CEO Blog

Category Archives: Health and Fitness

All blog posts by Kevin Dee, Chairman at Eagle — Canada’s premier staffing agency, related to health and fitness.

Do You Have A Smartphone Addiction?

Quote about focus from John Di LemmeSome days it seems like the whole world is addicted to their smartphones!

You can’t walk one city block without encountering someone, and more often many people, trying to text and walk, usually badly.

Despite mass awareness, legislative change and police clamp downs you cannot commute home without passing people with their phones in their hand.  These people are willing to risk their lives, other people’s lives and at a minimum the property damage of a car accident rather than put the smartphone away.

“A texting driver will take an EXTRA 70 feet to stop at 70 mph.” Car and Driver Study

Go to any busy restaurant and you will see a number of people on their devices and even more people with their devices sitting just waiting to be picked up at the hint of an email, text or call!  Don’t these people want to talk to their fellow diners?

Go to the average work meeting and ask people to switch off their mobile phones and you will be met with awe and dismay.  Too often you will spot meeting “participants” on their device, responding to “important” emails or more likely texting another meeting “participant” instead of engaging in the meeting.

“Multitasking often leads to messing two things up simultaneously.”  Farhan Thawar

When did we all become so important that we cannot be “offline” for a couple of hours?

As an addiction, the smartphone is particularly dangerous because not only does it pander to our need to be in touch with our friends and family 24/7 but it also gives us access to the internet 24/7.  We need never again have to wait minutes to hear the news, or a sports score … our smartphone delivers it to us AND even tells us when it arrives!

None of this is rational.

If we made rational decisions then we would schedule time to check our email, as it fits in with our work.

We might keep in contact with friends and family, but periodically at lunch or maybe during an afternoon break.

We would not need to know about the news “as it happens” because we would be focused on the task at hand, which most days of the week is our job.

In meetings we would put the thing away, provide constructive input to the meeting and address anything else after the meeting.

We might employ hands free technology in our cars to talk while driving.  However our eyes would be on the road and our hands guiding the vehicle … not texting our friends.

“A drunk driver is 4 (FOUR) times more likely to have an accident.  A sober driver texting is 8  (EIGHT) times more likely to have an accident.”  Insurance Company Statistics

A rational choice would be to drive our day, to be as productive as possible and to use the smartphone as a tool.

Instead … we let our smartphones interrupt our lives, impact our productivity, hurt our relationships AND worse still, possibly kill us, and others.

Does this make sense to anyone?

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________


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10 Ways To Improve Your Day

Unhappiness quote by Eckhart TolleSome people are natural optimists, they are often referred to as “glass half full” people and they look on the bright side of life. I tend to fall into that camp.

Other people are naturally pessimistic, tend to look on the darker side of life and see problems rather than opportunities.

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.” Sir Winston Churchill.

I think it is fair to say that most people fall somewhere in the middle, with a tendency towards one extreme or the other.

I think it fair to say that life as a glass half full person tends to be a little easier, which is not to say we “optimists” can’t also be realistic… we just choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

If you would like to move yourself closer to the glass half full perspective on life then here are ten things you can do to get there:

  1. Be cognizant of your state of mind. Just being aware that you might be construed as negative can help you to adjust how you react and what others might see.
  2. Pause before reacting. Teach yourself not to react with your first thought, but to put more effort into thinking about the situation. Very often what seems like a big deal at the outset is really not all that bad when all of the facts are known.
  3. Look for reasons to be positive, rather than looking for problems. Yes, you need to deal with reality, but generally there are positive things in your life in addition to “the problems”… focus on the good first, and THEN tackle your “problems”.
  4. Make a list of things to be thankful for and revisit it often. We all have much to be thankful for if we compare ourselves to people in third world countries, people with terminal illnesses etc.
  5. Hang out with as many positive people as you can. Positivity is contagious!
  6. Try to limit your time with people who drag you down, negative people, “whiners” and complainers. If possible avoid them, if not then spend as little time as possible. Unfortunately negativity is just as contagious as positivity!
  7. Do things for other people… with no expectation of a return. It’s amazing how good it feels to help others who could use a hand. A charity, a friend in need, a relative who could use a little help or any other way you can.
  8. Find things that lift your spirits… I like motivational sayings, “feel good” stories and lessons from successful people. Find things that lift your spirits.
  9. Create a plan and measure your success against that plan. Success breeds success. If you create a plan to do something and work at it, and achieve your goal you will feel good. Things like achievable weight loss, learn a language, learn to play an instrument, take a course, make a first speech (Toastmasters) etc.
  10. Consciously smile! We all feel better when we smile, so find reasons to smile, catch yourself when you are not smiling… and SMILE!

You might find this a little hokey, or not… but give it a try. Give it a month and see if your days are better, your mood is lighter and people comment about how happy you seem!

As Monty Python might say, “Always look on the bright side of life.”

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Feeling Low Energy? 10 Tips To Stay Sharp

The serenity prayerWe all hit those low energy periods from time to time. It might be because there is a sustained period of pressure at work, it might be because of stress at work or at home, it just might be because it has been a while since we took some time off. It could be too much business travel, long hours, hotel beds and restaurant meals. Whatever the reason, we all need to recharge the batteries from time to time.

Conventional wisdom says that we cannot be at our most productive when we are tired and stressed, so we need to find ways to look after ourselves in order to be productive. That requires taking care of both body and mind.

Here are 10 tips for you to ponder:

  1. Plan your vacation time. Don’t wait till the end of your year and cram in some time off. Try to take at least one longer vacation, a week or ten days at minimum. “A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” Earl Wilson
  2. Know what works for you to relax… sitting on a beach is heaven for some, torture for others! Some people need to climb mountains, run marathons or get in a boxing ring!
  3. Take mini breaks through the year… doing the things that make you feel good. A few long weekends sprinkled through the year, the occasional day off to do something for you.
  4. Have interests outside of work. It should be personalized and does not have to be all consuming, just something that you can focus on other than work.
  5. Look after your health. Try to be moderate in your drinking and eating, and find time to work out. “The greatest wealth is health.” Virgil
  6. Make time in the day when you can think, rather than do.
  7. Develop great time management skills… to help reduce your stress.
  8. Laugh, it is nature’s medicine! “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh
  9. Invest in friendships.
  10. Set goals. Having a sense of where you are going is far less stressful than going with the flow.

None of us live in a perfect world, and perhaps at this point in your life some of these things are not possible. Do what you can do to keep your energy levels up and don’t beat yourself up about things you can’t control.

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
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The Effect Of Alcohol On Careers

Drunk man with a beerIt strikes me as strange that I am writing a blog entry with such a title.

I am quite partial to a nice bottle of wine.

I enjoy my single malt collection upon occasion.

I have been known to have a beer to go along with a barbeque on a hot Summer evening, or after a game of soccer.

I’m a social person, and a glass in hand with good company is definitely on my list of things I enjoy.

Having said that, I lost a brother to alcoholism when he was 46 years old.

My wife and I have a foundation that supports an addiction centre and I have been fortunate enough to spend some time talking to people who had been through that program, and were trying to put their lives back together.

I heard the story of the high flying sales executive in the high tech world who let drink affect his life.  The company did not make it and nor did his marriage, he ended up on the street homeless and in need of help.

High flying careers seem to attract drink.  Liquid lunches used to be very normal, multiple drinks after work is still common.  You see them in bars everywhere, smart bright-eyed young executives on the rise with access to expense accounts and having fun.  It is very alluring, and if you keep it in perspective it can be fun.

The problems come when the alcohol becomes a habit, or worse an addiction.

The young, bright-eyed executive gets to be not so young any more.

The weight gain is steady and as the bloom of youth disappears the skin ages, the eyes become not so bright and the slurred jokes become less funny.

What might have been acceptable in the “Mad Men” era is no longer acceptable.  Societal norms have changed … we no longer tolerate discrimination, smoking in the office or excessive drinking.

We do not want our companies to be represented by people that are less than professional.

We want conversations with our clients, stakeholders and employees to be intelligent, not slowed by excessive alcohol.

Every year I take a 4 week period (at a minimum) where I will abstain from alcohol completely.  It is my way of ensuring that it is not becoming too important in my life, and that I can go without alcohol, on demand.

When I talk to our new staff before company events I will tell them that there will be alcohol, and that if they want to drink that is fine.  However, they are company events, and so they should act accordingly.  They should not make a fool of themselves and they should be ready to work and contribute the next morning, not hung-over and moving slowly.

Some companies have a no alcohol policy and I can understand that.  Our culture is a fun culture, but a professional one, that says its OK to have a few drinks just don’t go nuts.

Alcohol ruins lives.  On a smaller scale it ruins careers.  Don’t let the “fun factor” of a few drinks get away from you and affect your life negatively.

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________


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Invest in Yourself

live love laugh sing PLAY TO WINStephen Covey wrote about the Emotional Bank Account, explaining that for every relationship we have, there exists an imaginary bank account.

In order to invest in each relationship we need to make deposits in that account, and whenever we make withdrawals we are harming that relationship.

The theory being that we need to deposit more than we withdraw if we are to have a healthy relationship.

Life is like that!

There is a cost to everything, and if you make deposits in your account then you are investing in your own success.

While this will relate to money, more importantly it relates to every aspect of your life … your career, your relationships, your hobbies, your education, your success, your health and fitness, your aspirations, dreams and anything else you can think of!

The good news is that it is easy to see how you can have a positive impact on your life … make deposits into YOUR Life Bank Account!

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.  It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.”  Robin Sharma

Here are 10 Deposits that anyone could make in their Life Bank Account:

1.  Take a course to enhance your career.  A technical course related to your profession or a soft skills course applicable to any career.  Invest in your future.

2.  Start a fitness plan, or add to your fitness plan.  Don’t go crazy, but do something that increases your activity level.

3.  Read.  Newspapers (online or paper versions); books; periodicals; magazines.  Enhance your knowledge and make yourself more interesting!

4.  Volunteer.  Give back, devote some time to others … you will get immeasurable pleasure from giving.

5.   Reduce and eventually drop one of your “bad habits” … it could be sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or some other habit.

6.  Invest time in the key people in your life.  Find ways to build those relationships.

7.  Capture your ideas and dreams in one place.  A book, on the computer, file folders … whatever works for you.  Read it and add to it regularly.

8.  Create a list of all of the things that you should be grateful for … the big things and the little pleasures.  Pull this out when you need a boost, but also on a regular basis to add all of the latest “good stuff”.

9.  Take control of your time, be as productive as you can possibly be … but also make sure you find time to do the things that are most important to you!

10.  Set Goals!  Goals give you a direction for your life, a roadmap to follow and a means to motivate yourself.  If you want to make just one deposit into your Life Bank Account this is it!

“Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.” Unknown 

Once you start depositing into that Life Bank Account you will start to see the results of that investment … we need to make deposits before we have anything to withdraw!

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of  Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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The Value of Self-Discipline

Disciple quote by Bruce HamiltonSelf-discipline seems to have become an “old fashioned” concept, and you don’t find too many people talking about self-discipline these days.

If you want to be a top athlete then you need to spend years training, building up your skills and getting stronger and better all the time. It takes self-discipline to keep pushing yourself, to get out of bed early in the mornings, to go to the gym when you feel tired and to work through pain.

If you want to be an entrepreneur you will need self-discipline to keep a positive attitude when those around you are losing faith, to keep working for peanuts when the bills are mounting, to put in long hours doing every job that needs doing instead of taking a nice pay cheque to work for someone else

If you want to be a good salesperson it takes self-discipline to pound out those calls, to get out and meet potential clients, to accept the rejection, to build new relationships and to build your “book of business”.

If you want to be good at any career it takes self-discipline to establish good work habits, to push yourself to continually learn, to get outside your comfort zone and to not be distracted from your goal.

The problem with self-discipline is that it is hard … by its very nature it means making choices that are focused on an end goal, rather than the “easy choices”. Almost anything that you can do to better yourself or to improve your life requires some self-discipline.

“Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.” Benjamin Disraeli

Here are 10 things you could choose to do … but will require self-discipline.

  1. Give up a bad habit … like smoking. This requires HUGE self-discipline, but people do it all the time.
  2. Lose weight. Another classic that so many people want to achieve but fail because they do not stick to their guns.
  3. Learn a new skill. Could be playing guitar, juggling or learning a new language. It requires a commitment that takes self-discipline.
  4. Save up for something special for yourself, a new car, a new computer, a holiday etc. This requires self-discipline to put money away over a period of time to be able to afford that special thing.
  5. Changing career might require losing an income or taking a drop in income while you learn and work your way back up the ladder.
  6. Finding a way to pay for something for someone else … could be your children, another family member or a friend. You need to do without in order to afford their gift, and that takes self-discipline.
  7. Emigrating to start a new life. This requires self-discipline because inevitably you are walking away from what you know, and likely out of your comfort zone.
  8. It takes self-discipline to teach self-discipline to your children. You WANT to give them everything, but you know they will be better people for not being spoilt.
  9. It takes self-discipline to treat everyone with respect, even when your instinct might be to lash out at rude, selfish or inconsiderate people.
  10. It takes self-discipline to plan your life … to set goals and action plans that you can use as a roadmap to success.

“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” Plato

It may be old fashioned, it may be tough but I believe that someone who has self-discipline is a long way down the road to success … because they can achieve anything!
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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
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A Sense of Humour At Work

Mark Twain quote about laughterWhat role does humour play in the work place?

There is plenty of scientific support for the fact that laughter is good for you.  It is good for you physically, because it brings oxygen rich air into your body that stimulates your lungs, heart and muscles in addition to releasing endorphins from your brain.  Laughter is good for you mentally because it reduces stress and it is hard to feel anxious, angry or sad when you are laughing.

I don’t need the science to know that I like to laugh.  It just feels good.

I also know that I like to be around positive people, and most especially positive people that make me laugh.

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” Victor Hugo

Business is serious.  There are always issues, challenges and stress.  There are financial pressures, targets to meet, competitive pressures, market pressures and the ever present need to grow.  There are employee issues, product issues, customer issues and supplier issues.  It is easy to let business get you down!

So what role does humour have in the workplace?

In my opinion a workplace without humour is a soulless place and the more humour you can have the better!

Cartoon man laughingHere are 10 thoughts about humour in the workplace.

  1. The person who brings a smile in the work place brings a “value add” above their other skills.
  2. If humour can reduce stress then that alone is a big reason to find ways to introduce humour.
  3. Humour needs to be universal … some humour can be at the expense of others and that can be destructive.
  4. People who can make others laugh tend to be positive people, and you should always want positive people around.
  5. Humour defuses tough situations, which frees up people’s brains to focus on the issue without the distraction of stress.
  6. A smile is infectious so humour can have a positive effect on a whole team, even those who don’t necessarily get the humour!
  7. I don’t want to work in an environment where there is no laughter, so I assume others feel the same way.  Laughter is therefore good for staff retention.
  8. Leaders should actively encourage humour.  This may seem strange, but given that there are so many benefits, why wouldn’t leaders want to put a focus on this?
  9. Business is serious, but finding ways to bring humour into the workplace is likely to improve performance because everyone is less stressed.
  10. Leaders need to set the example.  A smile costs nothing, but is worth a lot.  Laughter costs nothing but has positive physical and mental impacts … just do it!

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Charlie Chaplin

Have you heard the one about the CEO, the supervisor and the line worker who went into a workplace…
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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Thoughts On Happiness From Steven Covey

I have always like Covey’s ideas …

Covey on Happy People

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
—————————————————————————————————————————————–


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10 Tips To Improve Your Energy Level And Positively Affect Your Life

Do Something Today that your future self will thank you forIf you are healthy and strong then you can do your best work… no secret there!

If you are healthy and strong then you will feel better mentally… also no big secret.

If you are healthy and strong then you can enjoy more activities in your leisure time… probably not the first time you ever heard that revelation either.

The ONLY surprise in those three statements is that so many people don’t do much of anything to improve their health!

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”  John F. Kennedy

Here are 10 tips that anyone can do.

1. Set some very attainable goals… NOT big hairy goals that you will never meet and which will exasperate you. For example “I would like to lose 10 pounds this year” (break that down into 1 pound per month and go for it). You could set a goal to add 30 minutes of exercise (over and above everything you do today) every day.

2. To get healthier and stronger you need to affect your diet, your exercise and any bad habits (such as smoking/excess drinking etc.) that you may have.

3. Add some weight bearing exercise. Don’t go crazy! You don’t need to add big weights… just something. If you currently do NO weights then just get some light weights get on the internet and find some simple exercise. Do them very slowly and do them so that you feel it. If you already do some weights then vary your routines and/or add a little more weight.

success4. Don’t try to change your life all at once… take it slowly but do it. Do your weights while you watch your TV shows. Get an exercise machine in front of the TV and just add that 30 minutes of movement to your day.

5. Find a friend/partner/exercise buddy. It’s always easier if you have a friend. Maybe someone will walk with you at lunch or after work? Maybe your son, daughter or spouse will keep you honest while working out in front of the TV? If you want to get really serious then get a personal trainer and commit to a program with them.

6. Change your diet… slowly. You don’t need to change all of your eating habits overnight, but change things over time. If you are looking to lose weight then create a food diary. List everything that you eat or drink over the course of a week. Look for easy ways to affect your intake. For example could you replace carbonated drinks with the diet version (better still with water)? Could you reduce portion sizes just a little? Could you get your salad dressings on the side and only use half of it rather than all of that high calorie dressing. If you try to eat totally differently then you will be doomed to failure… if you change small things over time then you have a far better chance of long term success.

7. Drink water. If you feel hungry drink some water and give it 20 minutes before you succumb to eating a snack! Very often the hunger impulse can be “tricked” by drinking water, and in fact often the hunger impulse is actually because you are thirsty.

8. What can you do about those bad habits? You keep trying to quit smoking and it isn’t working for you. You really enjoy those 3 beers while watching TV. Breaking bad habits is REALLY hard, so you need real motivation to have a chance of success. What could motivate you to make the change? If you see some improvement in your health because of the diet and exercise changes perhaps you will be motivated to quit smoking. Perhaps you can reward yourself by promising to spend the money saved from not smoking on a special treat for yourself? Maybe the motivation may come from knowing you are likely to live longer and spend more quality time with your family? YOU need to find sufficient motivation and often you will need help to stay motivated. Develop the motivation, put in place a support structure and them implement your plan to change!

9. Revisit your program monthly. How are you doing? What is going right? What else could you change? What could you do differently?

10 Reward Yourself. Change is tough and if you have made changes then you SHOULD reward yourself. You should be proud of your achievements. You should record those wins. You might even treat yourself to some small tangible reward… it could be a special dinner, a new piece of clothing or anything that you can associate with your success. Share that success with your support group too… maybe even treat them!

The real reward of getting healthier and strong is how you feel, and the ability to do things that others cannot enjoy. To be able to play soccer with your grandkids, to be able to run up those stairs to enjoy a vigorous day out without feeling every ache and pain. Too many people wait too long, become entrenched in their routines, are not willing to make the changes and they suffer for it.

”To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”  Buddha

Make some small changes today and see the effect it will have on all aspects of your life over time.

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________


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Life Balance

Happiness quote by CarnegieThe subject of work/life balance is a common topic and like most people I have my opinions. I have formed mine over 40 years in the workforce, starting out as a Junior Naval Aircraft Mechanic 2nd class in the Royal Navy (I don’t think you can start any lower than that!). For the last 21 years I have owned and operated my own business.

Here are some of my thoughts on life balance … which is my preferred description, as opposed to work/life balance.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time.  You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”  H. Jackson Brown.

1. I believe that everything we are, and everything we do is connected … so when something affects one part of your life it will affect your whole life, unless you consciously act to stop that.
2. You will very likely meet many of the most important people in your life through work.
3. If you can achieve success at work it will make you feel better about yourself … which positively affects all aspects of your life.
4. If you are struggling in one aspect of your life, at work OR at home, it has the capacity to negatively impact the other parts of your life.
5. Having allowed in #4 that tough times at home can impact work etc., the reverse is also true. You can use a great work environment or a great home environment to help you “get through” tough periods in the other parts of your life.
6. Confidence built on success at work shows through at home.
7. Happiness at home (or at work) comes through in the other parts of your life.
8. If you are a “lazy person” at home it is very likely you will display the same tendencies at work.
9. You will be at your most content when all parts of your life are progressing positively.
10.  Success is best enjoyed when it is earned … and success should come in all aspects of your life, your career, your relationships, your hobbies, your health and your general attitude about life.
11.  Happiness is a choice, you are in full control of your own happiness.
12.   Success is what you want it to be.  It does not need to be about position or money, it does need to be about achievement and the result of effort.
13.  Life is not meant to be easy, it can however be very rewarding … make the effort and earn the rewards.
14.  While you can rest along the way, you can never stop the effort because your world is ever changing.
15.  There are always compromises in life, but the most successful people find a way to make things work.

If you want to achieve your potential in life then I believe you should have a “life plan”, not a “work/life plan”.

  • Work on your career.
  • Work on your relationships.
  • Work on your hobbies.
  • Work on your health.
  • Work on your future … as one thing, recognising that work and home life are intertwined.

“A true balance between work and life comes with knowing that your life activities are integrated, not separated.”  Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________


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