Small changes make a big Difference Part 8 – Visioning

According to Rob Yeung visioning is the skill of creating the right kind of vision one that encompasses what we want from our whole lives and not just our careers. By doing so, we can ensure that we not only achieve our future goals and the rewards that go with it, but also enjoy the lives we live in the meantime.

Small Changes make a big difference – visioning

According to Rob Yeung visioning is the skill of creating the right kind of vision one that encompasses what we want from our whole lives and not just our careers.  By doing so, we can ensure that we not only achieve our future goals and the rewards that go with it, but also enjoy the lives we live in the meantime.

One of the first exercises we are asked to perform in the bootcamps I have been doing for my business is to work out our well formed income and then to work out our ideal day.  This ensures that the visions we have for success encompass all aspects of our life.   There is a great example Rob Yeung gives of a very successful businessman that has achieved everything he wanted in business but to the detriment of actually having a life.  Unfortunately when he created his vision it was one dimensional on career only.  Nothing about relationships or the type of life he would lead.

Many companies have visions and it has been proofed through research that entrepreneurs and CEOs who have a vision help their companies grow significantly.  Examples of visions are WWF “We seek to save a planet, a world of life”  or Nokia’s which was ‘A world where everyone can be connected’

Lots of people have visions too, but they do not necessarily talk about them however exceptional people do talk of having a vision of the career, life and legacy they would like to carve out and of the quests and goals that make them leap out of bed in the mornings.

My vision is my why for doing business, I want to be able to help people with time and finances, travel, be with my husband and the big desire is to be able to gift an ambulance crew and all maintenance costs to our local ambulance service.  My vision is to be able to enjoy life on my own terms and spend time helping charities with their needs not ever having to worry about where the finances for life are coming from.

Research tells us that even the mere act of imagining something can make it more likely to happen, which is why it is a very good idea not to imagine bad things happening.  However high achievers decide what they want and work towards shaping their future.

Having a picture of our desired future can be a formidable force when it comes to our lives as shown by this experiment.

One team of experimental psychologists invited volunteers to take a test that involved them solving anagrams in a set amount of time.  Immediately before taking the anagram test, half the participants were urged to imagine that they had failed the test and to explain why they might fail.  The other half of the group were asked to imagine they had succeeded on the test and also to explain why they might succeed.  Those who had imagined success actually did better on the test than those who had imagined failure.  Their mental expectations and explanations had a tangible effect on their performance.

Once we have identified what is important to us we help ourselves to make better decisions and avoid veering off course.  Once we have made the decision then opportunities to get to our vision will present themselves.  A vision should act as a compass leading us in the right direction.  Having spelt out a vision, we can quickly identify whether any given opportunity would make us thrive or suffer.  Having a clear vision allows us to make sure the goals we have set are the right ones to have, not just because people expect it of us.

The clearer you are about what you want in life the more likely you are to get it.  People with a vision have a clarity and sense of purpose that helps them stay on the course.

A great example of a way to have a rounded vision is that of entrepreneur Julian Ranger.  Julian like most high achievers is a rich man.  What Julian does is he has four major categories of goals: relationships, learning, experiences, and achievement with an overarching goal of order.

To Julian ‘order is having a clear idea of what my vision is, what I want to achieve, the projects and tasks I need to do to achieve those things so things get done and don’t get forgotten and to help stop me procrastinating.  Without thinking about what you want you will never achieve what you want to do’

His first category of goals is about the relationships in his life.  He argues that people who are driven have a tendency towards selfishness.  Having a category that is to do with his family first and friends second reminds him to make time for them.

Learning is another key category.  He argues that a major part of being a flourishing leader or entrepreneur is having a learning disposition, accepting that you always have new topics and ideas to learn.

For me that is reading everyday, working my way through the training materials my company has put out to teach me how to market, doing the bootcamp I am doing, and masterminding with other like-minded business people.

Julian’s third category is experiences which he defines as a range of activities that make him feel alive.  Things like sport, holidays, walking , theatre and photography and in my case board-gaming or role-playing come into this category.

His fourth category is about achievement.  For the most part this is business achievements, but also includes work for charities and other career or money based achievements.

So how well does his holistic vision, his set of goals, work for him?

‘We’re all driven people.  If you give me the chance, I will happily spend hours on one thing but to the detriment of everything else I want to achieve.  Having the system allows me to achieve my goals. It stops me from being sucked away to one goal’ he explains.

And to bring it all together Julian reviews his goals and vision weekly, reminding himself of his priorities and making sensible trade-offs.

One of the things Rob Yeung does throughout the book is give you chances to Become your best so I am going to pull this one directly from the book

Creating a Balanced Vision

Time to take an honest look at how you run your life – or is it your life that runs you?  Project yourself into the distant future.  Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could.  You have succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals.  Now write about what you life is like.

Remember that the point of a balanced vision is to ensure that you give sufficient weight to the different facets of a life that will make you feel fulfilled and successful.  Here are some thoughts as to categories or components that you may wish to integrate into your vision:

  • Your Physical life
  • Your Relationships – Don’t forget about the quality and quantity of your social relationships and your loved ones
  • Future career and work achievements – What financial , business, or career ambitions would you like to realise? Remember your job is merely one aspect of your life.
  • Future legacy and social achievements – Consider what you would like to leave your family, the wider community, or even the planet once you’re gone
  • The Present – Enjoy the present.  Make time to do activities you enjoy.
  • Personal Values – think about how your vision falls into your personal values, what kind of person you crave to be every day.

Remember this is your vision, your personal definition of prosperity and a life well lived so feel free to add  further elements to complete your vision to what you feel is right.


Visioning is about using the balanced vision as a tool, a way to keep us motivated.  Write your vision down and put it somewhere where you will see it, refer to it, and use it to remind yourself of what’s important and what’s not.

A well constructed, balanced vision should be motivating and make us want to take action, or at least smile.  It should feel truly exciting, stretching us and encouraging us, rather than being a mere collection of goals.  But do remember that a vision is not set in stone.  Our visions change as our lives change too.  So just keep reviewing your vision to make sure it is keeping up with your personal development.  When we have a balanced vision we can be focused and clear on our goals.   We can decide what we want in the future and also what we want today.  We can be a success everyday.

If you like what you have read in this post and want to know more please contact me on Facebook.

To see the other parts to this series of 8 posts then click the following links


Part 2 – Cherishing

Part 3 – Authenticity

Part 4- Centredness

Part 5- Connecting

Part 6 – Daring

Part 7 – Citizenship


Please share this post if you think it will be useful for other people and comment below if anything I have said resonates with you.

If you want to know more about what I am doing then please leave your email address below so we can chat

Have a great day


Small Changes Make a Big Difference – Part 7 – Citizenship

The capability of Citizenship is about living by a code of ethics, a set of values. By being good citizens we draw like-minded people to us, the kind of people we crave as colleagues, customers, employees or even friends. When we’re seen in the right light, it materially affects relationships we can build and ultimately the results we can achieve.

Small Changes make a big difference – Citizenship

The capability of Citizenship is about living by a code of ethics, a set of values.  By being good citizens we draw like-minded people to us, the kind of people we crave as colleagues, customers, employees or even friends.  When we’re seen in the right light, it materially affects relationships we can build and ultimately the results we can achieve.

We all want to live and work with people we trust and respect.  We want to collaborate and be surrounded by people who want to do the right thing, who are principled and ethical and consider the long-term interests of as many people as possible.

Have you noticed when you are in the supermarket you only look to buy only the food which you know has been produced ethically?  For instance I only buy cage free eggs, and dolphin safe tuna.

As a consumer do you look to purchase or promote only products that you know and trust.

One of the things Rob Yeung talks about is that of all the exceptional people he interviewed for the book have outstanding reputations.  They believe that the best way to be perceived as good is to be good.  The easiest way to be talked about in a positive way is by behaving in a positive way.  They all strive to do well by others and focus on conducting themselves in responsible ethical ways.

Here is am exercise to do

Pick five words to describe yourself

Now here is the big test, if you really want to learn about yourself, repeat this exercise but asking a handful of friends and colleagues to use five words to describe you.  What does this say about your reputation?

With the internet been so big nowadays, things that we have always thought  of as private can become public.  There has already been a number of cases in New Zealand in the last couple of years where private emails have been sent to the wrong people.  Always say to yourself “how would I feel if this got online?”

The broader and longer term issues of citizenship really means sustainability.  In recent years this has come to mean the ability of both individuals and organisations to use the Earth’s natural resources in a way that continue forever.

A great example of this in New Zealand is we have a lot of Hydro and now Solar energy companies.  This way they are using renewable resources to produce energy.   My husband and I have a dream-home which we want to build. The home will be built the most sustainable way possible with all luxuries.  We are looking at wind-powered hydro electricity as well as solar energy to power it and to use as many forms of passive heating and cooling.  That has been our dream for many years now.

At the heart of Citizenship is considering the broader and longer-term impacts of more of our decisions.  Imagine that you have a board of advisers who will oversee all of your decisions.  Your panel is made up of three people:

  • Someone in your Profession, a peer. e.g a professional body representative.  What would they expect you to do?
  • A close friend outside of work who you respect.  What would a pal say who knows nothing about the technical nature of your work? Would they take a positive or dim view of your actions?
  • Your grown-up grandchild – How will you explain the decision you’re about to make to him or her?

Remember Citizenship applies to all of us – from young people starting out in their careers with seemingly little influence to senior people with sway over thousands or millions of people.  Regardless, the principle remains the same: make good decisions and set an example to those around you.

Ethical, responsible behaviour will increasingly become a prerequisite for success rather than an optional extra.  Consider that it’s better to be thought of as a leader than an ethical idler.

Being a good citizen simply involves investing a little more thought into the broader consequences of all that we do.  Ask yourself: ‘What would my children’s children want me to do?’

So what are you doing to display the trait of citizenship?  Leave a comment belowAnd share this post if you like what you are reading.





Small Changes Make a Big Difference Part 6 – Daring

Daring what is is? The trait of Daring is defined by Rob Yeung as the willingness to take action in the face of uncertainty. It’s about having courage and conviction, about pursuing activities in spite of how apprehensive or even down right scared we might feel. Daring is about embracing opportunities, forging ahead and not worrying about looking ridiculous should things go wrong.

Small Changes make a big Difference – Daring

Daring what is is?  The trait of Daring is defined by Rob Yeung as the willingness to take action in the face of uncertainty.  It’s about having courage and conviction, about pursuing activities in spite of how apprehensive or even down right scared we might feel.  Daring is about embracing opportunities, forging ahead and not worrying about looking ridiculous should things go wrong.

We talk about daring being going out of your comfort zone, making minor improvements and changes to everything you do.  For instance before I started this business I was a camera avoider.  Now I am doing videos, and sharing photos of myself quite regularly.  I had never stuck to any writing before and now I am doing blogging reasonably regularly, so for me taking the leap and investing in this business in the strongest way by going what we call black or all-in was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.

Most business people that practice the trait of Daring understand that you invest time and money into a thing and try it out.  Some things work and somethings don’t but you have to try and fail, understand why you fail and grow from that.  You can try and fail a number of things until something finally works but you have to know why you failed in the first place.  Do the analysis.

One of the things you are always told is what will you say you did with your life on your deathbed.  Will you have regrets? You need to distinguish between soul enriching risks and frankly dangerous ones.

Starting a new company after doing the research can be a good risk, outright gambling can be a bad decision.  Too many people settle for what they have.  Will you end up settling too?

A huge body of research shows that people who make goals are much more likely to take action and make positive changes than people who only have vague intentions.  What has also been discovered is the best way to make these goals work is to make sure they follow the PAST Acronym  of





We make goals positive because our brains are hardwired to respond to signals from both reward and punishment.  You know from animal experiments that reward is always the best way to train.  For example in a study at University of Rochester they found that people that were setting avoidance goals for themselves (i.e. trying to get away from negative consequences) actually experienced a decline in their self-esteem and feelings of life satisfaction as compared to people who pursued approach goals (moving towards positive consequences) eg wanting to make friends was more successful than wanting to avoid feeling lonely.

Specific, Difficult goals consistently lead to high performance however goals that are too arduous can hurt performance.  The goal needs to be specific and challenging but not feel unattainable. Making ambitious, specific commitments is a great way to kick us into action.

It has been found that self-imposed deadlines boost our chances of getting things done.  Simply by making a personal pledge to do a certain task by a certain date can be good too.

The best way to meet our goals is to follow a stepwise approach.

  • Begin by drawing a staircase on a sheet of paper. Include at least six for a start.
  • Write down a few words about your current situation at the bottom of the staircase
  • Now write a short description about where you would like to get to at the top of the staircase
  • Now start working backwards from your goal to figure out the individual steps you will need to take.
  • Think about the order of the steps.  Which ones do you need to do first.
  • For each step consider
    • What are the specific actions you need to do?
    • Who can/should help?
  • You may need to re-draw your staircase several times adding further steps.

Drawing your staircase is only the first step.  Now you need to start taking action.

One of the best ways to promote Daring is to make people believe that you are changeable and can be developed, do not attach labels to them and encourage them that anything can be learned.

When encouraging children to be daring teach your children that their brain circuitry is malleable and it grows fresh connections and grows in response to stimulation and nearly anything can be improved with diligence.

Pursuing more opportunities does mean that we will fail more often so one way to give us a backstop for this is to have a Setback Manifesto. Exceptional people see blunders and failures as feedback, constructive criticism, and insight into what doesn’t work or what they should do differently.  Rather than seeing them as a sign that we should give up, setbacks can tell us that we may need to work harder, learn more, consider other options or adapt our tactics, or ask for help.  Repeated failures normally tell us that we should pursue something else but at least we know for certain what doesn’t suit us.

Remember that nothing in life can ever be certain.  High achievers believe in trial and error and take action even when matters are uncertain or they feel a little scared.

Remembering that a huge part of success is psychological read and train your brain by listening to empowering audios, doing training on ways to do business and training your mind that you will be successful.

If you want to see more about the traits of high achievers then check out the rest of the series below


Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

And if you want to join me on my journey of becoming a high achiever then leave your email address below and I will send you a book I created called 105 Inspirational quotes just for you



 This blog contains excerpts from the book The Extra One Percent by Rob Yeung







Small Changes Make a Big Difference Part 5 – Connecting

Connecting it is something we do everyday with people but are you using your connections to their best advantage?

I am in the process of hunting for a new job at the moment as well as running an online business and trying to raise funds for my friend in Kenya. So I am trying to use my connections I have to help me all of these tasks.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference Part 5 – Connecting

Connecting it is something we do everyday with people but are you using your connections to their best advantage?

I am in the process of hunting for a new job at the moment as well as running an online business and trying to raise funds for my friend in Kenya.  So I am trying to use my connections I have to help me all of these tasks.

This morning I received an email from a connection on Linked In which I had not actually contacted yet about the job hunt and tomorrow I have an interview with his organisation.  On Facebook I am using my connections to build business contacts and relationships so people will get to know me and my desires. I am also using my Facebook contacts and personal contacts to help me to raise money to get my friend’s 10 year old daughter released from Hospital.

I was reading in Rob Yeung’s book,  The Extra One Percent – How Small changes make Exceptional People, that often it is our weak ties that act as bridge builders between communities.

Think about how many connections you have. Write a list of those people.


Now rate those contacts on the strength of your relationship with them, perhaps by giving each person between 1 and 3 stars.  Now say you have a particular goal – perhaps to raise money for a charity, promote your business or find a job, you may be tempted to stick to the safe ground of talking to the people you know best, your 2 star and 3 star relationships but research has shown this may not be the most lucrative course of action.

Several studies have highlighted the power of weak ties. One Rob talks about is where employees and managers in three totally different organisations – An American Pharmaceutical Company, a British Bank and a Canadian Oil and Gas company – were surveyed.  The research team found that most people relied on their strong ties for knowledge and advice, however the most useful information more often than not came from their weak ties rather than the people they were in contact with most often.  Another study found that jobseekers who made the additional effort to contact their weak ties tended to earn more in their next jobs than their counterparts who focused mainly on the people they already knew well.

It has even been discovered that belonging to a greater number of social groups and networks may even help protect from illness.  More than a few studies show that people who have more diversified social networks live longer than people with fewer social relationships.  Most remarkably, the relative risk of death for individuals with few social networks is comparable in magnitude to the impact that cigarette smoking has on mortality.  Putting it another way, having few friends is as dangerous for our health as taking up smoking.

When I read this I had to re-read it a few more times.  Having few friends is as dangerous for our health as taking up smoking.  Glad I am out and about a lot.  I only have a few really close friends but I have lots of associates and acquaintances so I hope it makes me safe.  Working everyday in big organisations, been involved in sports clubs or dance clubs or business clubs always adds to your social networks.  I am not so sure this is relevant for online only friends, but if it is then I am safe there as I am making more online friends every day.

It is not necessarily the number of friends you have but more the diversity of the social ties you have.  You can have loads of friends but if they all are in the same group hang out with the same people etc then it will not give the diversity required.  The protective factor seems to be the nuber of different social circles a person belongs to and this protective factor seems to have held even taking into account other factors such as patterns of smoking, alcohol consumption, physical exercise, sleep quality, diet and personality type. So when it comes to the shielding health benefits of social ties, both the quantity and quality of ties matter less than the sheer diversity of them.  That is having loads of weak ties.

Hang with your friends and the people you feel most comfortable with but remember it is actually our weak ties that may help us to break fresh ground, achieve our goals and protect our health.  Whether we are looking for an unadvertised job opening, a new customer for our businesses or even a hot date, you’re more likely to find it through casual acquaintances than close friends.friends

Connecting is the skill of reaching out to new people and leveraging relationships for mutual gain.  You don’t have to meet hundreds of new people.  Just the art of adding a couple of new people to our address book each day can make a difference and significantly boost our chances of achieving goals.

Remember people may be happy to help us achieve our goals, but they can’t unless we gently let them know we exist and tell them what we are wanting.

We must look to surround ourselves with the people we most aspire to be like.  Whether your intention is to lose weight, raise money for a cause, move up the corporate ladder, learn from people who are doing what you want to do.

If you like what you are reading here please share with your friends and if you want to know more about the business I am doing and the blogs I am writing please friend me on Facebook I would love to chat.

If you want to see the other four other traits I have written about so far then please check them out here.

Small Changes make a Big Difference  – Introduction and Part 1 and Awe

Small Changes make a big Difference – Part 2 – Cherishing

Small Changes make a big difference –  Part 3 – Authenticity

Small Changes make a big Difference – Part 4  – Centredness

I would love feedback on this series and if you are enjoying it.  Please comment below and on the appropriate blogs

Have a great Day.




 This blog contains excerpts from the book The Extra One Percent by Rob Yeung.


Small Changes make big differences Part 4 – Centredness

Centredness as an ability to manage your inner mental life, moods, and emotions. People that display centredness are not insulated from failure but instead find the mental strength to pick themselves up when they get knocked down. Rather than struggle on under the weight of roiling emotions, they find ways to work through them and recover, and in doing so allow themselves to sustain high levels of motivation and performance even in the face of adversity and crushing defeats.

Small Changes make big differences – Centredness

Rob Yeung defines Centredness as an ability to manage your inner mental life, moods, and emotions.  People that display centredness are not insulated from failure but instead find the mental strength to pick themselves up when they get knocked down.  Rather than struggle on under the weight of roiling emotions, they find ways to work through them and recover, and in doing so allow themselves to sustain high levels of motivation and performance even in the face of adversity and crushing defeats.

Many of the exceptional people Rob Yeung has interviewed don’t even realise they possess the skill of Centredness.  Most people focus on the outward behaviours of what they do and say rather than the inward processes of how they think and feel. Because Centredness is an inner expertise, the workings of which are are invisible to onlookers, people who possess it can at times appear fairly unassuming.  They may appear reserved, quietly spoken, unadventurous, or even shy.  Their outward demeanour may reveal nothing of the steely mental toughness within.

Psychologists have known for decades that how centred we feel depends on the ratio of negative to positive thoughts we tell ourselves. The more negative messages we hear the worse we feel.  If we allow ourselves to dwell on fears, regrets, and worries, we feel down, less centred, less able to think clearly and get on with life.

For example, say you’re a manager looking to fill a vacancy.  All other things being equal, wouldn’t you rather hire someone who brushes off setbacks than the one who suffers  from more extended mood swings? or if you were a customer looking to buy an insurance policy, wouldn’t you rather deal with the cheery sales person than the one grumbling about whatever is bothering them?

The answer to both questions is yes.  And research tells us that happy, centred people are more likely to receive a second interview than their less happy peers.  Salespeople with a positive, centred disposition also sell more than their downbeat counterparts.

Even well centred people tell themselves off or worry occasionally. A good place to start becoming more centred is to watch what you think and what triggers your patterns of thinking.  Last year we did a course on life coaching and one of the key things that came out of that was the phrase “catch your thoughts”.  It was all about being very aware of what you were thinking and every-time you said something bad about yourself to change the thought to a positive one like next time I will do better.  We were encouraged to put the letters CYT up on mirrors and anywhere you see them to remind us to always catch our thoughts.

As a result of this I saw a dramatic change in my friend we were doing this course with so I have seen living proof that that we can improve our mental resilience.

Decades of psychological science and research into into psychotherapeutic techniques tell us we can help ourselves to feel less anxious, less unhappy. less angry, and more centred simply by choosing to change how we think.  This is despite our genetic tendencies, to depression.

One of the patterns that Rob Yeung has noticed in his research of exceptional people is they focus their thoughts strongly on the present, on what they are doing at any given moment. They do not let their minds wander back to past blunders.  They do not fret over what could or might transpire.  They focus intently on the present, not the past or the future.

There are a lot of teachings out there now on being present, in the moment.  They are teaching the ability to be mindful at school now and I have noticed myself when I am walking or doing a number of things that I am very mindful of my current world, noticing the beautiful sounds of nature, being more observant when on bus rides, getting more involved in what I am feeling right now.

Small changes make Big Differences – Centredness

We can all decide what we pay attention to.  When misgivings or worries pop into our heads, we could give them the full weight of our attention, replaying them over and over again and making predictions for how they will effect us in the future, or fret over what might happen the next time we have a critically important meeting or a big date the next day. The more helpful alternative though is to choose to let such thoughts pass and focus our attention instead on what we’re doing and what’s going on around us right now.

Our attention is like a spotlight that we can shine on whatever we like. Try directing your attention to your breathing, notice the inhales and exhales, then focus on the events going on around you.  Perhaps there are people nearby or you could home in on what’s going on outside your window, a splodge of dirt on a wall or anything else around you.

Have you found that in meetings you turn your attention inwards?  You allow your attention to drift away from what is being said and concentrate on your inner thoughts, the list of groceries you need to pick up on the way home or something funny someone said in the office today.  Or dwell on painful events from the past or something you are dreading in the future.

Mindfulness is the tendency to focus on what is going on around us in the present moment.  It means concentrating on that meeting, or conversation that is happening now not what is going on in our heads.

Research has found that people who are naturally more mindful tend to be more centred, more satisfied and successful.  Several studies show that being mindful helps us to stay centred when others around us are distressed.  Couples who are naturally mindful reported greater satisfaction with their relationships than less mindful couples.  Mindfulness has also been linked to better exam performance.  The good news is that we can train ourselves to be more mindful.  Modern mindfulness training is scientifically proven to deliver results.  Becoming mindful is essentially about training the spotlight of our attention to focus outwardly on our situations, what we’re doing and the people we are with rather than inwardly on your own thoughts.  Try to become more mindful in everyday situations and you will begin to see the benefits when you need it most.

When you are having a conversation, focus the spotlight of your attention on the other person or people  – avoid letting your attention stray to those internal thoughts.  When you are eating a meal focus on the tastes and textures of the food, really appreciate the food.  Concentrate on the activity you are doing,  driving, reading, sleeping or exercising.  When distracting or unhelpful thoughts pop into your head – and it happens to everyone – imagine they are clouds floating through the sky.  Use your imagination to zoom out from the scene and give yourself a bird’s eye view of the landscape below.  Just see those thoughts passing by in the distance.  Observe them but do not dig into them. Then bring your attention back to what you were doing.

Becoming more mindful takes practice.  Most people find that they can only manage it for a few minutes at a time to begin with.  No one can be mindful all the time. But with practice you will find that it helps stave off unwanted thoughts, and enjoy what you are doing, becoming more centred and productive.

Small changes make big Differences – Centredness

Sometimes if we just have too many thoughts in our heads that we can not quieten them we need to look at using another method. The FASTER technique is an example of what psychologists call a thought record.  It is a proven technique for combating negative thoughts and becoming more centred.

FASTER stands for Feelings, Actions, Situation, Thoughts, Evidence against negative beliefs and review feelings again.

  • Feelings – write down the emotions you’re feeling as a result of thoughts going through your head. Be as specific as you can with words like disappointed, tense.  Then give each emotion a rating from 1-10, based on how strongly you feel each one.
  • Actions – write down how these feelings are effecting your life, what are they making you do or putting you off doing?
  • Situation – Describe what triggered these unhelpful feelings, taking note of who you were with, what happened, did someone say something or did thoughts just start it all off?
  • Thoughts – capture all the unhelpful thoughts that are running through your head so you can help yourself to see through them.
  • Evidence against your negative beliefs – Now is the fun part.  Here is where you look at ways to re-frame your negative thoughts. Now imagine your best and most understanding friend is asking you these questions.
    • Is that really true?
    • What’s a better way of looking at that?

Look for the flaws in your negative thoughts, demolish them and help yourself escape from their grip.

  • Review Feelings again – now take a look at the feelings you wrote down in step 1.  Are they still as strong.  Hopefully by now the feelings describes in step 1 are now a lot less or completely changed.  You should now feel a lot less emotional and more centred.

We mustn’t repress our feelings, just make time to look at them properly work out what is causing them and then carry on with life.  Our feelings are messages from ourselves – an internal memo -with a warning or a meaning to impart.  If you are feeling sad it might mean that you need to surround yourself with friends and family for a while.  If you are angry it might mean you need to review the current situation and make changes to change it either speaking up about it or removing yourself from the situation.  Fear may tell us we need to do more preparation.

It has been proven scientifically that writing about, or recording our experiences on a tape enables us to regain our mental balance faster, than thinking about the bad experiences.  Health and everything improves once the experience is released on paper or tape.  It has also been found that reviewing the experience from a third person perspective is much more healing than re-immersing yourself in the negative experience again from 1st person.

Make sure you look back on situation with compassion – you would naturally express concern to a friend who had gone through a gruelling situation.  Make sure to express understanding and kindness to yourself as well.

Several studies have looked at the benefits of expressive writing.  Students who used the technique found that their grades improved.  Un-employed middle age engineers who wrote about the experience of being out of work found new jobs quicker than those who didn’t.  And in some studies, participants who used the technique also reported that they felt physically happier – they even paid fewer visits to their doctors.

The last technique that will help you feel more centred is physical exercise.  It really is true that a healthy body also means a healthy mind.  Research tells us that exercisers report greater levels of psychological wellbeing than non-exercisers.  Several research trials suggest that moderate exercise may be as effective as talking therapies and even certain drugs in the treatment of clinical depression.  It may be a particularly potent method for remaining centred because it both distracts us from our worries and floods our bodies with endorphins, our natural feel-good hormones.

When we stop  to take stock of how we spend our time, we usually know when we are living our lives in ways that help us to stay centred. To help you stay in peal psychological condition and allow you to perform consistently at your best, are there any activities you should be doing less?

If you have enjoyed this blog you may like to check out the other blogs in this series.

Small changes make big differences  – Awe

Small changes make big differences Part 2 – Cherishing

and  Small changes make big differences Part 3 – Authenticity

The next one will be on the fifth trait of high achieving people – Connectivity.

Please leave comments below I would love to know what you are getting out of these posts and if these posts are helping you in your job search, current career, business or life generally.

Have a great day


Please note that this blog includes excerpts from the book The Extra One Percent - how small changes can make big differences by Rob Yeung.  I acknowledge that this book is used of the source of most of the information.







Small Changes make big Differences Part 3 – Authenticity

Rob Yeung says that “Authenticity is the ability to choose activities in life that we genuinely want to do rather than be pushed into tasks and jobs we don’t like. We feel authentic when we engage in pursuits that we do simply because we find them interesting, challenging, or fun. We feel authentic when we happily do an activity without the promise of reward for doing it or punishment for not doing it.

Small Changes make big differences part 3 – Authenticity

I never went into business to make money – but I have found that. if I have fun, the money will come.  Richard Branson

This is such a powerful trait of high achieving people.  How many times on a Monday morning do you say I hate Mondays I don’t want to go to work today?

Rob Yeung says that “Authenticity is the ability to choose activities in life that we genuinely want to do rather than be pushed into tasks and jobs we don’t like.  We feel authentic when we engage in pursuits that we do simply because we find them interesting, challenging, or fun.  We feel authentic when we happily do an activity without the promise of reward for doing it or punishment for not doing it.

Do you have tasks you start doing which you loose yourself in?  These are the tasks which you feel most at peace with.  When you are doing these tasks this is when you are been your most authentic.

The more we can align our work to what makes us feel authentic, the more prosperous we will be. Some people just feel totally at peace when they are running a business.  Time means nothing to them.  The amount of money they are earning is nothing to them, these people are there because they are doing what they love.  They build up a business, get it successful and then sell it off they then start a new one work it up and then sell it on to the next great idea.

Too many people put up with the drudgery of their jobs because it pays the bills – but that is hardly the attitude that high achievers adopt.  If you desire to succeed, you must do work you enjoy. otherwise you will only ever be a fraction as effective as you could be.  To begin the process of moving your career on a better trajectory , work through the following questions:

  • In what kind of work situations have you worked harder  than you normally do?
  • What have been the highlights of your working life? Why?
  • What activities do you pursue in your free time when you have no other obligations? Why?
  • If you could do different activities on separate days of the week, how would you structure your time?

The biggest thing is to do is find activities that feel like play.  If you feel you are playing while you are working and earning a living then you are been authentic.

When you are in the flow, or in the ‘zone’ then you are focused and content.  Hours slip by and before you know it the day has passed.  Only then are you flooded with glee or gratitude for the intensity of the experience.  At its core, flow is about being engrossed. totally absorbed in a task rather than merely having fun.  It’s like being in a tunnel, seeing only the task at hand. Research shows that when we experience flow, our self-belief blossoms and we improve at what we are doing.

When we have an experience of flow, we may:

  • Feel in control
  • Experience a sense of challenge
  • Lose track of time
  • Feel fully involved
  • Want to tell other people about it

Can you think of times when you have felt at least some of these feelings?

Think back over the course of your life and bring to mind occasions when you felt lost in what you were doing. It can be anytime in your life, childhood, work, or leisure.

Then think about

  • What skills were you using?
  • Who were you with?
  • What made the experience special?

Once you have a number of experiences, about 10 is good, what kind of skills crop up the most often? What are the implications for what you should be doing, how should you be spending your time?

Now how many of your peak experiences happened in your current job? If none – not a single one – of your high points has been in your current job, then why are you doing it?

Taking stock of our lives occasionally can be very beneficial.  Revisiting our past, our jobs, interests and activities can allow us to see patterns and better career and life decisions in the future.  One of the best ways I have done this in the past is by working through a book called “What colour is your Parachute?”.  This is a book that is released every year and helps people sort out their careers.

High achievers understand what they are good at and find ways to play to their strengths.

Not everyone finds it easy to work out their talents and a lot of this is because of the school systems we were brought up in. Schools tend to promote a fairly narrow definition of aptitude, which is predominantly focused on the ability to learn and regurgitate information.  So a lot of people grow up thinking they have no skills – that they’re stupid or untalented.  Fortunately school systems are changing now and more and more successful people never finished school.

There was an article a couple of weeks ago in our local newspapers about a 17 year old student in New Zealand that is making $100,000.00 a year reviewing games and playing games.  There is more and more examples around the world now of people that have not finished school succeeding in life and using their talents and skills.

No matter how much you like or dislike your current job, you can find ways to relish it more. You can look at the tasks you do and look at them form a different angle so you can see the value of it and enjoy it more.  You can alter the boundaries of the tasks you enjoy and the ones you would rather not do.  You can modify your relationships at work to change the way you interact with people.  Re-framing your current view of your job can change the way you think about the job completely.  For example an insurance administrator at a call centre could think about the job as a way to take the hassle out of the callers’ lives.

Authenticity is the ability to choose activities in life that we genuinely want to do.  We feel authentic when we engage in pursuits that we find interesting, challenging, or fun.  Bear in mind that even small adjustments to how you spend your time could reap significant benefits.

If you are enjoying this series of articles please let me know.

Here is the link to the first and second ones.  I would love to hear your feedback.

The first one covered the the trait of Awe and was an introduction to this series.  The second one covered the trait of Cherishing.

If you want to know more about ways you can train yourself to pick up the habits of high achievers then click the banners on this page and together we can change the world.

Leave a comment below and leave your email address to get a copy of my inspiring quotes e-book.

Have a great day


 This series of blogs uses Rob Yeungs books as reference and contain excerpts from the book.




Small changes make a big difference Part 2 – Cherishing

In the past the skill of cherishing was called ‘people skills’, now it is called ’emotional intelligence’ in most organisations and it has even been called ‘social-emotional agility’. Whatever label is attached, the need for cherishing is only growing. In the past we used to work locally, only dealing with the people around us in the workplace, most of which were the same socio-economic group as us, and as a result we knew how to think and influence them.

Small Changes make a big difference – Cherishing

The last blog post was about the first trait that successful people need of Awe.  Today I am going to talk about Cherishing which is the second trait of successful people.

Rob Yeung says that Cherishing is a flair for rapport building, for building relationships with other people.  High achievers are usually great at listening to others, considering their perspectives and empathising with them; they are respectful of the differences between people and seek emotional connections or personal bonds rather than just making demands for what they want.

In the past the skill of cherishing was called ‘people skills’, now it is called ’emotional intelligence’ in most organisations and it has even been called ‘social-emotional agility’.  Whatever label is attached, the need for cherishing is only growing.  In the past we used to work locally, only dealing with the people around us in the workplace, most of which were the same socio-economic group as us, and as a result we knew how to think and influence them.

Nowadays with globalisation and internet working etc the most talented and ambitious people are increasingly crossing geographic and cultural boundaries in search of the best opportunities we find ourselves living and working in ever diverse communities.  We can’t expect that a 20 year old Russian student, 73 year old Scottish Grandmother or a 55 year old Indian entrepreneur will think the same way as we do when we work with them or live with them.  If we want them to influence them, get them to buy from us or simply live in harmony, we cannot take for granted many of the social conventions and rules we’re used to.

One of the experiments Rob Yeung talks about is the Puzzle of the ball in the box.

Imagine that you are asked to look after a young couple’s children, and once you are agree you are told please strip all the furniture out of the room that the children will be playing in and leave only a cardboard box, a plastic bucket and a rubber ball.

Moments later the children, we will call them Amy and Billy rush into play with the ball passing it backwards and forwards and kicking it around.  After a few minutes, Amy says she is thirsty.  You tell her you poured them both some lemonade in the kitchen.  Billy says he does not want any at the moment, so Amy puts the ball in the box before running off to the kitchen to get a drink.  While she is out in the kitchen Billy takes the ball and drops it in the bucket before his sister gets back.

So here is a question for you: when Amy returns from the kitchen, where will she look for the ball? Clearly it is not a big question for you.  But consider instead if you were to ask Billy; ‘Where do you think Amy will look for the ball?’ What would he tell you?

It is a bit of a trick question. The answer depends on Billy’s age.

Most three year olds can’t distinguish between what they know and what other people know.  So a three year old Billy, knowing that the ball is in the bucket, would guess wrongly and say that Amy would look int the bucket too.  He never considers that what he knows and what other people know could be different.

However by the age of four or five most children begin to grasp that other people can have different thoughts and beliefs.  So a five year old Billy would probably answer that Amy would look for the ball in the box where she had originally left it.  Older and wiser he is able to separate what he knows from Amy’s lack of knowledge, her false belief about the ball’s location.

The ability to understand that other people can have knowledge that differs from our own has been ‘dubbed’ a ‘Theory of Mind’ by psychologists – it is considered a theory in as much that the concept of the mind isn’t something that we can observe directly.  We can’t see other people’s minds, touch them, or examine them until we are satisfied that other people definitely have them.

Growing up as children we gradually became aware that we had thoughts, feelings and knowledge that other people didn’t always know about. Then, by watching the behaviour of the people around us, we came to realise that other people must have thoughts, feelings and knowledge – in other words minds – like us too.

As grown ups, we possess the mental capacity to take another person’s perspective and consider their thoughts and feelings.  So surely we wouldn’t make the same mistakes as children, right?


There is such a thing as the curse of knowledge and experiment that has been done to show this is:

This experiment is set up as a two person game.

A 4 by 4 array of pigeonholes is set up as below but with physical items instead of symbols.  Note there are two black spades and that five of the boxes have backs on them.

 ϒ  ∏
 ♠  ò  ∑
 ⊂  ♠

The researcher sits one person on the front of the pigeonhole set up so they can see everything and the other person is blindfolded before they walk into the room and set up behind the pigeonholes so they can not see everything.

The person behind the pigeonholes is made to give instructions to the person in front of the pigeon holes on how to move the objects around the grid. Sounds straight forward enough and so the experiment begins.

The person behind, we will call her Lisa says to the person in front, we will say you move the triangle one space to my left.  Remembering that her left is your right, you move the triangle one space to your right.

Move the Y one space to my left. easy enough. you move the object represented by Y.

Now move the black spade up one space.

Which black spade? There are two. But then you recall that Lisa was blindfolded and cannot know about the second black spade, and the realisation hits you. You have figured out the twist in the experiment. The researcher wants to test whether you will reach for the black spade that both you and Lisa can see or the one that only you can see.

When researcher Boaz Keysar at the University of Chicago used an almost identical version of the test, he found that 30% of the participants attempted to move the wrong item.  When he repeated it three more times he found that 71%of the participants reached for the incorrect item at least once.  In other words, more than two in three people forgot that they had information that differed from that of their experimental partners.

The stronger our views and opinions, the less likely we are to put ourselves into the shoes of other people. The more we know or the more strongly we believe , the harder we find it to consider the perspectives of other people.  For instance most law-abiding citizens can’t imagine why a gang would vandalise a communal park or why adults can’t conceive why kids want to dress themselves in such ridiculous fashions.

Another aspect of Cherishing is being able to think about other people’s thoughts or perspective taking.  This is the ability to take the perspective of the person you are negotiating with, trying to understand what they are thinking and what their interests and purposes are in this negotiation.

An experiment which showed this in action was done with a group of MBA students.  The students were divided into pairs.  One person took the role of an employer looking to hire a candidate but wanting to broker the best deal for the organisation and the other person assumed the role of the candidate, wanting to get the best salary and benefit package.

Two minutes prior to beginning the negotiation exercise participants acting as the employer were split into three groups, an empathy group, where employers were told to imagine what it would feel like to be in the situation of the candidate, a perspective taking group, where employers were told to focus on what the candidate would be thinking about and a control group that were given no further instructions.

The key difference between the sets of instructions was subtle but the effects were not.  In the control group only 12% of the pairs achieved the best possible win-win outcomes.  The Empathy group 22% achieved win-win outcomes and in the perspective group 40% achieved win-win outcomes.

From this we can conclude that empathy has benefits when dealing with others but hands down the best approach is to think like the person on the other side of the negotiation.

Putting ourselves in the shoes of other people can help us to build rapport and understanding, but to cement those bonds we need to accept that more than one point of view isn’t just possible but likely.  When dealing with other people, we can enrich a discussion by exploring how opposing perspectives can be united rather than fought over.

We must learn to accept that, whatever our views and those of the people around us, we may all be right – even when those views seem to clash. The point: even though we may talk about understanding other people’s perspectives, we often fall into the trap of only engaging with those views in a fairly shallow way.  We may be looking for flaws in their arguments to prove us right and them wrong.  However that is not the approach that exceptional people take.  They look for ways in which we can all be right.

An example of this is approaching an employee who seems to be late for all internal meetings with the question ‘Penny, you and I seem to have different priorities when it comes to internal meetings – can we talk about it please?.’  Raising the issue from the third perspective is always the least threatening, most productive way to kick off any such conversation.

The best way to understand someone’s perspective is to listen to them. listening is not just a case of asking people questions and expecting them to share their innermost thoughts and feelings, their motivations and desires.  We need to make people feel comfortable that we are not going to judge them and try immediately to change their minds.  We can’t jump in to interrupt no matter how wrong we feel they are.  To gain true insight, we must be patient and give people a totally safe environment in which to speak.

To conclude Cherishing is a flair for building rapport and relationships with other people by understanding their perspectives, their thoughts and feelings.

We all have the ability to cherish other people, it is just that we may forget to turn it on. Consider the small changes you could make to have a big impact on your relationships.

Small changes make a big difference – Cherishing

Consider the small changes you could make to have a big impact on your relationships:

  • Being able to see the world from the perspective of other people, to listen to them and understand them, is a vital human skill.  Find ways to remind yourself of the need to understand both the thoughts and feelings of other people
  • Be constantly on the lookout for the ‘Curse of Knowledge’. The more we know, the harder we find it to put ourselves into the shoes of other people, which becomes an interesting challenge for experts or people in senior roles or positions of authority.
  • Research shows that even a quick reminder to consider others’ thoughts can have huge benefits in our interactions with them. Find a way that works for you and make sure you ‘Switch on”  your ‘Theory of mind’ ability.
  • Exceptional People accept that different people can have opposing views yet still be ‘right’.  Focus on both/and thinking rather than an either /or choice.  Look for ways to combine your viewpoints with those of others.

If you like what you are reading here please feel free to share.  Please comment below and leave me comments about ways you can cherish people.

If you are looking for support in teaching you how to cherish, respect and grow your businesses then then click any of the banners on this page and look at what I am doing.  And leave your email below so we can communicate.

Have a great day

Please note this blog contains excerpts from the book I am talking about here "The Extra One Percent - how small changes make exceptional people" by Rob Yeung.







Small Changes can make a big difference

Rob has been asked to investigate companies and find out what the star performers are doing differently to the mediocre performers and this book is all about his findings and also a lot of scientific experiments that have been done to work out what makes exceptional people.

Small Changes can make a big difference

Hi all

I am reading a wonderful new book called “the Extra one Per Cent – how small changes make exceptional people” by Rob Yeung. The information I am getting from it is really interesting. Rob has been asked to investigate companies and find out what the star performers are doing differently to the mediocre performers and this book is all about his findings and also a lot of scientific experiments that have been done to work out what makes exceptional people.

One of the first discoveries Rob talks about is during World War 2 when the USAAF was trying to get the right people trained for flying. He talks about a civilian psychologist called John C Flanagan.

Flanagan was charged with trying to investigate in depth why certain trainee pilots made the grade while others fell short. After asking general questions and getting vague answers he changed his tactics and stopped asking general opinions as to why missions succeeded or failed but instead urged the pilots and instructors to talk about specific episodes of triumph or failure in forensic detail with a particular focus on what they did, what they said and what they were thinking at the time. Over time he and his team interviewed tens of thousands of personnel, asking them to describe specific instances in which they succeeded or failed so and as a result his research enabled the USAAF to make better recruitment decisions turning away more candidates that were unlikely to make it through pilot training.

The next example is one where Rob was called into an IT organisation to help work out the difference between the top salesmen and the mediocre salespeople. After interviewing enough people at the technology firm he analysed their stories to understand the trivial differences in behaviour that distinguished high achievers from their less prosperous counterparts. Top key account managers tended to spend more time engaging in social chit chat and building rapport before getting down to business, they were more likely to pick up a phone that send an email, and they tried to influence customers in indirect as well as direct methods.

What Rob has found through all his research is essentially there are 8 traits or behaviours that successful people possess.

Here is the list:

  • Awe
  • Cherishing
  • Authenticity
  • Centredness
  • Connecting
  • Daring
  • Citizenship
  • Visioning

Over the next few blog posts I will go into detail on each of these traits or behaviours as I continue to read the book and find out more of each of these traits.

The trait I am going to work on today is Awe.

The simple description of Awe that is in the book is “Exceptional people aren’t just born more creative – they fuel their imaginations by actively pursuing new experiences and consciously staying open-minded about or ‘in awe’ of, new possibilities. Rather than assuming they know enough about their field or industry, they remain curious and realise that there is always more to learn and consider”

How often do you take the time to look around yourself, to notice the birds in the morning chorus, to take time to read books that feed your mind? Through the 90 day bootcamp I have been encouraged to read daily and have read some of the most amazing books, have started videoing and as a result I am taking time to listen to the world, looking at the amazing nature around me when I am walking to do things like walking to catch the bus. Looking at amazing sunsets and taking note of things all the time.

Rob talks about experiments that were done on observation. The researchers gave the students a task, to count the number of times the ball was passed between members of the team in white. Immediately after watching the film the students were asked to write down how many passes they’d counted. The researchers then asked, ‘did you see anyone else besides the six players appear on the video?’ and ‘did you see a gorilla walk across the screen?’ More than half the participants were puzzled. What gorilla? They hadn’t seen any gorilla.

Another experiment is where another experiment team got people to count the number of photographs in a newspaper. After several pages, there was a half page advert with the words: ‘Stop Counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.’ But most people kept on turning the pages, too engrossed in counting photos to see the answer. A few pages later, another bigger advert proclaimed: ‘Stop counting. Tell the experimenter you’ve seen this and win 150 pounds.’ Again most people didn’t notice it. Oblivious to the cash prize, they diligently carried on with the task despite the answer being literally spelt out in black and white. Only a handful of people spotted the adverts, usually laughing and asking to claim their winnings.

These are powerful experiments showing how the mind is concentrating and really does not take notice of anything outside of our given task. It just shows how narrowly our minds can sometimes work.

Here is another example. Rob asked a group of people if they have time for him to tell them a story, a few of them checked their watches and gave the go-ahead. The next question he asked was what is the time? Despite having just looked at their watches, they were not looking to tell the time. They were looking to see if they had enough time to listen to a story before the end of session.

These examples highlight a phenomenon that psychologists call ‘inattentional blindness’. When we look for one thing, we may fail to notice others. Focusing our attention too intently on any particular goal or direction may blind us to other opportunities.

Do you get focused on doing a task at work, so much so that nothing will interrupt you? The problem with this is that you might not consider whether you can do away with the task entirely.

Selling one product to customers we might not actually see that the world has moved on and people are not interested in that product any longer. If we get too fixed on a specific goal. Get too fixed on a specific goal we may not spot those other openings. Be careful not to have so much focus that you are not able to see other ideas and opportunities.

A good example of this is a creative team that was so busy collecting images from art galleries etc and failed to notice that online companies were selling digital photography at a fraction of the price. As a result this creative team started losing lots of business.

Creativity is defined by Rob as the act of coming up with the act of coming up with ideas that allow us to make a difference to our lives and those of the people around us. We all need it. Creativity allows engineers to build new machines, office workers to devise quicker ways of working, and parents to find new ways of entertaining their children.

Small changes can make a big difference

Rob’s research shows that high achievers take an active decision to stop what they are doing occasionally to ask if there might be an entirely better way of doing it. And we can learn from them. We need to make time to absorb new ideas, to think, to question, speculate and ultimately produce new insights and breakthroughs.

So take out some time in your busy lives to smell the roses, look around you and appreciate life and just think.

What small changes can you make that will make a big difference? One small change you can make that will make a big difference  is to listen to powerful information daily, to read powerful books and of course take time out to look at things from different perspectives.

I have found writing these blogs, doing videos and reading has already made a major difference to me and my confidence.  I am working with an amazing mastermind of people that have had so many breakthroughs over this 90 day boot camp that I am forever in Awe of the achievements.

Sit down at the end of each day and work out what you have achieved and you will be forever amazed at what you can tick off your list.

So what small changes are you going to make to become an exceptional person?

Check out the banners below, leave your email address and together we can work on making small changes to make us into exceptional people.

Have a great day.



Source material for this blog has been "The Extra one percent- how small changes can make big differences" by Rob Yeung