By Dr. Daneen Skube

At the end of every year, as a holiday gift to my faithful readers, I put together a "best hits" of the year column. Read and use them, and may these tools help peace and connection to enrich 2011 for each and every one of you!

Imagine the worst to do your best. If you find yourself stuck in making changes, ask yourself, "What's my worst case scenario?" When you can identify what you're afraid of, you can make a plan to handle it. Then you're free to take action!

It's not what happens to you but what you decide about what happens to you. We all have adversity. When we decide we are bad or inadequate because we have struggles, we can't use our internal resources to fix our problems. Use your problems to activate your resilience, creativity and tenacity, and stop blaming yourself for challenges at work and home.

Pretend you had no limits; what would you do? Now let your imagination go wild! Pretend you had unlimited time, money and resources -- what would you do? Now come back to earth and brainstorm how to integrate your ideas into your current reality. You'll be surprised how much this exercise will open up your problem solving.

See your strengths. Write down the names of people you admire. Now write down what you admire about each person. Now go to people who know you well, describe the traits you admire, and ask if they think you have similar qualities. You'll be surprised to find out that what you admire is a finger pointing to your own unacknowledged talents.

If you want to be great at anything, start out enthusiastically doing it badly. You can never be a genius at a skill if you aren't willing to fail with passion. The more you fail, the more you learn. When my daughter was 5, she learned the word "perfectionist." She had to use it in sentence for homework. Here's what she wrote, "I am not a perfectionist because I can't learn without making mistakes." As they say ... out of the mouth of babes.

Almost nothing is about you! Stop taking other people and your circumstances so personally. Most of us walk around believing that everything everyone is doing around us is about us in some way. You'd be more accurate if you believed almost nothing about anything is about you. Try this next time you are upset, pretend God showed up in a burning bush and promised you that what was going on was not about you. What else would you notice about the other person or situation? How would this change your problem solving?

Forgive yourself! We have all made mistakes, been irrational, and disappointed ourselves. The exceptional people among us realize that work and life are hard, that life is more about learning than fairness, and never stop believing they deserve good things.

Be proud of continuing to try. In the words of the great philosopher Woody Allen, sometimes life is just about showing up. Just putting one foot in front of the other in the direction of what you want is sometimes a truly heroic act.

With affection and respect,

Available at

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements

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What's Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job

Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, about Anything

The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose

The Six-Day Financial Makeover: Transform Your Financial Life in Less Than a Week!

The Luck Factor: The Four Essential Principles


Careers - Career Advice Hits of 2010

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