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Do Your Cognitive Biases Hold You Back?

The answer to this question is a resounding, maybe. After all, who’s to say that your particular cognitive biases aren’t actually pushing you forward? The important thing to realize is that, no matter what, every human always enter every situation with biases. We filter everything we see through the prism of what we’ve experienced before. It is through this process that some people become pessimistic and others become optimistic in specific situations.

An individual with a pessimistic cognitive bias toward business opportunities is almost never aware of it. Even in those rare cases where they are self-aware enough to recognize that they tend to focus more on the raincloud than the rainbow, when decision making time comes along these people usually put their focus on the raincloud anyway. As a result they tend not to put themselves in the greatest position to succeed. Then, in the manner of all self-fulfilling prophesies, when they don’t succeed they file the experience away as further proof that business opportunities are rigged against them. As a result, people with these sorts of bias are definitely held back. What they seldom realize is that they are the force holding them back is one that they are creating.

Where could we look if we wanted to find people with the opposite bias? Thomas Edison seems like a great example. It’s well known that he failed many more times than he succeeded. The twist is that Edison interpreted those failures in a positive way. He said, “Now I know one more way that my idea won’t work.” Can you see how empowering it was for Edison to look at the world in this way? He set the rules up in a way that […]

9 Ways to Improve Your Memory

Your brain is an organ, but for right now think of it as a muscle. Think about all the muscles in your body, your biceps, pectorals, quads, etc. If want them to be strong, toned or ripped, you have to not only use them from day to day but exercise them.

If you only stick to your basic daily routine, you’ll never build those muscles. You need to lift weights, run, do yoga, swim, etc. When you do that, you’re using those muscles and strengthening them. Your brain is the same way. If you only use it from day to day to do mundane things, you’ll never stretch it or reach greater heights. If you find ways to “exercise” it, you’ll be better off.

A person’s memory is one of the most valuable things you have. Your memory is how you learn from your mistakes, remember the good times you had with friends and family and succeed in endeavors you undertake.  You should be striving to improve your memory so you can have it and use it as long as possible.

Here’s a list of 9 ways to improve your memory:

Puzzles and Brain Teasers: There all different kinds of puzzles you can do. There are crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, 3-D puzzles, word searches, etc. These are great for me because they are the kinds of things I can do while watching my favorite shows on TV.
Number Games: Sudoku had a quick flare up a while ago. It was The Thing to do. Everyone was doing it. Every phone came with it; there was Solitaire and Sudoku. The trend has kind of died down, but it’s still a great way to work your mind.
Reading: There are so many […]

Success Profile of Shel Silverstein

Most people know Shel Silverstein the author of children’s books, such as “The Giving Tree,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “A Light in the Attic”. But do you know Shel Silverstein the playwright or the songwriter?

His talents and accomplishments reach much farther than the children’s books of poems most people are familiar with.

When you think of children’s literature several books come to mind. One book on everyone’s list is “The Giving Tree.” This book has sold millions of copies and is known all over the world. What most people don’t know is how hard Silverstein had to push to get that book published.

When he took it in to people, they refused to publish it. He stated in an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 1964, “Everybody loved it, they were touched by it, they would read it and cry, and say it was beautiful.” He went on to say, “But… one publisher said it was too short. Others felt that the book fell between adult and children’s literature and wouldn’t be popular.” No one would publish it.

But he stuck with it. He refused to change anything, even the sad ending. He felt the story was one that needed to be heard and shared. It took four years for him to find someone willing to publish. Ursula Nordstrom, an editor at Harper and Row, read the book and saw Silverstein’s vision and what he was trying to accomplish. She offered to publish the book as he wrote it.

It seemed that through his life, both personal and professional, he strived to live what he wrote. His poem, Listen to the Mustn’ts Child is a poem that he clearly lived by.

Listen To The Mustn’ts

Listen to Mustn’ts, child, […]

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    Be Productive Today: Don’t Regret the Past or Fear the Future

Be Productive Today: Don’t Regret the Past or Fear the Future

Have you ever found yourself ruminating over your past or stressing over your future? It’s a common ailment of the human race. I think we all struggle with this from time to time. This stress can be healthy because it will help us realize there are some things we want to do differently than we have done in the past. And in order to change those things we have to do something today to change them in the future. It’s only unhealthy when this stress or worry gets to be so crippling that all you can do is lie on your bed and stare at the ceiling. The famous Dalai Lama said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.”

No matter how many times your review something in your head. And no matter how many times you plan something out in your head – it’s not going to happen unless you do something. Don’t cry over spilled milk and stop stressing about the milk that hasn’t been spilled. Today is the day to go out and do something. Today is the day that you can get something done.

Stop stressing. If you wanted to lose some weight, it wouldn’t make sense to just keep stressing about all the food you ate yesterday and it wouldn’t make sense to keep writing down your exercise plan. You have to buy some healthy food, eat healthy meals, go to the gym, and avoid eating those donuts today. If you are too lazy to do it today, you might be too lazy to do it tomorrow. If you don’t get it done today – […]

Grace Hopper: Amazing Grace

When most people think of the origin of computers, they probably imagine a bunch of men huddled around a huge machine, crunching numbers. While this image is mostly correct, you’re forgetting a huge fact. Among that group of men was an amazing woman, Grace Hopper.

Grace Hopper not only worked on the first computer, the Mark 1, but she is also known as the “mother” of COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language).  She laid many of the stepping stones in the computer science industry that have led to modern day technological advances.

Even at a young age Hopper was curious and inquisitive. She would have questions about something and do her best to find an answer. When she was 7 her mother caught her taking apart alarm clocks so she could figure out how they worked.

After graduating high school she went to Vassar and earned a bachelors degree in 1928 in mathematics and physics and then her masters from Yale University in 1930. She continued her education at Yale and went on to receive her PhD in mathematics. Hopper began teaching at Vassar in 1931. She continued there as a professor there until 1943.

During her career in teaching Hopper decided she wanted to serve our country and join the U.S. Navy. She was one among many women who volunteered to serve in the WAVES. She was told that she was too little to join. She was 15 pounds under the weight requirement of 120 pounds. But Grace Hopper was a determined woman and she was able to get an exemption which allowed her to enlist.

While in the Navy, Hopper was able to work on the first computer. It was at that time that she coined the term “debugging” […]

By |February 14th, 2014|Success Profile|0 Comments

Why Expecting Immediate Results Can Lead to Failure

We live in a world of instant gratification. If we want to find out what time a movie is at, we just pull up the app on our phone. If we want to know how our friend’s vacation in Europe is going, we just check their Facebook or Instagram page. If we want to have a conference call with someone in another country, we just hop on Skype and we can see each other face to face.

No matter what information we need or who we need to talk to, we can do it almost instantly. Having that privilege constantly within our reach has tainted our realistic expectations. We expect everything to happen almost instantly. The reality of the situation is that most of the things in life that are worth having, take time. Patience is a virtue our society is slowly losing.

Kids are graduating high school and college and expecting their dream jobs to fall into their laps. They are going into debt so they have the house and cars their parents have. What they don’t realize is that their parents had to work to earn those things. The big house and nice cars came into their lives over time. You start out with a low paying job and move up in the world. You don’t get you dream home as soon as you graduate.

If you expect to have everything you want when you want it, you will be in for a world of hurt. It’s healthy to want achieve great things in life, but you have to have realistic expectations of when you will achieve them. Take the big house for example. Many young couples are going into debt because they get married […]

Negativity Stops You From Being Successful

“The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.” ~Charles Swindoll
Positive people look at life with the attitude that they are going to charge, that they will make a difference and that they will do more than what is expected of them. That attitude is where success starts.

Remember, all those other things – past, education, money, circumstance, failure and success – have an impact and can be important, but many of those are outside your control. Your attitude, however, is completely up to you. That’s why it’s vital to maintain a positive attitude if you hope to achieve success.

Realize that you are in control of your attitude. As mentioned, there are outside influences, but how you respond and how those factors affect you in the long term is ultimately up to you. Having a positive attitude is about self-mastery and self-awareness – each of which will help you on your journey toward success.
Put a plan in place. Develop a pattern of positivity by surrounding yourself with positive people, books, and ideas. Both negativity and positivity can be habitual perspectives, so the more exposure you have to each, the more likely you are to embrace it.
Learn how to address problem areas. In the workplace, this may mean confronting the individuals who seem to promote negativity. In your personal life, it may mean improving relationships or personal […]

Stepping From Dreamer to Entrepreneur

It’s a hot afternoon, you’re sitting in a chair at you kitchen table thinking about the article you just read.  Lines from it take control of your thoughts, “Start you own business”, “Be your own boss”.  You have some good ideas running around in your mind and you’ve dreamt about what it would be like to actually make it happen.  You’ve thought of scenarios, people, places, products, services, etc.  Deep down inside, you know you could do it given the chance.

Well, here’s a little secret for you.  The chance will never be given to you.  You have to take it.  The difference between an entrepreneur and a dreamer is action.

People who dream about starting their own business want someone to walk up to them and say, “Here, I started this company from nothing.  I did it all in your name and now I want to give it to you.”  When you think about it that way, it really does sound ridiculous doesn’t it?  But that is honestly how most people want it to happen.  They aren’t willing to do the work themselves.

You never read stories about dreamers because they don’t do anything.  No one wants to hear about someone who daydreams all the time.  You read stories about people who had successful lives and careers.  About people who did hard things.  About people who made a difference.  They might have started out as dreamers, but they had a little something extra; the ability and desire to act.

You have to decide how badly you want this.  What are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen?  It won’t be easy, but it is possible.

In order to move from a dream to a possibility, you have […]

Keeping Up on Tasks

When I started working my first job, I was surprised to find that a lot of people took forever to finish projects that could easily be done in a few minutes. I couldn’t figure out why this was. At the time, I was struggling to keep up with my life as a full-time student, part-time worker, and a social butterfly. I would run from one thing to the next to get everything done. Everything was listed out and organized in my planner. Every hour of every day was planned.

I didn’t have time to dawdle on my tasks.

I was just getting things done and I was working as quickly and proficiently as I could. If I didn’t organize my schedule just so – I could run into the problem of not having enough time to finish an assignment or I would forget something important. So I just kept going day in and day out – scheduling my hours and working my hardest. Of course there were days when I failed to get everything done and there were times when my assignments were finished just seconds before class. But overall, as I look back, I completed an amazing amount of work in such a short amount of time.

Whenever I had a long list of tasks to complete, I would just jump from one task to the next. While on the other hand, in the instances when I didn’t have as many meetings to attend and I didn’t have as much homework to do, I would stretch out my time and wouldn’t work as proficiently. I got lazy about planning my schedule and I got lazy about keeping up with assignments. I grew to become more like […]

On Making a Good First Impression

People will judge you the moment they see you. If you want to leave a good lasting impression it’s important to remember a few things. Even if you are shy or uncomfortable with meeting new people, there is a way for you to succeed in making good first impressions. Just take a second to breathe and take notice of the following items:


Timing is important. If you are headed to a job interview or heading to an important conference for networking, you should definitely arrive a few minutes early. Plan ahead of time so that you will be ready for your meeting. Make sure that you aren’t rushing around a few minutes before the event starts. Plan out your timing and show up early. Arriving early shows that you are proficient and organized. It shows others that they can count on you to get the job done right and on time.


Before you walk into an interview or a conference make sure that you get your head in the right place. Figure out why you are attending the meeting and what you need to accomplish from going there. This will give you purpose in your introductions and will help you appear more confident.


Appearance is everything. Even though your mother might have told you that looks don’t matter. They do. It’s statistically proven that more attractive people get higher paying jobs and have more success in life. Figure out the dress code for the place you are going and try to dress a little bit nicer than is required. Make sure to keep your appearance sharp. Dress nicely, do your hair, and if you are female do your makeup. Details matter in this area and when making […]