Four Key Elements of Life

I came across a cool definition of life accidentally while doing some research on the MarketingSherpa for my business. It defines the four key element of life.  Before I read what it was, I thought perhaps it’s family, work, friends, and community. Many of us think of our life in these buckets. I was pleasantly…

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Annual Salary Needed to be Happy

What annual salary do you need to be happy?  $1 million?  $200K? $100K+?.  Well the answer according to a wide range of research is even lower – around $40K to $75K a year.   Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University, says once you have enough money to meet basic needs – food, shelter, but…

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The key is not thinking

We are paid to think – literally.  Companies pay us thousand of dollars for our ability to think and solve problems.  So naturally our brain is wired to think, evaluate, compare, devise solutions.  It’s a blessing and a curse. I realize at times, I forget to turn off my brain and also think, analyze, and…

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Believe in Yourself – You are “Beautiful”

This post is not about external appearances.  This post is inspired by a recent show I saw onVH1 called Storytellers: Christina Aguilera.  It’s in a format where a music artist sings to a small group, and talks to the group about herself, her music, and her inspirations.  Christina’s story about her song “Beautiful” really caught my attention.

The piano player accompanying Christina on the show is Linda Perry, the writer of “Beautiful.”  Linda explains that while she may be a successful rock singer and a famous song writer to others, she also gets insecure about herself and her talent.  She wrote this song in order to inspire herself and others to believe in yourself, no matter what people say.

Christina chose to sing the song, and was able to record it in one take, because the lyrics really spoke to her.  As successful as she is, Christina also gets insecure at times.  She said these lyrics about believing in yourself seem to be written for her.  She wants to inspire her listeners as well – “Believe in yourself, no matter what people say.”  Here are some of the lyrics:

Every day is so wonderful
And suddenly, I saw debris
Now and then, I get insecure
From all the pain, I’m so ashamed

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring me down
So don’t you bring me down today


I am inspired by this story, because no matter what we are – tall, short, male, female, rich, poor, successful or not, good looking or not, we are all human – we can all get insecure at times.    It is what we do to deal with these low times that makes a difference.  Like Linda and Christina,  I choose to say “I am beautiful, no matter what they say – words can’t bring me down.”  I choose to believe in myself and my ability to overcome.  What about you?

Can you choose to believe in yourself?  That’s the first step in overcoming any obstacle in life and work.  Believing in yourself is a choice you can make any time.  Don’t let careless, scathing words from other people affect you.  No one is perfect.  As you face your job search, career development, or life challenges, you will also feel insecure at times – what will you choose to say?  I hope this song will inspire you to believe in yourself and look at life with hope and confidence.

Like this article? then check out our Soft Skills Gym, a 24/7, members only learning community for soft skills development and career advancement.   In it, there are more real stories like this one, simple workouts to develop your skills, and a community of experts and members to answer your career-related questions. Also, help me out by sharing this post on Linkedin, Email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.

Best wishes in your career.  I am always in your corner.

– Lei

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Decide to Have a Good Day

The last few weeks have been stressful.  I have been juggling five projects/initiatives at the same time on a 32 hours a week schedule. Unexpected project issues are coming up left and right; requirements are misunderstood; customer experience risks are newly uncovered, etc… The end result is I have been taking my stress home after…

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Choose Life Over Work Now

What is your reaction when you see this post title?  Is your response “of course, I have a very good work life balance”?  Or is your response “I wish I could, but I have to work a lot to make money, get ahead, take care of family.  I have to wait to enjoy life later. …

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Definition of Success

I was taught the definition of success in business school.  We just finished 4 weeks of pre-term (refresher courses on math, accounting etc..) before my official 1st year at Wharton began.  My accounting professor used most of the time in our last class to give us a lecture on success and what it means. He…

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