Pat Lynch’s Calendar

January 20, 2013 by Pat Lynch

Ask me anything at  plynch@gmi3.com

2011-09-01 08.22.35

2014 Calendar

April 8 – HTMA-Nevada, Las Vegas

April 9-11 – MD Expo in Las Vegas

April 29 – Gateway Biomedical Society, St. Louis

April 30 – Meeting of Biomedical Service providers to Haiti

May 9 – HTMA-SC Conference (Columbia, SC)

May 20 – CMIA Orange County

May 30 – Manny’s Meeting at AAMI – Philadelphia

May 31 -June 2 – AAMI in Philadelphia

July 15, 16 – MD Imaging Expo – Indianapolis

Sept 3,4,5 – NCBA (NC) in Concord, NC

Sept 10, 11, 12 – NCBA (MN)

Sept 17, 18, 19 – VBA – Richmond, VA

Sept 24, 25, 26 – BAW – Wisconsin (presentation via teleconference)

October 1,2,3 – MD Expo/FBS – Orlando

October 24 – Oregon Biomedical – Portland, OR

 

12 Changes We Can Make to Have Everyday Simplicity

January 9, 2015 by Pat Lynch
By on January 7, 2015 in Happiness, Lifehacks

One of the main reasons we suffer so much is complexity. Our constant effort to make everything complex, although it’s quite simple, is what makes us want to give up, to just escape and leave everything behind.

Simplicity is what we need more of.

The funny thing is that things are so simple in their natural form. But we insist on making them hard, then we can’t handle them and it’s just too much for us.

What we need to do is simplify.

And if we make that a daily habit, we’ll have a happier and more peaceful life, full of joy and mindfulness.Here are some simple changes to make in order to live more simply and thus stop suffering and living with effort:

1. Choose the truth.
Speak directly. Truth is so much simpler than lying to yourself, living in an illusion, not being honest with others.

2. Accept.
Denial is complex. We often deny who we are, the choices we’ve made, the things we want, the reality as it is.

But imagine a world where everyone accepts everything that’s done, said and thought. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Start by accepting yourself for who you are, with all your good and bad sides, past mistakes, dreams and plans, habits and desires.
Then, once you are okay with that, you can easily change.

3. Speak less.
We speak too much, and don’t really say anything meaningful. At the same time we don’t listen to others, so others don’t listen to us. That’s why communication is so complex these days.
So from now on why not speak less and listen more?

4. Ditch excuses.
We make so many excuses every day. We’re good at finding reasons not to do something even if we want to, not to give new things a try, not to meet new people, not to change.

Living like that is hard. Instead, we should embrace simplicity and just do the things we want to do. Simple as that!

5. Dress simply.
Eliminating accessories can make life easier. Also, we have so many clothes we haven’t worn in years, and others we’re probably not going to wear any more. So get rid of them.

6. Create silence.
Take some quiet time for yourself every now and then. There’s so much noise everywhere around us that we can’t hear our own thoughts.

7. Walk more.
Doing that means you’ll drive less and be more active.

8. Focus.
We are productive not when we have many tasks and are busy all the time, but when we focus on one activity and eliminate everything else.

9. Eat simply.
Variety is an illusion in the kitchen too. All the kinds of food we have today are just too much.

We use too many condiments, eat too much fats, think dessert is a must, eat many times a day, and so on. Stop doing all that.

Eat the basics: fruits and veggies, fish and meat, dairy products, nuts, olive oil, rice, potatoes and legumes.

10. Let go of control.
You can’t control most of the things, even in your life. Accepting that will make everything so much simpler and easier.

We constantly worry about the things we can’t control, fear how they’ll turn out and try so hard to fix them. But the truth is that they don’t need to be fixed. Everything will be fine. Just go with the flow and do the best you can, everything else will fall into place.

11. Remove clutter.
Throw away all the things that you don’t use in your house. Eliminate stuff that only takes up space.

Once you do that you’ll have less belongings to worry about, take care of, clean and fix. And you’ll feel freer.

12. Buy less.
The more you buy, the more you have, the more money you spend and the less satisfaction you get.

So the next time you’re thinking of buying something, give it some time, ask yourself whether you really need it and are going to use it a few weeks from now.

These are just some of the ways to simplify your life. They all consist of eliminating, activities to stop doing, things to get rid of, letting go and so on. It’s easy. And the benefits are priceless – peace, space, freedom, contentment, awareness, happiness.

 

10 commandments of employee engagement

January 8, 2015 by Pat Lynch
from Ragan's Healthcare COmmunications News
Respecting, informing and praising your staffers should be just the beginning. Here’s an array of ways to boost morale and involvement up and down the organizational chart.
By Mel Kleiman | Posted: January 8, 2015

With the new year underway, it’s a good time to pause, look at the big picture, and resolve to do even better in 2015.

In that light, here’s something to ponder: Other than a paycheck, do you give your employees good reasons to come to work each day?

Here are a few ideas to help you pump up employee engagement and make recruiting easier, too:

The 10 commandments of engagement

1. Thou shalt differentiate yourself. What do you offer that other employers don’t? Are your policies more family-friendly? Maybe you’re more flexible or you promote from within more often. Whatever it is, talk it up and publicize it, because your people might not know or notice unless you point it out.

2. Thou shalt make sure they feel they’re in on things. Solicit their opinions, brainstorm solutions to problems, tell them the whys of what’s required of them and never let the reason be, “Because I said so.”

3. Thou shalt recognize every job well done. The best way to encourage positive behavior is to recognize it immediately. Make the recognition specific and personal. Whether it’s written or spoken, it should go something like: “[Person's name], you handled that [specific task/interaction] in the best possible way. I really appreciate how you [what the person did].”

4. Thou shalt give the gift of your undivided attention. Regularly, be it once a year or once a week, set aside time for a meeting or lunch with each of your key players (the ones you would hate to lose).

5. Thou shalt make work fun. Offer contests and jokes, pass out lollipops, bring in bagels on Fridays, ring the bell when a sale is made, celebrate employment anniversaries and birthdays. There’s no reason work can’t be fun, and there are lots of good reasons why it should be.

 

6. Thou shalt express your appreciation. In addition to recognizing specific tasks done well, appreciate your people for behaviors that make a difference. Thank them for helping co-workers, for great teamwork, for dependability, for taking responsibility. What you focus on increases, so focus on what you appreciate.

 

7. Thou shalt re-evaluate your rules. Ground rules ensure that everyone is on the same page about how the game is played. Some employers go wrong, however, in not trusting their people to do the right thing and having a rule or regulation for everything. Make sure every rule is necessary and that everyone understands why it is necessary.

 

8. Thou shalt be a role model for respect. Who gets more respect, a bank vice president or a store cashier? Did you ever stop to think the cashier probably handles more money, a greater variety of transactions, and interacts with more customers every day than the VP? All work is worthy of respect, and management sets the tone. When each employee feels respected and valued, they’ll respect management, one another and, most important, your customers.

9. Thou shalt build relationships. Many employees consider good relationships with managers, co-workers and clients just as important as compensation, if not more so. Once again, management sets the tone with team-building exercises, mentoring programs, asking all employees to vet potential hires, roundtable meetings and annual retreats.

10. Thou shalt make responsibility your modus operandi. Let it be known that everyone will be held responsible for meeting their commitments and fulfilling their duties. This does not involve assigning blame. Rather, when someone falls short, seize the opportunity to find out what went wrong and how to improve systems and communications so it never happens again.

May you and yours enjoy a peaceful and prosperous 2015!

60 Free Computer Science College Courses You Can Take Online in 2015

January 7, 2015 by Pat Lynch
for the National Edition
Spoiler alert: computer science is in. Like, it’s really inso far in, it’s reached the center of the Tootsie Roll pop.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Of all the things you can do for yourself in 2015, the one thing you definitely need to do is to get into computer science. Whether you’re just a beginner or are someone trying to improve upon or to refresh things you’ve learned previously, there’s a limitless number of resources across the Internet of which you can take advantage. In the upcoming year, consider taking one of these free computer science college courses online.

Published on a recent Hacker News post by user denismars, the 60 following computer science courses are all online classes that are provided completely for free by various professors, departments and universities across the world through each respective university’s website. According to GitHub user prakhar1989, the originator of the list, the 60 computer science courses are all relatively unknown but deserve some attention. While most people are familiar with MOOCs through platforms like Coursera or MIT OpenCourseWare, the courses listed are provided directly from University pages and include everything from beginner courses on programming languages, to more advanced courses in machine learning.

Consider checking out one of the free computer science college courses. Classes come from places like Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and MIT. The classes are sorted by focus: Introduction to CS, Systems, Programming Languages/Compilers, Algorithms, CS Theory, and Miscellaneous. To read more on course descriptions, visit the original post on GitHub.

60 Free Computer Science College Courses to Take in 2015

Introduction to CS

Systems

Programming Languages / Compilers

Algorithms

CS Theory

Miscellaneous

(H/T Hacker News)

10 Ways to Write Better Emails

January 2, 2015 by Pat Lynch
 (and Just Maybe Change the World)
By Alexandra Franzen, December 30, 2015

Want to make a new year’s resolution that you can actually stick to?

One that will instantly improve your life and career, make your colleagues’ lives easier—and maybe change the world?

Commit to writing better, simpler, clearer emails.

The kinds of emails that people actually look forward to reading.

Chances are, you’re going to spend over a quarter of your workday dealing with emails, so if there’s one thing you choose to upgrade in the new year, you might as well start with your communication skills.

Here are 10 ways to take your emails from mediocre to majorly awesome—while inspiring other people to step it up, too:

 

1. Announce Your Intentions Upfront—and Get to the Point

“Hey! I know you’re busy getting ready for the conference, so I’ll get right to the point. I am writing today because…”

 

2. Try to Include One “Big Idea” Per Email

“The main thing to remember is…”

“The key takeaway from our conversation is…”

“The one thing I need from you, right now, is…”

 

3. Try to Use Statements, Not Open-Ended Questions

This: “I think launching the new campaign on Thursday is the best choice. If you agree, write back to say ‘yes,’ and I’ll proceed. If not, let’s talk.”

Not this: “So, what do you guys think? I’m open to everybody’s ideas!”

 

4. Be Surprisingly Generous

“Congratulations on your promotion. Very exciting. P.S. I left an inspiring book on your desk. Just a little something to usher in the next chapter. Enjoy…”

“I was thinking about your new project. Here’s a free resource that might help…”

“I’ve got a free guest pass for a local co-working space. I want you to have it. Enjoy…”

 

5. When Delivering Criticism, Be Respectful and Specific

“Thanks for all of your work. We’re getting closer, but the logo still isn’t feeling quite right. Here are three specific adjustments that I’d love for you to make.”

 

6. Show Your Humanity

“So sorry to hear that your dog passed away. Mine went to doggy-heaven last year. If you want to talk about it, I’m here. If you want to not talk about it (and go out for a coffee or do something fun), I’m here, too.”

 

7. Tell Your Reader What You Need—and When You Need It—Upfront

“Hey! Here’s a quick recap of our conversation—plus two questions for you at the end. I’d love to receive your responses by [date] so that we can keep moving forward on schedule.”

 

8. Occasionally, Send Emails That Include a Compliment, Not a Demand or Request

“Hey. You did a terrific job at the press conference. You were funnier than Ellen DeGeneres and totally nailed the message. Thanks for making our company look great!”

 

9. Whenever Possible, End With Some of the Most Beautiful Words on Earth

“No rush on this.”

“For your information, only. No action necessary.”

“No response required.”

 

10. Above All: Astonish People With Your Brevity

It’s not always possible, but try to express yourself in three sentences or less. Or as close as you can get. (Think haiku, not memoir.)

If you’re struggling to keep it brief, you might want to pick up the phone, have a face-to-face conversation, or spend a little more time thinking about what you really want to say. (My free workbook, Feel. Know. Do., can help you to organize your thoughts before you hit “send.”)

When you write better emails, you set a new barometer of excellence—inspiring everyone around you to communicate more clearly and effectively, too.

You might not be destined to be the next Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa, but helping to remove friction, irritation, and time-wasting misunderstandings from your workplace? That’s a big deal.

After all, one well-written email can change someone’s day, shift someone’s attitude, nudge a project into motion, or even change someone’s life. You never know what the ripple effects might be.

So, lead the charge. Be the change. Show your colleagues how awesome emails can be.

19 most useful online tools

December 18, 2014 by Pat Lynch

Posted on December 11, 2014

  1. Did they read it? – Are your emails being read or simply ignored? Use this free invisible email tracker to find out.
  2. Recipe Fiddle – Create personalized recipe books in minutes.
  3. Google Alerts – Set a keyphrase and get email notifications if the phrase is mentioned somewhere online.
  4. Blitzr – Stream for free with no ads more than 40 million songs. Still in beta.
  5. ScreenGrab – Save parts of a page as an image.
  6. PDF Escape – Annotate PDFs.
  7. Issuu – Host your documents and share with others.
  8. Sleepyti.me – Sleep time calculator.
  9. Font Struct – Create your very own font!
  10. Rsizr – Resize and edit photos in your browser.
  11. SlideShare – It turns your PowerPoint presentation or a PDF document into a better looking slideshow.
  12. Prezi – Another great presentation maker website. 80% of the Fortune 500 companies using Prezi.
  13. Tweetstats – Statistics of your Twitter account.
  14. Zero Dollar Movies – Watch hundreds of full movies and documentaries for free. All of the videos are embedded from YouTube.
  15. Jotti’s Malware Scan – Scan files for malwares in your browser.
  16. Iodine Medical Translator – Translates medical jargon on any web page.
  17. scribblemaps.com – create custom Google Maps easily.
  18. Router Passwords – Find the default password for any router model.
  19. E.ggtimer.com – A simple online timer for your daily needs.

10 smartest things people in healthcare do

December 8, 2014 by Pat Lynch
A really good article. . . .  some of the things emphasized are VOLUNTEERING, JOINING PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, and HUMANITARIAN WORK.  Pat
Written by Akanksha Jayanthi December 03, 2014

There is no one type of “smart.” The adjective changes meaning based on its context, and even then there can be different kinds of smart. Street smart, book smart, financially smart.

Healthcare is no exception: clinically smart, strategically smart, managerially smart.

If you work in healthcare, there’s always room to grow and learn and progress, no matter what types of smarts you have.

Here are 10 of the smartest things people in healthcare do.

Invest in data analytics. Data is foundational for progress and innovation. If there is no record of the way things were or are, innovators can’t begin to understand how to move forward. Currently the healthcare industry is talking a lot about the triple aim, this idea put forth by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement outlining three key points that will better the industry: improving patient experience, bettering population health and reducing the cost of care. But talking about the triple aim isn’t enough. Leaders in healthcare, whether physicians or not, need to embody and commit to this new standard, which starts with data and data analytics.

“The initiatives at the center of the triple aim are the same initiatives healthcare is focused on today,” says Marilyn Palmer, DO, vice president of physician services with executive search firm B. E. Smith. “Healthcare needs trained and experienced leaders to navigate these changes.”

Refine skill sets and non-clinical acumen. In recent years, physicians have increasingly expanded their knowledge bases beyond lectures at medical school and experiences in residency. Physician leaders are enrolling in new programs and classes to gain a broader base of knowledge outside the clinical realm.

One such example is the rise of the MD/MBA degree. A recent report in The Atlantic indicates the number of MD/MBA programs in the United States rose from six to 25 in just 20 years. This may be unsurprising given how physicians are gaining traction in leadership roles, whether in the C-suite as CMOs or as physicians-turned-executives who turn in scrubs for suits.

Kathy Noland, PhD, vice president of senior executive search at B. E. Smith, says many of her clients are seeking leaders, physician or otherwise, with a comprehensive skill set to lead organizations into an uncertain future. This skill set requires but is not limited to strong communication and team facilitation skills, technology expertise and clinical and analytical knowledge for population health management. “Additionally, our clients are seeking, especially with physician leaders, financial acumen and an understanding of healthcare reimbursement,” Dr. Noland says. “Additional skill sets include calculated risk taking, innovation and understanding intergenerational differences now that there are four generations of leadership in organizations.”

Healthcare leaders are asked to wear many hats these days, and given the current path of the industry, it is unlikely that they will return to their siloed areas of expertise any time soon.

Volunteer to be involved in strategic initiatives. Stepping up in times of need not only demonstrates commitment to an organization, but it also allows — or forces — individuals to gain new skills. “Volunteering for key projects can put [new leaders] in the center of operational and strategic initiatives and [underline their] commitment to building their skill repertoire and staying current on a national level,” says Dr. Noland.

Such strategic initiatives may include implementing health IT projects, assessing current and future needs, developing physician-integration plans or spearheading population health projects.

Additionally, Dr. Palmer suggests new leaders identify mentors within their organizations who are well experienced and respected. “These mentors can help new and future leaders grow by developing and strengthening the skills needed to motivate people and move the organization forward.”

She adds this dual commitment, both personally and professionally, is a key trait that will help leaders continue to grow.

Join professional organizations. Being smart relative to a particular industry is contingent upon a commitment to lifelong learning. Healthcare is constantly changing. Educational institutions and personal mentors may not always be able to keep up with the evolving landscape, but professional organizations offer a forum for members to discuss and debate the ideas and challenges they face.

Dr. Noland says professional associations such as the American Association of Physician Leadership and the American College of Healthcare Executives provide continued development and leadership support.

Dr. Palmer adds that these groups provide valuable training and leadership development, which is essential in some leadership transitions. She says many younger leaders are proactively joining these associations to develop leadership skills before they move into executive positions.

Embody a team-based approach. Administrative differences are only going to become barriers to progress in the healthcare industry. Not only can all stakeholders in healthcare stand to learn from one another, but a team approach ensures any issues are addressed thoroughly and comprehensively. The divide between clinicians and non-clinicians also has to dissolve, suggests Igor Belokrinitsky, vice president of consulting firm Strategy&, especially when tackling and understanding changes coming about in the evolving landscape.

“It’s not just the physicians getting together discussing journal articles,” Mr. Belokrinitsky says. “It’s the entire department talking about a new pathway for treating cancer. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.”

Mr. Belokrinitsky says Strategy& often hosts workshops facilitating discussions between physicians, nurses, medical technicians and administrators around one table, and the questions and conversations largely lead to new insights about how they can provide better care.

The team-based approach also allows for grassroots change to occur. When employees feel as though they are part of a team and know they are being heard and respected, they may feel like they have more of a stake in the matter and be the force to initiate change.

“Very often people know the right thing to do but have a hard time getting someone to listen to them or have a hard time building business cases,” Mr. Belokrinitsky says. “It’s just a matter of creating an environment where people are comfortable sharing ideas.”

Be uncompromisingly obsessive about waste. Mr. Belokrinitsky says this is a crucial characteristic for any professional success in healthcare. “Every time we have waste in the health system, it results in a worse experience for everybody; worse quality and safety and higher costs,” he says. “If we really want to be compassionate and patient-centric, a major part of that is being considerate about how much this is going to cost the patient, the employers, the community and the taxpayers who are picking up the rest of the tab.”

Waste turns into reduced value, and value is cementing itself as the backbone of the healthcare industry. Those in healthcare who foresee themselves remaining in the industry are tasked with making value the number one priority. Once they do so, the commitment will spread throughout an organization.

For example, physicians might focus on tightening patient care options to reduce overtreatment, and hospital administrators might initiate projects to boost efficiency of operational processes.

“People who become good at [finding and getting rid of waste], people who are vigilant with this can really have a lot of impact in their organization,” Mr. Belokrinitsky continues. “It’s contagious. It’s very empowering. Teaching people the tools and techniques for mining waste and getting rid of it and making care more patient-centric tends to be very empowering for everybody as a whole.”

Treat patients like the people they are. Healthcare is riddled with data. Patient data, structured and unstructured EMR data, financial data, population health data. Even diagnostic and reimbursement codes are a series of numbers and letters, a quantitative approach to a qualitative experience.

But healthcare is about caring for people, not caring for ICD-9 codes, and that means taking into consideration the parts of life that happen outside of hospital walls. “Part of it is being able to engage the patient and see them as an entire person as opposed to just a disease or a set of symptoms,” Mr. Belokrinitsky says. “[There's a sense of] ‘This thing is broken, so let’s fix it,’ as opposed to, ‘Here’s a human being who might be going through a divorce or bankruptcy and has anger management issues and is overweight and lives in a food desert.’”

What’s more, those in healthcare need to have a sense of cultural literacy and be attuned to cultural difference, both geographically and generationally, that can affect a patient’s understanding of care.

“People from different cultures have different norms for how they communicate the level of pain, how assertive they are, how much they see a provider of care as a figure of authority,” says Mr. Belokrinitsky. “It is quite challenging because it becomes not about treating the condition and more about treating the human. And what is the best way to engage that particular human?”

Commit to be fit. Before a plane takes off, flight attendants go through their safety demonstration. In the event of a pressure change in the cabin, yellow oxygen masks descend from the ceiling. “Be sure to affix your own mask before assisting others,” flight attendants advise. To effectively help others, you first have to help yourself.

Patients, and perhaps even other employees, are less inclined to follow leaders if they do not embody the principles or ideals that they preach. The urban legend floats around the healthcare industry of the overweight physician who tells the overweight patient he needs to lose weight. Why should the patient listen to the person who doesn’t practice what he prescribes?

The relationship between physicians and patients is highly personal, upheld by significant trust, respect and credibility. If patients can’t or don’t trust their physicians, their inclinations to follow treatments may bottom out.

The same extends to employees and executive leadership. How can executive leaders rally their teams around population health improvement projects and then smoke a pack a day?

“The wellness focus in healthcare extends to a leader’s role as an ambassador,” says Dr. Noland. “Leaders need to embody that commitment to professional growth and personal wellness. Leaders committing to their own personal health and their professional growth can be great role models.”

Get a flu shot. In a similar vein to leading by example, flu shots are indisputably one of the most effective infection prevention tools in healthcare today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 200,000 people will be hospitalized for flu-related complications every year. Children younger than 2 and adults over 65 have higher susceptibility to the flu, and death becomes a higher risk when such patients are already immunocompromised in the hospital. The CDC recommends all healthcare professionals receive a yearly flu shot to protect both themselves and their patients.

What’s more, a recent study from California public health data from 2009-2012 finds for every 15 healthcare providers who receive a flu shot, there is one fewer case of the flu in the community. It’s a triple win: self-protection, protection of others and a boost to population health.

Do humanitarian work to revitalize your foundation. When working in multibillion dollar academic medical centers or running huge nonprofit and for-profit organizations, the foundation of healthcare can get lost in the shuffle of accreditation surveys, reimbursement changes, physician-integration discussions and provider competition. While all of these processes are important or necessary to running an organization, what is equally important is for individuals to remember why they want to be in healthcare in the first place.

“In thinking how we evolved, both as an individual as well as an executive who is trying to transform their healthcare organization, it’s important not to lose their foundation, which is the reason why they got into healthcare in the first place — to help people, improve health and to heal,” Mr. Belokrinitsky says.

Participating in humanitarian work — international or domestic — may help serve as a reminder of the very reasons healthcare workers do what they do. If you’ve forgotten, work with people who simply need care.

Amidst the numerous pressures of the industry, the core reason why most healthcare workers are there is to commit to the patient and demonstrate human compassion. This foundation, Mr. Belokrinitsky says, is palpable.

“It makes healthcare a very special industry, unlike any other,” he says. “You really feel it when you go into certain hospitals…. People dedicate their whole life to this compassionate care, this personalized care. It’s important not to lose that.”

When You Start To Let Go Of The Past, These 10 Things Will Happen

November 21, 2014 by Pat Lynch
11/13/14 4:43PM EST
Wall Street Insanity | by

Living in the past is a dangerous habit. Whether it’s wallowing in regret and resentment over unfortunate events or reminiscing over fond memories while ignoring what’s happening right in front of you, living in the past can have a number of negative effects on your emotional health. With a little coaxing, however, you can break this habit and start experiencing these 10 changes.

1. You’ll Feel Less Anxiety

Clinging to the past makes you worry about every decision you’ve ever made, and that leads to a lot of anxiety. Whether you’re questioning something you did or wondering whether you made a mistake or holding a grudge over something someone else did, you’re stressing yourself out. Letting go of all that emotional baggage will make you feel lighter.

2. You’ll Make Decisions More Easily

When you make the decision to let things go, you open yourself up to making decisions about the future without worrying about whether you’ll regret them or not.

3. You’ll Live In The Present

Living in the past makes you ignore what’s going on right in front of you, which can all too often lead to regret over missed opportunities. Even if you’re reveling in wonderful old memories, you could be putting up a roadblock on the way to your present happiness.

4. You Can Focus On The Future

Thinking about the past doesn’t always have to be a negative thing; there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy nostalgia. But if you’re obsessing over how much fun you used to have or constantly wishing you were with old friends instead of the ones you have now, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to make new memories and to look forward to all the great possibilities that the future holds.

5. You’ll Be More Forgiving

Letting go of things is a habit; once it’s been cultivated, it becomes more and more automatic. When you learn how to forgive and forget other people and yourself when it comes to the past, you’ll start doing it more often in the present, too.

6. You’ll Be Less Judgmental

It’s easy to judge other people when you’re constantly judging yourself, but once you stop criticizing yourself for past mistakes, it becomes easier to lighten up on others, too.

7. You’ll Accept Things More Easily

Once you get used to letting go of the past, it becomes second nature to let things slide off you instead of letting them take root in your brain and spend the next five years there. After you’ve trained yourself to stop worrying about the past, you’ll be much better at rolling with the punches.

8. You’ll Have More Power

When you focus on the things you can do now rather than the things you did or didn’t do in the past, you feel more in control and in charge of your own life. Instead of letting regrets and “what-ifs” weigh you down, you can more easily accept things as they are without dwelling on the past.

9. You’ll Stop Blaming Others

It’s easy to blame others for past hurts and failures, but that doesn’t really accomplish anything. “The world largely doesn’t care, so you need to get over yourself. Yes, you’re special. Yes, your feelings matter. But don’t confuse with ‘your feelings matter’ [with] ‘your feelings should override all else, and nothing else matters.’ Your feelings are just one part of this large thing we call life, which is all interwoven and complex,” writes Dr. John M. Grohol on PsychCentral. When you stop focusing only on how other people have screwed you over and start thinking about how you can take charge and make yourself happy, you’re far more likely to actually feel happier instead of continuing to wallow in bitterness.

10. Your Health Will Improve

“When… anxiety dissipates, the physical benefits happen within seconds,” Dr. Pam Peeke tells Woman’s Day. “Your heart rate drops, as does your blood pressure, and every system of your body that was reacting to the overproduction of stress hormones relaxes.” Do your body a favor and stop agonizing over every little thing; you’ll feel physically, mentally and emotionally better.

November 20, 2014 by Pat Lynch

One Methods:Metaphorming: The Official “Think Like a Genius”® Method

There are many ways to classify a genius. But if you look at the historical figures whom most people would consider geniuses, such as Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Beethoven, you can see one thing they all share in common: they were all able to think in a way different from the mainstream, and thus made connections that no one else did. Based on that pattern, this article will address some of the ways you can think like a genius.

 Steps
  1. 1

    Love learning. Geniuses are passionate about the things they do. If you want to think like a genius, find what you love and dive in headfirst.

    • Figure out what your learning style is and make use of it. The major types are auditory, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic and kinesthetic. Experiment with different techniques for absorbing information and stick with what works best.
    • Learn how to self-educate. There are lots of resources available on the internet and through local services like community colleges and libraries that can put all sorts of exciting information at your fingertips.
    • Be pro-active and ask questions. There are people you meet every day that know all sorts of things and have a variety of valuable skills to share. As a genius, be interested in the potential in everything.
    • Be over-comprehensive in your studies. Learn everything there is to know.
    • As you learn about different disciplines, think about how they connect to one another.
  2. 2

    Start ambitious projects and see them through from start to finish. Genius ideas have often occurred in the pursuit of something that many contemporaries thought to be downright crazy. Create opportunities for yourself to discover new things by embarking on journeys on which no one has yet embarked.

  3. 3

    Embrace change, uncertainty, and doubt. It is on the edges of knowledge that innovation and discovery happen. Don’t be afraid to question conventional wisdom, because geniuses are often the ones who rewrite current conventions.

  4. 4

    Be prolific. Try for quantity before quality. To produce exceptionally good work, do a lot of whatever you’re doing. It increases your chances for success and it means you will get more practice along the way. It also takes the pressure off, knowing that while an effort may be your first, it will likely not be your last. Most geniuses in history, whatever they were doing, did a lot of many things, and not all of it was genius!

    • There is a theory that to become a “master” in any subject, you need 10,000 hours of practice. Professional orchestra players and computer programmers demonstrate this idea. (Citation: Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, 2009, but see also Creativity: Genius and other Myths, Weisberg, 1986)
  5. 5

    Learn about Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a breakdown of the six levels of thinking, from the lowest level to the highest. You can use it to help you think about thinking on a deeper level.

    • Knowledge is accepting and believing a fact. Knowing 2 + 2 = 4, doesn’t mean you know what 2 + 2 = 4 means.
    • Application is knowing how to use the fact. You can determine that 2 cats plus 2 cats equals 4 cats. You don’t know what 2 + 2 = 4 means, but you can apply it.
    • Comprehension is understanding a fact: You understand the concept of addition and how 2 + 2 = 4.
    • Analysis is breaking down information into its parts. 4 – 2 = 2; (1 + 1) + (1 + 1) = 2 + 2 = 4.
    • Synthesis is Creating something new. (2 + 2) + (2 + 2) = 4 + 4.
    • Evaluation: Discussion of the merits of 2 + 2 = 4.
  6. 6

    Think differently. You are different. You think differently. Every kind of genius is different and individual. And every kind of opinion has something true and something you can learn from.

    • Remember that different ideas have not historically been accepted well, and yours may not be either. Geniuses throughout history have not let this deter them; neither should you.

10 Reasons to Quit your Job

November 17, 2014 by Pat Lynch

from www.themuse.com -

Here are reasons to stop being miserable and start looking for something better.

 

1. Your Input Is Disregarded or Even Not Wanted

Everyone has ideas. And everyone loves when his or her ideas are taken seriously—and implemented. The feeling that you’ve contributed in a special way
is incredibly gratifying.

But when your boss or company shoots down or even laughs at your ideas, it’s not only insulting, it’s demotivating. And pretty soon you stop caring.

Life’s too short not to care.

 

2. You Get Criticized Publicly

We all need constructive feedback. We all need a little nudge. We all need to be told when we can do something better—and how to do it better.

But we need to be told those things in private.

Life’s too short to walk around waiting for the next time you’ll be criticized—and even humiliated—in front of other people.

 

3. You Never Hear the Word “Thanks”

Everyone also needs praise. We all need to know when we do something well (and everyone, even poor performers, do some things well).

Life’s too short not to be recognized for the contributions you make.

 

4. Your Boss Manages Up, Not Down

You know the type: As a leader she should focus her time and attention on her direct reports, but she spends all her time “following” her boss. It seems like your only job is to contribute to the greater glory—and advancement—of your boss.

A great boss knows that if her team succeeds—and each individual on that team succeeds—then she will succeed too.

Life’s too short to spend your time developing your boss’ career at the expense of your own.

 

5. You Feel Like You Have No Purpose

Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone likes to feel he has an impact not just on results but also on the lives of other people.

Life’s too short to go home every day feeling like you’ve worked, but you haven’t accomplished anything meaningful.

 

6. You Feel Like a Number

Everyone is replaceable. Everyone, ultimately, works for a paycheck. But people also want to work for more than a paycheck. They want to work with people they respect and admire, and they want to be respected and admired in return.

If your boss doesn’t occasionally stop for a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to see if you need any help, or simply to say a kind word, then you’re just a cog in a larger machine.

Life’s too short to only be a cog in a larger machine.

 

7. You Aren’t Even Mildly Excited to Go to Work

Every job has its downsides. (I’m willing to bet even Richard Branson has to do a few things he doesn’t enjoy.) But every job should also have some fun moments. Or exciting moments. Or challenging moments. Or some aspect that makes you think, “I’m looking forward to doing that.”

Life’s too short to spend only looking forward to quitting time.

 

8. You Can’t See a Future

Every job should lead to something: Hopefully a promotion, but if not, the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities, learn new things, tackle new challenges. Tomorrow should have the potential to be different—in a good way—from today.

A decent boss works to improve the company’s future. A good boss works to improve her employees’ futures too, even if—especially if—that might mean some of those employees will eventually move on to bigger and better things.

Life’s too short to live without hope.

 

9. No One Has the Same Dreams as You

Countless companies were started by two or more people who at one time worked together and realized they had complementary skills—and realized they wanted to carve out a new future together.

If you plan to be an entrepreneur, working for a big company first is one of the best things you can do. It’s a risk-free environment where you can meet future colleagues and co-founders. Pick a dozen companies at random and you’ll find at least a few that were founded by aspiring entrepreneurs who met as co-workers and went on to launch awesome startups together.

Life’s too short to spend working with people who don’t share your hopes, dreams, and passions.

 

10. You Don’t Think You Can Do Anything Else

That’s the second-best reason of all to quit your job. I know what you’re thinking: “I make too much in my current job; I’ll never find something comparable.” Or, “there just aren’t any jobs where I live.” Or, “I’ve put too much time into this company (or career or industry).”

Or, “I don’t have what it takes to start my own business.”

All those things are true—if you let them be true.

You can do something else. You can do lots of something “elses.”

You just have to believe—and trust that your creativity, perseverance, and effort will take you to new, happier, and more fulfilling places. Thousands of people start their own businesses ever year. The only difference between you and them? They decided to take the chance. They decided to bet on themselves.

They decided that life’s too short to just stay where they are instead of doing everything possible to live a better life.

Are You Doing What It Takes To Be Great?

November 15, 2014 by Pat Lynch
By on November 6, 2014 in Goals, Happiness, Success
The Universal Truth about Fear: it affects everyone one of us.

But when was the last time we stopped to really analyze our fears? Not only to see what they are but also to see what they stop us from becoming.

How many opportunities do we miss out on by avoiding things we’re afraid of?

The reality is we’ll never know.

There could be life-changing jobs, friendships and business connections, just waiting to be taken or formed.

And that’s the scary side effect of letting fear control our lives: we never know what we’re truly capable of achieving.

We risk years of regret, what-ifs, and should-have-dones by giving fear the keys and letting it decide our ultimate destination.

Despite all its uncertainty, fear does make a few guarantees:

Fear kills dreams.
Fear holds us back.
Fear distorts our world.
Fear determines our success or failure.

We can’t let our fears stop us like this, if we want to achieve at the highest level. In fact, top-performers learn how to act in spite of their fears. They crush fear before it has a chance to fester and destroy.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

Michael Jordan: Arguably, the greatest basketball player of all time.

Do you remember how he began his career? He didn’t even start on his college basketball team. He wasn’t just handed a plate of basketball talents and told “Enjoy!” Not at all. He worked his ass off until he reached the pinnacle of success. He knows what it takes to overcome obstacles and barriers.What does he say about fear?

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

Fears are just an illusion. Something we create in our heads that stops us from achieving at the highest level.

Look where this belief got him in life: Hall of Fame, greatest player of all-time, and still getting multi-million dollar endorsement deals, years after playing in the NBA.

Another great example: Warren Buffett, the best investor of our time. He’s amassed so much wealth from savvy investing that he’s literally bailed out entire countries on the brink of bankruptcy. Our government and top CEOs around the world turn to him in times of crises for investing advice

What’s one of his basic tenets of investing?

“Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”

Translation: His greatest investments have come from taking huge risks in the face of fear. When there’s blood on the streets and nobody can think clearly about their investments, Buffett’s out there buying stocks, hand over fists. He doesn’t let fear stop him; in fact he uses it to his advantage. And he’s one of the wealthiest people of all time.

Successful people leave clues for us. So what are top-performers, like Buffett and Jordan, showing us?

Face your fears, and you’ll get the payoffs.

Without taking risks, without facing our fears, and without pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, we can never reach our true potential.

It’s really that simple.

So why don’t more of us do exactly that?

Because a lot of us hear advice like this and think “Ha! Easy for you to say! You don’t have [insert disadvantage], and I don’t have [insert excuse about time or resources].”

Immediately, we react with how our situation is SO special, SO unique, and SO different than everyone else.

It’s an automatic defense mechanism that flares up.

What’s really happening here?

We’re creating a story for ourselves. We’re rationalizing our fears and inaction. Nobody wants to feel like a fool; I get that.

I used to feed myself story after story. “I don’t have time,” I used to say, “I’ll work on that tomorrow.” I hated feeling bad about myself, and stories created quick fixes to feel better.

In reality, I was hiding from the truth.

So let’s be honest with each other

The truth makes us uncomfortable, especially when it exposes weaknesses inside ourselves. It makes me cringe when I think back on the laundry list of excuses I used to delay facing my fears.

In fact years ago, I had dozens of books about personal development filled with tactic after tactic, scattered all throughout my room. I had no excuse not to follow through, yet I allowed fear remain in control. I’d go chasing another tactic, claiming I wasn’t ready yet; I needed to work on just one more thing. And nothing got done.

I did this for years; until I realized we have power to make decisions, and we empower ourselves by taking actions toward our goals, no matter how daunting they may seem today.

No matter how fearful we might be, we never improve by continuously consuming information alone. You have to go out in the world and try things.

You can have disproportionate rewards in life.

100x your next closest competitor. I’m talking about absolutely crushing your goals; Defying your wildest expectations, with regard to every area of life achievements.

But to do that, you must escape the shackles of fear.

Behind every fear is the person you want to be. If you tackle your fears, you can become the person of your dreams.

Yoda said it best, “Named your fear must be, before banish it you can.”

And that’s exactly what we must do if we want to improve ourselves: Banish fear. For life.

For years, decades even, you may have walked around, letting fear guide you, letting it beat you down and make you its victim.

Today, let’s turn the tide. Flip the script and make fear your slave.

Today, let’s face fear head on and empower ourselves to break free.
Your challenge for today: start crushing your fears in five simple steps

1) Specific goals: Make a list of five things you’ve really wanted to do but haven’t because fear has been holding you back. It can be anything, even something as simple as saying “Hi” to a colleague when you walk past them in the hall all the way to trying something completely new.

Be creative and don’t hesitate to write anything down. If you want it, list it. Even if you think it’s silly or you can’t do it just yet, don’t let that stop you for now. Just write it all down, and we’ll get to that later. Ideally, you should spend 2-3 minutes brainstorming things you want to do, but it may take you a less time.

Once you have your list of 5 things, move on to the next step. But don’t skip ahead. Be thorough here. I promise if you go through the exercise correctly, you’ll reap the rewards.

2) Selection: Now that you have your list of 5 things/action items, take a second to review it. Really go back over it and make sure you don’t want to add anything else. Okay, what you’re going to do next might shock you, but I want you to select only ONE goal on that list you’d like to achieve. Shelve the other four things for now. You’re going to focus all of your mental energy on this goal. This one should be the utmost important to you. Something that, if you accomplished it, would make you incredibly excited, overjoyed even. Circle just one. It’s better to accomplish one small thing than having hundreds of ideas floating around in our heads that we never get around to doing.

Keep moving, now, to the next step.

3) Systematize: Here’s where get very strategic in our approach. Anyone can make a list of goals and feel good for a moment. For most people, goals go into a pile of dreams and wishes to remain unfinished. We differentiate ourselves by creating a plan to follow through. So now, let’s create a simple set of action steps to help achieve your goal. For example, if my goal was to start a conversation with a colleague, I’d include the time of day I planned to talk to them; I’d make sure to plan on starting the conversation on day when I wasn’t pressed for time so I could be more present and authentic; I’d even go so far as to script out a conversation, not only with what I’d plan on saying to initiate a quick chat, but also, what I’d say to exit the conversation, if I started to feel uncomfortable.

When you’re done crafting your plan, move on to the next step.

4) See: Create a vivid vision of yourself following through on your goal and conquering your fears. Let the positive emotions wash over you that come from taking this action. Allow yourself to enjoy this moment, and see yourself as truly being successful. Remember, our minds can’t tell a vision in our head apart from something that actually happens to us. So you can use this to your advantage and practice in advance, without actually having to take action just yet. The more vivid and real you can make your vision, the more powerful this exercise becomes. So include, how things look, smell, and feel in your visualization.

5) Lastly, start fulfilling your dreams, today. Go out and take action toward your goal. Now that you know what you want to do, how to do it, and have seen yourself be successful, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

Most people don’t work on their dreams. They just let things happen to them, and fear ruins their lives.

What will you do?

Let me know what happened when you tackled your first fear in the comments section below.

Are You Doing What It Takes To Be Great?