Take This Image and Pin It

This may not come as a surprise to some of you, being that I’m a dorky visual person who keeps an “idea box” with stuff that sparks my creativity for graphic design projects. I also tend to keep magazines for way too long because I loved something about a particular page… only to find the magazine months or years later and not remember which page I liked and why.

One of my little pleasures is decorating (or re-decorating) a room for a ridiculously small budget by doing everything myself. In fact, I’m currently in the middle of a bunch of different projects for our baby’s room, which will most likely all be completed next week since I have time off from work.

I guess I should just come out and confess… I’m obsessed with Pinterest.

For anyone not familiar with the website, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard which allows you to organize and share stuff you find on the internet. Whether it is a super snazzy white ceramic owl or an inspiration room where you’re obsessed with the wall color, you can “pin” it on your very own board for future viewing.  The best part is that the original link that you found is included in the pin, so you can find it again in the future.

So right now I have boards with ideas for our baby’s room, our new house, cool maternity stuff and even a tattoo sleeve that I’m in love with. If you’re bored and want to check out my pins, click on the Pinterest link on the right hand side of this page and search for JoulesDellinger to find me.

Anyways, while tooling away on the website, I came across a framed image of “21 Suggestions for Success” by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. that really resonated with me. If you’re not familiar with his work, I wanted to share it with my fabulous Pocketful readers in case it sparks something with you too:

21 Suggestions for Success
By H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

  1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
  2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
  3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  6. Be generous.
  7. Have a grateful heart.
  8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
  9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  12. Commit yourself to quality.
  13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power, prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
  14. Be loyal.
  15. Be honest.
  16. Be a self-starter.
  17. Be decisive even if it means that you’ll sometimes be wrong.
  18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
  20. Take good care of those you love.
  21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your mom proud.

I know some of them are pretty typical and you’ve heard them time and time again (and probably skim over them with your eyes half-closed). However, at this particular moment in time, I have four standout favorites: #3, #5, #11 and #13.

So on this Christmas Eve Eve, think about whether there is something on his list that you need to keep in mind. And if you happen to be that inevitable person who will be in line ahead of me tonight when I finish my holiday shopping…please, please, please take # 17 to heart!

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The Secret to Having the Happiest Employees & the Best Relationship in the World

I know that’s a pretty big promise to live up to. I’m about to give you the one secret that can make everyone you deal with happier.

Crazy, right?

Impossible!

But let me ask you this. What is the one thing that you’ll never hear anyone say?

“I really love to feel unappreciated!”

Okay, maybe you’d hear it if someone was being totally sarcastic. However, nobody is ever thrilled to feel like someone is taking them for granted.

This is true in the workplace, as well as in your personal relationships. To keep someone around, they need to feel valued. If they don’t feel valued, you can bet that they’ll be looking around for someone else to value them – whether it be on match.com or monster.com.

As a manager or business owner, it is important to realize that by recognizing employees for doing a good job, it actually helps motivate them to continue performing well. Although some business have an entire employee morale program complete with a large budget, many things can be done for less than $100. Check out “1001 Ways to Reward Employees” by Bob Nelson, PH.D. for a bunch of great ideas and low-cost activities you can implement at your company.

I’ve given it a lot of thought though and I really think I know the best tip ever invented.

Are you ready for my awesome secret of making everyone happier?

Here it is in one little word: Praise.

Praise your employees.
Praise your spouse or significant other.
Praise your friends.
You can even praise your freaking dog.

It’s that simple. If someone is doing a good job – TELL THEM!

If you appreciate someone for doing something awesome, or even just consistently being a super friend or supportive spouse – TELL THEM!

If you value an employee and you want them to continue working for you, TELL THEM that you value them. Otherwise, when they hand in their resignation… it will be too late.

So my Pocketful readers,* let’s spread the love. Here’s your homework for the day: the next time someone does something great – whether it be the super friendly waitress that takes your order or the fact that your husband finally remembered to put the dishes in the dishwasher – tell them what a great job they did!

*By the way, my sweet and sassy Pocketful readers, I owe you a bit of praise. I appreciate and value every single person who has taken a minute out of their day to read my ramblings.

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A Stress Proof Life… Is that Really Possible?

So I had a chance to read “Stress Proof Your Life” (still free for your kindle as of today) as mentioned in a post earlier this week. To be fair, I didn’t actually read the entire book but I paged through it while inhaling my lunch…so I probably get points off for that.

I liked the writer’s tone and the fact that she didn’t try to pretend that there are some people out there with a totally stress-free existence:

“Stress will find you. You can’t avoid it. Stress is a fact of life. We can make some of it go away, we can ignore some of it, but eventually we will have to deal with it.”

So, apparently stress is some sort of ninja private eye that nobody can hide from. Ok. I’m down with that. I know that I feel stress and pretty much everyone I talks to feels it too. So, what can we do about it?

Well, as promised, the book offers 52 tips which range from everything like “never procrastinate again” to “ditching the debt.” Each chapter goes into what she means by the silly titles, how to fix the issue and then a little Q&A section about how to use the lesson in everyday life.

Here are my three favorites:*

Find an hour a day to play
Think about what you’d do today if you had a whole hour to yourself.  Now make time for it. People who spend at least a bit of their time doing the stuff they want to tend to feel that they’re in control, and that’s majorly de-stressing.

What’s Your Plan B
The life you’re living is Plan A. Plan B is what happens if it all goes pear-shaped. Know how you’d get from A to B and you remove a huge chunk of the stress that is caused by worry about the future. Work, relationships, health – whatever is causing you stress, make a Plan B. Your Plan B should be realistic, but it should be awesome. It shouldn’t be a case of “oh well, I could always move back in with my parents.’ It should be training to become a chef, starting your own business, backpacking around Mexico. It should make your heart sing.  Plan realistically but dream big.

Have a Holiday at Your Desk
Imbue the old nine-to-five with certain glamour and you’ll be amazed at how much tension seeps out of your life. What five changes would make your work environment more pleasant? Here are the authors: getting rid of piles of papers that need to be filed; investing in a china cup and no more sharing of the office’s grubby chipped ones; cheering up her desk with a bunch of pink tulips; cleaning her keyboard; turning down the ringtone volume on her phone. Everyday find some way to make your surroundings more pleasant.

Since these three tips resonated with me the most in my one handed reading/eating extravaganza, I’m going to try and focus on them for the next week or so. I mean what’s the worst that can happen – I’ll end up more stressed?

*FYI – For most of the tips section, I fully copied sentences straight from the book, so all credit goes to the writer.

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