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New Year inspiration

New Year

We hope that 2015 brings all that you wish. Success, and most of all happiness for you and your loved ones.

And we thank you for your support of our blogs and posts in 2014.

Here’s a few quotes to help you on the way in the New Year.


“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
– Albert Einstein

“New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
Mark Twain

“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”
Anaïs Nin

“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”
Oscar Wilde

“From New Year’s on the outlook brightens; good humor lost in a mood of failure returns. I resolve to stop complaining.”
Leonard Bernstein

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”
Dave Beard

“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.”
Henry Moore

“Each age has deemed the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer.”
Sir Walter Scott

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
Alfred Tennyson

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Oprah Winfrey

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
Brad Paisley

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!”
Aleister Crowley

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.”
G.K. Chesterton

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”
― Bill Vaughn

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights”
― Hamilton Wright Mabie

“New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.”
― James Agate

“The New Year is a beautiful bouquet of newer unfolding opportunities to fulfill unfinished commitments with renewed vigour of heart and move-up on an accelerating speed to reach to a new milestone of a promising career and enriching life’s journey.”
― Anuj Somany 

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

10 worst mistakes that managers make while public speaking – Jason Phillips

Not all managers and CEOs have solid public speaking abilities; some are quite terrible at it.

Believe it or not, sometimes the smartest people end up having the most boring presentations. They can’t see that public speaking is based on acquired skills that can only be improved through honest feedback and practice. Holding a presentation in front of 50 people is easier said than done. Most managers ignore some of the main rules of public speaking, and they usually fail to grab the attention of their audiences. Here are 10 mistakes that people often make when speaking in public.

Mistakes 1

  1. Failure to convey authenticity

Skilled public speakers convey authenticity. They can gauge attention and keep an audience hooked for as long as their speech lasts. Lack of authenticity makes an audience assume that you have a shallow, superficial personality. To engage your listeners, why not start the presentation with a meaningful story? Share something personal, something that can make people relate to what you’re saying.

  1. Bad opening sentence

Nothing sounds shallower than an opening sentence that says – “thank you all for being here”. Of course you’re thankful for them being there, but you don’t have to say it out loud. Rather than bore them with a disagreeable statement, say something interesting, motivational or even funny like – “Mark Twain once said that there are two main types of speakers in this world: the nervous ones and the liars. Guess what? I’m in the first category!”

Mistakes 2

  1. Imitating other speakers

This is one of the worst things speakers can do when starting a presentation. Why would want to imitate someone else? When you’re not being yourself in front of an audience, it’s impossible to appear authentic. You just can’t seem believable no matter how hard you tried.

  1. Sharing unoriginal stories

Sharing stories that are not yours is such a rookie move. What will you do if someone from the audience recognizes it from somewhere else? You can’t afford to make a fool of yourself in front of 50-100 people, so you are advised to stories from your own life.

  1. Using fillers and too many repetitions

Fillers words are ever-present in our daily speeches. Managers however, should avoid them in the professional environment. Repeating the same thing over and over again is annoying;                     in addition, adding fillers such as “um”, “ahh” will make things worse. Keep sentences short if you’re nervous and when you don’t know what to say, ask questions to engage the audience.

  1. Talking too fast

Speaking too fast in front of an audience indicates clear signs of anxiety and nervousness. Take a deep breath before starting your speech and learn to control your volume of words; find a pace and stick to it.

Mistakes 3

  1. Vocal unawareness

A monotonous vocal tone is unappealing. It doesn’t excite an audience and it doesn’t make people want to hear more. Rather than appear dull and uninteresting in front of your staff, speak with relaxed enthusiasm; let your voice soothe the audience and they’ll certainly want to hear what you have to say.

  1. Not answering questions

Managers and company owners who don’t like to answer questions when holding speeches are often seen as the most superficial individuals. Not wanting to respond to someone’s concern highlights disrespect; in time, this can affect the bottom line of your company.

  1. Not feeling comfortable

Not all managers feel comfortable when having to hold a presentation in front of staff members, customers or investors. Sadly, if you can’t find a way to forget about your discomfort, your audience will sense something’s wrong. Your tone of voice will probably change, your body language, even your face expressions. Answer yourself the following question – what makes you feel comfortable? Some people feel safer when during a public speech if they hold a pen in their hands; sounds trivial, but it’s true.

  1. Not making eye contact

In the business environment, eye contact is fundamental. As a manager, you’re not just compelled to hold speeches to keep an audience engaged; you deal with people every single day, and it’s your job to make them trust you. How do you do that if you can’t look them in the eye?

By Jason Phillips  and

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings

“Christmas .. is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.”

Freya Stark (1893-1993), Explorer & Writer

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), A Christmas Carol

“So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young”

John Lennon (1940-1980), Musician

“A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”

Gandhi (1869-1948)

Lessons from my mother’s life – Wally Bock

Keep Calm & Work HardAnother insightful post from Wally

My mother, Natalie Jeanne Price Bock, was born on December 12, 1914 in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Her father learned his trade of cook and restaurant manager at the Spruce Cabin Inn. When that establishment burned down for the final time, he started his own restaurant.

Things went well and he moved the family to Philadelphia to open a restaurant there. Things continued to go well. They bought a house and planned to send my mother and her three siblings to college. Then the Great Depression hit.

They lost the restaurant and the life they had. The most important impact on my mother was that her college plans were abandoned and she had to go to work. That’s where she taught herself a Lesson on Doing Good Work that she would later share.

She met my father when he was a young seminary student and her Sunday School teacher. They got married in 1941 and went off to serve their first parish in a small, rural community. Life had not prepared her for what she found there, but she dug in and made it work, savored the pleasures, and collected memories.

She also started writing about the place. Sixty years later, a woman in Phoenix would hand me a photocopy of one of my mother’s articles from that time. Later in her life she would work her way into a copywriting job by rewriting (she called it “improving”) copy that the agency had hired her to type.

She was not the typical pastor’s wife, but she supported my father in every church they served. She always called them “our parish.” But she wore pants, refused to automatically become the head of the Ladies’ Aid, and insisted on having her own opinions. Church councils often complained to my father but he supported her even when it made things harder for him.

She also refused to let people address her as “Mrs. Walter Bock.” “My name is not ‘Walter,’” she would say, “and I am not an appendage of my husband.” In all things she was Natalie Price Bock.

I learned a lot by paying attention to the way my mother did things. That includes most of the things I know about good supervision, including how to give feedback effectively. She taught me about the nobility of work and that you can adapt to the world and be successful without compromising your principles or who you are.

Those were powerful lessons, but nothing like what she taught me with the way she dealt with her cancer. “Cancer’s going to kill me,” she said, “But it’s not going to beat me.” It didn’t.

- See more at lessons-from-my-mothers-life