek near their house and it required dipping down a long hill. Every single gutter on the way down was a fish but, at the very bottom, just as they were about to give up, they found their second frog.

The boy leapt out of the stroller in triumph. He leaned in close to see the etching. Although the woman had to hurry him back into his seat, she, too, felt a sense of tidy accomplishment. “Small miracles are all around us.” “Life is always offering up unexpected joys.” “Pay attention…” The list of phrases ran through her mind but each one rankled her with its easy righteousness. It was none of those things. It was the sagging stroller and the dappled green coffee mug spilling coffee all over her clothes—the way it always did back then—and the boy, once a baby and then, later, an adult with absolutely no interest in either frogs or fish.

As if any of it could ever really be held still.

When she looked up, she saw the shape of a figure up ahead, coming closer: a fellow traveler in the night. The mother felt an unexpected sense of relief. It would be a witness, someone who might see them and wave, perhaps even exchange a small word of wonderment. “Sun’s coming up,” and “Kids,” or “Love the neighborhood,” and “Quietest time of day.”

When the darkness of the figure dissolved into view, however, she realized that it wasn’t a stranger at all. It was her husband running with the baby asleep in the stroller. They were the only people out in the entire neighborhood. The mother and the father crossed paths for a brief second and then she turned to watch him whoosh away. He must have waved with the back of his hand but she could barely see it. In the dawn, he was visible only as a whir of motion, getting smaller and smaller, moving further and further away.

She might have just stayed there, a single point of stillness. But it was morning and time for her to go inside and get ready. She would need to put the oatmeal on now if the children had any hope of eating it before it was time to leave for school.

Later on, it did occur to her, however, that the frog and fish signs were too particular. Maybe the mother and the boy should have discovered something else, something more emblematic. They should have found one half of a prized locket or shards of a torn up letter. A love letter? An indictment. A passionate plea for forgiveness. There should have been some cohesive drama at the heart of it, some puzzle just waiting to be pieced together.

Instead, they ate oatmeal. All of them, together now, the mother and father, the boy and the baby, still sleepy and sitting around their kitchen table. They turned on all their lights in the kitchen out of habit so that anyone looking in from the outside would have seen their nascent shapes growing more and more distinct with the light—wrinkles and textures, sleep from the night still present on the boy’s eyelashes.

And then it was morning. Again.

Written by

Writing books and plays

How To Change Yourself… For Good!


At one time or another, wanting to change and better yourself is a great thing. Just think about how many people set a new year resolution at the beginning of 2014. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of our good change intentions fail and that they are not being successfully implemented.

Why is that? Three main reasons:

Often we have not precisely analyzed the underlying cause and true necessity of our intention to change. Secondly, we have not developed a thoughtful plan of action (incl. not having thought about possible consequences in advance). Thirdly, and most importantly, often we remain stuck with resolutions and good intentions. Meaning, we´re not able to really change our habits and as such our behavior.

So, how to systematically plan your own change and – in order of attaining lasting personal change – how to teach an old dog new tricks?

What has worked for me in behavior change, and what I´ve seen functioning very well for others, is reflected in the following principles:

Assess If There Is A Need For You To Change At All
Before you´d like to storm ahead with any change initiative, make sure that not the opinions of others make want you to change something. It should be you who has a clear reason for change in order to eventually succeed with your efforts. You are in charge of your life and you set your personal agenda of change. Try to find out the reasons why you´d like to change something by asking yourself questions from multiple perspectives. Don´t be irritated, if you were to arrive at the conclusion that you do not want to change in the end; and that instead you only had the perception of wanting to change. It happens sometimes!

Identify What Exactly You Want To Change
Start writing down what you´re really good at and what you like about yourself. Maybe you decide to change in such a way as to make your strengths even stronger. And only in a second step tackling your dislike areas and/or your areas you´d like to improve on. Then write down your flaws and prioritize them. State what you want to change in one precise and positive worded sentence. As you´ll write your sentence(s) in an increasingly concrete manner, you´ll almost naturally find the good starting point of your change process, e.g. I want to run every day 5 miles before going to work (instead of I want to do more sports). Tip: Analyze everything you’ve thought about to change and pick the one thing that’s most important for you.

Visualize How It Will Look And Feel Once Having Successfully Changed
Examine and speculate e.g. about what kind of person you would like to become. Typically you would ask questions that challenge your most deeply held assumptions about who you are. “What if” questions are vital here: What if I stop being a self-centered, egotistic, and superficial manager? What if I no longer worry so much about only achieving quantitative targets? What if I no longer feel personally guilty of having missed certain objectives? What if I begin to tell the truth to myself and to others? Other helpful contemplation and imagination-stimulating techniques are meditation, yoga, and hypnosis.

Determine How Much You Want To Change And How Quickly
Best is to start with an easy to manage personal change project. If it´s a bigger one, chunk it down into small bites. Take one chunk after the other, i.e. take small baby steps. Keep in mind that often the initial effort is the hardest. Afterwards usually it gets easier. The best time to start with the actual change process is as soon as you´re clear about your objective. And not one second later. It won’t get easier if you were to postpone it. The contrary is true, it will get harder and harder and you will end up with having less time to make the change. So, get your act together, define what and how much you want to change and get started. Now! One more advice: Set a deadline and create milestones to encourage more effective behavior.

Consider How The Change Will Impact You And Others
When personal change occurs, we need to take into account the wider consequences of that change for the overall system in which we operate. Making a change can end up to be disastrous if you don’t take time to step back and evaluate the impact of the change before making it. You should evaluate the future as though the change were made to see if there are any negative, harmful, or unnecessarily expensive results caused by its implementation to you, your family, colleagues, etc. Questions you could ask are: Does the outcome of the change enhance my life? Does it give me better opportunities? Does it limit me or any other relevant person in any way? Does it empower or dis-empower?

Stay Realistic and Be Prepared For Anything
Set a realistic goal that you believe is achievable. In addition you should also honestly acknowledge that on your journey to change most likely you will encounter a multitude of hurdles to overcome, setbacks to cope with, and various people trying to distract and demotivate you. It´s normal. Don´t worry, don´t blame anyone (neither yourself), but expect obstacles and be prepared. Also do not anticipate to change overnight. It´s not a switch; it´s a transformational process!

Make The Change Become Part Of You
As you are exploring possibilities for a better way of being, behaving, etc., you have also learned new modes of thinking. You interrupted the flow of repetitive thoughts that had occupied most of your waking moments. Letting go of these familiar, comfortable habits of thought, you assembled a more evolved concept of whom you could become, replacing an old idea of yourself with a new, greater ideal. Based on that get out of your comfort zone and develop habits of this new person you’re becoming. Doing things that put us on edge incite new emotions and thought processes. New thought processes lead to new and different opportunities, resulting in change. Chose something related to your goal. If you want to be e.g. more convincing, seek occasions that force you to discuss and argue with people. Through repetitive practice you´ll make an habit out of it. Ongoing real-life practicing will stimulate the brain to put new neural circuits in place and to make them a integral part of your evolved personality and character.

Establish Ways To Reward And Motivate You
Start slowly and increase the rate of difficulty and speed over time. Go for the low hanging fruits first. Make sure you´ll have your moments of glory. Measure, recognize, and celebrate your progress. With pride, positive emotions and outside treats: A nice dinner with your partner, a short vacation, a visit to the theater, etc. When doing so take into consideration not to use rewards which are counter to your objective. Example: If your aim is to stop smoking, you should not celebrate a week without having touched any cigarette by enjoying a cigar and a glass of bourbon (the bourbon is okay). You´d better treat yourself solely e.g. with a splendid glass of an old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon (which has an exquisite taste).

Keep Going And Stay Relaxed
If you feel and realize you´re not on track although you´ve tried hard, then stop, look for new options, adjust, and start all over again. It´s not uncommon that from time to time you might need to fine-tune your goals. Replace unpleasant and negative thoughts with positive ones. Find like-minded people and collaborate with them. Group spirit helps to overcome potential obstacles and is a beautiful source of motivation and inspiration. If you were to fall back into old habits, find out the reasons, write them down and define immediate actions of how to get back on track (e.g. change something in your environment which might represent a distraction or an obstacle to you). Once you’ve reached your desired result, still keep the focus and the momentum. Continue to ingrain your new habits and to make them part of your character. It´s a never ending story. Also make sure you stay healthy. Make sports, eat well, have sufficient rest and plan enough time for things you love. Being healthy means being positive and having more energy and strength. And finally, take it easy. Give yourself time, be generous with yourself, and enjoy to learn and to grow by changing.

What do you think? How do you succeed in changing yourself? What are the challenges you are facing?

Best regards,

Andreas von der Heydt

*****

Andreas von der Heydt is the Country Manager of Amazon BuyVIP in Germany. Before that he hold senior management positions at L’Oréal. He´s a leadership expert, executive coach and NLP master. He also founded Consumer Goods Club. Andreas worked and lived in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Please click ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from Andreas in the future. Feel free to also connect via his LinkedIn Groups Coaching or Consumer Goods, or via Twitter and Facebook.

Other recent posts by Andreas von der Heydt:
12 Irrational Ideas That Limit Personal Growth
The Power of Being A Realistic Optimist
How To Become A Master Of Creativity: Work It!
How To Become A Master Of Creativity: Attitude!
The Most Disguised And Inspirational Leadership Speech
12 Minutes To Create A Mind Changing Presentation
The Single Most Essential Building Block of Success
Re-Invent Yourself

Photo: istockphoto

Posted by:Andreas von der Heydt