Posts Tagged ‘money’

The Most Important Word in Business

I once posted an article on a personal development forum entitled ‘The most Important Word in Business’.

I’ll be honest, it’s a long time ago now and I’ve actually forgotten the exact word I proposed. Not too impressive you might think? What I do remember though was the best business word someone else suggested but I’ll come to that in a little while.

“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.” Walt Disney

My ‘word’ at that time may have been VALUE and I still see it as a very important business word. Afterall if you can add value to people’s lives they will reward you for it.

If you’re being hard-nosed about it you could say PROFIT is the most important word in business. In fairness most successful businesses make a healthy profit and this enables them to continue to grow and become more successful.

TRAINING is another important business word. As well as making a living and paying the bills a job can improve us as individuals. Training is vital for any organisation’s desire for continual improvement.

“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” – Napoleon Hill

Closely linked to training is the word PEOPLE. It’s worth a fair proportion of our income to work for and with decent people. Companies that care of their employees will always out perform companies that don’t in the long run.

There are may other important business words inluding: SUCCESS, CONFIDENCE, CUSTOMER, INVESTMENT, RESPECT, PROACTIVE etc.

However, I believe the most important word in any business is TRUST. Trust is the oil of all business. People buy from people they trust and everyone likes doing business with people they trust.

Is there a moral to this story. I don’t know, like I said I originally posted this article a long time ago. I know this much though if people trust you and your products, you’ll never go hungry.

“Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

The Importance of Education

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” – H. G. Wells (1866 – 1946)

I first came across the above quotation about ten years ago when I read a book on prophets, the quote has stuck with me over the years but I must admit I had always thought it was Jules verne that said it. (Doh!)

Science fiction writers are by their very nature good predictors of the future and H. G. Wells’ words have always resonated with me. Potentially, the next twenty years or so are going to be the most critical years we will ever face.

So much is happening so fast these days that it is vital that we have the werewithall to keep up with it. Therefor the role of education is taking on a greater and greater significance.

A hundred years ago it was only the priviliged few who were fortunate enough to receive an education and reading and writing were considered great skills. Fortunately, we’ve reached a point in our evolution where illiteracy has for the most part been eradicated.

“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus (55 – 135 AD)

There are five ways that we absorb information, in order of popularity they are; Verbal, Visual, Tactile, Kinesthetic (info manipulation) and Aural.

Personally, I think people learn better if they enjoy what they are doing. Ocassionally, people contact me and ask me things like “why are you always fooling around?” or “Why don’t you take personal development seriously?”

I always give the same answer: I DO take PD seriously, I get up at 4:30 am every morning to write my website’s daily update, now that’s taking things seriously! As for the fooling around part, well old habits die hard…

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”  – Alfred Mercier (1816 – 1894)

As parents we cannot force our children to study, we can only advise them that it’s in their best interests to do so. As a child I received zero pressure, only encouragement from my parents and their approach paid off.

Psychology is one of my passions and I’ve always appraoched the subject of success with the same attitude: ‘Try your best and then forget it’.

Why waste time worrying about things we can’t influence?

Education and schooling prepares children for life, it teaches them the improtance of discipline and routine. It’s only the fortunate few who are naturally gifted, most of us have to work damned hard for a living, so the sooner we learn the work ethic the better.

If you want to teach your children about life, get them a pet. Learning to care about something other than ourselves is a vital life skill.

I think the most important part of education is ‘vocabulary’. The ability to communicate effectively with people is one of if not THE most important life skills. Being able to express oneself is so important.

I believe a large percentage of violence stems from the inability to communicate ones true feelings effectively and the subsequent frustration that that brings. Wars have been fought in the past simply because of prejudice and a lack of tolerence and understanding of others.

The world is undoubtedly becoming a ‘smaller’ place and our understanding of each others cultures and traditions is improving. I just hope that we don’t become to reliant upon technology because I’m a firm believer in the concept of moderation in all things.

“The great thing, then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.” – William James (1842 – 1910)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

Come on admit it, we all love supermarkets?!? Struggling to find a parking space, all the people, negotiating our trolleys up and down the aisles, trainee checkout staff. It’s blissfull.

We’ve not tried doing the food shop on line yet but I don’t like waiting in for people and I’ve never really fancied the idea of someone else deciding on ‘suitable alternatives’ for me. But they say don’t knock something ’till you’ve tried it, so maybe sometime soon we’ll give it a whirl.

Anyway, my wife and I LIKE the struggle and the challenge of doing the foodshop ourselves, it’s extremely satisfying, really, and I want to carry my own shopping over the threshold thank you very much, even if it is persisting it down.

So every weekend, we tootle off down to Tesco’s – the people who insist that they are “helping us save money, every single day”.

Hardly bloody likely, we must put the best part of ten grand into their coffers “every single year” but unfortunately we live in a time when convenience is king. When I think about it though, it would be cheaper to give up work and start growing the stuff ourselves. Now there’s an idea.

So, we arrive at the carpark. In fairness to Tesco’s, it’s large enough, but if you are able-bodied, not a mother with child, toddler, guinea-pig or whatever other restrictions they feel fit to impose on parking then it’s a bit of a struggle.

We’re still calm though, even though we’ve been circling the carpark trying to find a parking space for the last ten minutes. Finally, we catch someone vacating a space, well for the time it takes them, maybe emigrating’s a more appropriate word – Patience is a virtue.

The trolley we choose seems decent enough. Although, after taking on the minutest of payloads ie. one newspaper and a tin of beans it somehow develops a mind of it’s own, and moving it let alone steering it becomes virtually impossible.
 
Why do some people insist on clogging up the aisles?

They bring the whole family, including great aunts and uncles with them, the more the merrier I say. Then they bump into the family from down the road and voila, you’re faced with twenty odd geriatrics, toddlers, pregnant wives and their househusbands blocking of the aisles – joy.

Why do old people insist on doing their weekly shop at the weekend?

They can shop any day of the week, they can shop when it takes half the time to shop, they can divide their shop into five and do it Monday to Friday if they like, but oh no, they wait until the weekend and then descend on the supermarkets in their droves, you can’t move for old dears at the weekend, bless ’em.

No problem though, the aisles are clearing a little, actually, we’re doing quite well for time but hold on a minute, they’ve moved the bread, AND the milk, we don’t mind though, we love a game of hide and seek. When we finally find the new, improved locations (eye-level is buy-level) you’ve guessed it, there out of stock.

The check out experience is just that, an experience. My favourite part is when having just watched you load 115 items onto the conveyor belt the assistant asks “Do you need any bags for those?” I always feel like saying “No thanks, we’re going to carry each item out to the car individually.”

But we always smile and say “Yes please” mainly out of politeness but partly because I honestly believe that if we said we didn’t they would take us at our word.

Supermarkets don’t like us using their bags anymore, it’s another cost saving exercise that they can wave the green banner at but they still feel grudgingly obliged to offer us them, so subsequently they have reduced the quality of the bags to such an extent that they tear if you put anything heavier than a newspaper in one of them.

The assistant looks at you in shock-horror if you ask for a wine carrier, so if you’ve purchased more than one bottle of wine (heaven forbid) then load them into one of their plastic bags at your peril.

Having taken out a remortgage to pay the bill, even though we had 53 BOGOFS, (Buy One Get One Free) 27 discounts and God knows how many special purchases we struggle past all the people who insist on checking their bills right in front of the exits and out to the car.

Finally, ten broken plastic bags later, everythings stowed in the car and we tootle off home again. Having put everything away in it’s rightful place we come to the best part of the day, a well earned drink down the pub, but that’s another story.

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

We buy things for many reasons, we buy lots of things we need and lots of things we don’t need. If you have serious designs on making money it is vital that you understand why people buy.

# Necessity:

We can’t live without things such as food, water, shelter etc, so we have to aquire them. However there is a subtle difference between actual necessities and perceived necessities.

Human beings can be extremely impulsive and exposure to products and services can make us think that we cannot live without them. Furthermore we are very susceptible to the power of peer pressure. ‘The kid next door has got a new bike so our kids have to have one.’

We actually feel guilty or bad if we don’t buy our kids everything their conmtemporaries have. Thus, we as a society leave ourselves wide open to exploitation by the advertising industry.

“An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.” –  Pliny the Younger (62 AD – 114 AD)

# Emotions:

Our emotions play a great part in our shopping habits, lots of people comfort-shop, they buy things to give themselves a boost. Our mood is easily manipulated and our senses our susceptible to music, visual displays, enticing smells etc.

We buy for fun, we buy things that give us pleasure, we buy things that make us feel good, we buy to escape reality.

Mementos are also big sellers, there is nothing we like more than something that reminds us of a cherished memory – The power of nostalgia is immense.

We are all capable of greed, we all love a bargain, we all buy bulk items that we will never use.

# Real benefits:

We are fortunate to live at a time of great technological advancement, the labour-saving devices that have become available to us over the last 50 years have been astonishing.

Most of us like to improve ourselves, we will buy something if it will educate us or our children. Education is now available to a large proportion of us whereas less than a hundred years ago it was only available to a priviliged few. Furthermore the internet has made it possible for us to access information like never before.

We also buy things that we hope will make us money, we invest in all manner of things from jewellry to stocks and shares.

“To have little is to possess. To have plenty is to be perplexed.
Lao-tzu.” (604 BC – 531 BC)

# Image:

Everyone loves to look and feel good. image and prestige are both key buying motivators, if something makes us look good in the eyes of other people then we will buy it.

# Health: If we don’t have our health then we have nothing. People will pay to become healthier. Too often though we think we can get a ‘bargain’ a ‘quick fix’. Prevention is always better than the cure, moderation in all things

# Influences:

I started my career in retailing so I know a bit about sales psychology. I think the most important thing you can convey to someone in order to get them ito buy from you is TRUST.

We all like to buy from people we trust, someone that is going to make sure we get value for money, someone who is going to guide us through the minefields of their particular product or service. Trust is a key ingredient of repeat business.

Top advertisers and retailers are extremely adept at influencing our decision making when it comes to buying things, they create the right ambience for their products and services. They appeal to our ego’s, they make us think buying their goods will improve us in all manner of ways.

Personally, apart from life-saving products I think freedom and space are the most important commodities. If we can acheive these things then we owe it to ourselves to find the time to enjoy them.

“Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.” F. Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

How to Get Promoted

When pitching to a group of people it is crucial that we ascertain as early as possible who the decision maker(s) is. A good way of doing this is to ask the group a key question and look who they all turn to for the answer.

It’s very similar when we are looking to advance our careers. Find out who the key people are in your organisation and start getting to know how they tick. Find out as much as possible about them and what you have in common with them. Nurture this common ground.

‘My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.’
Oscar Wilde.’ – (1854 – 1900)

# Empathy:

Don’t kid yourself that your boss will promote you just because they think you are a wonderful person or even because you’re good at your job.

They’ll promote you because they think you can help them realise their OWN ambitions, they want someone who will act as an extension of themselves. Thus, if you want to get promoted you must learn to live and think like your boss.

# Responsibility:

Ask for more responsibility, be honest, don’t bite off more than you can chew, but do everything well. Produce quality work that has impact, not mass output that anyone can do. Keep asking for more and more responsibility and if you keep doing a good job then eventually you will become indespensible.

*If your boss refuses to give you additional responsibilities ask why and what you have to do in order to be considered for more important tasks.

# Image:

Act as if you’ve already been promoted, not in a conceited way but simply assume the position you are aiming for. Dress smarter, walk faster, this conveys importance, stand up straight. Convince yourself and those around you that you are capable of greater things.

‘I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.’ – John Cleese (1939 – )

# Knowledge:

Be in the know, not just about your own business but about business in general, I read the financial pages on teletext every day, it takes less than 5 minutes.

# Confidence:

Don’t be afraid to be a bit cheeky but know where to draw the line. Ask for a better car/package/salary. If they turn you down on one thing ask for another. It’s hard for people to keep saying no.

# Determination:

Don’t give up, you’ll keep improving and learning, eventually you’ll get to where you want to be and if you don’t then at least you can rest easy in the knowledge that you gave it everything you had.

# Patience:

All good things take time, rather than hopping from one career to the next, find out what you’re good at and keep doing it.

‘In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.’ – Warren Buffett (1930 – )

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

Most of us like to keep our homes looking clean and fresh and irrespective of differing taste there are simple rules we can follow in order to acheive a quality look.

My wife and I are quite fortunate, she has a very good eye for design and I spent the first five years of my career in retail furniture, so together we usually come up with some pretty good ideas.

These are the steps we take when planning the decor for a room:

# Decide on your budget: If you can afford it bring in the professionals, yes it’s more expensive but you will acheive a much better finish, more quickly and it will last much longer. Even if you want to DIY getting quotes doesn’t cost anything and you will pick up some really good ideas.

# Decide on the look you want to acheive: Utilise what is already there but do not plan round things that can be easily removed or replaced. For example, if the room already has solid-wood flooring you would probably want to keep it but don’t plan round existing wallpaper, furniture etc. I personally like the minimalist, clean-line look.

# Colour scheme: Pick a feature colour(s) but use it sparingly, the bulk of the room-colour should be relatively neutral.

# Walls: Dado’s may be a bit dated but they are great if you have pets, top half wallpaper, bottom half painted lining paper. Hence bottom half is easily and cheaply replaced and also you can keep painting it different colours. You can use feature walls in a similar way, but subtle is best, all four walls painted red? – No.

# Furniture: Again, I prefer modern to traditional, I wouldn’t go for something too trendy though because it will date just as quickly, There is a lot of classical furniture out there both modern and traditional that will look just as good in ten years time.

# Protect it: The biggest harmers of furniture and fabrics are pets and sunlight, fit door handles that prevent your pets from gaining entry to a room when you are out. Likewise, fit blinds to protect your suite and other furniture from fading.

# Storage: We all accumulate clutter so it is vital we have plenty of storage space so we can keep it out of view, don’t have a thousand books on display, either get units to house them in or buy a Kindle.

# Flooring: Personally, I like solid wood flooring, with the exception of the lounge we have it fitted downstairs throughout, we paid a lot of money for it but it will last a lifetime. Dark carpets only so they don’t show the dirt and tiles in the bathroom.

# Tradesmen: If you do decide to use skilled tradesmen for kithen/bathroom fitting then select the tradesman first and then the furniture not the other way around. Use store fitters at your PERIL.

# Fixtures and fittings: Finishing touches and light-fittings make a room so I wouldn’t be tempted to skimp on them. However, not everything that looks expensive is expensive, as long as you have some good peices the rest will simply blend in.

# Pictures and mirrors: Big mirrors obviously make a room look bigger, and a couple of big pitures are preferable to lots of smaller ones. Limit the number of family photos, you know what each other looks like.

# Bringing the outside in: Get as much light into the room as possible and paint and decorate with lighter shades. The room will look better and bigger.

# The overall look: If the overall look of the room is relatively neutral it enables you to go a bit crazy in one area ie a brightly coloured suite or lots of colurful accessories and this will give the room impact. A patterned suite on a patterned carpet with patterned wallpaper – NO!

Even if it’s all the same pattern? – STILL NO!

Happy decorating.

Andy.

There are essentially six basic things that all human beings NEED. These are: Air, Food, water, clothing, shelter and sex. Everything else is a bonus. Unfortunately, the more we attain the more we tend to want and this if we are not careful can become extremely self damaging.

“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.” (Henry George)

Although all our tastes vary, generally speaking we all want the same things.

If we can identify what these core things are not only will we improve our own quality of life but also that of others. Furthermore, we are paid in proportion to the amount of value we add to society. Therefor, the more value we add the more we will get paid.

Here is a general list (in no particular order) of what I think most people want:

To be loved, financial freedom, happiness for their children, a good partner, a nice house, friends they can trust, a career, a car, to be happy, regular holidays, recognition, to be needed, pets, hobbies, excitement, laughter, to help others, good food, challenges, status, to look good, to feel good, security, comfort, freedom, sport, entertainment, choice…

I suggest that you draw up your own personal list of what YOU want and then prioritise it, I guarantee you’ll be surprised by it. You have to be really honest though because much of our early lives are spent being pre-conditioned. From an early age we are told what we should and shouldn’t like, we need to strip away this pre-conditioning in order to get to the truth of what it is we really want.

Once you know what it is you REALLY want you can start to go after it.

Most elderly people don’t regret the lack of material goods in their lives they regret the lack of emotional fulfillment. They say things like they wished they’d laughed more or stayed in contact with their old friends or cared about people more.

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the acheivement of one’s values.” (Ayn Rand)

Money and material goods are important, particularly if you suffer from a lack of them but we should always keep them in perspective and moreover be grateful for what we DO have. Instead of always chasing the rainbow we should concentrate on FEELING HAPPY NOW.

“The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp.” (John Berry)

If we can acheive true happiness for ourelves and those around us I think we will have acheived our main purpose in life.

Andy.

No matter what we think about money it is vital to everone’s existence. Money often gets a bad press but placed in the right hands it can do amazing things.

Money is meant to be fluid, to flow from one person to another, it is not meant to be horded.

“Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer” (Author unknown)

Many people prevent money from comming into their lives for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t think they are worthy of it, it’s not the money they cant handle it’s themselves. To allow more money to come into our lives we have to believe we are worthy of it.

How do we do that?

We must practice what it is like to have lots of money, get used to the ‘feel’ of being rich. In fact if we want to be good at anything we must practice how to do it. Hang out where rich people do, save up and buy quality clothes and products. Start dressing, acting and thinking like a wealthy person.

Ignore your shortcommings:

Too many people get hung up on their weaknesses instead of concentrating on their strenghs. Just because a person has a limited education, comes from a poor background, speaks with a common accent etc doesn’t mean that they cannot become wealthy. On the contrary most rich people have major shortcommings in other areas of their lives.

“Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, it comes in handy.” (Groucho Marx)

Money can come to us from many different sources.

Too many people think they can only get money from their jobs. This is such a limmiting belief. Money can come to you from everywhere if you let it. Start thinking positively about it and it will start to flow to you.

Right out of the blue last week I got a cheque from the taxman for over £1,000, the week before my wife found a £20 note whilst clearing out a drawer, the week before that we received an insurance cheque for £850.

Start expecting it, asking for it, wanting it, thinking positively about it, stop moaning abouty the lack of it, being grateful for it and it will start comming to you.

Yesterday, I dropped a penny down the side of my car seat and spent 15 minutes retrieving it, not because I’m a skinflint but because I respect money and what it can do for us.

Andy.

They say that patience is a virtue. I couldn’t agree more, it’s just one that I dont posess, I try, I really do and I’m not making excuses BUT there are just certain things that people do that would make even a saint swear.

However, this year I decided to turn over a new leaf and not let those little niggles get to me.

I get up at 5am and make my way to the bathroom. It does not irritate me that the toilet roll holder is empty, In fact I smile to my self feeling quite confident there will be some in the bathroom cupboard but nope the cupboard is  also empty, no problem, I go down to the garage and get a fresh pack.

On my way down the stairs I think back to the film I watched last night what a great film it was, just a pity the last five minutes hadn’t recorded but I dont mind, I’d only sat riveted for almost 2 hours, I didn’t really want to know the end.

I must’ve set the DVD incorrectly because I’d been interupted for the third time that evening by one of those wonderful telesales people who insist on saving you money, they always become annoyed though when I suggest ringing them back an hour after they have finshed work for the day to discuss the matter further, funny that.

I pass the kitchen sink and spot a dirty cup and plate on the side which one of the kids must’ve left out for me to stow in the dishwasher, I’m still smiling even when I discover jam in the butter.

As I leave for work, I glance at one of our neighbours houses and think for the hundredth time ‘why have they not taken down their Christmas lights yet, it’s May for God’s sake.’

As I head for the petrol station, someone pulls out right in front of me, then proceeds to go at twenty miles an hour, I’m a little late but I dont mind. I try to fuel up but the attendant wont switch my pump on, I’m sure he will eventually, when he’s finished his first cup of coffee of the day, after the second maybe? I then go 1p over the amount I intended putting in, no problems, £20.01 is just fine and dandy, well ok I top it up to £25, that feels better.

As I am leaving the forecourt a young lad pulls in, stereo blaring, no one else bar him has the foggiest idea what the tune is, get me out of here, sorry I mean, we all like a good tune first thing in the morning especially when it’s played by someone else at 500 decibels.

At work we hold an early meeting about the effectiveness of yesterday’s  meeting and what we plan to discuss in tomorrow’s meeting. This afternoon we are having another meeting to discuss wether to divert time away from customer support and use it to hold more meetings.

I must dash I’m late for another meeting. Colin the finance director is chairing it and I promise to smile every time he uses the words ‘cool’, ‘dude’ or ‘sweet’. I also promise to laugh politely whenever he mimicks speech marks with his fingers  or says “Let’s not go there”. I’m still smiling…

Thank God, It’s the weekend at last, the alarm clock goes off as usual at 5am because I forgot to switch it off last night but that’s cool, sorry, I mean that’s okay.

We are doing the weekly food shop but can’t move for OAP’s, they have all week to shop but hey, the more the merrier on a Saturday that’s what I say. It did not irritate me or annoy me for that matter that the woman vacating the parking space that I was waiting for spent five minutes on her mobile before leaving even though she knew I was waiting for her spot, no it didn’t, really.

Inside the store, we choose the checkout with the smallest queue but then discover it’s the smallest queue because it’s being operated by a trainee who has to keep calling for assistance.

Whilst waiting patiently I notice the couple in front of us are wearing matching sweaters and make a mental note to get a pair for my wife and I, sweet.

On the way out we bump into someone I haven’t seen in years, I can’t remember his name so I don’t introduce him to my wife, this appears incredibly rude  but what was the alternative?

As we load our groceries into the car I notice someone else has left a shopping trolley in my way but I don’t mind struggling to the trolley park with two trolleys, honestly.

We unload the shopping at home without breaking our necks on one of the cats that insist on brushing round our legs or tripping over the kids’ discarded sports bags.

Finally we walk into the village and reach the sanctuary of the pub, this should be great a few drinks and a nice meal, no cats, no kids just my wife and I, pure bliss.

Wrong, there are more kids here than at the local creche. Their parents don’t appear to be anywhere in sight. When eventually they do materialise they refuse to take their screaming brats out of the pub no matter how loud they cry or complain.

I go to get another round of drinks and to order some food, the guy in front of me proceeds to order food and drink for his party of about twenty people, he keeps getting it wrong, changing his mind, going back to ask other members of the party what they’d ordered. Like I said, bliss.

Eventually 10 minutes later, the order is complete, double and tripple checked by the waitress, I breathe a sigh of relief, the waitress breathes a sigh of relief before aunt Ethel suddenly appears and asks if it would be a great incovenience if she changed her meal.

YES IT WOULD YOU OLD…of course not maddam.

We finally make it home, kick off our shoes and switch on the TV. Up pops Simon Cowell, smiling that all-knowing smile of his – Perfect.

Life doesn’t get any better.

Andy

Wether we like it or not competition is all around us. It’s in the classroom, the play ground, the work place, it’s on the sports field, it’s on the high street. We are never going to get away from it so how we deal with it is obviously critical to our own personal success.

Just because competition is ubiquitous it does not naturally follow that it is good for us. Food is critical to sustaining life but if we eat too much of it we become overweight and lethargic.

Competition has many benefits though. It brings progress, improved choice, we all want to purchase better products for less money. We all want a better lifestyle for ourselves and our families.

Children learn about competition from an early age. In fact as soon as they start to interact with their peers they instinctively start to compete with them. It is therefor important that parents and teachers give support and guidance to the child on how to deal with competition and all the positive and negative emotions that surround it.

I’ve said many times previously that a parent should praise their children’s EFFORT not their ABILITY. The reason for this is psychological. Praising someone’s effort encourages them to try even harder whereas praising their ability nurtures within them a ‘fear of failure’.

Children are often branded as failures way too early in life and this can inflict massive psychological damage upon them. We cannot all be good at everything but most of us are good at something. Children should be encouraged to focus on their strong points. These are what will bring them success and enable them to offer the best level of contribution to society.

If we harness competition and control it, it can do wonderful things for us. The enjoyment that the human race has derived from sport down the years is immense. The rivalry between teams of all denominations has given us all untold pleasure.

Competition is good as long as we control it and harness it. However, we need to keep success and winning in perspective. Everything has a price and once we start ‘overpaying’ in order to succeed then we start to loose out in other areas.

I’ve always believed that the main aim of a person’s life is to be happy. Happiness is the best feeling in the world and if being successful at something makes us happy then we should strive to acheive it.

Find out what really makes you happy, decide what you are prepared to give or give up in order to acheive it and go for it.

I believe that competition in moderation is good for us.

Andy.