FIND THE FUN IN YOUR FIELD

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM®, Co-Author

Roberto ALBORGHETTI – “No Clouds”, Canvas/Mixed Media, 70×47 – Lacer/actions Project/Images of Torn and Decomposed Publicity Posters

Passionate Pauline is driving down the boulevard in the early morning, whistling to the tune “Oh Happy Day” with a big smile on her face, ready to take on the day with a vengeance and excited to tackle any challenges that may come her way. In the next lane over, Sullen Sue is sulking, and somehow stuck in the slow lane … again! Things don’t typically go her way, she dislikes her job, and she’s dreading the mounting paperwork that is piling up on her desk.

Which driver’s seat would you rather be in every workday morning, 52 weeks a year, for the odd 40 working years of your life? Your career is an endeavor that requires a great deal of your time, energy, and focus. If you’re sitting in Sullen Sue’s driver’s seat, only you can change directions to find a career that ignites the passion in you and makes you find the fun in your field.

Don’t let society define your role.  Why did you choose the career you are currently in? Did it seem like the “thing to do” after you graduated college? Or did you have some time to introspectively analyze your innate strengths and interests, and decide on a career path based on that?

As a single mom, I have heard all types of stories of how hard my life must be. This role as a struggling victim didn’t quite suit me, however, and instead of focusing on what others expected of me in my “role,” I focused on how I could best create a life for my children and myself in the best way I knew how. We are all unique individuals with strengths and assets that direct us to a special purpose in life.  Fuel your career growth by doing your thing, regardless of what society says you can or can’t do.

Change Your Job Description. Who knows you better – the HR director who hired you while they were interviewing 40 other candidates, or YOU? We all have parts of our job that we love, and other parts that we hate. Chances are, the person sitting in the next office space is in the same boat. What you see as boring and tedious, another might regard as satisfying and even fun. In order to create a job description that fits like a glove, make sure to keep an open and honest dialogue with your peers, subordinates, and mangers about what work keeps you energized vs. which work sucks your life force.

Be Proactive.  The happiest workers are those who have a strong sense of control over what they’re doing and why their efforts are important to a company’s mission. If you don’t like the projects you’ve been assigned, be more proactive in seeking your roles in projects – it never hurts to ask.

If there is a certain process that you find to be cumbersome, tedious, and (in your opinion) useless, take the initiative to change it to improve it. Your work is your world, and the more waves you make that are of your own initiative, the more fun you will have. So don’t sit idly by hoping things will get better – jump to it!

Smell the Roses. At the end of the day, we all want to feel that we’ve accomplished something of importance – that we’ve been an asset to our employers, made the world a better place, come a step closer to solving poverty, and all that before lunch if we can. But the truth is we are all human, and sometimes our best intentions can lead to us neglecting what keeps us going.

Every day, make sure to take some time for just yourself to re-energize and refocus so that you can go back to work ready to take on the world’s problems. Try taking a quick walk at lunch and smell the roses. On the busier days simply allow yourself to get up from you computer, and take five minutes to focus on your breathing and to stretch. You owe it to yourself, not to mention your organization, to be at your best. So put it in your Google calendar if you have to, and take your breaks!

We all have the decision every day – which driver’s seat do we want to be in – Sullen Sue’s or Passionate Pauline’s? Whatever your decision, make sure you are making it consciously and with intention. And remember, the Passionate Paulines have more fun!

About the Author:

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.  

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people. 

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton. 

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MICHELLE LABROSSE: “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. CLAIM YOUR INDEPENDENCE THROUGH LEARNING”

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM®, Co-Author

 

Do you remember when you were younger and the excitement you had when you learned something new? That feeling when you were riding your bike and suddenly realized that there was no hand holding your seat anymore – and you were zooming down the street all by yourself. Or the thrill of picking up those little books in kindergarten and seeing that you didn’t need to have someone read you a story – you could do it on your own.

While these are my memories, we all have similar ones from growing up and feeling the excitement about becoming more and more free every time we jumped in and did something that we previously could not do. As we grow older, we can sometimes forget what this excitement of learning looks and feels like. But you only need to look at the face of child learning to ride a bike for the first time to remember the excitement.

We were taught at a young age that knowledge is power and freedom. Don’t forget this lesson!  Constantly focus on rekindling your spark for learning in order to claim your independence.

Take Responsibility for Your Learning.  We all have unique circumstances in our life that can either promote learning moments or not. How we use our powers of influence to capitalize on these circumstances affects our learning and our independence.

Let’s take for example the case of Bored Bill. Bored Bill has worked in the same job for 10 years and does the exact same thing day in and day out. Bill would like to advance in his career, but his company will not pay for continued education or credentials, so Bill sees no other option than to remain where he is, bored out of his mind.

Sitting across the cubicle from Bill in a cozy corner office is Crafty Chris. Chris started in the same job as Bill 10 years ago but, since then, Chris has been investing in his education by earning credentials that are important to his career path, as well as taking night classes to earn a degree in his field.  Chris recently got promoted to manager of his division, and is stimulated and challenged daily by the work tasks that lay before him.

When thinking about your learning goals, rather than focusing on your circle of concern (what you can’t control), focus on your circle of influence (what you can control).  Learning is a very personal investment that will stay with you throughout your life wherever you go. So make sure to take responsibility of your learning goals and invest in them as you would any other valuable asset.

Believe in You. One of my favorite quotes is from Vincent Van Gogh; it says: “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”  With my recent interest in the show “Dancing with the Stars,” a voice started to creep into my head that told me – “Wow, those dancers are talented. You are way too uncoordinated to do that!” And that is when I decided to start salsa lessons. In these weekly salsa lessons, as I learn new moves, I get excited at the realization that I am getting better, and while I might be a way off from “Dancing With the Stars” status, I am much better than when I started.

What internal voices do you have that keep you from learning something new? Sometimes you have to be really quiet to hear them, as many of these voices have been around for so long that they have become a belief system that we no longer question, but just take as fact. Things like, “I’m not good at math,” or “I have two left feet and could never dance well.” The thing about these statements is that they are self-fulfilling prophecies, because if you believe them you will never strive to improve.

Take a moment to write down all of the negative self-talk that your sneaky subconscious has led you to believe. Then, on a new piece of paper, write the opposite, such as “I am awesome at math” or “I can achieve ‘Dancing with the Stars’ status.”

If there is a learning goal you are going after, you first need to tell yourself that you are capable of doing it – and you will be. Claim your independence through learning today.

About the Author:

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.  

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people. 

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton. 

NURTURE SOMEONE ELSE’S BABY / HELP OTHERS SUCCEED WITH THEIR DREAMS

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM®, Co-Author

 

It has been said, “Teaching is the best form of learning.” When was the last time you put on your teaching hat to help someone else? When you take time to help others, you not only do them a favor but you also improve your own skills in the process of helping them with theirs. Part of being a good project manager is using your PM skills and talents to give back to the community. Ask yourself this question: “How can I help someone else reach his or her goals and dreams?”

Helping others is an often-overlooked avenue to achieve success and, yet, is perhaps one of the best ways to do so. Each and every one of us has the ability to help someone else in a significant and impactful way. We all have unique, innate talents and strengths that can serve others. What we do with these talents defines who we are, professionally and personally.

Become a Mastermind! One of the best ways to help others is by starting or joining a Mastermind Group. Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry, neither did I when a friend of mine asked me to lead a gathering of her small business friends in Simsbury, Connecticut. What I learned is that a Mastermind Group is a collection of people who agree to get together periodically with the sole purpose of expanding their opportunities. My friend got the idea after reading Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich.” She assembled 22 people for our first get-together. We agreed to meet every two to three weeks throughout the year.

The experience I had leading my friend’s group was nothing short of amazing. People brought business problems they couldn’t seem to solve, and after a few months they came out with stronger businesses and more confidence in themselves.

The key behind the mastermind philosophy is that you are putting people of various strengths into one room. You may have a problem that seems insurmountable, but for someone else it may be a routine snag they have already overcome.

When joining a Mastermind Group, take a minute to evaluate your strengths and to realize the assets that you can bring to the table. (Everyone has his or her own unique set of strengths—yes even you!) The more people you help, the more you will learn, and the stronger PM you’ll become.

Donate Your Time and Resources. Recently Cheetah Learning donated a one-day course, Project Management Project Accelerator, to a non-profit organization in order to help them prosper. We picked a foster and adoption agency because we saw the great work they were doing for children and adolescence in their town, and knew how important it was for them to do well for the sake of their community.

During this one-day course, we taught what we knew best: How to run fast and effective projects. We didn’t really expect to learn much that day, because hey, we were the teachers! But we forgot the golden rule, “Teaching is the best form of learning.”

During the process of teaching this organization how to manage projects, we had to answer hard questions about how to apply standardized PM practices and techniques to the very volatile world of foster care. We learned more about what it was like to manage projects in the non-profit human service sector, which is very different from our typical corporate clients.

The point is, the more you can get out and help people of different backgrounds, the greater your skill sets will be.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and help others grow their dreams today!  And don’t be surprised when your own dreams grow in the process.

About the Author

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.  

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people. 

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton. 

Check out Cheetah PHAST – an exceptional new quarterly magazine 

http://www.cheetahphast.com/?page_id=17

THE SCIENCE EXPLAINS THE LAW OF ATTRACTION: INTERVIEW WITH PSYCHIATRIST AND AUTHOR DR. SRINI PILLAY

INTERVIEW: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

In his recent workbook “The Science behind the Law of AttractionDr. Srini Pillay draws on his experience as a Harvard psychiatrist and brain-imaging researcher. He describes seven scientific laws that explain how “The Law of Attraction” works. Whether the goal is weight loss, a romantic relationship, financial success or happiness, Dr. Pillay explains how we can draw on brain science to make sense of “The Law of Attraction.”

Drawing on extensive experience as a clinician and an executive coach, the author walks us through the scientific basis of each of the seven scientific laws of attraction rooted in brain science. In addition, he then provides the solutions and invites the reader to complete exercises targeted to specific brain-processes that bring us closer to realizing our dreams.

I had the honor to interview Dr. Pillay. I contacted him via Internet. I sent him the questions. I never doubted about his reply (it often happens that the interviewers are afraid about that…) And I had the answers, in perfect syntony of the same “Law of attraction”… and my desire too. Telling about his book, Dr. Srini Pillay says : “I saw this as an opportunity to add to the message that you can attract things into your life: with the provisor that you use your brain effectively and efficiently.”

– Dr.Srini Pillay, “The Science behind the Law of Attraction” is one of your recent books. Have you moved by a particular aim or reason to writin’it?

Throughout my life, my work has been about helping people deal with their suffering. So much of suffering came from unfulfilled desires, and when the law of attraction was expressed through books such as “The Secret”, I found that many people believed it, but were unable to manifest it. I recognized that the message that was out there may not have described how to use one’s brain to make the law of attraction work for people, and given my background, I saw this as an opportunity to add to the message that you can attract things into your life: with the provisor that you use your brain effectively and efficiently.

– Which is today the obstacle, or the problem, that prevents people to follow the “Law of Attraction”?

I think that there are several obstacles: firstly, people often feel like they just have to think about what they want and they will get it. But this does not happen. They have to think in a specific way and in ways that the brain can compute. For example, if you say: “I must remember not to spend too much money when I go out shopping”, under stress, the brain actually does not hear the “not” and will do the opposite of what you want. Tapping into the law of attraction takes a certain effort to “tune” your brain into the correct frequencies – it is a little like tuning your brain to the radio station of your desire so that it will come to you. Avoiding effort is a problem.

– Do you think that – in the “Law of Attraction” dynamics – the more we desire the more we get (the goals)?

I don’t think it is just about desire but more about how we interact with our desire. In fact constantly desiring often separates you from what you want and you never get it. For example, if you say: “I want money” or ‘I want a lover”, you are essentially telling the world (and your brain) that you are separate from what you want. However, if you say “I am rich”, you think like a rich person and become rich and if you say “I am a lover’ you behave like a lover so that a lover will join you. The clarity of our visualization does matter though, so in this sense, your desire needs to be well worked out so that your brain can map a path toward it.

– Which is the role of emotions in the “Law of Attraction”?

Emotions are critical in “the law of attraction.” They are essentially information that tells your brain how much you want or do not want something. Without them, your brain lacks the motivation to map out a path toward your goals.

– Have you a concrete suggestion/invite to try out, in a …few seconds, that this Law really works for everyone?

No. The difference between this book and what people often think is that the law of attraction only works with practice. Only for a few people who are already well practiced will it work in seconds. However, the book describes exercises that you can start to start making the law work for you. E.g. Talk to your brain in positives. Instead of saying what you will not do or want, say what you will do or want.

– Dr. Pillay, tell me one of the most important reasons why people should have to read this book.

I think that this book will provide the science behind the law of attraction. While it honors spirituality, it allows people to lean on the science for understanding. The main reason would be even one law that might inspire people to change their lives for the better.

– I love, in my artworks, to play and work with colors. For you, is there a color to identify “the Law of Attraction”? I mean: is there a favorite color to let this Law flows?

I think that we not know this answer scientifically. We do know things such as the fact that soccer teams who wear red jerseys are more likely to win their games, but in general, I think it is more about the match between the color and the person, as well as the task. Thus, I would say that the law flows most when the colors that you imagine or use authentically represent what is happening.

ABOUT SRINI PILLAY

www.srinipillay.com

http://www.neurobusinessgroup.com/

Srini Pillay, M.D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. After graduating as the top medical student, he was the top award winner at Harvard during his residency and one of the top three award winners during his psychiatry residency in the US. He then directed the Outpatient Anxiety Disorders Program at McLean Hospital-Harvard’s largest psychiatric hospital and also completed 17 years of nationally funded brain imaging research. His first book, “Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear” (Rodale, August 2010) was voted one of five finalists in “Books for a Better Life” in the motivational category. In addition, his next book: “Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders” was peer-reviewed by Wharton Business School and is scheduled to be released in March of 2011. (FT Press, Kindle, November 2010).

Dr. Pillay is widely regarded as a motivational speaker who is able to explain the science behind seemingly non-rational phenomena. Among his many media appearances, he has been featured in The Boston Globe, Oprah radio (Dr. Laura Berman), Martha Stewart Whole Living, Cosmopolitan, Fox News and CNN. He has been invited to speak on “The Science Behind “The Law of Attraction” on Fox News, and will also be teaching a 6 week course on putting the science to work for you to achieve your lifelong dreams at the “University of Attraction.” He is able to apply this methodology to the business environment as well, and has been invited to speak on related topics in New York, California, Washington DC, Toronto, Switzerland, Greece and Singapore.

Business clients have included The World Bank, The MITRE Corporation, Novartis, Genzyme and McKinsey. Across the board, Dr. Pillay is known for bringing brain science to life in the simplest terms that he then translates into recommended action steps that you can take. Working with people in everyday life for most of his career, the unique contributions of Dr. Pillay that continue to spark interest all over the world are vividly demonstrated in “The Science Behind the Law of Attraction.”

SRINI PILLAY’S BOOKS

Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear (Rodale, 2010)

Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders (FT Press, 2010/11)

The Science Behind The Law of Attraction (NBG, 2011)

REMOVING THE BARRIERS FOR SPEED

 

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM® , Co-Author

As we cruise through our career path, it can be tempting to fall into comfortable patterns and turn autopilot on as we coast from project to project. But as the world changes and projects become more complex, it is imperative to remain in the drivers seat to ensure that we are constantly removing road blocks that make our project teams falter and pause. Follow the below tips to ensure that you and your project team are moving along at Cheetah Speed.

Create Limits with Your Space and Time. Have you ever sat at your desk thinking about what you needed to do, but kept putting off the tasks at hand in favor of procrastinating? Sometimes when we are sitting in our work area we trick ourselves into thinking that we are being productive. This is because we are so close to actually being productive in our work space – we have the desk prepared, the computer is powered on, and the pen is readied. But we are fooling ourselves; productivity is not an area, it is an action.

To help rid yourself and your team of this habit, make sure that you set limits on your workspace and time. If you are sitting in your workspace and not working, it means you need to take an actual break, as you are not making yourself more productive by staring at the computer screen. Set a time limit to take a break to do whatever it is that is distracting you from work, whether that is getting lost in the world of Facebook status updates or scrolling through your Pinterest account. Then come back to your workspace with a goal in mind, and don’t take any breaks until your goal is completed. Most people find their groove when they are working towards a goal, so don’t be surprised if you don’t need a break after you have accomplished your task. By creating more boundaries for yourself within your work, you’re remove the barrier of distraction and are able to accomplish more.

Healthy Team Dynamics. While team members’ hard skills are an important aspect of any project team, it is important for the team to not lose sight of the soft skills that make working together possible. Conflict within a project team can be one of the biggest barriers to speed and can not only be frustrating but a waste of time and resources.

Growing up, we’ve all learned the Golden Rule: Treat others the way that you want to be treated. But to ensure that your project team is harmonious and successful, make sure that you are all following the Platinum Rule: Treat others how they want to be treated. The more you pay attention to how others prefer to communicate and the style of work that they prefer, the better you will be able to work in a way that maximizes their capabilities.

Take a “Funk-buster” Break. It’s three p.m. You are on your third cup of coffee and staring at your computer, but for some reason your brain won’t work, and you still have to finish your quarterly report! This condition is commonly referred to as a “funk” and happens when your body thinks it is sleeping because it hasn’t exerted any energy for a significant period of time. When you find yourself in a funk, instead of trying to push your way through it, take a break. Get up out of your chair and do some jumping jacks. Take a walk around the block. Have a small dance party for one. Stop the funk as soon as you can by getting some motion into your body to remind your brain that it needs to be on alert and ready for action.

Achieve Flow. You now have a productive project team that sets time and space boundaries, has great team dynamics, and is funk-proof. The next thing to do is to ensure that your team has the skills and motivation required to get the tasks done. For your project team to be the most efficient, each member of your team should be able to consistently achieve a state of flow while performing project tasks. Flow is a mental state where an individual is completely immersed and focused on the tasks at hand. Flow happens when there is a balance between ability level and challenge, and when there is a very clear goal.

The three biggest barriers to achieving flow are inadequate skills and/or preparation, confusion as to what the end goal is, and a lack of personal meaning in the task at hand. Make sure that your project team has the skill sets they require for their project deliverables, are able to keep their eye on the prize with clear goals, and has a personal vested interest in what it is they are doing.

Keep these tips in mind when you are safely steering your project team around barriers to speed and towards project success!

About MICHELLE LABROSSE

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses. Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and web sites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.

Check out Cheetah PHAST – a great new quarterly magazine

http://www.cheetahphast.com/?page_id=17

ACCELERATED LEARNING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM® , Co-Author

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words, “Accelerated Learning”? Perhaps you imagine a person zipping through a book at a rapid pace, soaking up every fact and concept at lightning speed. Or perhaps you think of a child genius that graduated from college at the ripe age of 12.

The fact is, the techniques of Accelerated Learning are not only for the rare few that are gifted with a special genius at birth. Accelerated Learning techniques are concepts that anyone can learn with some practice and dedication. The basic idea of Accelerated Learning is to gain the ability to make it faster, easier, and perhaps most importantly, more FUN, to learn and master new skills. There are four basic components to Accelerated Learning.

1. Awareness – Before you are aware that you don’t know something, you are unconsciously incompetent. When you gain awareness of this incompetence, you move up on the learning scale to conscious incompetence. Awareness is the first, and perhaps the most important step, to learning, because when awareness combines with purpose, the drive to learn is then established in your mind.

2. Knowledge – This is where people accumulate facts about a specific topic. Knowledge of a subject is exhibited by the ability to recall facts and to synthesize the information in the area well enough to answer test questions on the subject, and to communicate about the subject.

3. Skill – This is where people can use what they know to accomplish a specific task.

4. Mastery – This is where people can achieve consistent results with their skills. For example, think about the mastery you have achieved in driving a car. You most likely consistently produce successful results (getting to your destination) each time you drive. In his book, Outliers , Malcolm Gladwell describes the”10,000-Hour Rule” which states that the key to success and mastery in any field is to practice for approximately 10,000 hours.

While many people know that learning requires time and attention to the subject matter at hand, many people tend to forget that it is not just about how hard you study and how many terms you memorize. The key principle to Accelerated Learning is that it is a whole-mind, whole-body, and whole PERSON experience. Below are some important tips to remember to be a successful Accelerated Learner.

Feed Your Mind. It’s not always intuitive that what you put in your mouth will eventually affect your brain, but if you keep in mind the “whole-body” approach to learning, you will soon see how it is absurd to think that these two things wouldn’t be related.

The good guys in this whole body story are proteins and complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates supply the brain with a steady flow of glucose, the energy that your brain needs to function optimally. Proteins digest more slowly than carbohydrates, and improve the entry of important amino acids into the brain, which are used to synthesize neurotransmitters that are critical for clear thinking.

Refined sugar and caffeine, on the other hand, are the antagonists in the whole-body story. Your brain needs an even supply of glucose to function optimally. Both of these items make your blood sugar balance go haywire, which can affect your ability to concentrate, and can ultimately affect your mood.

Stay Curious! While you’re feeding your mind, don’t forget to feed your curiosity! One of the worst things we can do as Project Managers is to call ourselves experts. As soon as we grant ourselves “expert” status, we immediately lose the spark that keeps us learning and keeps us looking for new ways to succeed. Make an effort to look at the world with beginner’s eyes.

Move to Groove. Numerous studies are showing that even mild depression can accelerate mental decline, while excessive stress over time can lead to depression. When you exercise at least 30 minutes everyday you can keep the blues at bay. If you find yourself getting down, get up and move. The more you move, the more you’ll be in your groove.

Take a Purple Break. Just as your muscles need time to recuperate after a strenuous workout, your brain also needs rest periodically to function optimally. I learned a technique called “purple breaks” from a woman whose dad started an accelerated reading company almost 50 years ago. A purple break is a 10 to 20 minute break that you take lying down with an eye mask covering your eyes. When your eyes are in total darkness, the optic nerve has a chance to relax, which in turn relaxes the whole body. During a purple break your main job is to let go of all of the worries and stress of the day and relax.

Now when you see the words, “Accelerated Learning” what comes to mind? Hopefully the image of a healthy diet, exercise, periods of pure relaxation, all interwoven within moments of intense focus on the learning objectives of the skill that you are working to master.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and web sites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.

Check out Cheetah FAST MAGAZINE a great new quarterly magazine

THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT OF PROSPERITY

 

 

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM® , Co-Author

How do you know when you are truly wealthy? Your perception of prosperity will most likely change throughout your life. At the age of 5, being prosperous is having your favorite toys within reach, being able to eat ice cream after dinner, and being allowed to stay up an extra hour later than usual. At 16, it’s the ability to drive your family’s old beat up car, by yourself! In your early 20s, you most likely felt wealthy if you could successfully pay off your student loan payments, while still having the reserves to keep a small apartment and money to hang out with friends. In your 30s, it usually means getting a nicer home for your changing needs, being able to afford a couple of nice vacations a year, and a nicer car. Your 40s is marked by how you can provide for your family’s education and your own retirement. In your 50s, it may become more about how much time you can take off and still live the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed. In your 60s, it’s about how far you can stretch your dollar and scale back on the need to work to support yourself while helping your children launch their own families. Prosperity viewpoints are age dependent.

As we become more established in life, the concept of wealth and prosperity morph into the next phase that we wish to achieve, so that we are ever chasing a more prosperous life. This mentality can serve us well if we take smart action to reach our next goals. Here at Cheetah we call this path to prosperity GROW – Goals, Run, Organize, and Wow.

Goals – If you are like most people, you made goals for yourself for the new year. Of these goals, how many are measurable? What is the date by which you wish to accomplish this goal? What is your specific plan to reach this goal? If you haven’t answered these questions, then your chances of accomplishing the goals you’ve set are slim. When setting goals, either new years resolutions or other, make them measurable, and make yourself accountable, in order to ensure success.

Run – Once you have made a goal, do not sit back and wait for the “perfect time” to begin your journey to that goal. The truth is, there will NEVER be a perfect time! Go ahead and dive in right away to begin making your goal a reality.

If the hesitation of running toward your goal comes from your perceived lack of skills, make getting those skills your first goal. You owe it to yourself to make sure you are equipped to tackle any goals you set.

Organize – One of the biggest reasons that people don’t reach their goals is because they lose sight of the goal due to the clutter in their lives. When you can’t clearly see the steps to take next to ultimately attain success, you can quickly get lost in the white noise of life and let your goal fall to the wayside.

Start small. Organize your office, your paperwork, your bills, and your calendar. Then go big and organize the milestones that have been accomplished to reach your goal, as well as the steps that you still need to take.

Wow – When is the last time you did something to impress no one else but yourself? Perhaps you made a very fancy meal for one, or ran a mile further than you’ve ever run before just so you knew you could do it.

Make sure the goals you are setting will be sure to WOW you. This means that you are reaching for something that is challenging for you and that by accomplishing it you are bettering yourself. If you set goals to WOW others, you may find that your stamina and dedication wane before you’ve reached your destination.

To get started on the right foot, take a look at last year, and ask yourself what accomplishments you made that really impressed you. What was the path you took to reach these goals? Once you’ve figured it out, give yourself a pat on the back, and develop a plan to enhance your goal-completing machine this coming year.

Lastly, remember that becoming prosperous is a project, just like any project you have ever undertaken. The path to prosperity requires commitment, competency, and a well-developed plan.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

 Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was

previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and web sites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.

 Check out Cheetah PHAST – a great new quarterly magazine

http://www.cheetahphast.com/?page_id=17